Editorial: Transformation – Revive Manufacturing as Critical Infrastructure for the World

November 5, 2021

It’s hard to believe Fall is here, a season of transformation that resonates true for World health due to COVID and the manufacturing industry as we all pivot with uncertainty but challenge ourselves to optimism and a visionary outlook for 2022. We have all felt the unbalanced headwinds of the pandemic over the last 18 months, which has met us head-on with manufacturing and supply chain issues and workforce resource constraints. While these have been challenging times, opportunity lurks! We are all built to persevere and adapt. As control system manufacturers, device manufacturers, OEM’s, and end-users, we grow closer to key customers and prioritize resources to be proactive in planning and communication to drive new ways to process orders, manufacture, and deliver – all by re-evaluating, communicating, and rebuilding to improve work efficiencies and operations. Yes, transformation is in the making – the much-needed shift to revive manufacturing as critical infrastructure for the World is happening.

Industrie 4.0 and related open automation manufacturing initiatives are enabling industrial companies to operate and perform more efficiently and effectively. It is an exciting and pivotal time in the world of automation and FDT is proud to be an enabler in this transformation. The 2020 launch of the FDT 3.0 IIoT platform and ecosystem (Server, Device DTM, and Desktop), is key to a holistic approach empowering open automation transformation for brownfield and greenfield applications – uniting systems, device, data, networks, and industries in a single, data-centric architecture for collaborative innovation designed for smart manufacturing practices.

FDT 3.0 was designed and developed based-off industry-driven collaborative feedback providing:

  • Open Interoperable IIoT Architectures – Enabling a future-proof FDT Server-based distributed architecture that is operating system, network, device, and vendor independent
  • Secure, Scalable, and Adaptable Platforms – Providing embedded end-to-end trusted interoperability supporting cloud, edge, on-premises, or enterprise-wide agile architectures
  • Comprehensive Control and Configuration – Empowering a natively integrated OPC UA server for IT/OT data harmonization and IT/enterprise access along with a web server empowering OT/operations, mobility, and web-browser-based access supporting modern asset manufacturing practices

Glenn Schulz
Managing Director
FDT Group

Under the leadership of Glenn Schulz, FDT set out to innovate! The FDT 3.0 IIoT Ecosystem of Server, Device DTM, and Desktop software components is released and available to the developer community. It’s here and a key development evolving the transformation of the industrial and process automation, for users, control systems, and device suppliers. This revolutionary offering took a great deal of work by many committees and teams to complete, and we are appreciative of their dedication to FDT and the industry. We are inspired by the new era of automation.

As many of you know, Glenn Schulz is retiring from this journey at the end of the year, and I want to take time to thank Glenn for his 13 years of leadership to the FDT organization and technology standard. His dedication and leadership have put FDT Group and its IIoT solution in the leading position, meeting the needs of the automation industry for the future. It’s always bittersweet to say goodbyes, but we wish Glenn all the best in his new phase of life with his wife Beth as they enjoy retirement. It’s time to transition to new leadership on this voyage and tap into new growth model opportunities for both the organization and technology based on the foundation building block developed under Glenn’s leadership.

As we pivot and continue to provide the latest and most innovative offering to harmonize the industry, we welcome Steve Biegacki. Steve will build on the foundation Glenn and teams built and springboard from the FDT 3.0 development evolving FDT to be the holistic, unifying force in the industrial and process automation industry moving forward.

We are thrilled to have Steve join FDT Group as its new Managing Director in transition. Steve joined the organization on November 1, 2021, as Vice President of Marketing, to work alongside existing leadership and teams for a seamless transition. Steve will be assuming the managing director role on January 1, 2022. He is a seasoned global executive leader with industry knowledge and a passion for meeting challenges and goals. He has been successful working in markets around the globe and has experience in leading organizations and driving the adoption of new technologies.

As a way of introduction, here is some information about his background. Steve:

Steve Biegacki
VP of Marketing &
Managing Director Successor
FDT Group

  • is known for instilling visionary enthusiasm and values collaboration for driving change and market adoption, especially during times of transition
  • has developed successful performance strategies to meet organizational objectives
  • had a successful career at Rockwell in several roles including industrial networking business manager, VP of global marketing
  • had success at Belden as the senior vice president of global sales and marketing
  • most recently, is a director in management advisor for the global firm BDO

Steve resides in the United States in Naples, Florida with his wife Lee Ann. He and Lee Ann have two adult sons and two grandsons. Steve’s experience in the industrial automation industry, his customer intimacy, leadership skills, and ability to create excitement and adoption along with his ability to collaborate make him a great fit to lead FDT Group.

We welcome Steve to his new role with FDT Group and look forward to him settling in. Please freely communicate directly with Steve. His email address is steve.biegacki@fdtgroup.org. I know he is anxious to get oriented, meet and collaborate with our members and partners, and move forward with the marketing and leadership visionary goals of FDT Group.

Lee Lane, Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors

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