Big Data Meets Measurement in Manufacturing
All of the analog data acquired from manufacturing and products—a.k.a. the Internet of Things (IoT)— dwarfs what is currently known as Big Data.
By Gary Mintchell, Automation World Co-Founder
ig Data headlines not only tech news but also popular news—as
in what’s the government doing with all the informaon it’s stor
-ing about us. Big Data comprises just a twig compared with the full-
grown oak that Big Analog Data can generate. Naonal Instruments Fellow Tom Bradicich menoned twice in separate interviews during NIWeek last month that all of the analog data acquired from manu
facturing and products—a.k.a. the Internet of Things (IoT)—dwarfs
what is currently known as Big Data.
When thinking about data, consider the ow. First is acquision
from analog measurements. This may or may not be used in real
me. Then there is data in moon and data at rest. Finally there is
archiving the data. Then characterize data by where it is. The insight
comes from how the data is used. Real me is important if you are monitoring a motor about to catch re. On the other hand, maybe
you want to go through three years of data to look for trend.
“In test and measurement, we might debate with IT about whose data is bigger,” Bradicich says. “It’s not just size, but also velocity. When data leaves NI devices, it’s in moon. Then rst it hits a switch, server or workstaon. Now it is at rest in an IT server. Now the IT world takes over for analycs, then archiving. The queson for us is, Where do customers want to derive insight? Maybe closer to the instrument, or maybe later at the desk. The four variables of data classically are volume, velocity, variety and value. We have added a h—visibility—for who needs to see and analyze results.”Since NI is a measurement company, it has partnered with several companies to bring a Big Data soluon. IBM has become a close partner—not surprising given that NI’s senior vice president of R&D and Bradicich are both from IBM. Specically, the product from IBM is InfoSphere Streams, part of the IBM Big Data plaorm. It processes vast amounts of generated streaming data in real me and allows user-developed applicaons to quickly ingest, analyze and correlate informaon as it arrives from thousands of real-me sources. The soluon can handle very high data throughput rates—up to millions
of events or messages per second.
Terabytes of data
An NI partner, Phasor Measurement, has developed a soluon to
monitor the electric power grid. Bradicich says it can generate 5 TB
of data per month. A wind turbine can generate 10 TB per day, and a jet engine can generate 20 TB per hour. It’s easy to see how this fast, streaming data could add up quickly.Duke Energy built a system to conquer the problem of monitor
ing and analyzing diagnoscs of its “fossil fuel eet” of generang plants. The old way sent condion monitoring specialists to each site with handheld data collecon devices. The company gured that the