There are two types of people in industry—operations technology and information technology. God forbid if they should actually talk with each other.
Everywhere I go there is talk of overcoming the OT/IT divide. Something just crossed my email stream where there was a survey about whether the departments have merged anywhere. They were shocked, shocked I say, that only about 1 in 10 companies have merged the two departments. I think the purveyors of that survey must have been on Mars for the past bunch of years.
These people just have different jobs to do. Different things they are measured on. Different ways they contribute to the common welfare of the corporation. However, the technologies they use are overlapping at an ever greater pace.
Here is a survey that once again reveals what is seemingly a disconnect between IT and OT. But I think that interfacing to ERP systems is non-trivial. I’m actually amazed and heartened by the progress we’ve made to date.
I’d take a look at this survey and consider how far we have come—and yet, how far we still need to go.
IFS has released a primary research study on how the Internet of Things (IoT) affects readiness for digital transformation in industrial companies.
According to survey of 200 IoT decision makers at industrial companies in North America, only 16 percent of respondents consume IoT data in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. That means 84 percent of industrial companies face a disconnect between data from connected devices and strategic decision making and operations, limiting the digital transformation potential of IoT.
The study posed questions about companies’ degree of IoT sophistication. The study also explores how well their enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) or field service management (FSM)software prepares them for digital transformation and to consume IoT data within enterprise software.
Respondents were divided into groups including IoT Leaders and IoT Laggards, depending on how well their enterprise software prepared them to consume IoT data—as well as Digital Transformation Leaders and Digital Transformation Laggards depending on how well their enterprise software prepared them for digital transformation.
The two Leaders groups overlapped, with 88 percent of Digital Transformation Leaders also qualifying as IoT Leaders, suggesting IoT is a technology that underpins the loose concept of digital transformation.
Digital Transformation Leaders made more complete use of IoT data than Digital Transformation Laggards; Leaders are almost three times as likely to use IoT data for corporate business intelligence or to monitor performance against service level agreements.
Digital Transformation Leaders were more likely than Digital Transformation Laggards to be able to access IoT data in applications used beyond the plant floor. They were more than four times as lilkely to have access to IoT data in enterprise asset management software, twice as likely than Digital Transformation Laggards to be able to access IoT data in high-value asset performance management software, and almost twice as likely to be able to be able to use IoT data in ERP.
The data suggests a real need for more IoT-enabled enterprise applications designed to put data from networks of connected devices into the context of the business.
In reviewing the findings, IFS Chief Technology Officer for North America, Rick Veague, commented, “Are your planning and maintenance systems robust enough to make real time decisions using IoT-sourced data? Many are facing the reality of having to answer ‘no.’ ”
“Study data suggest that the most common use case for IoT in these industrial settings is condition-based maintenance. The benefits go beyond operational improvements and maintenance cost avoidance,” said Ralph Rio, Vice President of Enterprise Software at ARC Advisory Group. “It increases uptime that provides additional capacity for increased revenue. It also avoids unplanned downtime that interrupts production schedules causing missed shipment dates and customer satisfaction issues. When married to demand and scheduling systems in ERP, IoT becomes a revenue-enhancement tool improving the top line.”
Schneider Electric Software boosts Asset Performance, pricing model, and cloud offering. They called it a Schneider Electric Software Innovation Summit in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago. But as we know, that part of Schneider Electric is moving over to the new AVEVA which will be 60% owned by Schneider Electric. So, is this the last Schneider Electric Software summit, or will all the new company be absorbed at the conclusion of the buyout period?
I had committed to another conference by the time Schneider announced its software one, so I was not there. They did send news releases and I also talked with a friend who was there in order to gauge a little bit of what was happening. One other thing I find interesting. On the process automation side, they are clearly branding the legacy Foxboro name. On this side, not so much talk about Wonderware and Avantis. So I guess there is still some branding flux on the software side of the business.
Key takeaways: Schneider evidently saw a weakness in its asset performance management offering and has partnered with a European leader to add strength to it. Answering the challenge of a newer competitor regarding pricing for software, Schneider announced expansion of its subscription pricing model. The third larger announcement reflects the growing importance (and acceptance) of the Cloud for IT structure.
Short view of the news:
- Extends Enterprise APM Offering through New Partnership with MaxGrip: Schneider Electric has partnered with leader in Asset Performance Management (APM) software, MaxGrip, to deliver a more comprehensive asset lifecycle management offering. This expanded offering will include assessment services and risk-based maintenance capabilities, helping customers define and execute APM strategies for maximum return on assets.
