One of the greatest innovations in all computing this century is the pinch-to-zoom. Twenty years ago, touchscreen gestures were not much of a problem. Most touchscreens — we remember the old digital mall map kiosks back in the 1990s that always seemed broken — were limited to keyboard-like taps. But then came the smartphone revolution. Soon, multitouch gestures were all the craze. Surfing the internet on those little 3.5-inch screens demanded the ability to zoom. Surely there was a more elegant way to do so than using an icon of a magnifying glass with a plus or minus to be pecked away at. That’s when pinch-to-zoom came along. It’s so simple and ingenious. Admit it, at least once in your life you were looking at a photo print in a picture frame, and you reflexively wanted to (or physically tried to) pinch it to zoom in. That’s how ubiquitous pinch-to-zoom has become. But of all multitouch gestures — the taps, the scrolls, and the swipes — it’s pinch-to-zoom that’s embedded itself so deep into our psyches. Why? It’s because zooming in to and out of the data on our screens is indispensable to the experience.
The same applies to manufacturing processes across the supply chain. Most manufacturers have sensors gathering important data, but those sensors live across a myriad of systems. Systems that operate independent of one another, each trickling a stream of data that exists independently from every other system. It’s helpful, but not the interconnected symphony of operational intelligence that one would envision for such complex operations. Feeding all of those data streams into one big lake, and being able to see all of that data in the greater context — the zoomed-out view — is the holy grail of manufacturing.
Well, that’s what we mean when we talk about Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing
Manufacturers have accomplished data collection. Congratulations. But what they do with it is the next frontier. That’s where Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence, or EMI, comes into play.
Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence
EMI is the second stage of a Digital Manufacturing Transformation on the path to Industry 4.0. Whereas step one is collecting manufacturing data digitally, step two brings a more comprehensive vision to fruition. With EMI fully realized, all of a manufacturer’s data is standardized and available in one location, empowering manufacturing leaders, plant managers, process and data engineers and operators with alerts and notifications can bring problems to immediate attention.
Done right, EMI provides cross-silo single-pane-of-glass visibility to the supply chain. That’s easy access to operational data and factory conditions including insights into the pools of data that are usually otherwise impossible to view in one central location. The right EMI setup draws immense value from existing data, equipment, and historians to contextualize manufacturing data and deliver notifications based on limits that optimize process quality and yield.
The right EMI partner coordinates with manufacturers and their partners to centralize existing data streams from internet of things (IoT), industrial internet of things (IIoT), human-machine interfaces (HMIs), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), customer relationship management (CRM) software, manufacturing execution systems (MES), digitized manual data, and partner data all into one single location.
A good partner will also integrates on-premise gateways and connectors to centralize and securely send data to the cloud and do so without necessarily requiring any new hardware or software to be added to the existing environment.
The end result is that single-pane-of-glass visibility — a full view of all data on one screen at multiple locations.
Indeed, arriving at this level of sophistication is a point at which Industry 4.0 begins to feel tangible and real.
ThinkIQ Visualize is very similar to an EMI solution that moves companies past raw data collection and toward being able to explore, compare, and gain awareness of data with standardized metrics that bring wide visibility and context to digital bits.
ThinkIQ Visualize sources existing data from automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, IoT and IIoT, CRM, and other digital captures and includes an equipment model, process layout, trending, standardized dashboards, and basic limits and notifications.
The best news — ThinkIQ Visualize services are generally deployable in approximately six weeks, including creating instances, maturity models, equipment models, installing connectors, training, data quality assessment, and more.
Are you ready to finally begin reaping the benefits from all the data you’re collecting and step into the world of smart manufacturing? ThinkIQ delivers a zoomed-out Industry 4.0 single-pane-of-glass visibility to your operation quickly and without a requiring loads of expensive new hardware and software. Reach out to a ThinkIQ expert today to learn more. We also have a new selection guide eBook to help you better understand the questions you should be asking. Download your copy today.