'Combined capabilities' of IBM, MRO on display at Maximo World
If attendees at this year's Maximo World event in Orlando came with doubt about IBM's intentions for Maximo and MRO Software, which IBM acquired in 2006, they were quickly swept away by Al Zollar's opening presentation at Maximo World's opening session. “We've combined our capabilities,” said Zollar of the IBM acquisition of MRO.
If attendees at this year's Maximo World event in Orlando came with doubt about IBM's intentions for Maximo and MRO Software, which IBM acquired in 2006, they were quickly swept away by Al Zollar's opening presentation at Maximo World's opening session.
“We've combined our capabilities,” said Zollar of the IBM acquisition of MRO. “Within the software industry, there's often a strategy of hollowing out. That's absolutely not what we're doing. We're 180 degrees from that.”
In a rare move for IBM, the Maximo brand is being retained and built upon as IBM moves to grab a foothold on the IT services market in manufacturing. Zollar said IBM has increased Maximo's research and development budget by 50% to seek out better ways to develop the Maximo/IBM integration. That was welcome news to Jack Young, the vice-president of Maximo development for IBM, who said the Maximo 7 version would arrive next year. He called it, “the best of Maximo coming together with IT services.”
Also at Maximo World , PLANT ENGINEERING presented preliminary results of its study, “The Changing Role of the Plant Engineer.” The study, which will be released in its entirely at a presentation at National Manufacturing Week Sept. 26 in Rosemont, IL, and published in November's 60th anniversary issue, focused on some of the emerging trends and existing challenges on the plant floor.
One of the most important findings to date is plant engineers view finding skilled workers to operate automation equipment as their biggest challenge in the coming years %%MDASSML%% ahead of making a business case for installing automation or how the automation functions on the plant floor.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey