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Edge Computing increases ROI from Industrial Assets
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Intelligence at the Edge

Edge Computing gives a whole new life to legacy assets. 

The Distence twist to Edge Computing derives from our long history with demanding, mission critical industrial solutions in challenging environments. Every asset and the respective operation has it's own nuances, some unique aspects, that warrant for customization. But customizing every case separately can get expensive. In addition to cost there is the technology risk in building something new and the associated "time-to-market" risk always imminent. Risks that are for mission critical industrial applications a tabu. The Distributed Intelligence concept from Distence is different. In this fast evolving, but yet mission critical world of industrial internet, proven technology is a must. So is flexibility. The solution must fit the need, accurately. The need is driven by data, which is driven by information. Information that is readily available, on site at the asset level. In this newsletter, Emil Ackerman from Quva approches the topic from the information and Distence Head of Sales Kalle Nurminen from Waste Management perspective. The solutions are ready, is your business?

Industrie 4.0 and IIoT refine meaningful information for decision support


Guest Blog by Emil Ackerman, Quva Oy
 

How is your company doing and what are the reasons for success or failure? What should you do next? Do you know the answers to these questions? Are you sure? You should be able to answer swiftly, any time, and based on data.

Industrial companies collect huge amounts of information with missed potential, raw data. For instance, in manufacturing, sensors constantly collect data from hundreds or thousands of measurement points. Reports are being made and some actions are being documented manually. Partially data is already in use for decision support. However, a realistic, data-driven knowledge of the state of affairs is often behind tedious work, which requires combining data from different sources of an organization, data silos.
What kinds of information would help a company to prosper and be more productive? It is very likely that these information already exist, but they need to be highlighted from the vast amounts of raw data and put into use. For example, in the area of quality, real-time information helps to prevent quality defects and costs already before the product is shipped or even manufactured. This affects your bottom line.

From hype to concrete benefits
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 are comprised of elements that are not new: sensors, data transmission, data storage, and analytics. The core benefits of IIoT come from the complete package, through which data from different sources inside and outside a company is collected, processed, and analyzed in order to refine and utilize meaningful information.
In the future, industrial companies will live and breathe IIoT and utilize all data comprehensively to be competitive and productive.
Unplanned downtime and quality claims are just a couple of examples that could be prevented with essential information received in advance. Traditional tools are not capable of providing this information, whereas modern advanced analytics methods such as machine learning and deep neural networks can.

There is a lot of hype and confusion involved in discussion about Industrie 4.0, big data, and digitalization. From my viewpoint, they are all simply means to an end, which is making meaningful information easily accessible. It is all about getting more essential information than before in order to make better decisions and actions in the future.

Information drives and enhances business
Industrial companies need to be able to offer their customers added value competitively on time and on quality. Increasing efficiency has been a goal for a long time. Companies often have high level domain knowledge and long-lasting customer relations. These attributes will get them far, but with more meaningful information in hand, they will go even further.

More and more cases (example 1example 2) are told and witnessed illustrating that IIoT is not just another fad, but a new approach to drive business. In the future, industrial companies will live and breathe IIoT and utilize all data comprehensively to be competitive and productive.

Start small, think big
The first step towards utilization of data and IIoT does not have to be an exhaustive and expensive project. Agile tests and tryouts can be more efficient in finding out directions, where to allocate resources, not to mention the speed benefits. It all comes down to figuring out the right questions: which challenges a company wants to solve and what kinds of information are needed for decision support.
With IIoT you are back in the driver’s seat accompanied with a state of the art navigator.
When meaningful information is in the right hands at the right time, it is easier to perceive the big picture and be able to operate proactively. With IIoT you are back in the driver’s seat accompanied with a state of the art navigator.

Waste Management ready to capitalize on Edge Computing


Distence participated in the Resource Waste Management (RWM) trade show in Birmingham UK from 13th to 15th of September. Parallel to the main event there were additional events on Energy, Water and Renewables sectors. This was the first time for Distence at the show and we were part of Finpro’s stand together with five other Finnish cleantech and IoT related technology and service providers. It was a great opportunity to get an overview of the waste management sector along with its machinery, equipment and service needs and offerings.

During the show we captured few key themes, one being the increased focus on recycling and waste to energy type of technologies and solutions and the second being waste collection optimization. Naturally we were seeking for business opportunities for Distence’s solutions in these themes. Just by looking at the machinery such as compactors and balers in the waste management value chain, there were versions with very low level of automation to sophisticated and fully automated units.

In many of the solutions, however, no remote monitoring or management functionality was implemented. With Distence’s intelligent edge computing and cloud solution, remote monitoring of fill level, hydraulic pressures and error messages can be implemented, just to mention a few parameters. This could be further expanded to localized automated actions or remote control of key parameters to enable automation, at a decent cost level, in lower end machinery from the warmth and coziness of an office. According to our discussions with several waste machinery makers, just by reducing the visits for on-site service could bring hundreds of pounds of savings per machine on a yearly level. This may not sound a lot, but with hundreds or even thousands of e.g. compactors in the field, it adds up to significant savings. All this in addition to the avoidance of unscheduled downtime in the use of the asset. Further more the possibility for manufacturers to collect information on the use of their product to take back to product development, sales and quality departments, increases the number of information users and the ROI from the investment. For mobile machinery the information, made available thru the solution’s fill level information together with GPS location data, can easily be used for waste collection route optimization for increased efficiency and cost savings.

The edge computing technology and remote management solutions are ready. It is now up to the businesses and operations to capitalize on this available competitive advantage.

More information about Distence and the applications at www.distence.fi or Kalle Nurminen (+358 40 538 2216).
 

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As part of our Quality Assurance and Digitalization Program, Distence aims to move to a paperless office and to electronic invoicing.  As of 1.11.2016 our new invoicing details have changed. Please take a look and join us in our sustainability efforts. Click here.
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What is Distributed Intelligence and how can it improve the ROI from industrial equipment, increase their life and open up new sales opportunities.

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