Leveraging data from the Industrial Internet of Things is the basis of a connected enterprise approach. “It was important for us to gain an understanding of the existing IT layer and applications as well as considering the future roadmap and requirements,” explained Sean Doherty, Food & Beverage account manager, Rockwell Automation.
“In the first instance, it was vital to create a back up of the control layer of the plant so if there were any issues, the disaster recovery would seamlessly take place. The IDC provides a complete back up of the control system layer using FactoryTalk® AssetCentre and was built offsite in our facility in Auckland,” he added.
The majority of the commissioning was performed remotely and was a seamless process. The engineers were onsite for a week but once it was connected to the plant’s network, the remote support centre did the rest of the commissioning process remotely.
Combined IT and OT Support
Rockwell Automation was responsible for delivering the complete solution, converging IT and OT to help reduce downtime through remote monitoring.
“This provided several advantages to the customer as they were able to benefit from our expertise in cyber security and patching and also from the fact that we have a greater understanding of the operational environment than a typical IT provider- providing a complete solution, combining IT and OT technical support in the same number rather than having to bounce between providers and thus getting operations back into production more quickly,” explained Doherty.
“As a result of the service level agreement in place, the processes at the plant are monitored remotely and each filter or alarm is responded to every 10 minutes, with the average response time being only four minutes. In actual fact, every 2 minutes there’s a ‘heartbeat’ sent to the technical support team in Melbourne which then goes to the support team in UK, then US and then back through Melbourne. This means that they are supported end to end with any required patching supported remotely,” he said.
To increase manufacturing uptime at the plant, the customer invested in an Industrial Data Center (IDC) from Rockwell Automation. The IDC is a pre-engineered solution providing the hardware required to run multiple operating systems and multiple applications from virtualised servers.