Every investment in a new IT system within your company involves opportunities and risks. The investment in a production data acquisition (PDA) system for your company can have far-reaching consequences. You must be aware of them. In addition to the direct investment costs for implementing the system, you must also be aware that the necessary resources required for this are available. Only if budget, resources, and responsibilities are clear, project success can is achievable.
The same applies to the introduction of a production data acquisition system (PDA). Many of the PDA systems on the market today bear high risks in terms of future security and flexibility, as they often end up being vendor dependent and using outdated technology. Although some of these systems still do justice to the status quo, in a few years, they will already be at the end of their product life cycle, as you will no longer be able to keep up with the rapid technological development. A further risk is the lack of interoperability with other systems, which means that many companies can quickly achieve success in the beginning. Still, after a while, they realize that they are heading for a dead end.
Five features that you should pay attention to when introducing a PDA system:
The goal of every technology and every software should have the goal of simplifying the user’s work and providing the best possible support. For this reason, the user-friendliness of the PDA system is a decisive factor. It is especially important to note that the user and his decision on whether to accept the system determine the success of the implementation. Only if the user interface is easy to understand and intuitive to use it supports the user in his daily work in the best possible way. An efficient user interface is crucial if you want to ensure that the data you collect from production is correct and highly detailed. And a valid database is the basis for making the right decisions.
If the PDC system you have purchased requires interfaces to hundreds of data services to put into operation, delays, and considerable additional costs arise before you even have a functional shop floor management system. Many vendors offer a functional shop floor management system but fail to provide fast & smooth implementation. It can often take many months before the system goes “go-live” and runs smoothly in productive operation. As a result, considerable resources are wasted and above all money.
A sound PDA system must be able to collect a large amount of data. Your primary focus should be, therefore, on data collection. Because a PDC system can only contribute to the desired success if all required data is available without errors, pay attention to what information can be processed at all. In the future, you may want the system to collect data on material usage, quality control processes, customer complaints, machine restrictions, and so on. You should ensure that your investment in a PDC system is made in a way that supports both your future and current needs.
The way you capture manufacturing data must be compatible with your existing business systems – typically your ERP system – including production planning and scheduling tools. A lack of interoperability with different ERP systems or other IT systems that need access to the captured data poses an enormous risk in terms of future and investment security and leads to data silos.