Tag: manufacturing

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.

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.

Exploring the Power of IIoT in the Digital Age

What is IIoT?
Written by Jordan Deville, Sr. ICS Consultant | OT Consultant


In today’s fast-paced digital era, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way we interact with technology. IoT refers to a vast network of devices that connect and exchange data with other IoT devices and the cloud. These devices are often embedded with sensors, software, or other mechanical and digital machines or consumer objects, enabling seamless communication and automation.

Now, let’s take it a step further: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a rapidly growing technology that is transforming the way industrial facilities operate. IIoT connects physical devices, sensors, and machines to the internet, allowing them to collect and share data in real time. This data can be used to improve efficiency, optimize operations, and increase uptime.

IIoT: Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Industry

IIoT builds upon the foundation of IoT. Unlike standard IoT, which has a diverse range of applications in consumer settings, the primary objective of IIoT is to enhance industrial processes and operations.

At its core, IIoT embraces the seamless integration of smart devices, machinery, and equipment in the industrial domain. These devices are purpose-built to work in conjunction with existing or forthcoming control systems, making data availability and distribution the central aspect of IIoT.

While IIoT shares the same underlying concept as IoT, it is distinguished by its emphasis on the harsh industrial environment and the specific needs of various industrial sectors, such as chemical plants and manufacturing facilities. In many cases, IIoT sensors are derived from the proven field sensors used in other applications within Industrial Control Systems.

IIoT can benefit your facility in a number of ways, including:

  • Improved Efficiency: IIoT can help you to improve the efficiency of your operations by identifying areas where you can reduce waste and improve productivity.
  • Real Time Data Sharing: IIoT can allow for real time data of the facility to be shared with both internal and external teams that would not typically have control system access. This can allow for corporate, management, or business partners to get a view into different facility operations without having to build sophisticated systems for access to the more sensitive full control system.

RED Group: Your Trusted Partner in IIoT Integration

At RED Group, we take pride in being leaders in all things related to Industrial Control Systems. With our deep expertise and understanding of IIoT, we are here to guide you on your journey towards implementing a robust IIoT system tailored to your unique requirements. RED Group can support your operations in a variety of IIoT applications, such as:

  • Select the Right IIoT Devices: We can help you to select the right IIoT devices for your needs. We will consider the specific requirements of your facility and help you to choose the devices that will provide the most benefit.
  • Design and Implement Your IIoT System: We can design and implement your IIoT system to achieve your organizational goals. We will work with you to ensure that the system is properly integrated with your existing infrastructure.
  • Provide Ongoing Support: We will provide ongoing support for your IIoT system. We will help you to troubleshoot problems and keep your system up and running.

Take Away

In the upcoming series of blog posts, we will delve into how IIoT can be harnessed to bring substantial benefits to any facility. We will illustrate real-world examples of how IIoT is revolutionizing industrial processes, enhancing efficiency, and improving overall performance. Moreover, we will highlight the specific ways in which RED Group can assist you in the seamless integration of IIoT systems tailored to your unique needs. To learn more about how IIoT can revolutionize your operations, contact us today – our team of experts is ready to assist you in harnessing the power of IIoT for your business’s success!


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.

Revolutionizing the RNG Industry with AI

Transforming RNG with AI
Co-Written by Karl Nicholas, Business Development Manager


The Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry is experiencing remarkable growth as the world seeks sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources. As this industry expands, it encounters unique challenges that demand innovative solutions. Fortunately, as part of a larger digitalization journey – which encompasses technologies such as digital twin, advanced analytics, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, offering transformative capabilities to optimize operations and maximize efficiency. In this installment of our Digital Transformation blog series, we will explore five compelling use cases where AI can revolutionize the RNG industry, enhancing predictive maintenance, quality control, process optimization, anomaly detection, and predictive modeling.


Predictive Maintenance

One of the critical challenges in the RNG industry is ensuring the smooth operation of complex equipment. RED Group leverages advanced AI algorithms to analyze sensor data and equipment performance, enabling predictive maintenance. By monitoring the condition of crucial components such as compressors and boilers, RED Group’s AI solutions can both identify patterns and anomalies that indicate potential failures or maintenance requirements, as well as provide the opportunity to extend preventative maintenance intervals if the equipment is showing no warning signs. These proactive approaches minimize downtime, reduce maintenance costs, and optimize overall plant efficiency.

