Did Your Brain Melt This Week?

July 19, 2013
A possible Invensys buyout, hot stories on ControlGlobal.com, collaboration tools and smog-eating cement: a roundup of the week's news.
Ours almost did, but we soldiered on. In case you were too hot and tired from getting done what you needed to get done and didn't have the energy to check the news, here's a roundup of some of the stories you might have missed.The biggest news was the announcement that French industrial giant Schneider Electric is in talks with Invensys and a $5 billion USD buyout may be in the works—or not. Here's a wrap-up on the thinking after last Friday's surprise announcement from Invensys. But not so fast. According to Walt Boyes in a post this morning in the SoundOff! blog, GE, at least, is not going to enter any bidding war. In truth, none of the likely possibilities (ABB, Emerson, for example) has said "boo" about making an offer—at least not publicly. Walt raises the possibility that Invensys may have jumped the gun with its announcement and poses the intriguing question, what's the U.K.-based company going to do if Schneider decides not to buy and nobody else wants it?Buyout soap operas are not the only news among process automation companies. ABB is inviting proposals from academic and research institutes around the world to support promising graduate students with projects that combine academic research with industrial application in the power and automation area. Meanwhile, Siemens is partnering with Georgia Career Pathways to develop advanced educational courses for the Career Pathways program, which trains Georgia students using a curriculum based on the employment needs of international companies with facilities in the state. Closer to home, one of the most popular stories on ControlGlobal.com this week is Dan Hebert’s cover story, "Pulling Together." Collaboration make not be "the new black" in work styles, but it's right up there on the popularity list. Dan presents a good summary of the available technologies for working remotely and/or working with teams at multiple sites without having to leave your own office. Another item gathering a lot of hits is Walt Boyes' "The Beltway Bandits and Cybersecurity." It seems the DC vultures have smelled money in our concern about cybersecurity and are settling in to get more than their fair share, whether they know anything about cybersecurity or not. What a surprise. During heat waves like the one we're living through now, it's not just the heat and the humidity. It's the smog that also settles in over urban areas and lingers long after the heat wave is over. One tool out there to combat it is smog-eating cement. According to researchers at the University of Eindhoven in The Netherlands, this stuff actually works. Whooda thunk it? That's it for now. Have a good weekend and stay cool.