SmartSignal Summit 2004: Interpret data, avoid failures

Chicago, IL—The next runaway opportunity for business advantage will be data interpretation, and much of that intelligence will connect with an organization’s primary assets, including those on the plant-floor, according to presenters at SmartSignal Corp.’s first Predictive Monitoring Summit on Sept. 20-21.


Chicago, IL— The next runaway opportunity for business advantage will be data interpretation, and much of that intelligence will connect with an organization’s primary assets, including those on the plant-floor, according to presenters at SmartSignal Corp. ’s first Predictive Monitoring Summit on Sept. 20-21. First-day session topics included predictive maintenance in various industries; software security; impact of service, maintenance and diagnostic centers; plant-floor and IT integration; and global device integration.

SmartSignal analyzes sensor data over time to predict when equipment is most likely to fail. Algorithms help SmartSignal’s software recognize patterns too subtle or too buried for traditional analysis, which allows businesses to predict previously unpredictable problems, and change the outcomes. Users can virtually eliminate unscheduled downtime, according James Gagnard, SmartSignal’s president and CEO. SmartSignal’s early-warning Equipment Condition Monitoring (ECM) software is used by airlines, locomotive operators, electric generators, natural gas transmission companies, among others, to improve reliability of critical assets. It’s one of those investments about which companies subsequently hesitate to release hard numbers relating to value because of the competitive advantages they believe the software/service provides.

“You are the early adopters,” Gagnard told the summit’s attendees. “Hundreds of companies are behind you that don’t have this on their priority list.” He welcomed participation by customers and prospects “to make our solution more beneficial, more effective.”

Other presenters at the meeting included Michael Bakewell, Entergy Corp.’s fossil operations VP, who described using SmartSignal’s software at 31 power plants, which generate about 30,000 MW in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Bakewell says one of the biggest challenges while implementing the ECM software was to convince operators and plant personnel that its goal wasn’t to be a “Big Brother,” but rather to reduce costs of undiagnosed problems, give advice, and improve safety and environmental performance.

In continuous, 24/7 operation from May 2003 to the present, the Entergy Monitoring and Diagnostic Center has had 252 total catches at Entergy’s facilities, including 30 that were deemed “significant.” This produced value for Entergy exceeding 200% of the cost of implementation. Bakewell adds that the best part is SmartSignal software’s speedy pattern-recognition capability, which searches 15,000 data points frequently and up to twice as many less frequently. “With that much data, early detection of slowly developing failures was unmanageable,” he explains.

SmartSignal also helped Entergy build the models needed before implementation. In addition, authorized personnel at Entergy’s plants were given access to ECM’s WatchList information via browsers, so the software wasn’t seen as a threat. “Everyone wants to stay more alert,” adds Bakewell. Training was especially helpful, he says.

Other companies that use SmartSignal’s software include Delta, IBM, General Motors Elec-tromotive, Progress Energy.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
click me