This sign illustrates how decision making based on data is better than guessing. You can use this concept to improve your utilization of big data in manufacturing.

Big Data in Manufacturing: How to find the Value

What is Big Data in Manufacturing?

Let’s start off by defining and explaining what big data in manufacturing is-

Big Data in manufacturing is exactly what the name sounds like. It is large amounts of data that can be structured or unstructured. This data can go into millions or even billions of rows. Big data can be collected from sensors, people, operators, machines, just about anything you would find on the factory floor. Big data is everywhere, anywhere data can be produced there is an opportunity to gather big data.

Big data is one of the pillars of Industry 4.0.

The Value in Big Data

Just from the definition, you can likely see the value in acquiring these large amounts of data. How can Big Data in manufacturing help You? What’s the Value for you?

Most of the time, if you are tracking something, it will get improved. We have come across many situations where people think they are doing very well in a certain area until they start tracking it, then they see that 1. The numbers are either nowhere near where they thought they were or 2. They could be vastly improved.

Everything can be tracked, limiting this list is tough because the possibilities are near endless. With that being said, here are a few ways that you can utilize big data in manufacturing to create value. And at the end of the day, generate more revenue.

  • Improve Your Manufacturing Process

Once you start tracking, you will see where you can improve. Big data in manufacturing gives you insight into things such as the quality of products or throughput. With insight into these metrics, you can begin making educated adjustments. You will start to see your process become more efficient and sophisticated.

  • Production Forecasting

Big data compiles large and complex sets of information. You can gather real-time information as well as historic information. With both of these together you can start to pick up on patterns and tendencies. Analyzing these tendencies will help you to understand how long different processes will take you on average. With this information, you can find inefficiencies to improve, and you can also get an accurate, data-based forecast.

  • Predictive Maintenace

Similar to the way you can get accurate production forecasting, you can benefit from added predictive maintenance. Once you start picking up on tendencies machines have before they go down, you will have the ability to prevent stoppages before they happen. Gathering and understanding this data helps you prevent unplanned downtime, but it might also help you in another way you may not think of. It’s no secret that cutting down on unplanned downtime is a big money saver, but what if you realize that you have excessive planned downtime for some machines? What if you are prematurely scheduling maintenance downtime on a regular basis? You might have never realized this without big data.

These are just a few ways that big data in manufacturing can help you improve your overall operations. There are many more ways that you can create value and benefit from big data in manufacturing.

Big Data in Manufacturing + IIoT

To really get the most out of big data, you can implement an IIoT system. Big data provides you with large amounts of raw data. What does IIoT do to help?

IIoT structures the data and presents it in a simple, easy-to-read format for people to understand and make decisions quickly. The whole point of tracking things and getting more insight is to make improvements, save time, be more efficient, and make more money.

If you are gathering data, great. However, you need to be able to contextualize and present that data in an efficient way. otherwise, you will spend even more time trying to find the right data and understand it. An IIoT system can help you to streamline this process. Let the machines and software do all of the work so that you can receive the information you need in an efficient manner to make the right data-driven decisions.

Summary

Big data will help your company to grow, stay competitive, and gain the information that you need to keep moving forward. At this point, there should be no more making decisions based on a gut feeling. The data is there for you to use, so you can make the right decision. All you need to do is pull the data out so you can start benefitting from it.

Big data in manufacturing creates a lot of value and when paired with a modern IIoT system. When set up correctly, it’s a match made in manufacturing heaven.