Centralised Control systems are spreading through many industries, and have been a major success in most of them. However, the cost of setting up a system, the training involved, and the disruption to a business, have deterred many companies from utilizing one. Here we will look at the benefits that will improve a business in the long run.
There can be no doubt that having industrial processes centralised adds to efficiency, especially as satellite decisions are no longer being made that have an impact and run-on effect on other parts of the process. With a central decision (automated or not) that oversees all of the process (processes), that decision will be the best one for the process; not part of it.
As a process becomes more centralized, there is less need for people in the field or on the factory floor making decisions; reducing the need for those employees. There can also be a reduction by using a programmable logic controller to run automated systems that previously needed manpower; such as manually switching a run on a production line. Units from companies like alldrivesandcontrols.co.uk are increasing efficiency and reducing the manpower needed to run and maintain processes and automated machinery.
Centralizing your industrial processes leads to savings in the space your business needs. As people, workstations, and computers move to one central location you will see more space, and as cumbersome controllers for each machine disappear, or are replaced with smaller PLCs to run several machines at the same time, more space will be found. Space reduction could eventually mean a move to a new location or an opportunity to increase production, machinery, or stock; again, leading to more savings
Health and Safety
By standardizing your processes through central control, you will be able to implement health and safety regimes across your business. With a centralized control room monitoring every process, you can be sure that all regulations and laws are followed, and that alarms and sensors are monitored as much as output. Health and safety are important to workers and owners alike, and with the Health and Safety Executive's website giving details of Â£16.7 million in fines last year alone, you can see how important it is.
There are cost savings throughout centralized control (click here for a cost comparison between centralized and decentralized control), and it is these savings that drive industries and businesses to consider it in the first place. Centralized control of administration and network systems is now standard across most industries, and is a great first step to reduce costs; but is not the only way. As we have seen, there is a saving to be made in the labour costs of an operation, there is a reduction in energy costs because of the space saving (not to mention property cost), and there are even possible costs caused by health and safety issues to consider. Let's not forget that as efficiency raises profits go up and costs come down here too. There is no doubt that a centralized control system can reduce your costs.
Not every business will benefit from centralized control, but they should all find out if it could.