According to Automation World’s David Greenfield over the last decade, there has been a shift in the opinions engineers and managers have about networking technologies in factory settings.
Ten years ago it was difficult to find large numbers of engineers open to the idea of using Ethernet for plant floor operations. As for their opinion on wireless… forget about it. If Ethernet was a stretch for most engineers due to its perception as an IT network for front office operations, the use of wireless (outside of remote, long distance process operations) was just crazy talk.
But in the last few years, a noticeable shift has taken place in operations engineers’ attitudes about Ethernet and wireless network technologies. We first started seeing demonstrable proof of this in the Automation World Innovation survey conducted in late 2011.
In that survey, nearly half of respondents said the incorporation of Ethernet into plant floor systems was the most innovative advance to occur in automation over the past decade. With so many readers citing this development as being more innovative than any other, Ethernet’s advance onto the plant floor was recognized as the clear innovation winner in readers’ opinions.
To read the article and take a look at the data, head over to http://www.automationworld.com/information-management/automation-world-survey-ethernet-and-wireless-production-facilities