Strategic Investments Made In Manufacturing Analytics and IoT

You can have IoT for data acquisition, but without solid analytics the data becomes a worthless expenditure. Here, a company providing remote connectivity and workplace digitalization  has announced strategic investments in smart factory solutions.

TeamViewer, a leading global provider of remote connectivity and workplace digitalization solutions, today announced strategic investments in two pioneering companies for smart factory solutions: Sight Machine and Cybus. With a total investment of a low double-digit million EUR amount, the company is strengthening its commitment to the digital transformation of industrial working environments and the convergence of Information and Operation Technology (IT & OT).

Sight Machine, a US-based company and Microsoft partner, provides a manufacturing data platform that collects, structures, and analyzes data from manufacturing operations. It uses innovative AI applications to provide insights into areas such as quality control, system-level plant performance, and predictive maintenance, enabling data-driven decisions that vastly improve operating efficiency, sustainability and resilience. With its investment, TeamViewer becomes a major shareholder and part of Sight Machine’s Board of Directors. To further drive manufacturing efficiency in industrial environments, the two companies will collaborate on a joint product offering and go-to-market strategy.

Cybus, a German software company, specializes in industrial IoT solutions for large scale manufacturing environments. Cybus’ data hub collects, processes, and distributes industrial data, enabling seamless communication between heterogeneous devices, machines, and processes in the smart factory. It supports scalable configurations along multiple factory sites and is tailored for production-critical activities. Globally operating enterprises such as Liebherr and KRONE improve the efficiency and sustainability of their manufacturing processes with Cybus IoT solutions. As lead investor in Cybus’ current financing round and part of the advisory board, TeamViewer will actively collaborate and provide strategic guidance regarding the company’s development.

Not a company to be bashful, the press release states, “The investments in Sight Machine and Cybus pave the way for TeamViewer’s development into a leading enterprise software provider at the intersection of manufacturing infrastructure and IT systems as well as data analytics.”

IntellectAbility Dives into the Arc Tank to Improve Health Outcomes for People with Disabilities

You could take your automation and control skills into a different market. The healthcare market is projected to grow especially with introduction of robotic and AI technologies. This news comes from a competition for companies vying for funding for technology development in this important market.

  • Since its launch in 2017, the Arc Tank has awarded more than $850,000 to proposals that promise to break down barriers for people with disabilities.
  • Medicaid costs for people with IDD are among the highest of all populations, yet they experience the most significant health disparities and the worst health outcomes.”— Dr. Craig Escudé, President of IntellectAbility

IntellectAbility, in collaboration with Impruvon Health, SimplyHome, and StationMD, presenting together as the Inclusive Tech Care Collaborative, was thrilled to be selected as a finalist out of over 150 entrants in the 2023 Arc Tank competition held on December 5, 2023. The team took the stage with seven amazing finalists and spread their message about the importance of interoperable innovative tech solutions focusing on improving outcomes and reducing health disparities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

“Taking the stage with others who share our commitment to supporting people with IDD to live their best lives was an honor and a privilege, stated Dr. Craig Escudé, President of IntellectAbility. “We congratulate the awardees and can’t wait to see their visions come to reality!”

The Inclusive Tech Care Collaborative aims to transform supports and services for the IDD support ecosystem by leveraging the power of IntellectAbility’s web-based Health Risk Screening Tool (HRST), Impruvon Health’s enterprise medication assistance management system, SimplyHomes’ customized remote support sensor technology, and StationMD’s IDD-specific telemedicine service.

According to Dr. Escudé, “Medicaid costs for people with IDD are among the highest of all populations, yet they experience the most significant health disparities and the worst health outcomes. Working with our partners, we can realign this negative trajectory by implementing effective remote, web-based technology solutions.”

IntellectAbility recognizes the critical need for interoperability between the latest enabling technologies to ensure people with IDD have equitable access to the best possible home and community-based supports. Effective, interoperable web-based tools and remote technologies are essential as the industry continues to grapple with life-limiting health disparities, the direct support staffing crisis, and the shift toward remote personal care and health-related supports for people with IDD.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Arc Tank for this opportunity,” said Dr Escudé. “We look forward to continuing our work on leveraging the technology across the Collaborative’s platforms to foster increased independence, improved health risk management, real-time medical support, and safe and effective medication management for people with IDD.”

