Efficient Plant April 2021 - 12

feature | digital transformation

Sensor-driven data collection
plays a major role in assuring
consistent product quality.

12

ally capturing data. The common first step
is to recreate non-digital activity, such
as a lock-out-tag-out (LOTO)
process, safety walk, or safety
incident report, in a digital
format using a device that
transfers the information
to a cloud-based platform. This mobile/digital
combination improves
operational efficiency
and visibility.
For example, with
paper-based processes,
if a safety incident almost
occurs or if a near miss is
reported, it would be entered
into a database or system of
record. From there, the report
would be sent to a manager or compliance lead for review and assessment. This
individual or team would then need to perform a
root-cause analysis to understand how the event
occurred.
Because the underlying data was generated
by a worker who only wrote down what he/she
thought was necessary information, the management team often takes corrective actions based
on less-than-ideal input. There are also delays
throughout the process, including the inability
to quickly and easily share information, time
between the issue occurrence and when it is
reported to the team, the team gathering the
details and performing an analysis, and implementation of corrective actions. Meanwhile, the
unsafe actions or conditions that led to the event
persist for longer than they should.
Electronic data collection provides instant
access to a detailed digital record of exactly
what happened and when, along with comprehensive details needed to understand the chain
of events. Immediately following the incident,
on-site evidence and information can be promptly
captured on a single mobile device, including
photos and video interviews, all stored in a single,
fully auditable and readily available platform.

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

EP2104fparsable.indd 12

This ability to digitally capture and instantly share
evidence is much more reliable than handwritten
notes or, worse, someone's memory. Over time,
data-backed safety trends can be shared with
regional safety, compliance, and operations teams
to determine whether the event was an isolated
one or part of a broader safety issue.
This technology can also connect to existing
IoT sensors to capture that data alongside human
activity data. Reining in data from every output
helps to build a bigger and more accurate picture
of plant operations, which is critical to overall
strategic objectives such as digital transformation.

USING DATA
Once all of the data is available in one place, organizations can slice and dice the datasets to identify
variables that lead to different results. They can
also classify the data, which ultimately helps them
with better planning and decision making on the
plant floor.
When the data is already digital and instantly
available it's also much easier to use it, especially if
it's connected to dashboards. Dashboards can also
show trends that might otherwise go unnoticed to
the naked eye.
There are three key areas in which digitized
data and connected systems and workers can
make a significant difference in success or failure:
 Process pivots: Effectively connecting workflow
and machine data involves using pieces/sets of data
and pre-determined logic to prompt or trigger
a system change. For example, shifting a line to
produce a new product requires a changeover. To do
that, a team may need a quality-control specialist to
perform an inspection and ensure the machine and
line are free of possible contamination. A connected-worker system can empower a technician to
contact the right quality engineer, notify that person
of the task at hand, capture the data once the action
is completed, and inform appropriate personnel.
This enables more agility and speed when it comes
to product pivots or adjustments.
 Process maintenance: Person-to-system connectivity also proactively alerts teams to issues or
important pieces of information. For example, if

APRIL 2021

3/30/21 4:06 PM


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Efficient Plant April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant April 2021

Efficient Plant April 2021 - Cover1
Efficient Plant April 2021 - Cover2
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 1
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 2
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 3
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 4
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Efficient Plant April 2021 - 6
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 7
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 8
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 9
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 10
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 11
Efficient Plant April 2021 - 12
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Efficient Plant April 2021 - Cover3
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