Close the Gaps: Get Connected to Enable a Digital Thread

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Close the Gaps: Get Connected to Enable a Digital Thread

As connected as businesses are these days, manual tasks always create gasps in data gathering. Let's look at a few solutions to create a seamless digital thread.

· IoT Zone ·
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Is your organization doing a decent job gathering data?

You might be. Certainly, you have data, lots of data.  But, even with all that data, gaps exist at most sites.

These gaps matter. The digital thread involves capturing data across systems, through lifecycles, and recording for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) analytics, then back for closed-loop optimization. It’s a seamless digital connection.

With gaps in data, how can you embark on a digital industrial journey?

Start with connecting your industrial assets and operations, and auditing your current environment. Knowing where you stand with data collection will help guide you in overcoming gaps. In most cases, you will not be building a connected organization from a greenfield project. Instead, you will be creating a more complete digital thread across legacy systems and outdated pieces of equipment. These equipment assets are typically standalone, with limited connection capabilities.

Fortunately, you can overcome disparate equipment connectivity and interoperability challenges. Many sites have some software, whether it is embedded in a machine and was developed by the OEM, or developed as part of an HMI/SCADA project. As a best practice, rely on experts to connect your systems and establish a strong HMI/SCADA layer as a foundation for IIoT.

In addition to pinpointing old and/or isolated equipment, you need to identify data gaps that occur for other reasons too. Manual operations are still prevalent and often not tracked. You need to connect people performing manual processes, using software for managing and tracking manual operations in conjunction with your HMI/SCADA.

Also fairly common, information exists but is consumed in an isolated way in the organization. A typical example is regulatory compliance data, only used to generate compliance reports. These reports represent a gold mine of information and can be utilized in the continuous improvement process–thus, the need to access all the data to deliver accurate dashboards and KPIs, both to operations and the business.

digital thread, industrial internet, iot, iot data

Published at DZone with permission of Alicia Bowers , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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