This makes the applications possible, which were unimaginable previously — e.g. Ethernet in the field device. However, this could establish a different trend. With great difficulty, we have succeeded to show the benefits of Wireless sensor to our customers.
Wireless Hart is the solution in the market — ISA 100 is another solution in competition with it. If Ethernet goes on the field, then WLAN or WiFi is permanently the winner. An important trend — probably the most important — is the integration of automation and ITC (Information technology and telecommunications).
Enter the Internet of Things
Actually, not a completely new trend. Only the elders amongst us remember that the manufacturers of control systems had set-up own operating and monitoring stations. In those days, these easily costed 11,500 Dollar per unit and provided a part of the performance of a PC of older generation.
This has changed. Everything that can be used from the Office world and the consumer sector, is also used in automation, which in turn will be a part of an integrated, group-wide and economy-wide information architecture that is Internet-based. This is the way to “Internet of Things” and “Industry 4.0” from the perspective of automation.
Database and Cloud Applications Affect Automation
I would like to mention a couple of key points in this context: Database technologies and “Cloud” are used. We shall come to the applications below, which will show, how important these technologies will be going forward. “Mobility” is a very important key word. “Smartphones” and “Tablets” are highly important as operating and monitoring devices for our applications in process technology.
Effect of Industry 4.0: New Business Models
More could be added. But, I stop at this point, in order to address the topics “business models” and “processes”. I want to start here with an assumption — probably even provocative: I think that digitalization of business processes and the related development of new business models shall unfold the actual effect of “Industry 4.0”. It is said in USA “Anything that can be digitized is also digitized”.
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