Industrial Internet Consortium and CESMII Announce Strategic Partnership

CESMII—The Smart Manufacturing Institute has assembled a team of industry veterans energetically out building partnerships and spreading the news about its work. It’s been a bit of time since I’ve caught up with CEO John Dyck, but its momentum continues. In my mind, this initiative can be considered America’s answer to the German Industrie 4.0 initiative that has sparked so much global governmental awareness of advancing manufacturing.

This partnership brings together many industrial thought leaders if coordinated well, will advance the cause of smart manufacturing.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute have agreed to a liaison to accelerate the development, adoption, and monetization of Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies, infrastructure, and solutions to deliver transformative business value for manufacturers through digital transformation.

The adoption, at scale, of Smart Manufacturing (SM) will truly benefit from the strategic harmonization of reference architectures, testbeds, knowledge, and several key SM technologies, like the SM Innovation Platform, SM Profiles, and the SM Marketplace that these organizations bring to the table. This will help accelerate the democratization of Smart Manufacturing across all industries, including small and medium enterprises.

Joint IIC and CESMII activities include:

  • Realizing solution interoperability by harmonizing technology components and other elements through coordination, collaboration, and standardization
  • Aligning work in horizontal domains for adoption within vertical domains and use cases
  • Delivering thought leadership/knowledge exchange through joint seminars and Ecosystem and Workforce Development activities

“Digital transformation is at the heart of the next generation of Smart Manufacturing, bringing a host of benefits,” said Wael William Diab, Chair of the IIC Liaison Working Group and Secretary of the IIC Steering Committee. “We are looking forward to collaborating with CESMII and sharing the goal of innovation to accelerate the digitalization of industry.”

Commenting on the agreement, CESMII CEO John Dyck said, “Resilient manufacturing and supply chains demand a much greater degree of data and application interoperability. CESMII is committed to democratizing Smart Manufacturing technologies and knowledge to scale innovation. This IIC partnership will help us achieve those goals, establishing standard means for data modeling, information sharing and solutions interoperability.”

The agreement with CESMII is one of many agreements made by the IIC Liaison Working Group. For a list of current liaisons, click here.

CESMII is the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing, driving cultural and technological transformation and secure industrial technologies as national imperatives. By enabling frictionless movement of information – raw and contextualized data – between real-time Operations and the people and systems that create value in and across Manufacturing organizations, CESMII is ensuring the power of information and innovation is at the fingertips of everyone who touches manufacturing.

Founded in 2016, in partnership with the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. The Institute is accelerating Smart Manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data (ingestion – contextualization – modeling – analytics), platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance, through measurable improvements in areas such as: quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity. CESMII’s program and administrative home is with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Industrial Internet Consortium is the world’s leading organization delivering transformative business value to organizations, industry, and society by accelerating adoption of a trustworthy internet of things. The Industrial Internet Consortium is a program of the Object Management Group (OMG). For more information visit www.iiconsortium.org.

What Will The New Administration Mean for US Manufacturing?

Short answer: I haven’t a clue.

And if anyone tells you that they do, rest assured they are just guessing.

I just took a break to watch the pomp and circumstance of swearing in a new President of the United States. A continuous tradition of 220 years of peacefully transferring power from one man to the next. Maybe someday while I still live we can make the pronoun general instead of gender specific. But, we now have a new guy.

I have written a column for an Italian magazine, Automazione Oggi, for many years. They asked me four years ago to devote a column to what Donald Trump might mean for manufacturing. My current column there contains a few thoughts about Joe Biden. The problem with these pieces is really two-fold. First, I don’t prognosticate. I’m not a soothsayer or fortune teller. As Yogi Berra supposedly said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Second, almost no politician knows anything about manufacturing other than a few statistics they are fed. Same with technology. I think Obama tried to be tech savvy, but he wasn’t. Trump was a real estate guy and TV star.

