What’s a Drop in the Bucket Worth to Your Company?

Candy giant Hershey saves millions of dollars per year by monitoring and measuring the tiniest drops of sweet, gooey ingredients in its confectionary treats.

In a pilot project, Hershey deployed Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and machine learning (ML) algorithms on its Twizzler production line. The company saved $500,000 per 14,000-lb. batch of finished Twizzlers, simply by adjusting the size of each licorice stick by one per cent.

The project collected 60 million data points using 22 sensors on each Twizzler holding tank where the candy cools before being packaged. The precision data allowed Hershey to adjust the temperature of ingredients during production, so the final weight of each individual Twizzler was uniform and accurate. This resulted in each package of candy being as close to its targeted consumer shelf weight as possible, saving Hershey millions of dollars in packaging and raw ingredient costs.

Hershey is just one company enjoying sweet success by mixing three specific technology ingredients: IoT, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

IoT + Analytics

As businesses grapple with increasing volumes of data from disparate sources – including customers, partners, third parties and suppliers – analytics are crucial to managing the data and extracting insights from it for strategic business decisions.

“Analytics are essential to the success of IoT systems. They are arguably the main point of the IoT, as they support the decision-making process in operations that are created in business transformation and digital business,” according to Jim Hare, research director at Gartner Inc.

To make sense (and value) out of IoT data, you need analytics.

IoT + AI

AI can take analytics and IoT to yet another level, adding predictive capabilities that allow organizers to make business decisions that are proactive vs. reactive.

“Machine learning, an AI technology, brings the ability to automatically identify patterns and detect anomalies in the data that (IoT) smart sensors and devices generate,” Deloitte concluded in a 2017 report.

Deloitte says AI enriches IoT by allowing organizations to “make operational predictions up to 20 times earlier and with greater accuracy than (with) threshold-based monitoring systems” in traditional business intelligence solutions.

Thanks to help from analytics player Splunk, AI is already driving IoT innovation at BMW. By applying a Splunk ML toolkit to IoT data from its test vehicles, BMW is developing new features for its future cars. Using IoT data on local weather, accidents and public transport, the in-vehicle features may one day predict traffic patterns to help BMW drivers steer clear of delays.

Deploying one cutting edge technology can be daunting. So how can your business deploy three of them – AI, analytics and IoT – quickly, easily and affordably?

Arrow + Splunk + Solsys

Fortunately, Solsys has teamed up with Splunk and Arrow Electronics to cover all three bases.

Arrow is a Fortune 500 company that caters to customers in over 80 countries, mainly in these key streams: electronic components, enterprise IT solutions, and design/manufacturing services for new hardware products.

Although Arrow offers up its own industrial and commercial IoT solutions, the company has paired up with Solsys + Splunk to add some extra AI and analytics power to the IoT mix.

As a partner of Splunk, Solsys provides its customers with access to IOT Solutioning – to support the transport, agriculture, manufacturing and medical verticals. Specific use cases for these Solsys IoT Services include:

  • Monitoring and diagnostics: Real-time monitoring, alerting and diagnostics across disparate data sources to reduce unexpected downtime, drive efficiency, improve margins and simplify your view via dashboards, email or SMS.
  • Predictive maintenance: Use machine learning to predict (and prevent) equipment failure, forecast downtime of industrial assets, improve operational performance and diagnose issues before they cause emergencies that cost your organization.
  • Operational Technology Security: Streamlined, analytics-driven security helps you understand your risk with real-time insights across your security infrastructure;  detect and remediate insider and outsider threats before it’s too late.

As Splunk put it in one of its own announcements, the promise of AI, analytics and IoT is “to provide a simple view of complex industrial data, helping industrial organizations minimize downtime, shift operations from reactive to proactive, and save money.”

Contact Solsys, your gateway to the smartest IoT solutions built utilizing the robust capabilities of Splunk.