PAS: Connecting the Dots

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 08:05 AM gHale


By Gregory Hale
People work together, but that does not mean they know what each other is doing because they are working in silos.

“Automation systems are the heartbeat of the plant,” said Eddie Habibi, founder and chief executive of PAS, during his keynote address at the PAS Technology Conference 2014 in Houston Tuesday. “In the end it is all about Big Data. There is a collective knowledge for safe production.”

RELATED STORIES
Major Update to ICS Security Guide
NIST Guidelines: Start with Security
Pressure Ratchets Up for Security Pros
Sales Drop, Costs Rise after Breach

That knowledge will help people break down those silos and allow for greater communication and the ability to understand all the nuances that are going on at a plant. It will allow manufacturers to “connect the dots,” which is the theme of the user conference this year.

“Through the intersection of ambient intelligence, semantic connectivity and ubiquitous access, we are bringing technologies together to improve safety and reliability,” Habibi said.

In an effort to improve safety and reliability, Habibi said they looked at the amount of data flowing through a typical refinery and they estimated they average about 1 million records. With all that data flowing, it would be difficult to truly get a grasp on what is happening. That is where the idea of Big Data comes into play.

He said there is structured data through the DCS, PLC, data historian and the HMI and then there is unstructured data via incident reports, SOPs, physical assets and then there is natural language data, through training, emails, videos and images.

“Big Data is all about connecting the dots,” he said.

Habibi started off his talk by discussing great thought leaders or innovators of our time.

“Just imagine all you had was a music sheet. But thanks to one particular gentleman we were able to record sound. That was Thomas Edison in 1877.”

It took 100 years to go from phonographs to a disruptive type of technology like the Sony Walkman, he said, and then 20 years to go from a Walkman to an iPod. Now we can go through the Cloud to and we can get music customized to our preference.

Who are the Thomas Edisons of today? Habibi asked. Yes, there are Jobs, Gates, but also one underestimated thought leader and that is Ray Kurzweil. He is a futurist; the Edison of his time. He is a visionary. He is saying things like a computer chip will match the human brain by 2030. He wrote books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil has shared his primarily optimistic outlooks on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology. Kurzweil, Habibi said, brings together technologies for a greater good.

Whether it is one of the greatest innovators of all times or today’s contemporary visionaries, Habibi said “it is all about connecting the dots, a collaboration of technologies.”



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.