Premarket Stock Trading – CNNMoney

Premarket Stock Trading – CNNMoney

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http://money.cnn.com/data/premarket/

Hottest new CES 2017 tech: Home robots

Some of the hottest tech coming to CES this year includes home robots, Super UHD TVs, and the latest in PCs.

Artificial intelligence in the home has been making big gains at CES over the last several years, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in a statement released Tuesday. CTA projects 2017 unit sales for voice-controlled, stand-alone digital assistant devices with a cloud-based operating system — including Amazon’s Echo and Google Home — to reach 4.5 million units, a 52 percent increase, and reach $608 million in revenue, up 36 percent.

And with home robots, companies at CES in 2017 will be looking to upstage intelligent home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo.  

Kuri: This home robot from Mayfield Robotics is all about personality. An erstwhile Pixar animator was one of the lead designers of Kuri, according to Robotics Trends. The robot has “emotive eyes and a friendly disposition” and cruises around your home “smartly avoiding obstacles,” says Mayfield Robotics. Kuri’s eyes are equipped with a camera that can capture photos and video, recognize faces, and monitor your home when you’re away. It will be priced at $699.

Olly: This is a “tabletop bot” that that “recognizes different household members and adapts it personality to suit each one,” according to Jordan Edelson, CEO of Appetizer Mobile, in a statement about CES trends this year. More specifically, Olly’s personality “evolves” depending on interaction patterns,” says Emotech Inc., the company behind the robot. Olly’s AI engine was created by a group a neuroscience and machine learning scientists.

APPLE’S COMING ATTRACTIONS IN 2017: RADICAL NEW IPHONE, RESIZED IPAD?

Intelligent Vision System: Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), one of Taiwan’s leading high-tech applied research institutions, announced it will show off an Intelligent Vision System for Companion Robots. “ITRI invites…attendees to booth 2015, Tech East, Westgate, to play chess and have coffee with a robot commanded by ITRI’s Intelligent Vision System.” 

Aristotle: Mattel’s Aristotle is an Amazon Echo assistant that is programmed to understand your kid, since a child’s speech patterns are different than an adult’s. Aristotle “is built to live in a child’s room–and answer a child’s questions–rather than rule the entire home,” according to FastCompany.com’s Co.Design. It is expected to be priced at $300.

THE BEST LAPTOPS OF 2016

CES 2017 proves intelligent, voice-controlled digital assistants are here to stay. “We’ve had more progress in voice-activated digital assistants in the last 30 months than in the first 30 years,” Shawn DuBravac, CTA chief economist, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Word recognition accuracy has improved from nearly zero percent in the 1990s to 75 percent in 2013 to about 95 percent today – enabling these devices to enjoy immense consumer adoption.”

TVs:

TVs are a CES mainstay and companies like Samsung and LG will be showing off the latest in TV tech.

Samsung: The tech giant will show off its QLED TV, based on Quantum Dot technology, which allows deeper blacks and better detail no matter how light or dark the scene is or whether you’re viewing it in a brightly lit or dark room, Samsung said. The new TVs can also reproduce 100 percent color volume. “For example, a leaf can be perceived as different colors from yellowish green to turquoise, depending on brightness of the light,” Samsung said.

LG: LG is rolling out its newest Super UHD TVs, the SJ9500, SJ8500 and SJ8000 featuring Nano Cell LCD technology, which creates “more subtle, accurate colors that can be viewed from wider

angles than other TVs.”

THE 5 BEST SMARTPHONES OF 2016

Computers:

Lenovo: The computer maker has announced its X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, X1 Tablet. With its popular X1 Carbon, Lenovo has shrunk a 14-inch display into a 13-inch chassis, among other, more subtle improvements to all three portables.

HP: HP is bringing out a new lineup that includes the EliteBook x360 for business, a redesigned 15.6-inch Spectre x360, and a HP ENVY Curved All-in-One, the AIO 34, with a massive 34-inch display.

