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How Intelecy optimizes factory processes with NATS, NGS and JetStream

Brian Flannery
Jun 25, 2022
How Intelecy optimizes factory processes with NATS, NGS and JetStream


  • Industry: Industrial

  • Location: Oslo, Norway

  • Customers: TINE, Heidelberg Cement, IFF, AM Nutrition, Eidsiva Bioenergi, Glencore Nikkelverk

  • Tech Stack: Kubernetes, Nomad, ClickHouse, gRPC, NATS, Synadia NGS, Kafka, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Windows, Linux

  • Application Language: Go

Intelecy is a No-Code AI platform that helps industrial companies optimize factory and plant processes with real-time machine learning insights. These insights allow process engineers to manually or automatically improve outcomes, quality and sustainability without requiring significant custom code or hardware. Designed to help factories move towards greater automation and true “lights out” operational capabilities, Intelecy securely collects data from tens of thousands of sensors in a factory and pushes that data into the cloud using and Synadia’s NGS service. NGS is a global NATS utility running in multiple clouds and multiple geos. Intelecy uses NATS clients to create an edge-aware application with intelligence and persistence running on all of its connected systems including low-resource processors running on factory machinery and sensors.

How It Works: A Unique Bi-Directional Data Pipe for ML

Intelecy provides a bi-directional data pipeline to give industrial companies cutting-edge machine learning for on-the-fly insights to optimize operations. Users, including process engineers and continuous improvement teams, can either view insights and data directly on Intelecy’s front-end or integrate the data and machine learning insights into other systems of record or presentation layers and analytics engines. Intelecy’s bidirectional capability is unique. Unlike other industrial process analytics systems, Intelecy can write data back to the control units in the factories. This enables automation and closed-loop optimization based on rules created by engineering teams or machine learning models. “For example, a dairy can use a machine learning forecast model to set temperature control systems using the real-time predicted state of the cheese production process,” explains Jonathan Camp, Intelecy’s Chief Security Officer. “The process engineering team can use Intelecy insights to identify trends and then automate temperature adjustments on a vat of yogurt to ensure quality and output are not compromised.”

What Intelecy Needed for Messaging and Streaming

Low Latency: Less than two seconds round-trip time for processing streamed data and returning ML-driven insights to customers Segmentation and Security: Secure and simple customer segmentation of data streaming in a multi-tenant environment Portability: A cloud-native and edge-friendly solution that was portable and cloud agnostic Intelecy looked at several streaming and messaging applications, including some using MQTT, but found them to be less flexible and requiring more resources for stand up and maintenance. Intelecy briefly looked at Apache Kafka but decided against using it extensively for data streaming. “Kafka has requirements that it puts on the client,” says Camp. “The client has to be aware of a lot of things. I wanted the client to be really simple.”

Opting for NATS + Synadia NGS

Intelecy opted to replace its polling-based pub-sub data fabric with Synadia’s NGS. “The hosted service closed the deal,” says Camp. “We are a small startup. We don’t have time to manage everything.” The Intelecy data plane consists of a fabric of NATS services running on NGS. For Intelecy, the gateway controller connects to the gateway, which in turn is linked to the factory or plant sensor web and controllers. These endpoints often number in the tens of thousands. The Intelecy gate fetches data in real-time from those sensors in one of the data formats common to industrial processes and writes that process data back to NGS to a specific topic. Although originally written with a BoltDB caching layer, Intelecy added persistence when Synadia added the JetStream persistence and durability layer to NGS. JetStream made NGS far more useful to Intelecy.

NGS + NATS Technology Benefits and Results for Intelecy

  • 15-30x reduction in roundtrip latency

  • Cloud and infrastructure agnostic - no lock-in

  • Requires zero maintenance

  • Improved resiliency and higher availability

  • Improved security for multi-tenancy

  • Eliminated need for complex proxy or service mesh

  • Enables combination of data streaming and batch

  • Handles large message sizes

  • Intelecy Business Benefits

  • Onboard and manage customers easily

  • Improved security

  • Less technology complexity

  • Reduced operational overhead

  • Easy scalability

Download the entire Intelecy case study to see the full indepth technical detail.