Automated Procedures for Manual Processes
Process customers do not need to automate their equipment to start taking advantage of some of the important benefits that off-the-shelf automation products possess. Processes that are typically operated manually can benefit from automating their procedural execution, meaning that the activities that operator typically perform by following printed Standard Operating Procedures can be Specified, Enforced, and Verified in electronic form.
Off-the-shelf products allow us to Specify recipes that can span multiple unit procedures. These can be enforced by prompting the operator or operators of the different areas to perform the required manual activities in the order specified, information normally captured on a sheet of paper or batch log can be annotated and journaled electronically and then this information can be instantly used to make decisions on the active recipe (i.e. adjust the amount of material to be added based on a sample analysis).
These off-the-shelf products allow the integration of the manually executed task and automated tasks. This way the current best approach as to how to make a product become encapsulated into one procedure that can be performed repeatedly by any operator and the control system.
Operator instructions can comprise of as much detailed information as required. Text, drawing, videos, etc. can be embedded as required to provide the new and expert operators the required instructions to complete the procedural tasks. These instructions can be displayed on mobile and stationary interfaces.
This method of performing procedural control can be used to perform Batch processes or can be used to specify activities related to continuous processes such as startups and shutdown sequences.
These off-the-shelf products are excellent procedure manages that can be used to coordinate manual production activities.