Asset Management / Industrial Ethernet

Meridium Enterprise APM v4 predicts and prevents plant failures

Meridium embraces big data. 'Next Gen APM' reaches across the IIoT for a comprehensive view of asset risk.

By Paul Studebaker

"The Internet was to change everything, and it's changed a lot–first by connecting computers, then by connecting people. Now it's connecting everything," said Meridium, Inc. CEO and Founder Bonz Hart at Meridium Conference 2015, April 21 in Orlando. Across the globe, "Data is doubling every two years," Hart said. "We generated more new data in 2012 than in all of the previous 5,000 years."

A single sensor that now costs less than 30 cents can report 63 million readings per year, accurately and in real time. "A facility might use 1,000 or 10,000 of those sensors," Hart said. "What does that mean to us for predicting failures and preventing shutdowns?"

The challenge is to store the data, contextualize it, analyze it and use it to improve operations. "Connectivity, analytics, storage and content in context" are the driving forces, Hart said, announcing the release of Meridium Enterprise APM v4 to an audience of more than 450 attendees.

"While nearly everyone else is talking about the potential of Big Data, M2M, the Cloud, advanced analytics and the Industrial Internet of Things [IIoT], Meridium's intelligent asset strategy has been delivering value from these enabling technologies to our clients since 1993," said Hart. "Today, we are demonstrating the next generation of Asset Performance Management [APM] – the engine that will further drive the IIoT and provide real value to its adopters.

"With the increased accuracy and volume of data from all the different sensors and systems collecting information about highly complex assets and groups of assets, our clients worked with us to create the next generation APM platform. This platform enables intelligent asset strategies to leverage all of this new data to predict and prevent failures."

APM v4 is immediately available and open to all in Beta 3, with the official version to release in July. The new version is browser-based to work on-premise, hosted, in the Cloud or in hybrid applications. "Being 100% HTML5 browser-based means we can cover 27 regions of the world with very low latency," said Eddie Amos, Meridium CTO. "You can see risk and performance all over the globe, and drill down to the individual asset level" to understand what's compromising a KPI.

"The IIoT has created a buzz about how industrial operations and efficiencies will be transformed across industry. Currently, interest level is high, but actual deployments are lagging," comments Paula Hollywood, ARC Advisory Group. "What's been missing is the glue to link intelligent assets to the higher levels of IIoT architecture such as analytics and cloud platforms. Solutions such as the 4th generation Meridium Enterprise APM, capable of providing this connectivity, are emerging as pivotal, value-added components of the IoT architecture."

"Meridium Enterprise APM incorporates enhanced connectivity and performance, greater mobility and deployment options, and an interface that can be configured by subject-matter experts—not developers—with cloud scalability to simplify and speed a client's 360 degree view of their assets," explained Amos. "By integrating data from design, finance, operations, engineering, sensors and maintenance while delivering actionable information when and where needed, Meridium APM will help tear down the final silo in industry—the wall between IT and production."

Integrated enterprise APM acts as insurance that helps ensure efficient, safe and reliable operations while processing on-spec products without fear of mechanical failure or production disruption. Combining enhanced connectivity, mobility and deployment options, as well as Google-like search, to create a single view of asset risk can help move an organization farther along the path to operational excellence.

"Data from LNS Research's APM Study shows 90% of companies view the pursuit of Operational Excellence as one of the Top 3 strategic objectives driving their investments in Asset Performance Management," said Dan Miklovic, principal analyst, LNS Research. "The challenge many of them face however, is they don't have an integrated APM technology platform upon which to craft the processes that their people need to employ to achieve world-class performance." They need to embrace the IIoT, Cloud and mobile technologies, as well as invest in scalable solutions built on those technologies, if they want to leverage smart connected assets to pursue operational excellence.

"The way owners and operators of mission-critical assets, as well as their OEMs, manage and maintain equipment is being transformed by APM," wrote Leif Eriksen, research director, Gartner, and Kristian Steenstrup, VP and fellow at Gartner. "Increased usage of APM solutions and services will help asset owners and operators reduce maintenance costs and operational risk while boosting reliability."