#ARCorlando from afar! “One of the best ever ARC Forums…”

“Its a wrap! Some of the best content and opportunities to engage ARC has ever had.”

These are just two of the tweets from the fifteenth ARC Orlando Forum held in early February 2011. We had been invited to attend but primarily because of the cost of traversing the great water of the Atlantic, not to mention the “reduced” cost of the hotel accomodation, we had to be content with periodic peeps at tweets from the location. We were a little surprised that there were not any live transmissions from any of the sessions but none the less were able to get a flavour of things.

Over 700 delegates at opening session of 16th ARC Forum in Orlando (Pic tweeted by Harry Forbes)

The theme this year was Driving Innovation, Sustainability, and Performance. In the preamble the organisers discussed the topics on which the forum focussed and hoped to help delegates develop winning strategies.

“Industrialization in emerging regions and revitalization of aging infrastructure are fueling a new wave of capital investment around the world.  IT and other technologies are enabling organizations to become smarter, more collaborative, and more integrated with their customers and supply chains.  We are in the midst of an era with huge opportunities – and huge challenges – for industrial companies.  Excellence in every aspect of business is vital for growth and survival.

“Excellence cannot be achieved in isolation; it requires perfect execution, agility, and collaboration across key functional areas like IT, engineering, operations, and maintenance.  A business cannot remain static and survive; innovation must also be a priority.  New business models, products, processes, and production techniques can enhance the value proposition for every business in every industry.

“At the same time, the need to reduce costs, reduce risk, reduce project cycle time, reduce energy use, and reduce carbon footprint remain key challenges facing every company.  And managers are being tasked to address these issues with fewer people, smaller budgets, limited visibility, and little tolerance for risk.”

Topic headings were, for the most part, of particular interest to automation professionals.

  • Relentless Pursuit of Process Safety, Energy Optimization, and Operational Excellence
  • Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection Solutions
  • Sustainability and Production Management Solutions
  • Asset Performance Management 2.0: Optimizing Operations and Maintenance
  • Project Management 2.0: Managing Risk, Interoperability and Collaboration
  • Energy Management Solutions for Industrial and Commercial Facilities
  • Improve Performance by Integrating Design and Production
  • Transform Your Business with Enterprise Mobility Solutions
  • Beyond the Perfect Order Metric:  Bringing Together Supply Chain, Category Management, and Mobile Technologies to Improve On-Shelf Availability
Other Reports
Company Press Releases!(Read-out) 

News & Product Announcements (Automation World)
ISA 100 Meeting report (Walt Boyes 7/2/2011)

The strong team of speakers included well respected experts for ARC Advisory Group itself as well as a veritable who’s who of people from oil, life science, food, beverage, and other process industries, electronics, IT, engineering consultacies and the vendors of automation products. There were perhaps some surprising absences in these latter but many of the big companies organise their own user group events and perhaps feel that that is where they should invest their resources. Nevertheless I am sure that members of these companies were among the over 700 delegates who thronged the Renaissance Orlando Hotel.

ARC Advisery Group, organisers this event, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

So what is the impression given by the tweets? These may all be seen by searching for #ARCorlando.

On the first day they are dedicated to these commercial presentations, “So and so is presenting the new widget from acme company” and the like. The suppliers unveiled their goodies to the assembled press. Paul Millar was kind enough to provide us with the releases and presentations for most of these and they may be found in our Conferences & Exhibitions blog entry :#ARCorlando Press Announcements!. Colour for some of these was found in Automation World’s Gary Mintchel’s Feed Forward blog.

The first talk by Andy Chatha President of ARC, speaking on Collaborative Value Networks was compressed into five tweets – Companies need a Facebook-Like platform that is easy to use. Technology is here in place. –  need to collaborate companies from end-to-end. Power sector is going to change. We have to be prepared for changes and shifts for all industries. Smartgrid could become more powerful than the internet. Services are at your fingertips. #Smartgrid will connect all devices in your home.

A tantilising tweet tells us that Dave Ritter (President, The Haymarket Group) did insightful discussion of O&G industry situation, trends and likely evolution! – and eye opener for most! Connectivity + collaboration skills are key to success for independent energy companies.

Walt Boyes of ControlGlobal tweets: Don Taylor of Dow talks about the M&E challenges of the Rohm and Haas acquisition.

And again: Bectel kicking of the morning session talking about their mature, balanced and well planned information management strategy. Standards have typically been for physical assets not information says Geir Ramseth. Every project is different yet we need to get the right info in the way the client wants it.

kmcneel tweets provocatively: SAP’s Marty Mrugal takes the stage and the crowd goes wild! Not really. But they should. He’s awesome. He talks about need to plan for end results, then build KPIs, then build data collection into Asset Management plan.
Cloud can become ‘click and wait’ systems. Take care w Service agreements before going to Cloud. And find a trusted vendor. Why do manufacturing suppliers resist standards? Because there are still too many?

Mike Williams of Dow talks about the value of object oriented design for real time control apps. Eric Cosman of Dow presents their views on load->evaluate->go, loading control strategies hot.

Cott IT people get along well with operations people. Refreshing to hear! Using think clients for lot of plant floor apps.

Jim Conner Celanese, knowledge management systems die because they are a pain to use.

Charlie Piper of Invensys: big difference between systems of the 70s and today is proliferation of apps and intelligent field.

The ISA100 Wireless Standard committee took the opportunity presented by the ARC Forum to hold one of their committee meetings.

Gary Mintchell wraps up: Busy week at forum. Lots of meetings. Optimism everywhere. Wireless panel quiet. Now at OMAC – PackML to MES discussion

And finally a really up-to-date tweet from kmcneel: Headed home after ARC Forum. Love my iPhone as boarding pass!

Maybe next year when the iPhone will be able to transmit us over the Atlantic for the price of a local call we will be able to report the actuality rather than the virtuality of the 17th ARC Forum!

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