Betacom and UScellular Introduce Industry’s First Private/Public Hybrid 5G Networks

Manufacturing, along with retail and other industries, are still reaching for the last mile of wireless connectivity, especially given the growth of mobility platforms. Representatives of Betacom and UScellular chatted with me the other day to reinforce the important points from this news about the first private/public hybrid 5G networks.

Private wireless network provider Betacom announced on September 19 a partnership with UScellular to deliver the industry’s first private/public hybrid 5G networks, advancing Industry 4.0 initiatives across the United States. The service provides security and control over business data, both on-premises and while roaming among company facilities. 

The private/public hybrid 5G network service allows organizations with multiple sites across numerous locations to maintain connectivity between locations. Enterprises working to modernize their operations across dispersed locations now have a cohesive mobility strategy with trusted partners for Industry 4.0. Uptime and performance are assured for improved operational efficiency and productivity with Betacom-backed Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

“This relationship with Betacom helps to establish a new bar for how the entire wireless industry thinks about, builds, delivers and utilizes wireless networks,” said Kim Kerr, senior vice president, enterprise sales and operations for UScellular. “These new capabilities significantly accelerate the return on investment for digital transformation and modernization initiatives for organizations of all types, from enterprise to retail to government, and move the industry as a whole forward, faster.”  

UScellular’s network and extensive access agreements give customers connectivity across the United States. UScellular also provides data backhaul between sites. Enabling devices to use a single SIM with profiles for both Betacom private CBRS networks and the UScellular network ensures mobility, while integrated communication and coordination between the two companies’ 5G network cores enables seamless roaming across the country.  

“Betacom and UScellular are breaking new ground for their customers and setting new precedents for the industry,” said Joe Madden, Founder and President, Mobile Experts Inc. “Enabling device mobility from facility to facility with a transition from CBRS to cellular in both directions has never been solved. This makes private/public hybrid 5G networks extremely valuable for a wide range of industries.”  

The solution establishes and maintains end-to-end security, utilizing virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure that all data effectively remains on the customer premises while devices and sensors are in transit between locations. It also provides unmatched resiliency by using the cellular network for failover in cases where the CBRS network or local internet service providers (ISPs) suffer an outage. The new network architecture utilized for this service facilitates mission-critical Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) services and solutions which require the highest degrees of data and device security. Reducing dependency on public clouds for data transfer by creating a private network through the carrier network results in fewer vulnerabilities and fewer attacks. 

“The service we are announcing today recognizes that the wireless world is changing, and that connectivity, in all of its forms, must change with it,” said Betacom CEO Johan Bjorklund. “Organizations today need seamless mobility with incredibly high densities of sensors and devices to accelerate their Industry 4.0 initiatives. This new service acknowledges and uniquely meets that need.” 

Betacom offers the first fully-managed private 5G network, building on its long history as a wireless infrastructure provider to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, the company has regional offices throughout the country. Having completed more than 800 large-scale design and deployment projects, Betacom inspires confidence among their customers who have worked closely with them to meet their pressing high-performance connectivity needs. Its secure private 5G wireless service is the first managed service of its kind in the United States. 

AVEVA Named to Fast Company Most Innovative List

Here’s a quick news item from AVEVA. They’ve let me know that it was named as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2022 and specifically recognized as #4 in the Manufacturing category. AVEVA was selected for driving digital transformation and sustainability across some of the world’s essential industries, and for delivering technologies that connect data and artificial intelligence (AI) tools with human insight to provide business and environmental outcomes that are shaping the future of industry.

AVEVA’s software is already helping customers like DanoneGlaxoSmithKline and Borg Manufacturing to deliver environmental and financial benefits such as:

  • Between 15-30% in savings in energy costs, 9-15% reductions in carbon emissions, downtime reductions of up to 25%.
  • Up to 15% savings in total installed cost and up to 30% in design costs.
  • Faster and smarter feedstock decisions (from 2 days to 2 hours) for improved climate impact and shorter downtime.

Closing Out 2021

It’s the last day of 2021. Do you know where your year went?

Blogging grew in popularity during 2002 and 2003. I wanted to investigate it, but I had begun the work of starting a new magazine in February 2003 and didn’t have time. In December 2003 I began playing around with Dave Winer’s Radio Weblogs application, set up a Website, and started writing. Eighteen years and 2,700 posts later, this has grown to where even this specialized site attracts more than 150,000 page views per month.

