In many manufacturing facilities, it’s tempting to simply speed things up in order to boost performance. Just another 1 or 2% increase on that mill, pump, filler or palletizer can seem like easy money. In reality, it just isn’t that simple, and I know from experience. As a manufacturing executive in the packaging material industry, responsible for several plants in North America, my most productive facility was not the one with the highest line or machine speeds — in fact, it wasn’t even close. By any measure of productivity, cost, quality, asset utilization, spoilage, material usage, spare parts, utility usage, etc., speed was not the answer. To use Lean Manufacturing vernacular, it was a clear case of elimination of “mura,” or unevenness, throughout the operation.
The thing about getting older is, well, things just don’t work the way they used to, and we can’t do everything we used to do — at least not with the same degree of certainty and confidence. Process automation systems are no different; they have their own set of aches and pains and performance issues as they age.
Numerous companies with membership in the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) are seeking or renewing certifications as a means of confirming / improving their various business practices. Having been through the original certification, along with two renewal efforts, I wanted to share some advice for passing the audit and getting the most out of the experience.
Most manufacturing companies have been working on the notion of enterprise integration for a good while now. They have been integrating control systems to MES systems and MES systems to ERP systems and so on and so on for years. And, they’ve been doing a pretty good job of it.
MAVERICK’s strength has always been its people. The experience and knowledge our thought leaders bring to the table are what drive our success and the success of our customers. We’ve recruited some of the best minds at MAVERICK Technologies, and they’ll be sharing their thoughts on topics ranging from DCS Migration to project management to safety.
Like I mentioned before, you can invest in yourself — in your interests in the fields of automation and enterprise integration — in a lot of ways. One project we’ve seen many manufacturers doing lately is DCS migration. If you’re still running an old DCS, this could be just the project for you. Depending on your current business and operating conditions, you might see a substantial return on this investment.
You can invest in yourself in a lot of ways. Here are just a few examples of goals you might set for your investment:
Just as a reminder, to invest in yourself means to invest in your own interests in the fields of automation and enterprise integration. It sounds like a major undertaking. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Since you’re in control, you get to decide how much you want to invest and what kind of results you want to achieve. Even a small investment can be incredibly rewarding.