ZEDEDA Introduces New Certification to Support Growing Use of Edge Computing

Companies are trying several different strategies to assemble a coalition or collaboration in pursuit of building market momentum. Many of these niche software categories are interesting. My wonder is whether the end game is the typical one among technology startups these day—eventual acquisition. Sometimes these work out and sometimes they don’t. But Zededa (I don’t like the all caps marketing ploy) does have some interesting technology. Here is its latest strategy.

  • Zededa Certified Edge Computing Associate (ZCEA) is a free, vendor-agnostic certification providing fundamental knowledge of the benefits and solutions of edge computing
  • ZECA is the latest addition to the Zededa Certification Program and part of Zededa Edge Academy, the industry’s first online educational hub
  • Edge computing is expected to be a cornerstone of ongoing digital transformation projects within all types of organizations

The Zededa Certified Edge Computing Associate (ZCEA) certification is available to anyone interested in learning more about the fundamentals of the edge computing industry. The course is free and vendor-agnostic, and the certificate can be shared on resumes, online profiles and job boards.

“As a leader in the industry, ZEDEDA is well-positioned to educate people in the value, challenges, and key industries poised to benefit,” said Kevin Freitas, Senior Director, Learning and Edge Academy. “We’re excited to launch this new certification to share edge computing essential knowledge as this aligns perfectly with our commitment to being leaders in the Edge Management and Orchestration market.”

Ignition Cloud Edition Now Available in Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Pay-As-You-Go Solution Provides a Simpler Way to Leverage More Cloud Capabilities

Inductive Automation recently moved its flagship Ignition software to the cloud. Now it’s available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace on a pay-as-you-go plan.

Ignition Cloud Edition works together with the standard Ignition platform and Ignition Edge, creating a fully integrated and scalable system that connects people, processes, and programs for true digital transformation.

Ignition Cloud Edition on Azure combines the vast power of the Ignition platform with Azure’s extensive cloud computing services. Adding this listing to Azure’s marketplace provides an additional avenue for access, bringing additional flexibility to architectures and opening up even more possibilities for innovation,” says Kevin McClusky, Chief Technology Architect, Inductive Automation.

Ignition Cloud Edition comes packaged with Ignition Core Modules: Perspective, Reporting, SQL Bridge, OPC UA, Enterprise Administration Module (EAM), Tag Historian, and Alarm Notification. It also includes the Web Development, Twilio Notification, and Voice Notification modules, as well as the MQTT Engine, MQTT Distributor, MQTT Transmission modules from Cirrus Link Solutions. A cloud connector module called the MongoDB Module is also included, and Cloud Edition users will get new cloud connector modules as they become available.

Ignition Cloud Edition’s pay-as-you-go purchasing model opens up budget options, allowing companies to use part of their operating expenditure budget allotted for cloud services instead of capital expenditures. It is important to note that Cloud Edition is not SaaS, and users are responsible for configuration, backup, and upgrades of the software. Cloud Edition is backed by TotalCare Support, which includes unlimited phone and web support, upgrade protection, discounts on training courses, and more.

AR and VR Potentials Look Exciting

Would you be comfortable wearing a headset that includes a sort-of goggles and speakers for periods of time? They would be a combination of virtual reality where you are immersed in a projected simulation and can be switched to augmented reality where you can see the physical area around you with an overlay of digital information.

The Apple Vision Pro unveiled at the June 2023 Worldwide Developer Conference (reviewed here) revealed Apple’s solutions to the many engineering and design challenges. Rampant speculation about using it and applications followed.

After listening to this conversation between Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons and John Gruber of Daring Fireball and The Talk Show has broadened my mind. “Michael Simmons returns to the show to talk about his experience at Apple’s developer lab for Vision Pro, and his enthusiasm for the future of spatial computing.”

You need to listen to the conversation. But Simmons discusses his hands on time with the product in a developer lab and his current thinking about developing applications. I’ve now changed my mind about its applicability for general computing. It provides ability to see multiple screens while the user continues to use keyboard and mouse or whatever. He said he did not tire using the headset for an extended period. Nor did he suffer effects such as dizziness.

Certainly you can watch movies and sports and play games. Watch developer activity over the next four or five months. I would not be surprised to see an Emerson or Honeywell adaptation. Perhaps also Rockwell via PTC Vuforia team.

Using Remote Experts Becoming Technically and Economically Feasible

Last winter the hype cycle concerned metaverse, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR). I wrote about a conversation with GridRaster Co-Founder Dijam Panigrahi about his company’s take on “immersive mixed reality for enterprises.” That was in January this year. Not long after came ChatGPT and the hype cycle went into overdrive on Artificial Intelligence. Now everything is AI.

This seemed to be a good time to talk with Dijam again following up to see if he wanted to add AI to the AR/VR talk and come full circle beyond the hype cycle. Also he is not the marketing lead. We can skip the buzzwords and hype and focus on why and how rather than stay at a more superficial plane.

GridRaster provides the platform, foundation if you will, for using AR and VR hardware of your choice in order to accomplish real-world tasks. Talking with me, he’ll focus on industrial and manufacturing applications.

The marketing pitch leading to this conversation included sustainability. We broached that topic through the lens of minimalism. The idea of using technology to minimize use of resources.

OK, disclaimer, my son is a commercial airline pilot. I encourage all of you to go out and fly somewhere. However, if you have a problem with an asset, you may not want to wait hours/days for an expert to fly in from somewhere far away only to discover that a critical tool was located elsewhere.

How do we get these tools that may include AR or VR and/or AI to the front line worker in order to accomplish the task quickly and efficiently. For example, he told me, imagine a worker facing an aircraft grounded somewhere. It never requires maintenance where there is a maintenance hub. Now, the company must fly in an expert.

