ARC Industry Forum – Digital Tech in Manufacturing and Production

ARCbanner-300x250We are closing in on February and time to start thinking about the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando. I went to my first one in 1998 and have my airline and hotel reservations for this edition.

Given the demise of general industry trade shows, there are precious few opportunities to see a large cross section of the automation and control industry. This is one.

I have 2 or 3 appointments set. If you are there, ping me. Maybe we can do a “meet up” in the lounge before everyone splits for dinner or something.  Or stop me to chat during the week. ARC has once again planned an afternoon of press conferences for its sponsors. I’ll arrive in time to listen if you are presenting.

The 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum has the theme, “Industry in Transition: Navigating the New Age of Innovation”.

The conference is February 8-11, 2016 at the Renaissance Sea World in Orlando, Florida.

ARC says, “New information technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Smart Manufacturing, Industrie 4.0, Digitization, and Connected Enterprise are ushering in a new age of innovation. These concepts are clearly moving past the hype, where real solutions are emerging backed by strong business cases. Expect to see innovations in smarter products, new service and operating models, new production techniques, and new approaches to design and sourcing. Join us to learn how this industrial transformation will unfold and what other companies are doing today to embrace innovation and improve their business performance.”

Questions they expect to address:

  • How will inexpensive, easy-to-install sensors change existing products and plants?
  • Will cyber security concerns impede disruptive innovation?
  • What kind of intelligence will machines have and what value will this bring?
  • What role will Wi-Fi and LTE play?
  • How do Big Data and predictive and prescriptive analytics enable operational change?
  • What is the opportunity in aftermarket services?
  • What software capabilities are needed to achieve transformational change?
  • Which industries are already changing?
  • What steps can organizations take to foster innovative thinking?

Forum’s Keynote Presentations

Michael Carroll, Vice President, Innovation & Operations Excellence, Georgia-Pacific

Michael joined Georgia-Pacific in 2010 to focus his technological and entrepreneurial talents on innovation and leadership. Prior to that he and a partner formed McTech Group, a company focused on innovative products for the building products and construction industry. In addition to his Executive Vice President responsibilities, Michael formed a Joint Venture designed to sell consumer “DIY” products to big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Previous positions include Director of Operations at Riverwood International, CEO of North and South American Operations at Shepherd, and Principal Change Agent at Mead Paper.

Sandy Vasser, Facilities I&E Manager, ExxonMobil Development

Sandy has been with Exxon or ExxonMobil for over 35 years and has been involved in a number of Upstream projects covering offshore facilities, onshore facilities, and cogeneration facilities. He currently manages a team of about 120 electrical and I&C professionals responsible for the design, installation, and commissioning of electrical generation and distribution systems, process control systems, and safety instrumented systems for all major ExxonMobil Upstream capital projects. This team is also responsible for developing, promoting and implementing strategies, practices, processes, and tools for successfully executing project automation and electrical activities.

Rob High, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Watson Solutions, IBM Software Group

Rob has overall responsibility to drive Watson Solutions technical strategy and thought leadership. He works collaboratively with the Watson engineering, research, and development teams across IBM. Prior to joining Watson Solutions, Rob was Chief Architect for the SOA Foundation and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He championed an open industry architectural definition of the principles of business and IT alignment enabled by SOA and business process optimization, as well as ensuring IBM’s software and services portfolio is architecturally grounded to enable for efficient SOA-based solutions. Rob has 37 years of programming experience and has worked with distributed, object-oriented, component-based transaction monitors for the last 26 years.

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