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Control systems communicate across platforms

May 3, 2022
How to enable AI in Industry 4.0

Daniel Shaw is discrete manufacturing industry leader at Hargrove Controls + Automation in Mobile, Alabama, member of Control System Integrators Association (CSIA).

Todd Majors, PE, is industry engineering leader at Hargrove Controls + Automation in Birmingham, Alabama, member of CSIA.

What have been the biggest improvements to machine-controls technology in the past five years?

Daniel Shaw, discrete manufacturing industry leader, Hargrove Controls + Automation, member of the CSIA: Cross-platform communication has become increasingly common with control-system vendors. Modules that convert communication protocols are offered by third-party providers, as well as control-system vendors, and they provide simplified, seamless communication. System overhauls are not as prevalent, and system integrators are able to augment existing control systems more easily in order to reduce capital expenditures for the client. In addition, significantly more emphasis is being placed on OT networks now than ever before. Large, flat, unmanaged networks are being replaced with smart, managed networks appropriately segmented for communication that is exponentially more robust and secure.

How has machine-controls technology benefitted from remote monitoring and connectivity?

Todd Majors, PE, industry engineering leader, Hargrove Controls + Automation, member of the CSIA: One of the ways machine-controls technology has benefited from remote monitoring and connectivity is by introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into the control system. Systems previously not connected are now able to share valuable data allowing AI to execute real-time decision-making that improves productivity and production. This has led to huge improvements in how some manufacturers operate their businesses. With the current demand for workers and as Industry 4.0 becomes more widely adopted, remote-connectivity solution providers will continue to invest in simplified and secure technologies that increase sales and adoption of their products. Coupled with the adoption of AI and remote access by subject matter experts, this should propel industry into a more connected and automated world.

About the author: Mike Bacidore
About the Author

Mike Bacidore | Editor in Chief

Mike Bacidore is chief editor of Control Design and has been an integral part of the Endeavor Business Media editorial team since 2007. Previously, he was editorial director at Hughes Communications and a portfolio manager of the human resources and labor law areas at Wolters Kluwer. Bacidore holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He is an award-winning columnist, earning multiple regional and national awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He may be reached at [email protected] 

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