Accelerating the Industry: 28th Annual ARC Industry Forum

Posted by Dan White on Feb 12, 2024 3:18:25 PM

Opto 22's Director of Technical Marketing, Dan White, shares his experience from this year's annual ARC event.

In its 28th year, the ARC’s Industry Forum did not disappoint. I just returned from this cutting-edge event where tech enthusiasts and industry professionals gathered to explore the latest in smart manufacturing, digital transformation, and industrial automation, and I’m eager to share the highlights and heartbeats of this remarkable gathering. 

Safe to say, I am still reeling from all the action: Informative sessions with amazing speakers sharing their innovative approaches to solving real world challenges, enlightening keynote speakers who shared insights on our shared future in the industrial sector, a host of innovative companies sharing their latest tech solutions, and not to mention some thrilling evening programming to round out my week at the beautiful Renaissance Orlando at Sea World. 


Saluting Innovation and Collaboration

For my Opto 22 groov enthusiasts, a standout moment was Ravi Shukla’s presentation of a unique case study on the integration of groov products with Inductive Automation’s Ignition at Sanofi’s vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto. Sanofi is Canada’s largest vaccine manufacturer, and the integration of legacy I/O systems with serial protocols and Paragon SCADA on old Windows XP machines into modern groov EPIC systems with Ignition SCADA, helped Sanofi to achieve zero data loss, enhanced usability, and support for future Digital Transformation initiatives.


In this session, "Best Practices in Smart Manufacturing," a number of presenters shared their advice on digital transformation strategies. As a panelist, I was able to add some of my own insights, including what to look for in edge devices to ensure a modern and scalable IIoT system architecture. It was an engaging exchange of strategies, experiences, and visions for the future of manufacturing.


Evenings of Engagement: Topgolf and Universal CityWalk

After the day's sessions, the ARC Industry Forum transformed into an arena of entertainment and camaraderie, thanks to some unforgettable evening events. A standout was our night at Topgolf, graciously hosted by Inductive Automation. Amidst the glow of neon lights and a cool Florida breeze, we found ourselves in a spirited competition, swinging for the fences and sharing laughs. The combination of great food, refreshing libations, and the thrill of the game made for an evening where professional boundaries blurred into friendly rivalry and genuine personal connections.

But the revelry didn't end there. Another evening took us to Universal CityWalk, where Microsoft's hosted event unfolded in an extravaganza of lights, music, and entertainment. The highlight was undoubtedly the Rising Star Karaoke venue, which was alive with energy and tunes that kept us bouncing all night. The stage became a platform for us to unleash our inner rock stars, belting out hit after hit to an audience of peers and newfound friends. I took the plunge myself and had a blast!


Reflections on the ARC Industry Forum

As I reflect on the ARC Industry Forum, I'm filled with gratitude for the wealth of knowledge shared, the new connections forged, and the innovative spirit that permeated every session and sideline conversation. This forum was a testament to the dynamic and collaborative nature of our industry, driving home the point that together, we're not just navigating the future; we're shaping it.

To everyone who contributed to this enriching experience, from the organizers to the speakers, and every attendee in between: thank you. Your passion, expertise, and willingness to share are what make events like these a cornerstone for growth and innovation.

Here's to the next chapter in our collective journey towards a smarter, more connected industrial world. Until we meet again, keep innovating, keep collaborating, and keep pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

Topics: Events & conferences, groov EPIC, ARC Forum, industrial automation, digital transformation, smart manufacturing

Written by Dan White

Dan has worked at Opto 22 for more than a decade. His Tufts Engineering background, MBA in International Business, and prior industrial controls experience give him a unique edge in automation. Dan enjoys staying active through biking, basketball, skiing – and keeping up with his three young kids!
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