Now, what if we give that front-line worker something like a Microsoft HoloLens backed up with the GridRaster platform? Now between the local camera and 3D modeling (digital twin), the expert can see what is happening right at the instant. That expert can now see what’s happening, the worker can see information displayed through the device, and the expert can now guide the worker to complete the repair. Saves time, expense, fuel.

Dijam sees the platform and applicability extended to design engineering. Designers use clay models and iterative detailing to prototype a new car. With 3D modeling and conversations with a variety of design engineers, the team can iterate faster. This same applicability extends even into the manufacturing of the product.

I mentioned that I first wrote about these applications about 23 years ago. But the networks were too slow, the hardware too clunky, and the tools limited. He said, sure, look at how unit prices of many things have decreased, networks moving now even into 5G, data moving from centralized cloud to hybrid and edge. Technology continues to improve speed, ease of use, price for application. Plus GridRaster solving the infrastructure problem.

They have tried their application in manufacturing and have found that an AR solution helps a worker with one year of experience perform as well as one with five years. Given the worker shortage problem all over the world, this alone would justify a purchase.

Seeq, Databricks Partner to Accelerate IT-OT Data Convergence Across the Enterprise

What can we say? It’s still all about data—collect, analyze, present, use.

Seeq Corporation, a leader in advanced analytics for manufacturing, announced a partnership with Databricks, the data and AI company, that brings a native integration between each company’s platform to simplify access to high quality asset and process data, unify IT and OT data processing, and accelerate AI/ML adoption across the industrial manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and energy sectors.

This bi-directional integration enables users to seamlessly combine contextualized time series data from industrial assets with a vast array of enterprise data sources to deliver more robust reporting, analytics, and predictions in their business. Databricks customers can now take advantage of Seeq’s extensive connectivity to time series data sources and power a wide range of analytical use cases across the enterprise. Insights developed in Databricks Lakehouse Platform can be operationalized in Seeq, introducing new opportunities for process experts and data teams to deliver data-driven solutions to increase industrial productivity, improve operational reliability, enhance safety, and accelerate progress towards sustainability goals.

For petrochemical manufacturer Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, the Seeq and Databricks integration accelerated the company’s ability to scale data science and machine learning efforts across multiple digital initiatives involving process and laboratory data.

Brent Railey, Chief Data & Analytics Officer of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company comments, “We are very excited about this partnership, as it will be mutually beneficial for Databricks, Seeq, and their shared customers. Seeq brings key time-series functionality that just isn’t available in other solutions. Seeq also simplifies the complexities of connecting to various types of process data sources. Databricks brings scalable, elastic data engineering and data science capabilities at an affordable price. Seeq can bring data to Databricks for complementary analytic purposes within Databricks. Databricks can serve cleansed and refined IIoT data to Seeq for self-service analytics. This partnership should make this one-two punch even more powerful!”

“Our collaboration with Seeq unlocks tremendous value for customers, making it simpler for organizations to operationalize and democratize IoT datasets by leveraging the open and secure foundation of the Databricks Lakehouse Platform. This significantly lowers the barrier to data-driven innovation in the industry,” says Shiv Trisal, Global Manufacturing Industry Leader at Databricks.

“The Seeq and Databricks integration is a critical step toward bridging the communication gap between operations technology and information technology personnel, which will drive increased machine learning value across the enterprise,” says Megan Buntain, VP of Global Partnerships and Ecosystem at Seeq. “We’re thrilled to add Databricks to the Seeq partner ecosystem and look forward to continuing to innovate with their team to improve outcomes for manufacturers.”

Yokogawa to Release Collaborative Information Server Upgrade

More robust alarm management, improved access to maintenance information, and enhanced support of international standards.

Once I knew many people at Yokogawa and had visited their offices outside Atlanta and Houston a few times. Now I see Dave Emerson and Penny Chen a couple of times a year and haven’t heard anything from marketing for years. Now I’m back on Yokogawa’s radar.

This news is interesting because data has become a meaningful topic. This news reveals updates to the Collaborative Information Server (CI Server) part of the OpreX Control and Safety System family. The update provides more robust alarm management than before, improved access to maintenance information, and expanded support for international communications standards.

This solution will bring together large volumes of data from various plant equipment and systems to enable the optimized management of production activities across an entire enterprise, and provide the environment needed to remotely monitor and control operations from any location and make swift decisions.

Yokogawa came out with the first release of CI Server in 2021. By integrating the handling of all kinds of data from plant equipment, devices, and systems, this solution facilitates the optimized management of production activities across an entire enterprise. With this latest upgrade to CI Server, the company has introduced new functions that enhance its connectivity with plant systems, equipment, and devices, and enable the integrated management of alarms and the use of field device data for such purposes as routine maintenance.

1. OPC UA A&C message reception function

CI Server now supports the client function of OPC Unified Architecture Alarms & Conditions (UA A&C). This enables CI Server to safely and securely receive alarms, system state information, and other kinds of data from any device that supports OPC UA A&C server function, including third-party products.

2. CENTUM VP and ProSafe-RS alarm receiving function through V net

In addition to the monitoring of plant operations, CI Server can now directly receive CENTUM VP and ProSafe-RS alarms through V net. With the addition of this function, linkage with Yokogawa’s CENTUM VP distributed control system and ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system has been enhanced.

3. Linkage with Plant Resource Manager (PRM)

CI Server can now link with Yokogawa’s PRM (R4.06 or later) and is thus able to handle and provide to higher-level systems all the information that is managed using this software package. By linking with data from multiple application programs, CI Server enables the comprehensive monitoring of field device status information, parameters, and other kinds of data.

CI Server alarm integration and linkage with PRM

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