The Future of Industrial Automation Is Here!

Article By : Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

The Boards and Solutions virtual conference taking place on October 13-14 will explore the trends, technologies, and a vast array of boards and modules available for industrial automation, smart cities, and edge computing...

The Boards and Solutions virtual conference taking place on October 13-14 will explore the trends, technologies, and a vast array of boards and modules available for industrial automation, smart cities, and edge computing . The opening speech by John Heinlein, vice president, high performance IoT business at Arm, will show how innovation in industrial automation is accelerating, driven by the convergence of OT/IT, cloud-to-edge software deployment and workload consolidation to reduce the cost and complexity of system management. Future industrial automation solutions need to combine four main technologies: high-performance efficient computing, functional safety, security, and real-time capabilities. This session will explore how technology is evolving to solve these industry challenges. Embedded computer boards and modules provide ready-assembled modular building blocks comprising processors, logic, connectivity, multimedia, memory, interfaces, and other functions to address specific applications. With different processor technologies, different levels of complexity and different form factors, they enable product developers to rapidly deploy embedded systems and enable connectivity to the internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. Products include computer on modules and single-board computers for everything from low power mobile to robust high-performance computing in industrial automation, automotive, smart cities, military and aerospace applications. Industrial automation The future of industrial automation will be characterized by networked nanotechnologies, entirely based on wireless; cloud solutions for the management of big data and the use of IT resources; edge computing that moves data processing capacity close to sources; the evolution of collaborative and mobile robotics; increasingly sophisticated analytical software. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be an important partner for anyone working in manufacturing and industrial automation: AI algorithms will be used, for example, to detect production anomalies, monitor plant conditions, as well as implement predictive maintenance capabilities. Together with the use of augmented reality (AR) technologies. After the opening paper by Arm, Philippe Magarshack, microcontrollers and digital ICs group, group VP, strategy technology & systems architecture, STMicroelectronics, will present a keynote entitled “Embedded Processing Solutions at the Edge: not your Father’s MCU”. Embedded processing is the underlying force enabling Industry 4.0, wearables, smart homes, as well as business processing like IoT fleet management from the cloud. This requires a coherent portfolio of MCUs and MPUs for the full spectrum of performance and ultra-low power, connectivity solutions, and end-to-end security, while embedding AI and machine learning for end nodes. All these complex functions need a complete ecosystem of hardware and software to enable IoT developers to hit the ground running to implement new product ideas. Hitoshi Shirakabe, vice president, marketing, enterprise infrastructure business division, IoT, and infrastructure business unit at Renesas, will then present a keynote titled “Fundamentals of Success for Industrial Automation Innovation in the 5G Era”. As the 5G era unfolds, removing many of the major network and low-latency bandwidth constraints, digital transformation in the manufacturing industry is being accelerated, and local 5G deployment will gain further momentum. These generate new demand for capabilities such as remote control of robotics, high-resolution image processing and analytics, real-time and timestamp network, as well as failure prediction and detection through AI. To materialize 5G technology into industrial automation applications, fundamental device technologies such as time-sensitive networking, embedded AI, security against cyberattacks and functional safety will be essential to achieve successful IIoT innovation in the era of 5G. In his talk, Carsten Rebmann, product manager modules at ADLINK, will show the route to faster time to market with modern technologies. There is a constant demand for new, superior products which offer innovative features, universal usability and faster reaction. With the addition of edge capabilities, improved security requirements and the development of new machine, system and component combinations, design has become increasingly complex. So how can we continue to raise quality and performance and still get products to market in record time? The answer lies in using the right building blocks – from hardware construction over hardware abstraction layers to pre-programmed APIs – in order to create products using a modular concept. Jerry Gipper, executive director at VITA, will also pose an interesting question: “How Will You Shape Critical and Embedded Computing?” Open standards for embedded computing are widely embraced and required in many industries. The wave of open standard adoption continues to grow because standards development organizations, such as VITA, see innovation as a key to mission success. This presentation opens with what VITA is doing as a key contributor to open standards development. It concludes with suggestions on how to help shape the future of critical and embedded computing.
Board and Solutions
5G, smart cities, and industry The advent of 5G, in addition to allowing the improvement of current 3G and 4G applications, could allow for the first time the effective use of wireless technologies in industrial control applications, without sacrificing reliability and performance. The new protocol involves a further acceleration in the innovative path towards the Connected Factory paradigm, such as the development of video surveillance systems and collaborative robots based on 5G. Machine exposure to the Internet is much higher, and the factory’s security perimeter is beginning to include the company as a whole and perhaps even the company’s partners. Industrial cybersecurity comes into play when the lack of updates and the use of outdated software and technology in industrial systems can expose the plant to cybercrime due to its increased vulnerability. Recent market reports indicate that there will also be around 1.3 billion connected devices inside cities in the next years: from surveillance cameras to water and air quality sensors, smart street lights, traffic management systems, parking, and transport automation systems. Cities are becoming “digital”, but also more exposed to computer attacks. The enormous growth of connected devices within smart cities increases the risks of unauthorized access for a potential attacker. During the Boards and Solutions virtual conference, Nvidia, IAR Systems, and Advantech will cover several aspects of smart cities. In the opening paper, Charbel Aoun, EMEA business development director, smart cities, Nvidia, will give a talk entitled “How AI Can Make Cities Smarter – Powering AI City with IVA”. With the explosion of connected devices, cities are flooded with data. AI today is making sense of the information overload in very effective and efficient ways. Haydn Povey, CEO of Secure Thingz and general manager embedded security solutions at IAR Systems, will present the “Evolution of Cybersecurity Legislation Across IoT”. Legislation is already impacting many IoT and OT systems, with the development of US and European laws, and across the globe. This comprises best practices, standards, plus compliance frameworks that organizations must implement for connected devices to avoid potential penalties, not to mention brand and reputational damage. More standards are in development to address consumer electronics, critical infrastructure, industrial, and automotive platforms. We need to step up to this challenge to protect our customers and to make it safe to connect. Bobby Vale, head of IoT platforms and ecosystem at Advantech, will answer “Why Zero Touch Onboarding and Provisioning Is Vital for Secure Smart Cities”. A smart city is not necessarily a secure city, and having the right security measures in place is integral not just to compliance but confidence. The challenge is heightened as more and more IoT devices are introduced, taking increasing effort, time, and cost to configure and deploy. For more details about the conference and to register for free for Boards and Solutions 2020, click here.

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