Registration Now Open for Emerson’s New Software-Focused Automation Conference

Emerson Exchange Immerse offers users an opportunity to share successes, improve skills and knowledge, and work hands-on with new technologies.

This is interesting if you are someone who follows market trends. I’ve written a few times about the pressure industrial technology companies face from Wall Street analysts. These companies need to show that they are hot technology (read software) companies beyond the old hardware days. Rockwell Automation started calling itself a software company with its partnership with PTC and acquisitions of Plex and Fiix. ABB has been making software noises. I just came from the Siemens Digital conference that was all about breadth of software. At the same time I visited the Hexagon conference where software was the topic. Next was Honeywell with some instrumentation and control discussion (the software group conference comes later), but there was a lot of software discussion there.

Emerson has been calling itself a software leader for a few years. Especially so with the (sort of) acquisition of Aspen Technology. Now we have news of the rebranding of Emerson Exchange as Emerson Exchange Immerse with a new software focus. 

Global technology and software leader Emerson will bring together customers, experts, and automation industry leaders for a three-day, process automation experience as part of the first Emerson Exchange Immerse. The conference will be held October 3-5, 2023, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

As an extension of the comprehensive Emerson Exchange events held globally, Emerson Exchange Immerse will enable users to more directly focus on process automation systems, solutions, and software including technologies from DeltaV™, Ovation™, AMS, Guardian™ and AspenTech. Registration is now open for Emerson customers. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31, 2023.

Emerson Exchange Immerse attendees will engage with their peers, broaden their knowledge base and gain valuable insight from industry leaders. Users will learn the latest technology advancements, implementation successes and proven project solutions being used throughout process automation. Topics will span a wide range of industries including energy, life sciences, chemical, refining, food and beverage, power generation, renewables, hydrogen, biomass, water and mining industries.

“One of the best ways our users, and even our own Emerson experts, learn about new process automation strategies and technologies is from hearing each other’s stories,” said Nathan Pettus, president of Emerson’s process systems and solutions business. “At Emerson Exchange Immerse, attendees will not only hear those stories in user presentations but will be able to dig deeper with our hands-on technology exhibits and in our many networking events.”

Emerson Exchange Immerse will feature over 200 sessions—more than half of which will be presented by users—as well as technology exhibits and educational courses. In addition, forums led by industry experts and Emerson executives will explore how advanced automation software from Emerson is helping companies make measurable progress toward operational excellence and sustainability goals.

Emerson will also host an Exchange user conference for customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in Düsseldorf, Germany, Feb. 27-29, 2024.

Digital Thread Sews Siemens Digital Apps Together

Siemens Digital held its Realize Live conference June 12-15 in Las Vegas. I was there for the Media/Analyst program as well as to explore how the software integration is progressing and coming together.

All in all I am impressed with what Siemens has done since I first talked with an executive from Germany in 2007 about a vision of digital factory and again in 2008 following the company’s acquisition of UGS. That acquisition gave it the tools to pursue that digital vision. In the ensuing decade plus, many more acquisitions have bolstered the role.

The meetings began with Siemens Digital executives proclaiming how Siemens is now not only the leading automation supplier in the world, but it is also the leading industrial software supplier in the world. Now they are aiming at leading industrial cloud provider.

One key word for the week was Xcelerator, its platform and ecosystem for tying the parts together. Another key word, seen all over the exhibit floor, was digital thread. The digital thread connects various modules—since software is increasingly modular as in pick what you need. Xcelerator is that digital thread.

Siemens software is not afraid to try things, see what happens, make changes, and put them out again. Mindsphere is one such initiative. It experience three major revisions. By the 3.0 version it seemed to find its niche. Now it has morphed yet again and reappeared as Insight Hub.

Tony Hemelgarn, CEO, showed industry segment after industry segment where Siemens is the dominant player. They truly are doing something right. He also pointed out that when Siemens talks of moving its software to the cloud, they mean moving their software to the cloud—not just file sharing in the cloud as some competitors do.

Mendez people on the show floor showed me the cool parts of the no-code and low-code applications. It’s a visual programming environment that I liken to NodeRED for context.

Siemens had to talk of AI somewhere. It has found application within TeamCenter along with spoken reports from the field that can flow into quality reports for corrective action.

Rahul Garg, VP Industrial Machinery, talked with me about how Siemens works to make applications simple to use which means that they will be used (I’ve lived that life in factories, I know how important that is). Talking metaverse (without goggles) he pointed to deeper diagnostics and ability to under the surface to find root causes and problems.

You can also watch on YouTube or listen as a podcast.

Ignition Community Conference 2023

After an early spring lull, conference season is here. I leave Monday for Las Vegas and the Siemens Digital conference and the following Sunday for Honeywell User Group. If you are at one of those, give me a shout out and we can meet for coffee or something.

