Company experts say that sending all data from real-time devices to the Cloud may not be practical—unless edge-computing is utilized to ensure only important data is sent to the Cloud.
October 30, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff
Caption: (From left) Philip Harting, Troy Hammond, Jon DeSouza at HARTING Americas Media Event.
ELGIN, Illinois—HARTING Americas held its annual media event on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.
This year’s event focused on a business update from the company and several key initiatives–including IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) initiatives, a new industry-changing campaign, and a special announcement from HARTING and the college.
Keeping the Momentum – Business Update
The event began with a business update from HARTING Americas president and chief executive officer Jon DeSouza, who spoke about the company’s success in the Americas in HARTING’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended in September. He began by stating some key figures for the company over the past year, including 20% growth in North America, 22.4% growth in the opportunity pipeline, 64.2% new product revenue growth, and 15.5% North American manufactured products overall revenue growth.
DeSouza then stated HARTING’s fiscal year 2018 initiatives to continue that growth: The first is to capitalize on economic recovery and growth. Then to expand digital marketing initiatives. Third is to focus on South America development by enlarging the area HARTING serves. Next is the expansion of their IIoT footprint through smart connectivity and edge computing. Fifth is expanding manufacturing footprint and technology development. Finally, he stated the company expects continued growth throughout all major vertical markets.
Next, HARTING’s chairman of the board Philip Harting spoke regarding global successes and initiatives. Over the past two years, the company has seen substantial successes, Harting recounted, from the winning of the Hermes award in 2016, to a 10% global growth in fiscal year 2017, to the expansion of new facilities in Mexico, Romania, and India.
Next, Harting announced the partnership with the Robotation Academy in Foshan, China as one of 21 partner companies in the fields of robotics, automation and Industry 4.0. The Robotation Academy provides trainings, conferences and presentations on future technology trends.
Finally, Harting thanked the company’s strong partners in the U.S., including MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Texas Instruments, the Industrial Internet Consortium, IBM Watson, and Microsoft stating that HARTING’s key strategy for success is through partnerships.
IIoT Discussion – Edge Devices and Cloud Computing
Following the business up-date, HARTING’s director of new technology Dr. Vivek Dave, and business development executive at IBM Peter Xu gave a talk on edge devices and cloud computing—the explosion of connected devices that makes edge-computing necessary. There are three main drivers for edge-computing.
The first is that sending all data from real-time devices to the Cloud is not practical. By 2020, there will be an estimated 30-50 billion connected devices. Without edge-computing, all data, even unnecessary data, produced by those devices would go to the Cloud resulting in a substantial need for data center storage. Instead, edge devices can ensure only important information would go to the Cloud by sorting data directly on the device.
Next, some data must be processed quickly and locally. “Think about an autonomous car,“ Dr. Vivek Dave said. “You don’t want to have to wait to connect to the Cloud. You need that car to be able to make decisions right there. That is why devices at the edge, or device level, are necessary.“
Third, local processing creates a ‘knowledge firewall’ and retains proprietary expertise, which is important to many companies and industries.
Then IBM’s Peter Xu took the stage. Xu is involved in applications for IBM customers on a global basis and discussed the balance between Edge and Cloud Computing. The architecture that IBM is adopting as this combined Edge – Cloud architecture is very compatible with the HARTING approach.
Finally, the talk focused on the convergence of the Cloud and edge devices. Dr. Dave stated that the solution for the projected 30-50 billion connected devices by 2020 is utilizing an edge computing front end to send only important data to the Cloud combined with a powerful Cloud computing back end to make complex calculations.
Smart Han Brings Intelligence to the Connector
To continue on the company’s IIoT initiatives, HARTING’s global director of product management and industry segment management Andre Beneke, and HARTING Americas director of product management Cory Jenkins shared the company’s newest evolution of their Han-Modular product line, Smart Han.
The Smart Han integrates active components into the connector system allowing connection to the IIoT. These new modules feature the same footprint as all other Han-Modular modules. They can be integrated into any Han-Modular system making the Han-Modular the gateway to the IIoT.
Industrial Transformation Begins Here… New Han-Modular Campaign
Next, HARTING announced a newly-developed short film to reintroduce their Han-Modular product line to the industry. The protagonist of this new 90-second movie is an engineer who is struggling with a design. The solution is HARTING’s Han-Modular series, which is illustrated as a robot that transforms as the engineer’s design changes. The film was developed with a Hollywood agency based in Chicago.
“We wanted to do something different, something that the industry hasn’t seen before,“ said HARTING Americas vice-president of marketing communications and digital transformation Christina Chatfield. “At the same time, we wanted to do something that would excite and inspire engineers. We knew we had to do something big.“
This film marks the beginning of a new marketing campaign for the product that focuses on the benefits of the product line, which includes space-savings, design flexibility, IIoT compatibility, and low-maintenance for the end-user.
“Han-Modular is a very important product for the industry,“ said HARTING Americas director of product management Cory Jenkins. “It was developed in 1996 with six modules. Now there are over 100 modules, and Han-Modular remains our fastest-growing product line.“
HARTING Cuts Ribbon of HARTING Electronics Lab at North Central College
HARTING and North Central College in Naperville announced that they have opened a lab dedicated by HARTING to introduce basic electronic methods and applications to students of the College. In addition to naming the lab, HARTING has pledged to donate equipment and products for students.
“This lab is very exciting for us, “says HARTING Americas president and chief executive officer Jon DeSouza, “as it represents things that are very important to the company. The first is HARTING’s investment to education and shaping the minds of young engineers. In addition, it was important to select a college nearby our Elgin, IL North American headquarters so that we support our local community.“
HARTING’S chairman of the board Philip Harting called the ceremony a ‘milestone’ and expressed his enthusiasm for furthering the partnership and connecting with students who may be “possible employees for our future.”
President of North Central College Troy D. Hammond also noted HARTING’s global success and its ability to be responsive to the changing needs of its customers. “We intend to support HARTING’s success by generating talented graduates,” he said. “We’re proud to partner with HARTING to ensure we both have a brilliant future.”
The HARTING Electronics Lab is located in the newly-named Wentz Science Center in room 111.
The HARTING Technology Group, family-owned and based in Germany, employs more than 4,300 people globally with subsidiaries and branch offices in 40 countries. With production facilities in Europe, Asia, Mexico and the U.S., the HARTING portfolio of connectivity solutions focuses on multiple levels, from the machine to the device and into the communication infrastructure. The U.S. facility in Elgin is one of three HARTING locations that manufactures the HIS product line (HARTING Integrated Solutions – backplanes) and custom cable assemblies. HARTING also has custom cable assembly capabilities in Mexico and Brazil. The company’s core business is intelligent and high-performance connection technology. HARTING works in almost all industrial markets with a focus on requirements for robust, reliable connectivity solutions.