Category Archives: Automation and Process Control INSIDER

Rockwell’s Automation Perspectives Aptly Named

Insiderlogo3My tweets and retweets from Rockwell Automation’s Automation Perspectives on Tuesday:

Tue, 08:13: Rockwell Automation’s President and CEO Blake Moret welcomes Automation Perspectives to Houston #houstonstrong… https://t.co/0zafvi1YQx

Tue, 08:15: $6.3 Billion in FY2017 Sales and a shareholder value curve outperforming the Dow… https://t.co/mdV3o60ASC

Tue, 08:16: #AF2017 If Rockwell had a company song, we’d all be standing and singing it. https://t.co/MhZheD93r9

Tue, 08:19: #AutoFair17 The Connected Enterprise is based on people. https://t.co/NaNzVmA0m2

Tue, 08:20: #AutoFair17 The value of digitization in Smart Manufacturing— Frank Kulaszewicz https://t.co/HM3pb6BkHK

Tue, 08:21: #AutoFair17 We believe that manufacturing will change dramatically in the next 25 years because of higher levels o… https://t.co/iSY1G7nus9

Tue, 08:23: Digital transformation enables better design. Digital design is sustained by digital operation— emulated by the Dig… https://t.co/PrRmJvi25O

Tue, 08:24: RT @m_littlefield: CEO @ROKAutomation lays out strategy. Stays focused on Connected Enterprise. Stressed corp values, improved control & an…

Tue, 08:26: #AutoFair17 Mixed Reality visualization https://t.co/WBy2ztmaHP

Tue, 08:32: #AutoFair17 Factory Talk Team One is working, and we know, because we are watching! https://t.co/96e8r55gZW

Tue, 08:33: #AutoFair17 Frank K introduces Andrew Ellis to talk about Project SCIO. https://t.co/6K4jlWuQwB

Tue, 08:34: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, Prescriptive —we must adopt advanced analytics. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/EXg9c8Atap

Tue, 08:36: Lack of data isn’t the problem. https://t.co/PQXNYdXrSR

Tue, 08:38: #AutoFair17 Data ingress from the edge…but the secret is in the middle— the data orchestration provides the real… https://t.co/GIR0uTuPyE

Tue, 08:41: SCIO discovers devices and ingests data and uses a storyboard model to display mashed data and construct work flows… https://t.co/ifbaRDgz5u

Tue, 08:43: Scio storyboards… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/y5GMVIc9Pv

Tue, 08:45: There are no limits to data quantities or data types— not just realtime or transactional. Scio ingests and mashes a… https://t.co/POg5BhPFIq

Tue, 08:48: #AutoFair17 What is cool about Rockwell is that the top executives both know and understand the technology they are… https://t.co/n6OCHXYaOM

Tue, 08:54: Scio can get you to predictive and prescriptive analytics. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/IT33dy9wBV
Tue, 08:56: Wind speed and direction into “function bubbles” to control blades of wind turbines. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/XBAVzXVYwS

Tue, 08:57: World class partners and ecosystem are ESSENTIAL! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/SYjlMONAw1

Tue, 08:58: Gavin Rennick “We are in Houston, the home of oil and gas. Brent crossing 60 for the first time in weeks.”… https://t.co/DazsAGJNaY

Tue, 09:00: Rennick extols the interconnected world— about 8 billion devices today, and in a decade, over a trillion. Data mana… https://t.co/t5Fs3XWHvx

Tue, 09:03: Rennick: This outcome is very material. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/fZ9QKohhx5

Tue, 09:04: Here’s what digital technology does to the ecosystem. #AutoFair17 Excellence in cybersecurity is really the ticket… https://t.co/LlPwVKQmkf

Tue, 09:07: Very rapidly, we were enveloped in the digital technology ecosystem… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/oe2f28bT5I

Tue, 09:09: Our customers’ goals are not surprising… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/OvqraO5nsW

Tue, 09:12: Some of the proofs of concept failed, some of them worked—we learned. Amazing what happens when SME works with a da… https://t.co/nGQIy2v4Ym

Tue, 09:14: Schlumberger predicts…the oracle! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/eV0VXFiJcO

Tue, 09:15: We’ve been using it, and our customers have too. It works. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/opB8O4qc2P

