Non-intrusive SmartFactory Platform Integrates Easily Into Existing Infrastructures, Gives Users Real-time, End-to-End Visibility into Operational Processes Using Search-driven AI Analytics
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and AI innovator Webee today announced Webee SmartFactory™, its no-code, turnkey IIoT platform designed specifically for industrial manufacturing enterprises. It makes it possible to connect operations in minutes without the need for technical expertise and cuts industrial IoT deployment time from months to days. Coding-centric solutions for connected manufacturing on the market today create logistical barriers and technical talent gaps that impede manufacturers from moving IIoT projects from POC to production quickly enough to achieve success. Webee SmartFactory upends the status quo by allowing industrial manufacturing enterprises to do so 10 times faster and start realizing ROI right away. Its seamless integration with existing infrastructure and compatibility with heterogeneous data sources is especially beneficial in factory settings.
Before Webee SmartFactory, launching workable IIoT projects was prohibitively time- and capital-intensive, making them challenging to justify despite obvious benefits in long-term operational efficiency and product quality. In sharp contrast to other IoT solutions, Webee’s Visual Designer does not require coding or technical expertise. It enables production line and business users to easily create customized dashboards and IoT applications to aggregate and process heterogeneous industrial sensor data and any relevant third-party data sources to surface actionable insights in real time.
Most industrial manufacturing organizations invest millions of dollars in equipment and don’t have time or resources to modernize legacy systems or disrupt business operations. As Senior Analyst at ESG Paul Nashawaty explained, “The last thing customers want is someone interfering with their production lines, so having the ability to access real-time manufacturing data through Webee’s non-intrusive approach is a big win. Gaining insights from IoT-created data should be as easy as typing a question into Google. Webee’s AI analytics engine has the ability to empower its customers to do exactly that and has been shown to rapidly produce insights no matter the amount of data being processed.”
Scalable, Flexible Solution Integrates Easily and Identifies Inefficiencies for Rapid Remediation
Rather than making industrial manufacturing users comb through a complicated, disjointed UI, Webee SmartFactory enables users to observe all relevant information about manufacturing status and factory productivity on one screen and make necessary maintenance decisions based on real-time insights. The platform also includes various pre-built modules for connected manufacturing applications and measurements.
The NLP-powered search function permits anyone to type in a question in natural language to ask for insights about or to identify problems with any manufacturing operations being monitored. They receive a response – in natural language – that pulls from all relevant data, dynamically surfacing insights tailored to the user asking the question. Data is aggregated from multiple sources in real time, so the user is able to obtain end-to-end visibility with a non-intrusive approach and take corrective action as needed.
Webee founder and CEO Lucas Funes noted, “Webee SmartFactory eliminates the need for a costly hiring spree by providing an IoT solution that works out of the box, for a multitude of use cases. Our flexible platform also allows customers to make quick changes and adjustments on the go. It’s a necessary change from how things have been done until now.”
Webee SmartFactory is broadly applicable, from standalone manufacturing operations to large multinationals at any scale. Prior to implementing Webee, a Fortune 50 multinational Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) leader relied on a manual, scattershot approach for pulling operational information related to their plants and laboratories. With Webee, they access multiple dashboards centrally and generate data visualizations that give them the insights they need about all elements of production and manufacturing cycles in real time. Leveraging battery powered, long-range LoRa® devices connected through a LoRaWAN® network they are able to gain visibility from non-connected machines to alert plant managers about production bottlenecks and machine maintenance needs. They now receive instant alerts that eliminate product losses and give them visibility. Webee has also made it easy for them to replicate processes and normalize monitoring across their factories around the world, which is particularly useful when they acquire new companies with different operations.
End-to-end Industrial Manufacturing Solution Processes IoT Data Without Engineers
Getting IoT projects off the ground the traditional way is especially challenging due to the intricacy, scale and high costs involved with most industrial manufacturing operations. Accessing information about factory status often requires manual programming, and with it, specialized engineering skills. Additionally, the repetitive and monotonous nature of this work can lead to errors and squander valuable time that would be better spent elsewhere. Implementing and scaling IIoT projects typically requires lengthy deployments and specialized resources. Retrofitting legacy systems so they’re compatible with newer equipment and connecting sensors is cost-prohibitive and can cause significant business disruption. Organizations must decide on their technology, hardware and sensors, then have engineers program workflows and create applications.
A 2020 Beecham Research study found that 50% of companies across industries failed to take IoT initiatives past proof of concept because of the sheer complexity of implementing IoT solution components. And in Microsoft’s 2020 IoT Signals report, 28% of organizations polled cited budget as a barrier to further IoT adoption and 26% cited lack of technical knowledge.
“The biggest problem with industrial manufacturing IoT implementations is that they’re too complex,” Funes continued. “You need engineers who understand how to extract data and put it into a database. You need data scientists skilled in processing data. You need programmers who can write code for APIs or to send SMS or emails to notify the business that the temperature of a given machine in a facility needs to be adjusted to avoid downtime and improve efficiency. Then you need to put all these pieces together. This is all expensive and takes too much time. There has to be a better way. This is why we purpose-built the Webee SmartFactory platform.”
Patented Technology for Sophisticated Real-Time Industrial Manufacturing Diagnostics
Webee’s patented smart object recognition and anomaly detection technologies work in concert with its search-driven AI analytics to drive granular diagnostics of complex industrial manufacturing systems in real time.
- Smart object recognition is an AI function that entails a deep learning algorithm that sorts new data streams into known categories of information, allowing the system to understand normal behavior, patterns and conditions in the industrial environment. This helps identify more efficient patterns and send recommendations to optimize manufacturing processes based on same-category behaviors so actions can be taken to reduce any identified waste and inefficiencies.
- Anomaly detection allows the system to predict deviations from normal behavior to identify systematic breakdowns (for example, if machinery is or is about to be broken or malfunction), report the anomaly and recommend the actions or tasks to avoid the problems.