Industry Insights

    • Nov 14, 2019, 11:37 AM

    How to Help Make LOTO Safety Procedures Clear

    You’re allowed to add more information to a machine LOTO procedure than OSHA requires, but make sure it’s clear so it doesn’t inadvertently endanger workers. Full story
    • Nov 14, 2019, 10:27 AM

    Digital Transformation Essentials for the Plant and the Edge

    More and more, Digital Transformation, or DX, is becoming a necessity for business operations. Its impact is particularly felt when automation systems and plant assets become a part of the initiatives. For these systems, it is Edge Computing that bridges the gap between sensor-enabled assets and cloud-based analytics. Due to this, it’s important to understand the essential elements for DX at the edge and plant, key architectural principles, and how to plan for a successful edge computing implementation. Full story
    • Oct 16, 2019, 10:50 AM

    Should You Lubricate Your Pneumatic System?

    The question of whether or not to supply airline lubrication often comes up during the installation of pneumatic components, in the design of new machinery, or when rebuilding or retrofitting existing equipment. Understanding the pros and cons of using airborne lubrication can save you time, money, and trouble. Full story
    • Oct 16, 2019, 10:09 AM

    Cybersecurity Assessments: How to Achieve Your Target Security Posture

    Security assessments can be effective tools to evaluate your current security posture, but must be properly selected, scoped, and paired with an actionable road map that lays out clear, actionable steps to achieve your target security profile. Full story
    • Sep 13, 2019, 16:02 PM

    Laser and Radar Now in Use for Security Coverage

    Two technologies that have gained ground in the security world recently are radar and laser. Due to critical coverage needs the industry is answering back with new and innovative ways to secure your perimeters and insure that no areas are left unprotected. Full story
    • Sep 12, 2019, 11:51 AM

    Five Ways to Overcome Your Top Operational Challenges

    Failure: whether it’s hardware or software or an application of the two, the thought of something bringing down production keeps every plant manager or production engineer up at night. How are your OT assets performing? Do you know how to fix an issue in real time? Do you know how to change out an asset? Can you get things back to running and keep them running? Preventing and reducing downtime in the short and long term also involves addressing the operational challenges that can contribute. Full story
    • Aug 22, 2019, 12:25 PM

    OT Patch Management Strategy: Seven Best Practices

    Traditionally, and for many years, cyber threats have been handled almost exclusively by IT departments. As IT/OT convergence has become more prevalent, however, those threats have spread to the more-complex world of OT. Full story
    • Aug 22, 2019, 10:01 AM

    Shine a Light on Improving Operational Efficiency

    While the process for swapping out lamps and light fixtures might appear to be simple, at a facility like this it was a logistical challenge. The proven longevity of LEDs was appealing to ownership and they were optimistic they could identify an opportunity to decrease energy use, even though the lights at the facility are never turned off. Full story
    • Jul 23, 2019, 11:04 AM

    Optimizing Distribution Automation with Private LTE Networks

    Distribution automation in medium and low voltage grids is one of the key requirements for power grid modernization. With automation, power utilities can improve electricity reliability, enhance operational efficiency and safety, and optimize grid performance. But the multiple, independent, and application-specific field area networks (FANs) that currently connect endpoints cannot support advanced distribution automation requirements. A single, purposebuilt, private LTE broadband network provides the secure convergence, capacity, resiliency, and quality of service (QoS) needed for the volume and variety of data that will enable intelligent distribution automation. Full story
    • Jul 23, 2019, 11:01 AM

    Have a Plan to Limit/Avoid Downtime?

