Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Many Customers Reported Improvements Using Wonderware MES?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Customers Say: Better Integration Means Better Performance with Wonderware MES

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

ROI in less than 12 months using Wonderware MES

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Customer Case Study: Baltika Beverage's Use of Wonderware MES

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Repost, with comments: Smart Water networks and the evolution of the water industry

This article from discusses the growing need for water distribution and improved management capabilities. As the population increases, and more remote areas are developed, smart water distribution will be key to cost-effectively and efficiently bring water services to these customers.

Invensys| Schneider Electric has partnered with leading engineering constructor firms to bring technology-based solutions to solve some of the pressing issues in water management. CH2M Hill is one of those companies.  They offer a cloud-based historian solution from Wonderware, Historian Online, coupled with Wonderware Smart Glance, a mobile reporting application, to collect, analyze, visualize and monitoring Key Performance Indicators for smart grid networks.

This solution will be detailed at an upcoming conference: The Automation Conference-- where on May 21, 2014 Dr. Raja Kadiyala of CH2M Hill will share their strategies and program for managing the smart water grid using the Wonderware Historian Online and SmartGlance solutions.  Join us!

PRIME Magazine, Spring 2014: Enterprise Social

Page 36 of PRIME Magazine's Spring 2014 issue features commentary from Invensys' Saadi Kermani on SmartGlance, a mobile application for remote monitoring and Key Performance Indicator analysis. As the enterprise becomes more "social," applications such as SmartGlance enable collaboration and operational fine tuning, as needed, where ever you are.  It's a productivity tool that supports all major platforms for true cross-enterprise applicability.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Invensys' Rob McGreevy on the Value of Interconnected Devices in PRIME

The internet of things is revolutionizing the way we communicate. It can not only connect us through various devices, but it connects and establishes communications with the world around us, allowing a richer and more interactive environment.  And, someone else besides us gets to do some work!  Here's an article that features commentary from Invensys VP of Information, Asset and Operations.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Funny, engineering-driven answer to "how do you cut a pizza into 11 equal slices?"

I'm surprised the first thing isn't "go find a watch, if you can."

Repost, with Comments: How Automation Helps Bring Manufacturing Jobs to the U.S.


Like the author, I've been in the automation industry for the bulk of my career, and like him, have seen the ups and downs of the industry in response to, or as a result of, decisions to outsource key components of manufacturing.

In the 70's, it was all about "vertical integration." Companies believed owning the majority of the supply chain would enable them to control costs, gain efficiencies, and better manage distribution.  In the 90's and 2000's, it was about strategic outsourcing.  Companies would outsource those parts of their manufacturing process that were not their core strength.  The EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) market took off, as high tech/electronics/med device companies outsourced some manufacturing and assembly, keeping the design and sometimes sourcing aspects of manufacturing internal.  This phase was a real boost to MES providers, who used the need for process visibility to sell their applications for track/trace/genealogy/supplier management (score cards) and integrated quality to both the OEMs as well as outsourcing partners.

When the economy started to soften, the EMS market didn't necessarily collapse, but it did decline. And now, fast forward another decade, and the cycle is continuing again, with one huge difference--the quality and controls of the previous decade are missing, and the US economy is affected to the point reshoring needs to happen to keep us viable.  Automation, as the author states, helps the economy, for it's the maintenance, upkeep, and education of the automation solutions that need to be held by the workforce. It's a necessary and vital reverse.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Food and Beverage Company Boosts Productivity by 30% Using Wonderware MES

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Bill of Materials Handling Made Easy Using Wonderware MES

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Repost, with comments: Plant Operations: How the Produce Traceability Initiative is Helping Food Safety and the Supply Chain

Plant Operations: How the Produce Traceability Initiative is Helping Food Safety and the Supply Chain

This article from Food Processing discusses a traceability initiative underway for growers to track the "genealogy" of their produce, essentially from farm to fork.  It takes the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act to its fullest extent, by extending the food chain to the start of the cycle.

