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What Can You Do With IIoT?

This week, Eigen’s Greg Picot, Director of Product Development, and Dell’s Jason Shepherd, Director of IoT Strategy and Partnerships, talk with Mary Allen at InsightaaS.com about the state of innovation on the Industrial Internet of Things.

Research driving the article cites that businesses with advanced IT sophistication and maturity are the cohorts adopting new technology in order to better manage risk within their organizations and process: “it is this segment that appears poised to IoT hype to IT reality” according to InsightaaS.

WhatCanYouDoWithIoT

This growing maturity within certain market segments is where there’s a convergence happening on the Industrial Internet of Things bridging the traditional Operational Technology disciplines with Information Technology solutions. There’s a tipping point of maturing market segments and maturing technology creating a lot of competitive advantage for early adopters.

Read more about these findings and how companies like Eigen Innovations and Dell are partnering to bring innovative solutions to these emerging markets at InsightaaS.com.

Eigen makes the final round of Cisco’s Global Innovation Challeng

We’ve got some exciting news. Today we can announce that Eigen Innovations has been named one of the top six finalists in the Cisco Grand Innovation Challenge, a prestigious competition that recognizes companies creating disruptive technologies that leverage the fast-growing “Internet of Things” (IoT): http://bit.ly/1I6uEkq

In just over 2 weeks, the Eigen team will be in Dubai where we’ll pitch to a panel of judges at the World IoT Forum on December 7. We’re honoured to be the only remaining Canadian company in the competition, and we look forward to meeting our fellow “Super Six” finalists from around the world.

The Challenge began in June with more than 3000 entries from over 100 countries. Through a series of elimination rounds, Cisco reduced the list to a top 15 in early October, and with Eigen having been included among the “Super Six” finalists, we’re now focusing on preparations for the final evaluation.

As the founders of the Grand Innovation Challenge, we’d like to thank Cisco for helping to advance the amazing work that’s being done in the Internet of Things space, and of course, we’re excited to have been chosen to pitch before the judges in Dubai.

A big thank you to our clients and supporters, friends and families. With your support we’re doing some exciting things and we look forward to continuing on our path of innovation and creating leading-edge technology.

Watch this space to find out how it all goes down in Dubai.

How Data Science & Metallurgy meet on the IIoT

Introduction

A major innovation happening in industrial environments is the application of new technology to old process in order to gain performance and quality improvements, while reducing cost of operations and improving safety. Eigen Innovations has been on the forefront of developing leading edge technologies for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by leveraging big data analytics and deep learning algorithms to achieve these benefits for companies looking to gain extra competitive advantage.

The process of lead smelting is something that has existed for centuries, ultimately tracing its roots back to ancient times. With each generation, new technology has given greater insight and refinement to what is still considered a “dark art” process. It is with this context that a unique opportunity presented itself to yet again evolve our understanding of this process using the latest combination of technologies provided by Eigen Innovations in partnership with Glencore Xtrata at their lead smelting manufacturing plant in Belledune, NB.

 

Problem Overview

A lead blast furnace is a highly dynamic and volatile environment, with temperatures ranging well in to 1000 degrees Celsius. Yet, this environment requires a high degree of control and optimization to maintain optimal blast furnace temperature, even distribution of raw material, and real-time corrective measures to produce the desired product output. Operators in this environment have to rely on the combination of expert knowledge accumulated over generations combined with observational data, which can be limited due to the harshness of this environment.

Sub-optimal performance in a blast furnace can contribute to:

  • uneven distribution of the ‘burden layer’ (the top layer of raw material being reduced)
  • hot-spots and flare-ups
  • channelling of gas through the burden layer
  • build-up of accretion on the furnace shaft

All of these results can reduce the campaign life of a smelting run and the overall quality of the end product.

FLIR thermal image from the inside of a blast furnace

FLIR thermal image from the inside of a blast furnace

 

Solution Overview

Eigen Innovation has developed a connected data analytics platform that is optimized for industrial applications.  The solution uses Eigen’s Intellexon™ software installed and configured on a small industrial gateway device.  The software is programmed to process large amounts of data in real-time in order to provide immediate feedback to operators and other machines in order to optimize a process flow.  Connecting one of FLIR’s fix mounted automation cameras to the platform captures up to 60 frames of high resolution digital thermal data per second enabling a rich real-time view of exactly what is happening within this industrial process.

