Digitisation in a factory is the support to the company and the people in achieving its business goals, by means of electronic technologies and tools such as sensors, actuators, data repositories, analytics and smart systems which produce and operate with data.
But digitisation can have much more impact than with a traditional automation transformation. Automating a process allows a factory to reduce the manual labor, speed up the production and operate in parallel ways. Beyond all of the automation, digitisation provides instant insight into the activities. Every action and operation can be monitored, and recorded, every instrument or machine can produce and consume data coming from anywhere in the world. The ubiquity and connectivity are two other major elements widening the impact of digitisation.
Most factories find it difficult to get useful and valuable objective information about their operations, allowing them to get a better situational awareness, getting necessary information about the production, the production process and the various steps in the process or about the produced goods. Continuously measuring quality allows for reduced waste, satisfied customers and lower costs in repairs. Ensuring the continuity of the production allows for less downtime, improved safety and security, reduced costs of spare parts and optimising the repair and maintenance windows. Providing transparency to the customers allows for more trust, reliability and customer satisfaction.
Factory digitisation allows companies to optimise their production process on the basis of real data, more granular views and perspectives supporting different views on efficiency and effectivity. Real data allows for determination of critical performance indicators such as OEE, idle production time and real operation costs. Data from equipment operating allows us to get insight in its energy consumption. By means of digital controls, power can be cut and energy waste can be reduced.
FactorySense provides a compact and cost-sensitive approach to the challenges posed by Factory Digitisation. It requires guidance, insight, understanding technologies and tools, the potential impact on people and the organisation, the right choice on use cases and business cases and the hands-on experience of installations with other companies in the same and other sectors throughout Europe.
The Factory Digitisation uses a set of Industrial IoT devices, with integrated sensors that can be attached simple or advanced to an operational environment, without interrupting the existing service. Over time a more integrated approach can be conceived, but in order to allow for rapid demonstration, and improved alignment with the business.