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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Open Innovation and Process Automation


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Originally uploaded by Helge V. Keitel
“Open Innovation” Key to Tackling Global Challenges | ControlGlobal.com

How Does Technology Help You Run Your Plants More Profitably and Safely and in a Way That Is Sustainable for the Environment?

Raj Batra, vice president of Siemens Energy & Automation’s Automation and Motion Division, discussed the global trends driving industry in his keynote address to assembled users and guests at the Siemens Automation Summit and Users Conference this week in Chicago.

Helge: Is there a connection to this speak? Open innovation evokes more interest at left and right...

Batra called the current era one of “open innovation,” calling out Wikipedia, Mozilla and the Siemens User Advisory Board as agents of what he called “distributed co-creation.”

Helge: UCC and unified communication and collaboration tools are made available by big hightech companies: Cisco, IBM, HP, etc.

“At a time of expensive power and global pressures, how does technology help you run your plants more profitably and safely and in a way that is sustainable for the environment?” Siemens’ Raj Batra called on Automation Summit attendees to network with peers from other industries to gather fresh perspectives.

Helge: Fresh perspective is a good point.

“The industry diversity of this conference is so important to us because it lets us explore and get fresh perspectives on creative solutions and alternatives at the intersections of these industrial landscapes,” he said. That, he added, brings us to the theme of this year’s conference: Expand your world of automation during a time of great global change.

Helge: Creative solutions from a broader knowledge base.

“The price of energy is making us rethink our relationship with fuel and power in our daily lives and our work,” he said. “Self-sustaining offices and homes and systems that can sell power back into the grid truly are within reach. Even glass and cement production now can make great strides with waste-heat-recovery systems.”

The pace of globalization is absolutely incredible, marveled Batra, noting another key influence. “China and India, the bogeymen of U.S. manufacturing barely a year ago, now are themselves being challenged by lower-cost countries such as Vietnam.”

Helge: The challenge is real and concerns all industries.

The safety and security of our plants is certainly at the forefront of these trends, “and many of you are under mounting pressure to ensure your plants are safe and your products meet the necessary standards for quality and purity,” continued Batra.

Batra identified asset management as another huge trend that touches everything from lowering operating costs and maintaining uptime to integrating systems and networks from different vendors and even different eras, all to achieve increases in productivity.

Helge: Asset management and maintenance...

“So at a time of expensive power and global pressures, how does technology help you run your plants more profitably and safely and in a way that is sustainable for the environment?” asked Batra. “These are topics that stand out in the daily news and confront you every day, but they’re also driving our agendas and priorities and forcing us to take a hard look at how we run our plants and decide on the technologies that are in them.”

Helge: How to run your plants more profitably... I agree with his thoughts.
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