Celebrate Opposite Day and Prevent Mistakes from Happening

Opposite Day

My kids like to say something ridiculous and then shout, “Opposite Day!” A lot of things would be great if they were the opposite. Think about this quote and your organization: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” …and now shout, “Opposite Day!”

Today, start reversing the quote about mistakes. You can do it in your plant, across local and even global processes. Here’s the essence of the opposite: 

“Sanity is repeating the same correct actions and expecting the same results.”

That sounds like a perfect plant, a perfect machine, a perfect operator. 

But, here’s the issue: Even with your best operators, manual processes lack consistency. You can’t be sure which procedures your operators followed or even whether they knew the right steps to take. 

The bottom line is that you can prevent many mistakes. With fourth-generation HMI/SCADA, you can guide operators through the right steps and verify their actions.

By moving from manual or paper-based procedures to electronic work instructions in your HMI/SCADA, you can:

  • Ensure the right actions, fast, anywhere, anytime
  • Increase consistency—less errors, rework and waste
  • Capture best practices before experts retire
  • Minimize training time and costs
  • Compare staff performance and processes to optimize
  • Ease compliance by enforcing procedure

Make Every Operator an Expert

Fourth-generation HMI/SCADA takes you beyond alarm acknowledgement to driving the right actions, using work process management as part of the integrated system. With a guided and consistent event response, you can reduce troubleshooting time and those midnight emergency phone calls. Fourth-generation HMI/SCADA provides decision support to operators, technicians and managers, spanning the full operational team.

Additionally, tracking and reporting on work processes allows you to hone your operations for continuous improvement. You can identify and eliminate nuisance events, compare operator performance, and evaluate opportunities across people, equipment and systems. Additionally, you can use digital log entries to reduce labor and increase the information collected on events (no more lost sheets of paper).

Bridging Operations and Maintenance Systems

The fourth-generation HMI/SCADA also bridges the gap between Operations and Maintenance—finally achieving real-time, condition-based asset performance management.

When an out-of-spec event takes place in the SCADA, you can trigger a work process to interface with the CMMS system, secure a work order number, send specific instructions including GIS location information to an operator, and facilitate the corrective action to remediate a problem.

Then, you can close out the work order with the CMMS, whether plant or GIS centric, and record the actions taken for historical records. 

You can reduce the need for operators making scheduled rounds and device readings—and automate the process of moving from condition detected to creating work requests and the right corrective action. That means less downtime, maintenance, risk—and lower costs.

Stop Making the Same Mistakes

In your work environment, decide today should be Opposite Day and don’t keep repeating mistakes. You can extend your existing HMI/SCADA with fourth generation technologies to provide Decision Support. These technologies include tools for work process management, analytics, mobility, collaboration, and more. The only thing you have to lose are mistakes—and instead of mistakes, you can drive the correct actions, expect consistent results, and achieve a new level of sanity. Maybe every day should be Opposite Day?

Alicia Bowers

Alicia Bowers believes that automation software can help industrial organizations overcome many challenges, including retiring workforces, global competition, and tightening regulations. She has published in industry magazines, ranging from Food Manufacturing to Hydrocarbon Engineering, and is the recipient of a MESA Outstanding Contribution Award. Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.

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