Achieving strategic balance

Automation alone does not make a plant successful, productive or profitable. A strategic balance of planning, communication, maintenance, discipline and automation makes World Class enterprises World Class enterprises. But, automation is a big part of the operation behind successful enterprises because it provides tools to help achieve this necessary balance.

03/01/2010


 

Automation alone does not make a plant successful, productive or profitable. A strategic balance of planning, communication, maintenance, discipline and automation makes World Class enterprises World Class enterprises. But, automation is a big part of the operation behind successful enterprises because it provides tools to help achieve this necessary balance.

There is more to automation than controlling equipment, collecting data and pushing those data %%MDASSML%% and information %%MDASSML%% up and down the enterprise through networks at ever-increasing speed. Although speed and connectivity are important, so is context. Most users on the business network have very little use or interest in machine states, control modes or control unit memory maps. Their informational needs are, or should be, quite different.

The information that business users need include capacity, availability, how much is this downtime costing us and how much money are we making at any given moment. Operators need to know if the machine, line or process is running, if it is optimized and if there are unresolved alarms. Maintenance personnel need to know about the condition or health of the assets for which they are responsible.

Automation has long been an enabler for manufacturing productivity and efficiency. But implementing automation solutions for the sake of automation is short-sighted. Automation should be implemented and/or improved upon for the right business and technical reasons. Depending on automation alone for business success is also short-sighted.

Focus instead on the necessary strategic balance that automation enables. By focusing on a strategic balance among all of its tools, skills and assets, manufacturers can achieve the rhythm, equilibrium and stability to control their top and bottom lines more effectively.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me