Archive | Operator Interface

Real-Time OEE Performance Management

One of my customers back in the 90s established an OEE office and placed an OEE engineer in each plant. OEE, of course is the popular abbreviation for Overall Equipment Effectiveness—a sum of ratios that places a numerical value on “true” productivity. I’ve always harbored some reservations about OEE, especially as a comparative metric, because […]

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Rockwell Automation Expands Technology Portfolio

Rockwell Automation has announced acquisition of Automation Control Products (ACP), a provider of centralized thin client, remote desktop and server management software. ACP’s two core products, ThinManager and Relevance, provide manufacturing and industry with visual display and software solutions to, as the Rockwell press release put it, “manage information and streamline workflows for a more […]

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Unleashing The Power of the Industrial Plant Operator

Plant operators have been isolated in remote control rooms for decades. They tend to lose intimate knowledge of their processes as they monitor computer screens in these isolated rooms. The sounds and smells are gone. Everything is theoretical. This system has worked. But, is it the best, most efficient, most effective use of human intelligence? […]

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Next Generation Operator Interface

“Siri, what’s the weather in Bangor?” “Alexa, buy some toilet paper.” “Zelda, check the status of the control loop at P28.” Operator interface is many years removed from its last significant upgrade. Yes, the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium (led by Honeywell) and Human-Centered Design used by Emerson Process Management and the work of the Center […]

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Rockwell Goes Mobile With Production Data

The consumer boom with mobile devices has not been ignored by production automation companies. Rockwell Automation showed FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI v 6.0 enabling any digital device to access performance metrics and production data analytics from plant floors and machines. The VantagePoint v6.0 software now includes VantagePoint mobile, a component that enables users to create displays […]

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Integrated PLC Driving Down Cost of Industrial Controllers

No doubt current trends in industrial controllers, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and human-machine interfaces (HMI) include driving down the cost of control. Here is one that is an integrated HMI/PLC for less than $400. Interestingly, this is the first product pitched to me in years that touts RS485 serial connectivity. I’d darn near forgotten all […]

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Reliability the Keyword at PAS Technology Conference

The PAS Technology Conference is in session May 19-21. PAS bills itself as the “Human Reliability” company, and indeed reliability broadly speaking was a conference theme. This is also a celebration of PAS’s 20th anniversary, and historical references were everywhere. Eddie Habibi, founder and CEO, introduced the Conference Theme of Connecting the Dots by looking […]

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Better Graphics For Safer Industrial Plant Operations

Some of the most exciting technology companies have shown me during the past three years or so has involved deep work into providing better operator displays for industrial plant operations. In this case, “better” means working with the people who actually use the displays–maybe the entire team from operators to maintenance to engineering–in order to […]

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New Mobile Operator Interface Device blends HTML 5 and Internet of Things

Another announcement at ARC in Orlando last week came from software developer Iconics blending mobile HMI and the Internet of Things. The company introduced its new MobileHMI solution delivered to “Any Glass, Anytime!” Iconics, always on the cutting edge of commercial technology trends, sees the increasing use of mobile devices in industry along with improved […]

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