Dell: Dell has updated its popular XPS 13 with a 2-in-1 design, the first XPS 13 with a 360-degree hinge. Like the previous XPS 13 laptops, it sports a very-high-resolution QHD+ InfinityEdge touch display and fits a 13-inch laptop into a 12-inch chassis.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/01/04/hottest-new-ces-2017-tech-home-robots.html

How Marketing Automation is changing the game in 2017

Marketing automation isn’t your average fancy buzzword. Starting off with Eloqua in 1999 and still going strong with multiple new platforms cropping up in every nook and cranny, it’s clear that marketing automation isn’t a passing phase – it is here to stay. In fact, a study by Gleanster reports that 90% of respondents report regular and periodic use of marketing automation for large-volume email campaigns. First, let’s understand what marketing automation is and why businesses need it.

What is marketing automation?

According to HubSpot, marketing automation refers to the software that automates marketing actions. Marketing departments must automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.

Marketing automation combines marketing campaigns across all channels–from direct mail and phone campaigns to online, social and mobile initiatives. It combines insight-focused capabilities from your CRM, lead management system, web analytics platform, and other systems to create something that’s more than the sum of the parts.

Why do businesses need it?

Today, marketing is all about time management. It boils down to who gets the first mover’s advantage, who engages with customers more often and who converts leads faster. Digital marketing has set a fast pace to lead conversion and businesses have no time to lose on customers that may not convert at all. Sifting through leads consumes time and energy that can be utilized more effectively. Likewise, juggling between multiple platforms also takes up valuable time, for organizations delving into digital marketing.

This is where marketing automation steps in. It has revolutionized the way organizations are managing their time and targets. Marketing automation allows marketers to shift their focus to the best possible prospects that can be converted, thus saving time and energy.

With marketing automation, marketers engage customers with tailored content based on their profile data and purchasing behavior. The more personalized content your lead receives, the more time they will spend on your site. This leads to collection of valuable data that can help you convert the leads into customers – and of course, future cross selling.

With Facebook and Google changing their algorithms to promote the most original and relevant content, marketing automation has become even more of a necessity. Marketing automation distributes your content in a smarter, more organized way. The goal is to attract potential leads to your site, track and profile their interests and present even more relevant content to convert them into sales.

It builds a valuable database for leads in your CRM system. Once connected with your CRM system, the software can help you update the lead’s information over time.

Setting up alerts when the lead is visiting your website in real time can be immensely helpful. Think about it, emailing the lead within an hour of them visiting your website can increase chances of a sale. With a marketing automation software, hot leads can be followed up on, straight away. And optimizing your marketing automation for the right results guarantees success.

What does the future hold?

With new avenues of digital marketing opening, marketing automation platforms (MAPs) must evolve, in order to stay ahead of the game. Here are some ways marketing automation software will influence business in 2017:

Smart and specialized marketing automation platforms

Marketing tech companies are continuing to specialize their MAPs, focusing on their clients’ primary needs–and then finding specific technologies that address each of them. Rather than trying to combine everything in one huge marketing automation system, tomorrow’s MAPs will be smarter and focus on smaller applications for each stack of tasks.

2017 will see the rise of machine learning automation, as opposed to rules based. The problems incurred with previous rules based automation, such as, any error going out to thousands of people, has forced MAPs to improve. Machine learning marketing automation, on the other hand, keeps getting smarter. It uses data to make proactive decisions. Rather than reacting to past data or campaign success, proactive (i.e., predictive) marketing uses data to determine what will create future growth.

With the need to create the most original and relevant content, smart and machine learning marketing automation will become crucial to the success of online businesses.

Artificial intelligence and account based marketing

2016 saw explosive growth in account based marketing (ABM) adoption. More than 70% of B2B companies are now focused on driving ABM programs, according to a study by SiriusDecisions. The ABM Leadership Alliance also released a research on the state of the ABM market, which found that ABM marketing now outperforms other traditional marketing methods. B2B marketers also experienced a 171% increase in their average annual contact value (ACV), when using ABM strategies like selecting target accounts, defining budgets and outlining team structures. This growth is expected to continue and evolve with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in ABM.

The most valuable use for AI in marketing is to enable personalized conversations with customers, knowing their goals, ambitions and profile. This type of personalized communication eliminates spam, which often plagues marketing today.

