I was asked the other day to present the value of doing an engineering degree to a group of high-school students. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the automation industry as a collective of various disciplines and it filled me with an enormous sense of pride for what we bring to the world. I considered the value chain of the world and can say that we contribute at every point where true value is created. I am certainly not diminishing the role of scientists who are transforming processes at a micro-level. However, once their work is complete, it’s the engineers who take those innovations and transform them into scalable, quality-driven machines for production.
Choose any primary industry converting raw material – food & beverage, water, energy, mining etc engineers and automation is at the forefront. Throw in the challenge of energy security or the lack thereof and it leads me to a recent project we have delivered that has pushed the boundaries of the latest IoT, Cloud and traditional offering of the Adroit SCADA. It is the product of a challenge thrown at us by a national retail customer that owns several SPAR outlets and who faces the daily challenge of load-shedding, the ever-increasing cost of energy used in powering their various outlets.
It was a true collaboration between retailers, who by their own admission, “know how to sell baked beans”, energy experts, refrigeration contractors and Adroit Technologies. The result has been the Retail Asset Management System (RAMS) that was turned on live this month at their first site. A detailed white paper will be released soon but the visibility and data we have accessed, the innovative UI combined with cloud-based analytics will, in my opinion, have the potential to change the retailer’s approach to energy. The extension of the solution will see them being able to do real-time valuation and decision-making about the various aspects as never before.
We have also finalised what will be in Adroit 11 and recently completed the largest upgrade from a distributed environmental monitoring system for a large chemical processing customer where we amalgamated more than 5 stand-alone systems into a single SCADA and re-did more than 1000 mimics into the new company standard. The project took over a year and was handed over at the end of July.
Here is looking forward to Spring and the warmer weather, with the colder weather making its way to the northern region of the globe.