In our last two posts we’ve discussed our three-step process to modernization. This post provides templates to help you plan your progression for modernization and define your requirements around your most important goals.
The IBE will help define priorities for system upgrades, and there are usually implications to capital planning over a multi-year period. Combined with a Smart Tech Review, you should be able to confidently select devices and develop a progression plan. A progression plan typically spans multiple years and should define standards for actual device replacement for both large projects and incremental repair opportunities.
Smart device standards are an output of progression planning, but the exercise should be far more extensive in scope. As stated in part three of our Smart Manufacturing guide, what works best is to define information requirements around objectives and goals. What can be done that will really move the needle? Before jumping in to simply specify the next family of devices that happen to connect on EtherNet/IP, take some team time and give some aspirational thought to converting data into knowledge.
Three ways to get started are:
- Think holistically, from site level objectives and across major information systems. This requires personnel beyond engineering, including operations and ERP level users.
- Think from a machine or process perspective, which is a little more captive to control engineering and E&I teams.
- Start big and work back into a functional area.
These creative thinking exercises, combined with the IBE and Smart Tech Update, are used to develop clear data and information requirements that steer selection of actual devices. The progression planning process looks like this:
The following downloadable pages provide sample templates that can be used to help with creative thinking and device specification exercises. Once you have devices specified and a progression plan in place, you should start giving more consideration to your network itself. Network design, performance and reliability become critical on this journey. Part five will explore some basics to help you get started.
E4A: Smart Manufacturing – Information Exercise
Use the first template here as an example to gather a cross functional group and explore possibilities. How could data, combined from multiple platforms, enable your plant to better serve your customers? What new options could you create? How could you improve quality and become more productive?
E4B: Smart Device Identification Exercise
Use the second template here as an example to explore a specific process, system or subsystem. Focusing on a smaller portion makes it easier to identify more problems and opportunities. Working within the system, what real time information would help optimize performance or increase its reliability? What devices are installed or could be installed that would provide the necessary data?
Here is an example of exploring opportunities with a specific system. See the section on machine level planning for more.
E4C: Smart Device Requirements Exercise
Use the last template to begin to define actual device requirements. This is assuming you have worked through either exercises E4A, E4B or both.
For additional material, see the section entitled “Considerations when specifying Smart Devices” in our blog post on smart devices.
Look for our next post on building your network.