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System integration, edge computing tips for automation
System integrators are using edge computing platforms to create simple, scalable, repeatable and protected automation and control architectures. Jan. 25 webcast, archived for a year, offers tips and other information.
Leveraging new technology to overcome changeover inefficiency
Changeovers are critical in production and companies must be ready to adapt when a line or workcell changes what it produces. Cloud-based technologies can help the changeover process.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: November 7-13, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered OT edge computing, industrial 5G, COVID-19 masks and more.
Grant awarded to explore cloud and edge computing’s future
University of Missouri researchers received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to explore cloud and edge computing's future.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: October 3-9, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered edge platforms, alarm design, smart energy measurements, plant instrumentation and more.
How hybrid AI improves edge computing, user experience
Hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) acts as a companion technology to data-driven machine intelligence methods and can help edge computing evolve.
Evaluating edge as a platform
By standardizing on complete edge platforms, end users are simplifying edge software and hardware delivery, development, deployment, and support, while streamlining operations. See four edge platform building blocks and four concerns.
Industrial data analysis case studies, effectiveness
System integrator case studies show the benefits of in-depth data analysis.
How to overcome obstacles to industrial data analytics
Common barriers and concerns of modernizing data analysis in industrial applications.
Data analysis disruptors in the industrial space
Adapt past the disruptors to realize benefits from industrial data analytics.
How to get started with industrial data analytics
Knowing the key components of industrial data analytics can help streamline industrial processes for more effective data analytics.
Plan for the future with 5G, mobile edge computing
With the help of 5G and mobile edge computing, business owners, manufacturing facility managers and control engineers are experiencing the benefits of transforming traditional, manual processes into automated, efficient technological solutions.
Edge computing optimization benefits, challenges
Edge computing optimization requires major business tradeoffs, and companies have many options to make the process work for them.
On the edge of successful OT and IT convergence
Edge computing can help ensure the success of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) convergence.
Questions answered: What is just enough industrial data analysis?
Extra questions from the data analytics webcast are answered here, from an April 21 webcast, archived for a year.
What is just enough industrial data analysis?
Supply chain constrictions, pandemic and labor shortages have raised the need for more effective industrial data analytics. Get guidance from case studies and audience benchmarking in an April 21 webcast, archived for a year.
More answers on how to improve OEE, quality with advanced analytics
An analytics webcast March 29 explains how today’s Smart Factory leverages out-of-the-box and cloud-based overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) capabilities to accelerate improvement programs. Audience questions from the webcast are answered below.
How to improve OEE, quality with advanced analytics
A webcast March 29 explains how today’s Smart Factory leverages out-of-the-box and cloud-based overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) capabilities to accelerate improvement programs. Analytics allow prescriptive asset management and can result in significant improvements.
Industrial communication moving networks to the edge
Edge computing can help to determine the status of device, machine, line, and even plant health, which can be used to identify opportunities to increase overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
Moving toward edge computing adoption
For the control engineer, it's worth asking what the benefits are from moving intelligence to the edge and how they can achieve success in brownfield plants.
Immersive mixed reality will power the Metaverse
The Metaverse will be able to help optimize production planning, accelerate designing, improve overall production efficiency and increase accuracy
Virtually designing out problems with 3D simulation software
3D simulation software is moving from being a nice-to-have to a necessity for manufacturers thanks to technology advances.
Edge technologies enable Industry 4.0
Organizations using Industry 4.0 with edge technologies gain benefits such as lower costs, faster speeds, easier troubleshooting and others.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 14-20, 2022
Articles about Engineers' Choice winners, edge controllers, IT/OT convergence and unified operational systems were Control Engineering’s five most-viewed articles from February 14-20, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Product advice on how software evolves the industrial edge
Edge software with open connectivity and flexible scalability is crucial for quickly creating data and analytics solutions capable of bridging factory floor machines with the enterprise to deliver valuable information and results, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Will the real edge controller please stand up?
Understand and evaluate industrial edge controllers’ makeup to meet rugged, deterministic control demands
Edge control evolution
The future of industrial automation lies with true edge controllers, which combine programmable logic controller/programmable automation controller (PLC/PAC) functionality with general-purpose computing to deliver responsive edge analytics and real-time reaction to insights. See edge controller vs. PLCs, PACs, IPCs: 3 advantages.
Spreadsheets for analytics
Many companies offer software for data analytics to create information and insights from data collected from automation, controls and instrumentation. Most data-gathering software also downloads in a spreadsheet format: Many users have spreadsheets for special applications or quick insights.
Use cloud-based predictive analytics to optimize enterprise
Examples, recommendations and webcast help unlocking the power of existing data, key to enterprise-wide optimization by using cloud-based predictive analytics.
Connected automation components ease plant floor pain points
Standardization, cross-platform communication, security, effective simulation, and other automation tools are more critical than ever to maintain efficient operations in the age of Industry 4.0. See 5 ways to alleviate pain points for automation hardware, software.
No-code cloud offers safe, secure IIoT
Machine builders and other automation users can make no-code, secure cloud connections and embed Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities into applications that support Modbus communication protocol, including sensors, smart meters, extended input/output (I/O) devices.
Overcoming edge computing adoption barriers
Processing data within the cloud comes with challenges in latency and cost. Adopting edge computing to complement the cloud can help manufacturers overcome these barriers.
Securing cloud data is a challenge for many companies
A survey finds that while companies recognize the importance of the cloud, more than half find it difficult to secure data stored in the public cloud.
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles April 12-18, 2021
Articles about edge computing, industrial Ethernet problems, plant energy efficiency, Engineers' Choice winners and Hannover Messe updates were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 12-18, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cloud manufacturing software improves communication, productivity
Cloud manufacturing software can help streamline disparate systems and help improve communication and productivity for manufacturers.
New edge devices and automation benefits
Build smarter end-to-end automation systems with edge technologies. See three ways to prepare automation for edge success and case study that resulted in a 5% increase in yield.
Expanding edge control
Edge control can take many forms to access stranded data, with modern programmable logic controllers (PLCs) often the preferred alternative.
Executive Brand Video Series—Learn How Thought Leaders at Oracle NetSuite are Responding to COVID-19
Gavin Davidson, ERP Product Management Group at Oracle NetSuite, discusses how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edge computing terms and skills
Six edge computing questions to ask about data collection, networking and control systems.
Cloud-based analytics for manufacturing
Industrial organizations already are realizing the benefits of cloud computing for IT and business workloads, providing a path to manufacturing deployments.
Skills for the edge computing revolution
Edge computing is becoming more prevalent, and it’s imperative for engineers to get in on the action. Learn four skills engineers can develop to be better prepared.
Control Engineering hot topics, February 2020
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in February 2020 included stories about the Engineers' Choice winners, intelligent cloud use, intuitive HMI screens, advanced process control and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 10-16
Articles about the Engineers' Choice winners, intelligent cloud use, safety systems, integrators and 3-D printing, and cybersecurity effectiveness were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 10-16. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Intelligent use of cloud sharpens operational insight
Cloud-based wireless sensing enables safety, reliability and profits through widespread asset monitoring
Automation approaches to use when market growth slows
Fast-growing areas for automation, according to analysts include edge computing, cloud computing, data analysis, machine learning and industrial network security. Despite the slower growth in some other areas of automation, these emerging technologies are growing at double-digit rates.
The future of design and manufacturing
International: A product lifecycle management conference in Europe helped demonstrate the future of design and manufacturing. New PLM tools advance digital twin technology applications, manufacturing execution, quality control, and other areas. In cloud-based implementations, 5G wireless will help.
Machine retrofit: Network, virtualization
An industrial conveyor manufacturer needed to put computer-aided design (CAD) software into the cloud, eliminate outdated Microsoft Windows 7 PC software, and keep a steel cutter with RS-232 communications connected to receive CAD outputs. See two virtualization obstacles.
Industrial virtualization heads to the plant floor
End users are comfortable with virtualization in their information technology (IT) server rooms and desktops, and many similar benefits now can be realized with industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and programmable automation controllers (PACs).
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 11-17
Articles about information and the cloud, control panel building tips, the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system migration, and the Motor Drives Study were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 4-10
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, information and the cloud, control system migration, wet and flooded motors, and IIoT project tips were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 4-10. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Workloads in the cloud for industrial manufacturers
Cover story: Cloud adoption in industrial and manufacturing organizations is growing. See five use cases of how manufacturers use the cloud and the potential benefits.
Secure remote connections with cloud technologies
Cloud technologies enable remote connectivity for industrial applications, but can introduce security issues unless built from the ground up with cybersecurity in mind. See top five cybersecurity issues to address.
Smartphone apps may connect to vulnerable cloud servers
Cybersecurity researchers at Georgia Tech and Ohio State have discovered vulnerabilities in the backend systems that feed content and advertising to smartphone applications through a network of cloud-based servers that most users probably don’t even know exists.
Accelerate business outcomes using the cloud
Users need to be able to capture more precise insights at the edge and make real-time intelligent decisions in the cloud to make the Internet of Things (IoT) valuable.
Electrical grid data cloaked in the cloud
A framework is being developed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory that cloaks sensitive data, which allows grid operators to securely perform complex calculations in the cloud.
Working with the cloud
Using the cloud for data logging and remote access can improve operations, cut costs and simplify interactions.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 24-30
Articles about the 2019 System Integrator Giants, Engineers' Choice finalists, marshaling virtual resources, clean water benefits, and automating a manual valve were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 24-30, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
New software helps with industrial cloud, AI, microservices from IoT summit
Control Engineering China: Advantech announced its Internet of Things (IoT) platform architecture and solution ready packages (SRP) at the Advantech IoT summit in Suzhou, China.
Model, Simulate, Execute Simulation in Discrete Control
KEY WORDS PC-based control Machine control Software for control Flowchart programming Simulation Imagine a product design, completed in software, and rendered in 3-D graphics. This rendering allows designers to strip away layers to view and work on components underneath. Next, manufacturing engineers can design the machines, fixtures, and processes required to produce components and completed ...
Simulation model helps robots navigate more like humans
MIT researchers have now devised a way to help robots navigate environments more like humans do by letting robots determine how to reach a goal by exploring the environment, observing other agents, and exploiting what they’ve learned before in similar situations.
Filter out the noise: strategies to avoid excessive data and spikes
New software and input/output (I/O) devices can help users eliminate useless data through effective diagnostics, error localization and filter designs to extract accurate figures.
Internet group announces IIoT resource hub and track and trace testbed updates
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced the IIC Resource Hub, which provides update to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) resources as well as an update to its track and trace testbed.
Industrial cloud platforms need to demonstrate value
Control Engineering China: While GE seeks to sell its digital assets, cloud platform developers need to more consistently explain customer value, offer better applications, and be patient.
Leveraging cloud services for smart manufacturing
Companies need to determine how much of the manufacturing system will be on the cloud to maximize the benefits to each organization and its customers. Consider cloud services, analytics, supplier connections, and distributed data via blockchain.
Ethernet moves closer to process controls
International: The latest developments to the Advanced Physical Layer (APL) project to enable Ethernet for process applications were reported at the 2018 ACHEMA exhibition by three standards-based organizations for process automation suppliers. The goal is a ruggedized, two-wire, loop-powered Ethernet physical layer.
Digital advantages for design, automation
Digitalization benefits include speed to market, flexibility, efficiency, consistent quality, cybersecurity, and lower lifecycle costs.
Camera developed to recognize objects faster and more efficiently
Researchers at Stanford University have devised a new type of camera system that can classify images faster while being energy efficient by combining two types of computers that is designed specifically for image analysis.
