Industrial Internet of Things to the Production Floor

Industrial Internet of Things to the Production Floor

Major IT companies have been scrambling to compete in the Industrial Internet of Things market. The control, instrumentation, and automation companies all talk about how this is all stuff they’ve been doing for years, or even decades, this is really quite new.

The first IT company people I talked with talked about selling boxes—gateways or edge computing. I’m thinking that there’s not enough money in that market. And, I was right. As the companies flesh out their strategies, the IoT group leadership keeps moving higher up the corporate ladder. And the vision broadens to include much of the portfolio of the companies enabling them to progressively enhance their competitive positions within their major customers.

Hitachi Vantara has recently been talking with me about their approach to the problem. I learned about Vantara and its focus initially through people I knew who landed new positions there. Life is always about serendipity. In the past, I’ve reported on the Lumada platform and the way the company is building modularly atop it. There was Maintenance Insights and then Video Insights. Now unveiled is Manufacturing Insights. I will get a deeper dive and talk to customers the second week of October when I attend its customer conference.

Note that these applications have more in common with MES than what you might think of as simply connecting devices with IIoT. In other words, the value proposition and integration into the customer grows.

Let’s discuss the latest addition to the Hitachi Lumada platform, Manufacturing Insights, which the company describes as a suite of industrial internet-of-things (IoT) solutions that empower the manufacturing industry to achieve transformative outcomes from data-driven insights. Using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and DataOps, Lumada Manufacturing Insights optimizes machine, production, and quality outcomes.

“Data and analytics have the power to modernize and transform manufacturing operations. But for too many manufacturers today, legacy infrastructure and disconnected software and processes slow innovation and impact competitive advantage,” said Brad Surak, chief product and strategy officer at Hitachi Vantara. “With Lumada Manufacturing Insights, customers can lay a foundation for digital innovation that works with the systems and software they have already to operationalize immediate gains in uptime, efficiency and quality and transform for the future.”

Accelerate Manufacturing Transformations

Lumada Manufacturing Insights applies data science rigor to drive continuous improvement opportunities based on predictive and prescriptive analytics. The solution integrates with existing applications and delivers actionable insights without the need for a rip-and-replace change of costly manufacturing equipment or applications. Lumada Manufacturing Insights supports a variety of deployment options and can run on-premises or in the cloud.

“With Hitachi Vantara, our customers benefit from our deep operational technology expertise and distinctive approach to co-creating with them to accelerate their digital journey,” said Bobby Soni, chief solutions and services officer at Hitachi Vantara. “With our proven methodologies and advanced tools, we can tailor solutions for our customers that enhance productivity, increase the speed of delivery, and ultimately deliver greater business outcomes.”

Providing machine, production and quality analytics, Lumada Manufacturing Insights drives transformational business outcomes by enabling customers to:

• Build on the intelligent manufacturing maturity model and empower the digital innovation foundation for continuous process improvement.

• Integrate data silos and stranded assets and augment data from video, lidar, and other advanced sensors to drive innovative new use cases for competitive advantage.

• Drive 4M (machine, man, material and methods) correlations for root-cause analysis at scale.

• Evaluate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and enhancement recommendations based on advanced AI and ML techniques.

• Evaluate scheduling efficiency and optimize for varying workloads, rates of production and workorder backlogs.

• Monitor and guide product quality with predictive and prescriptive insights.

• Improve precision of demand forecast and adherence to production plans and output.

Customer Comments

I hope to get more depth while I’m at the Next 2019 user conference Oct. 9-10. Here are some supplied quotes.

“Significant short-lead products have to be designed, prototyped and delivered to meet the demands of our customers and partners as we accelerate the product supply for 5G. Ericsson and Hitachi Vantara have collaborated to test Lumada Manufacturing Insights to gear up for an anticipated increase in new product introductions, establishing a digital innovation foundation for sustained gains,” said Shannon Lucas, head of customer unit emerging business for Ericsson North America. “We are leveraging the same solution that we will take to our joint customers in partnership with Hitachi Vantara, and will further expand IIoT use cases based on our 5G technologies.”

“As a progressive manufacturer, our focus was to accelerate transformative change, eliminate data silos and build a foundation for digital innovation that would accelerate our journey toward Manufacturing 4.0. “We leveraged the IIoT workshop to align our use cases with our business transformation priorities and have a roadmap for success with Lumada Manufacturing Insights,” said Vijay Kamineni, business transformation leader at Logan Aluminum. “The collaboration with Hitachi Vantara enables us to define business goals for each stage of our transformation, with clear outcomes that we believe will accelerate gains in productivity, quality, safety and sustainable manufacturing. “Hitachi Vantara brings a unique IT/OT advantage that will help us in the long run.”

“Humans and machines working together to deliver the vision of ‘digital drilling’ is driven by our ambition to achieve transformative outcomes, drilling our best wells every time and consistently achieving Target Zero for accidents. With Hitachi Vantara, we are realizing time to value with industrial analytics and the powerful Lumada platform to process more than 20,000 data streams per second per rig, providing actionable information to the right people at the right time and helping make optimal decisions. This drives our operational excellence and consequently our competitive advantage,” said Shuja Goraya, CTO at Precision Drilling Corporation. “We’re leveraging insights from video and lidar, integrating it with Lumada Manufacturing Insights to deliver business outcomes. It’s driving process optimization through effectively identifying improvement opportunities and shortening well delivery times for our customers. It’s all about effective use of data to make better decisions and then being able to consistently execute on these learnings. We are excited about our strategic partnership with Hitachi Vantara.”

Availability

Lumada Manufacturing Insights will be available worldwide Sept. 30, 2019.

Industrial Internet of Things to the Production Floor

Industrial Manufacturers Are Behind the Industrial IoT Innovation Curve

Sean Riley, Global Director of Manufacturing and Transportation at Software AG, discussed Industrial IoT (IIoT) implementation in industry with me a couple of weeks ago. Now, a survey sponsored by Software AG has been released revealing that manufacturers are not scaling IIoT across the enterprise due to failure to invest in predictive analytics and innovative integration strategies.

The shocking thing to me about the survey is that it mirrors survey results over the past three or four years. Executives and managers recognize a problem further even acknowledging that this is something that could cost them competitively against the market even putting them out of business. Yet, they cannot figure out how to do it right. They whine about how tough it is.

Sounds to me like a new crop of leadership is needed.

There are good practices taught some 40 years ago when I took a deep dive while implementing my first IT project. Things like understanding the system first. Bringing all the departments in on the plans, work to be done, and benefits we all would get. Some recommendations from Software AG sound that familiar—breaking silos, bringing IT and OT organizations closer together (a management problem, not a technical one), transparency in the project roll out.

The survey of over 125 North American manufacturers primarily in the heavy industry and automotive sectors revealed inability to scale IIoT investments across their enterprises results in losing millions of dollars in potential profits.

The survey also revealed that the vast majority of manufacturers queried report that their IIoT investments are limited – locked in one small department or sector of their company – preventing these organizations from sharing the power of IIoT across their enterprises.

Other key findings include:

  • 80% of all survey respondents agree that processes around IIoT platforms need to be optimized or they will face a competitive disadvantage but very few are doing this
  • IT-OT integration is considered one of the most difficult tasks – with 57% of automotive manufacturers stating that this has prevented them from realizing full ROI from their IIoT investments
  • 84% of automotive and heavy industry manufacturers agree that the most important area of IIoT is “monetization of product-as-a-service-revenue.” However, optimizing production is still important with 58% of heavy industry and 50% of automotive manufacturers agreeing with that statement
  • Curiously, defining threshold-based rules is considered almost as difficult as leveraging predictive analytics to scale IIoT. More than 60% of respondents stated that defining threshold-based rules was as difficult as integrating IT systems and IoT sensors into existing control systems.

