Rockwell Automation decided to launch its "CIP Motion" concept in Europe instead of its home base in North America, because it considers Europe to be the front lines of the ongoing fieldbus wars. Unlike other real-time Ethernets that use special protocols and ASICs, Rockwell will employ Intel's new IPX465 chip with its built-in IEEE 1588 synchronization to "puncture the urban myth" that standard Ethernet cannot be used for motion control. Rockwell says that everything a plant does on its communication line—from VoIP, CCTV, machine control, and hundreds of axes of motion control—can be done simultaneously, on the same control and communications equipment.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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