International Machine Technology Show 2024

Organizers of the International Machine Technology Show (IMTS 2024) communicate often about the automation section within the upcoming (Sept. 9-14 at Chicago’s McCormick Place) event. This will be a bit of a switch given the end of a long-time partnership for this part of the show.

Check it out. I will be in attendance for a day or two. Let me know. Maybe we can do coffee or something.

Siemens sent one heck of a teaser for its presence at the show. I’ll summarize some of their products on display.

At the upcoming IMTS 2024 in Chicago, September 9–14, Siemens will present its extensive machine tool CNC portfolio and digitalization software technology, highlighted by the digital native SINUMERIK ONE control platform for machining applications.  Also, using a sports theme of “Speed, Agility and Endurance,” aimed at the machine shop on its path to digitalization, Siemens will introduce MACHINUM to the North American market.  MACHINUM brings together machine tool controls, digitalization software and machine shop services from Siemens to help manufacturers optimize their production processes, to provide agility for quick adaptation to changing customer requirements and calculated uptime needs, plus enable digitally proven endurance to maximize the productivity of the entire machine shop or production department.

Under the theme “Empowering the Digital Machine Shop”, Siemens will display its digital threads, from blueprint to finished part, digital twin to simulation, part production, as well as the total integration of these processes into the digital factory for job shops and production departments, all brought to life by Siemens hardware automation and digitalization software.  

Aimed at developing a complete eco-system for the machine tool builder and end-user, the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio brings together the breadth of engineering and manufacturing to provide the optimum solution for customers of any size in any industry.

With SINUMERIK ONE, Siemens is accelerating the digital transformation of the machine tool industry.  The new CNC control platform works with software to create the machine controller and the associated digital twin from a single engineering system and thus contributes to the total integration of hardware and software.  Thanks to its seamless interaction between the virtual and real worlds, including high-performance PLC, drive and motor hardware, SINUMERIK ONE is setting new standards in terms of productivity, performance and digitalization.  It is the future-proof machine controller in the increasingly digital world of manufacturing.

With Create MyVirtual Machine and Run MyVirtual Machine, SINUMERIK ONE is provided with software to create the universal concept of the digital twin, powerful hardware and integrated IT security, making it a forward-looking CNC.

Using Mcenter, the open and modular platform for efficient shopfloors, end-users can seamlessly link all their machine tools and network with company’s IT landscape.  

Join Me At This Manufacturing Software Conference

I have begun working with a software company called Quickbase. Several companies have introduced me to low-code applications. Quickbase takes it to another level. Built in, not added on due to acquisition.

I’m on a panel discussion with two engineers who actually use the software. Their stories of how they use the software and the benefits of an easy way to add to the application when users ask for help are to the point.

Join me and others from our community at #Empower 2024 for a jam-packed day filled with big ideas, best practices, inspiration, and innovation built to support the work that we do, and the work we aspire to do.  Register now and let’s do this together! 

Save the Date for YNOW2024: A Yokogawa Users Conference

A quick update. Yokogawa is holding a users conference this year in Houston.

Yokogawa Corporation of America and KBC (A Yokogawa Company) announce YNOW2024, an in-person event taking place October 28-30, 2024, at the Hilton Americas-Houston in Downtown Houston, Texas. Professionals in the energy, petrochemicals, mining, food, and water industries and life sector will learn how to leverage innovative technologies to optimize their company-wide processes and thrive in dynamic business ecosystems.

With keynotes and panels from industry leaders, guests will gain valuable insights into industry trends, proven strategies, and best practices. Additionally, the conference will feature technology workshops and live innovation centers, giving attendees hands-on experience with emerging technologies. Finally, interactive sessions will foster a collaborative environment, encouraging attendees to learn from peers. By the end of the event, attendees will be armed with the practical knowledge and tools to successfully plan, manage, and implement emerging digital technology projects to drive innovation throughout their enterprises.

FTC to Host Virtual Summit on Artificial Intelligence

For all you Artificial Intelligence buffs out there, here is a chance to learn a little about what influential people are thinking. This January 25 event will focus on ways to protect consumers and competition.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Technology is hosting a virtual tech summit on January 25, 2024 that will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss key developments in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence (AI), looking across the layers of technology related to AI.

The summit will bring together representatives from academia, industry, civil society organizations, and government to discuss the state of technology, emerging market trends, and real-world impacts of AI. The discussions will also explore how to cultivate a marketplace that allows both consumers and businesses, including startups and small businesses, to thrive.

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan and Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya will provide remarks at the summit. The event will also feature three panel discussions. These include discussions on the hardware and other key infrastructure that will be needed for AI development; issues related to the data and models used in AI; and AI-powered consumer applications.

