Panel Builder US

January 26, 2021

Much has been said about the potential of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), and there's still a hope that some AI technologies will eventually become plug-and-play solutions. At the moment, however, false positives and false negatives remain prevalent, and it's likely that these may never completely stop occurring.

That said, AI is still a useful technology with the right business case, and it’s likely to play a major role in the factory of the future. Already, the growing amount of data available from factory equipment has made it possible to successfully use AI for predictive maintenance purposes. It’s time for companies to start thinking about how to harness AI for their facilities.

Understanding the divide between IT and OT

Implementing an Industry 4.0 solution requires constant access to data. To use this data in a secure manner, companies must consider ways to overcome the traditional separation of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems, which is currently the norm. In the vast majority of companies, these two systems don’t work in harmony.

This conflict arises from the expectation on the part of OT to have complete control and priority over data at all times (since products might not be produced within quality specifications otherwise), whereas IT is typically open to new technologies that can help optimize and create new value from existing assets.

For these reasons, OT teams have an outsized interest in keeping any production-critical system as secure and infallible as possible. IT teams, on the other hand, think of security as a risk management calculation that can be accomplished relative to optimization. Both ways of thinking are important for achieving business and production goals.

If the IT and OT teams don’t fully understand each other’s needs, this will have repercussions for the overall viability of an Industry 4.0 manufacturing solution. Certain companies are taking it upon themselves to merge these two teams under a single organization. This will help both engineers and businesspeople have a common understanding of what’s possible and realistic.

How AI can help

Artificial intelligence works best when it’s based on universally agreed-upon business problems that can be solved with real-time processing of complex – yet processable – data. Although AI is often considered a sort of “black box” with mysterious and unknowable internal mechanisms, it’s most successful when applied to problems that are well understood by humans.

AI is an effective bridge between IT and OT because it combines the intelligence of manufacturing engineers, operators and other personnel with device intelligence. AI-based processes become more robust when humans are in charge of deciding what to do with collected data and determining what decisions can be made by machines.

Keeping all the data safe from bad actors is important as well. The Sysmac AI controller – an edge-based device with an embedded time series database and anomaly detection algorithm – enables manufacturers to collect, analyze, and utilize data insights directly in their production equipment with the utmost accuracy, reliability, and security.

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https://automation.omron.com/en/us/blog/ai-as-a-bridge-IT-and-OT

 

Editor's Pick: Featured Product News


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Data Centre and Plant Managers working in small and mid-sized businesses often find themselves searching their buildings for unused space to house the company’s IT and other enclosures.

Mailrooms, empty offices, janitors’ closets…all have been repurposed into data closets holding one to a few racks. This approach may be the right choice in terms of square footage needed, but when it comes to proper climate conditions for sensitive IT equipment, it could not be more wrong. At best, these spaces are cooled using only the building’s AC system. At worst? An open window.

A building’s existing air conditioning system (or combined heat and air conditioning system) is designed to create comfortable environments for employees – the reason they are sometimes referred to as “comfort systems.” When IT racks need to be placed somewhere on site, it’s thought that “any old room” will do because AC ductwork usually terminates in these spaces. However, the reality is that even if you were to add ducts to supplement the building’s AC, relying on a system designed for humans is not a good solution for IT equipment.

Server rooms need more targeted cooling to keep the temperature within a specific range and prevent the servers from overheating. According to ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), the appropriate temperature range for server rooms is between 64.4 and 80.6 Fahrenheit. This requires a discrete cooling solution capable of monitoring and managing the temperature of both the equipment and the room. The same cooling system must also be capable of regulating humidity within the precise margins required by sensitive equipment. Finally, building HVAC will not provide sufficient airflow volume for heat removal from installed appliances; the CFM requirements for comfort cooling are significantly lower than airflow required to remove heat from the IT devices.

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binder has recently made key additions to its M16 connector series. They are versions that meet the very high data speeds required by the latest sensor-based automation systems and an ASIG-compliant model used in wireless networks including 5G.

binder has been at the forefront of M16 connector development since the 1970s working to widen the range of applications for these versatile circular connectors. Today’s models can accommodate up to 24 contacts – with or without EMI shielding. With mainly metal housings and a robust screw locking system, M16 connectors provide environmental protection up to IP68.

The combination of a high pin count with the compact size of nominally 18.5mm diameter and 60mm in length means M16 connectors offer an excellent alternative to more expensive connector systems. M16 connectors accommodate cables ranging from 4.0 to 10mm diameter, are rated to 250V and can withstand an impulse voltage up to 1500V, with current handling of up to 7A (at 40ºC).

Suitable for 5G roll out

The latest applications for M16 connectors include the impending roll-out of 5G networks where binder’s ASIG-compliant connectors have been designed to provide high international protection for selected outdoor installations. The AISG (Antenna Interface Standards Group) defines standards for the control and monitoring of antenna line devices in the wireless industry.

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Convergint Technologies recenrlt announced the acquisition of Advantage Medical Inc. (AMI), a leader in the deployment and support of wireless patient security systems in acute care hospitals. The acquisition further strengthens Convergint’s position within the healthcare safety and security market across the United States. 

Advantage Medical Inc. brings Convergint over thirty years of healthcare industry expertise, with a specialization in patient security and Real Time Location Systems (RTLS). AMI’s commitment to delivering innovative healthcare solutions is supported by its comprehensive approach to providing security solutions to mitigate risk and enhance protection in healthcare facilities. The company’s dedication to meeting each customer’s unique need aligns with Convergint’s culture.

“Advantage Medical embodies similar values to Convergint; they embrace a culture-first community centered on colleagues and are committed to being their customers’ best service provider,” said Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint Technologies. “We look forward to joining our teams, learning from one another, and further deepening our expertise to continue to deliver best-in-class safety and security solutions across the healthcare industry.”

“There is an amazing alignment between the organizational cultures of AMI and Convergint Technologies,” said Dan Rea, President & CEO of AMI. “We have both centered our businesses around a similar philosophical approach: the customer comes first, and failure is not an option. AMI is looking forward to the opportunities this new relationship will bring to existing and new customers alike.”

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