In industrial plants, instruments have typically been connected via a Distributed Control System (DCS) a computerized control system for a process or plant usually with a large number of control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system, with centralized operator supervisory control.
For decades, process data historians have been collecting that data and storing it for long periods of time. The collected data previously served as the main source for plant and operations data analysis and enabled plant personnel and management to understand what was happening in the plant, and through that information and analysis, make decisions to improve the plant operations.
Historically, both the LIMS and DCS data sources provided the two main sources of plant information. Going forward, we see the CMMS as providing a third. A common scenario could be plant personnel asking about the maintenance record for a physical asset such as a boiler. The subject matter expert (SME) used the available plant information, determined the root-cause is a particular physical asset needs repairs and a deeper dive into the issue is required. If available information states that the repair was scheduled, the SME can focus attention elsewhere. Knowledge that the repair has been performed frequently in the past would also draw attention to a larger problem that needs to be addressed.
Most of the time this valuable repair history is contained in a CMMS that is either not accessible or user-friendly to the SME. Easily and accurately providing this information from the same decision support application already linked to the Historian and LIMS will provide immense value to the plant by connecting data and thus making decision making more informed.