Remote monitoring and data visualization
Remote monitoring and data visualization are key to improving overall manufacturing efficiency.
The cover story in this issue of AppliedAutomation examines the progression of remote monitoring and describes previously unobtainable benefits. The author writes, “The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one way smarter field devices are changing how users can be informed about remote conditions. As the cost of hardware has come down, more computing power can be deployed closer to the field, which means simple data monitoring can be enhanced with advanced analytics and displayed anywhere.”
The author tracks the progress of remote access from programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and human-machine interfaces (HMIs) through Ethernet, wi-fi, internet access and mobile data, then virtual private networks (VPNs), cloud connectivity and finally to edge processing. The author provides three applications as examples of how edge processing can enhance remote monitoring.
The other story in this issue explores ways organizations can create, store, move and retrieve data as well as ways to see, perceive and interpret it — in other words, data visualization. According to the author, three data visualization trends are increased cloud connectivity, integrated predictive maintenance and connected field service, and diversified user interfaces (UI). The author writes, “For data visualization specifically, cloud connectivity can provide the cost-effective ‘heavy lifting’ of processor-intensive analytics, compared to onsite alternatives, so users are able to visualize larger amounts of data from multiple sources to help expedite decision making.”
The author also provides examples of data visualization tools for predictive maintenance and different ways users interact with the data. The author writes, “Advances in technology have resulted in multiple different ways data can be accessed, viewed and even acted upon.” Some of these interactive visualization tools include smartphones, holographic machine interfaces, smartwatches and even Alexa.