In industry, a number of different measurement and instrumentation & control systems coexist for processing data. These tools have developed into four specialised categories: supervisor, historizer, dataviz and data analytics. Which ones should managers choose to install? For what purposes? What are the expected benefits? Are they complementary? Read on for Blu.e’s pointers.
Use a Supervisor to steer your installation
1/ A supervisor is a data acquisition system and real-time remote reading device that provides a picture of the factory’s “health“ at any given point in time. Factory technicians can then use this picture to check that the processes are running smoothly and steer the installation.
Add a Historizer
2/ A historizer can store huge amounts of raw factory data recorded by the hour, minute, second or even millisecond… over years! In so doing, it compiles a “health record” of the factory.
Use the visual representation of the data and its subsequent analysis to fine-tune your installation’s operation
3/ Data visualisation, or dataviz, makes the data “talk” by presenting it in the form of two- or even three-dimensional graphs. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a graph is worth a hundred thousand data! Dataviz uses modern computers and software to format complex data into a simple, readily understandable form. For Energy Managers and other operational staff, it is an effective tool for understanding data and an invaluable decision aid.
4/ Data analytics is an approach aimed at improving understanding of the installation itself. It uses IT and Big Data to leverage statistical and operational research tools. With the help of this tool, operators and Energy Managers identify the influential variables and settings, and can then make informed management decisions.
These tools can operate independently in factories. However, certain energy management and optimisation platforms, such as the Blu.e pilot® solution, fulfil the complementary roles of data visualisation and data analysis as an aid to fine-tuning factory performance. A historizer, on the other hand, can underpin both of these functions. “It acts as an accelerator in continuous improvement projects because it supplies a body of data for the data visualisation and analytics building blocks,” says Matthieu Herwegh, solutions engineer at Blu.e, “but it is not a prerequisite.” A platform can operate without a historizer, providing it is connected sufficiently upstream to collect the necessary data. Some platforms, such as Blu.e’s, are even equipped with a historization function. “By combining different building blocks in the same platform, the tools enhance one another” points out Matthieu Herwegh. “One industrial partner told us that, with the blu.e pilot® graphic tools, he obtained the same analysis results for an incinerator in one hour as in one week with a spreadsheet program.”