I have recorded podcast reflections on the ODVA meeting–237 It’s Too Complicated. Or, you can watch it on YouTube.

Taking a step back to look at some trends, some other networking news and developments you can find at The Manufacturing Connection include 5G and private networking and chip advances. This topic will heat up this year as more companies implement advanced networks for bandwidth and security.

Companies who have developed advanced product information management applications have been a new addition to my coverage. These companies develop algorithms and math to handle the complexity of managing huge numbers of product variations and supply chain issues.

A few years back the hot topic was IoT. Companies had IoT groups. Websites (and businesses around them) sprang up. I even got some business based on covering connectivity (read IoT). The groups have been disbanded. Coverage is changing. Stacey Higgenbotham of Stacey on IoT recently discussed her expanded areas of coverage. HPE’s Tom Bradicich still writes on IoT issues, but his position at HPE changed and broadened. HPE now refers to Edge-to-Cloud. I’ve always been broader than IoT, so I am not really affected. But I find how markets change interesting.

Open Source Software continues to make advances. There is continual news coming from the Linux Foundation and Industrial IoT Consortium.

Podcasts have been on my daily agenda for twenty years. Here are some recents that are interesting and educating:

Analysts Benedict Evans and Toni Cowen-Brown discuss current tech trends at Another Podcast. Check out “Asking Dumb Questions.”

John Gruber of Daring Fireball interviews Ken Locienda about the origins of the iPhone.

Listen to the most impassioned plea for science and math education I’ve heard on Moira Gunn’s TechNation podcast interview with George Yancopoulos.

I’ve practiced varieties of health and fitness activities for years. Peter Attia, MD, has become a favored source of information. Check out How Fructose Drives Metabolic Disease and The Science of Obesity.

Podcast 231 Are You Being Served?

I’ve unleashed another podcast into the wild. Find it on Overcast or your podcast player of choice.

While thinking about the proliferation of as-a-service models of business, thoughts of that 70s and 80s British comedy TV show came to mind. Are you being served? Proved feasible by Salesforce and then adopted by many including recently HPE as the strategy for the entire company, we are witnessing automation companies exploring the as-a-service business model. I wonder how far it will go.

Taking the Edge of Edge Compute Into Outer Space

We talk about the Edge here. Usually that means taking compute out to the factory or process with connections back to the cloud for more intensive compute. Michael Bird does some informative and entertaining podcasts called Technology Untangled. The latest one discussing taking Edge Compute into space isn’t on the Website, yet, but I’ve linked to my favorite podcast app Overcast for your listening pleasure.

Podcast 228 Clear Your Mind

Sometimes we clutter our minds with what we think we know and leave no room for learning new things. In the process, we fixate on an idea and miss the simple and most elegant explanation.

I had received a news release from a manufacturing software company so full of jargon that I could barely decipher it. In the midst of the stuff was the claim that there are 40,000 IIoT professionals. Huh? I figured that they renamed engineers and technicians who wire all the field devices into a new profession. Why? Why make things more complicated than they are?

The best bet is to apply Occam’s Razor wherever it fits–the simplest explanation is often the best.

This podcast is sponsored by Inductive Automation. Check out this year’s Ignition Community Conference at https://www.inductiveautomation.com.

Podcast 227 Open and Interoperable

Podcast 227 Open and Interoperable

Imagine laying railroad tracks west from the US east coast and meeting up with a crew laying railroad tracks from the west coast only to discover that the width between the rails was different. Standards make a huge difference.

Open standards, open APIs, and open source all enable interoperability and all make life better for users. My discussions over the past couple of years indicates that US engineers are falling behind in the encouragement and use of these technologies. I hope I’m wrong, and I hope the new generation of engineers pick up these ways of working and move American manufacturing forward. And the rest of the world, too.

Podcast 226 Respect for People

Show notes: Get outside. Get outside into nature, a park or something, to refresh your mind and body. Get outside your preconceived ideas and prejudices for better thinking. Mary Donelan came to KMC Systems to use Lean to improve productivity. She had to overcome existing prejudices that improvements meant reducing workforce. She exemplified the basic Lean principle of Respect for People leading personal growth along with improving productivity allowing the company to take on more work. Then I wondered about adding software and knowledge workers and any impact on productivity. This leads to considering Cal Newport’s new book A World Without Email and a look at improving knowledge worker workflow. Finally, a challenge to Americans about adopting standards and productivity-enhancing methods. Thanks to long-time sponsor Inductive Automation.

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