While most food companies appreciate the benefits of integrating automation, less than half surpass the "plant floor device" networking level, according toFood Engineering's 1999 Manufacturing Trends Survey. Climbing the integration ladder is not easy. Forty percent of respondents indicate networking to the "automation/control" level while only 19 percent use distributed process control. At the same time, nearly 56 percent noted being stuck with "scattered islands of control."

Learn how your plant can climb to the next rung on the integration ladder, by attending Food Engineering's Automation 2000 conference, being held February 13-16, 2000 in Atlanta, GA. For more information, call 800-358-0746.