In the next year, AI will allow these personalized one-on-one conversations to grow beyond a group of people. Each of your website visitors can expect to have a unique conversation with the brand, based on their specific needs. Dynamic ad copy, one-to-one emails, customized website and mobile experiences, AI will make hyper-personalization possible at scale.

Another way we can expect to see AI push ABM to the next level is through the creation of entirely new B2B marketing technologies that will complement and support ABM solutions, for example, a B2B business concierge – a completely automated and customized buyer’s journey throughout the funnel, driven by AI.

Marketing automation will become central to the customer experience, extending beyond the marketing function alone. In fact, leading marketing functions are already using marketing automation in new ways, including internal communications, customer satisfaction initiatives and channel optimization. The most successful companies have divided the responsibility of automating between sales and marketing with CRM integration.

The focus will shift to customer loyalty, i.e. retention, because it costs more to acquire new customers, as opposed to retaining loyal ones. In 2017, a focus on retention will make all customers micro-influencers. Their loyalty to brands will promote purchases among their own networks. Marketing automation programs will need to step up the personalization game when it comes to loyalty programs. They will need to be part of a multichannel experience, so that wherever your customer interacts with your brand, they will be treated like royalty.

As time goes on, marketing automation will continue to evolve, with more features, capabilities and integrations – but you need to make more strategic decisions about which features best suit your needs, support your processes and capabilities – and most importantly – deliver brilliant experiences for your customers.

Before you jump on the bandwagon, figure out why you need to invest in an MAP. Do not invest in marketing automation without a plan that is fully in line with your marketing and business goals. Otherwise, you might as well fire shots in the dark.

Make sure you have well-trained resources and talent dedicated to your marketing automation platform. Many employees have limited knowledge of MAP features and options available to them. Both, marketing and sales teams should be invested in your marketing automation platform to avoid finger-pointing and blame games.

The bottom line is: marketing automation improves communication, leading to interested, engaged and loyal customers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/moosa-hemani/how-marketing-automation_b_13863584.html

Smart Manufacturing Begins with the Connected Enterprise

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First Quarter Results Press Release

First Quarter Results Webcast

First Quarter Results Presentation

http://www.rockwellautomation.com/

America’s 10 greatest factory tours

Who says America doesn’t make stuff anymore? From cars to coffee, hot sauce to jumbo jets, we’ve got ten great places to see how the proverbial sausage is made.

Ford Rouge Factory, Dearborn, MI

One of the most important sites in the history of the automobile, this city unto itself just ten minutes from downtown Detroit is where you’ll now find the F-150 pickup truck in production. Besides the chance to see the action on the factory floor below you, visitors are also given a crash course (through the magic of multimedia) in the history of the site, the Ford Motor Company and the industry at large. (Also check out the top of the building, the world’s largest green roof, at 10.4 acres.) All tours begin at the nearby Henry Ford museum complex, a destination unto itself.

Nearest airport: Detroit. Click here to see cheap flights.

Martin Guitar, Nazareth, PA

The choice of sensitive rockers everywhere was around long before rock ‘n’ roll was invented. Martin’s history of manufacturing some of the world’s greatest acoustic guitars begins back in the 1700s, when Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. left his German home at age 15 to apprentice with a Viennese guitar maker. Martin has been a presence in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley since 1833; one-hour tours of the plant are complimented by an on-site museum and a Pickin’ Parlor, where visitors are welcome to play high-end and limited edition models.

Nearest Airport: Allentown, PA. Click here to see cheap flights.

Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago, IL

One of the most popular roasters in the country – now served in some of the most popular cafes and restaurants in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – offers its fans (or just the merely curious) this easy-going and fun tour at their main roasting facility in the Windy City. You’ll learn the most correct, scientific methods for the perfect cup of coffee, find out how they go about finding the very best beans in countries you forgot existed, how to roast them correctly and – most importantly – you’ll get all the freshly-brewed coffee you can drink.

Nearest airport: Chicago. Click here for cheap flights.

Boeing, Everett, WA

Go inside the world’s largest building by volume – 472,000,000 cubic feet – for the chance to glimpse Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner in production, then head to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and get strapped into The Innovator, a seven-seat simulator that puts you in the cockpit for the ride of your life. Tip: The weak-stomached may want to sit this one out.

