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Five Ways To Enhance CNC Machine Manufacturing With The Cloud

Five Ways To Enhance CNC Machine Manufacturing With The Cloud

Considering shifting your manufacturing into the cloud? Read the practical steps from Naveen Nadesan, ANCA Motion Global Marketing Manager, to make the most of the move.

Connectivity with the world is now something we take for granted in our everyday lives. We no longer need to be in the office to check emails, receive calls or even access our files. We can be anywhere in the world and, thanks to the cloud and mobile technology, still be connected. It’s a world of digital transformation that now applies to CNC machines.

READ: Taking metal to the cloud

New cloud-based management software, along with the Internet of Things – that is the networking of machines that send and receive data – are helping us design, test and produce parts no matter where we are, or where our facilities are. Pooling of live data in t  he cloud means we can now optimise our processes in real time, even from the other side of the world.

Here are five ways the cloud will enhance CNC machines.

1. The cloud improves CNC machine productivity

“We need more of it and faster.” Ever heard that one? Cloud-based management of CNC machines can improve productivity through the removal of complex workflows, reduced costs for installation and manufacturing and the big one… automation.

Think also of the productivity gains that are possible when operation staff can access information and collaborate remotely as well as make updates in real time from multiple locations.

Automation on machines also means you can reduce the cost of doing business as manufacturers can run part batches ‘lights out’. This means that no matter where in the world you can be competitive – even in traditionally higher cost labour regions.

READ: Outlook For Cloud Computing Market

2. The cloud offers greater visibility

Cloud-based management of your machines gives you the ability to monitor them and production in real time and make faster, informed decisions about your capabilities.

This greater visibility provides insight into your supply chain and usage patterns including production levels, inventory, available capacity, quality levels and order status – without delay. This in turn will help you manage customer expectations around delivery.

3. Less downtime for more business continuity

How much time did you lose last year to unplanned machine downtime? CNC machines that are connected to the cloud provide constant data about their health and productivity. Sharing this information across the business can help identify production problems, including root causes, and also help predict machine failures before they happen.

The cloud is also your secure, offsite data backup. If and when something goes wrong there’s no need to worry about when the last manual back up was done – it’s automatically taken care of.

READ: Microsoft Announces Cloud And IoT Updates For Manufacturing Industry

4. More solid security

There is often a concern that the cloud may not provide the same IP protection as on-site data management. The truth is that the cloud may be less risky than your existing setup. Moving to the cloud means your business can access the policies and controls of your cloud host, without paying for the cost of maintaining facilities and hardware.

According to the World Intellectual Property Association, most IP data breaches occur internally as a result of access and privilege abuse. The cloud allows you to create levels of security and encryption to better protect your IP from internal abuse.

A proper cloud management suite can provide data encryption, automated software updates, automated backup and data centre grade security without the cost of having a full-time IT department.

5. Improved CNC Machine quality

Quality and precision are everything when it comes to high end CNC machined parts. Even small variances in performance can cause manufacturing disruption and costly recalls.

Cloud technology is helping tool manufacturers more easily develop customer scripting and maintain a high level of accuracy, even on large batches.

It also helps enable virtual simulation of tooling and modelling which can reduce waste and speed up trials.

Cloud-connectivity is the next big step for CNC machines. By taking the leap your business can reap the time, security, cost and productivity rewards, not to mention increasing visibility over operations no matter where you are in the world.

 

Read more:

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Multiaxis CNC Machine Simulation: A Confidence Booster

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Case Study: Collaboration Between Hartford And Renishaw In The Implementation Of Smart Factory Solutions

EOS: Additive Manufacturing For The A350 XWB

Getting Back To The Roots: Revisiting Applications CNC machines

 

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Taking Metal To The Cloud

Taking metal to the cloud

Here’s a look at how cloud computing is transforming metalworking. Article by John Young, EU Automation.

Metalworking has played a pivotal role in the evolution of mankind, so much so that there are entire periods of history named after metals. While the Iron and Bronze Ages are behind us, society is framed by a whole other frontier of technology — The Information Age. But can the legacy of metalworking and the evolution of digitalisation work in unison?