Tue, 09:16: Here’s how to drill a well… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/GHQDrvBs6H

Tue, 09:18: We have had 10 companies evaluate this solution for many months and they agree it works and is very valuable.… https://t.co/l8mX5V7f3e

Tue, 09:19: No matter what we did, we kept running into this company called Rockwell Automation! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/XG3OIOPUJf

Tue, 09:20: We don’t call it a digital twin— we call it a digital avatar. We have an affinity with the color blue. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/lnFliImmP4

Tue, 09:22: We have a number of proof points… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/gxiCht8OIY

Tue, 09:59: #AutoFair17 Getting ready to resume Automation Perspectives— The whole enterprise of Rockwell Automation is so crit… https://t.co/LEdsyTW4bJ

Tue, 10:01: #AutoFair17 Our industry has a problem with workforce development… https://t.co/QLMndwEa0y

Tue, 10:02: #AutoFair17 Manpower’s Chris Layden talks about workforce… https://t.co/g5RN2H94w7

Tue, 10:03: #AutoFair17 We connect 4 people a minute to meaningful work in the USA. https://t.co/mEgPjG4nIu

Tue, 10:05: The structural changes in the labor market are here to stay! #AutoFair17 Technology is a force for speed of change. https://t.co/Vyg18vgcAX

Tue, 10:07: Big change from “job for life” to “career for me.” https://t.co/sOGoldoQgU

Tue, 10:09: #AutoFair2017 Skilled trades toughest to find. https://t.co/7bMpGuwNsE

Tue, 10:10: #AutoFair17 You can’t build a plant where there aren’t any workers. https://t.co/KocZWJpjVL

Tue, 10:11: 24% of manufacturing workers are over 55 #AutoFair17 https://t.co/VaoJnU2gmM

Tue, 10:12: #AutoFair17 Plateauing… https://t.co/YaqfGmDIzI

Tue, 10:13: #AutoFair17 Education needed is changing https://t.co/Pc1Pyqvez2

Tue, 10:15: #AutoFair17 We have to prioritize who we are training https://t.co/qPjO4wHGPr

Tue, 10:17: #AutoFair17 Introducing Blake to talk about the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing https://t.co/f2dJh8bKwd

Tue, 10:18: #AutoFair17 We chose Manpower because we like to partner with the leader in Workforce. We know the curriculum and t… https://t.co/AL9hsAE04k

Tue, 10:19: RT @m_littlefield: Skilled Trades toughest job to fill in US @manpower predicts 2.5MM jobs unfilled by 2025. Doesn’t even consider Digitali…

Tue, 10:19: RT @DJGreenfield: Good job @SchneiderElec! Glad to see you make this move. https://t.co/JHcuOXPHtg

Tue, 10:21: Hundreds of thousands of veterans are leaving the service with the basic skills they need for manufacturing.… https://t.co/ze9I1SvVJq

Tue, 10:23: #AutoFair17 We are ramping up rapidly to meet our goal. https://t.co/JvMtzEbouo

Tue, 10:25: But is 12 weeks enough?? https://t.co/iQtzCKwz7U

Tue, 10:25: RT @cmgonzalez85: The Recruitment Difficultly Index shows how hard it is to fill jobs across the U.S. The number one job missing is the ski…

Tue, 10:26: RT @AutomationFair: “It’s not what to train for; it’s about how skills & jobs are evolving within digital manufacturing & design.” #AutoFai…

Tue, 10:26: RT @AutomationFair: “No single company, organization or institution can solve this skills gap alone.” – @njneuman @manpower https://t.co/Jj…

Tue, 10:27: RT @AutomationFair: 75% of employers say new skills are required in the next 2 yrs, but many are not able to define them @ChrisLayden https…

Tue, 10:29: And they want to blow up this enterprise— for what? For the money! No. This enterprise is critical for the future o… https://t.co/XuqiBT85I2

Tue, 10:30: https://t.co/HxsBQynTtG via @youtube #AutoFair17 Here’s the short version…

Tue, 10:31: RT @m_littlefield: Blake Moret driving force of @ROKcareers & @manpower Academy of Advanced Manufacturing. 12 week prgm & vet grads guarant…

