By Stephanie Neil on Aug 31, 2019
Combining IIoT and AI to Elevate Machine Health
Every manufacturer wants to avoid unexpected downtime in the plant. And, that starts with proactively monitoring machines to keep them up and running. For that reason, technology suppliers are offering up plenty of diagnostic applications designed for machine maintenance. But many of the offerings available are point solutions that are too narrow in focus, or they are too broad and collect too much of the wrong kind of data which does not provide a way for technicians to pinpoint the root cause of a potential problem.
Augury, a company based in Israel and the U.S., is changing the conversation around machine health by combining advanced sensor technology, artificial intelligence and reliability expertise to provide accurate and actionable insights for an entire ecosystem of production line assets.
According to Augury, every machine has a unique acoustic fingerprint. By listening carefully and applying advanced analytics, manufacturers and machine builders can predict faults before they occur.
“We are a machine health solution that makes sure machines that matter are always running for our customers,” said Jonathan Biagiotti, product marketing manager at Augury. “And the way we do this is by vibration analysis, temperature data analysis, and magnetic field data analytics.”
Augury was founded in 2011 by Saar Yoskovitz and Gal Shaul. Shaul was working for a medical device company at the time, and would have to fly out to customer locations to fix equipment that could have been corrected remotely with software and acoustics, the two concluded. So they collaborated to create Augury.
Initially, the company developed a portable hand-held diagnostic tool with capabilities of Category IV vibration analysis. More recently, leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and AI, Augury rolled out a product called Halo, a wireless platform that provides real-time and continuous advanced diagnostics that alerts personnel to even the slightest change in a machine’s health status, delivering a detailed malfunction analysis.
“We give actionable insights to customers,” Biagiotti explained. “It’s not just, ‘you have high vibration,’ rather, ‘you have a problem on the drive end of motor which is a moderate misalignment problem, and we recommend you laser align the machine.’ It is specific and actionable and the people reading the results don’t have to be a vibrational analyst.”
That’s because Augury has certified Cat III and IV vibration analysts on staff who tag data and determine what the fault means. They are available to the customer as part of a turnkey service that includes reliability consulting.
Augury experts collect information on the magnetic field—one thing the company has pioneered, Biagiotti said. Plus, the algorithms are more sophisticated than what is currently out there for machine learning applications. “We are not just looking at vibration, but dozens of calculated values…The signals give an early heads-up when things change and detect anomalies based on past behavior.”
The goal is to look at the health of the system to improve the overall performance at the plant as well as the larger supply chain. Augury executives recognize that machine health is about solving a bigger problem.
For example, a beer manufacturer buys a pump because they need it to move beer from one place to another, but they are more interested in the performance of the pump vs. the maintenance of it. To that end, the company gave the example of a beer bottler that saved three hours of downtime, 180,000 bottles of production loss and $360,000 in retail value by knowing a motor was going to fail, before it did so – thanks to Augury’s cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.
Halo has web and mobile dashboards that can be viewed on a PC, laptop, iPhone or Android providing KPIs and plant performance metrics. The company can also push text messages and e-mails to people to alert them if there is a change to the status of a machine. Halo can also integrate with a company’s existing work order management system or computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
Augury works with manufacturers in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, CPG, water and wastewater treatment and power industries, as well as has partnerships with OEMs.