Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
What is IIoT and what does it look like?
The IT / OT space is extremely dynamic, impacting on many different areas within our customers’ businesses. Recently, IIoT has started paving its way into the manufacturing industry, with the increase in devices, equipment and machinery available for connection to the network. Many companies are taking risks with existing poorly designed infrastructure, some are still sceptical about the rewards that IIoT brings and some are vaguely aware of what it even means.
So, what does it mean?
In simple terms, it is the digitisation of technology and offering transparency of data across the business in real time. Here at Routeco, we know that people are still trying to understand what IT/OT and IIoT means for their business.
Our customers operate in a wide range of industries and approach Industrial Networks from differing perspectives. There is a growing interest emerging in Engineering, the need to learn and explore network solutions and services is becoming more prominent. More manufacturers are now providing solutions that rely on having sound and secure networks available within a typical manufacturing factory 24/7. This is driving the need for engineers to up-skill in order to maintain and service plant with minimal down time.
The convergence of IT and OT within our customers also presents us with cultural differences that exist between engineering and IT and this has lead us to follow a more consultative path involving both. We have been working more closely with our franchise partners and IT VAR’s to broaden and understand their insight to the industrial automation space.
What does this mean in an industrial automation environment?
We can look at this in three key areas:
- Presentation and storage of data – Information Technology
- Network infrastructure - Common platform allows for convergence
- Real time production data – Operational Technology
Largely, IT is known as the centre of data analysis and OT as the shop floor of where all the activity happens in terms of production. This means, multiple systems, managing high risk areas and no coalition of what happens in IT or OT. Now with convergence, the two can be seen working hand in hand, to drive results and efficiencies for businesses.
Your network infrastructure is the critical middle ground and here data has to transfer securely and reliably. Operational Technology is the source of fundamental data from the production area or manufacturing process, which is not necessarily being harvested to make critical business decisions.
To find out how to embrace the IIoT using SMART manufacturing techniques please click here to continue.