Tue, 10:32: Joe Allie asks for all the veterans in the audience to stand. Then he introduces the “plank holders” of the Academy. https://t.co/leDZLjfqQI

Tue, 10:32: RT @AutomationFair: “Every one of the veterans who finish this program, will have a job.” – Blake Moret https://t.co/8gW9TXLekk https://t.c…

Tue, 10:33: RT @pdpuess: Couldn’t be more proud @ROKAutomation Academy of Advanced Manufacturing high tech training for our returning vets! #AutoFair1…

Tue, 10:35: Scott Bingham, Travis Tolbert, Leandre Davis, Christopher Allison…some of the first graduates. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/cQLMXDpvG2

Tue, 10:39: Typical day is hands on supported by theory— very intensive — Scott Bingham #AutoFair17 https://t.co/7eKzlWEjcI

Tue, 10:40: RT @AutomationFair: We couldn’t be more proud of these grads! https://t.co/CtOhl5lAhE

Tue, 10:41: RT @mchlguilfoyle: #AutoFair17 panel with 4 of 14 grads from first class of Academy of #advancedmanufacturing. Transitioning #veterans to w…

Tue, 10:50: RT @ManpowerGroup: #Veterans have the work ethic and real world experience that hiring managers want. We’ve partnered with @ROKAutomation t…

Tue, 10:54: Travis Tolbert just accepted a position with a paper company as a process optimization specialist. #autofair17

Tue, 10:56: Scott Bingham also accepted a position. Leandre Davis and Christopher Allison are in the final stages of interviewi… https://t.co/6dyTuNs7X3

Tue, 11:04: RT @m_littlefield: Looks like it based on the job offers coming in! https://t.co/mh0KoALe9z

Tue, 11:06: #AutoFair17 John McDermott winds it all up. https://t.co/7UvLtNQCW0

Tue, 11:12: #AutoFair17 Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Thursday

If you like this kind of reporting and analysis, subscribe to the INSIDER. It is the only magazine in the industry with no advertising and no slant. Visit www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider to subscribe.

Women in Automation- Emerson Exchange Zooms In

Insiderlogo3Emerson Exchange Casts Spotlight in Changes in Women’s Contributions to Automation
by Joy Ward

This is another article that would have been in the October INSIDER– part of the coverage of Emerson Exchange 2017. If you like this kind of reporting and analysis, subscribe to the INSIDER at www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider.

The recent Emerson Exchange did an excellent job of showing the range of how women and female insight can add to the automation industry. The two women who starred, Robyn Benincasa, the founder of WorldClass Teams as the keynote speaker and Janeen Judah, the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Women in Innovation speaker, gave listeners much to learn from and use in their careers.

Emerson started their recent meeting with one of the most exciting and challenging keynote speakers I have seen in a long time. Benincasa is a firefighter and adventure racer with nothing to do with automation, except that she had some of the best advice to members of the industry. Yes, we’ve all endured keynote speeches given by well-meaning but apparently automation-clueless speakers trying very hard to reach their audience. This speaker not only reached her audience but gave it marvelous advice and direction. Her message was one of cooperation, not competition. Too often we have been fed the message that life is about competition but not from this speaker. Through wonderful examples of her experiences adventure racing around the globe in some of the most challenging environments on earth, Benincasa showed how working together is a much stronger strategy than all-out competition. She also exhorted the crowd to work to win, not just NOT lose. This requires a different way of thinking and is a good lesson in today’s accounting-driven world.

Then Emerson continued the good words from the women’s side with a luncheon speech by Janeen Judah, the president of SPE, and a working petroleum engineer. While her message was not as physically exuberant, it was still both challenging and in the same vein — cooperation is the way for everyone to progress. She gave some sterling advice on how thinking of colleagues and doing well for them can come back to do well for everyone.

In summation, both women brought the same message to the Emerson crowd. Cooperation and what sociologist would consider traditionally female forms of interaction are healthier and ultimately more productive for individuals and companies. Is it possible that we are getting this type of message now because enough women are in the workplace and feel comfortable interacting and managing as women, not just women in steel boots? Whatever the reason, it is a healthy movement. Kudos for Emerson for hosting these two wise women and their messages!

