Al Beydoun with ODVA.org
On this week's Industrial Talk we're onsite at IoT Solutions World Congress and talking to Al Beydoun, Ph.D, President of ODVA.Org about “Advancing open communication technology for industrial automation”. Learn about interoperable information along with Al's unique insight into the industrial automation future of open communication technology on this Industrial Talk interview!
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AL BEYDOUN'S CONTACT INFORMATION:
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/al-beydoun-ph-d-08145b2/
Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/odva/
Company Website: https://www.odva.org/
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Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get around once again, thank
you very much for joining Industrial Talk. And thank you very much for your support of this platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world, because you are bold GSU, you are brave, thank you very much. You are just living a life that helps us succeed and you're solving problems, you collaborate. That's what you're all about. You live big. And that's why we celebrate you on this podcast, as you can tell by the buzz buzz in the background, we are on site IoT Solutions World Congress 2023. And it's a must, you have to put this event on your calendar, because it just is a collection of problem solvers like the one right to my left out that is dedicated and focused on solving those problems and collaborating with you. Let's get cracking. Now. Are you doing?
Great, it's it's really awesome to be back here in person. But my last event was prior to the pandemic. So it's, it's really fun to be here to see the crowd to see the energy. It's, it's exciting.
I've just led you need to be here because it is there's a speed and an energy. And if you're not actively seeking out education, because it's all around here, you're going to be left behind. And it's not a that's not a pretty sight. But it's that fast. Definitely. By the way, you look better in person than you do on a zoom. Oh, I've never met you outside of zoom or teams or something like that. Yeah. All right. For the listeners, Powell, give us a little background on who you are.
Okay, my name is Al Beydoun and I'm the President of ODVA. is a standard development organization. We're an international association with nearly 400 members of the representing the largest industrial companies in the world. And what we do is we're focused on communication network protocols to support the industry, the industrial automation, basically,
communication protocols, just sort of what does that mean, your you must dive into multiple, whatever methods of being able to say, Hi, I'm a, I'm an asset, I want to communicate data I gotta collect it someplace is that you're that middle. So
we're basically down to the mechanism of messaging, and communication between devices between machines between devices and a PLC control systems and in getting the data to the cloud. So kind of the infrastructure that will enable the message the communication to take place in industrial environments.
What is interesting, because being in an event like this, and yeah, of course, it's IoT, IoT, data, analytics, all of that stuff. And it's great, don't get me wrong, and it's to a certain extent, from a device perspective, the prices are going down, you really, you can pull that information off. And that's great. Rarely do we have a conversation on I got it, how do I get it to the destination to do what I need to do? And that's where you're at, right?
And I mean, the important thing is to realize that, so basically, first is we're operating on making the data visible. So you have to have visibility, and make the data available to subscribers, you know, whether it's the PLC, the control system to the cloud, so we're the highway that opens that channel, and then you start talking about IoT in other things, what do you do with that data and the analytics, the monitoring, the diagnostics, and all the other things, you know, come next. So we're on the, you know, the infrastructure level of allowing the communication to take place and you know, reaching devices that are you know, so we'll start talking about you know, physical layers and you know, Ethernet and cabling and devices that are have the capability to make the communication.
So it from a business perspective, I've got this. I've got this business, as I say it's manufacturing, fine, whatever lines and all that stuff. Here are different. There are communication applications at various levels into to optimize that, you're you're just saying, okay, you don't need that you need this and, and being able to do it and then the standards around that. So that common lexicon, so that people could say, Yeah, Ethernet, here's the standards, being able to do it effectively that is that an accurate sort of picture?
