The open system has created high performance, relatively low-cost hardware, and masses of third-party software running on Microsoft operating systems.
people tend to take the “open system is good” attitude with them to
work. When their work involves manufacturing or processing,
consumer-side assumptions should stop at the entrance of the plant.
Once across that threshold, openness equates to general purpose, and
closed — dedicated — means lowest lifecycle cost and highest
To understand the reasons for this shift in the relative merits of open versus closed, it is important to first of all describe the technical differences in today’s industrial operator interface products. Then it will be easier to determine which operator interface products are right for an application on a machine, line, plant, or for the enterprise.