The 51st Chemical Processing Industry Exposition, better known to all and sundry for the past 90 years as the Chem Show, is on at the Javits Center in lower Manhattan. I first started attending the Chem Show at least 20 years ago, when it was still in the gone-but-not-forgotten New York Coliseum on Columbus Circle. The only reason I miss the old place is that hotels were easier to get within walking distance.
This show, after two depressing cycles of increasingly bad shows (one which took place a month after 9/11), shows revitalization and regrowth. There are some very interesting things going on here. There is a huge automation pavilion, interesting in itself, and the most interesting thing of all is that the 15,000 pound gorilla in automation (that would be Emerson, for anybody who’s been asleep for the last generation) is not in the pavilion. Oh, they’re here, okay, but they are all by themselves surrounded by equipment manufacturers. They aren’t billing themselves as an automation company, either. They are billing themselves as a productivity company. “Consider it solved.”
PAT and NeSSI are very much in evidence, as are hordes of online analysis systems. These will become extremely important to the average process automation professional as the first decade of the 21st century drones on.
I spent yesterday talking to most of the usual suspects, and now I’m going to visit the interesting people I haven’t seen before.
There are also some fantastic paper sessions at the conference, most of which are automation or instrumentation centered. Much difference betweeen this conference and the last one. I hope to get to some of those sessions this afternoon.