The Internet of Things envisions a network of connected devices that will make our daily lives more convenient — and safer. Those goals are already a reality in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where technology is monitoring the safety of our infrastructure, making transportation systems run more smoothly and enabling machines to run more efficiently.
It is estimated that the Internet of Things could create $11.1 trillion in value by 2025. Augury, a technology startup creating machine learning-driven, predictive maintenance (PdM) solutions, is poised to capture a large part of the IIoT market before moving downstream to segments of the consumer market.
I first met Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, two years ago when the company was raising its Series A. Having spent a considerable amount of time in manufacturing and other highly technical environments, I understood the catastrophic implications of mechanical failure. Saar and his team understood this too. It was exciting to see a group of exceptional engineers approach a legacy industry with completely fresh thinking. Even more exciting was the company’s vision to eventually move beyond industrial applications into our everyday lives. Augury’s innovations have vastly lowered the cost of predicative maintenance, so what was once reserved for expensive equipment, such as jet engines, nuclear power plants, and wind turbines is now squarely on a path towards our daily lives: cars, vacuum cleaners and washing machines. Imagine never again having to experience another acute mechanical issue; imagine breakdowns becoming a thing of the past. I want that!
The technology is here. Augury has already paired certified vibration analysts with experts in machine learning to build the mechanical diagnostics platform for the IIoT. Its technology listens to the vibrations emitted by machines (which currently include rotating equipment such as motors, pumps, fans and chillers in commercial and industrial facilities) to detect changes that might signal an impending malfunction. The mechanical data that Augury is compiling enables maintenance engineers to efficiently monitor and quickly address system issues as they arise, saving time, labor and costly repairs of severely damaged equipment. Augury’s technology also enables users to reduce energy consumption, because it takes less energy to run properly maintained equipment. The more data that Augury gathers and analyses, the smarter its systems become. So, too, do the people who are using its systems.
Augury is pioneering technology in mechanical environments. The company’s systems are now being used in commercial and industrial facility maintenance by the leading service providers — Johnson Controls, Trane, Carrier, Aramark and AECOM. The Augury sensors applied to this equipment — in more than 2,000 facilities across the United States and Canada — add new entries every day to what Augury likes to call its ever-growing “malfunction dictionary.” Since June 2016, the number of machines being recorded has grown in its database by 500%.
Having debuted with a handheld detection system, Augury is now moving into embedded diagnostics and more automated data collection. Its technology continuously gathers data that is then encrypted and sent to the cloud, where Augury compares it to past or expected results and alerts maintenance personnel as needed. The real-time health of the machines is accessible via Augury’s mobile and web app.
As the IIoT takes off, so too will our expectations for the machines around us. Industrial and consumer machinery will increasingly come pre-built with on-board diagnostic capabilities.
We’re excited to continue our partnership with Augury via their latest round of funding because we believe that the company is on its way to building the mechanical diagnostics platform of the broader Internet of Things. The goal is to enable any piece of mechanical equipment — industrial or mass-market — to become aware of a potential malfunction before it develops into a machine-stopping problem.