GAMS preview: Navigating the cloud

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of issues.


Rob McGreevy, vice president of operations, Schneider Electric. Courtesy: Schneider ElectricThe 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.

The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles leading up to this year's conference:

While there are two schools of thoughts on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architecture—proprietary versus open systems—everyone agrees that IIoT is a transformative technology. Panelists Rich Carpenter of GE and Rob McGreevy of Schneider Electric discusses the idea of IIoT architecture and its implications on manufacturing operations and how it may impact the manufacturing of the future:

CFE Media: There seems to be more comfort among manufacturers with cloud-based information. Assess the current state of the use of the cloud for data management within manufacturing plants and between plants.

Rich Carpenter, product general manager, GE Automation and Controls. Courtesy: GEMcGreevy: Certainly, the concept of leveraging the cloud as part of manufacturing operations is now becoming readily accepted. We've seen our customers begin to adopt a hybrid cloud deployment model, storing some data in traditional on-premises solutions and bringing other plant data to the cloud. There are a lot of benefits when it comes to managing industrial data in the cloud, including reduced IT burden and minimized costs. We partner with Microsoft for our cloud platform Wonderware Online, for secure, software as a service backed by the Azure cloud technology.

Carpenter: As network technologies, speed and security have improved, the limits of the four walls of the plant are less rigid. It is possible to put the data and analytics at the right place in the architecture for the problem being solved. Since information can now seamlessly be combined between cloud and edge systems, a much better decision framework with insights driven from analytics can be provided to plant floor operators.

Manufacturers are recognizing that getting data and analytic insights across 100% of their plants provides better economic benefit than providing customized systems that 100% adapt to an individual plant but don't replicate to other plants. Cloud systems are proving to be valuable in driving the commonality in systems required to get the benefit across all plants in the enterprise.

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See additional coverage on IMTS 2016 and GAMS linked below.

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