Industrial instrumentation and control have always been a hotbed of new products—sensors and actuators and all the “stuff” in between, including signal conditioners, displays, recorders, controllers, valves and actuators. Because industrial markets are relatively specialized and rarely generate high volume, products are usually high-priced, with limited applications in other markets.
Second only to motors, pumps are the most utilized machines in the world. According to the Hydraulics Institute (HI), the industry’s primary forum for the exchange of pump industry information, industrial pumping systems account for approximately 25 percent of industrial electrical energy demand. The alarming realization regarding these statistics is that manufacturers appear somewhat indifferent when it comes to critical equipment such as pumping systems and the amount of energy required to operate them.
The classic “heavy metal” industry remains dotted in the popular imagination with smokestacks and blast furnaces, providing the guts for the world’s manufacturing facilities. Yet this brutish image belies the complex technologies that support the industry’s diverse sub-sectors.
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“Security is the journey, not the destination,” declares Bradford H. Hegrat, senior network security engineer with automation vendor Rockwell Automation Inc.’s (www.rockwellautomation.com) Components and Packaged Applications Group, in Cleveland.
Tony Perkins was the founder of “Red Herring,” the Bible of the so-called Web 1.0 business bubble. That magazine ballooned to 600+ pages twice a month in the late ’90s. The pages were filled with investment bank announcements of IPOs (initial public offerings) from which all dreamed of great wealth. Then the bubble burst and the magazine crashed. Perkins is back with a Web-based media business—The Always On Network—and is reflecting on lessons learned. I think his lessons are important for all of us. Here are Perkins’ Seven.
The internal audit function helps an organization assess and mitigate risks, detect improper activity, identify vulnerabilities for fraud and provide assurance to all stakeholders.
Is it easier today to install vision appliances and systems than just four to five years ago?  Ben Dawson thinks so. Reasons include “advancements in underlying technology and the focus we’ve had on ease-of-use. Also, expert systems, ‘vision-engineer-in-a-box’ and proper human-machine interface,” states Dawson, director of strategic development for Billerica, Mass.-based vision systems vendor ipd (www.goipd.com), a group within Waterloo, Ontario-based Dalsa Digital Imaging (www.dalsa.com).
To the ears, “spend management” may sound odd. But nothing is strange about a company ensuring that it’s on the path to capture and sustain the level of spending that will make it competitive and keep it successful.
Several automation vendors made product announcements at the recent ARC Advisory Group Forum held in Orlando Feb. 13-15.
Manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment will continue to face additional environmental restrictions—in South Korea, the European Union and elsewhere—as 2007 progresses. But one of the most significant sets of “green” regulations this year is the first phase of China’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances, points out Jiwei Ye, vice president, Asia Pacific Operations, for JPMorgan Chase Vastera International Trade Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, in China. Also known as the People’s Republic of China’s “Administration on the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products,” the regulation was scheduled to go into effect on March 1.
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