Industry 4.0 Club Announces Strategic Leadership Changes

You may look at the headline and wonder “Industry 4.0 Club?” I received an email from that organization with an invitation to talk with CEO Mike Ungar. Of course I had to satisfy my curiosity.  Ungar was an engineer at Michelin who joined as Chairman and just swapped roles with Mike Yost. 

The Industry 4.0 Club is building a community to give encouragement and ideas to small-to-medium sized manufacturers who need/want to adopt modern Industry 4.0 practices. There are many companies out there who desperately need to update in order to remain competitive. This group hopes to spur their change.

I worked with Mike Yost for years at MESA. He then spent time with CESMII before moving to this organization. I first talked with him about software when he was at GE.

This is an organization worth checking out. They have a basic newsletter and a paid subscription newsletter with deeper information. The only part I was disappointed in was that they built their site on Substack. But that is just an open Web guy speaking there.

Check them out.

From their press release:

The Industry 4.0 Club, a leading community in the manufacturing sector, announced key changes to its leadership team, positioning the club for a transformative year in 2024. These changes include: Mike Yost as Chair of the Board of Directors with extensive experience in bringing together solution providers and manufacturers to help solve their most challenging issues. Carol Mitchell-Lin as Vice-chair, known for her Industry 4.0 thought leadership, co-host role in our Women In Manufacturing LinkedIn Live broadcasts, and commitment to manufacturers’ success everywhere. Jan Pingel as Secretary, whose background as a results-driven Industrial & IT Product Development & Marketing Executive will enhance our strategic initiatives. Grace Donovan as Treasurer, leveraging her business development experience to fortify our financial planning. Mike Ungar as the visionary CEO, leveraging his 35 years of manufacturing experience to lead the club into new frontiers.

The Industry 4.0 Club has achieved a following of over 5,000 individuals and hosted over 100 virtual and in-person conversations and speakers, significantly expanding its influence and reach. Our regular broadcasts on LinkedIn Live, YouTube, and X have connected thousands of manufacturing professionals, discussing cutting-edge topics like the Future of Manufacturing and Women in Manufacturing.

Mike Yost, the newly appointed Chair, emphasizes, “Our commitment goes beyond conversations; it’s about actionable insights and tangible progress in the world of manufacturing. We are gearing up for groundbreaking initiatives in 2024 that will empower our community and redefine industry standards for openness and collaboration.”

Parallax Futures Internships

I have an interesting startup designed to promote talented people and mentor them.

“Traditional innovation ecosystems have often been limited by a lack of diversity, resulting in homogeneous ideas and solutions, as well as unexpected bias. In today’s globalized world, innovation thrives on diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.”

Parallax Futures is a non-profit fellowship program based in California that aims to infuse the world with Conceptual Technologists to seed emergent technology ecosystems such as artificial intelligence (AI) with talent, leadership and innovation skills inspiring abundant futures. Parallax Futures is led by its founder, Kim Newman, who formed the company in 2023 with the aim of creating Conceptual Technologists to inspire positivity and build better futures using emerging technology.

Parallax Futures is underpinned by 3 key principles:

  • We believe the truest form of collaboration happens when the best and brightest multi-dimensionally diverse talent are brought together.
  • We believe in the power of emergent technologies and their potential to shape the future.
  • We believe it is our responsibility as humans to harness this potential and explore new possibilities.

By bringing together individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, and perspectives, we create an environment where innovation thrives. Marry this with the potential of emerging technologies and the result is our collective diversity fostering creativity and breakthroughs necessary for abundant futures.

Through this limitless collaboration, we will unlock the full potential of new and future technology, paving the way for positive futures where these advancements unleash progress, equality, and alignment between all living things inclusive of new innovations and the world around us.

About Kim Newman

She’s passionate about enabling teams of creatives, technology leaders, and innovators with the skills, mindset, and network to tackle the complex and evolving challenges of tomorrow. Prior to Parallax Futures, Kim enjoyed a wide variety of leadership positions in both academia and the technology sectors. She served as the Director of UCSF’s first ever strategic planning process; was program executive for a $60M higher education analytics engagement; was the go-to-market leader for IBM’s Watson Education; and a top business development executive for intellectual property licensing at IBM’s 12 global research labs. Kim holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and German from Susquehanna University.

The Parallax Futures fellowship is a 5-month program that trains practitioners to become conceptual technologists through the application of conceptual thinking to emergent technologies. By bringing together individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, and perspectives, we create an environment where diverse thought and innovation thrives. Fellowship participants will play an active role in refining and shaping the program through their experiences, feedback, and discovered best practices.

Michael Bryant Retires As OPC Foundation Secretary

I wrote to a friend last night to tell him that Mike Bryant was retiring as secretary of the OPC Foundation as of the end of the year. “Wow, the end of an era,” he replied.

