Smart manufacturing solutions get attention at IANA 2016

In an integrated age, IIoT is the focus of CFE Media event Sept. 14.


The Industrial Automation North America pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago will feature exhibitors and speakers focused on the Industrial Internet of Things. Image Courtesy: IMTSIndustrial Automation North America (IANA), which is co-located at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) Sept. 12-17, 2016, at McCormick Place in Chicago, will focus on intelligent solutions as a key theme. Intelligent solutions remain one of manufacturing's hottest topics.

As part of the Hannover Messe portfolio, IANA will mirror the industry-leading discussions occurring at April's Hannover 2016, the world's largest manufacturing trade fair where the United States participated for the first time as Partner Country. Themes at both events focus on intelligent technology to unite manufacturing operations as well as supporting Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Those topics also will be the themes when CFE Media, the official media partner of IANA, presents its Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The event begins at noon in conjunction with the 2016 IANA Pavilion. "The high interest in this trade show underscores the excitement about intelligent solutions," said Larry Turner, president/CEO of Hannover Fairs USA, a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe, the organizer of Hannover. "Industrial Automation North America offers a one-stop event to learn about this fast-changing technology." According to surveys conducted in 2014 at IMTS, IANA and Motion, Drive & Automation North America, 86% of visitors found solutions to specific manufacturing problems, 85% planned to make a purchase within one year, and 64% initiated new business contacts.

Value of data and security

As manufacturers wrestle with options for connecting systems, there's agreement on two key issues: the business advantages of using integrated data and the importance of security.

"Production equipment is at the heart of any manufacturing business, but information and planning are the nerve center," said David Kaley, marketing communications manager at Mitsubishi Electric. "Today's technologies make it simple to connect real-time production data to enterprise planning systems. This allows for quicker business decisions and better foresight into potential failures."

According to Ed Johnston, North America industry manager for automotive and tire at Rockwell Automation, today's auto manufacturing plants have to be flexible to produce multiple vehicles in multiple variations on a single line. A connected enterprise that has the ability to exchange secure information from the plant floor to business systems and onto the supply chain is vital.

Once connected, manufacturers must also consider how to protect valuable data. "The key now is to ensure that you are getting that critical data to the enterprise systems in the most secure manner possible while making certain that the automation and process control networks are properly protected," said Dan Schaffer, business development manager for networking and security at Phoenix Contact USA. "The same path used to get data out can be compromised to let the bad guys in. The companies that are most successful in walking the tightrope between security and availability of data will be the ones who are most successful in the IIoT landscape."

Smart systems on display

To achieve the successful balance of smart and secure solutions, show attendees will be able to see intelligent solutions in action:

  • Phoenix Contact will show its recently released TC mGuard devices, which leverage cellular networks, such as Verizon and AT&T, to provide secure remote communications wherever a wired connection is not possible. It meets the demand for remote maintenance and secure supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) in today's connected industrial world.
  • Mitsubishi Electric will demonstrate connected factory automation products working together to supply a complete solution from raw products being supplied to finished goods shipping to a customer. The demonstration includes movement between a manufacturing cell, warehousing cell, and a packaging cell without an operator, as well as information transmittal to upper management for planning.
  • Rockwell Automation will showcase how manufacturers can optimize their operations in a connected enterprise with dynamic displays for automotive and discrete manufacturing including powertrain, integrated safety and motion and remote monitoring.

In addition to intelligent solutions, the 2016 trade fair, which doubled in size since 2014, features innovative developments in robot-assisted production and process and building automation. For more information, visit here.

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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

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