Turning Data Into Insight—In Charlotte and Across the “Industrial Internet of Things”
A smarter conversation has started, and the language is real-time analytics. This conversation is going on between engineers and trains, techs and turbines, and foremen and factories. Billions of people and smart machines, structures, vehicles, and devices are communicating with each other within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Maximizing the value of this conversation presents two key necessities: The ability to find instantly the essential details in all the incoming data, and the capability to turn those details into immediately useful instructions for all the “things.” MindSphere, Siemens’ open, cloud-based operating system for the IIoT, can do all that by rapidly turning data into insight. That enables the people in the process to use that insight to create additional value in the form of more uptime, root-cause analyses, and the creation of new business models. Being an open ecosystem, MindSphere allows users to develop and run their own apps, a tremendous advantage for Siemens customers, be they large companies to small shops with specific domain knowledge. This is already happening at hundreds of customers and – of course – Siemens facilities. One example is the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub, a global center for the manufacture and servicing of steam turbines, gas turbines, and generators. The plant’s deployment of MindSphere allows for constant monitoring of all stages of production and repair work, the data sharable from any point within the system. While data was isolated in the past, MindSpere allows users to run cross-checks and root-cause analysis. “Once the information is in the same location, we can analyze it and do tremendous things,” said Pat Dunn, manager of Siemens’ Facilities and Maintenance Group. MindSphere can be easily adapted to domain-specific industry applications and digital services, including rail-asset management, power-grid energy management, and “digital twin” analytics. Advances enabled by the IIoT are, for example, making old definitions of a “smart” building — like offices that know to lower the heat when people leave for the day — seem quaint. “It goes beyond HVAC to the security, the fire, the lighting, even elevator and shade control systems,” said Dave Hopping, president and CEO of Siemens’ North American-based Building Technologies Division. “Sensors allow the intelligent building management system [IBMS] to connect more data on a cloud-based platform like MindSphere. The next step is to run analytics on that data to create new applications and operating models for the customer.” Efficient energy use and the dollar savings it brings are key selling points, but Hopping sees MindSphere as just as helpful when it comes to predictive maintenance. “You can use analytics to know how a piece of equipment is running, and know it’s going to fail or break before it happens,” he said. “We’re hoping that the analytics can get so good that they can tell you, ‘This piece is going to fail in this 12-hour window 20 days from now.” This conversation within the IIoT is poised to get broader, deeper, and ultimately smarter, because the variety of different asset types which are connectable to MindSphere seems almost unlimited. Also, MindSphere supports the major open standards needed to connect the energy, transportation, industrial production, building technology and healthcare sectors, among numerous others, quickly and easily. To learn more about how MindSphere works, please download the whitepaper, MindSphere: The cloud-based, open IoT operating system for digital transformation.