Honeywell Launches Batch Historian and Battery Manufacturing Platform

I did not attend Honeywell User Group in Madrid this month. Searching for news from the event, I found a couple of press releases—one regarding Batch Processing, one regarding battery manufacturing, and also news that there will be an Americas HUG in Dallas October 1-3.

Brief information for the new products follows.

Batch Historian

Honeywell Batch Historian comprises a software digitalization solution designed to provide manufacturers with contextualized data history for reporting and analytics, leading to more efficient and cost-effective operations. 

Manufacturers often encounter complications analyzing data with a lack of batch visualization, which makes it difficult to expand data usage to advanced applications. With Honeywell Batch Historian, manufacturers can now directly capture data with context from batch engines without complex configuration. The new solution leverages simple drag-and-drop tile configuration, eliminating the need for advanced programming skillsets or detailed historian database knowledge to develop reports.

The software is a standalone application that can be delivered as a module on the Manufacturing Excellence Platform (MXP), or made available as a standard part of every Experion Batch system. 

Battery Manufacturing

Honeywell Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform (Battery MXP) comprises an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software solution designed to optimize the operation of gigafactories from day one by improving battery cell yields and expediting facility startups for manufacturers.

Battery MXP incorporates AI techniques in the manufacturing process, which enables the detection and remediation of quality issues before they result in scrapped material. The solution then utilizes machine learning to identify conditions that lead to quality issues and turns this data into action-oriented insights that manufacturers can use to improve efficiency and productivity.

Seeq Announces Industrial Enterprise Monitoring Capabilities 

Seeq is one of a few newish software companies that I am watching while I try to determine the health of the industrial technology infrastructure. Despite that, I was not invited and did not attend their recent user conference. There was one announcement from the conference that looks intriguing. The Seeq platform is seeking (I’m sorry) an enterprise outlook.

Seeq announced the launch of the Seeq Industrial Enterprise Monitoring Suite with the release of Seeq Vantage, the company’s first industrial enterprise monitoring app.

The Seeq Industrial Enterprise Monitoring Suite provides a comprehensive, automated view into operational performance—past and present. This broader view enables better decision making and continuous improvement across today’s complex, industrial ecosystems. The Seeq Industrial Enterprise Monitoring Suite leverages the combined power of the Seeq Industrial Analytics and AI Suite and the context that only teams of experts can provide—all at the scale needed to drive truly impactful results across the operational footprint.

Through the Seeq Vantage app, industrial organizations can tailor, deploy and automate enterprise-level use cases, such as asset and process monitoring, condition-based maintenance, reliability and downtime tracking and more. Coupled with the Seeq Industrial Analytics and AI Suite, customers now have an integrated ecosystem to capture, analyze, aggregate, monitor, triage, investigate, and document insights and actions at the local level and the enterprise level.  The app provides proactive and automated enterprise surveillance for daily operational decisions, and comprehensive assembly of operational effectiveness and utilization understanding to prioritize longer-term investment decisions.

Automate Report 3: Inductive Automation and Opto 22

While at Automate 2024 I saw Travis Cox of Inductive Automation and Benson Hougland of Opto 22. It was tough seeing them since their booth was always packed. I wound up walking through the show and out into the corridor with them.

These two companies plus Cirrus Link (MQTT and Sparkplug) are perhaps the best partnership combination I’ve seen in my years reporting in this market. Ignition running on Opto’s Groov Epic platform with MQTT and Sparkplug as the communications architecture solve many customer problems.

Hougland told me that they are continuing to build out the Groov platform. And to watch for cool things coming.

Cox told me that the big thing to pay attention to right now from Inductive Automation is the integration with Snowflake (more below). He says the integration keeps improving.

