by Gary Mintchell | Aug 25, 2022 | Automation, Internet of Things, Security
The most optimistic trend I see in our market concerns cooperation and collaboration. There’s a lot of that going on. Here’s one I didn’t really see coming—the Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) and the International Society of Automation (ISA). They recently announced the IoT Security Maturity Model (SMM): 62443 Mappings for Asset Owners, and Product Suppliers, and Service Suppliers.
“This new guidance adds the service provider role. It extends the previously published IoT Security Maturity Model (SMM): Practitioner’s Guide to provide mappings to existing 62443 standards and specific guidance for the asset owner, product supplier, and service provider roles,” said Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT standards at Microsoft and IoT SMM co-author.
The IIC IoT SMM helps organizations choose their security target state and determine their current security state. By repeatedly comparing the target and current states, organizations can identify where they can make further improvements.
The ISA99 committee developed the 62443 series of standards, which the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) adopted. The standards address current and future vulnerabilities in Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) and apply necessary mitigation systematically and defensibly. The ISA/IEC 62443 standards focus on maturity, but only on the maturity of security programs and processes.
“Achieving security maturity targets can be difficult to put into practice without concrete guidance,” said Frederick Hirsch, co-chair of the IIC ISA/IIC Contributing Group. “These 62443 mappings enable practitioners to better achieve security maturity by relating IIC IoT SMM practice comprehensiveness levels to ISA/IEC 62443 requirements. In this way, IACS asset owners and product suppliers can achieve appropriate maturity targets more easily.”
Eric Cosman, co-chair of the ISA99, said, “While standards such as ISA/IEC 62443 are needed to codify proven and accepted engineering practices, they are seldom sufficient. Joint efforts such as this provide the practical guidance necessary to promote and support their adoption.”
Pierre Kobes, a member of both ISA99 and IEC Technical Committee 65, said, “It is not about more security but about implementing the appropriate security measures. IoT SMM: 62443 Mappings for Asset Owners and Product Suppliers helps companies select the adequate security levels commensurate with their expected level of risk.”
You can download IoT SMM: 62443 Mappings for Asset Owners, Product Suppliers and Service Providers from IIC and ISA websites. You will find a complete list of the contributing authors in the document. Work is underway to add the service provider role to the document in a future revision.
by Gary Mintchell | Aug 23, 2022 | Internet of Things, Manufacturing IT, Operations Management, Software
What if the time has come to rethink all these specific silos and strategies around which we build manufacturing software solutions?
The time has come to rethink all the departmental silos manufacturing executives constructed over the years with vendors targeting their applications to fit. This era of the Internet of Things (IoT), sensor-driven real-time data, innovative unstructured databases, powerful analytics engines, and visualization provide us with new ways of thinking about organizing manufacturing.
A suite of manufacturing solutions that typically link shop floor equipment and operations with enterprise solutions has evolved from Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP, what I did in the late 1970s) to MES (originally Manufacturing Execution Systems which the trade organization MESA has called Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions) to now what we can call Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) solutions. I was digitizing manufacturing operations in 1978 in a crude way. Now it is much more sophisticated, yet in many ways, easier. Each of these steps has taken us deeper into increasing digitization, vast amounts of data, and increasing connectivity. Not just name changes, these solutions reflect the growing ability to provide managers of all levels the kind of information needed for better, faster decision making.
Focus on Maintenance Management
I have worked with a number of maintenance and reliability media companies. They have all been embroiled in discussions of the comparative value of maintenance strategies: Reactive (run-to-failure), Preventive, Predictive, Reliability-centered. These are presented as a continuum progressing from the Stone Age to Star Wars. Discussions about which is best proliferate within trade media.
The IT companies I have worked with fixated on predictive maintenance. They had powerful predictive analytics to combine with their database and compute capabilities and saw that as the Next Big Thing. They were wrong.
I was taught early in my career that Preventive maintenance consisted solely as scheduled maintenance. Management sends technicians out on rounds on a regular basis with clipboards, lube equipment, and meters to check out, lubricate and adjust. As often as not, these adjustments would disturb the Force and something would break down.
What if? What if we use all the sensor data from equipment sent to the cloud to a powerful database? What if we use that data to intelligently dispatch technicians to the necessary equipment with the appropriate tools to fix before breaking and at an appropriate collaborative time?
A company called Matics recently was introduced to me via a long-time marketing contact. They wanted to talk about the second definition of preventive maintenance. Not just unscheduled rounds but using sensor-driven data, or IoT, to feed its Central Data Repository with the goal of providing Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) to its customers.
