Iconics, World Leading Automation Software Provider & Trusted Partner
The Smart Production Solutions (SPS) Trade Show will happen in Nuremberg, Germany on November 23 – 25. And as a world leading automation software provider and trusted partner in digital transformation, ICONICS will exhibit and present at SPS. This will be our first major international in-person trade show since COVID, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to see our customers face-to-face again and to help them solve their operational challenges and meet their corporate sustainability goals.
The SPS trade show aims at “bringing automation to life” and “covers the entire spectrum of smart and digital automation” technology topics. It is also an excellent chance to exchange and discuss ideas on how to address operational and energy challenges your company may be facing and spark the imagination for connected factories, connected infrastructures, and a connected front on sustainability initiatives.
ICONICS develops software to automate the monitoring and management of manufacturing and industrial processes. We do this to help companies reduce their operating costs, be more efficient, detect faults, improve overall equipment effectiveness, reduce response times, and so on.
The common thread across all these applications is to focus on specific, measurable factors, and then connect to the devices, equipment, and environments to collect the telemetry data. Once all of the data sources are connected, the trick is to display it in ways that are meaningful to operators, managers, engineers, and executives. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or what type of community you belong to; we have the tools to display the data to give you real-time information and real-time wisdom. With this information, you can then diagnose what’s wrong, what’s happened, what’s inefficient, and then what corrective measures to take.
The software at work in each of those cases is known as the ICONICS Suite™, and it is a combination of four elements: GENESIS64™, Hyper Historian™, AnalytiX®, and IoTWorX™. There is a unique and singular platform service connecting all of those elements together; not just for the industry today in its current applications, but also for the industry as it looks forward to future-proofing the elements of its systems.
And ICONICS Suite is a unified platform that is competitive, flexible, scalable, and modular, as well as customizable and extensible. In essence, ICONICS is the “Switzerland of Automation” with the ability to connect to virtually any equipment or device.
A key to realizing success in these automation projects is to start with one specific challenge and then scale up and out. Start economically and then use that as a baseline to solve whatever problem you encounter next. And as you probably know, there is always something else to uncover once you get started.
Fortunately for the attendees, besides exhibiting at SPS, ICONICS will also present. Business Development Manager Sebastian Hohenhoff from our German team will talk on Tuesday, 23 November from 14:40 to 15:00 about “How Shopfloor Self-Service Dashboards Improve the Overall Visibility of Your Production Lines”. Here is a brief glimpse into what Sebastian will cover in his presentation.
Many manufacturers face the challenge of gathering all relevant information from different data sources from the shopfloor. Different vendors provide different systems; some include local analytics functions while others provide just raw data, if even. This scattering of information often makes it difficult to provide a cohesive view of a system and, even in cases where all the data can be visualized together, it might not be shaped logically for the end user. Correlating these different datasets with each other is tricky, and trying to query them using a common set of filters or parameters can be quite difficult.
To get an overall visibility into the manufacturing process, it is essential to have a solution which combines all relevant data from all the various sources into one visualization and analytics system, no matter who the machine vendor is or what PLC is used. With ICONICS, the real-time data from the production floor can be collected via open protocols like OPC UA, Modbus, CC-Link, and more. Even the use of native and proprietary protocols to connect to nearly all PLC vendors is possible by utilizing the
Takebishi DeviceXPlorer, which integrates perfectly with ICONICS’ GENESIS64™.
Sebastian will also explain how in order to make visualization meaningful, just showing real-time data is not enough. It’s important to have a business intelligence (BI) data model and information flow engine like ICONICS AnalytiX-BI in the background. This engine can do calculations with real-time values, contextualize, and augment these with a variety of meta data. That meta data can come from nearly any IT source like relational databases, Kafka, MQTT, web services and more, or directly from ERP, MES, CRM, or other relevant 3rd party systems already in place.
