Sometimes, we take bandwidth and network security for granted – until we face downtime, operational failure, or even cyberattacks. Agilix Solutions and its wholly owned subsidiary Applied Technologies joined forces to assist a consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing client in optimizing and securing their OT network, ensuring smooth and protected operations.
The client’s journey with Applied Technologies began when they encountered a network issue with an older Allen-Bradley Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). As we dug deeper into their network, we discovered numerous design best practices being neglected. The main concern was the network’s age, but additional misconfigurations were found, causing significant bandwidth waste and latency on the plant floor.
Production was halted due to the palletizer network locking up, and an alarming number of unmanaged switches contributed to the problem. The client needed to address both bandwidth disruptors and security concerns.
The collaboration between Agilix Solutions and our sister company Applied Technologies provides a unique advantage in the industrial networking space. We were able to address the IT and OT aspects, ensuring no knowledge gaps or blind spots in our solution.
Our approach involved creating more bandwidth, optimizing efficiency, segmenting the network, and securing the network. These steps not only freed up bandwidth but also prevented the network from being bogged down. Proper segmentation and separation of the IT and OT networks were crucial to protect each side from unique threat vectors.
Eliminating unnecessary network traffic led to numerous efficiency improvements, such as updating old code, cleaning devices out of PLCs, and directing camera traffic correctly. The plant’s operations became smoother, with the client’s palletizers no longer locking up, and latency in machine and system performance vanished.
The client now enjoys a high-performing OT network with robust security protocols. They are committed to a long-term roadmap for additional bandwidth and security enhancements, and they plan to work with us to resolve similar issues in other production facilities.
The combination of Applied Technologies and Agilix Solutions ensures comprehensive and effective solutions for our client’s OT environment. As connectivity and data become increasingly important, the gap between companies with secure, high-performing networks and those left behind will only widen. If you’re experiencing network issues or want to stay ahead of potential problems, contact the Applied Technologies team for a network discovery today.