However, the US government has promoted some good things about technology and manufacturing. Just not as focused as, say, Germany’s Industrie 4.0 initiative. That has huge backing within the country. I have on my shelf The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution that Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop. The US Defense Department DARPA unleashed most of the technologies that we still use in technology.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Energy initiated a number of manufacturing projects one of which became CESMII-The Smart Manufacturing Institute headed by my old friend John Dyck and staffed by a number of people I’ve worked with over the years.

Biden has many problems on his plate. I don’t think manufacturing came up very often in the campaigns. Some effort has been made to bring more actual manufacturing to the US. I don’t expect an emphasis, but I do expect some continuing attention to that issue. CESMII is making progress. If you are looking for a US response, I’d both pay attention to what it’s doing and also see where you can help.

Heck, I’m impressed when I find even a half-way knowledgeable discussion of manufacturing in the national media. I guess they all worked as interns on Wall Street rather than (like me) worked in manufacturing to help fund college.

LF Edge Organization Adds Members, Projects, SIG

  • LF Edge welcomes Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII), HCL Technologies, OpenNebula, Robin.io, and  Shanghai Open Source Information Technology Association to robust roster of community members working to advance open source at the edge
  • FII sponsors Smart Agriculture SIG within the Open Horizon Project 
  • Home Edge’s Coconut release leverages EdgeX Foundry to enable more data storage options across different devices

Momentum within the open-source community continues to build. New members are joining and new work projects add utility.  LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, has announced addition of four new general members (FII, HCL, OpenNebula, and Robin.io) and one new Associate member (Shanghai Open Source Information Technology Association). Additionally, Home Edge has released its third platform update with new Data Storage and Mult-NAT Edge Device Communications (MNDEC) features. 

“We are pleased to see continued growth among the LF Edge ecosystem,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IOT, the Linux Foundation. “Open edge technology crosses verticals and is poised to become larger than the cloud native ecosystem. We are honored to be at the forefront of this budding industry and welcome all of our new members.”

Approaching its two-year mark as an umbrella project, LF Edge is currently comprised of nine projects – including AkrainoBaetylFledge,  EdgeX FoundryHome EdgeOpen HorizonProject EVESecure Device Onboard (SDO) and State of the Edge – that support emerging edge applications across areas such as non-traditional video and connected things that require lower latency, and faster processing and mobility. LF Edge helps unify a fragmented edge market around a common, open vision for the future of the industry.

One of the project’s newest general members, FII, plans to sponsor a Smart Agriculture Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Open Horizon project and soon, an LF Edge Smart Agriculture End User Solution Group (EUSG).  Open Horizon SIGs are designed to identify use cases within an industry or vertical, develop end-to-end reference solutions, and promote the solutions, use cases, and the group itself.  LF Edge EUSGs gather user requirements through cross-project discussion with end users and generate demos, white papers, and messaging in order to prioritize project features and inform project roadmaps.

Home Edge’s  third release, Coconut,  is now available. Coconut includes new features such as Multi-NAT communications (which enables discovery of devices in different NATs) and Data Storage.  In collaboration with EdgeX Foundry, a centralized device can be designated as a primary device to store the data from different devices. Home Edge expects its next release will be available in 2021 and will include real time data analytics features. More information on Home Edge Coconut is available here.

LF Edge sessions from the 2020 Open Networking and Edge Summit (ONES) virtual experience are available on-demand

LF Edge’s “On the Edge with LF Edge” webinar series, launched this year, has produced seven episodes to date, with overview discussions of each of the projects.

More details on LF Edge, including how to join as a member, details on specific projects and other resources, are available.

“HCL Technologies is excited to join the Linux Foundation Edge community. We look forward to collaborating with industry leaders to help create and promote Edge Computing frameworks for wider adoption, leveraging our expertise and investments in IoT, 5G and Cloud technologies”, said GH Rao, resident, Engineering R&D Services, HCL Technologies.

