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On the plant floor, malicious code can easily shutdown production or threaten the safety of your operation. Learn some valuable protection tips from the United States Computer Readiness Emergency Team (US-CERT).
What is malicious code?
Malicious code is unwanted files or programs that can cause harm to a computer or compromise data stored on a computer. Various classifications of malicious code include viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.
- Viruses have the ability to damage or destroy files on a computer system and are spread by sharing an already infected removable media, opening malicious email attachments, and visiting malicious web pages.
- Worms are a type of virus that self-propagates from computer to computer. Its functionality is to use all of your computer’s resources, which can cause your computer to stop responding.
- Trojan Horses are computer programs that are hiding a virus or a potentially damaging program. It is not uncommon that free software contains a Trojan horse making a user think they are using legitimate software, instead the program is performing malicious actions on your computer.
Going paperless has many advantages; it saves time by erasing data handling and entry, creates visibility with quick real-time evaluations plant-wide, and allows operators to focus on responsibilities. Going Paperless, the manufacturer maximized asset utilization and with every 1-point OEE improvement the company saved $395,000 and produced an additional 2.2 million more cases per year without any additional changes to infrastructure.
Click here to view the full Infographic for benefits of automating manual data capture.
To learn more about going paperless to improve your manufacturing performance, contact Polytron at 678-328-2284.
Polytron, Inc. is a Parsec Gold Level Solution Partner
“Although I would have said in the early stages of the project that the utter lack of companies and vendors with actual solutions to benchmark and apply created challenges, we have not only risen above that but have reclassified it as an advantage.” (Google Glass on the shop floor, 2016)
-Peggy Gulick, Director Business Process Improvement, AGCO
Smart manufacturing applies flexible and self-adaptable production processes to deliver shorter product life-cycles and extreme customization. Wearable technologies, and specifically, smart glasses, can play an important role in the paradigm shift toward smart manufacturing by driving both input and output data from the factory floor, delivering critical information to personnel, receiving data while leaving arms and hands-free for work-related activities.
Assisted Reality (AR) is still relatively new, though it has been deployed successfully by manufacturers like AGCO and are seen on a growing number of factory floors.
Applications of Smart Glasses: The Difference between Augmented Reality and Assisted Reality
“When the tool is literally incorporated as a part of the employee’s person and data input is a simple tap or word away, information becomes more meaningful and timely and repeat problems decrease in volumes immediately.”
– Peggy Gulick, Director Business Process Improvement, AGCO
In a dynamic manufacturing environment, data flow increases both to and from the factory floor. Operators need to access an increasingly large knowledge base, and they must be prepared to learn more rapidly in order to accommodate rapid change. Real-time data, taken from the factory floor, is increasingly valuable, but the time it takes to enter data manually, or to hold a tablet, requires valuable time that would be more efficiently spent on the task at hand.
Technologies like tablets and wearable technology, such as smart glasses, help deliver information to help operators work efficiently and effectively despite an increasing variety of tasks. As previous technologies, like tablets, are overrun with the demand for adaptiveness and efficiency, wearables that do not require hands-on manipulation, which do not need to be held, and which can autonomously display and receive data from the factory environment, become increasingly necessary.
Assisted Reality Is a Reality
Augmented Reality and Assisted Reality are often used synonymously, but though they are both capable of delivering information directly into the user’s field of vision, assisted reality stops short of rendering 3D objects in real-time. Assisted reality would deliver a set of instructions, specifications, or readings. Augmented reality is capable of super-imposing the internal components of a jet engine, delivering an X-ray view. Augmented reality is much more sophisticated, but assisted reality is more attainable, especially if AR is new to your organization.
Polytron Delivers Assisted-Reality Smart Glasses Solutions
We are currently working with several glass vendors to develop a Smart Glasses solutions for our clients.
Targeted use is quality control checkpoints, changeover instructions and tracking, and workforce training and accountability for traceable actions on the plant floor.
We envision these capabilities will become a fundamental component of fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions.
Final Note: Limitations in using smart glasses on the factory floor
Active implementations so far have shown smart glasses to distort the user’s view, so they cannot be used while walking on the factory floor at this time. This is an important limitation to consider but one which is solved by strategic placement of the glasses at the point of use.
For more information about using smart glasses for your facilities, contact us, or read our next post on how to structure a smart glasses initiative.
You identify the right team members – We bring the Experts
During the 90-minute session, we will discuss your Smart Manufacturing journey and potential starting points based on our project delivery expertise.
Your Potential Smart Manufacturing Challenges
- Turn Manufacturing Data into Decision Points
- Upgrade Your Industrial Network for high-speed performance
- OEE and Downtime Tracking
Other Full Manufacturing Systems and Solutions:
- Operational Performance Improvements
- Packaging / Material Handling
- Automation and Controls
- End-of-Life Technology Upgrades
- Machine Safety Risk Assessment to Validation
- Manufacturing Intelligence / MES
- Process Systems Performance and Upgrades
- Connection to SAP (ERP)
- RFID solution for data and inventory tracking
Schedule a Session
Call Us Today at 1-678-221-7326 or Complete the sign-up form.
