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.
Highly regarded engineer and physicist Ransom Stephens speaks with Design News about his extensive science and engineering background, the serious yet funny study of neuroscience, and how one primes their brain for innovation.
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