GAMS preview: The IT/OT convergence

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles.

08/29/2016


Rich Carpenter (left), product general manager, GE Automation and Controls. Rob McGreevy (right), vice president of operations, Schneider Electric. Courtesy: GE, Schneider ElectricThe 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.

The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles leading up to this year's conference:

CFE Media: We've seen a traditional separation between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) in the plant. The emergence of IIoT promises to change that. Why is this important?

Carpenter: The interesting thing is neither the traditional IT nor the traditional OT teams can implement IIoT initiatives on their own. As more systems move to cloud or cloud/edge infrastructures, the IT and OT leaders need to form more of a strategic partnership in order to take full advantage.

The OT leaders know the equipment and potential benefits analytics could bring. The IT leaders are more familiar with the new technologies around Big Data, cloud, security and machine learning techniques. The partnership is very critical.

McGreevy: These systems often are managed by different departments with different budgets and objectives. This creates conflict. IIoT offers manufacturers an opportunity to break down the virtual "walls" between these systems by offering direct access to equipment, systems and data. Process improvement can thereby be implemented faster, accelerating change through the IIoT applications that can harness it.



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