Industrial companies today face an increasing number of challenges to remain competitive in the market. One of these is certainly that of revamping electromechanical and electro-instrumental systems (motors, drives and electrical systems and) or even just the automation and process control systems. Among the possible choices for the modernization of the company, revamping is one of the most conservative, both from the point of view of equipment and from the point of view of investments, but in many cases it is the ideal strategy to reconcile the needs of a market in rapid change with capital protection.
Why carry out the revamping of industrial plants and control systems?
As often happens, reality is a more complex scenario and depends on several factors. In reality, the regulatory one does not require a particular analysis: it is decided whether the cost of adapting a machine, for example to renewed safety standards, is marginally less expensive than replacement.
Furthermore, it can also be an efficient way to adapt systems to new technologies. When it is necessary to manage the transformation with limited operating margins, an electro-instrumental update can be carried out, updating only motors, actuators and the connected electrical and electronic elements. In this way it is possible to adapt a machine or a plant with the minimum economic effort.
In some cases it is even possible to operate exclusively at the software level, carrying out only an update of the SCADA system, limiting investments.
But there are also more complex reasons, for example related to competitiveness and compliance. An emblematic example is that linked to CO2 emissions, traditionally related to the increase in GDP. As we know, the data has gone against the trend in recent years: the growth of GDP no longer corresponds to a growth in CO2 emissions. In fact, we have a reduction in the extent of what is referred to as the “Carbon footprint”.
Beyond the regulatory implications, present or future, that may induce a company to optimize the energy consumption of plants, this reduction in emissions per unit indicates that today, in general, production is more efficiently. Which ultimately means that many companies have already cut down the amount of energy needed for production, thereby reducing costs, recovering margins and competitiveness.
The improvement of energy consumption is only one of the advantages of the revamping of industrial plants which is added, for example, to the introduction of solutions and functions related to Industry 4.0 plans.
But, how to choose a partner for Industrial revamping?
When an industrial company chooses the path of revamping for machines, plants or factories, the choice of the partner to rely on is essential for the strategic success of the project. Let’s see what characteristics an ideal partner should have.
1. Presence and reputation
In an industrial context, it is essential to rely on companies that know the sector and the main technologies that concern it, but which also demonstrate a series of successful cases. Often, in fact, within companies it is necessary to find solutions and solve problems that have to do with more than ten-year processes and tools, which cannot be replaced or revised. In this case it is essential that the partner is able to draw on a sufficiently in-depth historical memory.
2. The overall view
This is also a fundamental characteristic of technological partners when it comes to complex projects: having skills along the entire supply chain, from automation to management through cybersecurity. Neglecting even one of these aspects in the analysis and design phase means creating the conditions for a failed project.
3. The ability to transfer skills
Since industrial revamping requires an intervention on the machinery and systems that manage them, which constitute the heart of a company, it is essential that it is put in a position to operate in complete autonomy. A partner company should not only provide excellent technological solutions, but also adequate training so that internal staff can use the new solutions in a functional and effective way.
4. After sales services
The number of “solutions as a service” is always growing, but often the “service” does not find equal consistency in the relationship with suppliers. In choosing a strategic partner for an important industrial revamping, it is necessary to look to companies that are able to provide an high (and traceable) standard of assistance.
5. Products and services offered
A final aspect that should not be underestimated is the bouquet of services offered and the quality of the third-party suppliers on which the company relies. In addition to being an indicator of quality in itself, we have to remember that many companies, especially on the international scene, are very cautious in choosing who represents them locally, especially in countries that speak languages other than those of the manufacturer.