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Foggy weather is coming to a place near you with analytics at the edge

I caught up with Stewart Young, Global Alliance Manager at OSIsoft LLC, a Cisco partner, to find out more about ‘Edge Computing’, or, as some call it, ‘Fog Computing’. With the huge amount of data coming off Industrial sensors and outlying infrastructure, customers are trying to find more ways to rationalize the data while extracting information that they can turn into business intelligence.

 As we find out in the “A New Reality for Oil & Gas” Thought Leadership I contributed to:

“The oil and gas industry provides a prime example of the need for “edge computing.” A typical offshore oil platform generates between 1TB and 2TB of data per day.1 Most of this data is time-sensitive, pertaining to platform production and drilling-platform safety. The most common communication link for offshore oil platforms is transmitting data via a satellite connection, with data speeds ranging from 64Kbps to 2Mbps. This means it would take more than 12 days to move one day’s worth of oil-platform data to a central repository.”

There’s a better, more efficient, more ‘digitized’ way. Analyze the data in real time at the edge of the network. Take notice of anomalies and out-of-line situations. Just send on to the central repository what’s needed for decision making and for the historian. cisco equipment and solutions are getting even more intelligent, so that they can help do this. That’s thanks, in part, to IOx.

What Stewart is showing is how that works in real life. The OSIsoft PI connector runs on IOx on the edge routing equipment. That way ‘lightweight’ (aka just looking for the key anomalies) analytics can be done. And it can be done right next to where it’s happening – in harsh environments, next to oil rigs, refineries, and sensor networks. Products like the Cisco GSR and the 8X9 products have these capabilities, and you’ll see more IOx enabled products and solutions over time, and Cisco working with other partners too.

When I asked Stewart to elucidate on the business benefits (no point in reading this if there aren’t any, right?!), he explained that he’s finding customers are able to expand the sources of data that they’re collecting further out in the field or to the plant/rig/refinery, giving more visibility about what’s happening in real time across the organizational infrastructure. They’re also then able to do some of the analysis sooner and not have to pass it back to a central processing environment. So:

  • Better visibility in real time into operations
  • Broader reach for analytics into remote areas
  • Faster local analysis and response

Oil TL Paper1


Coming back to the Thought Leadership report “A New Reality for Oil & Gas“, and what IDC and Gartner are saying:

IDC forecasts that, with a business case built on predictive analytics and optimization in drilling, production, and asset integrity, 50 percent of oil and gas companies will have advanced analytics capabilities in place by 2016. As a result, IDC believes that O&G CEOs, for example, will expect immediate and accurate information about top shale opportunities to be available by the end of 2015, improving asset value by 30 percent2.

According to Gartner, O&G firms’ ability to leverage analytics to reduce operating costs and increase production rates “may be an essential survival skill for upstream companies.”Gartner mentioned several new analytics methods that are already benefiting the performance of subsurface activities:

  • Digital completion technologies are boosting ultimate recovery rates for unconventional reservoirs from 3-5 percent to 12 – 16 percent, vastly improving those assets’ competitiveness.
  • Advanced sensor technologies such as down-hole fiber generate high-resolution reservoir data for conventional assets, enabling more accurate modeling, simulation, and decision-making.
  • Expanded integration of real-time data from field sensors (old and new) with the reservoir model  is enabling more robust 4D modeling and, in turn, more dynamic reservoir management.

Read More »

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Thermal Imaging Analysis – easy as PI with OSIsoft at Cisco Live

I caught up with Danilo Ribeiro, Strategic Alliance Program Manager from OSIsoft, at Cisco Live recently, and shot a video of the OSIsoft demonstration he was showing. In the video, Danilo talks about Fog Computing and thermal imaging analytics at the edge using the OSIsoft PI System and Cisco IOx.

The PI System is used by many, if not most, industrial companies to capture real-time data and events and manage an historian, interfacing to critical ERP, BI, process monitoring and office systems.

