Remote monitoring allows control engineers to access machine-to-machine data without limits of physical location. Remote monitoring is not a new or emerging technology, the proliferation of two major technology trends IoT and Big Data has enabled new heights of remote monitoring capabilities for manufacturing. As more discrete devices become networked and connected, control engineers can more fully harness the monitoring capabilities of processes. A major opportunity for efficiency lies in the modernization of control processes, phasing out outdated control systems that limit access to data and thereby serve as a hurdle for streamlining and optimization. By limiting access points to key data, outdated systems prevent control engineers from making real-time decisions that have the potential to improve operational efficiency and cost savings.
With IoT, data collectors and data access have expanded greatly for control engineers. By enabling the collection of complex data sets from a multitude of IoT devices, a manufacturing system becomes more fundamentally interconnected. Devices today have more information useful to engineers, and the level of integration can result in new capability and insight, with less infrastructure. Control engineers can now collect big data and use analytics to identify trends, and predict future outcomes within the manufacturing process, in addition to responding in real time.