This solution has enabled Glencore to gain new understandings of the movement of the burden layer within the blast furnace while it’s operating, enabling them to develop proactive strategies to managing the operation of the process in real-time and integrate process control using the Eigen connected platform.  Glencore is now not only able to see what is happening inside the blast furnace and also able to understand the data in real-time using Eigen’s connected data analytics platform.

This past week, Eigen Innovations was honoured to participate at COM 2015 (http://web.cim.org/com2015/) held in Toronto, Ontario, and co-present the findings of this innovative breakthrough on-stage with Glencore Xstrata.

 

About Eigen Innovations

Bringing Vision to the IIoT: Eigen is certified to work with a range of FLIR thermal cameras that connect to our Intellexon™ platform for advanced analytics and deep learning algorithms for plant-wide optimizations. Contact Greg Picot (greg.picot@34.204.9.166) or Justin McKillop (justin.mckillop@34.204.9.166) for more information.

Contact Scott Everett, CTO (scott.everett@34.204.9.166) for more information about the findings of Eigen’s development of lead smelting process optimization.

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EigenInnovation and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com

Eigen Innovations Updates Intelligent Gateway

At Eigen Innovations, we are focused on providing easy to use solutions, that are highly intelligent, and have the smallest footprint within industrial operations. We have been hard at work building new capabilities in to our vision analytics platform and we’re excited to make these new features available in our latest software update.

Our main focus in this release is to put more power in to the hands of operators by introducing more capability in to the Eigen Smart Module (ESM) Gateway. The ESM Gateway runs in plant operations by gathering input from thermal camera stream data and PLC triggers enabling the automation of alarms and actions by training the ESM Gateway to respond to the data it processes in real-time. The Gateway also connects to the Intellexon™ platform for advanced analytics and deep learning algorithms for plant-wide optimizations.

This latest release enhances the Gateway with the following new capabilities:

 

Dual Thermal Camera support on a single ESM Gateway

The Eigen software has been updated to process two thermal streams on a single ESM Gateway which doubles the thermal data gathering and processing possible with the solution.

  • More cost effective solution to focus capital and operations on data processing and automation instead of hardware deployment
  • Reduces the footprint requirement within industrial operations, reducing the initial setup and operational maintenance and support
  • Allows monitoring of a larger field of view or completely independent fields of view and correlate data processing and automation from single ESM GatewayArchitecture

 

Optical Camera support on the ESM Gateway

Eigen focuses on building highly intelligent solutions for plant optimization and automation. However, we know that the smartest resource on the plant floor is the Operator and providing solutions that always keep them in control of the operation is something we hold as a core value. By including support for “optical” viewing while processing thermal data, it gives the ability to “see” what Eigen is processing enabling greater control.

  • Combine with a thermal solution for dual optical viewing and IR processing
  • Hard to “see” areas now easily accessible with existing thermal installations
  • Visually confirm inspection and alarm events as they occur

 

Usability Improvements

We are continually listening to our customers looking for ways to improve the experience of using the Eigen solution. This release includes a number of improvements and optimizations to the Eigen software, including:

  • Global default setting for temperature readings depending on regional preferences
  • Support for readings in Fahrenheit, along with Celsius and Kelvin
  • Auto scaling of the thermal range in the viewer: for dynamic fields of view, let the Eigen software adjust the thermal scale in order to provide clearer monitoring
  • Improved user notifications for storage usage alerts
  • Optimizations to compression for video uploads

 

About Eigen Innovations

Eigen is certified to work with a range of FLIR thermal cameras that connect to our Intellexon™ platform for advanced analytics and deep learning algorithms for plant-wide optimizations. Contact Greg Picot (greg.picot@eigeninnovations.com) or Justin McKillop (justin.mckillop@eigeninnovations.com) for more information about Eigen Innovations and to learn more about our latest release.

How do we change the definition of simple?

