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Big Data: a potential source of great improvement within your company

Supplier: Freelance Robotics
20 May, 2019

Big Data is a term we use for the large quantity of data in an environment such as, for example, a factory.

This large amount of data signifies a source for continual improvement. To some, this enormous collection of data seems daunting or confusing – a little like mining, some people see only rock when others see a goldmine.

Data Mining
The key to harnessing Big Data is to implement an industrial PC with specific software to ‘mine’ the data, in other words to collect valuable points of information which, in the past has taken an immense amount of time to collaborate. We can then use this vital information to improve the systems and processes within the factory. This is called Data Mining.

To obtain a real vision of how a factory is behaving, we use a combination of work cells, production and management to establish real-time understanding of the health of the factory. Software has the ability to show you links between work cells, delivery and production, and can enable processes to all work together smoothly.

Some Data Mining Techniques

  • Classification.Look at similar elements causing quality issues for certain products.
  • Regression Read measured data over time, find out why processes worked well or not.
  • Attribute importance. Organise certain measures depending upon the impact on production, see the result of the cost per product compared to time of production, number of units produced and sold; itemise which products should be focused on long-term.
  • Anomaly detection. Identify parts wearing faster than others, find irregular production processes or an anomaly in the system.
  • Clustering. Group production processes per type, cluster sensor measurement by similarity. When manufacturing different products for different clients, the products may look quite different, however they may have common points. Automate the process, gain a clearer picture of what type of product has similar patterns, and therefore identify which batches may be good to run together, as they may have the same setup.
  • Association. Look at combined linked measurements that provide answers on the production process.
  • Feature extraction. Extract production knowledge from measurement patterns.


Big Data is all about connectivity – and in essence connectivity is the 4th Industrial Revolution which we are on the verge of right now. We are connecting machines together, exchanging data between computers and machinery automatically. Our environments (work and home) are becoming much smarter. By implementing an industrial PC within your business, the benefits far outweigh the initial setup and will help to lead your company straight into the 4th industrial revolution, to be ahead of the competition.

E-Manufacturing
The key to effective Data Mining (and therefore an effective company) is connectivity. Through connected networks, systems and machines, we have a much larger and clearer picture of how the company is running. This we call E-Manufacturing.

Consequently, E-Manufacturing saves time and money long-term by being able to instantly establish where a fault may lie within a process, instead of the old-fashioned and expensive way of looking at each process thoroughly to try to discover what’s happening. By analysing the past, software can record faults or downfalls, or show reoccurring problems, helping you to become very efficient. Software can also identify when machinery is due for maintenance. By knowing when tools or machinery will be having ‘down-time’, you can organise replacement machinery ahead of time, or you can schedule preventative maintenance so that the machinery is looked after and has a much longer lifespan. Either way, by Data Mining and utilising the key points of data with a powerful industrial PC, you are able to make informed decisions and preparations for the future. Let’s be proactive, not reactive.

Conclusion
Big Data is potentially a source of great improvement within your company. By Data Mining effectively with adequate software, you will gain a vast amount of knowledge to make informed decisions about your business. For example you could minimise product wastage, improve process speed and functionality or only manufacture product which you know will be used or sold, ideally costing less in manufacturing and warehousing fees. These points are only a few ways in which Data Mining has the potential to significantly benefit your company.

Freelance Robotics combines industrial knowledge with research and development, enabling us to implement a range of automated parts and software within your factory, giving you the competitive edge over other companies within your industry. We have the capability to effortlessly guide you into the 4th Industrial Revolution of connectivity.