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Keep It Running
The number one measurement in most every facility is how good we are at keeping the equipment producing product. To do this we have to worry about the time it takes maintenance staff to diagnose or troubleshoot a problem and then implement the correct solution. Products in use on the machine can provide detailed diagnostics and indicate the exact location of the issue. Intelligent devices can even inform the controller of their failure. With DeviceNet networks, analyzer tools can be used to help diagnose unhealthy nodes and trouble areas of the network. 
Learn more in Balluff's Networking Catalog>>
Engineer or Maintenance Manager at End User
Machine Intamacy
Knowing what is going on throughout the plant from the facilities to every sensor location is quickly becoming a demand of the market. Being able to diagnose in detail failures after the fact and understand why they happened is key to improving processes and throughput. An even better situation would be to be able to predict and remedy a problem before it can even cause one minute of downtime. By using industrial networks and products that have diagnostic reporting capabilities, it is possible to record and track detailed failure and issues. Intelligent devices can predict failure or report out-of-spec operations and trigger a maintenance action prior to causing downtime.
Increasing Machine Value
There is always change in a facility. New ops are added or old ops are tweaked; new lines are brought in or old lines are upgraded. We are told, “it would be nice to be able to run two package sizes or three different models on one production line,” so machine flexibility is required. When bringing a new line into the plant we want it to take up less space so we can fit more lines and always we are looking to get more functionality with less overall machine cost. To do this we really need to review the total cost of ownership of a machine and look at ways to reduce the component costs and the labor to build. What can we mount right on the machine versus inside a costly controls cabinet from I/O to power supply? How can we use intelligent devices to gain flexibility and modularity? 
See more in Balluff's Distributed Modular I/O brochure>>