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Increasingly Intelligent Industrial IoT Solutions, Prescriptive Not Just Predictive

By Cynthia S. Artin
September 18, 2018

Siemens and Flutura have announced a go-to-market partnership and integration of platforms focused on driving product quality and yield in the Specialty Chemicals, Heavy machinery OEM and Oil & Gas industries through the intelligent instrumentation of equipment and entire plants.


With millions and even hundreds of millions of dollars invested in equipment, enabling everything from extraction to processing, storage and distribution, the two companies are actively working with some of the largest enterprises in chemicals and O&G to monitor and more efficiently manage physical assets, with digital services including oversight of operations and more centralized views into maintenance.

Last week in the US, the price of oil rallied towards its highest level this year, after a drop in U.S. crude inventories and as the prospect of the loss of Iranian supply continue to percolate.

The Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude oil inventories dropped by 5.3 million barrels last week, and Gordon Gray, HSBC's global head of oil and gas equity research, said “We think oil market fundamentals are increasingly supportive of crude prices, at least at current levels.”

This is important in that companies operating in multiple aspects of the industry have increasing incentive to drive up production, and ensure their facilities are humming along in anticipation of further growth.

And while natural gas prices have fallen, they are usually inversely related to crude oil inventories, and with facilities optimization, trends show that major natural gas processors are increasingly leveraging predictive control technology to determine the optimal operating targets based on real time data regarding plant conditions and profitability in pursuit of optimizing recovery of natural gas liquids. 

According to statistics reported by Schneider Electric, for example, “They are now able to make better and more informed decisions through improved plant-wide operational visibility and improve ROI through better asset utilization and an optimized process, enabling them to achieve the next level of operational efficiency–up to 5% improvement in processing margins.”

A 5% improvement in industries as large as O&G and specialty chemicals can make the difference between standard and exceptional margins, which is driving more and more industrials in these categories to take advantage of connected data and management systems, wherein Siemens and Flutura see their collective opportunity.

"The Cerebra platform, with its advanced analytics capabilities and ability to integrate physics, heuristics and artificial intelligence to provide advanced diagnostics and prognostics solutions, can deliver tremendous value to the industrial market,” said Paul Kaeley, SVP of Global Partner Ecosystem at Siemens PLM Software. “With Flutura bringing Cerebra’s pre-built industry solutions into the MindSphere ecosystem, we can continue to help deliver innovative IIoT Intelligence solutions globally.”

 Flutura brings Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered IIoT solutions to the partnership, enable Siemens’ customers to benefit from pre-built industry-specific applications (Cerebra NanoApps), built on Flutura’s artificial intelligence platform.

“We’re purpose build for asset heavy, and process heavy industries,” said Derick Jose, Chief Product Officer, Flutura. “MindSphere’s cloud-based, open IoT operating systems is a perfect match for our capabilities.”

Siemens’ MindSphere connects products, plants, systems, and machines allowing businesses to harness massive data generated by connected equipment, plants and factories with advanced analytics.

“Cerebra will transform this wealth of data collected into recommendations, actionable recommendations, in a proven feedback loop that includes near-real-time information that can generate everything from machine-to-machine resets to notifications and alerts sent to people registered to the system,” Jose continued.

"The Cerebra platform, with its advanced analytics capabilities and ability to integrate physics, heuristics and artificial intelligence to provide advanced diagnostics and prognostics solutions, can deliver tremendous value to the industrial market,” said Paul Kaeley, SVP of Global Partner Ecosystem at Siemens PLM Software. “With Flutura bringing Cerebra’s pre-built industry solutions into the MindSphere ecosystem, we can continue to help deliver innovative IIoT Intelligence solutions globally.”

In addition to technology integration and product development, the companies are also going to market together, to serve current customers with more services, and approach prospective customers.

Greg Slater, General Manager of Flutura Decision Sciences & Analytics, joined the company a few months ago after building and selling his company serving the O&G industry last year.

“I was attracted to Flutura for many of the same reasons as Siemens, and dozens of Flutura customers,” Slater said. “The platform is very evolved, with the ability to configure and roll out sophisticated AI and data capture and intelligence solutions in 90 days or less.

Slater will be working with Siemens as Flutura’s pre-fabricated solutions are added to the Siemens’ catalog, with apps that can be easily deployed on the MindSphere cloud platform.

“Today, there are big industrial companies in the O&G , Heavy machinery OEM and specialty and chemical categories, trying to enter the digital world, then there are big software and cloud companies like Siemens; where Flutura adds value is through innovations highly niche focused, built by technologists who deeply understand how those businesses operate – physically and practically, which is required to develop the right IIoT solutions,” Slater explained.

“Start-ups like ours are dependent on big data lakes,” Jose said, “and with Siemens and many other large software and cloud-based companies, we are succeeding as our niche solutions can be easily bolted on to existing platforms, including equipment and plant retrofits.”

Flutura also works with Halliburton, integrating with their iEnergy platform, an ecosystem of community partner technologies designed to accelerating the build and deployment of digital systems including integrated end-to-end workflows and asset management systems. Flutura counts among their other large industrial clients Henkel, Hitachi, GTT, Stewart & Stevenson and Sodexo and Bosch.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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