Industrial automation has made manufacturing processes much more efficient, allows more consistent products, improves safety, and greatly shortens the time for new product development. EMA has been involved with industrial automation for decades. Our mantra: Keep industrial automation simple.
Most industrial automation products are so reliable, that the plant operators seldom have to adjust or troubleshoot them. This is great, UNTIL, something doesn’t work. Then, since no one in the plant has any expertise, there can be extensive downtime resolving even a simple problem.
This is often compounded by the tendency of industrial automation equipment manufacturers to obsolete equipment, which means replacement of failed components, or even resolving a software glitch can be a major issue.
Many plants are operating right this moment on machine software that was written by someone no longer around. Given again the propensity of automation equipment manufacturers to obsolete both software and equipment, many plants have found themselves in very difficult situations from a software or equipment failure. (Honestly, this is when the plants seem to look us up.. and we’re happy to help)
Another seemingly simply issue, that can turn into a major problem is when the plant needs to add a small process, VFD, or machine to the existing system. Allen Bradley, Siemens, and others do not seem to play well with others in these circumstances. You can suddenly find yourself being told you must “upgrade” (that’s always translated.. spend a lot more money) either software or equipment to add that 2 HP VFD that came on your new stacker.
This is not a slam at either Allen Bradley (Rockwell) or Siemens, or anyone else. As we said in the beginning, automation equipment is very reliable and has worked wonders in making industrial facilities work better. At EMA, we’ve programmed a number of systems using both of these, and others.
There is something to be said however, about some of the newer players. For one thing, they tend be much nicer to you about software. Instead of asking you to fork over a few more thousand to “license” that new piece of gear you just bought, they just include it in the price.
A unit that we really like here at EMA is Bardac equipment (read this). Very, very, innovative and simple approach to industrial automation. Every engineer we’ve run across has been impressed. Check them out HERE.
Our approach to automation, is KEEP IT SIMPLE. IF you don’t require an entirely new PLC, then don’t add one. If all you plan to do with your new VFD is turn it off and on and supply a speed signal, don’t worry about a complicated communication protocol. If you need the complicated features, then by all means, add them. But think it through first!
Call us for all your automation (and Drive) needs. Just call 770-448-4644 OR hit any of the contact icons on the right of this page.