How IIoT is changing the traditional condition monitoring landscape

Three takeaways from the recent Plant Services webinar "IIoT Enabled Condition Monitoring" live Q&A session.

Kevin Price has more than 20 years of experience in the enterprise asset management (EAM) solution area for Infor. He’s served in multiple leadership roles in sales, service, development, and product management. He is currently the technical product evangelist for the Infor EAM portfolio, which includes EAM Enterprise, MP2, Energy Performance Management, and Spear Technologies. Kevin is based out of the Infor EAM development hub in Greenville, South Carolina.

During the live Q&A portion of the on-demand webinar "IIoT Enabled Condition Monitoring," Kevin tackled several attendee questions related to IoT and its affects on asset management.

PS: Where are we on the spectrum of the IoT revolution? Are we still in the infancy phase?

KP: I think we are a little bit past infancy and into the toddler age. In the infancy phase, you feel as though you are in an environment that is brand new. But in the toddler stage, it’s not necessarily new, but it can be a terror. We’re seeing so many devices out there, and we’re not even at the tip of the iceberg yet.

The question is what do you do with all the data? In time, I do see this starting to smooth out a bit. But what we see now is a plethora of different types of devices, and you don’t know what to do with the data.

PS: If you have older equipment and you’re looking to replace it, do you have any resources or websites or information about applying for grant programs to replace older equipment?

KP: I don’t have them individually, but there are different plans that are out there in the market that were on some legislations for different environments, whether it’s federal, state, or local. Look at the city of Des Moines and how they used funding that came from the Energy Efficiency Block Grant. This grant gave us the opportunity to work with the city of Des Moines and communicate to the federal government what type of strategies the city wanted to be able to have to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their energy. And in doing that, they received moneys that allowed them to be able to modernize some of their older equipment so that it can be read and go into a situation where they could actually buy new equipment that came with these monitors.

I do recommend engaging some of us from a consulting services perspective and actually talking with your OEM providers because they can give you some directions as well.

PS: Does the EAM system develop a predictive algorithm to determine eminent failure by correlating dependent data or would a plant need a data scientist of some kind to do that?

KP: So the answer to that is yes, unfortunately, in both ways. When we have EAM in the classic or traditional terms, we would take the information into Infor EAM and then, from there, we would form it, we would put some logic to it, and then we would write a basic SQL statement that would look for an anomaly and do something about it. This data is getting bigger.

From the science lab organizations that we have at Infor, our services can help provide that algorithmic approach, that machine learning approach, to be able to understand what to do with that data. There are things that you can do to some extent on your own. There are some things that we can do for you. But the best part is going to be innovating together. It’s an opportunity for us to be able to work together and to be able to reach the same common goal.

PS: That’s something that we hear so often: the importance of collaboration. Nobody is going to get there alone. Nobody is going to be able to do everything on their own. The importance of reaching out to different parties, different providers, and working on this together; that’s the only way we’re going to get to where we want to be.

KP: And one of the most important things in doing that is having the transparency to be able for both of you to understand what the problem is that you’re chasing. With what you saw in the city of Des Moines, the problem that they were chasing was the gigantic power bill that they had to pay every month. They were being directed by their governments (state, local, and even federal) to be able to reduce their energy consumption, thereby reducing their carbon footprint. So when you have a common problem that everyone understands well, the collaboration that you have to innovate the resolution is enormous. It gets so exciting to be in that environment, and I personally love the creative environment. Being able to see different types of engineering get involved to go after a common problem is a thing of wonder.

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