Rob, this is a terrific article; it points out a continuing significant problem.
The better Etherenet arcitectures I've seen have an outer office-type network that is connected to the internet, a middle level used for supervisory control of the plant, and an inner for machine level control.
IT departments will have to become more agile. Our continuing trend of doing more with fewer people REQUIRES this.
Last week I was in a plant which had a SCADA server stop communicating with plant-floor HMI terminals. The engineer most knowledgable about the servers was out of the building, but used her smart-phone to remotely reboot it and get the floor functioning again.
Her plant did have very good security yet permitted the flexibility of remote access which permitted rapid response to problems.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.