A recent report by IHS has shown that in 2012, capital expenditure on industrial automation equipment in Asia reached a total of $76.6bn, representing 46% of global investments in the sector.
Despite this established and rising trend, selling industrial automation equipment in Asia remains a clear business opportunity and one where many European providers are lagging behind.
Despite the first half of 2012 seeing an Asian market slowdown, with only a 3.7% growth in overall revenue from industrial automation equipment, the second half of the year showed definite improvement. The positive trend has continued in 2013, with the solutions sector set to grow by 6.2%. In such a dynamic market, getting new business can be both a business and technical challenge.
Every year, when I sit down to write this article, I am a bit challenged to come up with some new and interesting data to share with you. This year was no different. At first glance, the salary data does not seem to change much from year to year. Sure, there is always a little fluctuation in the salaries by job function, degree, industry segment, etc.
It turns out that we have extracted some pretty interesting data from this year’s survey. Be sure to read the entire article, because at the end I provide you with a recipe to achieve the highest salary.For example, the average salary in the U.S. has increased by 2.8%. Ho hum. The top paying job function is Industrial management. Did not see that coming! Actually, I did. So what do we have that is new to share this year?
There is definitely some good news. Salaries have increased slightly, but job satisfaction has increased more—by five plus percentage points. It is definitely a job seekers market. The demand for quality automation professionals continues to increase. In fact, if you are in the market for a new job, you will likely have multiple offers on the table. The bad news is the skills shortage is very real and will not get better any time soon.
So without further ado, InTech again collaborated with Automation.com to conduct the annual salary survey. Our survey had 4,674 responses from automation professionals located around the world, with 56% from the U.S. Because salaries around the world vary greatly, we broke out the U.S. responses only to avoid skewing results. All the results quoted in this article, other than average salary by region of the world, represent U.S. responses only.
Today’s utilities have a highly productive and efficient business environment that is very competitive and needs to comply with many stringent regulatory requirements to prevent situations that would cause a facility to be down for even a short time.
A slight failure of equipment translates into immediate consequences from both a financial and safety perspective. These pressures move utilities toward building high-availability smart sites that help minimize unscheduled down time and allow for shorter time to repair.
A direct result of this trend is the need for the site to have remote access to equipment. To help facilitate this access, utilities are converting networks to become IP-enabled – but with the many benefits that come with this, the move to IP networks also adds a level of complexity as it becomes increasingly important to securely connect these critical industrial infrastructures. To that end, cellular automation enables cost-effective monitoring and control of data at remote sites.
Controlling Data At Remote Sites
For the most part, Networking with critical equipment are located in places that are difficult to access due to long distances or harsh conditions. Accessing critical information, such as equipment health and operational data at these sites can be time-consuming and costly. Also, given today’s aging industrial infrastructures, monitoring and controlling the data within these sites is more critical than ever. In fact, we are beginning to witness the consequences of not updating and maintaining outdated networks, as demonstrated by recent explosions at gas pipelines and blackouts in major cities when parts of the electrical grids have gone down.
Keeping a closer eye on these infrastructures is necessary not only to prevent loss of revenue, but more importantly, loss of life. Unfortunately, however, communicating with remote sites to proactively prevent equipment degradation is far from an easy task and may even require a four-hour helicopter ride. In order to proactively monitor and control remotely located assets, users must be able to access local sensor data. The most cost-effective and intelligent way to do this is through cellular automation.
Color machine vision has its challenges. Systems can produce three times the data (or less than one-third the resolution) of a monochrome camera solution. Color can introduce more potential sources for imaging errors, more complexity, more cost, and require careful engineering that reduces the system’s flexibility to deal with lines that make products of varying shape, colors, and size. In fact, if designers can find a way to use filters and lighting to measure a colored area using monochrome cameras, they usually do. However, for many applications ranging from electronic manufacturing to printing and food processing, color is the only way to solve the problem. Let’s look at some of the considerations a system design needs to take into account to create a successful color machine vision solution, including careful matching of camera, optics, and light source.
The ability to operate and manage operations in a location-agnostic manner opens the door to a wealth of opportunities. For instance, experts and operations staff can be relocated to population centers, and out of harms’ way. They can then be leveraged over multiple assets in real-time to ensure maximum utilization. Networking collaboration also allows for much faster creation and utilization of best practices across a network of operating assets, thereby contributing to better knowledge retention and management as well as greater efficiency, and establishing a true, shared corporate culture throughout the enterprise.
The Situation: A leading global producer of crude oil and natural gaslooked for a way to stay ahead of dynamic market demands and overcome challenges associated with offshore oil and gas Automation. As part of an innovative technology project and with the help of Honeywell, this company built a Solutions to help coordinate control of multiple offshore platforms in the North Sea, and improve operations and efficiency.
With the new CCR, this company has centralized operations at 18 of its 26 offshore platforms. All operating and production procedures are fully automated and synchronized, creating increased flexibility and competitive advantage. At the heart of CCR is Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge Management System (PKS), which enables operators to monitor and control production at various platforms.