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Open Road to Industrial IoT

DanKaltenbach

 

Open Road to Industrial IoT

 

While manufacturers have used IT-supported processes in their operations environment for quite a while, one thing is still missing in order to create the intelligent factory of the future: the standardized, open communications that IT thrives on.

 

Be it ABB, Bosch, GE, or Siemens: all renowned plant manufacturers are offering IT-assisted systems control, remote diagnostics, and often even predictive maintenance. These are the commonly praised future benefits of a soon-to-flourish Industrial IoT. 

 

Learn more about the latest trends in the Industrial IoT and how to leverage them for your business at Industry of Things World in Berlin. On 18 & 19 September, Hewlett Packard Enterprise will show tangible solutions for the Industrie 4.0.

 

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The “siloed” OT environment in the manufacturing floor

 

Yet usually, one can only achieve advantages within the vendor’s proprietary framework: vendor A’s machine data logging speaks a language different from vendor B’s, while vendor C’s condition monitoring is incompatible with vendor D’s predictive maintenance feature set. And some of the ultra-modern digital twin technologies (a machine’s virtual 3D image for training purposes or fault diagnostics) only work with Oculus Rift, some exclusively with Microsoft’s Hololens.

 

This is why one tends to find a literal zoo of tools in manufacturing, each one with its own protocol and data format. This makes it difficult for the operator to arrive at comprehensive conclusions to align business objectives with production, and to optimize processes.

 

For example: with the help of predictive maintenance features, an automotive supplier’s CNC-driven moulding cutter signals that unplanned maintenance will be necessary within two weeks. What would be the ideal time for that? To identify this point in time, a multitude of data would have to be readily available: which other machines are up for a maintenance run, too? When will the order situation most likely allow for a time-out? Is there an impending supply shortfall, so that maintenance wouldn’t cause any problems at all? Are there any suppliers or customers that need to be informed about a delay?

 

All this information exists, but it is isolated in its respective silo: in the ERP system, the control room PPS, the supply chain management, the CRM system, the manufacturing execution system, and the various tools of equipment vendors. The situation is similar to the one in a data center 30 or 40 years ago: many systems are aggregated, but they communicate inadequately.

 

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Manufacturing technology can learn from IT

 

In today’s data center, these constraints have been overcome: open systems are state-of-the-art today, as are standard protocols (Ethernet/IP) and open APIs for data exchange. A vendor that has driven this development – and still keeps driving it – is Hewlett Packard Enterprise: HPE has always promoted open systems and open APIs to further cross-vendor IT resource interaction. Today, HPE consultants can bring this competence to the network edge and to manufacturing.

 

HPEs Advisory and Transformation Services support enterprises in developing Industrial IoT processes, planning IoT landscapes, systems integration, and daily operations. One option, for example, is an end-to-end environment with converged IoT systems specifically designed for the manufacturing industry, such as the HPE Edgeline family and HPE Converged Plant Infrastructure. But at the same time, HPE will integrate solution partners such as PTC, GE Digital (Predix), SAP, and others to create a comprehensive value-add for the customer.

 

One example can illustrate this openness: In Germany, HPE is involved in the ARENA2036 Project. In this project, various vendors from manufacturing and IT, along with the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute, collaboratively research options for the flexible automotive factory of the future. After all, future car manufacturing will have to be variable, on-demand, and ultimately capable of handling a single-item order quantity. This requires cooperation, interoperable analytics, and last but not least unobstructed traffic on open data highways.

 

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You can find more information about HPE’s industrial IoT consulting practice here, and details regarding HPE’s IoT portfolio here.

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HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems are powered by Intel Xeon.

 

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About the Author

DanKaltenbach

IoT and Digital Domain Manager Germany

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