PLCs Power Industrial Data Integration

Not long ago, the roles of industrial automation devices and systems were a little more straightforward. Most field devices and sensors were relatively “dumb” and were directly connected to controllers, which may have interacted with operator displays, and in rare cases some data may have flowed up to higher level enterprise systems. Today’s smart sensors, clever controllers, and more capable communications have improved upon this scenario, and end users are looking for the best ways to enable the enterprise host systems to access valuable field-level data.

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Artificial Intelligence at the Edge Improves Manufacturing Productivity

Ever since IBM rolled out the world’s first mainframe computer in the 1950s, engineers and manufacturers in information technology (IT) have been pushing the boundaries of possibility through microelectronics and software. However, modern computer capabilities did not surface in the industrial operations technology (OT) space until recently, as machine builders began to realize the benefits IT can provide for efficiency and productivity.

A decade ago, digitalization and advanced analytics in OT environments gave adopters a leg up on their competitors. But today, manufacturers cannot keep up unless they lean on IT advances. These advances address challenges for plants, such as difficulty employing knowledgeable personnel, unexpected equipment failures and lack of operational insights for increasing efficiency.

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The Father of PLC's: How Richard Morley Revolutionized the Automation Industry

It’s been over 50 years since the birth of the Programmable Logic Controller. We look back at the history of the PLC and how replacing hard wired relay systems changed the world of manufacturing.

It was the year 1964 when a young cunning engineer, Dick Morley, was unemployed, had a new baby, a mortgage to pay and only $1,000 in the bank. Morley had previously worked a desk job designing atomic bombs, airplanes and communication systems performing the duties he was instructed to do. 

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Modern Machine Shops: Adding Value to Manufacturing Operations

A modern machine shop automatically adds value within a manufacturing operation. For starters, a modern machine shop houses equipment, usually old and new, that enhances manufactured products in some way. The machine shop is a value-added aspect because anything that happens in the machine shop further enhances and completes a product that is being produced in a facility. Adding value is the enhancement of a product during the process. Let’s look at why a machine shop adds value.

Any machine in a machine shop environment that is machining, plating, polishing, cleaning, or assembling is making money for a manufacturing operation. The nature of adding value is the transformation of the item during the process.

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Three Ways to Pandemic-Proof Your Facility

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on a challenge that has already been at the center of biotech facility design for years: viral containment. In order to keep both operators and end-user patients safe, biotech facility architects regularly employ the strategies of segregation, cleanability, and automation/process closure for the sake of safety. Due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, there is potential for safety solutions that are commonplace and pandemic-proof in biotech ATMP projects to transfer into unrelated commercial design projects.

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Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0: The Evolution of Manufacturing

As technology continues to grow and expand, so does the Industrial Revolution. There are four established stages as of now, with a fifth beginning to take shape. It started with the first stage of mechanized production. During this stage, water wheels and steam engines were created, and manufacturing moved from manpower to machine power. The second stage was mass production. A major technological advancement was achieved in the form of electricity. This technological advancement allowed for the creation of assembly lines. The third stage was the Digital Revolution. Analogue electronics and mechanical devices were expanded into digital technology such as personal computers, the Internet, and information and communications technology.

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Swisslog Case Study: Radwell International- Arlington, TX

Overcoming Automation Obstacles During COVID-19: A Case Study about the implementation of Swisslog AutoStore at Radwell International in Arlington, TX

 

THE CUSTOMER

Radwell International supports its customers with a broad range of new and used industrial products including industrial automation, MRO, pneumatic, motion, electronic, hydraulic, HVAC and electrical control equipment for plant floors and facilities. The company also provides component-level repair for all industrial electronic and electrical equipment, and buys new and used surplus for resale.

Radwell has major distribution hubs in New Jersey and the U.K., which support the bulk of product shipments and also include production facilities for repair. The hubs are supported by a network of satellite facilities that focus on repairs and localized sales. In early 2020, Radwell began construction on its newest automated distribution center. Radwell would locate this AutoStore in its 86,000-square-foot Arlington, Texas, branch.

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5 Tips for Implementing Cobots Into Your Manufacturing Operation

A type of robot growing in popularity in the industrial manufacturing industry is called a cobot, otherwise known as a collaborative robot. The reason for the growing popularity of cobots is their ability to work side by side with human operators to accomplish a task. With ever expanding technology, many fear it will make human workers obsolete. Robots are one of the top concerns. However, when it comes to cobots, they have one great difference from traditional industrial robots. Their design purpose is to work productively alongside humans. This will obviously have the benefit of human labor still required and an advanced form of technology assisting in the job process. Nobody wants to see human labor become obsolete. This is why more and more manufacturing operations are making use of cobots, as they integrate automation systems.

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Automation in Manufacturing: Five Key Advantages

Automation in manufacturing has a great impact on many facets of an operation. In addition to costs, it also impacts worker safety and productivity. There are many benefits of automation processes in a manufacturing environment. Let’s look at some specifics with regards to the advantages of automation in manufacturing processes.

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Five Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Valued

It’s no secret that 2020 has been a tough year. People have experienced challenges they’ve never experienced in their lifetime. There have been triumphs and there have been tragedies and everything in between.

For manufacturers or anyone running a business that was deemed essential during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, things were challenging on a different level. Trying to keep workers safe, keep machinery running to meet increased demand, and manage new safety and security procedures involved a whole new set of rules and adjustments. Amidst all the chaos and confusion were the backbones of organizations: the employees. With the changing rules of a pandemic, improving employee morale and making employees feel valued has become more important than ever before. This article explores five ways to make employees feel valued. These manager tips are easy to implement, budget-friendly, and hopefully valuable to those wanting to show appreciation for the humans who make their businesses run each day.

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