TechHub: The Year of Cyber Disasters, Manufacturing Technology Orders Back on Track & More

Ending 2017 Strong: Manufacturing Technology Orders Back on Track

Manufacturing technology orders in September continued their upward trend, ending the third quarter on a strong note, according to Industry Week.

The rise in orders in September surprised some analysts, who had expected orders to remain weak until December.

“Manufacturers are concerned about Washington’s impact on economic growth and pace of technological change, as well as the general evolution in technology. It is necessary for companies to invest in current technologies to stay competitive, but they’re doing so at a moderate pace,” said Doug Woods, President of the Association for Manufacturing Technology.

Regionally, the North Central West, Southeast and Northeast regions as reported by USMTO benefited from strong activity in contract machining shops, forging and stamping, automotive, and consumer electronics. Notably, orders from the consumer electronics and computers sector were up 132% nationally.

The key leading indicators for manufacturing technology are positive, leading analysts to believe there will be an acceleration in orders at the close of 2017.

The Year of Cyber Security Disasters

2017 was the year of industrial cyber attacks.

Ransomware crippled hospitals in the U.K., hit U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck, infiltrated Russian oil giant Rosnoft, shut down Ukrainian power grids and more.

Special Agent Keith Mularski, Unit Chief of the FBI Cyber Initiative & Resource Fusion Unit, spoke at GrayMatter’s annual conference on industrial cyber security.

Operational technology is at a risk in the digital age now more than ever before.

According to Gartner, “the number one issue in vulnerability management is that organizations are not prioritizing their patching and mitigating controls, nor are they mitigating the exploitation of commonly targeted vulnerabilities.”

Companies are struggling to find the common ground between “what can I fix” and “what will make the biggest difference in the time and resources I have.”

The answer: a risk-based approach.

CyberX’s ICS Attack Vector Prediction technology combines a deep understanding of industrial protocols, devices and applications with:

  • ICS-specific asset discovery
  • Continuous real-time monitoring and incident forensics
  • Risk and vulnerability management
  • Threat intelligence

“It helps business leaders and OT personnel quickly understand the top threats to their most critical industrial assets, and how to most efficiently reduce their top risks.”

This unique approach reduces complexity by addressing all four requirements of Gartner’s Adaptive Security architecture — Prediction, Prevention, Detection and Response — in a single, holistic platform.

“Our customers are often concerned about what they don’t know. CyberX’s Attack Vector Prediction technology allows them to predict and visualize scenarios for real-time planning of operational cyber strategy,” said Jim Gillespie, CEO of GrayMatter.

Learn more about implementing a predictive cyber approach

About CyberX

CyberX provides the most widely-deployed industrial cybersecurity platform for continuously reducing ICS risk. Supporting all OT vendors and seamlessly integrating with existing IT security tools, CyberX’s platform combines a deep understanding of industrial protocols, devices, and applications with ICS-specific asset discovery, continuous real-time monitoring and incident forensics, risk and vulnerability management, and threat intelligence.

GrayMatter VP on OT Cyber Security at 2017 ARC Industry Forum

GrayMatter VP Kemell Kassim speaks to Sid Snitkin, VP of Enterprise Advisory Services of ARC Advisory Group, during the 2017 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, FL.


TechHub: Smart Manufacturing, Pittsburgh Executives Strengthen Local Economy & More

GrayMatter CEO Jim Gillespie on the Industrial IoT Channel Opportunity

GE’s Minds + Machines was in San Francisco last week, where GrayMatter CEO Jim Gillespie spoke to CRN on the big opportunities the Industrial IoT presents to industrial companies of all industries for digital transformation.

Putting the ‘Smart’ in Manufacturing

A variety of terms are used to describe the growing use of connected technologies and data analytics to bring a greater efficiency across the manufacturing industry— smart factory, smart manufacturing, manufacturing 4.0, brilliant factories, industry 4.0 and more.

Consumers are driving the wave of the 4th industrial revolution with their rising expectations of product choice, variation and speed.

In order to thrive in this new environment, manufacturers must master the collection, analysis and communication of data throughout their operations and supply chains to adapt to the new market, according to Industry Week.

Many of the tools and technologies that will play a large role in shaping the new world of manufacturing are already in use, although not necessarily on a large scale yet.

Industry Week lays out some of the most influential examples necessary for digital transformation:

Digital Twin

A digital image that provides a virtual footprint of a physical object or process from design and development through the end of the life cycle. It can be used to anticipate operational problems and improve performance.

3D Printing

Additive manufacturing that uses computer-generated 3D blueprints to enable rapid prototyping, create complex and varied product designs and greatly reduce material wastage.

Augmented Reality Devices

Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical environment supplemented by computer sensory data such as images, sound or GPS data. AR devices improve the safety and comfort of shop-floor workers.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Intelligent components with computing and storage capabilities that can monitor factory processes to enable predictive maintenance and minimize plant downtime.

IoT-Enabled Supply Chains

These provide manufacturers with real-time knowledge of product/customer demand signals, helping factories empower their operators by providing them with all of the information necessary to take control of their assets.

