From the outside looking in, manufacturing may seem like a pretty straightforward proposition. After all, the machinery does most of the work, while human input mainly involves adding material resources, facilitating the movement of materials from one phase of production to the next, and monitoring the whole operation to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Of course, baking a cake might look relatively simple when performed by a pro, but recipes can be extremely tricky to master. Those in the manufacturing industry know that there are a lot of moving parts in play, and even a simple miscalculation could result in a complete halt of work.
Monitoring, maintenance, data collection and analysis all play a role in ensuring that operations aren’t impeded and that wasteful practices can be caught and corrected. In other words, you have to keep track of your operations in order to ensure the utmost efficiency.
It is for this reason that many manufacturing businesses are making the move to cloud computing. Old-school methods of collecting, storing, and accessing data just can’t compare to the power and ease of use offered by the cloud. Here are a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you opt to use the cloud for the purposes of collecting manufacturing data.
Amount of Data Collected
These days, most machinery is computerized, making it a lot easier to program equipment and collect data about how machinery is operating. Where does that data go?
It could go into your own database, but considering how much time machines operate throughout a given work day and how many machines you have in operation, you might end up compiling huge amounts of data from day to day, much less month to month or year to year.
Storing this data could require a lot of hardware and software. Storing data in the cloud is appealing for a number of reasons, but the first is probably that most manufacturing businesses don’t want to spend the time or money setting up and maintaining appropriate storage on-site.
If your operation is experiencing delays or shut-downs, you need to know why as quickly as possible so that you can correct the problem and get back up and running. Every minute your operation is down means money out of your pocket.
Cloud computing not only collects real-time information through monitoring software designed to collect and cache data during operations, but it also allows for ease of access anywhere and at any time. Whether you spend most of your time on-site, you often work remotely, or your travel frequently for work, you can always use computers to access the manufacturing dashboards, or mobile devices to access cloud resources and see what is happening in your operation right now.
This gives you the information you need to make adjustments or repairs immediately, acting on time-sensitive data directly from the source – the machinery itself. The right software can also help you to pinpoint specific problems and take appropriate action. This, in turn, could help to increase efficiency, productivity, and profit.
Security is always a concern in data collection, and you might think that storing manufacturing data on-site is safer than uploading it to the cloud. This may have been true in the past, but not today. Cloud storage is just as secure as the average business network, and in some cases more secure.
Plus, with proper planning you’ll have backups in place, so if data is compromised in some way, it won’t completely shut down business operations. If you’re concerned, simply contact Scytec to see what security measures are in place. Due to economies of scale, you’ll likely find them more comprehensive and affordable than what you might implement on your own.
Cost is always a factor in business operations. While you will pay for cloud hosting services, including hardware, software, security, and perhaps monitoring services, you would almost certainly pay more for both products and labor involved if you hosted your own storage and performed maintenance and monitoring on-site.
Cloud services can not only spread costs across all of their clients, reducing expense for everyone, but they can eliminate the cost and hassle associated with hiring experts or allocating staff for the purposes of monitoring and maintenance. In other words, you’re likely to come out ahead on every front.