Born in the Microsoft Cloud in 2016, Canvass Analytics (www.canvass.io) is a Toronto-based AI company focused on helping industrial companies see into the future—at least when it comes to their operations. The Canvass AI Platform leverages artificial intelligence to uncover predictive insights that industrial companies use to streamline production, predict equipment failure, and foresee energy usage in real-time.
If you think about it, we spend a lot more time in the past than the future. We constantly review and analyze our processes, activities, and performance—all with the goal of continuous improvement. And while business analysis makes a ton of sense, in the real world, even the smartest operations teams plateau. They realize diminishing returns or stop making gains, no matter how much time they put in.
“Even the most brilliant process engineers committed to continuous improvement are limited by human intelligence. Industrial teams simply reach the peak of where they can go.” – Steve Kludt, Chief Data Officer
Complexity is part of the problem. Everything from car manufacturing and food processing to how and where we extract natural resources has become exponentially more complex. That increased technical sophistication dovetails into production environments that can feature a dizzying number of (often disparate) processes, platforms, and systems, each spewing reams of data every millisecond.
“Instead of looking back and doing more diagnostics and reporting, we focus on empowering our customers to use AI to get future insights into their operations.” – Humera Malik, CEO
What if a change in perspective could unlock major new gains? By moving from analysis to prediction, modern industrial companies can begin to realize the promise of smart manufacturing. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the hyperscale computational capacity of the modern Microsoft Cloud can conquer even the most high-frequency and dynamic data environments!
Enter Canvass Analytics
Canvass Analytics is an AI platform that simplifies the challenge of processing volume, velocity and complexity of industrial process data. The Canvass AI Platform distills millions of operational data points into actionable insights that empower companies to optimize production processes, maintenance, and energy management to increase yield, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. And best of all, the speed at which Canvass Analytics can create predictions is mind blowing. The platform automates the entire data analysis process—from data collection, model creation, and predictions, to model retraining—shrinking time to value from months to days.
“With Canvass Analytics, AI projects that might otherwise take months, even years, to achieve can be completed in weeks or days. We’ve automated the entire pipeline. That’s where our value shines.” – Steve Kludt, Chief Data Officer
AI in action
So, how do industrial companies use this cool technology to find efficiencies and opportunity? Here are few stories of the Canvass AI Platform in action.
An automotive manufacturing specialist company wanted to improve its quality assurance process for a Fortune 500 auto manufacturer. The traditional approach involved removing every fiftieth part produced and testing it manually. With Canvass Analytics, the manufacturer can now automate quality detection. They can check every part they produce in real-time, down to the millisecond, without interruption. They save time, reduce waste, and most importantly—help avoid costly consumer recalls.
A Fortune 100 agricultural company wanted to optimize its batch production processes. They knew from experience that each batch they produced took somewhere between 70 and 80 hours. But they couldn’t accurately predict exactly how long each batch would take, forcing them to run their machines for the full 80 hours each time. They used Canvass Analytics to decrease their batch time, which ultimately increased their asset utilization by 5% and saved millions.
A Fortune 2000 food manufacturing plant wanted to make gains in energy efficiency. Their plant generated its own electricity and steam using co-generation turbines and duct burners. With Canvass Analytics, the company optimized how and when to use those assets. They saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in natural gas fuel costs and 10+ millions of tons in carbon emissions along the way.
If bringing AI to one plant or one batch can reduce millions of tons of emissions, imagine the difference the Canvass AI Platform could make across a sector—or an entire economy! And these are just a few applications of industrial AI. The opportunity to digitally transform and make smart, green manufacturing environments commonplace is nothing short of historic.
“We are empowering our customers to use AI for automated industrial operations thus accelerating to industry 4.0.” – Humera Malik, CEO
Behind the scenes
While Canvass Analytics does maintain on-premises capacity for customers who still prefer it, their AI platform was born and is powered in the Azure Cloud. Azure provides both the AI and open source technologies-as-services, as well as the raw computational power to stream and crunch massive data sets in milliseconds.
Meet the founders
Canvass Analytics was founded by Humera Malik, Steve Kludt, and Courtney Deinert. While working in various IoT and large data environments, they saw how companies struggled with the volume and complexity of operational process data. And so they put their various backgrounds and decades of experience together to build an AI-driven analytics platform that could help operations teams make smarter decisions, faster.
A Microsoft for Startups project
Canvass Analytics received support from Microsoft for Startups, which provides promising startups with software, service, support, marketing expertise and cloud services—all designed to help them launch successfully. Check out these cool stories of other entrepreneurs who received assistance from Microsoft.
“Microsoft for Startups provides great support for any SaaS startup. Startups can experiment and learn without paying top dollar for compute and other cloud services. Then, when they’re ready, they can establish a commercial relationship with Microsoft and go for business opportunities together!” – Humera Malik, CEO
Do you run a startup?
Learn how Microsoft for Startups works. This program provides qualified privately held startups with development and testing software; training; phone support; Azure services, plus go-to-market business networking opportunities. To qualify, your startup must be less than five years old and earn less than US $1 million annually.