We continue our conversation on designing Asset Twins by covering each of the 4 areas - Asset Templates, Asset Library, Attributes, and Enterprise Calculations - in more detail. For an overview of the Element Unify™ Asset Twin design approach, check out Part 1 here.
Templates are the standardized model of what represents standardized instrumentation, equipment or processes. These models are represented through a set of Asset Attributes, or in other words, the set of parameters that define what type of physical object the template represents.
These attributes are more than just time series parameters. They comprise the various types of data that form the model of an asset, including engineering design information, and OEM operating envelopes. For more information on the different types of data used to comprise a template, check out part 1 of this blog.
These templates can be defined by your own organization, be associated to a standards body (e.g. ISO, API, IEC, MIMOSA, CFIHOS, etc), or by a manufacturer (e.g. Solar Turbines, GE, Siemens, etc) - making it easy to compare across standards or adopt new standards.
As the number of templates grows, it becomes important to manage, organize, sort and filter them. Element Unify’s Template Library is where this happens. You can also share, and duplicate these templates in addition to typical management capabilities, including deleting, renaming, and downloading.
Element Unify also allows you to import your own templates that may have been defined in other products such as Microsoft Excel or OSIsoft PI Asset Framework (AF). Importing these files allows you to create new, or edit existing, templates. This is important because some engineers always keep their information locked away in a spreadsheet, and this provides an easy way to disseminate this subject matter knowledge.
In addition to importing templates from other applications, the Template Library comes pre-loaded with over 100 equipment templates that cover Upstream Oil and Gas, Downstream Chemicals and Refining, and the Power Generation industries.
One of the most important areas of Asset Twin Templates are the attributes that define each one. What differentiates Element Unify over conventional device twin products, is the focus it places on the attributes rather than the device itself. This allows us to make Asset Twins more valuable by encoding additional information about the characteristics that make up any given Asset Twin.
With Asset Attributes, you can define not just the name, and description, but also the attribute type. These attribute types can be a simple, measured parameter (e.g. flow rate), a key performance indicator (KPI), an Event or activity, a limit, or many other options. Defining these asset specific characteristics create knowledgeable insights that can help data consumers understand what each attribute means in the Asset Twin’s context.
Some attribute types also can have a unit of measure defined as well as an attribute type. This is not to say that you can only associate data with the template’s unit of measure or data type, instead, these are what the default specifications should be, so when data is exported, it will adopt these default definitions.
Speaking of exports, Asset Attributes also define sanitized data export column names, so when data is exported it can be easily consumed by a general purpose analytical tool. Additionally, when it comes to data exports, Element Unify allows you to define the interpolation type at the template’s attribute level. This means all your data is not interpolated in the same manner, instead, the recommended interpolation method is defined for each attribute. This allows limits and status’ to use interpolation of last value, whereas KPIs and measured parameters can interpolate in a linear manner.
Last but not least, is the ability to identify which attributes are important in a template. Templates are defined by hundreds if not thousands of attributes. With Element Unify, you can highlight the ones that are most important to those individuals that are not familiar with the equipment can understand exactly what to look for when performing a downstream analysis.
One of the most important features when it comes to designing the standards of how your Asset Twins is to encode subject matter knowledge into the template itself. To do so you need to explain how various attributes in the template are related to one another. This is achieved by defining the mathematical expressions that describe the relationships between attributes. By defining a mathematical expression, you can encode information such as physical, chemical and electrical relationships in the template (e.g. power = current * voltage), operating envelopes, and key performance indicators. By defining these expressions once, you can then deploy these calculations across your enterprise - building new knowledge and insights throughout your organization. Read this blog to dive deeper into calculations, and the design philosophy behind it.