Record crowd at Automation Fair discusses energy policy, security issues, global competitiveness


St. Louis, MO —A national energy policy initiative, issues of safety and security, and global competitiveness were among topics on the docket this year at Automation Fair, held earlier this month in St. Louis. A record crowd of some 14,000, including manufacturers from more than 70 countries, participated in Rockwell Automation ’s annual educational forum for manufacturing.

The event offered more than 50 technical sessions, hands-on training labs, and multiple manufacturing industry presentations on key automation trends. More than 150 products were exhibited. Among the issues addressed were the need to link plant-floor data with enterprise business systems and supply chains for real-time decision making, the growing role that manufacturing plays in meeting increased regulatory requirements, and heightened concerns about safety and security.

Energy use and efficiency in manufacturing operations was also on the program. “Manufacturing perspectives 2005” examined global manufacturing trends and the role of technology in driving productivity. At that session, John Engler, National Association of Manufacturers’ president and CEO, announced a national energy policy initiative that calls on manufacturers to support legislation that increases supply, keeps costs in line, and builds an infrastructure for long-term growth. A keynote address by William C. Taylor, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, focused on the role of factory automation in improving global manufacturing competitiveness.

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