OK, I can take a hint. Maybe. I keep looking at the latest manufacturing strategies—Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing—and asking all of you for your thoughts. The silence screams louder than a pundit trying to stir up “stuff.”
Interesting things are happening at a quieter level under the covers of the grand strategies. I’d call these industrial software mashups. That is now an old term, but I think pretty relevant.
People are building applications on top of existing platforms. Let’s not reinvent the wheel, they say. Let’s leverage an ecosystem of developers and integrators, they say. Let’s get to market faster.
For example, check out this piece I wrote about an ERP vendor, Kenandy, who built atop Salesforce. http://mfgconnection.wpengine.com/2015/01/manufacturing-software-cloud-supports-innovation/
At last week’s ARC Forum, I met another one. Setpoint (by the way, its marketers like it in all caps so that it will shout out on a page, but I’m not reproducing the logo, just the name).
Setpoint is in the condition monitoring market. It began life as an initiative of Metrix Instrument but rapidly grew to a stand-alone company. Metrix wished to grow beyond sensors and transmitters into the systems market. So it build a system with former Bentley Nevada engineers.
Dozens of innovations were embedded in this new system, including a self-contained “universal” monitoring module (UMM) that could be configured do any required measurements in a single module type – making the addition of new measurements no more difficult than loading a new app on your smartphone.
Now that it had the system, to provide more value to its customers, Setpoint needed an industrial software application. Here’s the mashup part. Rather than building a stand-alone software infrastructure the team was entered into a partnership with OSIsoft, – maker of the PI System. Together, they showed that high-bandwidth, sub-millisecond vibration waveform data could be streamed directly into a PI database – something that had been routinely dismissed by the vibration industry as “impractical” or even “impossible.” Time to market was less than 12 months – unheard of in this industry – and during that time the performance capabilities of the PI System continued along its Moore’s Law trajectory, doubling in speed and making high-speed, online vibration data collection completely practical.
OSIsoft PI is an industry standard for historians and analysis. Developers and integrators are plentiful. This was a great way to jump-start a system.
Another benefit is the elimination of redundant computing, network, and software infrastructure. Further is OSIsoft’s ability to envision future market dynamics that could affect the businesses tomorrow. One such trend in the condition-monitoring industry is the drive toward data analytics and predictive maintenance strategies.
A third reason is that making quick and informed decisions on the condition of an asset requires real-time analysis of large volumes of data, also known as Big Data. OSIsoft is a leader in Big Data.
I don’t know what the grand strategies will bring you, but most of you will benefit greatly from this mashup trend.
You could also check out this video that demonstrates the system.