Case Studies

Operational Technology Infrastructure for PlantPAx

Posted in Aerospace and Defense, Allen Bradley PLC, HMI and SCADA, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, PLC Programming


DMC designed a multi-campus PlantPAx based SCADA system that allowed operators to safely test systems from remote control stations kilometers away on an air gapped network for a client in the Aerospace and Defense industry. DMC managed all aspects of the operational technology (OT) design and the implementation from network switch selection to the complete virtualization and setup of servers.


DMC assisted with full OT infrastructure design for the client's green field facility. This design included all networking components, servers, and software to allow for a multi-campus SCADA implementation using FactoryTalk SE and ThinManager.

Network Design

DMC designed a robust and scalable network across several different campuses and buildings using the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) network design guidelines. The CPwE guidelines are a set of best practices published and maintained jointly by Rockwell Automation and Cisco.

We limit noisy broadcast inherent to OT systems by applying the core design principle of 1 VLAN to 1 Subnet to 1 Cell/Area/Zone (1:1:1). Network segmentation allows for more manageable inter-network communication between different areas.

DMC engaged early into the facility and network design process to gather client requirements and information about machines provided by OEM suppliers. We incorporated and iterated on the OEM system designs and supported protocols to create a fully connected facility between DMC provided PLC/SCADA systems and OEM systems.

We selected network equipment that provides Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power and connect client provided cameras. We saved all recorded videos directly to client provided Network Video Recorders (NVRs). 

Server Virtualization and Provisioning

DMC utilized client functional requirements to design the software stack required to operate their facility. We selected a rack mount server with appropriate CPU, RAM, and storage capacity to support the software stack. We also allocated additional space to allow the user to increase the RAM and storage of the server as the system naturally expands over time.

DMC provisioned the servers using VMware ESXi (hypervisor) and several different VMs to separate out specific applications and services following vendor recommendations. We joined all Windows based VMs to a domain controller to allow user management for distributed systems using active directory.


ThinClients deliver the interface for system control to operator stations in several different buildings, oftentimes hundreds of meters from the process being controlled.

Multiple monitors at each operator station deliver not only the full SCADA interface for system control/monitoring, but also multiple camera feeds for visual monitoring of processes and areas.


DMC designed and delivered a system that allows operators to safely control and monitor processes occurring kilometers away using fully integrated operator workstations. Our incorporation of OEM systems with a larger OT network and virtualized server stack allowed us to create a scalable and reliable system that will be used for many years to come. 

Customer Benefits

  • Virtualization of servers: allows for scaling of systems as the facility grows
  • Visualization and control of remote processes: operators can do so with no risk of injuries
  • Robust network and server designs: allow for independent campus operation in case of power loss or network disconnection between sites
  • Flexible and secure operator environments: thanks to ThinManager ThinClient deployment