Welcome to the future of the command and control room – two groundbreaking big-data presentation and visualisation systems with the potential to revolutionise asset management as we know it.
Brought to you by LSC Group, Babcock’s technical through-life support-solutions business, Sluice and Mezzanine have the capacity to sieve and process immense amounts of data from multiple sources. In the process, cutting-edge software generates overviews of asset-management scenarios that are more comprehensive, more immediate, more detailed and more interactive than those offered by any other system out there. On top of which, it’s super-fast, multi-HD screened and packed with such wow features as gesture-controlled interfaces (think the 2002 film Minority Report).
‘We’re connecting data sources in a way that is unprecedented,’ says LSC Capability Manager Damian Clayton-Bull. ‘Traditionally, you’d have to put data into one format from various different sources. This system does away with that – you don’t need to harvest that information and convert it first, you just go straight to the source. The way the software has been built it has numerous connectors that allow you to access different data sources at the same time – whether it’s Oracle or an Excel spreadsheet on someone’s desktop.
‘The second real area where it starts to beat what we’ve used in the past is its ability to cache information and just harvest the information you need at a particular time, without disrupting the flow of view. At the same time, you don’t have to hold vast amounts of data and have huge servers sitting in the background to have it all available to you.’
Of the two appliances, Mezzanine is an extremely powerful collaborative tool, allowing meetings or presentations to be held simultaneously across many sites while participants are creating and sharing work on devices ranging from iPhones to whiteboards.
‘It’s a very slick presentation platform for clients,’ says Clayton-Bull. ‘But it’s also an excellent collaboration space. Say you’ve got a group of engineers in the UK and another overseas – for knowledge transfer purposes, they’re able to connect rooms so they can share their laptop, share their software, look at detailed designed documents on the big screen and have face-to-face meetings via videoconferencing.’ Users can also grab screen or whiteboard content for future reference or follow-on work.
With Sluice, meanwhile, LSC is bringing out the big guns: a system that takes big data and transforms it into a snapshot of any given situation, in real time or indeed any given timescale – past, present or future. Users can layer information and watch as patterns and trends emerge that would have been nigh-on impossible to pinpoint without months of sifting through huge vats of data. ‘You can play previous events that have happened, or you can feed in false data to run scenarios through so can fix problems so they should emerge,’ says Clayton-Bull. ‘It allows a real command and control approach.’ As such, Sluice is invaluable in terms of what it can bring to supply-chain visualisation, scenario tracking, post-event analysis…
To illustrate the extent of the astonishing asset-management capabilities of Sluice, LSC has created a programme that monitors the output and current status of all the wind farms in the UK. ‘It will flag up to command and control room if there’s a problem with turbine,’ says Clayton-Bull. ‘The system can bring forward all the information about that turbine, history, what parts could have gone wrong, and so on. Then another window shows where all of, say, Babcock’s wind turbine repair sites are and establishes what parts they could be holding to fix it. Then telematics are brought into play – another window shows where all the vehicles available are, what assets are on that vehicle, what qualifications the driver’s got, how far he or she is from the wind turbine that’s broken, then track them on the map to where they can actually fix the turbine.’
Interest in both Sluice and Mezzanine is strong, with LSC in discussions ranging from Defence to retail. For further information, see (www.lsc-technology.com ) for further details, or ring Damian Clayton Bull, Capability Manager, on 01543 446 800.