Quality Control

Maintaining consistent and high-quality RNG products is crucial for the industry’s credibility and market competitiveness. AI offers a powerful solution by monitoring the composition and quality of incoming and outgoing gases. Advanced techniques such as gas chromatography or mass spectrometry can be integrated with AI processes to analyze data in real-time. This enables precise monitoring and control of the RNG composition, ensuring that the final product meets rigorous standards consistently.

Process Optimization

Efficient and sustainable RNG production relies heavily on optimizing complex processes. AI can analyze vast amounts of data collected during the production process and make real-time adjustments to optimize operations. By continuously monitoring temperature, pressure, flow rates, and other relevant variables, AI algorithms can identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption, enhance yields, and improve overall process efficiency. These optimizations not only reduce costs but also contribute to greener and more sustainable RNG production.

Anomaly Detection

In an industry where even minor disruptions can lead to significant losses, the ability to detect anomalies and address them promptly is crucial. AI can monitor data streams in real-time, detecting anomalies that may indicate equipment malfunctions, leaks, or other operational issues. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI systems can quickly recognize abnormal patterns and notify plant operators, enabling them to take immediate action to prevent costly downtime and optimize safety.

Predictive Modeling

Making informed decisions based on accurate forecasts is a key factor in the success of RNG plants. AI can utilize historical and real-time data to create predictive models that forecast production levels, feedstock availability, and market trends. By analyzing a range of variables, such as weather patterns, demand fluctuations, and regulatory changes, AI-powered predictive models provide plant operators with valuable insights to optimize operations, plan investments, and stay ahead of the competition.


Take Away

The RNG industry stands at the forefront of renewable energy, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional natural gas. By embracing AI technologies, RNG plants can unlock immense potential for efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. From predictive maintenance to quality control, process optimization, anomaly detection, and predictive modeling, AI empowers the industry to overcome challenges and achieve new levels of performance. By harnessing the capabilities of AI, RNG companies can secure a greener future and contribute to a sustainable energy landscape.

Ready to unlock the full potential of AI in the RNG industry? Contact us today to learn how RED Group can help revolutionize your operations and drive your RNG plant towards greater success!


Karl Nicholas is a technology enthusiast and brings many years of experience working and managing various projects in areas such as Cybersecurity, Engineering, IoT, Digital Transformation, and more.

Advancing Your Robotics Project with RED Group

Overcome Manufacturing Challenges with our Robotic Integration Solutions
Written by Sebastian Hillis, ICS Consulting Supervisor


In today’s fast-paced manufacturing world, businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the overall customer experience. With the increasing digitalization of the world, the popularity of robotics in the manufacturing industry has skyrocketed. In fact, robotic sales in North America experienced a remarkable 11% growth in 2022 compared to the previous year. It’s no surprise that robotics has garnered such attention and demand, given its ability to address critical challenges like staffing shortages. However, despite the benefits, integrating robotic solutions into existing systems remains a major struggle for many end-users. 

The Challenge 

One major pain point is the poor integration of robotics into the wider MES/SCADA/IIoT environment. Robotic installations are often automated to streamline processes like assembly, but without integrating fully into the existing MES, SCADA, or IIoT platforms, it is difficult to utilize data for advanced analytics and insight into operations. This can significantly limit the potential of robotics to improve overall business operations. 

Another challenge is space and cost constraints. Smaller operators may have limited space to work with, making it difficult to incorporate a bulky robotic installation. Similarly, the perceived cost of the initial installation and ongoing maintenance and support costs can discourage customers from embracing robotic solutions, despite the rapid return on investment that robotics can provide. However, it is worth noting that cobots, or collaborative robots, require less auxiliary equipment and can be implemented in tight spaces, making them a cost-effective solution. 

Moreover, some clients shy away from robotics due to a lack of internal resources, assuming, for example, that they will need a full-time robotics expert on staff. With effective integration, however, robotics can be made simple – errors can be pinpointed, corrective actions can be automated, and the robot can be made resistant to “mystery crashes”. Additionally, cobots offer simple setup and can be programmed directly by operators, making them more accessible to end-users. 

The Solution 

RED Group not only assists in identifying opportunities for robotic implementation based on clients’ desired outcomes – we also offer fully integrated robotic skids with the ability to easily integrate directly with IIoT, MES, and SCADA platforms for a number of benefits, such as asset health monitoring, quality control and downtime tracking, and real-time process data and shop floor monitoring. Our knowledgeable staff offers robust support with extensive diagnostics, error identification, automatic homing, and other features that make robotics easy to operate and troubleshoot. By choosing RED Group, end-users can leverage the full potential of robotic solutions without worrying about integration challenges. 

