While programming constitutes a large part of process control, there are several other factors like customer collaboration, decision making, and how companies respond to change that go into any successful automation initiative. Irrespective of the industry, software controls help businesses improve their systems management and control.
A diverse multitude of approaches to automation exist. Each strategy is proven to yield extraordinary improvements in productivity and cut costs over time. In this blog, we’ll discuss seven main principles of automation and how business owners can follow them to maximize the benefits of automating.
When you increase productivity at your facilities, you empower your staff to advance critical career skills and become more significant players in your organization. Automating helps improve safety and eliminate errors, as well, by handing off motion repetitive tasks and routine procedures to programmable software applications.
After you automate your business, it invariably benefits from better accuracy and sanitation, ensuring your company passes external audits with ease. A well-automated facility lends itself well to reduced operating costs through the latest technological solutions, which means you fulfill your service level agreements with greater accuracy and consistency.
Sophisticated automation helps all process industries find the best path to the safest, cleanest, and cost-efficient future for complex operating environments like manufacturing and distribution. Successful industrial mechanization strategies involve the implementation of several complex systems that work conjointly to satisfy multiple operational requirements.
Outmoded approaches to integrating conventional, transactional systems cease to be effective for complicated systems that react to varying scenarios in real-time. Business owners shouldn’t rely solely on ineffective legacy approaches upon integrating their automated systems. Improper use of these advanced tools results in several missed opportunities for improving efficiency and expanding the footprint of your operations.
Principals for automation consistent success
While every project is unique, to get the best results from any automation platform, companies should adhere to the following seven principles:
1. Proactively control the implementation process
Most businesses realize a perspectival shift in their thinking and approach after carefully studying outside industry trends and philosophies for controlling their automation initiatives instead of simply coordinating the installation of equipment and infrastructure.
When business leaders take a proactive role in understanding how to integrate their automated systems effectively, they gain more knowledge about their complexities. They’re subsequently better equipped to resolve problems more quickly when they arise. As you implement automated solutions, assuming a process-orientated perspective positions your business for maximal success.
2. Plan strategically
Driving the most value and benefits from your automated systems means you’ll have to develop a strategic plan for implementation. Unlike other capital investments like new equipment, barriers to adopting new solutions don’t have to be expensive on the front-end if you introduce them in stages.
Consider your automation strategies carefully. They should be adequately customized and calibrated to your specific business needs and operating conditions. Keep in mind that if you’re concerned about costs, your route to a fully automated facility can be achieved incrementally.
3. Phased adoption
When you implement your automation strategy in stages, each new phase of adoption starts working in your favor to help you quickly realize a positive return on your investment. In other words, you don’t have to wait until the entire initiative completes before you start seeing the benefits. Stage development is a proven approach across all process industries, from mining to metals to energy and food production.
4. Adhere to established protocols
Business owners and their operators get the most of their automation by following proven standards both inside their industries and in other sectors of the process trades. Take a close look at established practices for implementing alarm management, human-machine interface, and how other companies introduce their process control and execution management systems.
5. Take a multidisciplinary approach
Companies that adopt solid multidisciplinary engineering principles as they integrate their automation equipment and systems put themselves in the best position for success. Software engineering makes up a big portion of every automation project, frequently finding itself segregated and operated independently from civil and equipment works.
Since the software is responsible for running physical machinery, cross-disciplinary consultations are necessary to effectively drive all phases of development. Several skill sets across multiple departments should be analyzing the critical stages of your automation initiative, from design reviews to safety studies to operational preparedness exercises.
6. Pay careful attention to your data
Remaining mindful of your critical data and how its used within your business and by other sectors is important to ensuring the successful outcome of your automation initiative. When you’re dealing with any complex operation, relying upon aggregate metrics supplied by conventional terminal operations systems to perform a root cause analysis is usually inadequate.
The data available through most onboard equipment systems is frequently segregated and doesn’t allow integration with other operational processes to allow for an effective root cause analysis. By researching what other companies and industries have learned about combing high-level KPIs and valuable high fidelity data, business owners put themselves in the best possible position to optimize their information gathering and get the most value out of their automation strategies.
7. Take your cues from other business sectors
Many process industries have already been invested in automated technology for a considerable duration, developing proven methodologies for successful implementation that have stood the test of time. Partnering with experts who have experience outside your domain helps advance your initiative more quickly for the best possible outcome.
These are just a few proven automation strategies with a demonstrated history of success. Finding a solid cross-disciplinary approach that draws from the insights and achievements of multiple industries is the best way to start strategizing your industrial automation solutions.
Where can I find industrial automation companies near me?
EZSoft, a leading full-service systems integrator of process controls, helps companies effectuate their complex automation initiatives.
To learn more about optimizing your automated solutions through cutting-edge project management and thorough execution, dial (484) 568-5040 today.