You will find references to data often in this blog. Perhaps I’ve even been guilty of a phrase, “It’s all about the data.” Back in 2016, I wrote a post where the title included both “data” and “engineering.”
Marketing managers have been pinging me this year evidently after doing web searches for key words. They get a match on one of my blog posts and write trying to get a link added or an article published. They usually don’t know my focus or even what type of media this is. Many think I’m traditional traded press.
It must have been in such a manner that the marketing manager for Jelvix, which looks to be a Ukrainian software development and IT services company, wrote to me referencing this post I did in 2016. She referenced an article on the company web site by Python developer Vitaliy Naumenko regarding whether or when do you need a Data Scientist or a Data Engineer.
That is an interesting question–one which I have not run across in either my IT or my OT travels.
According to IBM’s CTO report, 87% of data science projects are never really executed. 80% of all data science projects end up failing. Mainly, this happens due to the market’s inability to distinguish data scientists and engineers.
Even now, it’s surprisingly common to find articles online about data scientists’ responsibilities when some of them belong to the data engineer job description. A lack of understanding of what data scientists can and cannot do leads to a high failure percentage and common burn-out.
The thing is, neither data scientists nor engineers can act on their own. Scientists hugely depend on engineers to provide infrastructure. If it’s not set up correctly, even the most skilled scientists with excellent knowledge of complex computational formulas will not execute the project properly.
The data development and management field include many specialties. Data engineers and scientists are only some of the roles necessary in the field. These positions, however, are intertwined – team members can step in and perform tasks that technically belong to another role.
Check out this image, for example. I like the addition of business as well as technology.
Check out his entire article if you are involved with doing something with all the data you are collecting. He suggests organizations for small, medium, and larger organizations. Unfortunately for me, industrial or manufacturing markets are not listed as specialties of the company. But the company has some good ideas to share.
Describing “connected worker” has changed much over the past 5-10 years. The evolution goes through WiFi to Cellular technology enabling tablet computers and then smart phones. I’ve noticed that the term almost always refers to finding work instructions and occasionally communication on said tablet or phone.
Marketers may wax eloquently on digital transformation, innovation, employee satisfaction, Internet of Things and other descriptions that they hope convey the latest fad, but in the end what they mean is workflow. And workflow has been around for years.
That being said (and since I have a few more of these press releases, and it relates to one I just wrote about a “Teamwork” app), these are useful tools. I remember studying this concept some 40 years ago realizing the power for effective productivity and quality. We just get faster and better. I like this news, because it describes someone actually using the technology.
Parsable has announced its software solution is being deployed by Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. at its forthcoming Smart Factory model site. The site is the first of its kind for the multinational beverage company and serves as the prototype for the development of other Suntory Smart Factory plants in Japan.
This inaugural Suntory Smart Factory site, located in Omachi, Nagano prefecture, Japan, will produce bottled mineral water and is scheduled to begin operations in summer 2021. Additional sites will consider following the innovation of their facilities throughout Japan.
Suntory saw Parsable and its Connected Worker Platform as a critical partner for making the successful leap to a Smart Factory manufacturing environment.
The Parsable Connected Worker Platform will be used to augment Suntory’s frontline worker experience, providing mobile-based, digital tools. The platform will be part of a broader ecosystem of advanced technologies that integrate the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotic automation, data lakes, and more into daily manufacturing and supply chain operations.
“Connected worker technology is now table stakes when industrial leaders consider how to improve the safety, productivity and efficiency of their workforce through digitalization,” said Lawrence Whittle, CEO, Parsable. “Suntory’s progressive Smart Factory initiative and investment in Parsable’s Connected Worker Platform show its dedication not only to digitally transforming CPG manufacturing, but also to creating the best working environment and opportunities for its frontline employees. This agreement also broadens Parsable’s footprint in Asia, which is a key market for us.”
With the integration of Parsable into Suntory’s operations systems, Suntory management can guide frontline personnel to perform tasks safely and accurately through multimedia, collaborative standardized work procedures on Parsable’s easy-to-use mobile app, eliminating the need for inefficient paper-based work instructions. Managers can access work execution data and trends via real-time dashboards that allow safety, quality and efficiency issues to be identified for immediate resolution and optimization.
