System integrators at their best
The cover story in this issue of AppliedAutomation is a case study about how a system integrator (SI), Optimation Technology, upgraded a complex batch system for Grober Nutrition, a family-owned, Canadian-based company that expanded to the U.S. market. To support the plant’s new build, the SI provided engineering, controls programming and design, and skilled trade’s installation services, which included mechanical, electrical and construction management support, as well as control panel, pipe supports and frame fabrication, and much more, according to the author.
However, two years later, Grober Nutrition needed upgrades. The SI added graphics and controls for a doser, powder knockers and frack tank. It also reconfigured the recipe screen to allow for more information and identified the need for machine guarding in various areas of the plant.
The other story in this issue, also from an SI, focuses on data acquisition (DAQ) best practices. The author explains that in today’s industrial automation environment, the amount of data available is increasing so fast, businesses are hard-pressed to keep up with it. He writes, “Businesses run the risk of missing valuable data that is critical to success or, worse, storing mounds of data with little to no impact on the business. With new advances in smart manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled technologies on the market, businesses can capture, collect and store data from incoming raw materials to the final product to consumers. They also can discover which real-time data adds value to improve operational efficiencies and increase their competitive edge in the marketplace. The first step is understanding data acquisition systems and consider the eight essential best practices for data acquisition success.”