Unifying information a key to plant floor connectivity

Visual information a key driver of improved productivity


Plant-floor information systems connect data collected at the machine level with enterprise and corner-office software. The exact terminology used to describe such systems range from manufacturing execution systems (MES) to manufacturing intelligence.

The latter term is preferred by Foxborough, MA software provider ICONICS , which is taking its message on the road this year in a series of sessions called Solutions for Operational Excellence. Whatever the system is call, said ICONICS director marketing Tim Donaldson at a recent event, the goal is much the same in a changing manufacturing landscape.

“There is an information overload,” Donaldson told the audience of plant engineers and managers at the ICONICS event. “You need to visualize that information to make decisions. The goal is to get the data, use it and run your business effectively.”

To bridge that gap toward effective use of data from multiple sources, ICONICS supports the OPC-UA (unified architecture) effort, which will be released shortly. “What OPC is trying to do is act as the connectivity piece,” Donaldson said. “ ARC (Advisory Group ) sees a huge growth market in HMI/SCADA.”

“Best in class manufacturers are 52% more likely to utilize MES, three times more likely to utilize manufacturing intelligence, and 61% more likely to integrate MES with ERP,” said Matthew Littlefield, a manufacturing research analyst with the Aberdeen Group .“Additionally, 77% of best in class manufacturers utilize automated data collection for production, inventory, and quality data and are 67% more likely to provide this data to the necessary job roles for effective decision making.”

“The goal behind manufacturing intelligence is to share information with all your tools,” said Donaldson. “The data may be the same, but what changes is your role, your location, your department.

“Open standards are the key tie-in to achieve operational excellence,” Donaldson added. “Once you’re open, you’re not tied to any individual vendor.”

ICONICS will continue its Strategies for Operational Excellence series through June. For a complete list of sites, go to www.iconics.com/events/seminars07.asp.

For more on specific white papers on manufacturing intelligence, go to www.iconics.com/support/whitepapers.asp .

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security