Have you ever heard the adage “proper preparation prevents poor performance,” or is that only a saying in my family? Either way, it’s true that to get the most out

Automate 2013

Automate 2013 will feature exhibits of robots, vision systems, motion control products and related automation equipment from more than 150 leading global suppliers.
Photo courtesy of Association for Advancing Automation

of an event like Automate 2013, preparation is essential. The article that follows will help you navigate the show by presenting the five W’s: the what, when, where, who and why of Automate 2013.

Automate 2013, occurring once every two years, is a show and conference that features automation solutions for a variety of applications across a wide range of industries. The show revolves around key topics that include: the fundamentals of robotics and of vision, new motor and drive technologies, robotics system integration, motion control technology for increasing throughput and practical applications of using vision guided robots. Suppliers and integrators will be onsite demonstrating the latest robotic, machine vision, motion control, sensor, assembly, and test/measurement solutions. Attendees can expect to see actual demonstrations of systems solving challenges they face in their industries. For the conference portion, the Keynotes will be presented by Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and Henrik Christensen, director of robotics at Georgia Institute of Technology. The event boasts more than 75 industry experts who will provide presentations throughout, and over 30 paid sessions and 75 free sessions will be offered.

Automate 2013 will be held January 21-24, 2013. While the show runs for four days, ending on January 24, the conference portion goes on until January 25.

Automate 2013 takes place at the McCormick Place convention facility in Chicago, IL.

Automate 2013 is organized by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) and its trade associations, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA-the global association for vision and imaging and the Motion Control Association (MCA). Together, these organizations represent nearly 700 member companies from 32 nations, including suppliers, system integrators, end users, universities, consulting firms and other professionals involved in automation.

So now that you know the basics, what should you do with the information? More importantly, why should you attend Automate 2013? Read on to learn about some of the elements of the show that you simply won’t want to miss.

The event will feature exhibits of robots, vision systems, motion control products and related automation equipment from more than 150 leading global suppliers, including companies like Adept Technology, Inc., Applied Manufacturing Technologies, Intelligrated, KUKA Robotics Corporation, Matrox Imaging, and Staubli Corporation. A complete list of exhibitors can be found at http://automate2013.com/exhibitor_list. The front of the show is dedicated to exhibits from system integrators, a suitable starting point for attendees just beginning to research automation or for those looking for new ideas.

In addition to great exhibitors, there will also be engaging speakers. On Monday, January 21, Keynote speaker Henrik Christensen will speak on the Future of Robotics. During the second Keynote presentation, Steve Forbes will discuss the impact of the President and his administration on the future of the U.S. economy and business growth, on the day after the inauguration, Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Both Keynotes are cosponsored by the ProMat 2013 Show and Conference, an event for material handling and logistics. ProMat 2013 is collocated with Automate 2013 at McCormick Place and is sponsored by the Material Handling Industry Association (MHIA.) Attendees’ Automate badge also grants them access to ProMat 2013.

Educational opportunities are a highlight of the conference portion of Automate 2013. Five days of training and classes are offered, taught by experienced industry professionals and providing practical training that can be put to use right away. Ranging from a basic understanding of automation to more advanced concepts, the classes will help provide attendees with a better understanding of the technologies on the show floor. The special classes that are required to earn both the
Basic and Advanced levels of the Certified Vision Professional (CVP) designation in addition to CVP testing will also be offered onsite.

An additional aspect of the show that should not be overlooked is the “Expert Huddles,” small group, 50- minute discussions led by an industry “quarterback” on key topics of interest in a variety of locations on the show floor. New this year, over 75 huddles are expected to be available on a range of subject matters throughout the show, all free for attendees. “Our ‘Expert Huddles’ on the show floor really excite me,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of Robotic Industries Association. “This is the first time we’ve offered these free discussion sessions led by industry experts. Topics will be practical, such as how to cost justify automation or best first projects to attempt. For a company leader who has a clear agenda in attending the show, they’ll be guaranteed the opportunity to talk to an industry expert who can help them, as well as finding solutions at the show.”

What about those who have attended Automate in the past. Why should they return? What is unique about 2013’s show? Burnstein comments, “What’s new about this year’s show is our emphasis on reaching small and medium sized companies with the message that automation is right for them. We’ll have more system integrators than ever before demonstrating a broader range of proven solutions, more talks from small and medium sized business owners talking about how automation helped their company become a stronger global competitor and more resources on the floor to help prospective users of the technologies on display at the show.”

Whether you are just developing an interest in automation or are a seasoned veteran of the industry looking for a new solution, Automate 2013 can help you properly prepare your company for quality performance. For more information, go to www.automate2013.com.