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Communication Solutions For The Factory of the Future: Part 2

by Michael Volz | Jun 25, 2018



Device manufacturers, plant manufacturers, machine builders and system integrators have long been convinced of the potential benefits, in theory. But these benefits must also be delivered in practice. This is where cloud communication comes up against a wide range of preconceptions and hurdles. Read on as we answer the question: "Is secure really secure?"

As there are no standards in this area yet, many are afraid of backing the wrong horse. However, to simply wait and see and not keep on top of these new developments is the worst thing you can do. Because the following also applies to cloud communication: the early bird catches the worm. Of course, if you launch into the technology early on, you run the risk of selecting the wrong technology. But changing direction using the experience gained is easier than delving into the subject too late and with no experience at all, and meanwhile, allowing your competitors to conquer the market.

Another initial hurdle is that completely different controllers and communication busses are used in industrial plants. Finding a suitable cloud communication solution is not that easy. And the relatively high investments required in some cases are also a deterrent for many companies. Correctly applied, the additional costs for the communication solution will however quickly be offset against the efficiency gained during operation.

Is secure really secure?

Besides a lack of knowledge about the benefits of cloud-based communication solutions and existing solutions, anxiety often also comes into play. Is the data transmission really secure? Will I not be creating loopholes for hackers in my production system? Who owns the process data – the plant operator or the machine builder, or the device manufacturer or system integrator?

To be able to answer these questions, the HMS experts in industrial communication have continuously innovated their products in the past year. This resulted in ISO27001 certification for their communication solutions. The standard relates to information security within organizations and provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving a documented Information Security Management System. Thanks to this standard and STAR certification (Security Test Audit Report), users can be assured that their data really is securely transmitted and stored when using the solutions offered by the communication experts.

Don’t miss the third part in our Factory of the Future series, where we suggest some practical communication solutions for both new and existing plants.


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