Industrial automation has traditionally been a fairly conservative discipline, one that evolves steadily over time. The last truly disruptive technology was the introduction of the first successful programmable logic controller in 1973, now over 40 years ago.
The industry is about to undergo another disruptive technological revolution. Commonly called the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0 (I4.0) in Europe, this brave new world of interconnected industrial control devices and process data transparency brings with it exciting new possibilities…but also daunting new challenges for the automation professional.
Growing hand-in-hand with the IIoT is the field of identification and traceability, led by technologies like RFID, optical barcoding, and smart cameras. And at the heart of any automated process are the industrial sensors that measure and detect the physical world outside the digital electronic “brain” of an automation control system. They convert physical information about a process into discrete on/off, analog, or digital data that the controller can work with.
Automation Insights is here to act as a resource for the industry as it navigates through the impending IIoT technology revolution, sharing information about emerging trends and standards, current best practices, success stories, technology fundamentals, and advanced implementation concepts. And we are here to offer expertise, ideas, guidance, and support for industrial identification and industrial sensor specifiers, installers, and users to help them get the most out of their automation technology investments.
Automation Insights is sponsored and administered by Balluff, Inc., the US subsidiary of Balluff GmbH, a leading global supplier of innovative automation technologies. Although we certainly have a vested interest in selling our portfolio of products to the market, we are dedicated to the successful implementation of industrial control technology by the automation community at large.