Fall is one of the big trade-show seasons of the year, and end-user group meetings, shows big and small appealing to manufacturers from every vertical, and meetings of all sorts are as numerous as the leaves on the ground. Two of the biggest dominate the calendar in November.
Pack Expo International kicks off the month with a giant show and exposition at Chicago's McCormick Place on Nov. 2-5. Along with thousands of square feet of exhibits of packaging, processes and manufacturing products and services, the expo will feature numerous educational opportunities, including the Center for Trends and Technology (CTT), the Innovation Stage, the Food Safety Resource Center and the Reusables Learning Center.
The CTT will offer presentations and interactive kiosks featuring experts from Rockwell Automation, Grantek Systems, Cisco, Interstates Control Systems, Microsoft, Stone Technology and AIOE on a variety of topics, including machine safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Internet of Things (IoT), security control networks, remote support and the IoT, serialization best practices in reducing risk, and line optimization and performance. Also, industry-specific networking lounges will provide structured educational programming.
Pack Expo 2014 will also see the return of the Innovation Stage, where 30-minute education sessions will be offered by subject matter experts, including exhibitors, on trends, challenges and solutions in a wide range of applications and markets. Asset management and efficient production will be covered in sessions such as "A Cost-Effective, Turn-Key Solution for Remote Health Monitoring of Industrial Equipment," "Technology That Delivers Real-Time Performance Data to Maximize Uptime and Productivity in Pneumatics," and "Unified Machine and Robot Control."
Big data and the Internet of Things will also be featured heavily in these presentations, with sessions such as "The Cloud, the Internet of Things and Your Data," "Turning Your Industrial Internet Data into Actionable Data," and "The Industrial Internet and Industrial Big Data."
Later in the month, Nov. 19-20, will see the arrival of Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. This grandfather of the user-group meeting model will feature industry forums, user-group meetings, hands-on labs, technical sessions and demonstrations to expand knowledge and use of the latest control, power and information technologies.
There will be more than 100 exhibits featuring products and services from Rockwell Automation and its network of more than 100 partners. Comprehensive solutions in distribution, systems integration, machine building and complementary technologies will all be on display, and subject matter experts will be present in the booths to answer any questions from end-users.
The industry forums offer discussions of interest in areas including mining, food and beverage, oil and gas, power and energy management, water and wastewater and two safety forums, one with an OEM focus and one with an end-user focus. There will also be two separate forums for machine and equipment builders and for engineering and consulting.
These are in addition to the dozens of technical sessions that will give attendees deep dives into particular Rockwell Automation and partner products, and how to best use them and integrate them into their operations.