All the talk in manufacturing circles is around technology adoption. Whether it is AI, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0. IIoT, OEE, and other topics, it is all about applying technology to the shop floor to enhance the operations and reap the benefits, and profits. The most important aspect of any adoption plan, regardless of the technology you are pursuing, is to appoint a Champion. Thousands of POCs and projects have failed because of this one critical component, a dedicated person to take ownership of the technology.
Two challenges a company would face is the ability to connect machines and the ability to present valuable collected information in an intelligent and responsive manner. Both challenges are fraught with issues. Companies are seeing delays in connecting machines due to shortages of competent technical personnel, unacceptable interruptions to production as critical assets are shut down for days or even weeks during this process. MEMEX’s MERLIN Tempus EE can rapidly connect your existing machines using not only your existing thingworx approach but even better with OPC, MTConnect and FOCAS protocols. Many machines can be connected and configured in 3 hours or less.
The term insight means an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem. The key is to understand relationships. If your scope within the company does not span more than the department, team or group you move in, then you are ill-equipped to understand the relationships surrounding a specific constraint, issue or task. We walk in preconceptions toward any issue and ignore or discount evidence outside of our comfort zone. That’s right, our comfort zone. Attempting to understand relationships means we need to step back into a different perspective to assess all aspects surrounding a constraint, or process, or issue, etc.
We cannot solve all the manufacturing world’s problems at one time, but what we can do is make use of an excellent tool by making sure that the tool selected can help mitigate stoppages by assisting in determining root causes.
Integrating data from machines, OT systems and enterprise systems on the Factory Floor is a big topic within Industry 4.0. There is a philosophy that intelligent integrations with logic, including machine learning, can be done on the shop floor.