Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) have been around for over 50 years and have established themselves as the preferred hardware for industrial automation. Several competitors have come along the way in the form of PCs, microcontrollers, etc. but none have been able to dent the reputation of the PLC.
Industry 4.0, IoT, Digital factory, etc. are some of the concepts that are making headlines in today’s industrial world. Industries around the world are starting to make the shift, and understanding the benefits associated with these technologies, but a mass-upgrade still seems like a long shot. Why?
With new technology advancing the flow of data and connecting every machine with algorithms and sensors, there are so many new possibilities for improving production. But what comes along with all these monitors, tracking systems, sensors, and devices? Large amounts of data.
Automation not only cuts costs and saves time but instills reliability and precision within the system that has immediate and long-term benefits. Today home automation or hobby projects often conjure images of teenagers working on Arduino, Raspberry Pi and PIC, but the true struggle to make industries and large-scale systems independent began more than five decades ago.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to make a great leap forward towards resolving significant industry troubles. A few of these troubles may include a decrease in power demand or even the boom in renewable, off-the-grid energy installations and distributed power systems. Utilities are being affected the most and with the following tips you will have an industry that is able to successfully maximize opportunities while taking the risk factors into consideration. These tips include financial reconstruction, new regulations, distributed generation, and evolving customer interface.
Topics: Future Industry Trends
With 2016 right around the corner, are you ready for the new standards of panel building?
The UL 60947-4 series may not have a catchy name, but it’s been in the works for at least 10 years. For decades, panel builders have struggled to navigate the waters of international standards that never quite matched up. Checking industrial control panels against four or five different standards was often tedious and frustrating, stacking up labor time on projects to make sure each panel was up to code.
UL 60947-4-1 will greatly simplify the testing process by harmonizing standards from trusted industry leaders like UL, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Creating UL 60947-4 took those ten years because the committee behind it combed through every word of the protocols across these organizations, identifying and resolving the minor differences.
In 2015, we’re well past the age of the Industrial Revolution, and many argue that we are well past the tipping point for the Information Revolution too. So what’s next?
How about the Informed Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.
Electrical equipment manufacturing has become an ever-expanding global market. There are various standards that exist worldwide to define the type and use of enclosures for electrical equipment. It is necessary to understand the distinction between NEMA and IP ratings to ensure proper installation of equipment based on environment and locations.
The NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and IP (Ingress Protection) rating systems are used to describe the degree of protection provide against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust/dirt, accidental contact, and ingress of water. The NEMA rating system also makes a distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous environments.
The term ‘analytics’ gets unfairly labeled as a buzz word by many, but has impacted a vast array of industries from manufacturing to banking and food production to professional sports, and hundreds if not thousands more.
Analytics is simply defined as informational analysis that is derived from the collection of data or statistics. Nearly every single function that exists in business operations can be a data set, and the mere collecting of that data can result in analytics that have an immediate impact on an organization’s bottom line. It all begins with production data collection. Analytics are only valuable if the data being collected is accurate, and pertinent to what needs to be analyzed. Once a manufacturer selects a process or function they would like to gain insight on, determining the specific data that should be collected regarding that process or function will be the lifeblood for analytics.
Slowly but surely the Automation industry is making advances. Some areas of improvement like safety and efficiency seem to be second nature, while others such as mobile information and cloud systems can take some time adapting and using. Nonetheless, it is important to keep up on industry trends in order to advance your business and stay ahead of the competitor.