We’ve seen data emerge as a key resource for businesses in the last decade, and the metals industry is no different. Whilst investment has been made into process control and optimization, the industry has for many years lagged behind the likes of banking and media in its adoption of new digital technologies.
The pace is picking up though – with innovations in analytics, mobile solutions and automation delivering significant gains. For us, the speed, simplicity and convenience of a metals analyzer enabling a member of staff to take thousands of readings in a working day, means we also need to adapt to keep pace.
McKinsey’s report on ‘unlocking the digital opportunity in the metals industry’ identified four key areas where data is going to play a big part for metal businesses:
Especially for a broad range of production and maintenance datasets, driving more than 50% of total gains from digital adoption. With our instruments, the metals industry can access their measurement data from their fleet of instruments around the factory floor, or across multiple sites any time of day or night; with results and reporting available on the cloud in real time.
This contributes another 20-30%of the total improvement opportunity by eliminating the need for human intervention in non-decision-making functions. We’re already seeing that cobots, 24/7 factory floors and cloud robots on the factory floor working alongside humans to further improve process control and stability. And our instruments are ready for this.
You can read more about this in our ‘The rise of the robots: three key trends we are seeing in metal manufacturing’ blog
It’s all about streamlining manufacturing, maintenance and back-office processes and connecting workers equipped with mobile devices to instructions and data at all times. Estimated EBITDTA gains could be as high as 20 -30%.
For us, the equipment itself is designed to operate is all about making industrial processes more efficient and as a result, increasing productivity by connecting and exchanging data, remote reporting and instrument diagnostics
It’s thought that more data has been created in the last decade than in the entire history of humans. An IBM study from 2017 highlighted that 90% of all the data in the world had been created in the previous two years.
One reason information rules in the metals industry is through its ability to make manufacturing quality assurance and control processes simpler and faster. However, whilst the quantity of data available is colossal, the question is how manufacturers turn this into something of value.
Whilst the vast majority of data collected goes into what is often referred to as the ‘data lake’, the data that is analysed can help manufacturers in a number of ways, including:
Regardless of the industry, every business needs data in order to thrive. It’s why we have specially designed software allowing a user to send, store and retrieve analysis results quickly and easily in a cloud-based service.
ExTOPE Connect from Hitachi is a cloud-based data storage application that automatically records and stores analysis results. From providing analytical data sheets to our customers, to compliance for ISO and other process-critical certifications, these measurements are essential for internal quality control, such as spotting trends across production lines or even entire manufacturing sites.
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