Industrial Automation Conference: looking into the future

23 September 2014

London will be the venue for the forthcoming IHS Industrial Automation Conference. Hosted by IHS Technology, a global market, industry and economical information provider, the event will take place on October 23-24, 2014. Suzanne Gill finds out more.

At 61 Whitehall, in London, UK, industry experts from IHS will join global industry leaders to discuss key factors affecting the direction and growth of industrial automation. 

Presentations will cover areas such as smart manufacturing, security, big data, the industrial Internet-of-things and pervasive sensing – to give delegates a better understanding of the challenges ahead and how these technology developments could affect industry. 

Commenting on the event, Tim Dawson, IHS director for industrial automation, said: “The event will bring together a mixture of industrial automation vendors and end-users – including commissioners and chief engineers – those responsible for the long-term investment plans for their plants.

“Delegates at the event will also include representatives from many leading automation vendors who want to gain a better understanding of the implications of developing solutions for tomorrow’s smart factories and Industry 4.0. 

“Automation vendors are unable to create a platform to meet all the needs of the smart factory of the future alone. The conference will highlight the need to develop partnership strategies now to ensure they are ready to meet the demands of Industry 4.0,” said Dawson. IHS Technology hopes that the event will also help to create a better globally-shared understanding of what it truly means for industry. “We chose London as the venue for the event because we feel it is in a great position – between Europe and the US – to enable easy access for delegates from both continents to ensure a good cross-pollination of ideas and opinions from both sides of the Atlantic,” said Dawson.

Programme highlights will include insight into connectivity, industrial cyber security, energy efficiency, emerging markets, industrial automation growth opportunities and the underpinning aspects of machinery production and capital expenditure. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about the impact of macro-economic instability on industry and learn about growth opportunities in vertical sectors and regions. 

Focus on trends
Steve Brambley, deputy director at GAMBICA (an organisation representing the interests of companies in the instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology industry in the UK), will comment on commercial and technical trends affecting the automation market. Brambley has recently been quoted as saying he believes Industry 4.0 to be an opportunity… ‘for the application of skills and technology to eliminate the requirement for low-cost labour as a pre-requisite of a successful manufacturing economy’. His presentation will look at key trends and drivers and will offer a UK view of Industry 4.0. He will also comment on UK Government policy and support of its advancement and promotion of Industry 4.0. 

Pervasive sensing
Travis Hesketh, VP marketing and applied technology for Emerson Process Management, will discuss pervasive sensing as a key element of any transparent plant solution. Explaining further, he said: “What if you could access and understand every measurable parameter in your process plant and could prioritise your actions to achieve the greatest effect? Take, for example, the levels in remote tanks, speed and vibration data from seldom-used pumps or small but persistent leaks from steam traps. Traditionally, these parameters have not been worth measuring because it has been either too hard or expensive to gain access to the data.” Hesketh will explain more about the technologies, infrastructure, protocols, data translation and models which can now offer actionable information and will explain how it fits into today’s process industry landscape.

Disruptive technology
The event will also take a look at a potentially disruptive technology facing manufacturing – 3D printing or additive manufacturing.  Alex Chausovsky, manager & principal analyst at IHS Technology, will offer a detailed overview of 3D printing technologies and materials. He will also look at the potential of additive manufacturing, as well as the obstacles that need to be overcome before the technology truly goes mainstream. He said: “The influence of 3D printing has only recently started to spread beyond rapid prototyping to penetrate the traditional manufacturing domain. Developments in the automotive, aerospace and electronics fields highlight the potential impact of the technology on the global manufacturing sector – in particular plastic injection moulding and machine tooling.”
To find out more about the event, to register as a delegate, or see the complete event programme, please go to:

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