Oden Technologies: Delivering real-time factory floor analytics using Google Cloud Platform

Oden Technologies is transforming how the world thinks about the Internet of Things (IoT), one factory at a time. While IoT use cases are continuing to bring productivity, safety, and lifestyle enhancements to consumers, Oden is leading innovation in the manufacturing industry. Using a combination of IoT technology, wireless connectivity, and big data, Oden Technologies is helping manufacturers optimize production efficiency.

Historically, the manufacturing industry has relied heavily on data to drive production improvements. However, due to the way data is collected and processed, manufacturers are often unable to quickly identify product trends and unaware of warning signs for older machine breakdown. This can result in missed opportunities to improve manufacturing processes for better outcomes such as reducing waste and increasing profit margins.

Oden IoT devices plug into almost any kind of machine and can start collecting and transmitting data with minimal complexity and setup time. Once devices are set up in a factory, the Oden technology platform processes the data streamed from the devices to give manufacturers cutting-edge analytics that are easy to comprehend. Analysis produced by the platform provides factory engineers with data points such as detailed root-cause analysis down to the second, factory-wide performance in real-time, and trend analysis.

Improving cloud delivery

Oden built its platform in the cloud from the beginning. While its existing cloud platform provided satisfactory service, after evaluating Google Cloud Platform, Oden was convinced that it needed to switch. According to Oden, using Google Cloud Platform required fewer instances for equivalent performance, cost considerably less, and delivered more sophisticated capabilities around data analytics and machine learning when compared to its existing cloud provider.

Today, Oden runs its entire platform on Google Cloud Platform including Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Pub/Sub, Google Cloud Bigtable, Google Stackdriver, and Google Container Engine.

“In order to serve our customers, we need a cloud platform that can scale reliably while keeping costs low, perform under heavy loads, and consistently deliver sophisticated features such as machine learning. Google Cloud Platform is way ahead in all of these areas compared to our previous cloud provider.”— Willem Sundblad, CEO and founder, Oden Technologies

Capturing tens of millions of metrics a day

Google Cloud Platform provides the foundation for capturing and storing data collected by Oden’s wireless devices. Google Container Engine, powered by Kubernetes, runs APIs that capture data from Oden’s wireless devices on the factory floor. Google Cloud Pub/Sub then sends the data in real time to Google Cloud Bigtable, where data is processed using Oden’s sophisticated, proprietary analytics tools. Google Stackdriver is used for GCP monitoring, logging, and diagnostics which helps the organization deliver their platform in the cloud with confidence.

Google Cloud Platform captures and stores approximately 10 million metrics on each manufacturing line per day. Included is extremely granular detail, such as melt profile of the materials and amount of power going to the machines, high level metrics such as utilization, the amount of raw material consumed, and the volume of material produced. Also captured is environmental information such as humidity, dewpoint, and temperature so that manufacturers can determine if there are weather-related and seasonal impacts on their manufacturing efficiency.

Oden Technologies builds dashboards powered by Google Compute Engine, which pull analyzed data from Google Cloud Bigtable to show customers the state of their manufacturing lines in real-time. Using Oden Factory Cloud dashboards, customers can delve deeper into the data to discover the root causes of any production issues and fine-tune their production processes. With the previous cloud provider, 80 instances of virtual machines were required to run the dashboards. With GCP, that number has been cut to 45, reducing costs and complexity.

“We migrated from our previous cloud provider to Google Cloud Platform in just one month,” says Sundblad. “Further, our storage and data analytics costs have decreased by 30 percent. Cost savings like these allow us to protect customers from rising backend expenses, keeping us focused on bringing the best products possible to market.”

Faster data access; more efficient factories

With Google Cloud Platform, Oden Technologies can now deliver the complete factory analytics picture for manufacturers. In environments where thousands of variables combine to impact the bottom line, now machine and performance measurement can be recorded automatically and perpetually for thousands of businesses. Using the Oden Factory Cloud, its customers gain access to more comprehensive, deeper data insights and can eliminate reliance on infrastructure investments to run their own analytics.

Since manufacturers have access to live data and can analyze production data quickly, they can troubleshoot and resolve problems in minutes rather than months, Oden Technologies says. That can increase overall efficiency, cut costs and reduce industrial waste.

“With the help of Google Cloud Platform, we are helping our customers to be data-driven, something which wasn’t possible before. They now understand that data is their most important asset. That allows them to be more innovative and continually improve their production processes,” Sundblad says.