ABB Reveals Future Course at ABB Customer World

ABB Reveals Future Course at ABB Customer World

ABB Customer World began Monday, but keynotes began Tuesday. Uli Spiesshofer, ABB CEO, described a renewed and refocused business model. ABB is all in for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitalization with ABB Ability, says Spiesshofer.

ABB Ability is essentially a platform with APIs connecting field, edge, and cloud with Analytics as a Service built in.

Spiesshofer noted 2014 business plan for ABB was to No. 1 or 2 in the world in each of its businesses. With move of power grid business with Hitachi, by 2018 the goal had been accomplished.

ABB took three action steps in its latest corporate makeover—Focus on digital business, Simplify organization, and Shape four leading businesses that include power, electrification, industrial automation, motion, robotics and discrete automation. The simplified organization took the company from its historic matrix structure to solidify four business units with strong leadership. The move also reduced corporate overhead.

The recent partnership with Dassault adds digital twin capability enhancing digitalization. Later discussions talked about how this capability helps ABB have customer conversations earlier in the project lifecycle.

The featured partnership at ABB Customer World was with HPE with President and CEO Anthony Neri speaking. Neri says HPE is built with partnerships—some 70% of the business. He told the approximately 11,000 attendees that the partnership of the two companies was a great blending of IT and OT for the benefit of customers.

Neri discussed the importance of Edge to Cloud. The Edge defined as “places where we live and work” is also the primary source of data only 6% of which is utilized right now.

He concluded saying HPE wants to work for solutions to the world’s biggest problems. “We have an insatiable desire to understand everything.”

Practitioner’s Guide for Assessing the Maturity of IoT System Security

Practitioner’s Guide for Assessing the Maturity of IoT System Security

I just had an opportunity to talk Industrial cybersecurity with two leaders of The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) (now incorporating OpenFog) who gave an overview of the new Security Maturity Model (SMM) Practitioner’s Guide. This document provides detailed actionable guidance enabling IoT stakeholders to assess and manage the security maturity of IoT systems.

Along with the publication of the SMM Practitioner’s Guide is an update to the IoT SMM: Description and Intended Use White Paper, which provides an introduction to the concepts and approach of the SMM. This white paper has been updated for consistency with the SMM Practitioner’s Guide, including revised diagrams and updated terminology.

As organizations connect their systems to the internet, they become vulnerable to new threats, and they are rightly concerned with security. Addressing these concerns requires investment, but determining investment focus and amount is a difficult business decision. The SMM helps by enabling a structured top-down approach toward setting goals as well as a means toward assessing the current security state, taking into account various specific practices. The SMM allows an organization to trade off investment against risk in a sensible manner.

Building on concepts identified in the groundbreaking IIC Industrial Internet Security Framework published in 2016, the SMM defines levels of security maturity for a company to achieve based on its security goals and objectives as well as its appetite for risk. Organizations may improve their security state by making continued security assessments and improvements over time, up to their required level.

“This is the first model of its kind to assess the maturity of organizations’ IoT systems in a way that includes governance, technology and system management,” said Stephen Mellor, CTO, IIC. “Other models address part of what is addressed by the SMM: they may address a particular industry, IoT but not security, or security but not IoT. The SMM covers all these aspects and points to parts of existing models, where appropriate, to recognize existing work and avoid duplication.”

The practitioner’s guide includes tables describing what must be done to reach a given security comprehensiveness for each security domain, subdomain and practice and can be extended to address specific industry or system scope needs. Following each table is an example using various industry use cases to demonstrate how an organization might use the table to pick a target state or to evaluate a current state.

One example is that of an automotive manufacturer considering the possible threats interfering with the operations of a vehicle key fob. The manufacturer sets its target maturity comprehensiveness level to “1” as it considers some IT threats, such as a Denial of Service attack that may prevent a driver from opening the car door using the key fob. Over time, as new threats emerge, the manufacturer realizes it needs additional threat modeling and enhanced practices so raises its target maturity comprehensiveness level to a higher level “2.”

