Making the Transition to High Performance Graphics

More accessible and easier to read, high performance graphics are quickly adopted by process manufacturers

The human machine interface (HMI) graphic world came into being about 30 years ago with basic interfaces displayed in black and white. A year or two later, color graphic interfaces were introduced, starting a trend  that would last for decades. The latest industry trends have moved away from the “fruit salad” graphics, yet many companies and end users fear moving away from these colorful graphics.

What are High Performance Graphics?

High performance graphics move the displays to a monotone gray world, where the background and objects like tanks are a neutral gray color. Graphics with animations use white for running and dark gray or black for stopped (see Figure 2). All alarms and transition states then have bright noticeable colors and specific shapes to help carry the importance of an alarm through to the user. The International Society of Automation (ISA) started the HMI standards for high performance graphics in 2009, with a notable article about adoption of the standard by Bill Hollifield in late 2012. The standard (ANSI/ISA 101.01–2015) is slowly being adopted in manufacturing.

Industrial Automation

There are a few reasons moving to high performance graphics is a good choice. One reason is the typical red and green colors used historically for running and stopped are not clearly visible to people who are colorblind. One in 12 men and one in 200 women are colorblind, leaving a portion of the workforce unable to see these colors. Additionally, red and green colors are often confusing because some facilities and industries will use green as safe and red as running, causing additional confusion for people moving between facilities or industries.

Another reason high performance graphics are preferable is the standard allows an operator to glance at a screen and know if something is wrong. Even from a distance it becomes clear if something is off, on or in trouble because only these items have color.

Quickly Assessing the Process

High performance graphics make it easy for the operator to assess what is happening in the process at a glance. A common way to do this in high performance HMIs is to show a bar chart of the process variable (PV) right on the overview screen. The bar chart shows the normal operating range of the variable, so that the operator can know where the value is in the range and if it is approaching the limits. Another way to show data at a glance is to show a real-time trend of the process variable. This allows the operator to quickly see how a variable is trending so that he or she can react before the process becomes critical.

Alarms are more manageable as well. Often an operator can become overwhelmed by alarms. By using icons and colors to indicate the severity of an alarm, an operator can quickly decide which alarms are the most important to react to.

With common grayscale graphics, any change in color quickly draws the eye to the alarm on the screen.

Manufacturing Operations Management
High Performance PV Bars

Making the Transition

Matrix Technologies has helped several clients in the process industries make the transition to high performance graphics. The transition to high performance graphics usually happens by a forced move rather than a chosen one. Several HMI and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) platforms now have high performance graphics libraries. These graphics are designed to meet the high performance standards. This comes up in discussions in the design phase of the project and is often met with uncertainty and trepidation, which proves to be unfounded. In talking about it with employees from the plant floor to maintenance to engineering and above, people are usually very concerned or resistant to change. Within two days of the new system implementation, the operators are saying they find the new system to be helpful in the day-to-day operations and it is actually making them more effective.

Some customers are willing to embrace the neutral background, but they don’t think they can live without the red and green (running and stopped) color scheme they have always used. Early editions of PlantPAx included the ability to change the colors of the pre-built objects, but in the last couple of years support of the color change tool has been discontinued. This is forcing the customer to fully make the transition to high performance colors.

Overhauling an HMI can be costly, but when upgrades to the systems are being made it is worth the investment to make the transition to high performance graphics. Using pre-developed graphic libraries makes the transition easier, more timely and cost effective because the color coding is already built into the object library.

For more information, read The High Performance HMI Handbook

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America. To learn more about process design capabilities and manufacturing process control solutions, contact Dave Blaida, PE, CEP & President.

© Matrix Technologies, Inc.

Develop safety through security

Develop safety through security

by: Lee Lane, Chief Product Security Officer, Rockwell Automation

As organizations implement connected, information-enabled architectures to improve productivity, efficiency and safety that means industrial security cannot be too far behind.

Whether it’s remote access to production machinery, wireless access to pumping stations, or connecting plant-floor equipment to the IT infrastructure, greater connectivity can provide significant improvements in productivity and safety. But it also increases risks—not only to intellectual property, profits and mission-critical production assets, but also to people and the environment.

Safety systems are designed to detect faults, alert operators and automatically intervene. By altering or attacking safety systems, security breaches can force a standard control system to operate beyond its safety parameters, damage equipment and the environment, or even place workers and the public in unsafe situations.

