You’re Agile or You’re Dead

Posted by Paul Galeski on February 22, 2012 @ 11:33 am

Strong words with a true message. It’s critical to understand how times have changed. If you can’t react, you won’t just be left behind — you’ll be gone. As Bernard Baruch described the challenge of the Atomic Age, “We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead.” The global economy hasn’t just changed distribution. It’s changed competition. Manufacturing companies are searching for ways to produce a product that will sell into any market, anywhere — and in short order. Because markets are global, most manufacturing companies are no longer protected or buffered from changing product requirements by geography, regulations or tariffs. It is necessary to respond today to the trends discovered today. The only constant in today’s business world is the ever-increasing velocity of change. Companies that truly embrace global manufacturing, distribution an... Continue Reading

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Introducing DCS Next

Posted by Paul Galeski on February 15, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

Last week we talked about a way to handle DCS migration without breaking the bank, shutting down production for months or waiting for results. We said it would change everything. We call it DCS Next. DCS Next is not just a simple I/O or equipment replacement. DCS Next is a turn-key, comprehensive solution that utilizes a proven methodology to migrate with minimal downtime and lock in the gains achieved with a full sustainment package, all to drive innovation in your systems. It’s about: • Taking a fresh look at your manufacturing operations • Fundamentally improving your manufacturing process • Understanding the key drivers that impact business needs • Looking at technology across your entire footprint • Finding the technology solution that fits you best • Delivering on time, in scope and within budget • Ongoing sustainability planning and pr... Continue Reading

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A Time of Great Change

Posted by Paul Galeski on February 8, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

The old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” must apply to your distributed control system. Legacy DCS systems are in crisis. Many vendors are dropping their support. If you’re running one, chances are there will be no new parts to replace them. If your current DCS system doesn’t allow for open connectivity, it won’t automatically work with disparate replacement parts. You can try a workaround, but be prepared for it to get expensive, complicated and cumbersome to configure and maintain. Basically, it‘s going to get tougher and tougher to keep a legacy DCS system running. You know you can’t perform without your DCS system. You need to make a decision, and soon. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. Once an OEM drops support, every customer of that product must find a new solution. Demand for resources spikes. A DCS migration can take years to plan... Continue Reading

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Going Live with a New Application

Posted by John Clemons on February 1, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

OK. You’ve found a new manufacturing application you want to implement. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. You’ve configured it, tested it and tested it some more, and now you’re ready to drop it on the shop floor. It’s going to do lots and lots of wonderful things for the company, for manufacturing operations and even for the people there on the shop floor. Well, not so fast. Putting a new manufacturing application on the shop floor is a lot more complicated than you might think. You’re going to impact a lot of people and the way they do their jobs. You’re going to impact the actual manufacturing process itself. Even a small application can have a disparately large impact on the people and the processes. And, despite what a lot of people might say (including the people that sold you the application) there is no absolute guarantee for success. So what do you do? Fi... Continue Reading

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How Much Is Your Legacy DCS Costing You?

Posted by Jim Ford on January 25, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

Our last blog post, “DCS Migration Checklist”, addressed several important questions to consider during the initial planning stages of a migration project. We referenced a white paper written by one of our technology leaders, Chad Harper, entitled, “Upgrading Your DCS: Why You May Need to Do It Sooner Than You Think.” Among the most important reasons was that the cost of staying with an old system eventually outgrows the cost of migration. Now, you might be asking, “How can this be so? This new DCS is going to cost millions of dollars, in terms of new equipment, engineering costs, retraining, perhaps major infrastructure rebuilding. My old DCS is hanging in there. How can I justify its very expensive replacement to management?” The answer to this very reasonable question is found in a method of engineering, economi... Continue Reading

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