HiveMQ Enables Seamless IoT Data Integration to AWS

HiveMQ announced the availability of the HiveMQ Enterprise Extension for Amazon Kinesis, a new feature that allows users to quickly move their MQTT data from the broker into AWS using Amazon Kinesis Data Streams. With this release, HiveMQ customers can now integrate MQTT data reliably and securely to any of the three major cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud – or simultaneously in a multi-cloud environment.

HiveMQ’s platform-agnostic, full-featured broker offers 100% MQTT compliance, efficient network utilization, enterprise-grade security, reliable data delivery and the ability to scale to millions of always-on concurrent connections to meet the requirements of any IoT application. The extension framework gives customers the flexibility to integrate seamlessly with enterprise systems to support multi-cloud strategies and eliminate vendor lock-in.

The new HiveMQ Enterprise Extension for Amazon Kinesis offers the following features:

• Seamless integration of MQTT data into Amazon Kinesis Data Streams

• Indirect support for Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose and Data Analytics as they read data from Kinesis Data Streams

• Configuration of access credentials and authentication via AWS Identity and Access Management

• Continuous support and feature updates from HiveMQ

The early access version of the HiveMQ Enterprise Extension for Amazon Kinesis is available for download now

Industry IoT Consortium Updates Industrial Internet Reference Architecture

The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) announced it had updated its Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA). The IIRA Version 1.10 addresses the challenges of current industrial IoT systems and industry trends, such as the convergence of IT and OT, digital twins, systems comprised of independent systems, and the inclusion of “non-human” digital users.

The foundational views of the IIRA (Business, Usage, Functional, and Implementation) have not changed. Still, the IIC revised and extended the sections to address how organizations use the views. For example, the new IIRA includes mapping essential industrial IoT functions to system requirement categories. This helps organizations understand which functions will best meet their needs.

Another addition to the IIRA V1.10 is a new set of Architecture Patterns that system designers can use to tailor standard system features and implementations. The IIRA V1.10 also illustrates how system designers can overlay patterns with each other (or with different architecture patterns) to help them build new system implementations from a collection of well-understood models.

The Industry IoT Consortium delivers transformative business value to industry, organizations, and society by accelerating the adoption of a trustworthy internet of things. The Industry IoT Consortium is a program of the Object Management Group (OMG).

Honeywell Connect 2022 Updates

Honeywell has been an enigma to me for several years. I haven’t been confident in product direction, where different elements of process automation would fit, and would it make a transition to software. Then came Honeywell Forge. Where did that fit with Process Solutions and UOP? Then we had the pandemic and I couldn’t make the User Group this year due to many conflicts.

This is mostly my deficiency, but also I had lost track of contacts. All that is remedied, and the picture is beginning to focus. I was also able to catch some virtual conferences to gain insight from CTO Jason Urso.

Honeywell Forge is coalescing into a viable software division. Process Solutions is cranking out some interesting new products and services. Sustainability is a key strategy. Cybersecurity remains strong within the portfolio.

I’m quite late with this update. Following are major points from recent announcements. Check out the various links for more.

Manufacturing Excellence Platform

Manufacturing Excellence platform provides real-time end-to-end production visualization and dashboards for multiple user roles from operators to management, process unit timelines, detailed equipment status, and trends of critical process parameters. The Manufacturing Excellence platform, built for Life Sciences applications, puts actionable information in context in one interface. The solution digitizes paper-based batch records, work instructions, and logbooks to ensure consistent compliance with standard operating procedures.

Honeywell Forge Performance+

As part of the new Honeywell Forge Performance+ for Industrials suite, Asset Performance helps deliver asset reliability and energy efficiency through real-time monitoring of assets using predictive models embedded with deep-domain expertise. Asset Performance can help to both detect potential asset health issues and predict possible time to failure in order to proactively improve plant availability.

Enhancements to Existing Honeywell Software Solutions

  • Honeywell Plantwide Optimizer – End-to-end solution that integrates planning, operations and blending in near real time.
  • Honeywell Operations Management – Enhancements to the user experience designed to help industrial operations managers to better proactively monitor, document and operate their industrial processes to reduce downtime, increase throughput and yields, and standardize shift reporting.
  • Honeywell Workforce Competency – Enhancements to the simulation-based experiential learning solution to develop and enhance the competency of today’s industrial workforce include persona-based dashboards and a new soft Safety Manager direct link.

Cybersecurity

Honeywell’s AMIR managed service brings increased cybersecurity capabilities to an organization’s existing Security Operation Centers (SOCs) to strengthen OT cybersecurity across the enterprise.

