Protecting Your Intellectual Property and Expanding Your Markets

Enterprise connectivity represents a massive opportunity for both machine builders and their customers.

But the risks associated with having a complex, interconnected system – from cybercriminals and competitors – are growing. Almost one in two companies has experienced illicit copying of entire machines. Cyberattacks can cause damage to physical assets, workers or products.

Fundamental to today’s production environment is the ability to provide secure, remote access for end customers, improve productivity and safety, protect critical production data from internal and external threats, while keeping intellectual property equally secure.

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Scalable Secure Remote Access Solutions for OEMs

Secure remote access to production assets, data and applications, along with the latest collaboration tools, provides plant and sites with the ability to apply the right skills and resources at the right time, independent of their physical location. OEMs are looking to reduce costs, add more value to their Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. This paper outlines the means to enable secure remote access to plant or site-based applications and data and can be used as guidance for OEMs to collaborate with their customers when designing a secure remote access solution.

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Take Control of Your Food & Beverage Plant Floor

Security breaches in the Food and Beverage industry can impact production in unique ways. Attacks can occur on key operational systems such as refrigeration; materials might be misdirected; recipes may be tampered with or stolen, leading beyond product and financial losses to product quality and safety issues. A specific cybersecurity strategy addressing these specialized risks is required.

Complete the form to download the Take Control of Your Food & Beverage Plant Floor White Paper now!

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State of Smart Manufacturing Report

Every day, we navigate a complex landscape: aiming for increased profitable growth without sacrificing quality; building greater resiliency and agility; stretching to make operations more sustainable; and tackling workforce and supply chain challenges simultaneously.

What can we learn from our common struggles? And how can we leverage global trends to reach our own goals? This research spotlights one common thread: the need for technology to mitigate risks, open up new opportunities, and remain competitive.

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Plex Quality Management System Demo

Don't rely on manual processes and spreadsheets to ensure you meet customer demands and regulatory compliance. Take control of your plant floor by integrating digital quality management into your production flow with Plex Quality Management System (QMS).

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MES For Dummies

Plex Systems, Inc. delivers the first smart manufacturing platform that empowers the world's leading innovators to make awesome products. Plex gives process and discrete manufacturers the ability to connect, automate, track, and analyze every aspect of their business - from the shop floor to the top floor to drive business transformation. Built in the cloud, the Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform ™ includes MES, ERP, supply chain management, Industrial IoT, and analytics to connect people, systems, machines, and supply chains, enabling them to lead with precision, efficiency, and agility in an ever-changing market.

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What Is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?

A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) helps businesses ensure that their manufacturing operations and production output are working to maximum efficiency. It’s a software system that connects, monitors, and controls machines, work centers, and data flows on the factory floor. The MES does this by tracking and gathering real-time data throughout the production lifecycle and on every piece of equipment involved in the production process—from order to delivery.

An MES provides businesses with data on product tracking and genealogy, performance, traceability, management, work in progress (WIP), and other plant activities throughout the production cycle. This information provides decision makers with detailed insight on how to optimize their operations. In this eBook, we’re going to take a look at:

  • What Does a Manufacturing Execution System Do?
  • Manufacturing Execution System Architecture
  • What are the Benefits of Using a Manufacturing Execution System?

Complete the form to download the What Is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)? eBook now!

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Plex Quality Management System (QMS)

When manual processes and homegrown systems fall short, Plex Quality Management System (QMS) can help you take the guesswork out of quality management and error-proof your production operation. Plex QMS offers manufacturers increased quality visibility and real-time data capture to help ensure repeatability, predictability, and compliance management.

Plex QMS makes it possible to digitally manage quality with accurate, real-time quality content aligned to industry and product requirements. And you gain increased operational excellence.

Complete the form to download the Plex Quality Management System (QMS) Brochure now!

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Realizing Digital Value: Three Opportunity Areas for OEMs

Success as an OEM has always hinged on the ability to design and deploy machines in ways that yield rapid time to value, no matter the challenges that may be involved.

Industry challenges, both perennial and new, are likely here to stay.

