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Trends in Automation

Chapter
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)

Abstract

The present chapter addresses automation as a major means for gaining and sustaining productivity advantages. Typical market environment factors for plant and mill operators are identified, and the analysis of current technology trends allows us to derive drivers for the automation industry.

A section on current trends takes a closer look at various aspects of integration and optimization. Integrating process and automation, safety equipment, but also information and engineering processes is analyzed for its benefit for owners during the lifecycle of an installation. Optimizing the operation through advanced control and plant asset monitoring to improve the plant performance is then presented as another trend that is currently being observed. The section covers system integration technologies such as IEC61850, wireless communication, fieldbuses, or plant data management. Apart from runtime system interoperability, the section also covers challenges in engineering integrated systems.

The section on the outlook into future trends addresses the issue of managing increased complexity in automation systems, takes a closer look at future control schemes, and takes an overall view on automation lifecycle planning.

Any work on prediction of the future is based on an extrapolation of current trends, and estimations of their future development. In this chapter we will therefore have a look at the trends that drive the automation industry and identify those developments that are in line with these drivers.

Like in all other areas of the industry, the future of automation is driven by market requirements on one hand and technology capabilities on the other hand. Both have undergone significant changes in recent years, and continue to do so.

In the business environment, globalization has led to increased worldwide competition. It is not only Western companies that use offshore production to lower their cost; it is more and more also companies from upcoming regions such as China and India that go global and increase competition. The constant strive for increased productivity is inherent to all successful players in the market.

In this environment, automation technology benefits from the rapid developments in the information technology (IT) industry. Whereas some 15 years ago automation technology was mostly proprietary, today it builds on technology that is being applied in other fields. Boundaries that have clearly been defined due to the incompatibility of technologies are now fully transparent and allow the integration of various requirements throughout the value chain. Field-level data is distributed throughout the various networks that control a plant, both physically and economically, and can be used for analysis and optimization.

To achieve the desired return, companies need to exploit all possibilities to further improve their production or services. This affects all automation levels from field to enterprise optimization, all lifecycle stages from plant erection to dismantling, and all value chain steps from procurement to service.

In all steps, on all levels, automation may play a prominent role to optimize processes.

Keywords

Automation System Model Predictive Control Information Integration International Electrotechnical Commission Distribute Control System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

3G

third-generation

ANSI

American National Standards Institute

CAEX

computer aided engineering exchange

COM

component object model

DCS

distributed control system

DCS

disturbance control standard

EPC

engineering, procurement, and contsruction

GSM

global system for mobile communication

HART

highway addressable remote transducer

I/O

input/output

ID

identification

ID

instructional design

IEC

International Electrotechnical Commission

IT

information technology

MIMO

multi-input multi-output

MTBF

mean time between failure

MTTR

mean time to repair

OEE

overall equipment effectiveness

PC

personal computer

PID

proportional, integral, and derivative

PLC

programmable logic controller

RFID

radiofrequency identification

SIL

safety integrity level

SMS

short message service

XML

extensible mark-up language

References

  1. 8.1.
    S. Behrendt, et al.: Integrierte Technologie-Roadmap Automation 2015+, ZVEI Automation (2006), in GermanGoogle Scholar
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  3. 8.3.
    IEC 61508, Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systemsGoogle Scholar
  4. 8.4.
    IEC 61850, Communication networks and systems in substationsGoogle Scholar
  5. 8.5.
    R. Zurawski: The Industrial Information Technology Handbook (CRC, Boca Raton 2005)Google Scholar
  6. 8.6.
    IEC 61158, Industrial communication networks – Fieldbus specificationsGoogle Scholar
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  9. 8.9.
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    Center for intelligent maintenance systems, www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf01168/nsf01168xx.htm

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ABB Ltd.ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.ABB Corporate ResearchBadenSwitzerland

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