Cyber App Control, previously known as Application Whitelisting, is a vendor-agnostic cybersecurity solution suitable for both Honeywell and non-Honeywell control systems designed to provide an additional layer of security that allows only known and trusted applications to run on ICS assets and increases a customer’s ability to prevent known malware and zero-day attacks on OT environments that often rely on more vulnerable legacy systems with challenging maintenance schedules.

Honeywell Forge Sustainability+

• An enterprise solution that measures fugitive and process GHG emission leaks, continuously monitors sites for new or remediated emissions, reports on emissions’ status and drives emission reduction strategies and solutions.

• Innovative gas detection technologies with Honeywell Versatilis Signal Scout gas detector and Gas Cloud Imaging, interfaces with Emissions Management for continuous measuring and monitoring of emissions, enabling customers to better manage GHG emissions proactively in near real-time. 

• Reporting of process emissions with site- and enterprise-level trending and visualization that allows organizations to locate methane leaks that may cause production loss or impact worker safety, as well as gain access to metrics and alarms associated with gas leaks.

• Enterprise-wide accounting, visualization and reporting that eliminates periodic manual reporting and provides a holistic, near real-time view of Scope 1 emissions for HSE professionals and executive teams.

Honeywell and Aramco JV for Business Process Software

Honeywell and Aramco have announced the signing of a joint venture (JV) agreement to provide a set of end-to-end business process automation solutions, under the Aramco Namaat Industrial Investments Program. The technology solutions can be offered to a wide range of industrial sectors to help maximize profitability, improve productivity, sustainability and operational excellence, on a global scale. The new JV offerings will leverage Aramco’s Plant.Digital platform (formerly Integrated Manufacturing Operations Management System – iMOMS) as well as Honeywell Connected Enterprise’s technology development and industrial digital solutions implementation experience.

The JV aims to equip industrial companies with the tools, processes and practices they need to run plant operations more effectively and accelerate sustainable digital transformation and operational excellence initiatives. It will emphasize the development, integration, and deployment of Operations Technology (OT) solutions and Digital Transformation consulting.

The new JV is expected to create more than 300 jobs in Saudi Arabia within five years, supporting the Aramco Namaat Industrial Investments Program, which is designed to boost Saudi economic and workforce development.

Partnership for Track and Trace Solutions

Honeywell announced that Imperial Brands, a British multinational tobacco company, has chosen Honeywell to provide the Honeywell Track & Trace solution (“Honeywell Track & Trace”) to digitalize and transform the monitoring and tracking of their supply chain operations.

In addition to the cloud-based Honeywell Track & Trace solution, Honeywell will provide a comprehensive and integrated system of support, professional services, and governance to help Imperial’s business meet critical requirements for compliance and executing its global supply chain.

PTC Acquires ServiceMax

PTC to Acquire SaaS Field Service Management Provider ServiceMax

PTC continually enlarges its footprint in the digital enterprise domain. There was its expansion a few years ago into Internet of Things with acquisition of ThingWorx and Kepware. Those brought a relationship with Rockwell Automation—and I noticed its stand at Automation Fair this month was continually busy. Now an extension into field service management related to its product lifecycle management (PLM) portfolio. 

This is an interesting acquisition. Management believes it can bring all these acquisitions together to get the jigsaw puzzle pieces to interlock.

  • Acquisition expected to strengthen service capabilities of PTC’s closed-loop PLM portfolio
  • PTC’s manufacturing customers rely on field service management for product performance, customer satisfaction, and profitability expansion
  • Strong synergies between PTC and ServiceMax’s manufacturing customers and product portfolios
  • Transaction expected to be accretive to PTC’s SaaS ARR and cash flow in FY’23

 PTC announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ServiceMax for approximately $1.46 billion in cash on a debt-free, cash-free basis from an entity majority owned by Silver Lake. ServiceMax is a recognized leader in cloud-native, product-centric field service management (FSM) software. The acquisition is expected to strengthen PTC’s closed-loop product lifecycle management (PLM) offerings by extending the digital thread of product information into downstream enterprise asset management (EAM) and FSM capabilities. Subject to the satisfaction of regulatory approval and other applicable closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in early January 2023.

Partners since 2015, PTC and ServiceMax both support manufacturers of complex, highly configured products for the medical device, industrial products, aerospace, and related verticals. These manufacturers view field service as a strategic part of their businesses to maintain product performance, extend their products’ lifecycles, increase customer satisfaction, drive revenue growth, and expand profitability.

