If you can visualize it, you can make it happen. Any great entrepreneur or storyteller will explain that an Academy Award-winning screenplay, global company or superbly-crafted product began with a simple thought or idea that was ultimately crafted into something bigger inside one’s head. It’s like they say in Field of Dreams… “If you build it, he will come” – in this case, “he” most likely being growth in your industry.
VISUALIZATION AND AUTOMATION: HOW THOUGHTS BECOME REALITIES
But in the world of manufacturing, the concept of visualization stems from something different – the ability to visualize processes. In other words, one can witness the operations of their business firsthand, and see what requires attention from a central point.
In a factory, for example, executives and managers can visualize the goings-on of their enterprises on a deeper level through the collection of sensor data. This information is displayed on screens in a visual format (usually through graphs and infographics), so managers can see everything that’s happening on factory grounds. It’s the most effective way to stay in the loop, and it’s all due in part to the growing technology of the IoT.
The Internet of Things is no longer someone’s fantasy or daydream, but a distinct point of where we’re headed in 2020. Futuristic concept is now becoming reality, as businesses will soon be able to accomplish more in a few months than what they could in an entire year. Information will be gathered at an alarming rate, and humans will see their world grow faster and stronger over time. The IoT will be responsible for faster production rates, company efficiency, and a solid global economy that we can all enjoy.
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
Automation comes through the enforcement of a master plan and witnessing it in action. Otherwise known as automatic control, automation encompasses the use of various control systems for operating machinery and factory processes. What’s the big clincher? Human necessity and intervention is almost fully diminished. The machines take over, while employees can sit back and enjoy the ride. The primary goal is to ensure “optimum levels of production” and protect any devices or equipment from operational errors. Maybe films like The Terminator weren’t as far off as people claimed…
WATCHING FROM THE SIDELINES
As mentioned before, visualization means being able to view operations firsthand. In other words, the chance to monitor business processes from a direct source. Users and executives seeking visual control of their companies are given a clear menu using images and visuals, hence the term visualization. Plants and factories are shown on PC screens through image forms like diagrams, where information regarding present conditions are offered. Mice and keyboards then allow access to the visualization. Multiple elements of each unit can be displayed or modified as necessary, and analog or binary signals (otherwise known as process data) are displayed as time diagrams.
Visual screens also feature fault lists, showing executives malfunctions and problems that require immediate attention. Issues are recorded in real-time, and thus receive quicker evaluations. Amongst the many advantages of the visualization and automation processes include swift problem localization, and permanent overviews of operating conditions.
The world of manufacturing is changing for the better, and like all great fixes in business, things began with a swirl of ideas, and their fruition is now coming full-circle. Over the next three years, we can expect companies from all over the world to become more efficient and connected. The products they’ll deliver will vary heavily in design, and arrive practically overnight through the capabilities of growing IoT-based technology.