Industry 4.0 in 2017 – a quick look at the powerful 7

1. The year of the hybrid cloud’s arrival in Industry 4.0

The combination of cloud and industrial (especially production-related) data has been a thorny issue in Industry 4.0 for years. Manufacturing data that affords insights into business processes will always be sensitive. They will not be made available in the cloud in the foreseeable future. However, a sharper distinction is being made: Is it machine process data that reveals nothing about what that machine makes and how it works? Such data is increasingly being seen as unproblematic for processing in the cloud. This distinction is a basic prerequisite for new services aimed to minimize downtime, for example, alarming and ticketing.

Learning in the cloud is also gaining traction in intralogistics. One such use case is predictive maintenance for forklifts in fleet management. Intelligence will increasingly be decentralized to do things like detect error patterns. Companies still conduct overall equipment effectiveness analyses and the like locally, on the premises. This requires hybrid solutions. The tech to make that happen is out there – fog computing, local clouds, or even edge computing.

New data-driven applications and services will not need to handle streamed data on a continuous basis. This development towards more decentralized, hybrid, selective and defined data analysis in Industry 4.0 applications will, in my opinion, characterize 2017 as the year that opened the cloud in Industry 4.0.

2. Digital twins: The year of the gateway to Industry 4.0

Digital twins are now part and parcel of every Industry 4.0 digitalization effort. They are to be understood as a standardized concept, allowing the standardization of technical interfaces independent of physical assets, providing information about energy consumption, for example, independently of the machine. Digital twins enable engineers to implement software solutions irrespective of the machine’s make or model. Why is that a big deal in Industry 4.0? The development of software solutions and of machines (including systems integration) can then be decoupled from each other. And that brings all the benefits of scalability: speed, independence from manufacturers, and solutions that coalesce horizontally, all across manufacturing and logistics value streams.

Production digital twins are used in physical plants where things are actually made. They are linked to IoT-enabled components by means of product digital twins. These are interfaced with performance digital twins to simulate or scrutinize the behavior of components; say, a vibrating motor in a faulty pump. This means we can consolidate, replicate, and analyze information on all manufacturing assets, their component parts, and other system-related processes – in real time and on one platform. This information is sourced via standardized protocols.

In 2017, Industry 4.0 is hard to imagine without digital twins. That is why I see it as the year of digital twins’ gateway to Industry 4.0.

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3. The year of Industry 4.0 solutions: Converging value streams

The factory of the future could rise up out of a greenfield project, but that is by no means a must. Assuming the more prevalent brownfield situation, what do we need to build tomorrow’s connected factory, alongside the above-mentioned approaches and concepts of a hybrid cloud and digital twins? The solution will have to factor all value streams into the equation. Yet island solutions still abound. Most are vertical and geared to special use cases in manufacturing or logistics.

Lately, though, we have been seeing pilot value streams converging in Industry 4.0 integration projects. For example, a new transport/order/management solution is connecting the intelligent supermarket, milk runs, and manufacturing orders in SAP.

When the ideal end-to-end solution arrives, it will unify

  • Manufacturing: The various functional lines will converge in the work order with the aim of achieving 100% on-time delivery and quality. Data will be tapped from every source, including the shop floor, the warehouse, tracking and tracing applications, and intelligent energy management systems.
  • Intralogistics: Smart systems will connect milk runs with shelves and the fleet.
  • Inbound/Outbound logistics: Since these are already highly optimized, further integration remains limited for now.

It is only through the intelligent connectivity of manufacturing, logistics, customers, and even product development that we gain holistic insights, for example, to get to the bottom of quality defects. In fact, this is how Industry 4.0 was originally defined.

Of course, Industry 4.0 solutions that cut across value streams will need to become more mature. One such integration based on digital twins and a pilot value stream is already underway at Bosch’s Rexroth plant in Homburg. This facility is setting up a dynamic dispatching system to manufacture smaller quantities, with the ultimate goal of economically producing customers’ very specific needs down to a lot size of one.

With all this in mind, I believe 2017 deserves to be called the year of converging value streams.

4. The year of very attractive Industry 4.0 open standards and open protocols

Manufacturers want open standards and open protocols; open source plays just a secondary role for them. Their primary aim is to avoid locking in vendors, opting instead to use a broad variety of solutions and machines. In 2017, traditional standards issued by ISO, IEC, and DIN/DKE seemed foreign, as the implementation of specific solutions took center stage. The Production Performance Management Protocol is an attractive semantic standard independent of communication format. The specifications are available to the Eclipse community.

