Category: SCADA

Navigating the Future: A Roadmap for the Digital Transformation of Industrial Equipment

A Roadmap for the Digital Transformation of Industrial Equipment
Written by Blake Cole, ICS Consulting Manager, Louisiana

In the rapidly evolving landscape of industrial technology, the journey towards Digital Transformation is not just a trend; it’s an essential progression businesses must embrace to stay competitive within their industries. But navigating this transformation can be daunting.

In this blog post, we will guide you through a practical, iterative approach to digital transformation, focusing on enhancing operational efficiencies and ensuring safety. You’ll learn about the key steps and considerations for beginning your digital transformation journey, from manual instrumentation and local insight to leveraging historical data for predictive maintenance. Join us as we explore how to strategically implement these changes to optimize your operations and safeguard your equipment.

From a Run-to-Failure Mindset to Condition Monitoring for More Informed Decisions

The starting point for many organizations is manual monitoring. This involves periodically examining the condition of the industrial equipment by taking manual readings with monitoring devices, such as infrared thermometers or handheld vibration meters. While this method sets the groundwork for understanding the equipment’s behavior, it is time-consuming and relies heavily on operators to detect anomalies. This approach poses risks to both operational efficiency and safety, highlighting the need for a more integrated solution.

1. Instrumentation and Local Insight

Introducing instrumentation for local readings improves the immediate accessibility of diagnostic data. Operators can quickly assess equipment conditions through indicators for temperature, pressure, level, and vibration. This development marks a step towards greater efficiency, though it still depends on physical rounds and manual intervention for anomaly detection.

2. Local Condition Monitoring: A Leap Forward

The integration of a Local HMI and PLC System transforms the monitoring process. This setup improves operational efficiency by allowing operators to gain real-time insights into equipment conditions across multiple units, with alarms signaling out-of-tolerance measurements.  Additionally, safety measures can be enhanced by implementing automated shutdowns when an abnormal condition exists; however, with a dependency on manual resets, these shutdowns could lead to extended downtimes if not supervised properly.

3. Embracing Remote Condition Monitoring

Remote monitoring represents a significant advancement, offering controllers real-time visibility into the status of various pieces of equipment across multiple sites from afar. The implementation of a Remote SCADA System, complemented by camera installations and mobile notifications, ensures that both control room operators and local personnel are always in the loop when an equipment anomaly occurs. This approach not only elevates operational efficiency but also significantly enhances safety by allowing remote interventions to keep individuals out of harm’s way.

4. The Power of Historical Data

Recording historical data on instrumentation and alarms gives engineers crucial information to analyze and address issues before they escalate. This data helps focus on recurring nuisance alarms, reducing alarm fatigue and identifying opportunities to improve operational decision-making. However, this step still requires manual data review by engineers to identify impactful changes, making the process inefficient.

5. Data-Driven Maintenance and Safety Decisions

Leveraging historical data for maintenance scheduling embodies the essence of predictive analysis. With systems monitoring equipment for anomalies and reporting these issues to engineers and operators, time is used more efficiently. This proactive approach uses historical data to alert when equipment parameters are out of tolerance, enabling reliability engineers to determine the optimal timing for maintenance activities. This approach minimizes downtime, reduces waste, and significantly enhances safety by seeking to predict and prevent abnormal operating conditions.

Your Partner in Transformation

Embarking on a digital transformation journey requires a well-thought-out plan that aligns with your digital vision. Each step of this process should not only advance your operational capabilities but also integrate seamlessly into the broader system architecture. At RED Group, we specialize in guiding asset owners through this complex landscape, ensuring that technology, data, and security are interwoven into every phase of your project.

The road to Digital Transformation is both challenging and rewarding. It promises not just enhanced operational efficiencies and improved safety conditions, but also a competitive edge in the ever-changing industrial sector. To start your journey with a trusted partner, contact us today. Let us help you evaluate your system and develop a comprehensive plan for your digital transformation.

The future is digital, and with RED Group, your journey towards transformation is in capable hands. Let’s navigate this path together, ensuring a safer, more efficient, and technologically advanced operational environment.


Blake Cole, the ICS Consulting Manager at RED Group in Louisiana, possesses over 15 years of expertise in designing and implementing Industrial Control Systems across diverse industries. He specializes in delivering tailored solutions to clients, empowering them to advance their digital transformation initiatives forward.

The Crucial Role of Security in IIoT Solutions

Written by Jordan Deville, Sr. ICS Consultant | OT Consultant


As the world continues to embrace digital transformation, industrial settings such as chemical plants and manufacturing facilities are not exempt from this transition. The emergence of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology has paved the way for enhanced automation, improved operational efficiency, and increased productivity in these environments. However, it is essential to address the critical aspect of security in IIoT implementations to ensure the protection of valuable assets and data.

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of security in IIoT and highlight the measures necessary to safeguard your industrial operations.

Physical Security

At the sensor level, physical security plays a crucial role in IIoT systems. Ensuring the separation of IIoT sensors from control system sensors is imperative to prevent unauthorized access or data manipulation. By implementing physical separation, damage to the overall integrity and reliability of the system, both control and IIoT, is minimized.

