Introduction via Industrial Convergence Examples
Industrial Convergence is very similar to convergent evolution as it most commonly referred to in evolutionary biology.
Definition: Biological Convergence Evolution:
The process of organisms not closely related, independently evolving with similar traits as a result of having similar environments.Relative to nature and the creation of earth, industrial technology convergence is at it's beginning stages. So historically industrial technology convergence has been more of a convergence of closely related technologies, rather than not closely related. Demonstrated below in the industrial convergence example section. But as highlighted in "New" industrial convergence section, process and manufacturing is excitingly on the brink of becoming the exact definition of "Convergence Evolution"!
Industrial Convergence Examples:Engineers have witness converge engineering in the industrial sector for decades. First it was the convergence of the electrical industry with the digital electronics industry resulting in the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and on to DCS systems. Then we witness the industrial convergence of the PLC to the computer IT and programming industry. At this time in history communicating with computers quickly and standardizing protocols for data transfer between so many devices, became essential and OPC was developed. Shortly after, the PAC (Process Automation Controller) evolved.
Now days those in the industry question is it a PLC or a PAC, is it HMI or SCADA, is it a micro-controller or a full blown dual processor computer, etc? For those new to the industry, it can be simplified by the following. Control relays where replace (converged) with the micro-controller PLC, which is now converging with an industrial computer, the PAC that emulates a PLC. HMI (Human Machine Interface) is a computer software, which later added data collection to become SCADA (also a software). The process and manufacturing industry is an expensive process, so all the above technologies remain, and OPC (OLE for Process Control) is the data translator between all the technologies and the many related devices.
Protocol Convergence:The process and manufacturing industry is an expensive process, so all the above technologies remain, and OPC (OLE for Process Control) is the data translator between all the technologies and the many related devices. The result of protocol convergence. OPC is now the latest, most modern and powerful communications protocol for the industry. Using OPC, many data transfers can be quickly and effectively facilitated. In addition, many powerful, custom applications can be developed and implemented on an OPC server-based computer connected to DCS and SCADA systems.On the data side of industrial technology like IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), AKA the "Industry 4.0", OPC is an integral part.
So now that you know a little more about past and current state of industrial technology, let us explore more about the new OPC SCADA course BIN95 offers. This Pi OPC Master training bundle also shows you how to connect two independent OPC servers together easily with included special software. The course covers how to pull/push data to and from PLC SCADA system to host computers in the most safe and reliable way. It starts with comprehensive theory chapters, followed by over 150 question review tests and then ends with hands-on lab and practical application using real industrial grade software consisting of OPC server and OPC client. Students install the software on their own computer, configure the OPC server and OPC client as if they were in a real plant and then witness actual real-time data communications in front of their eyes on their own computer. Learn more, see http://bin95.com/opc-scada-training.htm
The New Industrial Convergence:The new industrial convergence is on the cellular and smaller scale between manufacturing, organic material and computer data. While 3D printing used in manufacturing is similar to growing products instead of assembling them, in the future we will literally be growing products. With increasing environmental concerns, product materials (media) will be organic instead of metal or plastic. A lot of the required technology will be a result of research in the medical fields. With manufacturing and medical being two different environments, it is the text book definition of convergence evolution.
An exciting future realization with nano technology will be biological nano-bots that go in to the human body, emitting a gas or biological force-field around it so the body does not reject it or get infected. Likewise in the process and manufacturing industry, permanent nano-bots could repair a circuit when it fails. Biological one could travel down a pipe and do repairs, then decay like other biological do so as not to contaminate the liquids traveling through pipes. For the new industrial convergence, it is not a question of if, it is only a question of when. In our country, industry is concerned with current government lowing educational standards by leaving them in states hand, cutting budgets for research etc. (Basically putting the brakes on technological evolution) But Chin Up! Cheerio! There is a whole world out there who will Carry On!
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to add me to your Google+ circles to stay on top!