Control Engineering Software eNewsletter for September 2002
Leadership With manufacturing in a prolonged state of the doldrums, it is essential that engineers in controls and automation become leaders and promoters of what we can do to increase manufacturing productivity. Leadership comes not from formal position, but from anyone who understands what needs to be done and uses skills and personality to convince others of its importance.
Harlan Cleveland writing in the September-October issue of 'The Futurist,' journal of the World Future Society, notes eight attitudes he deems 'indispensable to the management of complexity.' These are:
Have you had any leadership success stories? What obstacles are in your way today?
I agree that the folks from Redmond sponsor a lot of very useful group meetings. Before becoming an editor, I was loosely affiliated with the Microsoft Developers Network and still receive mailings from the Great Lakes area users groups. I've gone to some quite informative meetings.
Last month I was at National Instruments' NI Week in Austin, Texas. I suppose in many ways this event constitutes a users group. Engineers developing systems using NI products converge to discuss applications, take some classes, and learn about new products and applications.
Do any of you take advantage of users groups? Which ones? Are they valuable? Are they better than a trade show and conference? What could your suppliers do to help you do a better job?
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've discovered a little more about Instant Messaging (IM) for business. That technology so popular with youth as they chat with friends, seems to be invading business. While IM introduces security risks for an organization's systems, many find it a great communication tool.
Stowe Boyd, writing for the Cutter Consortium consulting firm states, 'In many recent surveys, computer-literate customers have expressed a preference for IM-based customer support over telephone and e-mail mechanisms. Deploying IM in this context can lead to real hard cost savings, well worth the effort involved. In almost every industry, there are examples of extremely time-critical issues where fast response has high payback.' One application he singles out is manufacturing companies dealing with supply chain or logistics snafus.
Consider IM with care so that you don't open up holes in security and create major problems for your friends in IT.
For more, visit Cutter Consortium
Why software is so bad
Metrowerks has released a series of tool suites for Linux developers, who have traditionally used command-line tools. Hosted on Microsoft Windows platforms, CodeWarrior Development Studio, Embedded Linux Edition, is a graphical development environment for creating complex applications that run on embedded Linux operating systems across a range of multiple processor architectures. The product includes a debugger, a GNU compiler, linker, and assembler.
For more, visit Metrowerks
After a recent newsletter, a reader wrote to tell me about Vista Control Systems Vsystem process control software. This product is available for Linux, Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP with OPC and ODBC, Solaris, Open VMS, Wind Rivers' VxWorks, and more.
For more, visit Vista Control Systems
Control Engineering looks at manufacturing productivity Control Engineering is working with four participants to do two webcasts focused on manufacturing productivity. The events are part of the SupplyChainLinkExpo, a free two-day online conference and tradeshow from Reed Business Information taking place on your desktop Oct. 16 and 17.
To find out more, learn about the participants, see other webcasts, or register to view them, go to Control Engineering or visit the SupplyChainLinkExpo .
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