- Extends Subscription Access Across Industrial Software Portfolio: Schneider Electric has expanded its subscription license model, enabling customers to purchase software licenses a la carte, providing greater value, new benefits and access to more industrial software applications than ever before. Subscription Access is now available when purchasing Engineering, Planning, Operations and Asset Performance, as well as Control and Information software solutions.
- Expands Cloud Platform with New Performance Module: Schneider Electric has announced the continued expansion of its Insight cloud platform, powered by Wonderware Online. The new Insight Performance Module provides Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) monitoring, asset utilization analysis and downtime tracking in the cloud to enable operational efficiency improvement while reducing total cost of ownership.
- Enhances Manufacturing Operations Management Offering for Mining Industry: Schneider Electric announced enhancements to its Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) solution for the Mining industry. By introducing real-time production accounting and inventory management, the enhanced solution will improve decision support, planning and reporting capabilities for mining companies, enabling them to meet their digital transformation goals.
- Powers Roy Hill’s Remote Operations Center to Drive Digital Strategy: Schneider Electric announced the success achieved at independent iron ore operation in Western Australia – Roy Hill. By implementing Schneider Electric’s Mining industry software solution, Roy Hill has been able to consolidate end-to-end operational visibility and optimize its mining value chain.
- Drives Digital Transformation in Food & Beverage with New Industry Solutions: Schneider Electric announced three new solutions – Energy Performance, Advanced Process Control and Label Assurance – all aimed at solving industry challenges from growing environmental and sustainability regulations, higher energy costs, consumer demands and product quality and safety standards. The solutions empower F&B manufacturers to simultaneously improve efficiency, quality and performance by delivering real-time visibility, control and intelligence across operations and functional areas.
Schneider Electric announced a new partnership with MaxGrip that will enable a more comprehensive asset lifecycle management offering that includes assessment services and risk-based maintenance capabilities. This expanded offering will be available as part of Schneider Electric’s Enterprise Asset Performance Management (APM) solution.
This solution delivers a comprehensive view of asset health as a first step of an asset reliability strategy that takes into account business context to benchmark current performance and identify areas for improvement. Expert consultants will address a number of key areas of evaluation such as HSE (health, safety and environment), cost control, resource allocation, use of OT/IT systems and asset utilization. These insights will be translated into a pragmatic action plan to optimize production and improve margins while ensuring regulatory compliance.
As a result of this partnership, Schneider Electric can offer enhanced APM capabilities that allow customers to better strategize and optimize maintenance execution according to asset criticality for optimal business results. Risk analysis, what if analysis and asset management strategic review can provide detailed insight into asset reliability and performance, facilitating long-term strategic planning. Users can optimize operations by eliminating reoccurring incidents with root cause analysis, inventory management and strategy simulations to identify hidden inefficiency and drive value across the enterprise. An extensive library of asset reliability data and templates allows up to 90% faster time to deployment.
Subscription Access Across Industrial Software Portfolio
An expansion of the company’s subscription license model – Subscription Access – includes greater value, new benefits and access to more industrial software applications. Customers choosing this offering can benefit from reduced upfront costs, ease of license fee management, access to exclusive products, bundled capabilities and a lower total cost of ownership. Subscription Access is now available when purchasing Engineering, Planning, Operations and Asset Performance, as well as Control and Information software solutions.
Expands Cloud Platform with New Performance Module
Continued expansion of its cloud platform, Insight, powered by Wonderware Online, with new Insight Performance module that provides Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) monitoring, asset utilization analysis and downtime tracking in the cloud.
This Software as a Service (SaaS) offering offers the following capabilities:
- Light-weight applications that are easier to install, configure and maintain
- Virtually no on-premise servers or hardware requirement
Enhances Manufacturing Operations Management Offering for Mining Industry
The company announced enhancements to its Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) solution for the Mining industry. This initiative can help optimize the mining supply chain, drive efficiency and maximize utilization of all operating assets, resulting in better profitability.
This data, when made available to domain-specific decision support tools and integrated with supply chain and enterprise resource planning systems, unlocks new levels of intelligence to drive continuous improvement. Eliminating manually entered production values while breaking down pervasive operational data silos can minimize time, errors and costs associated with manual and duplicate data-entry, further enhancing agility and efficiency.
Select improvements of Schneider Electric Software’s MOM solution for the Mining industry include:
- User selectable point in time feature for ‘Inventory data reprocessing’
- Data reprocessing has improved performance by 4X
- New “Calculated Inventory” feature to define custom calculations on captured inventory data
- Ampla Planner, Gantt Chart usability and user experience enhancements
- Client response times has improved performance by 2X
- Wonderware Online InSight connectivity
Powers Roy Hill’s Remote Operations Center
The company announced the success achieved at Roy Hill, an independent iron ore operation in Western Australia. Roy Hill implemented a Schneider Electric Mining industry software solution to consolidate end-to-end operational visibility and optimize their mining value chain.
