Whitepaper - Full Stack OT Platforms

How to Choose the Right Full Stack OT Platform

Manufacturers in the life sciences sector have been going through a period of continual change as organisations automate processes, integrate equipment, and make better use of data along Industry 4.0 principles. Part of this process of change is the growing trend to switch to Full Stack OT Platforms.

Full Stack OT (operational technology) Platforms are single-platform solutions that offer the functionality and features of both SCADA and MES systems. By implementing a Full Stack OT Platform, you will simplify your software stack while improving oversight, control, and productivity. Levels of integration will improve vertically through the organisation, from factory floor to ERP systems, and horizontally across your supply chain.

Modernising the Traditional ISA-95 Software Stack

The ISA-95 manufacturing software stack can trace its origins back to the 1990s. It has evolved over time, with the current versions typically having five levels:

  • Level 0 – Component Level
  • Level 1 – Field Level
  • Level 2 – Operation and Control Level (or the Supervisory Control Level)
  • Level 3 – Plant Level
  • Level 4 – Enterprise Level


SL Controls Technology Stack


Advances in technologies mean there is now considerable functionality crossover between the best SCADA and MES systems. Modern platforms also offer additional benefits, including enhanced integration and better use of data.

Paul Clarke, CTO at SL Controls, said:

“Modern platforms also make it possible to unleash the true power of data in your organisation through data historian technologies, advanced analytics, and reporting capabilities, and by enabling automated decision-making.”

The Full Stack OT Platforms that Paul is referring to make it possible to flatten the traditional ISA-95 stack and move away from its hierarchical structure. In its place comes more of an eco-system solution that is better able to bridge the gap between IT and OT.

Choosing the Right Full Stack OT Platform

SL Controls has real-world experience of implementing Full Stack OT Platforms in life sciences sector manufacturing organisations. We have used that experience to develop and refine a selection process that ensures you get a solution that fully meets your requirements and delivers tangible results.

We have produced a whitepaper, authored by our CTO Paul Clarke, that makes the case for flattening the ISA-95 stack and switching from separated systems to Full Stack OT Platforms. Paul outlines the benefits of this approach for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, before explaining the steps required to ensure the right platform is selected.

With our experience and expertise, we can assist with your technology and change management project, from planning and consulting to implementation and operation.

Download our whitepaper “Full Stack OT Platforms – Why They Are Needed and Selection Criteria Best Practices”.

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