Those attending National Manufacturing Week rightly focus on plying the show
floor aisles to "kick the tires" of the latest technologies and components on
display. But the exhibition is only one part of the week's events, which also
feature a wide array of conferences and workshops ranging from market trend
discussions to technical and regulatory influences in today's market place. So
don't forget to give your feet a rest and bone up on the latest insights from
the experts assembled at McCormick Place.
Some highlights of the dozens of sessions you may want to look into
Monday, February 23:
Management and Auto-Configuration of Industrial Ethernet Networks
Larry O'Connell, product manager for Cisco Systems will talk
about the widespread trend in industrial automation of deploying Ethernet in
factory applications. For maximum utility, a truly scalable industrial Ethernet
system should take full advantage of the network management tools available
today. This session covers the critical network management technologies
available for Ethernet applications in manufacturing, including the basic
management elements of industrial Ethernet networks, BootP and DHCP, Relay Agent
and Option 82, and Auto-Provisioning.
Controller Area Network - A Serial Bus System For Embedded Machine
Control (2 p.m.)
William Seitz, general manager, North America for the
CAN in Automation (CiA) trade association discusses how Controller Area Network
(CAN) has migrated from automotive applications to embedded machine control in
over 20 vertical markets. The presentation will describe the peer-to-peer
communications capability that connects smart and redundant systems without the
need of a master. Details will be provided of the broadcast messaging system
that guarantees fast data transmission and integrity by use of a sophisticated
bit-arbitration system, error detection, and the retransmission of faulty
messages. The following questions will be answered by Seitz: How does CAN
function; what kind of physical layer is used; what is a "higher-layer protocol"
and why do I need one; what plug-and-play standards are available for embedded
machine controls; what does it cost to implement CAN?
Tuesday, February 24:
Plant Automation Best Practices: Discrete and Process (11:00
From Microsoft, Chris Colyer, industry manager, General Manufacturing,
and Don Richardson, director of Manufacturing Industry Solutions will tell how
manufacturers can ensure that they're choosing the best plant automation
solutions for their operations. Issues include making sure the solution will
satisfy their needs while working with their legacy systems on the plant floor
and in the business suite.
Manufacturers also want real-time data exchange and visibility, with data
integration going all the way down to the production line. The Microsoft duo
will take a look at the underlying technology and best practices driving the
most effective plant automation solutions, including the use of web services and
how they're enabled through technologies such as Microsoft .NET. And, through
work with leading independent software vendors and system integrators such as
Accenture, ABB, AspenTech, and Invensys, the speakers will present lessons
learned and key differences between successful plant automation approaches for
discrete manufacturers vs. process manufacturers.
Wednesday, February 25:
The Implications of Real-Time Initiatives on Control Engineers
This panel discussion will look at the issues faced by engineers
as manufacturing companies increasingly explore the linkage of real-time
process-control systems and enterprise software technologies for improved
business decision making.
Tuning Techniques for Closed-Loop Hydraulic Motion Control Improve with
Technology, Yet Basics Still Matter (1:00 p.m.)
president of Delta Computer Systems, tells how you can use proven tuning
techniques to optimize hydraulic motion controller applications, all while
taking advantage of advances in electronics and sensor technology. At the center
of his automation theme is the electronic motion controller. Motion controller
algorithms allow for precise position and pressure control of servo-hydraulic
applications, for both retrofit or new machine applications. Setting up the
controller and tuning a control system are basic steps in providing machine
optimization. To do this, one relies on understanding fundamentals and applying
tools, including feed-forward adjustments, from present day controllers.
Nachtwey's paper will present easy-to-use closed loop tuning of hydraulic
motion, saving time plus allowing for improved accuracy and resolution of
machine control. Maintenance technicians and engineers alike will benefit from
these tools not only for setup and tuning but also for ongoing diagnostics.
Thursday, February 26
Control Logic: Where Should It Reside? (10:00 a.m.)
Sam Hammond, chief engineer at Innoventor,
Daniel Parrish, VP of engineering
for Tegron, and Scott Shaw, president of Automated Control Systems will discuss
where should the logic for controls and automation reside. Included among the
questions to be answered: What hardware and software platforms are appropriate
for specific applications and why; should decisions be distributed or
centralized, standalone, embedded or integrated, off the shelf or customized;
and where in the control engineering design process should these decisions be
considered? Mark Hoske, Control Engineering editor-in-chief, will moderate the
discussion of these and related questions.