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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/27/2012 3:22:19 PM
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Thanks for that info Rob. That means it's possible--although not necessarily likely--that newer machine vision interface standards might go into the emerging economy geographies. But not necessarily the more complex ones, like GigE, which require more expertise. It's not a clear picture, anyway, from the MV standpoint.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/27/2012 2:44:53 PM
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That makes sense, Ann. Most of the new plants are going up in low-cost labor geographies. Japan has a very mature manufacturing base as well as high-cost labor (compared with emerging Asia).

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/26/2012 4:44:09 PM
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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.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/25/2012 3:22:56 PM
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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
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/25/2012 2:17:35 PM
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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
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Rob Spiegel   1/19/2012 1:58:26 PM
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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
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Re: Digital Factory of Future
Ann R. Thryft   1/18/2012 12:42:47 PM
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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.


Charles Murray
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Charles Murray   1/17/2012 7:14:00 PM
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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?

Alexander Wolfe
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Digital Factory of Future
Alexander Wolfe   1/17/2012 6:48:58 PM
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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.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream trajectory
Ann R. Thryft   1/17/2012 3:54:08 PM
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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.


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