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Copy data virtualisation for manufacturing
The ongoing digitisation of industrial production – industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) – ensures that more and more machines are networked. In the manufacturing industry production and storage systems are increasingly able to: exchange information automatically; initiate actions and control each other.
Harold van Graan, sales director, Actifio – copy data virtualisation specialists – says the aim is to improve processes not only in production but also to improve and accelerate development, construction and service, during the entire product life cycle.
Van Graan says the name of the game is “making data usable.”
“Networked machines and self-controlling production processes increase the competitiveness in the manufacturing industry – through increased efficiency, improved opportunities for customised individualisation and faster time-to-market. Through industry 4.0, new information relationships arise to connect ERP systems, databases, the Internet and real-time information from factories, supply chains and products. RFID, machine-to-machine communication and the IoT connect not only production and delivery processes but also generate a lot of data.
In order to facilitate communication of the ‘smart’ factory, huge amounts of data need to be retained. Also during production processes data constantly emerges. This avalanche of data should be faced not only with greater storage resources – in order to cost effectively save the data – but it is also important to make the data more usable. The potential benefits of big data is not only popular in the services sector but is also one of the biggest future challenges for the manufacturing sector,” he says.
He emphasises that in order to cope with the challenges posed by industry 4.0, but also to exploit the immense potential, manufacturing companies need to limber up their production and IT facilities. “It comes down to storage of large amounts of data, which can be accomplished in a reasonably budget-friendly manner by integrating cloud resources or storage optimisation. But even new storage technologies such as solid state drives (SSD) are not yet so cost-effective, that they could catch the progressive growth of data at a reasonable cost. The rapid analysis of data is becoming increasingly important but how can it be combined with cost-effective storage of large amounts of data and quick availability of individual data from the pool?”
He emphasises that few companies have taken the decisive step towards more efficient data management in the form of the creation of virtual copies of production data. “Thus they decouple the data from its underlying infrastructure. If companies reduce redundant data on a single physical golden copy of their production data, much less storage space is required. From this master copy countless virtual copies can be created as and when needed.
Getting insights: ROI
He says the sooner companies reduce the amount of their superfluous physical copies, the less time and money they will have to spend on their management and archiving and the sooner they can benefit from more efficient data analysis in the age of big data, Industry and 4.0 IoT.