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Get a Richer Picture of Production Performance with Operational Intelligence

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What if your operators could see how a machine is performing against key performance indicators (KPIs) just by pointing a phone at it?

Or what if you could be alerted before a production line produces quality defects?

These aren’t future or theoretical scenarios to ponder. Industrial companies have long struggled to understand performance within and across factories. And for those challenges, enterprise operational intelligence is the path forward. It’s a way to create consistent KPIs across the products, lines, factories, systems and shifts.

These new industrial IoT solutions can help workers at any level of your organization better track production performance. And they can help you cut your operating costs and improve your results in areas like asset utilization, production efficiency, workforce performance and energy usage.

Clear Insights From Complex Environments

Many companies think the major hurdle to enterprise operational intelligence is the diverse ecosystem of different technologies from different vendors that today exists in most production facilities. Unifying the data from these disparate assets to understand production performance is a complex job, often requiring the special skills of someone like an IT professional.

And usually, after data is brought together, only basic KPI reporting is possible.

Plant managers and production supervisors, for instance, may get weekly or monthly reports. But the reports only provide a snapshot in time. They don’t allow workers to see how a line, machine or plant is performing in real time. They also don’t allow workers to drill down into data to find the root cause of yield, quality or energy issues.

Enterprise operational intelligence solution drastically improves how you monitor production performance in your facilities.

By unifying data from your installed base of different devices, assets and systems, the solution provides real-time monitoring of your KPIs. These insights are consistent across plants, shifts and products. And they can be customized, so different workers can see – and react to – only the KPIs that are relevant to them.

A Change You Can Make Today

Companies around the world are already using enterprise operational intelligence solutions to create more competitive operations.

A large food and beverage producer, for example, is using a solution across dozens of its manufacturing sites. Workers now have role-based access to real-time standardized metrics and information, despite numerous systems. The result? The company has increased productivity by 5-8% in its plants.

This use case is a perfect example of how an enterprise operational intelligence solution can bring value to your operations today.

The solution doesn’t require an infrastructure overhaul. It can work with your existing systems to give you real-time monitoring of whatever you need to know, like your asset utilization, production efficiency, workforce performance and energy usage.

It can also work with new enabling technologies like augmented reality (AR) to help you view your production performance in literally new ways.

In fact, the example of an operator walking the shop floor and reviewing machine performance on their phone isn’t hypothetical. It’s something a European company is already doing, today, by combining real-time operational intelligence with AR technology. Now, workers don’t have to wait days or weeks to see how they’re performing – they can find out at a moment’s notice.

The solution can also leverage machine learning to provide predictive performance analytics. This means no more reacting to performance problems but instead get predictions of problems that are about to happen, before they impact production. Those insights can even trigger automatic reactions, like maintenance tickets, to help you quickly and correctly resolve the problems.

Simple and Flexible

An added benefit of some new enterprise operational intelligence solutions is their simplicity and flexibility.

You don’t need an IT degree to implement and manage them. All you need is a basic understanding of a manufacturing process to start creating dashboards and reports using simple drag-and-drop tools.

Also, dashboards and reports can be customized to each user, whether they’re an operator, plant manager or COO.

To learn more about enterprise operational intelligence and other innovative solutions, visit the FactoryTalk InnovationSuite web page.

Katarina Heining
Katarina Heining
Information Solutions Sales Executive, Rockwell Automation

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