Cloud-based software solutions for industrial applications
Cover Story: Choosing cloud-based software or a combined approach with an on-site strategy may result in cost savings, improved operational efficiencies, and enhanced security.
Cloud-based, secure remote-access solution for connection to IoT devices
The Moxa Remote Connect Suite (MRC) is designed to be a more secure way to connect to remote machines and equipment for troubleshooting, data acquisition, and device management.
How AR and VR are transforming training in manufacturing
Augmented reality (VR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are improving training programs in plant facilities and bridging the skills gap with more efficient training for the incoming workforce – training new workers at 30 to 40% more efficiently and reducing assembly time.
Automating molecule design uses machine learning to speed up drug development
MIT researchers are moving toward automating the molecule design process, which could drastically speed things up — and produce better results. Researchers are using machine learning, neural networks, tree decomposition, and a custom variational autoencoder.
Fog computing standard established
The OpenFog Consortium’s OpenFog Reference Architecture for fog computing has been adopted as an official standard by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) as a universal technical framework that enables the data-intensive requirements of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and AI applications.
Impact of service level agreements on a manufacturing organization
Managing a service level agreement (SLA) is a continuous process and should be constantly monitored, updated, and improved to meet the business needs of the manufacturing organization.
Software and data security compliance responsibility in the cloud
Software and data security and regulatory compliance in the cloud should not be taken for granted because security in the cloud is often intangible and less visible, which may create anxiety about what data and software applications are actually secured and controlled.
Researchers develop virtual-reality testing ground for drones
MIT engineers have developed a new virtual-reality training system for drones that enables a vehicle to “see” a rich, virtual environment while flying in an empty physical space.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 14-20
Articles about the 2018 Salary and Career Survey, IIoT and sensor functionality, engineering advice, career ROI, and industrial analytics were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 14-20, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cloud deployment model risks for manufacturers
It's important for manufacturing organizations to know what to expect in terms of controls and security risks with cloud deployment models.
Cloud computing service model, control, and security risks
Cloud computing promises better and more efficient usage of resources and virtually unlimited scalability and greater flexibility, but they also carry a number of technical and business risks that manufacturers need to be aware of.
Machine vision applications integrating with the cloud
Advances in cloud computing have improved the quality of service (QoS) for machine vision enough to the point where it is viable for industrial applications.
Digitalization benefits for the machine tool industry
Machine tool users and manufacturers can benefit from digitalization. Ramona Schindler and Chris Pollack, Siemens Machine Tool Business, answer questions related to digitalization, related hardware and software, and how the machine tool industry can augment productivity.
Artificial intelligence market is rapidly accelerating and consolidating
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have the ability to dramatically enhance technology's impact not only on consumers' everyday experience and are being adopted by enterprises businesses rapidly, which is leading the way for consolidation in a fragmented market consisting mostly of startups.
Survey finds business leaders adapting as enterprise AI moves beyond experimentation
An Infosys report finds artificial intelligence (AI) is in widespread use across enterprises, driving tangible benefits while creating new opportunities and challenges for business leaders and the workforce.
Eight reasons to use a cloud-based platform for plant and process designs
A cloud-based platform used for plant and process designs provides many benefits such as better collaboration, reduced costs, and scalability.
Four tools to reduce engineering time without sacrificing quality
Engineering projects are complex and lead to scheduling issues, but tools such as cloud-based collaborative engineering and digital twins can reduce wasted time.
Using software to provide IIoT value
Schneider Electric is expanding its industrial software platform offerings to provide value for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to companies.
Product lifecycle management research program on cloud-based solutions published
CIMdata announced the publication of a multi-sponsor collaborative research program report on the use of cloud-based solutions to enable product lifecycle management (PLM) strategies and processes in industrial companies.
Manufacturers should embrace augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to make the manufacturing floor faster, safer, and more accurate and the Internet of Things (IoT) can help companies realize AR's benefits.
3-D robotic welding simulation benefits
Cover Story: Teaching robots how to weld using 3-D simulation is beneficial because welding is a complex, precise process that cannot be explained or taught easily to humans.
Overcoming compatibility issues with virtualization
Using a virtualization approach can save time, money, and resolve backup and recovery issues.
Educating users and companies on the cloud and its applications
Manufacturing organizations are responsible to provide the right education about clouds and they need to ensure that training is available to employees on cloud computing infrastructures and services.
Choosing between PaaS and SaaS models for cloud service
Platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) each have unique benefits for companies looking to expand to the cloud. PaaS is targeted to cloud service customers (CSC) who wants to create, test and deploy applications whereas SaaS is focused on end users looking for minimized hardware and software setup costs.
Workforce education becomes an essential task
Five essential competencies for the digital era identified.
Connect the physical with the digital
Leaders say, don’t let culture impede technology progress with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Core technologies make edge-intelligence possible
Development environments combine device management, connectivity, cloud, and analytics.
Best practices for industrial cloud computing delineated
Match organizational preferences with the relevant technology requirements.
The cloud and infrastructure as a service
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the most widespread cloud service model used by manufacturing organizations and is designed to allow users to store business and production data, or deploy and run software applications just like they would do on traditional, on-premises infrastructures.
Industrial internet group announces testbed results
The Industrial Internet Consortium has published the first results of its testbed program on issues such as time-sensitive networking (TSN), manufacturing quality, microgrids, and condition monitoring.
Reference architecture to be used as basis for fog computing, networking standards
The OpenFog Consortium announced that its OpenFog Reference Architecture will be the basis for a working group formed by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) and will serve as a catalyst to propel the digital revolution occurring as a result of advanced Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and embedded artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
Robots paired with VR for smart manufacturing
Engineers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a smarter and safer manufacturing tool using telepresence robotics and virtual reality.
Frequently asked questions about private, public, community, and hybrid clouds from manufacturers
There are four kinds of clouds for manufacturers—public, private, community, and hybrid—and each comes with specific benefits.
Picking the right cloud model for a manufacturing organization
The cloud offers many potential benefits for manufacturing organizations, but certain companies might require a specific type of cloud network, depending on their overall needs.
System integration project answers
Roundtable: Integration of automation and control systems and devices raises questions; representatives from 2017 System Integrator of the Year winners Interstates Control Systems Inc. and Panacea Technologies provide answers.
Three steps to becoming a data-driven organization
Companies looking to take advantage of Big Data can become a data-driven organization by being committed to the cause and deploy solutions to capture and store data and use advanced tools to interpret the information they're receiving.
Using cloud solutions to leverage IIoT and keep costs low
Cloud computing allows companies to enjoy the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through cloud-based solutions that can improve operational efficiency and productivity.
Virtualized manufacturing, simulation opportunities
Cover Story: A simulated factory floor can monitor parameters, expose production gaps, highlight cost inefficiencies, reduce carbon footprint, and, applied to one product, can simulate its role in the real world while still on the drawing board.
Unleash data held captive
Ways and means for achieving the free flow of information.
How cloud computing works for industrial processes
Cloud computing can process, filter, and analyze data using an HMI that can then be turned into actionable information for industrial facilities.
Four virtualization technology myths that hold organizations back
Virtualization technology beliefs are debunked, proving to be very beneficial for critical, industrial applications and optimizing operations.
The future of cloud computing
Future cloud computing benefits include optimized resource utilization, better responsiveness, faster innovation cycles, and a better platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Cloud computing and virtualization
Many of the technologies and services associated with cloud computing such as virtualization already exist, but they are being implemented in new ways to provide dynamic, scalable, and virtualized computing infrastructure, platforms, and software.
Augmented reality for manufacturing and process control applications
Manufacturers looking to find answers quickly to complex problems within factories, buildings, and process control applications are using augmented reality.
Five characteristics of cloud computing
Cloud computing's characteristics and benefits include on-demand self-service, broad network access, and being very elastic and scalable.
Reducing alert load via data analytics
Technology Update: Cloud-based data analytics can help plant operators focus on the emergencies that matter and improve overall productivity as well as reduce plant downtime.
5 Cloud ERP considerations: Stay current with timely resources
Before deciding whether or not to implement Cloud ERP, a company should consider the benefits but also the proper timing for the specific company.
Open cloud platform for connecting equipment, critical plant systems
Fluke's Accelix is an open cloud platform that connects maintenance software, equipment and critical plant systems and is designed to help maintenance teams access the benefit of connected equipment, tools, measurement data and software systems.
Companies collaborate on plant initiative for process manufacturing applications
Honeywell and Seeq announced they will collaborate as part of the Honeywell Connected Plant initiative, which is designed to help process manufacturers leverage data and insights in their operations.
Fog computing reference architecture released
The OpenFog Consortium released the OpenFog Reference Architecture, which is a universal technical framework designed to enable data-intensive requirements of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
Industrial automation expected to grow according to report
Challenges remain after a rocky 2016, but standards, robotics will provide growth opportunities, according to a study from IHS Markit.
IIoT analytic solution and platform suppliers
Entrants into fast-growing market include solution specialists and platform suppliers.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 14-20: Engineers’ Choice finalists, five automotive advances, sensor-to-cloud interoperability, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, five automotive industry advances, sensor-to-cloud interoperability, PID velocity, and three-phase motor operation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 14-20. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cloud development kit for IoT applications
Eurotech's EDCK 4001 is a device cloud development kit that bundles the hardware and software needed to prototype, develop, test, and integrate a complete Internet of Things (IoT) solution that bridges the gap between sensors, devices, and the cloud.
Three layers of intelligent manufacturing
Control Engineering international: Use of the Internet with manufacturing has evolved for more than 10 years and continues with advancements in industrial cloud, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and Big Data to support enterprise and production activities, as manufacturing upgrades progress, explained Mitsubishi director Nan HeHao to Control Engineering China.
EC: EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler
Network Integration — Ethernet hardware: The EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler transmits all control data simply, safely and cost-effectively to all common cloud systems in plug-and-play fashion. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: TwinCAT IoT
Software — Industrial Internet of Things connectivity: Beckhoff Automation TwinCAT IoT automation software establishes efficient integration of data and communication services in the cloud. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: IoT Gateway Suite
Software — Industrial Internet of Things connectivity: Iconics IoT Gateway Suite connects manufacturing plants, facilities and buildings to the most popular cloud platforms, and securely communicates via industrial and building automation standard protocols. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: FieldPoP Device Cloud and the IIoT Gateway
Software — Industrial Internet of Things connectivity: Securely register a fleet of deployed IIoT gateways to FieldPoP to remotely access local applications; manage devices, user credentials, and notifications; and integrate third-party visualization and analytics cloud platforms. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 29 to September 4: Network best practices, control system architecture, PID control, more
Articles about network best practices, control system architectures, PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, ControlNet system tips, and tablet-based augmented reality were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 29 to September 4. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Internet of Things providing an edge for micro data centers
New data capture and analytics techniques thrown up by the Internet of Things (IoT) are having a profound effect upon the way back office information technology (IT) shop engineering is developing and the data center is going through rapid changes.
Five critical factors in industrial control system integration
Several factors have to be taken into account when discussing industrial control systems integration such as software infrastructure, process databases, operator interface, alarm management, and network security.
Data historian for connecting industrial equipment to cloud
GE Digital's Historian 7.0 is a data historian designed to connect industrial equipment from the control layer to cloud environments and collects, stores, and normalizes time series sensor data from industrial equipment and processes.
