Leadership Changes at ODVA

Leadership Changes at ODVA

‘Tis the season–for leadership transitions, that is. ODVA joins OPC Foundation in transitioning from long-time leadership. This one I have been expecting.  ODVA‘s Board of Directors announced that Dr. Al Beydoun has been appointed as President and Executive Director of ODVA.  Dr. Beydoun, who currently serves as ODVA’s Vice President of Technology and Standards, brings a wealth of experience in engineering management and electronic systems development to the organization.

Dr. Beydoun began his career at Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation working in the design and development of powertrain controls products, before moving to Lear Corporation.  At Lear, he served most recently as Director of Software and Systems engineering, supporting global markets with various electronic modules.  Dr. Beydoun holds an undergraduate and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Systems Engineering from Wayne State University, and an MBA from the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. 

The Board also announces that Ms. Adrienne Meyer has been appointed as Vice President of Operations and Membership.  Ms. Meyer’s professional experience has focused overall on business operations for not-for-profit organizations and associations.  She has held positions of increasing responsibility at ODVA, most recently serving as its Director of Membership and Operations. Ms. Meyer holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.  

“It is an exciting and dynamic time in the industry, as new technologies for IIOT and Ethernet are emerging that will enable customers utilizing CIP-based EtherNet/IP to adopt the technology in new applications and at new levels,” said Mr. Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President for Innovation & Technology and CTO, Industry Business for Schneider Electric and Chairman of the Board of ODVA.  “With this leadership team, ODVA reinforces its strong organizational structure, which will allow it to continue to deliver innovative industry solutions.” 

“The collective experience and knowledge that Dr. Beydoun and Ms. Meyer bring to the leadership of ODVA will enable the organization to continue to serve the vendor community and membership as we work to solve industry’s challenges,” said Dr. Jürgen Weinhofer, Vice President of Common Architecture and Technology at Rockwell Automation and ODVA Treasurer.

Ms. Katherine Voss, ODVA’s past president, is continuing to support the organization as an advisor in this transition.  Voss’s remarkable leadership of the organization served as a foundation for the growth of ODVA technologies, in particular EtherNet/IP.  The Board recognizes her stewardship of the organization with deep appreciation.

Members, vendors, and interested stakeholders who are attending the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany are invited to visit the ODVA exhibit in Hall 5, stand 338, on Wednesday 28 November at 16:30 hr for a reception to meet Dr. Beydoun and Ms. Meyer.  In addition, ODVA will be holding its fourth quarter briefing for the media on Tuesday 27 November at 14:45 in the Istanbul Room of NCC Ost.

Joint Venture to Tackle Security Needs in Industrial IoT Environments

Joint Venture to Tackle Security Needs in Industrial IoT Environments

This is security day at The Manufacturing Connection. Not only do we have an implementation of CIP Security (see other post today), demand for increased protection where IT meets OT drives this decision to form a new company.

Moxa Inc., a leader in industrial communications and networking, and Trend Micro Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, have executed a letter of intent relating to the formation of a joint-venture corporation-TXOne Networks-which will focus on the security needs present in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environments, including smart manufacturing, smart city, smart energy and more.

Historically, Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) have operated within industrial organizations as isolated and independent networks with different teams, objectives and requirements. Organizations are teeming with machinery and devices that were not originally designed for connectivity to the corporate network, which means they often lack the ability to be easily updated or patched for security measures. There is a critical need to secure these devices, identify clear ongoing ownership, and to provide a holistic view across the broadening attack surface within enterprises.

Trend Micro, majority owner in TXOne Networks, identified the potential challenges faced by IIoT stakeholders early on and has been working on several fronts to secure the entire ecosystem, from data center to device. Moxa Inc. brings more than 30 years of experience in industrial networking and protocol expertise. TXOne Networks combines these strengths and responds to the growing security needs of industry, such as smart factories that require a unified solution for delivering deeper visibility into both devices and protocols. These complicated environments are made up of multiple layers requiring protection that sits in and between IT and OT. The responsibility for the security of these combined layers is traditionally unclear.

“I’m excited about this venture and how Trend Micro continues to take diverse yet focused growth steps that allow our teams to remain concentrated on core strengths while giving room to better serve customers and advance into new markets,” said Eva Chen, chief executive officer for Trend Micro. “Partnering with Moxa will combine more than 60 years of expertise to accelerate our ability to view and secure the extended enterprise including these important but often overlooked OT environments.”

TXOne Networks will build security gateways, endpoint agents and network segmentation to secure, control, and provide visibility of operational technology and equipment. Unlike some solutions focused solely on protecting assets nearest to the IT layer via detection, TXOne Networks has expertise closest to the OT layer and will provide proactive, timely and easily implemented solutions to secure the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) world.

In addition to investing intellectual capital, funds, and dedicated headcount, each parent company lends complementary channel expertise. For its part, Trend Micro brings IT channel partner strength while Moxa brings OT channel partner strength. Together these reinforce the business model and geographic territory targets. TXOne Networks will be led by Dr. Terence Liu, Trend Micro Vice President and former CEO of Broadweb. With experience building both products and teams, Dr. Liu will bring nearly 20 years of security product expertise to this new team.

