Forbes: How Manufacturers Can Get IT And OT To Work Together

By | Blog, Featured Post

Organizations worldwide will spend $2.1 trillion a year on digital transformation projects by 2021. Considering this is double the 2017 levels, this clearly shows that digital transformation hardware, software and services is serious business.

And few business functions are hit harder by digital transformation than Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). Traditionally, these departments have operated in isolation, but digital transformation forces them to align.

This convergence is often met with resistance, so the big question is how can manufacturers successfully align IT and OT?

By showing IT and OT employees exactly how their departments benefit from aligning their processes, manufacturers can start embracing Industry 4.0.

The silo challenge

A factory is like a living organism with many different parts to it; there’s the materials, the machines, the people and the systems that they use to make high quality products.

IT and OT are key parts of that living organism. However, the challenge for manufacturers is that IT and OT often work in silos with little interaction, even when it concerns critical production data. This results in a lack of visibility into how each department’s role fits in the manufacturing organism. Consider the IT decision maker. Their chief concerns are around privacy and security; that’s what keeps them up at night. While the Operations team is more interested in uptime and safety.

So it’s no surprise that as digital transformation forces these two departments to align, conflict will arise. Many manufacturers have discussed the convergence of IT and OT for some time, and many fear the change.


AI and Machine Learning Usher in a New Era of Intelligent Industrial Automation

By | Blog

In the week that we at Oden launch the industry’s first cloud and edge Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework for manufacturing, I wanted to examine what this means for the future of intelligent industrial automation.

The manufacturing sector is excited about the potential of AI and ML. 2018 research from The Manufacturer that 92% of senior manufacturing executives believe that digital technologies, including AI, will empower them to increase production and efficiency.

While many other sectors have adopted AI and ML, manufacturing has been slow to progress their application. This is because the complexity and specificity of manufacturing processes have required heavily customized solutions developed by internal data science teams.

Yet Machine Learning and AI have so much to offer manufacturing. The future is all about intelligence and intelligent industrial automation where manufacturers never automate a bad process. Let’s look at some of the potential deployments of AI and ML technologies.

How AI and ML with transform manufacturing

Machine Learning and AI will ultimately be able to provide manufacturers with prescriptive answers to production challenges that humans simply cannot. The top line is that, in tandem, they will help manufacturers make products as efficiently as possible, eliminating waste and reducing downtime.

Repeat processes can be automated and continually improved to their optimum production and efficiency levels as the application learns, assesses and iterates those processes.

It all starts with data. The success of any application of AI and ML relies on the quality of data collected. Manufacturers need to gather the right data in the right formats and in the right quantity. Otherwise, the application could ‘learn’ the wrong things and will not make informed decisions.

Automation is going to play a huge role in the digital transformation of manufacturing as producers embrace Industry 4.0. AI and ML are key to making that automation effective. We see a huge gap between manufacturers who are exploring automation, AI and ML, and those who are deploying them successfully.

To make the adoption of AI and ML much simpler for all manufacturers, we’ve developed the industry’s first end-to-end Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence framework for manufacturing.

A new framework for manufacturing

Oden’s new, patent-pending infrastructure spans both the cloud and the edge, the framework allows manufacturers to deploy mission-critical ML and AI applications to avoid machine failure, eliminate waste, and optimize production in real-time.

The framework integrates ML algorithms and data science tools with both structured and unstructured data from machines, operator inputs, quality assurance (QA), work order, environmental monitors and product specs. The hybrid cloud and edge infrastructure delivers the power of the cloud without compromising the requirements of mission-critical applications.

Manufacturers can use the framework to continuously monitor their manufacturing process to predict quality and machine health, detect abnormal behavior, and provide recommendations on recipes and process settings. They can also prototype and test new ideas rapidly, and deploy them quickly with little or no overhead.

Every organization is unique and manufacturers cannot take a “one size fits all” approach to deploying AI and Machine Learning. This is why we’ve developed a platform to provide manufacturers with the flexibility that they need to deploy intelligent industrial automation in their production processes and supply chains.

