SPS Drives 2008 Report: Wrap-up

As usual many organizations, including PI, used the show for press conferences and press releases.  There were some interesting product releases, some news from us (although little from competing fieldbuses), much networking, and a little weirdness (more on that later).

I’ve already referred you to all our press releases but one.  Next year the first PROFIBUS regional organization (PNO in Germany) will celebrate its 20th anniversary.  Part of the celebration is an international conference titled “Excellence in Automation.”

Statistics from the show reveal further growth in attendance (to 48,106), exhibitors (to 1,386), and floor space (to 94,700 square meters – over a million square feet).  International visitors made up 16% of the total.  As I noted earlier there were not a lot from the US, probably due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  (I looked ahead to next year’s show and darn if it isn’t over Thanksgiving again.)

There was an absence of acrobats, magicians, and the like, but I did see a slot-car race track at the WAGO booth and body painting at another booth.  I did not think the former worth photographing and I could not photograph the latter since I don’t have software to pixelate the appropriate parts of the image.  Talk about differences between US and German trade shows!

Dave Greenfield has some reports from the show on the Control Engineering website.  Two of them involve products that use PROFINET: Siemens expands IP65/67 distributed I/O line and Siemens announces motors, drives, and motion control advances.  He also reports on PTO member Molex and their new Ethernet switches.  Geoff Hodgkinson in his Industrial Ethernet Book blog reports on some activities that semiconductor giant NEC is engaged in related to PROFINET and IO-Link.  But your most exhaustive North American coverage has been right here in the PROFIblog.  (Ouch, I hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back.)

The show was not the end of my activities in Germany.  On Thursday evening we had a dinner for the RPA Chairmen followed on Friday morning by a meeting.  RPA is Regional PI Association; PTO is one of 25 RPAs.  Colleagues from Korea, Singapore, and throughout Europe gathered to review progress and receive technical updates.

Irrelevant video technical details:  I took two camcorders, a new Flip Mino and my old Sony DV camcorder with an external microphone.  The Sony had better audio quality but was a pain to carry around.  See if you tell which video was shot with which camcorder.