The 28th Annual ARC Industry Leadership Forum
Accelerate Transformation in the Age of AI, Cybersecurity, and Sustainability

February 4-8, 2024 - Orlando, Florida

Executive Keynotes Highlight Increased Business Performance Through AI, Digital Twins, and Sustainability

The 28th Annual ARC Industry Leadership Forum in Orlando once again featured robust attendance driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies like AI, digital twins, edge computing, cybersecurity, and the Open Process Automation Forum. While many industry conferences focus on technology alone, the ARC Forum looks at these technologies as enablers for the business and operational excellence goals of industrial and critical infrastructure end users. As always, the speakers at the keynotes and case study sessions were end users sharing their experience with deploying these technologies to achieve their business goals. 

ARC Industry Leadership Forum 2024

Wade Maxwell of ExxonMobil Discusses “The And Equation”

Wade Maxwell kicked off Tuesday's executive keynotes with a comprehensive look at how ExxonMobil is approaching the issue of sustainability and emissions reduction. Wade is vice president of engineering at ExxonMobil Technology and Engineering, and leads the development and deployment of Wade Maxwell of ExxonMobilengineering resources across all ExxonMobil business lines and Technical Centers. Exxon Technology Research and Engineering has over 10,000 scientists, project managers, and engineers, and serves as a technical competence, technology hydrogen standards, practices, and tools to ensure effective and consistent application.

Wade shared ExxonMobil’s vision of "the and equation.” Oil and gas will remain primary sources of energy well into the future, and “the and equation” describes how ExxonMobil will continue to serve a large portion of the world’s energy needs and reduce emissions at the same time. ExxonMobil is well advanced into investing $22 billion in sustainability initiatives, and the company views openness and interoperability as enablers for faster technology development and deployment at scale.

Wade zeroed in on several primary areas where ExxonMobil is doing this, including carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, and other sustainability related solutions such as plastics recycling. Wade also discussed ExxonMobil’s new approaches to operations that can significantly reduce emissions and increase safety, as well as the application of artificial intelligence and the continued advancement of standards and interoperability, including the Open Process Automation (OPA) and digital twins. 

Mike Carroll of Georgia Pacific

Mike Carroll of Georgia Pacific on the Future of Agents

Mike Carroll, vice president of innovation at Georgia Pacific, talked about his team’s groundbreaking work beyond Generative AI to Automated Reasoning and Special Purpose Intelligence. Mike’s presentation focused on the business need for AI, and the numerous areas that AI could address as we move into a new age that is dominated by generative AI. Mike cited many examples of the current business challenges facing the world of manufacturing today, citing both the wave of baby boomers leaving the workforce and the “productivity plateau,” where US manufacturing productivity leveled off and even decreased somewhat in the early 2010s.

According to Mike, the plateau of productivity was really about a huge loss of knowledge and deep experience, with an ever increasing number of baby boomers retiring from the workforce. The trend was only exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, with an enormous amount of deep knowledge and expertise exiting the workforce at roughly the same time as the productivity plateau.

AI, and more importantly the concept of “agency,” will help us navigate through this increasingly challenging time of capturing the knowledge of experienced workers, turning the enormous amount of data in organizations into useful and actionable information, and sharing this knowledge and information throughout the organization. True AI should possess three things: the ability to learn, the ability to take what is learned and provide or predict future outcomes, and the ability to reason and make a decision.

Greg Gorbach, ARC Advisory Group

Greg Gorbach of ARC Outlines Key Competitive Risks for Industry and Infrastructure

The second half of executive keynotes and panel discussions on Tuesday was kicked off by ARC vice president Greg Gorbach, who touched on some of the key challenges facing manufacturers and industrial end users, from sustainability related concerns to workforce issues, and how companies are becoming more competitive through the application of AI and digital transformation technologies.