“We are excited to leverage all that the Parsable Connected Worker Platform has to offer. As we bring to life the concept of the Smart Factory and create the blueprint for highly advanced, environmentally friendly factories in the world, we must ensure that our personnel has the tools they need to more effectively execute their work on the production floor,” said Ryo Takayama, Senior General Manager, Engineering Department, Suntory Food & Beverage Ltd. “The concept of Industry 4.0 is not just reserved for processes and equipment; it needs to empower and connect workers as well.”
I wrote about the Microsoft and AVEVA announced extension to their partnership a couple of weeks ago to focus on Microsoft cloud services—especially Microsoft Azure (infrastructure, data and AI services). Key focus areas include the connected worker and building a common Asset Strategy (Asset Performance).
Mario Joao, vice president of AVEVA charged with developing these partnerships and alliances, took some time to chat about the Microsoft partnership.
“The companies have had a long history of working together,” he told me. “Partnerships and alliances are the only way forward to scale our offerings to customers. The relationship was solely based on technology. Now, it encompasses more than that by adding sales and focusing on results.”
- Transforming Industrial Workforce–much of the work is geared toward workforce, the user experience, use of Microsoft Teams, and workforce safety,
- Microsoft Azure Cloud AI–enhancing cognitive search, working with Asset Performance Management,
- Further adoption of cloud with Azure–many companies have adopted an industrial cloud strategy, but many are still evaluating with many astute questions regarding security, geo-location of the servers, safety of operations data,
- Emphasize business value–especially to both OT and to IT teams,
- Foster sustainability,
- Note: Microsoft is hiring people with industry expertise,
- Microsoft provides a platform; AVEVA builds on top with applications that add value to customers.
Honeywell’s PR person has been a regular in my inbox for the past few months. I have two news releases from different areas of Honeywell, but each relevant to the cause. One fits within the current trend toward cloud partnerships that extend value to customers. The other advances gas metering—eliminating a source of waste and cost.
Honeywell and Microsoft
The integration of Honeywell Forge and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service will provide closed loop maintenance for building owners and operators.
The integration allows customers to access operating data that includes workflow management support so that workers in the field will be able to access critical data that will help them prioritize, analyze, and solve problems more quickly.
The first area of focus will be in automating maintenance for building owners and operators. To optimize their buildings’ energy, performance and comfort, they often need to pull data from a variety of sources that are not normalized and inform remote and dispersed workforces. Facility managers must determine what problem to fix, when to fix it and who to assign to the job, which can be very difficult without having the necessary asset know-how and work order management capability.
“Honeywell’s partnership with Microsoft will deliver new value to our customers as we help them solve business challenges by digitizing their operations,” said Que Dallara, president and CEO, Honeywell Connected Enterprise. “Working with Microsoft, Honeywell will bring solutions at scale – powered by AI-driven insights and immediate access to data – that will help our customers work more efficiently than ever before.”
Dynamics 365 Field Service allows companies to remotely detect and address potential issues early to avoid unnecessary downtime or operational inefficiencies by analyzing IoT data and to improve proactive service offerings through AI-infused IoT alerts and work orders. Leveraging Microsoft’s cloud will enable Honeywell to quickly bring new offerings to market while helping customers meet regional security, privacy, and compliance requirements.
“To achieve resilient operations and sustainable growth, businesses need to partner to fully unlock the opportunities of cloud, AI and IoT technologies. By integrating Honeywell and Microsoft services, companies turn IoT data into critical business insights and actions to optimize operations and deliver new customer value faster,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business.
Working with Microsoft, Honeywell is already delivering the following Honeywell Forge SaaS solutions that will address what customers need now to return to work and, in the future, to operate safely and efficiently, including:
- Digitized Maintenance – Offers a panoramic view of the performance of facilities and assets using near real-time analytics. This provides important information about critical equipment issues before they become big repair or even replacement problems.
- Energy Optimization – A cloud-based, closed-loop, machine-learning solution that continuously studies a building’s HVAC energy consumption patterns and automatically adjusts to optimal energy saving settings without compromising occupant comfort levels.
- OT Cybersecurity – Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity provides continuous threat detection with minimal disruption of services. The robust software solution simplifies, strengthens and scales industrial cybersecurity operations across the enterprise.
The companies are also exploring more ways to bring innovation to customers by integrating Honeywell Forge solutions with Azure services such as Azure Digital Twins and Azure edge capabilities. Using edge computing, customers can run AI, machine learning, and business processes directly across plants, warehouses, machines, and appliances for quicker actions without the need for a constant internet connection.