Take Away 

The use of robotics in the manufacturing industry is an integral part of the overall digital transformation journey. While industrial robotics has advanced to a point where programming the robot itself has become simpler – although we can help with this, too – future-facing organizations still need to enable the next step of greater shop floor autonomy and integration into existing platforms. The need for integrator support has shifted from the programming of the robot itself to the data collection, flexibility, and integration of the robot into the wider manufacturing environment. Employing robotics as part of a greater digital transformation strategy can increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and make the manufacturing environment safer for workers. 

RED Group’s robotic integration solutions offer end-users a way to address the pain points that come with implementing robotics in their manufacturing processes. By integrating robots into the wider MES/SCADA/IIoT environment, providing cobots for applications with tight space constraints, and offering robust support and diagnostics, RED Group empowers organizations to take the next step in their digital transformation journey. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how we can support your organization.


Sebastian Hillis, ICS Supervisor of RED Group’s Houston office, has extensive experience in integrating industrial robotics for applications ranging from simple pick-and-place to vision-guided, coordinated assembly.

Industrial Cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and Digitalization: The Future of Manufacturing

Industrial Cybersecurity & Digitalization: The Future of Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a digital transformation. The journey towards modernization and digitalization via the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies are changing the way that products are designed, manufactured, distributed, and delivered. This transformation is also creating new challenges for industrial cybersecurity.

As manufacturing systems become more connected, they are also becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Threat actors can exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to gain access to sensitive data or to disrupt operations. In some cases, cyberattacks intend to cause physical damage to equipment or facilities.

To address these challenges, manufacturers need to adopt a comprehensive approach to industrial cybersecurity. This approach should include the following elements:

  • Asset identification and inventory: Manufacturers need to identify and inventory all their critical assets, including both physical and digital assets. This will help them to understand their risk exposure and to prioritize their security efforts.
  • Vulnerability & Risk assessments: Manufacturers need to regularly assess their systems for vulnerabilities. This will help them to identify and fix security weaknesses before they can be exploited by hackers.
  • Security controls: Manufacturers need to implement security controls to protect their systems from cyberattacks, and ideally, link them to business drivers/outcomes. These controls can include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access controls.
  • Response Planning: Manufacturers must develop and implement the appropriate actions to be taken following a cybersecurity event.
  • Recovery: Manufacturers need to take actions to return to normal operations in a timely manner to reduce the impact from cybersecurity events.

NIST Framework: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover

By taking these steps, manufacturers can help to protect their systems from cyberattacks and to ensure the continued safety and security of their operations. In addition, manufacturers can also benefit from the use of AI in industrial cybersecurity. AI can be used to automate tasks such as vulnerability assessment and threat detection. This can free up human resources to focus on other tasks, such as evaluating and implementing new security controls and training employees.

AI can also be used to develop new security solutions that are specifically designed for industrial environments. For example, AI can be used to develop self-learning intrusion detection systems that can adapt to new threats as they emerge.

The use of AI in industrial cybersecurity is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way that manufacturers protect their systems from cyberattacks. As AI technology continues to develop, it is certain to play an increasingly crucial role in industrial cybersecurity.

Some of the many benefits to implementing industrial cybersecurity measures include:

  • Increased safety: Industrial cybersecurity measures can help to protect workers from injury or death by preventing cyberattacks that could cause physical damage to equipment or facilities.
  • Lowered Risk: Industrial cybersecurity measures can lower risk of exposure and financial losses due to things such as ransom, legal risks, etc.
  • Reduced downtime: Industrial cybersecurity measures can help to reduce downtime by preventing cyberattacks that could disrupt operations.
  • Improved efficiency: Industrial cybersecurity measures can help to improve efficiency by preventing cyberattacks that could disrupt supply chains.
  • Protected intellectual property: Industrial cybersecurity measures can help to protect intellectual property by preventing cyberattacks that could steal trade secrets or proprietary information.
  • Increased compliance: Industrial cybersecurity measures can help organizations to comply with regulations such as Federal Nuclear and Energy Regulatory Commission orders and rules, or sector-specific cybersecurity plans.


Take Away

Industrial cybersecurity is a critical issue for manufacturers. RED Group supports organizations in implementing industrial cybersecurity measures, empowering manufacturers to protect their systems from cyberattacks and ensure the continued safety and security of their operations. Contact us today to learn more and get started on your digital transformation journey.


Check out the next installments of our Digital Transformation series: