Some machine builders say end users refuse to invest in new solutions because they just want to get by for today. Builders report that users often talk about trying and implementing new technologies, but always default to demanding the lowest possible price even though support may have to be cut and costly breakdowns may be likely to occur in the near future.
Meanwhile, some users say builders often resist making new, standards-compliant technologies available. They claim it's the builders who cling to old solutions they've relied on the past, and so don't give them the capabilities and options they need.
So, who has it right? Is one side more justified in its beliefs that the other? Given today's unrelenting economic pressure to always do more with less, does anyone really have to the time to seek out and employ better long term solutions? This was the biggest unanswered question I was left with when I finished reporting and wiring the "Greater Expectations" cover story for the Jan. 08 issue of Control Design.
Sure, it might help if builders and users learned to communicate better by sitting down and having a heart-to-heart chat. However, what both need to find out is how to calculate the precise benefits and costs of investing in some new technology, and also determine the price of leaving existing equipment in place. Finally, they also need better ways to get this data in front of their organizationâ's decision makers. How do you do it?