Details:

  • The purchase price will be funded in two stages, with $808 million paid at closing and $650 million paid in October 2023. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand, borrowings under PTC’s existing credit facility, and a new $500 million committed term loan.
  • ServiceMax is expected to contribute approximately $160 million in ARR for PTC’s Q2’23.
  • The transaction is expected to be accretive to PTC’s FY’23 cash flow from operations, free cash flow, and adjusted free cash flow targets.

Perish the Thought That IT and OT Will Never Work Together

I hate the term IT/OT convergence. It is so old. People and technologies have continually made changes that actually bring things together. People are not stupid. Just focused on their jobs.

I recently talked with a product manager regarding silicon infrastructure. He talked of how the technology of his product would lead to breaking of IT silos and also to IT/OT convergence.

Is bringing IT and OT together a technology problem or an organizational problem? Or perhaps a cultural problem given the natural competition leading to in-fighting among departments or groups within an organization?

With Ethernet and digitalization of OT infrastructure, aren’t most of the technological hurdles removed? Even the proprietary nature of some Ethernet add ons such as Profinet or EtherCat?

Many organizationally perceptive managers have made changes to bring departments together. They promote cross-functional teams. They promote understanding the differences and focusing on what each can do to promote the common good.

One product will not convergence make.

Ignition Adds Cloud Edition Plus Many Updates

I think that hybrid might just be the future as IT managers review the costs and constraints of depending too much on cloud vendors (AWS, Microsoft, Google). Customers of Inductive Automation’s Ignition platform must be asking for a public cloud implementation, though. 

I’ve highlighted a blog post by Dante Augello of Inductive discussing some of the reasoning and features of a Cloud Edition coming in 2023. Following that announcement are notes about the latest update to Ignition—8.1.22.

Ignition Cloud Edition

  • Many hybrid architectures have taken advantage of the cloud over the years, allowing controls applications to run on-premise while communicating and sending data to the cloud in order to take advantage of virtually unlimited storage and computing power. 
  • This connection to the cloud also offers better integration with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other cloud-native technologies.
  • The goal of Ignition Cloud Edition is to enable a hybrid architecture that connects one or more on-premise gateways and numerous edge gateways that send information to a Cloud Edition gateway for enterprise-wide data aggregation and monitoring.
  • This new product will differ from the standard version of Ignition in three key ways: distribution, purchasing, and features.
  • Unlike standard Ignition, Ignition Cloud Edition won’t be a service provided directly through Inductive Automation, so it won’t be downloaded from the Inductive Automation website. Like other cloud-based applications, it will be made available through your preferred cloud infrastructure marketplace.
  • Since Ignition Cloud Edition will be purchased through a cloud infrastructure marketplace, there is no need to buy an upfront license as with standard Ignition. This allows for elastic deployments, scalable payment options like pay-as-you-go, as well as the ability to adapt compute size and number of instances as needed.
  • Ignition Cloud Edition will run in the cloud, so it won’t be ideal for direct data acquisition from plant-floor PLCs. For this reason, it won’t have Ignition’s original device drivers built in. Instead, Cloud Edition will have a collection of cloud connector modules for cloud-native technologies such as document databases, message queues, and key-value stores like MongoDB, Kafka, and Redis.
  • A key benefit of Ignition Cloud Edition’s infrastructure is elasticity. If you find that you need more or less computing power than you anticipated, you will be able to scale the infrastructure much more easily than with an on-premise infrastructure.

Ignition 8.1.22: New Configuration Explorer, Enhanced SVG Importer, and CSS Stylesheet Resources

This blog post by Aaron Block gives points about the latest update.

  • Ignition 8.1.22 arrives with major upgrades to Perspective, the Gateway Network, and redundancy, plus improvements focused on general quality of life.
  • Perspective gets the majority of attention in Ignition 8.1.22, with three big updates: a new Configuration Explorer, SVG Importer enhancements, and resources for CSS stylesheets.
  • The Configuration Explorer locates active bindings on any particular Perspective view. Now in Ignition 8.1.22, simply right-click and choose “Configuration Explorer” to display the location, type, and state of all enabled bindings. Embedded views and root containers are also represented in this overview. 
  • In prior versions of Ignition, it was sometimes difficult to import complicated SVGs with intricate shading or other non-supported components within the raw SVG file. 8.1.22 offers more support for these complex SVGs, as well as most common SVG elements.
  • The “convert to drawing” function stays true to its name, allowing users to simply choose the function in the right-click menu and convert existing components into SVGs.
  • Rounding out the trio of major Perspective updates is an advanced project-scoped CSS stylesheet resource and resource editor. Users can now conveniently add their own CSS stylesheets into the Perspective project itself instead of spending time inserting CSS through the gateway’s style directory.
  • And there are many more updates. Check out the blog for more detail.