ICONICS bridges the existing data silos, gathers and normalizes all that data with user-defined data models, represents collections of datasets that are logically related to each other, irrespective of their physical origin, and allows multi-step transformations of the ingested data for better shaping and filtering. Striking the right balance between all of those requirements may seem daunting at first, but by working with the right solution provider, it is readily achievable and worthwhile, as it makes the end result even more powerful.
The outcome of the AnalytiX-BI data model can be visualized on any smart device, depending on customer preference.
A thick-client installation on a desktop computer can be used or the flexibility of the HTML5-compatible dashboards can be leveraged with every current web browser. The dashboards can show up on large TV screens, tiny smartwatch displays, mobile phones, tablets, or wearables, responsively adjusting in size to provide the best possible user experience. The latest ICONICS’ release 10.97.1 even supports advanced 3D graphics on any modern web browser without requiring any add-ons, extensions, or plug-ins to be installed.
These more advanced dashboards and visualization features can be created with ICONICS’ very own GraphWorX™64 tool.
But what about the plant manager who is interested in a KPI dashboard with a focus on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for their entire plant? To address this need, ICONICS has made self-service dashboards available with KPIWorX™. Self-service means that anyone with access to the visualization system can easily create
dashboards directly from within the browser via a drag-and-drop feature; no additional software is required. By using standardized symbol libraries and preconfigured components (gauges, process points, trends, alarms, grids and more), a fully functioning dashboard can be created within a matter of minutes to show the latest real-time and plant-related KPIs.
Additionally, in today’s environment, security of IT and OT systems is essential. No unauthorized party should be able to read production data or, even worse, write back malicious or false
data into the system.
To prevent cybersecurity related breaches, GENESIS64™ utilizes multiple layers of security. First, to set up, every installation requires a user with a password to avoid the danger of completely open systems. To make user administration easier, the system fully integrates with Microsoft’s Active Directory for on-premises installations and Azure Active Directory for cloud deployments. We also strongly encourage the use of multi-factor authentication, which is supported within ICONICS applications via OIDC / OAuth2. To secure the domains, SAML 2.0 is supported. To protect the system itself, ICONICS uses binary signing along with a strong integrity check. VeriSign has signed the binaries to ensure these have not been tampered with or changed without authentication. Furthermore, the binaries are obfuscated, preventing reverse engineering.
Finally, Sebastian will provide a demonstration of our ICONICS software, so attendees can see firsthand how their organizations can benefit from our system automation platform. If you can’t make the presentation, come by our booth to talk to our team. You can find the ICONICS booth in Hall 5-159, in close proximity to our technology partners like
Microsoft, the OPC Foundation, and Takebishi.
Providing Industry Solutions for Today and for the Future
Advances in technology, no matter the application, occur at an incredibly fast pace. To stay competitive, it’s imperative to stay up to date. But there is an upside to this – it’s fun! And going to trade shows like SPS is not only an amazing experience, it is educational at the same time. If you are planning on attending, stop by for a chat. We’ll get you up to speed on our latest automation software and digital transformation technology and get you and your company on the road to operational efficiency and sustainability.
ICONICS provides industry solutions for today and for the future. It’s what we do.
Want to know more about how the ICONICS Suite can help your company with its system automation, digital technology transformation, and sustainability initiatives? Watch at your convenience an array of informative, interesting, and relevant sessions from our ICONICS Connect 2021 event at iconics.com/Connect2021
Dipl.-Ing. Jakob Dück, Global Industry Segment Manager
This past year has provided ample evidence for how vulnerable supply chains can be. With the worldwide transportation slowdowns experienced in 2020 and 2021, and the corresponding increases in the price of freight, getting products from one central manufacturing facility to a customer’s location became more difficult, prohibitively expensive and slower.
The Internet of things, big data and prescriptive maintenance are supposed to be the big promises from the 21st century. No more unplanned downtime because we can predict all failures. Many companies, however, struggle with these developments. They say there is hardly any data available and question the usability. It appears to be “loose sand” … until you start working with it.