Control system designers have historically been most concerned with basic automation and visualization, and these tasks remain important. But this focus has now shifted to include support for IIoT data connectivity, intelligent on-site devices, detailed analytics, and cloud/remote accessibility.
Our June 2022 Processing article titled Automation Simplified Through Solutions, describes the benefits of using Emerson PACSystems Edge Solutions. These coordinated products empower users to build reliable, flexible, and scalable solutions.
- Edge controllers
- Industrial PCs (IPCs)
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems consist of these hardware types, running the appropriate software. More modern IIoT initiatives call for a greater emphasis on connectivity and data handling.
Implementers may be tempted to assemble data connectivity from a variety of commercially available products and suppliers for reasons of apparent openness or cost savings. However, consumer-grade options simply won’t hold up in a 24×7 industrial setting, and assuring overall compatibility, scalability, and security is hard when many vendors are used to supplying products.
Emerson understands the challenges and has architected a product portfolio to meet these needs. Users choosing from Emerson solutions will benefit from:
- The ability to port control logic seamlessly between PLCs and edge controllers
- Scalable software that runs at the edge, on local HMIs, and on IPCs
- The ability to perform computations, visualization, and analytics at any and all these levels
Emerson HMI/SCADA software is built on modern standards like Microsoft .NET and .NET Core frameworks, and it can be deployed on Windows or Linux, and on any type of end-user device capable of hosting these operating systems. A comprehensive library of toolbox items and symbols, and consolidated toolsets, help speed real-world development. Additional modules provide out-of-the-box analytics for the most common manufacturing needs.
One food and beverage company was burdened by many labor-intensive manual operation steps. Emerson products helped them rapidly develop a scalable solution for collecting good/bad product data from existing sources to support a live dashboard showing productivity, OEE, and downtime metrics, helping the company improve throughput.
Developers have a lot of hardware and software options for building industrial automation, visualization and data connectivity/analytics projects. However, creating a reliable, scalable, secure and complete solution by starting from scratch and plugging parts together is a risky endeavor. To overcome these risks and minimize overall cost, end users, OEMs and the SIs supporting them should consider the benefits of using comprehensive platforms offered by a solution provider with a complete and coordinated portfolio of industrial-specific hardware and software.