In Talks

Accelerating the Path to Industry 4.0

Daryl Wan, Sales Director, Analog Devices India, ASEAN, ANZ

Techmezine speaks with Daryl Wan, Sales Director, Analog Devices India, ASEAN, ANZ on Analog’s future in India.

1. Can you please share an overview of Analog Devices?

 Analog Devices is a world leader in designing, manufacturing, and marketing a broad portfolio of high-performance analog, mixed-signal, and digital signal processing (DSP) integrated circuits (ICs) used in virtually all types of electronic equipment. Since our inception in 1965, we have focused on solving the engineering challenges associated with signal processing in electronic equipment. Used by over 100,000 customers worldwide, our signal processing products play a fundamental role in converting, conditioning, and processing real-world phenomena such as temperature, pressure, sound, light, speed, and motion into electrical signals to be used in a wide array of electronic devices. We focus on key strategic markets where our signal processing technology is often a critical differentiator in our customers’ products, namely the industrial, automotive, communications, and consumer markets.

We currently produce a wide range of innovative products—including data converters, amplifiers and linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology and other sensors, and processing products, including DSP and other processors—that are designed to meet the needs of our broad base of customers.

ADI ventured into India in 1995 with a three-person product development centre. Today, ADI India is a global development centre for ADI, working collaboratively across all ADI businesses on all stages of product development – from concept to silicon to production to application – as well as providing the supporting software. ADI India’s product portfolio includes digital signal processors (DSP), complex system on chip (SoC), analog to digital (ADC) and digital to analog (DAC) precision converters, video processing, ultra-low power microcontrollers, high-speed converters, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), software tools and algorithms.

 2. What does it mean for ADI to face the emerging scenario of the Industrial Internet of Things?

Implementing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is not a question of making existing systems and processes faster, more efficient, or more accurate; it calls for adopting completely new and different technologies. Functions such as condition-based monitoring (CbM) and systems such as autonomous vehicles and cobots were never before found in factories, but are core elements of the IIoT.

By digitizing and connecting factory operations, the IIoT has also given rise to new requirements for safety equipment and processes and for data security that were never needed before.

For Analog Devices’ entire existence—it was founded in 1965—we have been dedicated to the development of analog-to-digital capabilities: to sense, measure, interpret, connect, power, and secure. These capabilities are an ideal match for the requirements of customers that are implementing the IIoT.

3. What technology can be used in Ethernet Connectivity?

 The proliferation of sensors throughout factories and process plants is generating vast flows of real-time data. Legacy communication protocols between sensor nodes and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), such as 4 mA to 20 mA control loops, are giving way to ultrafast industrial variants of the Ethernet protocol, enabling increasing integration of operational technology (OT) infrastructure in the factory with information technology (IT) in the enterprise.

In responding to this new demand for high-speed data transfer in the factory, OEMs need to future-proof their system implementations, so that they support not only industrial Ethernet protocols in use today, such as PROFINET® and EtherCAT, but also the emerging time-sensitive networking (TSN) variant of Ethernet.

We expect the future backbone of connectivity in factories to be TSN. While a mix of Industrial Ethernet protocols is in use today, there are huge industry benefits in standardizing on the TSN Ethernet protocol. Manufacturers should be specifying TSN-ready solutions with a roadmap of other enhancements if they are to ensure their network investments are part of a longer-term plan.

To support the transition to Industrial Ethernet—and ultimately to TSN—Analog Devices provides an Ethernet platform which enables systems to swap from one Ethernet protocol to another without the need for hardware redesign, giving industrial equipment manufacturers flexibility to meet the requirements of different customers with a single-platform product.

On top of this, Analog Devices products already include TSN features and are regularly upgraded to support new provisions in the draft TSN standard as they are introduced.

Industrial companies should also think carefully about data security alongside any introduction of Ethernet networking in the factory. The vulnerability of an Industrial Ethernet network is very different from that of legacy 4 mA to 20 mA systems: an attack on a 4 mA to 20 mA node only exposes the device immediately connected to that node. By contrast, an attack on an Ethernet node potentially exposes the entire factory network to the threat of malware or intrusion. Robust data security technologies can ensure that factories gain the benefits of high-speed connectivity without any increased risk to business continuity or integrity.

Optimizing security requires a system-level approach instead of thinking about the requirements of any particular device or endpoint. Security can be delivered in a variety of ways throughout the system—within edge devices, controllers, gateways, or further up the stack. Before focusing on the how at any given point in the network, systems specifiers should focus on questions of where and how much.

This should both consider the threat level at each point, as well as the cost of countering the threat, to add effective security with the fewest trade-offs in power, performance, and latency. A layered approach will result in a superior overall security posture.

Manufacturers would be wise to invest time and resources, either organically or by choosing a partner such as Analog Devices, in a system-level approach that expands security expertise beyond the machine level.

 4. What technology can be used in Intelligent Robots and Cobots?

 Robotic technologies often captivate human attention for their broad—and still growing— autonomous operating capabilities. They also attract our attention because we can see how they’re changing the very face of industrial operations. And now with the advent of collaborative robots or Cobots, experts in the automation sector all seem to agree that the future of collaborative robots is brightening by the day. The market is anticipated to develop rapidly over the next decade, with more expansion possible.

