JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 7 : July 3, 2000


  • "Unloved" Industrial Automation - Rumors buzz
  • eFeedback - Bluetooth
  • Where Intelligence Begins
  • Hot Book : The SymbioticMan - Joel de Rosnay
  • Industrial Marketing Practitioner

Industrial Automation Stocks Slide - Rumors Buzz

Industrial automation stock continued to take a beating this past week. You'll find lots of interesting information, with graphs, charts, facts and figures on the web. Take a look for yourself on the Yahoo Financial news website: Click

Honeywell Down, Emerson Up

Honeywell slid to $33 near its 52-week low of 32. A long-term Honeyweller, now ex, sent me this:

    "I have an unconfirmed rumor that P+F just bought the entire industrial proximity line from Honeywell Sensing and Control (a.k.a. Micro Switch). If this is true, it might be the preliminary signal that Honeywell is positioning itself to get out of the industrial control market and that the photoelectric line is probably next to go. I don't know if the "cash cow" industrial limit switch will be going but I do know that GE ED&C was private labeling that product and may be willing to take it over."

Emerson climbed 5% during the week and closed just above 60. Some people brought up rumors about Siemens making a bid for Emerson, which my high-within-Emerson source tells me (and I believe) is "Horse manure of the finest vintage".

Rockwell slides - how much further?

Rockwell slid to a 52-week low of $31 (ouch#&%@! I bought the stock at 38.00).

A Rockwell “deep throat” commented :

    "I keep hearing that Rockwell is doing better than last year but behind plan. They are laying off people, cutting expenses, stopping travel and training. Sounds like a short term tactic to boost the stock price or even clean up prior to being acquired. And meanwhile, Don Davis (the CEO) continues to collect his almost $3m salary…"

An ex-Allen-Bradley executive commented on my suggestion (eNews June 26, 2000) that Eaton and Rockwell should get together.

    "Eaton and Rockwell could never get together, unless Eaton was the surviving management team, here's why:
    • 1. Don Davis fired Randy Carson, who now heads Cutler-Hammer as the automation brains of Eaton
    • 2. Rockwell sold off all the automotive stuff a.k.a Meritor
    • 3. Rockwell is too arrogant."

Regarding my eNews story on the Rockwell/Omron alliance (eNews May 10, 2000) an Allen-Bradley insider emailed me :
    "It seems that the recent Omron/Rockwell news will apparently lead to merger or acquisition, but slowly and in 'stealth mode'..."

Industrial Automation "Unloved"

Regarding the stock-market slide, Mathieu van den Bergh writes :

    "I hope that the market will soon recognize that our old brick and mortar industries are undervalued. If we look at the market valuation of companies like Siemens, one wonders about Wall Street (in)sanity. I guess, we will need to experience a slight economic downturn, with the "dot-com companies" going out of business by the bunch before common sense sets back in".

Andrew Bond, editor of UK-based "SCADA Insider" brought this interesting item to my attention :

    "Roxboro (Solartron, Mobrey etc) are in negotiation with a VC to take the group private. Part of the explanation is that Roxboro is 'in an unloved sector'. The deal would value Roxboro at 210m UK pounds (17.9m UK pounds profit on 124.8m UK pounds sales in 1999). One for the revised urge to merge list before it goes unlisted!"

See my more extended coverage and commentary on this story
Click Roxboro - UK News and Commentary

Andrew continues, to echo Mathieu's point :

    "Interesting to speculate that automation companies are unable to take advantage of the dot-com effect when technology stocks rise but appear to suffer from it when they fall!"

