The Reynolds Company
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Industry 4.0 – How do we get there, and where do we begin?

Brandon Singh7/5/2022

Industry 4.0! What is it? How do we achieve it? Where do we begin? For one reason or another everyone is beginning to dive into it headfirst. Whether it is corporate mandating information and graphs to go along with OEE calculations, or because you are in a regulated market vertical and you have to shore up your security. Either way, you have to adapt to the new normal, but where to begin?

Your digital transformation journey into Industry 4.0 starts with a reliable, robust, and secure plant-wide industrial Ethernet network. Here at The Reynolds Company, we can provide a full portfolio of industrial networking products and services to connect the automation devices across your plant and throughout your enterprise. Those services include:

  • Network Assessments
  • Security Assessments
  • Network Design Packages

In this post, we are going to cover the most important - Network Assessments. Our network assessment capabilities assist you with evaluating current network architectures for:

  • Performance
  • Documentation
  • Expansion Planning

Our Network Assessments cover these key areas:

  • Inventory of major network components - switches, routers, and firewalls
  • Baseline comparison of logical, and security-based elements against industry standards
  • Comparison of the physical network infrastructure against information and communications technology standards. 
  • Evaluation performed has minimal impact to your production environment
  • Recommendations and remediations to current network infrastructure challenges. 

What needs to be ready for a Network Assessment? To complete the Network Assessment, associates at The Reynolds Company will need some information to capture everything stated above, as well as:

  • Any documentation on current network as it exists today (plant layout, logical & physical network topology, network equipment currently being used)
  • Any documentation on network governance and compliance (if applicable)
  • Point of contact for a site walk through and escort contact (if needed while onsite)
  • Plant safety guidelines and PPE needed

An onsite Network Assessment will generally take 1-2 days depending on the size of the facility. Initially there is an interview/question and answer session and following a walk-through of the facility to gather all needed information. From that, The Reynolds Company will put together a delivery document that outlines the network and gives a risk rating of low, moderate, high. The deliverable document is completed 2-4 weeks after the site walk-through; a review meeting will be scheduled to go over the findings. A follow-up meeting will be scheduled after your company has had time to digest the findings, which will discuss remediation steps, and any further assistance that The Reynolds Company can provide for your Industry 4.0 journey. 

need more information?

Are you ready to schedule your network assessment? Reach out to your account manager and we'll help you get started.

Written By

Brandon Singh

Network Specialist | North Texas