Easy as PI: Edge Data Store

Posted: 10 AUG, 2022

For a company like Rolloos, which specializes in improving safety in offshore drilling, there are a lot of complex and dangerous processes surrounding everyday operations. Often working in the middle of the sea on a drill rig, operators rely solely on visual confirmation from ground crews when moving drill pipes. Between cumbersome equipment, 30-foot drill pipes, and employees moving about, offshore drilling is rife with risks. After a safety incident, one of Rolloos' clients reached out to get help improving their operations and mitigating incidents, and Rolloos knew just the solution: Edge Data Store.

Penny Gunterman, vice president of operations portfolio marketing, is intimately acquainted with one of the latest AVEVATM PI SystemTM technologies, Edge Data Store, and the transformative impact it can have on a business.

What is Edge Data Store?

In layman's terms it's software to bring edge IoT data into mainstream data sets, explains Gunterman, “It's a set of rugged, resilient software components integrated together to allow people to gather data from assets in locations that used to be too expensive or too dangerous to access, giving increased visibility.” The pumps you used to have to drive hours to, the places where you couldn't put a traditional computer—they’re all accessible with Edge Data Store for remote monitoring.

What inspired Edge Data Store?

“OSIsoft [now part of AVEVA] has a long history of providing field-based, real-time data collection, but with many remote assets, data cannot be collected and sent in real time due to unreliable or low-bandwidth networks. Edge Data Store was developed to provide real-time connectivity for these remote assets and short-term data storage so data can be accessed locally and sent when network connectivity allows. In most of these remote asset scenarios, AVEVATM PI Server isn't a good fit—it is enterprise software that requires enterprise-level compute resources and an administrator to manage it, and in edge cases, you have low-powered devices and may not have people around,” says Gunterman. “Edge Data Store runs on small, lightweight, resource-constrained Linux and Windows devices.” The goal of creating Edge Data Store was to shine a light on assets and processes that are “far from home” she adds. “We wanted to create a technology that would be able to withstand challenging elements.”

With the abundance of cheap, available IoT sensors, and as the space rapidly continues to evolve, there was a huge convergence of opportunity that has allowed AVEVA PI System to better support our industrial customers.

Who uses Edge Data Store and how?

The classic customer is an industrial operator who puts it on trucks, oil rigs, and other uncrewed operations out in the field, particularly in challenging elements or faraway places. Customers that have adopted the cloud can use Edge Data Store to support edge-to-cloud connectivity. Edge Data Store enables these customers to bypass the plant and send Edge Data Store data directly over the internet to AVEVATM Data Hub. Edge Data Store is not limited to remote assets; it is also a good fit for self-contained, packaged equipment, serving as the local data collection, storage, and application platform for the equipment, providing seamless data integration with the plant's AVEVA PI Server.

Beyond the industrial operators themselves, Edge Data Store as an application platform allows AVEVA partners to use Edge Data Store to deliver their value-added applications and services such as edge analytics, visualization, and remote monitoring solutions. In the case of edge analytics, Edge Data Store allows them to have analytics right next to the device, complementing legacy controllers to provide monitoring and diagnostic capabilities that would otherwise require an expensive rip-and-replace approach. For equipment manufacturers, the lightweight footprint of Edge Data Store means that they can incorporate them into their assets and create products that support edge capabilities from the onset, arriving at their clients' destinations PI System-ready.

Play Video: Edge Data Store in 3 Minutes

What are some of the key features?

“It's rugged,” says Gunterman. Edge Data Store is designed to work on industrial hardware in environments that aren't traditionally conducive to an on-premise system, be it due to location, climate, etcetera.

It also doesn't require admin intervention or a customized connectivity solution to set up—it has off-the-shelf connectivity.

Edge Data Store also includes configurable local storage, allowing the user to store as little or as much data as their device supports, which is key for transferring data at a later date and for accessing data as it's coming into a device to view it in real time. Additionally, an API for visualization and applications sits on top of Edge Data Store, allowing it to easily integrate with custom applications, in addition to having native integration with AVEVA PI Server and AVEVA Data Hub.

How are people using it?

Multiple customers have now gone through the lighthouse program and successfully worked with Edge Data Store, says Gunterman. UniEnergy Technologies, a PI System-connected services partner, is an energy storage solution provider in the industrial and commercial utilities, renewables, and micro-grid sectors. UniEnergy has successfully rolled out Edge Data Store on Linux devices connected to their battery solutions, allowing it to more efficiently install, configure, and monitor these assets once they're deployed.

IPCOS, an upstream oil and gas solution provider, is working with several customers with large numbers of vertical beam pumps, which it’s now monitoring and analyzing with the help of Edge Data Store. Whereas operators used to have to visit these pump sites in person, the pumps are now able to collect data and send it back to AVEVA PI System via wireless network.

Rolloos, a Netherlands-based firm, has used Edge Data Store to improve safety on offshore rigs, which are notoriously dangerous.  To enable more efficient accident mitigation, Rolloos pivoted its CCTV technology into a comprehensive red-zone detection system, piloting Edge Data Store to ensure that all data was accessible by offshore operators for immediate decision support.

What's next for Edge Data Store?

There are several key enhancements on the horizon for Edge Data Store. First off, we're expanding the inbound data connectivity of Edge Data Store to include more industrial data sources through the continued development of AVEVATM Adapters, real-time data connectivity products that will run on the same type of resource-constrained devices as EDS. We're also making it easier to keep track of the health of your assets and data streams with additional diagnostics data, making Edge Data Store and AVEVA Adapter components easier to manage at scale. Soon you will be able to configure and monitor software remotely from a central location with AVEVA Data Hub and AVEVATM Edge Management.

Finally, we've had a lot of interest in lightweight calculations and local visualization of Edge Data Store data, which we're exploring. As more users adopt Edge Data Store and use it to address new scenarios, we will continue monitoring customer, partner, and market needs and evolve Edge Data Store to meet them.

Learn more about AVEVA PI System here.

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