A plant manager who had called us in to discuss a consulting engagement made it very clear that he wasn’t looking for just an upgrade of his automation system; he wanted help with his business. Both his business and the economy had changed dramatically since his last automation implementation and he wanted to be sure that his plant was well‑equipped for whatever was to come. His request illustrates the difference between upgrading and what we call holistic modernization. Upgrading simply refreshes existing technology, but may or may not provide additional business value. Holistic modernization goes far beyond upgrading by identifying and implementing new sources of automation‑enabled, sustainable business value.
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