A digital platform built on Microsoft’s cloud platform reduces repetitive work for Moholt Group’s engineers and enables the company’s customers to extend the life of critical machinery.
(Photo from left: Christoffer Lokrheim, Client Executive i Microsoft. Eivind Vethe, Digital Business Development, Moreld Moholt Group. Sherina Rendini, ISV Breadth Partner Development Manager i Microsoft).
The company Karsten Moholt was established in Bergen in 1945 and has been repairing “rotating machinery” since its inception. In 2018, the company was sold to the investment fund HitechVision, and became part of Moreld, which consists of 17 companies that are market leaders in their niches. Today, Moreld provides services to, among others, offshore, renewable energy and the maritime sector.
– Our business model is to be an independent supplier of electrotechnical expertise in critical machinery, says Eivind Vethe, Digital Business Development in Moreld Moholt Group.
Moholt Group aims to be a preferred partner for companies that want to become more sustainable.
– Transforming to new ways of doing business can be a big challenge for most businesses. We at Moholt Group have been repairing, maintaining, and extending the life of rotating machinery for 77 years. We now see how we can use process data to optimize our own operations, says Vethe.
Vethe explains that the secret often lies in reuse and extending the life of the machine. Often, they repair and improve engines and generators that come into the workshop, instead of replacing it with a new one. Older engines are often of very good quality, and Vethe believes that engines that have been in their workshop can actually be better than when they were new.
– We pick the engines apart and improve them. Combined with digitalization, you can postpone disposal and services, get the CO2 savings achieved through our sustainable services calculated and documented so it will be easier for our customers to meet both the environmental budget and the financial budget.
You can postpone disposal and services, which makes it easier for our customers to meet both the environmental budget and the financial budget.
Predictive maintenance based on advanced data analysis from sensors and measurements is one of the most sensible things to digitize in the service and repair of rotating machinery. For that purpose, Moholt Group has developed the SaaS solution (Software-as-a-service) skAIwatch, to which the company’s many customers in maritime, renewable energy and oil and gas are now connected. The SkAIwatch platform is used to analyze vibrations and oil samples and is built on Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure.
Vethe explains that, for example, bearings vibrate in a certain way when it is new; it has a known “signature”.
– You measure with vibration sensors. As soon as you get changes in the bearings, the vibration signature changes. There are known frequencies from different bearing manufacturers. Based on sensor data, we can determine which error has occurred.
This type of vibration analysis is something that was previously done manually by the company’s vibration analysis engineers by studying spectrograms. But with tens of thousands of measurement points, it is sensible to digitize this process.
– We have taken all this knowledge and turned it into algorithms and built a software that analyzes the data and identifies the errors automatically.
However, the fact that computers do a job that was previously done manually does not mean that “the computer steals someone’s jobs”.
– This way of thinking interrupts a lot for digital transformation. The solution we have set up depends on people also being involved, but the AI takes away much of the repetitive work and provides automatic reporting.
Automation drastically reduces the workload and enables Moholt Group’s experts to focus on more value-creating tasks.
Easy to turn data from the cloud into valuable insight
The analysis platform consists of several parts. In addition to the front end itself, which presents and visualizes data to customers, there is also software that collects data, as well as a so-called “data lake” that runs in Microsoft’s data centers. Around 25 years of data from rotating machinery are collected in the data lake.
– We use a self-developed artificial intelligence solution to filter and analyze the data and extract the insight our customers need to be able to operate their machines in the most sustainable way possible, says Vethe.
One of the benefits of running the entire solution on the Microsoft Azure platform is that the cloud platform has APIs (programming interfaces) that make it easy to exchange insights and data between different systems.
– For example, we use Microsoft Dynamics in our company. By connecting the skAIwatch backend to the ERP system, we can reduce the cost of commercial transactions. Another advantage of running in Azure is that it is easy for our customers to buy additional analyzes with a few clicks, and they can also easily feed relevant information from skAIwatch over to their ERP or maintenance systems, says Vethe.
Christoffer Lokrheim, Maritime Lead at Microsoft, believes skAIwatch is a prime example of how Azure makes it easier for companies to innovate in new ways.
– We want to work closely with the companies and environments where the innovation takes place, and it is exciting to see how Moholt Group has built a unique solution that allows the company’s customers cut operating costs and reduce the CO2 footprint through the use of our cloud platform, says Lokrheim.