Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, IoT and IioT have all become familiar terms during the past few years, and there has been a lot of talk concerning them. Now is the time to move from talk to concrete actions and start a meaningful dialogue with data.
Today, we produce more data in a day than mankind had produced until the year 2006 in total. The majority of the data is created while the devices are connected to the Internet and through constant communication between devices.
"All smartphone owners have numerous examples of new applications and services built around data that make our lives easier in many ways. Innovations and technological development targeting consumers promote the development and increased efficiency within industry as well, setting an example to follow. It is the time for industry and industrial operators to take the next step forward in utilizing industrial data," says Jari Almi, Vice President, Industrial Internet at Valmet.
"For instance, at a paper mill, a huge amount of data is created in smart process equipment, process measurements, automation systems, ERP systems and other systems essential to the business. Traditionally, this data has been utilized at the system level for the control of a certain segment," Almi explains.
But how can the systems be made to communicate with each other and the collected data utilized comprehensively to maximize the plant’s production and profitability?
Applications and services based on the Industrial Internet utilize the data obtained from processes and different systems used at the plant more extensively than ever before. Even though calculation methods and advanced analytics have developed a lot over the past few years, the utilization of industrial data often requires a deep understanding of the processes and a knowledge of the equipment, so that the attention can be focused on the relevant findings. Therefore, dialogue between experts and data plays a key role in identifying and utilizing relevant data.
"Industrial Internet – the developed and networked analysis and utilization of data – eventually affects all stages of the production process and benefits the business in a comprehensive manner by making the supply chain more efficient, decreasing life cycle costs and adding value through more efficient processes," Almi summarises the benefits.
Valmet has a long experience in digitalization within the process industry.
"Our integrated automation system has always been an essential part of our process technology deliveries. We have, in fact, been building the foundations for the Industrial Internet for decades already," says Almi.
Valmet's new extensive offering covers a full range of new, data-driven Industrial Internet solutions to pulp, board, paper, tissue and energy producers. The Valmet Industrial Internet (VII) solutions combine advanced monitoring and prediction applications, Advanced Process Controls (APC), dynamic process simulators and remote services from Valmet Performance Centers into comprehensive solutions that provide tangible benefits to customers.
Remote services from Valmet’s eight Performance Centers are a key part of the VII solutions. The Performance Centers make Valmet’s expertise easily available for customers through remote connections and tools.
Customers can collaborate with Performance Center experts, access the Industrial Internet applications, follow-up their Key Performance Indicators and see performance reports via Valmet Customer Portal.
“Our customers’ needs have been the starting point of developing these data driven Industrial Internet solutions. We have integrated our process, automation and services know-how and extensive Industrial Internet application portfolio into a value-added solution offering. Ultimately, the aim is to empower our customers to move toward autonomous plants or mills, which will result in significantly more efficient production processes and operations," says Almi.
Dialogue is also needed between different companies so that the knowledge and skills of the whole value chain can be brought into the development work. Cooperation between different compnies creates ecosystems where different suppliers in cooperation and together with the end customer create new solutions and services based on the data. This way, the massive amount of data collected from the plant can be made to serve the business of all parties involved.
Valmet is currently building an Industrial Internet partner ecosystem for the pulp, paper and energy industries. The ecosystem partners already included are Tieto, a leading operator in the plant and ERP systems in the paper industry; the global chemicals company Kemira and Fabio Perini, a producer of machinery and integrated systems for tissue paper converting and packaging.
"We want to have an active role in the ecosystem and bring together both suppliers and customers in utilizing the possibilities of the Industrial Internet. I am personally looking forward to the development of the ecosystem, not only from the point of view of business development but also from the point of view of competence development. Together, we are much more than alone," Almi concludes.
In cooperation with its customers and partners, Valmet is developing increasingly advanced solutions that take the whole industry forward.