System design software for simplified development and software integration
National Instruments' (NI) LabVIEW 2016 system design software is designed to help engineers simplify development and integrate software from the ecosystem into their systems.
Manufacturers in U.K. aren’t realizing IoT benefits
A survey by SAP indicates that almost a fifth of British manufacturers have no plans to investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2016 even though the general belief on the technology is positive and that it can benefit companies.
Storyboarding as the first step in high-performance HMI migration
The first step in migrating to a high-performance human-machine interface (HP-HMI) should always be storyboarding, which offers a visual representation of the layout and hierarchy of the new high-performance graphics (HPGs). This helps operators become an active part of the migration planning process.
Standards groups sign Memorandum of Understanding
The OPC Foundation and CAN in Automation (CiA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Hannover Fair that will allow the two organizations to collaborate in the development of specifications, white papers, guidelines and processes that provide the infrastructure necessary for the two organizations to promote system wide interoperability.
Neural networks in process control: Neural network training, implementation
Inside Process: Neural network technology has been applied in a number of fields with great success. With proper training to demystify the technology, it can be more widely applied to solve some of the most nagging process control problems. “Part 1: Neural networks in process control” focused on neural network architecture, control space, model range, data types, and dataset selection. Part 2 of this 2-part series covers preparing the dataset for training, neural network model training and validation, implementing a neural network model on a control platform, and human-machine interface (HMI) requirements.
Distillery saves time and money with virtualization
MGP saved an estimated $3 million with an upgrade using virtualization, compared to a rip-and-replace alternative.
Products: Virtualization eases distributed control system migration
Distillery saves time and money with virtualization; products used: Simatic PCS 7 replaced an APACS system more easily by using a virtualization architecture, which reduced hardware costs and saved time.
Benefits of a virtualized power management strategy
Virtualization and power management: Power monitoring and management are complex and essential to maintaining continuous uptime at engineering facilities. A virtualization management system and a specialized power monitoring and management solution can help.
Using smart technology to become more efficient and productive
In order to keep a product support program running as efficiently as possible, manufacturers need to stay on top of technology trends and search for the best solutions to keep them competitive.
Software update for writing and modifying code in interactive environment
MathWorks' Release 2016a (R2016A) features the Live Editor, which modifies and writes code in an interactive environment, as well as features for Simulink.
The evolution of the Internet of Things in field service
Equipment manufacturers and field service professionals need to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT), which continues to evolve and become more sophisticated in how it processes data and impacts manufacturing as a whole.
IoT gateways: Industrial automation’s path to Industrie 4.0
IIoT gateway connections: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 connect industrial automation devices and equipment, or “things,” with cloud-based systems to harvest information faster and to drive business value by providing new services to customers.
Enabling IIoT requires communication protocol translation
As implementations of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 frameworks commence, network communication protocol translations are needed; Hilscher is providing network gateways and other communications from the plant floor to the enterprise and cloud for manufacturing data analysis, as company executives explained to Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Oil & Gas Engineering publications recently.
Using connectivity software to integrate the IoT with existing systems
As the number of Internet of Things-enabled devices grows, connectivity becomes the biggest hurdle. Open platform communications (OPC) and data distribution service (DDS) provide two approaches to bridge the communication gap by reducing the complexity required to integrate with new devices.
Using programming standards to leverage modern HMI solutions
Modern human-machine interface (HMI) solutions can benefit from automation technology (AT) and information technology (IT) convergence solutions.
The advent of Industrie 4.0 in the Czech Republic
The core topic and trend in the Czech industrial market is Industrie 4.0. Many recent investments in computer systems are evolving manufacturing in that direction, and more specific instructions are yet to come. There is risk in moving too slowly, explains Control Engineering Czech Republic.
Planning algorithms for automatic contingency planning
Researchers at MIT and the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a planning algorithm that also generates contingency plans for logistics and control applications that can help guide autonomous robots and determine control policies for the power grid.
Synergy and customer value through cloud-based solutions, integrated data
Satoru Kurosu and Simon Wright from Yokogawa discussed creating customer value and cloud-based solutions at the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum on Feb. 8 in Orlando.
Benefits of using a process historian
Process historians are complex pieces of software that are used to store and analyze vital process and industrial data and offer several benefits such as prebuilt analysis equations and compatibility with other industrial software packages.
Cloud-based IoT company to be acquired by technology company
Cisco announced its intent to acquire Jasper Technologies, Inc., a privately held company based in Santa Clara that delivers a cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) service platform for $1.4 billion.
Cloud connectivity kit for IoT applications
Newark element14's LPC43S67 & A70CM Cloud Connectivity Kit is designed to build secure Internet of Things (IoT) applications and features AES128/192/256 encryption, Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet, accelerometer, gyroscope, temperature sensor, and an LCD.
Simulation software supplier company acquired
Siemens and CD-adapco have entered into a stock purchase agreement for the acquisition of CD-adapco by Siemens for $970 million and CD-adapco will be integrated into the product lifecycle management (PLM) software business of Siemens’ Digital Factory (DF) division.
Data historians deliver value from big data in the cloud
Cloud: Data historians help manufacturers collect, store, and retrieve the massive amount of process-related data in cloud-based applications, comparative analysis, and quality improvement in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Big data and cloud for manufacturing
Cloud: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 applications, and basic electronic services are moving from local servers into the cloud, using Internet-based software as a service (SaaS). Machine builder original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and equipment end users use cloud-based services to monitor machines remotely. See four ways to launch IoT project.
IT helps in the evolution of controls
Over the past decade there has been a paradigm shift in the structure of how companies organize information technology (IT) and controls sectors, with the former having increasing influence in some areas traditionally run by the latter. As IT and operational technology (OT) data converge, so do the physical departments, and this has some major implications for the controls department.
Building the machine health matrix: baselining and trending data
Using applications of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), plant managers can collect and analyze equipment life-cycle data to weed out flaws and failures.
Interface technology for engineering, programming applications
Bosch Rexroth's Open Core Interface technology is designed for mechanical engineering and machine programming applications and enables machine builders to create their own individual functions without the need for additional hardware.
CAN FD: From theory to practice
The international standardization of CAN Flexible-Data Rate (FD) is settled. The next step is the development of recommendations and specifications, or how to design CAN FD networks.
Software - Applications: AxiomView displays critical information and key performance indicators in real time including trends, gauges and graphic symbols. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Loop-Pro Tuner Premium
Software - Applications: Loop-Pro Tuner Premium is a process modeling and PID controller tuning software that integrates seamlessly with multiple PLC/DCS platforms for efficient online control loop analysis and optimization. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Cloud monitoring and control hardware, software, services
Divelbiss' VersaCloud M2M allows end-to-end cloud monitoring and control, by merging services with controllers, gateways and options that include NEMA 4 sealed enclosures and open-board packaging options.
System-level modeling and simulation platform for engineers
Maplesoft's MapleSim 2015 is an advanced system-level modeling and simulation platform and the MapleSim Server is designed to help engineers explore simulation models from a web browser while reducing model development and analysis time.
Integration, automation, and the cloud
Successful system integrators must be as business savvy as they are tech savvy and many of these issues must be sorted out and planned carefully before the first network is mapped.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 16-22: Artificial intelligence for control engineering, automated distribution systems for material handling, Engineers’ Choice winners, more
Articles about artificial intelligence for control engineering, automated distribution systems and material handling, the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, pros and cons of using a virtualized machine, and high-performance HMIs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, March 16-22. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Microsoft Windows 10 features may help manufacturers more than recent releases
Engineering and IT Insight: Nothing lasts forever. Microsoft Windows 10 is coming with features that may suit manufacturing, software developers, system integrators, and end users more than recent releases. Note these Microsoft Windows expiration dates to plan ahead and reduce risk and cost. Plan for IT upgrades using the same 5-step IT-CSI model used for security upgrades.
Visions of manufacturing automation 25 years from now
Digital Edition Exclusive: Manufacturing automation 20-25 years into the future will be devoid of a paper trail. Great strides in automation, environmentally cleaner production plants, and energy efficiency in manufacturing will have been implemented. Simulation techniques will have matured from years of experience with numerous reference models and feedback from real-life applications. Lifecycle costing and total cost of ownership will be the real measure of project costs. Robotics, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence will be widely used.
Adlink announces strategic alliance with Intel to develop the Internet of Things
Control Engineering International: With its strategic partnership, Adlink aims to develop platforms that integrate hardware platforms with intelligent software applications for tomorrow's telecommunication solutions.
Industrial storage solutions for industrial cloud applications
Advantech Industrial Automation Group's launches IStorage solutions for industrial data cloud applications such as video-on-demand services, intelligent surveillance, data-mining analysis, factory automation, and traffic management.
Project service designed to cut automation costs
Leap by Honeywell Process Solutions combines proprietary hardware and software, virtualization and cloud engineering to reducing risk and total automation costs while allowing for greater worker flexibility.
Virtualization: Hardware, software
IBM PureSystems are servers with "scale-in" architecture that builds on faster, denser components; the latest generation Intel processors combine with integrated virtualization management and a unique networking design. National Instruments offers virtualization technology called NI Real-Time Hypervisor that enables engineers to run multiple operating systems side-by-side on the same computer.
Virtual manufacturing environment: 4 ways to transition
Here’s what to consider when transitioning to a virtualized manufacturing environment. Look at upgrade timing, assess limits and needs, and minimize failures.
Why manufacturing virtualization? 3 short and easy answers
Virtualization can seem intimidating to begin, perhaps in part because it may require involving those from IT. Here are three reasons to help you get started, according to Rockwell Automation.
Plausible deniability is not a security strategy
Beware, you may have been instructed by a lawyer to not read this article.
Standardizing control room HMIs
Next generation HMIs create an environment where operators and technicians can move at speed of manufacturing and make decisions that increase the bottom line.
Implementing alarm management per the ANSI/ISA-18.2 standard
Summarizing the standard’s 10 stages into four general tasks can simplify implementation and speed up the schedule.
Machine tending software
ABB's RobotStudio Machine Tending PowerPac and RobotWare Machine Tending software allow for simulation and optimization in a virtual testing environment, allowing the results to be transferred to a real-world situation.
Systems-driven product development
Automotive engineering challenges include balancing emissions, cost, and brand performance. The latest product lifecycle management software can integrate information from across the enterprise. See 4 key elements of systems-driven product development.
Social, mobile tools enhance the PLM model
System design: Product lifecycle management (PLM) software models enabled by social business tools can leverage the mobile connected workforce and use new collaborative skills to augment product engineering.
Advanced process control in the cloud
Engineering and IT Insight: When considering which applications to move to the cloud to reduce costs, consider moving advanced process control (APC) model building and APC model validation tools—usually lightly used and usually not mission critical. Learn three types of cloud-based services.
World’s largest office furniture supplier celebrates 100 years by reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint
Steelcase meets efficiency and sustainability goals with control system and energy monitoring software solutions.
Make the virtualized manufacturing environment visible
Engineering and IT Insight: Add IT assets to your manufacturing data historian and alarm system for faster reactions and greater plant-floor reliability. Use existing data historian and OPC-UA to provide critical visibility into the virtualized IT environment and stop operating IT assets in the blind.
Best system integration advice for engineering, controls, and IT
Integrating manufacturing and controls with higher-level systems isn’t always easy; here are the top 10 pieces of advice on that and related project management and automation system integration projects in the “Engineering and IT Insight” article series.
