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UPGRADING: Getting Swamped by the Obsolescence Wave? Tech Tips for Keeping your Ship Afloat

Most manufacturers and utilities with an established base of vintage PLC systems have either started chipping away at modernization or nearing that phase. These projects can seem simple – after all, they won’t be touching the field devices or processing equipment, and there’s no change to operation. You think that all that you need to do is swap in new PLC hardware in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and convert the program, but there’s more to the story.
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DATA: Use Your Abundance of Data in the Best Possible Way

There is so much data in the manufacturing process that it is often overlooked. When we think of manufacturing, we often think about the tangible production of a product as the primary goal. While this is certainly true, many steps of the production process generate valuable data as a byproduct. Well-known areas within manufacturing like procurement, operations, and engineering all generate an abundance of consumable data waiting to be utilized. Implementing data science and analytics techniques on this data is a competitive advantage in areas like quality, efficiency, and cost reduction.
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DATA: Data Warehousing – Bigger, Faster, and Easier To You

With the use of advanced data analytics being a part of today’s reality, now more than ever manufacturers are paying close attention to their data collection and storage capabilities. It’s been a best practice for years to collect all the data you can.  Why? Just in case.  But today collecting data isn’t always enough to allow for all of the newer solutions out there to work at their best and deliver the results you want. A recent trend we are seeing in Avanceon’s customers is that their data collection is outsizing their storage infrastructure, making queries run agonizingly slow, limiting the user experience and overall system confidence. Compounding this issue is the analysis of the information has become more difficult because, in order to get more context to the data, it requires connection to multiple disparate databases.  As the demand and scale grow, those disparate connections that they rely on can’t keep up with the retrieval demands. As the issue compounds, the need to solve this problem and streamline the access to information becomes critical to the viability of the analytics solutions. To help our customers address this issue, Avanceon’s data science team is undertaking various initiatives to upgrade the data infrastructure into a centralized data warehouse setting.
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UPGRADING: Palletizer Upgrade? It’s likely overdue.

Do you know that old dusty thing tucked away in your plants’ warehouse that no one ever thinks about but is likely one of the most critical assets you own? The dreaded palletizing system – most don’t understand its unique complexity has an aura of “don’t disturb the sleeping giant”. As a result of the stigma it’s frequently been poorly maintained, never upgraded, and not afforded a good Preventative Maintenance program. All this neglect despite being one of the hardest running pieces of equipment in your plant. It handles all of your production 24/7/365, running all day, every day, no matter what you throw at it When things go wrong with the palletizer there are two possible solutions, shut down production or hand stack. Shutting down production is a doomsday scenario. Hand stacking is a significant challenge because of the lack of people to dedicate to the high task. It’s not a farfetched scenario but imagine what would happen if it breaks down and the repair requires a number of obsolete parts that you can’t find, support, or replace anymore, even on E-Bay. Replacing an entire palletizing system is a large undertaking both from a logistics, financial and time sink standpoint. However, like other equipment, it can be treated as a targeted risk based obsolescence upgrade that considers the relevant mechanical and electrical issues.
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PROJECT MANAGEMENT: How Not to Get Lost in the Weeds: Keeping Your Work on Track

When we find ourselves entrenched in daily tasks and responsibilities, there is a tendency to get hyper-focused, putting our noses to the grindstone, and not taking the time to come up from the trenches to smell the roses.
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