Just as humans need to get a complete full-body check-up once every quarter to monitor their vitals, every company needs a monitoring system to take care of itself. In a nutshell, a monitoring system helps businesses continuously monitor their plant for any faults, reduce downtimes and increase productivity. Let us explore in depth the importance of monitoring systems and why manufacturers should use them.
What is a Monitoring System?
A monitoring system is a real-time software system that helps administrators monitor the efficiency of their production. A centralized monitoring system helps advise the operation of an entire plant in real-time, on the registered devices. You get notified of any errors that occur in real-time and consequently, can immediately take action to fix them.
Simply put, think of the monitoring system like a Fitbit. The Fitbit is actually a monitoring system for your body. It measures your water levels, fats, carbs, energy, weight, heart rate, steps, and it also notifies you when there’s something wrong. Similarly, a monitoring system in the manufacturing industry can monitor data from a variety of components ranging from one machine to an entire plant and can detect defects in real-time. A single device can do it all: monitor system faults, machine failures, downtimes, processing times, cycle times, part counts, production uptimes, overall equipment effectiveness, and reject ratios.
The Components of the System
We’ve broadly covered what a monitoring system is and what it monitors. Now, let’s elaborate on the many components of a monitoring system. Each component looks after different aspects of the plant. As such, distinct results are given for specific sections of said plant.
Any monitoring system is comprised of four main components: observation, analysis, action, and storage. The monitoring device collects data from the system being monitored (a single machine or the entire factory) and stores it in the storage section of the monitoring system. This data is collected, observed, and is accessible on a dashboard in real-time whenever the system is turned on. The data is then analyzed based on the tasks performed by the system under monitoring. The analyzed task creates real-time alerts for the detected faults. This triggers the action that needs to be taken according to the output of the task. The person linked to the system will be notified of the fault or trigger to allow them to take the required corrective action.
The Applications of a Monitoring System
With technological development occurring globally in all sectors, manufacturing industries are also advancing in the design and implementation of technologies. Many Industrial technologies are emerging to connect machines, robots, databases, and humans, including monitoring systems. To understand the various applications of monitoring systems, let’s first take a brief look at Industry 4.0.
4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution in which we simply digitize manufacturing. We are carrying forward the third industrial revolution along with the adoption of computers and automation to enhance the output with smart and autonomous systems powered by artificial intelligence, data, and machine learning.
Monitoring systems are a huge inseparable component of Industry 4.0. Needing machine operators and Engineers to monitor the system manually by walking around the plant is soon to become history. This is being replaced and led by industries built on lean manufacturing, continuous improvements, ERP (Enterprise resource planning), real-time production monitoring, and Industry 4.0. These advancements are achievable through applications like :
Take-Away for Manufacturers
Manufacturing monitoring systems provide many benefits to manufacturers. Not only do they improve overall process outcome and increase production capacity, but they also:
Thus, monitoring systems help manufacturing industries and manufacturers reduce waste and save time and money by improving the production throughput rate. The production throughput is improved by measuring KPIs and improving OEEs.
“Let our advance worrying become advanced thinking and advanced planning.” – Winston Churchill
So, instead of worrying about how to increase productivity, reduce downtime and automate industries, we should plan ahead and invest in a good monitoring system. This way, we can see the difference with our own eyes.
Industry 4.0 ̶ Improve OEE ̶ Think CLARIPROD