Frankly, this goal is not new.  Many years ago, a large tomato processor I visited was looking to grade farmers based on the yields of their crops.  They would be able to not only create an exhaustive "score card" on their farmers, but be better able to manage line utilization and schedules, for they'd have a better indication of productivity and quality, and saving not only scrap, but positively influence uptime, energy, and other production variables.

The technology is available to farmers today, but it's expensive and complicated, and most growers don't have the IT infrastructure readily available to adopt such solutions.  For example, a product such as IntelaTrac could be used to collect real-time field input (quality issues, watering deficiencies, etc.) that could be fed back into the recordkeeping of the crops.  Once commercially these solutions are simplified, there's no reason they couldn't be used to complete the "farm to fork" traceability.

Go Paperless with Wonderware MES!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cost containment: Using automation to help stop leaks | 2014-03-08 | Food Engineering

Cost containment: Using automation to help stop leaks | 2014-03-08 | Food Engineering

article with contributions by Invensys' Bill Schiel and myself on how automation helps to contain costs for food manufacturers....

Why Do Customers Use Wonderware MES?

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why Marketing and Sales are so intertwined...especially for the manufacturing industry

I've been a marketing person for a long time, but in between, I also was a sales person for many years.  Why? Because the two are intertwined.  Especially when marketing to engineers (see me later this month at a CFE Event), you need to know your stuff, and you can't be at all "fluffy."  Honestly, I cringe when I see value propositions that are so soft and non-commital (and non-measurable) in this industry (we are the #1 etc. etc., without any foundation).

But why sales and marketing?  Because, as someone told me long ago, you need to be able to defend your positioning, and the best way is by trying to sell someone.  Without that reality check, all of the best marketing in the world is unfounded and untested.

I am amazed at the number of marketing folks, especially in industrial automation, that have never visited a plant or talked with a customer.  As the industry gets more complicated, and the offerings more complex (big data, cloud, mobility) having the voice of the customer to give you direction and feedback, or validate your positioning, becomes critical.  So selling becomes that first line in getting those reactions to your messages, and value propositions, firsthand.  It's invaluable and it's necessary.  And although it appears to be a distraction, it's actually as a marketer one of the best things you can do. 

If you don't want to get 100% into sales, use the buddy system--tag along the next time a sales person visits a customer, go to tradeshows, talk with people in your network or industry.  Join organizations such as MESA to get an unbiased (ie, non-product specific) view of your world and how your offerings fit into their everyday operations.  And then use it==roll those learnings back into your messaging, positioning and value props, if they apply and they are pertinent to your marketing/sales efforts.  Marketing at best is iterative, it adapts to new products, markets, technology.  But most importantly, it should reflect the "real life" conditions of your customers and prospects to make it ring true. And that's why sales and marketing are intertwined.

Why is Enterprise Integration Critical to MES?

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Operations Innovation & Transformation – 3 Questions

by Stan Devries, Sr. Director Solutions Architecture, Schneider Electric| Invensys

On February 4-6, 2014, I posted a series of articles by Stan covering Operations Innovation.  He explained innovation as a quadrant; joining people, assets with efficiency and consistency in execution.

Stan reported that he had some excellent questions arise in regards to the quadrant, and called out 3 of them:
  1. Can the 4 quadrant approach be applied to a single site?
  2. The changes in the targets mentioned seem to be the responsibility of planning and scheduling; how do they affect Operations?
  3. How does this transformation affect the solution's architecture?
The answers follow below...

Strong Inventory Management from Wonderware MES

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Customers Report Improved Equipment Uptime with Wonderware MES

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

F&B Industry Shows Great Improvements Using Wonderware MES

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Wonderware MES Measurably Improves Quality

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Improve Quality, Reduce Errors With Wonderware MES

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Enterprise Integration Clear Differentiator for Wonderware MES!

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Fun with Wordle: Historian Client

So you may have a Wonderware Historian--now what?  Well, how about sharing the information that's captured within the Historian, by using an informative reporting client?  That's what Wonderware Historian Client will do for you. 

