Operational technologies (OT)
Components that are interacting with the physics of the plant have special requirements in real-time behavior, safety, and security. Automation systems are state-of-the art to address these. Unless a major rebuild of the plant is planned, that infrastructure can’t be rebuilt because of the availability of new technology. It has to be expanded and renewed piecewise.
Components that are interfacing with the physics of the plant have special requirements in real-time behavior, safety, and security. Industrial automation systems adress these challenges and shall be at the core of an industrial digitalization strategy.
A high automation level may then lead into a plant that is operating more autonomously, incorporating more intelligent systems and components into the architecture.
Expanding an automated plant with IoT connectivity and corresponding cloud level functionality opens the door to an end-to-end digitalization strategy, from plant floor to the enterprise.
Information technologies (IT)
Information technologies have seen massive innovations in recent decades. Transforming all aspects of business, they are also an enabler of new functionalities not only within industrial companies, but even towards the plant floor. To achieve that, they have to be tailored to industrial requirements and have to play well together with the production systems.
The vast resources available in today’s cloud computing environments enables the solution of larger computational problems than even a few years ago. Once data is made available in the cloud or in data lakes, powerful analytics may provide the insight required to optimize production.
Artificial intelligence is one of the technologies that builds on the computational power of the cloud. While using a trained neural network to analyze data can be executed very fast at the edge (plant), training such a network requires computational and data resources in the cloud.
Another technology is Digital Twin that requires information from across many systems along the plant lifecycle
Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) have been converging for some time. The trend has often been misinterpreted as replacing OT components with IT systems. That approach neglects the requirements imposed by the plant. Expanding an automated plant with IoT connectivity and corresponding cloud level functionality opens the door to an end-to-end digitalization strategy, from plant floor to the enterprise.
We can support you in choosing the right technology for any given industrial digitalization problem, be it on the plant floor or higher up in the architecture stack. Combining the technologies such that they build on their respective strength and form systems that go beyond the individual capabilities is a key for industrial digitalization.