3 Benefits of Collecting and Analyzing Machine Data

Edge Computing-Collect and analzye machine data Large

Collecting and analyzing machine data on the factory floor is a common practice for many companies today, especially as organizations move towards Industry 4.0. Edge Computing has made this easier as it moves data processing closer to the data-gathering devices themselves (the ‘edge’). The benefit of edge computing is that it eliminates the latency of sending data up to the cloud and waiting for instructions back, thus reducing network congestion and increasing reliability.

However, the goal of data collection is not just to bring in data, rather it’s to use data to better understand device performance and gain insights into potential problems on the factory floor. When leveraged properly, data can help companies understand why issues occur and how best to fix them.

Cognex Edge Intelligence is a software platform for system performance monitoring that helps you collect and analyze machine data to keep your factory floor running smoothly - below we will outline 3 of its key benefits.

1: Track device trends and performance history

By collecting and analyzing device data over time, you can start to track trends and performance history and get out in front of potential device issues before they impact entire production lines. For example, you can evaluate overall device performance to see if each unit is getting the job done, needs adjustment, or requires replacement.

Edge Intelligence performance dashboards plot data points in a time series to help operators, quality managers, and controls engineers identify trends and intervene quickly if performance drops.

With barcode readers, for example, users can reference read rate trends, analyze images of unread codes, and compare device performance side-by-side. 

If you want to take device data a step further, Edge Intelligence has the flexibility to forward data to third party software, for additional analysis and graphical representations. Data collection and analyzing machine data is an important part of the journey to Industry 4.0. By bringing data processing to the ‘edge’ with Edge Intelligence, you can conduct system performance monitoring and take corrective action earlier.

Related: Edge Intelligence Datasheet


2: Troubleshoot and identify root cause of performance issues

It’s one thing to collect data and be aware of device or performance issues. But it’s far more valuable to use that data to troubleshoot, identify the root cause of the problem, and take action to solve it in hopes of preventing future issues. 

If your barcode readers are collecting an abnormal number of no-reads, for example, you can explore related data such as where the barcode was applied, the print quality, possible damage, and internal camera performance of the barcode reader. As a result, you can see that misprinted labels were caused by low ink levels on the printer and perform the necessary printer maintenance before any more barcodes are applied.

No Read Review final 
Or let’s say you identify a dip in performance of barcode readers on a production line. With Edge Intelligence’s Results Explorer, you have access to an archive of all images that the readers collect, from which you can start to ask questions such as: 


  • Is there a problem with the barcode quality? Maybe there’s an issue with the printing process, application of the barcode, or the ink is fading.
  • Is there a problem with the physical setup? Perhaps there is something restricting the readers’ view, a lighting issue, or a glare causing no-reads.
  • Is there a problem with the configuration? Maybe there is an issue with exposure, or the target is out of focus.
From there, you can draw conclusions and pinpoint the root cause of the issue. In this case, you discover that an operator changed settings across several barcode readers on the previous day.
More broadly, Edge Intelligence can act as a proxy to proactively identify larger issues before they impact your production operations.


3: Optimize performance


By regularly collecting data from devices, such as barcode readers or visual inspection cameras, you can easily monitor performance and intervene if performance levels drop. Ensuring devices are performing to their highest potential is important because if performance starts to decline, it can slow down production and cause product quality to degrade. 


Read rate table

     Edge Intelligence can help you evaluate device performance at several levels, including:

  • How devices are currently performing in real time 

  • How devices have been performing over a period of time 

  • How a device is performing compared to other devices

For example, if you notice low performance on a production line, you can refer to Edge Intelligence’s visual performance dashboard to see a history log, timestamps, and a configuration comparison tool.
Once the root cause has been identified, you can use Edge Intelligence to execute corrective action, such as:


  • Adjusting and reconfiguring barcode readers through Edge Intelligence’s WebHMI

  • Address machine or process issues, such as ensuring the operator is properly trained and doesn’t accidentally make unauthorized changes 


For more information on Cognex Edge Intelligence, check out this video.




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