News & Analysis

Japanese Firm Seeks to Digitize Plant Data

Japanese electrical engineering and software giant Yokogawa Electric Corporation is coming out with a low-cost solution that could help collect and analyze data from operations and maintenance activities undertaken by any plant to improve operational efficiencies and save time and cost overruns.

The SensPlus Note solution works on smartphones and gathers digital data from plant and machinery has been developed jointly by Yokogawa and MetaMoJi Corporation and would reside in the former’s OpreX operations and maintenance improvement suite of products, the company has said in a media statement.

Why Automation?

The solution, which is being launched worldwide on January 31, was developed by a joint team based on studies they conducted on processes and protocols that enterprises were following for their regular plant maintenance activities.

Manufacturers use a wide variety of equipment and devices in plants with each having a unique set of maintenance procedures as set out in manuals, check lists and other forms of documentation. It was found that field maintenance data was the critical element behind ensuring that these operations were performed correctly.

This becomes difficult as in most plans such information is written down on hardcopy which makes it difficult to be shared and analyzed in real time. It was to address this need that the two enterprises joined hands to develop SensPlus Note which combines Yokogawa’s plant operations expertise and MetaMoJi’s know-how in developing business applications.

SensPlus Note Features

The SensPlus Note solution consists of a data input application and a cloud platform. Data entered using this application is digitized and uploaded to a cloud server, where it can be analyzed using other software. The mobile application is based on MetaMoJi’s GEMBA Note, which is an advanced digital notebook that was developed to support maintenance at construction and manufacturing sites.

Data can be captured in multiple ways by the device. Text inputs using a pen or a keyboard, videos, still images and audio recordings can be added to the platform with links to a device management ledge. This saves time and gathers all data in one place that is required for analytics and keeping stakeholders abreast of what is happening in a real-time basis. This allows for real-time coordination between different divisions and checks and counter checks.

The data is then uploaded to a cloud server where it can be viewed and reviewed through a web portal or via the smartphone. Given that there is no limitation on the quantum of data that can be stored, the gadget and its apps ensure that preventive and predictive maintenance processes can be carried on in perpetuity. It also allows users to add applications for statistical analysis off-field and plant operational data and other operations to assist in identifying failure causes and improving work procedures.

The gadget would help enterprises communicate between control rooms and plans and between personnel at different plants in a seamless fashion besides ensuring that field personnel can get in touch with help desks of third-party equipment manufacturers.

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