As I think Rob pointed out in his article on top automation trends for this year, many of the same technologies that are a force in the enterprise IT world are now a force in the world of the factory automation folks, which makes it easier and more natural for them to "lay down their swords" and collaborate. It can only benefit companies' quest for lean operations to employ technologies that keep the plant floor and the IT systems backbone in sync.
Great article and interesting developments in the industrial controls world. Of course, Ethernet does not require IP. There are other protocols that are appropriate for the shop floor that utilize Ethernet as a transport, such as EtherCAT. By standardizing on Ethernet, organizations can lower their support costs. By designing devices that use Ethernet as the transport, engineers can develop systems that are more flexible. For example, while EtherCAT is great for idustrial contol, there are functions that are better done with IP. If these can be supported on the same device, then the system can become more flexible and more efficient.
Excellent article, Al. For years, a big stumbling block in the progress toward the networked plant has been the cultural differences between IT and the plant controls group -- as you mentioned, The war between the two groups seems to be easing. Sounds like Cisco and Rockwell are helping by serving both groups. I woldn't be surprised if vendors helped broker a peace. Some of the issues are throny. IT can reboot the office computers overnight to load a patch, but they can't do the same with the plant PCs.
We looked at a number of sources to determine this year's greenest cars, from KBB to automotive trade magazines to environmental organizations. These 14 cars emerged as being great at either stretching fuel or reducing carbon footprint.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is