If your manufacturing operation uses a data historian like the OSIsoft® PI System®
, you probably wonder how you ever managed without it. With the time series data from a historian, you get a clearer picture of production status, processes, equipment performance, traceability, quality control, and costs — data that would have taken hours of labor to assemble manually. With a data historian and just a few clicks, you have actionable insights that help you improve uptime, yield, product quality, efficiency, and profitability. Your operation can be more productive, your resources maximized, and your processes more predictable and repeatable.
There’s no doubt that the insights from a data historian are valuable, but there is one problem: the data is static. As the name implies, historians are designed to provide you with a history, a record of what happened in the past. But you can change that and use historian data in real time.
Unlocking a Data Historian
You may have heard the term “jailbreaking” in reference to customizing a smartphone. When you jailbreak a system, you unlock it so you can use it in new ways. Unlocking a data historian enables new functionality, such as using the data from the system for real-time computing and machine learning. Unlocking your PI System turns your historical database into a real-time analytics engine, maximizing the investment you’ve made in your historian solution by allowing you to:
Correlate data from new sensor types like streaming digital, audio, video, and 3D image with historical data for new insights
Increase efficiency by using both operational data and real-time sensor data to increase yield and energy efficiency
Provide predictive insights that allow you to anticipate equipment failures, maximize uptime, and lower repair costs
Translate operator expertise into analytic expressions and machine learning models without time-consuming and costly PLC reprogramming
Gain a deeper understanding of your operation and processes that you can leverage to enable better outcomes
Pinpoint safety risks so you can improve working conditions
Real-World Success Stories
Unlocking a data historian and using data in real time can create new revenue streams and help you solve challenges that limit your capabilities. These two use cases are prime examples:
Gas Turbine Manufacturing
Using data from a PI System in real time with edge IoT technology enables a gas turbine manufacturer to offer data-driven diagnostic services to energy and utility companies. Before using the new solution, a turbine failure could result in an operator taking hours to weeks to diagnose the issue.
Now, predictive modeling applications using machine learning and edge IoT with real-time historian data enable real-time diagnosis. More advanced solutions could anticipate when a failure is likely to occur and alert the operator to perform preventive maintenance.
Natural gas providers use flare stacks to manage emissions, monitor pressure surges, and track burn-off. To monitor flare stacks, workers have traditionally used video and audio sensors to watch and listen for signs that they need to take action. This process requires skilled workers — operational systems typically cannot use video or audio data streams, so people need to be a part of the equation. And because the data they have is often only historical, it’s difficult for operators to quickly respond to emissions, safety, or production issues based on flare activity.
Deep learning models can use time-series data sets from historians to learn and automatically assess flares, and edge IoT solutions can take action in real time.
Past & Present Data, Right Where You Need It
Informed decision-making is the most significant advantage of unlocking a data historian so you can stream data to an edge IoT or machine learning system. Using all data, past and present, will allow you to maintain a single version of the truth, which your operators and automated processes can use to make smart decisions quickly when the question is “What happens next?”
Your new, fast, accurate decision-making capabilities can also open up possibilities for new offerings like diagnostic or monitoring services that save your clients time and money — and build new revenue streams for your business.
Don’t limit the value you get from the data you collect by only creating a history. Maximize the value your data historian provides your business by streaming it throughout your operations in real time where it can benefit decision-making — and your overall operation — now.