Submitted by Andrew Waycott, COO & Co-Founder at TwinThread
Through the better part of a century, the industrial sector has shifted from operating with no data whatsoever, to attempting to manually manage and interpret large swaths of data (to no avail), to fully curated data sets that allow problem-solvers to exploit the operational information that matters most when targeting greater efficiency. Without that last evolutionary step, operators have no choice but to drown in a sea of information that is too diverse and sweeping to be effectively interpreted and operationalized.
The majority of factories today have no issue collecting information. In fact, they are most likely inundated with data pertaining to their assets - via their Process Historian. However, just collecting data is only half the battle and only one step up from having no data at all. The real value lies in collating the data in a manner where operators and engineers can easily and instantaneously identify the insights that would otherwise be hidden in the vast data spectrum. There’s almost certainly a wealth of gold nuggets buried in any given manufacturer’s data - but where to look?
No one could be reasonably held to fault for suffering from analysis paralysis when faced with the accosting prospect of having to delve into a mountainous data set that offers no clear pathway to the information needed to action meaningful process change. An overload of information without curation simply becomes unintelligible. The reality is, too much data (with no way to meaningfully interpret it) can be just as much a barrier to insight as no data at all.
There can be no more inefficient method in striving toward improved efficiency than haphazardly stumbling through a collection of data that does not point you in any particular direction. Fortunately, we no longer live in an era that requires problem-solvers to allot hours of effort just to locate a needle in a haystack. Applying techniques like Digital Twins to structure data and machine learning to surface insights held within - aPredictive Operations Platformcan uncover the insights that empower action.