Wonderware Historian Clients provide rich data analysis and reporting capabilities to maximize the value of information stored in your Wonderware Historian. Plant knowledge workers can quickly troubleshoot problems, study potential process inefficiencies and eliminate the time-consuming process of locating the data using Historian Client.  So if you have Wonderware Historian--either through Wonderware System Platform, or as a standalone data historian, you can easily gain efficiencies and knowledge by adding Wonderware Historian Clients!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wonderware MES Strengths: Track, Trace, Genealogy

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Wonderware MES Improves Product Costing

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Repost, with comments: FMI’s Surfing Lessons

I read this article with interest, not for the "surfing" aspects but for the Toffler similarities, mapping the transformations of the food industry to the development undergone by the industrial automation industry. The two industries are interconnected for a number of reasons: one, due to the supplier/provider relationship--the food industry, like the automotive industry, is one of the key consumers (and drivers) of the automation market.  Their needs--for faster, more accurate production, operations visibility; deep quality functional integration, more advanced analytics, reporting, and control, are answered by the automation industry's developments for better Human Machine Interface products, the dashboards of Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence software, and the convenience of mobile-based reporting
Taking technology advances and making them usable solutions--that's the focus of industrial automation.

Business Process Management for the Chemicals Industry

The chemical industry faces a number of operational and environmental challeges:
  • skilled manpower shortage and loss of process knowledge due to an aging workforce
  • high energy and raw material costs, with dwindling profit margins
  • stringent regulatory and environmental compliance  requirements
  • lack of "off the shelf" communication and collaboration tools
  • insufficient automated decision support systems, such as operational indicators and dashboards to provide system-wide Key Performance Indicators (KPI's)
Adding to these challenges, companies are tasked with responding to market demands, delivering ever-higher levels of quality products, and ensuring containment of operating costs.

What is a company to do?

Customer Testimonial: Would You Refer Wonderware MES?

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act--it's Coming!

FDA resolves deadlines for FSMA final rules through settlement

This article posted on FMI Daily Lead brings some clarity to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) enforcement--now delayed until August 2015.  Industry will still be required to respond to the requirements, but are given a reprieve on the immediate implementation.

Invensys has continually educated the food and beverage industry to prepare them for the FSMA.  These webinars are archived, and are a great source of reference:

Improvements achieved with Wonderware MES in the Food Industry

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Case Study: Collaboration in the Food and Beverage Industry Using Business Process Management


For the Food and Beverage Industry, keeping profitable operations means an informed workforce, tuned equipment, and quick response to any adverse or unplanned conditions.
For many organizations, standardized practices are critical for maintaining a baseline that can be measured and improved, especially if multiple locations are involved.

Business Process Management, or BPM, is a collaboration solution that allows organizations to establish baseline processes that can be standardized and deployed over multiple lines and sites. The food and beverage industry is a great example of an industry that can benefit from BPM, since they establish SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) and implement, enforcing predicable and optimized performance.

An example is a Wonderware customer who is a leading blottler for a major global beverage brand in Europe.

Fortune 500 Food and Bev Company improves Quality and Productivity by more than 30%

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Repost, with comments: What did Gartner Say About the Cloud in 2013?

Gartner group is one of the premier analysts for the IT market space, so when they talk about a subject, it's good to understand their perspective.  One of the interesting statistics they undercovered is that only 38% of enteprises are now using the cloud.  Although that may not be true for mobile apps, for business applications, I think it's close.  Especially for those companies in industrial automation, they are necessarily wary of any solution that could compromise their security, and the cloud is one of those technologies that has to be deliberately and thoughtfully implemented. 

Certainly, the solutions that Invensys offers for the cloud have redundancy, encryption and supports high availability and disaster recovery. It is both necessary, and expected, and it meets our customer requirements for reliable operations.

Why Customers in the F&B Industry Use Wonderware MES

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Wonderware MES for Packaging Efficiency

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