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Creation: 21/03/2012 02:57
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bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Article: Six Decisions You Must Get Right Before Upgrading Your Automation System - 10/04/2012 08:00

There are six decisions you must get right before upgrading your automation system.

It doesn’t matter whether you are just upgrading equipment – like PLCs, RTUs, or HMIs – or upgrading larger automation systems – like compressor stations, pumping stations, or master station SCADA systems. We have found that automation manufacturer upgrades often fail because buyers fail to make a few critical decisions early in the upgrade process.

This report identifies the critical decisions you must make early and correctly in order for your upgrade project to be cost effective, achieve your goals, and reduce the risk of incorrect startup and operation.

1. Decide on a clear purchasing and evaluation plan

Make sure you have a plan for identifying your needs, for documenting those needs, and for identifying the best vendors to approach for proposals and/or bids. Whether you hire a consultant or do this yourself, the purchasing and evaluation plan needs to include a time line for at least the following major tasks:

  • Requirements development
  • Procurement process
  • Bidder selection process
  • Bidder evaluation process
  • Vendor award process
  • Configuration
  • Factory acceptance test
  • Start-up

    The plan should also indicate what percentage of each stage will be performed in-house and what percentage will be performed by the consultant, vendors, or others who will be involved.

    This is your road map. As the philosopher once said, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

    2. Decide early which stakeholders will be on the project team, and put only one person in charge

    If your project’s scope warrants it, put in place a project team that participates in the upgrade process from the very beginning stages. This team should include all of the major stakeholders. Depending on the scope of the project, this might include field engineers, technicians, analysts, operations personnel, IT people, and management.

    The field and operations people know what will and won’t work in the field. For a larger project, the IT people know the requirements of the back office or host system that might need to be interfaced with the field operations. And, management is best suited to keeping an eagle eye on the business goals and bottom line. Don’t wait to get these people on board. Get them involved from the beginning.

    Once you have a project team, make sure that a single person is in charge. That person must have the authority to make decisions and to ensure that the system meets both the company’s technical and business goals – especially the company’s business goals. When one person has his or her reputation on the line, the project is more likely succeed.

    3. Decide why you want to upgrade (your goals)

    Why do you want to upgrade? If you can’t identify compelling reasons, don’t do it.

    The absolute worst answer is “because it’s time.” Maybe your system’s components have reached end-of-life and are hard to repair, but they still work. Maybe they no longer represent cutting-edge technology. Maybe you’re tired of your competition whipping out photos of their shiny new system while you are embarrassed to show worn-out photos of your ancient, toothless system.

    These are not usually compelling reasons to upgrade.

    In fact, the only good reason to upgrade is because it achieves one or more tangible business goals. The exact goals will vary from company to company. What’s important is that those goals be identified and quantified, and that they become the most significant criteria in selecting a replacement system.

    4. Decide what it will take to achieve your upgrade goals

    Will a newer version of your current system achieve your stated goals? Do you need to replace all your hardware to achieve those goals? What new technologies can be applied to achieve the company’s business goals?

    Typically, the answers to these and other questions end up in a specification that is ultimately put out for bid. And, just as typically, these documents are either too vague or too detailed for their own good.

    Overly vague bid documents lead to overly vague bids. Telling vendors that you want to improve usability, maximize flexibility, and provide a platform for future expansion could mean just about anything. Vendors want to know exactly what you are trying to achieve so that they can provide you with a bid that will best meet your goals.

    However, overly detailed bid documents can lead to overly costly projects – not bids, projects. If you tell vendors exactly how to do their job, they’ll give you low-ball bids that put all the risk back on you. Unless you know exactly what you want and how to go about getting it, you can’t think of everything this early in the upgrade process. If you try and you’re wrong, you’ll likely end up with low bids and lots of change orders. And you know what that means – project cost overruns.

    What’s an engineer to do?

    If you know exactly what you want, then you can write what we call a procedural specification that states exactly how you expect to accomplish your goals. Such a document is often loaded with lots of technical specifications for networks, timeouts, software, RTUs, PLCs, protocols, radios, etc. This will lock you into very narrow options. But if you’ve done your homework and know that this is the best way to go (i.e. no fear of change orders), then go for it.

