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.

Technology That’s Easy To Support and Implement

I can still remember the meeting to discuss technology, although I’m hazy on the exact date now but sometime in 2003. We had a new magazine. This was when ISA still had relatively large trade shows. My publisher called me. Seems there was a guy in our booth looking for the editor. He had some kind of revolutionary new software built on Java and was IT friendly.

OK, many CEOs had talked to me even in my brief career as an editor with something revolutionary. They are mostly long since exited from the market.

Steve Hechtman was different, but it took a bit of time for me to be certain. He told me about his new company Inductive Automation. It was SCADA/HMI software. I put it in a mental bin along with Wonderware and Intellution at the time. He talked about using standards that were friendly with the IT people and pricing models that would blow away the competition.

And all these years later, Inductive Automation is still thriving. They’ve built quite an ecosystem. (Yes, they are a long-time sponsor, but this is not an advertisement essay. I just happened to see this summary.)

The event that prodded me to write this brief essay was a conversation with a start-up CEO (more news coming next week about that) who had identified an underserved market niche that could be filled quite nicely. I thought about the market I principally write about and how Ignition fit. I wonder, given the maturity of the large automation companies and stagnant market, if perhaps there are other niches opening for enterprising visionaries?

This information came to me. Since I’ve often written about building products on open standards, I thought a little story of how it actually works would be instructional.

  • Ignition is a practical and affordable industrial automation platform based on open technology standards that are safe to trust and easy to support.
  • Based on IT standards — like SQL, Python, MQTT, and OPC UA — and works with practically anything.
  • Based on the open source Java platform and modern technology languages like HTML5 and CSS to keep implementation dependencies to a minimum.
  • Ignition is a system in which your equipment all plays well together and you can implement processes freely without extra fees or royalties. 

Siemens Have Made Many Interesting Automation Announcements

I received many releases regarding automation from Siemens resulting from the Hannover Messe last month. They presented them to assembled press, analysts, and blogger this week at Automate in Chicago. These are all pretty cool.

  • Siemens Industrial Copilot with Generative AI
  • Spatial Computing Electrical Training for Apple Vision Pro
  • Simatic S7-1200 G2—a new generation of controller

Siemens Xcelerator: Scaling roll-out of generative AI with Siemens Industrial Copilot

  • Siemens makes automation easy with the first generative AI-powered product for engineering in an industrial environment
  • Siemens Industrial Copilot accelerates the generation of complex automation code, reduces development times, and increases productivity
  • TIA Portal connection offers customers SCL code generation, customization of HMI visualization, and document search in natural language
  • Available for download from the Siemens Xcelerator marketplace starting in summer 2024

The Siemens Industrial Copilot, the generative AI-powered assistant, is now seamlessly connected to the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal. This will enable engineering teams to find the right help topic and to generate a basic visualization and code faster for programmable logic controllers (PLC). As a result, they will be able to significantly reduce their workload and offload repetitive tasks to the Siemens Industrial Copilot. In addition, the engineering of complex tasks will become less susceptible to errors. This in turn reduces development times and boosts quality and productivity over the long term. The Siemens Industrial Copilot for TIA Portal Engineering will be available for download from the Siemens Xcelerator marketplace starting in summer 2024. 

Siemens and BILT Launch Spatial Computing Electrical Training for Apple Vision Pro

  • Siemens leverages BILT on Apple Vision Pro to provide immersive step-by-step guided instruction for electricians
  • BILT becomes newest Siemens Xcelerator Ecosystem partner
  • BILT spatial computing app on Apple Vision Pro available at Hannover Messe tradeshow

Siemens and BILT, the creators of 3D Intelligent Instructions, are optimizing their mobile guides into spatial models for Apple Vision Pro. As the need for skilled electricians and other trades grows, training the entering workforce, while up-skilling the existing one, is essential. Tools such as BILT on Apple Vision Pro provide a highly immersive and visual training experience that helps users not only learn faster, but safer. 

Siemens’ first product assembly and installation guides available on BILT on Apple Vision Pro include Siemens Smart Infrastructure’s Class 14 NEMA motor starter, designed to control and protect motors applied in industrial processes, and the P5 Power Distribution Panel. 

To further the partnership and accelerate applications globally, BILT will become the newest addition to Siemens’ Xcelerator Ecosystem and Marketplace. Siemens Xcelerator, an open digital business platform and powerful ecosystem of partners, is where industrial clients from around the world can look for solutions that suit their needs. As part of Siemens Xcelerator, BILT will now be available as a turnkey solution to accelerate digital transformation and learning easier, faster and at scale. 

