IT-OT Integration-Overcoming the Challenges

The integration of OT-IT will see a significant increase in distribution system performance once various challenges are overcome.
Published: Fri 21 Feb 2014

With so many different IT- OT systems in operation, there is a risk for data inconsistencies. This is according to
Michael Korwitz, Asset Manager & IT-OT Project Leader of Amprion, Germany, in his presentation Challenges of OT-IT Integration at European Utility Week 2013.

Companies can no longer afford to manage data in different systems. The data has to be amalgamated and managed in one system so that all relevant departments have access to it.

The increase in data across all systems is creating challenging requirements both internally and externally:

  • Internal-complex cross-functional data analysis of the increasing volume of data

  • External-an increasing need for data exchange amongst neighboring transmission system operators and data exchange with market players and market facilities. Other issues include requirements on the transparency platform and data exchange with the national regulator.

In order to overcome these challenges, the following goals should be aimed for:

  • Centralised data and process management

  • Improve data access

  • Implementation of an automated communication between IT-OT systems

The usage of standardized interface communication should be a consideration, says Mr Korwitz.


The Standard IEC 61970 CIM for TSOs

The Common Information Model is being implemented to reduce the number of exchange interfaces. The idea is to collect all the data into one system. The benefit of the standard is to reduce data input.

The standard data model, according to the transmission system operator model, was developed by TC57. It was released by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) with the reference number 61970. Currently, the version16 is in the release process. The TC57 standard is being developed by transmission system operators and manufacturers based on their experiences. ENTSO-E profiles are also in use.

The idea is to develop a common understanding of data, despite all the differing departmental views, explains Mr Korwitz. Firms need to collect all the different views into one data model. This is the reason for implementing the common information model.

This has to be developed by using all the experts from all the various interconnected systems. The model has to be developed via cross-departmental working group for it to work.


Improvement of data consistency and quality via CIM

The CIM-based Amprion enterprise model assists by drawing on the expertise from a cross-department (IT-OT) working group. CIM assists with the following:

  • Modelling of data management and input processes

  • Central data provision and validation-all data in one data platform

  • Integration of legacy applications by dedicated interfaces

  • Stepwise integration of all further IT systems

  • Central data and process management


Pilot project

Amprion kicked off with a pilot project and put the following into place:

  • The CIM-based Amprion enterprise model was implemented for two attribute data systems and it assisted with the import and export for the legacy systems.

  • Installation of the IMM (Information Model Manager) as a platform for data validations, job management and central data provision

  • The Amprion pilot enterprise model was integrated into IMM based on sample data

  • CIM Management is required-have to survey data process as different views of data or processes may be implemented. A central data provision will improve access to the data.


The next steps

A data model must be put into place and a CIM-based data model for the control centre processes should be developed. The firm needs to select and implement a CIM interface to integrate planning, analysis and geographic information system tools.

The development of a CIM-based Enterprise Data Model should be based on international standards. There should be an increase in data consistency and quality in complex architectures and this should comply with ENTSO-E requirements.

In addition, the integration of an automated data exchange should be done by taking into consideration business processes.