Upgrades to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are one of the biggest investments a company can make.
Industry 4.0 offers many new capabilities for ICS which offer high value and ROI, but how can a manufacturer convert their control systems while maintaining uptime, ensuring security and minding cost? Let’s Understand.
When to Upgrade Industrial Control System?
When is the right time to upgrade? It comes down to several factors and greatly depends on a manufacturer’s desire to leverage new technologies as well as the funding they have available – though there are a variety of solutions available now to fit most budgets.
But the maturity of the equipment should be of concern, as should access to parts. As control systems age, there is a greater risk of failure and fatigue at the component level, which results in downtime.
Manufacturers may be hesitant to invest in new technology because they do not fully understand the risk. Leaders are reluctant to move data outside of their current setup.
But prolonged maintenance of control systems can only go so far until repairs get too complex and too costly to do. It raises the risk of longer downtime.
The availability of systems also prevents manufacturers from moving on to upgrades. For example, some companies can only afford one to two hours of scheduled downtime per year, and don’t want to have to run two systems at once in order to do an ICS changeout.
This means that while one part of a control system is down, another part can still be running – or the cloud can be used to upgrade certain components on the fly.