by Gary Mintchell | Mar 7, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing IT, News, Process Control
Here are a few items that I’ve come across plus one where I’m the news (so to speak).
Mark your calendars! The Ignition Community Conference will return to the Harris Center on September 26–28, 2023. Registration will be open soon.
I’ve been asked to present at a Webinar on a new Website–Manufacturing Technology Today. Going Beyond Digital Transformation: The Real Innovations in Manufacturing. Check it out. Register. Heckle me in the chat 😉 April 5, 2023.
Emerson sent an email about its Virtual Exchange–a rerun of its live/virtual event from last October. I wrote about Boundless Automation and other news from the event back then. Check it out for a refresh.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 23, 2023 | Manufacturing IT, News, Security
The latest trend among cyber security firms is to conduct surveys and issue reports. This report comes from Claroty’s Team82. They found that vulnerabilities disclosed declined while vulnerabilities found by internal research and product security teams have increased.
Cyber-physical system vulnerabilities disclosed in the second half (2H) of 2022 have declined by 14% since hitting a peak during 2H 2021, while vulnerabilities found by internal research and product security teams have increased by 80% over the same time period, according to the State of XIoT Security Report: 2H 2022 released today by Claroty, the cyber-physical systems protection company. These findings indicate that security researchers are having a positive impact on strengthening the security of the Extended Internet of Things (XIoT), a vast network of cyber-physical systems across industrial, healthcare, and commercial environments, and that XIoT vendors are dedicating more resources to examining the security and safety of their products than ever before.
- Affected Devices: 62% of published OT vulnerabilities affect devices at Level 3 of the Purdue Model for ICS. These devices manage production workflows and can be key crossover points between IT and OT networks, thus very attractive to threat actors aiming to disrupt industrial operations.
- Severity: 71% of vulnerabilities were assessed a CVSS v3 score of “critical” (9.0-10) or “high” (7.0-8.9), reflecting security researchers’ tendency to focus on identifying vulnerabilities with the greatest potential impact in order to maximize harm reduction. Additionally, four of the top five Common Weakness Enumerations (CWEs) in the dataset are also in the top five of MITRE’s 2022 CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses, which can be relatively simple to exploit and enable adversaries to disrupt system availability and service delivery.
- Attack Vector: 63% of vulnerabilities are remotely exploitable over the network, meaning a threat actor does not require local, adjacent, or physical access to the affected device in order to exploit the vulnerability.
- Impacts: The leading potential impact is unauthorized remote code or command execution (prevalent in 54% of vulnerabilities), followed by denial-of-service conditions (crash, exit, or restart) at 43%.
- Mitigations: The top mitigation step is network segmentation (recommended in 29% of vulnerability disclosures), followed by secure remote access (26%) and ransomware, phishing, and spam protection (22%).
- Team82 Contributions: Team82 has maintained a prolific, years-long leadership position in OT vulnerability research with 65 vulnerability disclosures in 2H 2022, 30 of which were assessed a CVSS v3 score of 9.5 or higher, and over 400 vulnerabilities to date.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 22, 2023 | Cloud, Edge, Manufacturing IT, Networking, Operations Management
The Industry IoT Consortium, part of the Object Management Group, gathers interested technical people together to study and publish guidance on a variety of industrial connectivity applications. This one provides guidance for when to use cloud or edge computing for AI-based applications such as machine vision.
The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) published the Optimal Use of Cloud and Edge in Industrial Machine-Vision Applications whitepaper. The paper is a brief guide for developers who want to integrate machine vision with industrial cloud and edge computing applications.
“With advances in technology, industrial machine vision is becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, today you can perform AI vision analysis directly on a camera. You can also process this data on a nearby computer, an on-premises server, or remote data center,” said Daniel Young, IIC Technology Working Group Co-Chair and Senior Manager at Toshiba. “Understanding where image processing should occur is an engineering decision based on many different factors. For example, cloud computing offers industrial applications flexibility and scalability for machine learning models, while edge computing is best for real-time industrial tasks.”
The whitepaper covers the following sections:
- Applications of Industrial Machine Vision gives a broad description of how companies use industrial machine vision.
- Edge Computing in Industrial Machine Vision provides an overview of applying edge computing to industrial machine vision applications.
- Cloud Computing in Industrial Machine Vision discusses cloud computing in industrial machine vision.
- Deciding Where the Edge Lies in Industrial Machine Vision talks about typical edge computing configurations that incorporate industrial machine vision.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 10, 2023 | Automation, Embedded Control, Manufacturing IT
Michael Maxey, recently hired VP of Business Development at Zededa, met with me during the ARC Industry Forum this week in Orlando to discuss progress the company has made over the past year. It has a niche in what they call edge orchestration—a technology that helps organizations manage their edge computing infrastructure. The company certainly had an impressive year.