Joy Ward has over thirty years’ experience in consumer psychology research and is Director of Qualitative Research for Spitzer and Boyes LLC. Her MIND OF THE CUSTOMER® research methodology has been used in areas from politics to the automotive industry to satellite manufacturing. Contact Joy at joyward@sbcglobal.net or 314-283-5259 for information on how Joy can bring the Mind of the Customer® to your enterprise.

Rockwell’s PSUG-The Plant PAx Roadmap

My tweets from Monday afternoon’s roadmap session at PSUG:

Mon, 13:07: Chris Dornan and Jason Wight provide the PlantPAx roadmap— #ROKPSUG

Mon, 13:09: We are members of a secret society called the International Society of Automation #ROKPSUG (why is ISA not a bigge… https://t.co/qVDQhDQLyR

Mon, 13:11: #ROKPSUG Plant PAx 4.5 releases this coming summer.

Mon, 13:13: Kris Dornan begins the deep dive #ROKPSUG https://t.co/uuCPKArFSh

Mon, 13:14: SMART— #ROKPSUG https://t.co/SQ5cONPCoS

Mon, 13:16: New Standard Control Panels #ROKPSUG https://t.co/rLjmKbacHu

Mon, 13:17: Intelligent Packaged Power — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/QOB1PRQ78V

Mon, 13:18: Server consolidation — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/Co9r84LY3e

Mon, 13:21: Redundant PASS server enhancements; DTM support of Ehernet/IP Devices; updated function block diagram editor https://t.co/bSb9BcPg0K

Mon, 13:23: Mod sheet size online — #ROKPSUG https://t.co/VEPoMLEPBh

Mon, 13:24: Productive! https://t.co/gpcCsPiUkX

Mon, 13:27: New productivity tools #rokpsug https://t.co/oCt4pUKbiG

Mon, 13:30: New faceplates; trending integration with alarms; PI Asset framework for process objects — #rokpsug https://t.co/ZcFPISAGQR

Mon, 13:38: More productivity tools— thinmanager integration; mobile alarming interface; updated batch visualization #rokpsug https://t.co/npi1SXaFEQ

Mon, 13:41: Protected— area based security; PRP network support; Redundant communications —#ROKPSUG https://t.co/LhV5C80yPj

Mon, 13:45: And we’ll come fix it for you! #ROKPSUG https://t.co/voCmk9VAQs

Mon, 13:48: “Don’t YOU worry about it! #ROKPSUG https://t.co/pRbxwTC6pC

Mon, 14:10: Rockwell’s new entrant in the I/O sweepstakes. They call it the standard configured panel. #rokpsug https://t.co/ddOdv8yONf

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The Trouble With Top Management

In this month’s Control magazine, Greg McMillan interviews Walt Boyes and Joy Ward from Spitzer and Boyes LLC on the problems with top management who are not technically trained. We talk about why the automation industry is different.

Read it here:
https://www.controlglobal.com/articles/2017/the-trouble-with-top-management/

Subscribe to the INSIDER at http://www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider

Rockwell’s PSUG 2017 Kicks Off in Houston!

