This blog is dedicated to open, interoperable manufacturing software and the coolest, latest and greatest things I see every day while conducting business under the banner of Inductive Automation.

Hello, my name is Steve Hechtman and I am president of Inductive Automation. During the span of one day there is more excitement, more discovery than I can possibly keep to myself. This blog is, therefore, my outlet. WARNING: This site is highly biased in favor of the most powerful, affordable manufacturing software in the world - Ignition by Inductive Automation!

Why your SCADA system should be more like your smart phone

There is a better model for how a SCADA system should be designed. A good example of this better approach is probably sitting in your pocket. It’s your smart phone. Your smart phone runs on a set of powerful, yet independent apps. Why is that a smart idea?

  • You can add or delete apps without restarting your smart phone.
  • Apps can be easily upgraded while the other apps continue to operate.
  • If an app crashes, it doesn't take down the entire system. 
  • You can select the exact apps you need to provide the exact functionality you want on your phone.
  • Smart phone apps are relatively inexpensive without requiring large annual licensing fees.

Compare that to how SCADA systems have traditionally been designed:

  • Adding software requires a complete restart of the entire system.
  • Software upgrades not only require everything grinding to a halt, they can often break another part of the system causing a cascading need for upgrades.
  • If a piece of software crashes, it freezes the entire system.
  • Often you must pay for functionality you don’t use or need.
  • Annual licensing fees for software can be astronomical.  

There is another advantage to having a modular approach to manufacturing software. That’s that third parties can also develop specific applications that add powerful functionality. Look on your smart phone. Many of the most popular and useful apps are not created by Apple or Google. They are created by third party developers.

That’s why Ignition was created using a modular approach. In addition to the key modules that the Inductive Automation team creates, other companies are creating some very cool modules that you can easily add.  It makes a system more versatile and powerful. I think it just makes sense.

Technology is constantly advancing. Isn't it time that SCADA moves up to the New SCADA standard?

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