Scalable analytics applications allow manufacturers to stay focus on production rather than the process
For any manufacturer or industrial company, control systems are the birthplace of data.
However, the data is useless unless it is turned into insights and brings decision-making and performance to the next level.
Common problems for OEMs are that they have spent too much time waiting for access to data to create a solution, or they have too much data but not enough expertise around the alerts being received.
While a manufacturing execution system (MES) offers unique production tracking and scheduling functionality, it does not replace the benefits of a manufacturing analytics platform.
Analytics provide increased visibility into the plant operations through integrated data capabilities, data volume capacity, detailed analytics, and more. It is coming to play a role equal to that they serve in the MES/manufacturing operation management (MOM) and external machine interface (EMI) arenas.
The Connected Enterprise vision has always had analytics and collaboration at its core. As Rockwell Automation expands its information solutions offerings, a primary goal is to make analytics more approachable and right-sized for the customers. New analytics solutions help manufacturers move ahead on their Connected Enterprise journey, no matter where they are today.
Information changes the face of manufacturing, and it is impossible to be intelligent without useful information. There are many ways to manage information, but the key is the action that can be taken based on that information and how high the hurdle is before getting to the data.
Now, manufacturers can take advantage of the growing intelligence through modern technology such as cloud, mobile, and plant-wide EtherNet/IP™.
Among the latest scalable manufacturing analytics applications added to the family of manufacturing intelligence and analytics products and services, the FactoryTalk® Analytics for Devices appliance and FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud application can help manufacturers become more comfortable with using data while making access easier.
These new MES applications expand capabilities for analytics across the plant floor for devices, machines and systems, as well as throughout the enterprise. In this approach, analytics are computed and gain context closest to the source of decision at the appropriate level in the architecture to return the highest value – from edge devices to the cloud on a variety of new appliances, devices, and on- or off-premise cloud platforms.
They cover remote monitoring, machine performance, device health and diagnostics, and predictive maintenance to enable companies to derive value from their data more quickly, easily and incrementally. At the enterprise level, these solutions offer more powerful ways to integrate plant-floor data into business intelligence strategies.
Discover, Contextualize, Act
FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices is a hardened appliance that can provide diagnostic analytics from industrial devices to help avoid costly downtime and improve productivity by proactively identifying device health. Once it is an active member of the EtherNet/IP network, FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices starts working immediately, finding device and system-level insights, contextualizing that data, and delivering real-time actionable information.
There is neither cloud connection nor dashboard development required because it is all completed through auto-generated dashboards. It is an information appliance that the users can deploy in any manufacturing operation to analyze the data coming out of the device.
Without the need for setting up a cloud computing infrastructure, it might take only a couple of minutes and a few mouse-clicks to implement the analytics system and put industry knowledge on top of it.
The FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices appliance can detect and perform a basic analysis on any EtherNet/IP device. The appliance also has detailed analytics for more than 2,000 Allen-Bradley® devices. Also, it makes interactions simple and intuitive. Access to specific calls-to-action, instant device displays and an advanced machine-learning-based chat bot are all available from within the appliance.
How it Works
When FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices enters the industrial network, it discovers the assets and provides analytics by transforming the data generated into preconfigured health and diagnostic dashboards.
With just a connection for power and a local control system network, the appliance begins providing analytics within minutes. After the connections are made, the application detects automation devices on the network without disrupting performance.
It learns what is important to users by continuously analyzing the devices on the network and delivering recommendations to help maintenance and engineering teams prevent unplanned downtime and repair systems more quickly and safely.
Control system devices are becoming increasingly more self-aware with intelligent onboard diagnostics. FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices allows these devices to start becoming system-aware; gaining an understanding of device interactions; hence it allows a higher level of analysis to be performed.
When the application uncovers information about how the devices are related to each other, such as their network topology or fault causality, it starts to understand the system on which it is deployed to make prescriptive recommendations.
For example, with the appliance in place, it can send the users an “action card” if a drive needs to be reconfigured to maintain optimal performance, helping prevent potential downtime and prescribing solutions to maintenance teams.
Smart Machine Cloud
For the FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud application, it is all about remote monitoring and analysis of machine performance. Running on Microsoft Azure™, it can bring together the client, server, gateway and controller levels to help support remote machine monitoring and analysis of multiple machines from anywhere. Users can learn about machine performance and utilization and help improve machine efficiency and throughput.
At the machine level, it provides machine builders access to performance analytics from deployed systems to help support their customers via the SaaS-based (software as a service) FactoryTalk cloud.
For manufacturers, this capability capitalizes on connected technologies to help drive higher availability and output while reducing maintenance costs. Accomplished by Rockwell Automation RAPID Equipment Interface add-on instructions (AOI) for auto-discovery and data gathering, the instructions are combined with an application's existing ControlLogix® control system programming.
Using Packaging Machine Language (PackML) state definition models, the AOI populate the FactoryTalk cloud with the data specified and expected by each user. This information can include counter results, indicators and whatever other values are required to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) or other parameters for that particular equipment or application.
At the server level, it contextualizes the acquired data to help provide insights before relaying it to associated cloud-based FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines software. The information is then distributed via mobile devices, tablet PCs and other computer stations, which can be located anywhere thanks to web-based access.
FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines performs data modeling, data storage and aggregation, computation, elasticity, gateway configuration, user management and access to the Rockwell Automation knowledge base.
Collaborate with Insightful Information
By 2020, the industrial sector will be producing nearly 15 trillion gigabytes of data. With increasing amounts of data, manufacturers must find more effective and efficient ways to put this data to use.
At Rockwell Automation, the approach to information solutions helps OEMs to connect, manage, validate and optimize production with MES, manufacturing intelligence and analytics applications, and information driven services.
The scalable manufacturing analytics applications and services work out-of-the-box which can deliver customers and their end-users immediate value. They give manufacturers access to analytics capabilities that best fit their operations – within a device, throughout a system, and across the enterprise.
At every juncture, OEMs can contextualize the data, make it useful and enable collaboration between people, process, and technology to drive tremendous value and new business outcomes.