My article gives you the background on these goings-on :

Changing Face of Automation "The Changing Face of Automation"

My previous tome includes sales vs. market-cap for all the industrial automation leaders :

The Urge to Merge Urge to Merge

eFeedback - Bluetooth

Commenting on my coverage of Bluetooth (eNews June 26, 2000) Hans Nilsson, Orsi Automazione S.p.A, Italy says :

    "The Bluetooth standard has been "hot" here in Europe for at least a year, and has been part of the European telecom surge. I am convinced that the use of standards such as Bluetooth will make things very different on the factory floor. I hope to see more instruments with Bluetooth chips. This will make it very easy to walk around and "communicate" with equipment around you. It will surely minimize the use of cables"

On the other side of the fence, a US technical marketer argues :

    "Bluetooth has four major problems : 1/ It has a very short range; 2/ It is expensive and will never come down in price; 3/ It has a limited number of nodes; and 4/ It has a long development cycle. I think there is a better chance of cell phone RF coming down in price and converging with the LAN market before Bluetooth can really take off.

    “One more thing : The reason people think Bluetooth is great is that the price is amortized over a cell phone license. People never see the cost because it is subsidized by a lease agreement. This business model will begin to proliferate to any major purchase. I wouldn't be surprised to see leases for kitchen appliances in the next five years."

eWeek says :

    "For Bluetooth, it's still teething time. Despite efforts from industry giants to get products based on the wireless protocol to market by next year, the new technology still faces obstacles."

Click Take a look at the eWeek Bluetooth coverage

Where Intelligence Begins

Lou Heavner, Anthony Kerstens and others have been having an interesting discussion on the Automation List about "Where Intelligence Begins".

Have you subscribed to the Automation List?
Click Subscribe : listserv@control.com

Synthetic intelligence was the subject of my presentation at Dick Morley's Chaos Conference in Santa Fe, April ‘99.

Review at : Click When computers exceed human intelligence

  • Is a human with mechanical implants a machine?
  • Is a machine with human extensions a human?
  • When a human's intelligence is downloaded to a computer, who is the person - the computer intelligence that survives, or the physical body that dies?

My article on this subject was in the webzine Spark Online March, 2000.

Click Intelligence and Consciousness in the New Age
Spark-online webzine article Click

At the Santa Fe Institute, Stuart Kaufman, Chris Langton and other significant scientists are working with Artificial Life and its development and characteristics. Take a look at :

Click Santa Fe Institute, Artificial Life

Exciting, scary and significant developments that are coming to the forefront on the threshold of the new millennium.

Hot Book : The Symbiotic Man

At Santa Fe in May 2000, my subject moved from just extrapolating machine intelligence, to "connected intelligence" in the new age where humans co-exist with machine intelligence (starting with the Internet). You can review my paper :

Click Symbiotic Life in the 21st Century - Humans & Technology

Which brings me to my "Hot Book" this week:
    The Symbiotic Man -
    A new understanding of the organization of life and a vision of the future
    By : Joel de Rosnay.

A powerful, new scientific methodology promises to dramatically recast our concept of nature and mankind’s place in it. This is Chaos Theory - the sciences of Complexity and Self-organization. Organic chemist, computer scientist, visionary, Joel de Rosnay has been at the forefront of the complexity movement for nearly 30 years. This book has just been published (March 2000) - read it!

Click Take a look at deRosnay's Book

Industrial Marketing Practitioner

A good way for marketing people to get e-connected with marketing thinking and discussions is through "Industrial Marketing Practitioner" a monthly magazine filled with information, strategy and tactics for surviving marketing in the fast-moving age of the Internet.

Columnists include automation marketing guru Walt Boyes, Prentis Hall of Air Products and Chemicals, Mitch Gooze former president of Teledyne Components and member of OMT Group, Robert Bly a chemical engineer turned marketing professional.

IMP's readership and focus is on industrial marketing and often covers industrial automation & controls issues in depth found nowhere else.

My friends at IMP have offered a "Special" for readers of the JimPinto.com eNews. Visit Click http://practitioner.com and sign up for a free subscription to “Tactics!” - the monthly Internet newsletter for industrial marketing and sales.

While you're there, subscribe to Industrial Marketing Practitioner at a special discounted rate of 10% off for a 1 year subscription and 25% off for a 2-year subscription. Commercials aside, this is a good way to become part of an elite marketing milieu.

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