Automation Reliability & Maintenance Center

Reduce System Costs and Complexity

Jane Alexander | January 21, 2019

Consolidating multiple subsystems can cure multiple headaches in your plant.

It’s no secret that increasing system costs and complexity associated with growing numbers and varieties of automation solutions can impact productivity, effectiveness, and uptime in industrial environments—and not in a good way.

Information from Intel, Santa Clara, CA (, points to an all-too-familiar scenario: proliferation of systems consuming precious space and straining IT resources, especially when such systems have unique support requirements in the areas of configuration, backups, spares, and software patching.

The good news, according to Intel’s experts, is, by consolidating industrial subsystems, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and original device manufacturers (ODMs), systems integrators (Sis) can provide substantial benefits for end-user operations. Among other things, these benefits include:

Lower overall solution cost

A consolidated system should cost less to manufacture than the combined subsystems it replaces because it has a smaller bill of materials (BOM).

Reduced integration cost

Integration is simplified since the networking, cabling, shielding, configuration, and other elements needed to connect multiple subsystems are handled within a consolidated system.

Smaller factory footprint

Consolidated equipment takes up less factory-floor space than the individual subsystems it replaces.

Reduced overall energy consumption

The power efficiency of some processors, in conjunction with system consolidation, can yield a solution that consumes less power than several individual subsystems

Simpler security

With fewer systems to secure, a plant’s attack surface is reduced and there’s, potentially, a smaller variety of security solutions to support.

Higher reliability

A consolidated system, with fewer points of failure, should have a better mean time between failure (MTBF) than the combined subsystems it replaces.

Easier system management

IT personnel have fewer devices to install, provision, and manage. EP




Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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