In the US, IBM and National Instruments are working with the Industrial Internet Consortium in developing a testbed to prove how IIoT-related technologies and concepts are a critical to an effective predictive maintenance strategy.
According to Automation World, predictive maintenance has remained a key focus area for numerous Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives due to its direct bottom line impacts.
As a result, IBM and global automation, test and measurement solutions provider National Instruments are working with industrial internet accelerator, Industrial Internet Consortium to have partnered to develop a condition monitoring and predictive maintenance testbed.
Predictive maintenance testing process
According to IBM and National Instruments’ representatives, the test-bed began with fans and motors connected to NI CompactRIO (control and monitoring) units, with the aggregated data being passed onto NI InsightsCM software for analysis and then into historians for storage.
The processed data is then passed on to Bluemix, IBM’s hybrid cloud development platform —built on open source computing technologies for further analysis.
Says Jamie Smith, director of embedded systems at NI: “We started this testbed with fans because they rotate (a common aspect of machinery monitored for predictive maintenance purposes) and are easy to throw off spec.”
Greg Gorman, director of product management and design for IBM Analytics’ Internet of Things added: “A key aspect of the testbed is to show how “we can take processing and analytics to the edge for predictive maintenance applications.
“ … And even correlate machine data with social data so that maintenance can be optimally scheduled around production requirements.”
Smith added that another key focus area of the testbed surrounds the connectivity, interoperability, and security of the Industrial Internet technologies. He said that they would be looking at securing pathways of data transfer to evaluate each security threat, including physical threats.
Phases II and III
Phases II of the testbed project will move onto heavy duty assets at energy generation facilities at utilities such as Southern California Edison.
Phase III said Smith, will “focus on moving the knowledge gained from energy generation tests to an adjacent industry, such as mining or oil and gas.”
Smith concluded by saying: “We don't need to test this in every industry to prove the concept and technologies’ value and viability.”