Roy Hill built a greenfield iron ore mine and mine process plant in the Pilbara region, a heavy haul railway system from mine-to-port, new port facilities in Port Hedland, and a Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Perth. Each of these infrastructure components were designed to meet its capacity of 55 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of iron ore.
Most leading mining companies have historically evolved with organizational silos, usually between mines, processing facilities and logistics. In the age of increasing automation, data, and digitalization, these silos often prevent end-to-end visibility and optimization opportunities to realize resource to market potential. Through its efforts, as no small accomplishment, Roy Hill has been able to avoid these pitfalls with the help of its ecosystem partners, including Schneider Electric.
Roy Hill implemented Schneider Electric’s industrial software offering tailored for the mining industry, which included the following specific solutions:
- Demand Chain Planning and Scheduling (DCPS)
- Inventory Tracking and Quality Management (ITQM)
- Delay Accounting (DA)
- Capacity Simulation Model (Pre-CAPEX Analysis)
Drives Digital Transformation in Food & Beverage
Three new Food and Beverage manufacturing solutions were announced as part of the company’s ongoing effort to drive operational excellence, efficiency and performance while enabling regulatory and food safety compliance.
Food and Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods manufacturers face a number of challenges, which are potentially impacting profitability. Growing environmental and sustainability related regulations are resulting in higher energy costs. Product yields must continually be improved to meet an increasingly diverse set of consumer demands. Each of these industry challenges must be addressed while maintaining product quality and safety standards to avoid product recalls and ensure continued consumer trust and confidence.
Three new industry solutions from Schneider Electric can help manufacturers to address these challenges:
- Energy Performance – provides improved visibility into energy usage, enabling opportunities to reduce consumption and costs
- Advanced Process Control (APC) – allows manufacturers to improve yield and product quality by minimizing unpredictable variations in the drying process
- Label Assurance – ensures compliance through 100% label inspection checks; reduces recalls
These solutions empower Food and Beverage manufacturers to simultaneously improve efficiency, quality and performance by delivering real-time visibility, control and intelligence across all operations and functional areas.
Two research studies have crossed my inbox recently regarding management knowledge of and actions toward Digital Transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things. Suffice to say that there is a disconnect.
Get smart: Humans have perceived for millennia the disconnect between knowing and doing. These research surveys show that even when managers acknowledge the importance of modern digital technologies they cannot get the job done.
Big Thought: Implementers have realized significant cost reductions and increased speed of product development.
The first study was conducted by enterprise business solutions provider, HSO. It found 54% of managers in the manufacturing industry believe that their company is not effectively using predictive engineering technology, despite the technology being billed as a leading industry trend.
In an era that has been dominated by the rise of IoT and predictive analytics technology, it was also surprising to find that only 15.2% of those polled placed predictive engineering as a business priority for the next five years. In addition to this, a quarter of the 250 managers involved in the study feel that a lack of integrated technology across different departments is the main reasons that firms do not implement predictive engineering.
However, the study did reveal that more than four in ten managers in manufacturing feel that the rise of IoT technologies is crucial to help drive predictive engineering, with artificial intelligence and machine learning also being rated as important factors.
Out of the manufacturers that are using predictive engineering to help make their processes more efficient, over half (55.6%) stated that they are benefitting from significant cost reductions while 44.8% are seeing an increase in the speed of product development.
A second study by IFS, and enterprise applications provider, found lack of integration stands between companies and digital transformation benefits of IoT. According to a survey of 200 IoT decision makers at industrial companies in North America, only 16 percent of respondents consume IoT data in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. That means 84 percent of industrial companies face a disconnect between data from connected devices and strategic decision making and operations, limiting the digital transformation potential of IoT.
The study posed questions about companies’ degree of IoT sophistication. Respondents were divided into groups including IoT Leaders and IoT Laggards, depending on how well their enterprise software prepared them to consume IoT data—as well as Digital Transformation Leaders and Digital Transformation Laggards depending on how well their enterprise software prepared them for digital transformation.
The two Leaders groups overlapped, with 88 percent of Digital Transformation Leaders also qualifying as IoT Leaders, suggesting IoT is a technology that underpins the loose concept of digital transformation. Digital Transformation Leaders made more complete use of IoT data than Digital Transformation Laggards; Leaders are almost three times as likely to use IoT data for corporate business intelligence or to monitor performance against service level agreements.