No, it's It's, I mean, basically, we're, our core technology is what we call common industrial protocol. And this is, you know, the, you know, the ability to have organized structure messaging, messaging, between between the devices. So when, when you have different devices implementing the same methodology, the same set, you know, the common industrial protocol, then it allows them to communicate with each other. And now, now, so this is kind of the one level, but we have, you know, whether you're talking to a PLC or to any other software or other communication to move the data, so whether it's OPC, UA or MQ, tt, etc. So first is the communication on the control on the OT level. And then you could have other ways to get the data from the OT to the it in the cloud. So we're, we're primarily, you know, from the OT perspective, the CIP is operating from the operational level between devices and machines, and, and controllers
just have a common to have a consistent protocol will allow, and, again, correct me if I'm wrong, we'll allow sort of that free flow of information that is necessary, if I want to see the data, there are various devices and whatever it might be within my ecosystem, or I'm able to make sure that they all sort of talk the same language, talk the same language, and so I'm not, I don't have islands out there, I don't have just sort of,
they understand the same common language. So I'm requesting this, they respond, there's a mechanism and protocols to insist, and then I'm gonna start talking about other things, you know, you know, this is important, as we talk about IoT and about communication security has to be, you know, is a must. So, we have what we call SIP security, one of the features is to protect the communication between the devices, between devices and controllers, and so on. And, and that is very important, because you have to make sure that the, protecting the integrity of the data going between devices. So, it has not been out there. Yeah,
that would be a huge risk, right.
And then you have to solve the first is making the authenticity, the integrity, and then the authenticity, that it's a trusted source. So there has to be a way to identify who's sending me the messages in his visit a trusted source, the source that I could, you know, act on it. And the third aspect is the authorization. And by the authorization, we mean, is the role, you know, am I allowed to request certain things, certain actions to take place? And those are the key elements that we implement and our SIP security that would, would make this a key to the communication to protect the, you know, these last layers of communication?
Isn't it? You mentioned it in the beginning, that your standards membership includes large companies, they have to do the stuff they have to what about the small to mid sized companies? Is this also approachable because they're, they have to do the same thing. I think they have to be efficient, they have to understand their network, they have to do the stuff that is necessary. And of course, protecting it is key. Is this also doable? It's just like,
so it builds basically does flexibility in terms of what a device vendor is, is able and willing to do depending on where they're used where their devices and they can make the assessment is adding security feature? A must for me, and it doesn't have to be all or none. You know, you could add certain aspects where you say, Look, I'm concerned about this and maybe not the roles or So you've defined a profile of what, you know, type of security levels you want to implement. So it's a, it's a scalable type based on. And some vendors may assess that look, maybe I'm in an area where it's segmented or unprotected. And, you know, it's it's not necessarily for them so they can make that assessment based on the system, the architecture and so on.
The reality is, whatever we're in whatever this this is my segue. So you're gonna be dazzled by whatever this industry for Dotto is. I find one, people, companies, individuals, no matter small, mid to large, it doesn't matter must begin the journey. Having that conversation, whatever it is, because you bring a certain element, other people's like, Oh, you do this, and this, this, and there is a potential for me to get confused, which is, I'm not the standard. I'm not let's put it this way. It's easy for me. But there's a lot of other individuals that are just saying, I hear what you're saying, this is overwhelming. And it's not meant to be negative or a prop. It's just the reality, because there's so much it's it's rapid out here. So what I like is, is that, so we just have to be able to sort of pull this all together and create a, a unapproachable picture of what this means, right? So one, we talked about industry for Dido that became a miscellaneous file, just like IOT is sort of like this miscellaneous file where AI all of a sudden started fitting into this digital twin. And there's a recognition that at that it's not we got to figure something out, we got to create clarity in that. You came by and you talk about industry five Dotto. I want you to sort of define what four Dotto is, then start going down the road of say, yeah, and 5.5 Dotto, help us understand that
there. Alright, so, I mean, the journey of Industry 4.0 started already a few years ago, and the journey of business, basically, the path of digital transformation, and the ability, it's all about connectivity, connecting devices to the Internet to extract the value to be able to monitor to be able to make your production more efficient, improve productivity, and so on. So, in their safety in an in many other aspects of it. So 5.0 is, is taking it to a next step where it makes it brings the human factor and the planet into the picture, you know, how do you do everything that you are trying to do yet? Keep in mind, the well being of the workers of the people in your factory and plant, and at the same time also preserve the well being of the planet, you know, with with everything that is going on? How do you achieve, you know, the net zero and so on? So there are other regulations and things that people want to do. And how does that how does IoT support that? Well, I need to be able to measure things. And I need to be able to monitor things to, to know where I'm at. And that's kind of how it's all connected. So it's kind of building on the business case, what is it that I want to do, and to build the business case that I need the right sensors, the right data to be collected to achieve a goal and that's kind of how you you sell the you know, the story? It's a use case?
