In this unprecedented time where people all over the world are asked to isolate themselves physically from the rest of society, businesses are looking for solutions to keep their operations running. Since our inception, Stone Technologies has built the company around the home office. There are plenty of challenges to remote work, but there are many advantages. While we are responding appropriately to protect our employees, and our clients during this public health crisis, we also stand ready to deliver for our clients with culture, technology, and people that are tuned to execute remotely.
- Ability to hire the best people – regardless of where they live
- Improved employee satisfaction and work-life balance by providing schedule flexibility
- Allows our team members to relocate easily for aging parents, grandkids, or lifestyle changes
- Scales easily
- Saves time and reduces car expenses by not commuting, a much greener way to work
- Distributed and cloud-based systems are less subject to catastrophic failure
- In surveys for the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s annual Top Workplaces survey, our employees consistently cite our remote office and company culture as an important benefit
- High employee retention because employee satisfaction means continuity over time for our client’s processes and technologies
- With people in 18 states, Stone may have a resource near you
- Lower total cost for projects
We at Stone Technologies are eager to share our technology, procedures, and experience to help the community weather this storm. Let us know how we can help!
We had an opportunity to contribute to a blog post on one of our partner’s web sites. InSource Solutions was doing a blog post where they wanted to share
I was pleased to be one of those chosen to contribute. Please click on over and read the article:
Industry 4.0: Practitioners Share Real-World Examples – InSource Solutions
Recently, we were asked to participate in a blog post from one of our partner companies. The format provided was for Questions and Answers, from a group of companies regarding Smart Manufacturing initiatives. I have been fortunate, over the past several months, to be invited to participate with several of their clients as they develop their strategy for adopting smart manufacturing principals, so I was asked to provide some of the answers.
The questions start by showing an Infographic about Industry 4.0, with the associated emerging technologies.
- Digital Twin
- Horizontal and Vertical System Integration
- Autonomous Machines
- Machine Learning/AI
- Big Data
- Augmented Reality
- Additive Manufacturing
- Cyber Security
- Industrial Internet of Things
Does your company implement solutions in an of these above areas?. If so, what might you consider your top three?
- Analytics and AI with Digital Twin and Big Data-driven by IIoT – It is difficult to separate because they are all legs on the same stool.
- Cyber Security
Which areas do you think shows the most market interest right
Analytics and AI are the biggest wins for our clients. Whether this is driven by traditional data sources or by IIoT/Big Data, the goal is to use data to unlock additional value, drive continuous improvement projects, and provide new insights into the process, quality, and customer demand
Could you briefly describe a solution you developed or saw
this year that represents a unique or innovative implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies ?
One example is an enterprise-wide project to deploy a standard set of infrastructure consisting of firewall and edge devices to enable data collection at all company manufacturing sites. The solution included connectivity to existing control systems, but it also included deployment of IIoT sensing for vibration, temperature, and power consumption through third party providers. Additionally, it included a standard setup to deploy sensing for machine utilization where the existing controls did not provide any data and the cost of traditional IO was significantly more expensive.
The goal is to provide a standardized toolset that provides machine performance data, digital twin, and analytics tools for Machine Learning/Deep Learning on process data.
Were there any lessons learned that you’d like to share from your perspective as the developer or from your client as the user?
The focus on these projects should remain on the business and how the business will get additional value from the solution. Much is said about the technology, but the real achievements are in finding ways to liberate the data and make it actionable. Early wins with a project will be in utilizing data in traditional control systems and legacy solutions.
Much of the IIoT focus is on streaming live data (telemetry data), but there are likely other data sources with valuable data and context that will be necessary. Batching systems, existing performance solutions, quality systems, etc. all add to the richness and quality of the data set available for analysis.
Every now and then, I get to do a bit of a boondoggle. This year it was attending a System Consultant Symposium that includes a day on the Deschutes River rafting.
I had a short trip to St. Louis this week. Early in the week, the weather forecast was crummy for flying, so I hadn’t even considered it until the morning I was about to head out and the forecast for the first two days I would be gone. So I elected to take the airplane. Flying instead of driving helped as I had a pretty tight schedule with an early haircut and just enough time to get to my meetings downtown at noon. On top of that, I had wanted to swing by the office to pick up a few things. Taking the airplane, I had enough time to do both!
Heading back home was less than ideal, it was hot, and there was enough turbulence on the way back to get your attention for a few minutes. Despite that, it was still a good trip.