How To Democratize Digital Information in a Manufacturing Setting

cbeecher Industry 4.0

The democratization of digital information has been one of the central concepts associated with the Industry 4.0 movement in the manufacturing space. But what does that mean exactly? Including frontline workers on the factory floor is good example, however the barriers are not insignificant. Frontline workers are typically not educated or trained in the areas of data-mining, or the application of statistical analytics regarding the manufacturing processes they are a part of as they go to work each day. Yet they are expected to maintain good quality, keep the machinery running in a satisfactory manner, and achieve 100% of the production schedule each day!

With the digital capabilities currently available it is now possible to include frontline workers through a combination of good network connectivity, high speed computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). Frontline workers are uniquely positioned to have a major impact on preventing manufacturing defects from ever occurring. In terms of human capital, frontline workers conservatively outnumber the professional ranks by a factor of 10 to 1, and collectively have immediate access to just about every aspect of the day-to-day operations in most typical factories. How can the industry democratize, or more plainly, reach frontline workers with relevant digital information to empower and equip them to prevent defects from occurring? Remember this phrase; Proactive Control Messaging, or otherwise known as PCM.

It looks something like this. Install a software solution with enough artificial intelligence to identify and detect excessive variability anywhere in the manufacturing process threatening to disrupt production. Depending on how well-connected the production assets are to the digital network, a threat could be in the form of drifting part quality, or on the machine side in the form of unstable speeds and feeds, pressures, temperatures or amperage for example. Add to the detection of an emerging threat the ability to communicate the relevant details of whatever the threat is in real-time to the appropriate problem-solver, in this case the frontline worker responsible for the compromised operation. He or she makes the necessary adjustment bringing the characteristic posing the threat back to a state of control. The perfect blend of digital analytics, AI, and human intelligence! Proactive Control Messaging (PCM) is a powerful way to democratize your digital information and accelerate your journey of transforming digital information to profitability.