Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Takeaways From the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum

IT and OT Are Converging! Traditionally the Information Technology and Operational Technology groups operated in separate silos and far too often did not work together. Matter of fact, in the past, the only thing they shared was a loathing of each other. However, with an evolution of systems and mindsets, the groups now realize that they are customers of each other and bring best practices from both domains – infrastructure, manufacturing and information.

Big Focus on Visualizing and Analyzing the Data. Manufacturers are using their wealth of data in interesting ways. While some companies are just starting to connect and use manufacturing data to provide a better understanding in their processes, it is more common that manufacturers face the challenge of “too much data” Today’s software systems are allowing manufacturers to apply context so that optimization can take place. Ultimately, the goal is to provide systems that automatically use the data and manipulate the process without need for human intervention.

Information is Bigger Than the Four Walls of Manufacturing. Groups such as Dow and Shell are using data from multiple sources – manufacturing, supply chain and news to form a “Control Tower for IIoT Visibility.” Imagine where an alert notifies a plant that a catastrophic event just took place at a supplier’s factory…or that an earthquake or flood might delay critical shipments - and being able to act upon that information immediately? You might think that this is only for the large companies – but the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) intends to deliver this for all manufacturers – regardless of size.

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