For the first time in 26 years, I am not in Dayton at 7:15 am getting ready to referee in one of the Midwest’s largest soccer tournaments–the Warrior Classic. I’ll be there later today, but a miscommunication happened and my travel schedule kept my attention elsewhere. But it’s still a great experience. They have over 60 pitches going with more than 500 teams this year.

The SpaceX space station delivery launch and docking was a huge accomplishment. Certain projects need the investment of a large government to get them going, but often it becomes time for entrepreneurs to exploit the technology to take it to the next level of commercialization. This is great.

Of course, commercialization of NASA-developed technologies has been going on for a long time. Even back in the 80s when I was leading marketing and engineering for a small company in Dayton, I read NASA Tech Briefs searching for an expoitable technology to incorporate in what we were doing.

The Automation Conference went well. I liked what Bryan Griffen of Nestle had to say about standards and using PackML. When the OMAC Packaging Working Group first developed that state model, everyone touted it as a programming model. In reality, it’s not so much about programming–although I’m a believer in structured programming and this is an ideal model to serve as an outline for programming machine control–it’s really about consistent operation of a series of machines that leads to minimizing operator training and optimizing operator efficiency. When the HMI screens are similar machine to machine and the names and expected actions align, then operators will have an easier time running the machines and can operate more machines.

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