Greg then provided a deeper dive into how industrial AI and other key technologies are accelerating DTX in energy and manufacturing industries Greg’s presentation closed with a call to action for end users to clarify and refresh their digital strategy, acquire the skills necessary to succeed, accelerate their energy transition strategy, and use technology to drive productivity, innovation, and growth. 

Industrial AI Panel Discussion

Tuesday’s keynotes concluded with a panel discussion on the impact of industrial AI featuring Kence Anderson, founder of intelligent agent developer Composabl, Microsoft general manager of manufacturing & mobility, Simon Floyd, Siemens CEO of automation Axel Lorenz, AVEVA EVP of business strategy and realization Rashesh Mody, and director of AI applications at IBM Research Jayant Kalagnanam.

Panelists shared many concrete examples of AI at work in vendor offerings, including the IBM virtual operator assistant for alarm response, Siemens use of generative AI in its sales process, and AVEVA’s implementation of AI-based solutions at BP, PETRONAS, and Hyundai. Kence summed up the business value of AI by stating that AI “should be able to tell you what’s happening in addition to telling you what to do.” According to Kence, the knowledge of the operators is one of the most valuable things they have. Axel Lorenz commented on the role of sustainability by stating, “I don’t think there will be any improvement in sustainability without digitalization, and no digitalization without AI. “

ARC Industry Leadership Forum 2024

Jayant of IBM discussed his company’s ongoing research into multi-modal AI, with a specific focus on how to train AI using time-series data and images, and on developing AI use cases for Maximo. Rashesh of AVEVA echoed a lot of the sentiment on how industry has been using AI for decades, but started to get into AI being the new UI for a wide range of operator assistance, particularly in the form of copilots for operators. For Microsoft, this has obviously been a big year for Copilot, and Simon spent time dispelling some of myths about generative AI and how we might successfully approach generative design in a more effective manner. 

Mike Guilfoyle, ARC Advisory Grouop

Wednesday Keynotes: Commercializing the Energy Transition

The Day 2 executive keynotes began with a presentation from ARC vice president Mike Guilfoyle on commercializing the industrial energy transition. AI, clean energy transition, and analytics will be the three primary technologies moving forward, and analytics and AI will be the key enablers for clean energy technology. Though still in an emerging state, sustainability has been good business for both industrial suppliers and end users, and Mike briefly described the new Sustainability Data as a Service (SDaaS) offering from ARC that helps clients quickly identify sustainability related opportunities in the world of industry and infrastructure. SDaaS can remove unpredictability, lower cost and complexity of decision making, and minimize the risk associated with those decisions. 

Andrew Obin, Bank of America: The Role of Sustainability in Industrials

Andrew Obin, Research Analyst at Bank of America securities, is a perennial guest at the ARC Forum, and always provides an excellent financial perspective of what’s happening in the market for industrials. This year, Andrew’s presentation focused on the role of sustainability and energy transition issues. According to Andrew, climate related issues are dominating the public company conversation.

Andrew Obin, Bank of America Prior to COVID, the US spent about .4 percent of GDP on sustainability related industrial policy, while Germany spent .5 percent or more, and other EU countries have spent more traditionally. Today, the US spends .8 percent of GDP on sustainability related industrial policy since the passing of the $1.8 trillion stimulus package. According to Andrew, the most recent stimulus is structured quite differently from what the US has done before. It doesn't peak until 2026 and will run until 2031. The stimulus was designed so that a lot of these projects are in “red states,” and $2.4 trillion is needed to address and meet net zero targets laid out for the US over the next five years, according to BofA (Bank of America) research.

Andrew stated that carbon footprint reduction does not need to be a dirty word. Most companies are enhancing energy efficiency and switching to clean energy sources. Carbon capture facilities have also been growing significantly. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Section 45 Q tax credits for capturing carbon have increased to $85 per ton, and most companies can do this at a much lower cost, making CCUS extremely profitable, which is why we see so much activity in CCUS now, including the ExxonMobil acquisition of Denbury referenced earlier, the acquisition of Carbon Engineering by Occidental, and more. 

