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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CEP In Manufacturing

Posted by John Trigg

We have experienced a recent rise in CEP use cases far afield from capital markets and trading, and we're finding them useful to describe to the community as illustrations of how CEP applies to many domains.

Surely there are enough monitoring and measuring technologies in the manufacturing fields that provide real-time alerting.  Right?  Perhaps not.  There are three recurring patterns that we see around the interest and introduction of Apama into manufacturing (and maybe more broadly issues of logistics, distribution and retail, like our customer BGN, who have automated their bookstore operations with Apama.  Read the BGN case study here). 

1.  Correlate events from multiple streams - sensors from plant floor devices, human input devices, ERP transaction systems - in real time

2.  Monitor scenarios across sliding time windows.  This has only been possible thru constant database polling. Hence its inherent latency (store-query-analyze, store-query-analyze etc etc) and is again post-facto.

3. The need to act, not just monitor.  As the need to tighten efficiencies and eliminate waste from manufacturing cycles gets more and more vital, Apama allows manufacturers to gain real-time insight into the impact of one cause (one or more events) on different processes.  Most importantly it allows them to ACT as the situation is developing rather than just use data in a post-mortem.

A vendor of plant monitoring software is using Apama to implement the following specific time-based logic:

In a plant producing a particular household product in containers, a container filling line is being monitored for fill weights within a +/- range of acceptance. The filling lines have in-line scales that monitor the fill weights. Containers that are not within this range are ejected from the filling process and recorded within the Apama correlator. If the frequency exceeds a user-defined tolerance an event or multiple events may be triggered such as an audible alarm, and/or a signal light is turned on, or the line itself could be stopped.

These examples are just a few of the things we're seeing in manufacturing.  Relative to trading, CEP adoption is early, but as we discover new use cases, we'll keep posting.

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