Inside Industrial Automation North America 2014

One of the Top Concerns for This Year's Show Visitor is Resource Efficient, Cost-Effective Manufacturing.

By Larry Turner

North America is on the path to a sustainable industrial automation expansion, and we understand the urgent need for North American manufacturers to adopt advanced production ideas and tools.

If you attend Industrial Automation North America (NA) 2014 during Sept. 8-13, 2014, at McCormick Place in Chicago, you will find the latest industrial automation innovations in a dynamic setting where global solutions providers demonstrate and discuss best-inclass technologies. Following our successful launch of the Industrial Automation NA show co-located with IMTS in 2012, the 2014 focus is new ideas and topics ranging from resource-efficient manufacturing and network security to secure industrial control systems and big data. In addition to more than 170 technology providers from 16 countries, thought leaders will conduct detailed discussions about how to navigate the latest trends at the Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit, Motion, Drive & Automation Conference and the ISA training program. Here are some of the trending topics that will be showcased and discussed.

Resource-Efficient Manufacturing—One of the top concerns for this year's show visitor is resource efficient, cost-effective manufacturing. Whether your priorities include improved decision-making, reduced risk or improved production efficiency, you'll find smart manufacturing systems, machinery producers and software platform providers to address these challenges and discuss your needs.

Also Read: Note to Manufacturing Facilities: It's All About Ethernet

The conference will explore differences between security for traditional IT environments and security for SCADA or factory-floor environments.

The shortage of skilled workers is now one of the greatest hindrances to U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, so efficiency experts will showcase how to safely implement new technology or leverage existing automation technologies to clean up waste, eliminate downtime and significantly reduce labor costs. Network Security—To take advantage of Internet of Things capabilities for industrial automation, such as remote diagnostics, manufacturers need secure systems. Improving industrial automation system cybersecurity is critical. During this year's show, you can experience cloud applications, software solutions and hardware encryption methods that can protect industrial automation systems from cyber-attacks. The Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit attendees will hear thought leaders discuss how to secure connectivity across the plant, as well as off the factory floor. Learn what the future holds for technologies and services that will support much more sophisticated levels of human interaction with machinery. Secure Industrial Control Systems—The ISA Inside accredited educational conference will detail how the ANSI/ISA99 standards can be used to protect your critical control systems. The conference also will explore procedural and technical differences between the security for traditional IT environments and those solutions appropriate for SCADA or factory-floor environments. During the two-day course, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the principles behind creating an effective long-term program;
  • Interpret the ANSI/ISA99 industrial security guidelines and apply them to your operation;
  • Define the basics of risk and vulnerability analysis;
  • Learn the principles of security policy development;
  • Explain the concepts of defense in depth and zone/conduit models of security;
  • Analyze the current trends in industrial security incidents and methods hackers use to attack a system; and
  • Define the principles behind the key risk mitigation techniques, including anti-virus and patch management, firewalls and virtual private networks.

Big Data—The factory of the future will need to rely on big data for shop floor management. Data availability, utilization, performance and measurement are all critical components of big data. This year you can preview a range of tools to analyze large amounts of data and learn how to best harness data to accelerate plant productivity. If you work for a small or medium enterprise (SME) and are tasked with adopting big data solutions, you'll find everything from software for live reporting to visualization to smartphones for capturing and using data to improve operations, eliminate errors and lower costs. Progressive machine builders and automation suppliers will be on hand to discuss the best big data solutions for your specific network.

LARRY TURNER is president and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA, the U.S. division of Deutsche Messe. HFUSA develops and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events worldwide.