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Jacklin Altman03 Aug, 2017

Lego for your assets


"Like interlocking Lego pieces, AF assets can be joined together into a modular, scalable model of the entire enterprise, acting as a one-stop shop for all data streams, calculations, and analytics."


According to the World Economic Forum report on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), lack of data interoperability and standards is one of the biggest challenges to unlocking the full potential of sensor-based data in every industry sector. Companies are overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of their real-time data, and vital process information is landlocked in multiple systems without necessary context to make informed decisions.

Organizations are learning that transforming the influx of operational data into meaningful insights requires structure: a consistent, overarching framework for converting hard-to-read tags and points of measurement into context-layered digital replica of assets and plants.

With no structure and context, raw time-series data is like musical notes without a score. Add structure and the random sounds join into a symphony.  Add context and your data transforms into your equipment, operational processes and facilities. Once sensor-based data is standardized in a consistent framework and enriched with context, everyone in your organization can find it, understand it, visualize it, and use it to make critical decisions that drive efficiency and profitability.


For OSIsoft's PI System that layer of structure and context is Asset Framework - AF for short.  AF combines asset data such as pressure, temperature, last maintenance, and other relevant external information to create a digital representation of your physical assets so you can see their current operating states and trend lines. In addition, AF integrates peripheral data streams from outside sources, such as weather, CAD data, emissions, and plant-level KPIs that go beyond physical inspections.

An asset inside AF can be an individual sensor, a piece of equipment, an industrial process, or a series of manufacturing plants.  Like interlocking Lego pieces, the AF assets can be joined together into a modular, scalable model of the entire enterprise, acting as one-stop shop for all data streams, calculations, and analytics.  Once time-series data is in AF, anyone can create displays and reports with PI System visualization tools, or transmit analytics-ready data to business systems and analytics packages such as Esri® ArcGIS®, SAP HANA®, and Microsoft® Azure® Analytics - without any programming or additional coding.

Many of OSIsoft's customers, including Shell, Barrick Gold, and Cargill, rely on AF to structure millions of data streams with standardized templates and asset models that allow their operations to be predictive, rather than reactive.

A recent success story is MOL, one of Central Europe's largest oil and gas companies.  In 2010, MOL wanted to apply advanced analytics to develop processing techniques for opportunity crudes that minimized negative effects on its plants. As a first step, MOL adopted AF to create a digital twin of different processes and equipment sets across their facilities. Using AF, MOL created a dynamic, smart data infrastructure with over 300 asset object templates, 21,000 elements, and 61,000+ Event Frames designed to signal the occurrence of key events.  Now, MOL uses AF to track over 80 billion data points a year. In all, MOL estimates it increased earnings by $1 billion over a five-year period.

You can find more stories of how AF has paved the way for the digital transformations of OSIsoft customers by watching our User Conference presentations. Here is a small selection of our recent favorites:

For more information about Asset Framework's latest features, visit our Tech Support product site.

Jacklin AltmanDigital Media ManagerJacklin is the Digital Media Manager and local food critic at OSIsoft. With over 7 years of experience in marketing, software, and social media, she writes about all things tech, marketing, and the PI System.
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