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APW digital conference series

Optimizing technology for the changing face of industry

Now on-demand!

Designed to address challenges for automation and manufacturing professionals, this digital conference has information and ideas that can be used immediately to improve operations and business decisions.

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Session information


How technology integration improves operational effectivenss and increases plant reliability

When you consider the number of systems, applications and workflows that operators use on a daily basis to make decisions and solve problems, the list is pretty large. Now add this scary statistic provided by a study in the fossil power industry:  it takes up to eight years to fully equip operators with the training and experience needed to have approximately 30-35% of the context and situational awareness required to do their job well.  

The complexity of controlling a modern process manufacturing facility using multiple control systems and databases developed in functional silos is putting reliability, productivity and safety systems at risk, especially as the most experienced operators rapidly approach retirement.  Inconsistent decision-making and human error is virtually inevitable.  In this webinar, learn how smart technologies such as integrated control systems with embedded decision-support mitigates these risks and optimizes asset availability across all functional silos.
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Production is only as reliable as its weakest link

It does not take much to bring a manufacturing line or production process to a screeching and very expensive halt.  A malfunctioning button, misaligned electrical drawer or a faulty motor connection could be all it takes to disrupt operations.  When failure is absolutely not an option on a production line, how do you guarantee your component specs are up to the job? In this session, [components experts] will discuss some of the common tradeoffs in design, materials, and manufacturing processes of buttons, switches, and wiring that can result in wildly different quality and performance over their expected lifetime use.
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Weathering the storm: How to maximize plant electrification resiliency

Hurricane Sandy and other “super storms” of the last decade highlight in painful and expensive detail how devastating power outages can be on local economies and industry, especially when restoration drags from weeks into months.  While there is little you can do about Mother Nature, you can reduce the risk of lengthy power outages following catastrophic storms with dedicated industrial substations or microgrids.  In this presentation, you’ll learn the business case for taking a more active role in your plant’s electrification plan.  Plus, you’ll hear how advances in power storage and stabilization technologies make dedicated industrial substations and microgrids a commercially viable solution for critical enterprises such as hospitals, data centers, and heavy industry.
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How to optimize system reliability by reducing environmental contamination

Annual corrosion costs disrupt product supply and eat away at the bottom line.  For example, a 2002 study of American industry estimates annual corrosion costs to oil and gas exploration and production at $1.4 billion, to petroleum refining – $3.7 billion, food processing - $2.1 billion, pulp & paper processing - $6.0 billion.   While corrosion is a natural, inevitable process, this same study estimates that the implementation of optimum corrosion management practices could save as much as 25-30% of annual cost of corrosion in the U.S.  In this session, learn how corrosion effects the reliability and lifecycle of electrical systems in harsh, industrial environments and how you can minimize this impact to improve system reliability and save operation costs.
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Prioritizing the cost of implementing or NOT implementing game-changing technologies NOW

It may be obvious when existing equipment or components in your plant need to be replaced, but your replacement options may not be so clear.
  • How can this investment improve your factory’s market competitiveness?
  • How has technology evolved since the specifications were originally written?
  • Are there new regulations that should factor in? Have the operational economics changed?

The view gets even murkier when evaluating new technologies that are significantly different than existing assets.  In this session, hear best practices for building the business case to integrate new technologies and lower total cost of ownership.
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How to get the best ROI for asset management: Optimize the entire system lifecycle

Learn how an end-to-end asset management strategy facilitates predictive maintenance practices that lowers operations costs and extends the effectiveness and lifecycle of automation, equipment and software.  See how an integrated view of assets dramatically improves situational awareness and synthesizes knowledge quickly to support fast, intelligent decision-making that ensures maximum longevity and productivity.
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Technology to the rescue: Predictive maintenance meets remote monitoring & decision support

Manufacturing is losing its most experienced maintenance professionals to retirement – and losing a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge as this workforce walks out the door.

In this presentation, learn how predictive maintenance practices coupled with new remote monitoring and decision-support software are part of the solution to this workforce dilemma.
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Repair, retrofit, or replace?

Changing energy demand and system requirements have left manufacturers with equipment that is inadequate for today’s applications and priorities. Simple maintenance strategies or replacement of key equipment can pay for itself many times over and lead to other benefits such as increased safety, efficiency and reliability.

As a plant manager, what are your options regarding aging equipment? And how do you decide what repair or replace option is right for you? This session will help you navigate these tough questions with switchgear, transformer and motor case studies.
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Arc flash safety re-defined

It’s been said that safety regulations are written in blood. But is safety compliance safe enough for your company? Can, and should, technology do better than mandated regulations?  Could investing in safer technologies help attract and retain knowledgeable workers? In spite of OSHA regulations and improved personal protection equipment (PPE) guidelines, arc flash remains a very real and still all-too-common occurrence in factories, mines, data centers – wherever switchgear is needed to isolate electrical power circuits.  In this session, you’ll learn how switchgear design impacts worker safety and PPE requirements and discover best practices to evaluate both safety-compliant and best-in-class switchgear.
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Machine safety: Planning a safety strategy - making your company defendable

Machine safety is not simply the collection of components, systems and solutions but a comprehensive strategy.  To create a Safety Strategy several ingredients are needed at different levels and to various degrees.  This recipe ultimately creates a new Safety Culture which will transcend the various levels of the organization.  Discover what these various elements are and the importance of them in the Safety Strategy as well as the role of leadership during the entire process.
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Technologies to enable process safety compliance

Safety is among the top concerns affecting process operators worldwide, not only compliance to local and international regulations but effectively avoiding the risk in the production process. However in many cases the Industry implements process safety and risk reduction mechanism using different and disconnected systems, thereby losing the ability to effectively assess and reduce risk.

