Video: Returning the human to automated processes
Automation technology is great, as far as it goes, but it can’t substitute for the decision making capability of enlightened and engaged human beings. Sudipta Bhattacharya of Invensys Operations Management reflects on how automation has to change to empower people.
Where will the next level of productivity come from? As manufacturers watch competitive pressures continue to increase, while the opportunities from advances in technology are beginning to level off, Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and CEO of Invensys Operations Management, sees companies turning back to people for solutions. In an interview at Ops Manage 2011, he discusses how technology should be used to empower people at the edge: the plant managers, supervisors, and operators who are closest to what’s really happening and therefore in an excellent position to determine the best ways to serve customers.
Bhattacharya points out that making such an approach successful depends on a combination of two things: changes in technology and a shift in corporate culture.
The technological change involves getting the right information to the people on the edge, so they have all the data necessary to make informed decisions. The cultural change is generally the more difficult one to make happen. It involves breaking out of the centralized command and control mentality, and moving production decision making out to the edge. All companies do not embrace this readily, but some that have find it can drive major positive change.
Peter Welander, firstname.lastname@example.org
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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