Mr. Rene Nazario with VisualK an InforEAM Partner talks about Deploying InforEAM to Micro Vertical to Power Gen

In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Rene Nazario, Infor EAM Solutions Partner at VisualK about “Strategies for Deploying InforEAM to Micro-Vertical Assets in Power Generation. Get the answers to your EAM questions along with Rene's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

You can find out more about Rene and the wonderful team at VisualK by the links below. Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2020. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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Scott MacKenzie, Rene Nazario

Scott MacKenzie  00:04

Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. All right. Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast absolute honor that you have joined us. This platform as you know, it is dedicated to women, men of manufacturing and industry. You are our heroes. We love you each and every day on this particular platform. You are bold and you are brave you dare greatly. Thank you. Thank you for what you're doing. Thank you for your innovation. Thank you for just your passion and making our lives better. That's why we celebrate you on this particular podcast. All right. This is an Infor interview. We have a Rene Nazario, that's na ca ri o CEO of a company called Visual K. And we're talking about micro verticals in power Gen. How about that? That's a mouthful. He's gonna explain it. That's what we're all about. Let's get going. My grow verticals. It's pretty cool, man. Cool. Cool. And we're talking about em we're talking about in 48. We're talking about that particular platform. And I just want to let you know right now, we start talking about industry for Dotto, we are talking about IoT, IoT, Ai, edge cloud, everything that you can possibly imagine with industry for Dotto, you need a robust system, like the EAM product that Infor puts out and this is a particular this was a partner. Visual K is a partner. And they deploy it within the utility generation space. And I mean, they're they're achieving some great success. And they're really moving that ball forward. And helping these companies truly succeed. It's it's a, it's a fascinating and fantastic conversation to love their passion, love their focus, love what they're doing with the Infor product. Before we get going, however, let's talk a little bit about this. And I'm going to continue we're getting we keep on bringing great interviews. On this particular podcast, we keep on highlighting great companies, we keep on highlighting individuals that are passionate about your success. And I'm here to tell you that you just have got to reach out to them. They have a big heart, big heart to collaborate, big heart to innovate, big heart to help educate as any way possible. Especially they've got tremendous tenacity, specially now when we start when we are talking about this, whatever next normal, new normal. I don't know what you want to call it. But it is different. Because if you think you're going to do business as usual, like in the pre virus world, think differently, baby, you need to be innovative, you need to you need to collaborate, you need to definitely educate, you need to do it with a sense of speed and purpose. And you've got to boy, do you have to be tenacious. So those are my Those are my things. So I want you and I challenge you that you're going to hang out with people, you're going to reach out to Rene and the team at visual, K, right? And you're going to collaborate with them. Because they're bold, they're brave, they dare greatly. They innovate, and they're there to help you each and every day. That's what they're about. Alright, we're gonna get on with the interview, Rene. That's Ari and he Nazario Nazario CEO of a company called VisualK, and it is exactly what you know, it's visual, okay. It's pretty cool. And they focus in on generation assets within the United States and Latin America, South America, Caribbean all around there. And they deploy, they, you know, definitely put out a product, a service, a solution that is helping these assets generate and become more reliable insights. And they're delivering the service with with a tremendous amount of success. We're also going to be talking a little bit about you got to listen up for this one in the interview, the maintenance asset Health Index, which is very cool when you think about that. They're able to determine based off of data, whether that particular asset sits within that health, right, meaning, is it okay is it is it trending in a bad direction? But anyway, they're doctors man, that's what they are. They're doctors and asset management. That's what they do. All right. Enjoy this particular interview. Because he brings boy does he bring the fire if she's passionate. His name is Rene Rene Nazario, CEO, visual k company. Enjoy Rene, welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast absolute honor that you have joined the number one industrial related and manufacturing related podcast in the universe. Yes, I did say that. Yes, I did catch you off guard. How are you doing? Scott, thanks for having us. It's a pleasure being here with you. We're very excited to be here, this woman. You know, my street cred is all around utilities, generation transmission. So I'm looking big time forward to this particular conversation. Before we get into that, however, let's give us a little 411 a little background on who Rene is.

