In this paper, we take a closer look at the most common, and not so common, sources of data that feed the decision processes in a digital manufacturing system. Data can take many forms. Historically, we have depended on data collected direct from equipment on the shop floor. Today, we need to think about how and where we can access data and other related information needed to make effective decisions to support manufacturing operations. Additionally, we explore some of the different concerns to be addressed for data collected direct from equipment on the shop floor and for data that has either been manipulated by software applications or retrieved from sources outside your business.
AMT is creating a series of white papers to provide practical information to its members and the industry at large, addressing the technologies that are important to the implementation of digital manufacturing solutions. This series of papers includes an overview document, “Overview of Digital Manufacturing: Data-Enabled Decision-Making,” supplemental documents providing deeper dives into key technologies, and use case documents exhibiting how these technologies have impacted individual manufacturing operations. This information will be useful to business managers, manufacturing professionals, and project managers in small- to medium-sized discrete parts manufacturing operations. In these documents, we explore digital manufacturing from the viewpoint of the manufacturing shop floor and the technologies utilized when deploying systems for the collection, management, and analysis of manufacturing information.