Blog! Five Fast Things for January 18, 2007


1. AHR Expo shapes up to be a big event : We get a lot of calls here to visit suppliers at trade shows. It’s part of the job %%MDASSML%% kind of like being the prize pig at the State Fair. The media requests ahead of this month’s AHR Expo in Dallas on Jan 29-31 have been more than usual, leading me to conclude that the buzz in the HVAC industry must be huge. Energy efficiency is a big issue, and there’s plenty of new technology on the market to monitor and measure that efficiency. I’ll be reporting from AHR in two weeks. We’ll see if the reality matches the hype.

2. Although… Last year AHR was in Chicago, and we know what to expect from Chicago in January. We don’t expect Chicago in January in Dallas, but that’s what they’re getting this week…

3. Climbing toward the Summit : Plant Engineering Manufacturing Summit will be April 2-3 in Chicago, when it will be more like Dallas is supposed to be now. We’re building toward a great program of knowledge and fun, with our Top Plant and Product of the Year awards presentation at a gala dinner Monday, April 2. To read a little more about this event, click here .

4. Fuel cell technology: One of the biggest topics of discussion at last week’s ProMat show in Chicago was the continuing research into hydrogen fuel cell technology for lift trucks. One of the more important announcements was that The Raymond Corporation had received a $750,000 grant from the State of New York to research such applications. Raymond’s Greene, NY facility will be a living lab for this research, and to demonstrate the practicality and safety of such trucks. Everyone concedes practical hydrogen fuel cells are still a few years off %%MDASSML%% for lift trucks and for cars. Still, starting now in man actual plant environment shows how far we’ve already come on the technology.

5. New book on flexible manufacturing: “Design Patterns for Flexible Manufacturing” is a new book by Dennis Brandl, the chair of ISA’s SP88 batch control standards committee. The book looks at what ISA says are “effective rules that should be used when applying the ISA-88 standard to both batch manufacturing (called the S88 design pattern) and continuous and discrete manufacturing problems (called the NS88 design pattern for non-stop production).” Oh, since it’s softbound, the book itself is flexibled.

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