A legacy production line in a factory is not easily “abstractable”. Putting an IT server on the shop floor won’t cut it.
To provide business value, I would suggest starting with the installation of sensors having independent connectivity. This way, we can quickly begin to gather operational data and transfer it to the backend system. That initial visibility provides a significant outcome of its own.
Independent sensors work in the read-only mode. They gather data from the environment without impacting ongoing operations. That reduces the business risk and does not expose the shop floor infrastructure. Once we prove the business value to the stakeholders (operational personnel included), we can increase the IT footprint on the factory floor.
And maybe one day, we will install that IT server in the middle of the production line, but that will be a totally different production line from the one we started with.