Who should attend: Manufacturing Management for Operations, Engineering, Maintenance, Quality Control, Production, Packaging, Workforce Development,etc.
In March 2014, Polytron, Inc. became Rockwell Automation’s first North American Machinery Safety Solution Partner. This Machinery Safety designation is reserved for an elite group of systems integrators that pass a thorough assessment of their safety application expertise, experience and capabilities, and shows a commitment to maintaining excellence in machinery safety applications over the long term.
Since earning the Machinery Safety elite status in North America, Polytron has consistently invested in the TÜV certification of select engineers to meet the growing machinery safety needs of its clients and ensure the highest level of safety solutions. TÜV machinery safety certifications are provided by various technology providers across the industry and Polytron has chosen to select technology vendor certifications to deliver a broader depth of expertise.
Polytron currently has five TÜV certified machinery safety professionals and the team continues to grow. The most recent certification was a TÜV SUD Siemens Functional Safety Professional certified by Siemens in May 2017. The team currently holds the following certifications.
- One TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Engineer (FSE) certified by Rockwell Automation
- One TÜV SUD Siemens Functional Safety Professional (SFSP) certified by Siemens
- Three TÜV NORD Certified Safety Machinery Experts (CSME) certified by Pilz
The TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Program is the only worldwide extended vocational training program in the area of Functional Safety where knowledge and competencies are approved of by a third neutral party and where certificates are issued. Today, there are more than 6,500 engineers worldwide who have participated in the various training topics and have become a “Functional Safety Engineer (TÜV Rheinland)”. Polytron’s Functional Safety Engineer is one of only a few hundred engineers in the United States who have achieved this certification. TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Program (Machinery) deepens knowledge in the following topics:
- European Guidelines, Standards
- Risk Analysis
- ISO 13849-1: 1999 (EN 954-1) / EN ISO 13849-1: 2006 / EN 62601
- Safety Devices
- Safety functions of Machines
- Circuits, Schematics, Examples
- New Standards Regarding Safety of Machinery
The CMSE® – Certified Machinery Safety Expert (TÜV NORD) is a globally recognized qualification enabling a 360 degree approach to machinery safety. TUV NORD, with its subsidiary TÜV NORD CERT, is an international certification body and is present in more than 70 countries worldwide. The CMSE® – Certified Machinery Safety Expert certification is validation of competency in machinery safety. Areas of certified competence include:
- Introduction to Safety
- Machinery Safety Legislation
- Risk Assessment
- Mechnical Guarding
- Electrical Safety
- Functional Safety of Control Systems
- Functional Safety of Pressurized Fluid Systems
- IEC 61511 – Practical Use
- Process Safety
- TUV Functional Safety for process industry (Exam/Certification)
Click for more information about Polytron’s Complete Machinery Safety Solutions.
PROBLEM: On Friday May 12th a ransomware program called WannaCry infected more than 230,000 computers around the world. This program began as a phishing attack and installed itself on computers when a user opened an email attachment. The program then made use of Windows vulnerabilities in all versions of Windows. This vulnerability makes it possible for this malware to infect every unpatched Windows machine on the same local network as the infected computer. Microsoft had previously issued security updates back in March to close this vulnerability. The security update was not issued for Windows XP. Any computers not patched with the March security update are still vulnerable.A security researcher was able to stop the spread of this ransomware program on Friday, but there are reports that other variants of this program are now being distributed without the kill switch that the security researcher used.
Manufacturers should be specially aware of this avenue of attack as there are many industrial networks that still have computers running Windows XP. Many industrial networks have no internet connection, so even currently supported versions of Windows cannot receive updates. As an example, if a technician has a computer attached to the local industrial network, and also connects to the Internet to assist in troubleshooting, every unpatched computer on the industrial network is at risk from new variants of this attack. If the technician’s computer becomes infected while connected to the industrial network, the HMIs, Historians, Servers, etc. could be encrypted and held for ransom.
RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: After the WannaCry ransomware was discovered on Friday, Microsoft released manual patches for every version of Windows from XP forward. Polytron recommends that manufacturers assess if their current software applications are compatible with the latest Microsoft patches and apply patches accordingly. If there are reasons that the patch cannot be installed on a particular computer, other methods of ensuring availability of that computer, such as complete backups, should be evaluated.
Microsoft has patches available to block WannaCry Ransomware for Windows XP and later.
- The patches for Vista and later are located at: https//technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/mi17-010.aspx
- The patches for Windows XP are located in a Microsoft Blog Post: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/
QUESTIONS: Call Polytron Toll-free 1-855-794-7659
Polytron predicts that this year will be focused on the trends that begin the journey of digital transformation in manufacturing. It is an approach that is holistic in nature – viewing the plant floor as one living. breathing entity. It is a manufacturing environment where everything is part of a digital thread, or the interwoven data stream from supply chain to warehousing and the consumer. Delivering full visibility into every facet and action of production to allow companies to be more competitive, agile and flexible moving with the quickly changing markets and speed of technology evolution. Manufacturers’ success over the coming years will be comprised of connected, data-driven processes that combine innovative automation, interactive connectivity, sensing and control, with a transformed workforce.
