Inductive Automation Ignition Community Conference (ICC) 2018

North Point Technology will send representatives to the 2018 Inductive Automation Ignition Community Conference in Folsom, CA.  The company has attended the conference for the last four years.  This year the conference is Monday 9/17 to Wednesday 9/19, and the theme is "Lead the Way".  

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Yes, you guessed it, it is sold out at maximum capacity, which has happened for the last several years.  Ignition's footprint in the industry has grown rapidly, and its user community along with it.  North Point is proud to be a Certified Premier integrator for Ignition SCADA, and we look forward to another great conference and another year of partnership with Inductive Automation.

More info about the conference can be found at the conference website.  If you are going, we would love to meet you there!

Southern Tier NEXTGEN

North Point Technology is pleased to be listed sixth largest Southern Tier Technology-based company in the "Southern Tier NEXTGEN" publication, a product of the Central New York Business Journal.

More information about NEXTGEN can be found at https://www.cnybj.com/southern-tier-nextgen/.

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NPT ATTENDS FIRST SOUTHERN TIER HEMP SUMMIT

NPT ATTENDS FIRST SOUTHERN TIER HEMP SUMMIT

NPT attended the first Southern Tier Hemp Summit on June 29th, which was held at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator in downtown Binghamton. Hemp industry leaders from across the country were present to share their stories, and plan the future production of Industrial Hemp in New York State. Many companies from across the country displayed their hemp-related products and services in the summit. 

What is Hemp? Hemp is the typical name for plants of the Cannabis group. This name is mostly used to refer only to Cannabis strains cultivated for Industrial (non-drug) use. Industrial Hemp is used in many industries such as paper, textiles, construction, biodegradable plastics, food, and fuel. After harvesting, the crop has a high yield of cellulose, edible proteins, oils and fibers with thousand of different product applications. Industrial Hemp has only about 0.3% - 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating element that makes you high) while marijuana has about 5%- 10% or more THC.

New York State has started the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot program to expand Industrial Hemp Processing Capacity Statewide. Last year New York State launched a $5 million Industrial Hemp Processors Grant Fund to promote hemp processing and support business development. This money can be used by related companies to cover capital costs such as new construction and  equipment purchase. New York State has also set aside up to $5 million for the New York State research grants to support the research and production of Industrial hemp in New York. 

 

Sources:

https://southerntierincubator.com/southern-tier-hemp-summit/

https://esd.ny.gov/industrial-hemp

https://hempethics.weebly.com

 

 

Union-Endicott TigerTronics Robotics Team

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Last month, the FIRST robotics team from our local area, the TigerTronics team (#2053) competed in the Greater Pittsburgh Regional event at California University of PA (CalU). 

This event brought 1000+ kids together from the region and from around the world to compete in this year's FIRST competition "Power Up". (More info on FIRST and this year's game is at https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/game-and-season).  Our team- made up of high school students from Union-Endicott and Vestal high schools- worked hard from January to March to design, build, program and test a robot to meet the challenges of this year's game.

At Pittsburgh, the team did great!  They were selected by a team with a higher ranking to join them in the final rounds, and along with that team and a third partner, played really well right into the semifinals, where the alliance was finally bested. 

We are proud of the team and congratulate them for their achievements.

 

 

NPT participates in STEAM Pathways Event

NPT participates in STEAM Pathways Event

Last evening, the Binghamton University Innovated Technologies Complex hosted a STEAM Pathways event.  The event brought hundreds of 7-12th grade students from our area and their parents together to meet and talk with area technology leaders, learn about STEAM careers, and about Binghamton University.  North Point was pleased to provide an information booth at the event, partnering with Rexel, a global company whose outstanding local branch is our source for many of the products we use, including Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software products.  Rexel brought some awesome tabletop demos which attracted quite a lot of interest, and we thank Rexel for their participation. 

In addition to the show, there was an auditorium style session with the students which included a Q+A session with a panel of people in the STEAM fields.  Bob and Lisa Lee participated on the panel, answering questions posed by the students and by the event moderator.  

It was a great event, well attended and growing at Binghamton U.  See below for a few pictures and the event information.

STEAM – science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics

The "Valley of Opportunity" from the owners of North Point Technology

The "Valley of Opportunity" from the owners of North Point Technology

Bob and Lisa Lee were recently interviewed about their experiences starting and running a small business- and raising a family- in Broome County.  The article appears in the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin.  The text of the article is given below, or click the title to the left, or here, to go directly to the article on the Press's website.


