Automation Fair Show Floor Entrance Banner

Automation Fair, Rockwell’s annual trade show and training event, is now just a few days away.

And although it’s one event I would like to attend every year, the fact that I recently transition into self employment as a full time automation consultant meant attending this year’s show wasn’t very practical.

However, while I won’t be making it out to the show myself, I still wanted to pass on my session recommendations for this year’s event.

Below you’ll find two lists of recommendations.

The first list are those sessions I would like to attend myself, and therefore are my recommendations for experienced users.

And the second list are my recommend sessions for new users:

My Session Picks for experienced users:

My all time favorite sessions are of the “What’s New” variety.

And since I’m an A-B PLC / HMI / SCADA guy at heart, these are the first three sessions on my list:

Automation-Fair-2011-03Tech Session T02: What’s New in Logix

This session promises to cover the new controllers and I/O being released!

I’m guessing quite a bit will be discussed about the 1756-L85E, aka 5580, as well as the new 5069 I/O we discussed yesterday.

Tech Session T11: What’s New in Studio 5000

This session is said to be covering what’s new, as well as plans for the future.

I expect a lot of the discussion will be about all the new features in versions 24, 26, and 27, as well as what will be in v28.

Automation Fair Registration and Badge PickupTech Session T14: What’s New in Visualization

What’s new in Viz will likely cover the PV800, PVPlus 7, and maybe even the PV5500.

I would also expect a lot of discussion about 8.0 and 8.1 of View Studio and ViewPoint, and possibly Studio Designer’s future?

Tech Session T08: Modernize Your Control System

I expect a good portion of this session will focus on the improvements to Rockwell’s PLC/SLC import utility.

Tech Session T42: Safety Over EtherNet/IP with Compact GuardLogix, Kinetix and PowerFlex Drives

You had me at Compact GuardLogix.

While I’ve never been much of a “Motion Control” guy, I do know demand for the “yet to be announced” Compact GuardLogix is pretty high, and would love to hear all the details about this new product.

PlantPAx booth at Automation Fair 2013Tech Session T49: Discovering the Functionality of the Rockwell Automation Library of Process Objects

I’m a fan of the very powerful (but somewhat complicated) Library of Process Objects.
Hopefully this session covers what’s new as opposed to the same content shown previous years.

Tech Session T70: RF Ideas, Inc.: How to Reduce Unauthorized Equipment Access

Let me just say I think RF Ideas makes some really cool stuff, especially when combined with FT View and products like Relevance from ACP.

Tech Session T17: eWON: Easily Access a PanelView HMI from any Smartphone or Tablet

The first time I used an eWon Cozy I was impressed with its ease of use out of the bow.

That said, I’m curious if this session is anything more than remote access to PanelView Plus running ViewPoint?

Automation Fair Hands-on Labs signupTech Session T32: Panduit: Simplifying Infrastructure for The Connected Enterprise

Don’t laugh! These guys have some awesome physical Ethernet products, and I’d enjoy an update of their line.

Hands-on Lab L07: Sensors for Your Architecture with IO-Link

Since I haven’t touched Rockwell’s IO Link since it launched, it would be nice to sit down and see what the current implementation is like.

Hands-on Lab L17: Studio 5000 View Designer™ Featured on the PanelView 5000

While this is the last session on my list, it would be quite near the top of my priorities as I’m not likely to have the opportunity to use a PV5500 anytime in the near future (unless someone at Rockwell would like to donate one to the blog?)

My Session Picks for new users:

Now that I’ve covered the sessions I would like to attend, here’s the ones I would recommend to those new to Rockwell Automation:

Automation Fair Hands-on labs openingsHands-on Lab L18: Studio 5000 and Logix Basics Lab

These “Hands-on with Logix” sessions have been top notch since they first came out over a decade ago, and are my number one pick for new users.

Hands-on Lab L19: Studio 5000 and Logix Advanced Lab

This session picks up where the last one left off, and is perfect for those whose job includes programming Compact and ControlLogix.

Hands-on Lab L08: Introduction to the PlantPAx Process System for Operations and System Engineering

After the basics and advanced sessions, it makes sense to check out Rockwell’s PlantPAx as it includes many free resources to speed program development.

Automation Fair Hands-on Labs SignHands-on Lab L12: Basic PLC Programming with Micro800® Controllers

The Micro800 line of Nano PLCs from Rockwell programs quite differently than say the SLC-500, MicroLogix, or Compact/ControlLogix platform.

With that in mind, it makes sense to get an understanding of how they differ for those situations where a ultra low cost control system is needed.

Hands-on Lab L16: FactoryTalk View Machine Edition and PanelView Plus: Introductory Lab

Rockwell’s line of HMI’s that works with every PLC and PAC they make is the PanelView Plus.

So while the PanelView 800 has it’s place in low cost non-Logix systems, and those on the leading edge may want to try the new PanelView 5500, If you can only take only one HMI session at Automation Fair this year I would recommend this one.

Hands-on Lab L11: Building Applications with FactoryTalk® View SE and FactoryTalk ViewPoint

Finally, for anyone who also needs to configure or maintain a SCADA system, this “building applications” session for View Site Edition is a great follow-up to the previous View Machine Edition session.

Well, that’s if for my Automation Fair 2015 session picks.

If you have any comments about my session choices, or would like to share your own picks, please feel free to share them using the “post a comment or question” link below.

And for complete Automation Fair session information check out as well as Rockwell’s pre-show guide below:

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at

If you found this content helpful, consider buying me a coffee here.

shawntierney avatar



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here