Automation data: The misunderstood strategic asset

Posted on 21 Jul 2020 by Jonny Williamson

Despite the importance of automation in plant environments, there is still some confusion regarding them.

Many modern control systems and automation software are based on the same approach as legacy technology, focusing only on the physical part of automation. However, manufacturers should focus more on the benefits that today’s automation platforms can offer.

With real-time insights, for example, manufacturers, engineers and plant managers can know everything about the production assets, which surrounding departments and stakeholders can derive insights from to inform important decisions.

To help businesses embrace modern technologies effectively, an upcoming webinar will bust the myths of  modern automation systems.

On July 30 at 14:00, The Manufacturer’s James Smith,  Sean Robinson (Novotek UK and Ireland), and David Collard (GE Digital) will explore how manufacturers, engineers and plant managers can take advantage of modern automation solutions. Register for your free place here.

Novotek and GE Digital will explain why it’s important to redefine the boundaries of automation, how to shift strategy from traditional automation software to broader IT solutions and how to apply ‘The 3 Rs’ to automation data: reduce overlap, reuse data sources and re-package data for different stakeholders.

Sean Robinson comments: “Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data analytics software and automation technologies, digital factories can be a reality and make a difference quantitively and qualitatively.

“However, many factories seem to be stuck in the ’90s with their approach to automation, when plant managers were using thousands of spreadsheets to monitor production, control stockage and ensure machines work properly.

“The process wasn’t just inaccurate or slow, but it was hard for manufacturers or engineers to ensure transparency and avoid issues like downtime or breakdowns. Fortunately, the world has changed and technologies have evolved to the point where automation can help everybody in a plant to know everything in real-time.

“With manufacturing execution systems (MESs) and historian software, for example, data is processed instantly and nobody needs to wait to know how the production is going, where the resources are stocked or what is needed next to save power and materials.

“Transparency is the key in this new world of automation and can be a key selling point for boosting production again after this long lockdown.”

To find out how to effectively introduce automation systems to your plant and how to leverage automation data for significant operational improvements, register for the webinar by clicking here.