The digitalization of production processes and the data security question

News of 18.06.2017

Among all the advantages that digitalisation of businesses can offer, the most important and decisive one is the risk management and the guarantee of the continuity of the work process. The Internet of Things (IoT) helps executives to control resources, business systems and employees work. When problems occur, the system allows to take immediate action and to implement long-term solutions quickly and economically.

Often companies are afraid that implementing a Manufacturing Execution System would increase the risk of cyberattacks, but we know that this is not a realistic scenario. Without the use of a modular MES, sensors already provide data to unprotected production technologies (OTs), many of which do not follow current security protocols. At best, these systems capture data incorrectly and share them by generating erroneous information about operations. In the worst cases, the presence of an old management system can put at risk the security of IT technologies, threatening the very survival of the business.

Another delicate matter is the entry of hackers, who can also damage production processes by modifying product specifications or production itself. Fortunately, the need to use a digitized management system is increasingly widespread, especially since the security theme is felt by all manufacturing companies. Who of them introduced the IoT technology has improved the security level of company information. In fact, a "conscious" machine can monitor its performance (for example: vibration, energy consumption, product variability, fault parameters) and inform maintenance personnel before any security or compliance issues occur.

Operators connected to the mobile network can also use the human-machine interface (HMI) and make real-time changes to remote applications on the device. Interconnected terminals are also effective for setting up and maintaining the machine, while keeping employees safe from the equipment. When deciding to invest in digital security, the result is a decrease in operating costs (lower insurance premiums, workers compensation and maintenance costs) and longer equipment life within the plant. In addition, the benefits continue beyond the plant, because customers can follow the delivery more effectively. This leads to a reduction of counterfeit goods, recalls and delays.

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