A new generation of controller with Simatic S7-1200 G2

  • Simatic S7-1200 G2 will be available in winter 2024
  • Key benefits include efficient motion control, flexible machine safety, increased performance, and seamless scalability

For the first time in ten years, Siemens is announcing a new generation of controllers, available in winter of 2024, at Hannover Messe 2024. The Simatic S7-1200 G2 controllers are part of the Simatic controller family. 

The new controllers help bridge the worlds of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). The controllers’ high communication performance and efficient data processing increase production output. By connecting the controllers to IT systems, it is also possible to use advanced data analysis, for example in the cloud.

The new controllers are part of Siemens Xcelerator, allowing customers to benefit from the standardized engineering approach in the TIA Portal. The Simatic S7-1200 G2 controller generation enables customers to address major challenges, such as productivity, flexibility, and cost optimization. 

The new range of controllers combines integrated motion control functionalities with space-saving and flexible machine safety solutions.

For example, the S7-1200 G2 controllers make it possible for machine builders to control multiple coordinated axes and simple kinematics. Customers experience increased performance capabilities thanks to improved processing power, dedicated communication performance and more memory, as well as Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality with in-app access to diagnostic, operational, and device data. Plain text diagnostic information about the entire programmable logic controller (PLC) station reduces machine downtime and gives users quick access to data. 

Quickbase Expands Capabilities to Connect, Collaborate and Get Work Done 

I’ve recently learned about a software company called Quickbase. [Disclaimer: I do have a business relationship, but they do not dictate what I write.] I’ve written a couple of items just a couple of months ago. Their virtual conference called Empower will be held Wednesday, May 9. You can hear me as part of a panel presentation beginning at 11:15 EDT.

This update will be explained during the keynotes of the conference. Quickbase is a software application platform for “dynamic work management” featuring no code/low code application. This update, in brief, features cleaner user experience, enhanced AI and mobile capabilities, and out-of-the-box governance controls help everyone deliver impact.

In the new dynamic way of working, organizations must stay nimble, adaptable, and responsive to the non-structured, multi-stakeholder, and highly collaborative way we all work today. This is especially true for operationally driven, complex industries like construction, manufacturing, and others that operate in a world where physical work and digital solutions must coexist to drive projects. These industries have been underserved by technology for decades or have been slower to adopt new tech solutions.  

Using AI, an improved user experience, easier access to mobile forms to capture data and information, and enhanced governance controls, Quickbase is delivering on its vision to connect data, workflows, teams, and projects together to get custom solutions up and running with minimal clicks for the way people and organizations need and want to work, at the speed and scale of their projects, customers, and competition.  

“Most technology solutions are rooted in old ways of working that don’t fit today’s world of dynamic work,” said Ed Jennings, CEO of Quickbase. “Work has changed, and with it the expectations for the tools and technology used to get work done. Speed, scale and customization are priorities, with a depth of vertical specialization and ability to connect to your core systems, all at significantly lower levels of investment. This is the foundation of our platform, focused on easy to use, expert-built solutions with just a few clicks, fully customized to the way you want to work.” 


AI Integration for Faster Building of Solutions, Reports & Integrations – Since the addition of AI-powered capabilities to the Quickbase platform in October 2023, more than 4,500 unique business apps have been built by 2,800 beta users for a variety of use cases, from project management to logistics and invoice management, even solar panel installations. Now, with AI fully-integrated into its platform, users can build fully functional solutions, reports, workflows, and integration in just a few clicks, simply by telling Quickbase’s AI Smart Builder what problem they are trying to solve – no technical expertise required. 

A Whole New Quickbase User Experience – a fresher and faster way to get work done, from creating to managing to iterating and sharing solutions, reducing the amount of clicking and scrolling Gray Work that could slow them down. Users now have a cleaner global menu and redesigned dashboards, putting every action at their fingertips, with enhanced collaboration and communication controls to share and track information; a powerful library of solution-specific applications and formulas, components, and integrations; and quick actions to surface actionable intelligence across the platform. 

Unified Mobile Experience – Since the acquisition of FastField in June 2023, Quickbase has continued to add new capabilities and streamline the creation of forms and capturing of information on job sites, shop floors and other environments where that data is critical to enhancing productivity, compliance, and safety. Now, by adding in-app form building and faster access to FastField in the Quickbase global menu, new and existing users alike can take advantage of FastField to easily build new forms using existing tables and workflows; manage their account and workflows; and access and share critical information throughout their teams and organizations. 

