Automation Platform Simplifies Competitiveness
Keeping ahead of your competitors is a challenge for most businesses. Companies that succeed are the ones who are quick to adapt and flexible enough to change. Mitsubishi’s Jeremy Shinton argues a single source of automation platform simplifies competitivness , and plays a big role in improving business.
Consumers seeking more variety and low prices, is a challenge for food and drink producers. With increased legislation in manufacturing, the environment and supply chain, flexibility is critical. For example, will environmental pressure drive a switch to alternatives for plastic bottles?
Investment in automation is a key to advancing operational reliability and product consistency. Furthermore, it improves efficiency and boosts profitability. One route to improving flexibility and reducing downtime is to rationalise automation vendors. Significantly, this can be a major step towards being a smart factory.
Single sourcing simplifies integration and eliminates compatibility issues, consistency of programming and improves operator familiarity. Despite this, the real benefits come by integrating the various components into a complete automation platform.
Automation platform simplifies competitivness
Automation platform benefits go beyond the footprint of the machine, process or production line. They provide the driver for plant-wide improvements in operational efficiency and agility.
A modern automation platform simplifies competitiveness by combining multiple CPUs on a single high-speed backplane. Each dedicated CPU being responsible for different control function. These can be automation control; robot control, motion control, process control, etc. The automation platform is also pro-active. It predicts system health and performance, enabling operators to make improvements in efficiency.
The automation platform uses the cloud and edge computing to extend data storage and processing. These enable it to record large volumes of production date and deliver production information almost instantly to operators and management. Furthermore, it produces moment-by-moment condition monitoring and asset optimisation updates. It enables manufacturers to fine-tune productivity, whilst reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).
Total cost of ownership
The automation platform minimises TCO at all phases of the automation lifecycle. Specifically, development times are reduced, and productivity is enhanced, whilst reducing waste and maintenance costs.
Finally, it is an interface to higher level systems, delivering IT information to and from the plant floor. It helps optimise processes, as well as offering improvements in traceability.
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