Making technical, business sense

Automation can help companies be more competitive, but that alone does not make a plant successful, productive, or profitable.


Automation provides tools to help successful enterprises achieve a necessary balance. This strategic balance of planning, communication, maintenance, discipline, and automation is a big part of making manufacturers world-class enterprises. Although automation can help companies be more competitive, automation alone does not make a plant successful, productive, or profitable. As I have written many times in AppliedAutomation: "One should not automate just for the sake of automating. Wise use of automation should be done for the right business and technical reasons."

The author of this issue's cover story explores automation migration, upgrades, and retrofits. He writes, "Sorting through a plethora of technical and operational issues while keeping budgets and schedules under control is a tough course to navigate, but great outcomes are more than possible."

Because of the increasing emphasis on the cloud, big data, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the importance of security continues to grow. The cover story author writes: "Think about the access and security of the system up front, not as an afterthought. Security is an ongoing endeavor comprised of both people processes and technology tools working together to protect the system."

That brings us to the other story in this issue, which examines network cyber security. The author writes: "Good cyber security requires understanding network risks, threats, and the technical safeguards that can prevent unwanted plant data intrusions. Cyber security is the overall view of technical controls that should be in place to help prevent sensitive company data systems from being breached. Technical security and physical security should work together for network security. Multiple layers of defense should be in place in case one layer is compromised."

This article appears in the Applied Automation supplement for Control Engineering 
and Plant Engineering

- See other articles from the supplement below.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me