National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week highlights
Chicago, Ill. -- National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS), part of National Manufacturing Week (NMW), March 15-18, included the following announcements:
Industrial Ethernet association forms
In an effort to clear confusion surrounding use of Ethernet in industrial applications, Mike Justice, president of Synergetic Micro Systems (Downers Grove, Ill.) has formed the Industrial Ethernet Association. To start, the user and vendor trade group will use www.industrialethernet.com as a clearinghouse for technical information, including an Ethernet terminology white paper; online discussion forums and published standards also are planned on the website. Founding members include Synergetic, Grayhill, HMS, Hilscher, Contemporary Controls, and Hirschmann-USA. Another user group, the Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance (IAONA, www.iaopennetworking.com), formed in fall 1998 as an open forum to exchange ideas and information on Internet and Ethernet networking.
Schneider Automation (North Andover, Mass.) and Richard Hirschmann GmbH & Co. (Neckartenzlingen, Germany) told Control Engineering of a long-term partnership they signed at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago. Schneider will brand-label Hirschmann switches, hubs, and redundant systems for high performance 100 Mbps Ethernet starting fall 1999. The companies will jointly develop high performance Ethernet solutions with real-time I/O and field devices; fast redundant systems; and embedded web servers and web-based management tools. Mark Fondl, Schneider Automation vp Marketing, calls the partnership an 'important milestone for implementation of our Transparent Factory strategy on the shop floor.' Rainer Schenkyr, Hirschmann vp Network system division, expects present and future collaboration 'will produce powerful solutions for users around the world.'
Software advances at NMW
Automation Control Products, GE Fanuc Automation, Intellution, Microsoft, ObjectAutomation, Rockwell Software, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Steeplechase, and Think & Do were among many NMW exhibitors showing software.
Cutler-Hammer buys Aeroquip-Vickers, strengthens hydraulics expertise
Eaton Corp. (Cleveland, O.) discussed its acquisition of Aeroquip-Vickers (Maumee, O.) for $58/share, or $1.7 billion. The union creates aerospace hydraulics business with sales of $700 million and 'unparalleled systems capability across all hydraulics applications,' stated Stephen Hardis, Eaton's chairman and ceo. Aeroquip-Vickers employs 15,000; 1998 sales were $2.15 billion. Eaton employs 49,500; 1998 sales were $6.6 billion.
DVT wins with Series 600 machine vision
DVT's (Norcross, Ga.) new Series 600 SmartImage sensor is twice as fast; has higher resolution (640x480 pixels), new software, and networking; fits in a smaller space (1.6x2.2x4-in.); and is $1,000 less than the company's 700 series vision system.
95% U.S. manufacturing will be Y2K ready by Sept. 30
More than 99% of U.S. manufacturers expect to complete shop-floor systems' testing and remediation for Y2K by Jan. 1, 2000, according to a National Association of Manufacturers (Washington, D.C.) survey released March 15. The survey of 2,500 manufacturers showed 41.4% expected completion by March 31, 34.4% more by June 30, 14.6% more by Sept. 30, and 4.5% more by Dec. 31, 1999. Just 0.6% expect to be incomplete.
Automation hardware makes the connection
In the terminal block and connector arena:
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