I’m still deep in cyber security meetings in Germany. A pause here for software and cloud news from the west coast of America—OSIsoft and Amazon Web services. Since PI is used by many industrial companies, these announcements reveal the deep acceptance of cloud technologies.
In short, here are three bullets:
- AWS Quick Starts for PI System: enables industrial customers to quickly deploy and manage the PI System on AWS.
- PI Integrator for Business Analytics: optimized for AWS to reduce time and cost of bringing operational and IoT data to AWS for sharing or advanced analytics.
- Enhanced connectivity and data sharing to accelerate digital transformation and shrink the OT-IT gap.
OSIsoft launched a suite of products today designed to enable manufacturers, utilities, and other industrial customers to run the OSIsoft PI System on Amazon Web Services.
AWS Quick Starts for the PI System consists of AWS CloudFormation templates, scripts, and reference architectures for quickly spinning up and managing a fully functioning PI System on AWS. Customers will use the PI System Quick Starts for moving PI System workloads to the AWS cloud or for providing an aggregate PI System across an enterprise, monitoring remote or isolated assets and enabling data science efforts.
The PI Integrator for Business Analytics, meanwhile, has been optimized to extract, clean and transmit data from PI Systems and reduce data preparation tasks that bog down big data and data science initiatives. Some customers have successfully used PI Integrator technology to reduce the time consumed by data preparation in advanced analytics projects by over 90%.
AWS Quick Starts will be available in 2019. PI Integrator for Business Analytics, previewed at Hannover Messe earlier this year, is available this month.
Under the Hood
Quick Starts are built by AWS solutions architects and partners to help deploy solutions on AWS, based on AWS best practices for security and high availability. These reference deployments implement key technologies automatically on the AWS Cloud, often with a single click and in less than an hour. You can build your test or production environment in a few steps, and start using it immediately.
The PI Integrator for Business Analytics can integrate to Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, enabling industrial customers to speed up their data science experiments, combine disparate data sets for business intelligence, and operationalize the outcomes of advanced analytics that augment decision making.
The Life of the PI System
OSIsoft’s PI System transforms the vast number of operational data streams from sensors, devices and industrial processes into rich, real-time insights to help people save money, increase productivity or create connected products and services.
The PI System can be found inside thousands of companies and complex industrial sites around the globe. OSIsoft customers have used PI System technology to predict wind turbine failures, increase output at an iron mine by $120 million in a single year by fine-tuning logistics, reduce the power consumed by a supercomputer center at a national laboratory, deliver water services to millions of new customers in a major metropolitan city, transform how medicines are produced and reduce the time and expense and improve the quality and consistency of beer. Over 1,000 leading utilities, 90% of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and 65% of the Fortune 500 industrial companies rely the PI System in their operations.
“Worldwide, over 2 billion sensor-based data streams are managed by the PI System with some customers monitoring over 25 million data streams.
“Data from operations—the information being generated by chemical reactors, transformers and other industrial devices—is incredibly valuable. Operations data will be the most valuable asset companies have for moving ahead of the competition in the future. Until recently, this data has been mostly confined to the factory floor or production line in part because of the size, scope and complexity of the data generated by operations,” said John Baier, Director of Integration Technologies, Cloud Analytics Practice at OSIsoft. “Working with Amazon Web Services, we want to unlock the value of operations data by eliminating barriers and bringing it to as many people as possible.”
I didn’t attend Automation Fair this year, but I have been watching for news. Here is a first product release from Rockwell Automation using CIP Security—an extension of the Common Industrial Protocol promulgated by ODVA designed for, well, secure communication as one part of a defense-in-depth strategy.
CIP is the application-layer protocol for EtherNet/IP. CIP Security supports transport layer security (TLS), the most proven security standard in widespread use on the World Wide Web today.
“CIP Security can protect devices and systems that use EtherNet/IP from some of the top risks in connected operations, such as unauthorized PCs,” said Tony Baker, portfolio manager, security, for Rockwell Automation. “It does this in a few key ways. First, it limits device connectivity to only trusted PCs and devices. It also guards against packet tampering to protect data integrity. Finally, it encrypts communications to avert unwanted data reading and disclosure.”
Engineers will be able to implement CIP Security in their systems through new Rockwell Automation products and firmware updates to existing products such as Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controllers, communication modules, and Kinetix servo drives.
In addition, the newly enhanced FactoryTalk Linx communications software allows FactoryTalk visualization and information software running on a PC to communicate to CIP Security-enabled devices. The new FactoryTalk Policy Manager tool within the FactoryTalk software is used to implement and configure security policies between CIP Security-enabled devices.
Rockwell Automation developed this new capability to work with existing industrial control devices regardless of whether or not they were designed to support CIP Security. This allows industrial users to phase in security over time and retrofit existing installations.
In addition, Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 controllers will soon be certified compliant with the IEC 62443-4-2 security standard, building on the IEC 62443-4-1 certification that the Rockwell Automation Security Development Lifecycle has already received.
