Siemens Generative AI and Predictive Maintenance

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) popularized by ChatGPT is this year’s big buzz in industrial technology. Predictive maintenance seems to be one logical place where finding more powerful computation can be supportive.

Siemens has worked with Microsoft closely for decades. It has also recently acquired Senseye. Here is news about using GenerativeAI for enhancing a predictive maintenance solution.

In short:

  • Enhancing proven machine learning capabilities with generative AI creates a robust, comprehensive predictive maintenance solution that leverages the strengths of both.
  • Using a conversational user interface, manufacturers can take proactive actions easily, saving both time and resources.
  • New generative AI functionality in Senseye Predictive Maintenance makes predictive maintenance conversational.

Siemens is releasing a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) functionality into its predictive maintenance solution – Senseye Predictive Maintenance. This advance makes predictive maintenance more conversational and intuitive. Through this new release of Senseye Predictive Maintenance with generative AI functionality, Siemens will make human-machine interactions and predictive maintenance faster and more efficient by enhancing proven machine learning capabilities with generative AI.

Senseye Predictive Maintenance uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically generate machine and maintenance worker behavior models to direct users’ attention and expertise to where it’s needed most. Building on this proven foundation, now a generative AI functionality is being introduced that will help customers bring existing knowledge from all of their machines and systems out and select the right course of action to help boost efficiency of maintenance workers.

Currently, machine and maintenance data are analyzed by machine learning algorithms, and the platform presents notifications to users within static, self-contained cases. With little configuration, the conversational user interface (UI) in Senseye Predictive Maintenance will bring a new level of flexibility and collaboration to the table. It facilitates a conversation between the user, AI, and maintenance experts: This interactive dialogue streamlines the decision-making process, making it more efficient and effective.

 In the app, generative AI can scan and group cases, even in multiple languages, and seek similar past cases and their solutions to provide context for current issues. It’s also capable of processing data from different maintenance software. For added security, all information is processed within a private cloud environment, safeguarded against external access. Additionally, this data will not be used to train any external generative AI. Data doesn’t need to be high-quality for the generative AI to turn it into actionable insights: With little to configure, it also factors in concise maintenance protocols and notes on previous cases to help increase internal customer knowledge. By better contextualizing information at hand, the app is able to derive a prescriptive maintenance strategy.

The new generative AI functionality in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution Senseye Predictive Maintenance will be available starting this spring for all Senseye users. The combination of generative AI and machine learning creates a robust, comprehensive predictive maintenance solution that leverages the strengths of both.

Fluke Reliability Launches Smart Field Balancing Tool

Most of us are still familiar with the variety of Fluke meters we grew up with. The company made a few acquisitions and developed the Fluke Reliability business unit. They do some cool stuff. Here is the latest news from them in the maintenance and reliability front.

  • Fluke Reliability has launched the VibXpert 3 Balancer, a next-generation smart field balancing tool that can diagnose and correct rotational unbalance in the field or on the floor.
  • The VibXpert 3 Balancer is equipped with six synchronous channels, making it one of the fastest and most accurate solutions available, and its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to technicians of all skill levels.
  • The VibXpert 3 Balancer enhances productivity, increases uptime, and reduces maintenance costs, which is especially important in today’s challenging business environment/skills shortage.

This state-of-the-art device can diagnose and correct rotational unbalance in the field or on the floor, solving a leading cause of failure in rotating assets like fans, pumps, and motor-driven tools.

Unlike the current generation tools on the market, the VibXpert 3 Balancer is equipped with six synchronous channels, so it can record multi-channel vibration measurements simultaneously. This lets users quickly take measurements from multiple angles, compare them to historical data, and identify the root cause of the unbalance directly at the source. As a result, it’s one of the fastest and most accurate solutions available.

Detecting unbalance issues early prevents them from developing into costly, hazardous problems. The result is increased uptime, improved productivity and reduced maintenance costs. The interactive interface functions like a tablet, making it accessible to today’s workforce. Its robust and durable design withstands extreme temperatures, moisture, and dust, making it suitable for fieldwork.