“We are delighted to join the LF Edge community as part of our ONEedge initiative”, said Constantino Vazquez, Chief Operations Officer, OpenNebula. “OpenNebula, which has traditionally been used for Private Clouds, has now become a True Hybrid Cloud platform with a number of powerful features for making deployments at the edge much easier for organizations that want to rely on open-source technologies and retain the freedom of being able to use on-demand the providers, locations and resources that they really need.”

“Robin.io is excited to join the Linux Foundation Edge,” said Partha Seetala, CEO and founder of Robin.io. “Open edge technologies is a large and exciting opportunity  for Robin technology and cloud-native ecosystem; we are honored to be at the forefront of the enabling and promoting of Kubernetes-based Edge Computing frameworks for wider adoption.”

“The Shanghai Open Source Information Technology Association has joined LF Edge to implement open source innovation in China, promote the establishment of an open source ideological and cultural system that is compatible with the innovative application of the Digital Economy, and promote the design of laws, regulations and institutional frameworks that are conductive to the ecological development of open source.”

Industrial DataOps Solution for Smart Manufacturing

HighByte expands edge-to-cloud connectivity, provides scalable data infrastructure for customers with latest release of HighByte Intelligence Hub 

DataOps is the current cool thing in the IT world. My last trip to an IT conference included an extended stay at the stand where it was discussing its DataOps solution. IT usage sometimes lacks specific connectors for specifically industrial use cases. The field was open for a company to come along in the “Industrial DataOps” market. And here is HighByte—a company composed of former Kepware industry veterans. I waited until I could view the demo before commenting. I like what I see. What’s the biggest challenge for digital transformation after we’ve learned how to control and visualize industrial processes along with building out IT infrastructure? That would be moving data along to the right place. Check out DataOps. You can view the demo of the latest version of HighByte’s product here.

HighByte has announced the release of HighByte Intelligence Hub version 1.3. The latest release provides simple, configurable connections to IT systems through direct SQL and REST integrations and native connectivity to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, Microsoft Azure Event Hubs, and AWS IoT SiteWise. These new connections make it faster and easier for manufacturers to merge industrial data with enterprise systems and deliver ready-to-use information to the Cloud.

“While our customers span a variety of industries from biotechnology to packaging to industrial products, they all recognize that data infrastructure is foundational to their digital transformation initiatives,” said HighByte CEO Tony Paine. “The new connections in HighByte Intelligence Hub enable operations technology (OT) to curate, merge, and model production data with enterprise systems data and deliver it to the Cloud in real time. We’re providing a solution capable of bridging the data divide between OT and IT applications.” 

HighByte Intelligence Hub is an Industrial DataOps application designed to run at the Edge. The latest release adds additional edge-focused capabilities by supporting deployment in Docker and other containers and increasing data reliability through Store and Forward. The release also makes it easier for users to manage high volumes of data and work with complex data. The new drag and drop reference browser simplifies the user experience and accelerates deployment.  

AVEVA achieves Microsoft Gold Application Development Competency

Microsoft has positioned itself as a premier platform provider for manufacturing applications for a long time. It lists as partners just about every industrial/manufacturing application developer. Recently, AVEVA announced it has reached a new level of competency within the Microsoft ecosystem.

AVEVA has attained a Gold Application Development competency and Silver Cloud Platform, Data Analytics, and Data Center competencies, demonstrating a ‘best-in-class’ ability and commitment to meet Microsoft customers’ evolving needs in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world and distinguishing itself within a small percentage of the Microsoft partner ecosystem. A portfolio of competencies showcases that AVEVA is committed to focusing on on-demand, business solution areas, along with ensuring it can meet the evolving needs of our mutual customers.

To earn a Microsoft competency, partners must successfully complete exams (resulting in Microsoft Certified Professionals) to prove their level of technology expertise and, for Gold competencies, designate these certified professionals uniquely to one Microsoft competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity. Partners must also submit customer references that demonstrate successful projects and pass technology and/or sales assessments. For gold competencies, partners must also implement a yearly customer satisfaction study and, for many competencies, meet a revenue commitment.