EC: Virtual Image Templates
Process Control systems: Virtual image templates from Rockwell Automation help users simplify and leverage virtualization, resulting in reduced validation and engineering costs, and extended product life cycles. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: 9PX UPS
Power - Energy, power protection, UPS: The 5-11 kVA Eaton 9PX UPS provides reliable, versatile and efficient backup power and protection for medium-to-high-density, virtualized information technology environments in computer rooms and small data centers in industrial, manufacturing, medical and telecommunications applications. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: Virtual Dynamic Simulator v3.4.4
Software - Applications: The Mynah Virtual Dynamic Simulator is simulation software used for system acceptance testing and operator training that is now offered based upon Private Cloud Computing and VMWare virtualization technology. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Leader Under 40: Tony Baker
System Characterization Manager, PlantPAx; Rockwell Automation - BS Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ohio State University
Process automation system: new features, less complexity
Emerson releases DeltaV Version 12 process automation system, tying together a variety of hardware and software advances. Asset management capabilities grow to cover more network types.
The right integration approach can turn energy management into a competitive advantage
General Motors saved $50 million in energy costs, reduced energy intensity 25% by working with a systems integrator.
Major upgrade of a large-scale control system platform
Honeywell launches Experion Orion globally, promising significant automation technology advancements to enable faster project implementation and lifecycle investment optimization. Video: Adamczyk and Whitsura explain underlying concepts and value proposition.
Demand-response energy monitoring unit monitors power, manages loads
Opto 22 OptoEMU Sensor DR monitors real-time power use and manages electrical loads on demand, a simple way to monitor facility energy consumption in real time and signaling electrical equipment on request.
Rugged, 6-way secure virtual machine server
General Micro Systems, Inc., designer and manufacturer of embedded computing products for defense, aerospace and compute-intensive applications has introduced the “Zeus” (SCZ91X), a “super-server” that revolutionizes client-server architecture products available for military systems.
Cloud computing, alarm management
Engineering social media: What topics are hot in the LinkedIn Automation & Control Engineering Group? Cloud computing and alarm presentation provoke lively dialogue.
Pulp and paper industries focus on innovation, energy savings
Control Engineering International: Process control and IT department integration, virtualization, information integration, and energy efficiency are among innovations for the pulp and paper industries, Honeywell told Control Engineering China.
Virtualization technologies now certified for high availability and disaster recovery
Invensys expands certification to include VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms.
Power Generators in the Cloud
How cloud computing makes it easy to supervise and control power generators over the web. The same approach can be applied to many types of scattered assets.
Power of the Cloud
Cloud computing is everywhere, including manufacturing! This latest computing craze may seem like just another buzzword, but “the cloud” and its advanced computing technologies are here to stay, holding a stockpile of benefits, few downsides, and the promise to give industry untold opportunities to do more and better business more profitably.
Learn more about the cloud: A resource guide
Information, examples, and tutorials about the cloud and computing abound on the Internet. Here are a dozen links to a few cloud-related resources that can help you get started in learning more about this new technology.
Defining types of clouds
The cloud hosts a multitude of capabilities in a variety of configurations. There are three basic types: public, private, and hybrid.
Pushing IT infrastructure into the cloud helps stone manufacturer focus on core business
Increasingly, cloud technology is being embraced by companies as a way to do more with less. For example, a fast-growing stone manufacturing company recently pushed its entire infrastructure out to the cloud.
Cloud security is no oxymoron
The cloud is frequently described as the next big thing in computing. Years ago, it was the Web, and before that it was the Internet. The cloud is in the forefront. Consumers are storing personal data in the cloud. You are likely using the cloud right now in some form.
Control system platform and workflow software, real-time optimization
ArchestrA System Platform and Workflow 2012 are designed to offer automation and information functionality for real-time business optimization.
Integrated configuration environment platform gains major update
Invensys releases ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Workflow 2012, core elements of InFusion Enterprise Control System. Video: Maryanne Steidinger explains the concepts behind business process management and Invensys’ broader software offerings.
Remote control, monitoring, operations system shutdown
Falcon Electric expanded UPS communications with the addition of the Mega SNMP/HTTP agent, allowing connection to an Ethernet LAN.
Virtualization support for process control systems
Honeywell's virtualization support is designed for its Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) for DCS and SCADA solutions.
Engineering and IT Insight: How to convert a project into a product
Extra effort is required to convert a manufacturing IT project into a successful product. Advice follows on how to do it. (If you’re considering buying software that sounds or test drives more like a project, you may want to look at other software.)
CNC Faceoff: PC Platforms with Virtualization
Computer numerical control (CNC) systems based on multi-core processor systems can run applications on real-time operating systems (RTOS) in multiple cores, while maintaining coordination and communication among segments of the application. It offers flexible price/performance options for future CNC machine designs.
Engineering and IT Insight: virtualize now, send the message to your vendors
Virtualization simplifies system upgrades, and there are at least two more reasons to virtualize and three major issues to address.
Company takes advantage of cloud technology
Balluff has added cloud technology to their RFID system, allowing for greater flexibility in their operations at reduced costs.
Data integration challenges faced by global manufacturing companies
Partnership with South Korean systems integrator expands Queplix footprint to Asia and escalates delivery of advanced data virtualization technology.
Energy measurement SoC provides higher-level management of AC/DC power supplies
Complete energy measurement SoC from Maxim Integrated Products released as companies seek to meet new EPA/Energy Star mandates for greater energy efficiency.
Engineering and IT Insight: Virtualize manufacturing IT
Virtualization simplifies many manufacturing system problems, such as upgrades, backups, and standby methods.
Engineering and IT Insight: Future is virtual for manufacturing IT
Virtualization benefits include faster startup, more computing power, and easier upgrades.
New revision of simulation software platform
Invensys releases SimSci-Esscor PRO/II 9.0 with new user interface to maximize simulator’s effectiveness and reduce learning time.
Virtualization platforms now support 64-bit Windows
Upgrades to INtime and eVM for Windows from TenAsys enable larger real-time applications, better support for virtualization.
Remote support system provides troubleshooting, programming, product configuration
Rockwell Automation’s TechConnect remote support solution has been reconfigured to provide customers with improved troubleshooting, easier programming and product configuration, available at four levels of support.
EC: Experion R400
Process control systems: Honeywell Process Solutions, Experion R400. Honeywell's latest Experion PKS release, R400, features several key innovations that deliver superior value on several key aspects to the process industries, including: simplifying open systems; critical process control capabilities; engineering and life-cycle efficiency; and reducing overall cost of ownership. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
Northeastern dairy producer adopts carbon management program
Cabot Creamery Cooperative will deploy EnerNOC’s CarbonSMART to streamline data collection process, provide a comprehensive and accurate overview of greenhouse gas emissions, and help prioritize energy efficiency strategies.
Video: Web-based software monitoring
Thin-client, web-based software allows monitoring from anywhere, as shown in this NIWeek video demonstration.
Video clip: Wind turbine data in a cloud
Wind turbine data in a cloud: Aaron Pena, NI ELP engineer, applications engineering, shows how data from wind turbines can be served up in a cloud (on the web) for access and analysis anywhere that has a web connection, as shown at NIWeek 2010.
Integrated prototype functions ease control panel design
Software helps control panel designs and the component selection, prototyping, setup, and testing of control panel components prior to assembly. Such software also can help with optimal component placement, standards compliance, and ensure that programming works upon installation.
Real-time OS: TenAsys ships eVM for Windows Embedded Virtualization Manager
Software product enables different real-time operating systems to run alongside Windows on the same multicore processor.
Chemical regulations increase interest in product stewardship
Actio releases Material Disclosure software to help chemical manufacturers comply with tightening EPA requirements.
DataCore Software super-sizes virtual disks with storage virtualization software; next: site recovery
DataCore Software responds to appetite for very large logical volumes (up to 1 Petabyte) as physical disk drive capacities get bigger and datasets expand; also see sneak peak at Jan. 5 release of site recovery software.
Actio updates MSDS Vault materials management system, to lower regulatory risks for manufacturers
Vault helps companies manage Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) compliance and mitigate regulatory risks. Actio materials information management software includes enhanced user interface, direct integration with Actio supply chain communication tools and supplier data collection modules, automated revision management, screening materials against hundreds of global regulation lists, and snap-on connector utilities for ERPs, PLMs, and portals.
Easier-to-get pricing help could benefit manufacturers
PROS pricing software is now available on Salesforce.com AppExchange, providing guidance at time of quote.
GXS and Inovis sign definitive merger agreement
Merger of GXS and Inovis would create the world's leading and most diversified B2B service provider, the companies say.
Aras says it is the first PLM software solution enabled on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7
Aras Innovator suite of PLM software solutions also is the first enterprise open source solution compatible with the latest Microsoft operating system platforms, Aras says.
myDials software as a service dashboard has a new developer kit
The new myDials Developer Kit allows appointed users to independently implement, manage, and maintain SaaS-based performance management software dashboards.
Knoa Virtual/Cloud Experience Manager (VCEM) helps manufacturers increase agility, lower costs
Knoa VCEM is said to deliver a new end-user experience monitoring solution for virtualization, cloud, and SaaS, designed to accelerate transition for enterprise applications.
Rockwell Automation supports virtualization with VMware ready software
VMware Ready products extend the life cycle of automation software and reduce the need to operate and maintain more CPUs than are necessary.
CDC Software completes acquisition of Activplant Corp.
Activplant solutions expand CDC's presence in food & beverage, CPG and automotive markets.
Secure online POS SKU analysis for manufacturers
While point of sale analytics capabilities can be developed using business intelligence packages, a new breed of Web-based solutions can transmit confidential product SKU information securely using electronic data interchange (EDI), and combine data points from multiple retailers into customized Web-portal dashboards.
RedPrairie to Offer Pre-Integrated Application Modules on NetSuite SuiteCloud Platform
NetSuite on-demand software expected to be leveraged across company's key inventory, transportation and workforce modules
ERP and supply chain: Emerging vendors support global business models
The severe economic downturn of the past couple years has caused manufacturers to take a closer look at how they run their businesses. And this period of self examination has made two things clear: When these factors are taken into account, it's not surprising that a large percentage of the business software vendors who have managed to hold their own financially during this turbulent economic p...
Top trends for 2010
Manufacturers—like nearly everyone else in the business world—are looking forward to better times in 2010. Several recent surveys confirm that sentiment. For instance, 57 percent of the senior executives polled in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Manufacturing Barometer in the third quarter of 2009 expect their companies to experience revenue growth in 2010.
Business process management: Making strategic use of operational data
The factory floor is the heart of any manufacturing enterprise. At times, however, manufacturing executives seemed more concerned with perfecting processes for designing and delivering products, with the production almost an afterthought. If manufacturers ever did view the building of products as somehow less important than other aspects of the business, that attitude certainly has changed.
Manuvis adds energy management to its SaaS offering
Software can monitor energy use on an individual machine basis, as well as capture overall energy use.
Aspen Avionics selects SigmaQuest product quality management software
Software as a service (SaaS) will manage and track the production life cycle of Aspen Avionics' Evolution Flight Display System for general aviation aircraft. On-demand software provides comprehensive production process insight and root cause analysis.
To reduce counterfeiting in life sciences, New Momentum works with Oracle
New Momentum is working with Oracle to help pharmaceutical companies combat counterfeit drugs and meet new regulatory compliance requirements.
Baldor motion control language turns 21
Mint's inventor, Mark Crocker, explains origins
Send a sample confidential document with Confidela WatchDox
Confidela WatchDox, a software as a service (SaaS) document control, tracking and protection solution, partnered with Box.net, allowing professionals and semiconductor businesses to control, restrict and track viewing, printing, and forwarding of documents. A Microsoft Outlook plug-in is available. See how the service can protect intellectual property: Send a sample document.
