AI, AIoT, digital transformation, AI, artificial intelligence

How the AIoT Hub Forms the Heart of the Connected Enterprise

April 19, 2021

Increasingly diverse data sources and assets. Data lakes that have become opaque data swamps. Unrealized business value and potential, buried inside terabytes of data that are accumulating practically unchecked. Every enterprise in the industrial world is facing some version of these challenges. The simple fact is, industrial organizations today are sitting on more data than they know what to do with, and legacy workflow management tools and solutions are ill-equipped to tackle these data wrangling challenges. 

Every organization wants to be a connected enterprise – one where people, tools and data are more tightly integrated, complementing each other, unlocking new levels of value and driving faster levels of innovation. But when you’re staring at the morass of data that industrial organizations are dealing with, it’s hard to know where to even start.

That’s the mission underpinning AspenTech’s Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) practice and our AIoT Hub. Building the connected enterprise means stitching together two previously disparate sides of our industry: the data insights that come with data management, AI, machine learning and advanced analytics; and the domain expertise, engineering fundamentals and industry experience that comes secondhand to industrial process engineers and data scientists. Bridging this divide is our Industrial AI strategy and the Aspen AIoT Hub™. 


The 4 Pillars of AspenTech’s Industrial AI Infrastructure: The Aspen AIoT Hub 


  1. Data integration and mobility. The Aspen AIoT Hub accesses and leverages a full integration of data from across the enterprise, from sensors to the data historian to the cloud. This breaks down silos and unlocks value in previously untapped reservoirs of data.
  2. Cloud-ready infrastructure. The Aspen AIoT Hub’s cloud-ready, Industrial AI infrastructure facilitates the enterprise’s ability to better structure, organize and support cross-collaboration and integration of business functions – while also laying the groundwork for our vision of the Self-Optimizing Plant. 
  3. Enterprise-wide visualization. Digging new insights out of collected data is one thing. But visualizing those insights is a necessary next step to make the data truly actionable and ensure its driving real value.
  4. Industrial AI application ecosystem. Finally, data scientists need to be empowered with a production-grade AI environment that provides the tools and the leeway to build, deploy and host data-rich Industrial AI apps at an enterprise sale. The Aspen Industrial AI Toolkit provides exactly this.


Data collaboration from end to end 

Building the connected enterprise requires end-to-end data collaboration. The Aspen AIoT Hub facilitates this by collecting industrial data gathered by sensors or asset systems, connecting it to existing control systems or distributed control systems, and then moving that data into a historian at the edge. AspenTech’s data historian, InfoPlus.21 (IP21), is purpose built for process data and connectivity within the AIoT Hub. IP21 serves as a “neutralizer,” pulling data from sensors, standardizing it with tags and secure formats regardless of its original source, and then moving that data out of the plant and into the cloud securely.

By improving data access and putting it in the proper formats for analytics, the Aspen AIoT Hub is future proofing how industrial data is stored and used across the enterprise, regardless of the age of the technology (either legacy systems or modernized ones) or the skills of their operators. This also helps to break down silos between datasets, by ensuring that they’re not all forced into different formats and behind different firewalls, and instead are run through the same universal, standardized formatting. 


Aspen Connect integrates data at the edge and across the enterprise 

Aspen Connect provides the final piece of the Aspen AIoT Hub puzzle, providing vendor-neutral, drop-in Industrial IoT edge and enterprise data collection solutions that facilitate data mobilization and integration across the entire organization, from sensors to the cloud. Purpose-built for industrial IoT and industrial devices, Aspen Connect helps further eliminate silos, while supporting a diverse array of historians and data sources and linking those enterprise and industrial data sources to the cloud – all furthering the AIoT Hub’s mission of the safer, smarter Self-Optimizing Plant. 

Building a connected enterprise means mobilizing and integrating industrial data spread out across an array of sources: sensors and assets; varying levels of data access formats and firewalls; legacy technologies that may be decades old; and processes and workflows that run the gamut from Excel spreadsheets to physical sheets of paper. It’s a daunting challenge, but the AIoT Hub lays down a future proofed, Industrial AI infrastructure for linking together these disparate elements, leveraging a purpose-built historian to even the playing field across all data sources and ensure an efficient, secure transmission of data across the enterprise, and into the cloud. If the connected enterprise is a web of connections for integrating, mobilizing, and standardizing industrial across separate silos, the Aspen AIoT Hub sits at the heart of that web.

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