In action: How OpenIOLabs can improve industrial automation

How can you seamlessly manage industrial automation? To optimise automation, for example in transport or manufacturing, you need accuracy, adaptability and ease of data management. If you can achieve these goals you can see logistical efficiencies, which could ultimately benefit output.

Interoperability is a key consideration here, as it will allow you to manage all hardware, software and data in one place. It is central to what OpenIOLabs can do. If you tackle the challenges of interoperability first you can more easily manage data analysis and hardware.

After interoperability, vendor neutrality is important. If equipment can be used together with a hardware translator then you aren’t tied to one particular brand or vendor. The capabilities provided by OpenIOLabs mean that it can translate any command or data from different equipment, and allows you to manage it using one interface.

These two elements are central to OpenIOLabs and the IO interface (IOI); let’s look at how they can specifically benefit an industrial environment:

Effective data management   

As technology becomes more advanced, so does the amount of data. This provides you with rich information about the operation of your factory or warehouse, but does lead to challenges in interpreting it.

For example, you are the operations manager for a soft drinks factory, meaning you need to have an overview of every machine that is involved in manufacture. Each machine reports data on output, performance, maintenance requirements and downtime, generating large volumes of data in different formats. The IOI takes the data from each machine, whatever language or format, and displays it together. The results are easy to interpret and one on platform. This saves you time and allows you to make decisions quicker based as you can access your data more easily.

Data protocol, standards and database structures are not an issue any longer. The OpenIOLabs interface allows you freedom to use many data sources, including those to manage sensors and diagnostic information.

Accuracy in maintenance forecasting

Reduce downtime by accessing maintenance data for every piece of equipment you are running. The IOI interface can be customised to show only the data you need to read, rather than you having to spend time finding what you need. Being able to see everything at once means you can quickly plan maintenance in order of urgency and in line with the resources you have.

Trust in governance and communication

If a single stream of data is used, rather than many sources in different formats, then communication and governance is made simpler. Known as a single information environment, it provides a single version of the truth.

Adaptability from vendor neutrality

Swap, remove or add equipment as demanded by your operations. The capabilities of OpenIOLabs delivers results ‘out of the box’ which reduces integration challenges. The IOI can monitor any machine and delivers ‘one day value’ – no need for historic data.

OpenIOLabs helps to you to focus on the most critical parts of the industrial process, without getting lost in integration challenges and data analysis. A wider but organised view of your operations allows you to optimise uptime, improve productivity and effectively allocate resources to the right areas at the right time.

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