The right tool for the task: The advantages of plant-wide historians vs. relational databases for true process visibility
Achieving operational excellence requires you to collect and optimize vast amounts of data from across your operations for true process visualization. While relational databases (RDBs) have helped many manufacturers gain more information about their operations by supporting simple operator queries — answering questions such as "What customer ordered the largest shipment?"— they are rarely the best approach for vast amounts of process data collection and optimization.
On the other hand, plant-wide historians are built specifically for manufacturing and process data acquisition and presentation. They offer key advantages over RDBs — maximizing the power of time series data — and excel at answering questions that manufacturing typically needs to address real-time decisions in production such as "What was today's hourly unit production average compared to where it was a year ago or two years ago?"
This paper discusses the advantages of plant-wide historians over RDBs for data collection and time-series data optimization to enable true process visibility. There are critical capabilities that manufacturers need to consider that position plant-wide historians as a better option for leveraging raw data from sensors and other real-time systems to improve production for operational excellence.
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