The problems, and solutions, to the IIoT (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #110)

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is taking hold on many industrial settings, and yet we are still far from reaping its true benefits. There are multiple reasons for this, and they have to do with the technical limitations of dealing with a large number of sensors and data, how to interpret it correctly and efficiently and how to create a reliable mesh network to tie it all together. AI may look promising for data handling and predictive systems. However, there are many angles to iron out before these make feasible solutions. AI’s prowess on self-teaching may fall short when, to be useful, it would have to learn and predict countless possibilities of a complex industrial setting. Established technologies, or novel combinations of them, can bring exciting opportunities to the table. RFID tagging for warehouse traceability is a dream come true for spoiling inventories while merging long-range connectivity with cloud services can satisfy a large portion of IIoT applications.

How IIoT and RFID deal with perishable inventory

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In North America alone, billions of dollars of food spoil before reaching customers each year. In the pharmaceutical industry, temperature-sensitive products are regularly damaged due to inappropriate shipping and storing conditions. To gain better visibility into the location and the condition of perishable inventory items, businesses can turn to RFID and IIoT technologies.

Read the full article at Smart Industry.

Is Artificial Intelligence the Answer for IIoT?

Many AI methods are self-taught, so they avoid the need for process mapping and other tedious analytical processes, making it seem to be the right fit for IIoT. Yet, only a few methods will apply. The most useful methods are not greedy for impossible amounts of data. They focus machine learning in explainable ways. The rest will fail badly.

Read more here.

Using LoRa and Google Cloud for IIoT Applications

Image of a gateway communicating with the cloud on LoRa

Pairing LoRa connectivity with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) can serve a wide range of industrial IoT (IIoT) use cases. The longevity and resilience of LoRa paired with GCP’s robust architecture and commitment to scalable innovation provides industrial operators with the tools they need to build the world of tomorrow.

Read more here.

 

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Sideways innovation: unexpected avenues of discovery (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #109)

Innovation isn’t always a straightforward process. Sometimes to even begin to diagnose the problems we need a new perspective on the system as a whole, and that might mean researching curious tangents. Take flying taxis as an example: in our quest to one day see them whizzing over us, we never considered the systemic bottleneck of the manufacturing of high-tech materials like carbon fibers. Insights like this happen when we look beyond sheer innovation, thinking holistically of the topic at hand and not being blindsided by the shiny new technological grail. IIoT may one day benefit greatly from the blockchain, but is it ready for prime time in cybersecurity applications? Should we look at more traditional and effective approaches while we crack the infrastructure that will make it viable? Let’s look beyond the initial goal, let’s find interesting tangents to our research. Old materials can be reinvented with 3D printing, one of the many technologies that give us the tools to question everything.

Blockchain May Be Overkill For Most IIoT Security

Blockchain crops up in many of the pitches for security software aimed at the industrial IoT. However, IIoT project owners, chipmakers and OEMs should stick with security options that address the low-level, device- and data-centered security of the IIoT itself, rather than the effort to promote blockchain as a security option as well as an audit tool.

Read the full article at Semiengineering.

The Need For Carbon Fiber Could Ground The Flying-Car Future

Icon’s struggle to ramp up production of an airplane it initially promised for $139,000 can be blamed mostly on its heavy use of carbon fiber—a material that cuts weight and adds strength, but also adds complexity and cost to the manufacturing process.

Read more here.

Dichroic 3D-printing material changes color with point of view

A miniature goblet printed from the new material appears both opaque brown and translucent violet

In use since at least the 4th century AD, dichroic glass displays different colors depending on how it’s being viewed. Now, Dutch scientists have produced the effect in a material that can be used to create 3D-printed objects – and it’s not just a novelty, as it could have practical applications.

Read the full article here.

