The new AX-50 and AX-100 motion controllers from Agile Planet can be used with a range of PLC or robotics platforms to provide motion control. Agile designed the controllers to be plug-and-play, and to allow flexibility for robotics and automation components that are installed in a system. (Source: Agile Planet)
I did a feature on automation disties about 1.5 years ago where they were all saying that open standards were increasing and vertical integration was decreasing. But those may be longer-term trends that won't show for awhile.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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.