Meanwhile, Inductive Automation Marketing VP, Doug Dudley, has posted information on the company blog about the upcoming Ignition community Conference (ICC).

This year feels like it’s flying by, and every day brings us closer to the Ignition Community Conference (ICC), so we’ll get right to the point: We’ve updated the ICC website for 2023 and you can register right now. In fact, if you register by July 16 you’ll save $250 off the regular ticket price. ICC 2023 takes place on Tuesday, September 26 through Thursday, September 28 at the Harris Center in Folsom, California.

Here are a couple of teasers for the upcoming event.

The Three-Day Schedule is Back! Many of you have asked for it, and we’re excited to say that for the first time since 2019, ICC will be a three-day event. 

Although the full ICC schedule isn’t posted yet (it’s coming soon), we can tell you that the first day will include the Discover Gallery, live Exhibitor Demonstrations, the Welcome Reception and Food Truck Dinner, and a few new events (more info about those below). The second and third days will feature general sessions in the main stage, blocks of concurrent sessions from IA and Ignition community experts, the Build-a-Thon competition, meals, and more. Yes, that’s three Ignition-packed days — and it’s a beautiful thing.

A couple of added networking opportunities. One is a touch of the “unconference” I used to pitch for MESA conferences.

If you’ve ever wished that you could have a discussion with fellow Ignition enthusiasts about your own chosen topic, then Table Talks are for you. Inspired by discussions that we’ve seen at other conferences, Table Talks are attendee-generated discussion groups. Attendees will have the ability to see the time, topic, and table where a discussion is happening so they can join in, or they’ll even be able to start their own. With Table Talks scheduled through most of day one, they’ll be a great way for attendees to do some networking and have some lively discussions with other Ignition community members. Information about how to participate in Table Talk topics is on the way soon.

Another networking opportunity.

The Tech Lounge is another new feature this year. Located on the mezzanine on the second floor of the Harris Center, the Tech Lounge is a space for attendees to meet, chat, and charge their phones. The Lounge will be one of the main places where IA staff will hang out, so it’s a great place for attendees to connect with IA team members.

Apple Vision Pro–Useful for Industrial and Manufacturing Applications?

Welcome to the era of spatial computing, where digital content blends seamlessly with your physical space. So you can do the things you love in ways never before possible. This blurb came from Apple PR’s write up of the new Vision Pro—the long-awaited AR/VR headset.

Apple made no mention of the “M” word. Here is what they called it. “Welcome to the era of spatial computing, where digital content blends seamlessly with your physical space. So you can do the things you love in ways never before possible.”

It is a headset. Even though they say that you used to look at the glass on Apple products and this one you look through the glass—that is not what it is. You actually do not see through the glass like you do with the Microsoft HoloLens. There are many cameras and a couple of them send the outside world to the screens (look like eyeglass lenses) in the headset. This is a typical case of great Apple hardware engineering and design.

Still…

What is problem being solved?

Apple didn’t really answer that. What they did was through out a great piece of hardware, an operating system (VisionOS), and a bunch of ideas. Developers will figure out what problems they’d like to solve with this product.

I’m still thinking, but from an industrial/manufacturing point-of-view I don’t see any new applications. Simulation with digital twin for training. Perhaps remote maintenance and troubleshooting. Simulation along with design in order to see the product being designed and perhaps determine interferences and other gotcha’s at an early stage in design.

I have worn HoloLens as an operator interface device. I doubt that this would ever be a viable alternative.

Some people, such as MG Siegler (see link below) see this as a device to consume media. Much is made of the great display capabilities to replace your computer monitors. But I ask…

Do you want your screen attached to your face?

The promo emphasized collaboration with cool “real” avatars of people in the meeting and ability (?) to see people and presentation. I’m not turned on by that. 

They also showed 3D visualization and photography. Is that really useful? Maybe to the dad shooting 3D images of his kids—but I always wonder how much you miss out being present in the moment rather than videoing events. And how often will you actually go back and watch?

Ideas? Send me a note. Right now, will I rush out and spend $3,500 to buy one? I think that if I have that much money laying around to burn, I’ll take a vacation to Europe or South America.

Vision Pro links.

M.G. Siegler, 500ish Blog—Apple’s history, Compute, Collaborate (iPhone, iPad), Consume (Vision Pro)

Another Podcast, Benedict Evans and Toni Cowan-Brown.

Accidental Tech Podcast, John Siracusa, Marco Arment, Casey Liss.

And, most thoroughly, a long report of personal experience with the Vision Pro from John Gruber at Daring Fireball.

Other thoughts on the “metaverse” in general I’ve posted over the past year:

My podcast.

Metaverse Solutions, interview with GridRaster

Open Metaverse Foundation

Initial Thoughts on Industrial Metaverse

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