Thursday, 1 October 2020
Digital Transformation or Just Control System Tuning?
Austmine Limited

Digital Transformation or Just Control System Tuning?

This was originally published by Yokogawa Australia.

Addressing Digital Transformation Hype

Author: David Walker, Chief Engineer, Yokogawa Australia and New Zealand

Introduction

There is no doubt that AI has the potential to transform process and manufacturing industries. AI and related technologies such as IoT, edge computing and cloud-based data platforms, have created performance and optimisation opportunities that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago. Condition monitoring, operations management, process optimisation and fault analysis are just some of the potential uses for AI, a field which is still evolving and yet to reveal its full potential.

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What has unfortunately been missed by new technology entrants spruiking AI is that many solutions to typical process problems have always been available through existing control system technologies. What  is now wrapped up in the language of AI and presented as new and innovative solutions, are often just solutions which have the means to be addressed through the technology already present on site. In many cases being approached using AI tools that are not always appropriate for the problem, delivered by companies who do not fully understand process and manufacturing, has the potential to add a degree of confusion which often does not solve the problem and in fact can lead you further from the source of the problem.

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While not looking to discredit the potential of AI, if used in ways which are not complementary to existing technology it runs the risk of  having a costly and negative outcome which can make people disillusioned and mistrustful of the new technology, blinding them to the real benefits available when used appropriately.

To read the full paper, click here.

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