Ecosystem adds SafetyChain, SiteSync, and Snowflake join the Ignition Ecosystem
From the first time I met the founder of Inductive Automation some 20 years ago, he talked about a different way of doing business. Part of it was building IT-friendly databases and tools. Another part was the way to interact with customers including the pricing model and innovative support tools. The team quickly also implemented the idea of community. I leave tomorrow for the Ignition Community Conference in Folsom (if you are there, stop me and say hi). They emphasize the reality of community.
Inductive Automation has added three companies to its Alliance Partner Program. SafetyChain, SiteSync, and Snowflake all add unique services that support the Ignition Ecosystem. I’m looking forward to learning more tomorrow and Wednesday.
This cloud-based software is a first-of-its-kind digital plant management platform with fully integrated tools for production, safety and quality, maintenance, and supplier compliance. From receiving to load-out, SafetyChain is trusted by over 2,000 facilities as their complete solution to improve performance by easily capturing, managing, and analyzing critical operations and continuous improvement data in real-time from anywhere.
“Inductive Automation is a true pioneer in empowering manufacturers’ digital transformation journey. Sharing this vision, SafetyChain is proud to have been selected as an Alliance Partner. Together, we add value by combining Ignition-collected data with mobile-collected data to empower frontline workers in real time. Our combined solutions leverage data to dramatically impact a manufacturer’s bottom line by significantly improving performance in key areas such as uptime, throughput, yield, and labor,” says Barry Maxon, CEO & co-founder of SafetyChain Software.
SiteSync leverages the latest sensor connectivity technology, including LoRaWAN, LTE, and more, to allow industrial users to bring stranded assets and manual measurements into a central source of truth for data visualization, alarming, and advanced AI analysis. SiteSync enables field users to deploy IIoT sensors with the same ease of commercial IoT systems via pre-configured devices and QR codes to commission devices.
The SiteSync Ignition Module provides field technicians, OT, and IT team members, with tools that make deploying IIoT easy across the organization. SiteSync’s UDT library creates normalized and decoded sensor data in Ignition, ready to be consumed by upstream data users.
“We believe Inductive Automation provides an unparalleled platform for deploying IIoT at scale. SiteSync is looking forward to helping the Ignition community bring the ease of Home Automation to the Industrial space through our partnership and the SiteSync LoRaWAN module. Our goal is to enable Ignition users and integrators to easily bring new IIoT technologies to their end users and help guide them in finding additional ROI for their Ignition projects,” says Michael Brauer, Vice President, SiteSync.
From the beginning, Ignition was designed to fully leverage databases and make it easy for users to connect to any database so they can store and query industrial and enterprise data. Ignition was one of the first organizations to unlock the power of SQL databases for industrial applications and is now among the first to integrate with Snowflake’s single, integrated platform.
The Snowflake Manufacturing Data Cloud is a fully managed, reliable, cloud-based data platform. It uses a multi-cluster shared data architecture to eliminate data silos and empower manufacturers to scale their data easily by leveraging the nearly infinite resources of the cloud to build a data foundation for their business, improve supply chain performance, and power smart manufacturing initiatives in today’s digital-industrial world.
With Snowflake, Ignition users can enjoy the benefits of elastic data storage offered by the cloud and leverage easy-to-use SQL, Python, Java, and Scala databases. Snowflake is a great complement to on-premise Ignition systems. Industrial data can be published using MQTT Sparkplug, and that data is stored automatically – along with its context – in the Snowflake Manufacturing Data Cloud using Cirrus Link’s new IoT Bridge for Snowflake, no coding required. Once the data is in the cloud, users can easily query it back into Ignition through Snowflake’s JDBC driver to use the data to generate reports, perform advanced analytics, and build and deploy applications.
Travis Cox, Inductive Automation’s Chief Technology Evangelist, is excited to see how the Ignition user community will benefit from using Snowflake and Ignition together. “The amount of industrial data organizations have to manage is increasing. Together, Ignition and Snowflake truly allows manufacturing and industrial organizations to scale and use data more effectively. I am excited to see the innovations that come out of storing industrial data in a SQL database with context!”
