It is estimated that in 2020, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day. As data continues to proliferate at this unprecedented rate, it creates an incredible opportunity for industrial organizations to uplevel how they manage their operations.
At the same time, making the right data visible across an organization poses one of the most significant challenges for industrial operations. These organizations must first ensure that they are able to capture the right data, and then that this data is accurate, comprehensive, readily available, and easy to analyze. Given the complexity of most industrial operations, this can feel like an insurmountable task. But those that do succeed can expect reductions in unplanned downtime, increased efficiency, and improved compliance across their equipment and processes.
Read on to learn more about these benefits and how cloud-based SCADA systems can help provide visibility into the right data for your organization.
3 Benefits of Data Visibility for Industrial Operations
(1) Reduce unplanned downtime
It’s no secret that unplanned downtime leads to billions of dollars lost each year across a number of industries. But by using data to monitor for deviations in equipment performance, industrial operations can prevent equipment failures and reduce downtime. For example, technicians can analyze historical performance logs to identify common patterns between downtime events. This allows them to pinpoint leading indicators of failure across your operation and make process changes or adjust settings on equipment to prevent downtime events in the future.
(2) Increase efficiency and equipment lifespan
Full data visibility into your asset operations also allows you to create more effective maintenance plans that maximize the efficiency of your equipment. For example, with visibility of runtime data, you can schedule maintenance based on actual usage, rather than time-based schedules. This reduces the risk of overuse and makes it easier for technicians to keep equipment in prime operating condition at all times. This also reduces the number of large and expensive repairs and leads to longer equipment lifespans.
In addition to asset efficiency, visibility of equipment data also increases technician efficiency. With visibility into key operating parameters, a technician can get to the bottom of issues in far less time. This is especially true when technicians have remote visibility of data since they can ensure they have all the tools and parts necessary for any maintenance or repairs before they make a trip on-site.
(3) Streamline compliance and reporting
Industrial operations operate in highly regulated environments where risk management is key, and the cost of non-compliance is especially high for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions. With the responsibility of complying with various federal, state, regional, and local regulations, staying on top of standards of conduct and maintaining endless documentation for reporting and auditing can be extremely complicated.
By prioritizing data visibility and availability, you can eliminate the need to manually collate compliance data and save your team countless hours. In addition, when your team has visibility of important readings on things like emissions and environmental data, they can easily combine and break that data down into multiple reports that satisfy various compliance requirements in a fraction of the time.
How to improve data visibility across industrial operations
When it comes to data visibility, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems are the most common technology used across industrial operations, and with good reason. A well-designed SCADA system can be very effective at collecting data from industrial equipment and providing industrial operators with visibility and tools to manage their equipment and processes. However, for many companies the complexity of the traditional SCADA tech stack is a limiting factor. Multiple hardware and software components require a heavy integration lift and are complex to set up. This complexity means data is also typically siloed, restricted to a select group of individuals in a control room or on the plant floor.
By utilizing modern cloud-based SCADA software, industrial organizations can improve access to data across the business. These systems provide secure, remote access to unlimited users, and easy integration with business systems through APIs for improved decision making across your organization. And in addition to offering improved data access, cloud-based systems consolidate the traditionally complex SCADA architecture into just two components, a cloud connected controller and cloud-based software reducing both capex and opex costs.
Bringing data visibility to your organization through cloud-based SCADA software
When choosing a cloud-based SCADA system to integrate into your industrial operations, it is important to find a solution that:
- Allows for streamlined installation
- Easily integrates with legacy SCADA platforms
- Has an easy to use interface to improve visibility into operational performance
Companies like Samsara are focused on providing easy-to-use, cloud-based SCADA solutions to improve data visibility across industrial operations. By providing customers with unlimited data storage and real-time visibility of sensor readings, runtimes, and other data through the cloud, organizations using Samsara can avoid manually collecting data, and easily create custom reports and visualizations. Taking note of the complexity of existing legacy systems, Samsara controllers are also designed to be compatible across multiple automation protocols helping you break down legacy data silos.
Click here to learn more about how to bring full data visibility to your industrial operations with Samsara’s cloud-based SCADA system.