Are you excited about the potential of AI and ML at your factory? Have you any questions about how you could apply them and become a future-proof, intelligent manufacturer? Check out our whitepaper on ML and AI applications for manufacturing or get in touch to learn more.

Delivering on Key Benefits of Machine Learning and AI for Manufacturers

By | Blog

As manufacturers prepare to reap the benefits of Industry 4.0, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven applications are widely expected to play the key role in their success.

These new types of applications will help operators, process engineers, and management solve their operational and production problems with diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive answers. Ultimately, they will increase efficiency, minimize waste, and drive innovation across the factory floor.

But the task of delivering production grade ML and AI applications have historically proven difficult to execute. Until now.

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of Mímir – the Oden Operational ML and AI framework. Our framework brings together all the manufacturing data and best-in-breed ML tools and algorithms tailored for manufacturing, as well as an enterprise-grade deployment infrastructure spanning the cloud and the edge.

This framework is designed to manage all steps of the ML and AI application lifecycle, including exploration, training, validation, deployment, and monitoring. Once deployed, it enables manufacturers to build and operationalize mission-critical applications that are robust, verifiable, and scalable. Oden’s ML and AI framework is also designed to be extensible; it supports the creation of both foundational, general-purpose applications in addition to customer and problem-specific models. 

The Mímir framework is available to Oden’s customers from today. To learn more about our ML and AI solutions, you can download our white paper, or email us at

Oden Launches Industry’s First Cloud and Edge Machine Learning and AI Framework for Manufacturing

By | Blog

New York, December 4, 2018 – Oden Technologies, the intelligent industrial automation provider, announced today the industry’s first end-to-end Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework for manufacturing.

With a novel, patent-pending infrastructure spanning both the cloud and the edge, the framework allows manufacturers to deploy mission-critical ML and AI applications to avoid machine failure, eliminate waste, and optimize production in real-time.

Despite the increasing adoption of Machine Learning and AI across other industries, their applications in process manufacturing have been limited. The complexity and specificity of manufacturing processes have traditionally demanded heavily customized solutions developed by internal data science teams.

Oden’s production-ready ML and AI framework is tailored specifically for manufacturing processes. It integrates ML algorithms and data science tools with both structured and unstructured data from machines, operator inputs, QA, work orders, environmental monitors, and product specs. The hybrid cloud and edge infrastructure delivers the power of the cloud without compromising the requirements of mission-critical applications.

The framework can be used to continuously monitor the manufacturing process to predict quality and machine health, detect abnormal behavior, and provide recommendations on recipes and process settings. Manufacturers can leverage the Oden framework to rapidly prototype and test new ideas for process monitoring and optimization, and more importantly, deploy them directly into their mission-critical operations with little to no overhead.

“Today’s launch marks the first step to delivering intelligent industrial automation to our customers,” said Willem Sundblad, co-founder and CEO, Oden Technologies. “The future of manufacturing demands intelligent systems that can provide real answers to the production issues manufacturers have been asking for decades. Only then can they achieve perfect production, with zero waste”.

The Oden platform provides continuous visibility into factory operations and processes, with customers seeing improvements such as a 20 percent increase in monthly output and 50 percent decrease in total scrap, resulting in millions of dollars in savings and additional revenue each year. Dr. Deepak Turaga, VP of Data Science at Oden Technologies, believes that the open and extensible nature of this ML and AI framework will accelerate such gains significantly.

“One-size-fits-all approach to Machine Learning and AI will never deliver on its full potential”, he commented. “That’s why our goal is to provide customers with the best-in-breed foundational ML and AI applications tailored for manufacturing, and the framework tools to easily extend and adapt them to their specific requirements and processes.

The ultimate benefits of Oden’s ML and AI framework extend beyond improving current production processes and operational efficiency. By integrating structured and unstructured data, supported by best of breed ML tools, it can be used to capture both implicit and explicit process know-how. In the future, this will allow manufacturers to leverage the system in bridging their talent skills gap.

