May 5, 2021

Smart Manufacturing for All

Smart Manufacturing for All

Augmented reveals the stories behind the new era of industrial operations, where technology will restore the agility of frontline workers. 

In episode 17 of the podcast, the topic is: Smart Manufacturing for All. Our guest is John Dyck, CEO at CESMII, the Smart Manufacturing Institute.

After listening to this episode, check out CESMII as well as John Dyck's social profile:

  • John Dyck: 

In this conversation, we talked about  democratizing smart manufacturing, the history and ambition of CESMII (2016-), bridging the skills gap in small and medium enterprises which constitute 98% of manufacturing. We discuss how the integration of advanced sensors, data, platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance. We then have the hard discussion of why the US is (arguably) a laggard? John shares the 7 characteristics of future-proofing (interoperability, openness, sustainability, security, etc.). We hear about two coming initiatives: Smart Manufacturing Executive Council & Smart Manufacturing Innovation Platform. We then turn to the future outlook over the next decade.

My takeaway is that US manufacturing is a bit of a conundrum. How can it both be the driver of the international economy and a laggard in terms of productivity and innovation, all at the same time? Can it all be explained by scale--both scale in multinationals and scale in SMEs? Whatever the case may be, future proofing manufacturing, which CESMII is up to, seems like a great idea. The influx of smart manufacturing technologies will, over time, transform industry as a whole, but it will not happen automatically. 

Thanks for listening. If you liked the show, subscribe at or in your preferred podcast player, and rate us with five stars. If you liked this episode, you might also like episode 8 on Work of the Future, episode 5 on Plug-and-play Industrial Tech, or episode 9 on The Fourth Industrial Revolution post-COVID-19.  Augmented--the industry 4.0 podcast.



Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:00:00] Augmented reveals to stories behind a new era of industrial operations, where technology will restore the agility of front lines. The workers in episode 17 of the podcast, the topic is smart Manufacturing for all. Our guest is John Dyck CEO at CESMII, the smart manufacturing Institute in this conversation, we talk about democratizing, smart manufacturing, the history and ambition.

[00:00:30] Obsessed me bridging the skills gap in small and medium enterprises, which constitute 98% of Manufacturing. We discuss how the integration of advanced centers, data platforms and controls, radically impact Manufacturing performance. We then have the hard discussion of why the U S is arguably a lagger.

[00:00:54] John shares the seven characteristics of future-proofing and we hear about the two. Coming initiatives, the smart Manufacturing executive council and the smart manufacturing innovation plan. We then turn to the future outlook over the next decade. Augmented is a podcast for leaders posted by futurist presented by Tulip duct code, the Manufacturing app platform and associated with

[00:01:23] The Manufacturing up-skilling community launched at the World Economic Forum. Each episode dives deep. Into a contemporary topic of concern across the industry and airs at 9:00 AM us Eastern time, every Wednesday, Augmented industry 4.0 podcast. John, how are you today?

[00:01:45] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:01:45] I'm well. Trond how are you?

[00:01:47] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:01:47] I'm doing well.

[00:01:48] I'm looking forward to talking about smart Manufacturing. What, uh, what brought you to this topic? John? We'll we'll get into, you know, your background, but I'm just curious.

[00:01:58] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:01:58] This is, uh, my favorite topic, as you probably know. So I appreciate the test to pontificate a little. Um, I've been in sort of that this nexus between it and OT for the last two decades, my career or more, and, um, um, found these over these past two decades, uh, that this is one of the most complex.

[00:02:21] Pieces of Manufacturing period, this sort of unique challenge between the world of operations and the world of it. And the work I did at Mesa as the Manufacturing enterprise solutions association on the board. And as the chairman of the board, um, exposed me to. A lot of the great vendors in this ecosystem.

[00:02:44] And through that work, I've found that most of them struggle with the same things. We're all struggling in different ways. And so the opportunity to sort of take one step back and look at this from a national and a global perspective, and try to find ways to, to address these challenges that. Became a very unique opportunity for me and one that I've enjoyed immensely.

[00:03:12] And so just that, that the prospect of making a real difference in addressing these challenges as a, as a nation and as a, as an ecosystem has been just a privilege. And one that I get really excited about.

[00:03:29] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:03:29] Yeah. Yeah. So, John, you know, you, you mentioned your background, so you've worked in both startups. Uh, I think you were raising money for a startup called active plant, but also you, you, you have worked at large Manufacturing for GE and Rockwell. So the, the, the big, big guys, I guess it, you know, in a us context, for sure.