Governance that Supports Customization, Speed and Scale – Quickbase enables organizations to enhance their approach to governance by delivering the speed and flexibility of a typical point solution with platform-level controls with the assurance that solutions stay aligned with business needs and IT policies related to compliance, privacy, and control. This new set of solution application programming interfaces (APIs) supports the continuous improvement and deployment of business-critical solution, giving IT and business leaders confidence that existing application lifecycle management (ALM) requirements are in place across the entire lifecycle of their apps. 

“Our customers have told us again and again that the most important thing any solution should do for them is to help them get work done, faster,” said Debbi Roberts, senior vice president, Product at Quickbase. “We’ve taken that to heart, building our platform with a vision that everyone should be able to do their work in the way that fits them best, creating workflows that reflect exactly how they want to get work done. Our new capabilities realize that promise of powerful, easy to use, intuitive, and customizable solutions to enable everyone to make a quick and lasting impact to their business.” 

Software Streamlines Pharmaceutical Development

Emerson continues on the software development path. In brief: DeltaV Workflow Management delivers scalable recipe authoring and execution technologies for life sciences companies.

Global automation technology and software leader Emerson on April 16, 2024 introduced DeltaV Workflow Management, a next-generation software designed for life sciences companies in early-stage development. The new software continues Emerson’s expansion of capabilities of the evolving DeltaV automation platform to offer more scalable options to suit the needs of smaller life sciences innovators. For companies with limited IT infrastructure, DeltaV Workflow Management provides a cloud-based, software-as-a-service solution for simple recipe authoring, execution and electronic data capture.

DeltaV Workflow Management transitions recipe workflow data from manual records to digital “paper on glass,” providing a simple and scalable solution that helps accelerate the drug development process with no coding experience required. The software also generates searchable digital records that are easily organized and exported and data that can be more easily analyzed and reported. In addition, this digital shift minimizes the contamination risks associated with paper records in sterile clean rooms.

Within DeltaV Workflow Management, users employ simple drag-and-drop elements to create steps for a recipe and automate workflows that meet Good Manufacturing Practice standards. Within those steps, they can add new parameters and e-signature requirements for quality control and regulatory compliance, run product recipes, authorize users for specific tasks and create digital batch records.

Implementing Product Lifecycle Intelligence Yields Benefits

Develop a new product category, hire an analyst firm to conduct some market research, and show how your new product provides benefits to customers. We see it in some “scientific” studies and also studies broadcast on TV advertisements. Here is one by a company called Makersite who touts their new approach called product lifecycle intelligence (PLI).

Makersite, a software company pioneering a new approach to sustainable product design and sourcing, released research conducted by Forrester Consulting, titled “Transform Product Sustainability into Performance Initiatives with Product Lifecycle Intelligence,” that reveals over half of organizations’ sustainability efforts are driven by regulations despite the benefits from adopting more sustainable product lifecycle intelligence (PLI).

Once again we are eliminating data silos. After more than 15 years of writing about products doing just that, I cannot believe it’s still a problem. It’s like the companies relying on complex Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to manage production. Oops, many still do that, too.

Currently, manufacturers struggle to translate compliance initiatives into making informed decisions during the product design phase due to outdated data systems and data silos. The study, commissioned by Makersite, shows that by implementing PLI to integrate data held within their systems, product engineers in the design phase can create products that are more sustainable (30%), have faster time-to-market (28%), and reap higher profits (26%). 

The 2024 study, which included insights from 493 respondents with product design and sourcing decision-makers in manufacturing, also pointed to several operational improvements including the ability to support product lifecycle decisions with better data quality (29%), improved visibility of materials and component supply chains (28%), and more efficient sustainability reporting (28%).

Engineers always have trouble translating their benefit calculations into language the C-suite understands—or even cares about.

Despite the benefits, however, respondents reported experiencing challenges while securing executive support for incorporating sustainability in PLI (53%), measuring and quantifying the environmental impact of their products (51%), and obtaining budget to gather material, component, and supplier intelligence integral to optimizing their product’s quality, cost, and sustainability (50%). These difficulties are a manifestation of poor maintenance of availability, cost, sustainability, and performance data in manufacturers’ material and component libraries – an issue for 49% of decision-makers.

For more insight into the impact of product lifecycle intelligence, download the full commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Makersite: “Transform Product Sustainability into Performance Initiatives with Product Lifecycle Intelligence.”

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