By Nacho Lafuente, CEO at Datumize.
There is a gap of 50 years in this photograph. On one side, is a modern CEPSA petrol station in Gavà (Barcelona, Spain), offering the latest innovations in fuel, such as Optima 95. On the other side is a 1968 Lambretta 150 Special, a scooter manufactured in northern Spain quite a while ago. The one you see in the photograph was fully restored in 2018, so a 50-year gap has been closed.
I was fuelling my scooter early one morning, when the thought struck me that, in reality, CEPSA and Datumize are also working to close closing a gap: the gap that exists between 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 who provide technology for industrial automation and control, (like Siemens, Honeywell, Allan Bradley/Rockwell, ABB), base their business model on innovating hardware equipment and software but keeping their customers captive. It has always been a nightmare for customers who want interoperability between vendors. And if anyone thinks about using modern IoT cloud providers (AWS or Azure) and advanced analytics (IBM Watson or Tableau) that’s "laughter and tears." If you want to access the latest OPC Unified Architecture features, you'll probably be able to do it in a few years after you’ve upgraded all your hardware.
So it’s recognized in the market that the OT-IT gap exists and is causing a massive delays in adopting the latest affordable and useful technologies. Then, how can companies adapt to the digitized and connected world without the need for 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.