[00:03:47] Um, when this institutions, uh, C S M I, I says me, um, Got started, what is kind of its main objective. And what was the reason why this institution got launched? I guess back in 2016, which is not an enormous amount of time. Back, give us a little sense of who, who took this initiative and what is the core mission of this organization right now?

[00:04:20] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:04:20] Yeah, so, so Manufacturing USA is the sort of umbrella organization under which, um, These institutes says, me being one of them, uh, were, were created. Um, there are a total of 15 of these institutes all funded with, with the exact same business model and funding model. Um, and each of them having a different lens on the specific Manufacturing problem that they're addressing and ours as the smart manufacturing Institute.

[00:04:52] Um, is directly focused on creating a more competitive manufacturing environment by addressing, uh, innovation and research challenges that inhibit manufacturers from doing what they need to do sort of in this fourth industrial revolution. So, so our mandate is to cut the cost of implementing export Manufacturing by 50%.

[00:05:12] Our mandate, our mandate is to drive. Uh, energy productivity, energy efficiency, fundamentally we're the agency that funds says me is the department of energy, which, which means that our overarching objective is to drive, uh, energy productivity as a, as a basic metric. But we also believe that whether that's an, a direct.

[00:05:36] Challenge meaning addressing energy, performance, energy efficiency directly, or indirect outcome from a more efficient process or more effective supply chain or whatever that whatever that Manufacturing initiative is that that will create a better product, a better process that will have direct and indirect impact on energy productivity, which is the connection back to our agency and the source of the funding that we have to.

[00:06:04] Accomplish these really important goals.

[00:06:10] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:06:10] Um, and one of the really big identified gaps also, it seems is this discrepancy between the big and the small, uh, industry players, right? So small and medium enterprises, you know, famously in every country is, is basically that's the Mo the most of all the industry is.

[00:06:30] Uh, consisting of these smaller players. They're not necessarily startups. They're not necessarily on this sort of growth track to become a unicorns, but they are a smaller entities and they have these resource constraints. Give me a sense of what you're doing too. To tackle that, to help them out and to equip them for this new era.

[00:06:53] And maybe you could also just address you called, uh, smart manufacturing industry 4.0, but I've noticed that that's not a term that one uses much to smart manufacturing is kind of what you've opted for. So maybe just address that and, and then get to the small and medium-sized.

[00:07:08] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:07:08] Yeah. This is, this is I think one of the really important observations that we try to make and the connections that we try to make to say that, um, the, the status quo that's the state of the industry today Trond is, is the result of three or four decades of what we did during the third industrial revolution.

[00:07:30] We began talking about the fourth industrial revolution many years ago. But we can't just turn that light switch on and assume that overnight everything we do now, despite that the cultures we've created the technologies we've created, the ways of doing things we've created is now all of a sudden, just new and exciting and different, and it's going to create that next wave of productivity.

[00:07:51] So when I talk about smart manufacturing and equating it with the fourth industrial revolution, it's. It's truly the characteristics and the behaviors that we anticipate more so than what we're seeing, because the, the, the, the, the critical mass of vendors and systems integrators and application software products in this marketplace still resemble more of industry three O than they do industry 4.0.

[00:08:16] And it's part of our vision to characterize those two only. In the context of trying to accelerate the movement towards industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, because it's, it's that, that holds out the promise of the value creation that we've been promised for 10 decades, but really aren't seeing, so that's, that's sort of the way we see sort of the industry 4.0 versus, um, the sort of other concepts that we talk about digital transformations, another important term, right?

[00:08:50] All of that happens in the context of. Uh, some initiative in a manufacturing operation to improve. We've been improving for three or four decades. What's different today. Well, it's not just relabeling your, your, your portfolio to be industry for compliance. So anyway, that's a, that's a pet topic of ours just to help as a, as a national conversation, as a set of.

[00:09:17] Thinking and, um, thought leader sort of, uh, organizations and individuals to put the spotlight on that and ensure that we're doing the things that we can to accelerate the adoption and the behaviors and the characterizations of what it really means to be industry 4.0. Um, so, so yeah, I was just curious

[00:09:37] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:09:37] about, uh, yeah, I was just curious about the, uh, you know, the term, the term, uh, revolution anyway is sort of interesting in a U S context, but, you know, in any, in any society, so it's sort of it's, it implies a lot of things.

