AWS Announces Industrial Machine Learning Services

  • December 15, 2020
  • William Payne

AWS has launched five new machine learning services for industrial and manufacturing customers. The new services are designed to add intelligence to industrial processes, improve operational efficiency, quality control, security and workplace safety.

The five new services: Amazon Monitron, Amazon Lookout for Equipment, the AWS Panorama Appliance, the AWS Panorama SDK, and Amazon Lookout for Vision — combine sophisticated machine learning, sensor analysis, and computer vision capabilities to address common technical challenges faced by industrial customers. AWS claims they represent the most comprehensive suite of cloud-to-edge industrial machine learning services available.

Amazon Monitron and Amazon Lookout for Equipment are designed to enable predictive maintenance supported by machine learning. The two services are designed to simplify the process of building and refining machine learning learning models to enable highly accurate predictive maintenance.

For customers who do not have an existing sensor network, Amazon Monitron offers an end-to-end machine monitoring system comprised of sensors, a gateway, and a machine learning service to detect anomalies and predict when industrial equipment will require maintenance. Amazon Monitron enables customers to remove cost and complexity from building a sophisticated, machine learning-driven predictive maintenance system from scratch, and it also allows them to focus on their core manufacturing, supply chain, and operations functions.

Amazon Monitron detects when machines are not operating normally based on abnormal fluctuations in vibration or temperature, and notifies customers when to examine machinery in order to determine if preventative maintenance is needed. The end-to-end system includes IoT sensors to capture vibration and temperature data, a gateway to aggregate and transfer data to AWS, and a machine learning cloud service that can detect abnormal equipment patterns and deliver results in minutes with no machine learning or cloud experience required. With Amazon Monitron, maintenance technicians can start tracking machine health in a matter of hours, without any development work or specialised training.

Amazon Monitron can be used on a variety of rotating equipment, such as bearings, motors, pumps, and conveyer belts in industrial and manufacturing settings. Use cases range from monitoring a few critical machines like the cooling fans or water pumps used in data centres, to large scale installations in manufacturing facilities with production and conveyance systems.

Amazon Monitron also includes a mobile app for a customer’s onsite maintenance technicians to monitor equipment behaviour in real time. With the mobile app, a technician can receive alerts of any abnormal equipment conditions across different machines, check up on the health of the machine, and decide if they need to schedule maintenance. To increase the accuracy of the system, technicians can enter feedback on the accuracy of the alerts in the mobile app, and Amazon Monitron learns from that feedback to continually improve over time.

For customers that have existing sensors but don’t want to build machine learning models, Amazon Lookout for Equipment provides a way to send their sensor data to AWS to build models for them and return predictions to detect abnormal equipment behaviour. To get started, customers upload their sensor data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and provide the S3 location to Amazon Lookout for Equipment.

Amazon Lookout for Equipment can also pull data from AWS IoT SiteWise, and works with other popular machine operations systems like OSIsoft. Amazon Lookout for Equipment analyses the data, assesses normal or healthy patterns, and then uses the learnings from all of the data on which it is trained to build a model that is customised for the customer’s environment. Amazon Lookout for Equipment can then use the machine learning model to analyse incoming sensor data and identify early warning signs for machine failure. This allows customers to do predictive maintenance, saving them money and improving productivity by preventing the crash of an industrial system line. Amazon Lookout for Equipment allows customers to get more value from their existing sensors, and it helps customers make timely decisions that can materially improve the entire industrial process.

The AWS Panorama Appliance applies computer vision to improve industrial operations and workplace safety. It provides a new hardware appliance that allows organisations to add computer vision to existing on-premises cameras that customers may already have deployed. Customers start by connecting the AWS Panorama Appliance to their network, and the device automatically identifies camera streams and starts interacting with the existing industrial cameras. The AWS Panorama Appliance is integrated with AWS machine learning services and IoT services that can be used to build custom machine learning models or ingest video for more refined analysis. The AWS Panorama Appliance extends AWS machine learning to the edge to help customers make predictions locally in sites without connectivity. Each AWS Panorama Appliance can run computer vision models on multiple camera streams in parallel, making possible use cases like quality control, part identification, and workplace safety. The AWS Panorama Appliance works with AWS and third party pre-trained computer vision models for retail, manufacturing, construction, and other industries. Also, customer-developed computer vision models developed in Amazon SageMaker can be deployed on the AWS Panorama Appliance.

The AWS Panorama Software Development Kit (SDK) allows hardware vendors to build new cameras that can run meaningful computer vision models at the edge. Cameras that are built with the AWS Panorama SDK run computer vision models for use cases like detecting damaged parts on a fast-moving conveyor belt or spotting when machinery is outside of a designated work zone. These cameras can use chips designed for computer vision from NVIDIA and Ambarella. By using the AWS Panorama SDK, manufacturers can build cameras with computer vision models that can process higher quality video with better resolution for spotting issues. They can also build more sophisticated models on low-cost devices that can be powered over Ethernet and placed around a site. Customers can train their own models in Amazon SageMaker and deploy them on cameras built with the AWS Panorama SDK with a single click. Customers can also add Lambda functions to cameras built with the AWS Panorama SDK to be alerted to potential issues via text or email. AWS also offers pre-built models for tasks like PPE detection and social distancing, and can deploy these models in minutes without doing any machine learning work or special optimisations.

