“Industry 4.0 is coming to your plant! If you don’t have Industry 4.0, you are falling behind! You are going to lose out!”
If you have been hearing these voices, you may be confused, and maybe even frightened. But you shouldn’t be.
At bottom, Industry 4.0 is about looking at your plant as data, not just hardware, instruments, tanks, and buildings. That’s pretty simple. But listening to all the hype generated by industry analysts, vendors, and others, you might think that Industry 4.0 is a huge elephant that is going to sit on you.
A wise person once said that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Understanding Industry 4.0 and its effects on your plant and your life is exactly the same. One bite at a time.
If you think that you have to implement all the potentials and all the goals of Industry 4.0 at once, you will be overwhelmed, and probably never start. Unfortunately, that won’t work because Industry 4.0’s effects on your plant and your career are very real. So, you are stuck trying to cope with it.
Let’s take one bite at the elephant, shall we?
One of the problems with looking at your plant as data is that it is really like a haystack made of data, and you’re looking for a few needles in it. You can dig for the needles haphazardly, or you can stop, and figure out what the needles are, and how you want to use them when you find them. Yes, Industry 4.0 is about data, but it is about data quality first and foremost.
Let’s say you are working in a refinery or chemical plant. You have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of instruments, valves, actuators, and controllers in the plant. Some of them have been working fine for many years, needing to be worked on only when the plant goes through a major refit. Some of them are always either broken, breaking, or being repaired. When your plant safety engineering team did its last Hazop (Hazard and Operability) analysis, some of your valves, actuators, and instruments were identified as “bad actors.” A bad actor is always out of spec, not working, or actually broken. They can be valves, instruments such as flow meters, pressure transmitters, or even analyzers like gas chromatographs or others.
Your plant is swimming in data. If you keep trying to keep track of all of it, you will go crazy. Your data haystack will overwhelm you. And, in a plant setting, you will need to have either plant-level or even enterprise-level projects to do all that data management. That’s costly, and requires approval from management, or even the Board of Directors.
Instead, what would happen if you identified the bad actors and concentrated your attention on them? Suppose you concentrated on valves and actuators that were always causing problems and impairing the performance of the plant?
You won’t have to go very far to find those needles in your data haystack, because you are working with that data all the time. The “bad actors” keep showing up over and over again, and they keep doing the same things. Control valve “bad actors” aren’t even always monitored.
What you are looking for is a way to keep the bad actors from failing randomly and causing upsets and shutdowns in the plant. How do you keep control valves from failure?
UReason’s new Control Valve App can do that. Because it is designed as an “app,” just like apps in Apple’s App Store or Google’s equivalent, it is simple and independent. You don’t need to have a major capital project to improve operation of “bad actor” control valves. You don’t need a huge engineering staff, or to shut down while you are re-working your control system. All you need is a simple app that does one thing very well. It monitors your control valves. Based on UReason’s extensive expertise on valves, actuators, and the processes they are being used on, UReason has created intelligent models that use both domain knowledge and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The output of the Control Valve App could vary from a PDF report (in Valve App Basic) to an online dashboard, or even a job order into your CMMS (in Valve App Premium).
Check out UReason’s Control Valve App and download the informational brochure.
Download Control Valve App brochure
Get more information about how Control Valve App can optimize your valve maintenance and operations