 The foundational element for these innovations lies in their utility factor. While both of them are similar in their nature of concept and functionality, however, they do differ in their respective areas of applications. Cobots can perform a similar range of activities to industrial robots but are smaller and lighter. This means that the average cobot cannot match a traditional industrial robot in terms of payload, reach and speed, but has a much smaller footprint and is more adaptable.

Analog Devices is leading the revolution in industrial robotics, in areas including motion control, functional safety, advanced sensing, and system-level design. ADI’s sensing, measurement, interpretation, connectivity, and power capabilities take real-world phenomena and translate them into valuable insights and outcomes, whether it’s improved dynamic control or worker safety. Our domain experts collaborate with partners and customers, not only to consider their immediate needs but also to uncover the greater underlying design challenges. Together, with customers, we architect robotics systems and solutions, meeting their needs and exceeding their aspirations.

These advancements in automation and industrial robotics are shaping the future of work. Increased human / robot collaboration is maximizing the contributions of human workers, better scaling the critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills held by humans – allowing them to be more effective and productive. With complex, repetitive, and often dangerous tasks being performed by robotic technology, human workers are freed up to take on more cognitive, inclusive, and safer work. “Robots as a service” is creating new business models and more job opportunities for workers.

5. Please introduce the ADcmXL3021 Module for Condition-based Monitoring (CbM)?

 The goal of CbM should not just be nonstop operation—it should be to achieve nonstop operation continuously at maximum efficiency.

 To achieve this, MEMS sensor technology is of crucial importance: it is enabling the development of new sensor types that are small, robust, and able to precisely measure vibration and motion. For instance, low noise, and wide bandwidth accelerometers offer the high precision and accuracy required to identify subtle changes in the vibration signature of a machine. Coupled with sensor analytics software, these devices enable equipment operators to pinpoint the source of a potential failure long before it occurs and to apply preventive maintenance measures in good time.

Analog Devices have a broad range of solutions within its advanced Industry 4.0 roadmap aimed at helping industrial equipment OEMs accelerate their path to Industry 4.0. These new solutions deliver next-generation flexibility, connectivity, and efficiency for today’s existing factory infrastructure. One of these products is the ADcmXL3021 module which is a complete sensing system based on ADI’s award-winning micromechanical (MEMS) sensor technology.

The ADcmXL3021 wide bandwidth, low noise vibration sensor module helps increase productivity and reduces equipment repair by monitoring early indicators of machine fatigue and failure across industrial equipment and transport vehicles. This triaxial vibration sensing module combines the MEMS sensor with several signal processing functions within a compact form factor to simplify development and provide a significant bill of materials savings for smart sensor nodes in Condition-based Monitoring (CbM) systems.

The ADcmXL3021 is a complete vibration sensing system that combines high-performance vibration sensing using MEMS accelerometers with a variety of signal processing functions to simplify the development of smart sensor nodes in CbM systems. The typical ultralow noise density of 26 μg/√Hz in the MEMS accelerometers supports excellent resolution whilst the wide bandwidth, dc to 10 kHz within 3 dB flatness, enables tracking of key vibration signatures on many machine platforms.

6. Can you briefly introduce ADI’s advantages and future development plans in the Industrial Automation market?

 With over 55 years of domain expertise, ADI has the experience to accelerate the development of future-proof solutions to the industrial automation challenges of today and tomorrow. Simplify design with complete system-level solutions for reusable platforms, algorithms to extract new insights and proven reference designs for fast prototyping and customization.

Through superior innovation and a premier technology franchise, Analog Devices is increasing productivity on factory floors, enabling personalized output with flexible manufacturing, and producing intelligent edge insights that reduce raw material usage and energy consumption. As a trusted advisor, ADI works hand-in-hand with our customers to co-create easily adopted solutions, enable digital transformation, and build a sustainable industrial future.

Our innovations like Condition-based Monitoring (CbM), Intelligent Motion Control, Industrial Power Supplies, Industrial Robotics, and Industrial Functional Safety, have been constantly accelerating industrial connectivity, aiding in flexibility through agile manufacturing and also creating a safe working environment for our workforce.

We will continue to sustain this momentum to more elevated heights for the development of seamlessly connected automation equipment and industrial infrastructure with trusted industrial connectivity solutions for all.

 7. Please share a few details about the company’s expansion and growth plans in India.

 ADI has always believed in playing an increasingly important role in helping bolster our core technology expertise and also bringing those technologies together to solve system-level solutions for our customers across the globe. India is a critical part of our global operations given its dynamic workforce of visionaries who we have developed five generations of ADI’s industry-leading SHARC® digital signal processors out of the India centre.

In India, we have been focused on defence, space, process control, UPS/inverter and energy markets, which traditionally have done indigenous development. We are seeing a lot of activity around healthcare, communication infrastructure and automotive with multinational and design houses in recent years. Our engineers are striving hard to achieve the legacy of our global counterpart here in India as well.

In response to our expanding business, which includes multinational corporations, significant Indian public sector organisations, design firms, and a significant number of smaller to medium original equipment manufacturers, we have increased our investments in marketing, sales, and field support engineering (OEMs). We are expecting to elevate our foothold in the Indian semiconductor industry backed by the ‘Designed in India’ trend and to align our expectations with that of the government’s initiatives to push ‘Made in India’ which will help the company succeed further.

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