When you read about the Internet of Things, you often hear about connected cars, connected kitchen appliances, small devices that let you order things quickly, or other consumer-grade applications. In this post, I will quickly describe a recent IoT project I worked on where the devices are not small consumer-grade sensors…they are large industrial manufacturing machines.

In this case, machines arranged on a shop floor are responsible for cutting metal into various shapes. These machines must be both very powerful and very precise, and they have robotic arms that are programmed to grip specialized tools for this activity. These machines use the MT Connect protocol as the language for communicating their operational status and the results of any action taken. On collection, the data is streamed to a collection point for analysis. In older machines, adapters are installed to stream the machine’s data using the common language.

Our work on this project helped the engineers identify optimal cut times by analyzing the machine activity data. First, we needed to enhance the collection process so that all data was readily available, then apply the appropriate business rules to identify cut time, and finally provide quick, actionable feedback on the outcome. Read More…

WindowsAzureAs more and more businesses move their applications to the cloud, it’s clear that operation and log data analysis is a major component to the migrating process. That data is crucial to understanding the health and reliability of your cloud services with respect to scalability, resilience, uptime, and your ability to troubleshoot issues.

But how do you deal with all that operational data? How do you identify specific application issues such as exceptions raised from bugs in the code, troubling increases in processor or memory consumption, or slow response times?

It turns out that migrating your applications to the cloud is just the first step: Having a well-thought-out operational data and monitoring user story is just as important. Read More…

Internet of Things, IOT

The short answer is yes. Not only can it save your organization money, but it can do so while also delivering more functionality and freedom. AIS recently worked with a large machine-tooling company that had a machine optimization software solution they wanted to re-platform in a lower-cost, more scalable and flexible way.

Their machine optimization system reports real-time and historical data on how cutting tools and machines are performing, and recommends improvement opportunities. However, it was built using traditional software development techniques and doesn’t take advantage of any platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities and benefits.

They asked us to create a proof-of-concept (POC) solution utilizing Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services. This POC would be used to prove that an Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services-based solution could provide derived data results within +/- 10% of their current software solution and experimental results, as well as address a number of existing technical limitations and outstanding business needs.

Click here to read how we overcame this challenge.