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Learning Session: Remote Manufacturing in 2021.

Deploying a Global Manufacturing Strategy in Times of Remote Work.

How to Securely and Efficiently Connect Production Lines and Teams across the UK & Europe.

During these unprecedented times, manufacturers in the UK and Europe have accelerated the dispersion of their manufacturing operations, aiming to gain efficiencies and face new regulations, political factors, scarce qualified resources, and the enforcement of remote work.

In this learning session we discussed the effects that dual forces - the global COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, have had on the manufacturing industry in Europe and the UK testing business resilience and pushing forward Global Manufacturing Strategies. We will show you how it is possible yet to achieve efficiencies through secure industrial connectivity.

In this webinar called "Delivering your Global Manufacturing Strategy in Times of Remote Working" we looked upon how to Securely and Efficiently Connect Production Lines and Teams Across the UK and Europe.

We showcased tips and real case studies from our IIoT & Cybersecurity experts to:

◾ Understand solutions that help in overcoming common threats of Remote Manufacturing.

◾ Know about key factors you should consider when evaluating Remote Work technologies.

◾ Learn how to define and measure success when implementing new technologies.

The speakers were:

Julian Smith

Polestar IIoT's Managing Director, Cyber-Security Engineer experienced in maximising ROI in OT & IT. Julian has worked implementing Industry 4.0 technologies with manufacturing, transport and utility companies in the UK and Europe; including Carlsberg, Delta, Jaguar & Coca-Cola.

Ethan Schmertzler

Dispel's CEO and Co-Founder. Ethan has spent 7 years looking for ways to optimise secure remote access to industrial control systems of utility companies and manufacturers, serving already over 12 million people and partners every day from offices in the US, Japan and Europe.

Download the Webinar's Quick Handout here:

PolestarIIoT-Dispel-Remote Manufacturing
Download • 31.25MB

Follow the link: Remote Manufacturing in 2021 Full Handout, and Download the PDF

The Challenges for the Manufacturing Industry in 2021

Before COVID-19 and Brexit, manufacturers dispersed operations across different regions depending on the required processes and product specializations. Innovation, high-tech manufacturing, and industrial bases were separated not only demographically, but also geographically throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. This represented a challenge on teams mobility. With travel limited by COVID-19 and regulations imposed by Brexit, manufacturers who previously optimized production by spreading it out are now unable to reach their equipment and keep production up remotely. As an industry, we are experiencing a sudden and urgent need for remote work.

We need a way to enable greater resiliency while still continuing business growth, off-site. This is why Digital Transformation is now a key priority in manufacturing businesses looking to adapt and optimize their production. We can no longer rely on manual, on-site practices for critical functions such as keeping machines running and gathering manufacturing data. The only way to enable smart decision-making and process optimization is to fully, securely, and efficiently enable remote access for facilities, teams, and management.

Key takeaway: Brexit and COVID-19 presented a challenge in mobility, and manufacturers without secure remote access solutions are struggling to efficiently keep productions lines up.

Remote Manufacturing Solutions

Many manufacturers tried to overcome such challenges by installing quick-fix remote access solutions that work, but are not secure. Whether it be an unprotected access point or a shadow Android phone plugged into your OT network, you did the best you could to configure a remote access setup quickly, and were forced to accept the security risk. Unfortunately, the security risk is very high: 29% of all cyberattacks in the UK were targeted at manufacturers last year.

Quick-fix methods often satisfy IT’s need for efficiency but leave IT & OT’s security requirements unattended. In order to optimize your remote manufacturing strategy, you need a system that bridges the gap between IT and OT: a tool that both meets cybersecurity requirements mandated by IT, and maximizes plant efficiency for OT. The good news is that this gap is bridgeable. Done properly, remote access to industrial control systems fulfills the needs of both IT and OT, providing substantial enhancements to uptime, system availability, and safety.

See cases where installing quick-fix remote access solutions have led to serious security & efficiency threats:

More specifically, a successful secure remote access solution should be tailor-made for industrial environments, and should also facilitate:

  • Delivering operations from different countries.

  • Vendor access, for maintenance purposes.

  • Training, that would otherwise require a physical location.

Key takeaway: Mitigate security risk and improve production efficiency by investing in secure remote access made for industrial networks.