Plex Systems, EnteGreat form strategic alliance
Plex Systems Inc., provider ERP software for manufacturers, and EnteGreat Inc., a manufacturing consulting firm, announced a strategic alliance to introduce the Plex Online ERP solution to manufacturers in the food, beverage, and life sciences industries.
Cloud computing moves toward the factory
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is well established in some enterprise software markets. Need a SaaS-based customer-relationship management (CRM) solution? Salesforce.com—the vendor widely credited with popularizing SaaS—stands ready to serve you. In the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space, NetSuite is thriving under SaaS...
Upgraded dashboard software provides context, time control
myDIALS 3.0 upgrade enables performance analysis, in context, through dynamic time control.
HP cloud service ecosystem for manufacturing improves supply chain visibility
HP cloud service, developed with GS1 Canada, aims to enhance product recall process, to remove potentially harmful food products from the supply chain.
Nissan halts server sprawl with Microsoft virtualization software, cuts energy use 34%
Using Microsoft's Hyper-V software, Nissan virtualized most servers, reduced number of manufacturing operations servers from 159 to 28, decreased energy usage by 34%, simplified systems at each plant, and reduced physical space requirements.
New E2open solutions link demand and supply chains
After establishing a solid reputation for providing technology for managing suppliers, E2open has introduced two solutions that manufacturers can use to improve customer relationships by keeping tabs on actual product demand.
Datamonitor: Green IT gains an upside in the economic downturn
Global economic recession has squeezed IT budgets, hindered capital expenditure, and generally slowed IT development growth. A report by independent market analyst Datamonitor, "Can Green IT Bloom in an Economic Downturn," suggests the IT market may like the color green.
2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Rolls-Royce Energy Systems creates quote-generating "machine"
MOST INNOVATIVE PROCESS ¦ FIRST PLACE In early 2008, the sales and marketing department at Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. was struggling to keep up with customer requests for quotes on the company's oil and gas and power generation equipment. Even worse, many of the quotes that eventually went to customers contained inaccurate costing information, a situation that was eating into the com...
2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Here’s to virtualization
MOST INNOVATIVE PROCESS ¦ SECOND PLACE SABMiller RUS discovered the business value of virtualization technology—and as a result, earned second place for the Most Innovative Process in MBT's 2009 Innovation Insight Awards competition. SABMiller RUS, a subsidiary of SABMiller, Plc, distributes well known brands of beer—including Miller and Coors—in the Russian market.
China expansions: JDA Software, New Momentum
JDA Software launches local support and service center in China, positioning for "substantial growth in the region." To meet local demand for anti-counterfeiting and channel integrity software, New Momentum, also started operations in China, the companies said in independent announcements.
An ERP shootout: NetSuite takes SaaSy approach to competing with SAP
It is probably not a coincidence that NetSuite issued a press release on a specific set of new customer wins a day before ERP market leader SAP opened its North American user conference.
SaaS integration: SuiteCloud Connect pulls in two largest business apps computing clouds
On-demand business management software provider NetSuite announces a series of partner applications that bring together the industry’s two largest business application computing clouds. SuiteCloud Connect for Salesforce.com connects the NetSuite and Salesforce.com With SuiteCloud Connect for Salesforce.com, businesses can now benefit from integration between Salesforce.com and NetSuite, which enables an integrated lead-to-cash process, deep customer visibility for enhanced sales processes, and the elimination of manual processes across business units. SuiteCloud Connect for Salesforce.com includes a number of cloud-based integration applications built for the latest versions of both NetSuite (version 2009 Release 1) and Salesforce.com (Spring 09). These applications were built by independent software vendors that also are charter members of NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Developer Network, announced mid-March. ISVs include Celigo , Boomi , Pervasive Software , and Cast Iron Systems.
Total brand protection: Software vendor now offers to shut down black market operations
Add investigation and enforcement services to the list of brand-protection capabilities offered by supply chain risk management software supplier New Momentum.
KPIs trump KPDs: It’s time to attain visibility into your most valuable metrics
True operational decision-making must be rooted in timely metrics that go beyond a few static data points. Compared to key performance indicators (KPI), which present calculated result metrics that you can’t impact, key performance drivers (KPD) provide actionable information.
Supplier communication: eXpresso SaaS simplifies Excel collaboration in Covisint automotive community
Automotive portal provider Covisint is making its data more accessible by automating certain information-sharing processes using eXpresso’s SaaS-based communication platform.
Great tool, wrong job: The hidden costs of using Excel for BOM management
Is using Excel for bill-of-material (BOM) management really free, or is using a decades-old application intended for a different purpose gambling with your business? Real-life stories provide the answer.
By the numbers: Celestica reports big gains using SaaS-enabled SC platform
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider E2open is offering a complimentary copy of a new research report out of Boston-based Aberdeen Group , titled The Secret SaaS: On-Demand Supply Chain Management .In the report, electronic manufacturing services supplier Celestica shares the details of its E2open implementation. Related reading : Strong focus on quality evolves in SaaS-enabled supply chain software Aberdeen, which surveyed more than 130 supply chain management professionals for this study, says interest in SaaS-enabled supply chain solutions is accelerating particularly among top-performing, Best-in-Class companies that are implementing SaaS solutions successfully. Furthermore, 75 percent of respondents view their use or planned migration to SaaS as a long-term solution.Case-in-point is Celestica, which deals with approximately 5,000 suppliers globally. It is using E2open’s multi-enterprise, SaaS-based platform to synchronize supply and procurement processes across its demand and supply network—and ultimately “transform” its global value network.The platform, branded LiveShare by Celestica, delivers real-time information on customer demand, and visibility into inventory data.Says Celestica Executive VP John Boucher, “[We] offer innovative and flexible solutions to our customers.
Free-floating ERP: SaaS-based, open-source enterprise apps sit on Amazon cloud
Compiere, a supplier of open-source, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based business applications, says it has added the first full-scale ERP software suite to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.
Report is in: SaaS applications model will take firm hold in new sectors
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is gaining traction in areas such as Web conferencing, collaboration, and IT service management (ITSM). These categories will experience significant SaaS success over the next decade, according to a report published by Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research . The study evaluates the top 14 SaaS application technologies based on growth and greatest potential for success. "SaaS applications have advanced beyond early market applications in human resources and CRM to become a game changer in the enterprise software market," says Liz Herbert , senior analyst, Forrester Research. "SaaS adoption continues to increase, and it is now relevant for a wide array of applications.
Above the cloud: Strong focus on quality evolves in SaaS-enabled supply chain software
The big name in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for enterprise software delivery—Salesforce.com—focuses on CRM functionality, but that doesn’t mean SaaS stops at the front office. Here’s a look at up-and-coming vendors offering SaaS with a supply chain bent, including supplier and quality management.
Another dimension: Descartes buys Scancode; adds 500-plus members to global logistics network
Descartes Systems Group , a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based logistics solutions provider, has acquired privately held Scancode Systems www.scancode.com —a developer and integrator of carrier-compliant parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping solutions—in an all-cash transaction.Scancode solutions will scale from the loading dock to the enterprise, delivering up-to-date rates that allow the customer to both make efficient shipment decisions and comply with carrier manifesting and labeling requirements. Scancode’s strength is in managing small parcel shipments with postal services, a variety of small-package delivery carriers, and more than 150 LTL carriers.Scancode also has supporting warehouse and automated data collection functionality.Scancode adds more than 500 members to Descartes’ Global Logistics Network, including, parcel carriers, regional LTL truck carriers, and numerous manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. Scancode complements Descartes’ broader transportation management solutions with its enterprise shipping solutions that plan, pick, pack and manifest shipments.
Data explosion: The IT department has a long way to go to achieve green
Explosive growth in data center capacity to handle the flood of electronic transactions has the EPA projecting data center energy consumption will nearly double by 2011 from 2006 levels. In addition to elevated carbon footprints, this significant increase in power consumption raises the risk of power failures and limited availability.
Complete connectivity: Vendors offer more options for linking plant- and enterprise-level systems
Manufacturing execs seeking to view real-time production data through an ERP system interface now have two new options—one from SaaS-enabled ERP vendor Plex Systems, and one from communications software specialist Kepware—for making that connection.
HMIs: Software as a service captures diverse data into enterprise dashboard
Timely, relevent operational performance in a hurry, says myDials CEO tells Control Engineering. See screen shot and data aggregation diagram.
Humble beginnings: KPIT Cummins offers Tier 2 manufacturing IT services and the capacity to please
India-based KPIT Cummins is a young and visionary company with specialized IT solutions for the industrial manufacturing and automotive sectors. As an SAP partner, its services span global supply chain management, intelligent equipment management, and strategies for faster time-to-market.
Industry Spotlight: Global Sourcing
Global sourcing is no longer a fad or short-term trend. It is an integral part of how manufacturers do business, for one simple reason. Companies facing intense competition—like all manufacturers—cannot afford to limit their searches for quality, cost-effective sources of supply to local markets.
Google eyes the enterprise
Ask manufacturing executives what Google does for them, and the answer typically is Internet search. And while some information workers know Google as a provider of office productivity software under a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, few think of Google as a player when it comes to the type of enterprise software that does the heavy lifting in running business operations.
Service simplified: Axeda merges with Questra; promises next-gen remote service software
Axeda very recently consolidated its position as leader in the small but growing remote product services (RPS) market by acquiring No. 2 vendor Questra. The buy seeks to push Axeda into the nascent smart services market.
Perfect match: DataCore and Ingram Micro to feed growing appetite for virtualization savings
Recent industry analysis finds 2009 may well be the “Year of Storage Virtualization.” DataCore say its storage and fail-safe high-availability solutions for virtual machines and desktops allow enterprises to “do more with less.” That’s why technology distributor Ingram Micro is tapping into DataCore’s full line in a newly reported agreement.
Top 10 ticker: IDC’s predictions for 2009 put the onus for payback on IT
The consensus of Framingham, Mass.-based IDC Manufacturing Insights analysts is that IT investments will return to zero-based budgeting, demanding faster payback aligned more tightly with the business strategy.
Apparel domain: Partnership promises seamless PLM-to-ERP solution, end to end
Zweave and Transweave report a proprietary methodology for rapid, inexpensive, and enterprisewide implementation of seamless ERP/product life-cycle management (PLM) combined software solution for apparel retailers and manufacturers.TransWeave’s apparel domain and implementation expertise joins with Zweave’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based PLM and SAP ERP apparel footwear solutions (AFS) to provide a powerful best-in-class, industry-specific solution for PLM.“Transweave’s initial business model was to provide implementation of SAP’s ERP IS Retail and Wholesale Distribution and manufacturing solution for our apparel retail and manufacturing clients,” says Mumtaz Kutty, CEO, Transweave. “Our clients quickly told us that they wanted more: They wanted an end-to-end solution—one that managed seasonality, trends, and everything from Concept to Design [PLM], as well as planning and execution. We chose Zweave’s PLM because, more than any other option in the market, it is easy to use, easy to implement, and is designed specifically for the apparel industry.”Zweave’s solution consists of 16 modular “studios” that work seamlessly together while allowing for segmentation of work by task and job function.