Inductive Automation’s Alliance Partner Program showcases a select group of technology companies which provide valuable products and services that complement Ignition. Partners involved with the Alliance Partner Program will work closely with Inductive Automation’s Industry & Education Engagement team to specifically discuss co-marketing opportunities.
The Ignition Ecosystem Expands with the Addition of the New Alliance Partner Program
Partner programs if well run where everyone sees a win are a great growth tool for the platform company as well as providing convenience for customers. I’ve seen successes over the years. I’ve also seen companies who couldn’t maintain consistency with the program or who eventually wanted to take too many things in house. I’ve watched Inductive Automation for 20 years and had many conversations with executives and customers. They are truly community focused. I expect this to also be successful.
Inductive Automation has announced the launch of its Alliance Partner Program, a new opportunity for companies to showcase and co-market services and solution offerings that pair well with the Ignition industrial application platform. As part of the launch, Inductive Automation (IA) has released the names of the program’s first partner companies:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS enables manufacturers to optimize production, develop smart products, and improve operational efficiency with advanced cloud solutions like machine learning, IoT, robotics, and analytics.
- Belden: Belden has a large portfolio of networking, security, and connectivity technologies and products, specializing in I/O and edge device offerings that help organizations create efficient automation workflows.
- Plantformance: Plantformance offers a subscription-based automation supervision platform that protects an organization’s information while improving its operational efficiency.
- Stratus: Stratus delivers simple, protected, autonomous edge computing platforms for OT and IT teams to run mission-critical applications without downtime or data loss, and turn edge data into actionable insight.
“This is a great opportunity to highlight the ecosystem that has organically developed around Ignition. The Alliance Partner Program’s goal is to broaden awareness of both the partner and Inductive Automation through co-marketing activities, showing how our joint solution provides a better together story for our collective customers,” says David Grussenmeyer, Industry and Education Engagement Manager at Inductive Automation.
The Alliance Partner Program is Inductive Automation’s latest partner program. Each IA partner program has a unique focus. In the Strategic Partner Program, which currently includes Cirrus Link Solutions, strategically aligned third-party software providers create modules in their area of expertise and sell them directly through IA. In the Solution Partner Program, IA highlights hardware, software, and service providers who offer solutions and technologies that are powered by Ignition. The new Alliance Partner Program is focused on showcasing a select group of technology companies providing valuable products and services that complement Ignition.
Partners involved with the Alliance Partner Program will work closely with Inductive Automation’s Industry & Education Engagement team to specifically discuss co-marketing opportunities. Alliance Partners will be listed on Inductive Automation’s designated webpage, and will be required to list Inductive Automation, its logo and website link on the Alliance Partner’s website appropriately and in accordance with specific brand usage guidelines.
Parsec Automation Corp. has announced a recapitalization led by BVP Forge. I suppose we all know where this is leading when a founder-led company with a long-time track record takes on a major amount of VC money. I wish them well. Here is the gist of the press release with all the usual marketing terms thrown in.
UPDATED Release 7/19/23
Today, Parsec Automation Corp, a trailblazer in Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software, announced a major recapitalization led by BVP Forge, designed to fuel future growth.
Parsec forms dynamic partnerships with manufacturing entities worldwide, sparking pivotal transformations to boost efficiency and drive their ongoing enhancement goals. Its TrakSYS software platform demystifies manufacturing operations, providing users with heightened visibility, profound insights, and superior control—indispensable factors for success in their rapidly-evolving industrial landscape.
TrakSYS enjoys a trusted position in thousands of facilities in more than 100 countries. It serves a variety of sectors, from automotive and chemical to food & beverage, life sciences, and packaged goods. Among Parsec’s globally-esteemed customers are industry heavyweights such as AB InBev, Akzo Nobel, AstraZeneca, Beiersdorf, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, and Eli Lilly. Parsec doesn’t just help businesses reach their goals; it helps them redefine what’s possible, carving out a path to a more efficient, productive, and sustainable future.
