The Houston area saw its second beachhead from an automation supplier recently with the opening of a customer technology center there by Phoenix Contact USA. The firm sees its new center as a way to better serve oil, gas, and process-industry customers. The site will include an application lab for trying out industrial Ethernet and other kinds of equipment for solving application problems.

The automation supplier is the second to locate an application center in the Houston area. Two years ago Yokogawa Electric Corp. opened a local office to handle industrial automation and control applications.