Nov 12 2022
Automation and People
This is the first in a series of posts about learnings from the Van of Nerds tour of 11 manufacturing sites in Northern France completed on September 9. First, I describe who we are, why and how we went on this tour. Then, to make this post more than just an introduction, I appended a summary of our observations on automation and people. There is more to come.
Dec 4 2022
IT, OT, and Kaizen
The software and hardware systems used in manufacturing fall under Information Technology (IT) if they only interact with humans, and Operational Technology (OT) if they also interact with machines and facilities. Industry 4.0 is mostly OT, but manufacturing has traditionally focused more on IT.
IT produces reports on delivery performance; OT issues alarms when a gas pipe springs a leak. The distinction is sharp between extreme cases but blurry where the two meet. In principle, all the systems should form a functional stack, with each layer activating and exchanging data with the layer below. The top layer supports management decisions, and the bottom layer interacts with operators and machines. In reality, it does not often work as it should. The key to making it work is continuous improvement/Kaizen, with technology retrofits, rather than a radical “digital transformation.”
By Michel Baudin • Van of Nerds • 1 • Tags: IT, Legacy Systems, Manufacturing, OT, Retrofit