By Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media
Has it occurred to you that social media and technology are everywhere? You hear people say that technology grows and changes so fast that we can't keep up with it. Any technology—PCs, mobile devices, apps, software, etc.—that is older than a few months is ancient and outdated. Heck, incoming college freshmen are younger than the web, and we know the web is not an old thing.
These days, our lives often are driven by what we read online, post on our walls and to our circles, or suggest to our cyberfriends to read and like. Tools such as Twitter and Facebook give us the opportunity to post anything. Foursquare lets us virtually check in from any real, physical location we visit. To update our status, upload images or Tweet, we don't need a PC or cables to connect to the Internet anymore. Our cell phones or mobile pads keep us in touch with our cyberworlds.
Come on, you know you're app-obsessed. I bet your mobile device holds more apps than its few home screens can display. I have an app for everything: checking calorie consumption, reading horoscopes, checking bank statements, weather, traffic…you name it. I even downloaded an app for my dog so I can keep track of how much exercise he's getting, and how much money he's costing me.
When it comes to industrial settings, having apps is beneficial. They can save you time and money spent on fixing problems that could have been easily avoided if there were some helping technology in place. For example, our article "Put the Screws to Tough Vision Apps," written by Editor in Chief Joe Feeley, focuses on a precision parts supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries that applied a technological innovation, avoiding possible future costly expenses.
Prime Engineered Components (www.primeeci.com) was using a vision system to inspect industrial machine parts, yet the system presented challenges that Prime wasn't able to surmount. The solution was to integrate optical inspection tools that would allow Prime to inspect and maintain the machines remotely without interrupting its production schedule.
Learn more about the vision system challenge Prime Engineered Components faced, and the innovative application solution they put into practice by reading the full article at www.ControlDesign.com/prime.
The industrial apps available today that you can integrate into your machines don't offer the same social features that many other apps do, but these apps do come in handy when it comes to offering solutions to your industrial problems. Maybe you won't learn from the Twitter feed that your industrial machine just checked in at the plant floor and has ousted you as mayor, but it will help you be more productive and efficient at your job.
Visit our Machine Builder Forum at www.ControlDesign.com/industrialapps to tell us about the apps you are using, and how beneficial these are to your job performance.