2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 30, 2014 1:38 PM by trsmith

    PI System Training - What is the best structure for a Corporation with many manufacturing facilities?


      We have been using PI in our manufacturing facilties for many years.  And, as we expanded each new facility would install a new PI Server.  So, we were all slightly different in how we did things.  Now the move is to standardize and start moving closer together so we can compare data across plants making similar products.  Sound familiar?  Of course this is very difficult when you've been using PI for a long time and things are very ingrained in the culture.  None the less, the questions are being asked as to what would be the best overall Corporate PI structure?  For example, would it be better to have one big PI Server that serviced all of the facilities, or maybe just narrow it down to several instead of one in each plant?  Would that gain us anything?  Would it hurt performance? etc etc...  Are there any classes or course that I can take to talk about these things specifically?  I need to get much more educated on the pros and cons of the different setups.  Thanks

        • Re: PI System Training - What is the best structure for a Corporation with many manufacturing facilities?
          Roger Palmen

          Well, i do not think there is a golden bullet.


          Some companies like Shell are consolidating into a single PI server for all facilities on a single continent, where others just don't have reasons to do so.


          First i'd have a look at what you gain and what you need to achieve that gain?


          Can you share information better across facilities? Is using a single PI server the best way to achieve that? Upload data to a corporate PI server (e.g. using PI Cloud Connect) for enterprise reporting?


          So look at the function of the system, and then the requirements should become more clear.

            • Re: PI System Training - What is the best structure for a Corporation with many manufacturing facilities?



              Thanks for your response.  I wish there was a golden bullet, but I realize that there's not.  One thing I've realized, everyone says that they want data.  But, when you pin them down with the question of "what exact data do you want to see?", they can't even tell you.  Of all the data we provide probably only 10% of it is being used.  Managers sit in meetings and say that we need to have more collaboration, and we need to be sharing and comparing more data across facilities.  Before we can do that, all of the plants are going to have to be onboard and a lot of stars are going to have to align.  It would have to be a very coordinated effort.  Some facilities do not keep their PI system up to date.  We have a few that have not upgraded to PI 2010.


              At this point I don't really know what kind of gain that we are looking to achieve.  In some ways, anything would be better than what we are doing now.  I guess I am looking for the structure that has the most potential gain for company and the one with the clearest route.  Sometimes easier is better.  


              So, at this point, I am looking for someone's opinion that knows and has seen a lot more in the PI World than I have.  Comparing two systems, one with multiple servers and one with a single server, can you share information better across facilites using a single PI Server?  What kind of latency/performance difference is there?  I know there is no clear answer that works for all, but has there been any analysis on this topic, and if so, what were the findings.