Shake off your wintry blanket

Get ready for March and April conferences

By Mike Bacidore, chief editor

March is just around the corner, and there’s no shortage of conferences to kickstart 2019.

Right now, I’m only thinking about spring in a sort of daydream way, envisioning my toes dug deep into the sand of a beach with the sun’s rays enveloping me in warmth. That’s a far cry from the two feet of snow and subzero temperatures befalling our quiet Chicago suburb. How do you even begin to dig out of these frosty mounds of wintry weariness and plan for better days ahead?

March is just around the corner, and there’s no shortage of conferences to kickstart 2019. In Houston, ABB Customer World will unite industrial engineers with other disciplines for collaboration and education. With the help of its Customer Advisory Board, ABB builds an event chock full of new ideas. See how the newer members of the ABB family are developing technologies that are part of the Ability platform for data and diagnostics. And last year's customer event featured DJ YuMi, ABB's robot, as well as Digital Output, the ABB house band, and headliner the Molly Ringwalds. This year is sure to rock just as hard. Get more information at

March is also the time of the annual gathering in Detroit’s Ford Field for Manufacturing in America, hosted by Siemens and Electro-Matic. More than 3,000 industry veterans are expected to gather and share their expertise at the event. The Summit will feature expert speakers, and collaborative learning seminars and workshops will refresh and improve your skills. The automation exhibits focus on emerging technologies, controls, PLM, drive technologies and energy management.

Hannover Messe, Europe’s premier industrial automation event, opens April with one of the largest gatherings in all of the world. More than 220,000 visitors are expected to converge in the German city to share the latest innovations in research and development, industrial automation, IT, industrial supply, production technologies and services. Attendees will also learn the winners of the 16th annual Hermes Award; the ninth Robotics Award, awarded in collaboration with Industrie Anzeiger and the Robotation Academy; and the seventh Engineer Powerwoman Award for female pioneers in technical fields.

Back in Chicago, Automate 2019 will provide conference tracks in how to automate; automation solutions and innovations; collaborative and mobile robotics; AI, digitalization and smart manufacturing; vision; and motion control. Held every two years, Automate focuses primarily on robotics, vision and motion control with more than 400 exhibitors. The 2019 Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Awards also will be presented during Automate.

Shake off the cold, and start making your plans for the forthcoming months.

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