I don’t encourage New Year’s Resolutions. They don’t work. Full stop. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not pause at the end of the year to reflect on what good you did this past year and where you grew personally, professionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Then, you can use that pause to reflect on where in your life you can do good next year, where you can grow personally, professionally, intellectually, and spiritually in 2022. We can choose to live better next year. And we can choose to make our piece of the world a little better.

Reflections on 2021:

  • IoT has been incorporated as part of edge-to-cloud architecture rather than being its own thing;
  • Connections are more important than ever;
  • Open source and interoperability have grown;
  • Consolidation of the automation and controls market continued with the rankings of companies essentially stagnant except for acquisitions;
  • Large IT companies have invaded the industrial software market in a significant way;
  • Gatherings began a comeback–I attended trade shows in Chicago and traveled to Automation Fair in Houston and IMC2021 in Marco Island at the end of the year.

For 2022, I hope to see many of you in person at a few events. Meanwhile, be kind to yourself and others.

Standards and Open Source News

Open source predominates in IT. One can find open source growing within OT. I expect more as the younger generation of engineers takes over from the Boomers. My generation has laid a great foundation of standards. These make things better for engineers just trying to get a job done with inadequate resources. A few news items have piled up in my queue. Here is a CESMII announcement followed by several from the Linux Foundation.

SME and CESMII Join Forces to Accelerate Smart Manufacturing Adoption

SME, a non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing manufacturing, and CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute, are partnering to align their resources and educate the industry, helping companies boost productivity, build a strong talent pipeline, and reduce manufacturers’ carbon footprint.

CESMII and SME will address the “digital divide” by connecting manufacturers to technical knowledge. These efforts will especially help small and medium-size companies—a large part of the supply network—to overcome the cost and complexity of automation and digitization that has constrained productivity and growth initiatives. 

“The prospect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution catalyzing the revitalization of our manufacturing productivity in the U.S. is real, but still aspirational, and demands a unified effort to accelerate the evolution of this entire ecosystem,” said John Dyck, CEO, CESMII. “We couldn’t be happier to join with SME on this important mission to combine and align efforts with the best interest of the employers and educators in mind.”

Smart Manufacturing Executive Council

The first joint initiative is the formation of a new national Smart Manufacturing Executive Council. It will engage business and technology executives, thought leaders, and visionaries as a “think tank” advocating for the transformation of the ecosystem. It will build on each organization’s history of working with industry giants who volunteer their time and impart their knowledge to benefit the industry.

Members of the council will act as ambassadors to drive the national conversation and vision for smart manufacturing in America. Working with policy makers and others, the council will unify the ecosystem around a common set of interoperability, transparency, sustainability and resiliency goals and principles for the smart manufacturing ecosystem.

Focus on Manufacturing Workforce

The need for richer, scalable education and workforce development is more important than ever.

SME’s training organization, Tooling U-SME, is the industry’s leading learning and development solutions provider, working with thousands of companies, including more than half of all Fortune 500 manufacturers as well as 800 educational institutions across the country. CESMII has in-depth training content on smart manufacturing technology, business practices, and workforce development. Leveraging Tooling U-SME’s extensive reach into industry and academia, the synergistically combined CESMII and Tooling U-SME training portfolios and new content collaborations will expedite smart manufacturing adoption, driving progress through transformational workforce development.

Through this national collaboration, Tooling U-SME will become a key partner for CESMII for advancing education and workforce development around smart manufacturing. 

“Manufacturers are looking for a more effective, future-proof approach to upskill their workforce, and we believe that the best way to accomplish that is for CESMII and Tooling U-SME to work together,” said Conrad Leiva, Vice President of Ecosystem and Workforce Education at CESMII. “This partnership brings together the deep domain expertise and necessary skills with the know-how to package education, work with employers and schools and effectively deliver it at scale nationally.

Linux Foundation Announces NextArch Foundation

The Linux Foundation announced the NextArch Foundation. The new Foundation is a neutral home for open source developers and contributors to build next-generation architecture that can support compatibility between an increasing array of microservices. 

Cloud-native computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge computing and much more have led businesses down a path of massive opportunity and transformation. According to market research, the global digital transformation market size was valued at USD 336.14 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6% from 2021 to 2028. But a lack of intelligent, centralized architecture is preventing enterprises and the developers who are creating innovation based on these technologies to fully realize their promise.

