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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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A SCADA system is not cheap, and it is very reasonable to want the most bang for your buck when investing in a new system. So what is the best one? Or rather, which one gives you the most value?

When all the construction dust settles and your operations staff take over, the most important thing a SCADA system can deliver is reliable and efficient operation of your facility. From day to day operation to handling equipment failures, your SCADA will be the go-to tool for operators to deliver business value to your organization. So how can you be sure that you’re giving your staff the best tool for the job?

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Being the guy with the most grey hair (what little is left) in the office, I occasionally look back in amazement at how far our industry has progressed. Look at some of our other 20th century marvels: the airplane – basically the same since the 60s; automobiles – they might be flashier, but still fundamentally the same for decades. The first computer I ever used was an IBM 360 with 64K of core memory and 3 disk drives with 7 megabytes of storage each. You can’t even fit a small photo in 7 meg today.

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Alexa and Siri are in our homes. We can talk to our cars. Voice commands are everywhere in our lives today. So why not in our SCADA systems?  

We recently developed an application using mobile tablets to give forklift operators the ability to control parts of their system without interrupting their normal routine. It was a fantastic idea that everyone bought off on, but in the end it was considered a safety hazard to have a tablet or mobile device on the forklift during operation. We had to agree that this was just as bad as texting and driving. 

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SCADA systems have come a long, long way since their inception, especially on the UI design side of things. In an age where smartphone users are accustomed to the clean, crisp look of Apple and Google products, the importance of user experience and its impact on profitability is even more apparent. Given the huge advancements in UI technology, let’s take a trip down memory lane to see just how far we’ve come.

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Most craft breweries begin as small batch brew houses started by beer-lovers with a passion for the craft. As breweries achieve success and grow, it’s common to experience problems in quality, profitability, or both depending on the methods used to increase production.

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Vertech is proud to announce recognition as a Top Company to Work for in Arizona for the second year in a row! This award is based on anonymous employee surveys and external analysis of our benefits and culture. This recognition is a tribute to our entire team at Vertech as we work to be a world class provider of automation solutions and the employer of choice for the best and brightest talent.

 

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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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