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7 Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Trends for 2022

7 Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Trends for 2022

The past 12+ months has seen supply chains face considerable disruption – disruption that has altered perspectives and priorities. While Covid-19 is not the only reason for these disruptions, it is a significant factor. The pandemic isn’t over yet, either, bringing further uncertainty. While there are uncertainties, there are also opportunities in warehouse and supply …

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Top blogs of 2021

Top Blogs of 2021

[full_width padding=”10px 0 10px 0″]Over the course of 2021, the SL Controls team has published blogs on a range of topics related to Industry 4.0, the Smart Factory, and equipment systems integration. Here are some of our top posts of the year.[/full_width] [full_width padding=”10px 0 10px 0″] [/full_width] [one_third padding=”30px 20px 0 0″] 5 Crucial …

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Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Focus Topics for 2022

5 Crucial Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Focus Topics for 2022

At this time of year, it is common to see articles looking at the trends that will be important over the coming 12 months, particularly in relation to technologies. We even produce these articles ourselves at SL Controls. However, it is also important to look at smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 more broadly to assess …

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Project Management The Importance of Economies of Repetition in Industry 4 0 Projects

Project Management: The Importance of Economies of Repetition in Industry 4.0 Projects

One of the business outcomes that manufacturers want to achieve with Industry 4.0 projects is repeatability. Repeatability is about creating solutions that can be reliably and efficiently deployed multiple times. This goal of repeatability is also important in the delivery of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing projects. In project management, this can be referred to …

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An Overview of the Industry 4.0 Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation Process

An Overview of the Industry 4.0 Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation Process

In previous blogs in this series, we looked at one of the unintended consequences of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies and processes – the increased attack surface. In other words, the more equipment you connect, the larger the target for would-be attackers. We also looked at the challenges of dealing with this Industry 4.0 cybersecurity issue, …

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Taking a Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity in the Transition to Becoming a Smart Factory

Taking a Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity in the Transition to Becoming a Smart Factory

In a recent blog, we highlighted the cybersecurity risks that are created by the increasing attack surface in manufacturing organizations. As a quick recap, as you integrate systems, platforms, and equipment, and as you connect elements of your operation to the cloud, the potential attack surface in your organization expands, exposing you to higher cybersecurity …

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How Good Distribution Practice (GDP) differs from Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

How Good Distribution Practice (GDP) differs from Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

Good distribution practice (GDP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP) are quality standards and guidelines that have the same ultimate objective – to ensure medical device and pharmaceutical products are safe, meet their intended use, and comply with regulations. GMP focuses on manufacturing processes, while GDP covers distribution activities. There are crossovers between both manufacturing and …

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The Cybersecurity Risks Created by Industry 4.0's Increased Attack Surface

The Cybersecurity Risks Created by Industry 4.0’s Increased Attack Surface

Businesses in all industries face an ever-increasing range of cybersecurity risks. This includes companies in the manufacturing sector. When you look at regulated industries such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, where patient safety is a top priority, cybersecurity risk levels can be even higher. Industry 4.0 technologies and solutions almost always modify existing risks …

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Build Once, Deploy Multiple Times in Seconds – Cloud-Based Solutions for Pharma & MedTech Manufacturers

Build Once, Deploy Multiple Times in Seconds – Cloud-Based Solutions for Pharma & MedTech Manufacturers

For pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, repeatability is a primary goal when developing new manufacturing software solutions. The concept is simple – you select a facility or production line for the initial project, creating a software solution to deliver on your manufacturing and business objectives. Once you have that operational and delivering results, you can …

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Essential Steps Towards the Smart Factory

The Essential Steps in Your Smart Factory Evolution

Moving your business closer to becoming a Smart Factory is widely regarded as essential to continuing competitiveness and profitability. Driving efficiency savings, making productivity gains, dealing with skills shortages – these are just some of the challenges that manufacturers face, all of which can be considerably mitigated with Smart Factory solutions. How do you get …

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De-Risking Automation Projects

8 Essential Elements For De-Risking An Automation Project

Risks can enter an automation project at just about any stage. Those risks can result in serious consequences from budget and schedule overruns to unplanned downtime, disrupted supply chains, and more. Therefore, it’s important to de-risk your automation project at every possible stage. This ensures errors are reduced to a minimum, as well as ensuring the project …

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Transitioning to Smart Manufacturing

