Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Data Collection Fundamentals 121

Data Collection Fundamentals provides an overview of the basic life cycle, structures, and qualities of common data used in smart manufacturing. Data collection describes the process of collecting and analyzing various types of electronic information. As the collection develops, analytics add value to data and provide a competitive advantage to manufacturers.

After taking this class, users will be able to define what data collection is, describe how it functions and is deployed, and identify the different ways that collected data is processed and stored. Additionally, users will better understand the value and importance of the data being collected and appreciate the safety steps needed to protect it from internal and external threats.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 11

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Data
  • Common Types of Manufacturing Data
  • Data Sources
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data
  • Data Collection
  • Data Collection Methods
  • Data Collection Review
  • Data Storage
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Safety
  • Final Review
  • Describe data.
  • Identify common data types in manufacturing.
  • Contrast human and automated data sources.
  • Distinguish between quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Describe how optimizing data collection can help optimize manufacturing processes.
  • Distinguish between the inline and sampling methods.
  • Identify different data storage strategies.
  • Describe data analysis.
  • Describe data collection safety.
Vocabulary Term

additive manufacturing

AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.


A strategy in which copies of original data files are stored on one or more separate devices. Backups are critical in order protect data that is lost or damaged.

Big Data

A valuable collection of information from the devices or assets in an operation. Big Data can be analyzed to reveal patterns and make calculations.


A network of remote servers that can be accessed through the internet. The cloud stores many software applications and can be used to back up data.


A messy or a disorderly collection. Determining clutter during data collection helps identify what to store and what not to store.

computer numerical control

CNC. A self-contained system of computers and precise motors that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components. Computer numerical control allows operators to program sequences of machining operations.

Computer-aided design

CAD. A computer software program that aids in the automated design and technical precision drawing of a part, product, process, or building. Computer-aided design can create three-dimensional (3D) digital models used for digital twins.

cyber threat

Any potential event or attack that could access or damage computers or digital networks. Cyber threats may include inadvertent events or malicious attacks from hackers.


A collection of numbers, facts, and information about a process or product. Data can be created, communicated, and recorded by sensors in smart objects.

data collection plan

A document that defines all the details concerning an information gathering project. Data collection includes how much and what type of data is required and when and how it should be collected.

data lake

A computer application or system that manages massive amounts of raw data from a variety of sources. Data lakes can be located on premises or are cloud-based.

data warehouse

A computer application or system that manages massive amounts of filtered or processed data from a variety of sources. Data warehouses can be located on premises or are cloud-based.


Computer storage that holds data and is searchable. A database both stores and organizes information.


Similar types of information collected into a single asset, or unit. Datasets are used by manufacturers to organize the information they collect.


A situation that is different from what is normal and expected. Some deviations are acceptable and some are not.

digital computing devices

Consisting of information that is input or output electronically as a series of pulses or signals, often resulting in binary strings of 0s and 1s. Digital computing devices interpret various programming commands as binary digits.

external hard drives

A memory storage device that stores and retrieves data on a computer. An external hard drive can connect to and access files on various computing devices, usually through a USB connection.

flash drives

A small, portable memory card that can be used to store data, such as CNC part programs. Flash drives connect to hardware devices through a USB port.


A prediction of demand patterns for a product, which is used to calculate future inventory levels. Forecasting in the digital supply chain typically results in more accurate estimates when ordering raw material and other supplies.


An amount or rate of something measured in units like seconds. Frequencies are common measurements used with data collection.


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Establishes national standards to protect medical records and other private health information. HIPAA rules typically apply to all personal data collected from healthcare providers.

Industrial Internet of Things

IIoT. A network of physical devices used in manufacturing that contain computing systems that allow them to send and receive data. The Industrial Internet of Things allows devices to exchange data and automate processes without any human intervention.

inline method

A process of counting each item in sequence during manufacturing or other process. Inline methods of data collection typically capture all data during a specific period.