To learn more about our Mímir ML framework download our whitepaper, or contact us at


About Oden
Oden Technologies is the intelligent industrial automation company empowering manufacturers to achieve perfect production by providing complete visibility into all the production processes in real-time. The Oden platform wirelessly collects data from any machine, integrates it with third-party systems, and delivers instantaneous insights leading to effective quality control, timely maintenance and lower machine downtimes, optimized operations, and higher customer satisfaction. Oden investors include Atomico, EQT Ventures, Inbox Capital, and LocalGlobe.

Oden Discusses the Benefits of Technology for Fabrication Shops in the FF Journal

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I recently spoke with the the FF Journal about fabricators and the benefits of investing in technology to alleviate pain points on the shop floor.

Below is an excerpt from the article.

Advanced technology isn’t meant to simply replace people. “A combination of tech and talent still matters,” Acieta’s Poole says. “In order for companies to attract the best talent from this younger workforce, they need to show that their operation is looking to the future and investing in technology that will keep workers interested and engaged with the work they do.”

Fabricators compete for the same dwindling talent pool. Investing in new technologies is an important part of attracting new talent, says Willem Sundblad, CEO of Oden Technologies, which provides data acquisition hardware and process analytics software for manufacturers. Shops needn’t overhaul equipment either. Analytical tools can connect to machines new and old.

“You can easily double your efficiency without purchasing new equipment or undergoing a massive factory overhaul, just by understanding your current process,” Sundblad says. “Shops find that they can become more productive just by allowing their teams to solve more problems faster and be as efficient as possible.”

Read the Full Article

Forbes: Beyond Digital Transformation: How Industry 4.0 Benefits Your Customers, Employees, and Culture

By | Blog

It’s no secret that Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has the power to drive true quantifiable change in the manufacturing industry. The immediate bottom-line production benefits are clear: fewer machine failures, reduced scrap and downtime issues, and improved throughput – to name a few. However, there are additional, less quantifiable, benefits of implementing this technology.

One trend that I’ve started seeing among manufacturers is the use of Industry 4.0 to create a positive, cultural shift across an organization. Think about how lean manufacturing and Six Sigma revolutionized the plant floor by turning production workers into problem solvers striving for continuous improvement. Similarly, Industry 4.0 is transforming how factory employees work, collaborate, and serve their customers.

The best-in-class Industry 4.0 solutions aggregate data not only from machines but from existing third-party systems – MES, ERP, maintenance, SCADA. The Industry 4.0 platform becomes a single source of truth for all manufacturing operations. Decision makers across the entire organization gain access to the same unified data set, rather than relying on disparate systems or manual data-collection.

Effectively, Industry 4.0 eliminates the silos that create frustration and disagreements between employees about the source of production issues. The availability of open, connected data means that plant managers, engineers, and management can now work together to objectively solve production problems. It also results in improved customer satisfaction, increased supply chain transparency, and enhanced employee engagement.


Forbes: Human-Technology Symbiosis in Manufacturing: Changing the Discussion About Automation and Workforce

By | Blog

Part 2 in a two-part series exploring the less tangible benefits of Industry 4.0.

Will technology help or replace workers?

The debate within manufacturing about whether technology will completely replace people is interesting, but it’s the wrong debate to be having. Technology is changing the workforce, it’s a fact, and it has eliminated low-skilled manufacturing jobs in the past; but it’s not as black-and-white as most arguments suggest.

Rather, the discussion should be about the concept of human-machine (or man-computer) symbiosis, the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and technology, and how machines and software can intelligently and physically increase the productivity of the systems to be more than that of human or machine alone. With the emergence of Industry 4.0 and the capabilities of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the conversation should refocus on how to best transition displaced workers into the high-salaried, higher-skilled roles that are created along with the adoption of technology.

In fact, human-machine symbiosis is not a new concept. We know this from historical experience–and not just the old go-to story of the first Industrial Revolution.  Accountants have abandoned handwritten ledgers in favor of electronic spreadsheets. Product designers and architects have transitioned from manual to automated drawing tools. And few scientists and engineers use the once ubiquitous slide rule to assist with calculations. In each of these instances, technology eliminated tedious, time-consuming manual work, even as it augmented the education, skills and experience of the professionals.


