06222018Fri
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Business & Management

Integration of Automation Lifecycles: Functional Safety, Cybersecurity and Alarm Management

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Risk management of a manufacturing process requires a deep dive into the functional safety, cybersecurity and alarm management lifecycles. Each of these lifecycles is dictated by a different safety standard and traditionally carried out by different teams within an organization. With little communication between the groups, it is a challenge to account for all risks and create a comprehensive event response plan during plant operation.

By integrating the three automation lifecycles, it is possible to ensure awareness of all potential hazards and required risk reduction, improve efficiency and communication, and achieve a complete plant and enterprise view of risk management in an organization.


Steps to Integrating LEAN Principles into Valve Manufacturing

According to BusinessDictionary.com, the definition of “lean” is “doing more with less by employing 'lean thinking.'” Since the end of World War II, when lean manufacturing was developed and implemented in Japan, the many benefits of manufacturing this way continue to show merit. Improved work flow (which includes people, material, work and information) and reduction of waste are the most commonly touted advantages, and there are a variety of lean manufacturing tools, like Kaizen and 5S. But of course, like any other system, the benefits don’t accrue automatically.

Managing the Generation Gap: Much Ado About Nothing?

The baby boomer generation was the most populace and affluent generation the world has ever seen. They hold more control, power and wealth than anyone ever before. And according to Brent Robertson, Partner at Fathom, they could do so for a long time… but for the millennials. Millennials are more populace than boomers and will make up over 50% of the workforce by 2020.

The Amazon Effect: Is Your Distribution Company at Risk?

In a VALVE Magazine article from January of 2018, we discussed the effect that digitization is expected to have on the distribution business. The necessity of adding and adapting to digital technology and warehouse execution systems to meet customer expectations is one challenge. It was the area most distributors recognized would require important investments this year and for the foreseeable future.

However, the biggest disruptor to industrial distribution is what is being called The Amazon Effect. But it isn’t just Amazon that is causing the disruption. There are many other internet competitors, like Alibaba, that are causing concern.

Inspiration and Automation: Keys to Best-in-Class Operations

For the last several years, at industry gatherings of all kinds, the subject of automation is guaranteed to dominate the conversation. Whether it’s the latest digital control system to monitor and operate valves, or the “threat” to jobs from robots and machine learning, digital advances have created opportunities and challenges for employers and employees alike.

At the 2017 Emerson Global Users Exchange, Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions, pointed out during his keynote address that “the past 30 years have brought us fantastic advances in the manufacturing sector, including greater operating efficiencies enabled by automation, but the incremental benefits gained are diminishing. The pressure is on industry leaders to take the next step to the game-changing performance made possible by digitally empowering the workforce.”

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