FactoryTalk Metrics Data Analysis

By: Alex Marcy on November 11, 2014
Tagged: FactoryTalk Metrics

After implementing your process model in FactoryTalk Metrics you want a way to access your performance data. Report Expert provides a quick and simple way to access the most common data used to assess plant performance with pre-configured reports capable of tracking your entire process or filtering down to any level of detail to answer your most important questions.


One of the main benefits of FactoryTalk Metrics is how quickly you can view actionable data from the system. Using the Report Expert package, in a matter of minutes you can have access to 69 pre-configured reports filterable by just about any metric you can imagine. These reports allow you to drill down to the finest level of detail on any piece of equipment to understand the exact causes for production losses at any point in time.

In addition to the out-of-the-box reports you have full access to modify the existing reports or create your own from scratch. Custom reports can also be used to display information from other systems you may be using, giving you even greater access to information across your entire organization.

These reports can also easily be auto-generated and sent out to key-personnel in your organization. No longer will you need to spend hours going through process logs, tracking incomplete records on downtime, and trying to understand notes from an operator on hour 7 of a graveyard shift to put together an Excel spreadsheet to calculate overall losses. You can instead show up at the beginning of your shift with a clear view of exactly what your process did the previous day.

Sorting all of your events by reason codes will give you the insight into what needs to be fixed and the exact impact those efforts will have on production. With this information in hand you can easily go from putting out fires to focus on continuous improvement.


In addition to reports you can display all of the data from your FactoryTalk Metrics system in FactoryTalk VantagePoint with less time to configure than it takes to make your morning coffee. If you have a process historian you can put process and Metrics data on one trend allowing you to understand exactly what your process was doing prior to any events. The power in this scenario lies in the ability to begin to notice issues long before they happen.

One real-world example from one of our customers is at a powder processing facility. They noticed the pumps used to move powder from drying to processing were shutting down on a regular basis causing large amounts of downtime. The issue was as the powder was pushed through the pipes sometimes it would start to clog and if left unchecked for the rest of the shift would cause blockages and the pumps to trip on over-current.

After understanding the cause of the issue and tracking when the equipment went down alongside real-time data, the engineer noticed that between 2 and 3 hours prior to the fan tripping off the amperage had a slight spike with a correlating pressure drop at the pipe exit shortly thereafter. This information was implemented as an event with automatic notification for maintenance to clear the blockage at the next break. This nearly eliminated this issue as a cause for downtime immediately increasing the plant's average production.

Business System Integration

If you have any systems elsewhere in your business you can easily integrate FactoryTalk Metrics information into their workflows. Maybe process downtime directly affects product quality testing schedules. You can notify your quality technicians of process upsets on particular product runs allowing them to schedule their time more effectively. Another example might be when product quality directly affects when shipments will go out and the shipping department can be immediately notified of delays so they can manage customer expectations as soon as necessary to maintain customer agreements.

Integrating with your business systems is likely more complicated than implementing FactoryTalk Metrics in the first place, however you can work with your IT staff or outside developers to access this data directly from the database. We have leveraged this capability for many of our customers with great success. All of the data is available for you to use and there is excellent documentation on how everything is laid out making it easy to access the information to provide value to your entire organization.

T-Minus Time to Success

Implementing the reporting and analysis tools for FactoryTalk Metrics is a very quick process. Using the pre-built reports in Report Expert gives you access to the most common pieces of information used to impact your bottom line. If something is not immediately available in the stock reports you can easily build your own custom reports.

Possibly the most important question you can answer is why wouldn't you want to have access to all of the information about your process? If you could increase capacity, reduce costs, and enable continuous improvement using the equipment you already have along with better information would that better your bottom line?

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