Here is Cox describing the integration at the last Ignition Community Conference:

And well, we got all the community to participate, where they’re basically leveraging Ignition or Ignition Edge or potentially have a smart device that speaks MQTT Sparkplug and they’re gonna build a data model, publish that up to a Chariot broker that’s in the cloud. Real simple. Then we can use the IoT bridge for Snowflake by Cirrus Link and all that data from Sparkplug goes directly into the Snowflake database. We’re showing it on a dashboard within Ignition, but it’s going to Snowflake database as well. And we can easily go and query that data. And we went one step further and we’re actually showing the anomaly detection within the Data Dash. So we’ll do a demonstration of this in just a moment, but wanna show you just how easy it is for this solution. And it’s all something we could do right now. It’s very, very simple to get started with this whole thing. 

What is Snowflake, you may ask. Here is Pugal Janakiraman from Snowflake speaking at ICC 2024:

Snowflake is a globally connected cloud vendor agnostic data platform. It’s one single managed service from Snowflake. We take care of security, we take care of governance, we take care of scalability. And after that, much more cool, your API of choice is still SQL. You don’t have to learn hundreds of new services. You continue to use SQL as a mechanism to leverage data which is present in Snowflake, whether it is around building dashboards or you want to build an AI and ML model or build inference around those models, you still use SQL as an API for doing that.

Snowflake is a cloud-native database. Data can still reside on-premise or it can reside in whatever is your cloud vendor of choice. You can run analytics without the data movement out there. So we provide that kind of collaboration mechanisms. We provide AI and ML-based analytics. This is how the journey started for us. Ignition on Edge with zero coding using Snowpipe Streaming API, send the data to Snowflake. 

AVEVA Launches New Hybrid Cloud Solution

I heard from Hannover Messe that AVEVA was launching a hybrid/cloud MES solution. Being curious, I was able to talk with Rob McGreevy, Chief Product Officer, AVEVA about this.

Why hybrid cloud MES? Today’s manufacturing is high speed/high volume, need to get closer to the edge, closer to the critical control, the machines, yet we need to move data from edge to cloud. 

I get why edge, but why cloud? The reason for cloud is analytics, being able to use AI for process centerlining comparatives. We can get to predictive prescriptive quality based on hundreds of variables. Predictive usage of sustainable resources. All this becomes more feasible by connecting realtime data from the edge to the cloud.

This further information about the product comes from the press release. Software solution providers keep pushing the ball a bit further at a time.

AVEVA launches hybrid cloud

To mitigate barriers to industrial innovation, AVEVA is launching at Hannover Messe in April its new hybrid cloud Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution that addresses the supply chain challenges by enabling manufacturing companies to fully visualize and optimize multi-site operations in the cloud.

AVEVA has expanded CONNECT, its industrial intelligence platform with data and visualization services for hybrid Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solutions.

AVEVA’s new hybrid MES solution enables manufacturing companies to manage production data in the cloud, to improve supply chain agility with enterprise-wide visibility into distributed plant operations. This enables companies to optimize their operational performance and sustainability with new insights and guidance provided by advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and data visualization.

AVEVA’s hybrid MES solution combines advanced model-driven MES capabilities at the edge with cloud-based data, analytics and visualization services available on the CONNECT industrial intelligence platform. The ability to collect and securely store data from AVEVA Manufacturing Execution System and process data sources, such as AVEVA PI System and AVEVA’s Operations Control, in a single, secure location in the cloud, makes it easier to aggregate, contextualize and securely share operational data, eliminate organizational data silos, and foster greater collaboration. This unlocks new value from the combined data sets for optimal centerlining of production equipment, soft sensors and predictions that improve quality, throughput and energy use, as well as anomaly detection that gives early insight into production losses before they occur.

Hexagon Partners with Microsoft Using Cloud Technology for Team Collaboration

Partnering with Microsoft continues to be an important part of manufacturing software development. This news is from Hexagon partnering with Microsoft to integrate engineering with Microsoft 365 to foster data collaboration among engineers. There’s a lot of marketing overkill in the release, but the essence is they hope to improve innovation through engineers and designers using improved collaboration tools.

