Do trade shows or plant visits sometimes leave you more harried than informed? If so, you may want to attend one of the many OEM supplier sponsored events tailored to your specific engineering discipline.
For example, some weeks ago DesignNews attended Phoenix Contact's Industrial Forum 2001. Typical of such well-run gatherings, the presentations, product displays, workshops, and discussions did not just focus on Phoenix Contact, but customers, partners, and systems integrators also participated.
The Phoenix Contact forum is an intense two days, running about eight concurrent sessions for six hours, plus a moderated panel discussion forum each evening. Even lunch can be informative. Talk at my table included the state of the design engineering profession vis-a-vis other professions.
In the formal sessions, topics ranged from efficient enclosure design to power supply heat. Here's a brief rundown of some noteworthy presentations:
Rittal Corp.'s (www.rittal-corp.com) Paul McGarry outlined emerging low-voltage power distribution methods and considerations that look to save design time, cabinet space, and provide more efficient industrial motor control and power feeds.
Tom Rosenburg from Balluff (www. balluff.com) described the company's inductive technology to connect moving assemblies with power and signals over short distances, thus avoiding the life and speed limits of sliprings, flex cables, and other physical contactors.
Phoenix Contact's Arnold Offner lead the host contingent with presentations including: a seminar on evolution and trends in design and packaging, a discussion on the thermal considerations of low-voltage power supplies and efficiency benefits of the latest developments; and a talk about 20 hints for optimizing installation of PLC systems.
Interested in seeing what other subjects were covered? For those, and information on Phoenix Contact's next event, slated for September in Charlotte, NC, go to www.phoenixcon.com.