IOTA Foundation & Japanese Government Working On Predictive Maintenance Systems

The IOTA Foundation announced that it would collaborate with a Japanese government agency on a new AI and DLT-based project. As part of the collaboration, the IOTA Foundation will work with IMC and Best Materia, which are maintenance-related companies based in Japan. The project will be funded by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), a Japanese research and development agency. They aim to come up with technology that will bolster the security, durability, and longevity of critical infrastructure assets. 

How the Collaboration will Work

By combining AI and distributed ledger technology to Risk-Based Maintenance systems, the project hopes to take a huge chunk of the Japanese social infrastructure market. The market is currently valued at around $1.5 trillion. When complete, the predictive maintenance system, which will share industry data using a distributed database, will be the first of its kind globally. The areas targeted with this system include petrochemicals and oil refineries, industrial plants, energy plants, and power plants.

 Improving the Current System

In Japan, there are high standards for damage prediction assessment. However, most of the processes require human intervention in the form of field workers. To optimize the existing Risk-Based Maintenance systems, the data is going to be digitized and analyzed using AI. It helps to predict which parts of a plant require maintenance more efficiently. As a result, it will reduce unplanned power outages, improve availability, and reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary repairs and inspections.

What Leaders Had To Say

According to the Director of Partnerships at the IOTA Foundation, Holger Köther, creating a decentralized, open-source, and free DLT to preserve the integrity of data has always been their goal. He added that they were honored that the IOTA protocol would be used to secure various data points with the project. He concluded by stating that the digitization of RBM systems for more efficient and safer industrial plants was only one of the many applications for IOTA.

Commenting on the issue, the CEO of Best Materia, Shigemitsu Kihara, said that due to the aging problem at many Japanese plants, there was a need for AI to support their business. The AI would replace retired RBM consultants. He added that they expected IOTA Tangle would enable them to collect and store RBM data securely. Part of the data that would be secure included sensitive plant information, which is crucial to the accuracy of the AI system.

Areas of Focus for the Project

The project is going to come up with a cloud-based SaaS software that will come with the following features:

  • A Decentralized Database

The decentralized database will be powered by IOTA’s distributed ledger technology. Consequently, it will sidestep the vulnerabilities of centralized systems such as leaking, tampering, and accidents.  

  • AI-Based System

The AI system will be developed to replace the current RBM systems that rely on skilled technicians. Because of the aging population in Japan, there is a huge risk of information loss as the technicians retire.

  • Digitization of Data

Most data generated by technicians is stored manually. It can lead to numerous issues when it comes to sharing capabilities and the integrity of the data. Digitization of the data will make it easy for participants across the supply chain to collaborate and share data securely and efficiently.

The use of DLT and AI will be a major boost to Japanese RBM systems and across the world. Some of the organizations participating in the project include IMC, Best Materia, High-Pressure Institute of Japan, OMC, Lloyd’s Register, The Society of Chemical Engineers Japan, and Yokohama National University. 

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