Element adds AWS integration for industrial sensor data

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Element is gearing up to announce an API integration between its Element Unify software and AWS IoT SiteWise. The product, which launched in December, makes sense of multiple IT and OT sensor streams to provide visibility into how industrial equipment is performing. The API integration will make it possible for customers to centralize plant data model integration and metadata management in a single contextual service, streamlining the capabilities and making them more accessible to AWS customers, Element CEO Andy Bane told VentureBeat.

“While monitoring is not new, what is new is the idea that you can get to a much greater scale and scope at a much better price point by working through a cloud hyper scaler like AWS,” Bane said.

The integration will be available on AWS Marketplace and will enable data to be ingested into AWS services, including AWS IoT SiteWise and Amazon’s S3 industrial data lake. Additionally, it can help customers more easily create the underlying data models to power other analytical systems, including Amazon SageMaker, Amazon QuickSight, and Amazon Lookout for Equipment.

From monitoring to autonomy 

While companies in various sectors are increasingly using sensors, Element’s technology is geared toward industrial enterprises, such as those involved in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, power generation, power transmission distribution, and other critical infrastructure. Specialty chemical company Evonik, for example, is trying to optimize capital expenditures and achieve better on-stream time and equipment uptime using the software.

Within Element’s customer base, many companies have hundreds of plants distributed globally, which creates a lot of data at the fleet, process, and equipment levels. By 2025, researchers predict 55.6% of all data will come from IoT devices, including industrial equipment. The pandemic has also had an impact on the need for plant data management, requiring more workers to monitor the state of their equipment remotely.

“This data is really nasty to work with. And so being able to solve for how you can bring context to all that, that sensor data out in the plant, is really new territory,” Bane said. Without the use of software like its own, Element claims that 95% of data generated across the industrial enterprise is unusable.

Aside from helping prevent costly equipment issues, reducing gaps in production, and making industrial data more easily understood in both the plant and the boardroom, the solution could be a stepping stone for industrial enterprises looking to bring more intelligence into their legacy systems. Bane believes the companies that will benefit most from this integration are those looking to apply AI and machine learning to all the OT data they’ve been collecting. He added that industrial companies need to build a foundation around monitoring and diagnosing before they can effectively get to autonomy.

Increases in data and solutions for managing it, as well as connectivity technologies like 5G, are seen as keys to the emerging Industry 4.0. Overall, the global market related to industrial digital transformation is projected to surpass $300 billion by 2023, marking a 384% rise in just five years.

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