Advantech has been appearing on a variety of lists of prominent Internet of Things suppliers. The Taiwanese computer company with a US office in Cincinnati, OH and intellectual leadership, supplies intelligent I/O, a variety of computing devices, and HMI devices.
Several years ago I was privileged to be invited to Suzhou, China to attend Advantech’s user conference. It was an impressive event. This year they called it the “first IoT Co-Creation Summit.”
More than five thousand Advantech clients and partners from around the world attended the summit. Here Advantech introduced its newest IoT platform structure WISE-PaaS 3.0 and 32 IoT solution ready packages (SRPs) co-created with software and industry partners.
The event in itself will aid in the software/hardware integration for various industries, connect and build a complete industrial IoT ecosystem and value chain, and allow Advantech and partners to officially step into the next IoT stage.
Advantech Chairman KC Liu stated that in view of IoT application characteristic’s diversity and fragmented market, Advantech has assisted industries in integrating and connecting existing hardware and software and regards creating a complete industry value chain as its primary task in IoT industry development.
Advantech is introducing new features for its WISE-PaaS 3.0 and sharing a number of IoT solution ready packages (SRPs), based on WISE-PaaS, developed with numerous co-creation partners. The company is also outlining future co-creation strategies and schedules for the upcoming year.
Allan Yang, Chief Technology Officer at Advantech said, “While IoT is currently flourishing and many companies have invested in connectivity and data collection equipment, we are still in the early stages of generating value from IoT data. Since WISE-PaaS launched in 2014, Advantech has continued its integration and improved connectivity with open source communities. Our IoT software modules are developed to create operational cloud platform services oriented around the commercial value generated by data acquisition. Data-driven innovation has thus become the main target for our WISE-PaaS evolution.
WISE-PaaS 3.0 offers four main function modules:
- WISE-PaaS/SaaS Composer: a cloud configuration tool with visible workflow. WISE-PaaS/SaaS Composer supports customized component plotting for simple and intuitive 3D modeling application and interaction. It updates views at millisecond rates and, together with WISE-PaaS/Dashboard, presents critical management data in a visually intuitive display to help extract valuable data and improve operational efficiency.
- WISE-PaaS/AFS (AI Framework Service): an artificial intelligence training model and deployment service framework. The WISE-PaaS/AFS provides a simple drag and drop interface that allows developers to quickly input industrial data. When combined with AI algorithms, the service builds an effective inference engine with automatic deployment to edge computing platforms. AFS offers model accuracy management, model retraining, and automated redeployment. It simultaneously controls multiple AI models in the application field; offering automated model accuracy improvements and life-cycle management services.
- WISE-PaaS/APM (Asset Performance Management): an equipment network connection remote maintenance service framework. WISE-PaaS/APM connects to a wide array of on-site industrial equipment controls and communication protocols. It supports the latest edge computing open standard, EdgeX Foundry, and includes built-in equipment management and workflow integration templates. Jointly with the AFS, APM accelerates Machine to Intelligence (M2I) application development.
- Microservice development framework: WISE-PaaS contains a micro service development framework to help developers rapidly create program design frameworks while reducing development requisites. Micro service functions, such as service finding, load balancing, service administration, and configuration center, all offer built-in flexible support mechanisms.
Advantech recently established a water treatment system, jointly developed with GSD (China) Co., Ltd., and a CNC equipment remote operation service, jointly developed with Yeong Chin Machinery Industries Co. Ltd. Both partnerships demonstrate how industrial digital transformations, led by Advantech and its partners through the co-creation model, offer innovative win-win IoT solutions.
Advantech’s IIoT iAutomation Group has launched a broad selection of rackmount GPU Servers from 1U to 4U. The SKY-6000 GPU server series are powered by Intel Xeon scalable processors and each of these highly scalable GPU-optimized servers support up to five NVIDIA Tesla P4 GPUs. IPMI management functions and smart fan control ensure better temperature control and thermal management environments. Every GPU pair includes one high-speed PCIe slot for highly parallel applications like artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, self-driving cars, smart city applications, health care, high performance computing, virtual reality, and much more.
