As I wrote in our inaugural Sensory Overload blog, we are setting out to explore how companies can awaken their industrial 6th Sense to achieve better insight into their core processes and regain some of the more than $1 Trillion outflow in annual productivity losses.
What is the 6th Sense? Simply, it’s the power of perception beyond the five senses. Some refer to it as intuition; others say it’s the ability to understand the subtle cause-and-effect relationship behind events.
In my view, 6th Sense is a combination of purpose-driven sensors and intelligent software that generate and harness Big Data, allowing our customers to clearly see into and ultimately optimize their most resource-intensive processes.
It boils down to one simple equation:
State of the Art Sensing Technology + Big Data Software Analysis = 6th Sense
Sensors alone do nothing more than generate data. They are analogous to the human senses without the brain. Too few sensors and the user is in the dark, unable to generate enough data to draw worthwhile conclusions. Too many sensors generate too much data to manage. The brain is the software that ties the data together and makes sense of it, to deduce that there may be danger afoot and generate a reaction.
That’s where Big Data software comes into play. Drawing together huge amounts of data to make logical conclusions, analytics software deduces the real-time conditions in your manufacturing environment and helps you anticipate something before it actually happens. Tie those conclusions into process control, and it’s like the brain’s “fight or flight” reactions. Operators can use data to generate warnings and continuously make minor adjustments to optimize processes. The end result is reduced waste and inefficiency and millions of dollars in savings.
I look at sensors like candy. Once you savor a good piece of candy, you don’t want to stop. You get data from one sensor and find it useful. So you add more, hoping to get more insight, gain a competitive advantage and save some money. Do that enough and what do you end up with? Sensory Overload. Overwhelmed with an onslaught of data, you quickly lose the forest through the trees. You induce a death spiral. You have just been eaten up by Big Data.
At LumaSense, our mission is to create Big Data through various sensing technologies and then to help make sense of what has been created. We bring clarity, clairvoyance and truly awaken the 6th Sense.
Most organization aren’t short on data, not when a single infrared camera can generate up to 307,000 pixels at a rate of 60 frames/second, which translates to about 300 megabits of data every second. Factor in multiple cameras combined with other technologies such as gas sensing or pyrometers and you quickly find yourself drowning. The right software helps process torrents of data streams so operators can more proactively, and, yes, intuitively monitor and detect variances that can reduce efficiency.
An intuitive sensing + analytics solution can help extend the life of a torpedo car in steel processes, or prevent excessive scrap in flat glass applications, or govern predictive maintenance on coal-fired boilers or power transformers.
Those are just a few real-world examples of how LumaSense is helping customers gain a 6th Sense.
How are you using sensors + software analytics to improve process efficiency?