When it comes to operating a manufacturing process of any kind, everyone will agree that it is beneficial to have a lot of data. However, simply collecting and storing data does not, by itself, yield measurable benefits. In order to take full advantage of the data, it needs to be organized, archived and then made available in a variety of formats throughout a facility.


This is the function of a versatile and robust plant-wide information system , also referred to as a Plant Information Management System (PIMS)

3 Key Benefits of Plant Information Management Systems (PIMS)

Better-organized Production Data

Plant-wide data
The term “plant-wide” applies to an information system in two ways. The first function is that of collecting information from various data sources throughout the actual manufacturing process, including the administrative infrastructure around the plant. The information system will then condition and archive the data. Data conditioning refers to a variety of techniques that include, but are not limited to, averaging, filtering, correlating time stamps, creating combined calculated values, and aggregating raw data. The second application of the “plant-wide” term refers to the re-presentation of the conditioned data throughout the mill. While using a system like this may seem like an obvious idea, there are many facilities that fall far short of this ideal.

Better data through technology
Each department in a facility did indeed move forward. Digitizing and storing data reduced costs and increased efficiency at the departmental level. While this computerization increased the ability to share data between departments in some ways, a facility which relies on these marginally connected “data islands” is missing out on many of the benefits that can be realized with a plant-wide information capable of integrating data from all those sources.


More Efficient Troubleshooting of Quality Problems

Troubleshooting with a PIMS
With a plant-wide information management system in place, the MD strength data could be easily trended next to any number of upstream process variables. A good information system would have the ability to “time shift” the quality data, so that the drop in the strength number for the reels could be visually matched with changes in other process variables. Doing this, the machine operators would see that the drop in strength had started before the refining change was made.


Understanding Real-Time ROI

Comparing costs to process data
In a manufacturing facility, electrical, fuel and raw material costs originate in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. These costs are sometimes dynamic, and the ability to access those numbers is an important capability for a plant-wide information system. For instance, some facilities generate and sell electrical power as well as consume it. Having accurate real time cost data helps engineers and operators optimize fuel types, steam generation and electrical power flows to maximize profits.


Additionally, showing actual costs in process trends is a technique used to further operator involvement in optimizing a process. A steam vent of 10,000 lbs per hour may provide a convenient way to operate a given process for a period of time, but it comes at a cost.


Pushing process information

While the previous example apply to enhancing the operation of an actual production process, it is equally important that the vital metrics of the process be seamlessly returned to an ERP or other administrative software reasons. Modern manufacturing philosophy says that minimizing inventory is one way to reduce costs. As the period of time between the production and shipping of goods or product is reduced, it becomes increasingly important for the shipping planners to have real time information about manufacturing problems which might lead to the inability to meet an order. It is the role of a plant-wide information management system to make this interchange of data happen.


At Layer Five we offer you a process historian suitable to your specific needs and help you install and integrate them with your existing systems. Our strong expertise and knowledgebase in the oil & gas domain enables us to setup and implement historian in a way that generates timely, meaningful and action oriented reports. Additionally we also trains your operators and managers to understand the Historian usage and extract maximum benefits out of your investment.

Whether your operation justifies a full implementation with related infrastructure or shared infrastructure through cloud technologies, we are ready to meet your requirements and assure efficient asset monitoring through PIMS solutions.

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