“AVEVA is enabling industrial organizations to embrace innovative digital platforms that will allow them to deploy faster, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and work more collaboratively,” commented Steen Lomholt-Thomsen, Chief Revenue Officer at AVEVA. “These Microsoft competencies not only showcase our technology expertise, but also demonstrate our commitment to supporting customers and embracing innovation. By deploying our solutions, customers can be empowered to deliver better business outcomes, which will in turn help to accelerate their own success.”

“By accomplishing a portfolio of competencies, partners demonstrate true commitment to meeting customer technology needs today and into the future,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “These partners’ proficiency and expertise of Microsoft technology is instrumental in helping our mutual customers continue to drive innovative solutions.”

All 17 Microsoft technology competencies differentiate a partner’s specific technology capabilities, helping customers find qualified solution providers with expertise in discrete areas quickly and easily.

Earning the Application Development competency helps partners differentiate themselves as a trusted expert to their customers through development and deployment of commercial or custom applications built using core Microsoft technologies like Windows Server and Windows 8 operating systems, the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 development system, Microsoft BizTalk Server and emerging cloud-based and web business models. By gaining access to a comprehensive set of benefits through the Application Development competency, partners can acquire new customers and help them be more productive and profitable through deployment of business applications, advanced web portals or rich client user interfaces that run on premises or in the cloud.

The Cloud Platform competency is designed for partners to capitalize on the growing demand for infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) solutions built on Microsoft Azure. Differentiate your company with the Cloud Platform competency, and you will be eligible for Signature Cloud Support, Azure deployment planning services, Azure sponsored credit, direct partner support, eligibility to deploy certain on-premises, internal use software on Microsoft Azure, and access to the cloud platform roadmap.

The Data Analytics competency recognizes partners who demonstrate expertise in specific aspects of Microsoft BI solutions to deliver, deploy, and support BI projects. Differentiate your company with this competency and receive access to internal use software licenses, technical and presales support, training for your IT professionals, developers, incentives, and marketing through the Partner Marketing Center and Pinpoint. Strengthen relationships with your customers by becoming a provider of SQL Server deployment planning services or SharePoint deployment planning services.

The Datacenter competency recognizes partners who are transforming data centers into more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solutions. Partners can deepen customer relationships by becoming a provider of Private Cloud, Management, and Virtualization Deployment Planning Services. Differentiate your company with this competency and receive access to internal use software licenses, technical and presales support, training for your IT professionals, incentives, and access to the Microsoft Partner server and cloud site with exclusive content and resources to help you win new deals to deliver projects successfully.

The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners strengthen their capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers and to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.

COVID-19 Reshapes Manufacturing Landscape, New Google Cloud Findings Show

This information came to me about a month ago. I’m still catching up with filtering through all the releases from the last couple of months last year. Covid may have kept many people indoors, but it didn’t slow down work in engineering, marketing, or PR. This is a survey conducted by Google Cloud and the Harris Poll regarding the effects of Covid on manufacturing. This is a blog post from Google’s Dominik Wee, Managing Director Manufacturing and Industrial.

After facing severe headwinds from COVID-19, ranging from decreased orders to negative impacts on operations, manufacturers around the world have started to revamp their operating models and supply chain strategies—and now feel more prepared to successfully navigate future pandemics, according to our new research released today.

The key for manufacturers’ ability to transform—despite the ongoing pandemic—is their embrace of digital enablers and disruptive technologies. In fact, more than two in five manufacturers have increased their use of data and analytics, digital productivity tools, and public cloud platforms, irrespective of their location in the world.