Katheryn Scott, US Department of Energy

Katheryn Scott of US DOE on Pillars of Decarbonization

Katheryn Scott, engineer, market analysis at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions laid out the department’s views on commercialization opportunities for the energy transition, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors. US DOE sees five pillars of industrial decarbonization, including energy efficiency, electrification, low carbon energy, CCUS, and sustainable power. Typical decarbonization myths busted by Katheryn’s presentation are that the technology is not ready, investments don't pay off, and people don't know how to start. Key industries covered in the presentation include chemicals, refining, iron and steel, food and beverage, and cement.

Katheryn gave plenty of commercially viable decarbonization opportunities in all these industries. In iron and steel, for example, industrial electrification is taking hold with new electric arc furnaces, along with an increased focus on energy efficiency. Investing in sustainability can create a net positive return, and the DoE estimates there is $5 billion in sustainability investments that have a 10 percent or more internal rate of return. 

Sustainability Panel Discussion with Dow, Schneider Electric

The Wednesday keynotes concluded with a sustainability focused panel discussion featuring Billy Bardin of Dow and Nathalie Marcotte of Schneider Electric. Billy is the global climate transition director for Dow, accountable for the development of Dow’s strategy to transition to a carbon neutral future. Nathalie Marcotte is SVP and president of process automation at Schneider Electric, responsible for the growth of the automation portfolio, which is comprised of industry-leading safety systems, distributed control systems, measurements, software and services.

ARC Industry Leadership Forum Executive Panel Discussion

Dow and Schneider are good examples of a user and a supplier company that are making strides in sustainability. Dow, for example, has begun work on its Path2Zero Fort Saskatchewan, Canada, which will triple the company’s ethylene and polyethylene site production capacity, while the retrofit of the brownfield facility will make it a net zero emissions site. Schneider Electric is leveraging its capabilities in asset electrification with its competence in power management and automation to create complete solutions for companies to achieve greater energy efficiency and sustainability.

The discussion emphasized the human centric aspects of deploying sustainability-related initiatives. The triad of people, processes, and technology is essential to the success of any project in any enterprise, and often the people aspect can be the biggest challenge. Similar to what many end users find when they embark on digital transformation projects, barriers between IT and OT must be overcome, workers must be trained properly and have the correct work processes, and business goals and processes must be clearly defined to ensure the success of sustainability initiatives. 

Featured Speakers

The following executives are featured speakers at the Forum.

Wade Maxwell

Vice President of Engineering    
ExxonMobil Technology and Engineering

Wade MaxwellWade’s mission is to develop and deploy engineering resources across all ExxonMobil business lines and Technical Centers. This includes ownership of the Engineering Capability, including technical competence, technology standards, practices, and tools to ensure effective and consistent application. During his 30 years with ExxonMobil he has held a variety of roles across all geographic regions including Singapore, Japan, Belgium, and the United States of America. Wade has experience in refining operations, supply and optimization, engineering, strategic planning and line ownership for the integrated fuels business and procurement. Wade has recently been elected as Chair of the Engineering Leadership Council, within the International Oil & Gas Producers Association, where the senior leaders of 12 major engineering IOC/NOCs steer pre-competitive technical collaboration.

Michael Carroll

Vice President of Innovation   

Michael CarrollMike is a dynamic industry executive with a diverse background. He has a robust track record of driving innovation, leading organizational transformation, and boosting profitability in top-tier companies. Mike's groundbreaking work beyond Generative AI to Automated Reasoning and Special Purpose Intelligence has led International Data Corporation (IDC) to create an entirely new domain, named "Deep Automation". He is recognized for his expertise in leadership, innovation, organizational transformation, and intellectual honesty. As a leader in industrial transformation (IX), Mike is known for orchestrating innovative changes in companies, guiding them toward becoming a "Limitless Enterprise" that maximizes technology's potential and delivers tangible value.