Yeah, you do. And, and I know that many of the companies out there are inundated. I'm not talking about the larger companies. I'm just talking about the ones that are small to mid size and I and I'm passionate about them because I think that this what we talked about here at this particular event is transformative it can definitely improve the bottom line from a business perspective improve the bottom line that's one too it can improve the human element too as well and that that that to me I liked the fact that what you said about five Dotto and it's it's there's that human component, because all of a sudden for Dotto was just like hey, let's connect all the devices. Let's just do it. Let's call it collecting the data. Let's do this. Let's do this. And there was no conversation wrapped around that person. Right. And it's always person and process right people and process that that help companies succeed. And I do like that. But for me as a small guy, it you just I don't know where to start. I don't know who does Trust? I don't I don't, it's so overwhelming. Sure. And
these are kind of the roadblocks that you hear. I mean, implementers will say, Well look, if something is working, why do I need to change? Why do I want to introduce risk, and whether it's a pain, it's an investment, there's the fear of being connected, and the endless security risk associated with that. I mean, everyone, here's what's happening. So these are things that will hold, you know, vendors, and there's, you know, again, we said, it's a cost, you know, the devices have to have to be more smart and be able to do more things, you know, so there's aspects to that, that is factoring. And so, again, you got to be able to have the use case where you say that look, things are, are good, but I can make them better. And here's how, and you know, and
in, you can say, Yes, we can make it better, we can start incrementally to you don't have to say, Hey, I see your business, let's do a big bang. And then, you know,
that's, those are, you know, kind of the implementation becomes another aspect of that, but at a minimum is it's a journey, it's a path, where do you want to start? What is most important to you to connect to the internet and be able to, you know, do something with it that would sell it, you know, for further implementation? How
do you? There are a lot of businesses out there, that legacy business, right? They've been in business for years, whatever it might be, they've got existing PLCs, they've got they've got infrastructure there. How do you take a business like that, that's been around? And then try to create the common protocol? How do you? How do you begin working that through? So in the case of PLC here, I got a device here? And how do you begin sort of approach and I'm sorry, for that just popped into my head,
that's okay. So there are certain things, obviously, vendors will look always for, you know, the backward compatibility and being able to look, whatever I'm implementing, you know, there's the, the aspects of on my starting, you know, Greenfield or Brownfield, and that has to be part of the equation because it affects your investment. There are certain things that are, you know, if it's software easy to upgrade, but when it becomes a hardware, then it complicates the equation, and now, am i Does, does my firmware, you know, have the capability to do it, or I need to upgrade, so the investment becomes even larger, you know, so, so those are things that have to be taken into consideration, there is not really one answer to, you know, sort of depends on the situation on the architecture, the, the, the process that you're involved
with, but it just makes sense. Of course, yeah, you've got to evaluate it, you got to just look at it and, and I would imagine that evaluation would then yes, we can go this route, you don't want to just go you know, head on in and then create prop absolute so you have that
absolute I'll give you an example in one one area technology that we launched with collaboration with other organizations and there were many industry partners that were part of this and that is focused on the process industry and the the need there the pain points where I want it to get devices connected to the to the internet, and I want it the speed of the Ethernet, not hardwired or any other slower protocols and and so on. So, we worked together over three years to put the specifications and finally they are available and vendors are starting to build devices and the physical layer as we call it, the Advanced Physical Layer APL and that is based on using two wire single pair Ethernet that will get you you know the over 1000 meter distance in a process. It is also designed for intrinsic safe safety in mind. And because you're using two wires so you're allowing communication and power on the same two lines. So This is this is a very unique application where the need is, was there. But this also involves, you know, not only just a specification, the standard, the chips have to be, you know, so you have to come up. Yeah, so you have to come up with a physical layer. And they were partners with that. So you could see the ecosystem involves many players. So the chips have to be available to allow you to communicate on Ethernet onto wires. So it took years to get to that
point, yes. You can't just flip a switch. No, no. And you got to banter back and forth, you got to have that that dialogue,
right. So yeah, almost three years and development. And now the specifications are available. Now vendors are making devices, now, the conformance will start. And you could see that this is not, this is not a year in the making this, this will take time to get and start implementing these and their manufacturing or environments. And they I'm sure they will end users, we'll apply it first to where they really need it. And their pain points are,
which brings up an interesting component. But when we start talking about the need for Ethernet, let's say in creating the device that that allows for that to happen. Was it just because of the speed?