Data Management and Analytics with Emerson Asset Management Software

Data management and analytics are two consistent current trends in the industrial / manufacturing technology market. This announcement from Emerson, now calling itself “a global software and engineering leader,” discusses how they brought these to asset management.

AMS Device Manager Data Server securely extends intelligent field device data to outside systems to make it easier for reliability and maintenance teams to further capitalize on modern advanced analytics software, providing a step change in operational efficiency and smart manufacturing.

AMS Device Manager Data Server publishes intelligent field device data nearly instantaneously to industrial software analytics solutions already in use by customers, eliminating the need for complex custom data integration and manual workarounds that often cause delayed results and siloed data. This data is relayed via secure industry protocols.

AMS Device Manager Data Server makes it easy to import critical instrument and valve data into common dashboarding tools and applications like Microsoft PowerBI, Emerson software tools such as the Plantweb Optics platform, Plantweb Insight, Aspen MTell and AspenTech Inmation, plant historians and others.

Hexagon User Conference

I was able to slip into the Hexagon User Conference on a recent trip to Las Vegas. Hexagon has been busily helping consolidate the automation and industrial software market. Some acquisitions included Infor EAM, PAS, and about 168 other companies since 2000.

Many of their press releases to me dealt with metrology. A long time ago I had the role of quality assurance manager at a manufacturing plant. (Note: terrible experience.) But I related metrology to quality control. Sort of a process outside actual manufacturing. One interview I had brought me up to the present time. Much of the metrology Hexagon talks about is in-process—actually sensing for immediate feedback to the process assuring consistent quality.

They talked a lot about their new platform, Nexus. The first applications are:

  • Metrology Reporting, a Nexus App: The app connects Hexagon and third-party metrology data sources in Nexus’ secure cloud environment so that companies of all sizes can immediately report on previously untapped quality control data from their equipment to spot trends and identify tolerance issues. Any user can generate interactive three-dimensional CAD-based reports and insightful trend plots, KPIs and compliance documentation and up-to-the-minute data with colleagues, customers or suppliers.  
  • Materials Connect, a Nexus App: An all-new, cloud-based library for material data, that empowers manufacturers or material suppliers to manage material data, physical test data and behaviour models for use in product Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) workflows.
  • Materials Enrich, a Nexus App: A first-of-its-kind Enrich app, it uses the Nexus platform’s machine learning capabilities and cloud-accelerated material behaviour simulations to help users find and simulate optimal materials that may have never been made or measured, improving the performance and sustainability of their products.
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), a Nexus Solution: A pre-configured Solution that makes it easier and more efficient for teams to jointly develop an optimal metal 3D-printed part and prepare it for a successful print using the laser powder bed fusion (PBF) process. Customers can use the Nexus web interface to connect Hexagon’s MSC Apex Generative Design and Simufact Additive process simulation software with AM Studio from CADS Additive and Materials Connect via the cloud, and easily manage user access to projects.

In addition to the conference, this news was released from the Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division—AcceleratorKMS 4.0.

A key component of Hexagon’s Smart Digital Reality, the new AcceleratorKMS operates like previous versions of the knowledge management suite while improving the way organizations operate through better clarity about who is working or training, and how they are being trained.

“Companies are challenged to drive time-to-competency down from the standard of three years down to one,” said Blair Morgan, AcceleratorKMS Vice President. “AcceleratorKMS’ integration capability, new features and the AcceleratorLXP module offer organizations a complete digital ecosystem that will help them achieve that goal. This marks a new evolution in AcceleratorKMS not yet seen.”

The enhanced search function, templating, user experience, file management and API in AcceleratorKMS 4.0 connects with the AcceleratorLXP module to enhance the tracking of user learning interactions. AcceleratorKMS and AcceleratorLXP together share an integrated User Interface that allows users to complete tasks while seeing their digital training steps.

