Siemens and Chonicle Partner For Cyber Security

Siemens and Chonicle Partner For Cyber Security

Cyber Security got a shout-out during the Siemens Spotlight on Innovation forum in Orlando last week. Leo Simonovich, VP and Global Head, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security at Siemens Gas and Power, and Mike Wiacek, co-founder & CSO of Chronicle (an Alphabet company) took the stage discussing their newly signed cyber security agreement.

Key phrase—“customers can own their environment”. Perhaps the most interesting conversation I had during the networking event was with a Chronicle tech person who gave me a deep dive into the product. This is security unlike everything else I investigate in the OT realm. This isn’t a network monitoring app. Nor is it a device that acts as a firewall for industrial control devices. It builds a huge database and adds analytics (which is “in our DNA”). The solution has two parts—visibility and context. It bridges IT and OT worlds with the intent to “democratize security for the success of the digital economy”; that is, make it accessible to customers, simple, affordable, easy-to-use.

Through a unified approach that will leverage Chronicle’s Backstory platform and Siemens’ strength in industrial cyber security, the combined offering gives energy customers unparalleled visibility across information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) to provide operational insights and confidentially act on threats.

The energy industry has historically been unable to centrally apply analytics to process data streams, cost-effectively store and secure data, and identify malicious threats within OT systems. Research conducted by Siemens and Ponemon Institute found that while 60 percent of energy companies want to leverage analytics, only 20 percent are utilizing any analytics to do security monitoring in the OT environment. Small and medium enterprises are particularly vulnerable to security breaches as they frequently do not have the internal expertise to manage and address increasingly sophisticated attacks.

“The innovative partnership between Siemens and Chronicle demonstrates a new frontier in applying the power of security analytics to critical infrastructure that is increasingly dependent on digital technology,” said Simonovich. “Cyber-attacks targeting energy companies have reached unprecedented speeds, and our cutting-edge managed service unlocks the analytics ecosystem offers a new level of protection from potential operational, business and safety losses.”

“Energy infrastructure is an obvious example of cyber-attacks affecting the physical world and directly impacting people’s lives,” said Ansh Patnaik, Chief Product Officer, Chronicle. “Backstory’s security telemetry processing capabilities, combined with Siemens’ deep expertise, gives customers new options for protecting their operations.”

The partnership between Siemens and Chronicle will help energy companies securely and cost-effectively leverage the cloud to store and categorize data, while applying analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to OT systems that can identify patterns, anomalies, and cyber threats. Chronicle’s Backstory, a global security telemetry platform for investigation and threat hunting, will be the backbone of Siemens managed service for industrial cyber monitoring, including in both hybrid and cloud environments. This combined solution enables security across the industry’s operating environment – from energy exploration and extraction to power generation and delivery.

Innovation—A Word Often Loosely Used

Innovation—A Word Often Loosely Used

People send about a dozen press releases per day to me, only slightly fewer on weekends. Many boast innovation in products, services, or pricing models. The word comes dangerously close to over use.

Siemens, however, consistently shows how users in a large variety of settings use the fruits of its own innovation of bringing together PLM, IT, automation, and industrial control for their own innovation.

My last post from the recent Siemens Innovation Forum discussed design and manufacture digitally using Siemens PLM and 3D printing. I also discussed a young woman using Siemens CAD and her own hard work to engineer a new prosthetic foot for a veteran of Afghanistan.

Next up at the Forum was Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando speaking on smart cities and the many places technology—principally from Siemens—were helping build infrastructure, water/wastewater controls, microgrids, and other elements of his administration’s smart cities work. Orlando has progressed far from its sleepy tourist-town roots.

Dr. Norbert Gaus, Head of R&D in Automation and Digitalization, AI at Siemens presided over an interlude with an example of robot picking utilizing AI + Digital Twin. Both are important components of an innovative manufacturing future.

The program jumped a level from travel by prosthetic foot to highways to aircraft carriers. Bharat Amin, VP & CIO of Newport News Shipbuilding discussed the entirely new way of building large ships using Siemens PLM, digital twin, digital thread, and electronic devices. This new workflow eliminated carrying huge piles of drawings to the site. The armloads of blueprints were replaced by a digital tablet.

People who have accomplished a digital turnaround always have timely advice for those of us beginning projects. Amin’s list: Start with people; Cultivate disruption; Nurture trust and relationships; Cut through bureaucracy; Go against the grain; Have an entrepreneurial spirit; Be willing to take risks.

