Case study: Data engineering transformation enables condition monitoring of industrial IoT equipment

Worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) spending will grow 17.0% annually, from about US$700 billion (€689.48 billion) in 2015 to nearly $1.3 trillion (€1.28 trillion) by 2019, according to a report by Transforma Insights. By 2025, it is estimated that there will be more than 21 billion IoT devices. These numbers definitely depict the growth in digitalisation of manufacturing processes in the industrial companies and states how imperative it is for every industrial or manufacturing company to transform their operations digitally in order to service their end customers in a more efficient way.

Prateek Khare, practice manager, Saviant Consulting reports on a digital transformation story of a European test and measurement instruments company.

Background

Saviant’s client was building data acquisition systems (DAQ) for instruments that enable critical testing, measurement, and monitoring of applications for aerospace, industrial and automotive industries.

The DAQ system acquires data in real-time for various physical quantities using its patented sensor technologies, allowing high measurement accuracy. It also helps integrate various Enterprise software applications such as LabView, Visual Studio .NET, and more.

The company aimed at delivering an end-to-end sensor-to-software system that is convenient to use with a plug and measure concept.

The challenge

Each device/sensor that this instrument engineering company is manufacturing serves a different purpose and is supported by a unique technology. Therefore, each device has a separate data acquisition platform which works best for that specific product. However, the large industrial enterprises, clients of this company, may need one or multiple product/smart devices for their applications and so they need to work with various platforms. It is cumbersome to use and maintain different data acquisition platforms because The company has plenty of hardware and software systems to offer services to its industrial clients.

  • Significant number of resources and manpower are required to maintain such platforms.
  • With each new device comes the new software and so it takes a lot of time to launch the end product in the market, thus making the whole experience slow and lengthy.
  • Scattered product portfolio leads to a disconnected sales process and low customer perception, impacting the overall growth.
  • Standard functionality across various data acquisition platforms is missing.

    In order to overcome these challenges, it is imperative to enable the plug and measure capabilities for its customers. The platform needs to be able to acquire data from a wide range of sources, like different data acquisition platforms, and process it in real time, which is then made available to a variety of applications for further analysis.

The solution

The company was looking for a partner to help them address the problems and found Saviant Consulting as a reliable digital transformation and industrial automation partner. With the expertise around cutting-edge technologies like IoT, Cloud, AI-ML, and Analytics, the Saviant team suggested building an end-to-end data engineering capacity that provides a robust condition monitoring platform with smart analytics & AI capabilities.

The team worked with .NET Core, GraphQL, OPC UA to represent Device objects in the client server mechanism, and to communicate with devices, using device discovery protocols like MQTT. This common platform acquires data from various sources & platforms in real-time, orchestrates it, and delivers it to a variety of applications via APIs. This helped achieve

  • A common and complete sensor to software platform, which makes it easy to handle multiple devices through a single interface.
  • Providing various interfaces to customers across various levels like device, measurement file or application
  • Standardising the platform, making the workflow more uniform to communicate with multiple devices at a same time.
  • Platform independence Windows, Linux, MacOS etc.
  • Scalability across the platforms, thus helping the sales grow.
  • Security of data across the platform and ensure zero data spillage.

This modern platform therefore enabled a truly plug-and-measure capability for the customer across different products and their platforms.

Saviant Consulting has also partnered with many other industrial clients to build custom solutions. Most of these solutions are around crucial use cases like machine condition monitoring, vibration sensor monitoring & analytics, predictive asset maintenance, et.al., using digital technologies like IoT, Cloud, Mobility, Analytics, Machine Learning, and AI. Since its founding six years ago, Saviant has delivered more than 300 industrial implementations for over 150 customers across the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the Middle East.

Conclusion

Prateek Khare

In the last decade, the Internet of Things has emerged as one of the largest trends and is transforming both our personal and professional life. Industry 4.0 and IoT, can be best defined as intelligent, interconnected equipment and products autonomously communicating and optimising along the entire value chain, are key elements of this digital revolution. Smart sensors and embedded intelligence in a network of connected devices are increasingly connecting people, processes, things and businesses. The digital transformation enabled by the internet of things promises significant business opportunities across industry sector. Digitalisation is advancing at a rapid pace, and innovative pioneers are successfully defining and implementing digital agendas.

Following the same path of digitalisation, many IT providers such as Microsoft, Aveva etc. also provide advanced software that help accelerate the digital transformation of the manufacturing, construction, agriculture and transportation industries. By leveraging the cloud platforms, a company can collaborate to develop, build and deliver industry platforms and solutions that connect people, technology, workflows, data, processes and industry life cycles.

Combining its business and industry insights as well as technology expertise,they have developed a 360 degree view of the potential of Industry 4.0 and the IoT through several client projects. Together with their renowned partners like GE Digital, Siemens, SAP, Salesforce and Microsoft, they provide business consultancy and solutions around, Digital Twin of the Product and Digital Twin of the Process. They have supported numerous companies on their digital journey.

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