IIC launches smart factory machine learning testbed

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global organisation transforming business and society by accelerating the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced the Smart Factory Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance Testbed. The testbed is led by two companies, Plethora IIoT, a company, designing and developing solutions for Industry 4.0, and Xilinx, provider of all programmable technology.

This innovative testbed explores machine-learning techniques and evaluates algorithmic approaches for time-critical predictive maintenance. This knowledge leads to actionable insight enabling companies to move away from traditional preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance, which minimises unplanned downtime and optimises system operation. This would ultimately help manufacturers increase availability, improve energy efficiency and extend the lifespan of high-volume CNC manufacturing production systems.

“Testbeds are the major focus and activity of the IIC and its members. We provide the opportunity for both small and large companies to collaborate and help solve problems that will drive the adoption of IoT applications in many industries”, said IIC executive director Dr. Richard Mark Soley. “The smart factory of the future will require advanced analytics, like those this testbed aims to provide, to identify system degradation before system failure. This type of machine learning and predictive maintenance could extend beyond the manufacturing floor to have a broader impact to other industrial applications.”

“Downtime costs some manufacturers as much as US$22 000 (A$27 600) per minute. Therefore, unexpected failures are one of the main players in maintenance costs because of their negative impact due to reactive and unplanned maintenance action. Being able to predict system degradation before failure has a strong positive impact on machine availability: increasing productivity and decreasing downtime, breakdowns and maintenance costs,” said Plethora IIoT team leader Javier Diaz. “We’re excited to lead this testbed with Xilinx and work alongside some of the leading players in IIoT technologies. This is a unique opportunity to test together machine learning technologies with those involved in the testbed at different development levels starting from the lab through production environments, where a real deployment solution is utilised. As a result, from these experiences, we can significantly reduce the time-to-market of Plethora IIoT solutions oriented to maximise smart factory competitiveness.”

”Xilinx is committed to providing the Industrial IoT industry with our latest All Programmable SoC and MPSoC platforms – ideal for sensor fusion, real-time, high-performance processing, and machine learning from the edge to the cloud,” stated Dan Isaacs, Director of Corporate Strategic Marketing and Market Development for IIoT and Machine Learning at Xilinx. “The combination of these highly configurable capabilities drives the intelligence of the smart factory.”

Additional IIC member companies participating in this testbed are: Bosch, Microsoft, National Instruments, RTI, System View, GlobalSign, Aicas, Thingswise, Titanium Industrial Security, and iVeia. They provide technologies to enable the Smart Factory Machine Learning testbed, including:

  • Factory automation
  • OT and IT security
  • Edge to cloud machine learning and analytics
  • Time-sensitive networking (TSN)
  • Data acquisition
  • Smart sensor technology
  • Design implementation
  • Embedded programmable SoC technology
  • Secure authentication

Plethora IIoT and Xilinx are currently participating at EMO Hannover 2017 and will provide more information on this testbed at the trade show. IIC testbeds are where the innovation and opportunities of the Industrial Internet – new technologies, new applications, new products, new services, new processes – can be initiated, thought through, and rigorously tested to ascertain their usefulness and viability before coming to market.