Simon Floyd

Simon FloydGeneral Manager, Manufacturing & Mobility Industries    

Simon is the General Manager for Manufacturing & Mobility Industries in the Americas at Microsoft. His career spans 32 years from Australia to the United States, with expertise in product design, digital manufacturing, and smart products – with a focus on industry advancement through technology. Simon recently rejoined Microsoft from Google Cloud, where he was the Global Manufacturing Industry leader. Formerly at Microsoft, Simon held leadership roles in Enterprise Services and Industry Solutions for Manufacturers. Simon has authored patents in solar power generation, residential architectural products and product lifecycle management software.

Additional Speakers are listed on the Registration Page. 
To view, click on a speaker and then scroll back up to see their bio and sessions.  
Executive Speakers

Forum Topics

Industrial AI, Data Fabric, and Metaverses

Industrial AI, a subset of the broader field of artificial intelligence (AI), refers to the application of AI technologies (including Generative AI) in industrial settings to augment the workforce in pursuit of growth, profitability, more sustainable products and production processes, enhanced customer service, and business outcomes. Industrial AI leverages machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and other approaches. Some of these techniques have been used for decades to build AI systems using data from various sources within an industrial environment, such as sensors, machinery, industrial engineers, and frontline workers.

It's still all about data, and how to leverage public and enterprise data securely to protect and preserve IP, while garnering new insights, reducing waste, and achieving new levels of productivity and business process optimization by leveraging industrial grade AI solutions. Breakthroughs in Generative AI, and the massive investments being made to drive its mainstream adoption are changing the whole software landscape, creating new alliances and partnerships, and how we interact with software in our daily lives, and on the manufacturing shop floor.

New software design patterns accommodating the desire to leverage Generative AI, are driving new requirements for the Industrial Data Fabric at the core of industrial organizations digital transformation.

This program will:

  • Cut through the confusion surrounding AI in the industrial space
  • Highlight new AI breakthroughs such as Large Language Models for Generative AI
  • Provide a useful conceptual framework for governing and prioritizing Industrial AI use cases
  • Provide context for how AI relates to Industrial Metaverse, Industrial Data Fabric, etc.
  • Present case studies and examples from early adopters of Industrial AI
  • Provide industrial companies the information they need to begin their own Industrial AI journey
Transforming to 21st Century Operations

IT OT ET ConvergenceLeading industrial companies are actively engaged in transformation programs that will reshape their production operations to be more integrated, responsive, and optimized to meet business and customer needs.  Realizing these innovations requires an understanding of the emerging 21st century operations ecosystem and how it interacts with business, engineering, supply chain, and other organizations.  Today's connected environments surface machine data that was heretofore unavailable, and so enable new business models.   New systems may monitor the assets, and new actors may interact with the assets in new ways.  Industrial plant operations, typically siloed and fairly isolated today, will be reshaped as the core of a 21st century industrial production operations ecosystem.  A similar evolution is taking place for field operations - such as mining or agriculture.  In other cases, such as automotive, where the assets operate in public spaces and both the assets and ecosystems are evolving quickly, other factors come into play. 

In 21st century production operations, work is accomplished with a combination of internal and external actors (such as asset manufacturers, 3rd party machine monitoring services, spare parts suppliers, etc.), putting new demands on data requirements and cybersecurity strategies.  New types of production systems (such as additive manufactuiring) and new types of data are being generated (from wearables, vision systems, machine health sensors, etc.).  And digital twins and machine learning systems can work at various levels to optimize the overall system in synchrony with the needs of customers and business operations. 

An important enabler for this  innovation in industrial companies is the convergence of IT (Information Technology at the enterprise level), OT (Operations Technology, the information and automation technologies employed in the plant), and ET (Engineering Technology, the newer technologies that create virtual models).  IT/OT/ET convergence is among the drivers of the digital transformation that leading companies are embarking upon.  A wide range of technologies, such as Ethernet/Wi-Fi, virtualization, cloud, SaaS, analytics, Big Data, mobile, social, modeling, augmented reality, machine learning, remote monitoring, and digital twin are now being employed in industrial operations to improve operating performance, create a virtual environment, or introduce the Industrial Internet of Things.  But the big payoff comes when companies begin to operate in new, collaborative ways across the whole of the enterprise.

