Technology needs a strategic deployment to show value

The subject was mobility at Syclo’s annual user-group meeting in Rosemont, IL on June 11. The topics went beyond how plant floor devices were moving, but how manufacturers needed to think about using technology on the plant floor. “Technology needs to be blended within an organization, and within a community” said Rich Padula, founder and CEO of Syclo.


The subject was mobility at Syclo’s annual user-group meeting in Rosemont, IL on June 11. The topics went beyond how plant floor devices were moving, but how manufacturers needed to think about using technology on the plant floor.

“Technology needs to be blended within an organization, and within a community” said Rich Padula, founder and CEO of Syclo. “Mobile applications have evolved from a tactical deployment to a strategic deployment. We used to have single-point solutions.”

The evolution to what Padula called “device agnostic” technologies is driving more real-time data management regardless of which software provider or which device manufacturer is involved. With standards moving closer and closer to adoption, the industry is now looking ahead to how the data can be used to unclog back-ups in the processing of products and the performance of equipment.

Mobility will help in that effort, by allowing data to be captured at the point of creation, said Marc Chesover, Syclo’s general manager for its UK-based international business. “There’s a lot of excess foot traffic in facilities,” he said. “The value of mobility to management is the value of the ease of moving data and validating data at the point of performance. You need to make sure it’s there in real time, or as close to real time as you can get.

“It’s about the quality, quantity and timeliness of the data,” Chesover added. “It’s no good to make decisions three weeks later. You need to be able to manage your business right there, exactly when it happens.”

One of the great struggles in a tight economy is to find capital funds to drive incremental improvements. The initial cost of technology deployment gives many end users pause. Padula and Chesover stressed the payoff for such adoptions will be found in long-term commitments, not short-term solutions.

“When you start the initial deployment, you’ve got to be thinking about the second, third and fourth deployments,” Chesover told the conference attendees. “Don’t get tied into applications going only to a single back-end device, or only to the devices you use today. You don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Chesover said the initial success of mobility deployment will make other uses readily apparent. “You need to go inside your organization and look at your current mobility deployment and see where you’re finding value,” he said. “A lot of it is done tactically instead of strategically. Look at where else to employ technology to increase value.”

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
November 2018
2018 Product of the Year finalists, mild steel welding: finding the right filler, and new technique joins aluminum to steel.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Summer 2018
Microgrids and universities, Steam traps and energy efficiency, Finding help with energy projects
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
November 2018
Analytics quantify processes, Fieldbus networking and IIoT, Choosing the right accelerometer

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me