    But you may find that it’s best to write what we call a performance specification. The performance specification or request for proposal states exactly what you want to accomplish and asks vendors to propose ways to achieve those goals. You’ll get lots of automation products ideas, and you may discover an approach worth considering that you would never have thought of otherwise. We have also found that taking this approach usually results in minimal (or no) change orders.

    5. Decide what you want from your vendor before you start looking

    Evaluating vendors and their responses to your questions should be a combination of art and science – a combination of corporate chemistry and bottom-line common sense.

    Of course, cost is an easy factor to quantify. But it’s not so easy to compare less quantifiable factors like customer references and project methodology. It’s especially difficult calculating the effectiveness of a long-term relationship with the vendor.

    But if your project is to succeed, those factors must be at the top of your list for consideration.

    For example, if your project is large, you should consider examining each potential vendor’s project execution methodology. A documented project execution methodology can help ensure that all members of the team understand their role, understand company procedures, and understand the best way to accomplish major milestones.

    How can you test that methodology short of actually hiring the vendor? First, ask each vendor staff member that you meet where they fit into the project lifecycle. Do they seem to act more like independent contractors or more like a team with a common sense of mission?

    Next, talk to the vendor’s customers. Do their customers see tangible evidence that the vendor has a project execution plan? Does the vendor actually follow the plan, or is it just to impress prospects? Does the vendor provide written reports on a regular schedule? Are key vendor contacts available when needed? Can you talk to them and get straight answers? How is the after-project support? Go on site visits and see the installed systems first hand.

    Similar questions can be applied to other intangible factors.

    6. Decide what criteria will be used to judge the vendor and system

    Very often we see very dense and complex vendor selection criteria. It seems that scoring bids will take a lot more work and time than it took to create the bid. You have to wonder how consistent scoring can be with such complex criteria. Most of it still boils down to a judgment call, and those judgments can’t possibly be consistent with so many criteria to consider.

    If your selection criteria seems complex, then it’s probably not the fault of the selection criteria, but rather the specification and/or bid documents.

    Make sure that all the information you ask from a vendor will be useful to you. Ask yourself how you plan to evaluate it, its significance to your goals, and whether or not it contributes any tangible value to your evaluation. You should also determine whether or not the information can be evaluated, and if so, whether or not you can easily and fairly compare vendor answers.


bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Article: CNC Lathe Servo Motor -48DC V - 17/04/2012 03:36

Specifications/Special Features

    CNC Lathe

Servo Motor-48DCV

1. Better and cheaper than SANYO servo motor.
2. CE, UL compliance.
3. Low MOQ, Short Delivery.
Detailed Description Description:

Product Name: DC Servo Motor-48V.
Our DC Servomotor features high precision, high positioning, big torque, low noise and bottom price.
CNC Stepper Motor is maily used in EDM (Electron Discharge Machien), CNC Lathe, Screen Printing machine, etc.

Rated Power: 180W
Rated Voltage: 48DC. V
Rated Torque: 0.6N. M
Rated Speed: 3000RPM
Rated Current: 5.3A
Instantaneous Max Torque: 4.8N. M
Max Speed: 5000RPM
Static Friciton Torque: 0.044N. M
Gross Weight: 3.14Kg
Generator Coefficient: 7+3/0 V/K RPM
Please Note: The above specs are only for reference only, motors with your drawing can be customized.

bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Article: development trend of the power cable manufacturing industry - 17/04/2012 03:37

China's power industry has long been the phenomenon of "power, light grid" power supply and grid ratio of 7:3, the proportion of developed countries basically is 5:5, followed by a power transmission bottlenecks on the power supply constraints, which is bound to the power grid construction to bring good opportunities for development.

Once wire cable manufacturers industry belongs to the power transmission equipment industry, its technical content is relatively low, into the low threshold, the major users of the State Grid Corporation, this market structure result in partial loss of the pricing power of many equipment suppliers, the industry through the rapid expansion and then the face of rising raw material prices, the industry increasingly competitive, profit tends to decline secondary transmission and distribution equipment industry is a cyclical fluctuations in a relatively small industry, involving high-tech field, technical barriers, by a few monopoly of large companies. In view of the prospects for the development of China's electric power industry, wire and cable manufacturing industry as its sub-sectors in the environment driven by still has the space to develop.

