HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Automation & Motion Control
Slideshow: Top 5 Automation & Control Trends to Watch in 2012
1/17/2012

Image 1 of 5      Next >

Increasing Simulation in Automation
Plant updates can be tested before operators throw the switch on the control system. The use of simulation will likely expand considerably in 2012. Simulation is being used in new plant development, plant updates, and in configuring the plant for new products or for greater optimization. 

The advantage is the ability to test the system before it is deployed. The result is a significant reduction in set-up costs -- both labor and time -- and greater optimization. Plant operators report that the reduction in set-up costs alone covers the cost of using simulation. This photo shows an example of simulation used to configure robots. 

(Source: Simx Simulation.)
Plant updates can be tested before operators throw the switch on the control system. The use of simulation will likely expand considerably in 2012. Simulation is being used in new plant development, plant updates, and in configuring the plant for new products or for greater optimization.

The advantage is the ability to test the system before it is deployed. The result is a significant reduction in set-up costs -- both labor and time –- and greater optimization. Plant operators report that the reduction in set-up costs alone covers the cost of using simulation. This photo shows an example of simulation used to configure robots.

(Source: Simx Simulation.)

Image 1 of 5      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/4  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Mainstream trajectory
Beth Stackpole   1/17/2012 7:06:58 AM
NO RATINGS
The real takeaway from reading this very spot-on automation trend wrap-up is that plant floor contral and automation systems are definitely following in the footsteps of mainstream enterprise business systems in terms of leveraging the same new technology hot buttons. Advances in graphics (i.e., gaming-like capabilities), cloud computing, smart software, and remote monitoring functionality are all poised to radically change how the plant floor is run and monitored and bring far greater efficiencies and transparency to plant floor operators.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/17/2012 11:22:39 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, and the benefits are measurable. That's always been critical in plant operation. The benefits always have to be measurable or the tools don't get deployed. In the case of recent technology the benefits come in reduced energy consumption, increased uptime, less unplanned maintenenace and less maintenance altogether, quicker changes, and improved communication from supply through the delivery of finsihed materials.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/17/2012 3:54:08 PM
NO RATINGS

Rob, thanks for the overview. Looks like some pretty exciting trends and new developments to watch for. I'm especially interested in increasing simulation: it's good to see this powerful technology put to very practical uses in factories. I also liked the diagrams in the Connected Automation System and Cloud Computing in Automation slides. If a picture can say 1,000 words, a diagram can say 5,000.


Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Digital Factory of Future
Alexander Wolfe   1/17/2012 6:48:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Alongside this article, I'd like to recomment that readers check out my story, Top 5 Roadblocks to the Digital Factory of the Future.  This is an important trend, the ability to rapidly adapt (repurpose) production lines, using graphical programming tools and networks PLCs to which software can be downloaded via network links. This is a big part of the ability to go rapidly from prototyping to production.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Charles Murray   1/17/2012 7:14:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, the plant floor is definitely following in the footsteps of mainstream enterprise business systems. The question is, how much will this trend accelerate when plants who aren't yet using Ethernet finally migrate to Ethernet-based automation systems? Rockwell Automation claims that only about 60% of the equipment they sell is Ethernet-based. What happens when the other 40% finally make that move?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Digital Factory of Future
Ann R. Thryft   1/18/2012 12:42:47 PM
NO RATINGS

Alex, thanks for the link to your article. What a fascinating trend! It makes me think of the production version of what IT has been working on for awhile, the "agile enterprise," or whatever they are calling it now, for BPM.


Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/19/2012 1:58:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Good question, Chuck. I would think the difference between the 60 percent and the 40 percent of Rockwell implementations can be tracked along greenfield versus brownfield plants. Ethernet is likely going into most new plants as well as some upgrades at existing plants. But I'll bet a lot of the existing plants are not going to Ethernet with their upgrades.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/25/2012 2:17:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, that division sounds a lot like what I've heard about using Ethernet for machine vision networks: it's being deployed in new systems, and not so much in existing ones, because of the difficulty of re-engineering and re-configuring hardware and software, as well as training.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/25/2012 3:22:56 PM
NO RATINGS
That makes sense to me, Ann. Given that, the advanced technology is going into plants in Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. That's where the majority of greenfield plants are.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/26/2012 4:44:09 PM
NO RATINGS

Rob, I don't know the geographic distribution of where new machine  vision installations are going in vs older installed base. What I do know, though, is that there are still a lot of older analog camera systems in Asia, especially Japan, so that's not considered an area where GigE is likely to take hold, at least for awhile.


Page 1/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
Fifteen European research centers have launched EuroCPS to help European companies develop innovative products for the Internet of Things.
Get your Allman Brothers albums ready. The iconic Volkswagen Microbus may be poised for a comeback, and this time it could be electric.
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service