Electric Automation America show postscript: Good things have small beginnings

"From little acorns mighty oak trees grow" might be a forward-looking metaphor from show organizers for the new tradeshow SPS Electric Automation America (EAA), first staged May 23-26, 2005, near Chicago.


motors, drives, motion control

Among larger show exhibitors were Beckhoff Automation, B&R Industrial Automation, Bosch Rexroth, Danaher Motion, Lumberg, and Siemens Energy & Automation. Next year’s show dates and location are expected to be announced shortly.

"From little acorns mighty oak trees grow" might be a forward-looking metaphor from the organizers of the new tradeshow SPS Electric Automation America (EAA), first staged May 23-26, 2005, near Chicago. The show included a varied topical conference program; and 91 exhibitors, including a number of major automation companies. However, the 1,305 total show attendees (from 37 U.S. states and 13 other countries) were significantly under the 2,500 visitors forecast earlier. Still, event organizers are upbeat for the future, based on exhibitor feedback and other startup show indicators. A second annual show is to be announced for 2006, shortly, they say.

In line with the show’s objective, exhibition focus was on drives, motion systems, controls, and electric automation technologies for industrial applications (including precision sensors, human-machine interfaces, networks/industrial communications, and control software). Paralleling these same topics was a comprehensive seminar/conference program of more than 50 technical papers, four seminars, and two roundtables—presented by U.S. and international experts. A CD of conference program papers presented at SPS EAA 2005 will be available for $299 (contact the Web site below).

Jim Pinto, consultant and former chairman of Action Instruments, opened the show with a keynote address, entitled“Automation Unplugged-Global Markets in the New Century,” covering technology innovation, global competition, and global markets. The keynote, intended as a “wake-up call” for automation and technology professionals, knocked the status quo of automation mindset—discussing the ill results of short-term planning, strategic misdirection, and world structural changes.

Any technology tradeshow IPO—initial "public" offering, that is—operates in a tough environment today, even with the backing of a long-running parent show, the successful SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany. The "acorns to oaks" analogy clearly applies to the parent show, which had humble beginnings 15 years ago. Electric Automation America organizers hope to draw on the steady, long-term growth of its European originator.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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