[00:09:53] Right. But it also certainly implies a. Uh, at a speed that perhaps isn't necessarily, uh, happening, right? So there's all this talk now about how things are speeding up. But as you point out, these are even if they have some revolutionary characteristics, you know, at the edge, there are some other things that need to happen that aren't necessarily going to happen at the speed of what you might imagine.

[00:10:19] When you use the word revolution, it's not going to kind of turn over like a switch. That's

[00:10:24] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:10:24] exactly right. Well said Trond, um, Manufacturing and bleeding edge never come together in the same sentence. Right. And, and so it takes time for, um, and more so on the OT side than the it side right out of the it world.

[00:10:41] We have, we have industrial IOT platforms. We have augmented reality. We have powerful AI machine. Uh, learning tools, but what is, what is the true adoption on the plant floor? Well, um, That's where that's where the, the behaviors and the cultures and the characteristics of how we've always done things. And the reluctance to adopt new things really comes in and it's as much a part of the vendor and systems integration ecosystem as it is on the, on the manufacturing side.

[00:11:13] And that's, that's again. This whole thing becomes to, to, to, to drive. I really don't think it's a revolution to your point to drive an evolution or accelerate the evolution towards industry 4.0 requires the ecosystem to get engaged and to recognize these really important things have to change. Does that make sense?

[00:11:36] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:11:36] Yes. A lot of them have to change and, and then, you know, to these small and medium enterprises. So I've seen a statistic that even in the U S it's around 98% of Manufacturing, how that is an enormous challenge, even for an association like, like yours, how do you reach that many.

[00:11:54] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:11:54] Yeah. And, and, uh, here's an interesting epiphany I had, uh, shortly after I came to sezmi and, and, um, Was working through exactly this challenge.

[00:12:03] How, how does an organization like ours access and understand the challenges they face? And then look at the ecosystem that's there and available to serve them? The epiphany I had was that in my entire career with, with both big. Global corporations like Rockwell automation and general electric, and specifically even a startup organization.

[00:12:32] I helped raise VC for and venture capital funding for and, and build and, and ultimately see acquired. Um, I had never been in a small meeting Manufacturing plant environment that the entire ecosystem is focused on large brands. Recognized brands and enterprises that have the potential for multi-site rollouts multi-site implementation.

[00:13:00] And so the business models, the marketing models, the sales, the go to market, the cost of sales model, everything in this ecosystem is designed towards the large enterprises, call the fortune 1000 that represent the types of characteristics that. Any startup any, any global fortune 500 organization is going to go pursue, which, which says, which then says, or leaves us with a really important conversation to say, how can these small meeting Manufacturing organizations become part of this dialogue?

[00:13:36] How can we engage them? What, what, what does an ecosystem look like? That's, that's there to. Serve these organizations and where an implementation organization, like a good systems integrator can actually make money engaging in this way. And so that that's where the needs of that ecosystem and our specific capabilities come together.

[00:14:00] The notion that democratization, which is going to help the big manufacturers. And the big vendors and the big integrators and the big machine builders, the same things that we can do to cut, cut the cost of deploying smart manufacturing for them. Will enormously increase the accessibility of smart manufacturing capabilities for the small and medium manufacturers.

[00:14:24] And so that's, that's where

[00:14:26] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:14:26] John let's let's talk specifics. Uh, let's talk specific. So smart Manufacturing, you said, right. Um, and I'm assuming it's not just a community effort. You're you're. Intervening at the level also of providing as certain set of tools also. So if we talk about sensors and data and platforms and digital control systems, these are all impacting Manufacturing performance.

[00:14:53] Uh, to what extent can an association like yours actually get involved at that level? Is it, you know, purely on the standardization fronts or recommending different approaches or is it even. Uh, going deeper into layers of technology and providing more than just sort of, uh, recommendations.

[00:15:12] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:15:12] Yeah. So, so the, the, the, the short answer is it depends on the domain and the area of, um, networking and sensors and controls.

[00:15:21] Um, those are, those are areas where, um, longer-term research, um, and investment to drive innovation. To reduce the cost of connecting things, uh, becomes really important. Um, and, and that's, that's one of the threads or one of the investment paths that we pursue through what we call a roadmap projects, where, where there are longer.

[00:15:45] Uh, larger in terms of financial scope and, um, uh, further out sort of impacts where we're hoping will have a dramatic impact on the cost of connecting machines and sensors and, and variable frequency drives and motion systems or, or, uh, whatever sort of data source you have on, in an operation. Um, so that's, that's one track.

