What is Operational Technology?
- Operational Technology (OT) the system of hardware and software used in manufacturing, process control, and industrial systems.
- Enables industrial equipment to carry out specified tasks and supports specialized equipment that captures and relays data
- OT is most frequently used in factory settings that interact with the physical environment to monitor and regulate production.
- In order to detect or effect change, enterprise-wide hardware and software that directly controls physical devices, processes, and events is used.
- Controller includes Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distributed Control technologies (DCS) as part of ICS Industrial Control Systems.
How OT helps in Industry?
- Preventing downtime as much as possible is OT’s top priority. SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), a type of industrial control system (ICS), is one way OT can assist in preventing unscheduled downtime.
- PLCs (programmable logic controllers), which are largely in charge of monitoring and controlling factory machines and production, are controlled by SCADA software.
- SCADA software can significantly reduce downtime by automatically turning off factory machines or sounding an alarm in the event of a system malfunction.
What is meant by down time?
- Production halts can be either scheduled or unplanned referred to as downtime.
- Unplanned downtime frequently results in significant financial hardship for enterprises. Because of this, downtime is one of the main issue that is overcome by OT.
Components of Operational Technology
- Gauges, Sensors, pumps, valves, meters, alarms, etc
- SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, DCS (Distributed Control System), and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are examples of control systems.
- Remote terminal units (RTUs)
- HMI (Human Machine Interfaces)
- Servers and Networks (various protocols)
- Database and reporting systems
- Computerized systems and embedded systems
- Plant machinery and physical equipment
- Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
What is Information technology means?
- The processing, creation, storage, exchange, and retrieval of data and information are all included under the term “IT.”
- Although the term “IT” most often refers to computers, IT infrastructure can also include servers, smart phones, IoT devices.
- Systems serving as repositories for making data available to industries in required apps and uses of those apps.
How IT does troubleshooting?
- There are many other areas of IT that go under the infrastructure, networking, telecommunications, software development, communication, information security, and system administration.
- Troubleshooting is a portion done by Information Technology in various industries.
- The major responsibility of IT is to make sure that all data is safely managed, processed, and stored.
- Information technology and network access are intertwined, therefore it’s crucial to ensure that all data is secure and that any possible dangers are continually detected and reduced.
- IT security analysts assist in implementing cyber security to secure data and identify any potential dangers.
Components of Information technology.
- IP Based Networks (LAN/WAN)
- Servers, Switches, Routers, etc. are all components of information technology.
- Databasesreporting mechanisms
- Bluetooth connectionssoftware creationupkeep of software and hardwareSecurity (virus protection, logging, threat analysis).
Role of OT & IT in an Industry
- Manufacturing and industrial equipment are monitored and managed by operational technology. Since humans started using electrically powered machinery and equipment in businesses like the utility sector, buildings, transportation systems, etc.,
- Operational technology permeates every aspect of our daily lives. For instance, it is present in office buildings, healthcare facilities, oil and gas operations, mining, transportation, and the oil and gas and utility industries.
- The next step was the introduction of communication protocols over IP in applications like building management. The capacity to remotely monitor and operate physical equipment was a significant advancement in OT.
Information Technologies based Operational Technologies
- The introduction of IT-based OT technologies like big data and machine learning, as well as advancements in M2M communication and the Internet of Things (sensors), allowed for a number of innovations in the management of physical devices in industrial processes, including remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and other Industrial IoT use cases.
- Control systems, and devices now have connections and digital technologies.
- There are advantages and risks to everything that is digital and networked.
- Operational technology issues when the lines between IT and non-IT get blurred.
- Traditionally, and frequently IT and OT networks are isolated from one another. With a very strong division between OT and IT networks as well as the personnel working in each of these areas. They have various profiles, work with various kinds of systems, and have various jobs and priorities.
Integration of OT and IT
- Utilising sales and inventory data to guide manufacturing processes, IT/OT convergence helps organizations to be more resource and cost-efficient by optimizing equipment and power use while reducing maintenance and unsold inventory.
Utilities and energy providers
- Modern IT enables OT teams to remotely access operational data, assisting sectors including oil, gas, and power in streamlining industrial equipment inspections, determining the extent of damage, and managing inventory management and distribution.
- Transportation places a high priority on asset management. The coordination, condition, and utilization of assets may be better understood by rail, bus, delivery, and other transportation organizations through the integration of IT and OT, which can then be used to inform short-term maintenance, route optimization, and long-term planning for asset replacement and safety.
Law enforcement and the armed forces
- Convergence between IT and OT can help with resource coordination and quick deployment while also revealing additional information about the upkeep and condition of vital equipment.
Media and communications firms
- Regional and international communication service providers can leverage IT/OT convergence to monitor system performance, equipment operation, and service quality, which will speed up problem solving and improve customer happiness.
- IoT devices such start product tags, combined with other OT devices (cameras and POS), can give additional data to IT for analysis, leading to optimizations of inventory for higher revenue generation, and improved customer experience.
Pharmaceutical and Medical
- IT/OT integration enables more medical devices to communicate and share patient data for real-time visibility which improves patient analysis and results. Convergence can increase and ensure product quality during the manufacturing of medicines.
Industry examples and application cases of IT/OT convergence
- Merging two separate networks and exchanging the information that each collects and transmits.
- The management of industrial environments, such as those for water treatment, electric power, and factories, is increasingly integrating sensors and connected systems, such as wireless sensor and actuator networks.
- IoT includes the integration of automation, communications, and networking in industrial settings, which is frequently referred to as Industry 4.0.
- As OT and IT converged, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which enables real-time data collection and analysis from industrial processes, was created.
- This fusion of OT and IT has led to the idea of Industry 4.0, which aims to create a completely automated ecosystem of smart factories and supply lines.
- By incorporating these technologies, firms can boost output, reduce downtime, save money, and enhance quality control. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of actual, physical objects that can be accessed over the Internet. Technology has been put into these things to enable communication with internal circumstances or the external world.
- The Industrial Iot has a wide application in many factories, manufacturing industries like robotics, Smart car, Smart Grid and power utilities.
- The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) links the world of industrial Things, such as sensors, actuators, controllers, robotics, etc., to computing resources found in Internet-based analytics and storage.
Compare OT vs IT
OT protocols used in industries
- Modbus: Modbus is a well-liked protocol for connecting industrial devices and computers in SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems.
- Profibus: Profibus is a protocol that connects numerous pieces of machinery, such as sensors, drives, and motors, in factories.
- HART: Process automation systems use the HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) protocol to interact with instruments and control devices using analogue signals.
- OPC (Open Platform Communications): A protocol used in factories and processing plants to link equipment and control systems.
- Industrial Ethernet: Industrial Ethernet connections are made utilising the Ethernet/IP protocol, which enables real-time data transfer and communication between devices.
- CAN: The automobile industry uses the CAN (Controller Area Network) protocol to link and manage the many systems in vehicles.
- Device Net: A protocol for connecting industrial sensors and equipment that is frequently used on assembly lines and in packaging.
- EtherCAT: A real-time Ethernet protocol called EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) is used for quick communications and automation equipment control.