This program features speakers talking about moving to 21st century operating models, and how they utilized the IT/OT/ET enablers of digitization and innovation to improve performance in their production operations and throughout their organizations.

Energy Transition and Industrial Sustainability

Energy transition and sustainability are now being woven into the core business strategies of industrial companies, who now have the mandate and opportunity to tackle environmental and social challenges. What are the market drivers behind the dramatic uptick in board-level attention - and the ensuing formalization and execution - of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies? How are companies tackling decarbonization, new tracking requirements, and the many, complex threads associated with the energy transition and improved environmental stewardship? How are these efforts being balanced with demands for financial performance, reliability, and ongoing digital transformation?

Companies who are more advanced in their digital journeys are already integrating sustainability and energy transition initiatives, together with competitive excellence, resilience and agility, and workforce goals, into a comprehensive strategy driving towards becoming a focused, integrated, digital organization.  Powered by transformative technologies, innovative processes, and data, they are creating smart integrated systems that can develop new insights and, in some cases, even automate decision making, while optimizing to corporate performance goals and improving competitive excellence. These new systems can also support improved cybersecurity, helping industrial companies protect against a significant and growing risk.

Asset Performance Management

Asset Performance Management incorporates Industrial IoT (IIoT) and new analytics solutions like machine learning.  It uses information from production management, control systems, and asset management applications to provide new opportunities to optimize asset availability and operational performance.  This optimization goes beyond functional silos and occurs between silos where significant inefficiency, waste, and sometimes dysfunction often reside. 

Balancing the objectives of operations for on-time delivery, volume, and quality with those of maintenance for asset availability, longevity, and reliability requires sharing information and harmonizing these objectives with the goals of the enterprise.  New information technologies provide functionality to intensify cross-functional collaboration, business process improvements, and higher levels of performance to achieve asset performance management excellence. 

The ability to interact with equipment – like a variety of devices on a single site, or widely dispersed machines – presents new opportunities for industrial companies, utilities, and equipment suppliers.  These networks provide a new “connected ecosystem” of equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and end users.  Some manufacturers and utilities have begun adopting these technologies.

Those attending this Asset Performance Management program will learn what was successful, and gain insights into what is next.  The objective is to make fact-based decisions using reliable information that aligns with the organization’s objectives.  An APM strategy helps ensure the best possible returns on capital investments over the lifecycle of the asset.  If you are involved in operations, maintenance, or industrial IT, you will want to attend these program sessions.

Automation Innovations

We have entered a period of intense innovation in industrial automation.  In the areas of high value-added manufacturing there is growing global competition.  Countries with developed economies want to maintain and grow their existing competitive advantages and support their exporting industries.  Countries with developing economies want to improve their competitiveness as well.

This competition is, in part, taking the form of national initiatives to improve manufacturing competitiveness.  These initiatives are found in Germany, the US, Japan, Korea, and China.  In the US the Industrial Internet Consortium has formed. Platform Industrie 4.0 is the German initiative; the “4.0” referring to a 4th industrial revolution (following steam, mass production, and IT).  This can be thought of as a set of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital, and biological worlds, and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.

Some of the topics that will be covered in the sessions for this program include:

Devices that will use the future 2‐wire Ethernet standard now in development by the IEEE 802.3cg committee. This 2019 standard will enable high speed communication to process field devices over distances as long as 1 kM.

The Open Process Automation Forum:  The Latest Update
The Open Group’s Open Process Automation Forum is noteworthy for several reasons.  First, because of its genesis within ExxonMobil, a leading international oil company with a long reputation for operational excellence.  Second, because the products of this program will be technologically quite different from the process automation systems used today.  Third, because the value chain envisioned for this program is also quite different from the way the process automation market works today.  The latest developments in this initiative will be presented and discussed.

