Let’s get on the same page about what Data-Driven Manufacturing / Manufacturing Data Analytics / IIoT is. This will be brief. We dig into this topic more in other blog posts.
Please note: I use the phrase Data-Driven Manufacturing interchangeably with IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and Manufacturing Analytics. There is a whole semantics discussion in there. However, we’re going to skip that semantic discussion today.
At its core Data-Driven Manufacturing is about making decisions on manufacturing based on facts, not guesses and opinions You get that capability of making decisions based on facts by combining 3 things:
- Manufacturing Data Analytics
- Data-Driven Culture
IoT is pulling data from devices and sensors on machines, making that data valuable, and getting that new information in front of the right people to use for making decisions and taking valuable action.
Being Data Driven means that all of the people in that company that require it have access to the right data, can use that data to make decisions, and most importantly are empowered to take valuable action based on that data….typically corrective or Continuous Improvement actions.
Having a Data-Driven culture at your manufacturing company is really important. Some companies may not be prepared to take on a Data-Driven Manufacturing solution because they lack a Data-Driven culture. People need to be open to change, improving operations, and using data to do it. At some companies that isn’t the case. In those cases you’ll often hear, “We’ve been doing it this way for the past 30 years…” and on and on.
That might be the case, but what worked yesterday may not work today. A large number of manufactures have their own certain way of doing things and have gotten accustomed to using the same process. Not too long ago we did not have this access to all of the data that we do have access to today. So it was acceptable and common practice to make decisions in a number of different ways, without any of those ways really being based on the data, the facts. The world is changing, technology is advancing every day. One major way the world has changed and continues to change is not only the devices that are being developed and more readily available, but also the consumer capabilities with these platforms. We can gather more data than ever before, and you need to know how to use it to your advantage. Data-driven manufacturing is the way to stay competitive. You can completely eliminate the tough decisions, and guessing what to do next. Industrial IoT systems will pull the data from machines that you need to see so that you can analyze that data and make your decision based on completely factual information.
Implementing a data-driven manufacturing system does not have to be a tough process. A lot of companies are already using data in their Continuous Improvement projects, gathering Lean data, having daily production meetings. So, they’re already using data. Data-Driven Manufacturing simply takes them a couple of steps further…it’s not a leap light years into the future. Data-Driven Manufacturing simply provides more accurate, additional valuable, and real-time information to use in the existing normal processes of daily production meetings, Lean, Continuous Improvement, etc. Once the Data-Driven Manufacturing solution is in place and used in some of the existing processes and once it’s proven to be really valuable, then the manufacturer can move to expand the Data-Driven Manufacturing solution across more machines, lines, and plants.
With the definition of Data-Driven Manufacturing covered, and a little extra flavor for how it can fit into a business, let’s talk about the Journey of putting in place and experiencing Data-Driven Manufacturing in our next post.