Following are some highlights:
- Concluded 2022 with annual revenue growth of 300% and nodes under management growth of 250%.
- Closed Series B funding with a broad range of new and existing investors, including Coast Range Capital, Lux Capital, Energize Ventures, Almaz Capital, Porsche Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Juniper Networks, Rockwell Automation, Samsung Next and EDF North America Ventures.
Significant Customer Growth
- Rockwell Automation chose Zededa as a key technology supplier for its upcoming edge management offering, which allows users to manage edge devices, orchestrate applications, and improve access to manufacturing data.
- VMware announced a multi-year OEM agreement where Zededa will provide distributed edge management and orchestration capabilities as part of VMware Edge Compute Stack.
- Emerson integrated Zededa’s edge management and orchestration offer into its DeltaV automation system.
- Advantech and Zededa debuted a new combined solution for Connected Oilfield Systems.
- Switch Automation turned to Zededa to solve its operating system management and deployment challenges in providing innovative edge solutions for digital buildings.
Strengthened Leadership Team
- Erik Nordmark, a co-founder of the company, was promoted to Chief Technology Officer.
- Paul Campaniello joined as Vice President of Marketing to oversee all aspects of global marketing and communications.
- Michael Maxey was hired as VP of Business Development to help customers and partners accelerate and simplify the deployment of applications at the edge.
- Michael Pearl transitioned to a new role as VP of OEM and Embedded Sales to focus on rapidly expanding customer base in the OEM and embedded markets.
- Ryan Hesson was brought on as VP of Enterprise Sales to lead growth in the enterprise market.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 8, 2023 | Data Management, Manufacturing IT, Operations Management
Partnerships are all the rage these days. It is a great way to add value to customers without the risky business of acquisitions. This one concerns Datanomix and Hexagon.
Datanomix announced a partnership with Hexagon to offer the Datanomix production monitoring software solution to its global manufacturing customers.
Through the new partnership, Hexagon’s customers will be able to access the Datanomix solution more easily. The two companies will also begin a journey of joint development and integration of new data sources that visualize larger and larger segments of manufacturing processes, enabling business leaders to zero in on untapped layers of efficiency in their operations.
by Gary Mintchell | Feb 3, 2023 | Enterprise IT, Manufacturing IT, Operations Management, Software
While I was researching the QAD acquisition of RedZone, I noticed the prominence of something called “Adaptive Solutions.” When I mentioned I was curious about what that meant in beyond marketing terms, the PR team went to work and set up a conference call with QAD CEO Anton Chilton.
He told me, “The pace of change facing manufacturers has required a real-time response to situations. Industry models are changing. For instance, look at the automotive industry transitioning to electric vehicles. So they need solutions to adapt to rapid change.”
This explanation comes from the company’s website under the manufacturing tab—Digital manufacturing fully integrates planning, scheduling, quality, cost management, material movement and shop floor control. The solution allows manufacturers to leverage advanced digital manufacturing technologies to better communicate, analyze and use information to meet cost and quality objectives. Build a strong foundation for lean manufacturing concepts that eliminates waste throughout your operations. QAD’s manufacturing ERP capabilities also adapt to any style of manufacturing and to the unique needs of a geographic location and industry.
I mentioned that my experience and coverage usually ended with the MES layer. I have only a little ERP experience. Chilton said, “Some people see ERP as something like concrete poured in the form and left to harden. Enter a platform emphasizing no-code or low-code where users can build new capabilities on it without intrusive customization.” That sounds like a step in the right direction.
We spoke of the meaning of the RedZone acquisition. “We speak of the foundation of people, process, systems,” he said. “We due process and systems well with our current portfolio. With the RedZone acquisition, we can better address the people part of the equation. RedZone is a pure SaaS play providing real-time information to front line workers. It’s in the hands of workers on a tablet configured to each person’s role. The secret sauce includes locking in best practices such as kaizen right in the system on the tablet. The system encourages the team to work collaboratively.”
I’m always curious about integrating the new acquisition into the existing structure. “RedZone can take in information from directly from QAD. It offers deeper interpretation with deeper modules, such as enterprise quality management and others.”
How good is this application? Chilton—“on overage RedZone users have seen 42% increased productivity for medium sized companies and 20% for large enterprises. It scales because it’s implemented at the plant level. The improvements are typically seen within the first 90 days on average. It’s in 1,000 locations with 300,000 users.”
Only a few months earlier, QAD had acquired LiveJourney. Its product is a data mining and predictive modeling application. It offers analysis of real-time data on the fly. It compares patterns from the actual to the as-designed. Managers and workers can use the results to find constraints or other problems and attack them as part of their Lean continuous improvement.