My tweets from this morning’s PSUG general session:
Mon, 10:37: #ROKPSUG 860 attendees this year. The baby done growed up!
Mon, 10:40: Steve Pulsifer kicks off PSUG https://t.co/kVbjYMckhc
Mon, 10:41: Jim Winter keynotes #ROKPSUG by talking about the connected enterprise.
Mon, 10:42: #ROKPSUG The connected enterprise… https://t.co/GKLzMH7UsZ
Mon, 10:44: #ROKPSUG Enabling IIoT https://t.co/W4sbxiFvii
Mon, 10:47: #ROKPSUG Rockwell calls it the modern DCS https://t.co/4ViiWzHTds
Mon, 10:53: #ROKPSUG Jim Winter says “the cookie demo” is back this yea!
Mon, 10:57: #ROKPSUG John Genovesi speaks!
Mon, 10:58: #ROKPSUG applause for the victims and volunteers of Houston Strong
Mon, 11:01: Genovesi says that Pavilion and Execution (Maverick) businesses did double digit growth…
Mon, 11:03: #ROKPSUG why are digital initiatives important? https://t.co/RiWR7A0Fs9
Mon, 11:06: #ROKPSUG The Connected Enterprise Customer Outcomes https://t.co/xOqsEcKCqB
Mon, 11:08: RT @ManufacturingGL: Despite struggling early in the year, UK #manufacturing sector showing signs of revival https://t.co/RlxKPaIdlq https…
Mon, 11:12: #ROKPSUG https://t.co/9jc1pVkmzG
Mon, 11:15: FactoryTalk Analytics https://t.co/UiVHsdd4kZ
Mon, 11:16: #ROKPSUG Value Streams https://t.co/qcuRvLA4T7
Mon, 11:19: #ROKPSUG Introducing Project Scio—
Mon, 11:21: Project SCIO #ROKPSUG https://t.co/skIkvRlev4
Mon, 11:22: RT @CraigDResnick: #ROKPSUG @ROKAutomation @AutomationFair #Analytics must be #scalable provide #value #Streams #operational #productuvity…
Mon, 11:32: #ROKPSUG iBio CEO Barry Holtz talks about iBio gene sequencing and manufacturing.
Mon, 11:33: Plant production facility- iBio COMO #ROKPSUG https://t.co/uW1DtIUoZU

Rajabahadur V. Arcot on the Battle for OT/IT Dominance

Insiderlogo3This would have been the October article from Rajabahadur V. Arcot

The Battle for OT / IT dominance

By Rajabahadur V. Arcot

The future holds the promise of the dawn of a new industrial era and the convergence of Operational Technology and Information Technology will hugely impact manufacturing companies. In order to differentiate the existing from the emerging systems & solutions and to highlight the importance of OT and IT convergence, new acronyms are getting coined. What we call as automation systems, DCS, PLC, SCADA and such others and enterprise solutions which include ERP, SCM, CRM, EAM and similar others are labeled respectively as Operational Technology (OT) & Information Technology (IT). According to numerous survey reports that appear periodically, many of the manufacturing companies are looking forward to benefit for OT / IT convergence and are highly optimistic that it will make them truly real-time information driven organizations and secure their future in the emerging industrial era- Industry 4.0.

Production and business operations of manufacturing companies have always been driven by information both from the shop-floor and top-floor. Initially, they deployed instruments to generate shop-floor information and top-floor transactional information was mostly generated offline. Manufacturing companies’ ability to create value to their shareholders, while ensuring customer satisfaction in the emerging era of manufacturing, depends on their ability to tightly couple the operations of all their value chain partners comprising of numerous part / sub-assembly / raw material suppliers, design associates, service providers and such others. It will become extremely important for them to ensure that, on one hand, all their production and business decisions are based on holistic and integrated real-time information and, on the other that they work collaboratively.

The fact that manufacturing operations have become more complex & competitive pressures have increased and the realization that their success depends entirely on becoming truly information driven, make industrial firms demand not only real-time data from the production and business operations, suppliers, customers, and such others, but also want them integrated and analyzed so as to derive holistic information. The recent rapid technological developments such as those relating to internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, cloud computing, & Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), and OT & IT convergence, make it possible for multiple sources of data to be connected and large amount of data from them to be collected and analyzed holistically on a common platform.

Until now, manufacturing companies invested in OT to manage production floor operations while ensuring plant’s safe, efficient, and automated functioning and IT comprising of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Product Design Management (PDM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and such others to assist enterprise level decision making. Often automation systems and enterprise solutions are procured from best-of-the-class suppliers and their integration required significant investments in terms of costs and time.
Information collection & their display and control of important production operations became integral part of manufacturing companies many decades ago. Suppliers of automation systems, such as Honeywell, Yokogawa, and Rockwell, realizing the power of computer and communication technologies, as they evolved, in data collection, transmission, and processing capabilities responded to the needs of the manufacturing industries and introduced of programmable logic controllers, distributed control systems, safety instrumented systems, electronic transmitters, and similar others that extensively rely on computer and communication technologies. Later they developed communication protocols that further enhanced the role of automation systems. Some of the leading suppliers of enterprise solutions are SAP, Oracle, and IBM and they also leveraged the power of computer and communication technologies.

