Hills and windmills

Maximizing equipment performance and business performance

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TwinThread leverages Microsoft Azure capabilities to optimize industry

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider TwinThread has aggressive ambitions for its industrial OEM, manufacturing, and industrial service provider customers. “Peak performance is our primary goal,” says Andrew Waycott, COO of TwinThread.

“We collect sensor data from our customers’ pieces of industrial equipment and then apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to it in the Microsoft Azure cloud,” Waycott says. “We’re able to find insights about how those assets are performing and know where and how to make improvements.”

“And we can do it with a reach that can extend across the enterprise from, for example, a $10,000 pump to a $20 million gas turbine,” continues Waycott. “We can scale entire asset classes to achieve peak performance.”

Extending peak performance to the rest of the fleet, thanks to Azure

Not long ago, the capabilities and benefits TwinThread provides were not an option for every company. “Nationals to global multinationals have IoT systems similar to TwinThread’s but at a much higher scale and cost. That cost is justified, because of their tremendous equipment investment,” says Erik Udstuen, CEO of TwinThread.

“But we want to bring that capability, cost effectively to equipment and companies that aren’t necessarily at that scale,” continues Udstuen. “These systems can deliver payback on the order of hundreds of percent. With TwinThread, we’re giving more industrial companies greater access to those benefits.”

Made possible by Cognitive Services AI and Azure Machine Learning

With advanced capabilities built in and available in the Microsoft Azure platform, TwinThread didn’t have to start from scratch and could deliver a more cost-effective solution. “The building blocks that Azure provides are key enablers of our solution,” says Udstuen. “We started with those rather than building from ground zero. And Azure’s flexibility and scalability make it all more cost-effective for us and our customers.”

“When it comes to the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities we invoke, Azure really has enabled us to do something that we otherwise couldn’t have done,” says Waycott. “The investment and resources it takes to build that just aren’t within reach for a company our size or many of our customers. Microsoft has already done most of the heavy lifting.”

“Azure really has enabled us to do something that we otherwise couldn’t have done. Microsoft has already done most of the heavy lifting.”

–Andrew Waycott, COO, TwinThread

IoT strategy and implementation in a matter of weeks or days

As Microsoft’s advanced cloud capabilities enable TwinThread’s solution, TwinThread enables its customers to get up and running with IoT quickly. “Our customers know they need an IoT strategy in the near future but may not know how to go about it,” says Waycott. “But rather than trying to design, source, and build it themselves, they can just sign up for TwinThread and be in business in days or weeks.”

Automating performance improvements: the real magic

TwinThread has developed some unique capabilities on top of Azure to deliver a solution purpose-built for industrial applications.

As TwinThread collects data through Azure IoT Hub and from integration with other systems and historical data stores, the data is analyzed for patterns and insights. “Our solution provides subject-matter experts with actionable insights right away,” says Waycott.

Then the real magic happens. “They can then apply those insights to formulate and automate solutions to equipment performance outliers,” continues Waycott. “So, the next time an outlier appears, it’s automatically optimized. It’s this automatic, ongoing tuning that manifests the real power of TwinThread.

“TwinThread’s secret sauce is our ability to allow a company’s subject-matter experts to deliver game-changing innovation on their assets, without the need for code or data science expertise. And to do that at an enterprise scale,” says Udstuen.

Advanced capabilities make Azure an easy choice

“We have always had good luck with Microsoft,” says Udstuen. “The deal was sealed by the fact that Azure has Machine Learning, which is core to our solution. When you combine how Microsoft has packaged that with Cognitive Services and Language Understanding Intelligent Service and made it available for partners to use, it’s not even close.”

Extra support from Microsoft makes the difference

“We are part of the Microsoft BizSpark Plus program, which has been essential to the speed at which we’re moving,” says Udstuen. “It’s fantastic. Anything we’ve needed from Microsoft by way of support or tools has been provided. We don’t have to question whether we have the right technical solution, because Microsoft has taken that experimentation—and its costs and time spent—off the table for us, which has been huge.”