The practitioner’s guide contains three case studies that show IoT stakeholders how to apply the process based on realistic assessments, showing how the SMM can be applied in practice. The case studies include a smarter data-driven bottling line, an automotive gateway supporting OTA updates and security cameras used in residential settings.

The IIC designed the Security Maturity Model to be extended for industry and system specific requirements. The IIC is collaborating with various industry groups to develop industry profiles that extend the model. Industry associations interested in developing profiles are encouraged to contact the IIC. Please send an email to [email protected]

For more information about the IIC SMM Practitioner’s Guide, IIC members have prepared a webinar “Get a True Sense of Security Maturity,” which will air on March 18th at 12:00 pm for 60 minutes. Use this PIN: 12374028

The full IIC Security Maturity Model Practitioner’s Guide and a list of IIC members who contributed can be found on the IIC website.

Joint Venture Creates Sensia, Oil and Gas Industry Integrated Automation Solutions Provider

Joint Venture Creates Sensia, Oil and Gas Industry Integrated Automation Solutions Provider

Rockwell Automation has been busy since its rejection of a take over offer by Emerson some 15 months ago—something that sent its stock price into a bit of a dive. It made a major investment in PTC in order to have some say and a close relationship to its Internet of Things developments. Then it acquired Emulate3D to enhance its digital twin offering give the inability to form a solid alliance with Dassault Systemes.

Now, bolstering its lagging process automation business, it has formed a joint venture company with Schlumberger. This is very interesting and could stir up a little competition in the oil & gas automation sector.

The companies have entered into an agreement to create a new joint venture, Sensia, the first fully integrated digital oilfield automation solutions provider.

The transaction is expected to close, and the joint venture is expected to begin serving customers, in the summer of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

The Sensia joint venture will be the first fully integrated provider of measurement solutions, domain expertise, and automation to the oil and gas industry. It will offer scalable, cloud and edge-enabled process automation, including information and process safety solutions. From intelligent systems to fully engineered life-cycle management automation solutions, the joint venture will help customers drive efficiency gains through measurement and data driven intelligent automation.

“Oilfield operators strive to maximize the value of their investments by safely reducing the time from drilling to production, optimizing output of conventional and unconventional wells, and extending well life,” said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation. “Currently, no single provider exists that offers the end-to-end solutions and technology platform that address these challenges. Sensia will be uniquely positioned to connect disparate assets and reduce manual processes with secure, scalable solutions that are integrated into one technology platform.

“As oil and gas producers strive to improve productivity, we will bring the value of the Connected Enterprise to life for them. Sensia will provide complete lifecycle and process automation solutions from well to terminal, including industry-leading oilfield technology and expertise,” said Moret.

“Sensia will create a leading technology provider that will further drive optimization of E&P oilfield assets,” said Paal Kibsgaard, Chairman and CEO, Schlumberger. “This joint venture is the next step in our vision to offer our customers smart, connected devices with rich diagnostic capabilities, coupled with measurement, automation and analytics that improve oilfield operations, facilitate business decisions and reduce total cost of ownership throughout the life of a field.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Sensia will operate as an independent entity, with Rockwell Automation owning 53% and Schlumberger owning 47% of the joint venture. Sensia is expected to generate annual revenue of $400 million, and will employ approximately 1,000 team members serving customers in more than 80 countries, with global headquarters in Houston, Texas. The management team will be led by Allan Rentcome, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer. He is currently Director Global Technology – Systems and Solutions Business at Rockwell Automation.

As part of the transaction, Rockwell Automation will make a $250 million payment to Schlumberger at closing, which will be funded by cash on hand. Following this investment, Rockwell Automation will maintain its strong financial flexibility and continue to support its capital allocation priorities, including organic growth and acquisitions, dividends, and share repurchases, and Rockwell Automation reaffirms its $1 billion share repurchase target for fiscal 2019.

