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Batch Processing Desk

March 24, 2015 | By Stephanie Neil
A United Industrial Network
The availability of the Field Device Integration developer tools signals a new era of device interoperability in process automation.

The bitter fieldbus wars of years past are but a faint memory in this decade as the providers of communication protocols and device integration tools have come to a truce in the name of network compatibility.

Still, there have been different camps—from Fieldbus Foundation to Hart Communication Foundation to Profibus & Profinet International—and the turf wars of device intelligence technologies Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and the Field Device Tool (FDT). While there is compatibility, it comes with extra work for the suppliers and end users who must maintain control systems and devices that may adhere to similar standards, but don’t always speak the same language.

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March 05, 2015 | By Stephanie Neil
Visibility Beyond the Plant Floor Walls
Dassault Systèmes adds maintenance, logistics, and warehouse capabilities to its manufacturing intelligence application suite.

Recognizing the need to collect operational insight beyond the factory floor, Dassault Systèmes this week introduced a new version of its Delmia Apriso Manufacturing Process Intelligence (MPI) application suite that extends visibility to over 200 new key performance indicators (KPIs).

MPI 4.0 adds metrics for maintenance, logistics, and the warehouse, in addition to the existing production, machine, time and labor, and quality analytics and reports. The software comes in the form of pre-configured intelligence packs that provide built-in metrics to measure nearly any type of operational KPI. With all seven intelligence packs, MPI 4.0 now delivers over 700 pre-configured measurements.

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March 02, 2015 | By Stephanie Neil
The Connected Smart Bottle Is Calling
Thinfilm and Diageo plc partner on a prototype that uses printed sensor tags and near field communication to deliver personalized messages from a bottle on the store shelf to consumers’ smartphones.

A guy walks into a liquor store, heads to the whiskey aisle and stops for a second to contemplate which of the many brands on the shelf he will buy. Suddenly, his smartphone pings him with a message: “Johnnie Walker Blue Label has layers of big flavor and a deep richness that has a smoky smooth finish.”

He nods, puts his phone back in his pocket, and grabs a Blue Label bottle. At home, as he uncaps the beverage, his smartphone alerts him of another new message. “Start by serving the Blue Label neat in a tumbler, nosing the whiskey carefully.”

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February 22, 2015 | By Stephanie Neil
Pharmaceutical Plants in Flux
As the industry struggles with new competitive pressure, the move is on from batch to continuous processing in an effort to increase manufacturing agility, improve product quality, and lower operational costs.

The pharmaceutical space is an industry in transition. To be successful in the past meant coming up with the next blockbuster drug. But with generic versions, the emerging customized drug market, and elevated cost and quality pressures, there’s a lot more to do these days. And all eyes are on the batch processes on the plant floor which, to date, have been the tried-and-true approach to regulatory compliance. But now batch appears to be the bottleneck to manufacturing innovation.

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FILED IN:Life Sciences
February 18, 2015 | By Stephanie Neil
The Many Sides of Cybersecurity
Manufacturers are waking up to the fact that a control system breach is inevitable if the plant network is not protected.

What are the daunting—perhaps haunting—aspects of manufacturing that keep plant managers awake at night? Not cybersecurity, believe it or not. Rather, it’s cost pressure, an aging infrastructure, productivity improvement, workforce attrition, and operational excellence. Cybersecurity didn’t even make the top 10, according to research presented by ABB at the ARC Industry forum in Orlando last week. That is surprising, considering employee safety ranked number seven on the list, and, the threat of death and destruction is real if a hacker takes over an industrial control system.

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