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Industrial automation is on the verge of a new revolution, making way through rapid technology changes, adoption of new systems, networking architectures, and looking toward interoperability of devices and systems.
FREMONT, CA: The industrial automation space has been resistant to innovation or early adoption of high-end technologies. The enterprises have preferred to leverage the proven techniques and standards to ensure safe, secure, and consistent operations over time. However, things started to change with the origin of Industry 4.0.
Industrial Automation Mobile Apps
Smartphone users with their apps is much faster to obtain information with a single touch other than by starting up a web browser, inserting a URL, and then navigating to the correct page. Developers have responded by making several apps available for everything, like from finding the nearest happy hour to the checking of the latest sports score. In the world of industrial automation, apps are finding a home as the latest and the most excellent way to quickly access plant operating information from smartphones and tablets.
Eventhough the apps are great for users; they take much longer to develop than the browser-based access. Most plants have some PC-based human-machine interface (HMI) platforms, and most of these run off-the-shelf HMI software. This mutual support for the HTML5 standard permits the users to develop remote access screens conforming to the HTML5 standard, and thereby deploying these screens to almost any of the remote devices. This write-once and deploy-many-times functionality saves a lot of time and simplifies the browser-based remote access.
Industrial wireless doesn't have to do anything with the wireless access by remote devices, instead, with wireless transmission of the data from sensors to control systems. In an application, a sensor is installed in a remote location, maybe a tank farm. It transmits information which is located far away via radio to a control system. In similar applications, wireless communication is much cheaper to install and maintain as there are no wires to run and repair. Users are responding by enhancing the demand from near zero just a few years ago to over $500 million annually today, with double-digit growth rates projected for the future.