June 2, 2021
At the present moment, it is quite clear that the future of industrial automation will be driven by software. More so, that of IIoT.
And, due to the merits that have allowed it to dominate in the IT space, Open Source software is likely to lead the industrial software revolution. Regardless of the conservative nature of the industry.
To discuss the use of Open Source in building IIoT solutions, I had a conversation with Frédéric Desbiens.
Frédéric is the Program Manager for IoT and Edge Computing at the Eclipse Foundation, managing close to 50 Open Source projects under Eclipse IoT.
Here's the outline of the discussion.
✔️ Key Challenges for Implementing IIoT
✔️ Why Open Source Matters for IIoT Implementation
✔️ Key Components of an Industrial IoT Solution
✔️ Open Source Stack for IIoT Gateways
✔️ Open Standards for IIoT Data Aggregation
✔️ Why Semantic Interoperability Matters for IIoT
✔️ Real Value of MQTT Sparkplug to Implementers
✔️ Real Value of MQTT Sparkplug to End-Users
✔️ Is MQTT Sparkplug a Lock-In?
✔️ Open Source Digital Twin Frameworks and how they work
✔️ Open Source Software for IIoT Security
✔️ Role of Eclipse Foundation and Eclipse IoT
April 6, 2021
Nowadays, with so many IIoT concepts in the air, you can't help but breathe it in.
But sometimes it's helpful to take a step back and put all of this in context to understand how we got here, as that might help shed light on what IIoT is and isn't about.
To gain a fundamental understanding of OT-IT integration, I had a conversation with Benson Hougland.
Benson is VP of Product Strategy at Opto 22, a company that has been at the forefront of OT-IT integration for close to 30 years. From being a founding member of OPC to introducing the first Ethernet-based I/O Unit in the nineties, and more recently, introducing the first Edge Programmable Industrial Controller.
Below is an outline of our discussion in the linked video.
✔️ Why Should Manufacturers Care About IIoT?
✔️ Evolution of the IIoT Technology Stack
✔️ Open Technologies in IIoT
✔️ Principal Functions of an IIoT Edge Device
✔️ The Role of SCADA in an IIoT World
✔️ Brownfield and Greenfield Considerations for IIoT
✔️ Best Practices for IIoT Security
✔️ Critical Skills for IIoT System Integration
✔️ Integration of IIoT Solutions into Business Processes
March 15, 2021
While it may be convenient to follow simple steps to get connectivity working for your IIoT solution, sometimes you are better off having an understanding of the elements that make up the broad spectrum of connectivity technologies.
To understand the foundations upon which IoT protocols are built, I had a conversation with Dominik Obermaier. Dominik is the Co-Founder & CTO of HiveMQ, a company that provides an MQTT broker and a client-based messaging platform to over 130 customers including many Fortune 500 companies for mission-critical use cases like connected cars, logistics, Industry 4.0, and connected #IoT products.
Dominik is also a member of the OASIS Technical Committee responsible for developing the MQTT specification, and he's also involved in the standardisation of Sparkplug.
Here's the outline of the discussion linked below:
✔️ IoT Connectivity Architectures
✔️ Data Encoding Mechanisms
✔️ COAP Protocol
✔️ AMQP Protocol
✔️ XMPP protocol
✔️ Fundamentals of MQTT Protocol
✔️ Plug and Play Interoperability Using Sparkplug B
✔️ Adoption of Sparkplug B in Manufacturing
✔️ #MQTT Broker Deployment Options
✔️ Kubernetes for High Availability MQTT Broker Deployments
✔️ Backend IoT Architecture for MQTT
✔️ #IIoT Security
✔️ MQTT Use Case in Smart Manufacturing
March 8, 2021
Developed at LinkedIn in 2010, Apache Kafka - a stream processing engine, now powers web-scale Internet companies such as Netflix, Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, and more. Profoundly impacting real-time user experience.
Of equal impact, is its application in creating a continuous streaming pipeline of manufacturing data, from the factory-floor to data centers. Fundamentally changing the structural organisation of manufacturing systems.