Imagine a future where you pile some rocks in a field, leave a few robots behind, and a few months later, return to find a stone home that is, in reality, exactly as your favourite designer imagined it. Then imagine all of this is powered by natural resources. This is our perception of the new simple. Simple shouldn’t mean less intelligent; it should mean more intelligent. Simple should also mean exactly who you are and what you do.

For many, the Internet of Things is a complex concept, but for us, it is the next logical next step in business and technology. And it’s a profound effecter of change. It is the future. Everything is an interconnected sensor, from your smart phone and your computer, to your refrigerator and even your car. The challenge today is to get enormous amounts of complex data offered by these sensors and to transfer them into usable, simpler pockets of knowledge. It’s a way of life and a “world of huge possibilities”.

We dream big globally but we begin and finish locally. For us, new technology unlocks fresh creative expressions, an art that seemingly isn’t art. Our work starts with a multiplicity of complex links. With the help of an integrated vision system, a simple application, and an intuitive platform, we give eyes and brains to machines, effectively giving vision to the Internet of Things.

Eyesight is one of the more difficult senses to replicate, especially in manufacturing. Factories use really low-grade sensors to try to measure exceptionally complicated products and parts. We can now see what is going on in a factory, including temperature distributions, via thermal cameras. But, how do we use that data effectively now that we have technology to sense what is around us?

While we were consulting, we observed the most valuable data just spilling onto the plant floor, and we knew it had to start going somewhere and be put to use. We wanted to capture that data because it has the raw potential to make that end product better and to improve the manufacturing process. With Intellexon™, Eigen Innovations’ intuitive platform, manufacturers can now do just that.

Our driving force at Eigen Innovations is saving resources. The goal of manufacturing is bigger, better, faster, and stronger. Our core value is conserving on raw material waste. Thinking of the future of food processing, if we have to feed 9 billion people in the world, we need to consume 40% less or become 40% more efficient than we are today to feed them. Eigen is helping food processors get closer to that goal, not only by saving money but also by reducing waste on a precious resource, food. The system has also been successfully implemented in the mining and automotive industries where saving precious resources helped to build better products at a lower price. That trend is becoming more accentuated.

With Eigen’s full-stack solution – acquire, aggregate, analyze, and action – the process becomes simpler. The data is collected, processed, evaluated, and studied. The system uses the data that once spilled onto the shop floor to solve problems in real time using the expertise that the operator has acquired just by doing their job. It is a platform that configures itself and in which the operator becomes the consultant, resulting in reduced waste. It’s an automated approach in which both machine and human are learning by getting constructive feedback. Through innumerable replications, the data is collected and processed into meaning.

The Internet of things could mean a redefinition of what it means to be human. Technology becomes creation, which makes it artistic, and innovation connects dots.

What Eigen is trying to do is simply to replicate what humans do naturally. Our own Scott Everett plans to use this innovative sensor technology to efficiently build a sawmill so that, in turn, he can build a barn for his upcoming wedding, this October, to his fiancée Danielle. How do we take technology and mesh it with the simple idea that we want to build a barn? If we can get people to engage on that front, then education isn’t education anymore. It’s incredible to hear how excited Scott gets when he talks about data building the barn. Data analysis will help him construct an effective product, reducing waste and saving time, money, and labour. These simple ideas – the ability to build a barn for one’s own wedding, a very complex task – drive Scott’s innovations. Eigen Innovations is capturing the imagination, bringing the old into the new.

Welcome to Eigen Labs!

It is exciting times at Eigen Innovations. We are working on some pretty cool new technology and we are solving real world problems in new ways that were never before possible. All of us here at Eigen are passionate about what we do and we are always dreaming up new ways to use our technology for new challenges. Technology is evolving so fast that every day presents a new opportunity.

That’s why we started the Eigen Labs Blog. It’s our chance to share with you our thoughts and give you a glimpse of some of the great things we are working on. We hope this can become a 2 way conversation. We want to engage with everyone in a meaningful dialog and together we can explore the endless possibilities of the “Internet of Things”.

Stay tuned for regular updates from us, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us to join the conversation…