Chester Kennedy, CEO Bridg—a microelectronics manufacturer, took Digital Twin from huge war ships to silicon wafers—microelectronics. He began with an MES to track through the entire process. The idea being that if they could find a flaw maybe at step 14 and scrap the part before investing more time and process only to find it at a later stage, they would save a ton of money. The digital twin idea is developing for work on security. At the beginning, Bridg just wanted an RFP for MES. Siemens came in and offered to go beyond Camstar (MES) to work in partnership to look at the system from design to physics and material science to workflow. The company needs security confidence by its customers, so it’s adding blockchain to help catch any potential sabotage within the microelectronics at manufacture.

Siemens Spotlight on Innovation

Siemens Spotlight on Innovation

I flew to Orlando May 22 as a guest of Siemens along with a select few other “influencers” to be introduced to a number of innovation projects fueled by Siemens technology. We met at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in downtown Orlando (did you even know there was a downtown?), which itself is filled with Siemens equipment. There are few companies in the industrial area which I cover that have the vision and execution that Siemens is exhibiting right now.

By the way, there is a fantastic little taco place in downtown Orlando. Email or DM on Twitter, and I’ll share the name. Greg Hale of ISSSource.com and I had dinner there Wednesday. We agreed—among the best tacos we’ve had.

Barbara Humpton, CEO Siemens USA, led with an overview. Siemens has made a greater than $1B investment in R&D in the US with 7,000 engineers churning out 700 inventions per year.

She introduced former stunt man and motorcycle racer turned CEO Mike “Mouse” McCoy, CEO & Founder of HackRod. McCoy built on a foundation of Siemens PLM and SolidEdge CAD. He added a gaming engine. He was able to use VR for design reviews, interference checking, and simulation during the design process. We followed along with design and review of a new motorcycle. A few parts required somewhat exotic materials. Oak Ridge National Labs printed the parts from the design files downloaded from HackRod. The design teams were in Ventura, CA and Princeton, NJ with input from Munich, Germany. Collaboration was not a problem.

Beginning of design until component parts shipped to Orlando—2 weeks. The parts arrived Tuesday. McCoy and a partner assembled the motorcycle on Tuesday evening and wheeled (not drove) it onto the stage Wednesday about 1:30. Not bad? Heck, in my early career, we couldn’t have done a foam-core mock up in that time frame.

One thought McCoy left us with. “We need to talk STEAM, not just STEM—science, technology, engineering, arts, math.” It is now possible for artists and designers to be an intimate part of the team going from art to finished product quickly. 3D printing from PLM files. Way cool.

How about a high school mechanical design student given a project to provide a lighter prosthetic foot for an Army vet? Humpton introduced 18-year-old high school student Ashley Kimbel who had undertaken just such a project. She worked with the veteran to analyze his current “foot” looking for areas where weight could be eliminated. Then she had to learn how to fabricate and manufacture the device. We saw films of the veteran running with Ashley proving out the new prosthetic.

This is a long way from projects I had as a 17-year-old senior. Education and technology have come a long way in a lifetime. Oh, and her future? She wants to work in bioengineering designing and 3D printing organs. She will be working on that during her tenure at UAB. She is going to make a difference for many people.

I have many more ideas and conversations to capture. This will serve for now.
Check out #SiemensInnovates

HPE Acquires Cray Consolidating Supercomputer Market

HPE Acquires Cray Consolidating Supercomputer Market

Today’s big enterprise IT news concerns Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Cray entering into a definitive agreement under which HPE will acquire Cray for $35.00 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $1.3 billion, net of cash.

This is another example of technology industry consolidation. We’re seeing it with instrumentation, control, and automation companies. Enterprise IT is rapidly going that way. Both HPE and Dell Technologies have been scarfing up companies either matured and not growing or in need of capital to survive.

Signs of maturing industries mean one kind of shock waves for employment within them. But also this usually means preparing room in the market for new companies with disruptive new technologies and business models. It’s possible that we’re about to see a leap in quantum computing out of all this.

What does this mean for industrial users? We are seeing already companies like HPE moving their powerful compute platforms to the edge. With every advancement, we’ll see additional compute power bringing databases, analytics, AI, video and other applications to more remote installations.

Some additional details from the press release:

“Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO, HPE. “Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more. Cray is a global technology leader in supercomputing and shares our deep commitment to innovation. By combining our world-class teams and technology, we will have the opportunity to drive the next generation of high performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work.”

The Explosion of Data is Driving Strong HPC Growth

The explosion of data from artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics and evolving customer needs for data-intensive workloads are driving a significant expansion in HPC.

Over the next three years the HPC segment of the market and associated storage and services is expected to grow from approximately $28 billion in 2018 to approximately $35 billion in 2021, a compound annual growth rate of approximately 9 percent. Exascale is a growing segment of overall HPC opportunities and more than $4 billion of Exascale opportunities are expected to be awarded over the next five years.

