Top Ten Business Challenges Addressed by Automation

By Dick Hill

ARC Report Abstract


Manufacturers and other industrial organizations today face many different challenges. These include the often-obsolete automation systems con-trolling the production processes in their brownfield plants. While the threat of system-related production interruptions and increased maintenance costs typically associated with obsolete technology certainly pose a risk to the business, this often is still not enough to justify upgrading the automation.

So how should industry go about justifying these costly and often disruptive technology upgrades? ARC Advisory Group believes that the answer is to focus on the potential benefits that modern automation can bring to a business.

Based on numerous ARC engagements with our end user clients over the years, we’ve been able to identify ten distinct areas in which automation technology could help an industrial organization meet its evolving business requirements and thus help justify upgrading the installed automation systems.

1. Achieving and Sustaining Exceptional Business Performance Through Operational Excellence

Exceptional business performance for most manufacturers relates closely to achieving operational excellence (OpX). This requires continuous improvements. Automation can facilitate those improvements. The fundamental premise is that, unlike previous technology-focused incremental change, which derived its incremental value from cost automation technology helps Unscheduled Shutdowns and Slowdownsdhlo1.JPGreduction and efficiency improvements, the next wave of radical value increase will come from empowering and engaging people with knowledge and authority.

Modern automation systems support the connectivity, information integration, decision support, and visualization capabilities needed to help more people make the correct decisions more often. Empowering people will require a change in how companies justify spending capital as well as how the resulting information is used.

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Keywords: Automation Technology, Obsolescence, Operational Excellence (OpX), Business Risk, Control System Migration, ARC Advisory Group.


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