Today technology has touched every aspect of our life, including the industrial one. Complex machines are now combined with network sensors and are being analyzed by advanced analytics software. We can say that the advancements in the industrial world are bridging the gap between the IT and OT split responsibilities.
Smart machines, as well as processes, are driving the IT, OT Convergence directed by new protocols for wireless industrial communication. This convergence, basically known as the Industrial Internet of Things, allows manufacturers to have complete visibility of all operations. Its built-up dataset empowers strategic decision-making at the enterprise level and offers real-time data-based, actionable insights at the factory production level.
The key exciting feature of Industry 4.0 is the limitless possibilities of connecting everything, everyone from anywhere. These opportunities lead to minimizing downtime and improving efficiency through the IIoT. The rapid move to the Industry 4.0 revolution made easy by the synergistic integration of Operating Technologies & Information Technologies. IIoT devices combine both IT and OT, which simplifies IT/OT convergence to get manufacturers the benefits of connected machines and data. Industries also take advantage of IIoT technology and IT/OT convergence in manufacturing to stay competitive in their growing markets.
As of 2017, 77% of observed manufacturers already had an IIoT product and services in place, as per the survey of more than 300 senior-level IIoT decision-makers.
By initiating communication at the machine level, OT and IT can now be converged in a reliable, resilient, high-performance, as well as cost-effective manner.
Let’s take a look at what are the IT/OT convergence benefits that come into play within a manufacturing landscape
IT/OT Convergence: The Key Vertical of the Manufacturing landscape
The IIoT produces huge amounts of data gathered from sensors, software that could be spread across various locations.
With so many moving parts involved in the process, IT-OT convergence provides industries with a strong foundation for improving internal processes, business decisions as well as efficiency.
Through IT/OT convergence, manufacturing organizations can resolve crucial challenges that are seen as a business halt. Here is how:
IT/OT convergence is realized through cloud implementations that facilitate rapid scalability. IIoT platforms are basically replacing huge MES software and their associated applications–which are generally utilized for inventory tracking, machine maintenance as well as quality control.
End-to-end Real-time Visibility
IT/OT convergence provides real-time visibility and control of end-to-end processes while eliminating the complexity of analysis, coordination, and maintenance. As a result of improved connectivity given by IIoT technologies, smart manufacturing systems generate a huge amount of data.
Consider how many sensors or any devices might be found on the factory floor individually. Then, check out all of the possible scenarios, digital twin software can give, business analytics from CRMs, ERP systems, as well as Process planning and scheduling software, can give; the list is never-ending.
With IT-OT integration, data is shared across the whole organization, allowing decision-makers to monitor machine-generated data in real-time.
Previously, collecting data manually from several machines, sensors, databases, as well as from gateways was a tedious task, and again collecting that data from disparate sources and monitoring it in a single unit requires a lot of manual efforts.
Removing Unplanned Downtime
IT-OT integration is assisting industries to tackle the concerns related to unplanned downtime–involving equipment failures by digitizing the entire maintenance process & extracting insights directly from the shop floor. By analyzing machine performance, OT and IT teams can easily analyze equipment for early signs of difficulty and take action accordingly.
Improve Automation Abilities
A scalable IIoT platform is the foundation of end-to-end automation because digital control first needs digital connectivity. Where the cost of error is high, IT/OT convergence allows human intervention beyond the automated coordination of critical processes. OT infrastructure with IT abilities also enhances the efficiency of automated workflows. Robots can send real-time data to one another to notify various control systems regarding disruptions and take actions accordingly. Real-time communication provides robots more flexibility to adapt to any changes in production autonomously. All this results in improved automation capabilities.
ROI on data
IT/OT convergence not only provides visibility but also generates ROI, by digitizing the organization’s operational history in a classic manner. By assuring that equipment is correctly maintained based on a manufacturer’s suggestions, the industry can virtually remove production interruptions. This allows manufacturers to improve their manufacturing processes for maximum results. Technology enablement might enhance capital utilization and give a resultant return on investment.
IT/OT convergence supports huge value for manufacturing enterprises today. Early adopters are not only getting a competitive edge benefit but also powering innovation through cross-departmental collaboration. IT/OT convergence is, not only the solution to huge challenges but also the way to build a manufacturing landscape that develops at the speed of innovation. Contact our experts today to learn more about our IIoT solutions