The summit will begin at noon and take place online. The tentative agenda is available on the event website. Information on how to participate will also be posted to the event page soon.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Two News Items Regarding CyberSecurity from Rockwell Automation

Automation Fair was this week. I expected many news releases. I’ve already reported on the one published. I checked out the “show daily” email from my friend Keith at Endeavor Media whose team reported on the presentations a series of executives made to the attending media. Not so much news as it was a survey of the breadth of Rockwell’s offering. 

I think that was the theme—don’t think of Rockwell Automation from the point-of-view of controls and drives. Check all the acquisitions from Plex for cloud-based MES, FiiX for cloud-based CMMS, Verve for Cybersecurity, plus material handling and more. Looking at financials, the traditional industrial control product business still is the greatest contributor. Software and control is still next, but services are catching up to it.

These releases concern cybersecurity and partnerships with Dragos and Claroty.

Rockwell Automation will provide ICS/OT Cybersecurity Threat Detection Services, leveraging the Dragos Platform to help Industrial Manufacturers Secure their Environments

Dragos Inc. announced the expansion of its combined capabilities in partnership with Rockwell Automation. With this expansion, Rockwell will be making the Dragos Platform available to organizations for enhanced ICS/OT cybersecurity threat detection, providing global deployment services and support capabilities to help customers operationalize their security investment. 

The threat detection capabilities build on the previous global agreement between Dragos and Rockwell for the OT Incident Response Retainer (IRR) program that helps industrial organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents in OT environments. 

  • Improved threat detection and response across the entire industrial OT network. 
  • Greatly enhanced visibility into the OT environment allowing industrial organizations to inventory and monitor assets, track vulnerabilities, and leverage network monitoring to investigate issues and incidents. 
  • Fast, efficient, and effective threat detection to help maintain safety and uptime as a result of continuously updated knowledge packs focused on ICS networks for Rockwell-specific and third-party vendor hardware. 
  • The collective experience and intelligence of Dragos and Rockwell to enhance knowledge for industrial defenders, including whitepapers, webinars, and other resources.
  • Rapid operationalization of cybersecurity investment with the global deployment and support footprint at Rockwell Automation. 

Claroty and Rockwell Automation Expand Capabilities to Include SaaS-powered OT Security Solution xDome

Claroty announced an expansion of its capabilities with Rockwell Automation, Inc. with the addition of SaaS-powered industrial cybersecurity platform Claroty xDome to Rockwell Automation’s global services portfolio. Additionally, Rockwell Automation customers now have access to Claroty’s complete suite of cloud-based and on-premise OT security offerings. 

Claroty xDome provides comprehensive security coverage, integrated interoperability, and deep bidirectional technology alliances. The partnership expansion highlights Rockwell’s pioneering stance in OT security by offering a cloud-hosted OT security solution to its customers. This step positions Rockwell on the vanguard of enabling secure digital transformation, underpinning the company’s dedication to innovation and security. 

Keynotes from Automation Fair by Rockwell Automation

I listened to the keynote speeches from Automation Fair this morning while working out. A different perspective from a darkened room at a narrow table with 5,000 (or more) of my closest friends.  I’ve listened to maybe 1,000 of these over the past 25 years in media. There are just a few things I’m really listening for. What is the market buzz of the year? What aspects of the company are they promoting? Hopefully, but rarely, a new company direction?

Usually nothing startling comes out. Never a Steve Jobs, “And just one more thing…”

CEO Blake Moret laid a general outline of the growth of Rockwell Automation as it serves the customers’ needs for digital transformation. He chatted with Judson Althoff of Microsoft about their partnership over the years. They worried me talking about industrial metaverse, which is so 2022, but then moved the conversation to the Microsoft Co-Pilot and how the companies are working together to exploit generative AI for industrial usage. Looks like initially Rockwell will incorporate it in its control design software.

I like words and word play, and I couldn’t let this one pass. Vintage (pun) Microsoft. When everyone else uses their own technology to develop new technology, they call it “eating their own dog food.” Not Microsoft. They “drink their own champagne.” 🙂

Interesting side note—I’ve been asking about new engineers entering the field preferring to use tools they’ve learned such as Python and NodeRED. Moret didn’t address that precisely, but he did note that relay ladder logic may not be the programming tool of choice for these new engineers and that generative AI may bridge the gap from modern to archaic (my words, not his).

Sr. VP of Intelligent Devices Tessa Myers was given the task of introducing featured products. These included:

  • Automated and autonomous material handling vehicles
  • Digital twin and AI technology for maintenance of a process system
  • Cybersecurity featuring new developments with acquisitions and partnerships

I’ve diligently returned to the Rockwell Press site for more news, but nothing else forthcoming right now.

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