By Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media
My mother is a technologically advanced woman and any day we celebrate her—be it Mother’s Day, Christmas or her birthday—she always has a unique gift request. Who could imagine that a woman who grew up in a time in which computers were a luxury would request laptops, digital cameras and iPads as gifts?
This year for Mother's Day she asked to get an upgrade on her phone. She loves to text as much as a teenager, and she posts pictures on her Facebook account more frequently than any of her technologically inclined kids. Yet, I wasn't sure that with her aging eyesight and the not-so-big phone screens, my mother would be ready for a smartphone. We opted for a featured WiFi phone. She can text and make phone calls as usual, and she'll be able to access her social media accounts whenever Internet access is available and she is not on her other mobile devices.
Thinking about a mobile device upgrade for my mother got me thinking about the mobile devices and wireless technology that is available for machine builders. This is why I headed to www.ControlDesign.com and ran a search in our database to learn about what is available for our industrial professionals and their processes.
If you want to know about different wireless devices for you and your peers, read our recent Product Roundup article "Wireless Use Grows." In this article, we review the results of our survey on wireless networking habits. We touch base on how more suppliers are pushing the advantages of a technology that is slowly earning user confidence. To learn more about these devices and the results of our survey log on to www.ControlDesign.com/wirelessgrow.
If you are wondering if there is life left in your control system, then you must visit www.ControlDesign.com/technologyupgrade and read Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert's article "Time to Make a Change." Every control system has a lifespan, and sooner or later you'll have to update or replace it. You never know, it might be time to upgrade to newer technology, but how do you tell? Read this article to find out.
Many of the programs machine builders and system integrators use when on the job are browser-based, and if you want to learn more about these and how they work, view Siemens' webinar "Browser-Based Remote Access." This webinar will teach you what you need to know when considering using a web server for remote access to your programmable controller, HMI, I/O and industrial network. The webinar includes precautions on configuration, data logging and security. Watch today at www.ControlDesign.com/browserbased to learn more.
No matter your profession, machine builder or stay-at-home grandmother, technology and mobile devices will invade your everyday life. You can't fight it. Sooner or later you will find these devices to be essential. Embrace technology, apply it to your life and stay on top of it.