For my husband Bob and I, life in Broome County is defined by the family and business - North Point Technology, LLC - that we’ve built here together.

I grew up in Endwell and went to Union-Endicott High School and Binghamton University before transferring to Cornell University, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations.

After college I held a variety of positions in business administration and executive management– including work in human resources, recruiting, compliance, training and development, and operations for locally-based businesses, such as United Health Services, Singer-Link Flight Simulation, and Anitec, a division of International Paper Company, which is where Bob and I met.

While I’m a native of the area, Bob is originally from Towanda, Pennsylvania. He attended school in Philadelphia and received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Temple University before moving to Broome County in 1990 for a position with Anitec/International Paper Company.

After Anitec was bought and sold by Kodak, Bob worked for engineering consulting firms in Corning and Endicott.

It was while managing an engineering firm’s Endicott branch office that Bob realized he was doing most tasks typical of business owners such as conducting sales, initiating marketing efforts, managing employees and projects, and winning and building relationships with new customers.

This experience, combined with his innovative nature - he’s always looking for more efficient and better ways to do something, even if it means creating technical and business software products for his own firm - eventually pushed Bob to go off on his own to start North Point Technology in 2002, on a borrowed desk in our basement.

I was working for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Western NY around this time. I eventually became their Corporate HR Director overseeing functions in Buffalo, Albany and Binghamton and found myself traveling to the Buffalo corporate office three days a week, while Bob worked from home and cared for our daughter - the first of three children.

At this point, we realized we wanted to really build and raise our family here, so I took a position locally and helped Bob build the infrastructure and internal processes of North Point, as well as harnessed my technical recruiting background to assist in hiring the company’s first employee, another automation engineer, in 2003.

I formally joined North Point in 2007, and in 2008 I decided to move our home-based business to our first formal office space in the former Azon building in Johnson City - we had all been working remotely from home up until that time. We later relocated to offices in the Columbia Ridge Office Park in JC, where we’ve been since 2010.

Building North Point Technology has been a rewarding challenge. We’ve encountered obstacles every business owner faces and also challenges specific to a company like ours – a hybrid of several different engineering disciplines.

North Point Technology, LLC is an industrial automation and control systems engineering firm that designs, builds and programs specialized computer software and systems that run factories, warehouses, industrial and municipal water plants all over the globe.

We do everything from traditional automation and control systems - PLC’s, HMI’s and SCADA- that run factories or water plants, to pure automation consulting for safety, security and reliability services, to working with companies to develop their internal automation strategies and platforms.

We’ve provided these services for countless clients nationwide as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, China, South America, Australia – anywhere our clients send us.

Our life and work in Broome has enabled Bob to travel all over the world on projects, but there’s something very special about getting to use our skills and expertise to serve other local businesses right here in our home state.

Now, we’re looking at how we can work with other local companies and provide them with automation or control systems services and solutions they didn’t even know were being carried out in Broome County.

We’ve always been committed to Broome County, recruiting employees from larger cities by showcasing all the Southern Tier has to offer them and their families.

Choosing Broome has also enabled me to give back. I’ve served on the ACHIEVE Board of Directors, the Broome County United Way Allocation Panels, and currently serve on the Board of Directors for United Methodist Homes, as well as the Endicott Proud Committee, which is dedicated to revitalizing Endicott.

Bob and I often ask ourselves, “What are our goals?” And one of the most important is that we want to be here. We like it here. It’s a beautiful region of the country and we want to raise our family here, as well as support this area.

There’s this family feeling here. The people are close and friendly - and willing to reach out their hand to help you. Many local business and community leaders are very accessible and are willing to meet and partner with you to help you in business. That, in my opinion, is our strength in this community, and will help us revive this “Valley of Opportunity.”

You really can have the best of both worlds in Broome County, particularly in your business.

You can work here and travel around the world. You can go to Europe or Asia or across the U.S., but then you can just come back and have a comfortable place to call home, surrounded by a supportive family and a caring, helpful community.

North Point Technology, LLC is part of why #Broomeisgood. Learn more about them at http://www.northpointusa.com/#new-home.

Lisa and Bob’s story is part of the Broome County...a good life™ program. This program was created by The Agency Broome County IDA/LDC to promote the ideal work/life opportunities offered in Broome County. To learn more, visit www.theagency-ny.com. To share your story, become a Good Life Investor, or to learn why others choose Broome, visit www.broomeisgood.com#Broomeisgood.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

Breaking Down the Silos local event

Happy 2018!  NPT will be attending the local "Breaking Down the Silos" networking event coming up this week.  Here is the information on the event.  If you are local, consider registering- it is a great event promoting our area.  Stop by to say hello to our team too.