According to Matics, its RtOI system has provided customers with:
- 25% increased machine availability
- 30% decrease in rejects
- 10% reduction in energy consumption
Smarter preventive maintenance leverages continuous condition monitoring targeting as-needed maintenance resulting in fewer unnecessary checks and less machine stoppage for repair.
I am not trying to write a marketing piece for Matics, although the company does compensate me for some content development including this post. But their software provides me a way to riff into a new way of thinking.
Usually product engineers and marketing people will show me a new product. I’ll become enthused. “Wow, this is cool. Now if you could just do this and this…” I drive product people crazy in those meetings. I think the same here. I like the approach. Now, if customers can take the ball and run with it thinking about manufacturing in a a new way, that would be cool—and beneficial and profitable. I think innovative managers and engineers could find new ways to bring engineering, production, and maintenance together in a more collaborative way around real-time information.
by Gary Mintchell | Aug 8, 2022 | Internet of Things, Manufacturing IT, Operations Management
Here is an interesting trend. Moxa released a series of IIoT gateways optimized for Microsoft Azure.
Moxa launched the AIG-300 Series of IIoT gateways. Optimized for seamless integration with the Microsoft Azure IoT Edge computing platform, AIG-300 gateways provide the stable connectivity needed in distributed and unmanned sites to collect, store, process, and analyze operational data from sensors and other IIoT devices.
As edge computing use cases continue to evolve, Moxa AIG-300 gateways enable flexible and secure cloud connectivity by leveraging: Arm CortexA7 dual-core 1 GHz processors, pre-loaded Azure IoT Edge and Moxa ThingsPro Edge software, and versatile I/O options for Ethernet, CAN, RS-232/422/485, USB, and four digital (DI/DO) interfaces. For system integrators with wireless communication needs, the AIG-300 comes with LTE cellular, GPS and Wi-Fi antenna connectors.
by Gary Mintchell | Aug 8, 2022 | Cloud, Internet of Things, Manufacturing IT, Operations Management
ThinkIQ developed a manufacturing software platform focused on the flow of materials through the manufacturing process rather than the health of specific machines. I’ve had several interviews over the past couple of years with executives I’ve known for years from previous gigs. You can check them out here, here, and here.
I recently conducted an interview with Doug Lawson, CEO, Brian Anderson, CMO, and Rob Schoenthalar, CRO to discuss an added feature to their offering. They have added vision as a sensor attempting to solve a sticky problem for manufacturing management.
The problem? ThinkIQ’s customers are still effectively blind to up to 70% of events on the Factory Floor. Current safety practices are primarily reactive and rather than averting any unfortunate incident in the first place, these procedures only provide solutions to salvage a regrettable situation.
The solution? Enhancements to its Vision Platform.
Locating cameras in strategic locations around the plant facility, Think IQ can look at safety and correlations among activities. Maybe checking events of ship, store, manufacturing, looking for root causes. They offered an example General Mills has publicized where they recorded savings of $40 million out of oats for making Cheerios. They also avoided multiple recalls by detecting gluten entering the process before manufacturing.
An MES or other software may not always record every aspect of a process. Merging cameras with their MES, ThinkIQ can add much more data plus analysis to discover more problems. Their cameras do not do parts inspection. They observe movement and behavior generating what they call “Operational Data Streams.” Now ThinkIQ can combine data about material flow plus what machines are doing plus what people are doing. Operations does not need to ask operators to fill out HMI screen forms about what happened. ThinkIQ’s value add is intellectual property around AI/ML looking for patterns in the data.
From the press release:
The latest version of ThinkIQ Vision now has out-of-the-box abilities to detect and digitize dozens of common manufacturing events including:
- Vehicle activities in receiving and shipping
- Material movements and presence
- Anonymous People presence and activity
- Machine state and physical events
- Andon light status
- Safety violations
- Values from legacy analog and disconnected digital displays
- Values from stand-alone displays
by Gary Mintchell | Aug 4, 2022 | Internet of Things, Manufacturing IT, News, Operations Management, Organizations, Standards
I missed the notes of an interview when I transferred to a new notebook a couple of months ago. It concerns a new Framework published by the Industry IoT Consortium (you may remember them as the Industrial Internet Consortium, still known as IIC). These Frameworks are blueprints targeted at decision makers providing a variety of perspectives on a topic along with practical advice according to Wael William Diab, Chair IIC Industrial AI Task Group and Secretary IIC Steering Committee, and Bassam Zarkout, Executive Vice President IGnPower Inc. and the Chief Editor of the IIAIF.