“Manufacturers place a high value on IIoT, but they are encountering serious difficulties in unlocking the complete intended value to unleash their innovation across their organizations,” said Riley. “Fortunately, there is a way for them to quickly and easily resolve this problem. By investing in the right IT-OT integration strategy that leverages sensors, predictive analytics, machine learning, control applications, and product quality control, manufacturers can fix this problem in less than 6-12 months while realizing other key benefits, namely extended equipment lifetime, reduced equipment maintenance costs and accessing more accurate data for production-quality improvements.”

Riley outlined five best practices for manufacturers to follow when looking to scale their IIoT investments across their enterprises and realize immediate profits and competitive advantage. Those best practices are:

1. Ensure clear collaboration between IT and the business by leveraging a step by step approach that starts focused and has clear near term and long- term objectives to scale

2. Create a transparent roll out process and don’t let other plants or departments move ahead outside of it

3. Give IT the ability to connect at speed with a digital production platform that is proven to be successful

4. Leverage a GUI driven, consistent platform to enable an ecosystem of IT associates, business users and partners around the platform

5. Enable the plant or field service workers to work autonomously without continual support from IT through GUI driven analytics, centralized management and easy, batch device connectivity and management

Riley also stated that it is critically important for manufacturers to select the best possible IIoT integration platform supported by key enabling technologies like streaming analytics, machine learning, predictive analytics and a larger ecosystem. Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform recently received the highest use case scores from Gartner Group in the brand new “Critical Capabilities for Industrial IoT Platforms” report which included Monitoring Use Case, Predictive Analytics for Equipment Use and Connected Industrial Assets Use Case for its IoT.

The Software AG IIoT Implementation survey was completed in Q2 2019 by Software AG and an independent third-party research house. The survey queried nearly 200 respondents at large manufacturing companies across automotive, heavy industry, high-technology, electronics, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The respondents were primarily senior executives leading Manufacturing or Information Technology with the breakdown of 50% Managers, 38% Directors and 13% Vice Presidents or higher.

Software AG product

The press release contained some information about the company’s IoT platform—Cumulocity.

Being device and protocol agnostic allows it to connect, manage, and control any “thing” over any network. Cumulocity IoT is open and independent, letting customers connect to millions of devices without being locked into one single vendor.

Manufacturing Simulation Software Competitive Assessment

Manufacturing Simulation Software Competitive Assessment

Industrial Internet of Things plays the starring role in the new digital transformation theater, but digital twin is the supporting actress without whom there would be no drama. Simulation comprises an important element of this whole digital enterprise scene. ABI Research has been releasing some interesting research reports, and this one just hit my inbox that is quite interesting.

The Manufacturing Simulation Software Competitive Assessment analyzed and ranked seven major vendors in the industry – Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, Arena (Rockwell Automation), AnyLogic, FlexSim, Simio, and Simul8 – using ABI Research’s unbiased innovation/implementation criteria framework. For this competitive assessment, innovation scores examined the technical capabilities of the vendor’s software and implementation scores focused on the vendor’s commercial ability to deliver their solution around the world across a variety of manufacturing verticals.

Ranked as the top manufacturing simulation software vendor, Siemens scored highest in implementation and topped four of the ten scoring criteria. Dassault Systèmes came in a close second, having scored the highest in innovation and topped three of the ten criteria.

A key judgment criterion within the innovation category was digital twin capability, the software’s ability to align end-to-end physical processes with a dynamic digital representation that provides two-way feedback and ongoing optimization. Vendors were also judged according to data ingestion, the software’s ability to utilize high volumes of real-time data from a variety of sources, including industrial equipment and sensors on the factory floor. Further assessment included UX, data modeling and analytics, and virtual commissioning capabilities.

ABI Research chose these vendors for the assessment due to their simulation capabilities in discrete manufacturing specifically, where software is used to simulate physical processes digitally to optimize engineering, planning, and operations on the factory floor.

