Digital Manufacturing Technology Leads To Agility

Digital Manufacturing Technology Leads To Agility

Hannover Messe was all about Digital Manufacturing this year. One place I could not make in person was a demonstration by Accenture and Dassault Systèmes. This just goes to show the great convergence of digital technologies improving manufacturing processes.

The companies built a proof of concept (PoC) to show how digital technologies can improve efficiency and create more agile manufacturing in industries such as heavy industrial equipment and aerospace.

Working with a large industrial equipment company, Accenture and Dassault Systèmes are building and implementing a three-phase solution that harnesses digital technologies to create a link between engineering and the manufacturing shop floor for non-repetitive manufacturing companies. The adaptive solution provides a new level of continuity for product assembly including the sequence in which parts are built, and provides a better level of insight into the process for engineers and the assembly staff.

The first phase of the agile manufacturing solution creates the theoretical assembly sequence required to build a product such as a train, airplane or digger. Phase two helps create, optimize and re-plan quickly an operational plan and schedule for each worker on the shop floor. The third phase creates a digital display of the schedule for each worker so they are able to refer to it. These three phases use Dassault Systèmes’ solutions.

Replacing what has often been a paper-based process, Accenture and Dassault Systèmes are creating a solution that provides a new digital link between the engineering team and the shop floor, allowing for real-time changes in the schedule. The agile manufacturing solution can also provide insight and risk assessment into any proposed changes to a product or the assembly schedule before they are made, greatly reducing downtime and creating more agile manufacturing.

“Many companies struggle to improve manufacturing flexibility and sustain unexpected commercial or technical changes when production issues, missing parts or engineering modifications occur,” said Eric Schaeffer, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Industrial practice. “A dedicated agile manufacturing solution will provide flexibility for configuration management and the ability for local plants to personalize products, as well as support for maintenance services.”

“The Industrial Internet of Things and other digital concepts are allowing manufacturers to embark on a new era of productive, sustainable and cost-effective processes that result in a better experience for their customers,” said Laurent Blanchard, Executive Vice President, Global Field Operations (EMEAR), Worldwide Alliances and Services, Dassault Systèmes. “We are extending our long-standing collaboration with Accenture to drive agile manufacturing in the age of experience. Companies can benefit from Dassault Systèmes’ expertise in virtual manufacturing operations and data management applications and Accenture’s best practices in integration services, business process re-engineering, change management and deployment.”

Digital Manufacturing Technology Leads To Agility

Internet of Things Business and Technology Accelerator

For those of you not attuned to developments in the business part of technology development (think Silicon Valley), various accelerators or other processes have developed to assist budding entrepreneurs. Here is one I heard about recently to accelerate (XLR8) development in the Internet of Things space.

The 2016 TechrIoT XLR8 is a six-month program providing best in class IoT companies of any stage with valuable resources to validate product engineering and design, assess market potential, access supply chain financing and connect with anchor customers and channel partners.

The TechrIoT XLR8 is a hybrid program that takes place both virtually (via online interaction) as well as via periodic in-person workshops in Denver, Colorado, over the course of a 6-month period.

Application and Evaluation Process -2 month application window, 2-week evaluation period

During a two month application period, applicant companies submit an introductory video of their company/product and answer a series of short questions online through the platform. Submissions are qualified against an evaluation rubric hosted by Valid Evaluation through assessment of applicant companies on a range of subjects (ie. strength of management team, strength of market opportunity, previous fundraising traction, etc). Applications are then reviewed by a selection panel of IoT subject matter experts from around the globe during a 2-week evaluation period. An executive committee of this panel then selects 10 finalists for participation in the program and an announcement of participants is made public.

Now Accepting Applications here:

Applicants who are not accepted into the program receive a valuable report of how a number of IoT subject matter expert evaluators ranked them in each category of the evaluation rubric, identifying areas of opportunity to improve their application for future application windows.

Program Content

For finalists, specific content throughout the 6-month program is tailored to each company according to strengths and weaknesses identified in the application evaluation process. However, each company will participate in the following:

Phase One –Design Validation (8 weeks)

During this phase, participant companies will be mentored on product engineering and design quality. This phase includes valuable opportunities for in-depth, in-person interaction with global product design and engineering validation experts from within Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 150 global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. With 2014 sales of $22.8 billion, Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for accelerator companies and brings technology solutions to a breadth of markets, including telecommunications, information systems, transportation, health and medical, industrial and consumer electronics.

Phase Two –Market Validation (8 weeks)

During this phase, accelerator companies will work virtually with the team at Innovation Pavilion, a national network of incubators specializing in linking emerging companies with global corporate entities, including Founder and Chairman Vic Ahmed, and a global network of IoT subject matter experts and mentors. Together, these mentors will work with companies to identify anchor customers and/or channel partners and tailor compelling value propositions and collateral material to attract them.

Phase Three –Customer Acquisition (8 weeks)

During this phase, participant companies will turn their focus to engaging with previously identified anchor customers or channel partners, again with the assistance of the 2016 TechrIoT XLR8’s mentorship network.

