Although only the first step, having a system, like a Lean Execution System (LES), thatprovides this level of visibility is a necessarypart of your foundation.
The Machine Centric Fallacy
The industry, in general, has been fixatedon Digital Manufacturing, Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0, Digital Twin, andother machine-centric approaches due inlarge part to the standardization of machineconnectivity protocols such as Open Platform Communications (OPC) and OPCUnified Architecture (OPC-UA). A gold rushof Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition(SCADA), Manufacturing Execution System(MES), and Io T solutions has led to petabytesof Big Data. With the advent of Big Data, ITcame to the quick realization that no humancan ever hope to make sense of it all. Hencethe rise of AI and Machine Learning.
But with ever-changing manufacturingmethods and machine modifications, AI often fails to deliver on its promise due to thelack of context. “Is this signal I just detecteddue to a failing component of the machine,different raw material, machine modificationsthat now create different sensor data, or a hostof other possible scenarios?” Unfortunatelyadding another sensor is the never-endingsolution. “If we only had more data…”
Does This Mean More Automation?
Does this argument for more data advocate for more automation? Unfortunately, theanswer is both yes and no. More automation isgood in areas where automation would makea difference. But automation is expensive andit causes its own problems. So, in today's market, where every dollar counts, you're forcedto leverage your existing assets. We're findingmanufacturers turning to their human operators as the most adaptable and versatile auto-mation/sensor platform on the plant floor.
Digitizing plant floor work at a much lower cost than automation makes a lot of business sense. Based on your budget and youroperating constraints, you may have a goalfor a total lights out operation. The truth is,you're going to need a lot of human help overthe next several years to get there. And youwill need as much cost savings as you can tobe able to pay for that automation. The logicalstep towards effective automation is to digitize and optimize the lowest hanging fruit,which is the human workflow. www.nedinfo.com/76476-306
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