These tribute columns are pretty rare. Many CEOs aren’t around long enough for me to learn how to spell their names. I’ve known Mike Bryant for about 25 years. I point people to his example of how to lead organization boards.

Mike led the Profibus (Profinet) North America marketing organization for many years being instrumental in the market growth of that technology. Later he took his organizational skills to the OPC Foundation developing the backend administrative organization and technology to help evangelize that technology. He found admirable replacements for both posts. Congratulations.

Industry IoT Consortium Publishes the Digital Twin Core Conceptual Models and Services Technical Report

Digital Twins form the core technology to Industry 4.0, Industrial Metaverse, and Digital Transformation. (Did I hit all the hype hot buttons there?) All joking aside, digital twins—making digital designs available across platforms—are important. The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) has published this month the Digital Twin Core Conceptual Models and Services Technical Report.

The report guides technical decision-makers, system engineers, software architects, and modelers about connecting the foundational IT infrastructure with industry-specific business applications powered by digital twins in industrial settings.

The report describes digital twin fundamental concepts and basic requirements, core conceptual models and services, enabling architectures and technologies, and supported business applications. It provides high-level technical considerations in implementing the digital twin core layer, aligned to the Virtual Representation section of the Digital Twin Consortium (DTC) Platform Stack Architectural Framework: An Introductory Guide. The IIC report also includes a survey of relevant standards and can be used as input for standards development for digital twins.

The Industry IoT Consortium is a program of the Object Management Group (OMG). 

Schneider Electric Appoints Heather Cykoski as Senior Vice President of Industrial Automation, U.S.A. & Process Automation, Canada 

I seldom report these appointment to new position releases, and most of you are not going to interact with a senior vice president. Schneider Electric news about automation especially mentioning Foxboro is pretty rare. I thought it worth mentioning that the company lured Heather Cykoski from a competitor to return to where she began (The Foxboro Co.) to assume leadership of automation in North America.

Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced the appointment of Heather Cykoski as Senior Vice President, Industrial Automation, U.S.A. & Process Automation, Canada. 

She is tasked with:

Cykoski is focusing on accelerating growth of Industrial Automation, inclusive of discrete, hybrid, and process manufacturing, in the United States and Canada. She will also work closely with local and global stakeholders – including AVEVA, partners and customers – to address the industry’s green energy trilemma of balancing modernization plans, managing security concerns, and working within limited resources.

“Automation is a cornerstone of the manufacturing sector’s growth and a critical element to Schneider Electric’s continued success,” said Aamir Paul, President, North America Operations. “Heather’s extensive experience with customers and technology, as well as her passion for sustainability, provide a unique insight to guide her in furthering our Industrial Automation group’s impact across North America.” 

“I’m excited to join a group that is deepening customer relationships and ensuring that we continue to meet and exceed their evolving needs across multiple segments,” said Cykoski. “Whether building new operations or modernizing brownfield facilities, we have the opportunity to help customers increase operational reliability, reduce energy usage, and make strides towards sustainability goals – all at the same time.” 

In addition to her professional experience, Cykoski serves on the Board of Directors of Fluitron and the World of Affairs Council, is a member of Advancing Women Executives and the Global Women’s Forum for Economy & Society, and is a strong advocate for women in STEM. She has been recognized for her leadership with numerous honors, including, the Gamechangers Progress Champion Award and WeQual Americas Leadership Excellence Award, as well as being named to the 10 Most Influential Women in Technology in 2020. 

SICK and Endress+Hauser Want To Join Forces in Process Automation

We are experiencing increasing partnerships as companies strive to provide more comprehensive solutions to customers. This partnership news concerns German sensor company SICK and Swiss measurement and automation technology specialist Endress+Hauser. Both companies are aiming for a strategic partnership for SICK’s process automation business segment and have signed a joint memorandum of understanding. 

The goal of the partnership is to expand the Endress+Hauser product portfolio with process analysis and gas flow measurement engineering from SICK. The two companies intend to establish a joint venture for the production and further development of SICK process technology. The sales and service teams of SICK’s process automation business segment will become part of Endress+Hauser’s global sales network. In total, this segment currently employs more than 1,400 people in 28 countries and generates more than 350 million euros in sales annually.

The process technology offerings from both companies complement each other. The process analysis and gas flow measurement engineering from SICK – for emissions monitoring in flue gas cleaning processes or for gas flow measurements, for example – are employed particularly in waste incineration facilities, at power, steel and cement plants, in the oil & gas industry, in chemical and petrochemical production and in the marine sector. In the past, the companies have frequently worked together on an order, project and customer basis. 

Both shareholder families, as well as the respective supervisory bodies of SICK and Endress+Hauser, are backing the planned strategic partnership. Using the memorandum of understanding as a foundation, experts from both companies are now conducting due diligence to determine how the collaboration can be accomplished and brought to fruition. The contract is expected to be signed before the end of the first quarter of 2024, while closing of the transaction is scheduled for the middle of next year.

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