Food Producer Success: New Automation Strategy Drives Control System Migration
A major food producer sought to replace its legacy distributed control system to handle a greater variety of automation tasks. The catch: production operations had to be up and running with the new system in less than two weeks.
System integration and engineering firm, Optimation, Rush, N.Y., was presented with the challenge of replacing a food production company’s legacy ABB MOD300 distributed control system (DCS) while ensuring that production would not be interrupted for more than two weeks. The food producer wanted a new automation system installed that could provide plant-wide control and support the use of multiple operator screens for coordination of work with the production team...
» Operations View:
OEE Reveals the ‘Hidden Factory’ at PGT Industries
Replacement windows are always in demand. PGT Industries Inc. of Venice, Fla., one of the nation’s leading window manufacturers, projected that demand would soon exceed production capacity and, as a result, constrain revenue growth.
So even though it operates a 485,000 sq. ft., manufacturing and delivery facility in North Venice, Fla., management developed a capital plan with the intention of expanding the operations. Prior to making this large investment, however, PGT’s vice president of operations decided to test the company’s assumptions about its current capacity by installing and applying a productivity analysis tool...
Embedded Software Manufacturing Key to Auto Industry
The rapid change of pace in consumer technology, like smart phones and other portable devices, is helping shape car sales as automakers integrate the latest wave of capabilities into vehicles to satisfy growing consumer demand. Yet, this trend brings additional challenges to car companies and the embedded software manufacturers that make such integration possible.
Called in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), the systems provide capabilities, such as telematics, safety systems, entertainment, communication and information connectivity that are increasingly being featured in today’s automobiles. Embedded software in each vehicle enables IVI devices to provide specific capabilities and is therefore a huge consideration, because IVI systems are becoming key criteria for vehicle purchases...
» Automation Team:
Expand the STEM Dialogue to ‘The Forgotten Middle Half’
As a nation, we need to expand our dialogue around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and education. Automation World Publisher Jim Chrzan is doing it in the June 2012 Automation World cover story. But there is another area I think we ought to expand into.
Too much of the STEM message is directed to students who are at the top of their class, and who are already headed to four-year or higher college programs. But college-degreed engineers don’t operate or maintain manufacturing plants—people with high school diplomas, skill certificates and community college degrees do. These people need STEM skills as much or more than the university-bound student, but they are often left out of programs that are aimed at advanced placement (AP) students...