‘Living in a brownfield world’

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media September 17, 2018

While new manufacturing facilities are a welcome site in any community, the reality of manufacturing is that plants are adapting in their current footprints to the changes. Nowhere is this truer than in the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where plants are learning how–and why–to bring in new technology, software and training to make the necessary changes in manufacturing.

As was noted IIoT for Engineers editor Kevin Parker in this month’s issue, "what’s limiting additional productivity gain through further systems integration is this very same installed base of proprietary technologies supplied by automation and information technology suppliers."He quoted Arlen Nipper, president and CEO of Cirrus Link Solutions, who noted, "We live in a brownfield world."

The key is open-source data, Parker noted. "If industrial processes need distributed systems that are configurable and interoperable, open standards are required for the technical and semantic interchange of information," he writes in this month’s issue.

Bob Vavra, content manager for Plant Engineering, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.