To stay competitive, manufacturers need to partner with manufacturing automation vendors and systems integrators that provide solutions to upgrade factories or build new systems from scratch. Strong automation partners are adding security architecture to the value chain since they know this is a major concern for manufacturers and a key to competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Manufacturers should work with experienced integrators, developers and technology partners who have already exhibited excellence and longevity in connecting, securing and monetising smart manufacturing systems. Experienced partners can provide the direction needed to develop the best system to meet business needs.
For instance, manufacturing processes can be connected by hard wiring, WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID, Low-Power Wide-Area Networks including LoRa and LTE M, and even IoT Terminals that work out of the box and connect via flexible industrial interfaces. Each has different strengths and ideal use cases and a strong partner with experience in connecting smart manufacturing systems can help decide which solution is best for individual use cases.
They must also consider security and how to protect smart manufacturing systems from intrusion or error. For instance, Gemalto Secure Elements and Hardware Security Modules (HSM) are used to secure product manufacturing systems. SEs and HSMs allow manufacturers to generate and distribute IDs and certificates for devices and they authenticate devices, users, and applications that interact with devices. They also help secure communication and protect data at rest.
Similarly, Trusted Key Manager (HSM) plays a key role in security. TKM manages credentials for LoRa devices and networks as well as IoT devices not connected to a cellular network, historically a challenge for manufacturers. The TKM solution allows manufacturers to decouple these credentials from the production process, making the business scalable and preserving trust between manufacturers and customers.
Another area for industry players to consider is successful software monetisation. Licensing and IP protection is an important component in manufacturing industrial devices, which includes more and increasingly complex software, trade secrets, and pricing models based on usage and variable feature sets.