Despite its deep-rooted history, metal fabrication remains an essential process in modern manufacturing. Rising urbanisation and industrialisation, burgeoning automotive and aerospace industries and new advancements in metal forming are just some of the many reasons why metalworking faces increased demand and expanding production.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) hits the shop floor, insight into its vast network of communicating machinery is accompanied by an ever-increasing access to the internet. The more machines ‘talk’, the more information they produce and as we enter the dawn of a data-driven era, managing this information is integral to its value.

Up in the Air

Also called ‘The Cloud’, cloud computing refers to software applications that run on remote servers instead of a user’s onsite IT infrastructure. The on-demand computing resource is gaining significant traction across industries that are looking to easily manage and access their data from anywhere in the world.

Regions all over the world are beginning to adopt the technology—and the Asia-Pacific region is no exception to the trend. In fact, the APAC region has been keen to reap the benefits of cloud computing across many of its industries.

Established in 2010, the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) represents the stakeholders of Asia’s cloud computing ecosystem and works to accelerate the growth of the technology across the region. According to ACCA’s 2018 Cloud Readiness Index (CRI), Singapore is APAC’s most cloud-ready region and, alongside Hong Kong, is a global leader in cloud readiness. Far ahead of larger economies such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, Singapore represents the APAC region’s swift adoption of the technology.

Blue Skies Beyond

Effective implementation of cloud computing goes beyond connecting your shop floor devices to the sky—it means connecting your shop floor to the rest of the business. With one accurate record on hand, employees, suppliers and partners can all refer to a single source of reliable information to increase consistency.

The innate scalability of cloud computing means that manufacturers can easily accommodate changes and growth to their projects. Resources can be leveraged on a pay-as-you-go or on-demand basis, which gives access to additional assets when required and without the need to invest in an expensive network of internal infrastructure.

Cloud computing can also accommodate product development with ease by facilitating collaboration with engineers and other members of the product development team much earlier in the design process, reducing the time frame from conception to launch.

Pass the Test

Quality often overtakes quantity in metal working, as errors can jeopardise both the function and appearance of products. One hurdle that manufacturers in the metal industry need to overcome is passivity.

Stainless steel doesn’t rust—in theory. Stainless steel is often corrosion resistant, but that doesn’t mean that it is completely impervious to rusting. To combat corrosion, the metal undergoes a treatment process known as passivation, which involves using an acidic solution to remove the free iron from the metal’s surface.

Once the surface iron is removed, the other components of the alloy—namely chromium and nickel—are left behind as a surface layer over the steel. Once these elements react with air, they form a protective oxide layer that prevents the steel from rusting.

More frequently, customers are asking for a passivity guarantee to ensure the quality of their steel. But measuring, verifying and reporting on an invisible layer of protective coating can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. During testing, a section of steel that has undergone the same treatment as the end product is sent for verification from an independent lab.

However, concluding that the results from this sample are the same as those of the finished component is little more than an assumption—leaving manufacturers with little choice but to hope that the product passes the test. What’s more, receiving the test results can take hours, which could delay shipping if correction is required.

Cloud computing can provide a solution. With the help of a wireless tester, smartphone and cloud-based technology, data can be captured and reported from any location. Not only can IoT-enabled remote testing speed up the passivity process, but uploading the results to the cloud means that they can be shared with other departments and customers in an instant.

One surface technology company has already developed a cloud-based solution to streamline passivity testing. Walter Surface Technologies helps machine shops and fabricators leverage IoT technology with its cloud-based passivation app, which allows technicians to chart oxidation levels of stainless steel to measure its passivation state and seamlessly communicate it with the company’s customers.

Maintaining Efficiency

Perhaps one of the best uses of the cloud is as part of asset maintenance. Sensors that collect data on the health of equipment can send this information to the cloud for analysis. There, a streaming data processor transmits the sensor data to storage, otherwise known as a data lake.

The data is still raw at this point, so may contain irrelevant items. To turn the data into insightful information, it is sent to the big data warehouse where it is analysed with machine learning algorithms. These algorithms reveal correlations in datasets and detect any abnormal patterns.

