How to keep your computers and equipment functioning at your facility

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Let’s be real, there are not many manufacturing facilities that can function without a computer on their operations floor. So why is it that we see so many computer malfunctions that cause major issues and downtime? This can be frustrating as it’s your goal to keep the line running, improve operations and simplify processes. Plus, you’re too busy managing the manufacturing facility to be fiddling with the network and computers that keep your machines running.

At Netsafe, we’ve helped many manufacturing facilities keep the systems running that control production – all while reducing the expense and management of an in-house employee.

Here are some ways to keep your computer and equipment functioning at your facility:

Regular preventive maintenance

If you don’t partake in preventive maintenance… the worst thing that can happen is your lines come crashing down, you get a loss of production and your customers are unhappy, right? No big deal? Wrong. When you don’t take care of the appropriate precautions, small quick technical issues can cause many issues in your facility. That’s why we don’t want technology to screw you over when there are ways to better prepare for inventory changes and a surge in production.

By undergoing preventive maintenance you can ensure a better customer experience with delivery lead times and more. With preventive maintenance, you need to make sure you are:

  • Replacing old wires and cables – Don’t just replace them with low-quality items. Use high-quality equipment for longer-term use and to avoid unsafe conditions that low-quality components can’t withstand. For example, poor-quality items can increase the risk of shocks, electrocution and cause unwarranted downtime.
  • Setting a schedule for preventive maintenance – We see over and over how running UPS’ to the end causes outages. For example, replace UPS batteries on a schedule instead of at failure. If the batteries last 3 years, replace them at 2.5. We even have one account that replaces his Ethernet switches and servers on a schedule.

Overall, regular preventive maintenance will help you decrease operating costs, avoid risks and keep your customers happy. So next time your maintenance check-in comes around, don’t postpone replacing those items!

Prepare for Cybersecurity Risks

Finding ways to prevent cybersecurity issues is nothing new, what’s new for manufacturers is that the threats are more severe than ever. With advancements in digital technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics and more, we’re now seeing major benefits and advancements come to fruition as the digital world marries the physical world.

For example, there are many opportunities for digital transformation at manufacturing facilities in areas such as supply chain management, vendor processing, and modern industrial control systems (MICS). But with advancements in digital, comes the threats of cybersecurity. So what actions can we take to prevent these threats?

  • Implement secure coding practices and security gateways across the product development life-cycle to ensure controls are effective and safeguarded against cybersecurity threats.
  • Report on activities that might threaten data security.
  • Ensure strong encryption solutions to monitor threat and intrusion prevention.
  • Gaining visibility into ICS networks with monitoring and control technologies.

Preventive measures to avoid operational disruptions

We encourage you to NOT take these measures lightly as the manufacturing industry is the second most attacked industry other than health care. When you have these preventive measures intact, you can discover vulnerabilities quickly to help avoid security attacks, defective products, downtime, equipment damage, and even death! Don’t let technology be your worst nightmare, let it enable you to have a competitive advantage against your competitors, do your job better, and make your customers happy.

Netsafe works with many manufacturers and has had great success eliminating down days in production and growing efficiencies. Our team of on-site IT technicians is always there when you need them, keeping the systems running that control your production at a flat rate – all while reducing the expense and management of an in-house employee. Contact us!

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