Rene Nazario  05:35

Well, thanks. Yeah, so a little bit of who we are. I am the CEO Bush, okay. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have a mechanical engineering background. I have some I did some work with micro electronics, manufacturing and have a Master's from Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York. And then I went wandering in the world of being an intrapreneur. Right? And being out there, we created Visual K, just about 20 years ago. And we started in a lot of time, doing some work with DRP. Then we migrated doing some work in the in software side with enterprise asset management. Yeah, yeah, I'm with them for I mean, it's been a great journey. Right now. I live in, in Georgia, Alpharetta, close to Atlanta, and having a lot of fun. Now, that's interesting, because 20 years is a long haul for a business. Definitely. And again, I just got to ask the question, what, what, what made you from an entrepreneurial perspective? What made you decide that you wanted to start your own company? What niche were you fill in at that particular time? I was, I was in a transition at that point in time in my life. So I was, you know, weighing my options. And I decided, why not give it a try? There was not much risk in my life. So I wanted to make it more interesting and blood for the adventure. Obviously, my wife supported me. So she said, Go ahead, give it a try. See if it works. And we're still trying it 20 years after? I guess it worked out. Apparently, it's working. Most definitely. And then I do, like I said, listeners out there, I like the niche that they've, they've carved out in their business model. And that is really focusing in on the generation side of business, and definitely leveraging the Infor em product to be able to provide those services to that particular market. Can you give us a little sort of an overview of what you focus in on specifically from a generation perspective? Sure. So just to give you a little bit of history, right, when we started working with a game around 2007, we started seeing all this plants that had a previous version, you know, those software that came in a box, right? If you remember that that you did I installed one? I had? Yeah. Well, yeah, yeah. So I mean, and he was pretty successful. mp two, right. So it was, yeah, yeah. So it's, it was a very well known software. And, and we started reaching out to this company says, No migrate, right, you want to go to the latest and greatest version, which is m. And obviously, it's mission critical. If you're talking about electrical power generation, right? If something goes wrong, that really can bring down one of the turbines, and then that really could bring down the whole power generation. And you get a lot of mass, right? Not even you very little flexibility in that. Yeah, you don't want you don't want that. Right, right. So. So based on that, we started gaining some momentum in that area, right, and just converting some of the ANP to customers. And then selling them obviously, it helped out that we have really good customers and really good references. And then we started gaining momentum with that, right. And to this point, right now we have over 80 power generation plants that work with basically that we serve and we tend to do for you in our services. And it's been a it's been a learning process, he is changing very, very fast and moving forward. Right? That's interesting, because, you know,

Scott MacKenzie  09:04

from a power gen, from my background, well, one of the things that never really changed fast was well, power gym, because those assets had a light fixture. If you have a transformer, and that transformer is out in a substation, that transformer just sits there it is you don't see a lot of wheels turning with that thing. And so there, there's a, there's a long life expectancy with us pretty much utility assets. And so when we start talking about asset management within the utility space, it's, it's, it's not like a manufacturing line where things are twirling and spinning and moving and grinding out. You know, it's, it's, it's hard to see that dynamic within the Generate outside of the turbine outside of the generator and all those stuff. So let's, let's talk a little bit about that. listeners. EA M stands for enterprise asset management. So it's a it's a system. Primarily, it could be on prem, it could be in the cloud, but it really is a And I'm going to simplify to jump in Rene. It's a place where you can put all your assets and get a good picture and details associated with that. Those assets of that particular business. It's right there. There's a lot of work that goes on to that. So

Rene Nazario  10:16

prior to this particular conversation, we talked a little bit about micro verticals, can you explain or define what that is? Yeah, sure. So so like you were saying, in this case, specifically, Scott, when we're talking about a yam, it, that's about the whole life of the acid, right. So so it's not just specific, you know, keeping it running and what's required from a maintenance perspective, it's really looking at the whole process from a holistic standpoint, right. And so what we what we have been doing, what we have done with a lot of our customers is really being able to look at the industry needs. And when we say, micro vertical work, we're talking about companies that have power generation, as you know, they're their main activities. Obviously, they're different in areas to power generation, because if you generate the power, you have to put it out there, right, be able to transmit it and then distribute it to the final user. So our experience has been mostly in the power generation area, which means that we have different type of companies, right. So we, we have a lot of customers, which we call thermal power generation, which means that anything that has combustion, right so we're talking about bunker we're talking diesel, gas, carbon, those type of Do you do the Cochin combined cycle? That's right, we do code your I absolutely. I think we have, you know, we have all sorts of them, right, we have some sugar males that generate doing, you know, using an agro So yeah, I guess is the fuel or feed? Yeah, yeah. So that we have all of those sorts, right. And, and it's interesting, because those are equipments that are, you know, they're critical equipment, right, critical assets that you need to take care of. And because of the combustion, you know, it, they wear out, right, so that's one of the things that that it comes out, and, and that we need to take care of them quickly. Because the, the, you know, the down downtime of that is not anything anybody wants to be able to budget or take into account. Right. So that's, that's one of the key things. And as we have seen, the it's interesting, because the energy sector has been evolving, right? So we're seeing that, you know, that's kind of the the earlier type of generation now we're seeing a lot of OC hydro, which is, you know, water, right? And then we've seen a lot of that, you know, lately in the wind and solar, right, there's, I'm gonna interrupt real quick from a hydro perspective, how do they permit hydro? Because hydro is like, it's not like solar or wind, where you can sort of throw things out there. hydro is a real physical, yep, a reality of here's, here's water, there we go. How do they How do they get that rolling? That's all it's all by permits and studies, right, and they need to do a whole bunch of different scenarios and be able to put it but for, you know, for for some specific countries, because of the geography, it's great. You know, it's it's energy that's already in there, that is really, you know, I wouldn't say cheap, but once you have it running, you know, they can really produce a lot efficiently. And depending on the type of, you know, country and resources, they have to look at what they have, they might not have as much win, or easy access to those wins. Right. So or, and also, maybe solar, because of the clouds or whatever, he might not be as easy, then they you know, so it depends on the country, right? In the geography and the state and where you're looking at. Yeah, and I would imagine it's just like anything else? You You have a portfolio generation options, right.

