With the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0, manufacturing and process data has taken on a whole new level of importance. With smart devices, much deeper integration and enhanced tools to collect, collate and exploit this data, operators and plant owners now have a level of insight into their operations that gives them the ability to make more informed process-critical decisions faster than ever before.
This data-driven paradigm does however rely on robust systems at every level; and even one weak link in a network can negate the efficacy of the data being collected in terms of its speed, effectiveness, security, timeliness and volume. For this reason, a data infrastructure should encompass every facet of a plant’s operation in order to extract the best possible information for the optimisation of operations.
Gürmat Elektrik, which operates the biggest geothermal power plant in Turkey, faced this scenario recently, recognising that the existing data and networking infrastructure was not only incapable of delivering contemporary levels of performance, but also lacked robust cyber security.
It was seeing issues with a SCADA system that was slow and getting slower; software was outdated and no longer supported and the mean time to repair (MTTR) for any network-related breakdown was high. There was also no integration with any other systems in the plant. As well as network delays and less-than-acceptable levels of performance and security, the plant also had a large amount of legacy hardware and proprietary ‘black box’ controllers.
To counter these issues, Gurmat contacted Rockwell Automation in Turkey, asking it to assess and propose a solution. With its extensive experience in the assessment, design, implementation, validation, monitoring, security and management of modern industrial network infrastructures, the Rockwell Automation team was an ideal fit for Gürmat Elektrik’s needs.