GM, Proctor & Gamble, Compaq Computers, Goodyear...besides the fact that these are all huge companies that make products the public uses every day, they have something else important in common: Dan Noonen. He was instrumental in designing DeviceNet, the open networking solution that helps each of these companies--and thousands of others--manufacture their products more efficiently. Introduced in 1994 and based on commercially available CAN chips, DeviceNet is a low-cost communications link able to connect a wide range of industrial devices to a network, regardless of vendor. Because the specification and protocol are open, vendors are not required to purchase hardware, software, or licensing rights to connect devices to a system. Users, moreover, can add a device or machine to the production line without powering down. Noonen, who joined Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) in 1985, has also played a key role in some of the first installations and is one of the lead architects of RSNetWorx for DeviceNet--the next generation of monitoring and configuration software.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.