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Get to know Richard Banyard

Richard Banyard took a typical route into engineering, studying control and automation at Sheffield before enrolling onto ABB’s graduate scheme. During his 1...

Maximise your ROI from technology projects

There are several pitfalls I see affecting technology projects time and time again. To help clients avoid them I've written a lot about the common problems I...

Don't know where to start? Try the basics

Often in life, getting the simple things right is key to success. For example, when we're feeling overworked, overcommitted and overwhelmed it can be hard to...

Support available for ABB System 800xA

800xA is the world's leading* distributed control system (DCS). However its power and flexibility come with a cost. It's not known as the easiest system to w...

Using data to inform maintenance

How you use data analysis to inform maintenance activity can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your operations. It may never be possible to eliminate t...

Are you a grandmaster or a centaur?

May 1997 was a turning point in the world of chess. Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster and world-champion at the time, was beaten by IBM’s Deep Blue 2.5 - 3.5...

Are you choosing to drive blind?

It sounds like madness, but I believe many manufacturers are doing just this. Imagine you've bought a new car but the dashboard was an optional extra, you sp...

Transferring is the worst

You’ll know the scenario. I’m in France at the moment, but had a similar experience before Christmas in Ireland. It happens when I need to travel between unf...

ATT&CK!

The MITRE ATT&CK® knowledge base for ICS is now publicly available. If you've not got time to check it out now, at least click on this link and bookm...

Windows 7 end of life announcement

In case you've missed it, Microsoft support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 ends on 14th Jan 2020. Here's the links to Microsoft's statements on the matter: ht...

New interfaces for old machines

30 years of battering by operators takes its toll on any system, even one as robust as Emerson’s RS3. When the trackball for a legacy control console no long...

Support available for Emerson RS3

The Rosemount System 3 (RS3) DCS can still be found controlling a variety of industrial processes today, after first being installed in 1984. If you are stil...

A humble PLC saves the day

We recently had a request for some legacy control boards needed to run a refrigeration system's compressors. They were critical components in the motor-start...

Benefits of virtualisation

Virtualisation (or virtualization to the rest of the world) is widespread within IT and quickly being adopted for OT systems. The technology has proven relia...

It's a wide spectrum

Manufacturing in all sectors is carried out on a diversity of machines that all have one thing in common; at some time, some critical component will need to ...

ISO 9001 certification transferred to BSI

We've transferred our quality management system's ISO 9001 certification to BSI, who will be auditing us in the future. So have a new certification badge: O...

Tempting isn't it?

Everything's running well, it has been for some time. In fact your control systems have worked for years. Why risk loading an update? It carries some risk an...

Open technology

At Op-tec we've always been passionate about using open technology. We believe basing your control architecture on open technology gives numerous benefits, a...

If it ain't broke don't fix it?

Recently, a PLC controlled heating system failed, causing the product to go over temperature resulting in substantial consequential losses.

IIoT and Industry 4.0 Explained

Recently, I spoke to the Food and Drink Engineering & Processing Summit about IIoT and Industry 4.0. I wanted to explain the meaning of these terms, and ...

Op-tec's main office has moved to Stockport

We've moved! Things were getting a little tight where we were, and with customers throughout the UK locating ourselves more centrally makes sense as we conti...

Different control system types

We often get asked the difference between DCS and PLC/SCADA-based systems, and where PACs come in to it. So here's an attempt to clear things up. History DCS...

Op-tec achieves ISO 9001

After many years of operating with a compliant Quality Management System, we have now committed to regular external audits against the latest standard. This ...

Time to upgrade?

We all have a favourite t-shirt, sweater, pair of jeans or trainers that have stood the test of time - in our own eyes at least. Comfortable, dependable and ...