Industrial Automation and the Industrie 4.0/Industrial Internet Initiatives
What will be the impact on manufacturing and automation of these major national initiatives?  How will the process industries, discrete manufacturers, and automation suppliers adapt and change their products in response to these programs?  What are thought leaders in Europe and North America doing now and planning for the next few years? End users will present the current programs for rapid integration of skid-mounted process systems, based on the Module Type Package (MTP) initiative of the NAMUR group in Europe. Also, European end users will discuss their pilot work with the future 2‐wire “single pair Ethernet” standard now in development by the IEEE 802.3cg committee. This 2019 standard will enable high speed communication to process field devices over distances as long as 1 kM.

Cybersecurity for Digitalization and Sustainability

New business processes are driving higher performance and lower costs across the industrial landscape. Companies are leveraging new developments in cloud computing, AI, IoT, edge solutions, and digital twins to identify bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement.  Technological developments are likewise driving improvements in the safety and reliability of critical operations.  Benefits from these developments can be large, but they can be quickly erased unless companies also address the increased risks of serious, costly cyber incidents. 

Smart Companies Address the Cybersecurity Implications of Digitalization

Industrial cybersecurity has never been more important. New business processes and technologies are rapidly expanding the pathways for attackers to steal information and disrupt operations.  At the same time, industrial security teams are struggling to deal with ransomware and sophisticated nation-state attacks.  This situation is jeopardizing worker safety, delivery of critical services, and the operational continuity of plants and facilities that fuel profitability.

Conventional industrial IT and OT security programs weren’t designed to handle all of these new challenges.  Digitalized organizations need security strategies that monitor, control, and coordinate security across every corporate device, application, system, and network regardless of where it is located.  Security programs also need to ensure consistent management across IT, ET, OT, Cloud, Mobile and IoT environments.  Likewise, security needs to span every business process and worker regardless of where, when, and how they are performed.  Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that addresses the current and emerging risks of digitalization has never been more urgent. 

The Industrial Cybersecurity program at the 2023 ARC Industry Form Americas addresses these issues with informative workshops, panel discussions, and case study presentations.  It is the ideal venue to learn what others are doing, how they are doing it, and the benefits they are achieving.  Attendees will also have opportunities to discuss their unique challenges with peers, researchers, educators, service providers, and solution providers.

Digital Twins and Connected Smart Machines

Autonomy and intelligence embedded pervasively in automation equipment is one of the key attributes to realization of connected smart machinery.  Connected smart machinery is important in virtually every application imaginable, but is even more valuable in cases where there is limited communications.  Machinery that analyzes and compresses large data sets are essential to ensuring that the data traffic on the Internet does not overwhelm the system or data can be analyzed local to the device.  The connected smart machine will require not just more sensors, but also more intelligent sensors.  Sensors must perform more sophisticated signal processing “at the edge” to provide accurate signals that filter out the noise before it gets to the automation system. 

In this program, machine builders employing intelligent sensors into the machinery to perform complex condition monitoring algorithms into automation systems will be highlighted.  Key topics for discussion include:

  • Creating new maintenance service revenue streams for machine builders
  • Development of equipment protection algorithms that increase resilience of machinery to stay operational for much longer periods of time.
  • Adaptive control algorithms allowing systems to operate over a wider range.
  • Predictive condition monitoring systems that use real-time control algorithms to provide a new level of maintenance information.
  • Exploring the potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to combine the benefits of multivariate analysis, predictive modeling, and inferential information to preempt abnormal situations.
Digital Workforce and Culture

The digital transformation of industry, infrastructure, and cities is under way, with new business processes, services, and models being pursued. This energy and investment is a rational response by organizations to digital economies that present new and very real opportunities. When combined appropriately, data and technology can provide competitive advantage, that – in some cases – enables organizations to leapfrog their peers.

