Strategic Balance

Building a manufacturing strategy that balances new technologies and profitability requires study, planning and execution. This issue of Automation World explores both technological and people issues that will help you increase your plant’s productivity.

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Sooner or later, every control system gets too old to be supported economically. In an article beginning on page 32, Automation World Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell shows how engineers are migrating their control platforms in order to support changed corporate objectives.

Lean thinking continues to be one of the top strategies for improving productivity and profitability without a technology investment. In a story that begins on page 38, Dave Gehman describes how embracing a culture of change can pay big dividends.

With all that software in your plant that is built on Microsoft Windows, and all the updates that Microsoft continues to issue, how can a plant manager make sure that a plant has all the latest software fixes without shutting down the plant while upgrading? Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel, in an article beginning on page 42, reports on how suppliers and managers are collaborating to get this done.

Getting up-to-the-minute manufacturing information so that management can make the best decisions is today’s manufacturing strategy mantra. Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen reports in an article beginning on page 46 how Nova Chemicals is collaborating with its vendors to accomplish this feat.

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