PWA - Physical World Analytics

PWA Physical World Analytics

 Industrial and commercial networking consulting.
 Process and protocols - BACnet, Modbus and XML.
 Serving the Greater Boston area daily.
 Contract work through-out the East Coast.         

 Internet of Things, IoT M2M. REST. MQTT. AMQP

water drop

Network and communications problems solved. Data collection as a basis for analytics. Internet of Things. M2M. REST. MQTT. AMQP. APIs. Microservices.
Everyone gets the “Big” in Big Data, but sometimes the “Data” is problematic. When you know you have systems which have data, but you cannot quite get it to where it needs to be for archiving, visualization and analysis - that is to say, you cannot get the value you need from your data - Then that is where we come in.
Concrete things we work on:

APIs and Microservices. Modern services need to be though of as Web Services. Even if they are "local".
RS485 network wiring problems: End points will not talk.
Data and protocol conversions – especially if you need data in XML, BACnet, Sunspec or some other well defined standard semantic format. Many seem to be sitting "waiting" for standards in a given domain to shake out. The secret is that most are long and well established already. The key is making data work for you and your applications.
VPN and architecture consultations: How to get data through firewalls safely. 
Holistic approach - Designed with basis in what you have already, not some grandiose vision of what will be. 
Physical World Analytics
349 Washington Street, Floor 1
Malden  MA  02148-1344  USA
+1-781 -322-1700
+1-781- 606-0792     (781 6060 PWA)
Visit Cimetrics the TCP/IP and M2M networking company
See the renaming of Cimetrics analytics offering
With Analytika for buildings, cut energy usage and cost, improve comfort and performance, detect faults, and manage the workflow of any maintenance or improvements.
With Analytika for process, predictive analytics are utilized to provide early warning, actionable recommendations and supervisory control, before parameter drift causes quality problems, process disruptions and waste.

Putnam's blog often has some Internet of Things, IoT, references/news. Or see activities on Twitter @PWAnalytics and @AlbertPutnam


About Physical World Analytics:
The "Other" (original zeitgeist) concept.

What we, at PWA, do is related to the concept you may already have heard about as generic physical world analytics. The term has been bantered around as it applies to applying standard methods of web analytics (and Big Data analytics) to things in the real world... with mostly a retail and mobile end-user bent. This definition assumes the "things" in the Internet of Things are retail actors and their devices. And is looking at their roles and actions as customers (or potential customers).

Here are some nice articles about early physical world analytics:
The Pondering primate in 2005.
Harvard Business Review Network - Tony Costa - Location Analytics .
Nico Miceli - Using Google Analytics to track your home.
Forbes - Analytics for IPS .

IPS which is related to RFID  and NFC and so forth.

Most IoT companies now embed some form of analytics or partner to provide it in their ecosystem. 

And though very general (and very different): Google Analytics .

We take the position that a "thing" can be anything that can have data and be networked. We are particularly interested in end point sensors in the most general way. And actually retails actors are themselves such things (but only a tiny subset of the possible "things").

Analytics applied to the Physical World of things is what we look at from every angle. At the lowest level - facilitating data collection and transfer. At the highest level using domain knowledge as a basis for "smart" and "big" analytics.

Case Study - Bringing Meters to TCPIP - IQ Power Xpert meters - Westinghouse, Cutler-Hammer, Eaton, INCOM
Have a bunch of IQ meters and/or switchgear - maybe branded Westinghouse, Cutler-Hammer or Eaton? They are the ubiquitous first generation digital meters in practically every facility. One has never networked these meters (though one might have a blue INCOM line running between them one barely even recognizes)
OR one has soldiered through the ups and downs of the Power Xpert software gateway architecture running on PCs.
One thinks that the only way out to the future is to upgrade the meters, but that would be a major project with shutdowns and swap outs.
So one just sits and does nothing and waits for the meters to "inlast" the building; though that is rife with danger from normal maintenance failures.
Eaton has a little known solution/pathway for these meters called the Eaton Power Xpert Gateway PXG900 (aka "PXG" herein).
The legacy INCOM framework and the usage by PXG was/is extremely well designed. The PXG has support for multiple protocols, the most significant being Modbus and BACnet. INCOM/PXG has a mapping stability aspect which is well ahead of its time. For example Modbus registers are universal across devices - such that a given value (say voltage line to neutral on phase C), if valid for that device, will always appear at the same place in the mapping, regardless of device type/model. Even when there is auto-discovery or easily-at-hand-documentation, this internal consistency is invaluable in real work inter-system installs.

How does it work:
- Upgrade set of meters to INCOM (sometimes with a PONI/IPONI = INCOM connected product operated interface - often these are already in place).
- Run blue cable bus for INCOM between local sets of meters (up to about ten (best) to forty (pushing limits)) in a group. Often "blue hose" is already in place.
- Attach meter group(s) to the INCOM port(s) of PXG.
- Attach PXG to a TCPIP Ethernet network system (attach like any common IP device).
- Setup PXG(s). The PXG has internal template maps for the long history of IQ meters. It supports a variety of protocols like Modbus TCP and in some cases BACnet IP and SNMP.
- Get "middleware" together. One probably has systems that can consume and log meter data (HVAC, SCADA and such). One wants to convert the Modbus TCP data into such,
whilst also leaving openings for others to attach to Modbus TCP in parallel. Something like a Cimetrics B6035 does the intermediation job nicely. But it is also the case that many management systems will read the interfaces directly  (especially if you have BACnet/IP in your building management system or Modbus TCP in your SCADA system).
- Enjoy.
Too hard? Talk to Eaton. Eaton can set this up for you.
Too expensive? The PXG is "open channel" and supportable by third parties. There are even now virtual PXG or PXG-alike to allow one to run the functionality on IT infrastructure - virtual machines and containers. Talk to us in our troubleshooting capacity or Cimetrics in their network-architecture design capacity.