September 6, 2019

Simulated Data for Connected Equipment


Device connectivity and data collection for connected solutions have dramatically simplified in recent years, and Exosite has developed several products to further streamline this critical process. However, even when live data is available, it is often preferable to simulate device behavior within a connected solution. This is especially true in scenarios, like demos or testing, where predictable, controllable data can enhance the value of your IIoT initiative. Exosite’s device simulator provides an easy-to-use, fully controllable device data playback capability, purpose built for the use cases our customers value. In this application note, we’ll walk through the common use cases in which simulated data may be beneficial. 

Use Case 1: Showcasing Desired Behaviors with Simulator-Driven Demos

Showcasing an IIoT solution with hands-on, interactive dashboards and alerts is one of the most effective strategies to gain stakeholder buy-in and build customer demand. Augmenting a demo strategy with pre-defined, controllable device simulation enables you to highlight the right features and functionality at the right time.

The Challenges

  • Traditional full-stack demos require complex and relatively complete solutions that have hardware and software selected, connected, and fully functioning. This often means a significant investment of time and money, which increases risk. 
  • Using real-time data for customer-facing demos can be highly unpredictable and may not trigger the ranges and conditions required to be compelling. 
  • When used to gain internal buy-in, demos are generally needed very early in a project to explain the vision and value of the solution—often before hardware is selected and other solution details are fully fleshed out.

Use Case 2: Fortifying Change Management with Predictable Data Playback

Publishing new analytics, alerts, and visualizations to end-users is an exciting step with your IIoT solution, but there are best practices to ensure predictable, desirable behaviors across all incoming data ranges. By building a dataset that triggers the scenarios you want to test, you can quickly and predictably test your new functionality in a controlled environment before publishing to your users. 

The Challenges

  • Using real-time data can be highly unpredictable and may not trigger the ranges and corner cases that are needed for testing and validation. 
  • Live, hardware-based data streams introduce variables and risks that can slow down validation and complicate troubleshooting. 

The Solution

Exosite’s ExoSense® condition monitoring application solves these challenges with a purpose-built device simulator interface that demonstrations remote monitoring dashboards, alerts, and analytics that is completely controlled, predictable, and impactful. The simulator not only programmatically generates data, but it also provides realistic, precise playback of pre-recorded or purpose-built data sets. With the playback mode, a CSV file of pre-recorded data values is used by the simulator to replay each report in sequence. From an end-user perspective, this data looks and behaves exactly as a connected device. From an administrative perspective, you have full control of the data, its playback parameters, and its device lifecycle. 

ExoSense also provides analytics capabilities that allow you to build and share custom analytic functions, and then augment visualizations and alerts with the output of these functions. The device simulator enables you to predictably test or showcase the behavior of these functions and their output.

All device simulator functionality is available from a simple web-based interface, which can be deployed via our Exchange IoT marketplace and integrated into a new or existing ExoSense instance.   

Key ExoSense Features 

ExoSense provides the following features that are purpose-built to support device simulation for industrial use cases:

  • Device simulator capabilities to ensure controlled and predictable data flow 
  • Customizable dashboard builder for rapid data visualization
  • Rules to trigger alerts and test thresholds
  • Analytics functions that can be customized to augment visualization and alerts
  • Flexible user roles and permissions to fit any demo audience

Visit our documentation site to learn more about the ExoSense device simulator capabilities and dashboards

The Outcomes

Organizations leveraging ExoSense for device simulation in industrial use cases have been able to:

  • Quickly develop a connected solution in as little as one day, as no hardware configuration, programming, or custom development is required.
  • Generate early internal buy-in and support tradeshows, internal trainings, and customer engagements with a controlled demonstration that requires minimal investment. 
  • De-risk connected product development with the ability to carry out automated, continuous testing of new features and functionality.

Think ExoSense could do the same for you? Connect with an Exosite solution expert to talk about your application needs and see a demo of ExoSense today.