Well … it’s not exactly a new trend, but definitely one I’m seeing a lot more of.
A good bit of news around this trend was seen and heard during the ARC Advisory Group meeting in Orlando last week (you can read more about this here). A significant piece of news presented during that event came from Honeywell Process Solutions, which announced its strategy around the integration of Matrikon. Honeywell purchased Matrikon (a provider of software for plant operations) for $142 million in May 2010. The announcement was that Matrikon’s products and personnel will be integrated with Honeywell products and personnel to create the Honeywell Advanced Solutions business unit within Honeywell Process Solutions.
The business includes Honeywell products like UniSim and ProfitSuite, along with all Matrikon products. MatrikonOPC, however, will not be part of this business as it is being spun off as an independent business. The Advanced Solutions business unit will be focused on delivering solutions in a consultancy led manner to a range of process industries (chemical, oil and gas, food and beverage, etc.). These services will be offered formultiple types of DCS systems (not just Honeywell DCS-centered operations) as well as where there are no DCS systems involved. The business will be run by Ian Brown, who comes from the Matrikon side of the business.
This consultancy oriented approach has been on the upswing for a few years now as more automation companies — both large and small — move away from a purely product/technology-focused approach. On its face, it seems like this sort of offering could be a big boost to systems designers who work in-house at manufacturing facilities as well as those who work with OEMs (as GE is increasingly focusing on, as noted in my earlier blog post.)
The companies behind these consultancy offerings say they are developing them based on client needs and requests. Have any of you out there had any experience with these systems designs consultancies? If so, what did you think of the offering? If not, is this something you really need or would consider?
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.