A variety of automation technologies are used by manufacturers for the control of discrete manufacturing processes ranging from detail fabrication, subassembly, to final assembly of finished goods and products. Automation technologies for the discrete manufacturing industries include programmable logic controllers (PLC), AC drives, general motion control (GMC), computer numeric control (CNC), and machine safeguarding; plus, human-machine interface (HMI), and manufacturing execution systems (MES) for discrete industries.
Discrete automation offers the potential to deliver significant unrealized return on assets (ROA) throughout the manufacturing process. However, many users purchase automation technology and systems to stay technologically current and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) relative to minimized risk, rather than to achieve continuous improvement and associated economic and business gains.
Of course, advances in underlying technologies as well as international standards play a part in making sure the correct solutions are selected for the future as well as the current business needs. For example, Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 provide new opportunities to improve overall business performance. For owner-operators, this includes operational improvements mostly through improved asset reliability in the discrete manufacturing industries. For end users, the incorporation of IIoT, analytics, and other predictive and prescriptive technologies help to bring performance to a higher level.
ARC Advisory Group’s suite of Technology and Supplier Selection Guides are invaluable tools for manufacturing automation solution end users trying to navigate the ever changing market dynamics resulting from the trend towards the digital transformation of the manufacturing industries, global pandemics, trade wars, currency exchange rate fluctuations, and dynamic economic swings. ARC’s broad range of related selection guides are used by some of the largest discrete manufacturers to ensure they choose a solution partner best suited for their regional, vertical, and application focus.
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