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Additive in Aviation is Growing Even Faster! (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #105)

Many would say that with the GE Fuel Nozzle, the 1000 additive parts in the Airbus 350 and now the GE ATP engine, additive has already arrived in aviation. But this week we witnessed an event greater acceleration: At Hill Air Force Base, engineers are already validating and installing replacement parts for their $150 million F-22 aircrafts, printed to the highest standards and with greatly enhanced lead times and life-cycles. If you couple the capabilities of 3D printing with predictive maintenance and an intelligent IIoT network of manufacturing and storing, there’s opportunity to redefine the whole model. Airbases are already disposing 3D printers for in-situ manufacturing and new partnerships are bringing more and more industrial capabilities to the runways. At Authentise, we’re proud to apply the principles of predictive maintenance to our customers’ printers themselves, bringing an added tier of intelligent planning, along with a pervasive MES framework that can bring this dream to the real world.

Learn more about the modules that make us unique at https://authentise.com/modules.html

 

Metallic 3D Printing May Revolutionize Maintenance for F-22 Raptor

 An airman removes the intake covers of an F-22 Raptor before a training mission. The first metallic 3D-printed part was installed on an operational F-22 in December at Hill AFB, Utah. (US Air Force photo/Michael Holzworth)

The world’s most expensive fighter jet soon may be flying with parts made from a 3D printer. Maintainers at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, last month installed for the first time a metallic 3D-printed bracket on an operational F-22 Raptor, according to the Air Force and Lockheed Martin, the company that produces the $150 million aircraft.

“Once we get to the more complicated parts, the result could be a 60 to 70 day reduction in flow time for aircraft to be here for maintenance,” Robert Lewin, 574th Aircraft Maintenance director at Hill.

Read the full article here.

 

3D Printing Brings Maintenance Efficiency And Improved Healthcare To Travis Air Force Base

Joshua Orr, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, uses a 3D scanner to scan an aircraft part. Photo via U.S. Air Force/Heide Couch

Travis Air Force Base (AFB) in Fairfield, California has recruited the help of 3D printing technologies. The Air Base has employed 3D scanners to reduce maintenance time. Having 3D printers on the base will ensure rapid replacement of aircraft parts.

“Once we have this additive manufacturing capability in place, we will likely be able to print and replace parts in a few hours and return our aircraft to flying status much quicker,” Master Sgt. Christopher Smithling, assistant section chief for aircraft structural maintenance, 60th Maintenance Squadron.

Read the rest here.

 

EOS and Etihad Airways expand 3D printing capabilities

Etihad Airways Engineering claims to be the largest aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul services provider in the Middle East.

Industrial 3D printing company EOS and Etihad Airways Engineering, the largest aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services provider in the Middle East, have agreed a strategic partnership which will significantly expand local capabilities for industrial 3D printing in aviation. Following a structured selection process, suitable cabin interior parts will be produced through the AM process, which offers a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation options, particularly during aircraft modifications.

Read the full article here.

 

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Automation and the human dilemma (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 99)

Automation is a buzzword that’s more often than not associated with negative press. After all, it is eroding the job market for an increasing number of manual jobs. How is the human going to cope with a rising automated workplace? The picture doesn’t seem that straighforward though. The question in itself is in doubt when studies show that the shift is adding new jobs for the skilled workforce, alongside a rise in wages. Furthermore, automation is tackling those jobs that are repetitive, menial and reward-less. At the same time, we seem to not fully understand the scope of change that is about to hit us in the very near future and, in turn, are not prepared for it. Our society will need to adapt to new ways of getting things done. Data is king and AI systems will be unmatched. We humans must find a way to collaborate with this societal shift, bringing the best of what humans can do in a world dominated by robots.

Industrial robots increase wages for employees

Industrial robots increase wages for employees

In addition to increasing productivity, the introduction of industrial robots has increased wages for the employees. At the same time, industrial robots have also changed the labor market by increasing the number of job opportunities for highly skilled employees, while opportunities for low-skilled employees are declining.

Read more at Phys.org

Are We Mature Enough To Deal With The Dilemmas Of Automation?

We have no choice but to address the challenge of how our societies are going to evolve, how we are going to reinvent ourselves when we free ourselves from so many boring or demeaning tasks and which models are appropriate for a society in which the eight-hour (or longer) working day is as outdated as the manual labor our forefathers endured. The dilemmas of automation require a new way of thinking: the technology exists, the question is whether we have the vision to adopt it. In short, the problem isn’t technology per se, it’s about adapting our society to make the best use of it. And I’m not sure we have the maturity yet to do so.

