Modern technology is transforming the industrial world all around us. Systems that were once based on simple mechanical and electrical design are now integrating wireless connectivity, advanced software and automated data tracking methods. These advancements have allowed companies to reach new levels of functionality, reliability, and most important – productivity.
“Productivity products” expand the capabilities and value of traditional processes. Machines that previously required five operators, now only require one. Diagnostics that used to take days, now only take minutes. Statistics and data that were once untraceable can now be gathered, organized, and delivered via email or text message.
The most important aspect of these products is wireless connectivity, and it is becoming a standard in the marketplace. HMIs and PLCs are now able to send alert messages to remote locations. Smart devices, like phones and tablets, can now replicate and control machines on the plant floor from offices elsewhere. Instead of needing an operator standing in front of each individual machine, companies can now have one operator managing multiple machines with a single iPad.
In addition to wireless connectivity, virtually limitless data to be extracted from a process and uploaded to a cloud – making it accessible from anywhere on the globe. For example, a corporate office in L.A. can view monthly, daily, or hourly statistics from any global location. There’s no more need for manually generated reports or in-person monthly meetings. With new cloud-based technology, data is accessible anytime, anywhere.
This type of evolution is forcing businesses to re-evaluate and rethink the products they make, and how they make them. As a result, we have seen dramatic improvements in the efficiency of industrial processes, saving companies time and money in all areas of business.
No industry is immune to this technology shift. Whether you look in Medical, Aerospace, or Food & Beverage sectors, manual tasks are being replaced by automated systems. Increasing value and decreasing costs allow these “productivity upgrades” to be fast and efficient. While the return on investment is extremely high, the price for not adapting can be heavy.
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