National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week highlights

Industrial Ethernet association formsChicago, Ill.— National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS), part of National Manufacturing Week (NMW), March 15-18, included the following announcements. Control Engineering Online at has more news coverage.The newly formed Industrial Ethernet Association for users and vendors provides an information clearinghouse at www.


Industrial Ethernet association forms

Chicago, Ill.— National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS), part of National Manufacturing Week (NMW), March 15-18, included the following announcements. Control Engineering Online at has more news coverage.

The newly formed Industrial Ethernet Association for users and vendors provides an information clearinghouse at . Founding members include Synergetic Microsystems, Grayhill, HMS, Hilscher, Contemporary Controls, and Hirschmann-USA. Industrial Automation Open Networking Alliance at formed in fall 1998 for users exchanging Internet and Ethernet networking information.

Schneider Automation, Hirschmann ally on Ethernet

Schneider Automation (North Andover, Mass.) and Richard Hirschmann GmbH & Co. (Neckartenzlingen, Germany) told Control Engineering of a long-term partnership they signed at NMW. Schneider will brand-label Hirschmann switches, hubs, and redundant systems for high performance 100 Mb/sec Ethernet starting in 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's marketing vp, calls the partnership an "important milestone for implementation of our Transparent Factory strategy on the shop floor." Rainer Schenkyr, Hirschmann's network system division vp, expects present and future collaboration "will produce powerful solutions for users around the world."

Rockwell Automation offers 'Complete Automation'

Coordinating many present and future products and services, Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, Wis.) launched its "Complete Automation" strategy, after customer input suggested a need for a broader, more flexible approach for OEMs and end-users. Complete Automation is also the framework for technical and commercial competencies, including Rockwell Automation's Logix executable engine and common network services, visualization platforms, and networking.

Software advances at NMW

Software announcements at NMW included the following: Automation Control Products (Alpharetta, Ga.) showed a product using a Linux operating system for thin clients on a Microsoft Windows NT server running Wonderware's Factory Suite for HMI applications; . GE Fanuc Automation 's (Charlottesville, Va.) PocketView is a Cimplicity HMI client on a Hewlett-Packard Windows CE device with a wireless LAN card permitting maintenance personnel to remotely view machine status; . Intellution 's (Norwood, Mass.) Fix Dynamics 7.0 Automation software has OPC server capability, support for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Y2K-compliant Microsoft Windows NT Service Pack 4 and Windows 98. It has synchronized redundancy and integrates Windows NT security . Microsoft (Redmond, Wa.) is preparing a beta version of real-time Windows CE and aiming for year-end commercial release. More than 10 Windows CE 2.11 products are in commercial release, Microsoft says; . ObjectAutomation (Santa Ana, Calif.) and TAVA Technologies (Englewood, Colo.) will jointly develop and certify automation software components for recently released OAenterprise 99 software and invite others to create tool libraries; and distribute solutions via the Internet; . Industrial Software Business Unit of Siemens Energy and Automation (Alpharetta, Ga.) released version 5.0 of Simatic Step 7 integrated software suite to configure, manage, and maintain a plant-wide automation system of PLCs, PCs, or Windows CE control; . Steeplechase 's (Ann Arbor, Mich.) Version 4.0 of Visual Logic Controller software for flow-chart programming decreases customer design, installation cycles, and machine downtime, with Microsoft Windows 98 look and feel, diagnostics, and "rubberbanding" connections; . Think & Do Software 's (Ann Arbor, Mich.) new Release 5.0 and PLC Direct 's (Alpharetta, Ga.) DL205 WinPLC embedded PC control hardware platform with Microsoft Windows CE operating system were bundled in a Windows CE-based starter kit for $2,195; . Xycom Automation (Saline, Mich.) revealed fruits of the Xycom and ASAP mergers in a series of products bundling ASIC software for control in industrial computers operating on Microsoft Windows NT and CE .

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