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cutting-industrial-headcount-workforce-issues

Unintended Consequences of Cutting Technical Headcount

In the automation community, we routinely hear that reducing head count is one of the better ways to cut operational costs in a manufacturing plant. From some perspectives, this assertion makes sense, especially if management is looking for short-term cost reductions to bolster the plant’s net operating profits, meet their performance goals, and receive their […]

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Top-floor-to-shop-floor-integration

What Are the Benefits of Connected Manufacturing?

More and more customers today are looking for highly customized products. At the same time, manufacturers are under pressure to produce efficiently at mass-production costs. One way organizations can meet this challenge is by integrating business and manufacturing systems with automation technology. Traditionally, these systems have run independently of each other, but the factories of […]

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Control-system-cybersecurity

Industrial Control System Cybersecurity: Build It in or Bolt It On?

Legacy industrial control systems (ICS), including distributed control systems, programmable logic controllers, and supervisory control and data acquisition systems, were engineered using cyber technologies and tools from as far back as the 1970s and 1980s. These industrial control systems are now up against rogue actors and nations armed with cyber weapons that are orders of […]

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industrial-security-prevent-incident

What Automation Users Need to Do RIGHT NOW: Preparing for the Inevitable Cybersecurity Incident

With the ever-increasing drumbeat of cyber-attack pounding louder and louder in the background, organizations utilizing automation systems of any kind need to take proactive, defensive steps immediately to avoid significant business disruption and lost revenue. Normally, I would be preaching the gospel of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the foundational elements set forth in the ISA/IEC […]

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Leverage-ISA-Standards-Industrial-Project-Design

How to Leverage ISA Standards to Achieve Sustainable Benefits During Industrial Project Design

In previous posts in this series (click here and here), I’ve talked about the need and desire for companies to significantly improve their operational capability and flexibility to compete successfully in a world market, and described some likely hurdles encountered in that journey. I’ve also implied that how those improvements are implemented can be more […]

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Optimize-Process-Operations-with-Wireless-Measurements

How to Overcome Challenges of PID Control and Analyzer Applications via Wireless Measurements

Wireless measurements offer significant life-cycle cost savings by eliminating the installation, troubleshooting, and modification of wiring systems for new and relocated measurements. Some of the less recognized benefits are the eradication of EMI spikes from pump and agitator variable speed drives, the optimization of sensor location, and the demonstration of process control improvements. However, loss […]

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Improve-Industrial-Productivity-with-Loop-Calibration

How to Improve Industrial Productivity with Loop Calibration

The typical approach to calibration has been to regularly test instrumentation that affects successful control, safe operation, quality, or other relevant criteria. In most cases, scheduling is conservative, and methods at a particular site have evolved over time. Instrument technicians follow practices that were set up many years ago. It is not uncommon to hear, […]

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Feedforward-Control-Enables-Flexible-Sustainable-Manufacturing

Feedforward Control Enables Flexible, Sustainable Manufacturing

The reduction in inventories, coupled with changing market demands and fluctuations in raw material and energy prices, requires a process plant to respond as fast as possible for optimum operation. In order to change production rates or product grades, flows need to change in concert throughout the plant. Feedback loops can eventually find the right […]

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Webinar-Recording-Large-Project-Execution-A-Better-Way

Webinar Recording: Large Industrial Project Execution

Driven by a desire to reduce risk with large projects, many owner organizations utilize a strategy where an EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) company is sole-sourced to manage and execute the entire scope. While EPCs are well-suited to execute the civil and mechanical scopes that make up most of the cost in a large project, they […]

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