Very often commercial and industrial decision-making whether to outsource or not is governed by the time value of money, cost savings, and potential for productivity increases. But what if we look at another dimension, that is the opportunity to explicitly buy time? Who doesn't want more?!
As one of the industrial automation companies that assists clients in maintaining their competitive edge, we frequently participate in capital upgrade projects for industrial automation controls that embrace the application of automation as a means to keep production costs low and product quality consistently high. We have frequently been invited to engage in our client’s projects at the time they are studying how they manufacture their goods, and are asking the question, “What will be the most effective use of the latest automatic processing technology in my operation?”
When your solution provider presents you with a proposed equipment project to solve a current manufacturing need, is he or she really offering you the most cost effective approach? How can you be sure that your partner has left no metaphorical solution stone unturned, and that you are in fact being offered a well thought out and thorough answer to your requirements? We have discovered that a complete investigation should involve a check to see if a retrofitting (read this as used with upgrades) equipment approach would be a fit that might offer near comparable performance at a fraction of the cost.
It’s been just a few weeks since my FT Batch presentation at the Rockwell Process Systems User’s group meeting in Chicago and I remain overwhelmed by a significant theme of the event: our modern DCS systems are now a “connected enterprise.” If you read this overview article on Rockwell’s site, The Connected Enterprise puts the Industrial internet of Things to Work for You, you can see that we have moved past just talking about IoT and on to actually being “connected.”
Many companies who manufacture goods frequently find themselves lacking resources, space, and time to invest in their business when it comes to improving or expanding their production processes. Attempts to add new equipment, or shutdowns to existing equipment for upgrades, become disruptive and interfere with meeting production quotas; the additional work also stretches staff with extra tasks not planned for.