Manufacturers Maintain Better Than Satis-Factory Remote Site Performance

Using NETSCOUT Solutions to Eliminate Visibility Gaps

manufacturing stocking shelves

Smooth operations are essential in the manufacturing industry, where efficient processes in each factory site have a tremendous impact on assembly processes, quality standards, plant quotas, scheduled delivery commitments, and overall revenue. Performance management solutions are critical to ensure the optimization of factory equipment and systems that power each site—no matter where in the world those sites are located or what time of day they are operating.

Assuring Network and Application Performance in Complex Manufacturing Environments

Slowdowns and outages of business-critical applications can severely disrupt the production process. For example, manufacturers use plant floor system (PFS) applications to funnel operations through each step of the production process and ensure seamless transitions. Degradations of these PFS applications would add significant lead time to production commitments, thus setting back delivery timelines. There is also a considerable negative impact on staff at the affected manufacturing site as employees trying to use the degraded application become frustrated and lose productivity.

For some remote site factories, depending on their size, it can be more difficult to recruit assistance from IT to resolve performance issues in a timely manner—especially with bandwidth and resource challenges. In other cases, size can be staggering, reaching millions of cubic feet or meters in space and with production that represents significant inventory toward meeting revenue targets every year. Not surprisingly, many of these mammoth factories are in the automotive, aeronautics, and shipbuilding industries; however, electronics, HVAC, household appliances, and pharmaceutical companies also have significantly sized plants. Substantial networking and application infrastructures support hundreds or thousands of employees in these facilities—employees who require highly responsive, quality performance from these services within the facilities and across the corporate network to meet their target production schedules.

Improving the visibility of distributed remote site factories has become top of mind for global organizations expanding the scale of their operations. Between headquarters, remote factories and manufacturing sites, and third-party vendors, increasing instrumentation becomes necessary for IT teams to continuously monitor network and application performance at each location and its dependencies.

Additionally, it is important to point out the heavy reliance on technology throughout the manufacturing industry. This is not a profound concept for an industry that centers on innovation, but dependence on technology continues to increase rapidly as digital transformations accelerate and progress. An estimated 65 percent of manufacturers worldwide are anticipated to use robotics for automated production by 2025. While the potential of this technology and innovation is quite impressive, this estimation also highlights how important seamless network and application performance will be to maintaining efficient operational processes. The cost of downtime in manufacturing has been well documented over time. Any one breakdown in performance that occurs within a manufacturer’s ecosystem can have a disastrous ripple effect if it is not quickly resolved.  With such a heavy reliance on technology, gaps in visibility at remote manufacturing sites will become even more costly than ever before.

The Nuts and Bolts of NETSCOUT’s Performance Monitoring Solutions

Using NETSCOUT nGenius Enterprise Performance Management solutions, leaders in the manufacturing industry are able to reduce visibility gaps in remote factories. Instrumenting NETSCOUT solutions at manufacturing data centers and the wide area network (WAN) edge of both the data centers and each site factory helps IT teams monitor application server farms, core application performance, and network availability. Manufacturing network environments have become quite complex, with remote factories, colocation sites, and cloud and local application services introducing new potential visibility gaps at the client, network, and service edge where technology is utilized. This increases the need for real-time visibility to effectively monitor network and application performance at each location.

NETSCOUT solutions are uniquely positioned to support leading manufacturers with performance monitoring solutions centered around deep packet inspection at scale. With our nGeniusONE solution centrally located in primary data centers and InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) appliances instrumented in remote factories and plants, IT teams can reduce visibility gaps throughout their distributed ecosystem. Packet-level visibility allows the team to troubleshoot efficiently and drill down into the source of slowdowns to reduce mean time to repair (MTTR) and quickly correct the issue. Once the performance is restored, they can proactively configure dashboards and workflows and run regularly scheduled reports to prevent issues from recurring and negatively affecting downstream operations.

Learn more about how this leading manufacturer with more than 100 factory locations was able to increase site visibility, improve troubleshooting processes, and reduce MTTR to ensure smooth operations.