The PROFINET Executive Leadership Event and how Industrial Training Ties In

In today’s economy plant owners and manufacturing managers often find themselves asking what practices are best for each of their factories and wonder how they can turn things around on a consistent basis and put the economic hard times officially behind us. Aside from industrial skills training, a few other key factors can contribute to maximizing your return on investment and ultimately your bottom line.

Last week, manufacturing executives from around the world came together to hear what industry giants such as Siemens, GE and Ford Motor Company had to say about how to stay on top of today’s competition and what they deemed as important factors for success. The PROFINET Executive Leadership Event spanned two days and featured executives from the three industry leaders who highlighted three critical factors to staying successful in today’s industrial marketplace: productivity, connectivity and standardization.

While PROFINET itself, an industrial networking system used by manufacturers to improve factory and process automation, was the hero of the conference, the primary objective was to call attention to how successful U.S. manufacturers amp up productivity through innovation.

Productivity was the first key factor emphasized. In today’s post-recession economy, manufacturers find they need to stretch current assets as far as possible. In other words, expansion is a must in terms of increasing production output but does not necessarily mean an update in the actual plant infrastructure, making operation efficiency is imperative. So the question remains, how do you increase efficiency in a way that is resourceful and yet cost effective? One way is by improving industrial training skills. And of course, this is where PROFINET also came into play. But while integrating PROFINETs controls into a given network may also help boost productivity, control training and process training too may still be necessary to ensure the upgraded system is run properly.

Connectivity was the next point highlighted. Bernie Anger, the general manager of Control and Communication systems at GE referenced a statistic released by Ericsson which stated that by 2020 there will be approximately 50 billion machines or other forms of equipment connected to the internet. He explained his reason for referring to the astonishing statistic, “because if we’re not thinking about how our stuff connects to the rest of the world, if we don’t think about our systems as part of a vastly connected world, we’re probably not going to be competitive.” Again, the advantages of PROFINET were apparent but so were those of industrial skills training. Without properly trained employees on your plant floor, all other initiatives seem wasted.

The final key point highlighted was standardization. The global controls engineer manager at Ford Motor Co., Mike Bastian, noted standardization as the most important element. Bastian said, “This has really been preached to us by John Flemming, who is our group vice president for manufacturing. His mantra is ‘I want things standard. I want so much standardization that it goes down to the lead in the pencil that signs off the drawing’ “. While standardizing every element in controls is not an easy task, as the company expands branches in China, India and even Brazil, standardizing their machines and equipment can greatly benefit their global expansion efforts. Once again, these efforts cannot be executed effectively without some form of controls training.

Industrial skills training have proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve productivity without breaking the bank. ITC Learning is dedicated to providing quality industrial training in all areas, including process training, controls training, boiler training and air compressor training.