IT in Manufacturing


Enhanced IoT security technology for manufacturing site networks

October 2018 IT in Manufacturing

Omron Corporation and Cisco Systems have agreed to collaborate by integrating Cisco’s leading networking and security technology into Omron PLCs, designed to deliver reliability under extreme conditions at manufacturing plants. Through this collaboration, the two companies will enhance the security of today’s increasingly intelligent IIoT-enabled manufacturing sites by helping to ensure safe and secure production.

As the IIoT becomes increasingly widespread, the number of connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. Moreover, manufacturers around the world are working to strengthen their global competitiveness and corporate value by improving their manufacturing capabilities. The industry is also rising to the challenge of making manufacturing sites intelligent through the active use of digital technologies. At the same time, manufacturing sites are facing more serious threats than ever before, as evidenced by reported cases of disrupted production due to ransomware and other malware attacks.

Furthermore, customers and the market are demanding higher levels of quality and safety through more stringent regulations on food and pharmaceutical products, as well as traceability to ensure the quality of individual components in the electronic parts industry. Manufacturers face significant challenges in continuing to improve their capabilities while addressing the above issues in the manufacturing environment and fulfilling their corporate social responsibility.

Omron and Cisco will work together to construct a secure environment where PLCs, as core automation components, provide security authentication for three discreet elements, namely people at manufacturing sites, devices connected to machinery and production lines, and data exchanged. By integrating Cisco’s globally proven network and security expertise with Omron’s controller technology, which brings together control and information, the companies will contribute to advances in manufacturing by enabling the safe and secure use of the IIoT at manufacturing sites.

Prior to forming this technological partnership, Omron developed the Machine Automation Controller NJ Series, the flagship PLC that comes standard with the OPC UA server and is compliant with the security enabled global communications standard. The new PLCs enable secure data communication with software and devices supporting OPC UA.

In addition, by combining Omron’s PLCs with Cisco’s network and security technology, the companies will expand the range of solutions available for the authentication of people and devices.


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