By Nacho Lafuente, CEO at Datumize.
There is a gap of 50 years in this photograph. On one side, a modern CEPSA petrol station in Gavà (Barcelona, Spain), offering the latest innovations on fuel, such as Optima 95. On the other hand, a 1968 Lambretta 150 Special, a scooter manufactured in Northern Spain a quite while ago. The one you see in the photograph has been fully restored in 2018, so a 50-year gap has been closed.
I was fuelling my scooter in the early morning, and I thought that, in reality, CEPSA and Datumize are working on closing a gap as well. The gap that exists between the industrial computers and “standard” computers, that is, the difference between the computer electronics, network, and software you find in a factory and their counterparts used for standard businesses like a tour operator. In technical terms, that gap is known as the Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) gap.
Most of the vendors providing technology for industrial automation and control, like Siemens, Honeywell, Allan Bradley/Rockwell, ABB, have based their business model on innovating hardware equipment and software but keeping customers captive. If customers want interoperability between vendors, this has always been a nightmare. If anyone thought about using modern IoT cloud providers (AWS or Azure) and advanced analytics (IBM Watson or Tableau) that’s "laugh and tears." If you want to access latest OPC Unified Architecture features, probably that will happen in some years, and after you’ve upgraded all hardware.
So it’s recognized in the market that the OT-IT gap exists and is causing a massive delay in adopting latest affordable and useful technologies. Then, how can companies adapt to the digitized and connected world without the need of replacing every device on the plant? Datumize Machine Data solution opens the door to an affordable and smooth “iotization” of the current control and automation sensors and devices, by accessing, managing, translating and integrating with the IT architecture, the data that these machines have captive.
This is how we are helping CEPSA to leverage the data locked inside their process sensors and build a connected, integrated and digitized plant.