Digital Transformation (DX) may be a vague and scary sounding term that is seemingly everywhere in the industrial space. It implies a large and complex effort to go from where your Operational Technology infrastructure and systems are today to a future point where your systems are hands off and run themselves, your equipment is connected and online, and key production data is available to make efficiency, productivity, and quality decisions. In reality, Digital Transformation and adoption of Industry 4.0 doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
At Avanceon our goal is to help manufacturers take those first, second, and continued steps toward Digital Transformation. In the early stages, it is not about coming up with some grand scheme with expensive investments. Rather, it is about getting the ROI and advancing you in your Industry 4.0 journey. As time goes on and initial ROI is realized, planning and execution of a DX strategy becomes a key part of the journey.
Here are some Avanceon examples to inspire your thoughts of how to leverage Industry 4.0 for Digital Transformation:
Apply IIoT and Cloud to Reduce Labor
An initial DX step can leverage low-cost wireless IIoT Ethernet I/O to collect critical safety and environmental signals and set simple logic to alert of issues with the process. This allows manufacturers to reduce physical shift coverage for rounds during off hours. These simple steps can save tens of thousands of dollars annually.
Leverage “Free” Visualization Tools to Improve Efficiency
DX creates visibility in operations. Those DX dashboard solutions can leverage your company’s “free” Power BI instances to mine existing Historian and Production data and provide supervisors and plant leadership access to information to adjust how they run the facility.
Implement OEE to Improve Production
Cloud-based OEE applications gather existing historical data points and can quickly create a holistic view of overall line efficiency allowing supervisors and leadership to target waste and production leaks.
Add Analytics to Improve the Process Control
DX allows for common AI and ML tools to be applied in the factory. An example is ML tools to analyzes the performance of all the PID control loops in the plant, point out the worst offenders against years of data, and suggest new tuning parameters or control strategies to improve performance and efficiency of operations thereby saving energy and processing time.
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