Supporting Manufacturing IT Starts with Understanding Others

July 26, 2021
The key to delivering successful IIoT solutions to modern manufacturing problems begins with connecting with individual manufacturers and understanding their current technology, their day-to-day tasks, and where inefficiencies can be improved.

A common service we provide is assessing all types of manufacturing systems and recommend ways to improve and better support their operations. Over the past few weeks, I have been part of a team that has been digging into a new manufacturing company to understand their IT workflow process and niche software systems. It’s increasingly interesting to learn how different companies delegate tasks and utilize different software to run their manufacturing.

Every company organizes their people’s contribution a little differently by choosing specific roles for each employee. But, so much of how a company operates their manufacturing systems is dependent on their size, maturity, and what technologies and software they use. To the manufacturing novice, you could expect many companies to have an efficient and easy process to perform every operation and solve every problem, but in reality that is not the case. Every manufacturer is a snowflake in some respect. By assessing a manufacturer’s systems, we take the time to dig in, learn, understand and put ourselves in a position to help them troubleshoot, improve their processes, and—in some cases—their people’s actions.

Our goal on an assessment, and our subsequent recommendations, is to help a company to provide them the best possible structure for technology support and sustainability. To do that, first we need to understand how they work. This includes learning the background, system architecture, design methods and the entire process flow of the area we are assessing. After we have a better understanding, we are able to investigate and understand, from an informed outsiders’ point of view, where their problems are, which areas are fragile, which need more attention and set up initial thoughts to identify why these inefficiencies and issues are happening.

Those buckets of improvement opportunities create different support solutions to address their struggles to troubleshoot and maintain the plant systems. It can be as simple as adding additional resources to ensure day-to-day tasks and challenges go smoother with their use of technology. It also can involve improving on the known (but often not addressed) software bugs and improving their automation tools. If the identified challenges don’t focus on pure technology assistance, there is often needs in quality control, operational training and maintenance assistance. As you can see, manufacturing companies face a variety of obstacles and could use some help. Avanceon role is providing value as a second set of expert eyes into those challenges. If you allow us the opportunity to understand you and your systems, we can’t wait to help you to improve and grow.

Nataina Velez Vargasis an Engineer at Avanceon, a certified member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). For more information about Avanceon, visit its profile on the CSIA Industrial Automation Exchange.

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