Database Design and Integration
Historian Installation and Configuration
Reports and Dashboards
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Power BI
Visual Studio Applications
Ignition by Inductive Automation®
OSIsoft PI System
Rockwell Automation & GE Digital
Make Better Decisions
This high-level overview on Manufacturing Intelligence (MI) is intended for all persons involved in the data stream, including: Automation Engineers, Plant Managers, Data Analysts, and engineers involved in Continuous Improvements and EH & S.
Part 1 - What is Manufacturing Intelligence?
Part 2- Data Sources And Transactions For Manufacturing Intelligence
Part 3- Manufacturing Intelligence - Data Storage
Manufacturing Intelligence (MI) enables you to see the trends and improve outcomes with the power that data brings. It helps to answer the important questions:
The future of Manufacturing Intelligence is changing very rapidly and therefore, our team will need to adapt to these future technologies in order to offer our customers the best tools to do their jobs efficiently. Here are a few new technologies that will help us capture, analyze and display data in whole new ways.
For data logging and reporting applications it is optimal to have plenty of processing power, disk space, and memory. Our typical database solution is to use Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition on a Windows Server operating system, on a well provisioned Virtual Machine.
Calculating totals is common in control system and facility monitoring applications. Frequently this is accomplished using totalizers in devices such as PLCs or meters. Device totalizers are useful but can be difficult to incorporate into reporting since they may have unexpected resets.
If your control system software does not support email notifications and you would like notifications for alarms, events, and process excursions, here are two ideas for email notifications that can be implemented with commonly used database software.
A Data Historian is a type of time-series database designed to efficiently collect and store process data from a SCADA or automation system. The stored data can then be used to display trends of process data on charts, create reports, or perform data analysis.
Using a spreadsheet allows to easily capture the data, organize it by columns and rows, sort it by one or more columns and format it for easy viewing. However, as the complexity of the data increases and as more and more users need to access this data, the utility of using a spreadsheet becomes questionable.
Any task that includes the management of large amounts of data, repetitive entries or utilizes the same information in multiple places lends itself to developing software that can automate these activities. The benefits from a well designed and implemented application can include greatly improved productivity and quality.
The automation team asked Hallam-ICS to develop a modern Web Application to save the data into an SQL Database, keep it compatible with the existing SCADA application and add new features to it. The new application allowed the creation of rack and card templates to simplify the data entry and reduce the mistakes.
Hallam-ICS built a database driven web application that would allow users to enter data which was governed by business and database rules. In addition, the report that was manually created in a spreadsheet was now automatically generated which increased accuracy and efficiency.
An a manufacturing environment, there is frequently a need to report on very recent production data in a dashboard that displays “real-time” data. The data for the current day or previous day generally is the most frequently used and queried data.
No one wants to wait minutes for a control system batch report to run. When reports need to run fast, design choices must be used that focus on the needs of the end user and consumers of the data. The standard for report design is to base the report data on “a single version of the truth”.
There are many modern data visualization and data analytics tools used for manufacturing intelligence (MI). Some, such as Microsoft’s PowerBI, have advanced data visualization capabilities that make products such as Excel seem rather dated; yet, Excel continues to be widely used. To understand why, let’s look at some examples.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is part of the Microsoft Business Intelligence solution. Microsoft has been a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms for the past 8 years.
At Hallam-ICS we have deployed many virtualized Process Control Systems (PCS). These systems are scalable from a large enterprise system to a small manufacturing facility. It is interesting to see the level of interest from operations, maintenance and management staff as they are introduced to the ‘Visible Data’.
Our client needed a solution to collect and visualize energy usage data on equipment at multiple manufacturing sites. The objective was to get a better understanding of where energy is used, the associated costs, and gain insights into saving energy and money in the manufacturing process. In this case the energy mix was in the form of electricity, nitrogen, compressed air, and natural gas.
The engineering team and operations staff were looking for reports, key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboards that would assist them in their efforts to reduce machine downtime. The engineering team was also looking for a standardized and well documented solution that could be rolled out across multiple sites in a timely manner.
It was important that the data analysis results be traceable back to the originating data, so that the calculated results could easily be verified and trusted. It was critical that the report run fast and be available to users with newly processed results for all production lines.