Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting


PLM, Control Design November 22, 2016

Optimize manufacturing value in real time

If you have the engineering resources and the business commitment to improve your value-add to the business, then real-time process optimization (RPO) may be right for your organization.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Project Management September 13, 2010

IT and Engineering Insight: Control architecture, who needs it?

If you have a large control software programming project and no control system architect, small changes can lead to dead ends and bad decisions.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Project Management August 17, 2010

IT and Engineering Insight: Seven habits of unsuccessful projects

Understanding if you are in an out-of-control IT project is important. Here are some traits of failing or soon-to-fail projects. If you have three or more of these project attributes, you need a project "reboot."

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2006

Goodbye Windows NT

Jan. 1, 2007, is a significant day for automation and control systems. It is the day that Microsoft drops all support for Windows NT 4.0. Microsoft stopped general support (security or bug fixes) of Windows NT 4.0 in January 2005, but there was a pay-per-incident plan available until December 31, 2006.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI November 1, 2006

Is anti-virus protection for you?

If the question is, “Should it run anti-virus software?” the answer is usually an easy “yes” when the applications are commercial databases, historian systems, or other non real-time control applications. However, if the applications involve real-time control or guaranteed response times, such as HMIs, DCS systems, or PC-based control systems, then the answer is not so e...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Asset Management October 1, 2006

Integration bus: Here to help

Manufacturing benefits from improved information exchange. Enterprise service bus (ESB) architectures and and their use were described in last month's column. ESB architectures can be valuable tools within the manufacturing control environment. A manufacturing integration bus (MIB) is an ESB designed for information exchange among manufacturing applications, including SCADA, MES, LIMS (laborat...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
System Integrators September 1, 2006

Ride the enterprise service bus

The typical IT environment is a federation of systems. The term “federation” in the IT world is applied to collections of applications from multiple vendors that work together to support business processes. A federation may include separate applications for material management, order processing, supply chain management, etc.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Asset Management August 1, 2006

RFID data cleaning tips

RFID (Radio Frequency ID tags) are again in the news. The FDA has recently scolded the pharmaceutical industry for delays in implementing RFID track-and-trace technologies. Pressure is also growing for using RFID tags in consumer products, clothing, and industrial equipment for asset management. RFID tags significantly increase the volume of shop-floor-to-ERP communication, but RFID experience...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Diagnostics, Asset Management July 1, 2006

AJAX cleans up HMI performance

Human machine interfaces (HMIs) have been in place for more than 20 years, but some basic rules have not changed. If you want a responsive system, you have to install specialty software on the operator stations, qualify the software, and validate and maintain the installations. HMI applications that require specialty software installed on the operation station are called "thick client" applica...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics June 1, 2006

Virtualization: Playing well with others

One thing that we all learn in kindergarten is to play well with others. Unfortunately that is often a lesson that vendors of many manufacturing IT applications failed to learn. Manufacturing applications are usually certified to run only on servers with no other applications. If other applications are running, then the vendor may not provide support.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
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