[00:16:08] The other piece, which is it gets to the, the actual creation of technologies. Um, is more on the data, contextualization data collection, data ingestion side. Um, and you mentioned the word standards while standards are important and where there are standards that we can embrace and advocate for. We're absolutely doing that part of part of the OPC foundation and, and, uh, the standards that they're driving MQTT and spark plug that becomes a really important.

[00:16:40] Uh, area as well. And the work that Mt connect is doing to do, to solve many of the same challenges that we believe we need to solve more broadly, uh, for a subset of machine classes, more in a sort of CNC machine tool side. Um, but, but this. This effort, smart manufacturing is happening today and it's, and it's accelerating today.

[00:17:03] And we can't wait for standards to be agreed on created and then, or achieve critical mass. So we were investing in a, in a thin but vital layer of technologies. So we can drill into if you'd like as a, not-for-profit not to compete in the marketplace, but to create a defacto standard. For how some of these really important challenges can be addressed and how as a standard, uh, develops.

[00:17:28] And, and we, we deploy, we fund the deployment of these innovations in the marketplace and kind of a, um, an innovation, uh, environment versus a production environment. Not that they don't turn into production environments, but they start as an innovation project to, to start and prove out and either fail quickly or, or, or scale up into a production environment.

[00:17:49] Right. So, so these, these. Diff this idea of a defacto standard is a really important idea for us. That's that's our objective. And that's what we believe we can build. And our building is critical mass adoption for really important ideas. And we're getting support from a lot of the great thought leaders in this space, but also from a lot of the great organizations and bodies, like the, like, as I mentioned, the OTC foundation, the industrial internet consortium, um, the, the German.

[00:18:20] Platform industry 4.0 group, uh, responsible in Germany for industry 4.0, we're working towards and aligning around these same principles and ideas again, to help create a harmonized view of these foundational technologies that that will. Allow us to accomplish the dramatic reduction of the cost of connecting and extracting information from and contextualizing that information and then making it available in ways that, um, are a far more consistent and compelling for the application, better that the, the, the bar or the threshold at which an application developer.

[00:19:03] Can actually step into the space and do something is, is in a pretty high space, right? If you kind of look back and I know this is analogy is probably right. A little overused, but what it took to build, uh, applications for, um, Devices and phones, smart devices and smart phones before Apple and Android became commonplace, um, meant that you had to build the entire stack every single time.

[00:19:26] And that's where the industry is today. When you sit down in front of a product, you you're, you're starting from scratch every time, regardless of the fact that. You've created an information model for that paper converting machine a hundred times in 20 different technology stacks. When I start this project, it's a blank slate.

[00:19:44] It's a blank sheet of paper every single time. Is that value add, is that gonna, is that gonna help? No. And yet it requires a tremendous amount of domain expertise to, to build that. So the notion of standardizing these things, abstracting them from any individual technology stack standardizing on them. Uh, making them available in a marketplace for others to use, um, that's, that's where democratization begins to happen.

[00:20:11] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:20:11] What you are about to create is a innovation platform for smart manufacturing. Will that be available then, uh, to everybody in the U S marketplace or is it actually completely open for all of industry wherever they reside and instead of what, what are the practical steps that you would have to take as a manufacturer?

[00:20:31] If you even just wanted to look into some of the things you're building and maybe plug in with it.

[00:20:36] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:20:36] So we have, uh, we're not about to build just a minor, minor detail there. We've been working on this for a couple of years and we have, um, a growing set of these implementations in the marketplace through the funded projects that we were proud to be able to, uh, bring to the marketplace.

[00:20:55] Um, so. The funding. And right now within the scope of what we're doing here as an Institute, the funds that we deploy as projects, these, these grants, um, essentially mean that we do these, we spend these grants, we spend these funds in the U S only. So, so, so in the context of what we do here, these. The smart manufacturing innovation platform, the creation of these profiles, the creation of the apps on top of the platform by our vendor ecosystem and sort of domain experts in this ecosystem.

[00:21:28] Um, those are, those are largely here and exclusively here in the U S I should say. So. So from that perspective, Deployments that we have control over in terms of funding are uniquely here in the U S what happens, what happens beyond that in terms of where they're deployed and how they're deployed? We know we live in a global Manufacturing, um, environment, and as our members want to deploy these capabilities outside of the U S those are all, those are all, um, uh, absolutely acceptable deployments of these technologies.

