Automation Technology

These are links to articles on automation technology trends:
(click links for full article)

Open Source Building Automation – Haystack Connect 2013 Event
The inaugural Haystack Connect 2013 event held April 29th – May 2nd, 2013 in Chattanooga, Tennessee brought into focus an open source movement in the building automation industry.  The event was modeled after concepts of open source software where people come together to solve problems and implement new ideas in a public, collaborative manner.  This movement started a few years ago and is yield tangible results that are likely to transform the Building Automation industry.  MORE

Simplifying Automation System Hierarchies
The automation industry has been centered on a five layer hierarchical architecture for years but new technology is making it possible to streamline and flatten this model to eliminate layers, increase performance, and lower software maintenance costs. MORE

Creating Value in a Hyper‐connected World
Tom Koulopoulos, founder of Delphi Group gave a thought provoking presentation at the PROFINET Executive Leadership Forum including thoughts about cloud computing, collaboration and big data.  MORE

Open Architecture “Use Cases” – the Next Frontier
The next major frontier in the evolution of open architecture is the development of application standards built around Use Cases to increase automation productivity and efficiency. Currently the best example of this is the packaging machine standards from the Packaging Workgroup (OPW), which is part of the OMAC (Organization for Machine and Automation Control). These types of standards follow the principals of structured design methods to improve quality and lower labor hours required for programming, configuration, commissioning, startup, interface cost, and maintenance. MORE

Major Automation & Control Trends in 2012
This is an update expressing my thoughts on major automation and control trends for 2012. These opinions are based on a wide range of inputs from users, suppliers and industry consultants, and from attending numerous industry forums, conferences and trade shows every year. Years of hands-on experience as a designer and applier of automation and controls in the field are also reflected in these opinions. I invite readers to contact me to critique and share any other trends or expand on the trends listed below.  MORE

Major Automation & Control Trends 2011

I am taking a risk at the beginning of the year to provide my thoughts on automation and control industry trends. I invite readers to contact me and share any other trends or expand on the trends listed. Trends include industrial Ethernet proliferation, leveraging information, remote monitoring, virtualization, mobile device usage, energy conservation and wireless implementations.

State of Industrial Wireless

There a number of standards and technology in existence and proposed for use in industrial wireless. The options can be confusing. The confusion will continue until there is more clarity, but this should not stop engineers from applying wireless now. Automation.com editor, Bill Lydon, reviews the wireless standards and the current state of industrial wireless.

Robots Moving Again

International Federation of Robotics – I had the privilege of moderating the 2011 International Federation of Robotics (IFR) Executive Round Table on the topic, Being Competitive with Robotics, held at Automate 2011. The most dynamic markets are China, the Republic of Korea and the ASEAN countries. Sales to these markets almost tripled.

Automatic PLC Code Generation & Design Interchange Standards

Now your computer can program the PLC!
Open standards, more powerful desktop computers, and lower cost software are making design, modeling, and automatic code generation for PLCs and PACs practical for improving automation.

Pharmaceutical Automation Roundtable (PAR) – Part 4 – Wireless in Manufacturing

This is the fourth article in a series that is the result of the annual Pharmaceutical Automation Roundtable (PAR). The individual PAR group members have a wealth of practical knowledge and knowhow to share with other participants, truly learning from each other.

Digital Prototyping Comes Naturally to 140 Year Old Company

On a recent visit to A.T. Ferrell Company, I learned how they are using digital prototyping, modeling, 3D CAD, finite analysis, stress analysis, and other new tools as a transformational business strategy to improve sales, quality, efficiency, and productivity. Using the Autodesk Inventor software suite, A.T. Ferrell is taking advantage of these advanced methods at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. Access to these lower-cost digital design tools is a game changer that levels the playing field for smaller companies that take advantage of it.

Ethernet Infrastructure – Is IPv6 another Y2K?

ODVA is taking IPv6 seriously because it could have major implications for existing EtherNet/IP installations and product developers. This is not unique to EtherNet/IP, the change has an impact on all Ethernet devices and infrastructure including business, industrial, home, and mobile communications. No EtherNet/IP device today can communicate with IPv6 devices.

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