In the recently published Gartner 2023 Critical Capabilities for Manufacturing Execution Systems, Parsec Automation ranked the highest amongst all included MES vendors in 3 of 4 Gartner Use Cases—Continuous Process Manufacturing, Batch/Repetitive Flow Manufacturing, and Highly Regulated Industries.
Eddy Azad, founder & CEO of Parsec, shared, “TrakSYS’s unparalleled functionality and user experience have allowed us to disrupt legacy market products. As an innovation-focused and profitable company, we realized the vast potential of an alliance with BVP Forge to expedite our vision and enhance customer impact. The synergy of Parsec’s deep-rooted manufacturing operations management expertise with BVP Forge’s considerable resources ignites great excitement for our future.”
BVP Forge will bring its business building program, ForgeEdge, to help Parsec scale its platform, accelerate growth, and maximize customer impact. BVP Forge will also provide Parsec access to the renowned growth IP, talent network, and roadmap insights of Bessemer Venture Partners, which has decades of experience scaling enterprise companies into market leaders.
“We are very impressed with Parsec’s unique technology, customer impact, and track-record of profitable growth” said Brian Cramer, BVP Forge Operating Partner. “We see a clear and compelling opportunity to help accelerate the company’s success and build on its vision.”
“Manufacturers are increasingly embracing digitalization, which relies on high-quality data produced and synthesized on a plant floor,” said Rob Arditi, BVP Forge Partner. “Parsec’s mission criticality and core value proposition are evidenced by the company’s high customer satisfaction, strong retention, and superior product platform. We are thrilled to partner with the Parsec team and help the company reach its vision.”
Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Manufacturing Execution Systems, By Rick Franzosa, Christian Hestermann, Published 10 July 2023
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
I was able to slip into the Hexagon User Conference on a recent trip to Las Vegas. Hexagon has been busily helping consolidate the automation and industrial software market. Some acquisitions included Infor EAM, PAS, and about 168 other companies since 2000.
Many of their press releases to me dealt with metrology. A long time ago I had the role of quality assurance manager at a manufacturing plant. (Note: terrible experience.) But I related metrology to quality control. Sort of a process outside actual manufacturing. One interview I had brought me up to the present time. Much of the metrology Hexagon talks about is in-process—actually sensing for immediate feedback to the process assuring consistent quality.
They talked a lot about their new platform, Nexus. The first applications are:
- Metrology Reporting, a Nexus App: The app connects Hexagon and third-party metrology data sources in Nexus’ secure cloud environment so that companies of all sizes can immediately report on previously untapped quality control data from their equipment to spot trends and identify tolerance issues. Any user can generate interactive three-dimensional CAD-based reports and insightful trend plots, KPIs and compliance documentation and up-to-the-minute data with colleagues, customers or suppliers.
- Materials Connect, a Nexus App: An all-new, cloud-based library for material data, that empowers manufacturers or material suppliers to manage material data, physical test data and behaviour models for use in product Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) workflows.
- Materials Enrich, a Nexus App: A first-of-its-kind Enrich app, it uses the Nexus platform’s machine learning capabilities and cloud-accelerated material behaviour simulations to help users find and simulate optimal materials that may have never been made or measured, improving the performance and sustainability of their products.
- Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), a Nexus Solution: A pre-configured Solution that makes it easier and more efficient for teams to jointly develop an optimal metal 3D-printed part and prepare it for a successful print using the laser powder bed fusion (PBF) process. Customers can use the Nexus web interface to connect Hexagon’s MSC Apex Generative Design and Simufact Additive process simulation software with AM Studio from CADS Additive and Materials Connect via the cloud, and easily manage user access to projects.
In addition to the conference, this news was released from the Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division—AcceleratorKMS 4.0.
A key component of Hexagon’s Smart Digital Reality, the new AcceleratorKMS operates like previous versions of the knowledge management suite while improving the way organizations operate through better clarity about who is working or training, and how they are being trained.
“Companies are challenged to drive time-to-competency down from the standard of three years down to one,” said Blair Morgan, AcceleratorKMS Vice President. “AcceleratorKMS’ integration capability, new features and the AcceleratorLXP module offer organizations a complete digital ecosystem that will help them achieve that goal. This marks a new evolution in AcceleratorKMS not yet seen.”
