Helping Industrial Automation Systems Become a Little Bit Smarter

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The Industrial Automation (IA) compute space has traditionally had two clear segments – a low cost, ‘dumb’ controller market, and a high end, fully flexible ‘smart’ market.  We are hearing from customers that a hybrid approach is increasingly needed as the industry slowly moves away from proprietary solutions and towards industry standards and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions.

A key issue in integrating standard IT technology into Industrial Automation projects is the misalignment of product life cycles.  IA solutions such as production control systems are designed to run for upwards of 20 years and therefore platform stability is critical.  IT systems have a much lower threshold with end user system lifespans measured in months.

“How to combine IT and IA is an important management issue for manufacturers because they urgently need to strengthen their competitiveness in the global market and ensure that they are managed in a sustainable fashion,” Chiaki Itoh, vice president and head of Yokogawa’s IA Marketing Headquarters said in Hydrocarbon Processing magazine.

Yokogawa, a leading global Industrial Automation and control company, has found a solution for the lifecycle conflict through a partnership with Dell OEM Solutions.  At this week’s 2014 Yokogawa User Conference and Exhibition – North America in Houston, Yokogawa announced that it is working with Dell for the supply of customized Yokogawa PC models designed to provide high quality system solutions over the long term.  These systems will be “long-life products” that remain available for twice as long as equivalent commercial off-the-shelf products.  They have been tested to confirm their compatibility with the Yokogawa system-related products, and they are integrated with Yokogawa’s maintenance plan, giving customers a single point for service.

Dell VP/GM Dell OEM Solutions Joyce Mullen with Novak Konishi of YokogawaJoyce Mullen, Dell’s vice president and general manager of OEM Solutions, (pictured left with Nobuaki Konishi of Yokogawa) attended the Yokogawa User Conference.  She shared how the OEM group is able to integrate Dell’s end-to-end capabilities and provide custom solutions to Industrial Automation customers.  Dell actively works with IA customers and contributes to key organizations as a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium, Open Interconnect Consortium and the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance

Dell OEM Solutions offers IA customers:

  • Ultra-reliable, long-life hardware;
  • Rugged, standards-based yet customizable systems that work in extreme environments; and
  • Engineering expertise to integrate Dell technology into customer’s solutions.

Industrial Automation systems will continue to become smarter and more connected while maintaining the reliability and toughness that production environments require.  We look forward to continuing to partner with Yokogawa to help accelerate solutions for their global customer base.

About the Author: Kirsten Billhardt

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