Yet, when planning or executing this transformation, what is often missing is a focus on the human element of digital transformation.  Where do people fit in? The changes that digital transformation will have on the workforce are likely to be the most far-reaching and sustained effects.  Not only will digital transformation change the number of people needed to do work, it will rewrite how that work gets. Those going through digital transformation quickly realize that managing the human element can be the most difficult aspect.  However, as they work through their journey, people begin to better understand the human-centric benefits of digital transformation.  Enabled by technology, the workforce will become more empowered to identify challenges, adapt to circumstances, and find new ways to solve problems.

This program will:

  • Discuss digital transformation through the lens of people, examining the changes in the workforce as organizations become increasingly data-enabled and service-based.
  • Identify the common human-centered challenges to successful digital transformation.
  • Provide a framework for creating an organizational strategy and culture for digital change  
  • Present case studies of how companies organized people and work cultures around digital-first thinking
  • Outline how to evolve customer relationships and engagement for a digital world
Industrial IoT Platforms, Edge Infrastructure, and End Devices

Industrial Internet platforms are emerging as pivotal, value-added components of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architecture.  These platforms add incremental value by functioning not only as the glue linking connected industrial devices to higher level performance-enhancing applications, but also as the execution environment for the applications themselves.

IoTIndustrial Internet platforms play an integral role in analytics, big data, remote asset monitoring, performance management, decision support, universal visualization, and the value chains for connected products and products-as-a-service.  The ability of these applications to access, analyze, and process industrial data is central to the IIoT value proposition. 

Industrial Internet platforms architecturally reside between intelligent devices and higher levels of the enterprise architecture.  Device connectivity platforms monitor, collect, process, and transmit data from a variety of intelligent sensors, devices, machines, products, and other assets to higher levels of the architecture, while analytics, big data, machine learning, and numerous other applications that deliver incremental process improvements typically reside in enterprise-level platforms.

The IoT network edge has emerged as a primary vehicle for delivering incremental business value via internet-enabled business strategies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrie 4.0 (I4.0), and Smart Cities and Infrastructure. 

Escalating demands to feed information from data-rich intelligent edge devices to the cloud is one of the most pressing issues facing OT and IT professionals in the era of internet-enabled business strategies.  Standard options include support of common API or protocols, but cloud-based agents themselves are migrating into network edge devices.  These agents are increasingly viewed as not only vehicles for closer edge-to-cloud integration, but also as platforms for edge computing applications that execute locally, offloading processing from the cloud and providing enhanced security and closer to real time performance. 

This program will highlight current and prospective demands on both network edge infrastructure, such as gateways, routers, and switches, as well as smart end devices that function as edge nodes in the IoT architecture.  In addition, this program will look at the central role of Industrial Internet platforms in the emerging Industrial Internet of Things and how to use them to achieve incremental business benefit.

Supply Chain Sustainability

Supply Chain and the Attainment of ESG Goals
Companies are under increased pressure to reduce carbon emissions, ensure that they are not trading with bad actors across their extended supply chain, and are treating their employees and subcontractors fairly. Many large companies have announced the goal of becoming Net Zero by 2050. This will involve not just controlling internal carbon emissions, but Scope 3 emissions as well.  Clearly, reaching ESG goals will require not just participation from the supply chain team, but creativity and commitment. How can the supply chain team participate in reaching these goals across the factory floor, warehouses transportation, and importing/exporting? What tools are needed? How do processes, like integrated business planning, need to change? How do procurement, planning, manufacturing, and distribution need to collaborate?

Artificial Intelligence in the Supply Chain
Many large enterprises use one form or another of a supply chain application to help manage their supply chains. Supply chain vendors have been touting their investments in artificial intelligence for the last several years. What artificial intelligence does well is make predictions. But what does the near future hold? Both predictive and generative artificial intelligence play a role in supplying intelligence to the supply chain. Predictive AI is focused on analyzing data and making predictions about future events, and generative AI is focused on creating new content based on existing data. As predictive AI has become more powerful, companies can make hundreds of what-if scenarios in minutes, across transportation, warehouse, and supply chain planning functions. Generative AI is more intuitive and easier to harness. This will enable workers with less experience to operate at higher levels, helping to bridge the talent gap. There is more promise in broader applications such as code generation, knowledge management, and user interfaces.

