The talk around Rockwell Automation Fair events so far this week point to the dominant trend of Internet, Ethernet, open standards, virtualization and the cloud. These technologies are impacting the way we do manufacturing and automation and will continue to have far-reaching impacts. I have written a longer report at Automation World.

Think about the possibilities that come with abstracting applications from hardware that result from virtualization. This can drastically lower the cost of software while supporting mobile and remote personnel. Not to mention virtualization and the cloud enhancing collaboration among employees and partners.

While discussing all the Ethernet, the thought struck me about the different ways Rockwell and Siemens approach the topic. Rockwell talks much more about integrating real-time information to the enterprise through MOM applications. Siemens much more about integrating design and programming. Although each company does both applications.

Keith Nosbusch revealed his passion for manufacturing and for invigorating manufacturing in America again during our private interview. He has lent his prestige and some resources toward Smart Manufacturing and a broad effort to influence government policy. I can’t say enough about how important this is to our country (and actually every country). I appreciate his commitment.

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