Securely integrating Industry 4.0 Technologies to form a safe, secure and resilient solution.

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

There is a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies on the market to support complex operational requirements. Many of these technologies are ideally suited for quality critical, high precision, low volume, high complexity operations or situations requiring rapid training and up-skilling.

The barrier to deploying these technologies is that a single standalone technology will often not deliver a return on investment and will be hard to justify in a business case. The technologies become more powerful and can produce measurable savings and process improvements when combined and then integrated securely with business systems to form a single solution.

Deploying, combining, and integrating new technologies with existing business systems can be daunting. These deployments often involve many stakeholders, including IT, Manufacturing, Health & Safety and Maintenance teams, and they also require physical infrastructure to make the deployment possible. There is also the challenge of meeting the business’s internal specifications, standards, and legislations as are necessary by law and UKCA. The user experience plays a critical part in ensuring new technologies are adopted. This includes how users interact with the technologies and the physical workstation they are deployed in. Integrating technologies together minimises the number of user interfaces and ensures a single source of configuration. Careful consideration and user consultation is required to ensure the
technologies are deployed as part of a suitable workstation.

Fairfield Control Systems has assembled a team of engineers to allow turnkey deployments in response to these challenges. Their team comprises IT, Network, Software, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers with support from their trusted supply chain for fabrications and electrical installations. The team work collaboratively with their clients throughout the entire lifecycle of deployments,
from initial consultancy and option studies to design, delivery, testing, maintenance and 24/7 support.

Oliver Mangham, Applications Director at Fairfield Control Systems, said, “By offering a turnkey deployment, we can manage the whole lifecycle of the project, ensuring technologies are tested and seamlessly integrated to form a safe, secure and resilient solution.”

The Fairfields team will assist clients in evaluating new technologies, assessing their usability and how they can be securely integrated. Their IT and software engineers can build and modify network infrastructure to make integration and data flow possible while meeting industrial cybersecurity standards such as IEC 62443. Should it be needed, their software engineers will develop integration brokers for handling data from different technologies and for integration into the client’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

In addition to the tech, their engineers have designed and deployed various physical workstations into manufacturing environments, from workbenches and mobile trollies to large overhead gantry structures. They will work with the stakeholders to ensure each workstation is suitable for the tasks being carried out, considering ergonomics and human factors as well as the requirements for tooling, services, lighting, maintenance, and adaptability.Fairfield’s expertise led to them being chosen by BAE Systems to help deliver new technologies that would digitally transform their Typhoon production line. Workingcollaboratively with BAE Systems, they have deployed and integrated many technologies, including Augmented Reality, making use of optical projection, laser projection, mobile
tablets & AR headsets.

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