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Przemek Tomczak with KX
12th August 2022 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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On this week's Industrial Talk we're talking to Przemek Tomczak, Senior Vice President at KX about "Utility IoT, Smart Grid, Edge Intelligence and Advanced Data Analytics".  Get the answers to your "Utility 2.0" questions along with Przemek's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview! Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2022. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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SUMMARY KEYWORDS utility, imts, happening, data, grid, arduino, visibility, journey, kx, industrial, system, manufacturing, asset, detect, line, contingency, meters, technology, work, talk 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, 00:21 and let's go I ride once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk, ever expanding industrial ecosystem of problem solvers and leaders. Because everyone out there, you know, this platform is for every manufacturer, every industry out there, because you are bold, brave, you dare greatly you're solving problems, you collaborate, you're, you're coming up with innovative solutions to all of them, and creating businesses that are resilient. That's why we celebrate you here. That's why this ecosystem, you need to be a part of it. All right. In the hot seat, we have a gentleman by the name of Przemek. Tomczak KX is the company. And we're talking about utilities. We're talking about data analytics, and it is a data analytics solution to our utility challenges. So let's get cracking. Yeah. Because I lack utility stuff. I had a great conversation with Przemek.Great, great, professional, Big time, big time. All right, let's do some housecleaning, you're saying you tell Scott. Hey, Scott, what's new on industrial talk? Well, let me just sort of share with you. We always go to conferences, we like conferences, we like the fact that, that we get to connect with all of these incredible leaders and professionals and, and problem solvers. So that's what that's what it's all about. I am T s is is going to be the next conference we're at. This is September 12, to the 17th. It is in Chicago, Illinois. And if you're in manufacturing, you need to be there. And it's a must. This is a massive show with incredible solutions, and innovation to help you as a manufacturer become more resilient, and really begin to leverage the innovation that exists out there. We are also broadcasting there with IMTS plus and as sort of the the influencer platform that AMT put together empties the organizers of IMTS. No test on this, trust me, don't worry about it. Anyway, we've got a great broadcast booth. It's it's centered location, we are with other industry influencers. And and it's just, it's meant to be fun. It's meant to be exciting. It is it is meant to be able to highlight all of the great talent and technology that exists in manufacturing. Because really, again, you need to educate. That's why IMTS here, that's why we're a part of IMTS plus, you need to collaborate again, right there right now. And then thirdly, you need to innovate, create that business that is resilient. Now in line with that, because it's up in Chicago, on the 13th of September, we're going to be GA tootling around MX D. And this is sort of a, you get to see all of this, this incredible innovation, this manufacturing innovation in action, you can walk the floor, they have an open house, I think it starts at 430 and and continues on to seven ish, right in there. And that's MSD. So if you go to IMTS, which you should, and then you you jump on, and you look for IMTS plus which I will be there. Look for this and put this on your calendar because they have a great website. And it's MX D And you can take a virtual tour, but I would highly recommend that you take a physical tour. Finally, because we are an ever expanding ecosystem, that's what we are about. We have new members, and the newest member is Arduino. Arduino. They're out of there out of Italy. And what's great about them is the story. The story is that here's this IoT, here's here's this incredible opportunity for many manufacturers to be able to extract data from their systems and to be able to make great decisions now. Now this organization, Arduino, what they can do is they can create these wonderful devices to be able to do that and do it quite effectively. Their email or their website is Arduino that's AR d u i n Go out there and it's a great website they got so they have so much going on. I'm looking at it right now. It's It's amazing. They never stop. It's quite frankly, it's it's, it's fantastic. Arduino. That's, that's the company. All right, let's get on with the conversation here, one. 05:15 So I'm I ran into Kx, I was at a manufacturing conference up in Chicago, again, not IMTS, a different one. And I ran into kx. And what was interesting about them is that they're, they provide sort of that data analytics for f1. And I'm an f1 fan, a nut. And what makes f1 so interesting to me is the ability to be able to attract, extract the data from that car, and then be able to make real time adjustments to obser optimize the performance of that asset. Make sense? That's where we're trying to get to, within manufacturing, how do we look at that high performance manufacturing asset, and we continue to refine it and make it even more efficient, more productive. And that's, that's where KX that's, I just said, Oh, my gosh, and I was going to talk about f1. But I got all distracted by all of the other things, and and, of course, utility stuff as well. I enjoyed the conversation, and you're going to enjoy the conversation. Again, thank you very much for joining, industrial talk. And here's Przemek Tomczak. Welcome to industrial talk. How are you doing today? 06:29 Excellent. Great to be here, Scott's. And 06:33 that's a couple of takes on? You didn't hear it, listeners. But that was a couple of takes. And I finally was able to get out industrial talk. Go figure. How about that one. I am so glad we get a chance to talk. I'm telling you I've been ever since I met whatever the kicks team in want to say Chicago. And then I started geeking out on Formula One, and then started geeking out on digital transformation and everything in between. I am so excited to be able to have this conversation. This is cool. So how are you doing? 07:04 And it's very nice and hot here in Toronto, Canada. 