[00:22:05] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:22:05] John. So all of these deployments are they funded projects, so that they're always with, with an involvement of a grant money or, or will, or is some part of this platform actually literally plug and play.

[00:22:18] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:22:18] So there's, there's several threads. The projects that we fund are obviously one thread. There's another thread that says any member of ours can use any.

[00:22:30] Implementation of our platform can use our platform and any of the vendors that are here as a proof of concept or pilot, typically lasting three, four, five, six months for free of charge. Um, what happened then that leads to the third component is after your pilot, there's. There's there's one of two things it's going to happen.

[00:22:52] The system will be decommissioned. And you ideally, um, well, I shouldn't say ideally, you, you fail fast. The systems decommissioned and folks move on. Ideally this, the pilot was a success and that generates a financial transaction for the parties involved in that. And that organization moves towards a production rollout of, of these capabilities.

[00:23:15] So Sesame's role then. Then diminishes and steps away. But, but this notion of a pilot came actually came from a conversation with one of our great members here at Proctor and gamble. Um, they, they, they talk about innovation triage and the complexity of just innovating within a large corporate environment like Proctor and gamble.

[00:23:36] The fact that, um, Just to stand up the infrastructure to invite a vendor into, uh, several vendors into, uh, stand up, their systems costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes months and months and months just to, just to get started. This notion that we can provision this platform in minutes, bring our vendor partner technologies to bear in minutes, um, allows them to.

[00:24:06] Ex execute what they call innovation triaged. Right. Um, and, and it really accelerates the rate of which they can, they can innovate within their corporation, but it's that same idea that we translate back down to small, medium Manufacturing, right? The notion that you don't have to have a server, you don't have to sustain a server.

[00:24:24] You don't have to, you don't have to buy a server to, to try smart Manufacturing in a small meeting Manufacturing environment. If you've got five sensors from. and a lightly industrialized raspberry PI. You have, you have the means to begin the smart Manufacturing journey. What do you do with that data?

[00:24:47] Well, there's great. Partner organizations like Tulip, like Microsoft Excel, even Microsoft power BI that represent compelling democratized, contemporary, low cost solutions that they can actually sustain. Cause this is this isn't just about the cost of acquiring and implement in implementing these systems.

[00:25:09] As you know, this is also about. Sustaining them. Do I have the staff that domain expertise as a small medium manufacturer to sustain the stuff that somebody else may have given me, or, or implemented here for me. And so that's just as, just as important to requirement for these organizations is as the original sort of acquisition and implementation challenges.

[00:25:33] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:25:33] It's so important. What you're talking about here, John, because there's, there's even a, there's an additional concept, which is nozzle pleasant, uh, called pilot purgatory. Right? And this has been identified in factories worldwide. It's identified in any software development, but with OT, as you pointed out with more operational technologies with additional complications, it is so easy to just get started with something and then get stuck and then sort of decide.

[00:26:01] Or maybe not decide just sort of, it just happens that it never scales up to production value and production operations. Uh, and it seems like some of the approaches you're putting on the table here really help that situation. Because as you mentioned, hundreds of thousands of dollars, that's not a great investment for, for a smaller company.

[00:26:22] If it leads to an ever ending, uh, you know, a never ending kind of stop and start. Uh, experimentation, but never really can be implemented on the true production line.

[00:26:33] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:26:33] Yeah, spot on. Trond the, the, um, the, the numbers that we're seeing now, uh, McKenzie released a report a couple months ago talking about, I think somewhere between 70 and 80% of all projects in this domain, um, not succeeding, which means they either failed or, or only moderately succeeded.

[00:26:54] And that's that's, I think that's where the term pilot purgatory comes in. I talk almost every chance I get about the notion that, you know, the first couple of decades of the third industrial revolution were sort of building resulted in islands of automation. Then we began building islands of information as a software, became a little more commonplace in the, in the late eighties and nineties.

[00:27:18] And then the arts here in the last decade, we've been building islands of innovation, right? These, this pilot purgatory, the assumption was, and I get back to the, that the journey between where we thought industry 3.0 or the third industrial revolution became the fourth industrial revolution. That then the idea was that, man, we're just going to implement some of these great new capabilities and prove them out and scale them up.

[00:27:42] Well, it gets back to the fact that even these pilots. These great innovative tools were implemented with these old ideas and in these closed siloed data silo sort of ways and characterizations and, and so, yeah, everybody's excited. The CEO has visibility to this, this new digital transformation pilot that, that he just authorized, or she just authorized and.

