Perspective: Empower engineers to help manage factories

By Thomas Dhollander, for

Apr 06, 2017

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Recent interest in Industry 4.0 analytics has accelerated digital transformation in process manufacturing. Many owner-operators have engaged in technology pilots to explore options for reducing costs, increasing overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) or regulatory compliance.

Despite this evolution, the adoption of advanced analytics tools still presents certain challenges. The extensive and complicated tooling landscape can be daunting, and many end users lack fundamental understanding of process data analytics. Combined with a lack of awareness of the practical benefits that analytics offer, this leaves many engineers stuck in day-to-day firefighting, using spreadsheets and basic trend analysis tools for the bulk of their daily analysis.

Instead of relying solely on a central analytics team that owns all the analytics expertise, subject matter experts such as process engineers should be empowered to answer their own day-to-day questions. Not only will this spread the benefits to the engineers involved in process management, it will also free the data scientists to focus on the most critical business issues.

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