Process Automation and the IoT: Yokogawa’s VigilantPlant Approach to the Connected Industrial Enterprise

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By ARC Advisory Group

Keywords

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Operational Technology (OT), Information Technology (IT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Cisco Systems, Structured Data, Operational Excellence (OpX), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Big Data, Sushi Sensor, Main Automation Contractor (MAC) service

 

Summary

Connecting industrial devices, systems, and applications to provide plant and enterprise personnel with actionable information is not a new concept. Leading automation and software suppliers have been working diligently to address this requirement for decades. These efforts have not always been entirely successful, due in large part to poor interoperability between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). This has hampered business performance.

Today, ARC Advisory Group is seeing a profound change in approach. Intelligent field devices, digital field networks, Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled connectivity and web services, historians, and advanced analytics software are providing the foundation for an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The cost of connectivity is dropping dramatically, providing powerful potential to connect people, assets, and information across the industrial enterprise. Now, rather than having to build, integrate, and support purpose-built industrial solutions, automation suppliers and end users alike can reach out and embrace a wide variety of lower cost, fully supported commercial technologies within their industrial connectivity solutions.

However, since in most industrial environments, production continuity safety, and both physical and cyber-security are paramount, extreme vigilance must be employed to ensure that the omnipresent connectivity and openness implied by the IIoT does not compromise any of the above or overwhelm users and/or applications with too much raw data.

Clearly, an industrial approach is required, one that enables manufacturers and other industrial organizations to enjoy the benefits of commercial, Internet-based technologies, but without the potential pitfalls that could include overwhelming people with irrelevant data and information, compromised data security, operational disruptions, and/or safety and environmental issues. Avoiding pitfalls such as these requires appropriate integration of both operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), with an emphasis on maintaining effective safety and security approaches and practices. ARC refers to this as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Executives from Yokogawa, a pioneer in both process automation and digital communications for field networks, recently briefed ARC on the company’s perspective on the IIoT. Clearly, Yokogawa’s industrial automation (IA) product and service offerings, industry domain knowledge, and their approach – which emphasizes safe, secure, and uninterrupted operations – provide a solid foundation for an Industrial Internet of Things that specifically addresses the requirements of process automation, particularly for the OT side of the equation.

To be able to provide an equally solid foundation for the IT side, Yokogawa has announced a number of strategic collaborations and will be partnering with Cisco Systems, a leading global IT, networking, and security supplier and a strong enabler of IoT technologies, processes, and concepts.

Yokogawa, Cisco, and other partners/collaborators are also working closely with end users across a variety of industries to identify specific requirements and develop appropriate IoT-enabled solutions. In many respects, this represents a departure from past practices that often displayed poor alignment between OT and IT suppliers and the end user community.

Yokogawa and Cisco have already worked together to deliver service content and solutions for a major global oil company. These solutions incorporate Yokogawa’s deep domain knowledge of OT and well-proven industrial automation solutions built on top of Cisco’s Secure Ops solution. The joint solution provides a secure ICS/SCADA platform incorporating best practices for information technology, security, and processes to support more effective operational decisions.

The two companies are working together to roll out similar solutions for clients across a variety of industry sectors. By partnering with Cisco, Yokogawa can leverage its own strengths in industrial automation and other OT technology and in industrial applications; while taking advantage of Cisco’s strengths in IT infrastructure (including embedded cyber security and remote/local connect/access capability), best practice processes, IoT applications, and IoT-enabled innovation.

Industrial Internet of Things IIoT Enables New Business Models
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Enables New Business Models
(Source: ARC Advisory Group)

IoT Integrates Operational Technology with the Enterprise
IoT Integrates Operational Technology with the Enterprise
(Source: Yokogawa)

 

Industries

  • Biomass Power

    Biomass can help thermal power plants reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Yokogawa measurement and control technologies are used all over the world in many types of biomass power plants.

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  • Bulk & Petrochemical

    Whether you produce petrochemicals, inorganics or intermediates, chemical companies are under cost and margin pressures to deliver products in a timely and efficient manner while maintaining safe and compliant operations. Additionally, chemical companies need to adjust to fluctuating feedstock and energy prices and to provide the most profitable product mix to the market.

    Yokogawa has been serving the automation needs of the bulk chemical market globally and is the recognized leader in this market. With products, solutions, and industry expertise, Yokogawa understands your market and production needs and will work with you to provide a reliable, and cost effective solution through the lifecycle of your plant.

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  • Geothermal Power

    Environmentally friendly and stable geothermal energy can generate electricity throughout the years regardless of weather conditions. Yokogawa has participated in dozens of geothermal power projects in Japan, Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions, providing a variety of measurement and control technologies.

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  • Power

    In the mid 1970s, Yokogawa entered the power business with the release of the EBS Electric Control System. Since then, Yokogawa has steadfastly continued with the development of our technologies and capabilities for providing the best services and solutions to our customers worldwide.

    Yokogawa has operated the global power solutions network to play a more active role in the dynamic global power market. This has allowed closer teamwork within Yokogawa, bringing together our global resources and industry know-how. Yokogawa's power industry experts work together to bring each customer the solution that best suits their sophisticated requirements.

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  • Renewable Energy

    Renewable energy helps protect the environment and brings both society and industry closer to the goal of achieving sustainability. However, compared to conventional energy sources, there are certain challenges that stand in the way of its rapid adoption, such as higher production costs and greater instability in the supply of power to the grid. As a leading company in the control and instrumentation business, Yokogawa has always striven to help its customers in various industries achieve stable operations and improve productivity in their plants. We provide solutions for renewable energy applications worldwide, thus contributing to the sustainable development goals.

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  • Water & Wastewater

    Water resources are finite, and therefore contributing to a sustainable water cycle is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yokogawa has been providing advanced digital control solutions for the stable supply of clean and safe water, wastewater treatment for protecting the water environment, water loss management and optimization of plant operation for reducing CO2 emissions and running costs. With our leading-edge technologies, dependable products and extensive expertise and experience of diverse water projects around the world, we work with you to provide sustainable water solutions that boost your business and add value throughout the plant lifecycle.

    Yokogawa supports a wide range of water control applications in both the municipal and industrial water markets.

      

     

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Related Products & Solutions

  • Cybersecurity Consulting Services

    Yokogawa’s comprehensive Cybersecurity Consulting Services help customers deploy proper security solutions for their plants to ensure safe operation while adapting to new technology for achieving higher efficiency and productivity.

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  • Security Program

    Yokogawa’s cybersecurity services take a lifecycle approach to help customers control the security risks and manage them to achieve the highest business continuity plan throughout the plant’s entire lifecycle. 

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