Phase Four – Demo Days (2)

The 2016 TechrIoT XLR8 culminates in a unique opportunity for the world’s best and brightest IoT startups—after completing a 6-month program of qualifying, validation and refinement—to pitch live in front of a room of potential customers and channel partners and investors ranging from angels and venture to private equity. These two critical Demo Day events, one in Denver and another in the Silicon Valley, will provide the ideal opportunity for participant companies to take their venture to the next level.

Key Dates

  • Sept. 30 to Nov. 30, 2015 – Online Application Live
  • December 1 to December 13 – Applicant Evaluation Period
  • December 15, 2015 – Selection Announcement
  • January 18th – Program Begins with a kickoff conference call for a program overview and assignment of “champions” for each company.
  • January 19th to Feb 15th – Companies and Champions work independently to prepare
    necessary documentation/demonstration materials to prep for meetings with Arrow and other Partners.
  • Feb. 15th to Feb. 18th – Phase One In-Person Design/Engineering Validation Session with Arrow.
  • Feb. 18th to April 15th – Companies and Champions work independently to incorporate
    design/engineering validation feedback, update necessary documentation/demonstration materials to prep for work with subject matter expert mentors tailored to each company’s needs and stage.
  • April. 15th to April. 18th – Phase Two In-Person Mentoring with Colorado-based or visiting
  • April 18th to June 14th – Companies and Champions work independently to incorporate
    design/engineering validation feedback, update necessary documentation/demonstration materials to prep for work with subject matter expert mentors tailored to each company’s needs and stage.
  • June 15th to June. 18th – Phase Three In-Person Presentations to Customers and Channel
  • July 15th – Demo Day in Denver.
  • July 20th – Demo Day in Silicon Valley.

Call for evaluators and mentors!

Interested in qualifying and/or mentoring some of world’s best and brightest emerging IoT companies? Contact [email protected] for details.


TechRIoT accelerator

Digital Manufacturing Technology Leads To Agility

ODVA Elects Leaders, Learns About Smart Factory

ODVA, the organization that develops and promotes networking protocols such as DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP, recently held its 17th Meeting.

ODVA’s Board of Directors for its 18th term are:

  • Rolf Birkhofer, managing director for process solutions at Endress+Hauser,
  • Thomas Bürger, vice president of engineering automation systems at Bosch Rexroth,
  • Michael Höing, executive vice-president of cross divisional functions at Weidmüller Interface,
  • Fabrice Jadot, senior vice-president for innovation and technology and CTO for the industry business of Schneider Electric,
  • Tony Shakib, vice president of business development for the Internet of Things Business Development at Cisco Systems,
  • Masaru Takeuchi, general manager of controller business and automation systems for industrial automation business at Omron, and
  • Jürgen Weinhofer, vice-president for common architecture and technology for Rockwell Automation.

Officers for the 18th term are:

  • Katherine Voss, president & executive director.
  • Joakim Wiberg, chief technology officer,
  • Christopher Lynch, secretary, and
  • Jürgen Weinhofer, treasurer.


ODVA’s Technical Review Board (TRB) are Mr. Rudy Belliardi of Schneider Electric, Mr. Paul Didier of Cisco Systems, Dr. Jörg Hähniche of Endress+Hauser, Dr. Ludwig Leurs of Bosch Rexroth, Mr. Shinji Murayama of Omron, Mr. Eric Scott of Molex, Mr. Dave VanGompel of Rockwell Automation, and Mr. Joakim Wiberg of HMS Industrial Networks. As ODVA’s chief technology officer, Joakim Wiberg will be the TRB chairperson.

Smart Factory

In a keynote speech given by Prof. Dr.-Ing Detlef Zühlke, executive chairman of SmartFactory, he announced that the 2016 SmartFactory Demonstrator will include a proof of concept implementation of ODVA’s machine data model. The proof of concept will be supported by ODVA principal member Bosch Rexroth, which is also an executive member of SmartFactory.

ODVA’s machine data model is a result of ODVA’s initiative for the Optimization of Machine Integration (OMI) which was first announced in 2011 in cooperation with Sercos International and the OPC Foundation.

The OMI initiative is focused on techniques to optimize the integration of manufacturing machinery with the industrial ecosystem. One of the key machine integration problems that OMI seeks to solve is the streamlining and standardization of heterogeneous communication interfaces, such as CIP and Sercos, in order to enable standard reporting methods and tools across machines and thus aid in the management of machines and the monitoring of their states.

To investigate and develop standards in this area, ODVA established a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Machinery Information with participants from ODVA principal members Bosch Rexroth, Rockwell Automation, and Schneider Electric along with invited experts from OPC Foundation and Sercos International. The SIG has now completed its first phase of work to define a standard approach to machine data models which will then be mapped to the structures in CIP, OPC-UA, and Sercos. The 2016 SmartFactory production cell sponsored by Bosch Rexroth will illustrate the benefits of this approach.