JANUARY 23 Breaking Down the Silos - This month will be hosted at the Greater Binghamton Chamber's and The Agency's (Broome County IDA) new location at  5 South College Drive, Front Street in Binghamton, NY.  Help us continue to break down the silos & build a community of supportive entrepreneurs.  Join us for networking, hors d'oeurves and cocktails.

Register Here

https://www.facebook.com/events/1115368945265175/

 

North Point Attends 2017 Inductive Automation ICC

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The 2017 Inductive Automation Ignition Community Conference (ICC) was a huge success once again this year.  In only its fifth year, The ICC sold out for the second time in a row!  As mentioned in a previous post, this year's theme was "Transform".  In his keynote address, Chief Strategy Officer Don Pearson discussed the emerging technologies that will transform the industry and how the Ignition platform is well positioned for this transformation-especially when it comes to IIoT.

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 Founder/Owner/CEO Steve Hechtman

Founder/Owner/CEO Steve Hechtman

 Chief Strategy Officer Don Pearson addresses the attendees during the keynote.

Chief Strategy Officer Don Pearson addresses the attendees during the keynote.

Also during the keynote address, Founder/Owner/CEO Steve Hechtman talked about the history of the company, the continued growth of Inductive Automation.  He presented a short video of these topics and announced the plans for the company's move to a newly renovated 56,000 sq. ft. office space for 2018.  He finished by previewing what is next for Ignition-hinting at next year's release of Ignition 8.0.  

Day 1 of the conference is reserved for interactive workshop sessions in which users can learn how to use some of the Ignition features or simply brush up on their skills.  Days 2 and 3 target the breakout sessions where users can learn and ask questions on a variety of topics.  30 minute breaks between sessions as well as an extended lunch period foster discussion on the session topics, networking opportunities with fellow users, and a chance to engage with 3rd Party Ignition companies about their products and modules.  This year, many of the session topics and 3rd party companies that attended had edge of network, IIoT, and MQTT as the focus.

 Between sessions for a snack and networking

Between sessions for a snack and networking

 2nd floor view of some of the 3rd party companies in attendance

2nd floor view of some of the 3rd party companies in attendance

 Day 2 wraps up with dinner at the Palladio across from the Inductive Automation office.

Day 2 wraps up with dinner at the Palladio across from the Inductive Automation office.

 Co-Directors of Software Engineering Carl Gould and Colby Clegg discuss the Ignition 8.0 release.

Co-Directors of Software Engineering Carl Gould and Colby Clegg discuss the Ignition 8.0 release.

 Arlen Nipper, inventor of MQTT, discusses IIoT Data and the impact on the industry

Arlen Nipper, inventor of MQTT, discusses IIoT Data and the impact on the industry

NPT to Attend Inductive Automation ICC 2017

As Premier certified integrators for Ignition SCADA, North Point personnel are attending the Ignition Community Conference (ICC) again this year.  As always, ICC is held in Folsom, CA, where Inductive Automation is headquartered.  The theme of this year's ICC is "Transform".

It's a great conference that brings together integrators and end-users of Ignition.  There is a strong educational program for attendees, a showcase of amazing Ignition projects and presentations by their creators, and a social program allowing attendees to make a lot of connections in this fast growing community.

It's being held again at the Harris Center on the campus of Folsom Lake College.  You can view the website for the conference here.

If you are going to attend, please look for the North Point Technology logo.  We will be there and would love to talk to you.

AWWA Show Pictures Redux

Found a couple new pics from the AWWA conference in Philadelphia earlier this summer, and thought we would share.  Thanks again to Inductive Automation for inviting us to join them at the show.

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Shoutout to Innovation Associates

Our friends and neighbors here at the Columbia Business Park, Innovation Associates, stopped down for the ice cream truck during our 15th Anniversary celebration last week.   This week, they sent us a really nice flower arrangement.  It brightened up the office very nicely.  Thank you, Innovation!   That was very nice.

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Innovation Associates provides pharmacy automation systems and machines.  It is very impressive, and rather than try to explain it myself, check out their website here.

Ignition EDGE

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As we've highlighted before, North Point Technology, LLC is a Premier Integrator for Inductive Automation Ignition products.  We can't say enough about Ignition- it is a powerful, game changing SCADA system, and much more.  The pricing model for Ignition makes it fantastic alternative to the other platforms.  But to date, it has been hard to compete with panel-level software- without naming names, the simple, hardware-based OIT systems common on the factory floor. 

