Over the last few decades, the industrial sectors have benefited tremendously from the fast paced evolution in technology. The stagnation that had hitherto threatened the re-emergence of innovation after the second world war has now been overtaken by rapid technological developments. Most manufacturing facilities across the globe ranging from mining, automotive, aerospace technology, computing among many others are now leveraging modern technologies to boost productivity.
Brief Overview of Industrial Control Systems (ICSs)
One aspect that has precipitated this new phase of growth in industries is the adoption of industrial control systems. These systems encompass a large number of operations including supervision, data acquisition, distribution among other roles. The automated systems consist of both hardware and software to monitor and control operations in an industrial setting.
Industrial control systems work through automation to make things easier be it extraction processes such as in mining, product distribution, material handling among many other roles. The idea of integrating ICS in your factory is to increase efficiency, speed, boost safety and security, improve reliability and increase responsiveness to conditions.
With a fully effective ICS you are better placed to respond to challenges in terms of energy and efficiency, control maintenance costs, and deal with compliance requirements in your industry. The Industrial Control Systems (ICS) market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.0% and this is a clear indication of the important industries are putting on their operations.
Finding the Best Industrial Control Systems
Truth be told, the adoption phase of an industrial control system is the most challenging. For start, you have to choose from among many vendors and this can be a very overwhelming experience for your company. As your dream of a connected manufacturing system takes shape, you must appreciate the challenges ahead with finding the right ICS being among the major ones.
To guide you in finding the best industrial control system for your operations, below are some factors you should consider:
- Proven and innovative technology: It is important to only go for an ICS which is already in use and whose outcomes are easy to evaluate. A good ICS should have positive review across the industries and where possible check if anyone in your niche is already using it. In terms of performance, you should look for a reliable system that can deliver fault-tolerance, security and versatility in a variety of working environments.
- Scalability: If you are to leverage an industrial control system fully then you must appreciate that fact that your company needs will keep evolving. For this reason, expandability of the ICS must be a consideration when shopping for one.
- Industry-specific requirements: Every industry has its own unique needs and the ICS chosen must have the capability to meet them. An industrial site, for instance, has unique variables such as size, geographical location among other factors. Avoid going for a standard design but instead, buy a purpose-built ICS which will meet your plant needs more affordable.
- Real-time information: A good ICS should provide real-time information to guarantee you are able to make more conclusive decisions.
An industrial control system helps you optimize operations by leveraging seamless flow of information across the board. It is important to seek the services of a qualified automation expert who will help you plan, design and implement an ICS which is suitable for your operations.