MAY-JUN 2017

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16 INTECH MAY/JUNE 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG Pragmatic exploitation of process data Path to operational gains O ne certainty is that manufacturing pro- cesses continue to get better at produc- ing data—primarily due to rapid cost reductions and improvements in data collection, communication, and storage technologies. The challenge, however, is that the ability to exploit this data for meaningful operational benefits is not keeping pace. There is real potential to use manufacturing data to improve process yields, asset perfor- mance optimization, and operational equipment efficiency, and to meet other needs. The problem is that most current data analysis approaches do not scale well: l They require large, upfront investments of time and money. l They rely on the availability of scarce expertise and well-organized data sets. l They are locked in single-purpose functionality. Figure 1. A flood of process data In many circumstances, the flood of data is actually making things worse by overwhelming in-place human-centric analysis mechanisms, or through distracting "big data" projects that By Greg Olsen, PhD

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