Reliable connected systems are essential for intelligent industrial operations

The invention of the smartphone is a great metaphor for the changes in industrial operations and the incredible power of a constant flow of real-time data. We upgrade our cellphones when hardware begins to fail, we want the latest video chat options with friends, or maybe our phone doesn’t support the newest features and security updates.

We’ve seen the value of frequent hardware and software updates which bring better video, new wireless bands or improvements to our essential apps on our phone – but what about industrial operations? When you consider how much industrial operations and control systems have changed in the past few years, a reliable flow of information can add significant value.

Industrial systems are nowhere near as portable as cellphones, but they still require regular updates to software and hardware to ensure precise and reliable monitoring. The hardware underneath the software can fail, possibly requiring a rebuild of the system, but also providing an opportunity to upgrade to more advanced equipment. Organizational initiatives around digital transformation like creating a digital thread, or a digital twin that replicates a complete physical process may require more robust capabilities, features, or data availability to ensure success. Even critical industries continuously upgrade their systems to guard against outside threats and deploy new capabilities.

Confidence in the capability and reliability of your industrial operations and control systems, and the data generated, is a requirement for efficient operations in any organization, and essential to support contemporary maintenance and production processes. It’s no longer an option to install systems and leave them untouched for years. In the same way you update your phone, supporting and updating connected systems is necessary to transform modern industrial operations.


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Reliable systems are the foundation for sophisticated analytics

Rapid changes in connectivity, sensor technology and analytics capabilities are revolutionizing industrial operations around the globe, and organizations are turning to new technologies for a competitive edge. Even traditionally slow-moving conservative industries are capitalizing on connected workforces, artificial intelligence, and the industrial data economy to succeed. These industry powerhouses are using their data more effectively and empowering their teams with a broader view of operations to rapidly respond to changing conditions. These organizations recognize the immense benefits in agility and efficiency in operations that are possible with a reliable stream of information.

Advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, supply chain optimization, and digital twins require reliable systems relaying data and relevant information to make these initiatives valuable. Pulling insights out of data silos, implementing a digital thread across processes, and enabling frictionless data sharing are critical steps to supporting the evolving needs of the organization and accelerating decision-making.

The industrial operations and control systems that feed real-time data to advanced tools are a key part of effective operations processes today, and form the core of Operations Technology (OT). These systems must be reliable in their performance, provide the insight employees need to be successful, and function securely to keep data safe. Industrial systems also need to integrate the outcomes and analytic intelligence from advanced tools and relay that information back to the workforce in each plant to drive operational excellence and increase velocity across the organization.

By promoting reliability, regular updates of hardware and software, and real-time data sharing, organizations can take advantage of the power of data to keep industrial operations flowing efficiently and provide a foundation of information that can lead to even higher-level analytics capabilities in the future.

 


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