The connected enterprise unites people, processes and things. It brings together enterprise-level IT and plant-level operations technology (OT) systems into a common network infrastructure. And it harnesses the power of enabling technologies, from data and analytics software to smart devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

What does this mean for manufacturers and industrial operators? It means production intelligence for measuring and improving nearly every aspect of their operations, including quality, productivity, uptime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). It means enterprise-wide connectivity for instantaneous information sharing and seamless collaboration across an organization. It means remote monitoring of critical production assets and systems dispersed across remote locations.

For all the opportunities, however, there are also risks. More connection points can create more entrance points for security threats. These threats can be physical or digital, internal or external, and malicious or unintentional. And they can pose a danger in many ways, including intellectual property loss, disrupted operations and compromised product quality.

Safety is perhaps the least discussed implication of security threats.

Safety as attack vector

Breached machine- and process-safety systems can create cascading safety consequences.

For starters, compromised safety systems that don’t stop machines when they reach a dangerous state or when a safety device ends up triggered can expose workers to the very threat they should receive protection from. Additionally, safety systems that aren’t able to stop production beyond certain operating conditions can expose other employees or an entire plant to risks, such as fires, chemical leaks or explosions.

The risks can be especially high in industries where employees work with hazardous or volatile materials, such as in chemical manufacturing. And the risks will only grow as collaborative robotics become more prevalent, with employees and robots working side-by-side on production lines.

Compromised safety systems also could put consumers at risk. Consider the potential impact of a cyberattack that alters processes in a food or pharmaceutical manufacturing operation. It could result in harmful or even deadly contaminations. And even if an attack ends up discovered before affected product leaves the facility, it could delay the delivery of urgently needed products like life-saving medications.

Likewise, tampered or disrupted processes in critical-infrastructure facilities could impact the critical water and energy supplies on which populations depend.

Documented attacks

Security breaches and vulnerabilities resulting in safety risks aren’t just theoretical. They’re a reality:

  • A cyberattack on a German steel mill resulted in parts of the plant failing and a blast furnace workers could not shut down through normal methods. The plant suffered “massive damage.” The incident illustrated the destructive—and potentially harmful—effects that security threats can create in industrial operations.
  • The FDA put out an alert to medical device manufacturers and health care facilities about certain medical devices vulnerable to security breaches. One of the vulnerabilities cited was the potential for malware to infect or disable the devices.
  • Verizon reported a likely cybersecurity breach at a facility responsible for supplying and metering water usage. The report showed unexplained valve and duct movements, including manipulation of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that “managed the amount of chemicals used to treat the water to make it safe to drink.”
  • An oil pipeline explosion in Turkey was publicly blamed on a malfunction, but news reports revealed it was the work of hackers. The explosion resulted in 30,000 barrels of spilled oil. As Bloomberg reported, “Hackers had shut down alarms, cut off communications and super-pressurized the crude oil in the line.”

Security risks that can result in safety implications can take many forms. Some key risk types include:

  • Employee errors: Security risks don’t always originate from malicious intent. In fact, one of the most common security risks comes from innocent mistakes. This could include employees or contractors who unwittingly make a network misconnection, download the wrong program to a controller, or plug an infected device into the system. Such seemingly simple mistakes could in fact have major consequences if they lead to systems operating beyond safe parameters.
  • Disgruntled employees: Current or former employees familiar with an organization’s control system and industrial network can present security and safety threats. A prime example of this involved a worker in Australia who broke into a sewage-equipment control system installed by his former employer and caused 800,000 liters of raw sewage to spill into local parks and rivers.
  • Hackers seeking political or financial gain: A manufacturer’s intellectual property can be a lucrative target for hackers. At the same time, hackers also may seek to disrupt a manufacturing or industrial operation for financial, competitive or political reasons.
  • Corporate espionage: State-sponsored espionage targeting high-value infrastructure and production assets is a constant threat. U.S. Department of Justice officials have said thousands of companies have been targeted and that such activities represent a “serious threat” to national security.
  • Cyberterrorism: Malicious acts could seek to disrupt, infect or cripple critical infrastructure. Potential targets could include nuclear plants, water supplies and oil refineries. One such attack involved hackers attempting to seize control of a small dam in New York. The attack failed because the dam was offline for maintenance.

