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DIGITALIZATION IS A PROCESS OF LEARNING

 

Dr. Till Potente and Britta Brede

Senior Director Production and Engineering; Global Marketing and Communications

 

We often talk about digitalization and how it changes industrial automation. So we thought it’s time to stop talking and start doing. Hence, we have created the PLCnext Factory. Dr. Till Potente, Senior Director Production and Engineering in Industry Management and Automation, is one of the driving forces regarding the PLCnext Factory and digital transformation. We talked to him about strategies, findings, and results.

Changing Face of the Industrial Workforce

 

Ira Sharp Jr.

Director of Product Marketing- Automation

 

Automation promises to radically transform the landscape in which industrial processes are performed. Businesses are constantly searching for ways to achieve a competitive advantage, and the use of automation technologies has been widely adopted across many market sectors. Automated processes can be found in a diverse range of workplaces. A few examples include software for database administrators, robots used in factory assembly lines, and fully autonomous package shipping and fulfillment centers.

In this article, we are going to look at how industrial automation is affecting the current workforce and what we can expect to see in the near future. We will also investigate the skills that will become increasingly important as the role of workers evolves along with the technologies they are asked to work alongside. Arming oneself with the right skills may be the best defense against the potential unpleasant effects of industrial automation.

What's right for your application?

 

Yuri Chamarelli 

Lead Product Marketing Specialist

 

“The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction,” or thus says Wikipedia. The question is simple—how does it do that? If the Internet of Things is a system of interrelated devices all chattering away, exactly how do they communicate?

Taking the IoT one step further, the Industrial Internet of Things encompasses all the information being used in factories and other manufacturing settings to improve quality and efficiency. How it’s all happening, though, is an interesting question, especially for those of us who are not directly involved in the field.

The key, it turns out, is called MQTT. All those messages flowing from here to there is made possible by this “messaging protocol.” Let’s take a closer look and find out how MQTT enables the IoT to run.

What's right for your application?

 

Ira Sharp Jr.

Director of Product Marketing- Automation

 

Programmable logic controllers are one of the wizards behind the curtain of industrial automation. Until recently, these digital mainstays were almost exclusively in the domain of people working directly in the service and manufacturing industries. That, however; has changed as the maker movement, an offshoot of the DIY trend, has gained traction. 

Not only have more affordable alternatives to traditional PLCs like Raspberry Pi and Arduino become available, there has been a rise of maker communities for novices and also a growing demand for experts in the robotics process automation market. Industrial PLCs and their consumer product counterparts are key to helping makers of all levels of expertise bring their ideas and inventions to life. 

Safety meets Security

 

Marcel Luhmann

Technology Manager

 

In the IT sector, especially in software development, containerization is a major trend. It is a lightweight alternative or companion to virtualization. Developers can speed up their processes without the need to keep an eye on the application’s target environment. This is done by encapsulation of the software and all its dependencies. Hence, the software runs uniformly and consistently on any IT infrastructure. With this, software becomes easily portable which reduces errors and improves quality. Furthermore, encapsulation brings quota management of system resources per container. Besides, this method is very secure,since all interfaces must be precisely defined. These advantages can not only be used in IT but also in the industrial automation world.

Safety meets Security

 

Arno Martin Fast

Product Manager Digital Services

 

The trend towards digitization involves both opportunities and risks for the industry because digitization requires large computing power and storage capacities. Industrial cloud computing enables companies to process and evaluate the growing volumes of data in order to optimize the entire value chain.

When talking about cloud computing, it is assumed that there is a connection to the cloud via the internet. However, in many applications data must be collected, checked and fed back into the process in very short cycles. In such a scenario, a public cloud solution would not be suitable because of the latency periods found on the internet. Edge or fog computing solutions are therefore increasingly being used in such applications. But how do these models differ? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Safety meets Security

 

Anne Breuer

Technical Writer

 

Safety plays a central role in automation. In the past, the areas of safety and security could be considered separately. However, digitalization and the networked automation systems of Industry 4.0 are creating mutual dependencies that require a holistic concept. In the following article, you will learn more about what happens when safety meets security and what you should consider for a holistic concept.

Augmented Reality

 

Christian Vilsbeck

A&D

 

Augmented reality (AR) can make many processes in manufacturing even more efficient. Especially in complicated changeover processes or maintenance work, the technology offers high savings potential. The cost of implementation is usually still high, but the solutions are improving constantly. For an efficient rollout a flexible, powerful and open control platform in the field is recommended as a basic requirement.

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