Capacity management solution rationalizes IT resources in economic downturn
Rationalizing IT resources while still being able to support the business is imperative for all corporations. To that end, Neptuny announces Caplan 3.0 software to facilitate implementation of virtualization and consolidation initiatives, and alignment of IT resources with business initiatives.In a slumping economy it becomes even more important to optimize the use of resources and to reduce operating and capital costs. Caplan 3.0 reduces overcapacity via its ability to determine the amount of capacity required at any given time, leading to a more cost effective and greener IT department.Caplan 3.0 also predicts capacity shortages to reduce the likelihood of any performance or capacity-related incidents, and ensure that the minimum capacity required to keep the business running is available in the event of any IT failure.By doing “what-if?” analysis, Caplan reduces the time and increases the accuracy of analyzing the impact of infrastructure change.
Cabinet offers SaaS-enabled document management
Cabinet NG (CNG) offers what it calls the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible hosted document management solution.CNG-Online is backed by CNG-SAFE, an award-winning Shared Access Filing Environment, to meet the document management needs of most companies, with virtually any sized budget. By offering CNG-SAFE as "Software-as-a-Service(SaaS), CNG-Online comprises an easy way for businesses to benefit from best-in-class document management, eliminate paper piles, and automate workflows enterprisewide at an affordable monthly expense.The look and feel of CNG-Online is the same as CNG-SAFE—i.e., customized cabinets, filing structure and naming templates, effortless expansion as the business grows, and reliable data security and compliance-readiness. As a result, small enterprises can immediately take advantage of the efficiencies and productivity gains of CNG-SAFE as an online service rather than a software purchase."We chose CNG-Online because it gives us all the benefits of paperless processes without the hassle and expense of managing the solution in-house," says Scott Mecham, CEO, Sawtooth Securities .
Virtual value-add: Promark set to deliver DataCore storage solutions
DataCore Software, a specialist in storage virtualization software, reports a new relationship whereby Promark Technology will distribute DataCore’s open-platform solutions.
GHS has EAL6+ operating system security certification; launches Integrity Global Security
An operating system from Green Hills Software (GHS) was certified by the U.S. government to Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 6+, High Robustness. GHS formed a related security subsidiary.
The other user guide: 10 questions to ask a SaaS vendor
Migrating to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) may be the most efficiency-driven move that a small or midsize business (SMB) can make, but it's easy to stumble in the SaaS arena because some vendors still use methods that keep SMBs tethered. You can pick the best fit for your SaaS needs with simple research, and by following these 10 suggestions.
Common search: SaaS-ready CMS calms corporate concerns about IT security, compliance
The rapid movement to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions raises questions and concerns about what this means regarding security and compliance. That’s why SpringCM now offers enhanced security, reporting, and audit capabilities in an enhanced version of SpringCM, an on-demand document and workflow management solution.
Before you sign: Consider the pros and cons of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) adoption
Growth of the Internet, and particularly of reliable broadband connections, opened the door to a new commercial model—Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—in which the customer pays a relatively small fee to use services provided off-site by a third-party vendor. This model isn't entirely new, but not so long ago only major corporations and the government could afford the high-speed connec...
GE go-live: 500,000 suppliers, six languages, 10 countries using Aravo SaaS
GE has launched Aravo SIM (supplier information management) to power and transform GE's own SIM processes across all of its business units worldwide.Aravo SIM is a Web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that will allow GE to automate and streamline supplier information-related business processes, improve supplier data quality, drive compliance, and reduce costs. Aravo SIM also gives GE's suppliers an easy-to-use, self-service interface to author and maintain information required to do business with GE at both the corporate and business-unit levels.GE manages what is arguably one of the world's most complex supply chains, conducting business with more than 500,000 suppliers across thousands of entities in more than 100 countries. GE sought to control this complexity with a Web-based software solution that was highly configurable and easily adopted by users.
Changing physical infrastructure supports manufacturing flexibility
The growth of industrial networking technologies and smart-building systems is creating both challenges and opportunities. Panduit is putting forth a vision for addressing these in a unified way.
Implementing a 10 Gb/s physical infrastructure to achieve I/O consolidation by Panduit
Server consolidation through virtualization, the growing density of network storage systems, and the bigger and multiple workloads allowed by multicore architectures are driving demand for higher-bandwidth network connections in data centers that support manufacturing operations. Ten gigabit per second (Gb/s) transport rates over Ethernet are a reality, with higher rates likely to be available by 2010. This paper discusses 10 gigabit readiness for the physical infrastructure of the data center, in the form
The legal side: Brush up on the “do’s and don’ts” of SaaS
Growth of the Internet, and particularly of reliable broadband connections, opened the way to a new commercial model—Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—in which the customer pays a relatively small fee to use services provided off-site by a third-party vendor. This model is not entirely new, but not so long ago only major corporations and the government could afford the high-speed connections needed for such services. The proliferation of high-speed connections now makes it feasible for smaller businesses to take advantage of such services, and vendors have been quick to capitalize on the opportunity. SaaS offerings now include payroll administration; document management; data processing; medical transcription, and more. The SaaS models offer many attractions—amongst them eliminating the need to buy the latest and greatest hardware and software every few years.
Total clarity: Timely reports, data flexibility power up business intelligence
Upper management at CLARCOR Air Filtration Products has good data, but making it easily accessible is no small task when that data must be extracted, sorted, analyzed, and presented to the right people in the right format. That's why CLARCOR chose to implement a business intelligence (BI) and enterprise performance management system from Bitam, which is accessed by nearly 30 users.
Security poll: Network data security is top IT concern
Network data security is the top network-related concern of information technology (IT) professionals according to a recent online poll by Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). Nearly one-third of the IT professionals surveyed (32.8%) said securing networks and data is their main concern regarding...
Change makers: Infosys makes offer for SAP consultant Axon Group plc
Infosys Technologies Limited recently made cash offer for Axon Group plc , a leading U.K.-based SAP consulting company, in a deal valued at (U.S.)$753.1 million.The transfer of ownership to Infosys is expected to be completed in November.Axon, with about 2,000 employees, delivers consultancy services to multinational organizations that have chosen SAP as their strategic enterprise platform. Specializing in the delivery of change through technology enabled transformation programs, Axon's consultants bring in-depth industry expertise alongside best practice functional knowledge to address the strategic, operational, information management and organization effectiveness challenges faced by organizations today.Axon has offices in the U.K., North America, Malaysia, and Australia.Says Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO of Infosys, of the acquisition, “The strategic combination of our groups will accelerate the realization of our common aspiration: that of becoming the most respected provider of business transformational services in the global marketplace.”That goal includes staying abreast of leading-edge platforms and solutions, including today’s hot button, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Right now Infosys is offering what it calls an executive guide to evaluating SaaS.According to Infosys, the SaaS model offers many obvious benefits over traditional on-premise applications, starting with a lower initial purchase price and faster deployment.
Stainless strategy: Elkay taps cost-efficient, hosted BPM
Plumbing products maker Elkay Manufacturing Co., considered midsize in scope, derives much the same functionality from its business performance management (BPM) solution as does a larger company, thanks to a subscription-based model with a less-expensive delivery cost. BPM software organizes, automates, and analyzes business methods, metrics, processes, and systems.
To SaaS or not to SaaS
There's no doubt on-demand applications represent a viable option for many businesses, particularly start-ups or smaller organizations that need to get new systems up and running quickly. But considerable debate wages on as to whether the on-demand model—also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—will ever be the predominant method of delivering enterprise applications.
Oco on-demand business intelligence solution smartens up SMB market
Bill Coyne, director of purchasing and logistics for Concord, Mass.-based Welch Foods, was looking for an affordable on-demand business intelligence (BI) tool that could assist him in better managing the company's transportation and logistics operations. He was impressed from the start by the team from Oco Inc.
Platform as a service: Kerry Group extends enterprise apps into the cloud
For the Americas region of Kerry Ingredients, part of Kerry Group, new product development is the lifeblood of the business. Until recently, the maker of custom ingredients for major food & beverage manufacturers relied on a homegrown application written in Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) to manage its new product development processes.
Hypervisor technology supports Windows XP on Intel multicore execution platforms
Real-Time Systems GmbH recently released the latest version of Real-Time Hypervisor software, which enables simultaneous running of multiple operating systems on multicore processors and supports Microsoft Windows XP.
Go to market: Business intelligence specialists Oco and Business Objects strategize via SaaS
Oco, which offers business intelligence (BI) and data integration solutions in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, announces new status as a BusinessObjects partner. The relationship brings together advanced SaaS-based technologies and business intelligence solutions for customers in retail and manufacturing. "Oco's industry-specific service offerings and its delivery approach complement our ad hoc reporting, advanced dashboards, and OnDemand business model," says Mani Gill, VP of OnDemand at Business Objects. "The partnership will enable us to reach more customers and provide them with a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that is quick and simple to deploy." The joint solution is available immediately from Business Objects, an SAP company, and from Oco. For more information, visit www.oco-inc.com/partnerBO or www.ondemand.com .
Failure to communicate: Less than 50 percent of IT shops are doing formal capacity management and planning
TeamQuest Corp ., a supplier of IT service optimization (ITSO) software, believes capacity planning and capacity management efforts are ineffective because the majority of IT shops don't know how to convey results to non-IT managers."If you make capacity planning look ponderous, management will kill it," says Dr. Neil Gunther, founder of Performance Dynamics Co ., and considered a noted expert in capacity planning and performance management.TeamQuest believes a rebirth of capacity planning is taking place due to the heightened awareness of virtualization. Gunther says capacity planning is a critical responsibility of management infrastructure that is not easy to do and requires a certain form of discipline.
On-demand data: All sizes of U.S. businesses will be looking at SaaS as benefits resonate across vertical markets
Demand for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business applications in the U.S. is growing at a steady pace across all sizes of business and vertical markets, reports Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat . Steadily rising U.S.
It’s a pattern: SAS buys text mining specialist Teragram
Extending its coverage from statistical to text analytics, business intelligence (BI) specialist SAS Institute has acquired Teragram, a 40-person organization based in Cambridge, Mass. The deal, which brings SAS the kinds of natural language analytic tools it has lacked, will allow the company to first focus on analytic applications targeting customer touch points, such as warranty and afterma...
I/O worth millions: Weak economy signals IT’s opportunity to improve data center performance
The next time financial cutbacks are on the table, consider virtualization technology to improve data center performance and achieve cost savings. Virtualization can increase network, storage, and hardware utilization, allowing organizations to reduce the number of power-consuming servers, and improve application and network performance.
SaaS by the numbers: On-demand software continues to gain ground in business deployments
More current business management application deployments are run in-house on traditional installed licenses, but with new implementations, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is gaining ground, reports Scottsdale, Ariz.-based In-Stat.
Green computing: IBM introduces new energy management software
IBM has announced new software designed to help customers address the growing need to maximize energy efficiency and reduce costs associated with power and cooling. This latest version of IBM Tivoli Monitoring is part of IBM's Project Big Green initiative in which IBM has committed $1 billion per year to deliver technologies that help customers increase energy efficiency in their data centers and physical plants.
SMBs set to slash marketing costs using SaaS research model
A partnership between Vantedge Group and AbsolutData aims to bring the value of manufacturing market intelligence to small and midsize businesses (SMB) via an on-demand model with an affordable monthly service fee. According to Bob May, senior VP of analytic services for Vantedge Group, “We've come up with the Software-as-a-Service [SaaS] approach.
GE Fanuc: Proficy applications; Quick Panel View; software deal
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms made announcements on version 4.4 of Proficy Plant Applications, KEPServerEX, Proficy Machine Edition View software, and Catapult Software iPower and Proficy HMI/SCADA - iFIX.