Is it speed primarily is a key to this? Yes.
But but for me, I can't see the difference. It? Was it really that?
It is Oh, and when you when you are commissioning a device? And you're talking taking minutes versus
no way? Yeah, it was really
Yeah. So about what it could take, there's enough difference that you make the business case that I need the speed.
That would drive me crazy. Yeah, I'm just telling you right now and took minutes.
And also I mean, the idea that you're you have seamless connectivity, Ethernet all the way to the device, I mean, it's a great thing you bring in history, you bring a lot of knowledge to that you bring the it, there's a lot more many more people and skills that understand Ethernet, it is
reliability to it. Communication perspective, just like
it's, I mean, obviously, the real reliability is a key one, but you're eliminating a lot of the heart wires. And sometimes those were where you're really not able to do the diagnostics, and monitoring. So this is this, this is giving you the data that you need, and the monitoring capability to make it more efficient and prevent. I mean, this is very important for for these environments. You want to be able to collect data, and plenty of it. To be able to do the analytics to know if my device is going to fail. And I don't want my plant to shut down. I can do preventive maintenance.
That's a big one. Yeah, that's a huge one. You need to get engaged with SMRP. That's another organization. How do they get a hold of you? If somebody says I want to talk to our I want to talk to I want to be involved in how do they get a hold?
ODVA.org abeydoun@ODVA.org. Okay. If you go on our website, there's contact information and we'll be happy to help.
ODVA. Okay. All right.or You did not disappoint out. That was great. I enjoyed that conversation in a big way. Thank you. Yeah. Excellent. All right, listen, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, we're gonna have all the contact information for our as well as ODVA.org reach out to that organization. If you have any questions got you need. You need trusted Sherpas to help you with this particular, you know, industry for Dotto journey. So, thank you very much. We're gonna wrap it up. Stay tuned, we will be right back.
You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.
Again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk. His name is Al the company is ODVA.org. And that was at IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. And, yeah, put that on your bucket list for next year. I'll have all the information and associated with that event out on Industrial Talk.com. And by the way, I'm looking at owl stack card, Dr. Owl, and you need to connect with him as well, it's going to be out on Industrial Talk. So don't come to me and say I can't find out because owl will be there and he is ready to connect. As I always say, we are building a platform, a platform that celebrates industry professionals, and we are providing because of the help of all of those industry professionals, a platform that educates opens up for collaboration, and definitely innovates this is what we need to do. If you're in industry, you need to be engaged, you need to always be seeking, seeking solutions seeking partners seeking individuals to help with your problems. That's what we're trying to do here at Industrial Talk and highlight all of the great innovations that are taking place and and also the great problem solving solutions that exist as well out on Industrial Talk. One last comment. There is an organization called Mercy Chefs. And I was very fortunate to be able to be a part of that a fundraising event at Accelerate 23 Look at it at Mercy Chefs see what you could do they provide food for areas that have been impacted. People will be brave, dare greatly hang out with people like Al and you're going to change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from IoT Solutions World Congress shortly so stay tuned.
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