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The 21st annual Automation Fair event draws thousands

13 November 2012

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Philadelphia became the temporary centre of the manufacturing world last week as Rockwell Automation hosted its 21st annual Automation Fair event. The event opened to more than 9200 manufacturing business leaders, industry analysts, and technology and service providers from around the world at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

During a week-long series of activities, customers had access to safety- and process-focused customer events, a global media forum, technology training sessions, seminars, industry-focused forums, in-depth demonstrations, and more than 125 exhibitors showcasing products from Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork member companies. Attendees took advantage of this collective expertise to learn about innovations designed to help optimise their automation investments and achieve their business goals.

Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation, said: “Together with our PartnerNetwork companies, we bring customers an ecosystem of experience and expertise. The Automation Fair event enables customers see how innovative automation technologies can improve their business profitability while optimising their equipment, production lines, plants and enterprise.”

Process industry customers traded insights at the Process Solutions User Group on 5 and 6 November. More than 600 process professionals converged at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to discuss trends and challenges affecting process industries, exchange best practices, and provide valuable feedback to Rockwell Automation on new PlantPAx process automation system features, functions and offerings. Attendees heard from Nancy Youn, director, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware, as she discussed the emergence of virtualisation technologies in the process industries. In addition, 29 customer speakers shared how they overcome day-to-day automation challenges using the PlantPAx system.

Process professionals were not the only ones taking advantage of the period before the Automation Fair event. More than 300 participants attended the live Safety Automation Forum event on 6 November. The user event featured speakers from best-in-class manufacturers, including Kimberly-Clark, machine builder Automatic Handling International, and Grantek Systems Integration Inc., who shared procedures that improve safety, productivity and business performance. In the keynote address, Calvin Beyer, head of manufacturing at Zurich, explained how manufacturers can improve worker safety and boost the bottom line using a risk-management strategy based on leading indicators. Attendees also learned about the latest technologies, legal considerations and regulatory standards for machinery, process and electrical safety applications from industry experts at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IFA, and one of the world’s largest corporate law firms, Eversheds LLP. Those unable to attend the forum in person took part in the virtual event online.

Manufacturing perspectives

Journalists and industry analysts from around the world also convened at the company’s Manufacturing Perspectives global media forum on 6 November. In addition to keynotes by Craig Giffi, vice chair and US Leader, Consumer and Industrial Products, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation, industry experts gave their insights on the issues facing today’s smart manufacturers:

  • The reality of flexible production, with Peter Daenen, manufacturing manager, Ford South America and Frank Kulaszewicz, senior vice president, Architecture and Software, Rockwell Automation
  • How cloud solutions can enable flexible manufacturing without compromising security, with Fran Dougherty, CTO Worldwide Incubation Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft and Blake Moret, senior vice president, Control Products and Solutions, Rockwell Automation
  • The future of mobility, security and energy, with Maciej Kranz, vice president and general manager, Connected Industries Group, Cisco and Sujeet Chand, senior vice president and CTO, Rockwell Automation

These activities, along with the Automation Fair event, provided attendees with a week’s worth of manufacturing wisdom from Rockwell Automation and its comprehensive, global network of partners. For further information, go to www.ra.rockwell.com.

 
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