This data collected can then be fed back into planned predictive maintenance (PPM) schemes and remote monitoring of equipment. Unlike reactive maintenance, which involves waiting for a piece of machinery to break, PPM can be used ahead of time to prevent breakdowns and downtime.

For example, a brake press used to bend sheet metal into complex shapes requires accurate control for precise bending. To maintain a high level of product quality, it is crucial that all the machines’ components are in perfect working order.

Let’s say a motor in the brake press is running at an abnormally high temperature. Data in the cloud would be able to flag this abnormality to prompt plant managers to get in touch with a parts supplier such as EU Automation before a breakdown occurs, drastically reducing the amount of associated downtime.

The days of the Bronze Age are long gone—but there’s no questioning that we’re in the golden age of digital manufacturing. Cloud computing boasts several benefits that allow the technology to deliver a scalable and insightful solution to a variety of industries. Metalworking may be one of society’s most ancient processes, but cloud-based solutions can help breathe life into the sector by monitoring its core processes, improving product quality and providing workers with actionable insight to increase efficiency.

 

Check these articles out:

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Importance Of Process Control

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LVD Discusses Punching Technology Advancements

Martin Winterstein Appointed Chief Sales Officer At Gehring Group

MVTec HALCON 19.11: Standard Machine Vision Software With New Functions

 

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Microsoft Announces Cloud And IoT Updates For Manufacturing Industry

Microsoft Announces Cloud And IoT Updates For Manufacturing Industry

Microsoft announced a series of updates to help bring the promise of intelligent manufacturing closer to its customers and partners. Product updates include:

  • New enhancements to Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel and Azure IoT Hub – Provides advanced threat protection to help Azure become the first major public cloud with end-to-end security for IoT for devices, hubs and cloud resources.
  • New digital twin capabilities for Azure IoT Connected Factory solution – Enhances security and certification management, providing manufacturers a digital twin of their OPC UA-enabled machines.
  • An expansion of Azure IP Advantage to IoT – Extends Azure IP advantage benefits to Azure customers with IoT devices connected to Azure.

In addition, Microsoft is announcing new solutions with industry-leading customers and partners. More than 25 innovative companies will join Microsoft including:

  • Electrolux, the Swedish home appliance manufacturer, launched a new Azure IoT smart connected air purifier and app. The Pure A9 removes ultra-fine dust particles, pollutants, bacteria, allergens and bad odors from indoor rooms.
  • Siemens Gamesa, the leader in renewable energy, is streamlining how technicians inspect industrial wind turbines and announced it is migrating its autonomous drone process to Microsoft Azure and Azure AI.
  • Bühler, one of the world’s largest provider of food processing solutions, is leveraging Microsoft blockchain technology to improve global food safety standards and reduce food poisoning rates, while increasing production efficiencies.
  • Intel is working with Microsoft on a new modern industrial PC reference design for factories and industrial applications. Using the reference design, device partners can build fully provisioned and customised industrial PCs that can be connected to a range of devices to discover, manage and analyse data in real time, using AI on the machine or in the Azure cloud.

Additional business updates include the newest book to our Future Computed book series: The Future Computed: AI and Manufacturing. The book will explore how manufacturers around the world are embracing AI in its businesses, sharing insights from Microsoft customers.

 

Future Of IT Infrastructure Is Always On, Always Available, Everywhere

Future Of IT Infrastructure Is Always On, Always Available, Everywhere

As more organisations embrace digital business, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will need to evolve their strategies and skills to provide an agile infrastructure for their business. In fact, Gartner, Inc. said that 75 percent of I&O leaders are not prepared with the skills, behaviours or cultural presence needed over the next two to three years. These leaders will need to embrace emerging trends in edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and the ever-changing cloud marketplace, which will enable global reach, solve business issues and ensure the flexibility to enter new markets quickly, anywhere, anytime.

