Why Edge Analytics should be part of the IOT strategy of an Organization

Sridhar krishnan

Sridhar krishnan

The organizations in today’s ever changing competitive world should be capable of adopting to changes quickly and seamlessly. The organizations should carefully invest in right technologies to align with its strategy to attain maximum benefit. With growing and increasingly disbursed sources of information and the pace of organizational change accelerating rapidly, the ability to filter and analyze only the time-sensitive data both in real-time and historical in edge side and non-time sensitive data in the cloud is invaluable. It is cost effective approach to have central data analytics infrastructure only for non-time sensitive analysis and moving analytics to Edge gives an opportunity to monitor and running stream and batch analytics to get insights to take decisions quickly with speed and simplicity.

Three central value propositions of Edge Analytics:

Real-time response – There are many critical systems that can’t depend on a cloud connection for a decision. A few seconds of latency can make a significant difference for an operation with massive power consumption from multiple sources. And sometimes connections fail entirely, which is far more damaging than simple latency.

Cost of data transmission – Rule-based engines can filter out the noise and send only the interesting information back to the central repositories. Gateways can also batch information into packets with smaller footprints that are more optimal for a given means of transmission.

Information management – Edge processing can make a significant impact by cleaning and be harmonizing data before sending it off to central information management systems. this type of edge processing improves central data mining and analytics capabilities.

Edge Analytics is the game changer in all the industries including industrial IOT, retail, manufacturing, finance, energy and agriculture sectors.

Core benefits of edge analytics and industries where it makes more sense are,

  • Remote Monitoring in Oil & Gas Drilling, Oil & Gas Refineries, and Wind Turbines industries.
  • Preventive Maintenance in Factory Robots, Airplane Tires, and Energy Grid industries.
  • Personnel Safety in Refinery Gas Leaks and Contamination Containment.
  • Real-time Quality Assessment in Oil Drilling, Manufacturing Cell, Train Repair
  • Asset Health in Readiness Assessment.
  • Efficiency Through Digitization & Automation in Smart Meters, Utility Billing, etc.
  • Cost Reduction Through Better Facilities Management in Energy Management & Reduction.

Business use case examples

Manufacturing organizations must run data aggregation, data preparation and analytic workflows at the source, where the data is generated. When linked to sensors along the path of production, analytic models running on gateway devices at the network edge evaluate and score manufacturing output by parameters such as size, temperature, pressure, color, vibration, and weight. When variances are detected, the embedded sensor, smart device or gateway immediately sends alerts or even stops production to help limit waste. The manufacturing process benefits from the flexibility to monitor and update the model at the point where data is generated and from the network efficiency to send only valuable information like state changes back to the cloud for deeper analysis.

By using machine learning, data mining and advanced analytics at the source of the data to examine thousands of steps per process, manufacturers can catch small, bad batches before they become large, seriously bad batches. One pharmaceutical company discovered that minimizing scrap and wasted resources saved them several hundred thousand dollars. Their Edge analytics implementation combined with a program of statistical process control featuring audit trails and role-based security, allowed them to recover their investment in edge analytics in the first quarter after implementation.

semiconductor manufacturers automatically analyze and classify patterns of failures such as scratches or defects around the edges of silicon wafers. They identify possible root causes, and the specific processing steps and respective tools and machines that require inspection or maintenance.

Retail customer behavior analysis
Near instant edge analytics on sales data, images, coupons used, traffics patterns, and videos are created – provides unprecedented insights into customer behavior. This intelligence can help retailers better target merchandise, sales, and promotions and help redesign store layouts and product placement to improve the customer experience. One way this is accomplished is through the use of edge devices such as beacons, which can collect information such as transaction history from a customer’s smartphone, then target promotions and sales items as customers walk through the store.

Edge Analytics helps banks to understand their customers better by providing insights such as location-based suggestions and customer recommendations. Embedded in the bank’s customer channels – online banking or mobile banking, edge analytics delivers transactional behavior and location-based suggestions in real time.

We believe Edge Analytics can come into play in sectors such as farming and agriculture largely wherein regardless of the network, analytics can point out equipment failure or irrigation leaks.

IoT Energy

IOT in Renewable Energy – Challenges and Solutions

Sridhar krishnan

Sridhar krishnan

Renewable energy business is continuing to grow all over the world as the entire world is looking for clean and alternative energy source to control the pollution.

IOT solutions are helping this business to improve operational excellence, efficiency, cut cost, fix issues proactively, increase productivity and profitability. The effective use of IOT is the differentiator among the competitors. Real-time analytics can make a significant difference to act quickly to identify and fix issues and improve operational excellence. The challenge in the system is the amount of data being collected from the power sources, it is huge. This challenge is common for both wind and solar energy systems where the wind turbines and solar panels are many in number and are spread across various places. As the amount of data being generated is huge from these sources, the cost of sending these data to the cloud and using big data infrastructure are increasing the overall cost of operations. And it impacts the network latency and performance.

Wind energy
In a large Wind energy farm, the IOT system is collecting data from sensors that includes Acceleration, Temperature and Vibration data from turbines. These data need to be collected and analyzed in real-time or near real-time for quick analysis and actionable insights for performance optimization to increase productivity and predictive maintenance to avoid downtime.

The challenge with this IOT system is transferring huge data from various locations in real-time to a central location to run queries on the data and perform analytics. This makes the cost of data transfer much higher than the benefits it is giving.

Solar Energy
In solar energy infrastructures, the essential data that can be collected from the sensors by IOT system includes Irradiance (Solar panel tilt angle), wind factors. Ambient temperature and location. This data can be used for performing analytics, compute predictive algorithm, calculate the energy that is being generated in all the connected solar energy system, analysis of energy generation pattern, Fault/ Problem detection and Real-time visualization of the solar systems. The data need to be collected and analyzed in real-time

Like IOT system for wind energy, the challenge of transferring huge data in real-time to cloud exists in this IOT system also as the size of the data from each Solar unit is huge.

Decentralization – Edge analytics

Decentralization of data storage, processing and analytics can solve the problem of sending huge data to the centralized cloud. Ability to run queries at any given time can be achieved by Edge analytics. The data generated from the solar panels or wind turbines can be filtered at the edge and send only the meaningful data to the cloud to run queries for analytics, this will help to reduce the data transfer cost. Real-time and post-mortem analytics can also be done completely in Edge gateway or with cloud analytics whichever is the best suitable and cost effective for the specific renewable energy use case.

So, the existing challenges in IOT systems of renewable energy can be handled by implementing a decentralized IOT solution with data filtering, processing, and analytics done in Edge side of the IOT solution.