NAMUR Annual General Meeting 2009: 60th anniversary and a new venue

from 2009-11-11

NAMUR hosted its Annual General Meeting on 5 and 6 November in Bad Neuenahr. Just a few days earlier, NAMUR had celebrated its 60th anniversary: On 3 November 1949, 20 delegates attended the first Annual General Meeting of NAMUR at Bayer in Leverkusen. 60 years later, 460 delegates met at the conference centre of Dorint Hotel in Bad Neuenahr.

For 30 years, the Annual General Meetings had been hosted in Lahnstein; the Dorint Hotel now represents a venue that is able to accommodate the growing number of delegates and leaves room for future growth.

The total number of 460 delegates was slightly higher than last year and just a little below the all-time high of 2007. In view of the difficult economic situation at the moment, this is an excellent turnout and illustrates the importance the automation community attaches to this event.

Dr. Kuschnerus (Bayer Technology Services), the President of NAMUR's Board of Management opened the AGM with a retrospective of 2008. He emphasised in particular the cooperation with other associations and the international direction of all activities. Thus, NAMUR decided to host its first conference in China which will be held on 19 and 20 November in Shanghai.

The Chair of the Board of ProcessNet, Prof. Dr. Strohrmann (BASF) seized the opportunity of NAMUR's 60th anniversary to extend a welcome address to the Annual General Meeting. He stressed the importance of intensified cooperation between process and automation engineers.

"Communication" was the motto of NAMUR–s 2009 Annual General Meeting. This year's sponsor, Pepperl+Fuchs is a medium-sized, internationally successful company whose product portfolio includes communication products such as e.g. fieldbus components, which suited the motto of the Annual General Meeting very well. In his impressive, one-hour address to the plenary, the Managing Director of Pepperl+Fuchs, Dr. Gunther Kegel provided an excellent overview covering the first NAMUR recommendation on contactless initiators to communication solutions available today as well as future developments and their opportunities as seen from today's perspective.

The plenary session on Thursday was supplemented by three presentations from NAMUR representatives who highlighted the topic of communication from three different angles, thus presenting the bigger picture of this important field.

As usual, the 21 contributions to the subsequent workshops addressed and discussed topical issues from the Working Groups. The plenary presentations of Friday morning and these 21 presentations provided an overview of the manifold activities of NAMUR.

Christoph Thust (Infracor) delivered the final presentation on Friday. He addressed the human factor in the operation of safety systems and provided the link to the topic of next year's Annual General Meeting of NAMUR on "Functional Safety" which will be held on 11 and 12 November 2010 in Bad Neuenahr. This time, HIMA will be the sponsor, an internationally successful supplier of safety-related controls.

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