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Increasingly complex industrial networks can benefit from standalone OPC gateway devices
The industrial sector thrives on data. In today’s digital world, controls engineers, production managers, business leaders, interrelated and interdependent departments all need access to real-time data from industrial control equipment. The challenge has always been connecting disparate, edge-based, and legacy systems in a secure, reliable way; since you need a dedicated, standalone OPC gateway device that sits securely between your IT and OT networks and manages your data traffic across multiple devices. Here, David Evanson, corporate vendor relationship manager at Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how this can be achieved.
How 2020 has changed manufacturing
2020 is a year that most manufacturers would like to see as an outlier; a year the likes of which should not be seen again. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many manufacturers to rapidly adapt and introduce new ways of working, how will these new approaches shape the course of industry in the coming years? Here, George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how industry can safeguard themselves from unpredictability in the years ahead.
Murphy's Law says they don't
One thing you can always be sure of, is if something can go wrong, it will. And you can guarantee when it does go wrong, it will be at the worst possible time. In the case of plant floor PCs, dust, moisture, vibration, knocks, temperature issues all impact the lifespan of a standard PC in an industrialised environment. Even if you’ve planned for a PC failure and you have spares, you still may need someone to swap it out.
How a single piece of data can inform a robust data strategy
In 1800, German philosopher Johann Fichte noted, “you could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby... changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole”. This philosophy is as true for industrial data as it is for grains of sand, with even highly specific information from something as innocuous as a pump helping to reshape data strategies. Here, Sean Robinson, service leader at Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how granular data forms the foundation of effective industrial data strategy.
While initially concerned at the impact of remote work mandated as part of COVID-19 safe working practices, many industrial leaders were encouraged to find the use of manufacturing executions systems (MESs) and plant data repositories (Historians) reduced the challenge of maintaining effective control of production from afar. So what’s going to happen at firms that weren’t so well prepared at the outset? Here, Sean Robinson, service leader at industrial automation provider Novotek UK and Ireland, explains why modern plant systems should be part of a competitive toolkit even when there is no pandemic.
The unpredictable times of the last few months didn’t just reveal how important automation technologies are, but also the importance that everybody in the factory has the right skills to use the necessary technologies. In this article, George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how new automation systems can help manufacturers bridge the skills gap.
The UK’s lockdown response to COVID-19 has affected most industries, and in the case of utilities companies, a reduction in the workforce will add stress to a network of systems and devices that require regular maintenance. For many, this has been a stark wake-up call emphasising the need to build greater resiliency into operations. Software helped companies keep employees safe and operations running during the pandemic – now, digital operational technologies can also make utilities companies more resilient on a long-term basis. George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland, explains.
Identifying production problems is not rocket science
Production challenges do not wait on IT developments, and getting to the root of a problem, or identifying the conditions that hinder smooth operation, does not always have to be rocket science. Here, George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland, points out that sometimes, it just takes blending information from different sources into the right views for the right people.
Using e-learning to master industrial data
Finding enough time to complete training alongside normal role responsibilities is one of the biggest limiting factors for the workforce. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, new ways of working and changing technologies were disrupting traditional roles and the skills engineers need to do them. The current lockdown conditions mean that workers can use e-learning to develop key skills and knowledge to ensure success in the new operations in a post-pandemic era, says George Walker, managing director of industrial automation expert Novotek UK and Ireland.
The amount of data that is generated, communicated and manipulated in modern industries is truly staggering. For instance, over a terabyte of data is saved each day in power production alone, and this is quickly increasing as time marches on. Here, George Walker, at industrial automation expert Novotek UK & Ireland, discusses what goes into these multi-terabyte data handling systems..