IT departments no longer just keep the lights on, but are also strategic deliverers of services, whether sourced internally or external to the organisation. They must position specific workloads based on business, regulatory and geopolitical impacts. As organisations’ customers and suppliers grow to span the globe, I&O leaders must deliver on the idea that “infrastructure is everywhere” and consider the following four factors:

Agility Thrives On Diversity

Bob Gill, Vice President at Gartner, said the days of IT controlling everything are over. As options in technologies, partners and solutions rise, I&O leaders lose visibility, surety and control over their operations. “The cyclical, dictated factory approach in traditional IT cannot provide the agility required by today’s business,” Mr. Gill said. “The need for agility evolved faster than our ability to deliver.”

Despite agility placing among their top three priorities for 2019, I&O leaders are faced with conundrum as a diverse range of products is available to them. “The ideal situation for I&O leaders would be to coordinate the unmanageable collection of options we face today — colocation, multicloud, platform as a service (PaaS) — and get ahead of the business needs tomorrow. We must reach into our digital toolbox of possibilities and apply it to customer intimacy, product leadership and operational excellence to establish guardrails around managing the diversity of options in the long term,” Mr. Gill said.

The need for agility will only increase, so the two key tasks of I&O leaders will be to manage the sprawl of diversity in the short term and become the product manager of services needed to build business driven, agile solutions in the long term. “I&O has the governance, security and experience to lead this new charge for the business,” Mr. Gill said.

Applications Enable Change

Infrastructure can save money and enable applications, but by itself, it does not drive direct business value — applications do. Dennis Smith, Vice President at Gartner, said that there is no better time to be an application developer. “Application development offers an opportunity to jump on the express train of change to satisfy customer needs and build solutions composed of a tapestry of software components enabled through APIs,” Mr. Smith said.

Gartner research found that by 2025, 70 percent of organizations not adopting a service/product orientation will be unable to support their business, so I&O engineers must engage with consumers and software developers; integrate people, processes and technology; and deliver services and products all to support a solid infrastructure on which applications reside.

Boundaries Are Shifting

Digital business blurs the lines between the physical and the digital, leveraging new interactions and more real-time business moments. As more things become connected, the data center will no longer be the center of data. “Digital business, IoT and immersive experiences will push more and more processing to the edge,” said Tom Bittman, distinguished Vice President at Gartner.

By 2022, more than half of enterprises-generated data will be created and processed outside of data centers, and outside of cloud. Immersive technologies will help to light a fire of cultural and generational shift. People will expect more of their interactions to be immersive and real time, with fewer artificial boundaries between people and the digital world.

The need for low latency, the cost of bandwidth, privacy and regulatory changes as data becomes more intimate, and the requirement for autonomy when the internet connection goes down, are factors that will expand the boundary of enterprise infrastructures all the way to the edge.

People Are the Cornerstone

I&O leaders are struggling to deliver value faster in a complex, evolving environment, hindering the ability of organisations to learn quickly and share knowledge.

“The new I&O worker profile will embrace versatile skills and experiences rather than reward a narrow focus on one technical specialty,” said Kris van Riper, managing vice president at Gartner. “Leading companies are changing the way that they reward and develop employees to move away from rigid siloed career ladders toward more dynamic career diamonds. These new career paths may involve experiences and rotations across multiple technology domains and business units over time. Acquiring a broader understanding of the IT portfolio and business context will bring collective intelligence and thought diversity to prepare teams for the demands of digital business.”

Ultimately, preparing for I&O in the digital age comes down to encouraging different behaviors. Building competencies such as adaptability, business acumen, fusion collaboration and stakeholder partnership will allow I&O teams to better prepare for upcoming change and disruption.

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Stronger Public Private Partnership Required To Drive Industry 4.0 In Malaysia

Stronger Public Private Partnership Required to Drive Industry 4.0 in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: IDC believes that the 2019 Malaysia National Budget recently announced by Lim Guan Eng, the Finance Minister of Malaysia, was an important incremental step in achieving Malaysia’s vision to become a fully connected digital economy. The recent budget focused on the Industry 4.0 blueprint, titled “Industry4WRD”, which aims to make Malaysia the prime destination for high-tech industries in the region. The government plays a central role in the successful implementation of a robust Industry 4.0 strategy by creating clear policies and priorities to support the private sector. Initiatives like Industry4WRD focus the energy and creativity of the private sector around a common mission to create an era in which AI, robotics, 3D printing, and IoT will take centre stage and lead to digital transformation in Malaysia. IDC believes that direct support for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is necessary to focus Malaysia’s resources and boost the economic growth of the country.

