From the field to the control room, a manufacturing plant is a mountain of raw data. With countless monitoring devices dispersed throughout the plant, harvesting that data is no problem. Turning that data into the right decision, though, can be difficult. Wrong decisions can lead to downtime, and downtime means lost revenue. It’s easy to see how those decisions directly impact success in the manufacturing industries.
Faster, more accurate decisions
In today’s rapid business environment, operators must answer growing demand by making decisions faster and with more accuracy than ever— all while taking the necessary precautions to ensure plant safety. As the speed of production continues to increase across the globe, manufacturers need greater and faster access to the data within their plants. The way we at Honeywell Process Solutions see it, the winning strategy will not lie solely in information-gathering field devices or distributed control systems, but rather a complete solution geared around gathering, analyzing and delivering vital information to critical personnel throughout the plant.
Taking data, extracting knowledge and using it to make the correct decision is a process that must include advanced solutions, business applications, control systems and field devices working as a single unit—a true global enterprise. This complete system can funnel the most important data to the right people, whether it’s the control room operator, the facility manager or even a corporate executive.
Future solutions now
The latest advancements in industrial wireless technology are an example of how this globalenterprise strategy is possible. Innovative wireless solutions provide much-needed access to data in areas previously unreachable in the plant. This expands the process control network and improves safety, reliability and efficiency—the three key factors that can help plants avoid unexpected downtime.
Take an aging tank farm with 40-year-old wiring. Replacing that wiring with a wireless solution that includes temperature and pressure transmitters, flowmeters and other metering devices allows control room operators and field personnel to continuously extract data and monitor assets. Safety is improved as the system helps ensure that levels don’t overrun, asset monitoring applications allow operators to stay on top of equipment problems before they cause damage and the staff works more efficiently overall. You’ve just added value to an existing operation.
And that is only a basic example. Companies that expand wireless networks across entire facilities can tie in safety shutdown and security systems. They also can feed that information to advanced applications like MES. The result? Production schedules are planned more effectively, operators improve processes, maintenance staff is more efficient and—ultimately—profitability increases. The concepts of open systems and increased interoperability, therefore, play crucial roles in determining which manufacturers take the competitive lead in today’s market.
The overall solution results in improved equipment reliability and unit availability, higher sustainable capacity and more profitable yields. Meanwhile, more efficient operations, less maintenance, lower inventories and reduced quality giveaway drive production costs down.
With so many moving parts, it’s clear that the journey from data to decision cannot be made in an informational silo. It requires a bigger picture of the entire plant that only a complete global enterprise solution can provide.