Manufacturing is a complicated industry; there are many, many solutions available to ensure every aspect of your business is producing and on-track. Take a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) solution for example. How does manufacturing analytics vs SCADA compare? How do the two work together? Let’s find out.
Note: There are many, many acronyms and seemingly random terms used in the manufacturing industry. To learn more, check out the glossary we developed and are continually adding to.
What is SCADA Manufacturing?
For those new to the industry, SCADA is a computer system that helps a vast number of industries – oil and gas, utilities such as electric, water, or sewage plants, and many others – control and monitor processes. You name it, you’ll find a manufacturing sector using a SCADA solution. (SCADA is not as common in discrete manufacturing, though, since it is not a process a computer can fully control because the lines aren’t automated.) SCADA is a broad system that uses data for “higher-level process supervisory management.”
But, SCADA falls short in explaining what is going right or wrong in a process, only concentrating on control and what’s not supposed to happen. In that gap of information, manufacturing analytics solves the problem. Developed to focus on productivity and understanding inefficiencies in your manufacturing process, manufacturing analytics collects quality data as products are made and use that data to give you productivity insights.
Can Manufacturing Analytics and SCADA Work Together?
The two, however, can work together to provide a better understanding of your manufacturing processes. If you already have a SCADA system, you already have the data we need to make a manufacturing analytics solution work, so in reality, it’s a win-win situation. That existing data makes implementation really easy.
Just because the two software can work together, it’s important to remember what benefits each can provide you. SCADA won’t focus on productivity and will solely focus on controlling the process. The data the SCADA system is collecting is in service of the product but lacks the productivity understanding. Cue a manufacturing analytics solution like SensrTrx. Using the data collected, it will transform the data into visual dashboards and scoreboards giving you the ability to know where bottlenecks occur, downtime exceeds standards or performance is down, and determine how to correct those problems.
What is the Benefit to Use SCADA and Manufacturing Analytics?
If you’re already using a SCADA system and you add SensrTrx to the mix, you’re gaining access to productivity data, too. Even if you’re in an environment where you’re making something controlled by a SCADA system, at some point, you have to package that product, and that is not typically managed by a SCADA system. SensrTrx can fill in the gap. The solution will gather data to explain how the plant is doing from a productivity perspective.
And if we’re being frank, there is really no downfall in using both software to improve the manufacturing process. In the long run, it will be more beneficial to you and your company to use both to cover all aspects of the process.
Can SensrTrx be Integrated to SCADA?
We touched on this in the last section, but yes, SensrTrx can be integrated with SCADA allowing you to cover all of your bases. In 99.9% of cases, you wouldn’t need anything additional to connect the two since SensrTrx can connect to the same database the SCADA system uses.
Since we’re on the topic, there is one other big difference we didn’t mention earlier. Technically, SensrTrx could be built on the SCADA platform. SensrTrx is a tool for creating visualizations from the data gathered and monitoring processes, not just data collection. SensrTrx is really an out of the box solution.
Can I Use Manufacturing Analytics by Itself?
Of course! But, keep in mind, that you will most likely need a way to collect all of the manufacturing data since a SCADA system isn’t already in place to do that. Typically, you would need some sort of controller on equipment to be able to collect that data and control it. At SensrTrx, we can definitely help get your machines connected to the software, but if you have a SCADA system already in place, there’s no reason not to use that already existing infrastructure.