CASE STUDY

Emergency Service Call on New Year’s Eve Leads to Implementation of a Practical IIoT Solution

Background

A manufacturing plant contacted Malisko on New Year’s Eve seeking immediate help due to, without warning, the complete and unexpected crash of their core switch connected to many of the vital process areas. They needed immediate technical help restoring the configuration of the core switch so they could resume production and minimize lost and spoiled “in process” material. Additionally, they sought the advice of Malisko to create a plan for a health-check system to prevent such a catastrophic event in the future.

Objectives

  • Immediately restore the operation of the existing core switch
  • Create a plan and propose a system to help prevent unplanned and potentially catastrophic downtime in the future
  • Deploy asset management and monitoring of devices on the OT network
  • Deploy a system that provides information to support pro-active future planning, preventative maintenance, and predictive maintenance of the OT assets:
  • Give the plant’s technical support the tools so when maintenance windows open, they have a good plan based on the health-check monitoring data and analytics
  • Create timely notification and reporting tools to formulate meaningful and deliberate action focusing on specific, important aspects of asset health and operation

Challenges

  • Previously undetected memory leaks in the plant’s OT network core switch ultimately and fatally led to the switch crashing on New Year’s Eve thus bringing production to an immediate halt.
  • Connectivity into certain assets on the network was unreliable.
  • Client’s understanding of the character of a “robust OT infrastructure”.
  • “Pertinent” vs “Irrelevant” or “Misleading” metrics to monitor to determine proper OT asset health.
  • Real-time information to monitor did exist on the many OT assets, but the information was only available through a collection of disparate interfaces and different “panes of glass”.
  • Data allocated in multiple locations and presented in varying formats.
  • Plant’s technical support team was viewing monthly reports showing historical data. This approach, although one step better than having nothing, did not allow for predictive analysis, hence not providing an adequate indicator for planning timely preventative maintenance of any OT assets.

Solutions

  • Malisko deployed Frontedge® at the manufacturing plant
  • Provides continuous real-time monitoring and analytics solution aggregating data from multiple sources to a single pane of glass that not only helps makes inferences on system and asset health but proactively manages OT network assets by gaining visibility into topology, asset inventory, models and device firmware revisions.

Results

  • Greatly reducing the risk of production downtime due to an avoidable OT system failure by monitoring “things” (think IIoT) attached to the network and issuing notifications when analytics detect a trend migrating towards unstable or catastrophic conditions – being pro-active to avoid the problems leading to lost production.
  • Ability for Malisko’s client to pro-actively develop operating budgets that include needed remedial repairs and updates to the OT infrastructure based on factual data from FrontEdge.

Note: By deploying FrontEdge the client has already experienced much smoother / less disruptive production attributed to OT assets by relying on the health monitoring and analytics of FrontEdge to catch multiple instances of asset health trending towards potential device failure.

Learn How We Can Help You

Malisko is ready to help you drive cost savings and ROI by reducing unplanned downtime, ensuring software license compliance, consolidating industrial IT support, and creating proactive break/fix policies. Accelerate your Digital Transformation journey and empower your Connected Factory with Frontedge OT Vitals.

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