If the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is really going to take off, we keep hearing, industry needs to be able to actually do something meaningful with all the data being collected. It seems hardly a day passes that, as editors covering this technology, we don’t get another email from yet another little company explaining how they’re the only ones actually making that data useful. It’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, to say the least, and that was a big impetus behind our recent feature, “Making Sense of IIoT Analytics.”
Seeq is one of those small startups that not only started getting our attention as the analytics movement began really taking off, but has certainly been making industry take notice as well. It has spent the past few years proving its application’s ability to quickly find actionable insights in process manufacturing, working with most of the industry’s historians to pull the nuggets out of complex data sets.
With a flurry of recent announcements, Seeq is showing what a vital component its technology has become in the move toward IIoT enabling improved production optimization. In just the past week or so, the company has announced important collaborations with Honeywell, Inductive Automation and Schneider Electric.
Today’s announcement highlights Seeq’s work in the Honeywell Connected Plant initiative to help process manufacturers leverage data and insights. This joint development agreement—which has also recently announced the addition of Flowserve, Aereon and others—will help customers minimize unplanned shutdowns, maximize output, minimize safety risk and optimize supply chain strategies.
The goal is to create a system that securely captures, aggregates and analyzes data, and then leverages an ecosystem of equipment vendors, process licensors, OEMs and other industry experts to provide a higher-level outcome, according to Shree Dandekar, senior vice president and general manager for Honeywell Connected Plant. “Honeywell’s deep domain knowledge and capabilities in process optimization, data consolidation, storage and asset monitoring combined with Seeq’s technology help us to identify and solve previously unsolvable problems,” he said.
Seeq’s approach empowers front-line engineers and operations analysts to find insights more quickly from asset and operations data in oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy and other process industries.
“We see this collaboration between Honeywell and Seeq as beneficial to continuously improving how we serve our customers with the latest advanced software and analytics,” said Steve Sliwa, Seeq’s CEO and cofounder. “Honeywell provides key infrastructure to collect and securely store data, while we embed decades of domain knowledge into advanced analytics for more business value, faster. This collaboration will help us provide our customers with new insight through transformative capabilities that lead to more rapid decision-making and process optimization.”
Seeq also recently announced connectivity to Inductive Automation’s Ignition SCADA system, enabling Inductive Automation customers to use Seeq Workbench to quickly find insights in their data.
“We are very pleased to announce support for Inductive Automation and look forward to helping our shared customers get even more value from their Ignition SCADA systems,” Sliwa said. “The innovative approach Inductive Automation has taken in building modern industrial software is impressive, and it’s exciting to be a part of their ecosystem of partners.”
Working together, Seeq and the Ignition SCADA platform will provide customers with innovative control and a data management platform, as well as rapid, interactive analytics on the collected data. Customers will be able to achieve insights to improve production results that they didn’t have the time to do before.
“We are very happy to have Seeq’s support for the Ignition platform, which we describe as The New SCADA because it redefines SCADA technology and licensing,” said Don Pearson, chief strategy officer for Inductive Automation. “Many attendees at our annual Ignition Community Conference were very pleased with the flexibility and productivity offered by Seeq.”
Schneider Electric also seems impressed with the capabilities Seeq offers, instrumental in enabling the energy management and automation supplier to provide real-time insight into operation profitability.
Through a partnership with Seeq, Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Profit Advisor can measure the financial performance of an industrial operation in real time—from equipment assets on up through the enterprise. It works with any process historian to mine both historical and real-time data, and then processes that data through Schneider Electric’s proprietary segment-specific accounting algorithms to determine real-time profitability and potential savings.
Within a growing trend to extract more value from existing control systems, Profit Advisor allows plant personnel to see and understand the ROI and business value their actions, activities and assets are contributing to the business in real time. The idea is to give the workforce the ability to make better business decisions with a variety of data analytics to help drive operational profitability improvements. It layers real-time accounting models onto the Seeq Workbench to become a scalable solution to both measure and control profitability.
As Seeq’s Michael Risse and Brian Crandall explained to me during a user’s group meeting last fall, the Excel spreadsheets just aren’t cutting it anymore. “It takes a full-time staff just to keep the dashboard up to date,” lamented Crandall, an analytics engineer for Seeq. Instead, Seeq’s Google-like search makes it easy to get at the data.
“There’s a hole in the industry for engineers who know what they want to do,” said Risse, Seeq’s vice president and chief marketing officer.
Seeq is looking to fill that hole, and seems to be well on its way.