Optimise OT Network Quality from Management Perspective

Research consistently reveals concrete benefits to quality, safety, and revenue growth through the deployment of smart factory technologies that combine advanced technical capabilities such as Industrial IIoT, cloud and edge computing, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and vision systems. All of these applications are initiated from “Data”, which is the lifeblood of driving innovation, identifying new business models, and new value-added services and offerings that deliver meaningful value to customers. IDC forecasts that, by 2025, the global generation of data will grow to 163ZB — that’s 10 times the 16.1ZB of data generated in 2016.

Network and Connectivity as Critical

Data collection begins with “connectivity”, which is typically one of the most critical factors driving smart factories. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say the smart factory and its resulting value generally hinge on the ability to connect assets, processes, people and devices. Reflecting this, 33% of smart factory leaders in the recent Deloitte-MAPI survey identified lack of necessary network infrastructure as significant impediment to smart factory initiatives.

However, achieving connectivity in factories is no small task. Many successful smart factory transformation leaders point out to the need to consider user-oriented perspectives to achieving business objectives when designing network connectivity for smart factories. By focusing on the user first, they ask not only “How do we make operation and process more efficient?” but also “How do we make applications relevant and valuable to the user?” Factory leaders can create Monitoring Interfaces and Management Mechanism to consistently optimise network and connectivity quality in factory.

Visualised Network Management: The Key Considerations for Optimising Connectivity Quality

Since network and connectivity are the major elements to reshape the ways in which new values captured in smart factory, when surveying connectivity solutions, factory managers can think with two perspectives — what I should monitor and how I manage to improve better. In other words, it is not just about the reliable network devices to connect and gather data from assets, machines and process, but also consider how to manage and monitor the quality of network more efficient with a simple tool.

With over 30 years of industrial automation network experience, Moxa, as a leading solutions provider of edge connectivity, industrial computing, and network infrastructure, recommend following elements when considering how to well monitor and manage automation network quality.

For OT Network Engineers

An easy-to-use monitoring Interface and dashboard with real-time network status to assist central control and to identify events and take actions for troubleshooting
Real-time visualisation for network status monitoring and quick events identification
Security management of network devices
Management covers wired and wireless
Extend network infra management to edge network devices (e.g., serial device, I/O device)
Monitoring for individual critical network device components (eg. SFP modules, CPU usage)

For Operation Managers

An efficient network management report and dashboard for operations optimization planning and risk management
Easy integration with IT interface and OT management systems not for real-time central monitoring but also maintenance cost
Network devices security auto scanning report for security upgrade priority and schedule planning
Zero blind spots for whole network infra and edge network monitoring (ie. to lower risks of invisible issues and bandwidth evaluation)
Reports of critical network device components monitoring for predictive maintenance and for effective assets management and budgeting planning

Leverage Network Management Value to Strengthen Operation Quality of Your Industrial Automation Applications

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