From the perspective of the development of the power cable industry, the development of the power cable in the next few years will mainly show the following trends:

(1) 1KV and low voltage power cables still PVC cable based, but the trend of gradually replace PVC cable of low voltage XLPE cable will be strengthened, warm water crosslinked cable applications would increase. Halogen cable will be developed.

(2) 6 ~ 35KV medium voltage power cable, XLPE cable dominance of prefabricated cable accessories are more widely used.

(3) 110 ~ 220KV XLPE cable applications will be more than the oil-filled cables, you need to improve the annex sets of supply capacity. The domestic application of oil-filled cable reduction, should increase the export volume of oil-filled cables. Stainless steel electrode

(4) the superconducting cable research should be started. The basic structure of the production process, performance testing and superconducting connection, and strive to produce samples.

Wire and cable distributors are widely used in many industrial fields of energy, transportation, information and communication, construction, rail, urban rail, automotive, aviation, metallurgy, petroleum chemical, present, China's wire and cable industry is at a new stage of development, with the future years, domestic urbanization, development, communication networks, power grid construction, transportation and other areas of heavy industrialization, the demand for wire and cable is still in rapid growth.

At present, wire and cable industry has more than 6,000 companies, industry concentration is low, the "small", "intermediate state"-sized, poor economies of scale, therefore, domestic wire and cable industry is highly competitive in the low-end products .

However, the emphasis on safety and environmental protection, high-grade wire cable supplies (such as low smoke, halogen free, fire retardant cable, etc.), high value-added products, product gross profit of more than 40%. Due to insufficient capacity, the country needs to import large quantities to meet demand. This country has the core technology to master the production capacity of specialty cable products, wire and cable manufacturing companies to set aside a broad space for development.

bandu2 : menu_arrow.gif Article: High quality thermostat - 17/04/2012 03:38

After leaving Apple (AAPL), the father of the iPod "Tony Fadell began to change another static industry - thermostat (to control the temperature of the central air conditioning and other equipment). Compared with 1953, there is no change in the electronic thermostat , he and his team developed Nest, the Learning wireless thermostat very beautiful, like a jewelry hanging on the wall.

, Nest, recently began shipping to the intended consumer. The Sparkfun of members of the Nate could not suppress the Nest pieces, to see the internal structure. His greatest feeling is:

The design and manufacture of this stuff is fantastic. Tape, connectors, batteries and other hardware has a very high quality.

Nest of the whole is divided into two parts, a display part, a part of the circuit. The display part of the front cover of course, a glass material, and back cover with a Mini USB jack. His words "Designed in the U.S., Built in China".

Open the back cover to see more internal structure. Nest of the circuit board, and posted a volume of no small lithium battery, 567 mAh. Peeled off the battery and found that Nest on the circuit board covers a big piece of metal, almost covered up the entire board, people can not see the circuit.

This is really a good idea, in addition to providing the necessary shielding, this design also makes the inside of the machine to become clean and tidy up. We can imagine a metal plate behind the things, a variety of fragmented electronic components, dense circuit, uneven processes, people feel fragmented, does not look good. Fragmented with a single piece of sheet metal cover, it provides a "consistency". The same creative point of view of the Asus P67 motherboard, it looks better than many other motherboard beautiful:

Of course, some may ask, a board, as to you? As for the! The pursuit of quality, and sometimes must be so extreme. Still remember Steve Jobs sudden, a joke? He had ordered the Apple engineers the circuit board circuit from a straight line to the curve, just to look good, but this idea does not fly, designed the circuit board does not use. But this kind of attitude that Steve Jobs pursuit of quality, "No one saw the part to do well." Jobs this attitude from his adoptive father - Paul Jobs. He has taught in Jobs:

If you are a carpenter to do a nice wardrobe, you should not do backplane with plywood, although this one is against the wall, no one will see. As a manufacturer, you know that piece of board over there. Awake at night, you have a beautiful wood to do the backplane, you must ensure that the appearance and quality are good enough.

Paul's view is correct, we take the car for example, each owner has to open the hood, they do not think a hood behind a mess of the car is a high quality, with the passage of time, the design and technology advances, even if the domestic automobile manufacturers began to pay attention to the cleanliness of the interior design, we can compare the Geely Beauty Leopard and Dorsett engine compartment:

From the Nest, I also see this "concerned about the hidden part of the beautiful" concept, the idea is to make high quality work essential. A painter, he is concerned not only paintings, frames.

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