In an earlier post, we introduced a functional, three-step approach to smart manufacturing. The first step is conducting an Installed Base Evaluation (IBE), which you can read about by clicking on the link. The second step is the Smart Tech Review.
Building on lessons learned from IBE activities, a good Smart Tech Review is a great intermediate step before actually specifying replacement technology. The IBE can serve as a guiding reference, beginning with risk and priority areas, to explore new technology.
This is a great opportunity to create some inspiration for smart device planning, and to get your vendor community involved. When engaging your vendors, we suggest that you:
- Share summary data from your IBE with your appropriate vendors. Request recommendations for replacement options, including a hands-on demo.
- Specify what you expect to see from the demo, as vendors can be a little commercial! Make sure that they can demonstrate the impact of upgrade, noting the change in:
- functional performance
- functional data available
- diagnostics data available
- You will also want explicit demonstration of integration into your control system of choice. Three areas of integration to explore are connectivity, setup (programming) and maintenance.
With a little advanced notice and planning, the tech demo is a powerful step that will help both stimulate your creativity and identify the most attractive options of the field.
Our next post will discuss the third step in our process to smart manufacturing: planning your progression.