Tackling the challenge of efficient data transfer
Articles • Central Innovation • 5 March 2018
A key challenge for today’s design and manufacturing businesses is the efficient management of data transfer between multiple systems. Typically these businesses have sought to identify the best, most cost-effective software tools for the tasks at hand, but as operational requirements evolve over time, the end result is a variety of different data sources and systems, effectively isolating essential information within ‘silos’.
Once this is the case, it becomes increasingly difficult to access a holistic view of the overall data. The short term solution of manual data transfer – pulling information from one system and putting it into another – is a high-risk one due to the obvious potential for human error, to say nothing of the time-consuming nature of such an onerous task. Even simple mistakes in data entry can lead to serious adverse effects such as loss of productivity and profit.
In tackling this issue, Central Innovation’s Systems Division identified the need for a solution which would seamlessly transfer data and associated information between multiple systems. In practical terms, this necessitates taking items, properties and data from one environment and then turning it into a format which can be manipulated and easily read by another environment – such as from CAD to ERP.
DataSuite, as the new interface is named, has been designed to connect information silos, reduce errors in data transfer and enable data systems to work seamlessly together. Businesses operating multiple data systems are becoming increasingly aware of the concerns around moving data manually – often they’re seeing these issues play out and the related risks are very apparent.
These include not only the margin for error but the lack of easy access to data, the disproportionate complexity of ensuring accuracy during transfer, and the extended delays in downstream processes that time-consuming manual data transfer can generate – leading to missed opportunities and reduced productivity.
With multiple IT systems such as ERP, CRM and Asset Management data typically has to be transferred across these platforms and that is an issue for many businesses.
For those businesses trying to work towards the Industry 4.0 standard, there’s a clear need to evolve past the old paradigm of departments and divisions working in isolation. The goal is the streamlining of processes and to have systems working together, not as silos.
With these key concerns foremost in mind, Central Innovation’s Systems Division set out to ensure DataSuite has the functionality to enable seamless data transfer. Data created in siloed environments can be transformed into a neutral format, or manipulated mid-flow into a format readable by a specific system as required.
The solution also provides real time monitoring of data flow status and the ability to review data, while specific custom ‘connectors’ are provided to facilitate transfer across particular systems. The solution also comes equipped with a PIOL (Production Information Orchestration Layer) – an advanced visual interface enabling the management of production information data – and a reports module with automated email alerts.
You can retain your existing workflows – they’ll simply be automated. Moving away from manual data entry to automated data transfer simply frees up your resources – being able to access the information you need faster enables you to reduce your decision-making timeframe, so you can take action more speedily and efficiently. The manual process of data transfer can be frustrating and time-consuming. There is a better alternative!