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Batch Forensics by ECS Solutions


Batch Forensics by ECS Solutions

The term forensics refers to the application of scientific knowledge to problems, especially scientific analysis, and data analysis of physical evidence.  In a plant environment, data and scientific analysis can be the key to discovering opportunities to improve the automation solution that exists, forensic tools can be implemented in all phases of the life cycle of a system, but ideally, they should be considered during the design phase.

Perhaps opportunities to improve on the initial design are missed due to budget and time constraints. Maybe the implementation is difficult to understand, maintain, and improve, or commissioning was not as detailed as it could have been leaving untested scenarios. If any of these scenarios are the case, the overall performance of the systems will not be optimal, impacting the systems agility, throughput, quality, and sometimes the safety of the equipment, personnel, or product. Living with a subpar solution can have many hidden costs and remedying could lead to a huge return on investment (ROI).  Your key is: applying scientific principles and techniques through collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence and data – Introducing Batch Forensics by ECS Solutions!

Figure 1 – Process Ecosystem Dynamics

Batch Forensics focuses on evaluating the gaps and their remediation, in some cases the gaps are obvious and may be identified by operators complaining about the system. Sometimes, the gaps may be identified by the quality department, by the operations department, or even other groups. But sometimes, the opportunities for improvement are not obvious and may require analyzing data that may be available but may not be captured by the existent solution (dig deep).

For example, by digging deep and studying the gaps, the data may indicate that some control loops need tuning or indicate that the operators in a shift are taking longer than expected to perform manual tasks. Having this type of information is paramount to determine the best remediation opportunities.  Often end users have most of the required infrastructure to capture actionable information but do not know how. Others may be capturing this information but may not have the information analyzed and presented in a simple to understand format, thus making it indiscernible.

Other examples can be found in areas such as material receiving, inventory management, weighing and dispensing, material dosing, process control and strategies, finished product storage, and packaging. Automated as well as manual activities can be tracked electronically. Time series data as well as transactional procedural data, provide unambiguous information and analytics that provide a view of the reality of a process. Reporting this information in the correct, discernable format to the required audiences allows for an understanding of how the quality, quantity, cost, and risk can be improved.

Figure 2 – Actionable Information

The key is applying scientific principles and techniques through the collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence and data ECS Solutions engineers can help identify gaps and create a remediation plan or collaborate with the initial Automation design – Batch Forensics, by ECS Solutions!

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