Network Security

Layered network security is vital in protecting IIoT systems. While general IT network security is typically layered on top of IIoT, it is essential to consider that IT network security systems are primarily designed for conventional data flow and authentication. In contrast, IIoT requires specific configurations that focus on control system data flow standards. IT network security systems may be updated every two to three years, while IIoT systems often span 15 to 20 years between updates. As such, there are many complexities that must be accounted for anytime the IT system needs an update. Therefore, it is crucial to bridge the gap between the two and ensure the security of both systems.

Cloud / Local Hybrid Infrastructure

Many IIoT systems require both cloud and on-premise server infrastructure to process and integrate data effectively. However, this integration introduces the challenge of establishing secure network tunneling between the different types of infrastructure. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or authentication using Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates are both valid options. However, the latter requires more advanced configuration and regular IT maintenance. By implementing these measures, you can secure the data flow between cloud and on-premise servers in your IIoT system.

Data Security

The security design of a standalone IIoT system primarily involves focusing on user and system access control to prevent unauthorized entry. Additionally, the tag-level security provided and supported by most IIoT and Control System manufacturers can offer an added layer of protection. Integration with third-party systems, especially for data analysis, must be carefully controlled to ensure critical data remains adequately protected and does not fall into the wrong hands.

Control System Adjacent System Architecture

Well-designed architecture connecting an IIoT system with the primary control system is crucial to maintaining data security. It is essential to ensure that data is only produced by the control system and consumed by the IIoT system to prevent accidental data leakage or unauthorized data control. Likewise, data should not be allowed into the control system from the IIoT system. By implementing robust security measures, you can have full control over the data flow between these interconnected systems without compromising their integrity.

Why Choose RED Group for Your Secure IIoT System

RED Group, certified as an IIoT expert by Cirrus Link, has successfully deployed IIoT solutions for multiple customers. Not only do we possess extensive expertise in the IIoT field, but we are also specialists in control systems and OT network systems for industrial cybersecurity. Our unique qualification allows us to design and implement highly secure IIoT systems tailored to your specific needs.


Security is an indispensable aspect of any IIoT system, ensuring the protection of valuable assets and data in industrial settings. By prioritizing physical security, layered network security, secure cloud/on-premise hybrid infrastructure, data security, and control system adjacent system architecture, you can safeguard your operations from potential threats. As an IIoT-certified firm with expertise in control systems and OT network systems, RED Group stands ready to assist you in designing and implementing secure IIoT solutions. Reach out to us today and let us help you navigate the path to a secure IIoT future.


Jordan Deville, Sr. ICS Consultant and OT Consultant of RED Group’s Houston office, has nearly a decade of experience in Industrial Control systems design and implementation. He has spent the past several years building and refining control system network systems especially focusing on cybersecurity and network safety.

Adding Functionality to Control Systems with IIoT

IIoT & Functional Control Systems
Written by Jordan Deville, Sr. ICS Consultant | OT Consultant


In the fast-paced world of industrial settings, staying ahead of the curve is essential. In our ongoing exploration of digital transformation, we’re delving deep into the powerful realm of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it can supercharge your existing control systems.

In the heart of every large industrial organization lies a sophisticated control system, silently orchestrating operations. However, extracting critical data from this system has often been a challenge, confined to a select few with specialized access. This data is the lifeblood of understanding the health and performance of your facility.

In the conventional scenario, departments relied on periodic reports from technical or operations teams to obtain this vital information. But what if there was a way to access real-time data, enabling more informed decision-making across various disciplines?

Realizing the Vision: Examples in Action

Consider a facility manager who yearns for real-time monitoring of output or the ability to track utilization, or maintenance personnel aiming to predict equipment maintenance by tracking downtimes. Picture the finance team seamlessly accessing live input and output data for precise sales and purchasing reports, or the reliability and environmental team effortlessly tracking energy usage for compliance and early detection of potential issues.

A Glimpse into the Past

Traditionally, this level of integration was a complex endeavor. Multiple SCADA systems were often employed to manage each of these tasks independently, if they were implemented at all. Without such systems, reliance on periodic reports from the Controls or Operations team was the only recourse.

IIoT: Bridging the Gap

Enter Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a transformative force in the industrial landscape. IIoT transcends the limitations of conventional approaches by harnessing data not only from the control system but also from a myriad of other sources, including databases, sales information, and even weather data.

Unlike traditional systems, IIoT operates separately from the main facility controls, with no capability to override existing systems. This separation from control network access means that it adheres to standard IT controls, ensuring a secure and manageable environment for user access.

The RED Group Advantage

At RED Group, we’ve earned our stripes as IIoT pioneers, proudly certified by Cirrus Link and renowned for delivering cutting-edge IIoT solutions. With a track record of successful deployments across multiple industries, we possess not only the expertise in IIoT but also an in-depth understanding of control systems and OT network systems, ensuring the highest level of cybersecurity for connected systems.

