Suite facilitates information collection and analysis in the real-time factory era
“Business people suddenly discovered real time,” is how OSIsoft President and CEO Patrick Kennedy characterizes the past 12 months. As a result, there's been something of an explosion taking place in the amount of real-time data being collected from the factory floor—a development reflected both in the demand for OSIsoft's products, and in the changing nature of those products.
“Business people suddenly discovered real time,” is how OSIsoft President and CEO Patrick Kennedy characterizes the past 12 months. As a result, there’s been something of an explosion taking place in the amount of real-time data being collected from the factory floor—a development reflected both in the demand for OSIsoft’s products, and in the changing nature of those products.
OSIsoft sells the PI System suite of applications, which facilitate collection and analysis of detailed information about manufacturing processes. The company has a global base of more than 11,000 installations across the manufacturing, utilities, life sciences, and other process-industry sectors.
Privately held OSIsoft has specialized in delivering real-time insight into operational performance for more than 25 years. But as the appetite for real-time data continues to grow, Kennedy says, so do expectations for systems that collect and manage that data. “Businesses are now looking at the real-time world and the data that it provides, and wanting the same robustness and data integrity that they have elsewhere in their enterprise systems,” Kennedy says.
OSIsoft responded with the newly released High-Availability version of the PI System. This is expected to be the first of a series of product releases from OSIsoft aimed at delivering a significant boost in data protection by providing fault-tolerant software that delivers interface fail-over, buffering, and PI server replication. As Kennedy explains, these features will ensure “data will always be online, and always ready for use.”
The system allows manufacturers to deploy multiple servers—referred to by OSIsoft as a “collective”—housing the PI System. Time-series data can be routed to the collective, where it can be buffered, if necessary, for any server on the network that is unable to receive data for any reason at any given time. Once the non-receiving servers are back online, they will receive the buffered data. This assures that anyone accessing plant-floor data anywhere on the network will always get the most current information.
Existing OSIsoft customers can upgrade from their traditional PI System to the High-Availability version using point-and-click tools, thus leveraging existing operational investments and infrastructure, adds Kennedy.