Siemens scored strongest overall due to its ability to integrate simulation with the widest range of adjacent industrial software and hardware. This integration provides the most robust end-to-end product offering to manufacturers. Another major strength of Siemens is virtual commissioning, delivered through its Simcenter and PLC Sim Advance tools. These tools allow simulation capabilities to extend to the machine control level, where individual machines can be virtualized and modeled to improve equipment efficiency and reduce failure rates. Dassault Systèmes very closely followed Siemens and topped the innovation category due to outstanding digital twin capabilities and analytics performance via the company’s impressive 3DExperience platform. These two companies stood out from the field and were therefore named Leaders in the report.

“It is no coincidence that the two companies with the strongest end-to-end software offerings across the smart manufacturing value chain have emerged as Leaders in this report,” said Ryan Martin, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Siemens and Dassault Systèmes can leverage their broad service offerings and industrial expertise to feed innovation and to implement complete solutions that equate to powerful and reliable simulations in discrete manufacturing.”

Three companies- Arena (Rockwell), AnyLogic and FlexSim- were named as Followers in the report. While these companies lack the full range of simulation capabilities of the Leaders, especially at the machine and equipment level, they have strong modeling and analytics capabilities. They, therefore, provide effective solutions for simulating factory floor layouts to optimize discrete manufacturing performance according to key metrics such as product throughput, machine downtime, capacity, and inventory levels. Arena, owned by Rockwell Automation, topped the Followers category due to strong performance in data modelling and analytics. Arena’s complex variability modeling capabilities and its strong installed base within the market contributed to a strong score in implementation.

“Ultimately the companies that scored best in the ranking can go beyond high-level factory layout simulation by also accurately modeling and commissioning industrial equipment on the factory floor and incorporating product design into the simulation environment. This means the way machines behave and how they are used to manufacture actual products is considered more comprehensively, a key factor in generating more reliable simulations. For this reason, Siemens and Dassault Systèmes stand out as market leaders in discrete manufacturing simulation software,” concludes Martin.

Podcast 194 Beware Hype

Podcast 194 Beware Hype

Podcast 194 of my long-running series—Beware Hype of OT and IT

Platforms come and go–sometimes quickly with turns in technology. IoT platforms were all the rage. Just like IT/OT Convergence and other hyped tech. But engineers are quietly working together to apply the technologies to solve business and industrial problems. Don’t watch the hype. Notice when everyone is using it.

This podcast is sponsored by Ignition from Inductive Automation.

Improve IIoT Deployment

Improve IIoT Deployment

The Industrial Internet of Things by definition is all about connections. Connecting hundreds of devices which often have differing protocols is a huge challenge. In an attempt to facilitate IIoT deployments, ioTium has announced an alliance with Telit. The agreement allows Telit deviceWISE gateway technology on the ioTium Edge App Store for single-click deployment.

After wading through a couple of paragraphs of marketing generalities, I found the best explanation with this quote. “With the cooperation of Telit, customers can now rapidly connect different communications protocols like BACnet, OPC, Modbus or even proprietary protocols to various IoT cloud offerings such as Azure IoT, Siemens MindSphere or private cloud end points,” said Sri Rajagopal, CTO, ioTium. “All commissioning, data mapping, and contextualization can now be done remotely, dramatically reducing the time and cost of flying technicians and data scientists to the site to remediate in person.”

Then the obligatory quote from the partner. I’ve talked with Fred Yentz for many years about connecting data. Here’s his thought on this announcement. “Our alliance with ioTium establishes a best-in-class approach for digital connectivity in the industrial world,” said Fred Yentz, president Strategic Partnerships, Telit. “Together, we are providing industrial enterprise customers a secure, plug-and-play way to connect any machine to cloud-based applications to capitalize on the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

Solving this problem is mainly what the various platforms are attempting. I would be interested in hearing what is actually working out in the field. Comment or send me an email. Something is working, because engineers are doing this.