“The coming decade will be the first in 200 years when emerging-market countries contribute more growth than the developed ones,” was the challenging message from Keith Nosbusch, Rockwell Automation’s chairman and CEO as he kicked off this years Automation Fair in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia (PA USA).
As is our wont we followed this from this side of the Atlantic on twitter and facebook. Our “report” is not meant to be comprehensive or even representative of what happened but merely a flavour as we looked in on tweets as they came in.
Rockwell are among the best prepared for using social media and tweets from @AutomationFair are frequently sent with the latest snippets of news many months in advance of each fair. The has tag is #autofair and the also use #PSUG for their Process Users Group meeting which immediatly preceeds the fair. Also part of this event was their Safety Automation Forum, and there was also a Global Forum on Manufacturing Perspectives.
But I’ll let some of the tweets speak:
“Virtualization on a fast track: 60% of data centers today; 90+% in a few years.” and “IT should be a platform for innovation.” This latter might indecate that it perhaps isn’t or is not allowed to progress in the automation sector. Nevertheless Nancy Youn from VMWare mantains “We’re leading the convergence of next-generation automation and IT technologies.”
These events are great for stimulating or exposing avenues for progress. “There’s tremendous potential in using a unified architecture for process + discrete automation needs!” said Rockwell’s John Genovesi. He then queried “Do you leverage your data or just display it?” And the same speaker also echoed his CEO, “More than 70 million people per year are crossing the threshold into the middle class, and virtually all of them are in emerging economies.”
Anothe speaker, Craig Giffi, VC of Industrial Products at Deloitte, made a statement which although it refers to the United States will strike a familiar note in other parts of the first and second worlds:: “600,000 US manufacturing jobs unfilled as can’t find the staff!”
The talk about safety appears to have been stimulating too. “Safety Performance Gap: The difference between what is expected vs. what is accepted by company leadership, supervisor & employee personal.”
But the Automation Fair proper started on the Wednesday (7 November) and we had a plethera of tweeets inviting, cajoling, luring us in “Rockwell Automation Fair, Nov 7-8 in Phila, Booth 826 – Come on down! Looks exciting!” “Automation Fair safety booth coming together in Philadelphia.” and ” See video previews of what you can expect at #autofair this week!” and “Todo listo para otro excelente año del Automation Fair en Philadelphia!!!” (Twitter is multilingual also messages in oriental languages!).
Pictures of people adressing attendees, stands and other relevent and what we might consider less so like the twitpic of an alarmingly large pile of coffee cups – “Need just ONE MORE CUP of coffee this morning!”
Cisco tweeted: “We’ll continue tweeting all the latest updates from @AutomationFair! Be sure to check back with us frequently!”
Maverick told us “Attending #autofair & discussing control, configuration, operator effectiveness, asset management & safety with our #pauto #mfg colleagues.”
“Videos from #autofair will appear on the @ROKAutomation YouTube page throughout the show!”
Over all the event was the shadow of the terrible aftermath of the hurricane Sandy, which over the previous week had wrought havoc and death in the Carribean and the north-east coast of the US including New Jersey and New York though mercifully Philadelphia was spared the worst of the damage which is still causing major difficulties in those areas worst affected. A system of collecting funds was inaugurated with Rockwell equaling the amount collected at the show!
The tweets continued but now they were added to by the America Automation Press, notably Control Global and Automation Weekly. Links to these and others are in the box on the right..
But of course it wasn’t all hard slog: “Automation Fair in Philadelphia. I came, I looked at industrial controls, I ate cheesesteak!”
Many times at these events we hear of guys oogling the lady participants. It is however important to balance these statements and here is a female tweet “Last day working at the @AutomationFair Great vibe here. A lot of handsome men too. ;)”
I think we should stop there!
The next Automation Week is scheduled for Houston (TX USA) 13-14 November 2013.