Ideas for Connected Industry

Discussions about innovative, high-performance technology solutions for industry

How Higher Education’s 'Fatal Flaw' Impacts Manufacturing

I recently attended a two-day Automation Conference held in Chicago. I have to say that the one keynote session that drew the most emotion from the attendees, was that of Gary R. Bertoline, Ph.D., Dean of Purdue University. The session was planned for about 55 minutes but ran at least 30 minutes longer due to the passionate response from those in the room. What Gary was covering was a “fatal flaw” that occurred in 1955 when the U.S. school...

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The Death of Plant IT

Last night, I finally got to meet one of the legends of automation blogging, Mr. Jim Pinto. For those of you who don't know him, Jim started blogging before blogs existed; in fact before the Internet existed. In the 1980s, Jim was writing articles in automation magazines; in the 90's he started newsletter emails and then moved into blogging as it evolved. I started subscribing to his email newsletter in the 90s when I was at Allen-Bradley, as...

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Reactive or Proactive? Don’t Just Learn From Your Mistakes

Our international safety standards have evolved based on analysis and reaction to accidents that have occurred, and we put controls in place when needed. The good news is that we learn from our mistakes. These lessons however, are quite costly in terms of productivity and profitability. Don’t wait for accidents or failures to occur before you make changes to your operations. Develop a strong understanding of safety standards as well as the...

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Connecting with Brilliant Machines

The industrial internet is a trend that I’m very excited about. And I must say that I don’t typically get over the top excited about trends, but this is one that I’m convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is real. The Industrial Internet has the potential to transform industry. Drawing together fields such as machine learning, big data, the Internet of things and machine-to-machine connectivity, the Industrial Internet opens up the new world...

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Don’t Let the School of Hard Knocks Leave Your Operations

Your workers make you successful. They have the expertise and knowledge to make your operations run smoothly. But, today’s demographics show that many of these workers are getting older, and they are retiring at increasingly rapid speeds. The only way to capture their institutional learning, and reuse it over the long haul, is through software. What steps are you taking to ensure that all of the wisdom, invested in over the years, doesn't walk...

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How to Survive in the Cloud

In the past six months I have been transitioning my personal life totally online, and thought I would share a few findings with you. The catalyst for this was the monthly pain I endured of having to manage the back up and sometimes repair the data from my desktop PC, my laptop, my son’s laptop and my daughter’s laptop. This was made worse when my daughter, who did not back up her PC as told, lost all of her iTunes songs from the past three years...

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Why You Should Use an Open Architecture for Your Platforms

Open architectures help organizations add, upgrade and change out equipment quickly and easily, saving precious time and money. PROFINET is the state of the art for Ethernet-based industrial I/O networking. An open standard, PROFINET allows organizations to design high performance automation systems using the best commercially-available hardware. Do you use an open architecture for your platforms?

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Can you See your Work in Process (WIP) Inventory?

Do you have to walk the factory floor to see your work in process inventory ? By digitizing your systems, you can track your WIP inventory, maintaining tighter management and control. The result? Less dollars tied up in inventory and a more streamlined workflow.

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RtOI: the Ultimate Promise of Industrial Mobility, Big Data and GEO-Intelligence

Why not?! That was the question posed to me by my daughter when we visited the zoo and she saw a screen, the size of a 10-inch tablet, secured on a stand. It had information about events, the animals and that day’s weather. She proceeded to walk up and attempted to interact with it using a 21 st century pointing device– that’s right, her finger. When it did nothing, she turned to me with a quizzical look on her face and said, “It’s broke”. When...

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Twitter Chat: Data to Actionable Knowledge Anywhere, Anytime

GE Intelligent Platforms will hold a Twitter Chat, Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m. EST. The discussion will focus on expanding industry capabilities of mobile technology by using Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI). RtOI is a paradigm shift in the way infrastructure and manufacturing operations work from the plant floor to the control room to executive dashboards. RtOI extends the control room for operators beyond staring at screens and...

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2013 OpEx Programs: What Your Peers Are Doing

Peter Hock of ConAgra Food s and I recently hosted a webinar with Consumer Goods Technology discussing the topic of integrating manufacturing and the supply chain to drive operational excellence improvements. We had approximately 70 of you join us and most of you stayed for the whole 50 minutes of our discussion. I was worried because the new system CGT has a live counter at the top of the screen showing the number of attendees. There’s nothing...

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The Essential Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics Center [Webinar]

My colleagues have done the hard work for me and have explained Industrial Data and Historians in their blogs, and described the need to get ready for the Industrial Internet. It’s now time to translate the theory into action! Join me and Steve Davis from GE Power & Water for a webinar on April 11 where we will be talking about the need for a proper data-management structure and the value you can obtain from it. We’ll share how real-world...

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Two Elements of High-Performance Computing (HPC) that OEMs Can’t Live Without

OEM’s are constantly looking for ways to distinguish equipment capabilities from their competitors, while also providing technology that enables an ongoing relationship with customers. HPC technologies offer an answer for both. HPC technologies provide platforms that enable you to add differentiating features and capabilities to your machines. They provide better control tolerances, leading to higher productivity, speed and quality. At the same...

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The Power Industry Reacts Quickly with High-Performance Computing

In the power industry, things happen very fast—whether that’s within a turbine generation application or some sort of a mechanical failure. Your level of performance supports your ability to react. If a sensor failure comes in, you have to quickly and synchronously switch to back-up generators. You can’t afford any extra down time. High-performance computing allows you to switch from the incoming grid power to back-up generation as quickly as...

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Integrating Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Are you worried about rising ingredient / energy / packaging costs impacting margins? Interested in how implementing shop floor continuous improvement efforts could offset rising production costs? Would you like to understand how you calculate inventory holding costs put in place to offset production variances? Would you like to be able to build a business case to fund continuous improvement efforts based on both production and supply chain cost...

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