Generations of Technology in Industrial Automation Software

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The 1980s brought the early adoption of the PC platform in automation systems and the first large projects, using the PCs to communicate with PLCs. In the following decades, supervisory and control systems technology evolved, creating several generations of software tools and automation products. A generation means an evolutionary step and a new platform, with a total change of the programming methods, user interfaces and paradigms, going beyond than the merely incremental improvements that are made during the maintenance life cycle of products; a new generation means renewing the internal architecture.


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interesting topic. If I can add to it, I would say we see much more dramatic changes in the field within last 5 to 6 years than in last 20. The biggest change is the standardisation of technology, something what happened in internet many many years ago. You can see following criteria becomes more and more adopted and what is more important required by the users

  • common communication protocol with open specification (OPC UA in Europe and MQTT in USA)
  • operating system independence (windows, Linux, Mac OS)
  • mobile devices support
  • web based (HTML5, SVG, JS)
  • data-mining 
  • etc.

Great example of this achievement and what it can bring to end users is mySCADA, and you can see even big brands like Siemens do follow. For example Siemens adopted the OPC UA protocol for its PLCs this year.


Link is here: mySCADA

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