Cybersecurity: A warning for packaging operations

Hackers, ransomware and cyberattacks: What does it mean to a modern packaging production facility where connectivity is crucial? And what can be done? Your production operations have been optimized with advanced servo-driven machinery, wireless communications, remote access for troubleshooting and other advanced automation resources and tools that deliver higher efficiency, lower downtime and ongoing cost savings. What’s not to like? That would be the potential for opportunistic hackers and criminals to attack those systems with ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks. Seems there’s a dark cloud behind every silver lining and perhaps more so than ever for packagers and machinery builders in a highly connected, industrial internet of things (IIoT) environment. read more…

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Cultivate a Green Patch in Your Brownfield

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) takes advantage of the latest software and hardware capabilities to increase productivity. It stands to reason that greenfield manufacturing plants might be planned with native IIoT technologies. After all, today’s factory automation systems can incorporate web servers and clients, standards-based communications, and substantial processing power and memory. But the majority of manufacturers face a mandate to increase the operational efficiency of their existing brownfield assets. In a greenfield, there is no need to integrate with legacy systems. In a brownfield, integration can be a major challenge with assets that may be decades old. The machine control systems typically are not networked and do not communicate with each other. Once IIoT sensors, networks and edge devices are overlaid the existing assets and analytics applied – the legacy control systems may not have the capabilities to optimize operations. Conversely, retrofitting the existing controls has not been widely practiced. Rewriting machine control […]

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The Path to Predictive

The Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, is creating profoundly positive impacts for the machinery industry.  Solutions are ready and available that reduce service costs, increase machine performance, save energy and improve quality. For leading machine companies the IIoT has become a significant enabler that can get them to market quickly, create additional savings, and provide profitable revenues. With so much at stake, machine builders are thinking deeply about their strategy to deliver predictive services. Machine builders want to monitor equipment performance and create new service programs to predict key outcomes. They know that value is created by predicting when a consumable is needed, or by scheduling a part replacement during a routine maintenance session. Predictions like these foster new business models that alert people and systems to take action before something goes wrong. Predictive is a major value driver of the Industrial Internet of Things and as such, many companies are searching for practical ways to provide predictive […]

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ei3 working with machinery companies to commercialize the Internet of Things

Industry 4.0 — aka the internet of things — is all the rage. Even though true Industry 4.0, where every single production machine, and every single factory, is interconnected, is probably decades away if we ever really get there. This month, Best Practices takes you into that world. We’ll take a closer look at a company called ei3 Corp., founded in 1999, that sets up cloud-based Industry 4.0 systems. (Ei3 is “based” in Pearl River, N.Y., north of New York City, but the “cloud” is its real home.) CEO Spencer Cramer said ei3 concentrates on middle-tier industrial clients, especially manufacturers of machinery in plastics, paper, converting, printing, packaging and other areas. Cramer said working with machinery companies is the best way for Industry 4.0 to reach the broad manufacturing world. “We really believe that for the internet of things, the biggest opportunity is for machinery OEMs,” he said. Machine builders put hardware on their equipment, […]

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Will OMAC and OPC UA collaboration end the ‘fieldbus wars?’

At a recent meeting in Microsoft’s Copenhagen offices, more than 120 controls and automation professionals gathered to seek out ways of better aligning PackML and OPC UA. from Packaging World   By Pat Reynolds, VP Editor Machinery buyers, machinery builders, technology suppliers, integrators, consultants, and a number of other stakeholders in the smart packaging and line integration arena gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, this past March at the Microsoft Development Center to attend an OMAC conference called “Smart Packaging Automation with PackML & OPC UA.” OMAC, of course, is the Organization for Machine Automation and Control, and PackML is the ISA standard TR88.00.02 developed by OMAC that defines a common approach, or machine language, for automated machines. As for OPC UA, or OPC Unified Architecture, it’s a machine-to-machine communications protocol for industrial automation that was developed by the OPC Foundation. The goal of the Copenhagen conference was to share information on how the PackML unit/machine Implementation Guidelines from […]

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Lenze teams with ei3

from Automation.com To Offer White Label Remote Analysis and Maintenance   May 19, 2017 – Many machine and systems engineering companies are still uncertain about what Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean for their business model. Only a few of them have found their own strategy for dealing with the new trend. For partners of automation specialist Lenze, there is now a way for OEMs to create a digital business of their own with data-based added value. Machine and systems engineers who rely on Lenze’s automation technology can now provide online data services. Lenze has joined forces with the IoT specialist ei3 to offer a combination of remote analysis and remote maintenance services. It is a white label product which means that there is no visible evidence of the ei3 brand, and the product appears under the name and logo of the OEM. As part of their service contract with Lenze, machine […]

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PackML in the Cloud Captures IoT Value

Interoperability is essential to capture the full benefits of the Industrial IoT.  Using the PackML standard to monitor machine states could be the solution.  In this video ei3’s CEO, Spencer Cramer, shares his insight about the role PackML can play within the Internet of Things.  Recorded live from the Pack Expo Innovation Stage on November 8, 2016. Transcript: At ei3, I’ve been building industrial internet solutions for about 15 years and my topic is how business value can be created by putting PackML into the cloud.  But before that I want to share some big numbers with you. In arecent report from Mckinsey Global Institute they say that if policymakers and businesses get it right, linking the physical and digital worlds could create up to 11 trillion dollars per year of economic value by 2025. Wow! 11 trillion that’s a huge number. But where’s all this value coming from? Well in the same report Mackenzie […]

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Top 4 Values of Machine IoT

Introduction Implementing an Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) strategy is increasingly important to companies that build machines. One reason is that their customers, the machine owners and users, have become aware that the IoT can offer them significant benefits and savings. They know that automated, analytical applications based on machine data will reduce downtime, increase production, achieve higher quality, and save energy. At ei3, we believe that machine builders and OEMs have a valuable opportunity to deliver specialized IoT applications to their markets. This belief stems from the many value streams that are driven by more productive operations and equipment. Machine builders have a deep base of equipment knowledge, and understand manufacturing best practices. This makes the delivery of IoT services a natural extension of the engineering-driven relationship between machine builders and their customers. To succeed in today’s marketplace, it is imperative to have a strategy that delivers the power of the IoT. Since opening […]

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