Whether for batch or continuous manufacturing, process monitoring and management are critical to efficient, high-yield production. With the different process-management environments ranging from initial feedstock acceptance to final packaging, chemical plants face major challenges to understanding the total process. Data is collected at each step of the production process, but all too often not well analyzed or made visible enough for useful decision support.
For over twenty five years Northwest Analytics has provided chemical manufacturers with the Manufacturing Intelligence (MI) and analytics they need for successful, world-class process management and improvement. NWA software enables plant systems to turn more data into information, make it more accessible and deliver role-specific reporting and visualization to all staff levels across individual plants, the enterprise, as well as the supply chain.
This enables the company to move from reactive to predictive process management to:
- Improve yield and reduce waste in feedstock, energy and facility time
- Support process improvement
- Benchmark plant performance and determine best practices
- Ensure supply-chain compliance
NWA MI solutions draw the process data directly from control systems, LIMS and plant floor data collection, pull data from operational and business systems to produce KPIs that accurately describe corporate performance, and deliver a unified view of the process.
Plant process data resides in many databases including process historians, LIMS and MES. Chemical companies often face the additional challenge of integrating data in multi-vendor environments. Most chemical companies have some history of acquiring plants with multiple generations of manufacturing systems from multiple vendors.
Because of that complex environment, an effective MI solution for the chemical industry is database agnostic, independent of manufacturing systems vendors, and reads all data with little or no IT overhead. Northwest Analytics has a proven track record of successful collaboration the major manufacturing-systems vendors and easy integration with major control systems.
NWA MI taps directly into multi-system environments, seamlessly accesses all relevant data, and aggregates the data into usable process views. This delivers decision support “standardization” in the absence of systems standardization with NWA dashboards and visualization become the primary user interface throughout the plant.
“The next level of productivity gains in manufacturing must be achieved through Manufacturing Intelligence”
Pierfrancesco Manenti, IDC Manufacturing Insights
MI uses process-based analytics to transform raw data into actionable information including KPI analysis. NWA provides a full suite of industry standard SPC and advanced analytics including EDA, multivariate SPC and stability prediction.
Good operational management needs both current process status and operational trends. NWA MI solutions provide full access to all data, present the data with meaningful context, enabling your staff to gather and share process knowledge to support good manufacturing decision making.
Accessible displays that incorporate analytics give meaning to the data. For over 25 years, NWA has incorporated user feedback to develop visualization that is information rich and easy to interpret with minimal training. Real-time display capabilities include:
- Role-based dashboards
- Plant-floor workstations
- Control room monitoring
- Plant-wide visibility
- Corporate oversight
- Supply-chain integration
- Collaboration frameworks
Plant operations management depends on real-time analytics and alerts so it can anticipate or catch process issues in a timely fashion. Good communication makes analytics and visualization accessible, shortens response times and enables proliferation of best practices.
NWA MI solutions communicate effectively at all three critical levels: across the plant, across the company and across the supply chain.
Across plant – Plant operators and technicians need real-time performance analytics to run the process. The engineers need the information to support six sigma and continuous process improvement programs. Supervisors and managers need oversight capability and everyone needs the analytics in a role specific report that is optimized for their job and gives them a dynamic understanding of their part of the process.
Across Company – Corporate engineering and management need process and business data analyzed to benchmark plant performance and determine best practices for company plants. Real-time alerts and reporting enable management to properly handle risk issues such as CAPA programs in FDA related production or potential environmental discharge violations which can lead to fines and other legal actions.
Across Supply Chain – Supply chain management depends on timely communication between vendor and customer. In vendor certification, the supplier must demonstrate process stability and the capability to produce product to specification. To meet supplier contracts and standards such as ISO 9001:2008, the manufacturer must provide the ongoing quality and process metrics required to fulfill contracts. NWA provides both client-server and web-based capabilities to cover all circumstances.
“He who has the best data wins. When questions arise, we have the support we need (with NWA) to back up our processes.”
Doug Smith, Chemist