Chip Enhances Robotics Platform

Chip Enhances Robotics Platform

More news filtering out of Barcelona and the Mobile World Conference. Someday, maybe I’ll make it there. Lots of news. This one about enhancing robotics.

In this announcement, Qualcomm has launched Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform. The platform is the company’s first comprehensive end-to-end robotics development platform that features heterogeneous computing architecture with support for artificial intelligence (AI) processing, additional camera, sensors, and video modules. I received this update from ABI Research.

Aside from Qualcomm’s in-house software development kits (SDK), the platform also supports Linux, Robot Operating System (ROS), and Amazon AWS Robomaker, making it very accessible to robotics creators and developers. Most importantly, the platform features integrated support for LTE cellular connectivity and future upgradability to 5G. This latter supports the talk of the week at the conference. (Not surprisingly, no talk of 6G 😉

Commercial robots are now supporting new use-cases where they need to be autonomous, agile, intelligent, and self-aware of their environments.

For applications such as last mile delivery, retail assistance, construction, tower inspection, construction and mining, robots need to support new capabilities beyond just function automation and control, for instance acquiring a high level of autonomous perception, navigation and agile manipulation capabilities in real-time. This is where platforms such as Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform come to play. Thanks to its support for a wide range of sensors and the ability to use these sensors to dynamically manage, control, and schedule the robots’ functions, platforms such as Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform provides the robot with the required intelligence and enable them to make informed decisions during their operation in line with the task expected from them.

Some Qualcomm’s competitors have already launched similar platforms; these include Nvidia’s Jetson, and Intel RealSense, although both platforms have mainly focused on machine-vision applications which provide the robot a full autonomy for its operation. In contrast, Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform comes with embedded connectivity, enabling robots to communicate with the outside world. This ability not only allows the robot to augment the self-awareness of its environment but also provides the robot with additional capabilities including better collaboration with humans and machines.

At present, the adoption of LTE in outdoor robotics remains low. However, future potential is huge. Qualcomm may be early in the game by incorporating LTE connectivity into its platform, but this will get early adopters to commit to the hardware, with anticipation for 5G support in the future.

ABI Research estimates the shipment of robots with cellular connectivity, including LTE and 5G, to reach 950,000 units by 2027. This is a US$48 billion market opportunities targeted by robotics developers, chipset vendors, camera and sensor manufacturers, and robotics software and service providers.

5G’s low latency enables robotics vendors to host some of the existing onboard capabilities to the cloud and introduce new capabilities to existing robotics hardware. Existing onboard capabilities, such as object and people detection, path planning and optimization, can be shifted to the cloud to benefit from a larger set of data lake. At the same time, the robotics system will have access to capabilities that cannot be previously hosted on an existing system.

At present, remote control appears to be the focus, with Toyota’s T-HR3 and Naver’s AMBITEX, but the real game-changers will be conversational AI and swarm intelligence. With 5G, enterprise users will be able to connect their fleet of outdoor robots to the cloud and enjoy the performance, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud-based intelligence.

What impact the technology will have on the robotics industry in the future?

Moving forward, cellular connectivity, especially 5G, will become the de facto connectivity method for outdoor commercial robots for many reasons.

  • As a global standard, LTE and 5G enjoy economies of scale. This brings down the total cost of ownership of cellular networks and the price of cellular modem chipsets, allowing robotics developers to integrate 5G connectivity with ease. This seems to be the strategy that Qualcomm is taking with its robotics portfolio, and the launch of Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform is certainly a step in the right direction.
  • Although Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform does not support 5G at this stage, it lays out the foundation for augmenting the self-awareness capabilities in the future. 5G will enable robots to augment their self-awareness capabilities compared to fully autonomous robots, for instance identifying moving or static obstacles even if they are far away and not in the line of sight with the robot.
  • In the future, this will enable better collaboration between robots and humans or other machines in their environments. Humans will be able to control robots from a remote distance in near real time. At the same time, a fleet of robots will be able to exchange information as they are connected to the cloud platform via cellular connectivity, and coordinate among themselves to perform a specific task or duty.
Linux Foundation Launches Unified Open Source Framework for the Edge

