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Making Control System Upgrades Manageable Through Planning

Aging control systems often suffer from lost documentation, lack of support, limited availability of parts, poor performance, and a general loss of efficiency. For every organization struggling with their outdated control systems, there comes a point when you can no longer avoid the discussion around maintaining versus upgrading.

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5 Steps to Getting Started with Manufacturing Intelligence

In the current age of information, organizations of all kinds are increasingly collecting and analyzing large amounts of data on everything from production information to client buying behavior and preferences. These data sets are big. Very, very big. And that’s the scientific reason we call them “big data.” More technically, big data is any high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety informational asset.

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Teamwork

Teamwork. One of Vertech’s core values and a focus for the company in 2018. Everyone knows teamwork is important, the sum is greater than its parts, two heads are better than one; But why do we believe in it so much? There are many advantages to making sure the workplace is filled with a big, happy team. Science has linked general happiness in life to our interactions and connections to other human beings. Happier people = happier place to work. So here are a few key benefits teamwork brings to the office:

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5 Design Considerations for Edge Computing

In the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) world, there’s been a lot of buzz around edge computing and its practical applications. Industrial automation systems are naturally edge computing solutions due to reliability and speed requirements. Automation systems can be viewed as "things" in the IIOT. For those architecting enterprise analytics or MES systems, however, the decision of where to locate data collection and analysis resources in a network architecture gets a little more gray.

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Building a SCADA System for Georgia Power’s 416 Acre Solar Field

When it comes to a power-plant-scale solar field, there are a lot of pieces that need to be integrated and communicate with each other, including inverters, trackers, soil monitoring stations, meteorological stations, substation power meters, and relays. The challenge is doing all of this with a single supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that is user-friendly so that maintenance and operations groups can easily use it and provide long-term operational support.

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5 Tips to Improve Ignition SCADA Performance

In addition to a great software platform, a SCADA system requires a solid hardware and network architecture to be high performing in a particular application. Without proper application, you might open up Task Manager to find that the 16 GB of RAM on your new computer suddenly feels like 16 MB. When developing a system using Ignition SCADA software from Inductive Automation, you may encounter performance issues depending on the type of hardware you're using and how your system is set up. Here are a few configuration tips to transform a sluggish SCADA into a fast and responsive system.

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Vertech to Speak on MES at Heitek Automation Expo

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.

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A Unique Approach to SCADA System Alarm Management

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!

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The Role of MES Software in the Digital Factory

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.

 

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Understanding PID Loop Process Control - Part 1

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.

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