Rockwell Automation announces Project Sherlock artificial intelligence (AI) module | Automation.com

Rockwell Automation announces Project Sherlock artificial intelligence (AI) module

November 222017
Rockwell Automation announces Project Sherlock artificial intelligence (AI) module

November 22, 2017 — Creating diagnostic analytics solutions in industrial operations has long required expert data scientists with a deep understanding of the specific application to be analyzed. Those experts then require weeks, months or even years to understand and model the system. That expertise has been boxed in the new Project Sherlock artificial intelligence (AI) module unveiled by Rockwell Automation at their Automation Fair event in Houston. 

This data-driven analytics algorithm is delivered inside a module that fits directly into the controller chassis. Once installed, Project Sherlock AI leverages novel physics-based modeling to “learn” the application that controller manages. The solution scours controller tags to identify the application or allows users to choose what they would like modeled by selecting inputs and outputs via an add-on-instruction (AOI). Project Sherlock AI will then quickly learn from the stream of data passing through the controller to build a model. This process can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Vast quantities of historical data are not required, nor must the data ever leave the automation layer.

Once the model is built, the Project Sherlock solution continuously watches the operation looking for anomalies against its derived, principled understanding. If it spots a problem, it can trigger an alarm on an HMI screen or dashboard. Future iterations will go beyond diagnostics to direct users on how to remedy the issue or to automatically adjust system parameters to fix the problem without human intervention. 
  
Project Sherlock diagnostics are designed to offer reduced false-positive alarms as compared to other artificial intelligence solutions due to its physics-based modeling and foundation in industrial applications. For example, Project Sherlock AI can tell if a boiler temperature shift is related to a benign change in upstream operations or an abnormality that requires correction. 

The initial version of Project Sherlock AI will include templates for boiler, pump and chiller operations, ideal for process or hybrid applications. Users can model additional applications with guided configuration. 

Communications with the module are prioritized by the controller, so users can select how much data is sent and intervals of communication. The module does not add to controller CPU-load nor add to network traffic. Project Sherlock AI pilots have been running and producing results for the past 18 months. Customers will be able to purchase the module in mid-2018.

This artificial intelligence engine is part of a larger, expanding ecosystem of analytics offerings from Rockwell Automation that run across the plant floor for devices, machines and systems, as well as throughout the enterprise. Rockwell Automation developers are building connections so users who employ FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices tools will be able to interface with Project Sherlock AI via the Shelby chatbot and action cards. Analytics from Project Sherlock AI will be integrated into the FactoryTalk Analytics Platform to integrate plant-floor data into business intelligence strategies. 

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation is dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs approximately 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

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