    You’re going about your normal routine, and everything is great at the plant. Production is running smoothly, and everyone is happy. Then, the call comes in. Line #1 is down, again, so the fire drill begins. What can you do to prepare for, or better yet, help prevent the next downtime situation? Full story
    • Jun 19, 2019, 16:42 PM

    WiFi 6: The Next Big Thing

    The new generation of WiFi is here! 802.11ax, also known as WiFi 6, can now reduce power consumption, increase efficiency and speed, and extend the range of our wireless data. With homes and businesses full of smart devices and being connected, 802.11ax has many benefits over its predecessor 802.11ac (Wifi 5). Full story
    • Jun 18, 2019, 13:11 PM

    Connected Mining

    Some of the largest mining companies in the world are already harnessing the power of connected operations to significantly transform their operations. They’re using connected devices and smart machines to capture real-time process information and make better business decisions. They’re gaining deeper insights into their equipment to improve asset productivity. These four tips will help you create a connected mine. Full story
    • May 23, 2019, 13:38 PM

    Selecting the Proper Enclosure for Washdown Environments

    Today’s strict regulations and increasing public and media scrutiny regarding product safety and contamination have placed food and beverage producers under considerable pressure. Producers must ensure that all machinery used in these applications is sufficiently clean and contaminant-free, and the consequences of not performing rigid washdowns are dire—from recalls and liability to long-term damage to company brands. These tips will help you choose an enclosure that will meet your needs and protect your electronic controls. Full story
    • May 21, 2019, 16:22 PM

    Dairy Maximizes Production with Integrated Processing Plant

    With the increasing demand for quality milk, the plant is challenged to increase production for various dairy products. To meet demand, they need an integrated liquid milk plant. The goal of the expansion was process optimization, manpower reduction (doing more through automation) and faster time to market. The dairy also focused on maintaining low operating margins. Full story
    • Apr 25, 2019, 11:33 AM

    Lowering Dew Point to Protect Expensive Automation Equipment

    Failure to remove water vapor from factory air can quickly become a costly maintenance headache. Water vapor and the resulting water condensate are the foremost causes of costly downtime and maintenance, not the more visible culprit of oil or contaminates, which are easily removed with proper filtration. Moisture in facility airlines can cause corrosion, rust and pipe scale which can break loose to block or adhere to air passageways that can lead to increased pressure drop and loss in machine performance. Full story
    • Apr 25, 2019, 11:05 AM

    Four Steps to an Effective Energy-Management Strategy

    For food and beverage plants, effective energy management is now a business necessity. Increased competitive pressures, tighter margins, and rising energy costs are forcing manufacturers to change their historical approach of treating energy usage as an unmanaged business expense. Electricity is the largest energy cost for most food and beverage plants, but it also offers great opportunities for saving and can deliver the fastest payback. When trying to reduce energy use and create an effective energy-management strategy, manufacturers and producers can take four key steps: monitor, analyze, control and sustain gains. Full story
    • Mar 22, 2019, 08:29 AM

    Portable Generator Hazards – and How to Avoid Them

    Whether using temporarily when power is out or to have power in remote locations, portable generators can be a good source of electricity in many situations. Here are four hazards associated with portable generators and how you can stay safe. Full story
    • Mar 22, 2019, 08:16 AM

    Moving Forward with Technology and Production

    Aging equipment can cause a lot of downtime and reduced production. This flour mill was struggling to meet their production quota due to an outdated control system that kept breaking down and was getting harder and harder to fix—causing more downtime and higher repair costs. By partnering with automation professionals, this mill saw huge gains in safety, production, and future growth opportunity. Full story
    • Feb 18, 2019, 16:34 PM

    Modern Valve Technology – Saving Energy, Lowering Costs, Protecting the Environment

    Energy is a significant cost to your business, so more and more companies are looking towards ways to save money and increase efficiency. A typical pneumatic solenoid valve of bygone eras may have consumed 60 times more energy with a fraction of the lifespan of modern, efficient valves. Taking a look at advancements in valve technology provides insight into how this is possible, and how this can help you save energy and lower operating costs. Full story
    • Feb 18, 2019, 16:30 PM

    Functional Safety – Takeaways from the Experts

    Functional safety, the idea that safety can be beneficial to productivity, is a mindset that is difficult to change from traditional thinking. This is where safety experts come in. TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Experts and Engineers have the training and knowledge to help you understand how functional safety can benefit your workplace. Full story