Building The Automation Team

Just as precision flying teams depend on teamwork to perform their missions, so too do the best manufacturers rely upon well-trained automation teams to get the most from their factory assets.

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To be sure, the current skills shortage, today’s need for higher productivity, and the near-term retirement of an experienced “baby boomer” workforce are all heightening the challenge. This issue of Automation World explores how some companies are responding, by building stronger teams through continuing training and by using productivity-enhancing technologies.

Today’s time-constrained manufacturers are pursuing a bigger bang for their training dollar, whether through vendor-provided training or internal training programs. In an article beginning on page 30, Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen shows how several companies are responding to the training challenge.

Integral with building teams is actual teamwork. Plant managers are using collaboration tools to bring teams together to optimize production and speed time-to-market. In a story that begins on page 36, Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel describes how companies are building automation teams using the latest technology.

Terrorists and computer hackers continue to make the news. Process plants are a valuable link in the nation’s economy. There is a response that manufacturing managers can make. Contributing Editor James Koelsch, in an article beginning on page 40, reports on some ways that automation keeps intruders—both physical and cyber—out.

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