Scott MacKenzie  13:32

You go to some places within California, San Gorgonio Tahatchapee tremendous amount of wind assets out there, because well, there's a lot of wind up there. And then of course, you go to the desert, a lot of sun. So yeah, it all just depends on that. That did you guys dabble into geothermal? Yes, we have. Yes. Yes. We have. And and it's, you know, it's it's fun, because that's, that's, you know, what's, what's the the raw material right that you're using? It comes from the ground, right? So it's already there, right? Yeah. Yeah. That's a, that's a fascinating technology. And you don't realize how powerful that resource is, when you start pulling that from that aquifer from that thermal layer, then it's it's powerful. And it's, it's pretty cool stuff, man. I love the engineering. Now, when we start talking about generation, you guys are focused on generation. How do you sort of approach

Rene Nazario  14:30

a facility? Let's just take in just a typical thermal type of facility, how do you approach that? So I mean, it really depends where they are. And let's take a step back and try to understand how the market is moving right now. And because of all the things that are going on, in the new efficiencies, that they're getting the solar and the wind, right, things are changing really, really fast. And when I mean by that is that the owners, either the investment funds or the venture capitalists, the folks that Putting up the money for those plants, right? They're changing the way they think about it, right? And they look at it from a very, you know, specific business perspective, right? What is my investment? How long is it going to last? What's going to be the return. And that is, what we're seeing is we're seeing really a really fast turnaround in the market, right? things that were maybe stable five or 10 years ago, right, they're moving around real quickly, because the investments are moving around. So it really depends what is their vision from a high, you know, high level. So if we're talking, for example, right now, we're talking with a with a group of companies, right, they own different type of assets, right through through the different regions. And now they're acquiring right and new plants. So what they're saying is, Hey, I have the standard, right, it's a natural gas, I want to be able to take the same standard, which we are, you know, we're operating efficiently, and we like it, and then take it into the next plants. So that's one of the ways that you know, we go in, and as we go in, we talk to them and we will forward. Yeah. Because your your calculus and how you analyze those particular generation assets differ for from the technology, because

Scott MacKenzie  16:07

your normal or what used to be the past that could be completely wrong and old,

Rene Nazario  16:14

used to be calculated from a heat rate perspective, and how efficiency or how efficient that particular asset. And that's a hard thing, from my perspective to translate into, let's say, a wind turbine, but there has to be some sort of level setting capabilities to say, yeah, that wind turbine will be available X amount, given the amount that you take that into consideration as well. Right, right. So that's a you know, at the end, what they're looking at is, you know, what's my cost of generating right kilowatt hour, right, and or male watt, right. And then basically, they're looking at it and try to understand, you know, why does that gonna be, you know, the major driver? And then you know, when are they going to operate, right? different technologies, what we call them, either solar thermal, or when have different, you know, cost associated to them. So, it depends where you're looking at it, right. So if you're looking at a specific plant, we can go in, and help him out, because the way that they structure their assets, right, and the way they go about their procedures, it's pretty much a standard, right, that we can help and implement real quickly. So for example, if you're talking to a thermal plant, they usually use a structure called kks, which is kind of a German standard for how you organize and put the hierarchy of your assets. Right, yeah. And then you're able to go in really quickly, which applies also to when right, it's you can apply there, right? But then again, it depends, you know, what are they looking for. So for example, right now, we're talking with a large company that has a lot of wind, wind, parks, right all over us, right. And even though they have a software, they don't have the visibility that they would like, on you know, what's going to fail, and when based on let's say, a global indicator, so that's what we're trying to come in, right, we're we're also bringing in our technology, but also our experience and expertise to say, Hey, this is, you know, we can build a model that can predict when things are going to fail. So you have this ability, and then you can act before it fails. Yeah. And you can deploy the capital necessary at the right time, to, you know, from, from a purely financial perspective, I don't want to have inventory, if I don't need to have inventory. And if I have great insights into my assets that are out there in the field, and I feel warm and fuzzy and cuddly, that they're not going to fail, therefore, I need, I don't need to