“AcceleratorKMS 4.0 empowers the connected worker on a new level, with reliable and familiar experiences to enhance their fieldwork with tools they trust to advance their skills,” said AcceleratorKMS Product Manager Jana Redford. “Authors and learning managers can leverage the power of a full content management solution to collaborate and integrate training in the lifecycle of the content. This cuts friction from the worker experience for better outcomes and increased performance.”

Hexagon acquired Innovatia Accelerator Inc., headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, and its flagship solution in April 2022 to enable clients to easily manage, govern and distribute the up-to-date critical operational content field workers require to keep operations running optimally and smoothly.

M&M Software Releases fdtCONTAINER and Developer Tools Supporting FDT 3.0 

FDT Group’s latest significant release seems to be gaining traction. This release from M&M Software offers a migration path for users and vendors supporting modern intelligent device management and monitoring initiatives.

M&M Software released fdtCONTAINER version 4.8, a point-to-point device configuration tool supporting the latest FDT 3.0 specification to meet user demands for modern intelligent device management and monitoring initiatives. This release also includes updated developer tools which simplify the migration to FDT 3 systems and smart device DTMs for the vendor community.

Smart manufacturing initiatives drive end users and suppliers of industrial automation systems and devices to seek modern and comprehensive device management solutions that use interoperable, efficient, and sustainable plug and play engineering tools. FDT, an IEC 62453 embedded software standard, normalizes device data and communication between any host and device. The standard rooted in the host and device environment provides users a single tool for intelligent device management, operation, diagnosis, and maintenance. The latest FDT 3.0 specification enables a FDT Unified Environment (FDT UE) for IT/OT data-driven operations via authenticated OPC UA, FDT UE and mobile clients.

M&M Software’s FDT UE-ready product line includes:

  • OEM fdtCONTAINER application 4.8 – Free point-to-point device management and configuration tool supporting all DTM generations for users.
  • fdtCONTAINER component 4.0 (aka. FDT UE – Desktop Common Component) – The official component for integrating the FDT 3.0 interface and DTM runtime into an engineering application for system vendors with branded customizations and other value-add features.
  • dtmMANAGER development suite 4.0 – The comprehensive FDT 3.0 DTM development suite provides a simplified environment for device vendors to develop DTM’s allowing vendors to focus on the value-add device model features.

PACTware 6.1 Now Supports FDT3 and Expands Device Integration Model 

Still catching up on news I learned at ARC Industry Forum in early February. This one is expansion of the device integration model enabled by the latest version of FDT. Earlier, I wrote about Migrating to FDT 3. I sat in a couple of sessions where a senior engineer at a consumer packaged goods company pleaded with suppliers to make integrating and applying technologies more user-friendly. This is one such technology.

FDT Group announced that the PACTware consortium released its latest software version, PACTware 6.1, based on the latest FDT3 standard. PACTware 6.1 is one of the first FDT3 stand-alone device configuration environments available. The software tool’s source code is available to the PACTware Consortium membership consisting of 22 automation vendors who offer the FDT-enabled hosting product to the user community at no cost. 

By leveraging the modern FDT3 Unified Environment for intelligent device management, PACTware 6.1 users will enjoy the ability to support their current FDT DTM install base and support modern FDT3 web-based DTMs that are scalable for IIoT architectures. This release also supports integration with FDI Device Packages.

Suppliers of industrial automation systems and devices want to provide solutions that enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). To meet their customers’ needs, it is vital for suppliers to enhance their system and device offerings with standards-based, platform-independent, information-driven business models. The new FDT3 standard is accelerating the digital manufacturing journey by enabling an ecosystem of FDT-based solutions providing a unified environment for industrial device management with IT/OT data-driven operations.

In addition to the new FDT3 standard that fully describes the FDT Desktop environment and FDT web-based device DTM, the standard also defines a cloud-based FDT Server environment for distributed control. The new FDT3 DTM and FDT Server are OPC UA- and -mobile ready without any coding, allowing users an easy to use and scalable migration path of OT data to IT enterprise applications. 

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