Nearest airport: Seattle. Click here for cheap flights.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville, KY

You’ve seen them in the hands of countless baseball greats, here’s your chance to get right on the factory floor and see how the official bat of Major League Baseball is made. Each tour participant gets a mini-Slugger to take home as a souvenir; afterwards, stick around for the museum, a fun and informative look at the history of America’s best-known bat.

Harley-Davidson, Menomonee Falls, WI

It may not be the sexiest bit of the hog, but you can’t have a Harley without a proper powertrain, right? Visitors are welcomed in to observe operations at the 849,000 square-foot plant northwest of downtown Milwaukee, but that’s just one stop on the grand tour here in the hometown of the Harley. Make sure to pay a visit to the company’s fun and interactive downtown museum; also consider checking into the handsome, museum-adjacent Iron Horse Hotel, which has been the coolest place to stay in town ever since it opened a few years back.

Dogfish Head, Milton, DE

What was once a small Delaware brewery has grown to become one of the best on the East Coast. At heart, though, Dogfish Head is still the fun-loving little guy it was when it started out, so tours are casual and cool, samples are (but of course) offered. Make sure to check out the curious, on-premises Steampunk Treehouse, rescued from a recent Burning Man festival; this rather curious piece of functional sculpture is where the brewers are said to do their most creative thinking. If you didn’t get enough to drink on the tour, check out their popular brewpub and restaurant in nearby Rehoboth Beach.

Tabasco Factory, Avery Island, LA

That familiar smell fills the air as you drive on to 2,200-acre Avery Island; there’s no mistaking that you’ve arrived in the home of America’s favorite hot sauce. (Tip: A visit is highly recommended for those with blocked sinuses.) But a tour through Tabasco’s factory operation is just part of the experience here; the company-owned Jungle Gardens and Bird City – a beautiful, company-owned botanical garden and bird sanctuary, respectively – make a visit to the island a fun day out from either New Orleans or Cajun Country.

Mack Trucks, Macungie, PA

Are you an admirer of the mighty Mack? Put on your comfortable shoes and embark on a 1.5 mile walking tour of the famed truck’s mighty manufacturing plant.(At this location, you’ll see mostly construction vehicles being produced). Visitors to the site are also invited to visit the Mack Museum, featuring a wide range of vintage vehicles dating from the early 1900s up to 1979.

Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, OH

A tiny town set amid the central Ohio farmfields is the setting for the factory that produces those iconic silver travel trailers. It’s a pilgrimage site for owners, who bring their houses on wheels here to be serviced, camping out at the on-site RV park. Whether you’re curious about joining this elite group of nomads or not, the free, daily factory tour is good fun, even if just to see one of the country’s most stubbornly unchanged companies in action.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site Airfarewatchdog.com.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site Airfarewatchdog.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/06/01/america-10-greatest-factory-tours.html

India Home Automation Market – By Types (Lighting, Security, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, HVAC, Entertainment) & User (Residential, Commercial & Hospitality) – Research and Markets

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “India

Home Automation Market Forecast” report to their offering.

The India Home Automation Market is expected to cross the figure of INR

30,000 Crore by 2022. Home Automation in India is creating big

opportunities, not only for Indian automation companies, but also for

foreign companies. At present residential customers have the highest

market share, whereas in product category, the security market is the

clear winner in the market.

Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmadabad and Bangalore have a combined market

share of more than 50 percent in the total home automation market.

This market research report is 129 pages with 33 Figures and 14 Tables

studies the India Home Automation Market and its future evolution over

the next 6 years.

