The Doppler Quarterly Fall 2017 - Page 8

Shining a Light on Industrial IoT and the Factory Floor Cloud is for everyone, but not everything. Scott Udell Operations technology isn’t new, but paired with the Internet of Things, it’s enabling innovative solutions beyond the four walls of the traditional factory. However, OT does matter to the rest of us outside of the production line, and it’s largely the fault and result of three little letters: I, O, and T. The Internet of Things (IoT), along with its big brother, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is having a profound impact on how next generation production operations will run. For many in today’s tech-driven world, OT, or Opera- tions Technology, is a term that has rarely or perhaps never been heard. Most are well-acquainted with IT, or Information Technology, and many interact with IT teams, systems, and resources on a daily basis. Security has always been a major concern. Not sur- prisingly, it has long been the view of OT that the less the rest of the company has physical or logical access to a plant, the happier the OT team will be. In fact, most OT systems have existed within the four walls of the factory or plant and have been disconnected almost entirely from the outside world. What is OT, and why should I care? First of all, OT has also been around for a long time, even if you didn’t know it. Manufacturers have long had teams dedicated to the day-to-day functioning of production lines. Logistics companies have ware- house operations teams. OT keeps power and manu- facturing plants humming along. OT keeps the sort- ing lines moving at the postal service. And lost suitcases notwithstanding, the baggage handling system at modern airports is a marvel to behold — and the domain of OT. In most cases, OT does its job quietly and behind the scenes. OT only gets discussed when something goes wrong — often spectacularly — such as when a pro- duction line goes down, which can materially impact a company’s delivery schedule and bottom line. However, connected operations promise to dramati- cally increase efficiency, utilization, and collabora- tion. At the same time, IIoT and the cloud are rapidly changing the assumption of a disconnected opera- tion, and making security a bigger concern in the process. Use Cases of IIoT Not unlike the rest of IoT, there are many use cases and solutions that impact IIoT, but three rise to the top in terms of scale, value, and potential impact. They are the low-hanging fruit that will most likely be where most enterprises take the next step in their industrial IoT journeys: • Predictive Maintenance • Autonomy and Control • Field Service Engineering 6 | THE DOPPLER | FALL 2017