Of the more than 750 attendees at the recent ARC Industry Forum held in Orlando, Fla., 35 of them had the word “global” in their job title. These included sales and marketing managers, but also product or operations executives, and even a safety manager had his title thus enumerated.
The Forum attracts a wide assortment of automation vendors and industry journalists, drawn by user presentations from companies like BASF, Cargill, Chevron Energy, Corning and Exxon Mobil. The theme of this year’s event and press conferences on the first day was the continuing and evolutionary impact of the Internet of things on the industrial world.
Inductive Automation is a new-breed SCADA vendor seeking to break out from the notion of SCADA as primarily human-interface technology. It sees SCADA as the means to aggregate data from across several operations layers. It is committed to Web-based technologies, SQL databases and the OPC standard. An unlimited number of clients can be applied to a server license, freeing the creativity of users.
Yokogawa Corp., the $4-billion Japanese automation vendor, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary as a company next year. At the event, it announced its new Centum VP process automation system, which brings its DCS technology into the era of what it calls the “vigilant plant.”
A company director, Bob Gates, of GE Intelligent Platforms, another major SCADA vendor, pointed out that the particular challenge in industry is that even machines 50-years old must be integrated into the Internet of things.
Automation vendor Invensys, recently acquired by Groupe Schneider, announced “SimSci APC 2014,” which upgrades its advanced process control and modeling technology to make it easier to use over time, the need for which has been recognized by the industry for some time.