The Malaysian government is continuing to adopt the necessary policy changes and budget priorities to strengthen the economic foundation for digital transformation and technology investments. For example, on November 7th, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) Sdn Bhd invited small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embrace the fourth industrial revolution with the launch of the Centre of 9 Pillars (Co9P) initiative. This centre creates a physical location for ecosystem partners to interact for the development and incubation of solutions based on nine technology pillars including; Big Data Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation & Augmented Reality, Horizontal & Vertical Integration, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, Cloud, Additive Manufacturing and Supply Chain. IDC forecasts the size of the Big Data/Analytics investment in Malaysia will be $US670 million in 2019 led by the Banking industry while spend on IoT will be US$2.2 billion with the largest investment going into Manufacturing (2018 Big Data Spending Guide, 2018 IoT Spending Guide).

For almost a decade, IDC has been chronicling the emergence and evolution of the 3rd Platform of technology; the drive into Cloud, Mobility, Social and Big Data/Analytics technologies. The adoption of these technologies has accelerated as enterprises commit to the 3rd Platform and undergo Digital Transformation (DX) on a massive scale. Malaysia’s digital economy is in the early stages of creating an infrastructure with key core technologies (cloud, big data/analytics, artificial intelligence [AI], mobility, social business, robotics, internet of things [IoT], and 3D printing) for better public services and an economic boost. Rapid advances in cloud computing, connected devices, mobile, social media and data analytics are contributing to the growth of SMEs in Malaysia. SMEs constitute 98.5% of the total businesses and will spend US$2.7 billion on new technologies in 2019, according to IDC’s 2018 Small and Medium Business Spending Guide.

“The growth of digital economies is becoming an ever more impactful part of the global economy. The transition to a digital economy is a key driver of growth and development because it can provide a boost to the country’s productivity across all sectors and it creates an attractive environment for new investments from outside Malaysia. As the fourth industrial revolution becomes a key driver of the digital economy, entrepreneurs and SMEs need to assess fundamental aspects of their business, including what products and services they sell, how they deliver them to the market, the new skillsets required and how they need to organize to support their operations. Now is the time to take advantage of the new policies of the government and partner to accelerate new digital businesses,” said Randy Roberts, Research Director IoT and Telco, IDC Asia Pacific.

IDC strongly supports the new government’s plan to launch the National Fibre Connectivity Plan in 2019. This plan aims to develop broadband infrastructure to achieve a target of 30 Mbps speed per customer in rural and remote areas of the country within 5 years. This plan follows the implementation of the Mandatory Standard Access Pricing (MSAP) announcement from MCMC earlier this year that has successfully lowered broadband prices in order to connect more citizens to the digital economy.

“The high cost of a broadband connection in Malaysia has been one of the reasons small enterprises have delayed moving their business online. Government policies that improve the affordability, access and speed of broadband connectivity will increase the adoption of digital services and show the readiness of the economy to support digital initiatives” said Randy Roberts, Research Director IoT and Telco, IDC Asia Pacific.

IDC has documented examples of successful Public-Private Partnerships in the region, including Indonesia and Singapore, where the combination of public policy and entrepreneurship is driving the digital economy including smart city and mobile commerce services. In order to ensure the success of the digital initiatives in Malaysia, the government needs to consistently communicate the country’s digital priorities. The private sector should then follow with investment and development of resources in those areas, including development of key skillsets in the workforce to retain local talent.

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Cloud And Security To Drive DX And Innovation Trends In Indonesia For Next Five Years

Cloud And Security To Drive DX And Innovation Trends In Indonesia For Next Five Years

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Based on findings from IDC’s inaugural Business Innovation Forum at the Raffles Hotel Jakarta, the company believes that the next five years will be the year of autonomy for Indonesia, where cloud and security will be the key technologies to drive digital transformation and innovation for local enterprises to become digitally determined. Additionally, the company has also observed that the digital ecosystem in Indonesia is on the way to becoming more cloud-enabled, data-driven as well as secure in mobile and other digital environments.

