Tips for successful international projects

May 10, 2016 3:59:20 PM | Posted by Dave Cortivo

Gaining a basic knowledge about a country's culture, language, and working with the on-site team are several ways to make an international project a success for everyone involved.

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Human machine interface (HMI) design: It takes more than just pretty pictures

May 6, 2015 3:18:00 AM | Posted by Dave Cortivo

HMI design isn’t just about being creative, it has to take into account who will be seeing it on a regular basis and what it will be used for.

In order to insure successful implantation, effective HMI design should start with the same proper planning as any other project. Just making an HMI look like the real think is not always the best answer. HMIs are present in a great deal of applications, which leads to multiple lessons that should be taken into consideration when starting a new design project. Often times, designers overlook what they could have learned from past designs (and even mistakes) until it’s too late. It is imperative that information from accidents from the past are used to insure success in the future. Arming yourself with simple rules from lessons learned on the how to communicate to operations is extremely important to the success of your project.

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Implementing a simulation network

Sep 24, 2014 6:32:00 AM | Posted by Dave Cortivo

Critical steps to implementing a successful simulation network include establishing a simulation policy, defining long-term needs, and training your operations team.

It is a common understanding that manufacturing is one of the most important applications of implementing a simulation network. So, what does this mean to you and your plant? There is a direct overhead cost with simulation as it requires simulation software, license files, hardware, and upkeep. Can you justify the cost offset of a simulator? The answer is yes, it is worth all the products your plant makes if systems go down due to edits or failed startups. It is worth the cost replacement of a destroyed piece of equipment. It is worth the cost of having a simulated production environment that allows for cross training of your operators without the worry of a production near-miss and smoothly implementing expansion growth and production improvements.

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Upgrading control systems: Phase migration vs. complete replacement

Apr 30, 2014 7:30:49 AM | Posted by Dave Cortivo

After receiving the approval for a control system replacement project, how do you decide between phased migration and a complete replacement? Do you keep some of the old and integrate the new, or just go with a fresh start?

Now it’s time to setup the plant for the highest possible return on a project that was hard to justify in the first place. There are so many questions that should drive the selection of the control system. What is its expandability? How well does it play with my “other” systems? What is my support learning curve? When you have answered these questions and have selected a control system, the hard part is done right? Not even close; it is time to execute what model you choose. Let’s discuss two typical migration models, phased migration and complete replacement. So now you must consider what should stay and what should go.

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