By Charlie Ashton
Just in time to assist industrial automation companies who are reviewing and refining their strategies at the start of 2018, ARC Advisory Group has released a fascinating paper titled “Virtualization and Industrial Control”. If you’re in the industrial control business, this paper should be high on your New Year reading list.
Written by Harry Forbes, Research Director at ARC, the paper explains why the industrial control systems (ICS) that automate production equipment in today’s factories and plants can also represent a formidable barrier to modernization and flexibility. Automation systems evolve at the rate of Operational Technology (OT) rather than Information Technology (IT), creating challenges around maintenance, upgrades, support and safety.
Forbes contrasts the slow evolution of industrial automation systems with the rapid progress in IT systems, which are driven by technologies such as system virtualization and cloud computing, as well as the integration of software development and deployment (DevOps). He highlights the work of the Open Process Automation Forum, an effort initiated by ExxonMobil in 2016, and discusses industrial control products such as the “Industrial Internet Control System” (IICS) solution introduced by GE in 2017.
Describing the business benefits of virtualization for ICS, the report states “The benefits of greater ICS virtualization for end users are clear. Lower TCO, longer ICS life, fewer disruptive changes, improved ability to manage change and implement continuous improvement. The result (and the largest payoff) comes in the form of improved operations”.
In a summary of potential disruptors in the industrial automation market, Forbes highlights Wind River’s Titanium Control platform, explaining that “An excellent example is Wind River’s Titanium Control platform, which combines Wind River’s long experience in real-time operating systems with extensive low latency virtualization and on-premise cloud computing technology that has been proven in mission critical applications.” This is why we’ve seen tremendous customer interest in the Titanium Control platform since launching the product early in 2017.
Please download the ARC Advisory paper here.
If you’d like to know more about how Titanium Control streamlines the deployment and operation of virtualized industrial control applications, please check out the information online or contact us to arrange a face-to-face discussion.