Danilo’s demonstration shows a thermal imaging camera detecting a gas ‘flare’ from the field (in the demo it’s a heat source mounted above the booth in this case to show the real-time data capture). The OSIsoft system is able to detect the anomaly and alert remote operators rapidly so that corrective action can be taken.

In the video Danilo talks about how the demonstration simulates a flare monitoring system. This is the kind of monitoring that happened in oil and gas fields like the one in operation at PETRONAS Penapisan Melake, Malaysia. PETRONAS has evolved into a fully integrated multinational oil and gas company. PETRONAS’ refining capacity, at 323,300 bpd (2012) is over half of the 2012 total refining capacity in Malaysia. PETRONAS CARIGALI is the upstream arm of Malaysia’s state-owned, fully integrated oil and gas company. Read More »

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Cisco Live 2012 Happenings – Manufacturing Industry related

Connected Industries Booth

It was great to see the Cisco Connected Industries Booth that I blogged about recently humming at Cisco Live this week. Lots of delegates interested in talking about Converged Plant-wide networks, Machine-to-Machine applications and technologies, and all the different network sensing, diagnostic and management capabilities of our Partners such as Rockwell Automation, Panduit Corp, Emerson , OSIsoft LLC and Honeywell Process Solutions.

Maciej Kranz, CIBU VP, talks to attendees

I videoed a few of the demos and will talk about them in future blogs, but I wanted to share some great images from the booth, and also from the ‘Table-Topics’ I helped moderate on Tuesday and Wednesday. Some delegates really get the trends and are on their way to implemented open standards networks throughout their organizations. During the Table topics a pharmaceutical company and a utilities company talked about ‘Wireless in Manufacturing’ and the direction they were taking. There are challenges ahead and we talked about how Cisco was helping to tackle some of the key ones – security and manageability came out tops, so Cisco’s Secure-X architecture advances were appreciated.

Table Topics provides a relaxed discussion

The Rockwell Robot, the OSIsoft PI software, the Panduit solutions and the Emerson and Honeywell sensor networks booths (Wireless Hart and ISA100 respectively) were all big draws, as were the new IE2000 hardened switches from Cisco. There was huge interest in the M2M demonstrations and the way the ‘Internet of Things’ is becoming as huge as the 2008 forecasts predicted.

The Cisco Live event is a mixture of learning, networking and discussion. If you get a chance to attend you’ll meet folks from all over the world and see that the challenges and solutions are often not that different between countries or organizations.

Watch out for my next blogs where I go into more depth on the demonstrations and messaging from Cisco.


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Cisco Live 2012 San Diego, USA, June 10th-14th – Connected Industries

Cisco Live US June 10th-14th

The largest gathering of Cisco customers takes place this week in San Diego, California. Taking place from the 10th to the 14th of June, Cisco Live 2012 is a great venue to see some of the latest technologies and solutions for the manufacturing and industrial sectors. 

You can get education and training on the latest technologies and trends, and get tested and certified on Cisco products. One of the best benefits is mingling with like-minded colleagues, Cisco professional, and Cisco Partners.

For companies attending who are in the  manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, transportation, and energy industries,  we invite you to stop by the Connected Industries booth, #2934.  Read More »

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Cisco Live UK Demo Part 2: Workforce enablement with CEBT, OSISoft and Collaboration

This is Cisco Live UK: Day 3, Part 3

You’ll remember in my previous blog (part 1) that we said that the Workforce Enablement demonstration shows the integration between OSISoft (one of Cisco’s Partners in the industrial telemetry and asset management field) integrated with Cisco cross-architectures: so we have Borderless networks, Data Center and Collaboration technologies. We also have an application called CEBT – which is a workforce enablement application (Collaboration-Enabled Business Transformation Introduction brochure – click here)

So in the demo we see a Wind turbine going out of specification. The demo shows live dynamic telemetry data. Steve Matthews resets the data to cause a malfunction and cause an alert. You see the data change – the top right bar goes from green to yellow, basically a temperature alert. An SMS message is transmitted and, in this case, a telephone rings alerting the Control Room staff. Read More »

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