Last week I had little time to post because I was in company meetings for several days and then I flew to Budapest. Wednesday we will tour an Audi plant and Thursday I will receive my annual update from Festo. Home Friday, then Sunday it is off to Phoenix and the Honeywell User Group.

Automation World keeps growing. I was able to find a great replacement for the retired Wes Iversen by bringing Renee Robbins Basset on board. She formerly was Editorial Director and Managing Editor for Control Engineering and before that for AB Journal at Putman Media.

Well, the company just landed another high profile industry veteran. David Greenfield, recently Editorial Director of Design News, and before that Control Engineering and Software Strategies (aka Alchemy) will begin with us next week. He will not be part of the editorial team–although I expect to get his insights in a column or other areas–rather he will strengthen our events and custom publishing team. I’ve been pushing us to get a larger event presence, but as a small company we just didn’t have the resources. Now we can bring additional value to the automation community.

Embedded Vision

There is a new consortium–the Embedded Vision Alliance. Jeff Bier, president of BDTI heads the group. He told me, “Adding computer vision to embedded systems creates phenomenal new products, markets, and opportunities. We think vision is where wireless was 20 years ago. It will go from a niche application to widely used, because chips are becoming more powerful and less expensive. Another ingredient is that embedded know-how keeps growing.”

He said the first Alliance priority is education, but that getting vendors to provide useful knowledge beyond promotional material and developing a community are subsequent priorities. Perhaps leading development of standards will follow.

World Petroleum Congress

I got to this announcement too late to get you the early-bird discount, but you might mark this on your calendar. The 20th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) will be held from the 4th– 8th December 2011 in Doha, Qatar.

Hosted by Qatar Petroleum, the WPC is expected to attract more than 5,000 delegates, who will be addressed by over 550 distinguished speakers and industry experts from around the world. Held under the theme “Energy Solutions for All: Promoting Cooperation, Innovation and Investment,” the event’s conference programme addresses all the key issues and other important topics related to current energy realities and the future development of the industry.

Power Grid Security

I wrote an article on Power Grid Security for the May issue of Automation World. Getting many views but not too many comments. What do you think?

Automation Global Network

I’m gathering contacts with automation-related magazines and blogs worldwide. I don’t know where it will go, but it’s time to share the contacts. I’ve talked with two German editors who publish a number of control and software magazines. One, Martin Buchwitz, is now publishing a blog. It’s in German, but from what little I can read it looks interesting. This might be the impetus to do what I meant to do for years–subscribe to something in German to improve my vocabulary.

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