Energy is one of the most critical infrastructure resources on our collective radar. So, it is imperative to continually monitor energy production, transport and consumption to ensure its availability, security and efficiency throughout the United States and the world.
Back in February, we saw rolling blackouts across Texas while experiencing extended record-breaking cold—and the resulting spike in electrical demand. This followed the devastating Colonial Pipeline ransomware cyberattack last year, which left thousands in U.S. Eastern states without adequate fuel. These and other outages spotlight not only the importance of energy sources, but the deadly and dangerous snowballing impacts of disruptions. In Texas, thousands suffered without heat when the electric grid was unable to pivot fast enough to accommodate those spikes in electrical demand. There was a cascading effect on utilities, as water lines broke due to the frigid temperatures. Although gasoline was available, it couldn’t be pumped. The sheer volume of leaks, vast scope of water damage and extensive outages lasted for weeks and incurred millions in repair costs.
These calamities vividly illustrate why it is essential to continually update our critical infrastructure, and energy in particular. Real-time monitoring and asset tracking enable operations personnel to make informed, timely decisions and identify trouble areas quickly.
Two Texas-based companies, ClearBlade and WINSYSTEMS, have already been providing solutions for the energy marketplace. ClearBlade’s Intelligent Assets application-layer software provides monitoring, asset tracking and “no-code” implementation across the gamut of critical infrastructure, including energy, transportation, manufacturing and retail applications. WINSYSTEMS has been designing industrial embedded computing solutions for nearly 40 years, driving applications in energy, transportation, industrial automation, medical diagnostics and aerospace/defense. Together, WINSYSTEMS and ClearBlade provide easy-to-implement Intelligent Edge solutions for many critical infrastructure requirements.
ClearBlade’s Intelligent Assets application provides device monitoring with AI at the edge. This edge application can be run on virtually any hardware device running Linux. And, because it provides all the communication hooks needed to connect to industrial communications protocols, end users can be up and running in days instead of months. The Intelligent Assets application enables easy, out-of-the-box setup, deployment and maintenance of AI Edge assets using an intuitive user interface.
Some examples of its capabilities include:
• Monitoring at remote oil and gas locations for security, well efficiency, unsafe leaks and to prompt transportation notices when tanks are full
• Monitoring the generating efficiency of solar panels to indicate when they should be cleaned to maintain optimal performance
• Monitoring the critical moving parts within wind power generators to trigger proactive maintenance
• Monitoring fuel station usage and tracking delivery vehicles to reduce shortages and prioritize deliveries
While these are just a few use cases, they all depend on industrial-grade embedded computing solutions—which WINSYSTEMS has been designing and delivering successfully for four decades. Our renowned embedded computing solutions are the beating heart of myriad OEM Edge devices, gateways and computing deployments within critical infrastructure.
In fact, WINSYSTEMS’ roots go back to when our company founder Jerry Winfield combined his experience in embedded-computing design with designing electronics for the oil and gas industry to develop some of the first -40°C to +85°C-rated embedded computers. This design focus has been in our DNA ever since. At WINSYSTEMS, we design our embedded computers and COM modules based on the embedded CPU roadmaps that satisfy the demands for industrial temperature performance and product longevity required for these critical applications.
Over the last five years, WINSYTEMS has focused on providing cyber security-enabled embedded designs that allow our customers to build secure Edge devices. These systems start with the hardware root of trust (RoT) and enable the security layers through our outstanding software ecosystems partners, such as ClearBlade. What’s more, all new designs include onboard TPM-2.0 devices and security-enabled firmware.
Our mutual clients attest to the value of having a USA-manufactured embedded computing platform that can provide the intelligence needed to make critical decisions for the utilities we depend upon.