Industry 4.0 holds the promise of helping organizations in manufacturing, transportation, energy, and urban development to digitally transform with IoT-enabled technologies, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Underlying these digital technologies are assets providing vast amounts of data through an array of sensors and IoT-connected assets. And the number of IoT-connected assets is expanding at an unprecedented rate, with industry analysts anticipating 20–30 billion IoT-connected assets by 2020. As assets and sensors multiply, the data coming from each asset is exploding in volume and velocity, making the management of that data difficult.
In addition, teams within organizations often have siloed access to data, making management inefficient, and creating incomplete pictures of the health of assets and the entire company. Poor information management contributes to costly unscheduled machine breakdowns, and impacts your bottom line.
To reduce the risk of downtime and make asset management more efficient, organizations need a way to break down data silos, get more insight into their assets, and put information in the hands of the people who need it—when they need it. Asset avatars were designed to provide a 360-degree view of assets, and deliver this information to decision makers across the organization.
An asset avatar is a digital representation of a physical asset. It enables you to view and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) – such as an asset's sensors, current and historical state, properties and events – no matter where these assets are geographically located. Asset avatars and the assets they represent have a 1:1 relationship – meaning that a single asset avatar is associated with only one asset. Asset avatars integrate data from many different locations to enable better information management, collaboration and lower operational costs.
Asset avatars are also defined by an asset avatar type, which is a digital blueprint for a class of physical assets of the same type. The asset avatar type enriches your asset avatar with information about your asset's identity. Asset avatar types can also be associated with assets and applied to asset avatars that share the same characteristics. When it comes to mapping, asset avatar types help translate your asset's raw, unintelligible data to easily understood information.
By providing a 360-degree view of your assets, along with seamless integration to your business systems, asset avatars deliver benefits across the organization. For example, bringing information together in new and meaningful ways with ML and AI can help you to predict and prevent failure of assets, reducing costly unplanned downtime.
With this information, you can also extend the useful life of the machines that run your business by predicting when maintenance is needed and automatically scheduling it when the data dictates, further reducing downtime.