“The concepts and standards being developed as a result of ODVA’s initiative for the Optimization of Machine Integration are well aligned with the goals of the SmartFactory,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing Detlef Zühlke, executive chairman of the Technology-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. “The concepts for ODVA’s machine data model will be a welcome addition to the SmartFactory demonstrator in 2016.”

“Certain types of data are typical to machine-to-supervisory communication. This data can be placed into logical groupings such as base machine context, conditioning monitoring, energy, safety, machine diagnostics, machine states, production recipes and product information,” stated Dr. Ludwig Leurs, co-chair of ODVA’s SIG for Machinery Information and engineering manager of Ethernet convergence for Bosch Rexroth. “The SmartFactory demonstrator will allow the SIG participants to prove out the concepts in ODVA’s machine data model before completing final specification for the model and its mapping to the protocol standards.”

“The concept of ODVA’s machine data model is groundbreaking because it applies the concept of “Things” as conceived in the Industrial Internet of Things to the machine itself,” said Katherine Voss, ODVA president and executive director. “The alignment of SmartFactory with the Industrie 4.0 initiative, and thus the Industrial Internet of Things, makes the 2016 SmartFactory demonstrator an ideal venue to illustrate the benefits of ODVA’s concept of the machine.”

ODVA’s machine data model will be integrated into the Bosch Rexroth production cell for 2016 SmartFactory demonstrator that will premiere at Hannover Fair 2016 on April 25, 2016.

The Technology Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. was founded in 2005 as a non-profit association to establish a network of industrial and research partners which initiate and implement together research and development projects ranging from base technologies to the development of marketable products.

Today SmartFactory is a manufacturer-independent demonstration and research platform and unique in Europe.

Oil and Gas Interoperability Pilot

Oil and Gas Interoperability Pilot

I started another Website called Physical Asset Lifecycle last year to discuss interoperability.

Two things happened. The reason to have a separate Website evaporated into the vacuum of failed business ideas. I also ran out of time to maintain yet another Website.

So, I will be reposting the work I did there and then building upon that work as an Interoperability Series.

There are key technologies and thinking when it comes to interoperability. The foundation is that we want to break silos of people and technologies so that applications can interoperate and make life easier for operations, maintenance and engineering. This will also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Much of the work so far is led by MIMOSA.

Interoperability demo

Two years ago, the foundation came together in a pilot demo at the ISA Automation Week conference of 2012. Here is the report from then.

After years of preparatory work, the OpenO&M Initiative participants organized a demonstration pilot project of information interoperability run like a real project building a debutanizer. It demonstrated the full lifecycle of the plant including all the facets of plant from design through construction to operations and management. The demonstration was held two days at the ISA Automation Week Sept. 25-26, 2012 in Orlando.

A panel of some of the people who worked on this project presented their work and showed live demonstrations.

One of the most important advances in the project was that now the three major design software suppliers–Aveva, Bentley, and Intergraph were all involved with enabling export of design data to a standard interface.

EPC for the project was Worley Parsons. Cormac Ryan, manager, Engineering Data Management, Americas, explained the development of the P&IDs using Intergraph’s Smart Plant P&ID generator. It produced a traditional P&ID. Not only a diagram, it is a database-driven tool containing lots of reports and data. The data was published in ISO 15926 format and made available to the rest of the team.

Jim Klein, Industry Solutions Consultant from Aveva, used a schema similar to the Intergraph one. It acted as a second EPC duplicating the data with the object-based database behind the drawing. It can store and link to an engineering database that contains much more data. For example, clicking on a pump diagram can show specifications and other important design information. This data was published out to instantiate the object in a maintenance management system or to create new data as it gets revised during the engineering process. Information can communicate to a “MIMOSA cloud” server.

George Grossmann, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Advanced Computing Research Centre, the University of South Australia, explained a transform engine using Bentley Open Plant received in 2 formats–owl and ecxml. These data go to iniSA 15926 transform engine. This engine takes input from all three suppliers, exports in ISO 15926 then to MIMOSA standard exports in CCOM XML.

Next up Ken Bever, with Assetricity and also CTO of MIMOSA discussed the transform from CCOM XML to the Assetricity iomog register, assuring that information was mapped to the asset and then sent to IBM’s IIC application in a standardized way. The information was then sent to OSIsoft PI historian. From PI, data is then accessible to maintenance management and operations management applications. All data references back to the ISO 15926 ontology.

Bruce Hyre, from IBM, explained how the IIC application is a standards-based platform that federates data and provides analytics. It takes CCOM, feeds it into a model server, which then provisions tags in OSI PI server. His demonstration showed the actual live P&ID from the EPC. He added, “But our focus is on the data supporting that P&ID–the tag list/model tree. You can subscribe to a tag, see information from the upstream systems.” Therefore the demonstration showed that data have gone end-to-end from design to the PI server to provision the tags with the live data from the design. 1092 tags were provisioned in this demonstration.

A video of the presentation can be found on the MIMOSA Website.

Program manager is Alan Johnston. Contact him for more information or to lend your expertise to the effort.

Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.