Quality UPDATE newsletter

ST. LOUIS--Automation Fair, the world's largest free educational forum for manufacturing technology sponsored by Rockwell Automation Inc., drew a record 14,000 people Nov. 16-17 in St. Louis.

Manufacturers from more than 70 countries participated in the event. The company hosted more than 50 technical sessions, hands-on training labs and multiple manufacturing industry presentations on key automation trends. The trade fair in the U.S. also included more than 150 solution and product exhibits.

Among the most pressing issues are the ability to link plant-floor data with enterprise business systems and supply chains for real-time decision making, the growing role that manufacturing plays in meeting increased regulatory requirements and heightened concerns related to safety and security.

Also addressed was the critical issue of energy use and efficiency in manufacturing operations. At "Manufacturing Perspectives 2005," a special forum addressing global manufacturing trends and the role of technology in driving productivity, National Association of Manufacturers president and John Engler, CEO, announced a national energy policy initiative that calls upon manufacturers to support legislation that increases supply, keeps costs in line and builds an infrastructure for long-term growth.

The forum also featured a keynote from William C. Taylor, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, who addressed the role of factory automation in improving global manufacturing competitiveness.

More information about Automation Fair can be found at www.automationfair.com.