Rockwell partners eye information management
The industrial machinery and equipment skid partners that use Rockwell Automation controllers in their products are still the bread and butter of Rockwell's Automation Fair, but not all exhibitors at this annual event are hardware-focused. This year's event, held in mid-November in Chicago—saw increased population by exhibitors that stress information management.
The industrial machinery and equipment skid partners that use Rockwell Automation controllers in their products are still the bread and butter of Rockwell's Automation Fair, but not all exhibitors at this annual event are hardware-focused.
This year's event, held in mid-November in Chicago—saw increased population by exhibitors that stress information management. In some cases, their software is deployed within Rockwell's ControlLogix rack.
Just a few software solutions spotted at the event:
OnLine Development displayed enhancements to its xCoupler integration software, which resides within Rockwell's ControlLogix programmable automation controller (PAC) rack. Because the xCoupler integration software lives within the ControlLogix chassis, it is said to be a simpler, more secure approach to moving device data to business systems. An administrative software tool selects what type and level of data should be moved to higher-level systems. At Automation Fair, OnLine Development demonstrated a new Database View function for faster configuration.
Autodesk demonstrated its Inventor 3D CAD solution for product development, as well as AutoCAD Electrical, a 2D solution built specifically to create and modify electrical controls designs. Jose Santos, product manager of AutoCAD Electrical manufacturing solutions, says via Autodesk's partnership with Rockwell, AutoCAD Electrical offers designers an online “library” function for populating information about Rockwell's automation hardware into a system design.
Cooper Bussmann makes fuses used in plant-floor electrical systems, but increasingly, the company's value-add is around uptime and productivity, according to Joe Fox, director of systems and services. In line with these goals, the company demonstrated its Cooper InVision Downtime Reduction System. The solution wirelessly watches for open circuits that lead to machine downtime, and alerts maintenance staff about the exact location of an open circuit and the correct replacement fuse to bring. (For more on this system, see Nov. 2007 MBT, page 37.)
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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