The IDC Asia/Pacific DX Sentiments Survey 2018 has also revealed that cloud, security, big data analytics and IoT are the top priority technologies for enterprises in Indonesia. These technologies are determined as part of the digital ecosystem of enterprises. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain are the two emerging technologies that are still at the exploration stage for local enterprises. With the constant change in customer behaviour and cost optimisation, IDC urges enterprises to transform their business and operating models by implementing the right technologies to increasing customer and operational experience in the organisation.

According to IDC Indonesia End-User Survey 2018, more than 50 percent of Indonesian enterprises are focusing on transforming their operating model, especially the business process, while omni-channel and information transformation are determined as next capabilities to build. The ICT Spending of Indonesia is projected to hit IDR 445 Trillion in 2018 with CAGR 4.5 percent (2016-2021), driven by the spending of enterprises businesses.

“Enterprises in Indonesia are becoming aware of the benefits of using digital technologies and developing digital capabilities to fast track business growth and it is exciting to see how innovation kicks in for more mature enterprises – or digitally determined enterprises. The 3rd platform technologies such as Cloud has become a core technology for most enterprise to develop and master its capabilities. Cloud is no longer a choice but a critical foundation for present and future technology innovation,” said Mevira Munindra, Head of Operations, IDC Indonesia.

Mevira added, “In the past years, security has always been the “2nd tier” investment for organisations. However, with growing sense of DX and adoption of 3rd platform and emerging technologies such as IoT, Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain, the digital threats or adversities are also evolving along its way. This creates an urgency for enterprises to enable security to strike the right balance between innovation and risk management.”

IDC believes that local enterprises must keep innovating, be agile to changes and be customer-driven to stay determined and compete in the market. The IDC Business Innovation Forum 2018 brought together regional industry leaders and experts across Indonesia. And the insights offered at this event will help business leaders to understand technologies’ trends that enable digital transformation in the organisation such as cloud and AI, as well as blockchain and security. These technologies are considered as both core (cloud and security) and emerging/innovative (AI and Blockchain) capabilities that will accelerate organisations’ DX journey.

 

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Interview With Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd

Interview With Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Director Cloud And Managed Services, NTT Singapore Pte Ltd on his views on the future of manufacturing technologies in Asia and its impact on supply chains.

1.Could you provide us with an overview of the latest technologies shaping manufacturing in Asia?

We see an increase in manufacturers collecting vast troves of data and analysing them to reveal important insights for better decision-making. Data is driving a massive transformation in the manufacturing industry, with many companies already incorporating technologies such as field sensors and edge computing. Field sensors, for example, collect and communicate information (temperature, pressure etc.) to manufacturers, while edge computing helps manufacturers convert data sets generated by machines into insightful and actionable items. Manufacturers have realized the importance of tapping on Business Intelligence (BI) technologies to transform raw data from multiple sources into valuable information.

 2. What do you think are the main challenges when it comes to the manufacturing processes in Asia?

While more and more manufacturers are collecting data from sensors and leveraging edge computing, many still lack the resources to use the data intelligently. The challenge is to invest in systems and resources that enable the most efficient collection and use of data. Moving data to the cloud is an effective way to improve the automation of decisions and optimise industrial output.

That said, many manufacturers still view information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) as separate departments when they are two sides of the same coin. Early IT systems were under the purview of the CIO and included desktops, laptops and connectivity for propriety data. On the other hand, OT consisted of turnkey systems such as machines on the factory floor and transportation vehicles, which had very little involvement from IT.

Today, OT refers to the control and automation supporting operations. A simple example is connected manufacturing equipment retrofitted with industrial IoT sensors. With the more pervasive use of IT technologies at an operational level, the boundaries between the successful use of IT and OT have begun to blur. For manufacturers to succeed in the digital era, they need to close the IT/OT gap or risk decline.

3. How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

If manufacturers possess the right technological infrastructure and guidance, they will be able to leapfrog ahead of their competition in terms of efficiency and productivity.

We recently launched the Smart Factory Package in Singapore, powered by AVEVA’s Wonderware and NTT Com cloud computing platform ‘Enterprise Cloud’, which offers a highly-effective and cost-efficient approach for manufacturers to kick-start their digital journey to streamline and simplify operations.

