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December 12, 2019 Marketing

Alcoa’s Pollution-Free Aluminum, IoT Device Security, AI Jobs

Aluminium Has Been Made the Same Way Since 1886 — Until Now

Elysis, a joint venture of Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Apple, Canada and Quebec, last week made its first commercial, pollution-free batch of aluminum that could be used in numerous Apple products, including the iPhone.

The new aluminum production method releases oxygen, rather than greenhouse gasses, during the smelting process. Source: Apple

It’s a first for the aluminum manufacturing industry, and it could produce wide-ranging benefits for the environment, product cost reduction efforts and product performance, according to Alcoa.

“The technology could eliminate 6.5 million metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions, if fully implemented at existing aluminum smelters in Canada, an amount equal to taking nearly 1.8 million light-duty vehicles off the road,” Alcoa has said.

Elysis uses a special smelting technique that emits oxygen as a byproduct instead of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas.


When the venture was announced in 2018, Apple called it an “evolutionary advancement in the manufacturing of one of the world’s most widely used metals.”

Apple also noted that the technology is being used at the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh, and represented a more than $30 million initial investment in the United States.

The next step in the technology’s development is to license it to the wider aluminum manufacturing industry by 2024, according to reporting from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Reuters.

FBI’s Networking Advice on IoT Devices: Keep ’em Separated


When it comes to cybersecurity — prevention is key.

That’s why the FBI is offering some pre-holiday tips to consumers who might soon find themselves with a few more IoT devices streaming data through their home WiFi networks.

The FBI advises users who have connected devices — smart thermostats, smart speakers, networked lightbulbs, etc. — to keep them sequestered on a WiFI network that’s separate from the network used for computer and smartphone connections.

“Unsecured devices can allow hackers a path into your router, giving the bad guy access to everything else on your home network that you thought was secure,” according to the FBI.

But if your laptop, computer and tablet use a separate, secure network, that won’t happen.

The FBI notice includes other helpful tips, as well, like remembering to change default passwords and updating the firmware on your IoT devices.

You might be wondering how to separate WiFi router connections into IoT devices and laptops.

ZDNet has you covered: “use micro-segmentation, a feature found in the firmware of most WiFi routers, which allows router admins to create virtual networks (VLANs). VLANs will behave as different networks, even though they effectively run on the same router.”

LinkedIn’s Top Job: AI Specialist

With a blistering annual growth rate of 74 percent, Artificial Intelligence (aka Machine Learning) Specialist is the top emerging job in LinkedIn’s list for 2020.

LinkedIn’s analysis is based on the number of LI users with public profiles who have held a full-time job in a given country.

AI jobs have topped the list for several years in a row, as has data scientist and full stack engineer.

  • 1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
  • 2. Robotics Engineer
  • 3. Data Scientist
  • 4. Full Stack Engineer
  • 5. Site Reliability Engineer
  • 6. Customer Success Specialist
  • 7. Sales Development Representative
  • 8. Data Engineer
  • 9. Behavioral Health Technician
  • 10. Cyber Security Specialist

Bonita Springs Utilities Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended our educational event at Bonita Springs Utilities in Florida last week.

GrayMatter and GE Digital hosted an excellent training session, and BSU was kind enough to give everyone a tour to show off all the technology they’re using to transform operations and empower their operators.

Check out our ProjectX about Bonita Springs here.

GE Digital Releases Historian 8.0

GE Digital

GE Digital released a major update to Historian this week that focuses on adding context to data for operators.

Historian 8.0 “can lay out trends, tables, and data collection forms in a simple way,” GE Digital tells Automation World in a story about the update.

Historian also adds the ability to use plain-language descriptions and to create “asset models” by mapping data between a tag and a machine, line or entire plant.

“For us, this is a sea change for how we allow customers to get value from data,” says Stephen Pavlosky of GE Digital.

Check out the full story.

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