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Three Benefits of Improved Visibility in Industrial Assets, Fleets and Processes

Assets, fleets and process integration provides far-reaching advantages. For instance, employees get a better situational awareness with modern HMIs, integrated fleet portals for industrial vehicles improve production flows, and globally uniform processes become possible.

Heterogeneous assets can be integrated with the help of APIs. Through industrial APIs, data can be pulled into modernized human-machine interfaces (HMI), cloud-based portals and analytics platforms. When this is done, great new possibilities open up. Among them are better production flows, more actionable visualization of the production process, and streamlined production even across geographies thus improving their industrial asset management.

“Overall, there is less need for manual work and less room for human error. This all saves costs and improves productivity,” says Kari Jussila, Director of Business Development at Etteplan’s Cloud and Applications Business Unit.

1. Better flow of information

Often, large manufacturing plants and their production lines suffer from a non-optimal flow of information. People in one building or one production line have no way of knowing what material the next phase in the production chain will need and how much. This leads to challenges in industrial manufacturing such as irregular gaps and glitches that break the physical flows.

“Such interruptions cost time and money. This can also increase the need for intermediate warehousing of materials, components, and semi-finished products,” Jussila explains.

A lot changes for the better with industrial equipment integration into fleet portals connected to the complete process: fewer delays, less guesswork, and less need for warehousing.

2. Easier problem fixing

Having HMI monitors in machines, production lines, and control rooms, allows human users a better visibility of production processes, a form of enterprise fleet management. This improves their situational awareness and productivity.

“HMIs can be made similar to web applications. That way, they can even be displayed in handheld mobile devices. This comes in very handy, if a user needs to move along a production line to find and fix a physical problem that the system has alerted about,” says Kari Jussila.

3. Globally uniform processes

Process integration also increases automation and produces globally uniform processes regardless of geography. This is made possible with edge computing and cloud-based systems.

“Local production operators can be confident that they know which settings bring best results and quality. However, if every operator has their own preferences, no matter how good they are, it may lead to harmful variation in efficiency and quality, and in the wear and tear of equipment”, Jussila says.