At our fifth consecutive year at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida, this past February, I couldn’t help but think how far we’ve come as a company since our first visit to that show in 2014. Back then, the Ignition platform had only been around for a short time. We were the new kid on the block and we often heard questions like “Who is Inductive Automation?” and “What the heck is Ignition?”
Boy, have things changed in the past five years! It seems like a lot more folks recognize us now and we’re pleased to be playing a role in the transformation of industry as the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 accelerate across nearly every sector of the manufacturing space.
The 2018 ARC Industry Forum was the largest ever, both in terms of attendance and sponsorship. Still, I was impressed with the number of familiar faces I saw there this year. Five years ago, we had no Ignition customers making presentations at ARC. This year we had several, including Chris Hemric from RJ Reynolds, Dan Stauft and Craig Langhals from SugarCreek, Jason Hamlin from the City of Lynchburg, Va., Charles Lame from Pioneer Natural Resources, and Tim Alexander from Deschutes Brewery.
Introducing Ignition Onboard
We kicked things off by announcing our new Ignition Onboard program. The program involves device manufacturers embedding Ignition and Ignition Edge software into the devices they manufacture. Ignition Onboard has the full version of Ignition pre-installed on devices.
We were pleased to announce that Advantech B+B SmartWorx, Hilscher, and Opto 22 are putting Ignition Edge on their products and that KEBA, Brown Engineers, Tyrion Integration, Azul Systems & Nexoforge are embedding the full version of Ignition.
And this is just the beginning! Around a dozen additional companies have shown real interest in the program. By partnering with manufacturers who are bundling their hardware and our software together into an all-in-one solution, we’re hoping to enable an end-to-end IIoT solution that’s fully integrated, affordable, and easy to manage.
Biscuits, Gravy, and Industry 4.0
After announcing Ignition Onboard, we held a breakfast presentation to provide some real detail about the program, and 85 people attended. That’s 85 people who showed up at 7 a.m. to learn more about Ignition!
Our breakfast presentation was entitled “Biscuits, Gravy, and Industry 4.0 — Using Ignition to Connect Your Whole Enterprise.” Craig Resnick from ARC did the introduction.
The speakers included myself along with our Co-Director of Sales Engineering Kevin McClusky, Cirrus Link Solutions President & CTO Arlen Nipper, Advantech B+B SmartWorx President & CEO Jerry O’Gorman, and Opto 22 VP Benson Hougland. Each of these speakers spoke about the idea that the promised digital-industrial revolution is real, it’s happening, and companies can benefit from it now!
Kevin did a great demo of Ignition Onboard and even created a bit of social media buzz:
As part of the presentation, Arlen did an amazing demo that showed how industrial organizations can go from a brownfield installation to a full end-to-end IIoT infrastructure using Ignition and MQTT. It was a huge hit and and a perfect close to the breakfast.
Back at the Booth
Our booth was very busy again but unlike past years, this year most the visitors to our booth already knew who we were and had an idea about what Ignition could do. The growth of Ignition’s adoption was evident by the nature of the conversations and it’s exciting to see that transformation in the industry.
Kevin Takes the Stage (Again)
But it wasn’t all work and no play. Kevin, and Amanda and Kristine from the Public Affairs Division, managed to have a good time at the luau. Kevin (quite the multi-talented musician in his own right) managed to become an active participant on the drums as part of the evening’s entertainment.
The Beat Goes On
Overall, it was a great week at ARC! The Ignition community is growing, and we consider it a privilege and a responsibility to play a leadership role in that community. The response to the work we do is so rewarding, and it keeps us all motivated to continue the ongoing work of developing the Ignition platform and growing the skills of our team to better serve the industrial automation community.