Partnerships Emerge as Manufacturers Eye IIoT Strategies
Grant Gerke | November 9, 2016
Click above to view this one-hour presentation that discusses how to use Kepware’s device connectivity platform with the Dell Edge Gateway 5000 for industrial automation and IoT.
Our Maintenance Technology IIoT column — in print and online — is all about providing insights on better manufacturing practices, which are coming fast and furious, to help you do your job better. Or, provide examples of new pilot programs that provide some context to many new operational approaches.
In 2016, there’s also been a shift towards partnerships with industrial automation companies, software firms and IT startups, striving for more visibility into plant equipment. A recent partnership, announced in late October, between National Instruments and SparkCognition targets this the asset management space and its drive for predictive intelligence services and products.
SparkCognition is a known quantity in the industrial manufacturing space already. Before the partnership, it was working with a large valve and pump supplier for more than three years and revealed that its algorithms were able to predict future failures with over five days of warning in just a few short weeks. This was a 20-fold operational improvement over existing models, according to the company.
Microsoft is making a more concerted effort in the IIoT playground, with its new — March 2016 release — Microsoft Connected Field Service solution, which includes the Azure IoT Suite, Analytics Platform Services, Power BI and Cortana Intelligence Suite. The company recently cited a partnership with Stockholm-based Sandvik Coromant “that develops a scalable service model to integrates all elements of the production flow—people, machines, tools and data—to deliver an unprecedented level of field service.”
Partnerships are vital to demonstrating business justification, such as internal rollout like GE has done with its Predix platform.
Of course, there are quite robust approaches coming from Dell and Kepware Technologies in the form of fog computing or edge analytics, see video above. This approach moves the analytics away from a data center and transfers the data processing to the field hardware/software. The upshot is that it can filter machine data and reduce data center costs while still providing real-time data for manufacturing executions systems.
The enabling technology is a combination of an OPC server and Dell’s Gateways. It’s an interesting approach and more information can be found on this IIoT process via this webinar.