MES Software Market to Grow to US$5.4 Billion in 2031

Analyst firms continue to predict large growth for MES software. I continue to doubt that much growth. This is a report on analysis by ABI Research predicting growth to US$ 5.4 Billion by 2031. I don’t do market research. My forte is product/market analysis evaluating who is there and where there may be gaps. 

The trade organization, MESA, defines the acronym as Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions upgraded from Manufacturing Execution Systems. Moving further, it seems to be settling on Smart Manufacturing as a marketing tag. I volunteered 15 years or more at MESA and still do a little proofreading of papers, but I just haven’t seen the growth I’d expected.

James Prestwood, Industrial and Manufacturing Analyst at ABI Research, says Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) might have been around for a while, but recent innovations put their evolutionary path at the intersection of Industry 4.0 and next-generation industrial automation

I think parts of MES are  valuable in their roles. I’m not so sure about complete MES solutions.

 According to analysis by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, investment in MES software will reach US$5.4 billion in 2031 as manufacturers embrace new and innovative productivity-enhancing solutions. 

I thought several years ago that moving to the cloud for MES (and also CMMS and other manufacturing software) would be a game changer. So feels ABI. 

In particular, the research revealed a growing shift to cloud-based MES software alongside tactics and best practices for integrating and automating the use of production data with the help of modern architecture.

  • The report points to new entrants providing cloud-native products such as Apprentice.io and Tulip.
  • Established enterprise software firms, such as Oracle and SAP, are also turning their hand to MES products. 
  • These cohorts join large market incumbents such as Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and Rockwell Automation.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES): Their Future and Place in the Modern Factory application analysis report and Manufacturing Execution Systems market data report

Endor Labs Launches with $25M Seed Financing to Tackle Sprawl of Open Source Software

A knowledge of programming and software development will help you through this press release of a new company. Endor Labs has exited stealth mode today, Oct. 10, 2022. I keep getting releases with new names for products. This one is Dependency Lifecycle Management Platform. The goal is to help development and security teams maximize software reuse by safely evaluating, maintaining, and updating dependencies.

  • The average enterprise has more than 40,000 open source dependencies directly downloaded by developers. Each of those dependencies can bring in on average 77 other (transitive) dependencies creating a massive, uncontrollable sprawl that slows down development and increases the attack surface across multiple dimensions.
  • Performs deep analytics on each open source software (OSS) dependency.
  • Having a full understanding of their dependency graph also lets customers generate and analyze accurate SBOMs, and have a single source of truth for their entire software inventory.
  • This lifecycle approach to dependency management means it becomes easier than ever to reuse software across the org.
  • The company has raised $25 million in seed financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Dell Technologies Capital, and Sierra Ventures, and several industry luminaries who have recognized the problem Endor Labs is solving. These include CEOs and executives from Palo Alto Networks, Zoom, Snowflake, Zscaler, Netskope, Rubrik, Databricks, Microsoft, and more. 
  • For more information, Co-founder & CEO Varun Badhwar has posted this blog on the founding of Endor Labs.

The Eclipse Foundation Releases 2022 IoT & Edge Developer Survey Results

The Eclipse Foundation announced results from its 2022 IoT & Edge Developer Survey administered by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group, and the Eclipse Sparkplug Working Group. Now in its eighth year, the survey is the IoT & edge industry’s leading technical survey.

“IoT and edge computing are arguably the most important technologies today, particularly for industries like industrial automation, agriculture, and automotive,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “The insights detailed in this survey report can help guide internal developer teams and technology decision-makers as they seek to bring the Industrial IoT to life.”

  • The online survey was conducted from April 1, 2022, to June 15, 2022, during which 910 global developers, committers, architects, and decision-makers from a broad set of industries and organizations participated.
  • Java, C, and C++ are the most widely used programming languages for constrained devices. Developers indicate that Java is the preferred language for IoT gateways and edge nodes.
  • MQTT continues to be the most widely used IIoT communication protocol, though there seems to be increased fragmentation. HTTP/HTTPS and REST show slight decreases in IIoT usage compared to 2021, while alternative communication protocols (TCP/IP, AMQP, in-house/proprietary) have seen noticeable growth. 
  • Agriculture (23%) has emerged as the leading industry for IIoT and edge computing technology, followed by industrial automation (22%), automotive (20%), and energy & smart cities (17%).
  • Concerns around security have nearly doubled in this year’s survey, making it one of the top 3 challenges developers face, along with connectivity, and data collection & analytics.
  • There is increased public cloud fragmentation, and the big three are being challenged. Despite continued dominance, Amazon AWS with 36% usage (-8% in 2022), Microsoft Azure with 18% (-11% in 2022), and Google Cloud Platform with 16% (-4% in 2022) have all lost ground against a growing competitive landscape.
  • Container images (49%) are the most frequently selected edge computing artifact.