“This is an amazing opportunity to bring together Cray’s leading-edge technology and HPE’s wide reach and deep product portfolio, providing customers of all sizes with integrated solutions and unique supercomputing technology to address the full spectrum of their data-intensive needs,” said Peter Ungaro, President and CEO of Cray. “HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high performance computing and AI. On behalf of the Cray Board of Directors, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that we believe maximizes value and are excited for the opportunities that this unique combination will create for both our employees and our customers.”

High performance computing is a key component of HPE’s vision and growth strategy and the company currently offers world-class HPC solutions, including HPE Apollo and SGI, to customers worldwide. This portfolio will be further strengthened by leveraging Cray’s foundational technologies and adding complementary solutions. The combined company will also reach a broader set of end markets, offering enterprise, academic and government customers a broad range of solutions and deep expertise to solve their most complex problems. Together, HPE and Cray will have enhanced opportunities for growth and the integrated platform, scale and resources to lead the Exascale era of high performance computing.

Misunderstood Manufacturing

Misunderstood Manufacturing

Humans get strange ideas in their minds that cannot be shaken by facts and truth. Such as any new idea for improving efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability of manufacturing will cost people their jobs.

It is part of popular mythology that automation puts people out of work. This idea is so prevalent that even MIT economics professors run math to try to prove it. (See previous post.)

Then I interviewed Bob Argyle, co-founder and CCO of Leading2Lean, who mentioned “People say Lean cuts jobs, but it actually saves jobs.”

Leading2Lean is a Lean-based company that has developed an implementation software that engages plant floor workers and changes the way they approach their jobs by delivering real-time actionable IoT data and methods that reveal the root causes of production bottlenecks. This allows everyone to problem-solve and create a sustainable culture of continuous improvement.

I related to Argyle that when I put together the first issue of Automation World back in early 2003 I wanted to interview a Lean expert. The gentleman asked why I would interview him since automation was antithetical to Lean. I told him that I thought there was a place where each could use the other. Hence, the Leading2Lean software.

Argyle gave me the history of his Lean journey beginning at AutoLiv, a supplier of air bags to the auto industry. The customer sent a “sensei” to teach Lean methodology–also known as the Toyota Production System. Responding to my automation comment, Argyle said, “Sensei never said computers are bad, but he taught us to improve the process before adding computers. Use automation to reduce process waste.”

Just what I was taught in my first computer applications class in 1977. Know your process first, then improve the process, then add digitalization.

Use data to capture critical data, Argyle told me. And use automation appropriately for the right thing to do in the particular process. Use it to remove waste, and for safety, quality, and efficiency.

We had to cut the interview, but they offered some specific customer stories that detail the benefits of the integration of computers and Lean.

Industrial, Cloud, AR, Subscriptions

Industrial, Cloud, AR, Subscriptions

I am often asked about what industrial digital transformation really means and about technologies such as cloud, edge, AR/VR, and so forth. This press release from AVEVA promised to answer much of that—until I sat down to parse it and figure out what to write. After editing out close to half of the document which was laced with buzz words—revolutionary, innovative, digital transformation, (BINGO), I think I have boiled it down to its essence. The essence is actually pretty good and didn’t need all the fluff to build it up. (I go here, because in my old age, I’m tired of fluff. Why not just tell us what you have? It’s probably pretty good!)

First, the cloud. AVEVA Connect, a cloud-based digital transformation hub, enables customers to seamlessly access AVEVA’s software portfolio, enabling digitalization of design, build, operations, and maintenance processes across a wide range of industries. Over the past year, AVEVA Connect has launched eight new cloud-enabled offers, more than 75 updates to its digital services including the launch of cloud Operator Training Solution (OTS), visualization, and condition management capabilities, and grown to support over 5,500 daily users.

Second, the AR/VR and OTS. Total OLEUM has implemented AVEVA’s cloud- based operator training systems. No real details were added by the PR people regarding benefits, but they worked in the words, revolutionary, innovative, benefitted. Evidently Total is happy with the training results. When I’m asked about AR/VR (augmented reality and virtual reality), my response is that it’s great for training.

Third is not a technology but a pricing plan. AVEVA’s new subscription program, AVEVA Flex, includes “advanced HMI visualization, operations control and information management, manufacturing execution, and asset performance capabilities. With subscription-based, feature-rich software tiers, AVEVA Flex offers a broad range of flexibility in the purchase, design, and utilization of industrial software solutions.” What this sounds like to me is a repackaging of Wonderware’s pricing modal to bring it in line with the latest industry trends. Without knowing pricing details, it sounds like the company is on the right track.

Among the first to take up the new AVEVA Flex subscription program, Giovanni Borinelli – General Manager from Italian Steelmaker NLMK Verona, said: “For us to compete in today’s volatile market, we need a trusted partner who can help us master our digital transformation. The technical and commercial flexibility that AVEVA Flex provides is fundamental to that change and will help us remain agile and successful into the future.”