Previously I have spoken about why the relationship between industry, its suppliers and its technology vendors is so important. What I want to focus on here is the ‘how’ of starting industry 4.0 journeys – the breaking down of traditional silos. The problem solving that calls upon every resource in your company, from HR through to OT and including IT, management, procurement, finance and – well, everyone. Because Industry 4.0 is a culture change, it is one whereby those best able to leverage the possibility are those most able to work in partnerships that bring in specific skills and solutions from wherever they are.
A great example of companies coming together to create a truly connected and industry 4.0 ready solution is our recent work with Rockwell Automation and Molex Electronic Solutions at the Gurmat Elektrik geothermal power plant in Turkey.
This project was at a large scale, but smaller projects in almost any industrial application follow similar principles of teamwork to be effective. In this instance, the whole plant was moving from a less secure, difficult to maintain, ‘black-box’ control environment to a more secure, easier to maintain and more efficient system built on industry standard protocols.
It’s a great example of building the foundations of a connected enterprise that can take advantage of industry 4.0. And it’s a great example of how Stratus works with other industry leaders to deliver the server uptime and capability for a step-change in overall productivity with an immediate ROI. You can read about the case study.
A major point of focus throughout the project was the usage of data, something that should be at the forefront of your mind whether just starting your journey or within an established connected enterprise. Gurmat’s existing data infrastructure was not only incapable of delivering the desired performance but caused a cyber security issue as well. The running theme throughout this blog is the power of cooperation and addressing this issue is no exception. After the network was redesigned and migrated to a secure infrastructure the ftServer was deployed in conjunction with FactoryTalk® View SCADA. The results of a combined solution resulted in not just the increased performance but continuous availability of real-time data. Regardless of the size of your enterprise, having access to real-time data signals, with easier diagnostics and no cyber security issues are goals we should all be striving for.
These lessons learnt from the network migration show how much simpler your steps into the Industry 4.0 journey will be when dealing with a single vendor. By no means are we suggesting each solution comes from a single provider, before agreeing a solution be sure to assess the network surrounding that company. Don’t look for a supplier, look for a new team member.
Where are you on your industry 4.0 journey? Have you started to break down the walls of communication with cross-discipline teams to allow for the control and flow of information to transform your business? We’re ready to join your team.