Cut costs with manufacturing IT standards, best practices

As every manufacturing company looks for ways to cut costs and save money, there is one place that too many engineers and executives are ignoring. If you had the opportunity to reduce automation project costs or times by over 30%, reduce costs for plant-to-enterprise integration by over 70%, or reduce maintenance support costs by over 10%, you would think that most engineers or executives would...

04/01/2009


As every manufacturing company looks for ways to cut costs and save money, there is one place that too many engineers and executives are ignoring. If you had the opportunity to reduce automation project costs or times by over 30%, reduce costs for plant-to-enterprise integration by over 70%, or reduce maintenance support costs by over 10%, you would think that most engineers or executives would jump at the opportunity. Yet many professionals ignore these savings because they either don't know how to achieve them or they don't believe in the value of manufacturing IT standards.

There are a set of well-accepted manufacturing IT standards that have a proven track record of reducing costs and time on manufacturing projects. The standards have been developed by multiple organizations, including Mimosa, OMAC, ISA, WBF, OPC, and OAGIS (see links below). Papers and presentations from these organizations document the savings. These organizations are also working together through the OpenO&M initiative.

OpenO&M's goal is to provide a harmonized set of standards for the exchange of operations and maintenance information. It provides a forum for the committee chairmen to talk, coordinate their work, and remove duplications in the standards. Secondary goals are to develop a consistent implementation framework for the standards and a set of certification programs for the standards.

The well-known ISA 88 and associated WBF Batch ML standards have a track record for reducing automation project costs by over 30% through code reuse and standard implementations. Yet, an estimated 50% of companies don't use these standards in new control projects. Implementations of the reuse models defined in the ISA 88 Part 3 General and Site Recipe standard have reduced recipe development times by over 50%. The WBF B2MML and ISA 95 standards have been used to reduce plant-to-enterprise integration project time and cost by over 70%. The ISA 95 standards for MOM (manufacturing operations management) and MES (manufacturing execution systems) have reduced analysis, design, and implementation of MES projects by over 30%, allowing more companies to obtain the well-documented productivity gains from MOM and MES systems.

The OPC and new OPC-UA standards for industrial device interfaces have reduced implementation and startup costs through simplified diagnostics and management services. The OPC-UA standard defines standard interfaces to complex devices, such as analyzers, as well as providing an interface to legacy OPC devices. In addition, the OPC-UA standard addresses security for industrial networks, eliminating the concerns that have kept OPC out of some facilities.

Companies implementing the Mimosa standards for maintenance information exchange have reported savings in maintenance operations costs. Just implementing the equipment-identity section of the Mimosa standard reduces the confusion and lost productivity associated with multiple names for the same equipment in different systems. The OAGIS models for a common integration backbone have been shown to reduce integration costs and IT maintenance costs by over 30%.

The final part of cutting costs and saving money is to let someone else do the testing of systems. For the manufacturing IT standards, this will be accomplished by IICI (Industrial Interoperability Compliance Institute), a non-profit compliance testing organization that is under development at ISA. The IICI will test vendor packages against the industrial standards, reducing your company's need to test compliance and reducing your project integration costs.

When looking to save money and reduce costs, it is important to reuse the work done by others. Manufacturing IT standards, which define the best practices for using IT concepts in manufacturing operations, provide an excellent framework to help you do more with less.



Author Information

Dennis Brandl is president of BR&L Consulting in Cary, NC, dbrandl@brlconsulting.com .




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...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me