The Amazon Lookout for Vision appliance is designed to provide automated fast and accurate visual anomaly detection for images and video at a low cost. It offers a high accuracy, low-cost anomaly detection solution that uses machine learning to process thousands of images an hour to spot defects and anomalies. Customers send camera images to Amazon Lookout for Vision in batch or in real-time to identify anomalies, such as a crack in a machine part, a dent in a panel, an irregular shape, or an incorrect color on a product. Amazon Lookout for Vision then reports the images that differ from the baseline so that appropriate action can be taken. Amazon Lookout for Vision is sophisticated enough to handle variances in camera angle, pose, and lighting arising from changes in work environments. As a result, customers can accurately and consistently assess machine parts or manufactured products by providing as few as 30 images of the baseline “good” state. Amazon Lookout for Vision also runs on Amazon Panorama appliances. Customers can run Amazon Lookout for Vision in AWS starting today, and beginning next year, customers will be able to run Amazon Lookout for Vision on AWS Panorama Appliances and other AWS Panorama devices so customers will be able to use Amazon Lookout for Vision in locations where Internet connectivity is limited or non-existent.

BP is a global energy company, providing customers with fuel for transport, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes, and packaging. The organisation has 18,000 service stations and more than 74,000 employees worldwide. “Our engineering teams here at bpx are working very closely with AWS to build an IoT and cloud platform that will enable us to continuously improve the efficiency of our operations,” said Grant Matthews, Chief Technology Officer at BP America. “One of the areas we have explored as part of this effort is the use of computer vision to help us further improve security and worker safety. We want to leverage computer vision to automate the entry and exit of trucks to our facility and verify that they have fulfilled the correct order. Additionally, we see possibilities for computer vision to keep our workers safe in a number of ways, from monitoring social distancing, to setting up dynamic exclusion zones, and detecting oil leaks. AWS Panorama offers an innovative approach to delivering all of these solutions on a single hardware platform with an intuitive user experience. Our teams are excited to work with AWS on this new technology and expect it to help us address many new use cases.”

GS EPS is a South Korean Industrial Conglomerate. “We have been generating data across our assets for over a decade now but have only been using physics and rules based methods to gain insights into our data,” said Kang Bum Lee, Executive Vice President of GS EPS. “Amazon Lookout for Equipment is enabling our plant operation teams to build models on our equipment with no ML expertise required. We are leading the transformation of our organisation into a data-driven work culture with AWS and Amazon Lookout for Equipment.”

RS Components is a provider of industrial components and predictive maintenance. “We are constantly trying to innovate how we serve the maintenance needs of our customers. With the emergence of IoT, we have seen our customers looking to bring real-time condition monitoring capabilities into the factory environment to reduce reactive maintenance and improve asset reliability,” said Richard Jeffers, Technical Director at RS Components. “We are excited to be working with AWS to bring Amazon Monitron to our customers because it allows them to deploy a cost effective, easy to use, continuously improving condition monitoring solution and enable predictive maintenance across a broader set of equipment in their asset base. Although we stock over 500,000 products from 2,500 different suppliers, this is the first end-to-end wireless vibration and temperature condition monitoring solution in our portfolio. We plan to make Amazon Monitron available to our customers via our e-commerce platform, and leverage it to deliver condition-based monitoring and reliability services through RS Monition, our data led, reliability services business. Working with AWS will enable us to support our customers’ efforts to adopt IoT and machine learning as emerging technologies and accelerate their Industry 4.0 strategies.”

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is a well known manufacturer of guitars, basses, amplifiers, and related equipment. “Over the past year we worked with AWS to help develop the critical but sometimes overlooked part of running a successful manufacturing business, knowing your equipment condition. For manufacturers worldwide, maintaining equipment uptime is the only way to remain competitive in a global market. Unplanned downtime is costly both in loss of production and labour due to the fire-fighting nature of breakdowns,” said Bill Holmes, Global Director of Facilities at Fender. “Amazon Monitron can give both large industry manufacturers as well as small ‘mom and pop shops’ the ability to predict equipment failures, giving us the opportunity to pre-emptively schedule equipment repairs.”

OSIsoft is a manufacturer of application software for real-time data management, called the PI System. “Today, there are more than 2 billion sensor-based data streams inside OSIsoft PI Systems, and thousands of customers relying on the PI System daily to run their operations. These customers are constantly looking for methods to easily serve up insights for improving their competitiveness. OSIsoft products can be integrated with AWS services to help customers unlock additional value from their data. Amazon Lookout for Equipment expands the scope of services and insights available to customers by delivering automated machine learning built specifically for equipment monitoring,” said Michael Graves, Director of Strategic Alliances at OSIsoft.

ADLINK Technology offers hardware/software platforms enabling customers to implement edge AI solutions for real-time delivery of actionable data in industrial markets such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, energy, and communications. “The integration of AWS Panorama on ADLINK’s industrial vision systems makes for truly plug-and-play computer vision at the edge,” said Elizabeth Campbell, CEO at ADLINK USA. “In 2021, we will be making AWS Panorama-certified ADLINK NEON cameras powered by NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier available to customers to drive high-quality computer vision powered outcomes much, much faster. This allows ADLINK to deliver ML digital experiments and time to value for our customers more rapidly across logistics, manufacturing, energy, and utilities use cases.”

“Industrial and manufacturing customers are constantly under pressure from their shareholders, customers, governments, and competitors to reduce costs, improve quality, and maintain compliance. These organisations would like to use the cloud and machine learning to help them automate processes and augment human capabilities across their operations, but building these systems can be error prone, complex, time consuming, and expensive,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS. “We’re excited to bring customers five new machine learning services purpose-built for industrial use that are easy to install, deploy, and get up and running quickly and that connect the cloud to the edge to help deliver the smart factories of the future for our industrial customers.”