A common network technology, an upgraded control system and a defense-in-depth strategy are key to The Connected Enterprise, giving decision-makers visibility into new opportunities and helping establish the common infrastructure.
The opportunity reaches across multiple industries because a lot of the value comes from turning data from “smart things” into insightful information that gives decision-makers across the entire enterprise new visibility into their operations, the ability to quickly respond to market and business challenges, and new opportunities to innovate and drive out inefficiencies. This is what Rockwell Automation calls The Connected Enterprise.
The IoT is a key element in the German, Chinese and U.S. governments’ respective Industrie 4.0, the China Intelligent Manufacturing 2025 and Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition initiatives, and The Connected Enterprise is complementary to all. Connecting smart things across enterprises, value chains and customers, and transforming the connected feedback into working data capital (WDC) for improved performance, are all common goals.
The Connected Enterprise consists of industrial operations that are integrated, optimized and secure not only at the machine and equipment levels, but also throughout the organization and across the supply chain. A truly connected enterprise enables connection and collaboration among global operations, assets and users using technologies such as cloud computing, mobility and big data.
To begin, we’ll focus on three primary technology enablers that help establish the common infrastructure and enable you to achieve a truly connected enterprise: a common IP-based network technology, an upgraded control system and a defense-in-depth approach to security.
1. A Common Network Technology
To capture the value of the IoT, devices within a machine, equipment and plants need to talk with one another, as well as those at the business-system or enterprise level. This can be accomplished and simplified using a unified networking technology based on standard Ethernet IP (Internet Protocol).
Why IP? Because it provides a single communications pathway to support seamless connectivity across people, equipment and systems at all levels of an organization. Proprietary or purpose-built network technologies, on the other hand, can restrict and complicate your network architecture because they might require gateways or specialized network equipment to pass the data where you need it.
EtherNet/IP™, one of the world’s leading industrial Ethernet networks, uses standard, unmodified Ethernet IP technology to help ensure open and unrestricted connectivity both on the plant floor and across the enterprise. It eliminates many of the restrictions associated with the proprietary and purpose-built networks to help reduce design complexity. It also ensures seamless integration of both industrial and commercial IP devices, giving industrial operations more flexibility, and simplifies data collection.
2. Upgraded Control System
Most industrial infrastructures operating today weren’t designed to take advantage of the IoT.
Aging business systems connected to modern industrial equipment, or modern business systems connected to aging equipment, can pose significant risks, including flawed transmissions that can change processes and result in incorrect product specifications, poor quality or production stoppages. Older legacy systems also are increasingly becoming harder to integrate and maintain for improved efficiencies and security.
An opportunity clearly exists for organizations to bring their equipment and systems into the modern, information-enabled era. State-of-the-art equipment and controls rely on open, industry-standard technologies, such as EtherNet/IP, which uses the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™).
EtherNet/IP connects devices, such as motor starters and sensors, to controllers and machine operator interfaces, and can easily pass information to the enterprise network. This provides a crucial link between IT at the enterprise level and industrial control technology at the plant level, making the network more manageable and information more available for improved visibility and decision-making.
Additionally, aging systems and networks can trigger massive total-cost-of-ownership spikes caused by malfunctions that result in missed deliveries, scrap, rework, lost customers and safety issues. Modernizing your systems can minimize the likelihood of these occurrences, offering both improved profitability and cost certainty.
For all the benefits of connecting your site and production assets, it also introduces greater risk in the form of internal and external threats both malicious and accidental.
Industrial security must be implemented as a complete system, rather than as a single, tacked-on solution. The breadth of threats that exist today combined with a constant stream of new threats requires that security in The Connected Enterprise be robust and capable of stopping threats on multiple fronts.
For example, network hardening can help secure connectivity across The Connected Enterprise by controlling access to the network, while tamper detection can help detect and record if something in a system, such as a Logix controller, has been modified. Content protection can help limit access to specific objects protecting intellectual property in assets, and application access control can manage authentication and authorization within an automation system.
As a result, a defense-in-depth security approach that addresses internal and external security threats is recommended for protecting industrial assets. Defense-in-depth security encompasses policy and procedure, physical, network, computer hardening, application and device security.
A defense-in-depth strategy is recommended in the IEC 62443 standard series (formerly ISA 99), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-82 and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s external report INL/EXT-06-11478.
Capturing the Value of the IoT
Once you’ve developed the infrastructure to seamlessly share data securely throughout your entire operations, you can take advantage of several innovative and disruptive technologies that have emerged within the IoT. These enabling technologies include:
• Cloud Computing and Virtualization. Cloud computing and virtualization allow improved productivity and business intelligence. An off-premise cloud-computing platform, for example, enables an equipment builder to provide enhanced services, such as remote monitoring for diagnostic and predictive analytics, to help reduce downtime and maintenance costs.
Virtualization breaks the link between software and physical hardware, allowing manufacturers and industrial operators to make hardware upgrades without changing the operating system or software. This can increase application longevity while also enabling organizations to consolidate servers, improve reliability and reduce hardware maintenance costs.
• Mobility. Mobility can provide real-time, context-based information to plant-floor and site operation workers on smartphones, tablets and other smart devices. Task-based applications build collaborative environments and knowledge sharing. Just as our smartphones give us instant access to important weather, traffic or travel information in our daily lives, mobility can provide immediate access to business, production and supply-chain information to workers — whether they’re on the plant floor, in their office or at home.
• Big Data. Industrial operations generate more data than any other sector. An oil rig, for example, produces more than one terabyte of data in one day. With this data, managers can discover hidden inefficiencies and improve productivity, machine uptime and product quality. Data-based analytics can be viewed real-time in Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboards, and can be monitored in concert with other real-time data as well as against historical performance data. The data also can be presented and securely disseminated across your organization using Web-based reports.
Ready to Capture the Value?
Any major technology change offers excitement and opportunity — but also fear and doubt.
To help minimize that discomfort, Rockwell Automation has developed a five-stage Connected Enterprise Execution Model, which outlines the measures and best practices necessary to ensure
effective change in both technologies and organizational cultures:
• Stage 1: Assessment
• Stage 2: Secure and Upgrade - Network and Controls
• Stage 3: Working Data Capital - Define and Organize
• Stage 4: Analytics
• Stage 5: Collaboration
Everyone will enter the Execution Model at the stage that is most appropriate for them and progress at a pace determined by their own needs and readiness. What’s most important is that you join this industrial revolution soon — your competitors may not be hesitating, and the value at stake is enormous.
To learn more about securing your industrial data, sign up for the Industrial IP Advantage industrial network design training here.