Historic figures of science and mathematics have legacies that still ring true today and apply to modern day industry. For example, Lord Kelvin noted that “the more you understand what is wrong with a figure, the more valuable that figure becomes.” This quote applies directly to improving operations through data analysis in any industrial process.

At Genera Energy, we look at daily key performance indicators (KPIs) in all of our business areas. Knowing we have met our daily goals is important, yet, so is knowing which goals were missed. We often gain the most knowledge by analyzing why we actually missed a goal. By continuously monitoring performance, the inevitable issues that pop force us to constantly analyze our processes and systems. The key factor is that you have to actually attempt to measure and analyze in order to understand what your process and improve it.  You can’t improve if you haven’t actually measured and monitored it.

Genera collects a large amount of data on a daily basis in all aspects of its operations. Through day-to-day analysis of data associated with fuel consumption, energy consumption, load-out and throughput cycle times, we are able to understand changes that occur in our processing systems. This analysis allows us to set benchmarks, measure achievements, and allows us to identify weaknesses when goals are missed.

Through this constant analysis, processes improve and benchmarks get raised. The key, though, to any analysis and improvement process is to collect the right data in the first place. At Genera, we collect agricultural operations data, such as fuel use, equipment time and motion, and labor, as well as logistics and processing data. These data points include individual load data, labor, fuel use, energy consumption, material flow, and processing rates. Some data collection is automated and some is not, depending on the area. Putting all this effort into data collection ensures that we have the best information to analyze and improve operations. Data analysis can be a powerful tool to improve operations. This concept can be applied to much more than a manufacturing pro