SHOMI: The most influential technology vendors in the manufacturing industry
Manufacturing Insights has dubbed SAP, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM "the most influential vendors in the manufacturing industry." The analyst firm also has agreed to let MBT print excerpts from its extensive report on these vendors' approach to the manufacturing space. This first article in a five-part series focuses on SAP.
Real-time systems: Time to set embedded hypervisor benchmarks
Find out how multi-core chips can benefit from virtual machine managers that are resource-miserly.
IDC Insight: European organizations ready for Software-as-a-Service
In a recent end-user survey by IDC Manufacturing Insights, of 2,077 IT decision makers in organizations with more than 20 employees in Western Europe, 37 percent of respondents say they would invest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in the next 24 months to replace or supplement the functionality of existing ERP solutions.
Honda at heart: Plexus multi-industry enterprise system built on automotive supplier foundation
In use at more than 1,200 plants worldwide—and boasting a 100-percent customer retention rate—the Plexus Online on-demand enterprise system from Plexus Systems has to be one of the most successful application suites you've probably never heard of. And with more than 350 functional modules, the description “suite” is surely no misnomer.
Why SaaS-based ERP means putting your head in the clouds
Enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems are important because they integrate, automate, and create processes that capture—and fundamentally change—how business works. ERP systems therefore require special care and feeding. Just implementing an ERP system can uncover a wealth of new, unplanned work for everyone.
SaaS approach to ops performance management finds dashboards’ sweet spots
The idea of using “dashboards” to support management decision-making would seem to be just what the doctor ordered. Track the right operational and financial parameters and, with the appropriate analysis applied, fallible “subjective” insight can be replaced by quantitative-based judgments.
Visual business intelligence: Transpara’s KPI solution certified for Windows Server 2008
Transpara claims its Visual KPI Web-based software is the first operations intelligence solution to earn Windows Server 2008 software certification.
Standards for virtual software development
Virtutech announced an initiative to accelerate creation of standards for the virtualized software development (VSD) industry.
On-demand PLM: Five questions with Arena Solutions CEO Craig Livingston
Craig Livingston was named CEO of on-demand PLM vendor Arena Solutions in January of this year. Soon after he answered five questions about Arena's place in the PLM market for MBT Executive Editor Sidney Hill.
Customer confab: SMBs set to slash marketing costs using SaaS research model
A new partnership between business and customer intelligence vendor Vantedge and market analytics specialist AbsolutData brings together senior-level professionals who know how to manage in-house intelligence services. Now an on-demand services model is on tap for small and midsize businesses (SMB).
ERP integration: ATSCO “remanufactures” EDI with RedTail SaaS
As a supplier of remanufactured automotive steering components, ATSCO needed to support direct store delivery to thousands of locations within the specified 48-hour time period. The short order life cycle put the burden on suppliers to fulfill the orders and support the underlying EDI transactions with virtually no margin for error. That's why ATSCO turned to Redtail's Software-as-a-Service as an alternative to building an on-premise EDI solution.
Custom SaaS: NetSuite opens platform for development of unique solutions
NetSuite Inc. aims to turn its business management software service into a platform for developers to create customized programs for small and medium-size businesses. The company, which delivers its software as a service over the Internet, sees customers and developers adding features for niche markets. NetSuite also expects to share in the revenue generated from those products.
Corporate IT enters the plant
Corporate IT's reach today extends deeper than ever before onto production plant floors for one simple reason: It's good for business. For workers, professionals, and managers, the downside of pervasive computing is that it allows ever-closer monitoring of work activities—whether of an operator engaged in process control, or a plant manager deciding the most profitable way to run product...
ARC forum discussions reflect changing operations/IT paradigm
Following a day's worth of conversations, a visitor to ARC Advisory Group's 12th annual Orlando Forum might be justified in having concluded: 1) Corporate IT departments have become the “decider” when it comes to plant operations solutions; and 2) the shortage of plant engineering skills is becoming increasingly severe.
Clear signals: SaaS approach makes performance dashboards more accessible
A new company out of Lafayette, Colo., called myDIALS, introduced in February what it says is the first hosted software solution for template-based development of interactive displays to analyze operations, production, and business metrics. Tools maker Snap-on already is rolling out the solution to 4,000 users.
Vertical intelligence: Welch’s profits from BI solution designed for consumer goods makers
Welch’s, a leading food & beverage manufacturer, has new visibility into details about its shipments, orders, and associated costs after deploying a business intelligence (BI) solution designed specifically for makers of consumer packaged goods. The solution was developed by Oco, which offers BI solutions in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mode.
3D Does It
Could 2008 be the year that control engineers finally get what they need from product lifecycle management (PLM) software? Three-dimensional modeling and work cell simulation are providing real benefits today. Automotive OEMs and aerospace firms are pushing for more functionality, and demanding their suppliers join in the pursuit.
PC deployed as Net-Centric Warfare Computing Platform
Santa Barbara, CA — Reliability, interoperability, and security, major concerns for industrial automation software, also are top-of-mind in military applications. Green Hills Software Inc. has announced that its Integrity PC technology was selected for and successfully deployed at the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID), an annual worldwide event held by the military and homeland defense organizations in more than 15 countries.
Tool supports FAA-certified Linux development
Safety-critical application development tool and engineering services supplier DDC-I announced that its Eclipse-based OpenArbor mixed-language development environment now supports LynuxWorks’ FAA Certified LynxOS-178 real-time operating system. OpenArbor developers working with any combination of Ada, C, and Embedded C++ (EC++) can now deploy their safety-critical applications on LynxOS-178 target systems certifiable to DO-178B Level A, the FAA’s highest level of safety criticality.
Central capacity: Virtualization project serves up storage optimization success for Europe-wide food manufacturer
At OSI International Foods GmbH, a program of server and storage virtualization is optimizing capacity utilization without the need for a dedicated IT staff at the company’s locations around Europe. Beginning with the European headquarters in Günzburg, Germany, the plan now is for a rollout across parent company OSI’s subsidiaries worldwide, commencing with its entire European operations.
SaaS survey: E2open poll at Oracle OpenWorld reveals top SC initiatives
The highest-priority initiative, selected by 66 percent of E2open survey respondents at Oracle's event last fall, is globalization of the supply chain to leverage economies of scale and scope across the multinational supply chain network, as well as operations that have grown by acquisition.
A strategic move: Sun moves into database market with purchase of open-source player MySQL
Sun Microsystems has agreed to acquire MySQL AB, an open-source icon and developer of one of the world's fastest-growing open-source databases, for approximately $1 billion. The acquisition accelerates Sun's position in enterprise IT to now include the $15-billion database market.
Sidney Hill, Jr.: SaaS economics seem to favor users more than vendors
NetSuite closed out 2007 with one of the year's most successful initial public offerings (IPO). It also sparked some questions about the future of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. On December 10, the company that offers an on-demand suite of applications for managing small to medium-size enterprises announced it would auction $6.
SAP senior execs talk about ERP, SOA, and the demise of three-letter acronyms
By introducing SAP Business ByDesign—an SOA-based, on-demand enterprise system for midsize companies—and selling it through in-direct sales channels, SAP, the world's leading ERP vendor, says it is “singing from the same hymn sheet” as its customers. “We are innovators too,” said Henning Kagermann, CEO and chairman, at the SAP Influencers Summit recently he...
Global supply chains need SaaS to drive competitive advantage
In his 1985 book, Competitive Advantage, Michael Porter introduced the concept of the value chain. The premise is that people and processes add value at every step of the product life cycle—from procurement of raw materials to order fulfillment—to the extent that each step is optimized. As such, the final value added is greater than the sum of the steps.
Security: Hypervisor technology makes even PCs secure
Computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems are notorious for high “hackability.” Other desktop operating systems have similar vulnerabilities as well. Green Hills Software introduced a hypervisor system that the company claims can virtually eliminate such security problems in PC-based systems by creating “virtual processors” that isolate sensitive data and operations from activities that connect to the outside world via the World Wide Web.
The future of business applications: SAP takes two roads to SOA
Henning Kagermann, chairman and CEO, SAP, says by moving users to service-oriented architecture in two ways, SAP is ensuring its continuing relevance within the software industry.
Extra effort: Better transportation management starts with a business case
Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group has repeatedly adjusted upwards its forecast of the transportation management systems (TMS) market over the last two years, primarily due to rising fuel prices that are sparking interest in improved transportation management. Yet despite knowing what TMS industry best practices are, few companies are implementing them and achieving best-in-class stature, according to a new study from Boston-based Aberdeen Group.
SPS/IPC/Drives 2007 highlights automation systems, components
Nuremburg, Germany — The SPS/IPC/Drives conference and exposition (Nov. 27–29, 2007) was among highlights for the European automation industry, with 1,321 exhibitors from 31 countries presenting systems and components in an exhibition space of 87,900 m2 in 10 exhibition halls. Some1,053 of the exhibiting companies came from inside Germany and 268 from abroad.
Erik Keller: So long, and thanks for the fish
This, the December issue, marks my last column. So rather than spend the next 500 words telling you why—and no, MBT didn't fire me—I'd like to reflect on what things have changed, and what things have remained the same, over the 25-plus years I have been part of the IT industry. The same: We're not learning from the past.
Symantec advisory: While data center managers adopt virtualization, they face a skills shortage
The primary challenges for data center managers are stringent internal service-level agreements, ongoing data center growth, and staffing issues, including finding qualified people to execute virtualization strategies.
SAP brings midmarket offering to the SaaS party
While acknowledging it's not the first vendor to leverage the model, SAP claims its new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering is ground-breaking nonetheless because it blends both front-office CRM and back-office ERP capabilities within the context of integrated business processes. “It's a complete solution,” said SAP CEO Henning Kagermann, at the launch event for SAP Business ByDes...
SaaS tool puts the hammer down on spreadsheet workarounds
Many people use email for project management and communication, but if a faster and more efficient method were available, most organizations would jump at the chance. Some companies have made this move with a new Web-based project planning and management system from Daptiv (formerly eProject). The on-demand Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application gives users an alternative to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, manua...
Making a comeback: supplier management issues revive e-sourcing market
While Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clearly has become the e-sourcing deployment model of choice, vendors contend a recent upturn in sales is driven more by users’ desire for functionality that helps manage supplier relationships.
Sudden impact: SaaS model accelerates automotive suppliers’ PLM expansion plans
As part of its expanded deployment, AITS has integrated Arena PLM with its ERP system. The link between Arena PLM and Infor ERP LN (the former Baan ERP system) was accomplished via a set of adapters now available to all Arena PLM customers.
Speedy and SaaS-y: SWsoft buys Sphera to deliver automation software on-demand
SWsoft will merge Sphera Corp. with its automation software business unit that powers tens of thousands of servers for businesses and service providers worldwide.
A grand entrance: SAP brings midmarket offering to the SaaS party
While acknowledging that it’s not the first vendor to leverage the model, SAP claims its new SaaS offering is groundbreaking nonetheless because it blends both front office customer relationship management (CRM) and back office ERP capabilities within the context of integrated business processes.
Competitive forces: Emptoris wastes no time pursuing Ariba-Procuri customers
The same day Ariba announced plans to broaden its appeal to medium-size companies by purchasing Procuri, which offers spend management applications via the Software-as-Service (SaaS) model, Emptoris issued a news release containing a special program for Ariba and Procuri customers.
A powerful strategy: HP grows green data centers
Energy consumption can represent up to 35 percent to 40 percent of data center operational costs. The issue has not been well understood because electricity costs often default to facilities budgets, not to the IT ledger.