Elevate Your Operations with RED Group

Ready to unlock the full potential of your control systems through IIoT? Reach out today, and let’s embark on a journey towards a more connected, data-driven future. Contact us to learn more about our IIoT solutions and how they can revolutionize your facility’s operations.


Jordan Deville, Sr. ICS Consultant and OT Consultant of RED Group’s Houston office, has nearly a decade of experience in Industrial Control systems design and implementation. He has spent the past several years building and refining control system network systems especially focusing on cybersecurity and network safety.

The move to SCADA in the cloud

Scada in the cloud image

In the past, SCADA expertise, complex licensing models, and the hardware and software infrastructure of traditional control systems proved to be technical and economic barriers for both large and small organizations that were considering enhancements to their industrial automation systems and remote operations capabilities. However, with technology ever evolving, the value of implementing remote asset monitoring and control often greatly outweighs the accompanying challenges. While cloud computing has been a mainstay in enterprise software for nearly a decade, the platform concept has become mature and secure enough to meet the demanding expectations of industrial operators. By offering a pay-as-you-go subscription model to avoid the large capital investment of deploying onsite infrastructure, hosted SCADA solutions can provide a lower cost of entry into remote operations monitoring, control and data analytics.

What is it?

A hosted, cloud-based, SCADA system is provided as a service and can be connected to a variety of processes at virtually any geographical location over a secure, private network. Operators can securely access and interact with their process data, potentially from any device anywhere in the world at any time.

With minimal network infrastructure deployed at the assets, a secure connection can be established with existing control system infrastructure. For organizations who are not yet automated but may be hesitant due to budget constraints, the cost savings of a hosted SCADA system can help by limiting capital investments to only control system hardware such as local operator interfaces, instrumentation, and installation. If assets are already automated via a control system, the move to SCADA in the cloud is simplified even further.

Security, performance, reliability and maintainability are common concerns when deploying onsite servers and network infrastructure. By offloading these functions to a cloud provider, asset owners can focus more on running an efficient and profitable business.

Another benefit inherent to a properly designed cloud-based SCADA solution is scalability. As assets are bought and sold, the system can be ramped up and down in a quick, efficient, and secure manner. Integrated cybersecurity, in combination with the flexibility of user and role-based access control, allows for specificity of access to applications for any combination of view, control, and configuration per asset. Subscribing to a hosted SCADA system also provides the experience, support, and the software and hardware upgrades that are best delivered via an external dedicated SCADA team with expertise servicing multiple standard and custom applications.

RED Group’s premier SCADA solution: RED Alert

RED Alert gives clients control and enables you to monitor processes and operations across multiple locations from anywhere at any time. Additionally, it can be easily customized to fit the unique needs of any system. Our RED Alert SCADA solution is designed to interface with our RED Alert local control system hardware but can also directly interface with existing or third-party control system hardware.

Our in-house OT Security Department is involved in the design and testing of all of our Hosted SCADA and Control System solutions, ensuring a secure system and compliance with applicable cybersecurity standards.

Our experienced team can also create a unique solution from the ground up that perfectly fits your needs. We are available to speak with you about your specific challenges and customization requirements. Contact us today to learn more about RED Group and how RED Alert can benefit your organization.


SCADA Success for Municipal Drainage Pumping Systems

SCADA Success

For municipalities, maintaining critical infrastructure, such as water and wastewater systems, is paramount. A well-designed and properly maintained SCADA system can provide real-time visibility into industrial assets, allowing municipalities to deploy operators and maintenance personnel to where they are needed most. RED Group has extensive water and wastewater experience working with multiple municipalities on their Industrial Control Systems. 

Many drainage systems, especially in southeast Louisiana, rely on a large network of pumping stations to safely transport water and prevent localized or widespread flooding during rain events. In Terrebonne Parish, pump stations are operated by the parish’s Forced Drainage Division. For the past 7 years, RED Group has partnered with the Forced Drainage Division to design, setup, upgrade, and maintain several of their antiquated Control Systems.

These systems include automated control of pumping stations, centralized visibility, alarm and event notifications, and historian systems. All systems are designed and maintained for reliability and in a uniform manner, allowing for similar operation, regardless of the size and type of pumping station. Forced Drainage Superintendent Carl Ledet has worked closely with the team over several years and spoke positively of his experience with RED Group.

 “I’ve been particularly impressed with RED Group’s industry knowledge, their availability, and their level of communication. Thanks in a large part to RED Group, we have a reliable state-of-the-art product for which the investment has easily been realized.”

 “Additionally, with their RED Alert product, we were able to quickly get several smaller pumping stations automated and on to our existing SCADA system, which we could not have accomplished cost-effectively with our existing control schemes.”

RED Group has partnered with public and governmental organizations like Terrebonne Parish, as well as many private organizations. Equipped with years of industry experience, we focus on the details to truly understand our customers, decipher any pain-points and needs, and then develop solutions built specifically around those needs.

Interested in hearing more? Contact us to learn how we can help.