Read the full article here.

Learn to love robots, automation and artificial intelligence

Innovation expert Charles Leadbeater says people should not be frightened by AI’s rise. For him, the danger of AI is that we’ll become more like second-rate robots. He believes education needs to produce first-rate humans, able to work with robots.

 

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How to fund Digital Manufacturing? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 80)

Funds like Atomico are already forming a portfolio of startups poised to disrupt many verticals through IIoT, robotics and AI, and they are showing excitement for the future as well. There is tremendous value to be created through digital startups, many of which take on daunting challenges. The aptly named Automation Everywhere wants to bring, you guessed it, automation to any mundane human task, both physically and digitally, and has just raised $1.8 billion valuation. Similarly, company Katerra wants to reinvent how the construction industry is structured and has already raised $865 million in venture capital. But is Venture Capital really the right way to fund a B2B industry with slow sales? The fact that Automation Everywhere waited 15 years to raise its first funding, and Katerra is backed with $865m from Softbank indicates maybe not. Maybe more patient private capital, or even public markets – with their more limited growth objectives – are the right source of funding. Foxconn backing Andrew Ng, while Flex has backed ex-Autodesk CEO Carl Bass with $200m indicates it may be so. Our prediction: We’ll see a lot more interesting funding mechanisms in this industry going forward.

Data, AI & Robots: Atomico’s Take on Industry 4.0

Inexpensive sensors, cheap wireless communications infrastructure, highly scalable cloud-based data processing and novel machine learning methods have converged to a point where the building blocks are in place for a new Machine Age. Venture capital investment in internet-of-things in Industry (the decidedly ugly-sounding “IIoT”) is at an all time high, according to a CB Insights report on the topic, with over $1bn invested in Q4 2017 alone.

Read the full article at Medium.

Silicon Valley company that automates ‘mundane’ tasks with robots gets nearly $2 billion valuation

A Silicon Valley company that uses bots to automate certain tasks previously done by human workers has reached a $1.8 billion valuation with a new fundraising from several companies, including Goldman Sachs. San Jose, California-headquartered Automation Anywhere this week announced a $250 million round of fundraising — its first round of outside funding despite being in business for 15 years.

Read the rest here.

Can Silicon Valley Disrupt How We Build?

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Katerra announced that it had acquired Michael Green Architecture, a 25-person architecture firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. On June 12, the company revealed that it had bought another, larger architecture firm, Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent. This comes five months after Katerra raised $865 million in venture capital from funders led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has also invested heavily in the co-working startup WeWork. “The construction industry is ripe for digital disruption,” said co-founder and chairman Michael Marks in a press release. “This new round of funding will enable us to further invest in R&D and continue to scale the business.”

Read the full article here.

 

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The Scalability of IIoT Systems (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 56)

The IIoT is an acronym that’s being touted around industrial settings for years now. As it stands for Industrial Internet of Things, its goal is similar to what common household IoT devices try to achieve: smart control and monitoring of operations, at any scale and complexity. Approaching the subject can look daunting and many companies think the technical effort is out of reach without any practical benefit. That’s because we’re not making benefits clear enough to the operators. Our current deployments are expensive one-off customs and those that go beyond that are often simple dashboards or at best predicitive maintenance tools – both deliver none or very little ROI by themselves.

While we’re trying to build scalable process efficiency systems using IIOT data at Authentise the key steps to make IIoT really scalable are flexible platforms that can process all kinds of data for different outcomes and are very easy for untrained operators to program. The devices required to obtain, elaborate data and to generate insights are now very cheap and the market is sprouting solutions tailored to every occasion. Now the software interfaces needed to manage the system need to becoming friendlier, cheaper or even open source, enabling the full spectrum of applications to talk to each other frictionlessly. All of this makes for a framework that can scale from a single piping temperature sensor to the entire production pipeline. It’s been reported that 86% of industrial orgs are already adopting IIoT solutions, and it doesn’t pertain only to big corporations. Breweries can leverage data from their distilling operation just as much as Lockheed Martin does from its F-35 factory floor. While we only currently unlock 5% of available data, it’s easy to see the promise going forward.

