Utility tools: B&B Electronics, a developer of mission-critical network connectivity solutions, has partnered with SeeControl, a IoT platform company, to deliver intelligent, predictive monitoring solutions for Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. This is the first of several strategic B&B relationship announcements planned with key cloud-based data analytics companies. The goal is to help customers worldwide gain actionable intelligence from the raw machine data gathered from monitored equipment across multiple sites, so that they can achieve operational efficiencies and improve financial decision making, including taking advantage of new revenue opportunities. The two companies will work together to solve customers’ data analytics challenges in North America, EMEA, the Far East and Latin America, via joint selling, referrals and consulting.
Current monitoring systems generate a large amount of data, the majority of which is transient operational data holding little value for analytics. To unlock useful, actionable insight from this raw data, the two companies will combine their complementary solutions, leveraging the intelligence in each. For example, B&B’s Spectre series routers are smart gateways that can be programmed to extract, process and transmit data that is relevant to each customer’s case. SeeControl’s M2M SaaS cloud-based remote monitoring platform is then able to analyze meaningful data and create interesting data sets that help spot trends, identify potential problem patterns that require attention, and make predictions so companies can take proactive actions to cut costs or increase revenue.
Such proactive actions that customers might take include: 1) scheduling preventive maintenance when the data suggests it’s required instead of regularly deploying field technicians for routine machine readings, 2) taking corrective action before catastrophic asset failure after identifying asset performance degradation over time, and, 3) teaching an irrigation system to release water only when needed based on soil condition, weather forecasts, etc.
B&B and SeeControl have already collaborated on a SCADA remote tank monitoring system for the Pinal County, Arizona well owners co-op, whose purpose is to predict, and therefore prevent, system failures by measuring and aggregating pump current. By leveraging SeeControl’s analytics with B&B’s SCADA system, it has the ability to take action based on changes detected over time, alerting a technician to schedule preemptive maintenance before a catastrophic failure can happen. Using a system like this enables efficient use of manpower when servicing large numbers of assets in the field.
“Getting actionable insight from your machine data is a critical part of any IoT/ M2M application,” said Parthesh Shastri, vice president of customer success and strategy, SeeControl. “B&B’s M2M cellular router series, with support for multiple industrial protocols, provides a single-box solution that organizes, summarizes and transmits processed data to SeeControl’s platform, allowing us to build better predictive analytic solutions.”
The SeeControl M2M SaaS cloud-based platform provides continuous monitoring and data analytics for complete visibility into operations and status at multiple remote sites from a single platform. With no coding skills required, the SaaS platform provides the tools to easily customize each customer’s unique application. The in line analytics engine can be optimized and extended as new sensor / machine data sets become available to the platform.
“When you can aggregate data from multiple generations of technology, move it all up to the cloud, and analyze it using various third party inputs like SeeControl does, you’re presented with an opportunity to use your data in unprecedented ways,” said Bill Conley, M2M systems development engineering manager, B&B Electronics. “The real magic is happening up in the cloud and in the analytics.”
B&B’s Spectre cellular router – which wirelessly connects Ethernet equipment and other devices to the Internet or Intranet via 3G and 4G cellular telephone networks – can serve as an Ethernet and/or serial network backbone, aggregating multiple data streams from various machine languages or “protocols,” converting that data into usable Ethernet TCP/IP, and then transmitting it to the cloud, ready for analytics.
Designed for plug-and-play simplicity with extensive remote management, deployment and customization options, the robust Spectre router features a modular design with multiple configuration options. The router’s standard configuration includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, USB host port, binary input/output (I/O) port and dual SIM card holders for network redundancy. It also has two auxiliary ports for connecting to other types of networks, including additional Ethernet switch ports, serial RS-232/422/485 interfaces and additional Digital/Analog I/O. An additional option is integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology, enabling Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) or “Hotspot” functionality.