“With this joint venture, Moxa and Trend Micro will position TXOne Networks as a global leader in the industry to create effective IIoT security solutions that help ensure that IIoT applications and critical infrastructures are secure,” said Andy Cheng, Strategic Business Unit President for Moxa Inc. “Industrial automation customers around the globe will be able to reap the benefits of having a holistic OT/IT security solution to protect assets and reduce operational risk.”

TXOne solutions also will enable OT customers to optimize network infrastructure for more IIoT opportunities. They will benefit from Moxa’s expertise in building reliable networks to bring more legacy and disparate networks into on industry-grade Ethernet backbone and raising the security level of the entire network’s communication to help drive nonstop productivity and cost reduction. Professional services will also be provided including security risk assessment, security breach response, and access to threat intelligence from Trend Micro Research and its Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

“In a world where attacks are getting more persistent and sophisticated, while organizations are struggling with skills shortage and alert fatigue, these two groups are joining forces to successfully secure enterprises around the globe,” said Dr. Terence Liu, General Manager, TXOne Networks. “I am eager to pursue the opportunities and challenges this team will tackle in the months and years to come.”

Industrial Control Devices Support CIP Security

Industrial Control Devices Support CIP Security

I didn’t attend Automation Fair this year, but I have been watching for news. Here is a first product release from Rockwell Automation using CIP Security—an extension of the Common Industrial Protocol promulgated by ODVA designed for, well, secure communication as one part of a defense-in-depth strategy.

CIP is the application-layer protocol for EtherNet/IP. CIP Security supports transport layer security (TLS), the most proven security standard in widespread use on the World Wide Web today.

“CIP Security can protect devices and systems that use EtherNet/IP from some of the top risks in connected operations, such as unauthorized PCs,” said Tony Baker, portfolio manager, security, for Rockwell Automation. “It does this in a few key ways. First, it limits device connectivity to only trusted PCs and devices. It also guards against packet tampering to protect data integrity. Finally, it encrypts communications to avert unwanted data reading and disclosure.”

Engineers will be able to implement CIP Security in their systems through new Rockwell Automation products and firmware updates to existing products such as Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controllers, communication modules, and Kinetix servo drives.

In addition, the newly enhanced FactoryTalk Linx communications software allows FactoryTalk visualization and information software running on a PC to communicate to CIP Security-enabled devices. The new FactoryTalk Policy Manager tool within the FactoryTalk software is used to implement and configure security policies between CIP Security-enabled devices.

Rockwell Automation developed this new capability to work with existing industrial control devices regardless of whether or not they were designed to support CIP Security. This allows industrial users to phase in security over time and retrofit existing installations.

In addition, Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 controllers will soon be certified compliant with the IEC 62443-4-2 security standard, building on the IEC 62443-4-1 certification that the Rockwell Automation Security Development Lifecycle has already received.

This latest certification means the controllers will meet the global standard’s robust cybersecurity requirements to help companies secure their connected operations. The ControlLogix 5580 family of controllers is one of the first platforms on the market to achieve this compliance.

Automation and Industrial Innovation Funding News

Automation and Industrial Innovation Funding News

Automation, Innovation, Funding news from Rockwell Automation, IoT Partners Research, Dell EMC IoT, Schneider Electric Ventures

Rockwell Automation

I started going to Automation Fair in 1997. This is the first year I have missed. I could be in any of four different venues this week. Used to be that Rockwell had the week to itself. No longer. I am not there because I don’t like Rockwell. Business considerations are taking me a different direction. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking on IoT, data, solving business problems at the Industry of Things World-East forum in Orlando. I thought about a huge tour of three cities. Then I thought again.

I posted news from Rockwell Automation yesterday about its recent collaboration with PTC. I haven’t seen anything newer coming out yet from my sources.

ABI Research

In its recent analysis ranking 547 companies on their IoT service capabilities, ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, finds that partner programs and their member companies are continuing to mature in their IoT offerings while simultaneously decreasing the average number of members per partner program.

In fact, 65% of listed organizations received a high IoT maturity grade, which is nearly 2½ times the number of organizations that received a high maturity ranking when ABI Research first analyzed these IoT ecosystems back in September 2015. Partner program parents such as Amazon Web Services, Dell, and IBM are aligning themselves with fewer, higher-value partners who can better help end-users navigate the convoluted IoT ecosystem.

Partner program parents need to ensure that their partners can effectively address the current major needs of the market while also addressing high-growth niche vertical markets, with companies like Dell and AWS showing that it’s possible to address these changing market dynamics without being encumbered by hundreds of partners. AWS’ IoT Competency program ensures that its partners have a high-depth of IoT expertise to meet end-user needs, while Dell’s IoT Solutions Partner Ecosystem is focused on having both technology and services partners who can address specific use cases.

The three most targeted verticals within these partner program ecosystems have consistently been healthcare, manufacturing, and energy applications, but over the past three years, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of partners offering solutions targeting the digital signage, wearable, and smart building markets due to end-user demand.

