Podcast: Don’t let data issues disrupt your digital transformation

Podcast: Don’t let data issues disrupt your digital transformation

March 26, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Craig Resnick and Marcel van Helten share tips on how to overcome information overload at your facility.

Craig Resnick is vice president of consulting for ARC Advisory Group. As a primary analyst for many of ARC’s automation supplier and financial services clients, Craig’s focus areas include production management, OEE, HMI software, automation platforms, and embedded systems. Marcel van Helten is president of Red Lion Controls, a company that creates innovative technologies to access, connect, and visualize industrial data. Marcel has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, planning, execution, and leading of technology businesses. Craig and Marcel recently spoke with Smart Industry managing editor Scott Achelpohl about common challenges business owners face when their teams access data platforms and the easiest ways to navigate the overwhelming amount of information that these platforms provide. 

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

SI: Would you agree that data is the most significant challenge for a manufacturer looking to advance in its digital transformation journey, whether it's, for example, automating a factory or making use of AI, or trying to establish a predictive maintenance program?

CR: There's absolutely no question, Scott. Think of it like this. If you don't have power, you can't power your home, you can't power an office building. You can't drive a vehicle without either fuel or, you know, obviously a charged battery. Data is what makes the world go round. But what if the data is not available? If the data is not correct or if the data is not helpful to you, it doesn't really matter. You can't go forward with your digital transformation journey. You can't achieve what we like to say at ARC is a single version of the truth. You're not going to have access to the information or the data that you need to give you the information or give your machines the information to make the decisions that need to be made to help operate any sort of business.

I mean, think of it. In this world, people are able to add a wide variety of sensors to a variety of assets, let's say rotating assets for example, to do things such as asset management as part of IoT. But for you to be able to calculate if that asset is, you know, running, or how it is performing, you need data. If you don't have the right data, aren’t getting it from the right places, aren’t doing the right level of analytics on that data, and don’t have the analytics tools to be able to convert that data into meaningful information that other machines or people can use to make the right decision because it's being presented to the machine and presented to the person in that appropriate manner, you can't do things like preventative maintenance. You can't try to eliminate unscheduled downtime. You can't do artificial intelligence if you don't have the right data to be able to put together the right algorithms to make the right decisions. So ultimately, if you have no data, you have no fuel. I know sometimes people like to use that analogy that, you know, data is the energy of today. It’s a valuable commodity. When companies are purchasing companies, for example, what's the biggest asset they're looking to purchase? It’s the data.

About the Author

Scott Achelpohl

Scott Achelpohl is the managing editor of Smart Industry. He has spent stints in business-to-business journalism covering U.S. trucking and transportation for FleetOwner, a sister website and magazine of SI’s at Endeavor Business Media, and branches of the U.S. military for Navy League of the United States. He's a graduate of the University of Kansas and the William Allen White School of Journalism with many years of media experience inside and outside B2B journalism.

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