Interkama '99

Leaner trade fair looks to the futureDüsseldorf, Germany—Despite a decline in expected numbers of visitors and exhibitors, Interkama '99—International Trade Fair for Industrial Communications, Automation, Measurement, and Analytics—drew 1,255 exhibitors from 39 nations and some 60,000 visitors from 100 nations during Oct.


Leaner trade fair looks to the future

Düsseldorf, Germany —Despite a decline in expected numbers of visitors and exhibitors, Interkama '99—International Trade Fair for Industrial Communications, Automation, Measurement, and Analytics—drew 1,255 exhibitors from 39 nations and some 60,000 visitors from 100 nations during Oct. 18-23. Following recent developments, Messe Düsseldorf and Interkama's executive board announced the event will: go to a two-year rotation (next slated for Sept. 25-29, 2001); slim down to a five-day run (Tuesday through Saturday); and include a new "Automation of Production and Business Processes" section.

Broad-based, system solutions featured

Major process technology companies—such as ABB, Fisher-Rosemount, Honeywell, Invensys, Siemens, etc.—concentrated on complete, system-type solutions. The Foxboro Co. , part of Invensys plc 's Intelligent Automation Division, stressed "Automation Tune-Ups," a new dynamic performance measurement initiative with a guarantee that no payment is due if no improvement is realized. ABB Automation stressed seamless integration, scalability, and protection of customers' intellectual and capital investments. ABB's new products included AdvaCommand for NT, operator interface software integrated with Maestro NT-based human system interface (HSI), and Smart-Vision, "a stand-alone PC tool". Highlights of Siemens' Totally Integrated Automation program included version 5 of its PCS-7 "universal process control system," which now includes multi-client/server structures, object-oriented data management, and two new communication options, besides Industrial Ethernet. In addition, an alliance between Mitsubishi Electric and Philips Automation Solutions (AS) has produced PMSXpro, an object-oriented, scalable process management system that aids communication between systems and factory equipment. PMSXpro can provide several, redundant servers. Meanwhile, Fisher-Rosemount System Inc. showed version 4.1 of its DeltaV system with a new module, DeltaV Inspect, which can monitor all I/O devices in the control system, check performance of loops, and provide feedback. Fisher-Rosemount also launched a fieldbus multiplexer for PlantWeb, H1 I/O, which comes with eight discrete I/O points. Also at the F-R stand, Micro Motion Inc. exhibited its MVD module of smart sensors that mount on and monitor Coriolis meters. Micro Motion also highlighted its straight tube Coriolis meters. Honeywell 's exhibits included components (sensors), its TotalPlant system solution, PlantScape, OPC-based products, and Fieldbus Foundation-related products.

Process industries, software flavor

Highlights among the process valve and valve controller exhibits came from Elomatic International, Limitorque, Neles Automation, Tyco, Worcester Controls, Xomox, as well as at least one valve company from China. Profibus Nutzerorganisation 's (users group) exhibit included a giant mural of a futuristic petrochemical plant with equipment and devices installed at appropriate points to illustrate control schemes and control system implementation. HART and Fieldbus Foundation (FF) were also active. FF's stand included interoperability demonstrations among diverse plant devices and video case histories/success stories in numerous applications. Sequencia Corp. showed its batch automation expertise at SAP AG 's stand. OpenBatch is Sequencia's core product that typically sits atop the PLC in the plant and connects to ERP systems via SAP software. About 150 software houses and suppliers comprised Interkama's Software Competence Center. These included Afcon Control & Automation , AspenTech , CiTechnologies , Gensym , Intellution , National Instruments , USDATA , and Wonderware .

Can't keep motion control down

Motors and motion control were also present at Interkama '99. Faulhaber Motoren displayed a sine-commutated servomotor with integral motion controller (3556...BC Series) with 20.5 W output. Micro Mo Electronics in the U.S., is part of the Faulhaber Group. Maxon Motor showed its line of brushless motors (6-60 mm OD) for the 1.2-400 W power range, as well as dc motors with ironless rotor construction. Profibus' exhibit included several Siemens motor and drive products. PLCopen promoted Motion Control Profiles (MCPs) via the function block approach of IEC 61131.

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