  • Hexagon has contributed significantly to the open-source Fluid Framework data architecture that connects any manufacturing system and will integrate with Microsoft 365 creating agile, simplified workflows and productive collaboration using engineering and productivity software
  • Hexagon will roll-out applications that integrate the Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to empower experienced employees to be more productive and assist less skilled users
  • These innovations form a significant foundation for new real-time co-engineering applications that combine Hexagon’s digital twin technologies with Microsoft Azure

Hexagon and Microsoft have partnered closely on the development and scaling of the open-source Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay service to support the real-time sharing of data across a wide range of manufacturing industry processes and systems, allowing data created in one system to be immediately available to any other person or machine operating in another. Under the new partnership, the Microsoft 365 ecosystem will plug into this data layer, enabling customers to connect their day-to-day office documents and processes with manufacturing tools. This gives teams the freedom to innovate with the tools they already use; for example, tooling cost data from a Microsoft Excel worksheet could be easily shared with a CAM programmer, so simplifying work practices and decision-making between roles.

Microsoft Teams calls can become interactive working sessions, with CAD, simulations or metrology point clouds seamlessly visualised from the source data to allow on-the-spot collaboration and fast, iterative teamwork across disparate engineering and manufacturing functions. Hexagon has already demonstrated this capability in its 3D Whiteboard Nexus tool, which is also now available as an native app in Teams.

Hexagon is working with Microsoft to integrate generative AI models into its manufacturing software, helping users to make better use of their capabilities and analysing existing datasets to learn and suggest the best practices for achieving desired outputs. These AI experiences include contextual advisors, offering expert users productivity-boosting automation while also helping new users to upskill faster and achieve good results with less supervision – a valuable tool as the industry faces a growing skills shortage in many essential roles.

Secure Edge Management to Disconnected Environments

In brief:

  • Companies can now monitor and manage fleets of edge nodes locally, ensuring continuous secure operations even when cloud connectivity is disrupted.
  • ZEDEDA Edge Sync is the first edge solution that enables customers to manage deployments locally and from the cloud, providing the flexibility to move to the cloud from air-gapped environments.
  • ZEDEDA Edge Sync is the latest addition to ZEDEDA’s Edge Application Services suite. It simplifies the security and management of edge infrastructure and applications at scale.

ZEDEDA continues to update its edge orchestration solution. This update expands its utility.

ZEDEDA, the leader in edge management and orchestration, today announced ZEDEDA Edge Sync, a secure and convenient solution tailored for air-gapped environments and edge deployments lacking consistent cloud connectivity.

Despite advancements in connectivity at the edge, many deployments still face network challenges due to their distributed nature, ultra-secure systems or unreliable connections. ZEDEDA Edge Sync solves these problems by enabling local node management while seamlessly integrating with ZEDEDA’s platform.

Due to their distributed nature, modern edge deployments confront numerous network connectivity challenges. Edge deployments often lack consistent cloud connectivity due to high-security air-gapped environments, unreliable network connectivity, or frequent planned outages. ZEDEDA Edge Sync solves these problems by running on a local network regardless of the network connectivity method and connecting to the ZEDEDA cloud controller when connectivity is restored.

For example, it may be common for a location’s network connection to get interrupted for some time, either planned or unplanned. To avoid any service interruption during the outage, the site operator can ensure that edge nodes are functioning properly and that configuration changes are possible while the outage persists.

This applies even to completely air-gapped deployments where the device can never connect to the outside world once it is deployed. ZEDEDA Edge Sync allows monitoring and changes at a fleet level as long as the local edge nodes have access to the network the ZEDEDA Edge Sync service is on. It eliminates the need for expensive hardware components by running on standard systems and supports varying levels of disconnectedness without compromising functionality.

ZEDEDA Edge Sync provides a management and monitoring API that enables customers to build their own custom integrations, applications, and HMI interfaces on top of it, leveraging ZEDEDA’s API-based approach.

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