Digital Transformation Leaders were more likely than Digital Transformation Laggards to be able to access IoT data in applications used beyond the plant floor. They were more than four times as likely to have access to IoT data in enterprise asset management software, twice as likely than Digital Transformation Laggards to be able to access IoT data in high-value asset performance management software, and almost twice as likely to be able to be able to use IoT data in ERP.
The data suggests a real need for more IoT-enabled enterprise applications designed to put data from networks of connected devices into the context of the business.
Joint working groups to develop companion specifications has been a great method to advance interoperability. Here is an announcement of one where you can still get involved if you have expertise in one or the other. Note: I am chief marketing officer of MIMOSA and I also have done some work with OPC Foundation.
MIMOSA (an operations and maintenance information open system alliance) and the OPC Foundation have announced a joint working group to develop a companion specification for MIMOSA’s CCOM standard and OPC UA.
MIMOSA is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to developing and encouraging the adoption of open information standards for Operations and Maintenance in manufacturing, fleet, and facility environments. MIMOSA’s open standards enable collaborative asset lifecycle management in both commercial and military applications.
MIMOSA CCOM (Common Collaborative Object Model) serves as an information model for the exchange of asset information. Its core mission is to facilitate standards-based interoperability between systems: providing an XML model to allow systems to electronically exchange data.
OPC Foundation is a not-for-profit association dedicated to providing the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space and in other industries. The OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is platform independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors.
The OPC UA standard is a series of specifications developed by industry vendors, end-users and software developers. These specifications define the interface between Clients and Servers, as well as Servers and Servers, including secure access to real-time data, monitoring of alarms and events, access to historical data and other applications. The standard includes the ability to securely transport any information model between the systems. It is a key standard for Industry 4.0.
The joint MIMOSA and OPC Foundation CCOM OPC UA Working Group will develop an OPC UA Information Model for CCOM. The information model specified by CCOM will be defined in a UA companion specification using OPC UA constructs for the purpose of exposing CCOM information to OPC UA applications, with an initial focus on existing Use Cases relating to information exchange to and from the control system. This will combine existing strengths of each organization for some near-term wins, where OPC UA is used to bring information from the factory floor and where MIMOSA plays its traditional role in Asset Management.
The working group will deliver the following:
• OPC UA Information Model for CCOM (Standard OPC UA companion specification, Nodeset file and prototype implementation)
• A write up for the OPC Wiki describing the Companion specification
• Trade show demonstration and information material
Anyone who would like to contribute to this industry specification please contact Alan Johnston [email protected]
Software platforms, Internet of Things, Digital Transformation and many more manufacturing technologies brought 225,000 people to Hannover last April. I think I got the last available hotel room in the Hannover as I prepared for an intense three days of meetings. I’ve written a couple of posts already. But there is much more. My trip to Dell EMC World out of the way, I’m back to finishing some Hannover thoughts.
Check out these posts on IoT Platform Architecture, Augmented Reality, and a review of IoT platforms.
ABB and IBM partner for industrial artificial intelligence
ABB and IBM announced a strategic collaboration that brings together ABB’s ABB Ability with IBM Watson.
Customers will benefit from ABB’s deep domain knowledge and extensive portfolio of digital solutions combined with IBM’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as different industry verticals. The first two joint industry solutions powered by ABB Ability and Watson will bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.
“This powerful combination marks truly the next level of industrial technology, moving beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to industrial operations and machines that use data to sense, analyze, optimize and take actions that drive greater uptime, speed and yield for industrial customers,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “With an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions, ABB is a trusted leader in the industrial space, and has a four decade long history of creating digital solutions for customers. IBM is a leader in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. Together, IBM and ABB will create powerful solutions for customers to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Another quick note about ABB. It has been a leader in high voltage DC technology (HVDC). At Hannover it announced the latest development in high voltage direct current (HVDC) Light making it possible to reliably transmit large amounts of electricity over ever greater distances, economically and efficiently. The next level of ABB’s HVDC Light will enable more than doubling the power capacity to 3,000 megawatts (MW).
“We pioneered HVDC technology in the 1950’s as a game changer, and the birth of HVDC Light in 1997 was one of the most significant milestones in our innovation journey” said Claudio Facchin, President, ABB Power Grids. “As we mark 20 years of this breakthrough, we are ready to write the next chapter of this technology, with significant enhancements that will help transmit power further with minimum losses and bring major benefits to our customers. HVDC is a cornerstone of our Next Level strategy, reinforcing our position as a partner of choice in enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”
I had several discussions with GE Digital and GE Automation & Control. Here is an announcement from GE.
