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Consequently, we met, we visited, and we sat through numerous company overview and technical presentations, some quite boring to be perfectly honest. On the fifth day of their visit, ABB’s presenters showed us their IndustrialIT technology, which was being developed as the heart of their Extended Automation System 800xA. At that point, we knew that we’d found the commercial solution that would take us into the future. We saw in that one day’s presentation exactly what we were seeking—the integrated environment, safety systems, and repeatable engineering solutions. It was all there. IndustrialIT had the ability to integrate multiple systems and plants into one environment, as well as system flexibility, integration of databases, common operating views, and engineering functionality. It was right in line with what we were needed. The alignment with their direction compared where we wanted to go also came together nicely.
So, we’d found the commercial technology that could accomplish what we needed to continue fulfilling the Crown Jewels. We could use this platform to leverage our experiences and learnings with the MOD System’s services. However, while the technology was crucial ingredient to making the conversation happen and implementing the solution, much more was needed to help Dow and ABB’s relationship succeed.
Consequently, even though we’d found the technology we thought could take our Operating Discipline forward, the really hard work was just beginning. We needed to lay the foundation for a truly collaborative relationship, and let go of our own sole-system development mindset at the same time. The next article, Part 3, will discuss what was involved in building a close working relationship with ABB, and the elements that are essential to starting and sustaining any collaborative relationship that yields results.
Click here for more information on Dow's patents related to the MOD technology and TUV SIL 3 certification.
See: The MOD Squad: Process automation at Dow, Part 1
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