Implementing integration between plant control systems and higher level computing platforms like ERP systems is more profitable now than ever. This is due to the increased cost volatility of most plants' two main inputs: energy and raw materials - along with more price volatility for plant product outputs.
At the same time, integration has never been technically easier due to the spread of standards that define terms for data exchange among disparate computing systems. Because integration technical hurdles are being reduced, implementation costs are dropping rapidly.
Increased profitability coupled with lower costs should result in a flurry of control/ERP system integration projects. But this is not happening for a number of reasons.
Chief among them are non-technical barriers to integration that remain the same or higher than ever. These barriers include security concerns, reduced plant technical staff, and especially turf wars between process automation professionals and their IT counterparts.
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