By: Kock Chee Kiong, ARiMI-CERM, ARM.
Process automation helps and supports growth of the many manufacturing facilities. With more manufacturing facilities that are equipped with cloud based operation and system control, physical control panels/controllers are no longer required on site. In many ways, technology compliments process automation with better operational control and fewer physical equipment.
Equipment and Process Control Matrix
Developing a matrix-based equipment maintenance and process control workflow provides operational logic control, allowing issues to be mapped (using logic blocks) in a matrix. The matrix executes a control function after assessing the relationships between the logic blocks.
The equipment and process matrix helps to identify issues and to solve engineering/operational problem, providing intuitive control . Logic blocks would be a method to analyse issues and severity of the incident and problem, including issues that are previously not identified. This aids the development for equipment maintenance and process control operation strategy.
As we moving into Industry 4.0, emphasis will be placed on artificial intelligence (AI) to improve automated process control and reducing human intervention. Concerns on jobs security and loss of jobs for operators would arise. Before being fixated on the downside of the risk on Industry 4.0, human operator should be working together with AI and technology in creating a manufacturing environment with minimal downtime and allowing operation to be available in any part of the world.