October 08, 2019 / PL / Reading Time: 1 min

Special Characteristics in Shop Floor Environments

In a typical office environment, computer systems are usually replaced every few years. Additionally, solutions like Mobile Device Management (MDM) and “Bring your own device” (BYOD) are used. Such an environment typically has solid backend systems and a stable network to which powerful computer systems are connected.

Industrial environments – the so called ‘Shop Floor’ – can be quite different. There, entirely different challenges occur that require specially developed solutions in order to meet the economic frame and working conditions. The typical operational life of systems on shop floors can be more than 20 years due to the requirement that the installed machines and facilities must have a certain minimum operational lifespan in order for them to be cost-effective. It is also not unusual for such machines to be used long beyond their intended operational lifespans before they are replaced or exchanged. They also frequently are not part of a Domain infrastructure such as is used in a normal office network. Deploying solutions for an office environment in such industrial facilities can lead to unforeseen problems due to a frequent lack of a Domain infrastructure.

Another challenge to be overcome is the fact that in many cases there is no Active Directory (AD) for user authentication. This is frequently installed in an office environment to manage user accounts and the corresponding access rights on respective machines, but whilst there are various systems on the shop floor which do not connect to Active Directory, access to these systems for on-site employees has to be regularly updated, too. Additionally, for special security-relevant reasons or due to technical restrictions, networks can be separated or isolated from each other by Subnets or VLANs. Managing these isolated sections from a central point within the production environment would ease the work for those involved employees enormously, especially if these sections are difficult to access, and staff infrequently visits them only for maintenance, refitting, or during scheduled service intervals.

ondeso SR can be deployed successfully on the shop floor level, as no Active Directory or Domain infrastructure is required, nor are the end devices expected to have frameworks like Java or .NET as they normally have very little internal storage space. It also makes it possible to watch and control systems in isolated network areas with very little trouble.


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