In this session, learn how integrated systems help streamline the management of process safety, and improve operators’ ability to head off escalating process conditions before automated intervention is needed.
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Implementing world class alarm management strategies

The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA) standard 18.2 outlines management of alarm systems for process industries. Learn how you can implement a world class alarm management strategy with the correct methodologies and practices to keep your alarm annunciators quieter while achieving production, quality, and safety goals.
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Improving productivity with lean manufacturing affects the customer, too

Lean manufacturing practices aim to lower total cost and increase throughput speed by addressing unnecessary motion, overproduction, defects, inventory, transportation, waiting, inspecting/testing, extra processing, and other non-value adding activities.  While these practices can have an immediate impact on the factory floor, we can’t forget effect they have on our customers.  In this session learn how asking the right questions and applying the right tools can lean not only factory operations, but customer productivity, too.
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Forget outsourcing: How insourcing can boost productivity (and profits)

More and more companies are discovering that flexible manufacturing technologies and practices make “Made in the U.S.A.” a profitable strategic alternative to outsourcing production to low-cost, distant countries. Not only can the hidden costs of an extended supply chain, foreign language, and different culture be avoided, insourcing improves production planning and reaction time, allowing manufacturers to quickly jump on new opportunities and scale back during economic downturns. In this session, find out how manufacturers are finding a competitive market advantage by strategically leveraging technology to improve production flexibility and throughput in U.S. facilities.
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Specifying "smart" components systems to optimize productivity and reduce operations costs

Every manufacturing plant is built on hundreds, if not thousands, of components and component systems.  In the past, the typical design process specified these devices as isolated assets to perform a specific function and then required plant engineers or an EPC to interconnect them to control systems and workflow.

Today, advances in digital technology and communications become new capabilities designed directly into the devices, providing manufacturers more precise control over component performance, as well as support for predictive maintenance practices.  In this webinar, learn how embedding control functions into devices like drives and motors speeds system implementation, improves energy efficiency, and boosts system productivity. Also, discover how smart components embedded with remote service capabilities improve reliability while lowering maintenance and inventory costs.
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Distributed control systems (DCS) versus programmable logic controllers (PLC): Choosing the automation system for your application

The DCS/PLC debate continues as both technologies continue to evolve and add greater functionality and interconnectivity features.  Should the goal be a single unified architecture?  How does the system reduce engineering time and process control configuration time? What business economics will drive the decision: lowest first cost, fastest implementation, past engineering experience, total cost of ownership, flexibility/future-proofing, or some other strategy? In this session, experts will take a fresh look at the DCS/PLC debate.
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How the integration of automation & electrical systems improves reliability and lowers total cost of ownership

Learn why control system architecture that supports automation and power integration lowers total cost of ownership and improves process and plant availability.  Plus, find out how it sets up process manufacturing plants to make better, faster business decisions that protect assets and improve profitability.
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Lessons learned: The advantages of collaborating with vendor "partners"

Manufacturers have enough time and cost pressures without wondering if their new system specification incorporates all possible cost savings and productivity improvements.  In this case study of a gold mine overland conveyor application with Goodfellow Crushers, learn how a gold mine and equipment OEM are leveraging the application and industry-segment knowledge of vendor-partners to maximize their return on investment.  Speakers will share lessons learned and best practices from projects developed in partnership with manufacturers to demonstrate how vendor-collaboration can add value to the decision making process.
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How to write specifications that incorporate the benefits of emerging technologies and changing engineering codes/standards

Functional specifications define what the manufacturer needs to accomplish, whereas traditional specifications define the desired features for components or systems. While both methods rely on existing engineering standards and the current experience of the plant, traditional specs can exclude emerging technologies from the consideration set that may provide a more effective or efficient solution. For example, for 40 years engineering specifications dictated that manufacturers separate workers from robots with fencing, but new robot technology now enables safe human/robotics collaboration – changing engineering codes and potentially, a manufacturer’s project specifications. In this session, speakers will illustrate the difference between functional and feature specifications, discuss the relationship between engineering standards and emerging technologies, and hear how functional specifications open up the possibility of entirely new applications/solutions. 
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How technology saves manufacturers big bucks in energy costs

Without power, American industry doesn’t generate much of anything so it is no surprise that energy typically represents a huge cost of doing business. Replacing existing components and/or manufacturing processes with more energy efficient technologies drives operational cost savings directly to the bottom line, sometimes with a return on the initial investment in 18 months or less. The first step to realize significant energy savings is a thorough energy audit.  In this session, learn [five] best practices to conduct an actionable energy audit to guide the prioritization of investments in energy efficient components and systems that will deliver the biggest payback, fastest.
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Lean manufacturing: How re-thinking project implementation cuts costs without cutting corners

Today’s competitive environment requires new approaches to keep costs in check without sacrificing quality.  In this session, learn how pre-assemblies, ergonomic designs and innovative technologies for components systems provides labor, material, and logistics savings that fall directly to the bottom line.
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Lowering total cost of ownership

Manufacturers are under tremendous pressure to get the most out of their existing technology investments. In this session, ABB experts will share insights into how you can get the more out of the investments you’ve already made through strategies that leverage add-on proven technologies and services to do more with less. 
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What's Next? Emerging technologies to improve operator effectiveness and organizational performance

There is only so much cost manufacturers can wring out of existing operations and still be flexible enough to be competitive in a global economy. Emerging technologies will enable engineers and operators to apply new thinking and practices to achieve efficiency and productivity levels never before imagined. In this session, experts will discuss several exciting emerging technologies for process manufacturers including augmented reality, gesture-based controls, simulation, and more.
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