In an interview with CIO Applications, Paul McRoberts, President of Atonix Digital, shares his insights into the company, the value proposition and the industry-grade utility technology solutions that the company brings to the table.
What are the challenges brewing in the utility technology landscape and how does Atonix Digital overcome them?
With over 20 years of experience in operations and construction asset management, we observed the plant environment facing the longstanding challenge of disarray between supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and the operators responding to an alarm with traditional preventive maintenance. We introduced a new approach to predict the occurrence of an event before an alarm actually goes off. Then operators can proactively address the issue instead of waiting for the issue to cause costly downtime. Our approach eliminates the sense of urgency and turns the unplanned events into a predictive environment which can be scheduled. It allows the operators to leverage data analytics to predict future issues and avoid potential shutdowns. Our in-depth understanding of data analytics assists our clients to procure complete visibility of equipment behavior and mitigate failures in the field, thereby enabling them to invest in the actual asset requirement rather than following outdated manufacturers’ schedules. The domain expertise from the 20+ years of Black & Veatch experience is the key to getting our clients up and running quickly.
Please tell us about the trends in the utility technology market that you leverage.
The dawn of big math analytics has fast matured the idea of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to understand equipment and human behavior and extract data from large data sets that pave the way for a different level of analytics. AI has opened up countless opportunities to enhance our services, help our clients understand the kind of insight we are now providing and how to respond better to it. As technology continues to evolve, we will monitor the changes and stay ahead of the curve with cutting-edge AI and leverage machine learning to understand equipment, and their true behavior in the field and map that information against our clients' model data.
We offer a software suite powered by ASSET360—a single cloud-based platform to simplify asset management, optimize performance, improve reliability and efficiency, and detect emerging risks
What are the key products you offer and how do they benefit your clients?
We offer a software suite powered by ASSET360—a single cloud-based platform to simplify asset management, optimize performance, improve reliability and efficiency, detect emerging risks, and opportunities for improvements. Our suite supports a lifecycle continuum. It may begin with program management, used while designing and constructing facilities and accumulating the data in one place. After a project is commissioned, we use the collected data in our monitoring and diagnostics environment to observe how the equipment behaves, ASSET360 creates alerts and pinpoints the source of the problem, allowing engineers to evaluate the normality of an event before taking action. We perform unique performance analysis that collects data from individual points or devices, the assets, and how it relates to the plant environment. From a system, we expand to peer into a network, then to the overall plant and finally attain a corporate view of how multiple plants behave at any given time. We use our large map environment backed by geospatial technology to understand the overall plant ecosystem and different behaviors more easily.
After procuring a corporate view of how multiple plants behave, we move onto investment planning that embodies the economy of assets regarding their place, behavior, and performance. It enables investment managers to model competing scenarios quickly, while allowing all program stakeholders to make and share strategic decisions collaboratively. We then can perform a risk assessment to address an event within a plant or with specific equipment, its overall impact and ways to mitigate that. After making a decision, our approach may circle back to program management and the tools to reconstruct the plant if needed.
What sets Atonix Digital apart from its competitors in the utility technology arena?
With over 100 years worth of Black & Veatch’s experience, we leverage the capabilities and domain expertise contributed by over 12,000 employees into our domain rich product portfolio. The success of our portfolio and the domain expertise brought together by Black & Veatch speaks for itself.
Can you share a case study to highlight the benefits your product brought to your clients?
Recently, Great River’s Coal Creek, North Dakota’s largest power plant signed up with us to conduct a pilot of Monitoring & Diagnostics, powered by ASSET360. Our M&D collects data from the infrastructure, applies machine learning to alert personnel of anomalies, and streamlines problem isolation and diagnosis. Sophisticated algorithms are applied to the data to provide real-time operational health information through an intuitive dashboard. The pilot assisted Coal Creek’s team to wield control over the myriad data streams generated by the plant’s 6,500 assets. ASSET360’s ability to monitor, analyze, diagnose, and resolve issues quickly offered engineering teams with the flexibility of strategic projects and initiatives. Within the first three years of the deploying the solution, Coal Creek achieved improved reliability from the early identification and resolution of over 320 issues, extended asset life, and reduced outages, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
What does the future hold for Atonix Digital?
We strive to deploy a highly scalable platform and robust product environment and are in the process of deploying a full marketing and sales organization to more firmly establish ourselves as a software company in the industry. Our sales volume has already risen by 200–300 percent during this year alone, and we aim to increase that number in the coming years.
Asset management vendors are leveraging advanced technologies to create solutions with which wastewater treatment plants can reach new levels of efficiency.
FREMONT, CA: Atonix Digital, a company that offers asset management solutions for several industries, has launched a dedicated solution for wastewater treatment plants. The new Wastewater Treatment Solution has been designed with the motive of enabling better management of wastewater infrastructure, leading to improved services and cost-effective operations.