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Migration on the Mind

Some suppliers call it control platform migration, while others call it evolution. Whatever the name, the problem is the same.

Companies have not spent capital improvement money for years, yet internal company requirements have changed. How can old platforms move into the 21st century? This issue of Automation World explores ways manufacturing professionals have successfully brought their control platforms into compliance with modern standards.

Improving aging control platforms in order to meet new manufacturing management requirements for information acquisition can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Suppliers have devised ways to migrate platforms to the latest specifications without all the agony—or the cost. Automation World Contributing Editor James Koelsch reveals some secrets in an article beginning on page 30.

Ask your readers how they really feel about their manufacturing software, said an industry marketing manager, and you’ll set the industry on its ear. So, Automation World surveyed its readers, and Editor Gary Mintchell conducted follow-up interviews. His report on reader frustrations with software begins on page 34.

Software upgrades and updates seem to be a constant source of work for manufacturing engineers and information technology professionals. Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel, in an article beginning on page 38, discovered that having a plan for handling software version changes can help end the frustration.

With the focus on cyber-security, threats against plant and employee physical security can be overlooked. But as information technology and physical security technology converge, the payoff for manufacturers can be smarter, multi-functional systems that can not only keep plants secure, but also help boost the bottom line. Wes Iversen, Automation World managing editor, reports on the trends in an article beginning on page 42.

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