[00:28:12] A lot of smart people are involved and a lot of domain experts involved, the vendors throw cash at this thing and the, that the systems integrators, implementers throw cash at this thing. And even if they're successful and broadly as an individual proof of concept, There are points of light that say we accomplished some really important things.

[00:28:31] The success is not there, the successes and seeing that scaled out. And those are the pieces that really nuanced, um, uh, pieces that. We're trying to address through this notion of the innovation platform and profiles. The notion that interoperability and openness is what's going to drive scale, right? The notion that you don't have the same stove, pipe, legacy application, getting at the same set of data from the same data sources on the shop floor for every unique application and that there are much more contemporary ways of, of.

[00:29:08] Building standardized data structures that every application can build on and drive interoperability through.

[00:29:17] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:29:17] Yeah. You talk about this as the characteristics of future-proofing. So you mentioned interoperability and, and I guess openness, uh, which is a far wider concept that openness can mean several things.

[00:29:28] Uh, and then sustainability and security where some other, uh, of your future proving characteristics. Can you, uh, line up some of those for, for us to just give some, uh, uh, some context to what can be done? If you are a, you know, a factory owner, if you are a small and medium sized enterprise and you want to take this advice right now and implement.

[00:29:53] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:29:53] Yeah. We've, we've tried, uh, as an association, as a consortia. Uh Trond um, it's not just says me. Staff like myself were paid full-time to be here that are focused on identifying and developing strategies for the challenges that we believe will help Manufacturing here in the U S it's organizations, um, that, that are our members here and thought leaders from across the industry, um, that help us identify.

[00:30:23] These really fundamental challenges and opportunities. And so. As an institute, we've landed on what we call the Smart Manufacturing First Principles. There's seven First Principles that we believe characterize the modern contemporary industry 4.0 compliant, if you will,  strategy.  And, and just to list them off quickly because we have definitions and we have content that sort of fleshes out these ideas. Sort of in order of solve and order of importance for us.  Interoperability and openness is the first one, sustainable and energy efficient is the second one. Security, scalability,  resilient and orchestrated, flat and real time and pro-active and  semi-autonomous.

[00:31:12] And so these, these, we believe are the characteristics of solutions, technologies, capabilities that will move us from this world of pilot purgatory and where we've come from as an ecosystem in this third industrial revolution and prepare us for a future proof strategy. whether I'm a small, medium manufacturer that just cares about this one instance of this problem I need to solve, or whether I'm a fortune 10 Manufacturing organization that understands that the mess that we've created over the last 25 years has got to make way for a better future, that I'm not going to reinvest in a future.

[00:31:54] Not that I can rip and replace anything I've got, but I've got to invest in. Capabilities moving forward that represent a better, more sustainable, more interoperable future for my organization. That's the only way we're going to create this next wave of productivity that, that is held out for us as a promise of these new, this new area.

[00:32:18] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:32:18] John, you have alluded to this and, uh, you, you call it the mess that we've created over the last 25 years. We have talked about the problems of lack of interoperability and other issues. This is not an easy discussion and certainly not in your official capacity, but why is the U S a laggard? Because to be honest, this is not problems that every country has to a degree they are, but specifically the U S and its manufacturing sector has been lagging.

[00:32:52] And there are data there. And I think you, you agree with this, why is this happening and is any of these initiatives going to be able to address that short term?

[00:33:06] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:33:06] So, so this is probably the most important question that we as a nation need to address. And it's a multifaceted complex question. And I think the answers is, uh, is a multifaceted, complex response as well.

[00:33:21] And we probably don't have time to deal to drill into this in detail, but, um, all respond at a, at a, at least at a 30,000 foot level. Um, even this morning I saw, um, a friend of mine sent me a link about China, uh, being called out today, officially as being the leader in this, in this, uh, digital transformation.

[00:33:43] Um, initiative globally as you've just alluded to. So from our perspective, um, there are a couple of important, and like I said, really understanding why this is the case is, is, is the only way we're going to be able to move forward and accelerate the adoption of, of these, of this initiative. Um, but there are a number of reasons.

[00:34:05] Uh, the, the reason I think China is ahead, um, is, is. In part cultural, but it's also in part the fact that they don't have much of the legacy that we've built most of their manufacturing operations, as they've scaled up over the last decade, two decades, really, since the world trade organization sort of accepted, uh, China's entry in this, in this domain, um, they, their growth into.

