Lockheed Martin Set to Open “Ultra-secure” IIoT-based Smart Factory
As cybersecurity continues to be an important quality in aerospace and defense, Lockheed has plans for an “ultra-secure” smart factory. Can cybersecurity and IIoT go hand-in-hand?
Advancements in smart manufacturing propel the stereotypical manufacturing facility into an integrated connection of machines, materials, and workers. Smart manufacturing facilities are intended to have advanced capabilities of rapid design changes, high-level adaptability, flexible workforce training, and handling of large amounts of digital information.
Aegis FactoryLogix software. Image used courtesy of Aegis
Lockheed Martin has taken strides toward a full smart manufacturing technology by partnering with Aegis FactoryLogix.
As a leader in aerospace and defense technologies, Lockheed Martin has continuously merged the power of machine automation with human engineering.
As the company adopts more smart manufacturing components and embraces the industrial internet of things (IIoT), its facilities will become increasingly connected and efficient. Its most recent smart manufacturing project has partnered with Aegis FactoryLogix to connect its existing surface-mounted technology machines using the IPC-CFX standard.
IPC is a trade association aiming to standardize electronic assemblies and production requirements. IPC publishes one of the most widely accepted standards within the electronic industry, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Specifically, the IPC-CFX standard focuses on smart factory requirements regarding “plug and play” IoT communication across the entire manufacturing process. It is an open international standard forming the foundation of future smart factories where equipment and transactional stations can directly communicate from a centralized digital location.
Using FactoryLogix for instructions and verification. Image used courtesy of Aegis
Security is heightened using this standardized mode of direct communication in two aspects. First, no third-party software is required to translate data between each machine and the centralized system. Third-party software can often create risks with extra access points and regular updates.
The second security benefit is setting up an entire system with a single standardized data format. Therefore, no extra vulnerable documents are required in the setup phase.
Founded in 1997, Aegis Software developed custom end-to-end modular manufacturing execution systems (MES) for manufacturing facilities. Their platforms provide their clients with a comprehensive and flexible system that offers the control, speed, and visibility required for the manufacturing process.
Having worked on over 2,000 factories worldwide in various industries (military, aerospace, medical, automotive, and electronics), Aegis FactoryLogix partnered with Lockheed Martin to continue its work to drive rapid continuous innovation to improve manufacturing effectiveness and lower operational costs.
The Lufkin Facility
The Lufkin Operations Facility is an award-winning plant that produces launcher electronics, the THAAD Transporter, the PAC-3 Launcher, along with missile electronics for the PAC-3, GMLRS, and TACMS missile.
Lockheed Martin’s Lufkin Facility. Image used courtesy of Lockheed Martin
With over 250 employees, the Lufkin facility has become a trailblazer for data-driven smart manufacturing within the security-conscious industry sector. Like other industries, the aerospace and defense industry faces constant and ever-present security and privacy attacks, so security is a top priority when connecting systems to the IIoT.
Aegis FactoryLogix has handled the entire manufacturing process from specification of materials to final product launch. Lockheed Martin expects to increase manufacturing effectiveness and efficiency while lowering operational costs overall. The value added to the facility by implementing the IIoT-based FactoryLogix MES platform will soon become a baseline for many other Lockheed Martin facilities.