International Automotive Task Force

IATF. A group of automotive manufacturers and their respective trade associations formed to improve product quality. International Automotive Task Force members include automakers from the U.S., the U.K., and Europe.

International Organization for Standardization

ISO. A non-governmental organization based in Switzerland that develops and establishes standards, rules, and guidelines designed to ensure that products, processes, and services are fit for their purposes. The International Organization for Standardization took its abbreviation ISO from the Greek word isos, which means equal.

machine tool

A power-driven machine that holds a variety of tools. Machine tools can hold a variety of cutting and manufacturing tools.


Any malicious code or software that can potentially harm a computer, device, or network, or retrieve data from the network or device without authorization. Malware often exists undetected on systems for extended periods of time.


A series of characters, known only by authorized users, that allow the users to access an otherwise locked digital system. Passwords effectively prevent unauthorized access as long as they are not shared or discovered by unauthorized users.

production metrics

Data that tracks the number or rate at which parts are produced. Production metrics can be used to detect errors and track an operation&#8217s progress.

production rates

The speed at which a manufacturing operation produces parts. Production rates, or build rates, for smart manufacturing can be different than traditional manufacturing.

programmable logic controllers

A processor-driven device that uses logic-based software to provide electrical control to machines and processes. Programmable logic controllers replace many physical relays in a process.

qualitative data

Measuring the descriptive characteristics of a thing such as height, weight, or gender. Qualitative typically describes any non-numeric data.

quality assurance

The overall effort by a manufacturer to ensure all parts and products meet consumer or regulatory standards. Quality assurance is a challenge for AM operations because the layering process can be highly variable.

quality control

A system of managing quality by inspecting finished products to make sure they meet specifications. Quality control relies on error detection and correction.

quantitative data

Measuring an amount or number. Quantitative data typically includes anything that can be counted or measured numerically.

real time

The near-instantaneous interval of time that computers require to process data. Real time is virtually the same as actual time because computers process data nearly immediately.

sampling method

A data collection strategy that uses a representative part or small group of parts from a larger group. In sampling methods, a larger sample increases accuracy.

scatter plots

An analysis tool that uses the clustering of plotted points. Scatter plots are used to determine if the increase or decrease of one variable is related to an increase or decrease in the other variable.


Unusable material produced during a manufacturing process. Scrap is a waste product of manufacturing that can increase overall production costs.

scrap rate

The percentage of material not used to create the final part. Scrap rates describe the material removed during machining and also parts that are out of tolerance that can’t be sold or used.


The physical computer that shares information with other computers within its network. The server performs specialized functions in coordination with other computers.

server clustering

A system backup strategy in which contents of a primary server are duplicated and constantly updated on a group of synchronized servers. Server clustering helps prevent data loss and slower processing speeds when the volume of data being transferred is high.

server mirroring

A system backup strategy in which contents of a primary server are duplicated and constantly updated on a separate server or storage device. Server mirroring can help organizations recover from cyber attacks by restoring lost or compromised files.

smart manufacturing

Technologically integrated manufacturing that creates and uses data in real time to address the needs of the factory, supplier, and customer. Smart manufacturing is an advancement of traditional manufacturing automation.

smart sensor

A device equipped with software that can detect physical inputs, process them as data, and output digital signals. Smart sensors are more advanced than normal digital sensors since they can process data internally rather than simply sending digital signals to an external system to be processed.

statistical process control

SPC. A method of measuring and controlling the processes that yield a product. In SPC, statistics are used to collect sample data and allow predictions of the overall process.


Assorted tools used in various manufacturing processes. Tooling is used in many machine operations, such as milling, turning, and additive manufacturing, among other processes.

two-step verification

A security measure that requires users to enter additional information in addition to a password when logging into or accessing a system. Two-step verification methods include entering temporary codes sent to trusted devices and answering security questions.


A measurement of the amount of data used within a network or stored by a database. Volume is a key calculation used with data collection.