Assessment Services are Facility Check-Ups

A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, “You’re crazy” The man says, “I want a second opinion!” “Okay, you’re ugly too!” – Henny Youngman. Okay, so not all opinions, or assessments, are valuable. But assessment services are a part of our life:

  • We go to the doctor (well, maybe not Henny’s) for regular health check-ups, as well as the dentist, eye doctor, etc.
  • You may meet with a financial advisor to manage your investments or retirement plan
  • Your car dealer does a multi-point inspection when you get your oil changed
  • You may hire a home inspector to assess your new home before purchase
  • And many others

Today, manufacturers often invest in assessment services for many reasons, including:

  • To understand if they are complying with a variety of regulations, such as OSHA
  • To ensure the safety of their employees
  • To prepare for future investments, such as a new manufacturing line
  • To ensure they are protecting their intellectual property
  • To make informed decisions on where they should invest their limited capital or MRO budget
  • To ensure their employees have the skills they need to meet the manufacturing goals

Manufacturing Like it’s 1995

During a recent customer visit, an engineer at this manufacturing facility indicated that they had a large installed base of legacy control systems and their visibility into their process was through software running on Windows 95 PCs. They knew they needed to modernize but weren’t sure where to begin. On top of that, their IT person was leaving the company soon.

Assessing the Present

After a thorough walkthrough of the facility, the Horizon Solutions team sat down with the customer and discussed a strategy that would help them make informed decisions around making capital investments, prioritizing the most critical areas during a phased modernization process. The first step was an assessment of the company’s network infrastructure while the corporate IT person was still on staff.

To Prepare for the Future

Following the assessment, we were able to make recommendations to ensure the support of modern automation equipment and a contemporary visualization solution. This phased strategy allowed the customer to use their maintenance budget to pay for the network assessment, which will better prepare them to make informed decisions on the investment of their capital budget. There were several agreed upon next steps, including a lifecycle analysis of their complete installed base of automation equipment.

Step One: Assessment Services

Do you have a limited capital budget, or are unsure where to make investments? Horizon Solutions Professional Assessment Services might be a great first step. Here are just some of the assessment services offered:

  • Network Assessment (Logical and Physical)
  • Installed Base Evaluation (Automation Lifecycle Analysis)
  • Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) Procedure Assessment
  • Safety Risk Assessments
  • Arc Flash Assessments and Remediation Services
  • Cyber Security Assessments and Penetration Testing Services
  • Employee Automation Knowledge & Skills Gap Assessment Services
  • OSHA Compliance
  • And many more!

Contact us today for our expert opinion. I promise we won’t call you ugly!

About the author

Jim Bischoff
Jim Bischoff

Jim has nearly 30 years of experience in the automation industry, with an extensive background in PLC, HMI, Information Software, Industrial Networking, and Motion Control. He began his career with Horizon Solutions in 1995, and has been our Director of Automation since 2013. When Jim isn't trouble shooting motion applications, he enjoys landing Walleye on fishing trips in Canada and the United States.