OT vs IT – An Eternal Struggle Solved

MES Gateway Appliances Translate Rather Than Transfer Data Across Isolated OT and IT Networks

We worked with resepected MES author, Bianca Scholten, to publish an article in Assembly Magazine to educate manufacturers about how ISA-95 levels can be isolated to develop secure, bidirectional communication between industrial control systems and productions’ databases.  Read the article here: Translating Manufacturing Data for Industrial IoT

"Capturing and controlling reliable production line data is the great mystery underlying the fulfillment of the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) because of organizational conflicts between OT and IT. Beyond storage solutions or machine monitoring, the data that’s available on machines hasn’t been communicated correctly with business systems. Accepted solutions for data exchange create organizational conflicts and security issues that raise difficult barriers…"

Understanding ISA-95 Levels and Organizational OT-IT Conflicts

There are three roles that must be coordinated for a successful Industrial IoT implementation: Controls Engineering, Manufacturing Process Management, and IT’s database administrators.

Great confusion exists as to why one type of data on the factory floor can’t be connected to existing IT systems.  As an organization if  ISA-95 levels are used in departmental conversations about which technologies are to be used, common language is created and confusion is reduced.

When we advocate for inter-departmental communication between the three roles, we don’t mean creating a super-engineer who can write ladder logic, design lean processes, and who can write SQL scripts.  The solution is as simple as isolating rather than converging operations technology (OT) from IT using an MES gateway appliance.  The expertise of each departemental role is left in tact and the conflict between production’s down time concerns and IT’s security concerns are removed when PC-based solutions are replaced with MES gateway appliances that talk in the native protocols of machine controls and databases alike.