Integration of Smart Measuring Amplifiers Into PC Software Applications

The use of smart measuring amplifiers is absolutely indispensable for the implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts. It is essential that components already have intelligence built-in, something also referred to as “edge computing”, to allow for the efficient and targeted processing of data. This article takes a look at the demands placed on such systems, with special emphasis on software integration.

Optimize Processes and Reduce Costs to Bolster Sales

The opportunities the introduction of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) presents for production environments are wide-ranging. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve greater control of processes, thus ensuring product quality and increasing profits. Process monitoring facilitates early detection of declines in quality, in order to stop production of costly substandard products and resolve issues immediately. Sufficient production monitoring also makes it possible to identify opportunities to enhance quality and therefore produce even better products.

For the machine itself, intelligent measurement chains can make the machine's condition visible and help predict upcoming, critical material wear. Accordingly, necessary parts can be ordered in advance and a set maintenance period can be scheduled, thus avoiding machine downtime and minimizing costs.

Here, PLC applications are increasingly being replaced with software-based and even pure cloud applications.

Differences Between PLC and Software Applications

Classic PLC applications are still the most widely accepted standard for control and regulation tasks, since they ensure a deterministic outcome. Yet the programming languages associated with these PLC applications are very difficult to program. PC-based software applications are already capable of performing the same tasks to a great extent and with considerably more elegant programming processes, since things such as object-oriented programming can be used. They function very well with very few deterministic requirements. In the future, however, the software of even these applications will give way to TSN protocols (Time-Sensitive Networking), which offer very low latency and greater availability.

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