Manufacturing Critical Infrastructure Solutions

Providing Unmatched Protection and Reliability in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry faces many challenges in today’s rapidly changing landscape with the introduction of smart technology, 5G connectivity, and virtual reality. Moore’s Law states that technology tends to double every two years while simultaneously becoming more accessible and affordable. This is certainly true in manufacturing, since security, global communication, and production services are critical concerns.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought technology to the edge of manufacturing facilities, allowing IT managers to become more efficient and provide better service for their customers. However, this rapidly changing landscape provides significant challenges that demand reliable solutions.

Manufacturing facilities require continuous, clean, and reliable power to support critical IT infrastructure and ensure 24/7 continuity. Loss of power can result in data loss and worse yet, downtime in production schedules, which leads to lost revenue in every step of the supply chain.

The keys to ensuring employee safety, protecting your reputation, and boosting financial stability start with building your organization’s reliability. This is done through optimized critical infrastructure, along with flexible services and support for customers and staff.

Other factors that contribute to technology risks for manufacturing entities are rising energy costs, natural disasters, aging physical infrastructure, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and the shortage of skilled workers. Recent events, such as the global pandemic, have also posed challenges to global supply chains and availability of international supplies. Dependable technology can help solve these problems with communication and visibility.

How Technology Is Changing the Landscape

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the idea that the internet will expand to many items in the world besides phones and computers. These items will be accessible via the internet wherein you can affect them and/or pull data.

Here are four ways the IoT can change your work today:
  • Remote Monitoring
    • Can provide status updates and up-time reports for critical infrastructure through wireless communications, which allows the facility to quickly resolve potential problems.
  • Precision Recording and Reporting
    • One of the major benefits of using machines is their objectiveness. If the machine is functioning properly, it is very unlikely to make data-entry mistakes.
  • The Advent of “Smart Facilities”
    • IoT is allowing manufacturing facilities to become “smart” through connecting various devices, industrial equipment, tools, monitoring software, and many more technologies that collect, analyze, and transmit data. This data can be used to strengthen security, improve production workflow, enhance the quality of materials produced, and much more.
  • Cost and Time Savings
    • Like any major upgrade, the initial investment of both money and time into the IoT will be high. You might need to completely revamp your technology base and retrain your staff. The returns, however, are unbelievable. No more faulty data recording, no more inaccurate reports, no more wasted time and money on inaccurate analysis or data records. In the long run, the IoT is the next big step toward efficiency, automation, and accuracy.

Interoperability & Secure Data Transfers

The idea of interoperability refers to multiple manufacturing organizations working together while exchanging data and trends to provide the best products and design the optimal workflow. To do this, each organization must communicate with each other and send very sensitive documents through the internet. Here are a few perks of interoperability:
  • Fast Access to Data
    • Collaborating with other organizations allows you to get the key data you need, at faster speeds than ever before.
  • Expanded Knowledge
    • Sharing information allows everyone to develop a complete knowledge base, expanding the possibilities for every organization.
  • Better Decisions
    • With more information, manufacturers and IT managers will be better informed and make better decisions.
  • Improved Learning Experience
    • The goal of interoperability is to improve production for each facility. Sharing data empowers your staff to make the best decisions and build the best services possible.
However, despite these benefits, there are some drawbacks to interoperability and regular data transfer.
  • Risk of Hacks
    • As more and more documents are sent over the web, secure connections must be ensured to protect from hackers. Equipment downtime from ransomware can cause disruptions throughout the entire supply chain. If your tech isn’t up to security standards, interoperability isn’t going to be safe for your employees until you upgrade.
  • Regulatory Compliance
    • Any breach can result in incredibly large fines, loss of trust, and even a loss of funding. Your tech needs to be able to protect your employees and your reputation before interoperability can begin.
  • Data Security
    • The biggest source of data breaches at any organization isn’t hackers or faulty tech, it’s the staff in the workplace. Your staff will need to be trained on proper usage of the new technology and procedures to ensure that data isn’t compromised due to operator error.