Scott MacKenzie  18:32

fill up my inventory with the possibility of something failing. And that is a good financial decision. Now, when we start talking about those wind turbines, and they have their own software, do you have custom API's that interact with your ECM system? Right? Information, right. So we can, we can pull Information in from basically any any API that's out there. So we can do web services we can do, you know, we can talk to an SQL to an XML. So from a technical standpoint, really, we're not limited, we have various ways of getting Information into em. The important thing here is to know that even though they might have some software to control it, or be able to drive some of the main, you know, say indicators or things that might go wrong, what we're trying to do is capture, you know, the holistic picture, the whole thing that ties into it. So, for example, we're talking to this, you know, costumers saying hey, I want to be able to compare this wind park in this state, we, again to this other state, that is not, you know, as harsh winters, and I want to be able to see those that has an impact, right. And and I want to be able to determine what are the trends based either, you know, on temperature on the type of, you know, climate that we're experiencing, and try to be able to compare to be able to see also depending on how my people are interacting, right, what's the type of meanings and tasks and things and then be able to determine patterns right which way

Rene Nazario  20:00

We'll be able to determine, you know, what's going to happen next. See, and this is interesting, because you're talking pretty, something pretty dynamic and pretty sophisticated. And you got to get up and have those conversations prior to really deploying a full blown em platform because you want to bake that level of insights into your everyday business. And that to me, and then I'm going to ask this question, why is so important? From a, from a energy perspective? Why do I, why do customers need to look into that? Well, I think that the most important thing, it really helps them, you know, make their operations more efficient, right, and be able to understand what's involved. Because depending on the need, for example, we have some customers that are very well advanced in their maintenance operation. So now we're doing you know, reliability centered maintenance, right. But that's, that's something that helium can take into. So it's not only looking at the equipment, and how is it behaving, but it's also been able to apply, for example, you know, standards that are that are really tied to, you know, Asset Management excellence, right. So we're doing, you know, we're looking at ISO 55,000. So how can I get to that standard, right, so basically, we're using em as a platform, to really take it to the next level. So people are really, you know, using and utilizing those assets to the next level, which goes beyond just saying instead operating, you know, where I want it to be or not. And then on top of that, we can add things like, for example, artificial intelligence, we can then look at data, yeah, determine patterns, so we can predict when the asset is going to fail, and then we can act before that. And then of course, you're looking at IoT devices, you can stick them out on whatever that asset is. And it's trending, it's pulling, it's going to the edge, it's going to the cloud, it's pulling it into your

Scott MacKenzie  21:49

and the AI and whatever analytics you have, is able to say, Yep, it's all good. Spit spit spit? Well, there's a, you know, algorithm there. That's, you know, that is

Rene Nazario  22:02

absolutely spectacular. Now, put on your future hat there, Rene. What do you see it going? Because that's pretty, that's pretty cool stuff. And I still think we're still at the beginning of it. And I don't think that we're really sort of, we're not there yet. Yeah, so so I will have to agree with you, Scott. I think there's a lot of a lot of things coming on and things that are moving, you know, a lot of different pieces moving around. And so one of the things that we've been able to determine i was i was measuring to you that we have been able to determine basically a model, which is called maintenance health asset index, which is basically telling you, from my probability, right? When is he going to, you know, where's your exposure? Right? Where's your risk? So we can do that today. And what happens is for let's say, a venture capitalist or investment fine, or somebody that's interested, you know, they want to see the whole picture, right? They only care about the detail, but they want to start from a high level, see where their exposure is? Yeah, we start. Yeah. And see, that's interesting. Because you're absolutely right, you get a great picture of your, the health of your assets on this particular, you know, facility, whatever you do great. It, it's like, right now you're sad, where whatever, correct. So what we're doing, patient have any other source? And then from May 1, which in the cloud, right, yeah. And then what we're doing is we're taking this to the next level, so what we're doing is being able to give them visibility of everything that's going on with a probability from a high level standpoint, mean that whole system, right, and then you're able to drill down to see where your exposure is, whether it is a plant, and within that plan, where there's a system, and then within that system, where there's a subsystem all the way down to the part or, you know, the the spirit that needs to be changed. And that is based off of the ability to be able to, to