The enhanced search function, templating, user experience, file management and API in AcceleratorKMS 4.0 connects with the AcceleratorLXP module to enhance the tracking of user learning interactions. AcceleratorKMS and AcceleratorLXP together share an integrated User Interface that allows users to complete tasks while seeing their digital training steps.
“AcceleratorKMS 4.0 empowers the connected worker on a new level, with reliable and familiar experiences to enhance their fieldwork with tools they trust to advance their skills,” said AcceleratorKMS Product Manager Jana Redford. “Authors and learning managers can leverage the power of a full content management solution to collaborate and integrate training in the lifecycle of the content. This cuts friction from the worker experience for better outcomes and increased performance.”
Hexagon acquired Innovatia Accelerator Inc., headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, and its flagship solution in April 2022 to enable clients to easily manage, govern and distribute the up-to-date critical operational content field workers require to keep operations running optimally and smoothly.
Catching up on some older news. Water is an essential resource with growing scarcity in many areas of the world. Several years ago, political scientists were predicting wars occurring over water rights. Any work by automation companies to help the situation are welcome.
This news is from Rockwell Automation announcing a “novel” partnership with The Water Council to promote corporate water stewardship globally.
“As global organizations with headquarters blocks away from Lake Michigan, The Water Council and Rockwell Automation understand the vital importance of protecting the world’s freshwater resources,” said Dean Amhaus, TWC president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with a fellow Milwaukee organization to help companies improve their water stewardship.”
TWC, a nonprofit solving global water challenges through innovation and water stewardship, and Rockwell Automation, a global automation company dedicated to making the world more productive and sustainable, will coalesce each other’s strengths to promote stewardship services and technological solutions to businesses across their networks. This will be accomplished through WAVE, TWC’s corporate water stewardship program, and Rockwell’s water-related sustainability products and services.
“Through our global reach and joint commitment to enabling sustainability, we are delighted to take our partnership public with The Water Council,” said Tom O’Reilly, global vice president, sustainability, at Rockwell Automation. “With The Water Council’s WAVE program and Rockwell Automation solutions, we are dedicated to driving impact within organizations to improve their water stewardship through consultation, data driven insights, and digital transformation solutions.
The partnership will include informational webinars on the importance of water use and risk assessment for businesses, incorporation of Rockwell’s sustainability offerings as a solution for TWC water stewardship clients, and identification of Rockwell clients to adopt WAVE.
Introduced in 2022, WAVE is the first independently verified program that helps companies combine enterprise-wide water stewardship goals and policy with meaningful site-level action and credible ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting.
“With a rapid and extensive escalation of water challenges across the world that threatens business continuity, companies are rightfully facing increasing expectations from investors and customers to be responsible water stewards. This partnership between TWC and Rockwell will help them do so,” Amhaus said.
OPC UA via HTTP REST allows IT-Applications access to OPC UA applications and their data described in over 90+ standardized domain-specific information models
The OPC Foundation has announced that it expands the OPC UA standard with a RESTful interface to allow access from anywhere in the world to information made available by implementations of over 90 standardized information models by IT-applications.
This extension was requested by IT companies to ensure efficient and standardized access to important information: IT-applications need the ability to utilize the data from OT to use it in concepts like Data Spaces, Digital Twins and the Metaverse. These solutions often share information between multiple companies. In many cases, they exchange the necessary information via proprietary HTTP REST-Interfaces.
OPC UA is already equipped with many building blocks, such as session-less services and security features. Those building blocks already cover many aspects required to provide standardized information via RESTful interfaces. With the addition of HTTP REST, applications outside of the OPC UA ecosystem can now access this information. The OPC UA specification includes the transfer of meta-information such as server timestamp, source timestamp, value, and quality of the individual information. Direct access via OPC UA allows these pieces of information to be shared up to the cloud and used in applications like the digital twin.
The expansion of OPC UA with REST is less likely to be adopted at the field level, but in gateways and cloud services. Cloud companies can now access standardized information and use it efficiently to optimize the business processes of their customers and unlock new use cases.