Regulatory Environment

Manufacturing is an incredibly stressful industry with significant impacts to consumers and the market in general. Not only do you need to supply quality services, but you must also maintain your facilities and ensure that your staff has the necessary technology in place to do their work well.

Natural disasters and malicious attacks on your systems may seem like far-off threats that would never happen to you, but unfortunately that’s not always true. These events are all too common and growing ever more frequent. Improving the physical and virtual security of your environment is essential to preserving the privacy of your operations and clients.

The result of a noncompliance inspection or lawsuit can be incredibly detrimental to your operations. Fines often stretch into the millions after a data breach, and this is generally considered to be a good outcome, considering worse alternatives. You need a partner who understands the stringent requirements you face, who can build elegant code-minimum solutions for you and your business.

Manufacturing Critical Infrastructure Challenges

Network Security & Infrastructure Protection

  • Technology is an incredibly important part of manufacturing. Without a strong IT backbone, you won’t be able to rely on the critical technology needed in order to help your employees.
  • Your facilities need reliable power all day, every day.
  • As interoperability and the Internet of Things expand, so, too, will your needs for greater security and power.

Enable the Manufacturing Technology Edge

  • As industries become more technologically sophisticated, innovation must take place in order to ensure efficiency and drive rising costs back down.
  • We advise that you deploy small branch center locations with connections to your data center. This expands your reach without compromising security, efficiency, or operational ability.

The Challenge of Distributed Technology Infrastructure

  • Your facility must meet the challenge of not only using legacy applications but applying them over outdated infrastructure. Some of these networks are comprised of hundreds of facilities all trying to use these programs at the same time.
  • Without strong IT management resources, it can be impossible to know what’s happening on your own network.
  • Through a strong, connected network, you can simplify your IT management and empower your educators.

Increasing Demand in Manufacturing Operations

  • Manufacturing infrastructure is a very complex system. You need all the power you can get out of your IT systems in order to meet requirements and prepare for new technology adoption.
  • Pressure is rising to reduce your costs, improve performance, and increase staff productivity and efficiency.
  • As the IoT grows, your systems will be increasingly taxed by the volume of incoming data and connected devices. Your infrastructure needs to keep up with growing requirements and its efficiency must increase with each addition.

Enable “Green” Solutions & Sustainability in Manufacturing

  • Large manufacturing facilities use a tremendous amount of energy. Getting the most efficient tech possible is a huge priority when driving down skyrocketing power costs and conserve funds.
  • Energy-efficient equipment upgrades and replacements help decrease costs and the facility’s environmental footprint. Optimizing your infrastructure can be a simple but powerful way to lower costs.

Power Quality and Protection Concerns

  • Low power quality, poor installation, or problems in your electrical grid can severely impact critical infrastructure equipment and lower the quality of the workplace for your employees.
  • Unplanned equipment downtime due to power problems can be detrimental for manufacturing production and put your business at unnecessary risk.
  • Clean, reliable, and efficient power starts with proper design, equipment selection, and installation. Regular system testing can also help ensure efficient, safe, and continuous operation.

Manufacturing Critical Infrastructure Services

As you look to optimize your manufacturing operations, we provide a variety of solutions to keep your infrastructure secure and online.

How Weber & Associates, Inc Can Help

  • Simplify the management and design of your IT infrastructure.
  • Build your infrastructure power system into a reliable, efficient, and eco-friendly system.
  • Aid your operations in the transition to IoT.
  • Create compliant energy and data storage solutions.
  • Empower yourself and your team to do their best work.

Empower Your Manufacturing Facilities with a Partner You Can Trust

Manufacturing technology is ever-expanding and growing quickly in complexity and cost. You need a partner who understands the stringent requirements and incredible regulatory complexities that manufacturing facilities face daily. You need a partner with industry experience, dedication to safety and efficiency, and expertise in IT fields.

We can help lower your power costs, increase your security, create an efficient network, establish strong infrastructure, and empower you to provide the best possible environment for your employees. Contact us today to start moving toward tomorrow!