Digital Data Recording, kick-starter for your transformation journey

Digitalization in today’s world is the most talked about topic in every industry conference and every leader says its critical for the future sustenance but still when it comes to implementing it, lots of if’s and but’s comes up and digitalization just stays as future goal. This is something that I have learned while I engaged with more than thousand manufacturers over the last few years.

Let’s understand what’s preventing digital adoption in plants to happen, especially in small & medium enterprises. Everyone says challenges are lack of digital skills, budgets, not seeing the RoI but if we think deeper, issue is that implementation of digital solution needs availability of real-time data, which in most of the plants is still not available. We all have heard data is the new oil and the reason we say this is because, data as oil is the fuel to run the engine of digitalization.

Real problem is how to get plant operations data made available to us in digital format, not in manual records. Manufacturers are finding it difficult to get the data from the machines due to either legacy equipment being used in the plant, or the machine OEM has blocked the access as manufacturer didn’t take that option while buying. Situation can also be that machine provides limited data which is not sufficient to do the Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Calculations

The data that workers record on logbooks is also not helpful as its dark data, which by definition is data that exists but cannot be used. There is huge amount of data points being recorded in plant every day but it stays just on paper. There is no way such vast amount of data can be analyzed by human to find insights. So, what’s the way out, how do we get started?

If there is any possibility of getting data directly from machine then absolutely that’s the best way and should be the first priority, but if it’s not possible due to some of the reasons I highlighted above then the options available to us are to use retrofit sensors, camera and most importantly get data from workers in digital format. We need a well thought plan for the transformation journey and kick-starter for that will always be building capabilities to have digital data, if that can be achieved rest everything will just follow.

Strategy for digital data involves bringing a balance to how different channels can be leveraged to acquire accurate, reliable data in real-time. Manual logbooks need to be discarded. Thankfully there are many simple, customizable applications have come-up that can be deployed on tabs or regular smartphone to record the daily operations data. If machines are not providing production data and retrofitting sensors is challenging then alternate ways can be explored to get information from supporting equipment. Leveraging cctv cameras that are already installed in plant area can be of help, which will also enable monitoring the compliance and worker productivity.

Digital data can bring in huge benefits, once we have operations data going to system directly without manual logging, multiple real-time reports and dashboards can be generated to bring in insights that can optimize processes, improve productivity and overall efficiency.

I personally have seen many large and small & medium enterprises implementing it and realizing the benefits even in short term. So why to wait, let’s get going on our digital journey and work towards generating data fuel for our digital engines. Benefits are huge, cost is nominal.

Let us know, If you need help in understanding how to go about in implementing digital data strategy in your plant. At digiXLT, we are passionate about guiding enterprises to build digital capabilities and adopt low cost and quick to deploy solutions through these standard methodologies, tools and frameworks. If you have questions on how to go about digitization write to us as

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