Shipyard 4.0 Concept Features 3D Printing, Digital Twins, Advanced Technologies for Shipbuilding in Spain and Australia

In order to reduce business costs and increase productivity in line with Industry 4.0, Navantia has implemented the Shipyard 4.0 model, which will apply and optimize these technologies for applications in shipbuilding. The model has been implemented in Navantia Spain’s Ferrol shipyard in order to build next-generation F110 frigates for the Spanish Navy […] The Shipyard 4.0 model will enhance the outcomes of Navantia Australia’s SEA 5000 and Continuous Build Program by helping to develop a sustainable shipbuilding industry for the Navy, creating a new skilled workforce and modern facilities for both the shipyard and the supply chain, and setting up a modern ICT infrastructure that will support the digital twin (ship zero) of the shipyard, as well as for the ship.

Read more about Navantia Shipyard 4.0 here.

New study reveals rise of IIoT adoption in manufacturing

According to the 2017 study [by Bsquare], 86% of industrial organizations are currently adopting IoT solutions and 84% believe those solutions are very or extremely effective. In addition, 95% believe that IoT has a significant or tremendous impact on their industry. However, the study also shows that most IIoT investments are focused on connectivity (78%) and data visualization (83%). In addition, only 48% are doing advanced analytics on that data and only a small number (28%) are automating the application of insights derived from analytics.

Read more stats at Modern Materials Handling.

Breweries Tapping the IIoT to Produce Your Favorite Brew

By creating that virtual environment and installing IIoT sensors throughout the production and packaging environments, breweries that have adopted advanced analytics to process the collected data can help predict equipment lag or failure before they disrupt production. At the very least, the sensors can help to provide critical insights to identify the root of the problem to minimize downtime.

Read the full article here.

 

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Approaching the Modernization of Manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 48)

Upgrading to better standards and technologies is becoming easier than ever thanks to their decentralized and scalable nature, giving the opportunity to improve by gradual implementation and testing. There are many avenues of experimentation to consider. IIoT applications can be implemented as small, self-contained units, providing their own power and relaying sensible information where the most valuable data is to be found with a very small investment. Incorporating AM capabilities allows businesses to underpin numerous steps of traditional part production and logistics, assessing ROI that is clear from the start. However, the right software can sometimes be enough to jumpstart operational efficiency immensely, by automating and analyzing machine data with little effort and investment. Authentise very recently started integration of SLM machines data into its 3Diax platform. The digital age of manufacturing enables future-oriented actions to be taken at any business leisure.

Powering The IIoT With Industrial Grade Solar/Li-Ion Hybrids

[Small photovoltaic (PV panels) in combination with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries], two well-proven and synergistic technologies are providing highly cost-effective solutions for both consumer and industrial grade applications, including many connected to the IoT and the IIoT. All sorts of industrial applications are currently deploying PV/Li-ion battery hybrid technology, including GPS sensors and asset trackers, environmental monitoring systems, smart agriculture (monitoring moisture, temperature, and rainfall), marine buoys, and many other M2M and systems control and data automation (SCADA) applications.

Read the full article at Sensors Online.

Sembcorp Marine To Apply AM In Shipbuilding Revolution

A LAAM made part on display at the Sembcorp Marine MOU signing. Photo via A*STAR

Sembcorp Marine is seeking to revolutionize the offshore & marine (O&M) sector by adding cutting-edge technologies to its shipbuilding and repair efforts. In collaboration with three partners across industry and the Singapore government, the company will develop water-tight production applications with a Digital TwinAM and drone assistance.

Read the full article here.

SLM Solutions: Cooperation agreement signed with Authentise Inc.

SLM Solutions Group AG , a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology, has recently signed a cooperation agreement with Authentise Inc. Software developed by Authentise helps SLM Solutions customers expand additive manufacturing capacities through greater efficiency, transparency and quality in deploying SLM machines.

