Podcast 181 Industry of Things World East Talk About Data

Podcast 181 Industry of Things World East Talk About Data

Last week I gave a short presentation at a breakout session of the Industry of Things East World event in Orlando. This podcast is a recap of the talk done in a slightly different style. As the fourth speaker in the afternoon surveying the audience, I switched styles to one I hope kept everyone awake.

I wanted to talk about data. Why we collect it. How we can use it. And good management practices. All in fewer than 20 minutes. Allowing time for a decent discussion at the end.

Survey Shows Humans Perform 72% of Manufacturing Tasks

Survey Shows Humans Perform 72% of Manufacturing Tasks

My response to automation and robot dystopian writers is that for the most part these technologies have removed humans from dangerous and monotonous manufacturing work. Humans are freed to do things using their heads as well as their hands. This report from A.T. Kearney and Drishti further contradicts hype about accelerating factory automation; demonstrates the need for greater investment in the human workforce.

According to new data released today by A.T. Kearney and Drishti, humans still perform 72 percent of manufacturing tasks. This data, from a survey of more than 100 manufacturing leaders, suggests that despite headlines about robots and AI replacing humans in factories, people remain central to manufacturing, creating significantly more value on the factory floor than machines.

Respondents also noted that there’s an almost universal lack of data into the activities that people perform in the factory. This analytical gap severely limits manufacturers’ ability to make informed decisions on capacity planning, workforce management, process engineering and many other strategic domains. And it suggests that manufacturers may overprioritize automation due to an inability to quantify investments in the human workforce that would result in greater efficiencies.

“Despite the prominence of people on the factory floor, digital transformation strategies for even the most well-known, progressive manufacturers in the world remain largely focused on machines,” said Michael Hu, partner at A.T. Kearney. “This massive imbalance in the analytics footprint leaves manufacturers around the globe with a human-shaped blind spot, which prevents them from realizing the full potential of Industry 4.0.”

While manufacturing technology has seen increasing innovation for decades, the standard practices for gathering and analyzing tasks done by humans – and the foundation of holistic manufacturing practices like lean and Six Sigma – are time-and-motion study methodologies, which can be directly traced back to the time of Henry Ford and have not been updated for the digital age.

“The principles underlying these 100-year-old measurement techniques are still valid, but they are too manual to scale, return incomplete datasets and are subject to observation biases,” said Prasad Akella, founder and CEO of Drishti. “In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturers need larger and more complete datasets from human activities to help empower operators to contribute value to their fullest potential. This data will benefit everyone in the assembly ecosystem: plant managers, supervisors, engineers and, most importantly, the operators themselves.”

Additionally, the survey respondents noted the significant overhead needed for traditional data gathering methodologies: on average, 37 percent of skilled engineers’ time is spent gathering analytics data manually.

“Humans are the most valuable asset in the factory, and manufacturers should leverage new technology to extend the capabilities of both direct and indirect labor,” said Akella. “If you could give your senior engineers more than a third of their time back, you’d see immediate gains. Instead of spending so many hours collecting data, their attention and capabilities would remain focused on the most critical decisions and tasks.”

The survey also revealed the flip side of human contributions to manufacturing systems: Survey respondents noted that 73 percent of variability on the factory floor stems from humans, and 68 percent of defects are caused by human activities. Perhaps as a result, 39 percent of engineering time is spent on root cause investigations to trace defects – another manual expenditure of time that could be greatly reduced with better data.

“The bottom line is that better data can help both manufacturers and human operators across the board,” said Hu. “Data illuminates opportunities for productivity and quality improvements; simplifies traceability; mitigates variability; and creates new opportunities for operators to add even greater value. Humans are going to be the backbone of manufacturing for the foreseeable future, and the companies that improve their human factory analytics are the ones that will be best positioned to compete in Industry 4.0.”

To view the full report, click.

A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries.

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.

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