HighByte Expands Industrial Connectivity from Microsoft Azure IoT Edge to Azure Digital Twins

Many industrial software companies have been connecting with Microsoft Azure services. This release from HighByte reveals its latest version expanding connectivity.

  • HighByte announced the release of HighByte Intelligence Hub version 2.5 that expands connectivity to Microsoft Azure services, including Azure IoT Edge and Azure IoT Central, and the ability to import DTDL models from Azure Digital Twins. 
  • The release also includes support for Active Directory, data source monitoring and alarming, flow performance metrics, and more.
  • The Intelligence Hub version 2.5 improves the ability to monitor the health of data pipelines with several new capabilities, including the ability to monitor and alert when data is bad or stale and when flow performance is poor.
  • The latest release also allows administrators to manage authentication and authorization of users through Active Directory and application settings through the user interface for simpler management, enhanced controls and monitoring, and improved security. 
  • The PI System connector now includes support for PI compression as well as the ability to configure the PI source when creating PI points.

Ignition Community Conference 2022

With the pandemic mostly in the rearview mirror, Inductive Automation held its Ignition Community Conference 2022 in Folsom, CA  Sept. 20-21.

ICC 2022

The event was sold out, as usual. Sessions were packed and lively with questions. I didn’t pick up much news from the event. It was good to catch up with people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen since 2019. The new Inductive leadership team mingled with customers and took a little time to chat with me.

Two things:

  • An acquaintance from another and non-competitive software company I talked with at the Hannover Messe Chicago the week before told me that his sales people saw Inductive everywhere. “They are crushing it,” he said. Indeed, it is the one company in its software market that has momentum and constant innovation.
  • I met owner/founder Steve Hechtman in 2006 at an ISA event. Everything he told me back then seemed far out—and everything they talked about at this conference confirmed his initial vision. Mostly that was doing SCADA in an IT-friendly way. 

A bonus:

Here is a link to my March 15, 2011 podcast recorded in the conference room at the company’s original headquarters in Sacramento.  This was the 112th episode of my podcast, which back then was Automation Minutes done for Automation World magazine. I expected Steve Hechtman to do all the talking, but he turned it over to the software developers of what is now Ignition—Colby Clegg (now CEO) and Carl Gould (now CTO).

AVEVA Launches 2023 Operations Control Software

This news has been out a little while. I was holding off for an interview, but we could not connect. Through a long and torturous history over the past 15 years, AVEVA’s software cloak has been pieced together from many cloths. I have met executives from a few companies in the past who assured me bringing all their software acquisitions was easy. It’s not. This release discusses how AVEVA is progressing on its journey of integrating all of its industrial software.

AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, driving digital transformation and sustainability, has launched the 2023 release of its operations control software, the first major coordinated release of its HMI/SCADA software portfolio, available in both perpetual and subscription purchases. The new release further supports the delivery of AVEVA Operations Control, a flexible, subscription-based solution of integrated capabilities that promotes greater efficiency and workforce collaboration at the scale that best suits the business.

And, just what is Operations Control? Sounds like something from a vision I heard many years ago at a previous iteration of the company.

AVEVA Operations Control simplifies day-to-day routines of teams by aligning workers around common digital threads of information. It includes visualization technologies, analytics and development tools deployed within a hybrid cloud and on-premises environment. Not only can critical information be retrieved faster, but inbuilt flexibility provides greater scaling – of data, users, or routes to revealing the correct decision. 

“Digital technologies now comprise the beating heart of industrial enterprises. But operations teams do not yet have the ability to contextualize decisions within a cohesive and sustainable framework. AVEVA Operations Control leverages this information environment with a comprehensive set of applications that empowers users from edge to enterprise with real-time visibility of critical processes in every industry,” says Rashesh Mody, Executive Vice President – Operations Business, AVEVA. 

This release consists of updates in the following offerings: AVEVA System Platform 2023, AVEVA InTouch HMI 2023, AVEVA Edge 2023, AVEVA Plant SCADA 2023, AVEVA Historian 2023, AVEVA Communication Drivers 2023, AVEVA Reports for Operations 2023, AVEVA Development Studio, and AVEVA Teamwork.

The 2023 operations control software release is available through several procurement methods, including AVEVA Flex, the advanced industrial software subscription program. Customers can choose individual software offers within the operations control portfolio or realize new transformational value with end to end visibility across operations by subscribing to AVEVA’s broad portfolio through AVEVA Operations Control.  AVEVA Operations Control removes traditional limitations on implementation by including unlimited software usage (measured by the number of users) and offering maximum commercial flexibility.