For most of its history, modern manufacturing has been reactive. By looking back at past performance over a range of issues such as production rates, defects, maintenance costs and a host of other performance metrics, managers have historically tried to predict the next step. And regardless as to whether those predictions were right or wrong, that backward-looking and reactive footing meant losses in the form of inefficiency for all those areas.
Even given basic equipment automation available in most manufacturing equipment in the last twenty years, production departments still had to gather, enter and pass on critical information to be combined with other inputs arriving throughout the factory. And that loss of time resulted in higher cost.
Until the arrival of Industry 4.0 and technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things, little could be done to reduce the length of the manual data chain to allow better decision making throughout the operation. Now, with IIoT and the concept of the connected factory, real-time monitoring has arrived. And with it, companies can capture that value and move from a reactive to a proactive state.
As one of the key benefits of the arrival of the connected factory, real-time monitoring has many benefits:
Today’s IIoT systems can offer a huge leap forward in production efficiency and reduced costs. And real-time monitoring is central to this capability. By combining AI, machine learning, deep analytics and a host of well-designed edge devices, sensors and software adaptors, these software platforms help move production from reactive to predictive to improve OEE, increase productivity and lower cost.