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Productivity Perspectives

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker, editorial director of Processing magazine, has been writing about process industry, automation and information-technology markets for more than 20 years.

The saga of the machine segues into the 21st century

Rockwell Automation was once a white-shirt-and-tie engineering company, just as IBM was a white-shirt-and-tie information-technology company. Other points of comparison between the two apply as well, including the importance of “services” to their continuing success. There are some reasons why this is the case.
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GE CEO Jeff Immelt says software, analytics are path to zero unplanned downtime

Just a few moments before the young General Electric (GE) executive standing at the podium introduced his CEO Jeffery Immelt, he mentioned that the GE event they were attending was not meant to be a sales pitch. No sooner had Immelt hopped onto the stage following his introduction then he vociferously disagreed. “I’m here to sell,” he said.
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3rd party services growth a spur needed to quicken technology adoption

By buying Invensys, a big chunk of today’s multi-billion-dollar industrial-automation software market is in the hands of Schneider Electric — including the Wonderware, SimSci and Avantis brands.
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Process goods makers seek rational sub-groups of data, amenable to analysis

Manufacturing intelligence vendor celebrates 25th year in business
The many different kinds of industrial software that emerged the last 30 years are mostly absorbed by now into supervisory-control, product life-cycle or enterprise-planning software suites.
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US natural gas production hits record high, drives growth in equipment markets

Natural gas production in the United States increased in August for the eighth consecutive month, according to just-released figures from Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.
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Mixed opinions on water problems

Money and finance are the problems; information technology is the fix; which side are you on?
It’s said, often, that infrastructure for water provision to U.S. populations and industry is at a near-crisis stage. And there are signs that it’s the case. Yet because so many water sources are free, and for other reasons, the dollars-and-cents incentives that lead to decisive action often aren’t there.
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Smart phones, tablets and the industrial interface

It’s been proven more than once that when it comes to IT-based automation, if commercial off-the-shelf technology can do the job, that’s the way industry will go.
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And a bank shall lead them

At a July summit, the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- established its own development bank, to the tune of $100 billion.
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Automation suppliers see chemicals, pharma market gains

Bookings at surveyed automation and instrumentation suppliers were up more than eight percent in Q1 2014, says the MCAA’s quarterly Industry Group Report, compared to the same quarter one year ago.
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From the show floor

The American Water Works Association was established in 1881 but its work has never been more important than it is today, as the relationship between water, public health, global economy and quality of life are laid out in ever-more stark relief on this billions-of-people planet.
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