Voices: Rick Rice
Rick Rice is a controls engineer at Crest Foods, a dry-foods manufacturing and packaging company in Ashton, Illinois. With nearly 30 years’ experience in the field of automation, Rice has designed and programmed everything from automotive assembly, robots, palletizing and depalletizing equipment, conveyors and forming machines for the plastics industry but most of his career has focused on OEM in the packaging machinery industry with a focus on R&D for custom applications.
When sitting down to write this, the subject matter drew me back to one of my earlier projects, an e-book describing the whole path from inspiration to commissioned automation project. It is interesting to realize how much has changed in my designs over the short eight years that I have been with my current employer but the fundamentals remain unchanged to this day.Read More
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- Jul 10, 2019Collaboration isn’t just about the interaction between mankind and a machine—it’s about vendors taking away the mystery and making it easier for a design to come to fruition
- Mar 19, 2019Is it possible to extend the safety ring around equipment or a process without using wires?
- Mar 13, 2019Software development platforms and the controllers that run the software have taken many steps forward over the years, and sometimes they take a step back
- Jan 24, 2019Stop to smell the roses and you might learn some new things about hydraulics and pneumatics
- Jan 9, 2019Regardless of your choice on PLC vs. PC-based control, all things have a shelf life; and it's nasty at the end
- Dec 6, 2018Robots will get along fine with their fellow workers, so you should introduce them to each other soon
- Oct 31, 2018The programmable logic controller fights back and continues to go the distance
- Aug 22, 2018Manufacturing and education work together to deliver the people and skills needed
- Jul 25, 2018Take the time to meet with your vendors to discuss your troubled machines and processes
- Jun 28, 2018Collecting the data is easy; getting paid for it is not
- May 3, 2018Economies of scale can lead to discounts and savings that you might not have considered
- Apr 18, 2018Old equipment can breathe new life with some creativity and a controls upgrade
- Apr 2, 2018It's the little things that add up
- Feb 28, 2018The next big thing could be right in front of your nose
- Jan 15, 2018Retirement of Remote I/O prompts a look at what’s on the network
- Jan 15, 2018Replace components when you want to, not when you have to
- Oct 18, 2017Sometimes the best solution requires mixing old and new technology
- Aug 28, 2017New generation of workers needs skill sets that include automation from decades past
- Aug 16, 2017Design systems that make sense and provide an interface that is intuitive, so the right people, get the right information, where they expect to find it
- Jul 18, 2017Grocers' focus on what is good for you drives OEM equipment design and the need for big data and technical skills all the way to the outside of the store
- May 11, 2017Forget about assigned local and remote addresses; in the future, software will help to define types of I/O points
- Mar 17, 2017In data collection’s new frontier, is air gap passé?
- Mar 6, 2017Twice the distance and improved color detection result from CMOS laser.
- Feb 28, 2017The search for knowledge, combining search engines with other information resources.
- Jan 10, 2017Hardware, software and functionality make the mini-PLC an option for small automation projects and collecting data from existing equipment.
- Jan 3, 2017New technology enables extensive labeling and marking to be added to control systems.
- Dec 8, 2016Open-standard protocol with legacy in mind.
- Mar 10, 2015Food-company engineer understands the value of knowledge capture and modular design.