Is transitioning to a more digital factory on your 2018 to-do list? On Thursday, March 1, Vertech will hold a seminar at the Heitek Automation Expo covering practical ideas for taking the first steps toward a digital transformation, starting with manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions.Read More
Alarm management is an old topic that has probably been addressed thousands of times over the years. The holy grail of SCADA system alarm management is a system that pinpoints the exact cause of a problem no matter how much hell has broken loose on the plant floor. The problem is that when one thing goes wrong, lots of other things tend to go wrong, and the operator is left looking for a needle in a flaming haystack. There has to be a better way!Read More
As your organization prepares to morph its facilities into a digital factory, it is important to understand how tools, such as manufacturing execution system (MES) software, can help manage these changes. MES integrates all databases, machines, and people within your plant into one cohesive, interconnected system that eliminates islands of information, such as handwritten paperwork, whiteboards, Excel spreadsheets, and isolated software systems.
PID control is one of the most commonly used closed-loop control mechanisms in industrial control systems. PID controllers work great when applied and configured correctly, and they are often viewed as a sort of magic box that can solve any process control problem. To successfully apply and tune these controllers, it is important to understand how they work, the math behind them, and the nuances of the specific implementation by various manufacturers. This post provides an intuitive look at how a PID works before getting into the math.Read More
If you’re a manufacturer, you likely know that tracking overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your existing equipment and improve your bottom line. However, the sheer act of getting started with OEE software in your facility may be preventing you from reaping these benefits. As experts in developing custom OEE software solutions, we are here to help simplify the daunting task of determining where to start when evaluating OEE software solutions.Read More
Digitization is a hot topic on everyone’s minds, with its promises to make manufacturing companies competitively lean and mean. The tangible benefits of digitization include shorter innovation cycles, increased flexibility for rapid response to market changes, improved quality due to early detection and raw material traceability, and increased efficiency. But what does it really mean for you, living in the real world of budgets and red tape? And where do you start?
During the close of the third industrial revolution, manufacturing organizations squeezed the last few drops of efficiency from machine automation by linking automated machines together and eliminating islands of automation. SCADA and data historian software solutions enabled operations staff to monitor and control an entire plant from one location reducing labor costs and providing a big picture perspective to plant operations. Today the manufacturing sector is on the doorstep of an even bigger opportunity as we begin to eliminate Islands of Information.Read More
In 2015, the BlackEnergy trojan was used to attack the IvanoFrankivsk power station in West Ukraine and knocked out electricity in 80,000 homes. The bug was delivered via spear phishing emails, disguised as a Microsoft Office attachment from the Ukrainian parliament, and had the ability to delete critical system files and specifically sabotage industrial systems.Read More
Solar energy is a growing segment of the energy sector, but actually executing a utility-scale solar power plant can present many challenges for a traditional SCADA system. A typical solar power plant contains thousands of connected devices from a variety of vendors dispersed across a large geographical area – which can be a potential nightmare for operations and maintenance to quickly identify and correct any issues.Read More
It's the holiday season, and it's time to take a few days to relax, reflect on the year, and gear up for a successful 2018. To satisfy your late-night craving for automation after the children are nestled all snug in their beds, we've rounded up our most popular blog posts from 2017. It may be a stretch to hope they bring you holiday cheer, but hopefully they will give you some ideas for 2018!Read More