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Vertech's project submission titled "Creating the Ultimate SCADA System for Solar Energy," was recognized as one of the 18 best projects of the year by Inductive Automation at their 2017 Inductive Community Conference. The project used Ignition to remotely monitor and control five utility scale solar power plants with combined generating capacity of more than 200MW.

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When it comes to upgrading systems that control the utilities we rely on, in addition to designing and developing reliable systems, strategic implementations need to be planned to avoid shutdowns and service interruptions. In this case, our client had two active wastewater treatment facilities running on aging Allen-Bradley SLC-500 PLCs and Wonderware InTouch. Another issue is that documentation did not exist for many of the existing control panels, and the client had no faith in the drawings they had.

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Manufacturing enterprise management is becoming less of an art and more of a science as information becomes more available and flows more freely in organizations. This transformation is bringing tangible business results to organizations embracing it, and it is setting the competitive bar higher for those who have yet to determine what it means for them. Welcome to the age of the Digital Factory!

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If your systems work differently from plant to plant or machine to machine, you have experienced the downside of a lack of standardization. PLC programming standards are a great tool to ensure that functionality and operator experience are identical within your organization. This reduces training time and prevents costly mistakes. This is a custom world, though, and systems tend to be “the same except.” How do you maintain the benefits of standardized code while remaining flexible enough to handle inevitable equipment differences?

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If you have been around Vertech much, you have probably heard us refer to ourselves as Control Freaks. The name has been around for a few years now, and it really does effectively capture our passion for automation. We quite literally wear this passion on our shirt-sleeves, and our Control Freak t-shirts have become somewhat of a fashion statement in the industry (almost). So in case you have ever wondered what that term means, we put together this little video to provide an explanation.

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The Santa Elena Mine in Northern Mexico is in a remote location where there are extremely limited local resources. For efficiency and safety purposes, the mine needed to fully automate its on-site processing of gold and silver ore under tight schedule requirements. Because of the remote location, the client required a modular process control design that was prewired and tested before arriving on site.

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If you’re still tracking production information like units produced, quality information, and downtime using manual data entry into a spreadsheet, you’re not alone, but should really consider an upgrade. Dashboarding software can collect, store, and display production information from a central location and eliminate the need for maintaining clunky spreadsheets. There are a lot of reasons to do this depending on your specific plant environment, but here are three universal reasons to make this change.

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While no one enjoys standing in line for airport security, we all recognize that the process is an important, and necessary, step to keep travelers and airline employees safe in flight. When an airport is using outdated equipment or systems that continually break or operate slowly, not only is the process more unpleasant for travelers, but it is also less secure.

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In our personal lives, we frequently use the cloud without giving it a second thought to store, share, and remotely access a variety of files ranging from photos to documents to movies. But, when it comes to our professional lives, in general, we have been a little more hesitant to take advantage of cloud technology. However, there are many time and cost benefits to bringing cloud technology into businesses, especially manufacturing facilities. From better reliability and more readily available data to easier scalability and elasticity and integration, there are numerous benefits to incorporating cloud technology into your manufacturing floor. Let’s take a closer look.

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On January 20, 1992, Air Inter Flight 148 crashed into the Vosges Mountains of France, killing 87 out of the 96 occupants. How did this tragedy come to happen? Poor usability. The Airbus A320 was equipped with the latest digital cockpit displays and instrumentation. Unfortunately, it used a single panel to display two different modes, descent angle and descent rate, and both were represented with two digits. Whereas the captain thought he was approaching the airport at a descent angle of 3.3 degrees (about 800 feet per minute), the plane was in fact approaching at an abnormally high descent rate of 3300 feet per minute.

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