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November 18, 2008

Headlines from Today's Activities
- Rockwell Automation CEO Affirms Continued Industry Leadership
- Business Benefits Driving Sustainability Movement
- Rockwell Automation Unveils PlantPAx as New Process Umbrella
- Good Safety = Good Business at Goodyear
- Convergence Connects the Manufacturing Dots
- Open Is as Open Does

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Rockwell CEO Affirms Continued Industry Leadership
"Even in these troubled times," began Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, "Rockwell Automation is on a very exciting path. We’re well–positioned to both weather the storms of the current economic situation and prosper into the future."

Nosbusch updated a media–only crowd gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for the company’s Manufacturing Perspectives event, which leads up to the Automation Fair event on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

"Rockwell Automation has the technology leadership," he added, "the intense customer focus, and the financial strength, together with a strong balance sheet and a seasoned management team."

Nosbusch segmented an update on the company’s financial picture into two parts based on the two overarching business units: Architecture and Software and Control Products and Solutions.

» Read more

"What we have to do now is to continue our plans and keep our eye on the ball." Rockwell Automation CEO Keith Nosbusch is bullish on the company’s ability to weather any economic downturn and prosper long–term.

Highlight: Tomorrow’s Industry Forums:
Automotive | Consumer Packaged Goods | Mining, Minerals & Cement | Oil & Gas | Pulp & Paper | Tire & Rubber | Water & Wastewater

Business Benefits Driving Sustainability Movement
For leading manufacturing companies, sustainability is more than just the latest green buzzword. While not necessarily connoting new business practices, the concept of sustainable production does provide a framework for prioritizing business investments as well as for communicating "green" corporate accomplishments to an increasingly environmentally conscious public.

"It’s a bit surprising that sustainability is being treated as something new," said Coca–Cola’s Mark Lee, director of commercial product supply engineering. "It’s really just good business practice."

Indeed, for Lee and several other manufacturing professionals who participated in a panel discussion on sustainable production today at the Manufacturing Perspectives media event held in conjunction with Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair event, sustainability in many ways does represent a rebadging of the manufacturing professional’s stock–in–trade: a continuous improvement process aimed at increasing efficiency, reducing waste, easing environmental impact and boosting workplace safety.

» Read more

“We’ve always been lean and green.” Coca–Cola’s Mark Lee discussed how his company’s drive for continuous improvement dovetails with the concepts and objectives of sustainable production.

The exhibition floor at the Automation Fair® event includes more than 100 booths highlighting solutions for a wide variety of automation needs. Visit our online Partner Network Showcase for a preview of the offerings that are on display.

Rockwell Automation Unveils PlantPAx as New Process Umbrella
In his last appearance in his current role, Kevin Zaba, business director for process automation at Rockwell Automation, addressed the company’s Process Systems User Group (PSUG) meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn. Zaba is taking a new role as director of systems and solutions for Asia, but meanwhile declared 2008 a very successful year for Rockwell’s process business and announced 28% growth in process revenues for fiscal year 2008.

"This is consistent, market–beating growth," Zaba said. "In the past year, we’ve made a series of organic system developments, as well as integrated some of our acquisitions, such as Incuity."

He announced the acquisition just last week of Xi’an Hengsheng, a major Chinese heavy industry system integrator, located in Western China, which, he said, gives Rockwell Automation some serious capabilities in the power and refining industries. This, he noted, was in addition to the establishment of a Process Center of Excellence in Asia.

» Read more

"The integration of Incuity brings a uniform way to capture and present data in order to make better business decisions." Rockwell Automation’s Kevin Zaba updated attendees of the company’s Process Solutions Group Meeting on Rockwell’s "most important growth initiative."

Couldn’t attend the Automation Fair® event this year? Show your solidarity with genuine Automation Fair merchandise!

Good Safety = Good Business at Goodyear
Getting one’s mind right about safety isn’t always an easy job. Sometimes the smallest changes are the hardest to make, but they also can have the most profoundly positive influence.

For decades, safety was viewed as a drag and impediment to manufacturing productivity. Safety also was seen as something imposed from outside by pesky unions and interfering government agencies. As a result, many manufacturers and their operators didn’t implement safety policies and methods or circumvented those already in place—often with disastrous and tragic results.

For instance, after several years of poor safety performance, Goodyear’s tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., had two major injuries in 2006, which occurred when employees were caught in the facility’s let–off shear machinery. In one event, a machine had been left in automatic mode and seized and injured an operator’s hands when he patted down the roll of rubber on it.

» Read more

"We revised our whole safety structure and began to drive more responsibility to our safety teams on the plant floor." Goodyear’s Charles Skaggs related the journey to improve worker safety at the company’s Gadsden, Ala., plant.


Convergence Connects the Manufacturing Dots
There’s no such thing as a silo in a manufacturing company’s organizational structure anymore. Manufacturers must find, use and master all available tools if they want to thrive in a global economy and hold off the competition. To do this, they must learn to leverage manufacturing convergence, merging traditionally separate functions and systems to create unique new capabilities.

That was the focus of a two-part panel discussion at Rockwell Automation’s Manufacturing Perspectives event, held this week during the run–up to the company’s Automation Fair in Nashville, Tenn.

The premise: With people, processes and technology working in unison, manufacturers can achieve higher levels of business performance, turn resources into assets and discover unique opportunities for competitiveness.

» Read more

"We got capability, we got integration. The new cry is a need for simplification." Jim Wetzel, director, control and information systems, General Mills, offered a reality check on the subject of Manufacturing Convergence.


Open Is as Open Does
"I love this industry," said Michael Ziesemer, chief operating officer of Endress+Hauser in his keynote address to the 2008 Rockwell Automation Process Systems User Group meeting this week in Nashville, Tenn., "because we deal with important subjects–energy, water, food–that are important and growing, despite the economic situation."

He went on to describe Endress+Hauser, a $1.6–billion company, with over 8,500 employees and a 60% equity capital ratio, and mentioned that in 55 years, Endress+Hauser has never had a layoff. "A 60% equity capital ratio means that we do not need to borrow money from the investment banks." Endress+Hauser is a family–owned company, a "special company," he said.

"Openness is an opportunity," he said. In this age when end users can find most of their information online, it is critical that "what we have to offer has to be the best!"

» Read more

"Openness leads to real customer value." Endress+Hauser’s Michael Ziesemer explained how suppliers’ open attitudes toward technology, toward standards, toward business relationships can improve the ultimate user experience.


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