Secure environment means safety

Governments concerned about disruptive and dangerous cybersecurity attacks on plants and critical-infrastructure operations are already working with manufacturers and industrial operators.

For example, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) responded to 295 cybersecurity incidents in 2015 across 16 critical-infrastructure sectors. The three sectors that garnered the most responses were:

  1. Critical manufacturing (97 incidents)
  2. Energy (46 incidents)
  3. Water and wastewater (25 incidents)

Still, much work remains. Organizations need to be more proactive in addressing safety through security. They should incorporate four key elements into their approach:

  • Standards compliance
  • Safety and security integration
  • Risk analysis
  • Risk mitigation measures

Some requirements do exist within safety standards to help manufacturers and industrial operators address safety through security:

Section 7.4 of IEC 61508 (“Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-Related Systems”) directs companies to conduct a security threat analysis if their hazard analysis identifies a reasonably foreseeable “malevolent or unauthorized action” that constitutes a security threat. The problem is, however, it is rare any company follows the rule.

The second edition of IEC 61511 (“Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector”), which released late last year, will require security risk assessments to end up conducted for safety instrumented systems (SIS). The SIS design also must deliver the necessary resilience against the identified security risks.

These requirements may not be elaborate, but they do provide formal compliance guidelines for addressing security-based safety risks. They should be followed. Meanwhile, standards bodies are also exploring additional updates that could go further in detailing how industry must identify and address safety through security.

Integrating safety and security

Safety and security have traditionally been viewed as separate entities, but there is a commonality between them in the approaches used to analyze and mitigate risks.

For example, the concept of “access control” is common between safety and security. In both cases, policies and procedures emanate from business practices, risk-management approaches, application requirements and industry standards. Both also seek to help protect an organization’s assets, including its people, processes, equipment and intellectual property.

Manufacturers and industrial operators that want to reduce the likelihood of security-based safety incidents will need to rethink safety in this way. Specifically, they need to start thinking of safety and security in relation to each other.

To understand how this can happen, organizations should first consider the “three Cs of safety,” which is a set of practices that best-in-class manufacturers share:

  • Culture (Behavioral): Employee and company behaviors—including values, priorities, attitudes, incentives and beliefs—that help define how well a company embraces safety.
  • Compliance (Procedural): Policies and procedures that help a company achieve compliance with appropriate safety standards.
  • Capital (Technical): Contemporary safety technologies and techniques that help optimize both safety and productivity.

Next, organizations should consider how security can integrate into each of these core safety pillars.

  • Culture: In addition to protecting intellectual property, processes and physical assets, security personnel must make protecting safety systems a core value in everything they do. Greater collaboration between EHS, operations and IT teams also is more important. For example, all three teams should work together to develop co-managed objectives for safety and security, and to identify critical safety data requirements from plant-floor systems. And because a strong safety culture involves every employee, a companywide understanding of the relationship between security and safety is needed.
  • Compliance: Compliance efforts should meet the security requirements in safety standards, such as IEC 61508 and 61511. Conversely, security efforts should follow a defense-in-depth approach, recommended in the IEC 62443 (“Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems”) standard series (formerly ISA-99) and elsewhere, and address safety-related security risks at all levels of an organization.
  • Capital: Companies should use safety technologies with built-in security features. They also should use security technologies that help protect against safety-system breaches and enable speedy recoveries should a breach occur.

Risk analysis

Companies should implement a companywide risk-management strategy to manage security threats and vulnerabilities, as well as their potential implications on safety. Two assessments are essential to this strategy:

  • A safety risk assessment is necessary to confirm compliance with existing safety standards, including the security requirements in IEC 61508 and 61511. The assessment should address not only standard operator functions but all human-machine interactions, including machine setup, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation, and training and administrative requirements. Companies should also expand their existing methods for performing safety risk analysis to analyze risk from cyberattack.
  • A security risk assessment should describe an organization’s overall current security posture regarding software, networks, control system, policies and procedures, and even employee behaviors. It also should outline steps to take to achieve the desired level of security.While these assessments are separate from each other, they should work toward the same company-level risk management goals of protecting workers, customers and the environment.

Companies that use a third-party vendor to conduct these assessments should seek out a vendor with expertise in safety and security. This can help confirm consistency and alignment between the two assessments.

