For process manufacturing companies, it is a constant challenge to meet their customer’s product quality specifications, while operating as lean as possible. The latest trend is to use big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the production process. But for companies who have made the first steps on their path to digitalization, more data is not always better. A smart approach in gathering and using sensor-generated data is needed to continuously improve the production process while maximizing profitability.
SCADA systems are being used for decades now and were originally designed to collect data and monitor production processes. Since they generate such enormous amounts of data, historians were added to store this data. Initially, historians were used to fulfill regulatory requirements, such as generating reports for government agencies. Leading industrial companies recognized the data hidden in their historians could provide valuable information on plant processes and production, but accessing and utilizing the data could be very difficult. The reason for this is historians weren’t designed for “read” purposes or a two-way transfer of information.