The Smart Factory Package takes advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and combines pervasive network sensors, a scalable cloud platform and advanced analytics capabilities to unlock the value of industrial data. Manufacturers can then leverage the industrial data for better decision-making, resulting in greater intelligence, efficiency and opportunity.

4. With the digitalisation of manufacturing, how will supply chains evolve to keep up?

The supply chain will no longer be linear in nature, from producers to consumers.

To keep pace, supply chains now need to integrate leading-edge technologies to combine cross-functional data from different sources, implement control and automation and forecast demand and performance with advanced data analytics. For example, a retailer might be better able to assess inventory performance by digitising their stock. This allows planning to be more precise and managers can also anticipate problems before they happen and act on them.

5. In your opinion, what are the trends that will shape the industry for the next 5 to 10 years?

Digital transformation will eventually affect every industry. For the manufacturing industry, we will see the convergence of IT and OT. Digitalisation will become ubiquitous and companies who fail to keep up will decline.

Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT will play a major role in shaping manufacturing trends. Put together, the “smart factory” will feature systems capable of autonomously exchanging information and trigger a set of actions independently. This promises increased productivity, lowered costs and better customer satisfaction.

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Alibaba Cloud Launches Global Blockchain Service

Alibaba Cloud Launches Global Blockchain Service

CHINA: Alibaba Cloud has expanded its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering to major global markets including South East Asia, the U.S and Europe. And through the provision of an enterprise-level platform service based on leading blockchain technologies, customers are able to build a secure and stable environment for blockchain implementations.

Alibaba Cloud’s BaaS supports enterprise-level blockchain applications on the two platforms of Hyperledger Fabric and Ant Blockchain. Hyperledger is a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort that includes 10 business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT). Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Ant Blockchain, developed by Alibaba Group’s financial affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, is a proprietary and multi-patented high-performing blockchain platform. The security of BaaS is guarded by trusted computing and a secure consortium blockchain network. With this strong architecture, customers can create their own BaaS applications on Alibaba Cloud’s platform.

“We take pride in ourselves to be the trusted infrastructure for businesses. And this empowers many innovations across all industries. Our customers in China have already experienced the benefits from our BaaS platform and we are excited to extend this service to other enterprise customers all over the world. Alibaba Cloud is also the first blockchain service provider of Intel SGX security technology. We aim to become a technology partner that enables companies that wish to use blockchain to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Yi Li, Senior Staff Engineer and lead of Alibaba Cloud Blockchain Service.

“We’re delighted to see the launch of Alibaba Cloud BaaS powered by Hyperledger Fabric as we’ve already seen many Hyperledger user cases in production this year. As stated in MIIT’s recent whitepaper, 2018 is set to be another blockbuster year for the industry with a record amount of capital to be injected into companies in the space, and Hyperledger is committed to the development of blockchain technologies in China. Together with Alibaba Cloud, we look forward to bringing more exciting innovations to the global blockchain communities,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger.

Alibaba Cloud’s BaaS supports a wide range of applications including automatic deployment, consortium blockchain management, smart contracts, user and certificate management and SDK (Software Development Kit) applications, as well as a range of monitoring, operating and maintenance functions.

Alibaba Cloud has a proven track record of enabling multi-scenario applications through it blockchain technology since its official launch in October 2017, including in the public benefits system, logistics and medical industries, based on the decentralized and distributed storage and anti-tampering features.

As an enterprise-grade blockchain platform service, Alibaba Cloud always strives for a safe and reliable blockchain environment. In addition to the twin-engine feature, Alibaba’s Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN)-based blockchain technology facilitates hybrid cloud and distributed business systems. It also supports Java SDK and Node.js SDK and is equipped with anti-DDoS attack capabilities.

Alibaba Cloud also launched two new availability zones in United Kingdom to meet rapidly increasing customer demand. It now operates 52 availability zones in 19 regions around the world with more global regions set to follow.

More information on Alibaba Cloud’s Global Infrastructure can be found at this site: https://www.alibabacloud.com/global-locations.