GE Digital announced a major release of its Plant Applications Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution for hybrid manufacturing industries, designed to manage highly automated production processes. This new version features a new user interface, using GE’s advanced UX design, to better enable operations staff to analyze equipment effectiveness and identify root causes of downtime. The first phase of the Plant Applications user interface enhancement makes it easier for plant personnel to utilize MES systems in their day to day work.
Plant Applications holistically automates and integrates data collection from assets on the plant floor used to manage production execution and performance optimization in hybrid manufacturers in industries such as Food & Beverage, Consumer Packaged Goods and Chemical.
And from GE Automation & Controls, it announced its Control Server and Control System Health App. These innovations are a part of GE’s Industrial Internet Control System (IICS). IICS is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution that reliably, safely and securely connects thousands of machines to the power of the cloud and brings computing to the edge.
Utilizing GE’s Field Agent platform, Control Server also enables intensive optimizing apps like Model-based Optimizing Control (MBOC) to inject performance improvements that deliver greater profitability. In addition, the operating and maintenance costs are reduced through consolidation of PC functions provided by virtualization technology on a server-grade platform. With built-in security features, this innovation reduces the cyber-security attack surface and improves compliance with industry regulations.
As part of the industrial app economy, GE also launched the Control System Health App which allows customers to monitor the status of their control hardware from any location with internet access. The app collects real-time data in a time-series database and uses the power of analytics to recommend corrective actions based on faults.
“We are excited to unveil the next round of powerful analytics tools as part of our IICS system,” said Rob McKeel, President and CEO of GE’s Automation and Controls business. “These two innovations will not only help our customers continue to optimize business and asset performance, but now, with the app, they’ll be able to check in on their system in the palm of their hands from anywhere in the world.”
Honeywell Introduces IIoT SDK Utilizing OPC UA
Honeywell Process Solutions announced a software toolkit that simplifies the interconnection of industrial software systems, enabling them to communicate with each other regardless of platform, operating system or size. The Matrikon FLEX OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) Software Development Kit (SDK) is ideal for applications where minimal memory and processing resources are common.
“Honeywell Connected Plant is our holistic approach to anticipating and meeting the needs of customers by leveraging the power of the IIoT,” said Shree Dandekar, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Connected Plant. “Within this environment, OPC UA plays a key role in enabling outcome-based business solutions. Our introduction of Matrikon FLEX underscores the importance of this technology.”
Tom Burke, president and executive director, OPC Foundation, commented, “In order to quickly and efficiently implement OPC UA, suppliers need a toolkit to minimize development time and effort, and deliver secure and reliable products. Honeywell’s new SDK is ideal for companies getting started with OPC UA to take advantage of the growth of the IIoT. It provides a way to launch OPC UA-enabled products faster and with fewer changes.”
Parker Hannifin Unveils Voice of the Machine
Parker Hannifin Corp. unveiled the Voice of the Machine IoT platform, an open, interoperable and scalable ecosystem of connected products and services.
“From online platforms that enable users to engage with our broad portfolio of products, systems and engineering talent; to global monitoring and asset integrity management services that keep critical systems productive, we are creating better outcomes for our customers,” said Bob Bond, Vice President – eBusiness, IoT and Services. “Our Voice of the Machine offering operates at the sweet spot of our core competency at the component and system level. Parker is creating discrete insights across our broad range of motion and control products that we can then connect to enterprise IoT solutions.”
Parker is using a center-led approach and has adopted a common set of IoT standards and best practices for use across all its operating groups and technologies. Every connected product uses the same repository of digital services with an exchange-based platform architecture, designed by software experts at Exosite. The Exosite IoT architecture makes it easy to deploy a diverse set of connected solutions leveraging that same set of digital services and to integrate.
ODVA Launches Project to Develop Its Next Generation Platform for Device Description
ODVA has announced that it has embarked on a major new technical activity to develop standards and tools for its next generation of digitized descriptions for device data. ODVA has named the activity “Project xDS.” The project will focus on the development of specifications for workflow-driven device description files for device integration and digitized business models.
Project xDS will define the technologies and standards for “xDS” device description files that are based on a common format and syntax to enable workflow-driven device integration. Typical workflows include network and security configuration, network and security diagnostics, device configuration, and device diagnostics.
Another aspect of Project xDS is to further the realization of applications for a digitized industrial world. Digitization will require the virtual representation of physical devices as digital twins, and xDS device description files will be able to provide the device data needed for this virtual representation. The result will help enable services for configuration, command, monitoring, diagnostics, prognostics and simulation via asset management systems, cloud based analytics, and new command-control architectures for industrial control systems.