Here are the headlines from our second day of live coverage from Rockwell AutomationAutomation Fair 2012. If you couldn't attend the event but want to know all the details, we have the indormation you need.
Manufacturers Share Sustainability Wins
Energy is just like speed, vibration, temperature and flow. It's just another variable that can be controlled and optimized—but thinking about it in those terms is something relatively new. For many decades, power was just turned on and off, bills for it were paid, and nobody thought about much beyond that, as long as the lights didn't go out. Well, times have changed. $4-per-gallon gas and other forms of energy become more precious, and everyone wants to run more sustainable operations.
Food Manufacturers Seek Safe and Secure Production
Sustainability, globalization, productivity and innovation top the list of key challenges confronting the food and beverage industry. In the face of regulation and customer concerns, manufacturers look for ways to improve margins while delivering the quality assurance that consumers expect. At Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair, suppliers and manufacturers provided experiences and thoughts about how manufacturers today can improve product consistency, throughput, data gathering and reporting.
Automotive Globalization Pushes Standardization
Since the beginning of automated assembly, the automotive industry has been at the forefront of automation innovation and has led industrial manufacturing into several emerging technologies, including on-machine and mobile technologies, safety and the deployment of EtherNet/IP communication networks, noted Mark Joppru, global director of the automotive and tire business for Rockwell Automation, as he kicked off the Automotive Industry Forum this afternoon at the Automation Fair in Philadelphia.
How to Tell a Life Science Leader from a Laggard
"I spent years as a plant manager before I became an analyst," began Kevin Prouty, vice president of research at Aberdeen Group. "I am a devotee of operational excellence, and that's what the life science industries are moving toward." He spoke at the Life Sciences Industry Forum today at the Rockwell Automation Automation Fair in Philadelphia. "At Aberdeen, we divide companies into Leaders, Followers and Laggards," Prouty said.
Big Capabilities for Smaller Controllers
Though powerful automation solutions have long been available, they are not always accessible to smaller machine builder customers, who can't necessarily afford—and don't necessarily need—a high level of sophistication. At this year's Automation Fair in Philadelphia, Rockwell Automation is highlighting a number of scaled-down solutions that give even small machine builders access to powerful, previously out-of-reach technologies.
Intelligent Motor Control Expands Its Reach
Rockwell Automation's Intelligent Motor Control offering includes a portfolio of PowerFlex drives, Centerline motor control centers and starters for low- and medium-voltage applications. "By adding intelligence, communication capabilities and making it part of the control architecture at the same time, we can give our customers a series of benefits," said Sergio Gama, market development director, Intelligent Motor Control, as he showed off Rockwell Automation's latest extensions of the line on the Automation Fair exhibit floor this week in Philadelphia.
PlantPAx Capabilities Quickly Maturing
"The reason we expect to be able to double the process industry initiative business by 2017," said Steve Pulsifer, director of process market development, Rockwell Automation, "is because we already have delivered. I think that's why our CEO thinks we can do it. If you really look at it, we've concentrated on customer-focused innovation. And if you make customers happy and give them a world-class experience as they deal with you as a corporation, you're going to grow."