Read the full press release here.

 

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SLM Solutions: Cooperation agreement signed with Authentise Inc.

  • Cooperation aims to integrate real-time production data from SLM Solutions machines into Authentise’s 3Diax software platform
  • Integration enables SLM Solutions customers to evaluate real-time production data to automate process flows
  • Capability to analyze real-time production data especially important in series manufacturing

 

Lübeck, 09 November 2017 – SLM Solutions Group AG (“SLM Solutions”), a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology, has recently signed a cooperation agreement with Authentise Inc. (“Authentise”). Authentise is a leading US-based provider of software to automate additive manufacturing processes. Software developed by Authentise helps SLM Solutions customers expand additive manufacturing capacities through greater efficiency, transparency and quality in deploying SLM machines.

Henner Schöne4582_schoeneborn.0041born, member of the Management Board of SLM Solutions Group AG: “We’re very pleased with this partnership with Authentise, as it represents an expansion of our existing Industry 4.0 initiatives and solutions. This collaboration enables our customers to access real-time production data from SLM machines – a capability that’s enormously important especially for customers that deploy our machines for series manufacturing of components. With this partnership, we’re taking an important step towards the fully automated processing of orders on our machines. Authentise supplements our Additive Hub design software that we developed in-house.”

 

07c513d9-834b-4970-a537-59593dc316d7Andre Wegner, Authentise CEO, adds: “This partnership with SLM is an important step to completing the digital thread in additive manufacturing. The direct data access to SLM machines that has now been enabled can be combined with other functionalities of our 3Diax software modules to automate manual tasks. It is possible, for example, to automatically update an order status, or generate documentation that enables finished components to be traced back to source. Our 3Diax platform utilizes data in the sense of a self-learning system. The partnership also makes it easier to integrate SLM machines into SLM Solutions’ customers’ IT systems, and facilitates the transparent analysis of production data through the 3Diax Machine Analytics module. The partnership with SLM Solutions  – a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology – is so important because  together can we expand the use of additive manufacturing machines in series production.”

About the companies:

SLM Solutions Group AG

Lübeck-based SLM Solutions Group AG is a leading provider of metal-based additive manufacturing technology. The company’s shares are traded in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The stock has been listed in the TecDAX index since March 21, 2016. SLM Solutions focuses on the development, assembly and sale of machines and integrated system solutions in the field of selective laser melting. SLM Solutions currently employs over 360 members of staff in Germany, the USA, Singapore, Russia, India and China. The products are utilised worldwide by customers in particular from the aerospace, energy, healthcare and automotive industries.  

Authentise Inc.

Authentise Inc. offers software solutions facilitating the deployment of additive manufacturing in production environments. The solutions it offers include the 3Diax Modular Platform as well as the Authentise Manufacturing Execution System (MES). The MES utilizes data from additive manufacturing machines to resolve automation challenges, creating a path to fully automated order processing and tracking. 3Diax modules also provide the flexibility to easily adapt such automation to existing work processes and integrate it into already existent IT systems. The software products enable total production costs to be reduced and customers’ product launch times to be accelerated. Authentise Inc. was founded in 2012 in Silicon Valley and is also represented in Europe.

 

Contact:

Georg Grießmann, cometis AG

Unter den Eichen 7, 65195 Wiesbaden

Telephone: +49 (0) 611-205855-61

E-Mail: griessmann@cometis.de

How the law can foster or hinder unprecedented industrial trends (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 42)

Uber’s current challenges in London and elsewhere show how governments and legislation can change the path of technology.

Industry 4.0 is no different. The technological trends that characterize the current industrial world have yet to be fully understood, both in terms of sheer research and in its spot within the law. Many issues are arising due to the intricately different nature of these technologies which pose new conundrums with regards to intellectual property (IP), operational and product safety standards and much more.

