The convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) has been a looming challenge for the manufacturing industry until recently. With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becoming a reality for many forward-thinking manufacturers, demand for the convergence of these two groups has increased. One of EAD’s valued clients challenged EAD to design a new production line with IIoT capabilities at their flagship manufacturing facility.
Our client recognized the value that aligning operational data from the new production line with their existing manufacturing execution system (MES) would create. This project aimed to build a system that will fit their Industry 4.0 goals as a company. As EAD was by providing the mechanical, electrical, structural, architectural and industrial design for the project, the team identified a scope gap between the OT demands of the new process and the bandwidth of the clients’ local and corporate IT teams.
That’s where EAD’s IT/OT experts stepped up to the plate. Adding IT support to the project’s scope involved two of our controls engineers who possess substantial experience with IT systems in addition to their OT expertise. Understanding the OT requirements of the project and the client’s IT standard design philosophy, EAD produced specifications for cabinets, components, cable and cybersecurity for the new IIoT-capable production line. By determining corporate- and plant-level expectations, EAD also proposed impactful improvements to their design standards, enabling them to better expand IIoT capabilities in the future.
Opportunities like this allow EAD to showcase the skills and experience our staff have in combining industrial OT automation with traditional IT systems to lay a foundation for our clients to implement principles of the Industrial Internet of Things.