Automation systems and enterprise solutions evolved separately at different points of time and respectively addressed the informational needs of plant floor and top floor. The business models of the suppliers of automation systems and enterprise solutions differ significantly and their offerings are designed and engineered to meet different functional and operational needs. Even the way automation systems and enterprise solutions are specified, budgeted, and procured differ fundamentally. While, in the case of OT their safe operation and availability are most important, in the case of IT data confidentiality is more important than system availability.

A new breed of companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, IBM, and Cisco Systems, which in recent years have emerged as the leading technology firms of the world, have strong competencies in technologies associated with Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and cloud computing. Seeing tremendous growth and monetization opportunities, leading technology firms are making large investments and establishing new centers of excellence to develop and demonstrate their competencies. They are emerging as strong challengers to the traditional OT and IT suppliers and often are seen taking initiatives to emerge as dominant players the in OT / IT domain. They have already started offering OT/IT platforms / infrastructure such as Azure (Microsoft), Watson (IBM), Alexa (Amazon), DeepMind (Alphabet), and such others.
Who will succeed and emerge as leading suppliers, what will the architecture of their offerings and the open standards they will follow are questions that await answers. May be, mega mergers and acquisitions are the way-out and probably are in the making; or we may have to watch for the success of collaboration agreements, such as the one between ABB and IBM. Yet another way out may be for the push to come from the end users. One such example is the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s forward looking initiative. It has entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to serve as a system integrator in the early stage development of new architecture for the next-generation open and secure automation systems for process industries. They intend sharing the details of the new architecture resulting from their efforts with OT players. Interesting developments and mind games are on and it is difficult to predict how it will play out and who will emerge winners.


Rajabahadur V. Arcot is an Independent Industry Analyst / Columnist and Business Consultant with around 40 years of senior managerial experience. He has held C-level executive positions in leading companies, such as Honeywell, Thermax, Bells Controls an affiliate of Foxboro / Invensys, Electronics Corporation of India Limited and Instrumentation Limited. Until recently, he was responsible for ARC Advisory Group’s business operations in India. He writes industry and technology trend articles, market research reports, case studies, white papers, and automation & manufacturing IT insights. He is the representative in India for Spitzer and Boyes LLC.

If you like this kind of journalism, you can subscribe to the INSIDER by visiting http://www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider

Computer Crash Takes Out October INSIDER

Insiderlogo3As a result of a normal upgrade of Windows 10, the computer on which we make the INSIDER has suffered a catastrophic failure. According to the repair shop, it isn’t worth repairing, so they are taking the data off for us. It will take about a week to get the data back, and so we have decided to produce an October/November issue at the end of November.

But we’d like to try something different.

Over the next week or so, we are going to post some of the articles that would be in the October issue of the INSIDER on this blog, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, for everyone to read, whether you are a subscriber or not.

If you find that you like what you’ll be seeing, you can become a subscriber by visiting http://www.spitzerandboyes.com/insider. Individual subscriptions are quite reasonable, and large company subscriptions that allow circulation to all within the company are also available.

If you’d like to talk to us, use this form:
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We hope you like what you’ll see.

A Legend Passes: Dick Morley Died Today

I received a note from Don Clark, who has been Dick Morley’s most steadfast friend for the last few years:

From: Donald Clark
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:02 PM
Subject: Dick Morley…

I am sorry to report that Dick Morley passed away quietly in his New Hampshire care facility earlier this evening. A legend has passed. May Dick Rest in Peace, and thanks for the memories.

Please by all means spread the word far and wide to as many folks you know about this unfortunate news. I only could think of a few of you within Schneider who might have known or known of this great man.

For any who wish, we’ve set up a memorial fund for both a fitting and simple granite memorial at his graveside as well as setting up a scholarship fund for some deserving student(s). Please go to the GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/lv6bho and make a contribution to his memory.

Thanks, and best regards,

Don

Now Dick can be back with Shirley, whose death a few years ago broke his spirit and his health.

Dick was the most important inventor of the last 50 years of the 20th century. Very few people know that, which is a shame. He never wanted fame, he only wanted to invent new things.

I remember with fondness his “Geek Pride Day” events at the Barn in New Hampshire.

I have been proud to call Dick Morley my friend, and one of my mentors.

