They are finally here!
Automation.com has launched 24 Product Portals, each hosting and organizing content such as products, articles, application stories, news headlines, events, training, and other resources specific to the following topics:
-Connectors, Cables, Wiring
-Control Panel Devices
-HMI & Operator Interfaces
-Machine & Process Safety
-PLCs & PACs
-Robots & Robot Controllers
-Sensors & Instruments
-Test & Measurement
-Valves & Pumps
For more information, see What is a Product Portal?
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Join the OPC Foundation and contribute to the advancement of OPC technology and open data connectivity.
The OPC Foundation is dedicated to ensuring interoperability in automation by creating and maintaining open specifications that standardize the communication of acquired process data, alarm and event records, historical data, and batch data to multi-vendor enterprise systems and between plant floor devices.
Learn more about OPC membership.
Automation World - Collaborating for Results
ABB's Automation World kicked off this week in Orlando, Florida, with a record attendance of more than 2400 customers, executives and partners from 38 different countries.
In the first keynote, Fred Kindle, ABB President and CEO, addressed the crowd with an enthusiasm that quickly emanated through the room. After all, ABB has much to celebrate. After a few hard years, ABB has rebounded very strongly to close 2006 with record earnings. According to Kindle and other top executives, ABB owes its success to customers who continue to believe in their world-class technology.
But it's not just about technology anymore. What really counts is what you do with that technology. Manufacturers will continue to see an increase in competitive pressures due to globalization, consolidation (to reduce costs) and capital efficiencies. New technologies are an important factor to success, but technology without proper implementation is almost useless. According to Kindle, ABB not only offers the right products at the right price, but they bring solutions, services, reliability and trust to the table.
The world is rich with new challenges and new opportunities. For many manufacturers, China and India pose serious competition. But, for ABB, China and India are incredible success stories. For example, ABB is actively working with Chinese governments to facilitate the electrical power systems needed to support this growing region. While many of the electrical systems in the U.S. are decades old (and inefficient), China is implementing the latest technologies to maximize efficiencies. And the opportunities don't stop there. Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Indonesia (to name just a few) are all emerging markets.
In the second keynote, Nicholas Donofrio, IBM Executive VP of Innovation & Technology, went on to discuss the World economy in this era. "It's different now," says Donofrio. "We now have more than 1 billion Internet users and over 3 billion wireless subscribers. We have widely adopted technical and transaction specifications. We have a new business design of horizontally integrated operations. The changing nature of innovation is open, collaborative, multi-disciplinary and global."
According to a recent survey of technology companies, the top sources of new ideas and innovation come from employees and business partners. This presents a problem as a large percentage of the automation workforce approaches retirement age. To help replace retiring talent, ISA has begun working with academia to develop an automation engineering degree program.
Also, in this world economy, as companies focus more on services, the existing labor force is experiencing a skills gap. IBM, along with other leaders and universities, have begun exploring and investing in a new academic discipline called SSME (Services Sciences, Management and Engineering). This discipline would fuse technical competency with industry-specific knowledge and business process expertise.
For most companies, improving efficiencies is the number one goal. And collaboration allows companies to make the necessary improvements to stay competitive. Collaborate with your colleagues, partners, suppliers and academia. Collaborate for results.
Mark your calendar now for next year's Automation World on April 29 - May 1, 2008 in Houston, TX.
Enjoy the rest of this eNews!
Vice President, Publisher