The Wide World of Open Platform Communications

Open Platform Communications (or OPC) refers to a set of standards that govern industrial communication. These norms have been developed over the past decade. The implementation of these standards is currently monitored by the Open Platform Communications Foundation (OPC Foundation), set up expressly for this purpose.

In the industrial automation sphere, a large amount of data is shared and exchanged. It is important to coordinate the various sources, recipients, and users of the information. The series of specifications that constitute OPC aims to ensure a smooth flow of data among multiple vendors. This also aids coordination when industrial telecommunications involve manufacturers engaging through a range of different devices. The OPC standards set out consistent ways in which field data can be accessed by plant floor devices. This is essential for the quick, convenient and hassle-free transfer of necessary data. Regardless of the type and origin of the data, OPC ensures that the method of access remains consistent. Therefore, a server following OPC standards would require the same mode of operation as any other OPC server, and on any device used by a manufacturer or client.

OPC became highly important and useful since it eliminated the additional work required to coordinate between the tools of the hardware manufacturers and their software partners and clients. OPC can also be written and used for a wide range of software packages. It sets the standard for the ​real-time transfer of data between process hardware and software packages used by OPC clients. While some OPC specifications are only available to OPC Foundation members, the majority of standards are accessible to all users. Therefore, any individual or organization can integrate their telecommunication system with OPC standards. The company must only ensure that their system integrators are trained, in order to ensure their devices are certified and facilitate the integration of the system with OPC.

Rewarding: Understanding Global Mobility

Global mobility is an expansive term. It is expansive because many organizations tend not to understand the extent to which the term applies to mobile workforce. In real sense, a mobile workforce of an organization can be defined by several scenarios, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • A permanent transfer to an overseas location
  • Short-term assignments, which typically last less than a year
  • Secondments or long-term assignments typically lasting for at least one year
  • Commuters: employees who work in one country but live in another
  • Business travelers

 

What It Involves

Global mobility involves methodologies, policies, and procedures, which are designed to apply to a country, region, or the entire world. It is important to know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits all strategy or solution when it comes to global mobility. For instance, the global mobility strategy implemented by an SME that operates in only three international locations may differ drastically from that implemented by FTSE 100. That said, issues such as industry sector, employee numbers, global footprint, and geographic limits, need to be considered when developing a company’s global mobility strategy. It is a good idea to establish a system that is tailored to the needs of both your company and employees.

Why It Is Relevant

In the current and emerging markets, global mobility remains extremely important for talent development and skill transfer. It helps companies to win clients internationally. In cases where a business is defined by talent, the concept of global mobility is as important as ever as it helps in recruiting the best people for jobs wherever such jobs need to be.

In a nutshell, global mobility enhances a company’s workforce by creating fresh perspectives and exposing them to new consumers and brands. This exposure is important because it brings about cultural learning, cross-market learning, and career development, all of which help organizations create insightful and innovative campaigns for their clients.

The New Moneymaker: Injection: Blow Moulding Process

Injection Blow Molding (IBM) is one of several blow methods used to make plastic products. Others are extrusion blow moulding, spin trimming and spin stretch.

The main characteristic that separates injection blow moulding from other blow processes is the use of pressure to literally inject the polymer that is being moulded into a core pin where it is inflated then left to cool. IBM is the most common moulding process used to make small hollow plastic containers like medicine bottles on a large scale.

The process can also be used to mould glass although glass containers are generally less popular in daily use. Due to its suitability for only small containers, IBM is the least popular of blow moulding processes. Yet it remains an important production process because of the high quality of its end products.

IBM is done in three stages:

  • Injection – The stage where the polymer (raw material) is melted and pressurized (injected) into the mould whose shape it is intended to take.

 

  • Blowing – The second stage which involves cooling of the moulded container while it is still bound to the pre-formed mould. The polymer is inflated into the final container shape.

 

  • Ejection- This finalization stage involves removal of the supporting mould to leave a finished product.

Will other methods replace injection blow moulding?

Probably not. It would be accurate to make that assumption if other moulding processes had overtaken IBM in the first place. However, this model has had little popularity for a long time mainly due to its ineffectiveness in the production of large containers.

However, the little IBM-moulded bottles are of great quality and cost-effective when produced in large numbers. These two factors make Injection Blow Moulding a process likely to remain in use for the long term. The invention of new core pins also ensures it keeps re-inventing itself.

IBM is like that little corner shop that you never do major shopping from but wouldn’t imagine living without.