In pursuit of best practices

The February issue of AppliedAutomation focuses on best practices from a variety of perspectives to show how it is a constant in manufacturing.
By Jack Smith February 3, 2018

The cover story in this issue of AppliedAutomation suggests that a company’s internal standards should transcend industry regulations because of their lack of specificity and consistency among automation systems. In doing so, the author compares these internal standards with best practices: "Companies, plants, and facilities require a set of internal standards, or best practices, for their automation systems’ hardware and software." The article explains how these standards should cover four key areas: safety, electrical, and pneumatic; human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and operator interface terminals (OITs); controllers and input/output (I/O) systems; and sensors and instruments.

The second story in this issue talks about industrial control system (ICS) network threats and how to stop them. The author writes, "A detailed analysis of the infrastructure and operational aspects of a business can provide great insight into the level of risk as well as identify potential countermeasures to protect key assets. This type of holistic approach should be taken to assure all aspects are considered in order to fully understand the actual level of risk posed to the production system. This includes the cyber and physical security, as well as the status of the system lifecycle."

The third article in this issue is another best-practices story. The author points out that sometimes professionals—in this case developers/programmers—who start a new job may not be used to following a best practices routine. According to the author, "What new programmers are likely to find after a few years on the job is that these standard practices deliver tangible results. As they adhere to the best practices that both their own organization and their customers’ companies require, they’ll begin to discover why standardized ways of doing things have value."

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

– See other articles from the supplement below.

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