A perfect storm is brewing in the automation world, and it has nothing to do with hardware or software. It’s about resources, which are fast becoming a bottleneck in the industry. Why? Well, there are several factors at play. I’ll address some of the bigger ones:
Is fear of failure haunting your upcoming migration project? Engineers are pretty good with band-aids and bailing wire, so absolute failure is rare. But in process control, pitfalls like exceeding budget, operations rejection, and maintenance headaches could constitute failure. In migration projects, most of these pitfalls originate not from incompetence but from missed opportunities.
Most people on the hunt for a new DCS system have never been through a migration before. The industry average life of a DCS is about 17 years, so it’s not something that happens every day. A DCS migration is a substantial investment that should be carefully weighed and fully vetted before making a final decision, so consider these important factors before you migrate.
In the past 10 years alone, there have been some big changes in the MES space. Not just changing business requirements or changing manufacturing work. I’m talking about changes that come from new technology and new architectures and solutions presented by the various MES vendors. The good news is, most of these changes are really pretty good — and a lot of the new technology is excellent and well worth taking a close look at.
Soon after the acronym DCS appeared, more than 30 years ago now, discussions about what system is “best” cropped up among control engineers.
What do these three items have in common? The companies that made them were all felled by disruptive technologies. To be fair, sailing ships and wired phones still exist, but not like they did in their heyday. When’s the last time you saw a sail-powered cargo ship? How many of us even have a wired home phone? Does your new computer have a floppy disk drive?
Everyone’s heard of Stuxnet. But what does it mean to us now?
Today, project management success is as much about the process and procedures followed during execution as it is about the project managers themselves. Definition, justification, specifications, proposal development, etc., are all important aspects of a successful project, as are the skill, experience and intangible assets of the PM. True success, however, sometimes comes from areas unrelated to one person. From a pure procedural perspective, the Project Management Institute (PMI) specializes in defining the processes for managing efforts in general, but a successful automation effort requires a tailored approach to managing a project.