GAMS preview: Using IIoT to unlock knowledge

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles.
By CFE Media August 26, 2016

The 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.

The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference, CFE Media asked panelists Rob McGreevy and Rich Carpenter to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles leading up to this year’s conference:

Rob McGreevy, vice president of operations, Schneider Electric. Courtesy: Schneider ElectricCFE Media: IIoT is supposed to unlock a lot of information on the plant floor. What is the untapped potential of data, and where should manufacturers look to implement it first?

Rob McGreevy: Manufacturers will likely continue to invest in more data collection technology—provided they have the ability to manage, govern and act upon that data. The "low hanging fruit," however, is extracting more intelligence from an increasing volume of high-fidelity data, to then convert it into intelligence for competitive advantage. Industry leaders are discovering that the Return on Investment from implementing a new analytics or predictive maintenance application can yield enormous returns from improved efficiency and greater equipment uptime. We understand that manufacturers shifting operations to harness the power of IIoT is unlikely to be as simple as flipping a switch.

This type of transition needs to be done gradually. It helps working with solution providers that are experienced in this type of transformation, and have the solutions and strategic partnerships in place to effectively close the business operations loop for you, at scale, as quickly or gradually as you need to.

Rich Carpenter, product general manager, GE Automation and Controls. Courtesy: GERich Carpenter: The first step of any IIoT strategy should be to get connected. Too often businesses jump three steps ahead with a desire to optimize without even the basic infrastructure in place to collect the data required for the optimization analytics.

Getting connected with a standard approach to getting device data, bringing it to a Big Data environment and organizing the data in the right context are all critical to moving to the next step.

Even if customers don’t know what they will do with the data, they should still get connected. Data has future value as analysis techniques improve and often one insight leads to a whole class of opportunities to pursue. Once assets are connected, simple analytics can go a long way.

The right cloud/edge infrastructure can make it possible to scale analytics not just within a plant but across all plants. So if simple analytics like Production Loss Analytics can be brought to all equipment across all plants quickly, this can have a measurable impact at the enterprise level.

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See additional coverage on IMTS 2016 and GAMS linked below.