Successful Digital Transformation relies upon access to information across multiple systems, including financial, maintenance, engineering, and operations. Siloed IT and OT systems leave management in the dark, making it difficult to collaborate and drive real-time business decisions. But it is often unrealistic and cost-prohibitive to remove existing technologies and start with a clean slate. The solution is a unified operations center that gives users insight into all systems. St. Louis Lambert International Airport is an example of how this approach can be successful.
The St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) is an international airport serving St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It is the largest and busiest airport in Missouri with more than 259 peak daily departures to 74 nonstop domestic and international locations. Its four active runways, two terminals, and five concourses expedite 194,302 aircraft operations, assist 15.6M passengers, and ship 74,320 tons of cargo per year.
Edge Computing Challenge: Outdated and Isolated Systems
The St. Louis Lambert International Airport operates as a world-class transportation hub. Over the past 30 years, improvement and modernization projects occurred in various stages in one part of the airport or the other. As a result, various solutions were installed using more than 9 different and separate controls interfaces to manage and modernize the different parts of the airport. Over time, these silos became extremely difficult to operate, maintain, and support.
Objective: Centralize and Modernize the Outdated and Disparate Systems
The St. Louis Lambert International Airport was already a high performer, but it wanted to get even better. Management identified that it had to move from performing inconsistently and in complete siloes to a centralized and modern system.
It decided to implement a single system that could view the entire facility by unifying the operating silos. In effect, build a Unified Operations Center (UOC) that would have the ability to integrate all the currently installed and different technologies into one system. They also wanted to make it scalable so it’s easier to connect to new solutions, devices, or systems in the future.
The Digital Transformation Journey is Under Way
Quantum Solutions is a Stratus Technologies and Wonderware endorsed system integrator, founded in 1997 with 50+ North American Offices. STL Airport awarded the integration project to Quantum and they have been involved in the airport’s successful Digital Transformation journey ever since.
Working with the airport and its consultants, Quantum Solutions installed an AVEVA and Stratus Technologies solution, based on System Platform and ftServer. They were able to integrate the different islands of automation into a complete and centrally connected facilities and building management system.
The Approach: A System of Systems
The System of Systems Unified Operations Center approach unifies all the silos into one system, with remote clients to operate and maintain any part of the airport from anywhere. The UOC provides overall visibility into the facility infrastructure, using the open and scalable architecture of System Platform and the reliability and redundancy of Stratus Technologies.
Selecting Stratus Technologies and AVEVA allows STL Airport to bring all their different and disparate systems together with the following benefits:
- Always-on – the Stratus Technologies ftServer prevents the downtime of critical business applications, ensuring continuous availability, even if underlying hardware components fail.
- Vendor Agnostic – The STL Airport doesn’t depend on any single vendor, OEM, or manufacturer.
- Instantaneous Alarms – All events and alarms are integrated; the immediate notification enables airport personnel to immediately identify problems in any location.
- Scalable system based on standards – Users can build, test, deploy, maintain, and scale industrial applications by sharing a standards-based application development environment.
Today, the St. Louis Lambert International Airport has a fully redundant, easy-to-use, and fully integrated solution.