Rockwell touts latest automation developments at annual Houston fair
By BILLY THINNES
HOUSTON -- The hub of the automation world moved to Houston this week when more than 9,700 manufacturing and industrial professionals gathered for the Automation Fair event, hosted by Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork members.
Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the two-day event has attracted manufacturing and process business leaders, industry analysts and technology and service providers from the industrial sector who are eager to capitalize on the most promising trends in automation and process control. This years 22nd annual event also marks the 110th anniversary of the founding of Allen-Bradley, the flagship brand of automation equipment from Rockwell Automation.
The Automation Fair event offers a wealth of learning and networking opportunities that demonstrate the latest in process and discrete control technologies, said Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation. By showing how attendees can converge automation and information into one connected enterprise, the event enables customers to improve their business profitability, help optimize their plants, and make their operations cleaner, safer, more secure and more energy-efficient.
The week-long series of activities includes hands-on labs, demonstration workshops, technical sessions, industry forums and more than 100 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge products and solutions.
Arriving early in Houston, attendees of the Process Solutions User Group meeting on November 11 and November 12 heard best practices and discovered solutions to improve their processes and create new revenue. Rick Esker, senior director, Industry Solutions Group at Cisco, shared how companies can balance big data and industrial security. Industry experts from Endress + Hauser, Acuite and Rockwell Automation shared the latest technology trends affecting the connected enterprise for instrumentation, human-machine interface and production information, and how they can help drive performance.
Process professionals were invited to hear more than 16 educational sessions and to offer valued input on the prioritization of future developments to the PlantPAx process automation system from Rockwell Automation. Attendees from 31 customer companies in industries ranging from life sciences to oil and gas discussed their experiences using the PlantPAx system and other process solutions.
Also on November 12, leading industry analysts and journalists joined Rockwell Automation for the half-day global media forum called Automation Perspectives. Keith Nosbusch of Rockwell Automation gave the keynote address. He discussed how the adoption of standard IP-based Ethernet is revolutionizing industry and enabling truly connected enterprises, leading to sustainable competitive differentiation with optimized plants and supply networks.
Following Mr. Nosbusch, industry leaders discussed the risks and rewards of this connectivity. Attendees learned about the importance of protecting industrial control and SCADA systems, and key elements in implementing an effective security strategy. A second group of speakers then discussed the unprecedented transformation of the global energy landscape, and how innovations in automation, intelligent motor control, remote services and delivery expertise in turnkey solutions are helping improve asset management in energy industries.