Plants have increasingly scrapped keyboards and mice on the shop floor in favour of a more responsive human machine interface (HMI) approach.
Manufacturers are moving towards an integrated digital operating environment with the industrial internet of things (IIoT) placed firmly at the center of this industrial transformation. Many plants have incrementally upgraded over the years in a bid to embrace digitalization and gain a competitive edge.
Digitalization & Process Modular Systems
In industrial settings, this can typically be achieved by full plant visualization, where all processes in a plant are connected and digitized. This allows managers to optimize plant manufacturing and maintenance based on real-time performance data, which is essential to boost productivity.
For example, within the packaging industry, a connected modular systems architecture offers multiple advantages for plant managers and operators including powerful data analysis, improved quality and targeting areas for efficiency improvement.
A modular system is fabricated, assembled and tested off-site prior to being installed in a new or existing plant. This system would typically include an industrial display, industrial PC and systems controllers.
Modular systems can reduce the time taken to wire and install all the components in a plant, meaning that the initial start-up time is minimized. A shorter project timeline can also reduce overall implementation costs. As technology continues to evolve, future hardware improvements can be managed without the need to replace the entire system at a costly hit to businesses. With a modular system it’s easier to diagnose and fix a problem, meaning operators are burdened with less unplanned downtime.  (Modular equals Quality, Value, Safety, and Schedule Speed.  This is just a comment.)
How do you make the best use of space?
As plants consolidate and grow to become more efficient, space is an important consideration. A modular design makes the most of the space that’s available on the shop floor. It is possible to stack modular units, where a traditional plant layout may not support this versatility.

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