Many Functions, One Brain

One of the biggest reasons I became a journalist is because I love to learn about new things (I would've just stayed in school for the rest of my life, but that doesn't pay as well as you might think). These past couple weeks, I've been learning everything I can about integrated automation.

It's the topic of Control Design's July cover story. It's not a new topic, certainly, so as I gather the background information I need to do the reporting, I'm also looking for the new developments, new angles--the information that will help you design and build better machines.

The suppliers have chimed in for the most part, and now I’m starting to hear from machine builders and system integrators who can really let us know how integrated automation has helped them, and what kind of challenges it brings as well.

If you already have familiarity with merging controls, HMI, motion, safety, etc., onto one platform, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’d also be interested to hear if you’ve been avoiding this kind of integration, and what your reasons are for that.

Comment here, or drop me a line at

Thanks for your help!