While the Internet of Things (IoT) industry has been busy taking the connected world by storm, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market has been gaining ground at a slightly more unhurried pace. Don’t let IIoT’s deliberate pace fool you, though; it certainly doesn’t signal any less expertise. Quite the opposite, in fact, considering that most industrial IoT players have been refining associated technologies in the space for decades.
Indeed, with IIoT gaining serious traction and the number of industrial IoT deployments growing by the day, the market seems primed to revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the availability of much greater amounts of data, at much greater speeds, and much more efficiently and safely than ever before. What’s more, IIoT not only can help improve connectivity, efficiency and scalability but also boost time and cost savings for industrial organizations.
One company that has positioned itself squarely in the midst of the revolution is Praemo – an IIoT and Machine Learning specialist. The company’s Razor Predictive Technology Engine identifies events and anomalies that lead to disruptions in production and operations (which, of course, can equate to costly downtime and quality issues).
Lean, mean winning machine
Praemo has managed to distinguish itself from so many other industrial IoT players in the field in part because, the company developed the Razor engine based on many years of toiling in not only the IT industry but also the industrial IoT industry. This means that it was quick to leverage lean and asset management strategies, which allow for quicker time to value. The upshot is that, through machine learning, Praemo’s Razor is helping operators to drive true, sustainable operations.
Suffice it to say that Praemo’s IIoT and AI expertise resonated with IoT Innovator. The fact that Praemo’s technology offers insights and suggested recommendations to help customers take preemptive action to reduce equipment downtime, optimize production processes and manage risks clearly captivated us, with IoT Innovator’s judging panel naming it one of its 50 Most Innovative IoT Companies in 2017.
IoT Innovator’s inaugural Top 50 awards – which span multiple IoT markets across the globe, including Enterprise, Automotive, Consumer, Healthcare, Industrial and Safety – honor the most cutting-edge and contemporary companies that are helping to turn today’s IoT landscape into an undeniably fertile one.
Praemo takes an ‘edge-first’ first approach, allowing customers to run as much of their technology as possible at the edge (near the source of the data), while still utilizing the cloud when it’s needed for deeper processing. Razor can collect the appropriate information by connecting to equipment, sensors and backend data systems operating within a customer’s network or by securely transmitting data and information between a customer and the cloud.
With the help of predictive analytics, Razor can process data to generate alerts about upcoming production and equipment events, which helps easily identify atypical equipment and process behavior before it leads to costly variability and disruptions. Razor also utilizes prescriptive intelligence, which combines industry expertise with “learned” behavior to automatically create actionable recommendations. But wait, there’s more: Razor also delivers intuitive notifications to users who subscribe to the equipment and event categories that make sense for them.
A numbers game
Okuma America Corporation – the leading Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine tools manufacturer – put Praemo’s technology to work when it integrated the Razor engine with one of its CNC lathe machines.
As the industry’s only single-source provider of CNC machine tools (Okuma not only manufactures its own CNC machine, drive, motors, encoders, and spindle, but also designs its own CNC controls to integrate seamlessly with each machine tool’s functionality), the company used Praemo’s Razor to collect and analyze data; create alerts about production disruptions; and make recommendations for corrective actions that could reduce or avoid the impact of the disruptions.
Okuma’s endorsement of Praemo’s technology doesn’t end there: Last August, the company welcomed Praemo to the Partners in THINC collaboration, a network of more than 40 industry leaders who collaborate to solve problems and explore new productivity ideas for real-world manufacturers. With the open architecture, PC-based Okuma Sampling Path (OSP) control at its nucleus, Partners in THINC brings specialized equipment, expertise and a commitment to provide the best possible integrated solutions to the end user.
“Partners in THINC is excited to have Praemo join our partnership,” said Wade Anderson, Okuma product specialist and Tech Centers manager. “They provide leading edge, real world solutions to our customers. Their technology allows our customers to tap into the benefits of AI and IIoT to maximize the full benefits of their manufacturing processes.”
Okuma’s OSP control is key to these partnerships, allowing easy connectivity of peripheral equipment to the company’s CNC machine tools, enhancing productivity for nearly all metal-cutting applications. Essentially, thanks to Okuma’s OSP, partners in THINC members are able to deliver superior technologies that can be integrated with Okuma’s CNC machines and controls to deliver advanced manufacturing system solutions.
“Okuma has a long legacy of innovation, producing high quality machining centers, and fostering growth inside their ecosystem, all with a relentless focus on customer success,” said Michael Martinez, Praemo’s CEO. “At Praemo, we admire these traits and believe that our innovative Razor technology will augment Okuma’s existing capabilities and provide an even greater value to customers and partners.”
Integrating the Razor way
Count Vibco as another company in the industrial space that has been dazzled by Praemo’s technology: When the industrial and construction vibrator manufacturer – which sells to more than 360,000 customers worldwide – was searching for ways to reduce their order-to-shipment time by 66 percent, Praemo sped to the rescue.
Sure enough, the Razor now plays a critical role in identifying productivity improvements for VIBCO as well as delivering real-time alerts about productivity disruptions in their machining operations. (Machining refers to any of the processes used to cut and size various raw materials such as metal into a desired shape. Specifically, Vibco’s production machining uses single axis and multiple axis machines to perform turning, milling and drilling operations on all types of castings, steel and aluminum in a single-piece flow).
As a Maintenance, Repair and Operation supplier, Vibco knows the benefits of being able to deliver equipment, support and services to their customers faster than their competitors. “Our company’s mantra – ‘same day, next day’ – is very simple: Equipment is ordered and built today at Vibco, placed in the truck tomorrow, and received by the customer the next day,” said Karl Wadensten, CEO of Vibco.
“This is where Praemo fits with our everyday business operations: Giving us real live connections to machine and man, and helping to harvest the abundance of data and make good business decisions in a business with little room for delays.”
“Praemo has given us a method of CPR (Clear Predictable Reliable) results in our machining departments and processes, which are the pacemakers for our whole organization,” said Wadensten.
If we had to hazard a guess, then we’d wager that 2018 could be a watershed year for Industrial IoT. We’ve passed the peak hype phase of IIoT, moving well past the possible to the practical and powerful. In the meantime, those businesses that have already embraced the IIoT are enjoying increased productivity, scalability and profitability – a trend that will steamroll ahead as IIoT technologies are more widely adopted.
To learn more about Praemo’s full range of technologies, visit their website.
Kim Kay is the editor-in-chief and associate publisher of IoT Innovator. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.