One of the promises in taking a human-centered design (HCD) approach to product development is to simplify the user experience. Better yet, when done well, entire tasks can be eliminated. That translates into greater productivity to get things done more quickly.
I mention this because Emerson’s Nicholas Meyer shared an innovation with me in smart device handheld communicators. The latest release of the AMS Trex Device Communicator adds Auto Sync technology to make sure the changes made my technicians working locally with smart instrumentation are synchronized back with the plant asset management database.
Prior to this innovation, changes made in the smart device in the production process had to be manually synchronized between a handheld communicator and the asset management database. If not performed, information about device health and configuration data would not make it back into the asset database. This out-of-date information impacts troubleshooting, operator reliance on information, and compliance reporting.
Manual synchronization is time and labor intensive. It requires keeping track of the handheld devices, taking them out of service from use by the technician when synchronizing, and manually transferring the changes into the asset management database. This process can result in errors in the data transferred, which can further complicate troubleshooting and compliance efforts.
With Auto Sync, the AMS Trex communicator delivers visibility of all field changes and automatically synchronizes any changes with AMS Device Manager. Every change that a technician makes in the field is automatically recorded, timestamped, and uploaded, providing technicians with more time while simultaneously keeping the database and audit trail synced and reliable.
Nick noted that these changes are applied to the database as soon as the communicator detects a Wi-Fi signal or USB cable connection. When not connected, all changes are cached locally on the communicator, and when reconnected, the Trex communicator automatically uploads that data.
Importantly, the data and time stamp when the changes were made are also included into the data synchronization. Typically, most handheld communicators provide a data dump which provides a timestamp at the time of the transfer, instead of the time the change was made. This impacts the audit trail, root cause analysis, and the reports required for compliance with regulations.
The result is greater data integrity for improved operations, reduced troubleshooting and more accurate compliance reporting—all with less work to maintain.
For more, check out the Improving Data Integrity with Auto Sync whitepaper and this 3:49 video, Maintain Data Integrity with Auto Sync in AMS Trex.
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