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Additional Survey Comments on Automation Innovations

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Other performance-boosting innovations you’d like to see from your suppliers include:
•    More affordable high-temperature sensors
•    OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) data available via OPC (an open communication standard)
•    Web-based data access
•    Better system configuration tools
•    Electronic data sheet files, drivers, and the like embedded in devices that can be uploaded directly from the device
•    Improved reliability of vision systems, and automated inspection of engineering components (for dimension, shape and surface finish)
•    Integrated control systems
•    Full access to technical support, data sheets, manuals and knowledge base from the Internet
•    Open-architecture software platforms that are easily integratable with third-party software
•    Faster tracking and mobility
•    Diagnostic information from more “smart” devices.

Other innovations that earned deserved mentions from respondents included:
•    Industrial Ethernet and rotary/linear encoders
•    Real-time feedback for motion control, which is critical for precision, quality, high-speed manufacturing
•    Automatic analysis of controller performance
•    The integration of key information technology (IT) applications such as Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system
•    The widespread adoption of quality management
•    Machine safety and the emergence of the new Machinery Directive, an updated version of European Union machine standards, effective Dec. 29, 2009.

Other predictions included:
•    Reduced license fees
•    PLC/PC controls to facilitate ease of use, ease of updates and change overs
•    More integrated, stable, wireless solutions with with better software for “telephone”/PDA (personal digital assistant) connections into process plants
•    More intelligent systems and software for decision making  
•    Integration of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with shop-floor automation systems
•    Faster industrial-grade Ethernet
•    The growing intelligence of individual components linked by Ethernet
•    Seamless integration of automation products
•    Energy-saving equipment
•    Ethernet communications
•    Reduction of and merging of standards
•    Pre-packaged automation solutions including control and mechanics
•    Computer-aided-design software that can control machine tools
•    Lasers and control system interfaces.

Related Feature - Automation World Readers Voice Innovation Needs and Concerns
To read the feature article relating to this story, go to www.automationworld.com/feature-6425.

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