There is increasing awareness of comprehensive Industry 4.0 management protocols. Why is this the case? Nowadays, there are many connected solutions and use cases in the Industry 4.0 market. They appeal equally to users and providers wanting to put together new Industry 4.0 packages that add value. All of this depends largely on how easy it is to integrate Industry 4.0 solutions and, consequently, open standards and open protocols, as well.

A lot has happened in the Industry 4.0 market in 2017. The Production Performance Management Protocol is one example; another is the strategic alliance ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions, or ADAMOS. To date, however, there are no market-leading standards. Against this backdrop, 2017 is also the year of great attractiveness.

5. The year of big starts in Industry 4.0 greenfield projects

In my eyes, 2017 is also the year greenfield projects in Industry 4.0 truly got off to a big start. Not only in Asia, but everywhere. Many companies asked Bosch this year to help them with Industry 4.0 greenfield projects. In particularly high demand is our real-world know-how as users and providers of Industry 4.0 solutions. Businesses also turn to Bosch for help with digital transformation – which can include strategies, consulting, implementation, and even full-service support. This implies matters such as the working environments of tomorrow, architectural measures for securing plant premises and, of course, all key aspects of connectivity.

These lighthouse projects aim to create milestones and to serve as reference implementations for the existing plants of industrial manufacturers.

By contrast, Industry 4.0 brownfield projects emphasize connecting existing assets, such as old test benches, as simply as possible. A brownfield approach also relies on plug & play, quick commissioning, and no changes to the existing IT infrastructure.

I regard 2017 as the year Industry 4.0 greenfield projects blossomed.

6. The year of learning Industry 4.0 data analytics

Hybrid Industry 4.0 solutions with distributed intelligence require extensive analytics of both historical data and real-time data, which serve as the basis for new, data-driven Industry 4.0 services that machinery vendors can, in turn, market as added value.

Industrial companies are increasingly open to learning in the cloud. To this end, more companies are investing in digital twins to serve as enablers. There has been great progress on use cases based on the analysis of historical data, especially manufacturing data. In coming years, we will see in the next step how machinery manufacturers return artificial intelligence back to machines, in the form of algorithms for the real-time analysis of process data. This advancement will benefit predictive maintenance as well as the monitoring and assurance of quality at production facilities (example: spot welding).

In this instance as well, machine operators will retain all production-related data. The focus now shifts to analyzing process data, especially from different machines. In the years to come, more and more machinery vendors will create multi-purpose solutions that will drive the availability of machines closer and closer to an overall equipment effectiveness of 100%. It will soon become possible to supply the right replacement parts before installed parts even fail. Before this can happen, however, mass quantities of data will be needed. And that will not happen overnight. In short, a sufficient database will allow proper analysis of data and the identification of insights that will improve processes. Initial pay-per-use approaches are emerging in the market; examples include pay per tightening and pay per cut meter.

One thing is clear. There is tremendous potential in data analytics for Industry 4.0. For this reason, Bosch founded a Center for Artificial Intelligence in 2017. This will help the company expand its expertise in all regards, including research, enabling, services, and key product challenges.

In my opinion, 2017 is the year of learning as regards the application of data analytics as well as Industry 4.0 products and services driven by data.

7. The Industry 4.0 forecast? Spring 2018 is coming.

I recently heard an expert at a conference say: “Industry 4.0 is like gardening in the spring.” It may be winter now, but a great deal will happen in spring 2018 and thereafter. The major suppliers to industry will sharpen their Industry 4.0 portfolios, restructure, and offer entirely new solutions and products. Bosch will continue to benefit from its in-house expertise ranging from sensors to cloud solutions – which we ourselves use in both experimental and productive ways.

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The Imperializer makes quick work of metric conversions

When you work in a machine shop, you often need to convert numbers from metric to imperial. As long as you have to do this on a regular basis, why not make a tool to do so easily?

Instead of pulling out a phone or taping a calculator to their CNC machinery, NYC CNC came up with an Arduino Nano-based device that does this conversion in style. “The Imperializer” features a beautifully milled enclosure that magnetically sticks onto a machine, a backlit LCD, and a toggle switch to flip between metric and imperial units.

The Imperializer is a desktop or machine mountable device that does one thing: converts inches to millimeters (and millimeters to inches)!  It uses an Arduino Nano and is powered by a Lithium battery that can be recharged with a Micro-B USB cable!

If you’d like to have your own for your shop, the bill of materials and Arduino code can be found on the project page. The housing, and even a fully-assembled version, can be purchased here.

Arduino Blog

10 Quick Quotes from the Continuous Engineering Summit

The Continuous Engineering Summit in New Orleans is a wrap! It was exciting community event focused on education and knowledge sharing. And we want to offer many thanks to the more than 400 engineering and technical professionals who joined us at The Westin New Orleans Canal Place, in the heart of the French Quarter. Here are the best quotes we heard throughout the three-day conference.

