Business Models, IIoT, Industry 4.0, Interviews

Industry of Things World Berlin Interview with Conference Chair Hany Moustapha

Professor Hany Moustapha, a leading thinker on the future of Industrial IoT with a world class record in the Aerospace industry, will be chairing the Industry of Things World congress in Berlin. Dale Rickert, Portfolio Director at Industry of Things World, sat down with him to speak about his role in the course of the congress, how the IoT environment has changed in the last 5 years and the social responsibility that lies within IoT implementation.

About Hany Moustapha:
Hany Moustapha currently holds various roles: He is Professor and Director of Aerospace Programs and Aerospace 4.0 at ÉTS University of Quebec, Senior Research Fellow of Pratt & Whitney Canada, Siemens’s Chair on Industry 4.0 Technology Integration and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Canadian Academy of Engineers (CAE), Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) and Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers (CSME). With P&WC from 1978 to 2010, he was Senior Manager of Technology from 1999 to 2009 and was named Senior Research Fellow in 2011.

He is the Canadian industry member of NATO. He is Adjunct Professor at Carleton University (Canada) and Rzeszow University (Poland), as well as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (U.S.A.). He is an active member of committees within the CRIAQ and Aero Montreal. He is the founder of the Montreal Aerospace Institute and a co-founder of CRIAQ.
He is the author and co-author of over 100 publications and two books on gas turbines. He is the recipient of 30 national and international awards since 1980, including: Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec (2013), James C. Floyd Award AIAC (2012), CASI Senior McCurdy Award (2008), ADRIQ Prix Carrière industrielle (2007), etc.

Dale Rickert: We are sitting here today with Professor Hany Moustapha, a leading thinker on the future of Industrial IoT with a world class record in the Aerospace industry. Professor Moustapha is conference chair for the upcoming Industry of Things World congress taking place in Berlin between the 23-25th of September and we are very excited to have his involvement.
Now to start with, it seems that we are currently in the middle of what you could almost describe as an IoT bubble; countless companies are finding ways to squeeze ‘IoT’ and ‘Smart Connectivity’ into their descriptions to gain investment and clients and the internet is awash with companies offering ‘smart services’ for almost any problem, but the principals behind IoT have been around for quite a while, so what has changed in the past 5 years and what’s all the fuss about?

Hany Moustapha: There are few reasons for this change over the past 5 years. First it is the branding, publicity, marketing, government’s investment, conferences, articles, books, etc. dealing with Industry 4.0 and its various technologies. We are also seeing more emphasis on system integration and the fact that Industry 4.0 will cover the total enterprise and not only the factory. Also there is more availability of software dealing with Industry 4.0 such as ERP, PLM, MOS, etc.

Dale Rickert: Do you think we are actually getting ahead of ourselves here, because around many of these technologies, most companies and organisations haven’t sorted out basic principles like true ‘agnostic’ interoperability and IoT architectures.

Hany Moustapha: Yes I agree except for few large companies who have established the necessary IoT infrastructure.

Dale Rickert: This is interesting, because when the internet came into the public sphere in the 90s, there were all sorts of bold predictions about the future of business, society and communication, many of these never came into reality, so what has changed now and is this revolution going to be different?

Hany Moustapha: The differences between this industrial revolution and the previous three revolutions are 1- the speed of implementation and technology insertion, 2- real time connectivity 3- covering the whole enterprise and 4- it will involve major culture changes, skills adaptation and development. It is important to also mention that, compared to previous revolutions, it has been affecting our society, and not only the industry, over the past two decades (social media, internet, google, GPS, IPhone, smart devices, etc.) and will continue to affect our society and daily life.

Dale Rickert: Some people say that we have reached a point in the last 5 years that is akin to the ‘primordial soup’ for IoT and AI. If this is the case what are the key ingredients that have allowed smart systems and connectivity to thrive?

Hany Moustapha: The main enabler was information and communications technology (ICT) and smart devices, which has been advancing at a very fast rate and affecting our daily life.

Dale Rickert: Standing on the edge of this great connected enterprise revolution that we are currently experiencing, what for you is the most exciting development currently underway in your field?