FogHorn Partners With Dell EMC OEM Solutions

Speaking of partnerships, this came in today. FogHorn, a developer of edge intelligence software for industrial and commercial IoT applications, announced a collaboration with Dell EMC OEM Solutions to deliver end-to-end Industrial IoT (IIoT) edge computing solutions. This collaboration allows industrial and commercial customers to leverage the power of the edge quickly with an out-of-the-box solution for their Industrial IoT (IIoT) deployments – providing real-time insights to streamline operations and improve business outcomes.

By integrating FogHorn’s Lightning edge computing technology to solutions from Dell EMC, industrial and commercial customers now have access to preconfigured gateways and other devices that simplify IoT deployments. These “edgified” solutions allow clients to deploy edge computing at various end-point locations quickly, wherever the power of edge computing is needed.

Schneider Electric Ventures

Schneider Electric, who also has an event this week, has announced “Schneider Electric Ventures”, which identifies, nurtures and supports innovations that will make a major contribution to future sustainability and energy efficiency. Several major projects are underway and ready to be deployed.

‘Schneider Electric Ventures’ nurtures tomorrow’s transformational and disruptive technologies according to the press release.

The company spends €1 billion a year on R&D; and EcoStruxure, its IoT-enabled, plug and play, open, interoperable, architecture and platform is at the cutting edge of connected energy management and industrial automation.

A few months ago, the company created “Schneider Electric Ventures”. The mission of this initiative is to identify, support and nurture companies and entrepreneurs whose innovations will transform the way we live and work, how we produce and consume energy, and how we run buildings and factories.

Schneider Electric Ventures supports innovation through:

  • Funding
  • Incubation
  • Partnerships

At its Innovation Summit North America, Schneider Electric announced some projects developed by “Schneider Electric Ventures”. These projects include:

  • eIQ Mobility, a start-up and spinoff from Schneider Electric Incubator, which enables and accelerates electric mobility at scale by providing “Electric Fleet as a Service ” to large commercial fleets.
  • Clipsal Solar, a business venture for on-grid and off-grid solutions for residential and commercial applications in Australia, where 1.8 million homeowners have installed solar panels to help manage their energy bills. The market is forecasted to grow with additional 134,000 homes by 2021.
  • Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge in partnership with Greentown Labs, focused on fast-tracking entrepreneurs with the mentors, team members, grants of $25,000, and business and technical resources they need to launch successful ventures.

Through its different investment vehicles, Schneider Electric also made equity investments in six companies:

  • Sense, the leader in load disaggregation technology
  • Element Analytics, a leader in industrial big data analytics
  • Habiteo, a 3D specialist for new residential housing
  • QMerit, the “Uber” for contractors & MRO spend
  • KGS, a predictive engine for just-in-time maintenance
  • Claroty, the leading Cybersecurity company for industrial OT networks

Schneider Electric has committed to invest between 300 and 500 million euros in the coming years, in incubation projects, partnerships with entrepreneurs, and specialized funds, and welcomes ideas from innovators and entrepreneurs eager to turn their ideas into reality.

Universal Robots Hires Former Rethink Robotics Employees

Universal Robots Hires Former Rethink Robotics Employees

This is good news for the collaborative robot market and for many people after the closing of pioneer company Rethink Robotics. And a home for Baxter and Sawyer.

Human-like Robot

Baxter the Robot

Universal Robots (UR) is hiring 20+ Rethink staff members, merging UR’s Boston office with Rethink’s former headquarters in the Seaport area in Boston, with immediate effect. These key personnel bring extensive collaborative robotics experience in engineering, product development, and customer applications, which will combine well with UR’s expertise to continue to drive new and innovative collaborative robotics solutions.

“Our new colleagues from Rethink have extensive expertise, knowledge and know-how not only about the technology but indeed also about the market conditions and what the customers’ pain-points are. All of this will benefit our customers and partners as we face an increase in competitors due to the huge market potential for collaborative robots,” says Universal Robots’ President Jürgen von Hollen. “Our ability to secure key members of the Rethink team will have a significant positive impact in meeting market needs and driving innovation.”

Collaborative robots, now the fastest-growing segment of industrial robotics, is forecasted to grow from USD 283 million last year to USD 3.26 billion in 2022 according to BIS Research. Universal Robots’ market-leading growth means continually adapting the company structure and processes to deliver its ambitious targets for 2019 and beyond. The addition of key Rethink Robotics personnel will help expedite UR’s strategic ambitions and actions.

“Rethink Robotics – along with Universal Robots – has been a pioneer in driving and developing the collaborative robotics market globally,” says Jürgen von Hollen. “The company was always a good competitor, which helped us drive cobot awareness worldwide, and we want to make sure its customers can continue to fulfill their collaborative automation initiatives. “

Universal Robots offers a future-proof roadmap for customers of Rethink’s Baxter and Sawyer models, and is ready to help those customers transition to UR cobots.

Universal is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark. In 2017, Universal Robots had a revenue of USD 170 million.

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