Hi Rod - Thanks for letting us know about that. One thing that might be useful to know, is that the archive for the Design News Radio Shows is that they are all available for viewing at your convenience on-demand for a full year from the broadcast day. So, you can go back and listen to any segment at your convenience when you have a moment.
In a survey we just completed for the October issue, respondents thought that appealing to younger operators, training issues and the simplicity of multi-touch would be significant benefits going forward. Seems like the challenge is how to adapt the technology for use in the factory is a significant challenge.
@Joyce: Touch screens have been in use on operator panels for quite some time. The iPad interface will need to be "refined" for plants (think of an operator with thick gloves pinching and expanding an image)!
On the manufacturing floor, it will be interesting to see how multi-touch operator interfaces and "digital dashboards" impact the day to day operation of machinery. Seems like a potential major impact that could be nearly universal given the role of HMIs in operations?
@Al: yes, I agree, it will take some time for adoption of cloud in manufacturing apps. Most large companies focused in the IT space (e.g., IBM, Microsoft, HP) are investing heavily in building out the cloud infrastructure
Good question, ROI is key to a manufacturing plant implementing a change. In the case of energy, ROI in dollars is usually easy to construct, in the case of security, it may take a breach to send the wake-up call
@Joyce: Large end users are very interested in energy monitoring and optimization for saving cost and supporting the environment. For e.g., in cement production, approx 20% of the cost is in electrical energy.
I would think that large end users would be an important catalyst for developments on the energy optimization fronts. It seems they have the most to gain, versus machine builders for example, and would be key to moving these developments ahead.
@Al: there is significant reservation today about storing sensitive information in the cloud; however, with greater confidence in cloud security and providers of cloud infrastructure, this concern will be alleviated in the future.
@Joyce. You asked about what is being done on common global stds and regulations. We are working with organizations such as the IEC to develop global standards and regulations. The IEC has done a good job at reaching out to emerging countries to join and help with the development of these standards.
Thanks Sujeet and Al, very interesting chat. Adding on to CSRivera's comments, a question: What is being done to create common global standards related to manufacturing? Different companies come up with different regulations and that would be a roadblock.
By now everyone understands that not only is change a given, but that it is also vital in our business.
No one said that change would be easy or painless, but with forethought and realistic planning, change can be more manageable.
In my factory, I have dozens of sophisticated systems from multiple vendors. I have seen few cases where our vendors introduced next generation systems with minimal disruptions to our operations (data systems, compatibility, training, etc.). The situation is especially disruptive when changing vendors.
A more perfect factory would be one where vendors and OEMs embraced geater standardization. Such standardization would allow a "plug and play" ability within the factory systems. Computers and the internet are an example of the benefits that derive from standardization.
I know that this is a global vision. I am hoping that a greater global awareness will drive this vision.
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Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.