Editor’s Note: The UCEC Management team attended the Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago near the end of November. In this two-part blog series, we’ll hear their observations.
Paula Zangari, Operations Support Manager: The Automation Fair was held at McCormick Place. We stayed just steps away from Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” which was pretty neat. The John Hancock building was across the street.
John Beattie, Operations Manager for Production: The first day, we walked the entire show and took everything in. The second day, we went deeper and returned to booths to learn more about various products and technology. This type of exposure is invaluable: it gave me insight into the new technologies that are coming. You don’t know what type of software or tech your customer is going to utilize. It’s good to be exposed to it now.
Paula: We were tasked with learning everything we could: with seeing new and upcoming products and anything that helped us work or improve our processes. This was my first time attending this automation trade show. It was pretty overwhelming to take in at once.
Zach Fothergill, Operations Support Manager: I’ve attended this particular trade show before. This year, there seemed to be an overall emphasis on IT and how that affects business. For instance, instead of a conveyor that talks to the control panel, the conveyor now talks to the cloud and then the cloud talks to the control panel. It’s an entirely different way of thinking about our business, but if that’s the way the industry is going, then we need to know about it.
Garrod Massey, Operations Support Manager: Steinhauer was there, the makers of our MC-80. That was was nice to see them; Zach knows those guys. They told us they sold five machines at the fair, which was impressive. We were able to talk about a lubrication change we are making on the machine, so we were able to chat about this new piece of technology that’s helped UCEC so much.
Zach: It seems with cloud computing, there are issues about security and remote access. It will be interesting to see what solutions arise.
Paula: The networking opportunities were great. We spoke with executives from some of our largest customers and national reps for some of our vendors. And it was amazing—the things that can be automated. I saw a palletizer. It would be great to get one of those!
Tomorrow, the team talks about how traveling together was great for teamwork.