Archive of Manufacturing Performance - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 1)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 11, 2012 @ 11:17 am

A few years ago, I was working with an internal integration group for a manufacturing company which had facilities in many domestic and international locations. One of the initiatives I had undertaken was to redevelop procedures for assessing safety hazards on automated equipment. Safety_WorkPlace_MachineWith the planned adoption of the International Standards Organization document ISO:13849-1:2006, the older EN-954 standard was slated for retraction by the European Standards Organization. Anticipating this retraction, we needed to take another look at our own risk analysis and mitigation procedures in order to maintain complia...

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Conflict in the Workplace: What to do When Two Worlds Collide

Posted by Bruce Brandt on November 6, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  Recently I attended a session with a panel of security experts who were discussing process control system security. There were quite a number of surprising revelations from this gathering including the need to ensure that your facility’s control system isn’t found by a search engine called Shodan. It may sound like the villain of some cyberpunk novels, but can be a real threat to the security of your control system. I’d never heard of Shodan, so I was more than a bit taken aback that something like this existed and was regularly being used by hackers to attack industrial control systems. Hearing that the number of systems that can be found using this search engine numbers in the thousands was even more of a shock....

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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...

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Doing Your Homework – Part 2

Posted by John Clemons on June 27, 2012 @ 7:33 am

In the last post I gave you some homework around the idea of operational excellence.  I hope you did your homework and learned some things. In this post, I’d like to keep this idea of homework going and extend it to the idea of manufacturing agility.  Manufacturing agility is a little more complicated and is usually only really possible once you’ve mastered at least the basics of operational excellence. But, manufacturing agility is what makes a good manufacturing plant a great plant.  And, it’s the thing that really helps accelerate profit and market share growth. Manufacturing agility is all about changing products easily and quickly.  It’s about changing the processes and changing the equipment just as easily and quickly.  It’s even about changing the back-end business processes and being able to make these changes in as close to zero cost, zero time, and with ...

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Doing Your Homework – Part 1

Posted by John Clemons on June 13, 2012 @ 7:50 am

You’ve probably heard me talk before about the idea of operational excellence. In additional to operational excellence, I’ve probably called it manufacturing performance, predictable manufacturing, or even reliable manufacturing. It’s the basic idea that in manufacturing there’s just some things that you have to do right. Like attack the waste streams and control variability and ensure consistency. You need to adhere to your schedules, achieve regulatory compliance, and work on ways to optimize performance. I could talk about it all day, but I’d like to do something different. I’d simply like to take these ideas and turn them back around to you.  I’d like to ask you to go do some homework. I’ve got some questions here that I’d like to ask you to think about. Or even go out and investigate a little bit. I bet there’s some of these questions that you don’t h...

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