This Report Studies the India Home Automation Market from 8 View Points:

India Home Automation Market & Forecast

India Home Automation Market Share & Forecast

India Home Automation Market Analysis by Product Category

India Home Automation Market Analysis by Customer Category

India Home Automation Market Analysis by City

India Home Automation Market Share in IoT Market

India Home Automation Companies Product Profiling

India Home Automation Start-ups Product Profiling

India Internet of Things (IoT) Market & Market Share in India Home

Automation

Companies Profiled:

Larsen & Toubro

Schneider Electric

Johnson Controls

AMX LLC

Crestron Electronics

Home Brain

Pert

Silvan Innovation Labs

Oakter

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. India Home Automation Market (2013 – 2022)

3. India Home Automation Share & Forecast (2013 – 2022)

4. By Product – India Home Automation Market (2013 – 2022)

5. By User Types – India Home Automation Market (2013 – 2022)

6. India Home Automation Market Analysis by Cities

7. India Home Automation Product Profiling

8. Smart City Project Boost in India Home Automation Market

9. Indian Internet of Things (IoT) Market & Home Automation Market Share

Analysis

10. Indian Internet of Things (IoT) Product Profiling

11. India Home Automation Market – Growth Driver

12. India Home Automation Market – Challenges

13. Home Automation Company Strategy in India

14. Established Company Profiling

15. Startup Company Profiling

For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/jmdxph/india_home

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170227006290/en/India-Home-Automation-Market—Types-Lighting

Industrials Sector | Reuters.com

* Shares rise as much as 11.4 pct to $82.85

(Adds CEO comment, details from conference call)

COLOMBO, March 1 Sri Lanka has approved reforms

to make loss-making state firms more efficient and put them on a

path towards autonomy, in line with International Monetary Fund

conditions for a $1.5 billion loan, an official document showed

on Wednesday.

ANKARA, March 1 The founder of Turkish

conglomerate Dogan Holding was summoned on Wednesday

to appear in court over fuel smuggling accusations, a day after

Turkey’s president criticised its Hurriyet newspaper for a story

suggesting discord between government and the army.

* Says Syrian air force deliberately attacked Aleppo aid

convoy

10:46am EST

http://www.reuters.com/sectors/industrials

Industrial Revolution 3.0 | The Huffington Post

The accelerated pace of life makes it difficult to take stock of the patterns drawn by deeper forces shaping the world. We marvel at amazing gadgets but we easily lose sight of the powerful industrial revolution that is gaining momentum.

It is easy and dangerous for business and government leaders to underestimate the breadth and depth of its strategic implications. Putting the rising revolution in a historical context can allow us to anticipate and better prepare for change to come.

Revolution 1.0 transformed the world in the 1800s. It was powered by coal and moved by iron machines and factories, railways and steamships. The telegraph allowed for instant communication across oceans and continents. Agricultural innovations such as enclosures, crop rotation, selective breeding brought productivity gains freeing rural labor. Access to vast tracts of land and resources in the Americas, Africa and Asia made food and materials like cotton abundant and triggered an unprecedented rise in standards of living and population growth. England and Western Europe became dominant global powers.

Revolution 2.0 shaped the 1900s. It was powered by oil. Cars, buses and planes were the new means of transportation. The telephone, TV, cinema and radio transformed communication and society. Manufacturing became vastly more productive with assembly lines, standardized and specialized machine tools and dumb robots. Urbanization led to the rise of the service economy.

Agriculture changed again with mechanization, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial farming. Steel, aluminum, plastic and synthetic fibers underpinned the economy. Revolution 2.0 brought modernization and unprecedented quality of life and population growth across the world. The US and Western civilization remained leaders.

Today Revolution 2.0 shows clear signs of fatigue and decline. Rising oil prices and unprecedented debt levels are putting a huge burden on global growth and job creation. Youth unemployment is massive and widespread, at 28 percent in the Middle East and over 40 percent in parts of Europe, creating a fertile ground for extremism and conflict. Food prices remain near historic peaks and threaten to erase progress in poverty eradication and further aggravate social tension. IPCC warns of dire impacts of climate change.

At the same time Revolution 3.0 is gaining strength and beginning to shape the 21st century. Internet and billions of mobile and connected devices are rapidly redefining communication. Renewable energies are gaining ground to fossil fuels. Networks of electric and hydrogen powered drones and autonomous vehicles are poised to redefine transportation. Social and flexible robots, 3D printers and nanotechnology are transforming how we make things, making complexity free and labor costs less relevant.