Transitioning to Smart Manufacturing – A Practical and Cost-Effective Approach

The business case for implementing smart factory technologies is compelling, with tangible improvements in revenue, output, quality, and safety, alongside reduced costs. It is not surprising, therefore, that smart manufacturing technologies are becoming an increasingly important competition driver. The technologies that are part of the Smart Factory include cloud computing, edge computing, vision systems, robotic …

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The Business Case for Smart Manufacturing

Advances in Smart Manufacturing technologies are changing the manufacturing sector forever. However, those technologies don’t change your core priorities and goals. New technologies or not, you still need to deliver high-quality products that your customers need and want, plus you must maximise competitiveness, productivity, and profitability. Marrying up a transition to Smart Manufacturing with your …

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Infographic: Computer System Validation Vs. Computer Software Assurance

The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) is due to release guidance on Computer Software Assurance. That guidance aims to put critical thinking at the centre of Computer System Validation (CSV) processes. In our latest infographic, we highlight the main differences between traditional CSV and the new Computer Software Assurace (CSA) approach.   Traditional CSV …

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Is Your Company Ready for the FDA’s Upcoming Guidance on Computer Software Assurance?

Technology and computerised systems have evolved greatly over the past 20 years. In that time, cloud computing has become mainstream, and big data is here. When you also add the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), it’s clear that new manufacturing and business technologies will be truly transformative in the coming years. Yet, in the Life …

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Is Your Company Ready for the FDA’s Upcoming Guidance on Computer Software Assurance?

Technology and computerized systems have evolved greatly over the past 20 years. In that time, cloud computing has become mainstream, and big data is here. When you also add the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), it’s clear that new manufacturing and business technologies will be truly transformative in the coming years. Yet, in the Life …

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What is Digital Twin Technology and How It Benefits Manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 Era?

Understanding what is happening now on your production line, and predicting what will happen in the future, is essential for maximising OEE, optimising productivity, and improving business profitability. You can achieve all these things with digital twin technologies. Digital twin technology is one of the most important Industry 4.0 technologies currently available. Digital twins give …

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Benefits of Microsoft Azure for Manufacturers in the Life Sciences & Technology Sectors

Implementing Industry 4.0 and smart factory solutions in your manufacturing operation requires a fresh approach to solution delivery, platform implementation, and IT infrastructure. Central to most solutions is the use of cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Azure. At SL Controls, we have extensive experience working with a range of cloud solution providers. Plus, we offer …

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11 Manufacturing / Ramp Strategies that Smart Factory Solutions Facilitate

The manufacturing / ramp strategies in use on your production lines are crucial to the success of your business. Specifically, they enable you to profitably produce the required volume of products and, in most cases, leave room for growth in the future. Smart factory solutions allow you to take this a stage further by adding …

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Lockdown Stories: Managing the Transition with Darragh McMorrow

As with many other people across Ireland in similar positions, the early days and weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown for Darragh McMorrow involved a process of transitioning on multiple levels. Darragh is SL Controls Commercial Director. For Darragh, the transitions involved adapting and adjusting in the workplace, at home, and personally. There were many challenges …

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Expanding Manufacturing Capacity – the Ideal Time to Implement Factory Automation Solutions

Expanding manufacturing capacity is essential to meet growing customer demand, but it also presents your business with an opportunity to take further steps towards becoming a Smart Factory. You can even go further than this – implementing an SL Controls Smart Factory solution when expanding manufacturing capacity can improve your overall business and make the …

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Too Much Too Soon – Avoiding Factory Automation & Smart Factory Implementation Risks

The smart factory and digital manufacturing technologies are the future of manufacturing. That said, change in business carries risks, particularly when those changes involve creating fundamentally different business and manufacturing processes. Smart factory technologies are not immune to such risks. One of the clearest examples of how the smart factory can go wrong comes from …

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Company, Team, Family: The Lockdown Experience for SL Controls CEO Keith Moran

Everyone’s experience of living and working during lockdown will have been different, but there are a lot of similarities, too. Many of us are now working differently than we ever did before. Re-evaluating how we use our time is another common theme having lived through the spring/summer lockdown, as is looking again at our work-life …

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Case Study: Performance Monitoring of Databases in High-Volume Production Facilities

Manufacturing in all sectors is increasingly becoming data driven. Part of this shift to data is the use of databases for parts tracking on a production line, rather than the more traditional PLC shift register approach. With a database managing the movement of data, individual machines on the line can operate independently, processing multiple lots …

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