Data integration: See, use, study integrated automation information
FDT Group will demonstration data integration in a series of demos at ISA Expo; Lattice Technology upgraded its 3D CAD conversion tools; and Rockwell Automation and Cisco offer a report on convergence trends.
Now you can see information integration live and get new CAD tools to boot. A series of demos at ISA Expo is in the works from FDT Group, and new upgrades have just been announced from Lattice Technology Inc. for its 3D CAD conversion tools. Go deeper and study the Rockwell Automation/Cisco overview report on convergence trends.
Device and system interoperability
FDT Group plans to demonstrate its Open Communications Interface Technology at ISA Expo and invites attendees to Booth 1222 in Houston, TX on Oct. 14-16, 2008. As part of the Bus Station arena, FDT Group will display technology to automation professionals from around the globe.
Showing Open Access to Device Intelligence, three live demonstration kiosks will showcase device/system interoperability, ease of setup and configuration, diagnostics, and standardization to SP103 in a multivendor environment. Across three accepted protocols (HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus, and Profibus) demos will illustrate how FDT Technology supports all phases of a plant lifecycle.
Presentations at the Bus Station theatre include What is FDT Technology? Presented by Geoff Wickens, marketing committee member for the Group, it will answer questions such as, How does this technology fit in? and Where is it needed? Application of DTM Technology to Field Device Diagnostics and Plant Asset Management will be presented by Ahmad Zahedi, chairman of the ISA103 standards committee. Vincent Palughi from Chevron offers a user perspective on FDT Technology with How Chevron Uses Device Type Manager. Additional FDT Technology presentations will be available at other theatres on the floor.
Read also: Learning: Profibus, FDT seminars; FDT testing .
Better CAD conversions
Lattice Technology Inc. is unveiling a series of upgrades to 3D CAD conversion tools. XVL now supports data from the most current 3D CAD tools, including 64-bit CAD platforms. The company’s XVL format allows very accurate, very compressed 3D CAD data to be used by those who don't have a CAD platform, but are integrated within a digital manufacturing workflow. XVL converters use the latest conversion technologies to enable translation of 3D CAD data from every major 3D CAD format.
Converters are available as plug-ins into a CAD seat, or as servers that work within a manufacturing IT system or enterprise workflow. Recent upgrades to the converters include support for Pro/Engineer WildFire 4, Autodesk Inventor 2009, in plug-in and server versions 64-bit versions of NX 64-bit versions of SolidWorks.
The converters already support current and older versions of CATIA, Pro/Engineer, I-Deas, CoCreate, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop, SolidWorks, NX, Solid Edge, and many neutral 3D CAD file formats; they support 64-bit versions of Catia and Pro/Engineer.
"As XVL becomes more deeply integrated into digital manufacturing processes, so we respond with very advanced support of current 3D CAD formats to enable our customers to easily simulate, validate and animate the designs," said Bill Barnes, general manager, Lattice Technology Inc. "Our converters use the industry's best translation technologies and allow massive 3D data to be compressed, very accurately, into files that are 1% or less of the original size. This makes even the biggest assemblies easily manageable and usable."
Convergence of manufacturing and IT, explained
A Rockwell Automation - Cisco convergence trend overview is available to help organizations implement change through best practices between IT and manufacturing (PDF). The document covers a variety of topics, including challenges and best practices from manufacturers who have experienced success with organizational and cultural convergence, technological how-to’s for network convergence, and anecdotes about how customers use the technology to implement new business models.
The New Megatrend: Convergence in Manufacturing points out that flexibility and efficiency are required to quickly develop and manufacture an increasing number of products to meet rapidly changing demands. As manufacturing becomes more complex and globally dispersed, the need for increased collaboration, visibility, and efficiency grows.
CEOs recognize that to achieve these objectives and be competitive in a global environment, their organizations need to do a better job of getting information to the right people in a usable, integrated format. Organizations must be more responsive to changing market and operational conditions.
Network convergence helps align technology with business goals, which include increased agility and responsiveness, a cost-effective strategy for business process transformation, and enterprise-wide visibility. However, manufacturers have many systems and layers that may not communicate. Development and integration of applications and systems can be costly and time-consuming. Silos in organizational structures between IT and manufacturing may result in poor information exchange, resource allocation, and integration challenges.
The two companies have created a number of initiatives aligned to four basic objectives, including a common technology view, collaboration on reference architectures, people and process optimization, and their work together on a managed Ethernet switch.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.