There is plenty of time to register for the 21st Annual ARC Industry Forum Industry in Transition: Realizing the Digital Enterprise February 6-9, 2017 – Orlando, Florida. I can’t believe that this will mark my 20th trip to Orlando this time of year.

While in many ways this is an ARC Advisory Group “user group” meeting, almost everyone shows up. For several years now this is the one place where you can go and talk with people from many automation suppliers. And with many engineers and managers who implement and manage automation and information.

You can come to make contacts or pick up on the latest trends.

As for me, I will be looking for new companies and products, a sense of the industry’s direction, and contacts who are looking for someone to help them with things I can assist with—strategic messaging, advice on status of industry and companies, product development ideas. It will also be interesting to get an update on the ExxonMobil attempt to commoditize the DCS (I presume so that it can catch up to peers in modernizing operations). That effort has quieted during the past few months.

ARC tries very hard to limit presentations by suppliers. As technology developers, suppliers can be a source of great information. Unfortunately most of the suppliers have used the Forum in the past to simply promote their company and products. No one is paying to attend a forum to hear from marketing managers. Now if a few people from the CTO’s office spoke…

The comments below are taken from the latest ARC promotion. I see only one supplier listed in the speaker lineup so far.

Industrial companies are starting to employ ‘digitalized’ business processes and exploit the increasing convergence between operational technology (OT), information technology (IT), and engineering technology (ET) on the plant floor. How will disruptive technologies change existing products and plants? How will open source solutions impact traditional software and automation domains? Is cybersecurity a threat to digitalization? How ‘smart’ are smart machines? How do Big Data and predictive and prescriptive analytics enable operational change?

Join us to learn how the digital enterprise benefits from smarter products, new service and operating models, new production techniques, and new approaches to design and sourcing.

Check out these topics:

  • Industrial Cybersecurity and Safety Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Asset Performance Management
  • IT/OT/ET Convergence
  • Service Performance Management
  • Automation Innovations
  • Industrial Internet Platforms
  • Connected Smart Machines

Partial List of Executive Speakers:

  • S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Marty Edwards, Director ICS Cyber Emergency Response Team
  • ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, Don Bartusiak, Chief Engineer, Process Control
  • NOVA Chemicals, Doug Lutz, Principal Process Automation Engineer
  • Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Laura Sheets, Tritium Process Control Lead Engineer
  • Local Motors, Justin Fishkin, Chief Strategy Officer
  • NIST, Adam Sedgewick, Sr. Information Technology Policy Advisor
  • Duke Energy, David Lawrence, Technology Development Manager, Emerging Technology
  • Merck, Gene Tung, Director of IT
  • WAGO, Thomas Holm, Head Innovation & Technology
  • Eli Lilly, Kevin Wilhelm, Senior Consultant
  • Ascend Performance Materials, Terry Unruh, Maintenance Process Leader
  • Kinder Morgan, Lawrence Staab, Training Coordinator/Instructional Designer
  • Georgia-Pacific, Michael Carroll, VP Innovation and Operations Excellence
  • 3M, Liu Qiao, Technical Director, Software Electronics Mechanical Systems Lab
  • Dow Chemical, Glen Mutscher, Global Director, Manufacturing & Engineering
  • ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, Steve Bitar, R&D Program Manager
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Dean Bartles, Sr. Technology Advisor
  • Dow Chemical, Mary Beth Seasholtz, Data Services Technical Leader
  • Fluor, David Hoeppner, David Hoeppner
  • Shell Global Solutions, Tyler Williams, Global Technology Leader
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stuart Madnick, Professor of Information Technologies and Engineering Systems
  • Albermarle, Jonathan Alexander, Operations Engineer
  • AGCO, Jan Theissen, Director Strategy & Methods, Global Purchasing & Materials
  • Pepsi Beverages, Jeff Russell, SE Regional Engineering Manager
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