The Power of a Single Machine Data Point

Everyone talks about the IoT, IIoT, Big Data and “AI for manufacturing“. But, this means lots of machine data, right?

That data all has to go somewhere.

One of the most common questions we get at SensrTrx is, “Will our internet connection be able to handle all of the data we send to the cloud?”

(The answer is yes, you will see why).

There are so many misconceptions about what machine data you need to do something meaningful. Most companies today are not automatically collecting any data and they are using Excel and paper to collect data manually.

The reality is you can do a lot with a single machine data point and a tool designed to help you contextualize it, like SensrTrx.

A Common Scenario In Manufacturing

Let’s set up a scenario.

A company wants to reduce downtime and count cycles on some older equipment that does not have a PLC. They retrofit these old machines with wireless sensors from Banner Engineering to count each time the machine cycles. This single data point, a cycle for the machine, is sent to a contextual manufacturing analytics system each time it occurs.

Using this one data point we can track cycles on the machine; which can give us a part count. So far, with this one data point, we know how many cycles the machine performed and how much product is produced.

Automatic Downtime Detection

Let’s take this one step further.

Inside of manufacturing analytics tools, like SensrTrx, you can configure what we call a short stop.

This is a setting that allows manufacturers to automatically detect downtime if it does not see a signal for a certain percentage of the cycle time.

For example, if the cycle time of the part is 15 seconds per part and SensrTrx does not see a signal from the machine for 30 seconds, it will mark it as down.

This is a good start, now we can track cycles, part counts, and availability of the machine all from a single machine data point.

Prompt for Machine Downtime Reasons

But, we can do more.

When SensrTrx detects a shortstop it can prompt the operator to enter a downtime reason code.

They can do this with a simple touchscreen interface on a tablet or computer mounted next to the machine.

With this data, we have something really powerful we can track downtime with reason codes, which can help improve utilization. We can track cycles which will give us part counts and help us understand throughput and capacity.

And we can do all of this with a single machine data point.

A single machine data point is a great place to start

If you’re not using machine data this way, starting with single point and a single goal is the right place to begin.

Often, manufacturers will get jaded by all the people in the space talking about A.I. and the IIoT and feel like it is really hard to get started with any of that with where they’re currently at.

That’s why you start with something simple. See how it works, adapt your organization to looking at data this way, and understand how you get ROI out of these types of projects.

Questions, thoughts, opinions?