That changed with the release of EDGE.  EDGE is a stripped-down (but still incredibly powerful) version of Ignition that is priced and designed to compete favorably against those OIT systems. Plus, they can be expanded in the future to add more of the features available to full Ignition.  Finally, we can cost effectively apply this great platform from a single-screen machine display panel to a full blown multi-facility SCADA.  

Another version of EDGE is targeted to run in MQTT type systems as edge data collectors.

Call us for more information about Ignition and Ignition EDGE.  You can also check out the release webinar for EDGE here

 

15th Anniversary Recognition

We celebrated our 15th anniversary this past Thursday with a ribbon cutting, cake, balloons and an ice cream truck- more about that in a later post!  We also received recognition for the anniversary from our local New York State Senator, Fred Akshar.  Thank you, Senator Akshar, for the recognition and for the great job you do for our area.

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North Point in Belgium

NPT personnel were fortunate enough to be called to visit Belgium for work the last week of May and first week of June this year.  We worked on a water filtration machine that was treating collected rainwater for use in bathrooms for a large bank building.  See below for a few pictures from Brussels.

NPT Travellog

Just some catching up- North Point engineers did work in the wine country north of San Francisco in July, and paid a first- time visit to the Winnipeg area of Manitoba in Canada this month.  The area I was in was a sea of huge farms- incredible farming country.  A few pictures of California and Manitoba below.

 

NPT joins Inductive Automation at the AWWA ACE17 Exhibit

Lisa Lee (CEO), Bob Lee (CTO) and Brian Middaugh (Project Manager) traveled to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday 6/14/2017.  We were exhibitors at the American Water Works Association's Annual Conference for 2017- AWWA ACE17 for short.  

We were proud to be the sponsored guests of Inductive Automation, the makers of Ignition SCADA and software platform, who had a booth in the Expo.  Ignition is one of our major partners, and we are a certified Premier Integrator for their software.

Lisa Lee, CEO, participates in Endicott Proud Village Clean Up Day

Lisa Lee, CEO and Principal at North Point Technology, participated in the Endicott Proud Committee's Village Clean Up Day on March 20, 2017.

Over a hundred people helped out on Saturday morning to clean up portions of the Village of Endicott, including the Washington Avenue shopping district, areas along Main and North Streets, the Union District shopping area in West Endicott, and the Northside Park in the Little Italy section of the town. Lisa Lee was lead for the Little Italy section's volunteer crew as they worked on tasks such as garbage removal, landscaping, weeding and planting flowers.

The Clean Up Day was organized by the new Endicott Proud Committee, which was formed by the Board of Education for the Union Endicott School District, as a community group aiming to improve the appearance and perception of Endicott as a vibrant community.  The committee, which is made up of over 100 business leaders, secondary school and university teachers and administrators, as well as community residents,  has been working on various economic revitalization initiatives including attracting new businesses and young professionals to the area.  In addition to building community pride, the efforts were also directed at beautifying the Union- Endicott High School campus for the upcoming New York State Track and Field and Baseball Championship tournaments to be held at the school in June.  

To learn more about Endicott Proud find us on Facebook at:  Facebook.com/EndicottProud or contact us on email at: EndicottProud@uek12.org.

 

 Lisa Lee, CEO of North Point Technology, LLC (left) helps plant flowers during the Endicott Proud Village Clean Up Day  on May 20, 2017. 

Lisa Lee, CEO of North Point Technology, LLC (left) helps plant flowers during the Endicott Proud Village Clean Up Day  on May 20, 2017. 

NPT Takes Part in Pin Crushing Classic

On March 25th, 2017, staff of North Point Technology and a member of the ACHIEVE family participated in a yearly fundraising event called the Bob Warner Pin Crushing Classic. The bowling tournament, named after former Assemblyman Bob Warner,  benefits ACHIEVE which is a non-profit organization serving over 2,200 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the surrounding counties.  In its 22nd year, the tournament was sold out and raised over $20,000.  Our team had a great time as always!

 The Team

The Team

 Lisa and Bob Warner, for whom the tournament is named.

Lisa and Bob Warner, for whom the tournament is named.

 
 Department of team cheerleading-founding members!

Department of team cheerleading-founding members!

 Resting between frames.  It's exhausting throwing all of those strikes.

Resting between frames.  It's exhausting throwing all of those strikes.

 Lisa concentrating on yet another strike!

Lisa concentrating on yet another strike!

Here's to Good Luck!

A double-rainbow was spotted over our office building yesterday and several more throughout the region late in the day.  Here's to some good luck for the rest of the year!