“Developers today have to make what feel like impossible decisions among different technical infrastructures and the proper tool for a variety of problems,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation. “Every tool brings learning costs and complexities that developers don’t have the time to navigate yet there’s the expectation that they keep up with accelerated development and innovation. NextArch Foundation will improve ease of use and reduce the cost for developers to drive the evolution of next-generation technology architectures.” 

Next-generation architecture describes a variety of innovations in architecture, from data storage and heterogeneous hardware to engineering productivity, telecommunications and much more. Until now, there has been no ecosystem to address this massive challenge. NextArch will leverage infrastructure abstraction solutions through architecture and design and automate development, operations and project processes to increase the autonomy of development teams. Enterprises will gain easy to use and cost-effective tools to solve the problems of productization and commercialization in their digital transformation journey.

Linux Foundation and Graviti Announce Project OpenBytes to Make Open Data More Accessible to All

The Linux Foundation announced the new OpenBytes project spearheaded by Graviti. Project OpenBytes is dedicated to making open data more available and accessible through the creation of data standards and formats. 

Edward Cui is the founder of Graviti and a former machine learning expert within Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group. “For a long time, scores of AI projects were held up by a general lack of high-quality data from real use cases,” Cui said. “Acquiring higher quality data is paramount if AI development is to progress. To accomplish that, an open data community built on collaboration and innovation is urgently needed. Graviti believes it’s our social responsibility to play our part.”

By creating an open data standard and format, Project OpenBytes can reduce data contributors’ liability risks. Dataset holders are often reluctant to share their datasets publicly due to their lack of knowledge on various data licenses. If data contributors understand their ownership of data is well protected and their data will not be misused, more open data becomes accessible.
Project OpenBytes will also create a standard format of data published, shared, and exchanged on its open platform. A unified format will help data contributors and consumers easily find the relevant data they need and make collaboration easier. These OpenBytes functions will make high-quality data more available and accessible, which is significantly valuable to the whole AI community and will save a large amount of monetary and labor resources on repetitive data collecting.

The largest tech companies have already realized the potential of open data and how it can lead to novel academic machine learning breakthroughs and generate significant business value. However, there isn’t a well-established open data community with neutral and transparent governance across various organizations in a collaborative effort. Under the governance of the Linux Foundation, OpenBytes aims to create data standards and formats, enable contributions of good-quality data and, more importantly, be governed in a collaborative and transparent way.

Linux Foundation Announces Security Enhancements to its LFX Community Platform to Protect Software Supply Chain

The Linux Foundation announced it has enhanced its free LFX Security offering so open source projects can secure their code and reduce non-inclusive language.

The LFX platform hosts community tools for security, fundraising, community growth, project health, mentorship and more. It supports projects and empowers open source teams to write better, more secure code, drive engagement and grow sustainable ecosystems.

The LFX Security module now includes automatic scanning for secrets-in-code and non-inclusive language, adding to its existing comprehensive automated vulnerability detection capabilities. Software security firm BluBracket has contributed this functionality to open source software projects under LFX as part of its mission of making software safer and more secure. This functionality builds on contributions from leader in developer security, Snyk, now making LFX the leading vulnerability detection platform for the open source community.

The need for a community-supported and freely available code scanning is clear, especially in light of recent attacks on core software projects and recent the White House Executive Order calling for improved software supply chain security. LFX is the first and only community tool designed to make software projects of all kinds more secure and inclusive.

LFX Security now includes:
● Vulnerabilities Detection: Detect vulnerabilities in open source components and dependencies and provide fixes and recommendations to those vulnerabilities. LFX tracks how many known vulnerabilities have been found in open source Projects, identifies if those vulnerabilities have been fixed in code commits and then reports on the number of fixes per project through an intuitive dashboard. Fixing known open source vulnerabilities in open source projects helps cleanse software supply chains at their source and greatly enhances the quality and security of code further downstream in development pipelines. Snyk has provided this functionality for the community and helped open source software projects remediate nearly 12,000 known security vulnerabilities in their code.
● Code Secrets: Detect secrets-in-code such as passwords, credentials, keys and access tokens both pre- and post-commit. These secrets are used by hackers to gain entry into repositories and other important code infrastructure. BluBracket is the leading provider of secrets detection technology in the industry and has contributed these features to the Linux Foundation LFX community.
● Non-Inclusive Language: Detect non-inclusive language used in project code, which is a barrier in creating a welcoming and inclusive community. BluBracket worked with the Inclusive Naming Initiative on this functionality.

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