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Lighthouse Factories Lead the Way to Industry 4.0

The World Economic Forum’s 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, which took place last week in Dalian, China, saw a further 10 factories joining the existing 16 in the Lighthouse Network, a WEF initiative launched in 2018 together with McKinsey to identify and showcase those manufacturers at the forefront of implementing technologies enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The term “lighthouse” denotes that these factories can act as beacons to guide the many thousands of others around the world that are still looking to apply technologies like artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and advanced analytics as well as overcome challenges in upgrading existing production systems. What caught my eye with this third lighthouse listing from the WEF – the initial nine were announc...

Avoid Repeating the Mistakes of Industry 3.0

In the 1960s, computerization was just beginning.  Early minicomputers were used in the control of industrial processes since the beginning of the 1960s.  The IBM 1800, for example, was an early computer that had input/output hardware to gather process signals in a plant for conversion from field contact levels (for digital points) and analog signals to the digital domain.  The first industrial control computer system was built 1959 at the Texaco Port Arthur, Texas, refinery with an RW-300 manufactured by the Ramo-Wooldridge Company (who?).  In these early days, there was no off-the-shelf solution a company could purchase and configure.  Instead, companies did a lot of the work themselves, purchasing generic computing platforms and programming the functions and logic from a blank slate.  E...

IT-BPM Quarterly Performance Analysis-March 2019

Quarterly Performance Analysis- Summary: Structural tailwinds like higher spend on technology, industrialization of digital projects and increasing offshoring outweighing growth concerns for the industry despite global macro concerns, BREXIT related uncertainties in the UK/EU and global trade frictions For many companies, early investments in Digital have started paying off adding to the growth momentum Client relevance continues to rise with large deal win momentum, a rising share of digital implementation projects, strong scope increases & improving client mining Key Insights- Positive revenue growth during Q42019- Q-o-Q growth (excl Cognizant) was at 2.6% compared to 2% in Q32019, Y-o-Y growth of 8.5%. (Reported currency). Including Cognizant in the sample set, the revenue growth fo...

Mitsubishi Electric Establishes Company-wide Framework for Reducing Cybersecurity Risks

On April 1, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will establish the Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) as a new company-wide framework dedicated to promptly and reliably responding to and reducing cybersecurity risks in products and related services in all divisions and branches. As the adoption of IoT continues to spread, the risk of products being exposed to cyber-attacks is rising.  Companies that sell networked products are obliged to counter such vulnerabilities and responsibly disclose information if customers are ever impacted by such threats.  The company’s new PSIRT unit will create a company-wide framework for controlling and managing product security activities to help customers avoid serious damage or impact from cybersecurity risks. According to Mitsubishi Electr...

Operations Cybersecurity Addressed by Engaging Engineering Disciplines

Overview In recent years, the term “operations technology,” or “OT,” has emerged to describe technology used to manage and control manufacturing processes and other industrial operations. Unfortunately, the precise definition of this term is often ambiguous. OT systems collect, store and process information and execute complex control algorithms to operate these facilities safely and reliably. Their components are typically tightly connected using both internal and external networks. The imperative to protect these networks from cybersecurity-related risks further complicates the situation and demands operations cybersecurity. Information security has long been an established discipline within most IT (information technology) organizations. As OT systems have grown in number and complexity...

LTTS’s Food Package Inspection with Smart Machine Vision System Resolves Operational Inefficiencies

Deficient quality control is a primary reason for product recalls in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. On an average, businesses lose approximately $10 million in revenue in direct costs and an unaccountable value via brand image and potential sales losses. Replacing legacy quality control systems, particularly inspection systems with foremost smart machine vision technologies, has been critical in mitigating such product recalls. Leveraging machine vision, packaged goods manufacturers are minimizing operational costs and eliminating human errors. A typical machine vision system employs continuous image-based analysis to inspect packaging—increasing both output and revenue. Problem: The client’s legacy packaging inspection systems required manual intervention resulting in operati...

Training the Field Operator for High Consequence Processes

Operator training for high consequence processes, like those found in nuclear, refining, and chemical industries, has always focused on training the console operators with less emphasis on training the field operators.  These processes can have severe consequences and are controlled using DCS and PLC type controls that are arranged for central and/or local control rooms.  These modern control systems regulate the process and provide the control room operator with key information they need to make sure the process is operated safely, efficiently and according to production plans. Calibrated and sometimes redundant instruments measure the process, and the fault tolerant control systems act on valves, solenoids, pumps and motors often with little human intervention. ARC studies show that such...

AI predictions for insurance in 2019

Insurance is one among the oldest and largest legacy based mostly business that incorporates a ton of room for improvement given the development in client data and analytics. All due to the insurtech innovations, the insurance products has moved from manual claim settlements to robotic process automation. specialists predict that insurtech will keep evolving because the mobile internet unlocks new client behaviors and new business opportunities. Here are some exciting new things to look out for in 2019. Better and economical fraud detection AI has the power to spot suspicious activity, uncover hidden relationships and find refined patterns of behavior at each stage of the claims method. Advanced insurance fraud analytics engine uses multiple techniques (automated business rules, embedded A...

Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are Game-Changers for Offshore Oil & Gas

While the naming conventions and associated acronyms for underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can get a little confusing, it’s clear that these “underwater drones,” represent very cool and important technology!  That’s especially true if your job or business is to find, develop, operate, and/or maintain offshore and subsea oil and gas assets. ROV designed for subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair (Source: Oceaneering) Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles and AUVs for Offshore E&P and Disaster Mitigation Recently, I had an opportunity to see a fascinating presentation entitled “The Deep Blue Sea,” by Carl Wirsen from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI).  In his presentation, Mr. Wirsen discussed how little we know about the d...

GPS Tracking Technology for Better Asset Management

A number of improvements and innovations are driving the adoption of the Industrial IoT (IIoT), helping create a solid value proposition for end users. Various industries are now adopting advanced IIoT technologies to bring improvement in range of different areas. One such area is asset tracking.  GPS tracking technologies have been around for a long time and now with all the innovations in the areas of sensors, networking, and connectivity, the technology is well-suited as well as cost-effective to track assets and vehicles in real-time for commercial and industrial applications. GPS Tracking for Asset-intensive Industries The transportation industry has been the largest user of GPS tracking solutions.  Although long-haul fleet carriers represent one of the largest segments, there has bee...

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