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HomeFrom Dreaming to Doing with IIoT – Takeaways from Litmus’ Do More With Data SummitArticlesFrom Dreaming to Doing with IIoT – Takeaways from Litmus’ Do More With Data Summit

From Dreaming to Doing with IIoT – Takeaways from Litmus’ Do More With Data Summit

From Dreaming to Doing with IIoT – Takeaways from Litmus’ Do More With Data Summit

June 13, 2023 – On June 8, 2023, Litmus proudly hosted the Do More With Data Summit – a free, one-day virtual summit bringing together doers and dreamers in manufacturing from across the globe to discuss IIoT in action. 

Featuring 31 speakers, 6 social influencers, 16 companies and 10 nonstop hours of doers and dreamers talking IIoT, the summit explored topics including what data really matters in manufacturing, how to share data across the enterprise, using data in real time, what role AI will play, and much more.

The summit began with an engaging presentation from Litmus CEO Vatsal Shah and Jake Hall, “The Manufacturing Millennial” discussing the future of manufacturing through the lens of both technology and its workforce.

Jake Hall discussed how advancing technology is not only changing manufacturing facilities, but also the changing expectations of the workers in those facilities. Younger generations like millennials and Gen Z, who are now a large part of the workforce, have grown up in a technology-based world. But many of them now work in manufacturing environments where there are paper logging processes and in their minds, other outdated forms of work. These antiquated processes do not make sense from a time and logistics perspective, and they are also burdensome to newer generations. If manufacturers want to attract and retain the future workforce, they need to accommodate their tech literacy through the jobs they perform.

Hall also provided a number of examples for how tech innovation is changing manufacturing environments. One way he encouraged attendees to think about the level of automation in their facility was what he called the “Bathroom test.” Many airport bathrooms use a simple IoT device with a red or green light to show if a stall is occupied or vacant, which is a small, but effective form of IoT. So Hall challenged attendees to consider if an airport bathroom is doing better at providing a live-view of the facility’s function than their IIoT is doing in their manufacturing environment. If the answer is yes, then the facility could likely benefit from automation.

The session was punctuated when Hall fed a description of the Do More With Data Summit to ChatGPT, then fed that response to an AI-generated Morgan Freeman voice. Hall used this example to illustrate that AI and tech innovation is changing the mechanisms by which we work, and those changes are coming at the benefit of both the facility and the workers. 

Later in the day, Nikki Gonzales moderated a panel discussion with Jeremy Friedmar and Scott Coleman on “Setting IIoT Initiatives Up for Success – Scalability and Security Considerations.” The discussion explored how today’s manufacturers are rethinking growth strategies and investing in cybersecurity and infrastructure to meet tomorrow’s challenges head on. 

Before diving into the technology side of things, the panel talked through how manufacturers can manage IIoT initiatives at scale. Friedmar explained what is driving these IIoT initiatives in the first place. A few counterbalancing effects are at play, with the first being that there is more data being generated than ever before, which has come as a result of the proliferation of connected devices.

These IIoT initiatives, however, are being developed and driven in the face of some significant challenges in our world, including a major supply chain crisis, and facing serious inflation. Thus, the key for industrial users is now ensuring that they leverage data to the benefit of their business, without being overwhelmed by market forces. It really comes down to ensuring that the IIoT initiative is structured and staffed in a way in which manufacturers can effectively respond to the challenges at hand. Coleman added that in terms of staffing in cybersecurity, there is a blend of relying on the vendor while also creating self-sufficiency as manufacturers adopt and gain expertise with new technologies.

The event wrapped with a discussion hosted by Dave Griffith with Travis Cox, CTO at Inductive Automation and Dave McMorran, Director of Sales Engineering at Litmus. The “Fireside Chat: Helping OT and IT Navigate an Evolving Ecosystem” session covered how the landscape for OT is changing and how manufacturers can best prepare for the future. 

Both Cox and McMorran agreed that OT is undergoing a major transition in organizations. Previously OT has been fairly siloed and isolated, but now with new approaches to digital transformation, OT is converging with IT departments through a more collaborative approach. The panelists stressed the importance of access to quality data to make informed decisions with data scientists and IT departments providing this information for OT teams. There is a lot of power in being able to gather data in real-time from the plant floor up through the whole organization to streamline efficiency, boost productivity, and optimize cost. 

One of the major challenges for many manufacturers is that legacy equipment comprises a majority of their systems. Being able to modernize and connect these systems without introducing complexity is tricky, as is being able to scale them. When conversations around data-driven insights come in, the questions to ask may be: What kind of data can we gather? How can we provide data that’s useful for different people in the organization? 

Cox and McMorran noted that manufacturers are slow to change and often manage sites independently. They also cautioned that there is no one architecture or standard to get your organization future-ready. Both recommended that manufacturers do their best to implement an internal standard that aligns to the business goal. Open standards like Eclipse Sparkplug provide a great opportunity for manufacturers to seamlessly integrate data from their applications, sensors, devices, and gateways within the MQTT Infrastructure. 

To rewatch all of the sessions and learn how manufacturers can do more with their data, visit The Do More With Data Summit homepage here.

About Litmus

Litmus is an Industrial Edge Data Platform that unifies device connectivity, data intelligence and data integration in a complete Industry 4.0 solution. Rapid-to-deploy, easy-to-use and built-to-scale, Litmus is a fast way to connect to all OT assets and put data to work at the edge and across the enterprise. Litmus technology is trusted by Google Cloud, Dell Technologies, HPE, Hitachi Vantara, Mitsubishi and other global Fortune 500 companies. For more information visit https://litmus.io.

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