Data is 'the new currency' for driving manufacturing innovation
According to IT giant Hewlett Packard, manufacturers facing the ever-present threat of faster, more agile market competitors can grow revenues by utilising their data to better understand customers. This allows them to keep their processes responsive and transition into effective business models more easily, creating integrated end-to-end operations across the value chain.
Martin Rainer, Vice President and Head of Manufacturing Industry at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, commented: “We believe that data-driven organisations drive superior business outcomes, and harnessing data – regardless of its source and scale – can empower a company. Data, if analysed properly, is a goldmine. A data-driven organisation not only streamlines manufacturing operations through data sharing, but also automates the processing of unstructured data so any impending issues can be identified such as those affecting plant performance or customer satisfaction.”
Successfully navigating this difficult business landscape is just one of the topics to be discussed at the upcoming Manufacturing Forum 2016, an event hosted by the Economist Events in Coventry, UK on June 16th 2016. The event will analyse the importance of enterprise data integration during a panel discussion lead by Curtis Carson, Head of Research and Technology, Industrial Strategy and Systems at Airbus. The inaugural event also brings together a number of leading manufacturers including Rolls Royce, ABB, Hilti, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, all of which are actively engaged in the quest to digitise and transform the global manufacturing industry.
The advice from Hewlett Packard Enterprise is for manufacturing businesses to consider the ways in which data can help them remain innovative and ahead of a challenging marketplace, and in what is an increasingly competitive market. The business believes that digital technologies are going to prove instrumental, enabling manufacturers to add value successfully across the entire value chain, managing finite resources, while simultaneously reducing risk. This includes machines that collect, curate and transfer information between devices, as well as the communication and co-ordination of manufacturing data.
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Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.