Linux Foundation Launches Unified Open Source Framework for the Edge

This is another aspect of consolidation as the Linux Foundation brings several open source projects together under one umbrella. This action should coordinate development and speed access to the market. Among these announcements, I see that EdgeXFoundry the project I’ve addressed a few times before and actively backed by Dell Technologies has been morphed into the organization. An announcement by ZEDATA relative to these activities is attached below.

The Linux Foundation launches LF Edge, an umbrella organization that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating systems.

Backed by more than 60 global leaders including AT&T, Samsung, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Huawei, Qualcomm, Red Hat and ARM, LF Edge will create a software stack that brings the best of telecom, cloud, and enterprise to ensure greater harmonization with lower latency, increased data speed, more security and scalability.

LF Edge is initially comprised of five projects that will support emerging edge applications in the area of non-traditional video and connected things that require lower latency, faster processing and mobility.

LF Edge includes Akraino Edge Stack, EdgeX Foundry, and Open Glossary of Edge Computing, formerly stand-alone projects at The Linux Foundation. The initiative also includes a new project contributed by Samsung Electronics, which will create a hub for real-time data collected through smart home devices, and another project from ZEDEDA, which is contributing a new agnostic standard edge architecture.

“The market opportunity for LF Edge spans industrial, enterprise and consumer use cases in complex environments that cut across multiple edges and domains. We’re thrilled with the level of support backing us at launch, with more than 60 global organizations as founding members and new project contributions,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, The Linux Foundation. “This massive endorsement, combined with existing code and project contributions like Akraino from AT&T and EdgeX Foundry from Dell EMC, means LF Edge is well-positioned to transform edge and IoT application development.”

Through the formation of a software stack that brings the best of telecom, cloud, and enterprise (representing location, latency and mobility differentiation), LF Edge will help ensure greater harmonization to accelerate deployment among the rapidly growing number of edge devices slated to exceed 20 billion by 2020. In order for the broader IoT to succeed, the currently fragmented edge market needs to be able to work together to identify and protect against problematic security vulnerabilities and advance a common, constructive vision for the future of the industry.

More about LF Edge projects:

  • Akraino Edge Stack is creating an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications;
  • EdgeX Foundry is focused on building a common open framework for IoT edge computing.
  • Home Edge Project, seed code contributed by Samsung Electronics, is a new project that concentrates on driving and enabling a robust, reliable, and intelligent home edge computing framework, platform and ecosystem running on a variety of devices in our daily lives.
  • Open Glossary of Edge Computing provides a concise collection of terms related to the field of edge computing.
  • Project EVE (Edge Virtualization Engine), contributed by ZEDEDA, will create an open and agnostic standard edge architecture that accommodates complex and diverse on- and off-prem hardware, network and application selections.

As the IoT increasingly trades legacy embedded devices for cloud native computing devices with greater compute power, edge and IoT developers need vendor-neutral platforms and a shared vocabulary for deploying and securing their devices. Industries including industrial manufacturing, cities and government, energy, transportation, retail, homes, building automation, automotive, logistics and healthcare all stand to be transformed by edge computing, which by its nature spans many different systems, domains, hardware and software.

Bringing Unity to the Fragmented Edge Computing Realm

Already home to several other thriving umbrella organizations – including Cloud Native Computing Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Deep Learning –The Linux Foundation provides a neutral structure for building an open source community. Under the auspices of The Linux Foundation, LF Edge will drive better, more secure development at the edge, outlining an aligned vision for the diverse and complex edge projects being built today.

