Big Data might be a newer buzzword, but the process industry has been dealing with the concept for many years. The major challenge of big data (outside the its infrastructure requirements) is how we actually understand and interpret all of this information. Providing a powerful visualisation to do this is the last of the major three fundamental goals of ARDI.

ARDI-VE, our 3D/VR client, is our solution to some of the tougher big-data challenges, and gaps in the existing model of how we look at process-industry data.

Traditional 2D displays still just as important as ever, but with the volume of data that is coming from the field now, some of the shortcomings are becoming apparent.

A Blinkered Approach

The Problem

HMI/SCADA screens are informative, but they tend to give you narrow views of what is actually going on. Each screen covers just one small part of the big picture, and it’s very easy to miss valuable information that is just outside your view.

While it’s always possible to create additional screens, but this adds extra complexity and needs engineering support.

The ARDI Solution

Placing your values inside a 3D environment gives the user total control over their own perspective. They can view important values site-wide, limit their view to just a single asset, or explore the plant at any scale in-between.

Systems are very rarely totally independent of one-another – this allows users a perspective to property appreciate that and understand how everything works together.

Dealing with Data Volumes

The Problem

There is only so much data you can include on an screen before it all begins to boggle the mind. When you’re looking at thousands of points of data with different meanings, there’s very little the human brain can do to accommodate that many numbers all at once.

The ARDI Solution

ARDI presents your data as it appears in the real world. This means that where a measurement has a real world effect – such as an inclinometer measuring the angle of a robotic arm, a speed sensor measuring rotation etc – then the 3D objects in the scene move the same way as their real-world counterparts.

This makes absorbing information – particularly information of different types – infinitely easier. You don’t need to stop to think about what the numbers mean, because they are shown the way they actually are. You can be aware of the approximate values of thousands of different measurement points with a range of different meanings, all at a glance – then fly through and click on conspicuous points to get the exact figures.

Learning from the Past

The Problem

Existing 2D solutions do a fine job of looking at the current values, but when it comes time to review what happened in the past, they don’t provide much more than a trend-line.

Likewise, historian trending packages do allow you to get a few more reporting options, but when you are trying to communicate ideas to people less familiar with your plant, those charts need a great deal of explanation.

The ARDI Solution

ARDI-VE can travel back to any time in history, and the entire environment travels back to that point. Mobile equipment snaps back to old positions and systems revert to their previous states.

You can then play your history back at your choice of speed, allowing you to quickly review a shift or slowly review an incident to see what happened. And since the information is presented in its correct context, it’s easy for even non-technical people to understand the conversation.