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Step One for Operational Excellence: Automating Data Collection

IIoT isn't a buzzword, it's more likely than not the key to future success. See how automating data collection is essential to manufacturers who want to get ahead.

· IoT Zone

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Last week, I posted a blog that highlighted seven steps that you should consider to achieve operational excellence if you are within food, beverage, or CPG manufacturing. I want to make this a series of blog posts, diving into each step to talk about why it is important towards overall success. This week, we will dive deeper into the first step — automate the collection of manufacturing data.

The overall goal for any operational excellence program is to drive incremental improvement in the business. However, this action becomes such a challenge if you don’t have visibility into your plant floor performance. Effective decisions should always be based on data analysis and information, not speculation or conjecture. This is essentially what the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, or any other marketing term you want to use is aiming for — better decision making through increased plant floor connectivity. In fact, in a recent report by the Genpact Research Institute, 81% of industrial companies stated that they believe the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things is the key to future success. That is why the first step every company should take (no matter the industry) if they truly want to achieve operational excellence is to get control over their manufacturing data. We know that automated data collection and the IIoT are the basis for creating the real-time enterprise, but can it significantly differentiate fFood, beverage, and CPG manufacturers? The answer is yes.

In a recent Aberdeen group study, it was found that Leading F&B manufacturers were 79% more likely than their poorer-performing peers to automatically collect manufacturing data.

Advances in technology now allow for new levels of connectivity that were not economically viable before. Sensors can be easily incorporated onto assets and equipment that are decades old, providing connectivity and control that has always been desired but rarely achieved. This level of automation allows manufacturers to improve the validity of collected data, more effectively use historical data to optimize current decision making, and deliver data in real-time to decision makers as actionable intelligence. In a manual data collection environment (like poorer performing manufacturers are more likely to rely on) the data can be old and inaccurate, calling into question the validity of conclusions drawn by the analysis. This automated data collection can be further utilized as well. Statistical analysis can be applied to this manufacturing data to turn it into insight. Analyses like statistical process control (SPC) or failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) can be undertaken in real-time to improve the reliability and predictability of food, beverage, and CPG manufacturing processes.

Clearly, there are many ways that manufacturers can benefit from utilizing their plant floor data. The operational excellence program that leading Food, Beverage, & CPG manufacturers rely upon aims to arm their decision makers with the information they need to maximize productivity, ensure product safety and quality, and limit sustainability costs. However, it requires the important first step: getting connected.

The next blog will dive into step two – Build compliance and traceability into your processes.

The IoT Zone is brought to you in partnership with GE Digital.  Discover how IoT developers are using Predix to disrupt traditional industrial development models.


Published at DZone with permission of Reid Paquin, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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