Automation Data: The Misunderstood Strategic Asset

Complete the form below to watch this webinar

UK manufacturers are investing in modern automation as a response to major shifts in market access, supply routes, and in customer behaviours. Getting the most flexibility, innovation capacity and productivity from new plant technology requires thinking differently about where the boundaries of automation truly lie.

Too often, modern control systems and automation software are deployed based on the same assumptions and approaches dictated by legacy technology – with an intensive focus only on the physical aspects of automation. Since today’s automation platforms offer new ways to ease the flow of information back and forth between the production asset base and surrounding departments and stakeholders, it’s critical to see automation data as an asset in its own right.

The Manufacturer’s Director of Publishing, James Smith, will be joined by GE Digital’s David Collard, and Novotek’s Sean Robinson, exploring the approaches best-in-class manufacturers take to capitalise on modern automation solutions and the role they play serving different stakeholder groups.

Touching on key developments in the way enabling technology has evolved, James will pose tough questions about how UK producers must increase their expectation of what automation will give them.

Register for this webinar and you will learn:

  • Why resetting the boundaries of ‘automation’ beyond the machines and to the processes around them really matters
  • How to make sure you’re not investing in modern factory tech, but deploying it as if it’s 1999
  • How to drive improvements quickly by filling a gap between traditional automation software and broader IT solutions
  • How to apply ‘The 3 Rs’ to automation data: Reduce overlap; Re-use data sources you already own; Re-package data for different stakeholders

We’ll be asking for insights into how different roles within top performing manufacturers are adapting, zooming in on what new capabilities are demanded by:

  • Continuous improvement leaders
  • Operational leaders
  • Product and process innovation teams
  • Quality and customer focused teams

Webinar Host:

James Smith

James Smith

Director of Publishing, The Manufacturer

James is the Publishing Director at Hennik Group, overseeing the production of The Manufacturer magazine, with the role of roving reporter covering regional developments in UK manufacturing.

Webinar speakers:

Sean Robinson headshot

Sean Robinson

Manager, Software Solutions – Novotek

Sean works with manufacturers across the UK and Ireland, defining automation and information systems programs that support critical strategies such as building innovation capacity, right-first-time programs, and sustainable manufacturing. Sean brings over 25 years’ experience in a variety of client management, technology consulting, and technology implementation roles. He is past chair of ISA’s Food and Pharmaceutical Industry Division, and has contributed to the work of organisations such as MESA, and Campden BRI. Sean believes in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, and feels that enormous financial and operational opportunities can be captured by manufacturers who adopt that outlook!


Dave Collard

David Collard

Senior Product Manager for Automation Software, GE Digital

David has 20 years of experience with industrial automation and operations management software. He has consulted with well over 100 clients around the world, developing software systems from proof of concept, deployment and initial results to on-going continuous improvement. He has delivered automation software systems in nearly every industry, including power and energy, food and beverage, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, metals, mining, automotive, medical devices, and more.