Honeywell Metering Software App
Honeywell announced the release of Measurement IQ (MIQ) Optimize – an enterprise-wide solution for monitoring meters, gas chromatographs, and other measurement assets. The new software solution collects and analyses diagnostic information from devices across different sites for a real-time overview of metering health. The MIQ Optimize solution can provide an early warning of measurement concerns, so that operators can prioritize and address meter issues having the most impact on their business.
MIQ Optimize allows users to detect increasing measurement uncertainty more quickly, helping avoid failures and downtime, reducing engineer site visits, and extending calibration periods. The solution also includes recommended actions to ease troubleshooting and maintenance – identifying the most likely causes of meter issues and suggesting remedies. The software supports Honeywell meters and gas chromatographs as well as devices from other major manufacturers.
“Measurement IQ Optimize provides the first vendor-agnostic, enterprise-wide view of the health of metering operations. From a single pane of glass, users can identify their key sources of measurement uncertainty, the value at risk and what they can do to reduce it,” said Max Gutberlet, offering manager, gas software and solutions, Honeywell Process Solutions. ”It’s a powerful tool for directing condition-based maintenance programs and dramatically reducing the cost of lost and unaccounted gas through mismeasurement.”
The solution allows gas distribution businesses and others to address the millions lost every year to undetected meter inaccuracy. Uncertainty of just 0.5% in ultrasonic gas measurement can add up to a cost of approximately $1 million per year. With real-time monitoring, operators can detect issues before these losses accumulate; while enterprise-wide management of meter uncertainty can drive improvement in fiscal metering margins.
Rockwell Automation’s version of a virtual trade show and conference, Automation Fair at Home, is wrapping up. I have been able to talk with only a few people outside of Rockwell about the event. Looks like it went well for them. Reports are the sessions were well attended. The trade show part was interesting. I went, but I didn’t try the Zoom one-on-ones at each booth. I attended so many sessions that I received a Certificate of Completion for 1 professional development unit for Digital Transformation.
I sat in mostly software-oriented press conferences and sessions. PTC and Microsoft were given a lot of promotion. One could easily get the impression that ThingWorx provided a huge share of Rockwell Software. The partnerships with Microsoft were highlighted in most talks. Rockwell has always talked partnerships, but it seemed much more serious this year.
This is also the year when I felt that Rockwell Automation was seriously all-in on Connected Enterprise. I always felt something missing before. This year it can really talk the IT and OT connection—and prove it.
I have two more press releases. Before that, a conversation I would have had at the booth with Jason Anderson, Stratus Technologies VP of Strategy and Product Management. I’ve previously written about the press release with PlantPAx (RA process control software) on the Stratus Edge compute product. Anderson explained that his company’s compute platform stands between the high-end compute of large IT companies and an industrial PC. Machine and skid builders have adopted it as a way to perform the analytics and other compute functions, including even the process control, eliminating the problem of connecting to their customers’ IT infrastructure from controllers or PCs. I think it’s a great strategy and fills an open market segment. It’s a win for Stratus as well as for Rockwell—and of course for customers.
Rockwell Lifecycle IQ Services
Lifecycle Services was elevated to a top business unit at Rockwell headed by an SVP—Frank Kulaszewicz, and therefore is evolving a new brand: LifecycleIQ Services.
LifecycleIQ Services combines digital technologies with human know-how helping companies at every point in their business cycle during the design, operations, and maintenance stages in greenfield and brownfield facilities.
“LifecycleIQ Services create a more intimate customer engagement model, one that can help companies not only solve problems, but also see new possibilities in production and transform them into reality,” said Frank Kulaszewicz, senior vice president, Lifecycle Services at Rockwell Automation. “We’re investing in providing a wide range of holistic services to help companies be more productive, safe and secure anywhere in a product, process or plant lifecycle.”
Industrial companies can use LifecycleIQ Services to achieve outcomes like:
Capturing more value from digital transformation initiatives
Reducing risk with comprehensive cybersecurity support
Improving workforce support
LifecycleIQ Services can help companies by assessing needs, identifying priorities and creating workforce development programs. Rockwell Automation also uses remote support capabilities and augmented reality technologies to help companies interact virtually with support engineers, strengthen skills with virtual training, and provide safety and security services without sending people into plants.
To improve customer experiences, LifecycleIQ Services is also introducing a new way to receive multiple services in one contract. An Integrated Service Agreement allows companies to select a package of offerings to simplify their support needs and have just one number to call to access experts and receive priority service. Companies can get 24×7 technical support, repair services, reports and analytics, field services and more, all in one integrated contract.
