Additionally, and perhaps most important, there's "a huge financial incentive" for IT to deeply understand the manufacturing process, which also happens to be highly regulated, he adds.
For example, Helal's business unit is piloting software-based tools that will enable 2D and 3D representations of castings in progress as a way to more accurately identify and correct defects and variations in real time.
"A piece of scrap for us translates to millions of dollars over the course of the year, so you need people [in IT] who understand the process and work very closely with operators on the floor," he says. "They know enough that they could conceivably step in and do that job."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.