Operational Technologies

Operational technologies, often referred with the acronym OT, is hardware and software that detects or causes a change, through the direct monitoring and/or control of industrial equipment, assets, processes and events.

The industrial context is basic on this definition of OT. This term is often used as a counterpart of information technologies (IT), to refer the technologies that are used in an industrial environment.

Terms that are usually used in OT context

Industrial automation and control systems (IACS).

Industrial Control System (ICS) is an electronic control system and associated instrumentation used for industrial process control.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is an industrial computer that has been ruggedized and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines, machines, robotic devices, or any activity that requires high reliability, ease of programming, and process fault diagnosis.

A Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture comprising computers, networked data communications and graphical user interfaces for high-level supervision of machines and processes.

Distributed Control Systems (DCS) is a computerized control system for a process or plant usually with many control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system, but there is no central operator supervisory control.

Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is a user interface or dashboard that connects a person to a machine, system, or device.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)

An Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) is a machine that automates internal transportation tasks.

An Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) are also machines that moves materials from one place to another, but they are more advanced than AMR. It navigates via maps that its software constructs on-site or via pre-loaded facility drawings.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are interconnected sensors, instruments, and other devices networked together with computers’ industrial applications, including manufacturing and energy management.

Process Control Network (PCN)

Process Monitoring Network (PMN)

ICS Communication Protocols

You can read about ICS communication protocols on this post.

OT Security

In the CIA triad (confidentiality, integrity and availability), OT focuses on availability while IT focuses on confidentiality and integrity.

You can read more about OT security on this post.

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