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Today, with the manufacturing boom and industrial automation booming, market changes and technological changes have always affec

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Due to the relatively small production volume and the wide variety of applications, industrial automation often uses new technologies developed in other markets. Automation companies tend to customize products for specific applications and needs. Therefore, innovation comes from targeted applications, not any popular new technologies


Due to the relatively small production volume and the wide variety of applications, industrial automation often uses new technologies developed in other markets. Automation companies tend to customize products for specific applications and needs. Therefore, innovation comes from targeted applications, not any popular new technologies.

In the past few decades, a number of innovations have indeed brought a new wave of growth to industrial automation: programmable logic controllers (PLCs) developed by Dick Morley et al. are designed to replace relay logic; it is in custom logic. Growth is growing in applications that are difficult to apply. Implementation and change. PLCs are much more reliable than relay contacts and are easier to program and reprogram. In automotive test sets, growth is fast, and new car models must often be reprogrammed. PLC has a long and productive life – about three years – and (understandably) has become a commodity.

At the same time as PLC development, another wave of innovation was achieved through the use of computer control systems. The small computer replaced the large central host in the central control room and produced a "distributed" control system (DCS), pioneered by Honeywell and its TDC 2000. However, these are not really "distributed" because they are still a large number of computer hardware and cabinets filled with I/O connections.

The advent of PCs brings low-cost PC-based hardware and software, which provides DCS functionality, which greatly reduces cost and complexity. There are no fundamental technological innovations here. These are innovative extensions of technologies developed for other mass markets, modifying and adapting to industrial automation requirements.

In terms of sensors, it is indeed some major innovations and developments that have created good growth for specific companies. With better specifications and good marketing, Rosemount's differential pressure flow sensors quickly replace smaller products. In addition, there are some other smaller technological developments that have given some companies room to grow. But few have more than a few hundred dollars in annual revenue.

Automation software has been around for a day and can't go further. There is no "turning point" here. In the future, software will be embedded in products and systems, with no major independent innovation on the horizon. A large number of manufacturing software solutions and services will produce significant results, but they are all part of other systems.

Therefore, in general, innovation and technology can and will re-establish growth in industrial automation. However, there will be no technological innovations that will result in the next Cisco or Apple or Microsoft.

We can't understand future trends simply by expanding past trends, just like driving by looking at the rearview mirror. The automation industry has not inferred smaller, cheaper PLCs, DCSS and monitoring and data acquisition systems; these features will simply be embedded in hardware and software. Instead, future growth will come from a new direction.

New technology direction

Industrial automation can and will be accompanied by explosive growth in new inflection technologies: nanotechnology and nano-assembly systems; MEMS and nanotechnology sensors (small, low-power, low-cost sensors) that measure everything and everything; and the popular Internet ,machine. Machine (M2M) networking.

Real-time systems will give way to complex adaptive systems and multiprocessing. The future belongs to nanotechnology, wireless devices and complex adaptive systems.

The main new software applications will be in wireless sensors and distributed peer-to-peer networks—small operating systems in wireless sensor nodes and software that allows nodes to communicate with each other as a larger, complex adaptive system. This is the wave of the future.

Fully automatic factory

Automated plants and processes are too expensive to rebuild for every modification and design change – so they must be highly configurable and flexible. To successfully reconfigure the entire production line or process, you need direct access to most of its control components—switches, valves, motors, and drives—to the level of sophistication.

The vision of a fully automated factory has been around for a while: customers order online, electronic transactions involve batch sizes (sometimes as low as one), price, size and color; smart robots and precision machines make products smoothly and quickly. Customize the product on demand.

The promise of remote automation has finally made progress in manufacturing setup and maintenance applications. The vision of machine-based automation decades ago—powerful superbots, no one to look after them—underestimated the importance of communication. But today, this is purely a question of network intelligence, and it is now well developed and widely used.

High-end communication support is now available for automated processes: a large number of sensors, very fast networks, quality diagnostic software, and flexible interfaces—all with high reliability and universal access to tiered diagnostic and error correction recommendations. GH centralized operation.

Large centralized production plants are outdated. Future plants will be small and mobile (where resources are and where customers are). For example, it is not necessary to transport the material over long distances to the factory for processing and then transport the resulting product to the consumer. In the past, this was due to the localization of know-how and investment in equipment, technology and people. These things are now available worldwide.

The last word of globalization

The United States and other industrialized countries have continued to maintain a leading position in knowledge-intensive industries, while developing countries have focused on low-skilled and low-labor costs. The situation has changed now. The impact of large-scale entry of 2.5 billion people (China and India) has brought new challenges and surprising opportunities to the global economy.

In addition to labor, many companies, including large automation companies, also outsource knowledge work such as design and engineering services. This trend has become very important, leading to unemployment not only for manufacturing labor, but also for traditional high-paying engineering jobs.

Innovation is the true source of value, and this is the danger of being dispelled – at the expense of short-term profit seeking, the capitalist quarterly profit syndrome. Countries like Japan and Germany will benefit from long-term business prospects. However, many fast-growing countries face huge technological competition. As a result, marketing speed and business agility will offset the advantages.

Winning difference

In the global market, there are three key factors that make up the winning advantage:

• Proprietary products: A fast-moving and inexpensive (and perhaps global), constantly evolving and adapting trend to maintain leadership.

• High value-added products: proprietary products and knowledge provided by an effective global service provider that is tailored to specific customer needs.

• Global or local services: The special needs and customization requirements of remote customers must be handled locally, giving them a sense of partnership and intimacy.

To achieve these directions, management and leadership capabilities are different from older, financially driven models. In the global economy, automation companies have little choice – they must find more ways and means to expand the world. To do this, they need to maximize control of the central corporate culture and maximize the response to local customer needs. Multicultural countries, such as the United States, will have significant advantages in these important business areas.

In a new and diverse business environment of the 21st century, companies that can adapt, innovate and utilize global resources will generate significant growth and success.