To gain an understanding of Kafka in IIoT, I had a conversation with Kai Waehner. Kai is Field CTO and Global Technology Advisor at Confluent, a company that was founded by Kafka creators and is behind the open-source project.
Here are the contents of our discussion
✔️ Stream processing in Manufacturing
✔️ Apache Kafka and Its Role in IIoT
✔️ Kafka vs MQTT
✔️ Architecture Patterns for Kafka Deployments
✔️ Connectivity to Industrial Control Systems
✔️ Data Ingestion to enterprise Applications
✔️ Examples of Real-Time Streaming Analytics
✔️ Using Kafka as a Data Historian
✔️ Re-Engineering ERP Suites with Kafka
✔️ Using Kafka to Drive Machine Learning
✔️ Hybrid Kafka Deployments
✔️ Kafka as a Platform for the Digital Twin
✔️ Kafka's Role in Augmented Reality
✔️ Kafka Use Cases in Manufacturing
March 8, 2021
So here's the thing, data from industrial sources is inherently messy. For example, a typical PLC system manages thousands of tags from both physical instruments and internal calculations, but this data is often unstructured, not linked to a unifying data model, and uses naming conventions that are vague to the outside world.
This makes data from such sources not readily usable in analytics applications and has led to the emergence of a new field of industrial data preprocessing for IIoT, called Industrial DataOps.
To discuss more on industrial DataOps, I had a conversation with John Harrington who is the Co-Founder of HighByte, a company pioneering this field with their HighByte Intelligence Hub.
Here some of the topics that we discussed.
✔️ What is Industrial IoT DataOps
✔️ Limitations of the Purdue Model/ISA-95
✔️ The importance of Data Quality
✔️ Data Standardisation, Normalisation and Contextualisation
✔️ Best Practices for integrating industrial data silos
✔️ Principles of IIoT Data Modelling
✔️ How DataOps enforces privacy and security
✔️ HighByte Intelligence Hub
John has previously worked as the VP of Business Strategy at PTC, and he's also served as the VP of Product Management at Kepware Technologies.
January 20, 2021
Cliché as it may sound, data IS the new Oil. But, to fully reap the benefits, data needs to be properly collected and advanced analytics correctly applied to it.
To better understand the process, I had a conversation with one person who has close to 3 decades of building industrial data aggregation and advanced visualisation tools, Marcos Taccolini.
Marc is currently the Founder and CTO of Tatsoft, a platform developer for real-time factory-floor data monitoring, SCADA and HMI Systems, Distributed Data Aggregation, and Advanced Visualization Tools.
Below, is the outline of our conversation.
✔️Collecting Real-Time Data
✔️Collecting Enterprise Data
✔️Plant-Floor to Cloud Integration
✔️Integrating Structured and Unstructured Data
✔️Data Lakes for Plant-Floor Data
✔️MQTT Sparkplug B
✔️Role of OPC UA in IIoT Dataflow
✔️Real-Time Metrics Tracking
✔️Advanced Analytics Best Approach
✔️Plant-Floor Machine Learning Applications
✔️Operational Intelligence with the Digital Twin
✔️Tatsoft, FrameworX, and Factory Studio
Marc also previously served as the Founder of Indusoft, a provider of HMI and embedded intelligent device software, which was acquired by Invensys. He was also the co-founder of Unitec and Unisoft.
January 19, 2021
While the connectivity of industrial systems is the most important aspect of IIoT, there is currently a confusing mix of connectivity technologies and standards.
