From ABB early Industrial Internet of Things to Fog Computing

DGI is one of the world most awarded design firm | Milan, Italy | San Francisco, CA | 2014-2018

Four years spent together with ABB's engineers brought a series of connected industrial equipment to the market and paved the road to my FOG computing's contribution. (Nebbiolo Technologies, CA).

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Circuit breakers are not sexy.

The mind immediately runs towards wearable technologies and SCI-FI  when it comes to the Internet of Things. But what about designing IoT digital services around an ON/OFF breaker with 4000 parameters? 

Read the full story in my book "IoT Designer"

Business Case

ABB is a Swedish–Swiss multinational corporation operating mainly in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment, and automation technology. It has been a global Fortune 500 company for 25+ years.
 

ABB "Bergamo" formerly SACE is the ABB center of excellence for producing Low Voltage circuit-breakers and electric switchgear. ABB SACE is now a modern company operating in Italy in the Automation Product sector. It exports its products worldwide without having lost sight of the "mission" of its pioneering electrotechnical artisans.
 

NEBBIOLO Technologies is renowned as the pioneer of fog computing, with patented technology instrumental to industrial edge computing concepts. Nebbiolo is now part of TTTech.

Role

When I joined DGI, I was among the Italian IoT experts, and my new CEO quickly brought me to ABB.

 

ABB, a leading global technology company with over 100,000 employees across 100 countries, has partnered with Design Group Italia to foster product design for 25+ years. ABB SACE Megamax -designed by DGI- won the Compasso d'Oro. It wasn't just business as usual: it's part of Italian Design History. 

 

My first task was to navigate the existing trust and build DGI's brand new digital team, starting from ABB's needs.

During these years, I was involved in a series of unusual activities ABB side, including:

  • Advice on technical architectural choices

  • Advice on data and business modeling 

  • Providing feedback on ABB's people's technical skillset

  • Suggest a hiring strategy

  • Provide design education for ABB's managers 

Impact

DGI's side I was responsible for the digital footprint in all its products. I hired DGI’s “digital team” from scratch to +20 people and led this unit until it become the larger and most profitable one (3 years of organic growth). I also promoted specific design habits and ideated workshops and tools to boost the design thinking practice.

ABB's contract was an enormous success. After six months from our first digital meeting with ABB, they launched one of the biggest and most transformative project of their entire history. Ten different work-packs, with DGI involved in 5 of them.


The "IoT" culture deeply permeated ABB. 
With the arrival of EPIC Mobile, an application monitoring and controlling industrial circuit breakers, they achieved the goal to connect the app directly to a breaker. The modern UX we designed allowed the professional users to navigate all parameters, setup the system and access to diagnostics.

This first win opened the gates to even deeper transformations, including the very broad "Partners' Hub". 

ABB's Partner Hub

ABB's industrial IoT: An EPIC journey from Vision to the factory floor.

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This is the Servitization Visual Manifesto we created for ABB. After years, the fact that this manifesto is still on the wall of the ABB R&D director in Bergamo makes me proud.

While working for ABB in CA, I designed their startup technology scouting program.

Welcome to the FOG computing Era

The label Fog computing have a great history behind. I worked with Nebbiolo Technologies -the Silicon Valley startup that ignited the Fog - since the very beginning.

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Nebbiolo's CEO: one of the fathers of Fog Computing - Flavio Bonomi full vision about Fog & Robotics

This is the world first "Fog Node", a dedicated HW that fully embrace the vision of Fog/Edge computing.
I led the industrial design team that make it, at DGI.

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One of the most gorgeous piece of industrial hardware ever designed. (bias ON)

HOLOLENS A.R. | DGI, Joinpad and Nebbiolo joined forced and participated to the Hannover Messe