Rockwell Automation Goes Virtual for Annual Automation Fair in 2020

October 22, 2020 by Seth Price

Rockwell Automation will host the 29th Annual Automation Fair on November 16-20.

Subtitled “At Home,” the sessions will be virtual this year due to COVID-19, which has impacted all industry events. 


Automation Fair At Home Event

Automation Fair was in person in the past, with technical sessions, demonstrations, and a trade show. This year, everything will be delivered to the attendees online.

Registration is free, though some of their hands-on activities require an additional fee. The registration process only takes a few short minutes to complete. If you are not registering for hands-on labs, you can view the virtual fair, and links will be sent to you as the event approaches. 

If you would like to attend the hands-on labs, you can add them and then enter the paywall to complete your full registration. Most of the hands-on labs are $99 and run for two hours.

The automation fair will contain several technical discussions and some hands-on labs. 


Variety of Technical Tracks

The technical talks are organized into six tracks titled: Bold Conversations, DX Strategists, Hands-on Labs, Perspectives, Process Solutions User Group, and Product and Technology Sessions. In addition to these, ten industrial panels will occur during the event.


The Automation Fair event graphic. Image courtesy of Rockwell Automation


The Bold Conversations track features conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Talks include “Equity in Early STEM education,” that discusses how outreach efforts can impact young learners, and “Inclusive Leadership during the Time of the Pandemic,” that addresses the issues of engaging remote teams of different backgrounds and situations. 

DX Strategist sessions are focused on the efficient and safe production of goods. Discussions in this track include “Enabling Workplace Continuity: Keeping Operations Going in Times of Crisis” and more specific topics like “Automotive 20/20: The State of Industry 4.0.” 

There are Hands-on Labs for Studio5000, PowerFlex, ThinManager, Emulate3D, BasicStratix, and other software packages. Attendees do not need to have any Rockwell Automation equipment but can access the labs via a web browser. The registration page provides a link to test your internet speed and suitability of the browser before purchasing a registration. Seats are limited for the Hands-on labs.

The Perspectives track has sessions led by Rockwell Automation engineers. These sessions discuss some of the pathways to automate industrial projects using Rockwell products.


Forums and Sessions

Product and Technology sessions get more specific and deal with certain automation software and solutions. These sessions are a companion to the Hands-on Labs, as they cover some of the same software platforms and interfaces.


A screenshot of the session guide for the event. Image courtesy of Rockwell Automation


If you are a user of PlantPAx distributed control systems, you will find the Process Control User Group sessions valuable. These sessions target how to fine-tune these systems and keep them secure from cyberattacks. 

The industrial forums are focused on case studies and specific automation solutions. There are forums concerning the mining, oil and gas, chemical, water, life sciences, metals, energy, food, and beverage manufacturing industries, and a few others that cover more general topics. 

In the pandemic and post-pandemic world, automation will play a larger role in how manufacturing is conducted. The Rockwell Automation Fair provides its attendees with the opportunity to envision automation in their facility.