“Watson is good at ‘fast thinking’ and people are good at ‘slow thinking’, but good engineering requires both.”

Michael Crow, Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company

Michael did a fantastic job of demystifying Watson myths versus reality. Which is to say, he explained what Watson is and isn’t, in black and white terms. You know, like an engineer does. Understanding how Artificial Intelligence works and, more specifically, how it is trained to do a well-defined job properly is key to integrating cognitive sensing and reasoning into the requirements process of systems engineering. Boeing is working with IBM Research to adapt Watson to engineering problems. It is a fresh way to think of how AI can provide augmented intelligence to engineers, where each “brain” plays to its strength and the sum of these parts is greater than the whole. Michael referenced the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman to inform the notion of what AI is good for versus the human brain.

Michael Crow

Michael Crow

“We’ve seen the way Watson and the like are creating connected cars; now we’re looking at connected people.”

Andrew Hendl, Manager, Kaiser Permanente 

Andrew explained how we now see new solutions popping up that sound like science fiction come to life. AI is changing how things talk to each other and provide feedback loops for the people who use them. He asserts that the health care sector is really figuring out how all this is going to work. Few business sectors have more to gain—or lose—from technological developments than health care. When people become better connected and smarter, it will solve some of the biggest health care challenges we face.

Andrew Hendl

Andrew Hendl

“A fighter jet is now almost like a smartphone in that it allows you to install your own apps and use it however you want.”

Johan Gunnarsson, CTO, Combitech AB/Saab

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is changing the way Saab designs and builds fighter aircraft in shorter time frames and with higher quality. It makes simplification possible when dealing with very complex systems.

Johan Gunnarsson

Johan Gunnarsson

“Digital Twin is a hot new ’emerging terminology space’, but this is a real thing, and modeling is at the heart of it.”

Sky Matthews, CTO and Fellow, IBM Watson IoT

There are many types of interesting data that can give value to the end user’s job. Digital Twin can transform the way engineering is done for design, build and operate phases of product and system lifecycles. IBM believes that a digital twin — the digital representation of a physical thing — needs to be able to reason with cognitive sensing and cognitive computing powered for “augmented intelligence” and the digital thread that runs through it.

Sky Matthews

Sky Matthews

“There are lots of benefits to Digital Twin, but the biggest one is that we’re seen reduced defects downstream.”

– Julie DeMeester, engineering fellow, Raytheon

Given that many of Raytheon’s products often live in “challenging” situations–namely, in potential or active military combat areas—digital twins and threads enable more efficient monitoring and upgrades, and DeMeester (second from left) detailed these during the conference’s opening panel discussion.

Jule DeMeester (second from left)

Jule DeMeester (second from left)

“Are you ready to reinvent the world?”

Chris O’Connor, General Manager, IBM Watson Internet of Things Offerings

The technology industry, and the industries it serves, are largely and rapidly transitioning to entirely different ways of doing business. That’s why Chris stressed that IBM is thinking about where you need to be in four to five years, with a continuous loop around design of connected software-driven things to operational intelligence and insights. A Digital Twin of systems will enable engineering teams and organizations to vastly improve their decision making process.

Chris O'Connor

Chris O’Connor

“If you ask 3 people what the digital twin is, you get 5 answers. If you ask 3 people what the digital thread is, you get 15 answers.”

Marc Lind, SVP Strategy, Aras 

Marc talked about an increasing “context” problem emerging as we undertake connecting things. This is only compounding the complexity of introducing this data into our systems. Aras believes the digital thread represents meaningful relationship connections with context and floating or fixed dependency. He believes we are fast approaching a time where we cannot manage systems complexity without digital twin, and the future without digital twin and digital thread has dangerous ramifications and risks without adding AI.

Marc Lind

Marc Lind

 “NOLA needs an API!”

John Walicki, Developer Advocate, IBM Watson IoT

… And some data science! New Orleans flooded in August of this year. Predictive maintenance and IoT sensors combined with weather data could have helped with planning and coordination with other agencies to prevent major issues. Engineers now have tools that empower this kind of planning and modeling with data science. John showed a step-by-step way in which he thinks New Orleans water management engineers and planners could measure thresholds, pattern mechanical behaviors and track environmental factors. That would allow them to build models for predictive maintenance schedules and proactive decision making. It could be the perfect way to augment the billions invested in equipment, dirt and facilities with intelligence to prepare for the next flood.

John Walicki

John Walicki

 “Some of these requirements documents are treated like their children!”