Authentication, Virtual Desktops, SD-WANs, Virtual Machines, Protocol Management, Whitelisting & Encryption, all ingredients for Efficient Remote Access:

Authentication, Virtual Desktops, SD-WANs, Virtual Machines, Protocol Management, Whitelisting & Encryption, Remote Desktop, Remote Access
Secure Network Architecture for Remote Manufacturing

A Playbook For Finding Secure & Efficient Remote Access Technologies

When it comes to finding the right technology, start by considering your end goal. Most companies answer this with “to find a technology,” “to find a secure technology,” “to maintain cybersecurity,” or to “implement remote access.” However, these are not the end goal. The real end goal is plant efficiency.

To accomplish this, you need to:

  • Maximize performance.

  • Minimize downtime.

  • Maintain system control.

To properly evaluate the new technologies you’re looking to implement, you must place a relentless focus on plant efficiency. Here are the 3 key considerations you should make when evaluating a new technology.

1. Security and Compliance

A robust remote access system should allow complete control for your OT network admin with full security features built-in. If you are looking for a baseline of security best practices, a good place to start for those in the UK are the NCSC Cyber Assessment Framework, the Network and Information Systems Regulations, and the National Cyber Security Center Guides for the Design of Cyber Secure Systems. Similarly, NIST 800-82, and IEC 62443 are also helpful resources to give direction to how you shape your security posture.

Need help in digesting these frameworks or implementing Secure-by-Design architectures? Talk to us on a 2-Hrs Customised Consulting Session!

Too often, security is seen as the enemy of efficiency. Especially in OT environments, security must be designed to boost plant efficiency. Make sure to ask: Is the product’s access control built to improve productivity, minimize downtime, and maintain system control? Ask a consultant to walk through how you would onboard, give access, and revoke access for a third-party vendor technician.

A good technology consultant should tell you about:

  • Access control.

  • Regulatory frameworks.

  • Secure architecture.

  • Resilience and fault tolerance.

2. Time-to-Equipment

Every minute of downtime is money lost. Your technology should be actively helping you minimize downtime, so it is essential that your technology is fast and easy to use. Ask your tech consultant to show you how the technology considers:

  • User experience.

  • Connection time.

  • Accessible design.

3. Long-term Viability

Factories are built to last decades. Is your digital technology built to keep up through 2050? New digital technology should bring you towards resilience and flexibility, not bog down your systems further.

Ask your consultant:

  • How often do I have to buy new hardware to stay on the most up-to-date version of this technology?

  • Do I have to restart/re-install software on my equipment?

  • How will this technology work with our Digital Transformation initiatives through 2050?

How to Measure the Efficiency Impact of these Implementations?

If you are looking to measure the efficiency impact of a technology, the best place to start is with a simple back-of-the-napkin comparison. To accomplish this, here are the steps you should take, and the data you need to collect:

Please follow the link to download and use Efficiency Calculator Excel Spreadsheet and enter your inputs for your efficiency gains. Enter your findings into the “Executive Summary View” page, and look at the box at the top for your results.

Key takeaway: Make sure your investment in the technology is worth the gains it will bring your organization.

For more information, please download the Event's Full Memories PDF, or schedule a discussion on IoT solutions for Industries and remote access solutions for your manufacturing organization by clicking the banners below:

Remote Work, Remote Manufacturing, Remote Commissioning, Industrial Networks, Cybersecurity, Remote Desktop
Remote Work, Remote Manufacturing, Remote Commissioning, Industrial Networks, Cybersecurity, Remote Desktop
Remote Work, Remote Manufacturing, Remote Commissioning, Industrial Networks, Cybersecurity, Remote Desktop

More About this and Other Events:

The Audience

This webinar was designed for CEOs, CTOs, COOs, Production Managers, Heads of Engineering, Plant Directors, Facility Managers, Operations Managers, OT Managers, Security Architects, Network Architects and Site Engineers from the Manufacturing Industry.

Next Events

If you can't make it to this session no worries, we will be holding other Industry 4.0 events through the year. Just keep checking our Industry 4.0 Events & Offers page.

Past Events

Want to know what we've been up to? Check our YouTube channel where you'll find Industry 4.0 related events that we've hosted.


Contact us for receiving advise through our IIoT Planning Programmes!

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