Smart Data Validation – 1

Anna Sawicka

Forms in Smart RDM – check how it will streamline your production

The Smart RDM platform is a tool that processes and provides data from automation systems.

One of the functionalities of Smart RDM are forms. They allow manual edition of data in OSIsoft PI, the creation of rankings, schedules, automatic generation, and distribution of reports. More details on these facilities you will find later in the text.  

Augment automatically acquired data and KPIs by manual edition, comments and enhancements 

To understand this better, let’s focus at the production process for a moment. Various assets and processes are great source of data: there is probably no doubt in anyone’s mind that it is one of the cornerstones of business and that collecting and analysing it, is necessary to make operational and strategic decisions. Systems such as OSIsoft PI collect and structure the data . However, there are various scenarios when the dataflow is interrupted and needs human intervention e.g., due to an OPC failure or hardware issues. Sometimes, the data itself is unreliable or only partially complete and needs to be corrected or augmented. 

In such situations, Smart RDM comes to the rescue – its Forms allow to manually complete missing data, edit existing data and verify quality of the automatically acquired data.  

The possibilities of data augmentation are very broad.  Both process (residing in PI Data Archive) and non-process data (residing in PI AF databases, Event Frames, Notifications and others) may be edited. The forms of Smart RDM platform support a variety of data types (numeric values, captions, dictionaries/drop-down lists) and all the data modifications are logged, which makes the functionality, unlike eg. Excel, suitable for auditing purposes. 

A good example that confirms the flexibility of Smart RDM forms in situations where automatic data extraction is impossible, is one of our manufacturing customer’s case.  Forms were implemented there for the manual input of quality control data. Quality data is non-processing data, and previously ‘functioned’ on sheets of paper and in Excel, making it difficult to analyse on an ongoing basis. Forms allow checking whether the quality parameters set at the beginning of production are maintained and whether the product does not “fall out” of standard. If so – machine settings can be changed based on this data.  

Manual data entry – what does it involve specifically? 

But what exactly does the term “manual data entry” mean? Should it be understood literally? Again, let us use an example. Wherever machines work, breakdowns and downtimes occur. To reduce the risk of breakdowns, it is necessary to analyse their rootcauses. For example, one common cause of failure is a broken chain. Suppose we give the machine operator a free hand to describe such a breakdown. He may write “chain breakage” as the cause, or perhaps “chain failure”, “broken chain” or “chain fault”. On top of that, let the typo or spelling mistake happen to him, and the data “on the fly” becomes inconsistent, making it challenging to analyse.  

With the forms in Smart RDM, we rule out the possibility of entering an erroneous description. How? A so-called drop-down list has been created, which considers the failure’s potential causes – the machine operator can select the description relevant to the event from the list. This ensures data consistency, facilitates data analysis, and increases the value of reports prepared on this basis.  

One of our clients, a leader in the energy industry, uses forms to report incidents on power blocks. If a malfunction occurs, the authorised user enters data on the cause (in the form of a comment: e.g., fuel leakage). It is also possible to fill in information about the loss caused by the block shutdown or the date and time the fault was resolved.   All such manually entered data is stored in PI System and combined with already existing automatic data resulting in powerful abilities of accurate reporting on every organizational level.

Part two is available at this link.

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