Broken Promises: Data Historians, Control Systems, and Manufacturing Software

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Few in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) world would dispute the significant value that Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), and Data Historians can bring to a CPG in their manufacturing operation.

For the uninitiated, understanding how sensors and the aforementioned systems feed other software systems to bring value is challenging.  But, generally speaking, data historians are developed to pull data from various systems, often with the promise of forming the “complete context” of a manufacturing environment for a user. The data pulled can be processed and displayed in a variety of ways.

Even with this purported “complete context”, our partners continue to uncover frustrated users of data historians, and the manufacturing software that draws from these systems.

The root causes of their frustration are:

  • extremely long lead times to develop and implement the systems
  • never fully realizing the promised value of the system
  • large professional service charges and a cumbersome development process when making changes to the system
  • significant switching costs if things don’t go as planned
  • user experience issues that make system adoption difficult

Continuous improvement leads are the unfortunate lot, usually left to sort through a patchwork of technology and scrambled big-data, as they attempt to make sense of a machine and human based environment, with spreadsheets.

But, they’re finding a better way to build that “complete context”. Discrete, semi-automated systems can be dropped into operations for a period of time to gain a pointed understanding of an issue or process, or longer term to compliment existing systems.

In fact, discrete systems can be deployed alongside the aforementioned systems to inform future investments about integrated technology.

The cost of answering challenging questions about whether or not you should invest in new machinery, software and technology to leverage the data in your existing systems, can be dramatically decreased and informed with real data.

Those broken promises can be realized, within weeks, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it.

For more information on how SITEFLO is helping our customers realize the promise of some of their other software packages, contact us at info@xiplinx.com.