<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=544292&amp;fmt=gif">
blog2.jpg

Innovative Thinking

Open Source PLCs

Gone are the days of having to manually control aspects of the manufacturing processes with valves and buttons and doing everything by hand. In the modern day and age ripe with technology, automation and electronic controls systems have replaced much of that manual work across the industry.

But creating logic controllers from scratch that are specific to every project or job can be time consuming and expensive.  What if there was a better way? 

That’s what many of the smart software developers around the world were thinking, and luckily they came up with an incredible solution — open source PLCs. 

So, what are open source PLCs and what can open source software do for me?

Strap in and get ready, it’s time to take a look into the exciting world of open source software to see how it works and what it can do for you and your company.

How Safe is Your Factory?

Even with the new age of manufacturing coming in and automation becoming more prevalent in factories, there is still always going to be the need for factory workers. Machines today can do more than we ever thought possible, but at least for now, human factory workers are still necessary to keep everything up and running as smoothly as possible. More machines means more moving parts and automated processes. More moving parts and automation means more potentially hazardous situations for factory workers.

And with factory workers, safety has to be considered above everything else. So the question is — how safe is your factory?


Are You Industry 4.0 Ready?

Industry 4.0 — also known as the 4th Industrial Revolution — has been taking the manufacturing and processing world by storm in recent years. It’s just in its infancy and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon.

Understanding the Role of Gateways

Almost 85% of legacy devices being used for industrial automation do not possess the ability to communicate with each other. Why? The manufacturers never thought about cross-platform compatibility. The percentage has fallen where modern devices are concerned, but the industry is still highly reliant on legacy infrastructure. This has made gathering data into one program an extremely difficult task.

Some companies are developing hardware and software that can work as a cross-platform channel for a multitude of protocols. Devices making their way onto the market tend to offer “smart connectivity”. The automation community has reached a consensus over the term and defines it as a device’s ability to connect to and be controlled from a plethora of devices over the internet. The challenge that still haunts SIs is monitoring age-old equipment that hasn’t reached an expiration date.

Automated Material Removal Tasks

Metals and Energy are coming in at record high prices if looked upon from a historic perspective. To ease off the sting, manufacturers are looking for new ways to keep the energy and material expenses controllable, without having to increase the prices of their products. Material removal is one of the areas that can greatly contribute to cost-cuts and result in increased overall efficiency.

Industry 4.0: Multiplying Possibilities and Reaping Rewards

The possibilities of applying Industry 4.0 technologies to the industrial arena are virtually unlimited. Imagine a real-time connected supply chain; one where all the components, including the producer, supplier, transporter, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer “talk” to each other. Imagine if all vehicles, containers, and pallets were interconnected. Imagine if all production equipment was interconnected. Imagine if a factory’s repositories were connected to mobile and wearables.

These changes could allow companies to understand and adapt to the consumers’ needs. They could improve the inventory management and quality of products, self-adjust based on the materials and conditions of the factory floor, and even give the workers and personnel a clearer insight into the processes. 

Trends in Industrial Automation

The world we live in is ever-changing and fast-paced through the advancements of technology. With tremendous strides and continuous progress that occurs monthly, industrial automation puts technology to full use. Automation can entail many things, from a simple start-stop conveyor system to a full production line with safety systems, data collection, and more. Swift progress in automation and technology has led us to IoT 4.0, also known as the industrial internet of things 4.0.

Power Supplies within Industrial Machinery

Industrial machinery spread throughout a plant floor runs on a variety of power sources, involving a number of intermediary steps to ensure maximum up time is retained. There are several power supply configurations that have made their way into the plant floor as the applications gain more diversity, i.e. from motors to sensitive electronic equipment.

Automating High Mix Manufacturing Plants

The manufacturing process for a single product can be modified much easier in order to improve its efficiency and productivity, compared to a plant floor where several different products are being produced. Higher Return on Investment is the prime motivation for automation, and improving the parameter becomes more complex as the production capacity increases in difficulty.

Challenges of Implementing Robotic Process Automation

Robots aren’t plug & play devices, especially not in an industrial setting. They require considerable prep-work, ranging from the initial design stage, to implementation, to regressive testing & troubleshooting. Things can get even more complicated when you are trying to achieve a great degree of automation through robots that work in conjunction, not just from the technical point of view, but from the financial side as well.