– Abe Hudson, Prime Contractor, Barrios Technology

The International Space Station (ISS) has been continuously occupied by scientists, astronauts and engineers for over 17 years. Requirements matter … a lot. “Mission critical” is not just a saying. Converting requirement documents from paper and Office file formats to digital models is a process that takes equal parts discipline, ingenuity and culture change to achieve success. Abe and his colleague, Kevin Orr,shared their experience with this monumental transformation task working with the NASA requirements management process for mission and program integration (MAPI) to ensure the ISS has continuous operation and manages different payloads.

Kevin Orr and Abe Hudson

Kevin Orr and Abe Hudson

“Whether you’re in government, automotive, aerospace, or any number of other industries, software is where it’s at.”

Dibbe Edwards, VP Connected Products, IBM Watson IoT 

Building a digital twin is a journey. A journey with a road map and partners. Dibbe Edwards invited all engineers present (and those of you reading this) to join the new IBM Digital Twin beta program. Find out more on this website.

Dibbe Edwards

Dibbe Edwards

Thank you to everyone who joined us in New Orleans! It was a fascinating three days of great thinking, interesting conversations, good music and fantastic food. And if you’re ready to streamline your organization’s operations, we’re ready to help. Visit our site to learn how you can improve productivity with IBM’s Continous Engineering and IoT solutions.

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Internet of Things blog

Blynk App: An Easy and Quick Way to Connect IoT Devices

Blynk App: An Easy and Quick Way to Connect IoT Devices

In this video, the presenter will introduce you to Blynk App which is used for iOS and Android to connect Arduino, Raspberry Pi and similar hardware. He is also showing some examples using the same APP with its application.

Courtesy: MakeUseOf

The post Blynk App: An Easy and Quick Way to Connect IoT Devices appeared first on Internet Of Things | IoT India.

Internet Of Things | IoT India

Here’s Your Quick Guide to All Things IoT at IDF16

It’s finally here: Three solid days devoted to the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) at San Francisco’s Moscone Center Aug. 16-18. From amazing experiences in virtual reality, 5G, autonomous driving, and IoT (including IoT in space!), IDF16 is sure to be out of this world.


Intel Thought Leaders

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich


If you’ve attended IDF in years past, then you know that Brian Krzanich’s kick-off keynote is designed to expand your imagination for what technology can do. With Krzanich’s keynote “Inventing the Future: The Power of a Smart and Connected World,” prepare to expect the unexpected. Tues., Aug. 16, 9-10:30 a.m.


Murthy Renduchintala

On day two, Murthy Renduchintala takes the stage for his inaugural IDF performance. We’ll hear what he has to say about the innovations that will drive the next revolution in technology as we shift to a truly connected world. His keynote, “Interconnectedness of Everything,” debuts Wed., Aug. 17, 9-10:30 a.m.


Diane Bryant

Sharing the stage with Murthy is the Diane Bryant speaking on the future of the data center and cloud infrastructure. She speaks on “Data Center: The Center of Possibility,” Wed., Aug. 17, 9-10:30 a.m. Learn more about the IDF keynote line up for 2016.


IoT Technical Sessions and Labs

Intel IoT Gateway

I’m excited to say that this year, our presence is bigger and better. From retail, cars, and manufacturing, to lectures, demos and hands-on labs. You’ll even have an opportunity to hear from the architects of the Intel IoT Platform, one of the many highlights from the IoT track of technical sessions. Here are three sessions for each day of IDF16 that caught my attention right away. You can view the full list of more than 140 technical sessions here.


Day 1: Tuesday, Aug. 16


Day 2: Wednesday, Aug. 17


Day 3: Thursday, Aug. 18


IoT Demos Galore

IoT Gateway

One of the best places to really experience how IoT is enabling amazing experiences in every facet of our lives is within the IoT Tech Showcase. That’s where you’ll find stories of amazing IoT-specific applications and the developers who are architecting a new and more collaborative world. Here are five demos that caught my eye:

  • The Internet of Things for Space: Learn how engineers are rapidly prototyping new things that can utilize the sensing and communications technologies designed for IoT in space.
  • Manageability in Retail: See how Intel vPro is being used in retail to manage everything form Point of Sale (POS) systems to digital signage.
  • Bolt Bike Demo: Wind River collaborated with Bolt Motorbikes to sponsor a senior project at San Diego State University’s School of Engineering. You’ll be amazed at the result.
  • Aftermarket Fleet Telematics Dongle for Connected Vehicles: Check out the technology behind a high performance edge-to-cloud telematics solution that supports location-based services, driver behavior analytics, engine diagnostics, and video retrieval.
  • Augmented Reality: Delve into the technology that enables an art museum to use authenticated facial recognition to connect visitors to art in imaginative new ways.

To learn more about this year’s IDF16 click here. For more on Intel IoT  developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit, and Twitter.


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