Risk mitigation measures

The specific mitigation measures an organization implements will depend on its unique set of security risks and their potential impacts on safety. However, there are some key mitigation measures that most manufacturers and industrial operators should implement as a best practice:

Segmentation into zones: This is a core security best practice. Every plant should do it as part of a holistic defense-in-depth security approach to help limit access to safety systems. An industrial demilitarized zone (IDMZ) with firewalls and data brokers can securely segment the plantwide network from the enterprise network. Also, using virtual LANs (VLAN) and a layer-2 or layer-3 switch hierarchy can create functional sub-zones to establish smaller domains of trust and simplify security policy enforcement.

Physical access: Quite a few organizations use RFID cards to manage facility access control. But physical-access security should go further than that to protect safety systems. Lock-in, block-out devices should end up used to prevent the unauthorized removal of cables and to close unused or unnecessary ports. And users should lock control cabinets to restrict walk-up and plug-in access to the industrial automation and control system devices. More advanced physical-access security also is emerging, such as IP video surveillance systems that can use analytics for facial recognition.

Network-integrated safety and security: CIP Safety and CIP Security are extensions to the common industrial protocol (CIP), which is the application-layer protocol for EtherNet/IP. CIP Safety allows safety devices to coexist on the same EtherNet/IP network as standard devices, and enables a safe shut down in the event of a denial-of-service attack. CIP Security incorporates data integrity and confidentiality into EtherNet/IP communications. Working together, devices that incorporate CIP Safety and CIP Security can help protect against data corruption and malicious attacks on safety systems.

Safety products with built-in security: Safety systems and other hardware should include built-in security features. For example, a safety controller that uses keyed software can ensure firmware only downloads from a trusted source, while an access door can restrict physical access to the controller. An industrial managed switch with access control lists (ACL) also can be sure only authorized devices, users and traffic are accessing a network.

Authentication and authorization: Security software features can restrict wired and wireless access to the network infrastructure. For example, authentication and authorization security is a key element in human-machine interface software and can limit safety-system access to only authorized individuals. This can help protect against malicious and accidental internal threats. Security personnel can define who can access the software, what specific actions they can perform and on which specific hardware, and from where they can perform those actions.

Asset and change management: Asset-management software can automate the discovery of new assets and centrally track and manage configuration changes across an entire facility, including within safety systems. It can detect malicious changes in real time, log those activities and report them to key personnel. If unwanted changes occur, the software can access archived copies of a device program for fast recovery.

Vulnerability management: Processes and procedures should make sure fast action occurs after safety and security advisories release. This includes having processes in place to immediately review advisories and determine their potential impact. It also includes implementing patch-management procedures for affected products.

Security isn’t only about protecting data and uptime. It’s about protecting people and the environment, as well as the critical infrastructures and supplies on which populations depend. Organizations that want to stay ahead of these risks will need to achieve compliance with the latest standards, holistically integrate safety and security, conduct a comprehensive risk analysis, and implement risk mitigation measures using the latest technologies.

Lee Lane is the chief product security officer at Rockwell Automation. This content originally appeared on ISSSource is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, CFE Media,

Content reprinted in partnership with Control Engineering, CFE Media.

View the original article and related content on Control Engineering

Integrating an HTST Skid to Prevent Biopharma Cell Culture Contamination

Integrating an HTST Skid to Prevent Biopharma Cell Culture Contamination

One of the most critical challenges of biopharmaceutical manufacturing is cell culture contamination prevention. Contamination of nutrients used to grow cells means scrapping the whole product and starting over, potentially costing the manufacturer millions of dollars.

Here’s how Matrix Technologies recently helped one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies integrate a High Temperature Short Time (HTST) virus inactivation skid into existing cell culture operations for thermal treatment of media to reduce the possibility of contamination.

The Manufacturer’s Goal: Use an HTST Skid to Pasteurize Media

Media is a solution containing amino acids, vitamins, inorganic salts, glucose, and other vital ingredients essential for cell growth and protein formation. The media is transferred into the bioreactors where it is consumed by the cells.

Contaminated media causes cells to grow and behave abnormally, which ruins the product. Contamination usually happens before the media reaches the manufacturer’s plant.

A leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing company wanted to use an HTST skid for media pasteurization, to inactivate any viruses in the media that might cause contamination but without harming the media itself.

