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IIOT is all about gathering information from everywhere, analyzing it, and using the results to improve operations and manufacturing efficiency. Manufacturing organizations have terrabytes of data already, so what magical powers does the IIOT bring to the table? Do we really need more data? More importantly, what does a FitBit have to do with that? 

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In our work lives, the ever-increasing amount of information readily available can make it feel like our task lists are endlessly growing. Instead of making us more productive, the information overload we face is having the exact opposite effect, oftentimes hindering our productivity. For manufacturers specifically, not only is there an abundance of data available and collected, but that information tends to live in islands throughout production facilities.

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Do you hate the software you have to use every day at work? It’s probably because of its poor design, and not functional problems. User experience is everything. Incorporating classic, user-centric design principles in SCADA systems creates software that is easy and even fun to use. Easy and fun are important because they tangibly affect operator's ability to control the process and respond quickly when things go awry. In this first post of our user interface design series, we investigate the long-term monetary and user benefits of excellent software design to enhance your high-performance automation systems.

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In the early 1990’s when I started my career in automation, one of our industry’s Bid Ideas was eliminating Islands of Automation. Plant control efforts up to that point had successfully automated indivudual machines, and operations personnel were beginning to imagine the possibilities of centralized monitoring and coordination. SCADA and Historians were the solution, and they largely delivered the imagined productivity gains. Today the manufacturing sector is on the doorstep of an even bigger opportunity as we begin to eliminate Islands of Information.

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Modern manufacturing businesses continue to achieve ever higher levels of productivity through automation. A recent Harvard Business Review article estimated that between 1993 and 2007, robots alone contributed 0.36% of US labor productivity annually. That translates to 5.5% total productivity gain over 15 years. That kind of financial impact is hard to ignore, especially for long-term growth strategies.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the impact industrial automation can have on your business.

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Vertech is co-hosting the premier manufacturing automation show in Arizona this December.

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It’s a dark and stormy night. You’re driving through the rain towards your plant with a foreboding text message on your phone. You have a sinking feeling about what awaits you. It has been lurking on your plant floor for decades. It used to be known and loved, but then something happened. The manufacturer obsoleted it, and it turned on you. You arrive to find your technology zombie has clawed out of its stainless-steel grave, halting production and wasting product in the process.

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Vertech was the Firebrand Award winner at this year's ICC show held in Folsom, California. 

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The Automation Fair® event is the ideal opportunity to discover how The Connected Enterprise can help you achieve faster time to market, optimize your assets, lower your total cost of ownership and improve enterprise risk. 

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The keynote speaker on software innovation was Keller Rinaudo of Zipline, and the whole event really focused on transforming processes and educating attendees on the next generation of industrial software design. We enjoyed the show, thanks Loews Orlando and Wonderware!

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