AI Deep Learning GPU Solution
With support for up to five pcs of half-length half-height (HHHL) GPU cards or one full-height full-length (FHFL) double deck card, plus one full-height half-length (FHHL) GPU card, the SKY-6100 series are designed for NVidia Tesla P4 HHHL GPU cards, making it the best choice for deep learning applications.
IPMI Server Management
With IPMI 2.0 support, the SKY-6000 series allows users to monitor, manage, and control servers remotely and receive alerts if any sensors detect device or component faults. In addition, event logs record important information about the server which can be controlled remotely using the IPMI KVM.
Smart Fan Control
The optimized thermal design separates the CPU and GPU fan zones, making sure the GPU card is not preheated or thermally affected by any other heat source. Also, with the smart fan control mechanism, fan speeds are controlled based on different CPU and GPU workloads and ambient temperature. This feature lowers the acoustic noise of GPUs that have heavy loading but not CPUs. Advantech’s SKY-6000 server series are available for order now.
Taiwan-based Advantech’s leaders have always been intellectual strategic thinkers. They have clued me in on several good management books. The company is an industrial computer company with industrial data acquisition and I/O devices that has successfully positioned itself as an edge device leader in the Internet of Things space.
The company has announced its strategies for entering the next phase of IoT development. To expand local operations, Advantech will fully activate the deployment of branch locations throughout various regions. In addition, a co-creation model will be adopted to construct the Industrial IoT (IIoT) ecosystem and strengthen the influence of vertical domains.
Advantech’s Executive Director of the Board, Chaney Ho, stated that since taking over as executive director last year, he has been focusing on developing regional strategies and establishing development goals and directions for each region, all of which are based on their scope.
In regions with a larger scope (Europe, United States, and China), to reinforce the Advantech brand recognition in IoT and Industry 4.0, talent cultivation and an increased presence in local sales are the company’s primary goals to actively respond to recent developments in Industry 4.0 trends in the EU, plans by the U.S. government to shift production back to America, and the China One Belt One Road policy.
For medium and small-scale regions, Mr. Ho stated that Advantech will develop Japan, South Korea, India, and Russia to generate $130 million in revenue. The company also plans to further increase investment in Malaysia and Thai IIoT organizations and new branch locations in Vietnam, Russia, and Turkey will be established through mergers and acquisitions as well as joint ventures.
Regarding developments in the European region, Miller Chang, President of Advantech’s Embedded-IoT (EIoT) Group, expressed that a sector-lead strategy has been practiced by the EIoT group since 2014. Various product divisions from headquarters have been fully connected with overseas frontline business teams and compound annual growth rate from 2014 to 2017 has reached 25%.
Key development points for the next three years in Europe are:
1. Elevating operation levels in five key regions, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
2. Establishing branch offices in emerging European regions for conducting business and providing technical support.
3. Focusing on key industries, such as gaming, medical, transportation, and automotive, in Germany, UK, and the Netherlands.
With respect to development in the Greater China Region, Linda Tsai, President of Advantech’s IIoT Group, believes that the embedded systems/hardware from Phase I IOT development as well as IoT solutions platforms from Phase II are Advantech’s “double-growth engine” in IIoT development. Following this, three key strategies have been proposed.
1. Implement and IIoT sector-lead organizational development model expanding industry management and optimize regional resource allocations,
2. Set successful examples in the Greater China Region to accelerate the marketing of hardware/software and imaging solutions.
3. Actively cultivate local personal to become mid-to-high level supervisors to expand into the Chinese market.
Fantine Lee, Manager of Advantech’s Corporate Investment Division, pointed out that Advantech will continue to actively promote platform management during Phase II IoT development, SRP co-creation, and the co-created digital transformation of vertical industry cloud services during Phase III through the co-creation model. As for vertical industry, cloud service companies to be co-created during Phase III, Advantech plans to establish subsidiaries in Taiwan and China and will include domains such as Smart Manufacturing, Smart Environmental Protection, and Smart Retail. These companies will be managed together with Advantech’s co-creation partners. Furthermore, opportunities in other domains, such as Smart Hospitals, Smart Factories, Industrial Vision Systems, Consultant Training, and Integration Services will continue to be promoted and co-created.