Scott MacKenzie  23:55

predict, look into that asset. Okay. And is it is it a, sort of a dashboard type me not being Mr. computer guy, I just, I'm looking at it from a dashboard. I see. Green is good. Yellow is sort of that and red is not good. And so I can drill down and see why that thing is red. Correct? That, that that's the idea behind it? Yes. To make it simple. Right. So again,

Rene Nazario  24:20

there are other control systems out there, but we're trying to do is be able to put it from a perspective of, you know, where's it risk from a maintenance perspective? And then also, you know, some of the things that we're working on right now, if I put my, you know, my, my, my google glasses on and look forward, right? We're talking about, you know, artificial intelligence. Yes. Different talking a lot about machine learning. Yep. And surprisingly enough, you know, what we're seeing out there with, you know, our first projects is that you're able to determine what are the real thresholds of an equipment working in your planned against what the OEM set and what be seen is that is not the same. So your equipment as install as operating in the conditions with the humidity and all those other variables that affect it might be behaving very differently that what the OEM said, in this case, you know, we have an example that we did it was he was, the alarm was, was supposed to be less than half of what the OEM said regarding a vibration setting, right. So that that really plays into the idea that not only do I have to be able to comply and work within the standards, those standards and thresholds are the ones that apply to my equipment in my valuables with my different ecosystems. And see, that would be interesting if I had a portfolio of generation assets, and I don't care what it is, it's just a portfolio that applies to each one of my assets that I have in various locations. And, and I now me personally, with this particular product, this III am using the AI using all of the tools that are available, I can really hone in on the special characteristics of each one of those locations and optimize the the performance of those assets. Correct? Correct. And the idea is that you can also tell, you know, from a high levels perspective, you know, what needs to be changed, right? And when, because when they're looking at these type of projects, really, they have to be able to determine, you know, what are the risk? And when do I invest? When do I do a major shutdown? Right? If I'm looking at a, at a gas turbine, it's not an easy task to do a major overhaul, right? We're talking millions of dollars, right. So when is the right time? When should I act? Right? When should I invest? And that, that takes a lot of factors into play, right? So they really have all that Information helps a lot. Yeah. And and you got to keep at it, you can't just get I mean, there's some refinement that takes place. Oh, honing in that ability to be able to make those tactical decisions of the win is, is really important. And it's just you got to hone it. Alright, we got to wrap it up. All right, listeners out there. We talked a lot about the maintenance asset, Health Index, which is very important from a, from a generation portfolio perspective, very powerful. Talking about that in for em product as a important tool for your particular.

Scott MacKenzie  27:24

Again, portfolio generation assets. You need that doggone thing, you gotta get it. And, Rene, how do I get a hold of you have the people get a hold of you insane, man, what he was talking about is something I want to hear more about.

Rene Nazario  27:37

So thanks Scott. Yeah. So you can go to our website, Visual K, visual and Ks and kilo calm, and you can reach our webpage and then just, you know, leave us a message to see Are you out there on LinkedIn? Yeah, we're LinkedIn. You can find me Rene Nazario and like an NC h er IO, and you can find me on LinkedIn as well. And we'll be glad to you know, try to understand your needs and help you out. Love it. Love it, visual caves, the company. Rene Nazario is the CEO of this particular wonderful company, Rene. Thank you. Thank you very much for joining the Industrial Talk podcast. Thank you, Scott. My pleasure. You listeners out there, do not go away. We will be right back. You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.

Scott MacKenzie  28:26

All right. Once again, thank you very much for joining the Industrial Talk podcast. Rene Nazario, CEO of Visual K just land the truth down about why in 40 am is a an incredible product, incredible platform backed up by those incredible a lot of Incredibles in that particular statement. People that can deliver solutions that will make you a better company, reach out to Rene, go out to his LinkedIn stack guard, he is active out there, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Again, you need to collaborate, innovate, educate with a sense of P and speed and purpose. be tenacious about it, do not give up Do not give up we need you each and every day. hang out with people who are bold, brave, dare greatly innovate. It'll change the way you look at the business. We're going to have another great interview. Another great practitioner right around the corner. Thank you. Again, be bold, be brave, dare greatly change the world. That's what we're all about. Another interview, ride around


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About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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