Challenges that come along with digital transformation can be significant. The mass amounts of big data that these technologies generate can be of little value if the correct analytic techniques aren’t in place to create informed intelligent decision-making across the enterprise.

Want to know more?

Browse our white papers, case studies and webinars for detailed case studies of how GrayMatter has helped companies of all sizes and industries undergo digital transformations.

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Top Executives Strengthen the Region, Contribute to its Economic Success in Pittsburgh

The Smart Business Network is hosting the 2017 Pittsburgh Smart 50 Awards on Thursday, Nov. 9 to honor people that are impacting the community with new ideas and contributing to city sustainability.

The oil and gas industry is rebounding, Harper’s Bazaar named Pittsburgh one of the Best Places to Travel in 2017 and researchers are leading the way with the development of autonomous vehicles, robotics and AI thanks to countless Pittsburgh innovators.

Jim Gillespie, CEO of GrayMatter

GrayMatter is proud to announce that CEO Jim Gillespie made the list for leading a company that is improving performance through technological innovation. GrayMatter helps serve critical industries — power, oil and gas, water and wastewater and manufacturing — that can’t afford to not be operational.

GrayMatter has created a smart sensor drinking fountain with DC Water, using real-time data analytics to monitor water quality and flow levels via the cloud, alerting DC Water when deterioration begins. Learn more about our smart fountains.

About more than just products and services, Smart 50 honors inclusive management styles, engaged corporate cultures and innovative approaches to leadership by savvy leaders who are writing exciting stories for their organizations’ futures.

TechHub: Google Pledges $1B for Tech Education, Additive Manufacturing News & More

Google Pledges $1 Billion for Tech Education, Training

Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai unveiled an initiative for a $1 Billion program for tech education and training on Thursday at the company’s Pittsburgh office – noting the city’s transformation from an industrial manufacturing center for steel to a hub of robotics and artificial intelligence engineering.

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, announcing the Grow With Google program in Pittsburgh.

The new program, Grow With Google, will create an online destination for job seekers to get training and professional certificates and for businesses to improve their web services.

It will allow anyone with an Internet connection to become proficient with technology and prepare for a job in areas like IT support and app development, according to The New York Times.

“We understand there’s uncertainty and even concern about the pace of technological change, but we know that technology will be an engine of America’s growth for years to come,” Pichai said. “The nature of work is fundamentally changing, and that is shifting the link between education, training and opportunity.”

This announcement comes shortly after Apple announced in May that it was creating a $1 Billion fund to invest in advanced U.S. manufacturing, and Amazon in January announcing plans to hire 100,000 new employees over the next 18 months.

Additive Manufacturing: Possibility Meets Reality Through Generative Design

What we know of products and their manufacturing, distribution, assembly and maintenance processes may be obsolete in the not too distant future, according to Forbes.

Massive disruption, thanks to new technologies such as additive manufacturing and generative design, are already having a profound impact on the industrial space.

An example of a 3D printed gear. The gears inside the part can rotate. It would be virtually impossible without a 3D printer. Image credit: GE Reports/Chris New

GE recently shared how additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, has changed turbine frame assembly from a process requiring 300 parts and 60 engineers to one that requires one digital file and eight engineers, as well as an assembly of only 50 source parts down to one.

If this sounds dramatic, that’s because it is.

“There is a seismic shift occurring in manufacturing, fueled by the fourth industrial revolution and shaped by digital transformation.”

Traditional manufacturing processes are giving way to new technologies, with additive manufacturing and generative design transforming supply chains and facilitating the innovation and customization buyers seek.

The effects of these technologies will be felt from the factory floor to the boardroom as their role expands to end-use parts. Rethinking the supply chain as well as how to effectively leverage generative design and additive manufacturing is now imperative for companies seeking to build sustainable brands and products in this new manufacturing paradigm, according to Forbes.

CRN’s 2017 IoT Innovators Awards

The Internet of Things is beginning to truly take off as companies recognize the benefits of IoT solutions in terms of data insight, predictive maintenance and improved customer service.

But customers are still facing hurdles as they figure out how to integrate complex solutions while also taking security and return on investment into consideration.

smart sensor

Co-innovated smart drinking fountain by GrayMatter & DC Water.

From systems integration to managed services, solution providers are key to filling in the gaps when it comes to helping customers set up and implement IoT projects. Solution providers with the necessary vertical market expertise and critical relationships with multiple vendors and customers are expressing interest in IoT,  but some are taking it to the next level by successfully deploying solutions with their clients, according to CRN.

GrayMatter is proud to have made the list as an IoT Innovator for our work with DC Water on co-innovating a smart sensor drinking fountain.

The new tech fountains have sensors that use real-time data and analytics to monitor both water quality and flow levels, sending that information to the cloud and back, alerting when water quality measurements begin to deteriorate.

By measuring water quality and flow in real time, they give users more confidence in the water they are drinking while saving money spent on maintenance and testing.

“This project redefines public water consumption, putting people and clean water first,” said Jim Gillespie, GrayMatter CEO.

Learn more about GrayMatter water innovations by reading our white paper:

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