Automation and Control Systems Economics, 2nd Edition
The Dollars and Cents of Automation - Apr 10, 2007
Control improvement justification is a constant challenge to automation professionals. With over 40 years of experience developing and designing control systems for suppliers and users, Paul Friedmann has updated Automation and Control System Economics as a guide to developing the economics of automation projects.
The introductory chapters state the purpose of the book and introduce the important concepts of performance, cash flow, risk and probability. The next part of the book covers identification and estimation of benefits, cost estimation, and project evaluation. Friedmann lines up the usual suspects for benefits; increased capacity, lower utility costs, improved yield, reduced waste and pollution, improved quality, and safer operation.
The final chapters, specific to batch and discrete processes, are new in the second edition. The benefits for batch processes are similar to continuous processes, but capacity is usually related to batch cycle time and control often means tracking trajectories instead of fixed setpoints. In discrete processes, reducing rework, scrap parts, in-process inventory, and labor per part are typical benefits. The automation strategies may be very different from continuous or batch processes.
Friedmann outlines the process to assemble the economics and document the financial risks of a project proposal. There is no magic bullet that provides justification for automation projects. Automation professionals should understand the concepts in this book and perhaps a little more as Friedmann only provides an introduction to the subject in Automation and Control System Economics. Reviewed by Nick Sands
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