Hany Moustapha: The most exciting development in aerospace is the close door intelligent manufacturing cells, use of cobots (collaborative robots), additive manufacturing and autonomous systems (drones).

Dale Rickert: Back in the early 2000s, your company, Pratt & Whitney Canada developed a precursor to Industrial IoT called ‘Digital-Virtual Enterprise’, what were the differences between this approach and what elements have evolved in the past 15 years as IoT has taken hold?

Hany Moustapha: There are no differences between what Pratt & Whitney Canada named in 2000 the “Digital-Virtual Enterprise” and today Industry 4.0. The main reason the concept did not advance very much was due to the unavailability of software such as today software offered by companies such as Siemens and Dassault. However, this did not stop Pratt & Whitney Canada to pursue this concept in various organizations and now they are dealing with the integration aspect across the enterprise and upstream with suppliers and downstream with customers.

Dale Rickert: Now to focus more on some industrial applications of IoT, what advice would you have for a manufacturing company looking at injecting some connectivity and machine intelligence into their operations?

Hany Moustapha: It is very hard to tell as « one size fits all » can’t apply. We have to first benchmark the company to see the level of maturity of its digital transformation, infrastructure, etc. before deciding on the plan of action. As an example, some companies due to their low volume cannot justify an investment in robotics.

Dale Rickert: What’s the most common mistake you see when companies try to implement IoT?

Hany Moustapha: Lack of benchmarking their own companies and carrying a SWOT analysis focused on IoT and the other Industry 4.0 technologies. In addition, learning from the experience of companies in sectors other than their own sector.

Dale Rickert: Now on to your topic for the Industry of Things World Congress in Berlin, you’ll be acting as the prestigious conference chair which includes giving opening notes and closing thoughts to round off this packed 4 day event. What message will you be trying to convey around IoT and the future of Industrial Intelligence?

Hany Moustapha:

– Industry 4.0 (IoT, Industrial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, etc.) is mainly about smart and intelligent devices, home, city, transport, factory, enterprise, hospital, banking, etc.
– I4.0 needs to address the total enterprise and not only the factory and manufacturing
– I4.0: “real-time connectivity” has been in our daily life since the early 90s: Internet, Google, website, GPS, Wi-Fi, Facebook, IPhone, etc.
– I4.0 is a journey and not an end point: Industry 4.X
– Big “Good” data are the raw material and oil for I4.0 and AI: you need to treat them to be able to make good use of them.
– Data sharing and security will be a major challenge: who owns the data?
– Digitization is a technology enabler for Industrial Intelligence
– Exponential and disruptive technologies: radical changes

“Industry 4.0 is the “Democratization of Technology” where “humans, computers, machines and products collaborate digitally and communicate seamlessly through integrated and optimized processes across the total product value stream both within an enterprise, and upstream (suppliers) and downstream (customers) of an enterprise”.

Dale Rickert: Is there anything else you would like to add about your involvement and message for the upcoming Industry of Things World congress?

Hany Moustapha: We cannot ignore our social and professional responsibility in terms of preparing the future work force to those rapid changes and exponential technologies. Industry 4.0 will drive a major change in tomorrow’s workforce. Despite the greater use of robotics, computerization and automation, there will be a net increase in jobs. Some companies will suffer from “technology unemployment”, unless they retrain their workforce on Industry 4.0 skills at a rate faster than the technology introduction. Some jobs will disappear; hence companies have to protect their workforce and not the jobs.

Over two centuries of innovation, the global economy has provided more and better jobs. Disruptive technologies created opportunities for jobs that are more strategic. Educational institutions need to respond to Industry 4.0 needs, provide broader skill sets and close the gap in ICT skills. There will be a need for “Industrial Data Scientists” with strong ICT and AI skills, user interface design, advanced analytics, root-cause-analysis skills and statistical programming. In addition, there will be a need for “Robot Coordinators” to oversee robots and respond to malfunction and emergency maintenance tasks. Embedded E-Learning tools to be used in real world situations and ICT skills need to be integrated in all technicians, engineering and business curricula.

Dale Rickert: Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today Prof. Moustapha and we look forward to meeting you in person at in Berlin between the 23-25th of September.