When mulling over automation upgrades, roadblocks and costs can cause concern—especially if they’re significant. Oftentimes, progress stalls due to the swarm of questions surrounding the process. But it shouldn’t; in fact, now might be the perfect time to adopt a new or renewed automation approach. It may be tempting to balk at updates, but the benefits of using modern automation in your facility are being proven to outweigh the cost in nearly all situations. Thankfully, the steps to automation modernization lie in front of you.
Embracing automation requires a full team effort. Multiple parties will need to voice their input, including C-suite executives, plant foremen, plant operators, financial analysts, and stakeholders. Once corralled, you’ll want their feedback from the get-go. Ask them about concerns, invite ideas, and glean expectations. This team will prove essential in maneuvering through the next stages.
Map Out an Automation Blueprint
This step involves a lot, but bear with us. A comprehensive automation schema charts a number of key sections that are vital to automation’s success. These include:
Current Network Structure and Needs. A firm grasp of your current network capacity and configuration underpins a fruitful transition. Investigate your network’s present connectivity and where gaps, if any, emerge. Other problem points, such as downtime, costly assets, and low-quality production, can also be cataloged and assessed. Luckily, modern automation systems remedy most of these concerns—but it’s beneficial to tally these up front before upgrades arrive.
Data Accuracy. Many times, data rests at the root of continued plant productivity. Analyzing current data collection and assessment can prove worthwhile in improving metrics down the line. Speed up data—and operation will likely follow suit. If current data programs seem lacking in real-time data analysis, a more robust, remote monitoring data system may serve as a solid fix.
Security Shortfalls. Network security ranks high on the list for plants and producers of all stripes. A security audit helps spot lapses in network safety, while taking note of potential operational errors. Advanced automation components can provide a needed buffer from security breaches or even data loss.
Look to the Future
Present needs remain paramount—but so do future concerns. Check up with what your current situation calls for and assess if more modernization seems appropriate.
Proactive actions provide solutions galore. Installing modern automation assets allows for smoother integration in the future. A laundry list of advancements—cloud computing, virtualization, and remote access, to name a few—have already arrived. Getting ahead also boasts benefits for bottom lines. Instead of waiting to incur substantial losses from delay and downtime, you can enlist modern automation’s smart assets to monitor operations. Proactive maintenance and upgrades are almost always cheaper in the long run.
Put It in Writing
Your extensive planning needs to meet the page. You’ll want to draft a document that outlines your main objectives. It will need to provide an overview of your main aims, the most pressing automation priorities, technical requirements, budgetary benchmarks, a measure of success, and overall team input. This will help make the whole process more digestible—and serve as an excellent reference to boot.
Contact Revere Control Systems
The final step is this: linking up with a reliable automation expert like Revere Control Systems. An automation plan of action provides a good start, but it definitely needs to see expert support. We can help you develop and finalize your plan, keeping an eye on both practicality and maximized value, and move forward with integration together.
If this whole process seems a bit overwhelming, reach out to us at Revere. We’ve been helping customers meet their goals with automation for over 40 years now. Even if you’re not sure about the nitty-gritty yet, or haven’t hashed out any of the details of your project, Revere is a reliable partner that can help you nail down specifics. Contact us for automation modernization support you can depend on. For further guidance, our blog’s a great resource to lean on.