As competitive pressures drive process manufacturers to run their processes more efficiently, a key area of focus is to improve the management of data from various sources. Better, more timely decisions come from better data.
I spoke with one of our Life Sciences/Food & Beverage industry senior manufacturing consultants and data management experts, Gary Silverman about this need to consolidate and migrate data. He cited several reasons for this:
- Updating a historian and/or operating system because it’s no longer supported by the original supplier
- Needing to consolidate data from multiple process automation system platforms and other data sources into a single enterprise historian
- Changing business needs requiring broader dissemination of information from the manufacturing process to plant and corporate personnel with web browser-based technologies.
This process of converting and consolidating data sources has historically been quite intensive and time consuming because of the diversity of data formats and the sheer amount of archived data typically seen. By analyzing the business processes and needs of the people accessing the data, our data management consultants determine what tools, reports, and utilities can be used to streamline this conversion process and provide the information required to those who need it.
One example Gary cited was a DeltaV system upgrade project where an AIM/Bile Historian with 9 years of process data collected from a PROVOX system needed to move to an OSIsoft PI historian. The finished solution collected data from the new DeltaV system, PROVOX and utilities programmable controllers. Emerson is an OSIsoft Platinum Partner as a provider of data management and integration services.
The data management team had developed automated tools and methods to extract the AIM tag database, create the PI tag database and migrate this vast amount of data. The team also built a Process Module Database to streamline the implementation of the OSIsoft RtPortal/WebParts technology. The Portal allows operators, aupervisors or engineers to quickly spot problems and then use ProcessBook and/or DataLink to drill down for in-depth analysis. The Portal also provides a central repository for Shift Logs, Operator Logs, etc.
Another key need was being able to perform batch-to-batch analysis with data from over 70 reactors and make comparisons of critical process parameters to discover any deviations from the best or “Golden Batch.” PI Batch configuration and the PI Batch Client Tools provided the customer with a means to do this. They were also able to monitor and improve cycle times as a result of this analysis. In the end the project achieved its objectives to modernize the existing technology disseminate information more broadly and provide critical data in Batch context for continuous improvement.
Given the high interest in having better information to help plants run more efficiently, I’ll be checking back with Gary and other data management experts from time to time.