Day 1 is in the books… here are some stats and info on the conference (in case you’re considering attending in the future).
- ~200 Attendees this year
- ~20 exhibitors
- This is the first year they’ve combined AI Manufacturing and SCADA Technology into one conference
- 2 tracks
- AI — New tech and case studies in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
- SCADA Technology — New tech, the future of SCADA and its role in the Digital Factory
- This is a very small conference but well represented across the industry. Siemens and Rockwell are here, but the folks who stand out are companies with emerging technologies and methodologies
I attended two sessions during the day and then spent the rest of my time meeting with vendors and potential partners.
- SCADA and Cloud Computing (Anna-Maria Preta from Siemens)
This session had a lot of potential… but as is customary, it was more a sales pitch from Siemens. I did get to have a more in depth discussion with their team after this session. Questions I asked:
- Other major players like Rockwell Automation have made it clear that a unified architecture is their goal for their products. The market is clearly and loudly asking for open architecture. Where is Siemens moving?
- Will Simatic support protocols like MQTT?
- Does Siemens want to own the eco-system or be a part of it?
The truth is, no one really could answer my question. It sounds like Siemens might be moving toward supporting an open IIoT architecture with their products, but it remains to be seen. Anna-Maria is going to get back to me.
- IoT Case Studies in Automotive Manufacturing (Isaac Bennett from Maxion Wheels and Mo Abuali from IoTco)
Mo gave some background on his company IoTco and their product PDX. They’re basically a systems integrator/consultant that has sister companies and offers products–fairly traditional structure. What I can say, is that Mo gave the very first presentation that I’ve heard in more than 3 years that actually resonated with me and our mission at Intellic Integration. These guys are definitely like-minded thinkers when it comes to the value of the Digital Transformation (from paper and sneakerware to digital operations and data consumption). Isaac gave a quick rundown of the approach they are taking to transform digitally at Maxion Wheels… Mo touched on the ROI of using AI at Toyota–predicting robot failures (50% success rate) to save about $4M in downtime for year 1. This was a good session… but not overly informative… the big take-away is that II might reach out to IoTco and ask them about their product, PDX.
Here is the quick rundown of the vendors that impressed… I’m going to save the details for more in depth analysis that I’ll post next week while I’m at ICC.
- Bedrock Automation is releasing their new Secure OSA Remote PLC. This is IIoT ready (MQTT Sparkplug) and is significantly less expensive than their inital offerings (about $3-5k each). It sounds like their big announcement will be next week at ICC in Folsom
- TatSoft’s FactoryStudio is the new kid on the block in Industrial Software solutions. Built by the same team that developed Indusoft (that Invensys bought), this new platform is really awesome. They have SaaS and Perpetual licensing, multiple tiers… AND their completely unlimited package is more cost effective than Ignition. I received a dev license last night and had a dev environment up and running in 20 minutes, I had an IIoT project built in 1 hour. Its fully .NET and looks amazing. I’m going to build a full demo and profile here with video and step by step, but y’all should take a look at this platform, now!
- Deep Vision Data (See Featured Image) was demoing a really slick automation simulation using an Oculus Rift… I will have more info on this solution later (don’t want to spoil it)
I’m glad I came to this conference… its small, but I’ve met some amazing, like-minded thinkers and we are walking away with some solid leads and potential partnerships–both on the vendor and client side. I won’t be going back to the conference today–I have much work to do, but I will likely return next year. I’m going to have some follow up posts that expound more in detail on the bulleted items above. But for now, check out TatSoft, Deep Vision Data and Bedrock…
Thanks for reading!