Miss Lee further stated for Phase II development, Advantech’s WISE-PaaS cloud platform will serve as the foundation for building a comprehensive value chain for SRPs. This year, third-party software and WISE-PaaS platform integration with SaaS suppliers and collective sales/agents will be introduced at an accelerated pace. In addition, partnerships with software developers specializing in monitoring and diagnosing connected equipment, energy management, data analysis, machine learning, and other vertical industries will be established.
One under-the-radar trend in industrial automation and software is the development of a marketplace. Several companies have one type of marketplace or another. I think it’s going to prove to be a powerful concept. Here is a take on it from Advantech.
Advantech, a leader of the global industrial computing market, launches the WISE-PaaS Marketplace, an online software shopping website that features exclusive software services provided by Advantech and its partners. The WISE-PaaS Marketplace provides diverse WISE-PaaS IoT application software, including WebAccess/SCADA, WebAccess/HMI, WebAccess/IVS, WebAccess/IMM, WebAccess/NMS, online IoT cloud services, and IoT security services. The WISE-PaaS Marketplace is a sharing platform to integrate with IoT solutions developed by solution partners to provide the building blocks for customers to upgrade existing business systems to Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 quickly and easily.
Share Success, Grow Business, and Innovate Services
The Wise-PaaS Marketplace is aimed at diverse solution offerings that provide cloud infrastructure services, security services, integrated WISE-PaaS IoT software services, and domain-focused applications for simple and rapid deployment. The WISE-PaaS Marketplace is a value-sharing platform/ecosystem that enables customers to market unique IoT applications and services, increase business opportunities and growth, and maximize returns under the profit-sharing system.
Ongoing Innovation for Future IoT Trends
Customers can subscribe software services via Wise-PaaS Marketplace with WISE-points included in the WISE-PaaS VIP membership packages to access numerous IoT solutions and create IoT innovations for future IoT trends.
Business around the Industrial Internet of Things must be maturing. I just received news of another acquisition. In the case, the acquired company has also been changing itself in response to changing landscape of industrial networking. The Advantech CEO called this a merger, but I think that’s a bit disingenuous. When a $1.2 billion company and a $0.1 billion company come together, well, you can see the picture.
Taiwanese industrial computing manufacturer Advantech announced the completion of its acquisition of privately-held industrial intelligent networking specialist B+B SmartWorx for the US$99.85 million agreement announced November 16.
Ottawa, IL-based B+B will continue to be led by its current management team, operating as Advantech B+B SmartWorx, and will lead Advantech’s new Intelligent Networking Business Sector in developing smart networking products as part of the company’s Global Industrial IoT Business Group.
The two companies’ complementary product lines brought them together often over the last decade to collaborate on industrial connectivity projects, so the combination of the two companies felt natural. The merger creates a $1.3 billion company with approximately 7,600 employees worldwide.
“B+B has undergone a transformation over recent years, acquiring several companies itself and developing technologies that bring ‘intelligence to the network edge’ to address evolving needs in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) market,” said B+B CEO Jerry O’Gorman. “We are pleased to join forces with Advantech, a global leader who shares our strategic view of the future.”
With B+B SmartWorx now a part of its portfolio, Advantech said it aims to accelerate its growth in industrial network connectivity-related products. The company will leverage B+B’s established branding, product lines, engineering teams and sales channels in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, and it will also begin selling B+B’s device connectivity products, cellular routers, gateways and the Wzzard wireless sensing platform into Asia. Products will retain B+B branding, bolstered by Advantech’s name recognition, and sold as “B+B SmartWorx powered by Advantech.”
Advantech chairman KC Liu explained that Advantech views this acquisition more as a merger, seeing value in all of B+B’s networking products from wired networking and fiber infrastructure to wireless connectivity. “B+B has in particular struck a nerve with its Wzzard wireless sensing system which satisfies enterprise IT’s desire to receive data from the field, and overcomes field OT’s (operational technology) fear of disruption, by creating ‘overlay networks’ that leave existing programming, processes and people in place,” said Liu.
B+B’s Wzzard together with its routers and gateways complement Advantech’s own WISE wireless sensing platform, and company engineers will be developing solutions leveraging the strength of both platforms.