Education: Annual integrator meeting; RFID show; podcasts


Educational opportunities include: RFID World in Dallas, March 26-28; Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) 2007 Executive Conference in Santa Fe, NM, April 26-28; and podcasts and Webcasts from Control Engineering .

RFID World 2007 : This fifth annual show and conference about radio frequency identification technology and applications includes keynotes from Kevin Ashton, vice president of ThingMagic, and Robert Willett, chief executive officer of Best Buy International. RFID World will be March 26-28 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas, say show organizers CMP Technology. Another session, "Who Moved the RFID Cheese," includes analysts from ABI Research, Robert W. Baird & Co. and Venture Development Corp., will discuss where the market is heading and missed projections.

In a speech titled, "RFID Next: Innovations in RFID for 2007 and Beyond," Ashton will be joined by ThingMagic Chief Technology Officer Yael Maguire, to look at what's changing in RFID technology and demonstrate some new inventions and products bringing benefits such as 100% read rates, lower prices, more mobility, and more ubiquity. Ashton co-founded the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts of Institute of Technology (MIT), becoming its executive director. He led that organization to invent the Electronic Product Code (EPC) system for ubiquitous RFID. As a brand manager at Procter & Gamble, he was among the first people to recognize the potential of low-cost RFID. In 1998 Ashton coined the phrase "Internet of Things" to describe his vision of a world where everyday objects used RFID and sensors to become part of a vast, global wireless network for perceiving the real world. Maguire holds a Ph.D from MIT. As CEO of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy, Willett also leads its global sourcing and supply chain operations for the nation's largest retailer of consumer electronics. Willett's address, "How RFID is Innovating the Retail Customer Experience," will focus on the company's RFID case, pallet and item-level tagging pilots that have taken place since January 2006. Challenges include metal content, small package sizes, high volumes, and product tracking from manufacturers to store shelves.

More: " What's Your RFID Spin? " Despite standards RFID isn't close to plug and play. Who's bringing the latest benefits to your location?

Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) 2007 Executive Conference : Norman O'Leary, association executive director, says the April 26-28 conference in Santa Fe, NM, will help members share information allowing smoother projects and more satisfied clients. CSIA members gather from North America and globally to network, share experiences, and exchange ideas and solutions with system integrator peers. Planned program topics relate to the successful operation of control system integration companies. Presenters include association members, senior management of Partner members (representing more than half of the largest North American process and instrumentation controls suppliers), and other recognized experts in integration marketing, human resources, and legal issues.

"It is another chapter in our mission to help 'better system integrators become better business people,'" O'Leary says, "while helping them translate the promise of technology into performance for their clients."

Topics include:

  • Marketing control system integration services via the Web;

  • Finding, hiring, and retaining technical personnel;

  • Making effective decisions that enhance profits;

  • Planning a business succession strategy;

  • Measuring marketing effectiveness; and

  • Pros and cons of opening branch offices.

Podcasts: Safety, process optimization : Listen and learn from your PC or download an MP3 with these Control Engineering podcasts:

  • A holistic approach to process optimization and emissions control;

  • Migration in motion: Making a legacy plant a technology showcase;

  • Honeywell EMEA User Group: New technologies for creative process engineers;

  • Siemens' strategy for manufacturing automation, including safety;

  • Invensys partnering for increased manufacturing integration; and

  • Rockwell and E+H team up for process industry push in North America.

System Integrator of the Year was discussed on the Better Process Podcast show.

Webcasts: Networks, system integration : View or listen to these, now available.

  • Building the Industrial Infrastucture: network-based safety systems, flexible power

  • Improve plant output and operator interaction

  • Insight from System Integrator of the Year award winners

Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief

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