Nowhere this is more apparent than within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystems, where its interconnected and decentralized nature makes it more susceptible to cyber-attacks and the new and overwhelming barrage of connected devices make the law-grounds much more difficult to thread. Is it all going too fast for legislators to keep up? It certainly seems so, as Southern China authorities have already issued the mandatory registration for all additive manufacturing industries citing “social security issues”. The trembling hand of these institutions, scrambling to grasp what they cannot entirely control, is starkly in contrast with many other countries where a race is on for the biggest slice of the innovation cake. They are putting together consortiums for the analysis and debugging of law-related issues and fostering the rise and gathering of activities which will, inevitably, spur consolidated operational standards, providing fertile grounds for them to grow.

How product safety will define the success of Industry 4.0/IIoT

Whilst safety protocols for IIoT equipment already exist within the Industrial Ethernet, from a product safety standardization perceptive, the challenges come when product advances outpace safety standards development. Then there’s the potential risk of fitting sensors to existing ‘redundant’ equipment to make these machines IIoT capable. In this scenario, the certified-design and safety parameters of the machine may be invalidated by making the device IIoT ready. Functional Safety for both hardware and software (to standard IEC 61508 and its associated standards) and Cybersecurity are also now defining factors when it comes to building in safety of an IIoT device. These aspects (and more) need to be carefully considered as early on in the design phase as possible.

Keep reading at Control Engineering Europe.

Chinese City Registers All Additive Manufacturing Industries To Ensure “Social Security”

Chongqing is an industrial and technological hub. Image via BASF.

Authorities in Chongqing, Southern China have announced that they will require all 3D printing companies based in the city to register with local police. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported that the objective of the measure is to both keep dangerous and illegal products from the public, whilst also controlling the production and sales of digital blueprints and data files for important specialist components.

Read the full article here.

The Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) And The Law

There has been surprisingly little attention given by the legal community to the issues and implications associated with the IIoT, either generally or within the utility industry. Discussion of the IIoT in the electric industry has been the province of operational and engineering experts. But IIoT operational and engineering challenges will inevitably present novel and difficult legal issues.

Read the full article at Mondaq.

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We’ll be at Formnext 2017 between the 14th-17th of November! Come check us out at booth Booth # 3.1-A33.

Automation, analyzing our hands-free future (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 26)

This week we are going to take a look at what automation is doing to our current socio-economical global landscape. It has pervaded the news with its most face-value effect of taking over manual human jobs, which it undoubtedly is: what the public is missing is a clear overview of the far-reaching effects. For example, automation will be able to provide a cushion for the ageing demographic of those countries who are dragging the economic growth. Presently, automation technologies and IIoT are bringing more to the table than raw workforce, exposing unconventional growth vectors to businesses. Automation is also hinting at a possible future in which jobs could be erased, urging a new definition of the individual’s social and economic contribution.

Robots May Help Defuse Demographic Time Bomb in Germany, Japan

robots welding at VW factory

Japan and Germany may be sitting on a ticking demographic time bomb where aging populations begin to drag down economic growth. Good thing they’re also prime candidates for robot revolutions. Increased automation and more use of robotic technology in these manufacturing powerhouses could help cushion the impact, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s analysts wrote in the report this month:

“To the extent that robots can undertake activity that require labor, they will compensate for the negative impact that a slower growth in labor force would have otherwise had on growth.”

Read more about it on Industry Week.

Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 10.17.26 PM

The IIoT has been heralded primarily as a way to improve operational efficiency. But in today’s environment, companies can also benefit greatly by seeing it as a tool for finding growth in unexpected opportunities.
In the future, successful companies will use the Industrial Internet of Things to capture new growth through three approaches: boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models, exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation, and transform their workforce.

Read the report by Accenture.

Technology Will Erase Jobs—But Also Make Everything Cheap or Free

At Singularity University’s Exponential Finance Summit in New York this week, [Peter] Diamandis talked about the broad and specific trends he believes are leading to a demonetized world. […] The counterbalance to technological unemployment, Diamandis said, is the demonetization of living—in other words, pretty much everything we need and do in our day-to-day lives is becoming radically cheaper, if not free, and technology’s making it happen.

Read the whole article at SingularityHub.

 

Hope to see you again next week for another installment of the News-In-Review, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and other social media for a more frequent flux of AM & IIoT news!