Most plant managers are familiar with tough transitions. Over the years, lean manufacturing, quality controls, and new government regulations have all played a role in placing high stress on the plant manager. Now, the latest wave of change, the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), is challenging plant operations personnel with the explosive growth of smart devices. Variable speed drives, PLCs, and control systems are now engineered to communicate in digital formats over an Ethernet connection. There are ways to embrace these new waves of change without doubling anxiety levels. Under current circumstances, caution and information are a plant manager’s best allies. Schneider Electric, experts in the domain of plant automation, can help.
If your organisation’s plants are getting wired with smart sensors, sophisticated monitoring software, and predictive analysis tools, opportunities do indeed exist for higher levels of productivity and efficiency. The new mode of operation leverages Big Data and analytics to put business information into the right context so that operational insight improves. The new ‘smart facility’ also enables the more efficient delivery of service and maintenance actions from supporting vendors and partners. The goal is a safe and secure operation that protects people, plant, equipment, and the environment.