LF Edge is already supported by a strong roster of industry-leading founding members: (Premier) Arm, AT&T, Baidu, Dell EMC, Dianomic Inc., Ericsson, HP Inc., HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, inwinStack, Juniper Networks, MobiledgeX, Netsia, Nokia Solutions, NTT, OSIsoft, Qualcomm Technologies, Radisys, Red Hat, Samsung Electronics, Seagate Technology, Tencent, WindRiver, Wipro, ZEDEDA; and (General) Advantech Co., Alleantia srl, Beechwoods Software Inc., Canonical Group Limited, CertusNet, CloudPlugs Inc., Concept Reply, DATA AHEAD AG, Enigmedia, EpiSensor, Foghorn Systems Inc., ForgeRock US Inc., Foundries.io, Hangzhou EMQ Technologies Co. Ltd., IOTech Systems Ltd., IoTium, KMC, Linaro, Mainflux, Mocana, NetFoundry, Packet, Pluribus Networks, RackN, Redis Labs, VaporIO, Vitro Technology Corp., Volterra Inc., Wanxiang Group; and (Associate) Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Infrastructure Masons, Inc., and Project Haystack.

Supporting quotes:

“End-to-end cohesion requires big companies to come together to foster the space for industrial collaboration and emerging architectures across mobile, residential, SMB and enterprise organizations when dealing with the edge,” said Roman Shaposhnik, vice president of Product and Strategy, ZEDEDA. “This initiative provides critical leadership — not just a piece of the edge puzzle — with the ultimate output being working code.”

“As devices play more important roles in our everyday lives, the edge computing is one of the key driving forces for a new computing paradigm within the IT industry,” said Seunghwan Cho, executive vice president of Samsung Research, the advanced R&D arm of Samsung Electronics’ device business. “As Samsung is one of the leading open source contributors at LF Edge, we’ll be in the forefront of realizing and accelerating edge computing, which can provide assistance to a wide array of fields, including Home Edge, Industrial, and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC).”

“The Linux Foundation has created the perfect vehicle for collaboration and coordination across the diversity of LF Edge projects,” said Matt Trifiro, former chair of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing and chief marketing officer, Vapor IO. “We see the the Open Glossary playing a vital role in fostering a shared understanding that accelerates innovation. We look forward to working with the all of the LF Edge projects to cross-pollinate terminologies and harmonize the lexicon.”

“We are thrilled by the progress of Akraino Edge Stack so far and excited to see the Linux Foundation deepen its commitment into edge computing,” said Oliver Spatscheck, former Akraino Board chair and assistant vice president at AT&T Labs. “The launch of LF Edge will accelerate edge innovation and drive real business value by bringing a diverse set of edge players under one roof.”

“LF Edge will create a comprehensive and coordinated set of foundational open source tools to enable developers to accelerate time to value in creating IoT and Edge computing solutions,” said Jason Shepherd, former governing board chair of EdgeX Foundry, and IoT and Edge Computing chief technology officer at Dell Technologies. “We look forward to continuing to foster IoT interoperability within the EdgeX community in addition to collaborating across LF Edge projects to develop de facto-standard APIs for intelligent interactions between the application and infrastructure planes within the broader edge ecosystem.”

In further news, ZEDEDA Announces Project EVE, Partners with The Linux Foundation to Develop an Open On-Prem Enterprise Edge Computing Architecture

Open source Project EVE (Edge Virtualization Engine) chartered to create open, agnostic edge architecture targeting on-premise, cyber-physical enterprise edge

Joins LF Edge, The Linux Foundation’s new umbrella organization to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system.

Project EVE establishes a lightweight virtualization engine and open APIs for IoT edge gateways and edge servers with built-in security for enterprise applications including industrial automation, clean energy, retail and beyond

Embraces zero-trust as the de-facto method for securing on-prem edge devices

“Open source is the ideal approach for enabling app developers to navigate the crowded, diverse, multi-vendor edge that exists in the enterprise today,” said Roman Shaposhnik, Co-Founder and VP Product & Strategy, ZEDEDA. “By accelerating the development of cloud-native edge applications, Project EVE is paving the way for the next generation of edge applications in enterprises — from robotics to AI to predictive analytics and automation.”