Artificial intelligence is replacing humans in a growing array of activities. Novel materials such as carbon nanotubes, bioplastics and graphene are poised to replace those of the second revolution. Synthetic biology is beginning to redefine transformation processes just like chemistry did in the past. Agriculture is becoming a high-tech sector with genetically modified crops, remote sensing, prescription planting as well as urban agriculture and bioprinted meat. The private sector is leading the creation of a space economy with reusable rockets, nanosatellites and space robots.

Like in the past, the seeds that will shape this century were planted in the previous one. In fact, many of its foundational technologies already exist and well-funded innovative startups are making strides towards their market success. Elon Musk, for example, is simultaneously working to reshape the space, automobile and solar panel installation sectors. If anything, this revolution has yet to show its full power with new developments in nanotechnology, for example.

Just like the previous versions, this revolution will eventually bring abundance and rising standards of living. It will also bring massive shifts in the balance of power and bring profound changes in society. The transition to the new era will result in turbulence and create the conditions for conflict. Disruptive innovation will dominate value creation. Entrepreneurs will spearhead change replacing the constructs of the second revolution.

New paradigms are becoming dominant. Adaptability and nimbleness are being sought over predictability and scale. Value chains are being replaced by fluid multi-tiered ecosystems. Ownership is being trumped by access. Talent is becoming global and freelancing is growing over full-time employment. Open innovation, crowdsourcing and the maker movement are gaining ground over big labs. Networks are overcoming hierarchies.

The speed of Revolution 3.0 is brutal due to its digital and exponential nature. Its magnitude will also dwarf previous revolutions. For example, IDC predicts that we will generate 44ZB of data by 2020 versus 1.8ZB in 2011.

But qualitative quantum leaps make it unique. While other revolutions replaced muscles, smart machines are now replacing humans in cognitive functions. We can read, edit and print DNA and create new life forms. We will have to move from biosphere exploitation to regeneration. We are on our way to become a multi-planetary species.

Revolutions 1.0 and 2.0 brought massive conflict and adaptation costs in the form of conflict, inequality and pollution. During Revolution 2.0 we paid the price for the abuses of Revolution 1.0 in the form of communism and racial tensions. In Revolution 3.0 we will pay the price of Revolution 2.0 in the form of debt and environmental stress. Why not hack the future and make it better?[‘

We can reinvent education to make it relevant for the future and address the growing skills mismatch challenge. We need to get ready for a world with fewer jobs and abundant opportunities. We can stimulate the development of technologies to cover basic necessities at a small fraction of the cost. We can accelerate the growth of renewables to make energy abundant and cheap, boost global growth and reverse greenhouse gas emission trends.

Ignoring or resisting change and protecting the structures of Revolution 2.0 over the emergence of Revolution 3.0 will involve a hefty price. History shows that those who proactively embrace and lead technology revolutions reap their benefits. Let’s surf the technology tsunami coming our way and make the future better.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ignacio-peaa/industrial-revolution-30_b_5806874.html

America’s 10 greatest factory tours

Who says America doesn’t make stuff anymore? From cars to coffee, hot sauce to jumbo jets, we’ve got ten great places to see how the proverbial sausage is made.

Ford Rouge Factory, Dearborn, MI

One of the most important sites in the history of the automobile, this city unto itself just ten minutes from downtown Detroit is where you’ll now find the F-150 pickup truck in production. Besides the chance to see the action on the factory floor below you, visitors are also given a crash course (through the magic of multimedia) in the history of the site, the Ford Motor Company and the industry at large. (Also check out the top of the building, the world’s largest green roof, at 10.4 acres.) All tours begin at the nearby Henry Ford museum complex, a destination unto itself.

Nearest airport: Detroit. Click here to see cheap flights.

Martin Guitar, Nazareth, PA

The choice of sensitive rockers everywhere was around long before rock ‘n’ roll was invented. Martin’s history of manufacturing some of the world’s greatest acoustic guitars begins back in the 1700s, when Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. left his German home at age 15 to apprentice with a Viennese guitar maker. Martin has been a presence in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley since 1833; one-hour tours of the plant are complimented by an on-site museum and a Pickin’ Parlor, where visitors are welcome to play high-end and limited edition models.

Nearest Airport: Allentown, PA. Click here to see cheap flights.

Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago, IL

One of the most popular roasters in the country – now served in some of the most popular cafes and restaurants in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – offers its fans (or just the merely curious) this easy-going and fun tour at their main roasting facility in the Windy City. You’ll learn the most correct, scientific methods for the perfect cup of coffee, find out how they go about finding the very best beans in countries you forgot existed, how to roast them correctly and – most importantly – you’ll get all the freshly-brewed coffee you can drink.

Nearest airport: Chicago. Click here for cheap flights.

Boeing, Everett, WA

Go inside the world’s largest building by volume – 472,000,000 cubic feet – for the chance to glimpse Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner in production, then head to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and get strapped into The Innovator, a seven-seat simulator that puts you in the cockpit for the ride of your life. Tip: The weak-stomached may want to sit this one out.

Nearest airport: Seattle. Click here for cheap flights.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville, KY

You’ve seen them in the hands of countless baseball greats, here’s your chance to get right on the factory floor and see how the official bat of Major League Baseball is made. Each tour participant gets a mini-Slugger to take home as a souvenir; afterwards, stick around for the museum, a fun and informative look at the history of America’s best-known bat.

Harley-Davidson, Menomonee Falls, WI

It may not be the sexiest bit of the hog, but you can’t have a Harley without a proper powertrain, right? Visitors are welcomed in to observe operations at the 849,000 square-foot plant northwest of downtown Milwaukee, but that’s just one stop on the grand tour here in the hometown of the Harley. Make sure to pay a visit to the company’s fun and interactive downtown museum; also consider checking into the handsome, museum-adjacent Iron Horse Hotel, which has been the coolest place to stay in town ever since it opened a few years back.

Dogfish Head, Milton, DE

What was once a small Delaware brewery has grown to become one of the best on the East Coast. At heart, though, Dogfish Head is still the fun-loving little guy it was when it started out, so tours are casual and cool, samples are (but of course) offered. Make sure to check out the curious, on-premises Steampunk Treehouse, rescued from a recent Burning Man festival; this rather curious piece of functional sculpture is where the brewers are said to do their most creative thinking. If you didn’t get enough to drink on the tour, check out their popular brewpub and restaurant in nearby Rehoboth Beach.

Tabasco Factory, Avery Island, LA

That familiar smell fills the air as you drive on to 2,200-acre Avery Island; there’s no mistaking that you’ve arrived in the home of America’s favorite hot sauce. (Tip: A visit is highly recommended for those with blocked sinuses.) But a tour through Tabasco’s factory operation is just part of the experience here; the company-owned Jungle Gardens and Bird City – a beautiful, company-owned botanical garden and bird sanctuary, respectively – make a visit to the island a fun day out from either New Orleans or Cajun Country.

Mack Trucks, Macungie, PA

Are you an admirer of the mighty Mack? Put on your comfortable shoes and embark on a 1.5 mile walking tour of the famed truck’s mighty manufacturing plant.(At this location, you’ll see mostly construction vehicles being produced). Visitors to the site are also invited to visit the Mack Museum, featuring a wide range of vintage vehicles dating from the early 1900s up to 1979.

Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, OH

A tiny town set amid the central Ohio farmfields is the setting for the factory that produces those iconic silver travel trailers. It’s a pilgrimage site for owners, who bring their houses on wheels here to be serviced, camping out at the on-site RV park. Whether you’re curious about joining this elite group of nomads or not, the free, daily factory tour is good fun, even if just to see one of the country’s most stubbornly unchanged companies in action.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site Airfarewatchdog.com.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site Airfarewatchdog.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/06/01/america-10-greatest-factory-tours.html

RIA – Robotics Online – Industrial Robot Automation

Automate 2017

Visit North America’s Broadest Automation Solutions Show

Automate 2017Whether you’re new to automation or are an experienced user, Automate has the solutions for you! Taking place April 3-6, 2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Automate offers the opportunity to connect with industry experts and over 300 exhibitors.

While at the show, be sure to attend the Automate Conference, featuring the 48th Annual International Symposium on Robotics. The Automate Conference offers everything from a basic understanding of automation to more advanced topics in courses taught by industry professionals.

To learn more about Automate and to register for the show and conference, visit the Automate website.

http://www.robotics.org/

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