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MAY-JUN 2019

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Perspectives from the Editor | talk to me INTECH MAY/JUNE 2019 7 If disruption is the "problem," innovation is the solution By Bill Lydon, InTech Contributing Editor creation is first an act of destruction." Creating something new usually requires letting go of something old—which can be very difficult. Transitions are pain - ful, because they destroy the status quo, pushing us beyond our comfort zones. It is important to remember that we of- ten do not see disruptive innovation com- ing. Disruption takes us by surprise if we are not the ones disrupting. This makes it important to explore new ideas and tech- nologies that can lead to innovative disrup- tion within your manufacturing operations. The task for automation professionals is to analyze the confusing multidimen- sional chaos of new technologies, expec- tations, requirements, and processes to develop new superior solutions. Innova- tions may be internally complex but sim- plify life for users, reducing complexity and increasing efficiency. Challenge Automation professionals shine at using their experience, know-how, and creativ- ity to solve problems to improve manu- facturing and production efficiencies and quality by designing applications. Working within the limitations of exist- ing legacy systems in a plant inherently limits the ability to create applications to improve operations, productivity, and profits. Newer automation systems with superior technology give automa- tion professionals the tools to achieve greater results. In the environment of changing technology, it is important to look beyond and understand the options for improving productivity and competi- tiveness that may take new investments. Setting goals beyond today's status quo and then finding ways to achieve those goals will yield new results. It's hard to achieve the goal of disrup- tive innovation if you aren't certain what you are trying to accomplish. ■ F uturist Nicholas J. Webb (www.nick- webb.com) spoke at the 2019 Man- ufacturing in America conference in Detroit in March and discussed a number of thought-provoking trends. On the topic of disruption, he made a statement that to me seemed fundamental, "If disruption is the problem, innovation is the solution." He suggested when change is occur- ring, people may have a tendency to deny, hide, or be victimized by disruption. Alternatively, people can realize change is happening, embrace it, and benefit from new opportunities. Another key point in his presentation noted that "legacy" is very comfortable and creates a resistance to change. My observation is that holding on to legacy practices and systems too long can hold back an organization from progress, and in manufacturing creates an environment for competitors to overtake your business. Once it becomes obvious that competitors are "beating" your company with sales and profits declining, the time, effort, and resources to become competitive are expensive. At this point you are chasing rather than leading in your industry. Destruction Thinking about innovation, the famous painter Pablo Picasso said, "Every act of ISA INTECH STAFF CHIEF EDITOR Renee Bassett rbassett@isa.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Bill Lydon blydon@isa.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Charley Robinson crobinson@isa.org PUBLISHER Rick Zabel rzabel@isa.org PRODUCTION EDITOR Lynne Franke lfranke@isa.org ART DIRECTOR Colleen Casper ccasper@isa.org SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pam King pking@isa.org GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lisa Starck lstarck@isa.org ISA PRESIDENT Paul Gruhn, PE, CFSE PUBLICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT Victor S. Finkel, CAP 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 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 James F. Tatera Tatera & Associates

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