Inductive Automation stages 2nd online event

Oct. 19, 2021

Undaunted by having to attend remotely due to the pandemic, more than 2,500 visitors crowded virtually into Inductive Automation's second online, ninth overall and largest-ever Inductive Community Conference (ICC) on Sept. 21-22. The always close-knit community, united in their devotion to web-based Ignition HMI/SCADA software and its accessories, remotely experienced 40 live and prerecorded conference sessions, 10 demonstrations from 23 exhibitors and distributors, and 15 user presentations in its Discovery Gallery. Each exemplified how Inductive's longtime "easy, fun, affordable" motto was joined by the event's "smarter, faster, stronger" theme.

"Inductive Automation's success can be traced to addressing the pain points I faced as a system integrator. Without that experience, I wouldn't know how to run a company like this," said Steve Hechtman, founder and CEO of Inductive Automation, during ICC 2021's keynote address. "It starts with a foundation of being up to your eyeballs in a project; working 18-hour days under trying circumstances; and having the attitude that no one's going home until a solution works. Without that, what's the vision? If it's just money, that's a pretty low form of motivation. This is why our Ignition Exchange community is collaborative and collegial, and has enthusiasm and passion."

For example, Ignition Exchange members create, post and share resources, which others can download and uses—elevating everyone's capabilities. Ignition's open technology stack lets the company and its community listen to each other, improve their software more efficiently, and also enable programs like Inductive University program that provides free, open, online training. More recently, the company launched its University Engagement program, which gives Ignition software to dozens of universities.

"We've grown faster, smarter and more responsive to customers' needs through our continuous improvement process, which never stops cycle through our entire company, improving the weakest areas, and moving on to the next," said Hectman. "It was hard when recent world events forced us to become a remote-first company. I had my doubts when we first switched to remote workflows, but they were unfounded because we didn't miss a beat, and in the long run it's made us more efficient."

Firebrand award winners

The 15 end-user projects featured in the ICC Discovery Gallery included four winners of Inductive's Firebrand Awards. Co-director of Sales Engineering for Inductive Travis Cox reported these projects included:

  • Ginko Bioworks expansion of its automation capability to meet demand for more diagnostic and DNA sequencing test sample preparation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ignition was implemented at the center of the company's facility, where it works with 50 PLCs, lab equipment, quality and vision systems. The software helps extract process data and meaningful test results, even as the lab's systems and equipment change layouts on a daily basis.
  • BHP built a mining asset and infrastructure monitoring application for Minerals Australia's remote operations center, which uses Ignition to provide data via a modern server-based interface and a zero-install environment that's mobile-device friendly and had Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connections. This application monitor more than 30 sites, 20 network domains, tens of thousands of devices, and about 1.1 million data points.
  • Incat, a builder of high-speed catamaran ferries in Hobart, Tazmania, recently worked with Cromarty on a ship management system, which uses Ignition and its unlimited licensing to provide simple graphics throughout a vessel, and quickly highlight any abnormal situations. This application is fully redundant, and includes more than 100,000 stages, 5,000 alarms and 10 clients.
  • CPM Beta Raven helped automate feed processing at Smithfield's hog production facility in Milford, Utah. Its feed mill previously relied on pushbuttons, relays and physical labor, so adding a fully Ignition-based system enabled it to improve ingredient and recipe accuracy, boost production results, establish inventory alarms and alerts, and perform loadout, historian and data analysis functions.

To view ICC 2021's online sessions, visit and register at