Process Automation

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Software and chip technology has developed to the point that process automation is as complete as we ever dreamed it would be. We already have robots, which were little more than a space-age concept fifty years ago, that can do just about anything a human can do in a factory, or in space, or even underground. Robot miners are a reality and they are being used in many different scenarios.

Nowadays, the link between industrial processes and secure embedded software has been forged. To meet the demand for accurate and reliable control and supervision, we now have SCADA applications. Supervisory control and data acquisition applications are the answer to the on-the-ground practical problems of administering automated processes remotely, without the need for extensive, dangerous cables and without the need for a human operator running around on the factory floor or sometimes being put into a hazardous situation.

SCADA and Process Automation

No process automation will be complete now without a SCADA application of some kind. For most industrial uses, the transmitter needs to be heavy duty, or as it is sometimes called, a data tractor. This will ensure that the unit will not be affected by interference from other transmitters working in the area. This will give your data, and therefore your processes, greater security and accuracy.

The great thing about SCADA is that you can administer any kind or combination of process automation from a single laptop, collecting all your data into one place. The network through which SCADA works, however, can be as large or as small as you need. SCADA systems can be run on a variety of operating systems, which now includes Unix, NT and Linux.

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