Are you ready for the next automation revolution?

Don't get left behind. Follow the advice of four automation experts.

A new industrial revolution is upon us. Data-collection technologies are changing the way companies use predictive and prescriptive maintenance in their plants. Businesses are now able to integrate real-time data from multiple sources with historical data, leading to significant savings, less downtime, and fewer safety incidents.

But if you feel unprepared for the impending industrial revolution, you are not alone. Convincing decision-makers of the value of digital transformation and implementing the correct technology can feel like a daunting task. Here are four can’t-miss articles from our monthly Automation Zone column that will help you prepare for the automation revolution.

Automated for the people

As technology continues to change our daily lives, it has found many adepts who think about creative ways of applying it. Previous barriers to massive deployment were related to elevated price points or limited interoperability between systems. For many applications, technology was more a barrier than an enabler. Sometimes value and differentiation was created just by overcoming the technical barriers. Today, it’s not unusual for creative new solutions to come together with new business models that have implications for manufacturers, machine builders, and the system integrators who put these solutions together. In this installment of Automation Zone, José M. Rivera, CEO of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), explores how the new technology revolution means major changes in business models.

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Getting IIoT data into a SCADA system

SCADA has evolved over the years, and now our attention will be on supporting the architectures to acquire IIoT sensor information and consolidating it with the rest of the SCADA data in real time. This means adding IIoT data feeds into SCADA hosts that are currently using hardwired industrial IP networks, often with legacy serial communications in the mix. In this installment of Automation Zone, Ed Nugent from PcVue examines how mobile devices and the IIoT are upending data delivery models.

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Busting 3 IIoT myths

The industrial IoT clock is ticking, and businesses not already addressing the opportunity offered by the IoT need to create and implement their plans – quickly. So why are some companies still hesitating? One answer is that there are several misperceptions or myths regarding the IIoT that are causing decision-makers to founder and sometimes delay or stop an IIoT project altogether. A heavy focus on standards, exorbitant expected costs, and the fear of big changes all are cited as reasons for not pursuing IIoT projects. In this installment of Automation Zone, Dan Matthews, CTO of IFS, says these misconceptions shouldn't be excuses for not getting your plant more connected.

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Achieve thermal control via the IoT

Drastic fluctuations in local temperatures, such as from a summer heat wave or a winter blizzard, may temporarily inconvenience the average consumer, but any deviation from the acceptable operating temperature range in an industrial setting can have significantly more perilous consequences. These fluctuations can increase the workload of climate control systems, raise energy costs, and lead to equipment malfunction, operational downtime, and lost revenue. As more designers and operations managers turn to the internet of things (IoT) to increase efficiency and performance, they’re seeing opportunity in building energy management systems (BEMS). Implications of the IoT for climate control include the power to monitor and maintain plant and equipment heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and moisture levels in real time. In this installment of Automation Zone, Rittal Corp.'s Eric Corzine explores how to monitor and maintain facility temperatures while centralizing climate controls.

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