Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Ed Featherston, Corey Roth, Peter Silva, Yeshim Deniz, Automic Blog

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Machine Learning

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Manufacturing a Digital Future | @ThingsExpo #IoT #IIoT #M2M #Sensors #MachineLearning

Avoiding the roadblocks on the way to IIoT

Manufacturing a Digital Future

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects the entire manufacturing enterprise - from acquiring components to manufacturing, storage and delivery - in short delivering an enterprise-wide, holistic view of the entire work flow. But traditional networks present a significant roadblock to deployments in smart factories and connected plants. This article discusses two fundamental building blocks required to start building smart digital manufacturing: industrial-grade hardened network and real-time alarm and notification system.

When we talk about smart manufacturing, we are really talking about leveraging IIoT to create a complete digital environment that gathers, exchanges, collates and enables the analysis of real-time data - from the factory floor, to the back office and right along the supply chain. Not only will this allow manufacturing and industrial processes to become more automated, but it will enable management systems to produce actionable insights across the entire enterprise, resulting in better and faster decision making.

It's the network, stupid!
IIoT is not a single technology: it is a whole raft of new generation technologies - sensors, new applications, machine-to-machine interfacing, machine learning, predictive analytics, geo-location, wearables and augmented reality. The network infrastructure is what brings all these technologies and solutions together - without it, you have disparate collections of smart technologies never achieving their potential.

In the manufacturing and industrial sectors there are specific network requirements that you just wouldn't need in an office or retail environment - so should the networks be the same? The answer, of course, is no.

The hardened network
Unreliable connectivity on LAN or WLAN can be a disaster for the highly automated processes in today's production lines. Even minimal network disruption caused by inefficient data transfer, bottlenecking or data loss can have ramifications along the entire production chain. And not only does patchy wireless connectivity mean mobile assets and workers can't operate efficiently, it can also be a serious safety risk.

Bringing together controllers, sensors, IP-Video and wireless-enabled assets on busy manufacturing floors or industrial sites requires a network backbone that can maintain its reliability and quality of service in the face of the heat, dust, electromagnetic interference and vibrations caused by machinery and heavy vehicles. This is why a hardened network based on rugged components is vital to ensuring a reliable and secure manufacturing network, while being able to easily expand the network to incorporate new assets and technologies as they become available.

Built to last - the network requirements
How do you build a hardened network to support connected plants and factories? First, the switches, access points and routers need to be able to offer the same level of capability as you would find in any other advanced network - embedded security, dynamic network performance tuning for real time application delivery and reliable broadband IP connectivity. But this needs to be built using network hardware with industrial grade form-factors, hardened to operate in more extreme conditions.

Fair-weather switches not good enough
Outside of the protected and climate controlled data centers, the campus network needs to be able to handle a much wider range of conditions. Hardened industrial-grade switches, which can operate in environments ranging from -40°C to +75°C, are a crucial element in a network subjected to continuous or fluctuating extreme temperatures. Non-hardened switches in the plant or at remote locations could severely limit the reliability and lifecycle of the equipment, putting operations at risk.

Temperature is not the only factor that can impact the network at the hardware level. Humidity levels or the airborne particles in dust need to be protected against, and that's where the convection cooled fan-less switch models can offer greater reliability and a longer lifecycle. Hardened switches are also designed to withstand the greater shocks and vibrations caused by heavy machinery and vehicles as well as greater EMI/EMC variance.

Safety first, during and last - there's now an app for that
Safety and security isn't an afterthought in the manufacturing world, so it shouldn't be when laying the network foundations of the connected factory. Gone are the days when the only alarm system available would sound across the factory floor and everyone downed tools and made for the exit. Modern manufacturing with real-time data communication needs - and indeed can have - a centralized alarm and notification platform that pushes out notifications that are accessible from apps on smart devices, as well as fixed telephony and computer stations.

Safety is paramount. Automatic alarms and emergency notifications should be added to the network and are critical to alerting supervisors to fires or employee injury. A network that can collect and aggregate alarms from different subsystems to a centralized platform can provide the responsiveness a 'smart factory' demands.

A universal notification service will provide the right alerts to the right people, at the right time, enabling them to respond quickly and appropriately to a given situation. These can also integrate into other safety and security systems such as CCTV and Building Management Systems to ensure fire detection, video and surveillance, intrusion detection can be easily managed through a single - and reliable - solution.

As well as emergency and safety notifications, engineering alerts can be directed straight to the right engineers. Notifications can be in the form of audio and text notifications, be routed to DECT/Wifi handsets, or sent directly to smart devices via an app, email or SMS - providing the flexibility needed across the full range of manufacturing and industrial settings.

Made to measure - choosing the right network for the connected factory
The Industrial Internet of Things is growing. Before you can even start to think about what new technologies and services to introduce, you need to ensure that you have the network in place to deal with the stresses and strains of the production environment - this means building an industrial-grade hardened Ethernet and a comprehensive notification system to keep the manufacturing environment safe for the employees.

More Stories By Heitor Faroni

Heitor Faroni, as Director of Solutions Marketing, is responsible for the strategy, messaging, go-to-market and business development of network solutions at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Prior to this he created the Enterprise NA Bids and Proposal team. Previous to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, he held the positions of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Vice President of Products Sales at Verso Technologies. At Clarent Corporation and ACT Networks Heitor held the position of Director of Sales Engineering for Latin America.

Heitor has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in both enterprise and carriers markets. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the Brazilian University of Campinas (UNICAMP).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...