“Manufacturers have always prepared for unpredictable events that could adversely impact operations,” said Bob Parker, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Applications, Data Intelligence, Services, and Industry Research for IDC. “But what makes COVID-19 so unique is its sustained nature that touches the supply chain, irrespective of geographical location, in a way we haven’t seen in our lifetime. As a result, we’re seeing an urgency from manufacturers to quickly put the right technological levers in place, sooner rather than later. While there may have only been initial conversations about digital transformation in the past, we’re now seeing a rapid acceleration of critical tools and technologies being adopted within the industry.”

Below are five noteworthy takeaways we’ve identified within our findings:

1. Not surprisingly, as with other industries, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on manufacturers overall. Nearly all of manufacturers (95%) believe their manufacturing or supply chain operations have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The top three adverse impacts include lost productivity (46%), lower sales (44%), and increased lead times, possibly due to supply chain disruptions (39%). About a third of manufacturers have also experienced downward pressure on overall customer demand (35%), labor shortages (34%), and/or the inability to maintain a safe working environment (33%).

2. To overcome COVID-19-related challenges, manufacturers were forced to pivot their operating models and supply chain strategies. More than three-fourths of surveyed manufacturers (77%) said COVID-19 caused their companies to re-evaluate their operating model strategies. The most common reasons include an inability to collaborate effectively with value chain partners (41%), the inability to collaborate effectively with employees (40%), and a lack of the right technology to operate without a large number of on-site workers (39%).

3. Technology played the most critical role in maneuvering through the pandemic, particularly “disruptive” AI, robotics, and more. More than three-fourths of surveyed manufacturers (76%) revealed that the pandemic has caused their companies to increase the use of digital enablers and disruptive technologies such as: cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, robotics, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, Internet of Things, and augmented or virtual reality. More specifically, the top three digital enablers/disruptive technologies that respondents are further utilizing are data and analytics (46%), digital productivity tools (43%), and public cloud platforms (42%).

4. Interestingly, despite many manufacturers not being prepared for COVID-19, most now feel prepared to successfully navigate future pandemics. As mentioned earlier, nearly (95%) believe their manufacturing or supply chain operations have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. That said, 82% of those surveyed now feel prepared to deal with another COVID-19-like event in the future. This sentiment could be related to how manufacturers successfully ventured into new verticals, such as providing ventilators and PPE during shortages and resuming investments in new digital factory plans.

5. Finally, the pandemic—and its aftermath on the manufacturing industry—has differed greatly by country.

1. In Japan, approximately half of manufacturers who cited a negative impact (51%) say that the pandemic has led to lower sales, compared to 44% globally.

2. In Korea, more than two in five manufacturers who cited a negative impact (43%) said that the pandemic hindered their ability to maintain a safe working environment, compared to 33% globally.

3. In France, nearly half of manufacturers (48%) felt equipped with the right technological tools to maintain business continuity in the first 1-3 months of the pandemic, compared to 37% globally.

4. In the UK, more than two in five manufacturers (43%) said that dependency on legacy technology has created more risk for their respective business operations over the next year, compared to 30% globally.

5. In Italy, more than a third of manufacturers (35%) felt that their IT systems lacked necessary redundancies, which undermined their overall operational resiliency, compared to slightly less than a quarter of overall surveyed manufacturers (23%).

6. In Germany, for 86% of manufacturers, COVID-19 has caused an increased use of digital enablers and disruptive technologies, compared to 76% globally.

7. In the United States, 64%of manufacturers have increased their use of data and analytics, compared to 46% globally.

Research Methodology

The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud, from October 15 – November 4, 2020, among 1,154 senior manufacturing executives in France (n=150), Germany (n=200), Italy (n=154), Japan (n=150), South Korea (n=150), the UK (n=150), and the U.S. (n=200) who are employed full-time at a company with more than 500 employees, and who work in the manufacturing industry with a title of director level or higher. The data in each country were weighted by number of employees to bring them into line with actual company size proportions in the population. A global post-weight was applied to ensure equal weight of each country in the global total.