Case: IT & OT alignment crucial in Industry 4.0

The Industrial Digital Backbone as foundation for the transition to Industry 4.0

IT & OT: two worlds apart

Our industries are developing at breakneck speed. Thanks to worldwide investment in smart factories, the fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is well and truly underway. With robotics, IoT and AI, production processes are undergoing far-reaching digitisation, opening up unprecedented opportunities for the industry. These include predictive maintenance, where advanced sensor technology can prevent machine failure and products can continue to meet increasingly stringent requirements. In addition, smart farming (the agricultural counterpart of Industry 4.0) is bringing about a sharp reduction in the use of pesticides and water.

In order to be truly able to realise the promise of Industry 4.0, two completely different and previously totally separate worlds suddenly need to start working together much more effectively: The factory floor with operational technology (OT) on the one hand and the IT department with information technology – often from head office – on the other. This creates a complex dynamic.

Our customer

FrieslandCampina focuses on realising healthy, nutritious, responsible and tasty food that brings out the full nutritional benefits of milk while keeping costs and CO2 emissions as low as possible. They achieve this through a commitment to innovation across the dairy supply chain. This is one of the advantages of a cooperative organisation that controls the entire supply chain, from grass to glass.

During this digital transformation, the factory environment needs to be and stay safe and the production process cannot be jeopardised. But when the factory becomes one big computer, who takes control? Operations or the IT department? And how do you get the most from talented people on both sides, without any unnecessary competition?

The bridge between IT & OT

With our extensive experience on both sides of the IT – OT spectrum, we’re helping the IT and OT teams at FrieslandCampina to work together even more successfully. We achieve this with simple language and shared objectives; we create connections between departments, facilitate a collective frame of reference, support decision-making by clarifying different interests and help executives to understand highly complex technical discussions.

In interactive sessions, we combine our wide-ranging knowledge of the field and IT expertise with both the factory floor and IT departments. The result is an overall architecture that truly takes account of both worlds and therefore enjoys support across the work floor and into the boardroom.

In short: we ensure availability, availability and availability for the factory floor, while also meeting all compliancy, manageability and security requirements from a corporate IT perspective. In the process, we create a scenario in which all stakeholders can enjoy success.

The team joined forces and made it! A future ready and compliant new solution. And on top of it a lot of learnings!

The realisation of an industrial digital backbone

Working with the different teams at FrieslandCampina, we’ve developed the factory architecture of tomorrow. With this shared objective, the IT and OT organisations – with support from senior management – have a crystal-clear execution plan to get production data safely from the factory into the office.

This has enabled FrieslandCampina to achieve crucial progress in realising its industrial digital backbone: meeting the key conditions for achieving process optimisation based on big data and increasing business continuity.

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