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March 15, 2018 Marketing

TechHub: Lockheed & Boeing get $350M contract, cyber in energy & more

SpaceX and United Launch Alliance land $640 million in Air Force launches

The U.S. Air Force is keeping its options open when it comes to space — awarding satellite launch contracts to both SpaceX and Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint space launch venture United Launch Alliance.

SpaceX won a $290 million contract to launch three GPS satellites for the Air Force by the end of 2020, while the ULA will receive $351 million to launch two space crafts according to TechCrunch.

This is apart of the Pentagon’s goal of establishing at least two viable launch providers for missions relating to national security.

SpaceX recently revealed its Falcon Heavy rocket, which can put larger payloads into space, whereas ULA is developing a lower-cost rocket and launch option as part of an ongoing cost reduction effort.

Energy firms are worried about cyber attacks, but don’t know what to do

Energy companies are becoming more concerned about the impact of cyber attacks on operations, but many are struggling to understand the risks and how to overcome them according to a report published in Forbes.

More than one in four respondents were aware that their company had been hit by a damaging cyber attack in the last year, while more than 76% were worried about cyber attacks interrupting their business operations and 77% preparing to increase the amount they invest in managing cyber risks.

Yet, more than half of energy executives surveyed didn’t know what their worst possible exposures could be. Exposure to risks from cyber is growing as firms become more dependent on technology due to the massive growth of IoT devices, which are expected to jump from 8.4 billion today to 20 billion in 2020.

GEDespite being an asset-intensive sector with many remote and hazardous sites, the energy industry has been late to adopt digitization due to an over cautious approach to adopt new technologies. However, the growing complexity and decentralization of the grid, growth of renewables and the increased availability of technologies such as sensors, machine learning and big data, have started to make their mark.

As the vehicle sector also becomes more electric and the automotive and energy sectors become further integrated, this trend will only increase. The inter-connectivity of operations from smart grids and smart devices will increase the risk that a cyber attack could result in physical damage, making it more serious than other parts of the economy.

A cyber attack could cause a massive operational failure of an energy asset, much like the attack on the Ukranian power grid in December 2016 that left hundreds of thousands without power.

As the energy industry relies more on inter-connectivity as a result of digitalization, the potential for cyber attacks to cause severe disruption to operations, loss of data and high financial losses should be a key concern for energy executives.

Interested in getting a comprehensive understanding of security in the OT world, including top vulnerabilities? Take a look at our cyber guide, where we’ll walk you through the first steps in knowing what’s on your network and give specific advice about the assessment process from our top cyber security consultants.

View Guide

How mobility is fueling the latest tech trends in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a digital coming-of-age for an industry with heavy roots in a previously low-tech era.

The adoption of mobility strategies into core business operations is helping manufacturers support unprecedented business demands due to evolving customer expectations in today’s digital world — the explosion in e-commerce and advancements in IoT that are driving critical efficiencies and cost savings according to Industry Week.

Given the rise of IoT adoption, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and an increasingly connected (and robotic) workforce on the factory floor, having a strong mobility strategy is now more important than ever for manufacturers.

techhub-manufacturingVerizon research recently found an 84% boost in IoT network connections in manufacturing between 2016 and 2017, surpassing any other industry by more than 100%. In 2017 alone, the manufacturing industry invested an estimated $182 billion in IoT, again outspending both the transportation and utilities industries.

2018 is predicted to be the year that IoT platforms will become more seamless, streamlining the deployment of IoT applications.

This comes as no surprise as sensor data and connected manufacturing devices, which measure and analyze real time data, offer a wealth of information for control rooms – one of the main benefits being predictive maintenance or signaling future machine maintenance needs before an alarm sounds or issue arises. Predictive maintenance is crucial for maintaining schedules, reducing downtime, cutting costs and keeping production humming.

The future manufacturing vision will include a network of interdependent networks keeping these technologies online and connected to multiple end points – and all securely.

As the manufacturing industry continues to undergo digitization, having an agile and flexible network in place is crucial for success. A network infrastructure with the capacity to support fast, secure processes — like tablets on the factory floor — can help protect workers, prevent delays and enable a steady stream of production.

Ultimately, these network-enabled, mobile technology solutions will be instrumental in evolving an industry with a strong heritage in society and the economy, into the factory of the future.

brilliant manufacturing

A locomotive engine in the factory after the Brilliant transformation, shown with display screens that analyze data in real-time.

Making Factories Brilliant

Learn about GrayMatter’s Brilliant Manufacturing as a Service, where we have been able to discover and roadmap needs together, design ways for the machines to talk to each other and achieve incredible data insight for the people who work at GE Transportation — reducing unplanned downtime by 20%.

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