Industrial Internet Consortium and OpenFog Consortium Unite

Industrial Internet Consortium and OpenFog Consortium Unite

Consolidation is the name of the game for the past few years in the automation and controls market. We’ve seen companies on the acquisition trail. Not limited to for-profit companies, industry alliances and organizations have been consolidating as well. A few years ago it was Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation joining to form FieldComm Group. Now we have consolidation in the Industrial Internet of Things space. This no doubt signals growing maturity of the market and technologies.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OpenFog Consortium (OpenFog) announced January 31 that they have finalized the details to combine the two “largest and most influential” international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog, and edge computing. Effective immediately, the organizations will work together under the IIC umbrella to drive the momentum of the industrial internet, including the development and promotion of industry guidance and best practices for fog and edge computing.

This action brings OpenFog members into the IIC at a time when their complementary areas of technology are emerging in the mainstream. The first formal meeting of the unified organization will be held in Raleigh, N.C., from February 11-14.

The IIC, now incorporating OpenFog, also announced that the IIC Steering Committee, which guides the strategic direction of the organization, has elected two OpenFog principals:

· Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft. Mr. Zahavi is focused on IoT standards and consortia and also leads Microsoft’s Worldwide IoT Architecture Community. Mr. Zahavi has extensive experience in all aspects of technology management and solution delivery, 18 of those related to IoT solutions. Matt Vasey, Microsoft director, AI and IoT business development, will serve as the alternate to Mr. Zahavi.

· Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University. Dr. Chiang was previously the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor at Princeton University and founded the Princeton EDGE Lab in 2009. The Lab bridges the theory-practice gap in edge computing/networking research by spanning from proofs to prototypes. Dr. Chiang received the 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award for his contributions to networking R&D.

“This agreement brings together the two most important organizations shaping the Industrial Internet of Things. The combined organization offers greater influence to members, more clarity to the market, and a lower-risk path to the future for end users. We will be the center of gravity for the future of Industrial IoT systems across industry verticals,” said Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations (RTI) and Vice Chair of the IIC Steering Committee. “We welcome the experience and vision that Ron Zahavi and Mung Chiang bring to our Steering Committee.”

“We are excited to take the first steps toward integrating the OpenFog Working Groups, Testbeds and Use Cases with those of the IIC,” said Matt Vasey, OpenFog chairman and president, and director, AI and IoT business development, Microsoft. “Our membership is highly motivated to contribute at every level to continue the advancement of fog technology in the Industrial Internet.”

Following are additional quotes from IIC Steering Committee Members

“We are looking forward to our continued work at the IIC strengthened with the addition of OpenFog. The combined organization will cover the edge to cloud continuum and leverage the international diversity of its members, regional committees and testbeds.” Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft, IIC Steering Committee Member

“The OpenFog Consortium and the Industrial Internet Consortium coming together marks a major step in the evolution of IoT and embedded AI. The complementary strengths of the two organizations now jointly serve global industry in the most exciting era of these technologies.” Dr. Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University, IIC Steering Committee Member

“Building out the IIoT ecosystem is essential to ensuring quick market adoption. A significant amount of data is processed at the edge in a majority of IoT solutions being deployed. Joining our memberships as well as our technical edge and fog expertise is a force multiplier for the guidance that we are creating for the IoT industry.” Wael William Diab, Senior Director, Huawei Technologies, IIC Steering Committee Secretary

“ABB’s digital approach recognizes the importance of all elements of an IIoT stack, from the edge to the cloud, from the sensor, the automation system, and the IoT analytics, as well as the importance of open standards to ensure interoperability. As an IIC member since early days and an IIC Steering Committee member, ABB sees a great value in joining forces between the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Open Fog consortium.” Dr. Christopher Ganz, ABB Group VP Service R&D, IIC Steering Committee Member

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