Jack Wilkins

Jack Wilkins

Jack Wilkins is Proficy Product Manager for GE Fanuc Automation, Charlottesville, VA. He can be reached at 508 698-7456.

Stories by Jack Wilkins

The Overall Equipment Effectiveness Approach-A Survival Tool for Manufacturing

Pressured by current economic conditions, global competition, and delays of new equipment purchases, manufacturers are becoming increasingly sensitive about operational costs. In this environment, it pays to consider both creative and proven methods that you can use to bring your product to market at minimum cost. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a method that meets this objective.

Meeting Manufacturing Operational Objectives

Current economic conditions, global competition, and delays of new equipment purchases are causing manufacturers to be sensitive about all aspects of operational costs. In this environment, it pays to consider both creative and proven methods that you can use to bring your product to market at minimum cost. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a method that meets this objective.

Securing Your HMI/SCADA System

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems monitor and control remote or local industrial equipment and processes in real time. Many of these systems have been in place for years, with little attention paid to who has access to them and how vulnerable they may be to deliberate or inadvertent compromise.

Process Analytical Technologies Can Provide a Quality Answer

The life sciences industry has used process analytical technologies (PAT) for many years, and the chemical and petrochemical industries have applied them even longer. Manufacturers have long recognized the need to understand their processes and technologies. The acceptance and guidance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, is a recent development.

Plant Data Historians

Applications in which sensors provide data are growing exponentially, allowing manufacturers to refine their operations and enhance their efficiencies. The more sensors show they can do, the more they are asked to do. But the sensor is just the front end of the process. If you can't aggregate the data, analyze trends, and cull actionable information, sensors' contribution is all for not. That's where plant data historians come in.

Relational Databases vs. Plant Data Historians—Which One Is Right For You?

Today, sensors are everywhere. They do everything from counting parts on an assembly line to measuring the quality of products. But some of the biggest challenges occur after measurements have been made. At that point, you have to decide: Where do I collect the data, and how can I use it to improve my operations by decreasing variability and improving quality?