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Man sitting in a data centre in front of computer monitors
7 min read

Knowledge from data: why the targeted use of big data is so important.

In the age of digitalisation, data is the new gold. However, you have to know exactly how to capture it and how to make the most of it. This article explains everything you need to know!

In the age of digitalisation, data is the new gold. However, you have to know exactly how to capture it and how to make the most of it. This article explains everything you need to know!

Data is the ‘gold of the digital age’.

For many, data is now considered the ‘gold of the digital age’. And for good reason, because data is becoming increasingly important for companies. While many problems in companies stem from poor data quality, high data quality brings a host of advantages for companies.

The disadvantages of poor data quality impact many areas of the company. Such disadvantages can include increased costs resulting from added expense associated with misspelled quotations or deliveries to the wrong address, for example, or problems implementing legal requirements (for example, due to violations of the GDPR) or damage to the company’s image (for example, if incorrect information is communicated to the customer). 

However, poor data quality can have a particularly serious impact on production as data-based work, data analysis and data science applications have been increasing for years. Incorrect analyses and data can quickly lead to wrong decisions being made. The advantages of good data quality are therefore obvious: companies that have sound, high-quality data at their disposal can control and optimise their processes very reliably, significantly minimising cost and expenditure. 

But how do you recognise which data is good and important?

Admittedly, it is not easy for a company to create a structured data basis from unstructured raw data, to analyse it and ultimately to derive a reliable basis for decision-making. This is why many companies employ data scientists, whose task is to turn data into information. Their main role is to identify and examine structured and unstructured data sources. They also develop new, analytical methods to optimally analyse the data basis.

A data analyst sitting at a monitor in a computer centre

Data scientists specialise in analysing large amounts of data to gain important insights.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

It is not always necessary for people to search for data. As digitalisation advances, ever smarter technologies are conquering the market, which make it possible for machines to essentially control themselves and monitor their operating data. This is all thanks to cyber-physical systems (CPS), in which mechanical components are connected to one another via networks and modern IT systems. Machine data can thus be captured automatically and incorporated directly into the machine control system. The type of machine data captured includes vibrations and temperatures, production volumes, number of parts, capacity utilisation, availability, machine condition and energy consumption. 

Many ‘smart’ machines now work with artificial intelligence (AI). This AI makes the machines genuinely capable of learning (machine learning). They ‘remember’ what they have learned from the data, which enables them to respond in an increasingly adaptable and autonomous fashion and provides increasingly precise insights. In this respect, the tasks of data scientists sometimes overlap those of an artificial intelligence (AI) developer. Using pattern recognition from past analyses, they create forecasts for the future.

The data is collected via smart sensors and is then uploaded to the cloud via a gateway. Here, it is quickly analysed and processed by the AI, and can then be used to optimise the machines. The ongoing condition monitoring of machines offers companies the benefit of a predictive approach to system maintenance and ensures optimal system performance with minimal downtime. For AI, the more data that is available, the better the AI can ‘learn’ and deliver increasingly accurate statements about the condition of a machine or component.

Smart sensors in the pump industry

KSB can offer you a wide range of digital pump solutions and smart services for the digitalised acquisition and correlation of performance and condition parameters for your pumps and valves. An example is KSB Guard, a digital solution for the cloud-based monitoring of pumps and other rotating machines. KSB Guard performs a trend analysis of the status data of your machines and thus detects impending damage early on. In this way, KSB Guard brings transparency to your system and helps you exercise more care in the operation of your system and implement maintenance and repair measures in a more targeted and efficient manner, for example by dynamically prioritising maintenance tasks or optimising your spare parts strategy.

Digitalisation and data security

One of the most important factors in the success of digitalisation is its acceptance. However, there still are many companies that take a critical view of the opportunities offered by digitalisation. And this is perfectly understandable given that companies are very often the target of cyber attacks. Even insufficiently secured, networked systems can be hit hard and considerable damage caused.

In view of this, many companies are rightly asking themselves just how well their, in some cases, highly sensitive data is protected when it is exchanged within the cyber-physical systems or, in the case of cloud computing, when machine data is transferred to an external data centre for storage and processing. 

KSB is an expert in data security

In order to guarantee that the data is secure, KSB imposes stringent requirements that go far beyond the criteria of the GDPR and the recommendations of the German Federal Office for Information Security.

Let us take KSB Guard as an example. KSB Guard’s security starts with the fact that the system works completely autonomously. An intrusion into the customer’s network is thus virtually impossible. KSB also pays attention to maximum security in data handling. After its capture by the KSB Guard sensor unit, all data is encrypted by the KSB Guard transmission and battery unit under the highest security standards according to TLS 1.2 and forwarded to KSB Guard Gateway via the MQTT SN application protocol.

It is also no coincidence that KSB has chosen one of the largest cloud providers in the world: all KSB Guard data is stored exclusively on German servers to the highest security requirements in accordance with ISO 27001. Other security requirements include C5, CSA and also PCI. KSB’s cloud partner is also organised in such a way that its employees are specialised on and deployed for a specific task only. This means that none of them can gain access simultaneously to the servers, to the databases and to the services that process the data. Always on the safe side – with KSB.

Man stands in front of a pump; in his hand, he holds a tablet showing pump data

KSB Guard offers a straightforward and reliable starting point for the digitalisation of pumps and other rotating equipment.

Products used

KSB Guard

KSB Guard

The smart and comprehensive monitoring service for pumps and other rotating machinery, available 24/7 and also for non-KSB pumps. Benefit from predictive maintenance with KSB: comprehensive transparency, increased availability, enhanced operating reliability and efficient operation (of fixed-speed pumps). Important operating data such as vibrations, temperature, operating hours and load condition (of fixed-speed pumps) can be accessed via KSB Guard, anytime and from anywhere. In addition, deviations from normal operation trigger immediate notifications via the KSB Guard web portal and/or app. The experts at the KSB Monitoring Centre also provide support in analysing causes.

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