The latest in our ongoing series based on Rockwell Automation’s “Manufacturing Perspectives” press event at the company’s 2012 Automation Fair earlier this month in Philadelphia, the following post focuses on trends in mobility and cyber security in the manufacturing space. Rockwell believes mobile access and cyber security will be among the most important near-term trends in manufacturing going forward.
Mobility & Cyber Security
As manufacturing becomes more intensely information-based, the issue of cyber security is heightened. Further complicating the issue of an information-based architecture is the proliferation of mobile devices in the manufacturing environment.
Mobile devices can be an enabling technology for manufacturing automation, providing access to key information anywhere, anytime. At the same time, mobile devices —particularly personal mobile devices —pose a significant security risk.
Rockwell recognizes that making information sharing easy and accessible via a range of devices means security strategy is critical. According to Rockwell, the top three concerns its customers have when it comes to security are:
1. Cyber security;
2. Data integrity; and
3. Proliferation of personal devices within the enterprise.
As such, Rockwell said it is aggressively working with its customers to develop security strategies that fit the manufacturing systems they employ. For example, Rockwell said systems can be employed to manage the permissions of personal mobile devices to ensure they are not able to access protected enterprise information. Ultimately, Rockwell’s focus is on delivering an integrated and holistic, network-based security solution across network architectures.
Within the framework of the trends highlighted during its Perspectives event, Rockwell’s view of the plant of the future is one that is mobile, secure, collaborative, and virtual.