[00:34:31] Sort of Manufacturing systems has been much, much more recent than ours. And so they don't have this complex legacy that we do. There are other cultural implications for how China, the sort of Chinese manufacturing environment, um, adopts technologies. And it's, it's. There's much more of a top down culture there.

[00:34:51] Um, so, so that if certain leaders drive these activities and invest in these ways, much of the ecosystem sort of follows. So that's, that's, um, that's, I'll say one perspective on, on how China becomes the leader in this domain very quickly. Um, Europe is also ahead of the us, um, And I, I think there are some important reasons why that's the case as well.

[00:35:17] And, and that part of it is that they have a very strong cultural connection to the way government funds and is integrated with both the learning, um, an academic, uh, ecosystem they're in, in most of Europe. Um, as well as with the Manufacturing companies themselves, they, they are. It's it seems to be, it seems to have become part of their DNA to accept that the federal government, um, can bring these initiatives to the marketplace and then funds the education of every part of their ecosystem to drive these capabilities into their Manufacturing marketplace.

[00:35:58] We, on the other hand are a much more American society, right? We are individualistic the notion that the government should tell manufacturers what to do. Is, uh, is, uh, is not a well accepted, well adopted idea here in the U S right. And so, so I think, and that's been a strength for, for many manufacturers and for many, many years, the, the best analogy that I can come up with right now in terms of where we are and where we need to go.

[00:36:29] And Sesame's role in all of this and the federal government's role in all of this, which I think brings a healthy blend of. Who we are as a, as a nation and how we work and how we do things here together with a future. That's a little more, um, I'll say compatible with these notions of adopting and driving technology forward at scale is, is, uh, the.

[00:36:53] The reality that in 1956, president Eisenhower convinced Congress to fund the us interstate highways and defense act to build a network of. Interstate highway. So highway network across this country to facilitate much more efficient flow of people and goods across this country. Um, apparently as a, as a soldier, um, many decades before he had to travel from San Diego to.

[00:37:25] Virginia, um, uh, in a military convoy, it took him 31 days to cross the country, which is a slight aside, was, uh, uh, apparently the catalyst or drove the passion he had to solve this problem. And, and, and that's, that's the role that I think we can play today, creating a digital highway, if you will, a digital catalyst.

[00:37:50] To bring our supply chains together in a much more contemporary and real-time way, and to bring our information systems into a modern industry Forum, compliant environment. And that's, that's setting those, making, creating those definitions. Defining those characteristics and then providing the means whereby we can accelerate this ecosystem to, to move forward.

[00:38:15] I think that's the right balance between our, our sense of individualism and, and how we do things here in the U S versus, um, adopting these capabilities at scale.

[00:38:29] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:38:29] That's a, such a thoughtful, so answer to my question, which I was a little afraid of asking because it is a painful question and it goes to the heart, I guess, of what it means to be an American right, to be industrial and to, and to make changes.

[00:38:45] And there is something here that is very admirable, but I also do feel that the psychology of this nation also really doesn't deeply. Recognize that many of the greatest accomplishments that have been happening on us soil, they have had an infrastructure component and a heavy investment from the government.

[00:39:07] When you think about the creation of the internet, the creation of the highway system, you can go even further back, right? The railways, all of those things, they had components, at least a regulation, or they had. Massive infrastructure elements to them, whether they were fi privately financed or publicly financed, which is sort of, that's sort of not the point, but the point is there were massive investments that couldn't really be justified in a.

[00:39:32] You know, annual budget, you would have to think much, much wider. So in, in, in sort of in closing on, on, on that, and then John, if you look to the future and we have said, you know, Manufacturing is of course a global industry. Also, what are you seeing over this next decade is going to happen to smart manufacturing.

[00:39:53] So on, on us soil, Uh, presumably uh, some amount of infrastructure investment will be made. And part of it will be digital. Part of it will be actually equipment, right, or, or a hybrid thereof, um, that is somewhat smartly connected together, but where's that going to lead us? W you know, is Manufacturing now going to pull us into the future, or will it remain an industry that historically pull it into, uh, pulled us into the future?

[00:40:26] But we'll take a back seat to other industries as you know, as, uh, as we move into the next decade.

