NOV-DEC 2017

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Applying real-time automation principles improves manufacturing results By Peter G. Martin, PhD B usiness and operations functions within an industrial enterprise have traditionally been separated because of the design and functionality of their systems. Business functioned under the guidance of information technology (IT) departments; operations functioned under the guidance of automation and control systems, or operational technology (OT). However, recent technology advancements—Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, and the like—have caused industrial organizations to rethink the va lid- ity of keeping IT and OT separate, suggesting in stead that converging the two would be beneficial. Many of the discussions around bridging the IT-OT divide have focused on the technology needed to connect these two domains. But con - nectivity, by itself, does not solve any industrial problem. Instead, the most effective way to con - verge the two might be to evaluate the function- ality required to run the business and the func- tionality required to operate the plant, as well as to determine the best environment in which to execute each function. Instead of thinking about separate technol - ogy domains, it might be better to partition activities into control domains: real time, i.e., decisions that need to be made within the time dictated by the dynamics of the process; and transactional, i.e., decisions that can be made on human schedules (e.g., weekly or monthly). If done that way, real-time decisions can be thought of as control (OT), while transactional 40 INTECH NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG Automation professionals' new role: converging IT and OT

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