New security certifications and products
Rockwell Automation continues expanding its cybersecurity certifications and incorporating advanced security capabilities into more of its products. It recently received certification to the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 62443-3-3 cybersecurity standard. The certification, performed by third party TÜV Rheinland, means Rockwell Automation has demonstrated the ability to install and configure production systems to meet security requirements to level 1 as defined in the world’s leading global standard.
Rockwell Automation offers reference architectures for implementing a certified production system, such as PlantPAx 5.0. The architectures were developed to help customers certify production systems while minimizing the need to buy new technologies as part of the process. To date, Rockwell Automation has received several certifications for the IEC 62443 series of standards.
Rockwell Automation also recently received certification for the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 27001 standard, confirming that the company’s information security management system used to protect data meets the standard’s requirements.
“Companies are facing the dual challenge of digital transformation to stay competitive, while also keeping their people, operations and intellectual property secure,” said Sujeet Chand, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Rockwell Automation. “We continue to aggressively expand our cybersecurity skills, certifications, product capabilities and services in ways that help our customers stay ahead of new threats and focus on realizing new possibilities with digital transformation.”
In addition to earning the new certifications, Rockwell Automation is also releasing new products with CIP Security to help companies secure their communications. Developed by ODVA, CIP Security is the only standard designed to secure communications between industrial control systems and other devices on an EtherNet/IP network.
New industrial control products offering CIP Security include:
- Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755T AC drives
- Kinetix 5300 servo drives
Other Rockwell Automation products that already support CIP Security include:
- ControlLogix 5580 controllers
- Kinetix 5700 servo drives
- 1756-EN4TR communication module
To help protect the many devices in use today that don’t support CIP Security, Rockwell Automation is also introducing the new CIP Security Proxy device. When used in a physically secured location, the device provides CIP Security for a wide range of industrial control devices and create more secure industrial networks.
I have to admit, I’m much less tired than I’ve been this week relative to every other year beginning in 1997 at my first Automation Fair by Rockwell Automation. I sat in on a few Rockwell sessions and even squeezed in a robotic press conference from a different supplier. Busy day.
Bear with me a moment. One of my favorite philosophers is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He was a French Jesuit priest and a paleontologist. In one of his books, he used the metaphor of an ascending spiral to describe the history of evolution. Or, if theology is your hobby, try outlining John’s First Letter (from the Christian New Testament). It won’t come out Roman Numeral I with A, B, C and then Roman Numeral II, etc. That outline will also look like a spiral with each new idea ascending above the earlier one.
The reason I bring this up is that I listened to all the presentations and, with one filter in place, it sounded much like the same words as seven years ago. In fact, many of the ideas could date back 20 years. On the other hand, remove that filter and look at the presentations with a different filter, we see that everything is the same, but at a much higher level.
Each year, both the technologies and business contexts have grown over the year before until you realize that the seven-years-ago-me would not recognize much of the today-me.
The constant theme of several years returned in force this year—Connected Enterprise. And the Connected Enterprise does not work for customers unless the supplier brings partners. Rockwell Automation spokespeople prominently displayed this year’s premier partners—Microsoft, PTC, Emulate3D, Ansys, Kalypso.
Cloud is accepted as commonplace. It’s just one of the gang. Not a lot of discussion of Edge except for a short introduction of Microsoft Azure Edge technologies. Ethernet is now so commonplace that it was not mentioned. However, MES (the manufacturing execution software) received more mentions that a center midfielder in the English Premier League gets touches of the ball. Almost every case study mentioned it.
I went to the Milwaukee headquarters for the first time in the mid-90s for a week-long training class. It was brutal, by the way. But those of us smart enough to wait until we finished homework before we got our beer finished high on the list (I think I was 3rd in my class). One of the features was an automated manufacturing line for the new IEC-style contactors. Guess what? Featured this year was a brand-new automated assembly line making—contactors. It looked pretty good.
The contactor line was part of a Rockwell supply chain tour of plants in the US, Mexico, Singapore, and Poland exhibiting how Rockwell uses its own products plus those of its partners to maintain a robust internal supply chain.
The company has come a long way from the controller and contactor company I knew 30 years ago. They proved to me (not that I don’t have many other questions) that they are serious about the Connected Enterprise. It has progressed up the spiral.
Not to mention, this year I don’t have to travel on my Birthday, which is this week.