I took a day of vacation (sort of) with my family in Florida and figured a Good Friday post wouldn’t be read that much. But the real reason for this prelude is to remind everyone to Back Up their files. I was doing some work Sunday afternoon when suddenly everything stopped. Couldn’t get the computer to work at all. My excuse–only one day at home between trips to Florida and Chicago.

Instead of heading directly to the Make-to-Pack Workshop that kicked off Packaging Automation Forum again this year at the Westin O’Hare, I drove directly to the Apple store at the Woodfield Mall. Turned out it was only the battery. I thought so, but you never know for sure. Back in business yesterday afternoon late. Relieved, but with a new sense of Back Up Your Files.

But to wrap up the ABB experience–ABB always does a good job of organizing its conference. It is preceded by an internal sales meeting, so the people are charged up before customers arrive. It is such a big company that encompasses so many technologies, that attendees come from many areas of production and manufacturing. I didn’t find stories this year, but in the past this has led to some interesting discussions. Maybe the first time people from an electric utility sat down with engineers and managers from a large customer.

My sense is that ABB will be sticking to its plan of strategic acquisitions to fill gaps in its offering in parallel with organic growth and technology development. The discrete manufacturing part is coming to gether and growing nicely. There wasn’t an emphasis on process automation, but I got the sense that it is a backbone technology. The 800xA platform incorporated many advances at the time of its development. It seems to be doing its job. Certainly it had a big chunk of the show floor.

Many executives had new positions this year, and that seemed to charge them up. This is definitely a “big company” strategy, but it is good for executive development and growth, too. Many remember the tough times of several years ago, and this gives them the incentive to work for growth and not repeat the mistakes of the now-distant past.

Oh, and did I mention that you should back up your files? I’ve started using Dropbox in addition to an external hard drive. Now, drag those files to the cloud…

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