In the “Collecting Reliable Data in an Unreliable World” webinar we review several common topics that Canary has found to cause problems and prevent clients’ efforts to collect data reliably. Areas covered in the webinar are communications, data replication and the accidental shutdown of computer systems.
When clients initially setup a system to collect process data, they begin by deploying and configuring the measurement devices or data tags. Once they are properly working, they move to the process of connecting them to their in-house network with the goal of capturing the data and storing it in a process historian. Sometimes they’ll get lucky and on the first try all the components will seamlessly connect and the process data will seamlessly be stored in the historian. However, more often than not there will be some challenges that present themselves and inhibit the data from successfully communicating from the measurement device to the historian.
When a device is connected to a network, that’s merely the beginning of the communications process; in this era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a device could be located halfway around the world from the data historian. Once connected and generating data, the path the data travels to the historian could be via satellite, cellular or VPN communications. It’s important that every measurement is stored in the process historian for long-term analysis, in some situations, it may be best to store that data locally in a site historian and periodically replicate, or mirror, the information to a central historian. In many processes an operator can intervene, often to the benefit of the process. However sometimes, they can inadvertently introduce unexpected variables. To improve the reliability of data collection there are several tactics that can be applied to “operator proof” the data collection process.