Automation budgets: more than automation

Think Again: When considering an automation, controls, or instrumentation project, look beyond the price of equipment, software, and networks toward many extended, often unquantified, benefits.


Many industry shows and conferences collect, in one location, the latest applications of automation, controls, and instrumentation, such as in this photo from IMTS 2012. CFE Media image by Mark T. HoskeWhen considering an automation, controls, or instrumentation project, look beyond the price of the related equipment. Because savings bring benefits to many areas beyond where the automation is applied, costs should be defrayed across many departments, not just operations or manufacturing. Redesigned and updated workflows using new automation, controls, and instrumentation can result in faster start-up; greater flexibility and energy savings; higher throughput; better diagnostics and product quality; less downtime, troubleshooting, maintenance, and waste; easier optimization and upgrades; tighter integration; and greater information flow to interdependent areas of the enterprise and supply chain, including lower costs for manufacturing IT.

Where to look

Through the year, we detail such benefits at A few examples, from this issue, follow.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE MediaIf information averts an accident, saves a batch, or avoids an unplanned shutdown, think again about the value of automation, controls, and instrumentation in your next return on investment (ROI) calculation.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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At search for keywords related to your next project for more ideas on how to better quantify benefits and rally support.

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