07:07 Don't talk to me about hot. I live in Louisiana. It's always hot and miserable, and steamy. And everything else. All right. For the listeners out there. Give us a little 411 a little background. What is information in Canada? Down here? It's 411 What is the information dial? You know 411411 Give us a 411 on Przemek 07:30 Tomczak SVP IoT utilities, KX, which is streaming real time analytics company been around for over 25 years. And well known in finance. And we're applying this technology to solve lots of interesting challenges, energy utilities, manufacturing, Formula One, etc. And I started my career in the energy sector and consulting market deregulation, then worked for a grid operator ran a Data Hub, information exchange, and then saw all the data challenges we were facing. I thought we could do a better job and then join John KX to actually help do it. 08:12 Yeah, I'm looking at it your stack card go. You've got to check him out. It's, it's a heck of a stamp card on LinkedIn. And as I peruse, yep, you've got some utility chops. Because you're you were part of the independent electric system operator up there to talk about to talk about the grid and everything associated with digital transformation. And then when when you were there, when you were there back in looks like 2015. Did you see what was happening in the utility space that then all of this distributed energy, plugged the car in here, the battery over there, solo over there? But ever being able to manage that grid? Did you guys see that? 08:54 Absolutely. We saw and started, we kicked off as a whole company, and the whole sector to redesign the whole market. So that it was much more flexible, more resilient, with all that change, providing new market vehicles so folks could participate in the market. So that journey was starting when I left and has continued on since that, 09:21 yeah, given that upon reflection of where you're at today, and I'm sure he keep in contact with some of those people at the ISL. I do. 09:29 And a lot of faces have changed some retired, because you've had we had long serving folks 30 year plus that that was a common theme. But a lot of new energy new faces have gone into the sector, which is quite interesting. 09:42 Do they do they determine that all of this stuff because it's happening at a blistering pace? Have they determined that there's they're successful or are they on a journey to success or what how would you sort of grade the situation there now? 09:59 I think It's a journey just because in Ontario, Canada, we have a central grid operator and market operator. And we have a transmission operator. And we've got 64 distribution companies. So all need to interplay in that that sector and more or more generation and more EVs are getting added to the distribution sector. And historically, the ISO, the central facility has not had Villa visibility of what what was going on in the distribution system. Because, hey, it's less than one megawatt it's noise. But as you're getting more or more of this, it's less noise, you can see it but you can't pinpoint it. So I think, through the market change initiatives is to create the visibility, but they need as the whole systems changing. 11:01 How did that happen? How, because exactly my my, my pedigree comes into the utility is way, way back then. And it was pretty straightforward, where you got to your, you know, generator, a transmission substation, and so on. And nobody really saw the distribution, what what has helped into the visibility of, of the distribution system. 11:25 So here's what I'm seeing right now. And I'm involved in a fortunate to be involved with some major initiatives in Europe. And also some in North America, where the utilities are now deploying higher frequency meters, meaning measuring more stuff, where were variables, not just for billing, and then they're exchanging all this information with all relevant parties. So we were involved in the finished thing out. So in Finland, all the production, consumption flourish is exchanged and facilitated centrally. So that whoever wishes to participate and get value from the information well, North America, it's more silos still where each utility protects. But to make the right investment decisions, am I going to put a storage in this section of the grid? Or should I build some additional generation here, you need that visibility? One of our partners, for example, just by using basic algorithms, is able to detect where somebody's charging a vehicle, they don't need lots of AI ml, just a basic algorithm validated to looking at energy consumption from A to C, are you charging? Then the utility can be armed with is my transformer overloaded? Or will the overload where should they reinforce the system? And, and not rely on guessing where the stuff is empirically see if and that's what that's part of the visibility journey, because as you said, assets were deployed, configured in a time where the variability didn't matter. There really wasn't. And, and yeah, 13:03 it was interesting, because that design of the utility infrastructure, whatever that looked like, had been around for 100 years. And and many of these utilities are subject to the regulatory agencies and the bodies in their little service territory, or whatever it might be. And therefore they're making decisions so that they don't get into trouble with their, their regulatory agency. And of course, you don't want the consumer to get all ticked off at you because you're delivering lousy power. So yeah, that is a data analytic type of solution and give us a little sort of, how does data analytics in this very dynamic system of the utilities work? I mean, it has to be that way, because I can't from a system operator. You know, okay, we need a little bit more generation here. Oh, we do this. It's impossible. There's no way take us through that journey. 14:01 So I was involved in the first smart metering program and tight and rates structure in the world. That was Ontario, we were the first mandated rollout, we learned a lot, a lot of lessons learned. And if you think about that was about 100 times more data than utilities used to collect for what folks are using this commodity they're producing. And what's happening now, a with with smart meter rollout and more advanced meters, that hat is growing by 10x to 40 times larger than even before it's just crazy. But utilities are using this information because they want to know what's happening really behind the meter. What's power quality, like voltage, all the phases, phase angles, so they want to have information not flying blind. Imagine a telco where you are getting a bill for your your consumption of have data and not tracking it? Well, that's what utilities were doing, even though how much energy you consumed or produced an appointed time, had a huge impact on the grid. Now you're getting that visibility. The challenge for utilities is how do we correlate that information to the connectivity model? To customer information to make sense of it? And then the other most important thing is, is it a high quality? Because meters malfunction, connectivity issues, bad data? How do I correct for it and deal with it in the right time, so I can make sense of it for billing, market settlements, fault detection, detecting electrical vehicles, most times in analysis journey, I find utility spending just on data cleansing, before even getting to a point of analyzing, so data quality context are probably the most important. And then put putting it all together in one place. 15:59 So as a utility, of course, I've got to ask the question. So I've been operating a certain way for forever, you know, that's pretty much it. I understand that there's that transformer out there. But I've been doing this forever. And and, and then you come knocking on the door, and saying, Hey, there's some other stuff happening here. There's some market forces impacting this, and we're gonna have this solar, we're gonna have this distributed sort of sit system out here, we're gonna have a micro grid over here. And and I don't even know, as a utility, where do I begin? What's, what's my step? And I...