JUL-AUG 2018

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Perspectives from the Editor | talk to me INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2018 7 ISA INTECH STAFF CHIEF EDITOR Bill Lydon PUBLISHER Rick Zabel PRODUCTION EDITOR Lynne Franke ART DIRECTOR Colleen Casper SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pam King GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lisa Starck CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Charley Robinson ISA PRESIDENT Brian J. Curtis PUBLICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT James F. Tatera EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN Steve Valdez GE Sensing Joseph S. Alford PhD, PE, CAP Eli Lilly (retired) Joao Miguel Bassa Independent Consultant Eoin Ó Riain Read-out, Ireland Vitor S. Finkel, CAP Finkel Engineers & Consultants Guilherme Rocha Lovisi Bayer Technology Services David W. Spitzer, PE Spitzer and Boyes, LLC Dean Ford, CAP Westin Engineering David Hobart Hobart Automation Engineering Smitha Gogineni Midstream & Terminal Services Digitalization – What is an automation professional's role? By Bill Lydon, InTech, Chief Editor new tools available to improve produc- tion and manufacturing: n new sensors, such as the application of new MEMS- (micro-electro-mechanical systems) based sensors n machine learning, analytics, and rules- based software tools n cloud services and capabilities n learning about applying standardized interfaces to efficiently communicate throughout the entire manufacturing business ecosystem An important task is educating your company management that digitalization is important to remaining a viable competitive business and that automation professionals are a valuable resource. This is important work to ensure companies will be com- petitive on the world stage. Manufacturers throughout the world are applying auto- mation technology to be more competitive, recognizing that low labor cost is no longer a winning strategy. The challenge is provid- ing management with concise, meaningful information to help them learn. This should be one of the items on your task list. Some of the ways to educate management is giv- ing them copies or links to meaningful ar- ticles along with your concise well-thought- out ideas for the digitalization of your company's manufacturing. Collaborating with information technology and manufac- turing to develop white papers about the best ways to transition existing operations to digital manufacturing is a way to achieve cooperative creativity and valuable insights for management. There are exciting opportunities for automation professionals who embrace the change. n D igitalization is creating tightly syn- chronized, real-time integration of business systems and manufactur- ing automation and is the next big step to increase productivity. Automation profes- sionals who embrace this vision advance their careers with important roles in digi- talization, participating in design, applica- tion engineering, and implementation. The vision is to achieve manufacturing systems synchronized and optimized as part of the entire digital ecosystem encom- passing customers, supply chain, produc- tion, logistics, and product life cycle. This level of integration requires greater auto- mation, control, monitoring, and integra- tion with other business systems. Greater automation to accomplish these functions also addresses the shrink- ing labor pool and aging workforce by automating manual tasks. An important part of this process is capturing and auto- mating the knowledge and know-how of existing personnel who are part of the aging workforce. Rethinking manufacturing systems to be come part of a broader synchronized business ecosystem requires the automa- tion professional's participation with multiple groups in companies that enable people in traditional organizational silos to collaborate. Automation professionals already have the systems knowledge that can be applied in collaboration with other groups to achieve greater levels of manufacturing perfor- mance. Collaborative design, with multiple groups applying their respective subject- matter expertise, can create superior results. Automation professionals have a re- sponsibility to learn about and apply the Rethinking manufacturing systems to become part of a broader synchronized business ecosystem requires the automation pro- fessional's participation with multiple groups in companies that enable people in traditional organizational silos to collaborate.

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