They told me the work approaches the topic from different perspectives—business, usage, functional, and future.
Artificial Intelligence Framework
The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) announced the Industrial IoT Artificial Intelligence Framework (IIAIF). The framework highlights the value proposition AI can enable in next-generation industrial IoT (IIoT) systems and addresses the emerging requirements and implementation challenges.
“The rapid growth and innovation in the field of AI have unlocked applications that a few years ago were infeasible. These advances are fueling digital transformation across industry sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, finance, and retail,” said Wael William Diab, Chair IIC Industrial AI Task Group and Secretary IIC Steering Committee. “By taking a holistic approach to the emerging requirements and challenges, the framework aims to accelerate responsible adoption of AI-enabled IIoT systems and ultimately bring the benefits of digital transformation to more use cases and sectors.”
The IIAIF brings together both the IT and OT perspectives and their convergence by considering the various aspects of next-generation AI-enabled IIoT systems. For instance, the framework addresses the value proposition, implementation challenges, and architectural decisions and provides exemplary usage scenarios.
“AI-enabled IIoT systems enable better insights, faster decision making, and more effective operations, and empower organizations to deliver higher value to the market,” said Bassam Zarkout, Executive Vice President IGnPower Inc. and the Chief Editor of the IIAIF. “The framework is unique in terms of positioning, scope, and real-world use cases. It addresses the practical business, trustworthiness, ethical, and technical considerations of AI with other digital transformation enabling technologies.”
“The IIC is focused on creating transformative business value by accelerating the adoption of industrial IoT systems,” said Stephen Mellor, IIC CTO and Exec. VP of OMG. “The IIAIF is a prime example of how IIC is facilitating the adoption of emerging technology by helping organizations understand and address the unique requirements of AI in IIoT environments.”
Update to Industrial Internet Networking Framework
The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) published an update to its Industrial Internet Networking Framework (IINF) that includes new guidance on deploying satellite communications technologies in place of terrestrial networks, which can be technically and economically unfeasible. Today, developers can deploy satellites to connect IIoT devices spread over vast areas or for connectivity in remote, underpopulated land areas, or over the seas and oceans.
“The main advantage of satellites over terrestrial networks is their wide coverage on a regional and continental scale,” said David Lou P.hD., Co-Chair, IIC Networking Task Group and Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at Huawei. “Even though closing the link budget for IIoT devices is challenging, satellite technology can support IIoT devices as a direct radio access network. They can also serve as a backhaul technology for wireless or wired networks at any altitude.”
by Gary Mintchell | Aug 1, 2022 | Asset Performance Management, Internet of Things, M2M, Operations Management
The people who introduced me to the M2M concept, or machine-to-machine (later called IIoT), extolled a prime use case—OEMs could connect with their installed base of machines. This would enable service contracts as they monitored performance and components. They could also monitor components to grade suppliers.
This turned out to be difficult to implement. IT departments placed roadblocks to outside connectivity. Concerns about leaking proprietary information posed another roadblock.
Best practices and improving technology have overcome many of the roadblocks. Enough so, that a major technology provider such as Honeywell can introduce an “Industry 4.0 solution helps increase end user equipment uptime and satisfaction while reducing OEM service and maintenance costs.”
Honeywell introduced on June 28, 2022 its Connected OEM (original equipment manufacturer) offering, an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that allows OEMs and skid manufacturers to remotely monitor the health and condition of their installed base. Equipment such as compressors, furnaces, pumping stations, analyzer houses and skids at end-user locations around the world can be monitored through the offering.
Through a cloud-based central asset management system securely connected to equipment assets, OEMs can obtain a consolidated view of their global installed base through a customizable key performance indicator dashboard. Users can apply data analytics and tools to troubleshoot and fix equipment, predict failures, plan maintenance and make informed business decisions in areas such as R&D.
I’ve written recently on LinkedIn and Twitter about a major social media company who blatantly proclaims that all its recent changes were in service to its own benefit with no mention of benefit to users or customers. Here, Honeywell notes specific user benefits to the new solution.
Honeywell Connected OEM was developed in response to a longstanding issue facing OEMs: the inability to monitor the performance of their installed assets. Prolonged sub-optimal asset operation results in high operating expenses for end users, and OEMs with performance contracts are unable to guarantee or justify assets’ operating outcomes. In addition, OEM service engineers must often rush to a site for unplanned maintenance and troubleshooting, incurring high travel costs if the assets are geographically dispersed. The net result is poor quality service and maintenance that can lead to the loss of repeat business for OEMs.