The 2014 MCAA Industry Forum drew a record attendance. 211 people to be exact. The meeting was replete with time for networking with colleagues and a program filled with excellent speakers on topics that hit at the core of our industry. Thanks go to all of the Planning Committee headed by John Schwin of Ham-Let USA.
Keynoter Rich Wells from Dow Chemical made a compelling case for why we need to reinvigorate manufacturing in the United States. Such action is an obvious win for MCAA member companies: a resurgence in manufacturing leads to growth in the requirement for the instrumentation for manufacturing facilities—a bottom line issue for MCAA members. Wells also focused on Dow’s focus on creating the workers for these new advanced manufacturing facilities including improving teacher skills through study and mentoring; engaging students with hands-on learning; building confidence in all the STEM curricula; and advocating for higher performing schools at both the state the national levels. He noted that students don’t yet recognize that even an Associate’s Degree in a STEM area can usually pay more than a BA degree in a non-STEM subject. Dow is working collaboratively to create training facilities, internships and partnerships with instrumentation manufacturers.
Robert Stevenson energized the audience about Change. His many anecdotes about corporate FUBARS entertained the MCAA audience at the same time that he imparted important points for management to avoid pitfalls while embracing every opportunity to beyond the traditional approaches to the selling of their products and services.
Al Rivero of Schneider Electric gave a view on industry issues. He discussed how Enterprise and Control have evolved, opened up and converged creating a situation where massive amounts of data have to be harnessed into “Operational Intelligence.” It is at that Operations level where huge opportunities life and managing risks and critical events is becoming the name of the game. Schneider has recently completed its acquisition of Invensys and will keep the traditional name for MCAA member company Foxboro.
Members learned more about the attributes of the generations that will soon fill our workforce and had great breakout sessions on the IECEx Scheme, Sales KPIs, technology trends and market hot spots.
Foxboro’s own Peter Martin reviewed the history of our measurement and control industry and how we have automated ourselves and industry into a box that needs new talent—and challenged members to show young people that we can offer a career where they can do something that matters—like solve world hunger! Customer Libby Smith of Fluor talked about their use of Main Instrumentation Vendors which was a significant departure of single sourcing for many of the MCAA audience members.
The meeting wrapped up with Dr. Jeff Dietrich of ITR who revised his earlier forecast to take OUT the small dip at the end of 2014 and predicted small but incremental growth through 2019. Dr. Dietrich will provide the MCAA members with an update of the forecast in November of this year as well.
MCAA exists to help the management teams of process and factory automation product and solution providers run and grow successful businesses by offering timely, unique and highly specialized resources acquired from shared management benchmarks where proprietary company information is secure, including the very special opportunity to network with more than 200 executives from the industry’s leading companies.
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