Agenda at a Glance

Full Schedule

Monday, February 5

8:30 AMWorkshop Sessions
10:00 AMBreak
10:30 AMWorkshop Sessions
2:00 PMWorkshop Sessions
3:30 PMBreak
4:00 PMWorkshop Sessions
6:00 PMWelcome Reception

Tuesday, February 6

8:30 AMKeynote Presentations
10:00 AMBreak
10:30 AMExecutive Panel
12:00 PMLunch
2:00 PMConcurrent Track Sessions
3:30 PMBreak
4:00 PMConcurrent Track Sessions
5:30 PMEvening Reception

Wednesday, February 7

8:30 AMKeynote and Executive Panel
10:00 AMBreak
10:30 AMConcurrent Track Sessions
12:00 PMLunch
2:00 PMConcurrent Track Sessions
3:30 PMBreak
4:00 PMConcurrent Track Sessions
6:30 PMEvening Reception

Thursday, February 8

8:30 AMConcurrent Track Sessions
10:00 AMBreak
10:30 AMConcurrent Track Sessions
12:00 PMForum Ends

Attendee Perspectives

It was an honor and pleasure to be invited to speak at the ARC event.  I was impressed with the level of knowledge I was exposed to at this conference; this will become an annual event for me.  A sincere thank you to ARC for organizing a "WOW" event.

Marty Martin
Director, Process Control Technology
Air Liquide

ARC Advisory Group industry events are extremely valuable (to Saudi Aramco).  ARC is the barometer for our industry.

Abdullah Al-Khalifah
Senior Engineering Consultant
Saudi Aramco

For me, since I’m from the pharma industry, coming to the ARC forum gives me a chance to interact with folks in like roles from different industries. It’s been very valuable for me to bring ideas and new connections back to my company and apply them to our business.

Kevin Fulton
Director of Engineering
Eli Lilly

It was a high honor for me to participate [at ARC's Forum] on behalf of the City of Orlando!

Charles Ramdatt
Director, Smart Cities and Special Projects
City of Orlando

Innovations Showcase

New industry solutions are on display at the Innovations Showcase.  The Showcase provides an excellent opportunity for executives to assess the potential for emerging applications in production management, interoperability, virtual manufacturing, process improvement, asset management, operations management, supply chain synchronization, and more.  Exhibits have application scenarios for attendees to see how emerging technologies are applied to help solve issues across all industries.

The Showcase is open during the Monday Evening Reception and during breakfasts, breaks, and lunches.  It is held adjacent to the forum where refreshments are served.




renaissance-exterior-crsm.jpgThe Forum is held at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld  
6677 Sea Harbor Drive  
Orlando, Florida  32821

Note:  Please make your hotel reservations by contacting the hotel directly.  Beware of any offers from third parties selling room reservations pretending to be calling on behalf of ARC or the hotel.

Please use this dedicated booking website to make or modify your Renaissance hotel reservations online: The ARC Forum 2024 group room rate is $239, based on availability, if reservations are made by January 12, 2024.

The Renaissance is just a short shuttle or taxi ride from the most popular Orlando attractions and within easy access of Orlando airports. Hotel amenities include complimentary 24 hour fitness center use; transportation to SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, and Universal Studios Orlando based on shuttle schedule; and public area wireless Internet.

Alternate Hotel 
Hilton Garden Inn Orlando at SeaWorld (directly next door to Renaissance Orlando) 
6850 Westwood Boulevard 
Orlando, Florida 32821 

The group room rate is $179, based on availability, if reservations are made by January 18, 2024.  To book online: ARC ADVISORY GROUP (

Orlando Visiting Information 
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