MANUFACTURINGThe next 20% jump in efficiency
Use the data you have
When you have upgraded equipment and optimized your processes, how do you pull even greater value from production?
Economic uncertainty, global competition and stuttering growth have already caused manufacturers to look for efficiencies where they never had before. The next target? The data they already have.
Gathering the right information and acting upon it can result in a massive jump in yield, without changing inputs. Process data-based optimization represents the biggest jump in manufacturing efficiency since the Digital Revolution that began in the 1950s.
Eliminate issues, including those you never knew about
The enormous quantities of data that process industries generate go largely unrecorded and unharnessed. Throughput, pressure, resistance, chokepoints, delay—these are the vital statistics that hold the key to further efficiencies. The challenge is getting beyond overview-level quantitative information with process data collected from Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. And then turning that data into action.
The technology exists.
Route1 has built and implemented analytics-based systems that have enabled national manufacturers, including global auto parts manufacturers, to secure, capture, interpret and deliver process data in a format they can act on immediately.
Don’t move data
As soon as you move data, there is risk. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a great example of this. VPN is not a technology that has multi-factor authentication built in, so the validation of user identity is an added risk. Ostensibly secure, VPN functionality requires data and files to leave the network perimeter and travel to less secure computers or devices. If such devices are lost or stolen, you have a potential problem because of the sensitive data they contain.
“As soon as you move data, there is a risk.”
VPNs themselves are also vulnerable in several ways. VPNs are delicate: they can and do collapse under their own weight, as the coronavirus crisis showed us. At that time, multiple federal VPNs were not able to support a massive spike in number of users, and networks crashed. VPNs are also vulnerable: in January 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued a National Cyber Awareness System Alert regarding the vulnerability of over 14,000 VPN servers worldwide—the same vulnerability that allowed hackers to infiltrate and ransom Travelex systems around the world.
What data analytics can do for you
- Discover and quickly solve the hidden bottlenecks that you never knew about.
- Get to the bottom of previously impenetrable issues.
- Locate the exact inputs that are causing problems—and solve them.
Like to talk to one of our current national manufacturing clients?
Using your data to prioritize and predict
Let’s say that you have already installed PLCs or IIoT measurement devices on all of your line’s electrical inputs—likely thousands or tens of thousands of them. When one of those inputs acts outside of its defined parameters, you know that there’s an issue.
When you have created a ‘utility’ value for each input, you will know what to prioritize when multiple inputs are acting outside of parameters. For example, if it’s an input on a finishing cell that is misbehaving, it will most likely have a far greater impact on the line’s output than if an input was down on a feeder cell. This knowledge allows you to prioritize action with your scarce resources according to the highest utility, or business outcome.
“…aggregate data from thousands of inputs reveal patterns that can help you to prevent ‘bad things’ from happening. And to encourage good things to happen.”
The same input data allows you to predict problems before they happen: over time, aggregate data from thousands of inputs reveal patterns that can help you to prevent ‘bad things’ from happening. And to encourage good things to happen. For example, X number of inputs have a tendency to start doing Y if certain conditions occur. Those conditions could be environmental (humidity, temperature…), temporal (day of the week, third shift…) or something else.
This pattern-based knowledge allows you to identify, prioritize and carry out preventive maintenance and other actions at the optimal time—before you have a problem. The next step in this progression is Artificial Intelligence, where analytics actively learn from data and optimize processes on their own.
Redraw the boundaries of your capabilities
Tesla pushes software upgrades to owners’ vehicles throughout their lifecycle. As you drive, your car keeps getting better: faster, safer, more efficient. Wouldn’t you like to do the same with your business?
We start with manufacturers’ business challenges and solve them with custom solutions that create sustainable, valuable outcomes. With several technology patents under our belts, there isn’t much that our world-class software engineering team can’t do. You have a challenge, we’ll find a way through it. There’s no reason you should be limited to doing X. You can do Y and Z as well.
Implement military-grade security
According to IBM’s 2020 threat intelligence index1, cyber-targeting of industrial control system and similar operational technology assets has increased over 2000 per cent since 2018. Organized crime syndicates joined early solo actors; now state-sponsored teams are capable of planting backdoors or malware in the products you manufacture and ship to other countries. With the rapid adoption of IIoT in the manufacturing environment, risks are on the rise.
Route1 builds every manufacturing analytics solution with security as a first principle. That’s where our organization began and continues to excel: we invented data security and user authentication technologies that landed us patents in Canada and the U.S. and technology accreditations (ATOs) with the U.S. Department of Defense. From user authentication to securing data at rest, data in transit or data in use, we help businesses like yours achieve military-grade data security.
1IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020