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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.

We saw it at the Chem Show in New York City

It was cold walking the streets to the Jacob Javits Center for last week’s Chem Show. Inside, a warm feeling pervaded as tough times are past and the industry outlook is modestly upbeat. The idea that consumers want a solution, not a product, is not a new one. But there is a quickening of the pace at which various plant functions are being out-sourced to third parties.
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An industrial taxonomy extended to the process industries

Allows assessment of capabilities, including those of your suppliers
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2013 Breakthrough Products on display in NYC at December’s Chem Show

Even for those especially adverse to the cold, the allure of Christmastime in Manhattan, as so lusciously depicted in the Hollywood movies, is a powerful one.
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The global nature of the process industries illustrated

Engineers enjoy their work. Yet the education, training and supply of engineering talent can be buffeted by global industry and market forces that at times can seem capricious.
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Geography is truth when it comes to water issues

Chicago, Western Australia, Singapore and San Francisco share WEFTEC stage and many challenges
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The pump in poetry

19th century epic “Don Juan” reveals possible origins of industry trade publishing
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Family-owned Endress + Hauser a refreshing anomaly in global automation market

Over the past 35 years, industrial automation has evolved from a domain inhabited by newly minted companies controlled by entrepreneurial founders to become a global market dominated by publicly traded, multi-billion dollar corporations.Automation supplier Endress + Hauser is something of an anomaly in this regard.
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Unique liquid-mixing method addresses viscosity, volume challenges

“Pulses” of air or gas move liquid tank contents in unexpected but highly beneficent ways
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Stepping pump, solar-powered pump will help world’s poorest farmers

It’s a real question: how do you bring 21st century technology to global regions that don’t yet have true capitalism? One further wrinkle — and an urgent one it is — the technology you’re dealing with is for one of life’s biggest got-to-haves: water.
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"Intelligence" system that’s right for the plant floor, while delivering enterprise solutions

The Dow Chemical Co. is an early adopter of a “manufacturing intelligence” solution just introduced for general availability by Portland, Ore.-based Northwest Analytics. The system, already used in 14 Dow Chemical plants, makes it easier to accomplish data-source integration and real-time process analytics and visibility.
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