Forbes: How Industry 4.0 Helps Manufacturers Solve Workforce Challenges

By | Blog, Featured Post

Part 1 in a two-part series exploring the less tangible benefits of Industry 4.0.

Stuck between a soon-to-be retired workforce and a cohort of young engineers and operators with comparatively less experience, manufacturers are in a bind. They have job openings, but can’t find qualified people to fill them.

While the general public believes that all of the manufacturing jobs are going away, unemployment figures tell a different story. Since 2011, manufacturing unemployment has been lower than overall unemployment, sometimes by wide margins.

Exacerbating the issue is the skills gap, which means the jobs that employers need filled require skills that most of the unemployment pool doesn’t have. Manufacturers need highly skilled engineers and machine operators, but often times it’s those without this required skill set that are looking for work.

The result is that almost every factory I visit has open engineering positions and is struggling to run their business with a workforce that’s smaller than ideal.

One of the solutions to this conundrum is technology. Industry 4.0 technologies amplify the contributions of every employee, from the highest skilled engineer to the entry-level operator, increasing their productivity, so manufacturers  can do more with fewer employees. Here’s how it helps address each aspect of manufacturers’ workforce problem.


Forbes: ‘Machines As A Service’: Industry 4.0 Powers OEM Aftermarket Revenue Growth

By | Blog

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are no strangers to boom or bust sales cycles. Traditionally, they’re either ramping up production to meet demand or seeking ways to slash costs when sales are down.

But Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is enabling new sales models that generate more consistent revenue streams for OEMs. There are considerable benefits for forward-thinking manufacturers that transition from selling a product to offering, “machines as a service.” Rather than relying on a one-time sale, they’re charging customers based on machine use and service.

Machines as a service can revolutionize the way OEMs design, sell and service products. It will be a win-win for OEMs and their customers, as both partners benefit from increased predictability.

Selling uptime as a differentiator

It’s a business model that’s becoming more prominent across a wide range of industrial products, including Rolls-Royce’s aircraft and marine engines. The U.K. company is an example of a manufacturer that’s leveraged IoT to turn a high-value asset into a continuous source of revenue.

Rolls-Royce offers “power-by-the-hour” service agreements that allow customers to pay a fixed rate per hour of operation rather than purchasing the engine outright. The company assumes responsibility for ongoing maintenance and provides predictive maintenance services based on insights from their IoT-enabled engines that wirelessly send machine data to four Rolls-Royce centers for monitoring.

Now compare that service model to the more common fail-and-fix approaches in which OEMs sell the equipment outright and only provide service when a machine breaks down. OEMs that adopt machines as a service differentiate themselves from competitors by guaranteeing 100% uptime and only charging for actual usage.


Oden Talks Industry 4.0 in Wire Journal International

By | Blog

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Wire Journal International on the increased adoption of Industry 4.0 and how more manufacturers are embracing digital transformation and analytics.

Below is an excerpt from the feature.


How has your activity in Industry 4.0 most changed since the 2016 report?

In 2016 it felt like we had to do a lot of education and evangelization about Industry 4.0, but now we don’t have to introduce the topic anymore. Our company, Oden Technologies, and client base has grown exponentially, and we’re seeing bigger audiences at our speaking engagements and webinars. However, the one thing I’m very excited by is that we’re moving deeper and deeper in the Industry 4.0 technology to deliver more value. We’ve hired a VP of Data Science, Deepak Turaga, who led IBM’s AI and Machine Learning group so we can move further and truly deliver on the promise of Industry 4.0 with predictive quality and predictive maintenance.

Other industries and media, outside of manufacturing, are catching on to the potential of Industry 4.0. I’ve been asked to be a contributor to on the future of manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Additionally, we just closed a new round of funding with Atomico, and throughout the process we saw just how much venture capitalists and large financial institutions are seeing the tremendous value data analytics can provide manufacturers.

Read the Full Feature

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