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Many people have heard of Gordon Moore's Law, where the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles about every two years. Mr. David House, also of Intel, linked this trend to performance, stating the performance of the hardware doubles every 18 months, the combination of more transistors and higher speeds. Enter our manufacturing equipment into this environment. Output from factories tends to grow more linearly than exponentially. The electronic data rate required to support that growth will be similar. However, computer performance has improved exponentially. A natural result of this development is a massive increase in the availability of data.
This extra data can be leveraged to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality. Factory software solutions developed with communications data rates exceeding 10mbps do not have to be designed to be inherently efficient, as was true in the past. After all, the equipment being controlled and monitored does not require even one tenth of the network speed. We can over-sample the process equipment uniformly and continue without running out of bandwidth. This provides many benefits for diagnostic capability formerly only available from dedicated systems applied as separate equipment. High speed measurement of a process yields opportunities for efficiency and quality improvements, driving profitability. So everything is great, right? Not always.
As electronic equipment becomes obsolete, the replacement choices available often include a proper joining of both old and new technology. When this is the case, a thorough understanding of complete networks is required. For example, the seemingly simple replacement of a Human-Machine Interface (application of year 2010 technology to 1980's equipment) can provide totally unexpected results. One such instance resulted in such an overload of the control network, the equipment operation almost halted. Avid Solutions has expertise in control systems over a wide range of manufacturers and vintages. Our experience can be useful in matching your needs with the capability of your equipment and determining the limits of your current installation before you invest in upgrades and retrofits.
We can provide a thorough analysis of your existing industrial control equipment, including:
From this information, we can project the probable impact of a contemplated change or upgrade before the investment has been funded. We all understand the upside of that kind of preparation!