Data logging can help your business boost efficiency and turnaround times in ways you probably haven’t imagined.
Data logging is the process of collecting and storing data over time and evaluating it to spot trends that could be used to aid a business. While this might sound like a strategy you’d find in the tech industry, the truth is that data logging can help businesses of all kinds boost efficiency and turnaround times.
“Intelligent Connectivity Operations Systems like ICONS offer production line managers real-time data that can be used to save energy, lower maintenance costs and improve output,” says John Smithey, connectivity manager at Quincy Compressor.
“Properly logging the demands of something like a compressed air system is a little like looking into a crystal ball,” he says. “By analyzing the trends and alarms, we can identify opportunities to optimize for fluctuations, see where performance suffers and even predict, or more importantly prevent, an unplanned shutdown. These insights are critical for businesses that rely on a steady supply of compressed air to serve their customers.”
Let’s look at some methods of logging data that could lead to more efficient production.
1. An Internet of Things (IoT) compatible app
If it’s necessary to retrieve source data from several sensors in the field, consider whether you could depend on a centralized app that works for Internet of Things (IoT)-linked gadgets.
Such an option could store and retrieve data from the Internet, allowing you to easily refer to the data and discover weak points. ThingSpeak is an open-source app that privately sends your data to the cloud.
Being able to depend on one IoT app instead of several allows you to view the data and build arguments based upon it faster than you otherwise might. It also means there is no need for the time-consuming process of switching between multiple interfaces.
2. A Data logger with a utility submeter
Staying on top of your energy usage with data logging and submetering is advantageous because it allows for making confident assessments without too much guesswork. For example, if your business decided to switch to ultra-efficient light bulbs in a certain part of a building, the submetering setup could tell you exactly how much energy gets used in that area versus one with regular bulbs.
It’s also helpful if someone in your department does not understand how greater visibility could help production levels in your business rise. You could use a separate system to show work output of your team members, then depend on the submeter to show how the well-lit segments are also energy-efficient.
3. USB port environmental monitors
The medical industry typically depends on temperature-sensitive data loggers to ensure consistent conditions in medicine storage areas, operating rooms and more. Many of these data loggers connect to USB ports on computers, allowing users to enjoy seamless information transfers.
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Some technologies even include warning systems that send alerts by email or to a smartphone. Those in-the-moment insights could equip people to take prompt action to prevent problems that might put people’s lives at risk or create uncomfortable working conditions for physicians, pharmacists and nurses.
4. Video-based data loggers
If your business is involved in something related to mechanical engineering, such as making improvements to high-performance cars, data loggers with attached video cameras could offer compiled data about lap times, position in space and more.
Many video-enhanced data loggers have multiple cameras, so you can gain lots of data during each test run rather than performing several attempts to get the required information.
5. Wireless data logging
Your business operations may require capturing data within harsh environments, such as inside a huge meat freezer to ensure the cooling technology you’re using is substantial enough to meet minimum requirements. There are also splash-proof meat thermometers that transmit data wirelessly and can tolerate wash-down cycles that prevent cross-contamination in a food service environment.
They include probes, allowing for easy insertion directly within the meat, so there’s no need to perform multiple readings to improve accuracy. Because the thermometers are very durable, they can endure long shifts without a risk of breakage or malfunctions.
6. Automated data logging
Inevitably, manual data captures could contain elements of bias. However, automated data logging, a practice often used in manufacturing, is accurate and timely, as well as unbiased.
It’s also possible to trigger error code-specific data logging, which occurs whenever a machine used within a production line stops because of a problem. If the managers of a manufacturing facility repeatedly deal with issues that slow down output speeds, automated data logging could help them reveal the culprits.
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Before choosing any one of these data logging methods, it’s a good idea to see if they include related capabilities such as the following:
- A self-monitoring feature to reduce labor needs
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Cloud-based storage
- A report generation capability
- Access to a corresponding mobile app
When you’re familiar with some of the available methods for data logging, such as these listed, plus you understand the components of a useful data logging system, it’ll be much easier to obtain genuinely useful details that help your business run more smoothly.