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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Developing A New Breed of Automation Professionals

Posted by Paul Galeski on October 10, 2012 @ 8:37 am

Friends in manufacturing: I often say that at MAVERICK Technologies, industrial automation is in our DNA. It’s more than what we do; it’s what we love. In fact, the collective talent of MAVERICK translates to more than 12,000 man-years of experience in industrial automation. Our 500+ professionals share a passion for automation and a process for problem solving. The combination of people, process and passion give us the ability to truly effect change — and positive change is our mission. I am happy to announce that MAVERICK has signed a Premier Strategic Partnership with the International Society of Automation (ISA). This multi-year ... Continue Reading

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Secrets of Effective HMI Design

Posted by William Zupon on October 9, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

Over the course of my career, I have seen hundreds of different HMI applications. Some of them have been very good, while some of them have been painful to look at and worse to actually use. The most important purpose of an HMI application is to allow an individual to interface with the control system as effectively and efficiently as possible. When developing an application from start, I break the development process into two parts: functionality and layout. Fulfilling specific functionality needs is really why an HMI will be developed. Ideally, the functionality required from the HMI would be clearly defined in the project functional specification or similar document. In instances where the functionality requirements are absent or poorly defined, the developer must communicate with the customer to define the scope prior to starting the HMI development process. You might think the... Continue Reading

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4 Common Commissioning Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by Steve Cochran on October 2, 2012 @ 8:39 am

Commissioning is usually that undefined time between construction and plant start up. If commissioning doesn't go smoothly, you can count on start-up not going smoothly. I have commissioned dozens of plants over the past 27 years and have seen firsthand the difference between a good plan and a bad one. If you avoid these following mistakes I've witnessed over and over again, your efforts will be more trouble free with fewer self-induced headaches. Mistake  1: Why do I need a plan? Let’s just go out there and start checking stuff out as soon as construction la... Continue Reading

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