Ecological Impact Through Data Harmonization

The manufacturing industry is one of the main contributors when it comes to energy and sustainability...

The manufacturing industry is one of the main contributors when it comes to energy and sustainability. While manufacturing consumes 1/3 of the world‘s energy and contributed to 1/5 of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 (Geospatial World & EPA), there is a clear trend to minimize the environmental footprint.

There are several ways to achieve this goal. One way is to drive digitalization. In fact, 96% of manufacturers report that digital technologies have improved their sustainability performance (IDC). Pilot projects have already been successfully implemented, ranging from remote maintenance to energy monitoring and optimization. However, real impact can only be achieved if these use-cases are rolled out in the entire enterprise.

So far, this is still very challenging. In fact, the comparability of environmentally relevant data from production processes is still a major problem due to the extreme asset heterogeneity (e.g., machines) in factories. Environmentally relevant data can be data that has a direct environmental reference (e.g., thresholds and measurements of emissions, energy consumption) as well as data that only has an indirect environmental reference (e.g. process and ambient temperature).

These only become environmentally relevant when combined and processed to put them into an ecological context. To enable processability of environmental data at scale, it is essential to establish enterprise-wide data standards into which data from production processes are transferred before the data is used and interpreted.

This step is called data harmonization and allows comparability regardless of the heterogeneity of factories. A very important step to scale the above use cases and achieve real impact. At i-flow, we enable manufacturers to do just that.

About the Author

Daniel Goldeband has years of experience in scaling data-driven use-cases in manufacturing companies. He is managing director of i-flow GmbH, which provides a no-code software for harmonizing data from heterogeneous factory systems according to enterprise-wide data standards.​ Contact:

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