To understand IIoT Connectivity I had a conversation with Stan Schneider, who specialises in innovation where pervasive networking meets functional AI
Stan is CEO of Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the world’s largest software framework provider for smart machines & real-world systems such as power plants & autonomous vehicles
Here's what we discussed
✔️ Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework
✔️ Why Connectivity Technologies Don't overlap
✔️ Why Connectivity Wrappers Don't Work
✔️ Industrial Connectivity Stack
✔️ The Core Connectivity Standard Architecture
✔️ Data Distribution Service Explained
✔️ OPC UA vs DDS
RTI software runs over 1500 designs including the largest power plants in North America, the Canadian Air Traffic Control system, NASA's launch control system, nearly all Navy ships, GE Healthcare's hospital device networks, Siemens wind turbine farms, trains, & metro control systems, & over 250 autonomous vehicle designs
Stan holds a PhD from Stanford in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science with a focus on Autonomous Systems.
January 19, 2021
The success of IIoT in mission-critical applications depends on its ability to support local storage, compute, and connectivity for real-time responses, while sending selected data to the cloud for additional analytics. In short, Edge Computing
To gain a comprehensive understanding of Edge Computing, I sat down with somebody whose day job is strategising and executing at the intersection of 5G, Edge Computing, and the Internet of Things, Rob Tiffany
Rob is currently VP and Head of IoT Strategy at Ericsson
Here's what we discussed
✔️ Edge Computing Intro
✔️ Edge Computing Architecture Trends
✔️ Edge Computing Frameworks
✔️ Edge Analytics
✔️ Digital Twins in Edge Computing
✔️ Edge Solution Orchestration
✔️ Security Challenges & Solutions
✔️ Role of Edge Computing in 5G
✔️ Moab Foundation
Rob was previously, the CTO & Global Product Manager at Hitachi, where he created the Lumada IIoT platform. He was also the Global Technology Lead at Microsoft, where he was one of the co-authors of the Azure IoT Reference Architecture. Rob is the Executive Director of the Moab Foundation, a non-profit organisation working to create a more sustainable planet through the application of connected intelligence
January 19, 2021
Having a solid understanding of the key components of an IIoT architecture and how to integrate them is the most important aspect of building an IIoT application, both as an in-house solution and as a service offering
So, to help shed light on the principles of IIoT architecture design, I had a discussion with one person who is best positioned to speak on the subject, Rick Bullotta
Rick Co-Founded Thingworx, which is one of the first and arguably the most successful IIoT platform to date
Here's what we discussed
✔️ IIoT Architectural Patterns
✔️ Edge Computing
✔️ IIoT Gateway Selection
✔️ Integration Mechanisms
✔️ Communication Protocols
✔️ IIoT Security
✔️ Request-Response vs Publish-Subscribe
✔️ IIoT Platform selection
✔️ Avoiding Vendor Lock-In
✔️ Cloud to Cloud Integration
✔️ Effects of Data Residency
✔️ Private Cloud vs Public Cloud
Among other diverse roles, Rick previously served as Partner Director at Microsoft, where he helped define and drive Azure IoT Strategy. He was also previously CTO and Director at Wonderware, and he was a VP with SAP Research, focusing on future manufacturing. Rick was also the CTO and co-founder of Lighthammer Software Development
November 19, 2020
Digital Twins will, undoubtedly, transform how manufacturers build and maintain products. From consumer goods to complex structures such as buildings and aircraft.
But as of now, confusion and lack of its grasp are limiting adoption.
To understand the technology better, I had a conversation with Pieter van Schalkwyk, whose company has helped Fortune 10 companies build Digital Twins.
Here's what we discussed
✔️ What is a digital twin?
✔️ Digital modeling concepts
✔️ Types of digital twins
✔️ Digital Twin formats
✔️ Tools and frameworks
✔️ Step by Step Process
✔️ Interfacing with digital twins
✔️ Digital Twin vs Digital Thread
✔️ AI and ML in Digital Twins
✔️ Digital Twins and Blockchain
✔️ Digital Twin Consortium
Pieter is the CEO of XMPRO, a low-code application development platform that enables subject matter experts to build and deploy real-time applications in weeks.
He currently serves as the co-chair of the Natural Resources Working Group for the Digital Twin Consortium & previously co-chaired the Digital Twin Interoperability, Industrial Digital Transformation, & Distributed Ledger Task Groups at the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)