Overcoming Network Obfuscation

Posted by Karl Schrader on October 30, 2012 @ 10:20 am

Within the field of manufacturing automation, we face hurdles unique to the ways industrial control systems communicate. This often leads to piecemeal approaches to communication architecture development and installation. With a careful approach, legacy communication systems can be converted to higher performing systems, capable of providing connectivity without sacrificing security. With the ever growing need for real-time data related to manufacturing, two of the largest concerns are accessibility and security. While these two requirements, at first glance, appear to be at odds with each other, cues can be taken from existing IT technologies which can lead to successfu... Continue Reading

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Seven Reasons to Integrate Your Applications

Posted by Paul Galeski on October 25, 2012 @ 8:26 am

  There are many reasons to integrate your automation information system. Fortunately, you don’t always have to rely on an automation hardware and software vendor. Integration among applications makes data  immediately available to all relevant on-site and off-site parties, including, but not limited to, management, engineering, and operations and maintenance staff. Once applications are integrated, a single point of data storage can be selected, often a historian. The historian can then become the focal point for both local and remote access... Continue Reading

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Scoping Automation And Control Projects

Posted by Shane Hudson on October 23, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  The approach taken during front-end engineering feasibility studies and scope development frequently determines whether an industrial control project will be successful. Unfortunately, budgetary and timing constraints normally limit the approach and resources used during these critical phases of project development, which ultimately result in unanticipated costs, technical complications, and schedule delays during subsequent project implementation. Scoping Automation And Control Projects For example, plant operations or maintenance personnel are routinely tasked with developing project scopes and capital budget estimates in a short period of... Continue Reading

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What You Can Do To Avoid Wrong Turns

Posted by John Clemons on October 18, 2012 @ 7:20 am

Everybody makes a wrong turn now and then on a project. Most of the time you can correct the wrong turn and get the project back on track pretty easily. Sometimes it’s a lot harder to get the project back on track and sometimes the project can’t be recovered at all. Of course, the best approach is not to make a wrong turn at all, but that’s a lot easier said than done. So, I thought I would give you a few ideas that might help you avoid a wrong turn or at least make the wrong turn a lot smaller and easier to correct. Align the project with the business on day one. ... Continue Reading

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Just Who is the Customer and What Does He Really Want?

Posted by Robert Henderson on October 17, 2012 @ 10:24 am

The customer is the individual who pays the bills. The customer is the group that will use the product. The customer is the executive who judges how well the project meets the business needs of the company. We could add more examples to the list, but each of these customers looks at a project slightly differently and judges it in unique ways. As engineers, we must always try to understand these different viewpoints and be responsive to the needs of the various voices that speak for a collective customer. If we do not understand how different stakeholders offering input on a... Continue Reading

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