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OSIsoft PI System is one of the most widely deployed solutions for capturing and storing machine data within manufacturing, energy, utilities, pharma, transportation and facility management. 

Industry solutions are centered around the PI System that stores time series data and assembles it into digital twins within the PI Asset framework. The Asset framework also provides context and can blend operational data with business and environmental information for historical insights and information management.

Modern Industry 4.0 use cases calls for complementing solutions

The PI Asset Framework is designed for time series analytics, event handling, notifications, visualization, process flow and batch analytics. But when it comes to streaming analytics and actions of machine data the PI System has a gap. Especially for new, modern Industry 4.0 use cases.
Like most traditional OT (operational technology) systems the PI system is built to process data at rest, while most digital Industry 4.0 projects require processing data in motion, also called streaming analytics:
  • Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    Most ML and AI use cases need some streaming analytics at the edge, close to where the data is generated. These algorithms need to analyze and act upon data within milliseconds.
  • Machine to machine communication (M2M)
    Many ML use cases is about real-time machine to machine communication. Where data from one machine is analyzed to address actions to another machine in the network. These algorithms also need to analyze and act upon data within milliseconds.
  • New data-types (audio & video sensors)
    The PI System is compliant with most legacy and common protocols and data sources. But new and advanced technologies like vision and audio often requires edge analytics solutions to function.
  • Intelligent Integrations
    Smart integrations of real-time data flows, processing the data on its way from source to destination, often requires edge analytics capabilities.
  • Smart data reduction
    In combination with advanced rules and algorithms (including ML) to detect anomalies reduce the machine data volume.

Intelligent Real-Time Integration on the Shop-floor

The concept of Industry 4.0 is seldom about building new silos but about integrating systems and machines - Intelligent Integrations - processing the data on its way from source to destination. Making the integration itself smart:
  • Factory floor integration. Real-time event based integration between assets not connected to the OT system (machine-to-machine, tools and assets etc)
  • Data demarcation. It is not uncommon that site-owners have multiple machine builders asking for access to their sensor tags. Edge solutions with smart and easy-to-use tag management and tag separation can empower the site-owner to control what data to send to which machine supplier.  
  • Enhanced security. Edge processing eliminates the need to transmit critical IoT data across the network, reducing security infrastructure requirements, risk minimization efforts, and regulatory compliance costs.
  • Bypassing unnecessary cloud services. Edge software is ideal for integrating data directly into designated cloud services and cloud analytic solutions. Bypassing unnecessary services and save cloud costs. 
  • Reliability. Edge processing is designed to operate even if the internet connectivity is scarce or even disrupted.

Crosser Complementing OSiSoft PI with Low Code Edge Analytics

Add Smartness with Crosser

The Crosser Edge Analytics Platform brings intelligence to the edge and complements the PI system for new use cases in a real-time, event-driven, world. The Crosser Platform consists of three main parts:

Crosser Edge Node

The real-time engine that opens up for powerful integration and analytics on the shop-floor. It’s the runtime that executes all flows for collecting, transforming, analyzing, acting and integrating data. Integrates to any machine, OT system, enterprise system or cloud. Enabling the Industry 4.0 concept for any plant or fleet of assets.

The Edge Node is complementing the PI system with intelligent integrations and a runtime environment for the ML and AI algorithms that needs to be deployed at the edge.

Crosser Flow Studio

The Flow Studio graphical interface simplifies the design and development of the intelligent edge deployments. Making it very easy to connect and test data streams from any sensor, machine or system.

The Flow Studio is built to simplify the testing and qualification phase for ML and AI projects. Using either data generators or real-life machine data for testing. 

The Crosser Universal Connector is a great tool for creating reusable connectors to any cloud based system or service using REST-API:s. The wizard enables anyone in the organisation to contribute to a custom library of easy to use, high functionality connectors.

Crosser Edge Director

The Edge Director enables life-cycle management of a deployed fleet of Edge Nodes with features for remote testing, deployment, upgrades, version control and monitoring of the intelligent edge. Bridging the PI systems operational gap for advanced analytics. Opening up for both plant owners and plant suppliers to enhance the power of the intelligent edge.

Recommended reading:

Crosser for other cloud & IoT platforms →

About the author

Mikael Isenberg | Product Manager & Solution Architect

Mikael is an experienced product owner with a lengthy background as a Consultant Manager and Solutions-/IT-consultant. He is a certified Scrum Master and SAFe agilist and runs most of our internal projects. Mikael is methodical and forward-thinking in all his assignments and makes sure that no details are forgotten.

"The devil's in the details. I'm surrounded by great technicians and millions of ideas and opportunities - my job is to make sure that it all pieces fit together; nothing is left behind and always delivered according to the overall plan.

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