Now playing: Glovia Services SaaS ERP found on Salesforce.com
The GSInnovate solution from Glovia Services, a suite Web-based ERP applications delivered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, has been released on Salesforce.com's AppExchange platform.
Integrity PC operating system takes advantage of new security features
Green Hills Software is extending its Integrity PC secure operating system technology to take advantage of new security features in desktop PCs powered by the latest Intel vPro processor technology. It's the first operating system to get a Common Criteria security evaluation, company says.
Business alert: costly incidents on the rise in manufacturing outsourcing; supplier communication compromised
Product life-cycle management vendor Arena Solutions recently conducted a survey in conjunction with Symphony Consulting concerning the challenges of manufacturing outsourcing, and best practices for addressing them.
Plantronics take a giant leap into global CRM using Saaspoint integration services
Saaspoint, a salesforce.com systems integrator, has enabled Plantronics to deploy on-demand CRM across its EMEA operations, and integrate the rollout globally with the U.S.
Supply chain vendors show support for Microsoft BizTalk Server
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2, the vendor's core service-oriented architecture and business process management technology, is generally available today
RedPrairie teams with SAVVIS for U.S.-based data centers
SAVVIS will support RedPrairie’s hosting services business with on-demand capabilities tailored to support customers of all sizes.
Dave Caruso: SMB advisory: Use ERP to attack “spreadsheet syndrome”
You see it everywhere: companies running their entire businesses on spreadsheets. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in the small and midsize business (SMB) space. The gray market of e-mail- and spreadsheet-based information systems is running many organizations today, and while this will work for some time inside the four walls of a company, executives realize that the resulting decision ...
Erik Keller: IT market shift: Choose your side and place your bet
The general consensus is the software market is in the middle of a massive shift. But there is no consensus as to the direction of that shift. Rather, there are two divergent views. One extreme espouses that the market is consolidating to a handful of mega-vendors, such as SAP, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.
Life sciences sector uses PLM to shorten “innovation-to-registration” cycle
Like so many other kinds of companies, medical device manufacturers are under pressure to innovate, says Todd Hein, senior director of life sciences for product life-cycle management (PLM) vendor Agile Software. What adds a level of complexity is that they also must document their processes for regulatory bodies around the world.
SaaS sure is popular, but it won’t kill traditional applications
When Boeing unveiled its first fully assembled 787 Dreamliner in July 2007—07-08-07 to be precise—CEO Jim McNerney proclaimed a revolution. “Once every 10 years, Boeing and its partners come together to change and revolutionize air travel, to make the world and the environment a better place,” McNerney told the crowd at Boeing's 787 plant in Everett, Wash.
Glovia Services opens up supplier, customer portals in SaaS ERP
Glovia Services announces two collaborative portals to its Web-hosted GSInnovate, an ERP system built on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model.
Microsoft moves: Procuri named SaaS leader; workflow specialist Vignette completes SharePoint integration
Procuri has been recognized as a flagship software-as-a-service (SaaS) company by the Microsoft Emerging Business Team, which identifies venture capital-backed start-ups that are driving the market for the SaaS delivery model while making full use of Microsoft technologies.
UGS PLM Software outlines its post-acquisition strategy for product- and production-management convergence
Automation giant Siemens' acquisition of what is now called UGS PLM Software is being seen as a potential landmark in the evolution of manufacturing systems. “When the dust settles, this whole Siemens/UGS deal will be seen as a real game changer,” says Dick Slansky, senior analyst, ARC Advisory Group.
ERP and VoIP to gain favor in SMB market, despite thin IT budgets, staff
The ERP market could see a significant uptick over the next 24 months as systems installed by large enterprises to address Y2K age out. But increased adoption likely will involve smaller manufacturers with smaller budgets—i.e., those with under $50 million in annual revenues. This will pose challenges for large ERP system vendors, according to a recent report out of Ontario-based Info-Tec...
Server virtualization suits Subaru’s plant uptime needs
For all the logic behind server virtualization—namely its ability to cut down on hardware costs—most people think of the technology's benefits as data center-oriented. Not so for Subaru of Indiana (SIA). The Lafayette, Ind.-based automotive manufacturer has cut hardware costs via virtualization, but the biggest impact has been the reduction in downtime of plant-floor systems, says J...
Alliances keeps network management specialist moving up the application stack
Having built its fortune in routing the IP packets that traverse the Internet, Cisco Systems is focused on applying the same approach further up the application stack. A couple years ago, it planted the first stake with Application-Oriented Networking (AON), a set of products that provide a form of content-based routing prioritization, e.
Moving reporting ahead of the curve in SaaS fashion
Business Objects is using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to get its sophisticated business intelligence and reporting solutions into midsize enterprises. Its SaaS solution, Crystalreports.com, went from concept to 40,000-plus subscribers in just 12 months. “We moved our SaaS product from concept to actual subscribers while creating a new and sustainable revenue model for Business...
Solutions buyers kick the tires of the software-as-a-service model
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is like that stylish car you notice once, and then start seeing it everywhere. With SaaS, the appeal is not having to buy the “car,” but paying only to drive it. SaaS also has unlimited passenger capacity. The fundamental concept isn't new. SaaS is based on the original time-share model created when computers first went commercial in the 1950s.
SaaS, Google, and Salesforce.com
Reports out of ComputerWire in late May suggest Google and Salesforce.com may be ready to form an anti-Microsoft alliance that could result in an on-demand service that integrates Google's online services—e.g., email and instant messaging—with that of Salesforce.com. For Google, such a partnership could be part of a long-range plan to counter Microsoft's emerging software-as-a-serv...
For Windows/Linux interoperability, Novell, Microsoft operating systems now share the same space
Microsoft and Novell—long considered the bitterest of rivals—are cooperating on an initiative that will make it easy for enterprises to run both Windows and the SUSE Linux operating systems on a single server. This effort is part of a broad-ranging agreement to promote Windows and Linux interoperability that the two vendors reached last November.
Cold standby a hot problem
It seems that as soon as we solve one problem, changes in information technologies cause new ones. The latest change is due to the new Microsoft Window Vista and Longhorn Server operating systems and their anti-piracy protection. The problem will be maintaining cold standby systems. The usual method for maintaining cold standby systems is to keep one or more “empty” servers that can...
How software application pricing models are likely to change
With every technology platform innovation there comes a change in the pricing model. The software market today is at the height of such change, which last occurred in the early 1990s with the advent of client/server technology. At that time, software pricing went from being tier (hardware)-based to user-based.
Dissolved sulfide monitor
Non-contact dissolved sulfide monitor from Analytical Technology provides a cost-effective method for measuring sulfides in water.
Virtualization: Playing well with others
One thing that we all learn in kindergarten is to play well with others. Unfortunately that is often a lesson that vendors of many manufacturing IT applications failed to learn. Manufacturing applications are usually certified to run only on servers with no other applications. If other applications are running, then the vendor may not provide support.
Power Management Balances Performance and Consumption
An ever-increasing number of transistors and more performance being squeezed into chip-level products (and embedded microprocessors) of shrinking physical size are unmasking a critical power consumption issue. Power usage rather than operating speed is becoming the performance bottleneck, as silicon device production continues to shrink to 90 nanometer (nm), 65 nm, and even smaller process nodes.
Real-time operating system to run safety-critical aircraft display
San Jose, CA —A real-time operating system (RTOS) from LynuxWorks Inc . will power the panoramic cockpit display system for Lockheed Martin 's F-35 joint-strike fighter aircraft. L-3 Communications Display Systems has chosen the LynxOS-178 for the subsystem, which delivers information for all the major functions of the F-35, including flight and sensor displays, communication, radio and navigation systems, and an identification system that gives the pilot total situational awareness. L-3 Display Systems said it chose the DO-178B-certifiable RTOS because of its adherence to open standards, Linux compatibility, the interoperability of a POSIX (portable operating system for UNIX) API, and support for the ARINC-653 specification.
Kamen: Innovation follows a different path
At the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, attendees heard what it takes to innovate. Companies and developers need to follow a different path than the conventional product development schedule, which inherently is non-innovative, said Dean Kamen, entrepreneur, technology advocate, and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter.
A number of years ago, a professor was researching the impact of drugs on human tissue. A presentation he gave one day included a slide of a computer-generated strip-chart recorder illustrating data from a biological monitoring system. "I can't even program my name in BASIC [programming language]," he told his audience, then showed them the virtual instrument he'd created and data he'd obtained...
‘Virtual machine’ features 3-D simulation
Machine simulation software from Index Corp. simulates on a PC all machine motions and functions related to any machine program. Noblesville, IN —All Index Corp.
Siemens partnerships: self-compensating CNC; error checking
Several recent announcements from Siemens Energy & Automation Machine Tool Business expand the company’s computer numerical control (CNC) capability by offering self-compensating CNC and increased error checking for machine tool code.
Embedded Java controllers
EC200 second generation embedded Java controller product line implements a Java platform for network-enabled and stand-alone applications. Modules provide an Ethernet-based connection to the Internet and numerous interfacing possibilities, including graphic LCD, digital I/O ports, analog inputs, high-speed serial ports, and more.
Varian launches diode array detector for HPLC applications
Palo Alto, CA—Varian Inc. has introduced a new diode array detector (DAD) line for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) applications in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, environmental, food and beverage, and other industries.
Programming Controllers for Improved Profit
Pressure is mounting. The machine has to be commissioned soon, or else the company stands to lose a lot of money. The project has "hit the fan," and everyone is looking at the control engineer to get it running. The project manager used up half the allotted time negotiating requirements and specifications.
Remote monitoring software for wireless Java-enabled PDAs and cell phones
Monrovia, Calif. - Pacific Microinstruments Inc. announced April 16 a component-based solution for the transmission and graphical display of remote monitoring information on Java-enabled PDAs and cell phones.
Verano introduces Java-enabled, web-based industrial process management platform
Sunnyvale, Calif. - Verano unveiled April 8 a reengineered version of its Real-Time Application Platform (RTAP). This new version, RTAP/i, uses Java technology to function on the web.
NetSilicon projects three-phase future for device networking
Waltham, Mass. - Industrial connectivity via device networking is moving from standalone, centralized computing to distributed, interconnected autonomous operations.
NewMonics’ Java virtual machine to be used in Parker Hannifin’s products
Lisle, Ill.- NewMonics Inc. announced Nov. 16 that it will provide its Perc virtual machine technology to Parker Hannifin Corp. (Cleveland, O.) for use in an undisclosed product line.
PCs Are Gaining Control
Benefits of using PC technology for machine and process control have been extolled for some time. Vendors have responded with many new products—both hardware and software. Even though sales of PC-based control products for manufacturing have not grown rapidly, there are many success stories showing what the technology can deliver.
Java, CE, dominate embedded conference
New Java applications and more support for Microsoft Windows CE as an embedded operating system were highlighted at the recent Embedded Systems Conference here. Support for embedded Web servers, networking support, development tools, more products for the CompactPCI platform and a new platform, PCMIP, were also unveiled.
Objects ignite control software movement
If software is washing over the control and automation landscape, then object-oriented programming is riding the crest of that wave. Several object-oriented trailblazers exhibited at ISA Expo/98.
Machine Control Strategies It’s Only Logical
Will that personal computer (PC) on your desk be controlling the next machine installed in your factory? Some say, "Yes, the PLC is dead as a control platform." To others, the PLC is not dead, it is morphing.At times this discussion sounds like a religious debate. But users need not be locked into an either/or decision about the future control platform for their factories.