Plant Insights

How to optimize Plant Process Management systems

October 30, 2020

The Industrial Internet of Things has brought increasing emphasis on interconnecting sensors and devices in manufacturing facilities.

How to optimize Plant Process Management systems

The Industrial Internet of Things has brought increasing emphasis on interconnecting sensors and devices in manufacturing facilities. Now applications utilizing cloud computing and AI are helping organizations leverage their IIoT infrastructure. This has help to move IIoT beyond the confines of IT to the shop floor, all to optimize efficiencies and productivity. 

Even though this transformation is happening rapidly, it is vital not to overlook the fact that manufacturing still needs people (my, hasn’t COVID proven this?). While IIoT enables faster and better reactions to operating conditions, even better trained staff are needed to understand and control these systems and to adapt them to changes more rapidly. Thus a “people-focused” IIoT enables industrial enterprises to harness true workforce know-how to maximize plant operations by increasing production efficiency which, most importantly, ensures employee safety.

The impact of plant process management on plant operations

Plant Process Management (PPM) systems help manage, monitor and optimize plants in addition to work activities, operations and production assets. They give a real-time view of work progress and track status of any incidents or outliers to routine operations. Current employees working in shift manufacturing need to be made aware of any issues that may have occurred in the previous shift, which isn’t always easy. Poor communication can directly impact safety, quality and productivity. 

PPM delivers on the requirements for all plant operations, regardless of the use of automation, IoT instrumentation, machine learning (ML) or predictive maintenance. Knowledge can be gained from any human contact point in a process. Consistent capture of team-to-team communication is critical, especially with changing work patterns due to working remotely or social distancing. For example, COVID-19 has put a strain on conducting safe operations but fortunately PPM is one solution that can safeguard manufacturers and further optimize their operations.

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