An impressive 12000 people attended he 20th anniversary Rockwell Automation Fair® event which this year was held in Chicago in November. It is regarded by manufacturers, media and analysts as one of the the premier automation industry event in the calander.
Rockwell Automation and its partners aimed to share insights on smart, safe, sustainable solutions that can help customers optimize their plants, improve performance of their machines and manufacture products in a more sustainable manner. As with many of the events crowding the automation calender this year, we at Read-out had to content ourselves with a virtual presence with a heavy reliance on tweetaholics (#autofair #PSUG #ROKsaf) who kept those of us who were afar more closely connected with events as they happened. As is usual with such events we prominently highlighted the event on our home page!
Press releases and other reports on this event are shown in the box on the right!
As may be gleaned from the hashtags mentioned above there are in fact a number of conferences intertwined at this event. The first is the Safety Automation Forum, which is actually held on the twop days immediatly poreceeding the Automation Day proper. In effect it sets the stage for Automation Fair, showcasing some of their “most elite customers” who shared best practices and demonstrated how they have deployed successful safety programs that improve business performance. It also included technical training sessions and networking opportunities. Presentations from this part of the event may be found on Rockwell’s Slideshare site. Greg Hale recorded impressions of some of these presentations in his ISS Source site (see links in box on right!). There are also some short comments on the Safety Forum on Rockwell’s YouTube site!
The second co-event was the Process Solution User Group (PSUG). This provided the opportunity for over 800 delegates to discover ways to achieve process automation excellence and gain a competitive advantage by interacting with peers and industry experts who are improving their processes, creating new revenue streams and establishing best practices. This was also held during the two days preceeding the main event. I caught this from the ubiquitous Walt Boyes who tweeted “Edwards:”I didn’t talk about Stuxnet because there is already so much info in the press about it.” But the most intriguing tweet we saw under #PSUG was “Check it out on YouTube #PSUG opens with a stirring Chicago-style rendering of “I Got Them Process Blues.”
Automation Fair proper was well covered by Putman, publishers of ControlGlobal in their reports in the Show Daily. Another tweet stated “There were more customers at Automation Fair in Chicago than I have seen at any of the previous events!”
• Among the co-exhibitors was Cisco and their Peter Granger blogged on his journey to the show “We’re not going to crash? Do I really want to know? TMI!“ before neatly telling us of their exhibit. (His stand might not have been mentioned had he not told us of his adventure – who says social media doesn’t work?). They have some videos of their exhibt too on their Cisco YouTube Channel!
• Pepperl+Fuchs tweeted “Whew! It’s been busy so far! Taking a quick break…stop by and see us at booth 116 today!” (Nice pic guys!).
• Rumsey Electric got in the fun spirit of things too “Feel like a kid again and stop by booth 833 to see sensors and classic toy cars in action!“
• RacOman were offering a free iPad 2 on Booth 225.
• Eric Gory of Molex demonstrated the new Profibus Remote module live on the floor.
• “More than 150 media from around the world are at this year’s #Manufacturing Perspectives @ #autofair. Record attendance for the event,” reported Canadian publication Manufacturing Automation.
The Rockwell Automation Fair was a different experience for us than the other shows we have attended using twitter. There were not that many tweets but as a company Rockwell have utilised a lot of media and in our opinion quite cleverly. They have used many, mercifully short, videos on YouTube to provide information. They have not been shy in using twitter and other social networking platforms to publicise the event and some of this expertese seems to be catching on among some – though by no means all – of their partner companies.
In the accompaning exhibition area many of Rockwell’s partner companys demonstrated their products and technologies. Also there were many of Rockwell’s own products and applications on display and demonstrated!
As another record-breaking Automation Fair drew to a close, it was time to mark the calendar for Automation Fair 2012, when the “biggest automation experience on the planet” goes to the City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia. The date is 6th November.
This message was retweeted a number of times “Thanks to Rockwell Automation for another great #autofair. I learned a lot.” and “Chicago will be tough to out-do but we are looking forward to planning next years in Philly!”