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LNC Exhibits Smart Machine Box And Intelligent Sensors In TMTS 2018

LNC Exhibits Smart Machine Box And Intelligent Sensors In TMTS 2018

LNC is exhibiting the SMB (smart machine box) with smart sensors and cloud platforms (Webaccess) in TMTS 2018. This demonstrates LNC’s total solutions for smart manufacturing. In the past, LNC has focused on high-quality and high precision controllers, but recently, the company is dedicated to developing an EtherCAT servo motor, inverters, expansion IO modules and relative EtherCAT accessories. This aligns to the company’s vision of promoting intelligent machines and manufacturing processes and  in order to achieve this goal, LNC has launched a total solution system that includes the SMB, smart sensors and a cloud system to the market.

Unlike the general SMB solutions in the market which are focused on networking and data acquiring; LNC’s smart box solution supports Fanuc, Mitsubishi, and Siemens control systems and offers several powerful functions including: axis control (ex: rotary table), EtherCAT communication interface for internal/external accessories connection, and also support robot control, RFID, Spindle monitoring, vision system connection, smart sensors and many other intelligent functions.

Through the smart sensors offered, LNC is introducing the market vibration sensors (SVI-1000 and SVI- 2000) and thermal control modules that are capable of fixing the impact caused by the key factors in manufacturing processing: vibration and temperature extremes. The vibration sensor series includes two models: SVI-1000 and SVI-2000. SVI-1000 can detect lower vibration frequency ranges while SVI-2000 can detect higher performance ranges and functions to support the EtherCAT interface with a communication slave, ETS-1000. With EtherCAT architecture, one slave is able to support 4 (max) SVI-2000 sensors and will be able to expand more slave modules for a great number of sensor connections. LNC also offers built-in Fourier transformation options to provide both time-domain and frequency-domain functions. Furthermore, the company’s products are capable of supporting auto detection of abnormal vibration during processing and this not only helps machine process monitoring, but it is also useful for users to be able to identify abnormal sections for further correction or programme optimisation. The company’s cloud platform is also capable of remote monitoring and central management and provides standard function pages such as, utilisation rate, machine information, maintenance scheduling and management, processing program management, alarm report and report exporting. LNC’s SMB has also won the Taiwan Excellence Award last year and the smart sensors were recongised for the same award this year.

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Kongsberg Digital And Alibaba Cloud To Digitalise Chinese Energy Sector

Kongsberg Digital And Alibaba Cloud To Digitalise Chinese Energy Sector

CHINA: China currently tops global rankings when it comes to investing in renewable energy sources and digitalisation is high on the country’s agenda when it comes to increased efficiency and transformed business models. To further promote this development, Kongsberg Digital and Alibaba Cloud, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the opportunities provided by making KONGSBERG’s industrial digital platform, Kognifai, available on Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure.

“Bringing Kognifai to the growing Chinese energy market is an important milestone for Kongsberg Digital,” said Hege Skryseth, Executive Vice President of KONGSBERG and President of Kongsberg Digital. “By implementing KONGSBERG’s Kognifai platform on the Alibaba Cloud infrastructure, we will be able to offer our advanced joined digital solutions to the energy sector in China and other parts of Asia.”

“Alibaba Cloud has always been dedicated to advancing technologies to empower digital transformation across the globe,” said Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud. “Together with KONGSBERG and Kongsberg Digital, we are looking forward to seeing how our robust cloud infrastructure and their cutting-edge platform can jointly drive the technology advancement to a new level for the energy sector.”

KONGSBERG already has substantial operations in China, giving the group local knowledge and understanding of the processes in the Chinese market.

Operating Kognifai on Alibaba Cloud will allow KONGSBERG’s solutions for the energy sector to be available to a growing market in China and Asia. This includes IoT, advanced and hybrid analytics – available on secure digital ecosystems in which to develop and run scalable mission critical software and applications. And among the specific KONGSBERG solutions that could become available to customers of Alibaba Cloud is EmPower, a suite of efficiency software delivered as a service for the wind power industry.

Under the MoU, the companies will start their collaboration immediately and intend to make Kognifai available on Alibaba Cloud in 2019.

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