CSI In Action: An Update from Our Executive Director

It is almost Thanksgiving and, as always, I ask myself where did the time go? The last six months here at Connected Systems Institute (CSI) has been a whirlwind of activity, each action moving us closer and closer to our official opening.

And what is that? What does “official opening” mean in this new age of COVID? We are fortunate that the challenges of this pandemic have been minimized because of the highly integrated environment that we live in. The vastness of the Internet of Things is connecting humans and devices in ways we never envisioned, and helping us to remain productive from wherever we are working.

By Mary Bunzel

For us, the “official” opening means:

  • Launch of our new website, connecting all our projects into one place.
  • The launch of our classes and workshops.
  • The start of our digital roundtables.

People want to engage face-to-face with CSI faculty and partners. Events and workshops provide a great way to learn from each other, and to share knowledge with our younger students.

Supporting Our Manufacturing Test Bed

One of the keys to learning about digital transformation is having facilities that enable students, faculty, and partners to simulate real world production challenges. To help achieve that, our state-of-the-art R&D facilities now have a new vial filling cell as part of the manufacturing test bed. CSI Test Bed Overview 

The vial filling system enables students and faculty to work with both wet fill and dry fill operations, simulating various manufacturing processes. Our research teams can now explore a wide variety of problem statements related to fluid motion control, track and trace, integration of robotic systems with MES systems, safety systems, digital thread/twins, and OT security.

The new manufacturing cell was made possible thanks to donations in treasure, talent, and time by our founding members, and an incredible network of build partners: Rockwell, APT, Haskell, Endress+Hauser, Fanuc, Fortinet, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, PTC, and Heartland Business Systems.

Test Bed Vial Filling Cell

Manufacturing Test Bed Vial Filling System

Welcoming Our First Digital Manufacturing Specialists

Our core mission is to create the workforce of the future – one that understands the manufacturing domain, the reasons for implementing technology, how to measure financial results, and finally, how to formulate an IOT strategy and implementation plan.

We will achieve our mission via a combination of short, topic-focused lectures, workshops, and short courses. Some of these short courses will also be part of our curriculum for graduate students working on masters or PhD degrees.

Our first foundational course is the Digital Manufacturing Specialist course, which will be delivered via a combination of self-paced online learning modules and weekly discussion groups. It’s important to start right. So the first area of focus is on asset management and the science of reliability. Following that module, we’ll turn to measuring the impact of operational improvement. Students will also create their own ROI model, based on their own work environment and experience.

Finally, the IOT Foundation module dives into how to develop a governance strategy for your enterprise. The module also explores how to manage and connect data sources, how to use analytics tools, and best practices for what to do when insights are revealed.

I’m thrilled to be working with the best-of-the-best when it comes to connected systems, including Blair Fraser, Dave Reiber, Allan Klotsche, David Jones, and George Williams. Their knowledge will become part of the fundamental university curriculum for all studies related to the Industrial IoT.

Industrial Internet of Things

Making Connections Accessible to Everyone

Providing opportunities for people to network and learn, and connecting executives interested in expanding their knowledge and skills, are among our top priorities at CSI.

Our new website launched at the end of October and it features a number of ways to engage:

  1. Connect with Manufacturing Leaders

    We’ll gather on the third Thursday of each month for a Lunch-and-Learn presentation from an industry executive. This will be followed by a discussion. Anyone who is interested in attending can register here.

  2. Attend Workshops

    We will offer a number of topic-specific workshops that focus on a range of topics, from technical subject matter to business and leadership.

  1. Listen to Interviews

    CSI will launch a Podcast series this year – each one featuring an interview with a leading educator or business leader. Maybe you?

All of the details about our upcoming programs will be posted on our newly redesigned website. That’s also the place to go to learn more about CSI. I look forward to seeing you in person or online.

Mary T. Bunzel is the Executive Director of the Connected Systems Institute