What Is Digital Transformation And Why Is It Important?

You have heard the term before and have probably been urged to explore it. But what is digital transformation within a plant and why is it important? How does it help your operation and what are some steps towards this transition? 

So what is digital transformation? Simply put, it is the process of moving from analog processes to digital processes, incorporating today’s technology to produce a more efficient operation. 

Why is it important? Upgrading, if you will, provides clearer insight into daily plant operations giving you the data you need to make smarter decisions. The result is overwhelmingly positive with higher throughputs and an overall safer environment for your team.

It’s A Common Need

I speak with plant managers everyday that are searching to improve their plants overall efficiency and safety. They are motivated to make necessary changes in order to be better. The need to utilize the data collected daily is a strong motivator to incorporate a digital system. Operators are collecting information throughout each day but in most cases this data is never looked at again or is difficult to decipher or trend. It ends up being ignored and therefore a waste of time for the operators. This also can be a drag on morale when team members know their efforts are in vain. Just done “because we are required to”. 

Utilization of digital logbooks is one strong move to digital transformation within operations. It speeds up the data collection process and even makes it more manageable. Notes can be collected either in the control room environment or out in the field with the use of mobile phones and tablets. Images can be captured when inspections and rounds are taken. Notifications can be sent out to the appropriate team members when out-of-range data is recorded. 

Managing and Measuring

I grew up hearing that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. That has been proven over and over again in various industries. Also, collecting data and measuring data are two different things. I encounter so many teams that tell me that they record their rounds everyday on their paper forms and then they file them away, never to be looked at again. So what good is this? A digital logging system like LogBook will allow you to build reports from the data collected so you can actually measure the data to help you make better decisions and manage your plant better.

One great benefit with going digital is the ability to trend your data. Digital logging systems like LogBook allow you to take data points collected from readings, inspections, and rounds and chart them over time. This provides a clearer picture of what is happening within the operation. Your team can now see how pressures, temperatures, voltages, etc. change in relation to other data points. These tools are vital for predictive maintenance saving time and money for the future. 

Operational Awareness

You’ve heard the term and know that it is important but do you have mechanisms in place to ensure that you and your team have the best situational awareness possible? Safety is important to me. I want to know my team is safe and feels safe so they can execute their jobs without fear of danger. Awareness is critical to creating a safe working environment. Digital systems can provide alerts and notifications for managers, supervisors and operators to help keep them in the know and aware of potential hazards and changes within the operation. 

In practical use, teams can create alert triggers within LogBook that can send out emails when out of range or abnormal data is captured during daily rounds or inspections. This real time communication enables faster response times to address plant issues and mitigate risks.

Common Myths about Digital Transformation

It Will Cost Too Much

I hear this frequently. Switching to a digital system for logging is a very cost effective way to begin your digital transformation. A system like LogBook is affordable and once utilized will help you better manage data revealing opportunities to prevent equipment failure and increase productivity. 

It Will Take Forever To Implement

So how long does it take to merge to digital? Days, Months, Years? The truth is a system like LogBook can be implemented immediately. A typical implementation schedule can be between 7 to 10 working days. Some operations may require more time due to the complexity of their data and collection processes. 

We Can Put It Off

There is no time like the present. Putting off what you know needs to be done only adds more stress. The gains far outweigh the losses when switching to digital. 

Thinking about transforming your operation? We would love to help you on your journey! Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how LogBook can help your operation become safer and more efficient.