Examples of critical OT assets include fixed plant process control (SCADA/DCS), communications-based train control systems (CBTS), industrial wireless and digital radio systems (TETRA/LTE), manufacturing execution systems (MES), time-series data historians, surveillance drones and mobile plant fleet management systems (FMS).
Increasingly, OT platforms are becoming digitised, integrated and configured through software. OT systems have adopted IT standards such as TCP/IP networking and virtualised MS Windows server infrastructure.
As a result, site operations have found that specialist IT-skills are required to support these critical technology assets. OT technologies are usually deployed in hostile environments and must be engineered for high-availability and fail-safe operations.
The technology must be configured to match the operating model and processes of the site.
Importantly, field devices must be electronically integrated to allow the free flow of data from field through to enterprise data lakes. The capture and contextualisation of sensor/device data support advanced analytics and improvement in decision support processes.
The convergence of digital technologies we have seen over the last decade has created several organisational challenges for operators, and this has caught many organisations off-guard.
Organisations that can address these convergence issues quickly will have a lower cost of operation and high performing, secure operations.
Experience with Vendor Technologies
Operational Data Architecture
Understanding of Analytics Processes and Tools
Skills in Developing Extensive Networks in Operational Settings
Many operators embark on OT projects without a strong understanding of the current and target operating model e.g. impact on work practices, role definition and process impact. This failing often results in cost escalation and erosion of benefits.
The future concept-of-operations needs to be created early in the lifecycle, and informed decisions made on whether to change the operation or change the system/technology, to ensure a seamless implementation
Developing systems requirements from scratch is time-consuming and error-prone.
Convergence of OT and IT technologies has created challenges for many organisations. Convergence creates opportunities to reduce headcount and share expertise, standards and methods across teams.
Operators are finding they are ‘data rich but information poor’. This is caused by several issues e.g. lack of master data alignment across OT applications, lack of clarity on operations performance metrics, poor operating discipline and lack of connectivity between applications.
Many organisations have a point-solution approach to their digital assets i.e. treating each OT asset as an island, rather than part of an integrated digital landscape. This point-solution mentality increases the complexity and cost of system integration over the life of the asset.
ATI has a broad range of expertise in Operations Technologies, developed through many large-scale OT projects across asset-intensive industries. ATI practitioners not only know the technical detail, they understand the industry context and the changes in culture and work practices required to realise value from OT investments.
ATI practitioners have deep expertise in fields of OT including fixed plant process control (SCADA/DCS), communications-based train control systems (CBTS), industrial wireless and digital radio systems (TETRA/LTE), manufacturing execution systems (MES), time-series data historians and mobile plant fleet management systems (FMS).
Our OT services include:
Operations Technologies Diagnostic & Remediation
Assessing the performance of OT technologies against anticipated benefits, and rectification of issues in the areas of:
Requirements Management & System Evaluation
System Implementation Support
Integrated Architecture Development