Please help us memorialize Dick by giving to the GoFundMe that Don has set up.

I am deeply sad.

ABB Doubles Down on Electric Business-Buys GE Industrial Solutions

ABB appears to be signalling that electrification is more important to them than anything else, including manufacturing and process automation. And GE is divesting itself of one of its historical core competencies and businesses. Read the press release:

ABB today announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business. GE Industrial Solutions has deep customer relationships in more than 100 countries and an established installed base with strong roots in North America, ABB’s biggest market. GE Industrial Solutions is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has about 13,500 employees around the world. In 2016, GE Industrial Solutions had revenues of approximately $2.7 billion, with an operational EBITDA margin of approximately 8 percent1 and an operational EBITA margin of approximately 6 percent1. ABB will acquire GE Industrial Solutions for $2.6 billion; the transaction will be operationally accretive in year one. ABB expects to realize approximately $200 million of annual cost synergies in year five, which will be key in bringing GE Industrial Solutions to peer performance. As part of the transaction and overall value creation, ABB and GE have agreed to establish a long-term, strategic supply relationship for GE Industrial Solutions products and ABB products that GE sources today.

“With GE Industrial Solutions, we strengthen our Number 2 position in electrification globally and expand our access to the attractive North American market,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Combined with the long-term strategic supply relationship with GE, this transaction creates significant value for our shareholders.”

He added: “Together with the GE Industrial Solutions team, we will execute our well-established plans in a disciplined way to bring this business as part of the global ABB family back to peer performance. With this next step of active portfolio management, we continue to shift ABB’s center of gravity, in line with our Next Level strategy, by strengthening competitiveness, mainly in the North American market, and lowering risk with an early-cycle business.”

“This combination brings together two global businesses with a broad complement of electrical protection and distribution assets,” said John Flannery, CEO of GE. “ABB values our people, domain expertise, and our ability to operate in the segments where we have depth and experience. GE will also benefit through an expanded strategic supply relationship with ABB as the two companies work together.”

GE Industrial Solutions will be integrated into ABB’s Electrification Products (EP) division, resulting in a unique global portfolio and very comprehensive offering for North American and global customers. They will benefit from ABB’s innovative technologies and the ABB AbilityTM digital offering coupled with GE Industrial Solutions’ complementary solutions and market access. Included in the acquisition is a long-term right to use the GE brand. ABB will retain the GE Industrial Solutions management team and build upon its experienced sales force. After closing, this transaction will have an initial dampening effect to EP’s operational EBITA margin. ABB commits to returning EP to its target margin corridor of 15-19 percent during 2020.

Tarak Mehta, President of ABB’s EP division, said: “This acquisition strengthens our position as partner of choice for electrification globally and in North America. We look forward to working with GE Industrial Solutions’ and ABB’s customers and channel partners to create new opportunities in this highly attractive core market for our division. We have a clear integration plan to realize the synergies of this combination and to bring our combined business back into the target margin corridor during 2020.”

ABB’s EP division delivers more than 1.5 million products to customers around the world every day through a global network of channel partners and end-customers. EP offers a comprehensive portfolio of low- and medium-voltage products and solutions for a smarter, more reliable flow of electricity from substation to socket.

Given this transaction, ABB has decided to put the previously announced share buyback program on hold.

The transaction is expected to close in H1 2018, subject to customary regulatory clearances. Credit Suisse and Dyal Co. acted as financial advisors to ABB, and Davis Polk & Wardwell provided legal counsel.

Third time may be the charm! Schneider does the Aveva deal– Again!

After failing twice to consummate the deal, Schneider Electric announced on September 5 that they had done the deal– again.

Britain’s Aveva Group said on Tuesday it had agreed to combine with Schneider Electric‘s software business to create a London-listed leader in industrial software worth more than 3 billion pounds ($3.88 billion).

France’s Schneider will take a 60 percent stake in the enlarged group under the terms of the deal, which is structured as a reverse takeover, the companies said.

The tie-up comes after two abandoned attempts to agree a deal in 2015 and last year.

The agreement will close, hopefully, in December.

It still isn’t clear what the market impact on automation will be. And one wonders what the future for independent or software only companies will be.