The manufacturer turned to the engineers of Matrix Technologies for the skid integration project. Matrix is a long-time system integration resource for this manufacturer, with in-depth knowledge of the manufacturer’s programming standards, systems, and documentation requirements from prior successful projects. Matrix also has extensive experience in all phases of biopharmaceutical manufacturing, including validation and HTST skid integration.

How an HTST Skid Works

An HTST skid has two heat exchangers. One heat exchanger heats anything flowing through it to a high temperature; the second heat exchanger cools it down.  The media is heated up for a short time and then cooled.

Flow rate and temperatures are critical to the process. To prepare a skid for the manufacturing process, operators run water through the skid to condition it to achieve the desired flowrate and temperatures for heating and cooling the water. Once the skid is conditioned and the flow rate is right, operators switch from running water through the skid to media.

The process also involves hot water for injection (WFI) to flush the system and condition the skid and Clean in Place (CIP) and Steam in Place (SIP) cleaning capabilities.

Project Requirements & Challenges

For this project, this manufacturer’s system requirements included:

  • Maintaining a flow rate of 80 LPM
  • Heating the media from 40°C to 102°C in a single pass
  • Maintaining temperature for a minimum time
  • And cooling the media back to 40°C

This manufacturer has an established process that governs the planning and execution of system integration projects. Matrix engineers know the process, having worked with the customer for many years. Among the customer’s requirements are:

  • Having Matrix engineers write the Functional Requirement Specifications (FRS) first and get the customer’s approval. This establishes the desired functionality and makes the subsequent programming phase much easier
  • Using the customer’s development site. Matrix puts all code on the development site so the customer can do validation testing to make sure the system is running the way it should be
  • Using the manufacturer’s existing Add-On Instructions (AOIs) and phase templates

A Crucial Component of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing: Validation & Change Control

Validation is vital to biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Compliance with CFR 21 Part 11, a federal regulation that governs the process, requires far more documentation and testing than in other industries.

Integrators like Matrix that work closely with biopharmaceutical companies must have expert-level organization, validation, and documentation skills, plus extensive experience with the standards for Good Documentation Practices (GDP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Pharmaceutical firms must be GMP-certified to meet federal production requirements.

Documentation is key: The FDA wants to be sure the drug manufacturing process matches the documentation. The manufacturer and integrator must document and test every change and provide explanations why changes are being made. FRS and Detailed Design Specifications (DDS) are gospel.

The Steps of Integration

Though project design was 90% complete at the project start, the HTST skid design was not finalized. Without complete skid design, automation and controls cannot be properly defined. Matrix collaborated with the skid supplier and the customer to finalize the skid design to meet the customer’s system requirements.

In addition to assisting with skid design, Matrix also planned the design of the controls, programmed the controls, developed the documentation and specifications for validation and testing, and went on site to the plant to help commission the skid and bring it up live.

Among the specific services Matrix provided were :

  • Electrical design, including a new HTST power panel, new HTST PLC panel, updating existing system drawings, and coordinating with the skid vendor in their design and implementation of the HTST skid I/O panel, VFD panel, and pneumatic panel
  • Control system, documentation, programming, testing, and implementation. Design included a new 1756-L72 ControlLogix PLC, a remote Ethernet I/O ring, and modifying the existing PCS

Project deliverables included:

  • User Requirements Specification (URS)
  • New HTST DDS
  • New HTST SDS
  • Updates to the manufacturer’s existing Upstream and Utilities FRS and DDS
  • I/O List
  • Loop Check Forms
  • Trace Matrix
  • Software FAT Documentation

Software used:

  • RSLogix 5000
  • FactoryTalk View SE
  • FactoryTalk Batch
  • MiMic Simulation
  • FactoryTalk Historian
  • Reports

Tips for Success

System integration projects for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, including using an HTST skid for cell culture contamination prevention, come with unique challenges. Here are some tips for success:

  • Find an integrator with proven pharmaceutical experience who is proficient in all aspects of the manufacturing process. The integrator must be able to provide a variety of services from start to finish, from planning and panel design to installation. The integrator’s ability to organize and manage the complex validation and documentation needed for compliance with CFR 21 Part 11 is especially important
  • Establish close collaboration between the integrator and manufacturer and do the documentation in phases, making sure the customer reviews and signs off at each step, especially on functional specifications
  • If installing an HTST skid, get the integrator involved before skid design is complete to enable the integrator to properly develop controls.
  • Select an integrator who knows and uses Good Documentation Practices (GDP)

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America, with decades of experience serving pharmaceutical manufacturers. To learn more about our systems integration expertise and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, contact Greg Pfleghaar, Senior Manager, Industrial Systems Division.

