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Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference

On May 15th Thompson hosted Innovate; the first-ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through the implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change overtimes.

The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!