[00:40:35] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:40:35] Yeah. That's another big question. Um, we've been talking about smart manufacturing, 2030. The idea that smart manufacturing is manufacturing by 2030, and it a decade seems like a long time. And for most. For most functions for most areas of innovation, it is, but Manufacturing does kind of run at its own pace.

[00:41:01] Right. And there is a, there is a timeline around which both standardization and technologies and cultures move on the plant floor. And so that's, that's a certain reality and we were, we were on a trajectory to, to, to get there, but ironically, um, it's, it, it took a pandemic to truly underscore. The value of digital transformation, digital operations, and digital workers.

[00:41:28] Um, here, I can certainly say in the U S but, but even more broadly, right? So the, a couple of important data points to back that up. Um, Gardner just recently, uh, announced the ALC outcome of a, of an important survey of, of, I think, close to 500 Manufacturing executives here in the U S in terms of their strategic perception of.

[00:41:57] Digital transformation, smart manufacturing. And I think they specifically call it smart manufacturing and it was as close to unanimous as anything they've ever seen. 86 or 87% of manufacturing executives said that now digital transformation, smart manufacturing is the most strategic thing they can invest in.

[00:42:17] What was it a year ago? It was probably less than half of that. Um, so, so I think. That speaks to the experience these organizations have gone through. And the reality that as we talk about resilience, some people talk about reassuring and some of that will happen as we talk about a future environment.

[00:42:37] That's Oh, I shouldn't say disruption proof, but much more capable of dealing with disruption, not just within the four walls of the plant or an enterprise, but in the supply chain, um, these capabilities are the things that will. Separate those that can withstand these types of disruptions from those that can't, and that has been recognized.

[00:43:02] And so as much as, as much as these executives are the same ones that, that are frustrated by pilot purgatory, it's these executives that are saying, that's the, that's the future. We've got to go there. And we're seeing through, through this pandemic, we hear it says we are seeing, um, the Manufacturing thought leaders, um, Understand this and are rallying around these ideas more now than ever before, to ensure that what we do in the future is consistent with a more thoughtful, more, um, contemporary future-proof way of investing in digital transformation or smart Manufacturing.

[00:43:43] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:43:43] John, these are, these are fascinating times and you have a very important role. I thank you so much for taking time to appear on my show here today.

[00:43:54] John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: [00:43:54] Trond I appreciate that. I appreciate the privilege of sharing these thoughts with you. Um, the, these are profound questions and I'm answering the easy ones is fun.

[00:44:03] Answering the hard questions, um, is important. And I appreciate the chance to have this conversation with you today.

[00:44:11] Trond Arne Undheim, Host: [00:44:11] Thanks have a great day. You too, you have just listened to episode 17 of the Augmented podcast with hosts. The topic was smart Manufacturing for all. Our guest is John Dick CEO at sezmi the smart Manufacturing against.

[00:44:30] In this conversation, we talked about democratizing smart manufacturing and the history and ambition of CECMII bridging the skills gap in small and medium enterprises, which constitute 98% of Manufacturing. We discuss how the integration of advanced sensors, data platforms and controls, radically impact Manufacturing performance.

[00:44:52] And we then have the hard discussion. Why the U S

[00:44:59] we heard about two coming in. The smart manufacturing council and the smart manufacturing innovation, you then turn to the future outlook over the next decade. My takeaway is that you asked me factory is a bit of a conundrum. How can it both be the driver of the international economy and a library in terms of productivity innovation, all at the same time?

[00:45:23] Can it all be explained by scale, both scale in multinationals and scale in SMEs? Whatever the case may be future proofing Manufacturing, which says me is up to seems like a great idea. The influx of smart manufacturing technologies will over time transform the industry as a whole, but it will not happen automatically.

[00:45:46] Thanks for listening. If you liked the show. Subscribe at Augmented or in your preferred podcast player and rate us with five stars. If you liked this episode, you might also like episode eight on the work of the future episode five on the plug and play industrial tech or episode nine on the fourth industrial revolution post COVID-19 Augmented the industry 4.0 podcast.


John Dyck


John Dyck was appointed CEO of the Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII) in June of 2018. CESMII is a public/private partnership committed to transforming the U.S. manufacturing market and increasing global competitiveness through the application of smart manufacturing technologies.

John brings a highly pragmatic perspective to CESMII, and a crisp focus on outcomes that will benefit the Nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of innovative technologies.

Prior to joining CESMII, John held senior leadership positions in large corporations like GE and Rockwell Automation, and was effective in
raising VC funding and building a successful software startup called Activplant.