PI Cloud Connect

The digital transformation team meets with Pat and they discuss how the PI CC service can enable easier and quicker resolution of problems that are better solved by Proclndustries' partners. Pat agrees to evaluate the PI CC PaaS to see if it meets the company's requirements, which are as follows:

  • • Proclndustries defines the data transmitted and controls third-party access to the data.
  • • No external entity can access data without Proclndustries physically authorizing it.
  • • The connection must be 99.9% available and accurately transmit the data.
  • • The connection must be 100% secure so that neither the Proclndustries IT environment nor the Proclndustries data are compromised.
  • • The third party cannot have direct access to the South Texas refinery EIDI, except to send analysis results to the EIDI on a network that cannot access the control network or key business information.
  • • The platform should require minimal effort to use, with software deployment and maintenance activities mostly performed by the software vendor, including managing the cloud hosting environment.
  • • The platform needs to be scalable and adaptable to typical IT cloud environments (Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services), without excessive deployment efforts.
  • • There should not be significant translation or cross-mapping issues between data points.

Peter explains and summarizes what he learned about PI CC from attending the OSIsoft annual user conference:

  • • It is architected using secured data sharing without virtual private networks (VPNs).
  • • Early adapter companies related that it was easy to install, connect, and configure.
  • • The software is managed by OSIsoft with a minimal on-premises footprint.
  • • It's a scalable solution based on the Microsoft Azure cloud environment.
  • • It utilizes a web-based portal for configuration and monitoring.
  • • Because the EIDI has the capability to store future data, such as model predictions, our people can track real-time variance between what the provider has estimated and our actual results.

FIGURE 9.1

PI Cloud Connect architecture for production companies and service providers.

Figure 9.1 shows the interconnection between a customer and a service provider using PI CC. Once a connection is enabled in PI CC, the publisher of the data (typically the manufacturing company) browses their PI AF asset object model database and selects what data they wish to share with the subscriber, generally the equipment or service provider.

The exchange of data in the PI CC utilizes Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. The data published can include real-time streaming data as well as any metadata stored in the data model. The manufacturer can optionally publish the complete asset object model via PI CC. Once a copy of the asset object model is received by the third-party provider, the actual data is published and begins streaming in real time. Peter offers to provide references that show successful OSIsoft customer implementations.

Figure 9.2 shows several examples of entities that use a connected services environment to assist their customers with operational challenges, using a "just-in-time" model for analyzing customer data for various use cases.

The four circles represent the senders and recipients of the real-time data shared via the cloud. The left circle represents the production sites that would normally send a subset of the actual production data. For example, they might designate PI CC to send the subset of their data relating to compressor performance to their compressor supplier, who subscribes to receive that data. The top circle could represent the company's headquarters, whose business management receives aggregated production rates, costs, cycle times, cost of energy and water consumables, key performance indicators (KPIs), product quality, and so on. Business leadership likely would not want detailed equipment performance data.

The right circle shows a company that might want to provide limited information to joint partners, perhaps a production plant that is owned by both

FIGURE 9.2

Data sharing using connected services for process manufacturers to their business partners and service providers.

entities, while the remaining plants are solely owned and no information would be shared with the partner. The bottom circle shows multiple entities that can utilize a direct data connection between the production company owning the assets and their equipment vendors, service providers, and domain subject-matter experts. These companies need visibility into specific subsets of the plant data and may not have direct visibility into the manufacturing operations data. The production or operations data transported through the cloud makes serving their customers quicker and more efficient.

 
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