AI, AIoT, digital transformation, AI, artificial intelligence

Picking the Brain of an Industrial AI Data Architect About AIoT

Fred Bastien from Aspen’s AIoT team joins Tech Talks Daily Podcast

March 25, 2021

At AspenTech, we spend a lot of time talking to our customers, partners and industry analysts. One common theme we keep hearing that is resoundingly true: the need for Industrial AI has never been more urgent. The ongoing movement toward Industry 4.0, coupled with pressures brought on by the global pandemic, has accelerated the need for it. Now, the task at hand becomes building an Industrial AI solution that accelerates the time-to-value, without requiring them to have extensive, in-house AI expertise.  

This is what inspired us to create the Aspen AIoT Hub. With the AIoT Hub, we’ve enabled data mobility and data integration across plants and the enterprise – from sensors to the edge and cloud – to accelerate the delivery of visualization and insights for capital-intensive industries.

To shed light on our efforts to build an AIoT solution for our customers, AspenTech’s VP of AIoT Technology & Product Management, Frederic Bastien, recently joined Neil C. Hughes from the Tech Talks Daily Podcast to dive a bit deeper into AspenTech’s AI offerings.



Here are the highlights from their conversation:


Finding a fit at AspenTech 

My experience in telecommunications, AI and IIoT led me to start our company Mnubo in 2012, where we focused on working for industrial machines and in industrial verticals. However, we realized that the real value problems were in the energy, pharma and manufacturing spaces – and we knew we needed to break in. AspenTech is a leading provider in these spaces, so when we were approached by them in 2019 to combine forces, it was a bit of a no-brainer.


How to enable AI software to make operations more efficient, reliable and safer 

When organizations come to us about our solutions, they often like to believe that there is a lack of AI expertise but that is just not the case – we have some customers that have over 700 data scientists within their organization. However, the talent is usually pretty siloed. The collaboration between data scientists and AI experts is minimal but essential to running AI software efficiently. Even in today’s world, it’s unlikely that data scientists and AI experts will work on the same data sets, but that’s what the AIoT hub is for – to help put all of these team members on the same level.


Breaking down Industrial AI and AspenTech’ s role 

First off, it’s important to know that AI is readily available and there are many players and options for organizations to choose from. But the devil is in the details. It’s tough to do AI offline, but we want to bring the technology into the plant so it can make decisions on its own.  

Since we provide AI-enabled solutions to some very complex industries, we have to keep in mind the complex processes that leverage the first principles of science. In other words, Industrial AI has to be able to run with physics and chemistry in mind, so the plant doesn’t blow up! AspenTech has 40 years of process control under their belt which is integrated right into our technology. This is how we get our customers to be safer, greener, longer and faster. Every year we generate billions of dollars in value for our customers.


New goals for a new year 

First and foremost, it’s the major focus on sustainability that everyone has. AspenTech recently joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which I think is a great step in the right direction. Whenever customers come to me about wanting to improve their sustainability, it gets me excited. I think that COVID has only emphasized the need to be able to run plants from anywhere, and now it’s just a matter of driving the technology that we already provide.


Want to hear more? 

Here at AspenTech, we’ve taken on the challenge of operationalizing industrial AI, including supervised and reinforcement learning, for industrial customers. Our aim is to accelerate the time to ROI by creating a centralized AI hub to simplify data management and build the self-optimizing plants of the future.


If you’re interested in learning more:



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