What’s different now is the technology landscape and opportunities it presents for OEMs to not only maximize efficiency from within, but also to differentiate themselves and strengthen their position in the marketplace.

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Solutions at Work: Bechtel

Bechtel is a world-wide engineering and construction organization serving customers in a variety of industries from power, petroleum and chemical plants, to aviation services and the hotel industry. The equipment leasing arm of the company, Bechtel Equipment Operations Inc. (BEO), supplies all the tools and equipment needed to keep their global construction projects operating efficiently.

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Equipment SOLUTIONS Tool Inventory Management

One of ToolHound’s clients is a construction firm with two branches: large commercial projects and small projects and maintenance. Between new construction, demolitions, interior renovations, and space maintenance, their toolroom is home to a substantial inventory of tools and supplies. But managing that inventory proved challenging—not only did they have trouble tracking where tools were, but they were also losing tools and supplies at an alarming rate. They needed a solution that would reduce loss (to assets and profits), that would be easy to implement, and that would allow them to have instant, on-demand access to their inventory.

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Solutions at Work: Reliant Energy Wholesale Group

Reliant Energy Wholesale Group, a division of Reliant Energy, is a leading provider of electricity, natural gas and energy services in the U.S.A. With a portfolio of electric power and co-generation plants in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Texas and the West, Reliant has 20,000 megawatt of power generation capacity in operation, under construction or under contract.

Like any power generating facility, plants in the Reliant system experience routine outages for scheduled maintenance and forced outages due to mechanical failure that require immediate response. A single Reliant maintenance shop in Brookville, PA issues all the tools required for maintenance and repairs for some 25 plants from New York to Oregon and south to Florida. Some tools are drawn from satellite tool cribs that are moved where and when needed.

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Boost Your Bottom Line with One Powerful Tool

Since 1985, ToolHound has been the standard in tool inventory management for companies in construction, maintenance, petrochemical, mining and more. Need proof? Five of the top ten companies on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list use ToolHound.

ToolHound efficiently tracks tools issued to and returned by employees and contractors, as well as equipment transfers between various job sites and tool room locations. Using a comprehensive database, coupled with a simple and accurate barcode or RFID-based transaction system, ToolHound inventory management software can be securely accessed online from anywhere.

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Solutions at Work: TransAlta

TransAlta, Canada's largest investor-owned electric utility, boasts more than $5 billion in assets and $1.6 billion in revenues, it recently discovered a problem at one of its plants that was costing the company both time and money. In its Edmonton plant tool crib, tools were flowing out to work sites but were not always being returned, and the company had no way to accurately track where the tools were or who had them last. Crib operators were armed with nothing more than a sign-out sheet and when tools didn't come back, there was no way to assign responsibility to anyone for the loss.

Unfortunately, tool theft, unreliable tool tracking, and a lack of tool accountability are common problems at plants everywhere. Too often, these plants operate with archaic "pen and paper" procedures that not only slow issue/return times, but also lack the tracking information required to help curb tool-related losses within an organization. TransAlta decided it was time to fix this problem in its Edmonton plant. A main ingredient...

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2020 State of AI-Based Machine Vision

Of the many use cases in manufacturing, visual inspection—a task that involves using human eye or machine vision to verify if a product is free of defects or if parts are correctly assembled—is well-suited for AI. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, AI-powered quality inspection can increase productivity by up to 50% and defect detection rates by up to 90% compared to manual inspection.

Given these benefits, have businesses started using AI in visual inspections? If so, what is the level of adoption, and what are the challenges? These questions and more drove Landing AI, an industrial AI company, and the Association for Advancing Automation to launch this survey on the state of AI-based machine vision.

The survey polled 110 companies from the manufacturing and machine vision industry with both multiple and single choice questions. Respondents who took the survey perform a variety of roles and include C-suite executives, automation engineers and plant managers. One main takeaway is that businesses have high confidence in the effectiveness of AI, and a growing number of companies are already using deep learning-based machine vision for automated visual inspection.

In this report, we will highlight four key findings, detail those discoveries, and provide analysis.

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