Where the Industrial Internet of Things comes to life

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief, Control Design

Jun 29, 2017

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FacilityConneX is a cloud-based monitoring and analytics solution designed to optimize equipment, energy and operations. Jake Pritchard, director of technology at FacilityConneX, presented a couple of real-world applications where the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) really came to life at AutomaTech’s ThinkBIG 2017 User Conference in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “We have connected customers around the world,” explained Pritchard. “We’re leveraging GE for the Industrial Internet, AWS for the cloud and EMC for security technology. We have more than 10,000 pieces of equipment under watch today, and we have an in-house data science team. We think in terms of what we can solve for you.

“One of our commercial water distribution companies had a variety of business problems to solve, such as difficulties with remote visibility of remote silos of data. We brought the silos of data together and gave them multiple views of that data depending on the users’ particular function within the organization,” explained Pritchard. “They also had compliance problems. And they had no way to take the paper data and digitize it to bring it together with the rest of their data.”

FacilityConneX now deploys streaming analytics for this customer’s equipment to keep a fleet-level view of well and aquifer health. “We detect the test scenarios in the live data feeds and give continuous well health visibility,” said Pritchard.

More below the surface

“One of our manufacturing customers of paper products wanted a better approach to energy metering and management,” said Pritchard. “This customer had trouble connecting new and old meters requiring them to piece together data from several systems manually,” explained Pritchard. “We’re bringing them all into FCX now and giving them common interfaces to view their energy data. We bring metering data together, totalize, capture peaks, normalize and then allow the user to select time-period bin sizes dynamically in our FCX UI components when viewing.”

FCX is striving to become “The Voice of Your Equipment,” explained Pritchard. “Yet another example is an application of our Compressed Air System Analytics Pack, where we used our optimization analytics to identify massive energy savings for a large compressed air plant.” Compressed air typically attributes to a large percentage of energy costs in any plant, and optimizing its production can mean enormous energy savings. FacilityConneX aided production support by getting a manufacturer’s compressed air system to optimized levels. “Many of compressed air systems not working together,” explained Pritchard. “They applied our compressed air analytics to 10 compressed air units, potentially saving more than $1 million in electricity.”

Doosan manufactures fuel cells for customers worldwide. They came to FacilityConneX with a goal to improve worldwide service and support for its customers. “We offered them a broad solution from secure connections and time-series data storage, to customer visibility, to fuel cell performance and business analytics,” said Pritchard.

“FacilityConneX has delivered on a continuing journey to improve our customer services and give us full visibility in real-time,” stated Mark Layaw, director of worldwide after market services.

“We solved their challenge in collecting the high-frequency data,” explained Pritchard. “We progressed to forecasting fleet-level performance and production. Real-time insights to these key business indicators are helping Doosan to prevent production penalties associated with underperformers.” With more than 200 fuel cells now connected to FacilityConneX and leveraging the FacilityConneX Data Science Team, Doosan was able to solve its biggest business problems. Now it have real-time visibility into each of its customers’ performance and contract commitments.

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