Advantech becomes IMS member
The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech is now a member of the Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS). IMS was established in 2001 as a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) through a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and the University of Michigan. Its vision is to enable products and systems to achieve, and sustain, near-zero breakdown performance, and ultimately transform the traditional maintenance practices of “fail and fix” to a “predict and prevent” methodology. The Center is focused on frontier technologies in embedded and remote monitoring, prognostics and intelligent decision support tools, and has coined the trademarked Watchdog Agent prognostics tools and Device-to-Business (D2B) infotronics platform for e-maintenance systems.
The Watchdog Agent can asses and predict the performance of a process or equipment based on the input from the sensors mounted on it. Performance-related information is extracted from multiple sensor inputs through signal processing, feature extraction and sensor fusion techniques. Historical behavior of process signatures is used to predict their future behavior, and thus forecast the process or machine’s performance. Based on the forecasted performance, proactive maintenance can be facilitated through the prediction of potential failures before they occur. Furthermore, this proactive maintenance infrastructure can be supported by the information gathered by the Watchdog Agent. This peer to peer (P2P) paradigm will be used to improve diagnostic and forecasting functionalities of the Watchdog Agent.
Jay Lee, Director of NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on IMS said “IMS is very excited to work with Advantech to integrate IMS Watchdog Agent prognostics tools with Advantech’s product platform to make pervasive impacts to its members as well as the diversified industries.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.