Maintaining healthy IT assets

Aug. 9, 2006
Over the past several years, there have been two significant trends in the industrial marketplace. First, control system vendors are using more Ethernet based communication networks and Microsoft operating systems. Second, many companies have an increased focus towards predictive or condition based maintenance. This paper shows how OPC plays an important role in both trends.
By Eric Murphy and Sean Leonard, Matrikon

IT IS ALL well and good that companies are looking to this approach for their vibrating, rotating, thermal and other mechanical based assets. However, in many cases they do not include the IT hardware associated with the collection, transmission, storage and analysis of this data in their approach. There are several reasons these key assets are ignored. They are often considered non-critical, since the IT hardware is commonplace and inexpensive. Lack of domain experience is also a factor.

Control engineers do not have extensive training in IT, or the time to invest in learning the technology or keeping up to date. Similarly, IT professionals often do not have a process control background, resulting in a lack of trust and understanding between the two groups. Unfortunately, the main reason is simply a lack of awareness.