Where can a customer or a new employee grab a great meal? Here a few of my favorites:
The few. The proud. The brave.
The Sirens are mythical creatures that used beautiful songs to lure unsuspecting sailors too close to the rocks, only to have them realize too late that they were marooned with little hope of escape.
ROI challenges and quick projects are the Sirens of the automation world. Many manufacturers are tempted by low hanging fruit performance improvement opportunities and then, applying corporate ROI rules, request capital to execute a project. This approach leads down a path of one-off projects, eventually leaving you adrift among many point solutions or ‘islands’ of automation. The real disadvantage? You’re left stranded without automated equipment/solution coordination and real time decision making data, and the cost to change can’t be justified with corporate ROI rules.
Could it be that you listened to the Sirens and are now stuck with point automation solutions and no ability to coordinate with other islands nor share real time data? You may be marooned on ‘automation island.’
Do not fret; all is not lost. A successful approach that gets you free automation after several projects includes a holistic automation plan, a set of standards to build each one-off solution against so that it will become a leveragable holistic solution by the time you’re done. Manufacturers that do not heed the call of the Sirens develop projects that include coordinated control, built-in diagnostics and data collection as part of your standards. After a few projects and a little dedicated budget, you will have a free platform to build lower cost, high value solutions and applications on top of such as diagnostics, coordinated and advanced control, real time data-based decision-making and execution efficiency applications. You’ll have effectively built a life raft and can paddle away from ‘automation island’ for good. Never to be lured by the Sirens again!
Standard applications can be leveraged on multiple projects and can be justified within traditional ROI rules. Then you can use this free holistic platform and add high value low cost solutions/applications for manufacturing excellence.
That’s how we do it at Avanceon. Have you been similarly successful or have you taken a different path? We would love to hear your perspective!
Whether you play an instrument or just value the joy of listening to a Beethoven symphony, you are using your brain to help solve a problem: creating an environment that provides a heightened state of enjoyment. This state can take the form of relaxation, excitement, passion, or simply rabid agitation. All music is enjoyment to someone, somewhere!
Engineering may be your chosen career, but it can also be your subconscious means of satisfying your personal need for this enjoyment. Music and math have always had a direct connection, but this engineering connection is more cerebral and at times does not seem to have a specific design. Hence you mentally create the tool and the design begins to take shape in the mood or state of mind you wish to achieve. Studies have shown that while in this state of mind, creative juices are flowing (see “The Power of Music” by Elena Mannes).
Technically, the means of creating or admiring a set of mathematically tuned pressure waves can be easily seen as an engineering marvel, but I am talking about the use of your mind to create this tool called music appreciation. We all have it. Yes, even that curmudgeon in the next cubicle. Listen closely and you may hear him humming “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”
And how many of your coworkers are just now sitting at their desks with earbuds in place, bobbing their heads in spastic rhythmic patterns? They’re not listening to the latest YouTube Kitty vid. Well, not most of them, anyway.
Take a moment, use your brain and create that magical place. After all, you are an engineer!