This time of year marks one of the biggest sporting events in the US, and millions of people tune in to an annual tradition: tailgating and watching American football teams play for the championship, the Super Bowl. Whatever the outcome of the game, one thing you can be certain of: there will be no snow-covered field, or even rain, as many old-timers might recall when watching games of yester-year. Why? Domes. And even these venues are changing, unlike those of the past. Today’s stadiums are beginning to include advanced technology like retractable roofs, while others have retractable fields that can be rolled outside into the sun, such as State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
The technology involved in the latest stadium designs is a testament to the marvel of modern engineering. Leading the future of this technology is the introduction of digital strategies that open a world of possibilities for not only sports arenas, but also any number of structures that might take advantage of the versatility of being able to transform a venue for different uses.
The Connected Stadium
How is this tied to Rockwell Automation and digital transformation? One perfect example is how a machine builder, Uni-Systems Engineering Inc., is introducing IIoT solutions in their projects to provide the much-needed data and visibility into the complicated business of stadium technology. Uni-Systems Engineering is rapidly gaining clear, real-time visibility into its stadium assets and is building a solid foundation for a predictive maintenance program by leveraging the connectivity and data orchestration capabilities of FactoryTalk® InnovationSuite's ThingWorx IIoT platform. Using the tailored pre-built functionality of the Smart Connected Product Accelerator, Rockwell Automation and Uni-Systems Engineering together designed a quick on-ramp to remote monitoring of their massive, dynamic sports stadium installations.
“The ThingWorx IIoT platform will allow us to collect and make use of the data generated by our systems in ways not previously possible,” said Mark Silvera, President of Uni-Systems Engineering, Inc. “We expect the implementation will save our stadium facility operators money by reducing the number of hours needed to support these customers’ traditional maintenance needs. Additionally, ThingWorx can enable the change from scheduled replacement of worn parts to predictive replacements, thus extending the life of the equipment. Finally, by collecting data critical to troubleshooting system and equipment failures on these extremely complex systems, the downtime caused by such events can be reduced.”