Month: September 2017

Engineering analytics gaining momentum in India: MathWorks

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MathWorks, founded 1984, is a global software company with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on products – MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation.
Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems.

MathWorks produces nearly 100 additional products for specialized tasks such as data analysis, image processing, control design, wireless and radar.

K RaoKishore Rao, MD of MathWorks India, said that engineering analytics is gaining momentum in India. The data analytics space is actually very strong. There is an increased use of embedded analytics. Customers want to have analytics happening on the cloud as well as on the device.

“A recent trend is to have data analytics integrated with simulation; to take the insight from data and build better and smarter products using simulation. MathWorks is uniquely positioned as we have an integrated solution with data analytics and model-based design. With this you are really driving more efficiency into your products and business. This is happening across the industry, eg, automotive, industrial automation. Some companies are also talking of having a digital twin.

“Today, engineers are creating smarter and more efficient products. Also, they are focusing on predictive maintenance to improve the reliability of the products. Therefore, you are able to drive the maintenance cycles well in advance. With the growing number of sensors on products, predictive maintenance is a key focus for companies to leverage the data from the sensors. Some also call this sensor analytics.

MathWorks has a strong focus towards academia, and works with engineering institutes across India. Rao added: “Today, over 1,200+ engineering colleges in India use our products. These include IITs, NIITs, and several state engineering colleges.”

MathWorks offers a ‘Campus Wide license’ to institutes which opens up access to the tools to all faculty and students in classrooms, labs, across engineering, science, business, and other disciplines to use MATLAB and Simulink for data analytics, model-based design of embedded and cyber-physical systems, and many other technology areas. This will enable improved analysis and problem-solving skills through hands-on, project-based learning; improved understanding of underlying concepts and theory; and leading-edge academic research using the same tools widely used in industry.

“We have an integrated approach to academia. One aspect is providing access to tools. This is significantly enhanced through the campus wide license. The other important aspect is to help in the usage of tools by professors and students. A team of technical evangelists works with professors to help them incorporate tools into the courses, and also drives student interest through project work and student competitions.

“One challenge we hear is that software tools that are bought by colleges do not get used sometimes. As the ‘campus wide license’ is an annual term license, it keeps people honest on both sides (institute and software supplier) as the license needs to be renewed annually and will not be renewed if the usage is not good.

“We have been promoting the campus wide license for the last three years, and it has really picked up over the last 12 months. Today we have over 50 institutes with the campus wide license and this would grow to 90 by the end of 2017. We have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of having 500+ institutes on campus license model by 2020.

Tools for embedded vision
MathWorks also provides software tools for embedded vision. Rao said: “Vision is a huge area of interest. We are providing tools such as Computer Vision, which use deep learning techniques to gather insight from image and video data.

“Image and video applications are being leveraged by all industries today – automotive, aerospace, medical, consumer electronics, industrial equipment verticals. This is critical in safety critical applications such as ADAS or automated driving. We can share an example from Scania where they used MathWorks tools for a safety critical application such as Advanced Emergency Braking System which involved sensor fusion of both radar and camera sensor data.”

How can machine builders prepare for IIoT? Rao said: “We are doing things in Industry 4.0! Data analytics and sensor analytics are focus areas for us. We are working with several industrial equipment customers on predictive maintenance.

“We also work with start-ups, and are seeing a huge interest. We have a start-up program, where our products are offered at a big discount. A lot of the start-ups that we are working with are in medical devices, aerospace and automotive “We provide a combination of our products and services for the start-ups. The value from MATLAB and Simulink is immense.

The go-to-market strategy is three-pronged:
* Commercial customers – we work with the commercial customers in areas of sensor analytics and Model based design to help them develop better products

* Academic Institutions – working with engineers. Making sure they are trained on industry standard tools like MATLAB

* Start-up-ups – where we offer them special price, services and mentorship.

This March, MathWorks announced the release 2017a of the MATLAB and Simulink Product Families. Rao said: “We have a new release 2017b, that will be out in October. The release adds new important deep learning capabilities that simplify how engineers, researchers, and other domain experts design, train, and deploy models.”

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