This latest certification means the controllers will meet the global standard’s robust cybersecurity requirements to help companies secure their connected operations. The ControlLogix 5580 family of controllers is one of the first platforms on the market to achieve this compliance.
Wondering what Rockwell Automation is going to net out of its $1B investment in PTC that also netted John Genovesi a major promotion within the company? I have been. And here is the first release.
The companies have launched FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, a software suite that enables companies to “optimize their industrial operations and enhance productivity by providing decision makers with improved data and insights.” The new suite delivers visibility of operations and systems status from one source of information inside the organization. The collaborative offering is the first to integrate technologies from both companies following the strategic partnership announcement in June.
FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, improves connectivity to operational technology (OT) devices on the plant floor, natively supporting the rapid, scalable, and secure connection of the most commonly used industrial equipment. Combined with data from information technology (IT) applications and systems, decision makers can now gain a complete digital representation of their industrial equipment, lines, and facilities from anywhere in the enterprise.
“Our offering is unique in its ability to improve how companies capitalize on the IIoT by combining expertise from industry, technology, and plant-floor professionals,” said John Genovesi, incoming senior vice president, Enterprise Accounts & Software, Rockwell Automation. “Now we’re bringing innovative solutions from PTC together with leading analytics and Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) from Rockwell Automation for a differentiated industry solution.”
“We’re moving the needle on how leading-edge technology is applied in industrial environments,” said Catherine Kniker, Head of Strategic Alliances, PTC. “Manufacturers have seen digital technology rapidly change, but their execution continues to follow practices established for the legacy business. This bundled offering will help organizations accelerate time to value and reinvent how they compete by breaking down barriers across their operations through a comprehensive approach to operational intelligence.”
Included in this collaborative offering are the FactoryTalk Analytics and MOM platforms, as well as PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial IoT Platform, which includes industrial connectivity from Kepware, and the Vuforia augmented reality solution.
Key features of applications within the new collaborative offering include:
Intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that give users a view of the operations by combining data from multiple IT and OT sources and tailored to their role. An operations manager, for instance, can view overall performance of a facility, or multiple facilities, before researching the performance of specific equipment or factors impacting OEE.
Automated advanced analytics of IT and OT sources transform massive amounts of raw data into actionable or proactive information to improve performance and reduce the impact of downtime. Leveraging powerful artificial intelligence (AI) technology to simplify complex analytical processes, users can now proactively respond to issues ahead of any critical failures.
Augmented reality (AR) delivers more efficient and effective ways of looking at digital information within the physical world. AR enables more efficient training, wider knowledge sharing, and better first-time fix rates. Through the bundled offering, maintenance, for example, can receive digitized work instructions containing real-time performance and service history information so technicians can better diagnose and fix equipment correctly the first time.
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.
Our schedules finally aligned and I was able to catch up with Ed Harrington, director of the Open Process Automation Forum for The Open Group. A few months ago I talked with Gary Freburger and Peter Martin of Schneider Electric’s process automation unit. We discussed the OPAF and what had been going on since the ARC Forum in Orlando last February.
OPAF has laid out an ambitious agenda moving automation toward an era of open connectivity and interoperability.
The original plan broached a couple of years ago at ARC Forum by representatives of ExxonMobil and Lockheed Martin was to prod suppliers into reducing the problem of upgrading systems in the field without the huge expense of rip-and-replace. Considerable industry jockeying ensued. Schneider Electric (Foxboro) eventually taking a leadership position in the effort with assistance from Yokogawa and to a degree Siemens. Other suppliers are watching and evaluating.
Smaller suppliers such as Inductive Automation have become involved along with some of the major automation systems suppliers.
The OPAF specification is really a standard of standards. The group wishes to build upon existing standards, assembling them in such a way as to advance the cause of open automation.
Harrington told me that so far this year, the group has published three items (that are open to the public). One is a business guide, The Open Process Automation Business Guide: Value Proposition and Business Case for the Open Process Automation Standard.
The industrial control systems that manufacturers use to automate their processes are critical to the company’s productivity and product quality. To increase the business contribution from control systems, manufacturers need:
1. Increases in operational benefits from improved capabilities
2. Improvements in cybersecurity compared to currently available systems
3. Reductions in the system’s capital and lifecycle costs
The organization has also published The Open Group Snapshot—Open Process Automation Technical Reference Model: Technical Architecture and a white paper Requirements for an Open Process Automation Standard.
Harrington also told me to expect an announcement of further work at next week’s Open Group Quarterly Meeting in Singapore.
I have seen a number of these initiatives in my career. Few succeed in entirety. However, the thinking that goes into this work always moves industry forward. I don’t know if we’ll ever see a truly OPAF control system. Anything that brings more rationality to the market keeping in minds the goals of OPAF will do much for helping manufacturers and producers improve performance. And that’s what it’s all about.