The event featured close to 40 presentations, including keynotes, three tracks of technical sessions, workshops, demos and other presentations. The conference culminated with ICC’s traditional Build-a-Thon contest, in which participants design and construct a SCADA application using Inductive’s web-based Ignition software, which is gaining applications as users transition to greater digitalization, but try to keep it simple.
“We’ve been talking about these technologies for years, but digital transformation has been giving them a new level of urgency lately,” says Colby Clegg, CEO at Inductive, which also celebrated two decades in business earlier this year. “If you’re at ICC, you’re likely already among the forward-thinking, but we believe Inductive can help everyone get on the proactive side of that urgency, help with their digitization journeys, and make real and lasting change, which we believe comes from the bottom up.”
This assistance began with Ignition software’s unlimited licensing, continued with Ignition Edge unified gateways and Inductive’s partnership with Cirrus-Link and its MQTT publish-subscribe protocol, and was demonstrated most recently by Ignition Cloud Edition, which lets users achieve value from the edge to the cloud, and is now available via AWS Marketplace and Microsoft Azure.
For instance, a wall of input from members of the Ignition Community and their #WhatTheHeckIsIgnition social media posts detail all ways they’ve employed and advanced the web-based SCADA software. “We’ve often talked about how Ignition is ‘the new SCADA,’ but it’s so much more,” says Travis Cox, chief technology evangelist at Inductive. “Ignition is what its community makes of it because it can harness the collaboration of all kind of all kinds of work groups.”
Firebrand winners shine again
As usual, ICC’s Discovery Gallery (icc.inductiveautomation.com/discover-gallery) was featured another crop of projects by end users and system integrators, including 10 finalists and six who won the 2023 Firebrand Awards. The winners and their projects included:
• 2Gi Technologie helped Saint-Gobain PAM modernize its 150-year-old, waterpipe manufacturing plant by employing Ignition as an paperless enterprise platform, which enables a six-person team to manage the facility’s transformation, and implement SCADA, MES, ERP, track and trace, quality control, and other functions.
• ESM Automation Systems used Ignition to help Creature Technology Co. develop its C-Tech 2 system, which provides simple visual tools for theatrical technicians to modify or create interactions and motion of complex animatronic dinosaur figures- without needing to access or be experts in PLC, motion or SCADA programming.
• Grantek built an alarm management system for Merck & Co.’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Wet Point, Pa. The system integrator employed Ignition Perspective to deliver alarm monitoring, historization and a management interface for more than 10,000 points, while also delivering ad hoc and scheduled reporting tools to assist rationalization of up to 30,000 alarm events per day.
• Room in the Inn (RITI) housing, health, education and employment provider in Nashville, Tenn., worked with system integrator Vertech to reconcile the Client Track, Volgistics, JotForm, and Razor’s Edge software packages, Excel spreadsheets and email system it employs to run its 13 homeless shelters, 111 congregations, and thousands of homeless participants and volunteers. Vertech used Ignition to develop RITI’s Discovery homeless management information system (HMIS) software.
• Skellig Automation helped Center for Breakthrough Medicine (CBM) develop an automation infrastructure and data management system (DMS) for what it reports is the world’s largest cell and gene therapy program. The DMS combines open-source technologies, including Opto 22’s groovEPIC controllers, Ignition’s web-based SCADA software and Canary’s Historian, which all use MQTT publish-subscribe protocol.
• Vantage Data Centers designed and deployed a hub-and-spoke Ignition Perspective system to monitor and control multiple data centers across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region; support continuous improvement with SCADA synchronization; and reduced development and deployment cycle for new projects from a few months to a few weeks.
Similarly, just as the Ignition Exchange program provides a one-stop resources shop of resources for Ignition users, Inductive also launched its Sparkplug Data Dash program that publishes edge performance data from 50 companies via Cirrus Link’s bridge to Snowflake’s Data Cloud, so other participants can benefit from their input and digital transformation experiences. For example, the World Economic Forum’s Lighthouse program recently recognized Ignition users for modernizing and improving efficiency by 15% at CEAT’s tire manufacturing plants in India, which reduced their carbon footprint and water use.
For more coverage of the sessions and projects presented at ICC 2023, visit icc.inductiveautomation.com.