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Smart Apps: The Key to Smarter Assets & Autonomous Operations

Updated: Jun 6



The industrial world is constantly evolving, and with it, the quest for greater operational excellence and efficiency. This drive has led to the rise of Smart Software Applications, or "Smart Apps." These applications offer new, innovative ways to manage and enhance industrial operations, making assets smarter and more autonomous.


Following our recent video on Smart Assets, this post delves into the capabilities of Smart Apps that empower smarter, more autonomous, assets.


Understanding Smart Apps


Smart Apps are advanced software applications that use machine learning and data-driven models. Unlike traditional software that operates on fixed rules, these apps can adapt and respond within dynamic and complex environments. They're designed to make operations smarter and more efficient by processing vast amounts of data, aiding in decision-making, and optimising processes.


traffic jam

Traffic Jams to Open Roads: A Metaphor for Transformation


Imagine being stuck at a traffic light that operates on a fixed schedule, regardless of the actual traffic flow. This scenario is akin to traditional software applications, which often operate under rigid, predefined rules.


In contrast, Smart Apps are like adaptive traffic systems, using real-time data to optimise operations and improve efficiency, reflecting a similar transformative approach in industrial settings.


Combining Technology and Expertise


Smart Apps redefine how we encode and utilise domain expertise in industrial operations. More than just a meeting point of technology and industry expertise, they offer a novel way to embed our knowledge into systems. These apps allow us to set clear objectives without dictating the exact methods to achieve them, harnessing the power of machine learning to find the best paths from data within defined limits.


This approach enables Smart Apps to adapt and respond to complex situations in ways traditional software can't. They're designed to understand our goals and work within set boundaries, but with the flexibility to determine the most effective strategies autonomously. It's this ability to interpret objectives and innovate within constraints that makes Smart Apps a powerful tool in modern industry.


Smart Apps are revolutionising industrial processes by translating our expertise into dynamic, learning systems. They're not just automating tasks; they're evolving and enhancing decision-making, leading to smarter, more efficient operations that align closely with our strategic goals.


From Automation to Autonomy: The Leap Enabled by Smart Apps


The shift from automation to autonomy, though subtle in terminology, represents a significant transformation in industrial processes, and it's precisely this leap that Smart Apps facilitate. They embody the capability necessary to transcend mere automation – where tasks are performed according to predefined rules – and move towards true autonomy – where systems intelligently adapt and make decisions within set parameters.


Smart Apps enable this transition by leveraging machine learning and embedded domain expertise. They understand the objectives and operate within defined boundaries but have the freedom to determine the most effective ways to achieve these goals. This marks a pivotal shift from rigid, programmed responses to dynamic, informed decision-making.


In summary, Smart Apps are at the heart of evolving industrial operations from automated processes to autonomous systems. This evolution is not just about doing tasks automatically; it's about intelligent, adaptive, and self-governing systems that drive efficiency and innovation in line with strategic objectives.


The Dual Functionality of Smart Apps in Industry


In industrial settings, Smart Apps fulfil two vital roles:

Smart analytics icon

1. Enhancing Decision-Making with Smart Analytics: They provide in-depth insights and actionable recommendations, aiding human decision-makers in navigating complex operational landscapes.

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2. Facilitating Autonomous Operations with Smart Control: By automating critical real-time decisions, these apps optimise operational processes and reduce the need for manual intervention, driving efficiency and autonomy.


Tackling Modern Industrial Challenges with Smart Apps


Smart Apps are at the forefront of addressing and transforming modern challenges in asset operation:

  • They automate routine tasks such as monitoring and analysis, streamlining processes and enabling personnel to focus on higher-level strategic tasks. This not only boosts productivity but also enriches strategic planning.

  • In the realm of data management, Smart Apps excel at distilling vast, complex datasets into clear, actionable insights, accelerating decision-making processes and enhancing effectiveness.


The Transformative Impact of Smart Apps


Smart Apps are reshaping the industrial sector with their ability to harness real-time data for rapid, informed decision-making, directly improving performance and operational efficiency. They streamline operations, enhancing autonomy and effectiveness, leading to smoother processes and a more productive, efficient workflow.


Smart Apps: Transforming Industrial Operations


Smart Apps are revolutionising the way we use data in industrial settings. Smart apps transform data into smart feedback and actionable insights to enhance asset performance.

These applications are doing more than just streamlining operations; they're redefining them. They bring a new level of intelligence to managing and optimising various aspects of industrial activities:

  • Moving from being reactive to proactive, Smart Apps use predictive models to get ahead of potential issues. This shift means operations are more in tune with business goals, leading to smoother processes and preemptive problem-solving.

  • When it comes to managing a network of assets, these apps are a game-changer. They automate decision-making, enhancing production and reliability while boosting energy efficiency. This is particularly valuable in large-scale and complex systems where manual oversight can be overwhelming.

  • One size does not fit all in industrial operations, and Smart Apps recognise this. They offer tailored solutions, analysing specific operational data to deliver insights that are just right for each business. This leads to efficient and adaptable operational strategies.


Smart Apps are more than technological tools; they are partners in achieving operational excellence. They are ushering in an era of more efficient, intelligent, and data-driven practices in the industrial sector.


Capabilities in Action: Smart Apps at Work


Smart Apps aren't just about the capabilities they can offer; it's about how these capabilities come together to solve real-world problems in industrial operations. Here's a look at how these advanced features translate into practical solutions:

  • Predictive Maintenance: These apps get ahead of equipment failures. By identifying potential issues before they escalate, they enable timely maintenance, saving time and resources.

  • Predictive Intervention: Smart Apps are adept at spotting problems early on. This early detection allows for quick intervention, preventing minor issues from turning into major setbacks.

  • Predictive Optimisation: Continual adjustments are the key to peak performance. Smart Apps fine-tune operational processes in real-time, ensuring the highest efficiency and productivity.

  • Predictive Control: These apps take the lead in managing operations. By using data-driven methods, they autonomously optimise control systems settings, enhancing both efficiency and reliability.


In essence, Smart Apps bring a comprehensive set of tools to the table, each working in concert to improve and refine the way industrial operations are conducted. They represent a significant leap forward in managing and optimising industrial processes. By automating routine operations and freeing up resources for higher-level problem-solving and innovation, Smart Apps play a critical role in driving operational excellence and efficiency. This automation allows staff to focus on areas where creativity and human insight are indispensable.


Features integrated to form Smart Applications

For organisations at each stage of their journey to data-driven, autonomous operations.

Features and capabilities of SIG ML

For the key features and capabilities we offer at SIG ML, and how they’re built for different asset sizes and stages, check out: https://www.sigmachinelearning.com/products-nexgineer


Getting Started with Smart Apps


Embarking on the Smart Apps journey involves understanding their fit for your specific operational context:

  • Evaluating Operational Scale: While smaller operations might manage with traditional methods, larger operations with numerous assets can significantly benefit from the efficiency and control offered by Smart Apps.

  • Analysing System Complexity: In environments with complex, variable-rich systems, Smart Apps stand out with their advanced data modeling and analytics, boosting decision-making and efficiency.

  • Assessing Human Resource Capacity: For growing operations, Smart Apps can alleviate the strain on human resources by automating routine tasks, enhancing both safety and efficiency.


For businesses considering Smart Apps, especially those in expansion phases or managing complex systems, these tools offer a path to enhanced operational efficiency and smarter management practices.


At SIG ML, we specialise in evaluating the practicality and potential benefits of Smart Apps for industrial sector organisations. We offer a short-term, 10-week discovery and assessment project opportunity for new customers to get started. For more information, contact us for a collaborative discussion today.



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