Digital Transformation: Smart Manufacturing, IIoT, Manufacturing 4.0, Industry 4.0 – all of these labels represent the era of manufacturing run by smart fully-integrated devices/technology, and wireless access to the operation for fast data-driven decisions. It is a time where the technologies and tools do not dictate operations in the plant – but support the vision of plant. It is a time for increased OEE, consistency and predictive action – knowing something requires attention before it goes wrong.
It is a year of partnering with a vendor who can support your digital transformation journey with the seamless digital thread to connect the whole plant enterprise with no independent point solutions – and the ability to grow with your journey.
Digital Transformation of the Workforce: The evolution of the digitally transformed plant floor requires that the workforce evolves as well. It is the alignment of long- and short-term strategic objectives and the key stakeholders. It requires focused education and communication. This is a year of bringing the workforce together with standard operating procedures and KPIs for consistency in operational delivery. It is a time for skills gap assessment to develop efficient training programs to align workers with the technical requirements of a data-driven plant floor. It is all about creating a Digital Work Culture.
Getting Started on Your Digital Transformation Journey:
- Align key stakeholders with strategic long- and short-term objectives. This includes operations, maintenance, IT/OT, supply chain, warehouse
- Conduct a comprehensive vendor review to ensure you have the appropriate integration experts to support your journey – a vendor who truly understands the digital thread in manufacturing
- Develop a Digital Transformation Roadmap. How to Start – How to keep going – How to measure success
- Think BIG – Start SMALL – Scale RAPIDLY. Plan a phased approach for quick wins and successes across a single or multiple sites.
Start today – the clock is ticking
InTech Magazine, November/December 2016
A global beverage manufacturing was having network performance and communication disruptions between factory floor assets.
Read how Polytron upgraded the Industrial Network. The updated network provided the desired performance results and delivered a system that is secure, sustainable, and scalable—eliminating network-related production downtime. The updated network also increased the plant’s networking support structure and ease of maintenance, and introduced new technologies that can be used in future plant projects. Read the full article here.
Average Downtime Costs – Industry surveys have shown that the average cost of a downtime incident is approximately $17,000 to $22,000 per minute equaling around $1.3 million per hour.
The manufacturer needed a plan to replace the obsolete drives and migrate to current, more reliable and easily available VFDs.
Migrations Start with a Risk Evaluation
The first step in deciding the right time for an obsolete technology upgrade is to conduct a risk evaluation. This involves assessing the facility’s potential level of risk based on the following criteria:
- How many control panels are involved?
- How many outdated drives and PLCs are in each cabinet?
- Do you have replacements for all of the outdated hardware?
- What is your current level of disruptive downtime caused by obsolete hardware failure?
- What is the cost of the downtime? This is usually calculated by the amount of lost production time X number of lost units X the cost per unit.
The manufacturer’s approach was to upgrade the obsolete drives line-by-line in the facilities that were the easiest to upgrade. Even though the project sounds simple and straightforward, the largest plant in the overall project had 83 Variable Frequency Drives on a single line – a high risk undertaking. To reduce risk further, with Polytron’s help, the manufacturer evaluated its facilities and chose the lines to be upgraded that did not pose special upgrade issues.
How and when to shut down the lines was factored into the risk level of the project. The company’s facilities operated on a six-to-seven day production schedule, and the upgrade of the lines required a three-to-four day production shutdown. This project timeline allowed the control system modernization to be conducted over a weekend. The old drives being replaced would then be refurbished and warehoused for spares for other facilities not targeted for an upgrade. While this is a common approach to the issue in today’s market, a high demand for end-of-life spares rapidly depletes a used part supply.
A Migration Strategy
In preparation for each line upgrade, Polytron followed a proven plan for success:
- Polytron secured and reviewed the control system drawings and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) programs for the line.
- The parameter of the Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), such as speed, acceleration and deceleration times, and other operating parameters were recorded to ensure the new VFDs would operate within the same parameters as the current drives being replaced. This is a critical best practice to reduce the risk when resuming production.
- The Polytron team then conducted an inventory of the drives in the control panel, capturing the part number, wiring schema, and the function for each drive.
- The drawings were then updated with the new VFDs, communications, and wiring schema.
- Polytron ordered the new drives and materials needed for the upgrade.
- A communication gateway PLC was also ordered to communicate between the existing equipment and the new VFDs. A communication gateway is frequently required in control system modernization projects because of the age of the existing equipment. As new technology is added to the existing control systems, translation devices must be used to ensure clear communication channels with the production line.
Lowered Downtime Risk
Our successful migration model is currently being repeated line-by-line across multiple facilities as selected by the manufacturer. The most significant business objective was accomplished – minimize the risk of increasing downtime due to the lack of vendor supported hardware. The project alleviated this risk by not only upgrading and replacing the obsolete hardware, but also created a spare parts inventory for other facilities not targeted for a Control System Modernization project.
Is your plant running on borrowed time? Find out how Polytron can help reduce your risk.