© Matrix Technologies, Inc.

How Digital Transformation Can Help Your Company Become More Flexible and Consistent

How Digital Transformation Can Help Your Company Become More Flexible and Consistent

Your manufacturing company suffers inconsistencies, time crunches, and other setbacks from outdated systems. You ask yourself, how do I automate a manual process?  If you are curious how digital transformation might be right for your business, this article is for you.

What is Digital Transformation and How Can It Help My Company?

Digital transformation refers to the leveraging of digital technologies to transform and innovate business processes. Newly-developed digital technologies offer many opportunities for businesses to improve efficiency, cut costs, or save time, making digital transformation a key factor for businesses adapting to a fast-changing market.

For process manufacturing, digital transformation—the base of “Industry Manufacturing 4.0”—is also key to updating and improving operations. Many chemical companies, food and beverage manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies (amongst others) are still struggling with production systems that are obsolete. In most cases, these systems require multiple points of manual intervention throughout the production process, increasing the odds of human error and potentially decreasing the consistency of product. With digital transformation, however, your company can introduce an automated process that can improve your flexibility and consistency while also reducing costs and hassle.

The Challenges of Outdated Processes

To demonstrate the need for a move to automation, let’s consider the example of scientists working in a research and development capacity. These scientists are interested in improving a particular type of building material, and they need to alter and create several master recipes on a regular basis to continually test new approaches to creating a better product. With an outdated system, they go through the following process every time they alter the recipe (e.g. by introducing a temperature change at a particular point in production, a cooling mechanism for a specific period of time, or new ingredients):

  1. The scientists write down the new information on a piece of paper.
  2. They hand that piece of paper to an operator.
  3. If necessary, they train that operator in the new procedure.
  4. The operator then has to make the proper adjustments at the appropriate time in order for the process to go smoothly.

The above scenario creates many potential problems, including multiple opportunities for human error, increased training costs, and the potential for inconsistency with production. Using an outdated system, an operator could release a material too soon, increase a temperature too late, or make any number of mistakes that affect the final product.

The Benefits of the Digital Recipe

Introducing an automated digital process can reduce training costs, decrease the potential for human error, offer more flexibility, and maintain consistency in operations and results. For the scientists mentioned above, for example, we used PlantPAx (Rockwell Automation’s Plant Wide Control System) as our base platform and implemented a Product Configuration application to manage the scientists’ requirements. In this case, the process went  something like this:

  1. Scientists input the measurements for the components (e.g. water, chemicals, initiator mix, and specific materials) into a form in the system. Recipes are stored in a database.
  2. Operators see recipes that are authorized for production.
  3. The recipe is activated.
  4. The recipe is executed by the control system.
  5. In cases when specific task are not automated, precise instructions are issued to operators, which are confirmed by them once executed.

In this scenario, the computerized system guides each step of the process and guarantees all parts of the production system are prepared for the next step in the process. Few operator trainings are needed, and the automation of the system reduces the possibility of human error affecting the process (and, therefore, the final product). In addition, the scientists are much more flexible with the changes they can make and how often they can make them while keeping the process and product consistent.

Digital Transformation: A Holistic View

Above, we provided an example of how digital transformation can increase accuracy, decrease human error, and reduce costs. But these are not the only benefits of digital transformation. At Matrix, we take a holistic view of the entire production system in order to properly code and configure a new process that works for you on multiple fronts. We don’t just reduce training costs and human error; we help you maintain quality while doing so. And we don’t simply make the process easier; we focus on creating a system that allows you to adapt to changes in the market while being consistent.

If you’re stuck with an outdated system or simply want to improve your processes, we recommend looking into digital transformation for your business. Though you may face some challenges along the way, adopting digital technologies to transform manufacturing processes can improve your company’s flexibility and consistency while staying up-to-date on the latest technology.

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation, engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America. To learn more about our industrial automation solutions, contact Victor Bertorelli, Technical Consultant, Industrial System Division.

© Matrix Technologies, Inc.