Machines that need much energy at certain points in time. Production stages in which errors occur repeatedly. Air conditioning situations at the workplace that need additional energy or cooling or heating. Processes in the interrelationships of a plant the lead to bottlenecks. Anyone who needs data for analyses and optimization strategies must be able to rely on the quality of these. However they should also be sure that the data collected once in different processes of optimization can be used equally well and meaningfully. This requires a professional design concept and appropriate tools. Ideally plant data collection software that is integrated into the system in such a way that comprehensive handling of the data is supported.
HMI: A perfect data source
HMIs are perfect sources for receiving the necessary data for current status and longer sequences. They allow machine operators to filter, sort and export data. The HMI should ideally offer the possibility to add comments. This allows current error reports and the possible causes, for example, to be linked.
However, at the same time, the HMI software must ensure that data from users cannot be amended. Any intervention by a user must also be able to be recorded. Only this way can the validity of the data be secured at the source.
Mobile data collection: Makes plant data collection more flexible, personal and up-to-date
Mobile logging devices are increasingly gaining in significance for plant data collection. It is often also suitable as a perfect alternative for situations where data laboriously needs to be collected from media and data or if subsequent entries are necessary. This also means that computers that process plant data that has been collected must be able to communicate directly with the mobile devices and be able to understand and process the respective data. The plant data collection software must support communication between the mobile devices of different systems.
SCADA: Collect, process and use plant data comprehensively
If the data from all sources, from HMI through information from software or manual entries, is stored centrally in a SCADA system, the operator of the equipment benefits in many different ways. Well-integrated SCADA software should be in a position to combine data from very different sources, to process this and to also forward it to other systems.
Firstly they receive, if configured correctly and the system is powerful enough, finished reports at the press of a button, which they can use in various forms. Secondly, the equipment can react automatically to pre-defined situations.
In energy management, for example, the SCADA system can automatically disconnect power- consuming devices from the mains or activate additional sources of energy if the interpretation of the operating data in the energy management system indicates the threat of a load peak. Or in quality management, it is possible to trigger an alarm if a lot appears to be defective.
Modern SCADA software can take on a central role in the handling of plant data within the company.
Aggregation, processing, reporting: The pinnacle of optimization
The raw data collected from the plant is generally processed on special computers with their own software, aggregated and then forwarded as evaluations. The success with which the data collected can be used depends on the quality of the plant data collection systems and the software used.
However plant data collection systems can also be identical to other systems, such as a SCADA system with integrated reporting. This provides a range of advantages: Most of all there is one less interface. Also, if it is a matter of energy management, the necessary consequences from the plant data collection can be implemented directly by the SCADA system.
SCADA systems that support modern reporting provide the company with other benefits. Reports can generally be created quickly and with different data – both real time and historical, including comparative – and immediately sent to the defined recipients.
Anyone who uses all the opportunities of modern plant data collection, from direct data from machines and controllers through mobile data recording and comprehensive processing in the SCADA system to flexible reporting, has the best chance of discovering optimization potential in the company and using it consistently.