2015 Year in Review

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Data and Innovation

Solar™ InSight System™
Turns Data Into Action

Marco Leon pulls out his phone. In a matter of touches, Marco, Development Manager – Connected Product, is analyzing the terabytes upon terabytes of data on Solar Turbines’ more than 1,500 connected units in 56 countries.

At Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar subsidiary and manufacturer of mid-sized industrial gas turbines, folks like Marco Leon are focused on the data that drives decision-making in machine health, product development and customer support. They have to be, because it’s an important business for customers who operate some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies: If the equipment isn’t working, then they’re not making money.

“The data is like gold,” said Leon. “If you just become a commodity provider, forget it, you’re out of the game. You have to figure out how to turn the data into action.”

Helping customers succeed by turning data into action was Solar’s goal when creating the Solar™ InSight System™, a predictive analytics platform with 28 different capabilities. It was purposely built for equipment health management. Using data collected since 2003, Solar™ InSight System™ provides a huge volume of information to design better equipment and improve the ability to detect and solve customers’ operational and product issues faster.

1966 Originally installed in 1966, these five Saturn gas turbines have been operating in Centerville, Louisiana, for five decades. “I want them to run for another 50 years.” – Bobby Newsom, Controls Technician and Electrician, Trunkline Gas Company.

Solar™ InSight System™ helps customers better manage risk with predictive alerts before machine faults happen and provides customers with real time access to their equipment via a mobile app. Customers don’t see problems because Solar InSight, and the Fleet Manager, are anticipating them. The proof is in the numbers. Solar has avoided more than 450,000 hours of unplanned downtime for its customers.

Solar has avoided more than 450,000 hours of unplanned downtime for its customers.

As Leon puts it, those results happen even faster when data is available and people – from product support to design engineers to dedicated fleet managers – work in harmony. “We’re providing the technology, but they’re the ones who are interfacing with the customer and know the site, the control system and the equipment,” Leon says.

“Having the data and information now in your pocket is kind of like having electricity in the home – once you had it, you couldn’t figure out how you could ever live without it,” Leon said. “We are accelerating the development of new capabilities. It’s a race without a finish line.”