Given the growing need among companies to better integrate their manufacturing processes with their overall business strategies and operations—and to leverage automation solutions to accomplish this goal—the International Society of Automation (ISA) has formed an enterprise-focused educational track at ISA Automation Week 2013.
“The Connected Enterprise” track, co-chaired by Rob Gellings and John Clemons of Maverick Technologies, will examine how the latest automation applications, standards and techniques are enabling manufacturers to unify disparate systems and processes, and improve company-wide performance, enterprise security and marketplace competitiveness.
“Manufacturers that apply the right mix of business decisions, automation solutions, and skilled people will be able to achieve the vision of the connected enterprise,” says Clemons, Maverick’s Director of Manufacturing IT who is a recognized expert in implementing controls, manufacturing execution and enterprise resource planning systems. “This track will provide the big-picture perspective of the challenges, dynamics and opportunities at the enterprise level. Attendees will be able to understand the specific issues that are unique to enterprise operations and integration, and take the proven steps needed to develop a high-performing, connected enterprise.”
Clemons says all sessions within the track—including expert tutorials, presentations, and panel discussions—are designed to provide attendees with valuable information they can directly put to use in their jobs.
“There will be no theoretical or academic material here,” he emphasizes. “We’ll be covering the critical issues at the enterprise level—network security, continuous improvement, overall equipment effectiveness, metrics, integration, standards, optimization, workflow, smart phones, networking and other key topics. Attendees will receive practical information they can apply immediately in their work and careers.”
The sessions within the track include:
- What the Business Really Needs from the Connected Enterprise
- Security in the Connected Enterprise
- KPIs: Supporting the Business and Continuous Improvement
- Business Integration: Tools and Techniques for Making Integration Really Work
- Using the ISA95 Standard to Achieve the Connected Enterprise
- Business Integration: Taking it to the Next Level
- Practical Automation: Making Automation Do More & Cost Less
- Design and Implementation of Plant Automation Networks
“Given the number and complexity of different solutions and systems, companies do face obstacles in achieving workable integration,” Clemons concedes. “One mounting challenge is network and system security. Since the connected enterprise is based on linking various systems together—automation systems along with MES, MOM and ERP systems—it’s essential to provide security across a collection of interconnected solutions that are all fundamentally different.”
He emphasises, however, that achieving enterprise integration goes beyond networking and technological considerations.
“Companies need to recognize how the entire business works and understand the various ramifications to all areas of the business, including the workforce. Connected enterprises realize that combining technology and people together in the right way can have a powerful impact on the performance of the business. They’re able to leverage both people and technology to effectively and quickly respond to market changes and changing business requirements.“
Clemons possesses more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing IT sector, integrating systems for the oil and gas, food and beverage, meat and poultry, life sciences and chemicals industries.
The other co-chair of The Connected Enterprise educational track, Rob Gellings, (Pictured above) serves as Senior Vice President of Operations at Maverick Technologies. In this position, he provides operational leadership for their diverse business units, including Industrial Automation, Enterprise Integration and Strategic Manufacturing Solutions.
Through executive positions at various companies, Gellings has more than 30 years of experience in engineering and thought leadership. Prior to joining Maverick, Gellings spent nearly 10 years as president and CEO of EnteGreat, a manufacturing systems consulting firm he co-founded in Birmingham, (Ala USA). He has also served as vice president of Raytheon Engineers, and directed the company’s consulting and systems integration division.