Industrial Automation Show: What You Need Now

Motion and quality halls, open control architecture and e-manufacturing pavilions, and the usual universe of events and exhibitors will infuse the National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week at Chicago's McCormick Place on March 13-16, 2000.Ladies and gentlemen and engineers of all ages! Before plunging your organization and careers into the competitive tornado of ...


Exhibits and products at NIAS

Motion and quality halls, open control architecture and e-manufacturing pavilions, and the usual universe of events and exhibitors will infuse the National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week at Chicago's McCormick Place on March 13-16, 2000.

Ladies and gentlemen and engineers of all ages! Before plunging your organization and careers into the competitive tornado of 2000 and beyond, you may want to do little a shopping, pick up some technical expertise, and secure the solutions needed to weather future maelstroms.

Luckily, there's no better place to get outfitted for this newborn millennium than the National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS) and National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2000. This year's NIAS will consist of more than 250 suppliers and 120,000 ft

Collectively, NMW's four shows are expected to include more than 2,000 exhibitors, 120 sessions in an eight-track conference program, four keynote addresses, New Millennium CEO Panel, IT Town Meeting, NASA Solutions Center, and numerous other events. Last year's event attracted 52,228 attendees, including buying teams from more than 6,000 firms. NMW is sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers (Washington, D.C.) and 38 other associations, organizations, and business and technology publications, including Control Engineering .

Halls and pavilions

To help outfit visitors for the future, NIAS and NMW's three other shows will feature several new and enhanced divisions. Located on the show floors, these will include:

  • Motion Hall , which returns to focus on power transmission, motion control, fluid power, motors and drives, and mechatronics. The hall will host the Motion Control Forum featuring 10 motion control executives at 1:30-4 p.m. on Mar. 15. They will discuss technical challenges, such as PC-based control, Internet, SERCOS, SoftMotion, programming languages, linear motors, switched reluctance motors, open architecture, intelligent drives, and autotuning. The hall will open at 9:30 a.m. daily, a half-hour before NMW's other show floors, to give motion buyers a head start;

  • Quality Hall , a new venue dedicated to quality assurance and product reliability technologies in manufacturing, will include manufacturers, suppliers, and end-users of test, inspection, measurement, evaluation, and documentation equipment, software, and services;

  • Open Architecture Pavilion (OCA), which unites all the fieldbus supplier technologies for networking control components that conform to an open standard. Attendees will learn how to reduce costs with hardware and software products for implementing open fieldbuses. OCA is sponsored by Lutze Inc.;

  • E-Manufacturing Pavilion , debuting with a concentration on electronic business application for manufacturing, will highlight e-commerce, database products, procurement, EDI, secure network and management software, extranets, platforms, payment/transaction technology, supply-chain management, application development tools and components, application server software, customer support/customer relationship management, servers, system integration, hardware, software, services, and consulting; and

  • Global Manufacturing Solutions Theater and Design Engineering Technology Theater , two new stages with 45-minute case histories from vendors, which will show visitors how to improve productivity and save time and money.

Other pavilions include: Ceramics, Contract Manufacturing, Energy & Power Management, Expansion & Relocation, Fluid Handling, Lighting, Maintenance Software, Material Handling & Logistics, Rapid Prototyping, Safety/Health/Environmental; and Tools.

Conference and tracks

To help visitors create customized schedules, NMW's conference program will offer 60-min. sessions beginning at 8 or 9:15 a.m. daily; 90-min. sessions starting at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. daily, three-hour extended sessions beginning at 1:30 p.m., conference keynotes starting at 12:30 p.m., and specialized trade association courses. Eight tracks in this year's 120-session conference include:

Automation & Control; Design for Manufacturability; Manufacturing Process & Quality; IT in the Enterprise; Management in a Global Economy, Asset Utilization & Facilities Management; and Supply-Chain Management.

In addition, 2ndannual IT Town Meeting will also be held on March 14. IT executives will show how information technology can help manufacturers achieve greater productivity in this new millennium.

Also, a day before NMW begins, winners of Control Engineering 's Editors' Choice Awards will be announced and honored Mar. 12 at an invitation-only reception at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago.

Exhibits and products at NIAS

Thousands of new, innovative products will be exhibited at NIAS, including some of the following. (See booth numbers at the end of this article.)

Ann Arbor Technologies ' (Ann Arbor, Mich.) panelLink is a Microsoft Windows CE 2.12 hardware solution developed in partnership with Intellution 's (Norwood, Mass.) Dynamics and iVisualize software. Featuring a 200 MHz SH4 processor with 16 MB on-board SDRAM and 16 MB flash ROM, panelLink gives plant floor-to-business applications a scalable infrastructure from Windows CE to NT.

Presence Plus pixel-counting sensor from Banner Engineering (Minneapolis, Minn.) captures a 256-level gray scale image of a specified area, converts the image to black-and-white pixels, counts the pixels, and compares the count to user-programmed threshold values to render a pass/fail judgement of the target.

Intelligent Technologies (IT) Soft Starters from Cutler-Hammer (Milwaukee, Wis.) are reported to be the smallest 24 V dc-controlled, fully integrated soft starters. They feature safer operating voltages, simplified safety standards compliance, and more reliable interfacing with PLC and distributed logic systems.

Entrelec 's (Irving, Tex.) expanded line of enclosed switching power supplies range from 5-48 V dc and 500 mA-20 A, regulated. The 15 models feature CE marking in compliance with EMC directives EN 50081-2 and EN 50082-2.

Exor International 's (Wellington, Fla.) HMIcontrol integrates an operator interface, a PLC, and local I/O points in a less than 4-in. deep package. VersaMax Micro PLC from GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, Va.) combines control and I/O functions in a low-cost, palm-sized device with either 14 or 28 I/O points.

Lutze Inc. 's (Charlotte, N.C.) LSC flexible wiring system reportedly saves up to 35% on control panel space by integrating wire management into the panel's frame.

Microscan 's (Renton, Wa.) Quadrus 3.0 integrated 2-D code reader helps users integrate Data Matrix into their tracking systems. It also features auto-calibration, which allows 'one-click' set up for most symbols.

PXI-1002 is a four-slot, 3U PXI/Compact PCI chassis from National Instruments (Austin, Tex.) that harbors three peripheral PXI/Compact PCI modules and an embedded controller or the company's new MXI-3 remote controller.

Omron 's (Schaumburg, Ill.) first ac inverter, Sysdrive 3G3MV, is only 5 in. high and has a maximum output frequency of 400 Hz. It's reported to be ideal for small motor control applications of 1/8-5 hp. Sysdrive 3G3MV's selectable control method allows users to choose sensorless vector control for applications requiring high torque at low speeds, up to 150% torque at 1 Hz.

Phoenix Contact 's (Harrisburg, Pa.) ILC 200 IB controller can be networked to create distributed control architectures. It offers four integrated, high-speed digital inputs and two high-speed outputs.

EXCLUSIVE: Allen-Bradley PanelView 600 touch-only, pixel-graphic, color operator interface from Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, Wis.) allows end-users and OEMs to cost-effectively incorporate a high-performance operator interface device into applications or machines with limited panel space.

Q10S proximity sensor from Turck Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.) is a compact, rectangular sensor with a corner-mounted LED that provides 'output energized' indication visible from any direction, as well as a recessed cable compartment that allows the sensor to be mounted directly against a wall.

I Series rail-mounted terminals blocks from Weidmuller Inc. (Richmond, Va.) use insulation displacement technology, eliminating the need to strip or crimp ferrules, which reportedly reduces conductor connection times by as much as 60%.

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