Combination of Industrial Automation and IoT makes Industry 4.0 a Reality

Industrial automation is not a new concept, but with the proposal of the Industry 4.0 concept, combining industrial automation and Internet of Things (IoT) will bring smarter and more easily manageable industry automation environments. Let’s take a look at how latest technological developments can be applied to speed up the development speed of automation products.

Shortcut to realize industrial automation

The Industry 4.0 concept has been widely proposed in recent years. This high-tech plan proposed by the German government has become the goal for all countries to imitate and pursue. The Industry 4.0 goal not only means creating new industrial technology, but instead focuses on integrating existing industry-related technologies, sales and product experiences to create smart factories with adaptability, resource efficiency and human engineering, and also integrate customers and business partners in business processes and value processes to provide complete after-sales service.

In order to complete Industry 4.0, its technical foundation is the smart integration of sensing control systems and IoT. Although we are still in the early stages, but if they can gradually come true and be applied, we will finally be able to create a new type of smart industrial world with perceiving consciousness that can analyze different kinds of Big Data to generate related solutions that can fully satisfy customer needs directly (demand customization). We may then use computers to make data predictions such as weather forecast, public transportation and market research data etc., for precise real-time production or dispatch current resources to reduce excessive cost and waste (supply optimization).

The basis of Industry 4.0 is to integrate industrial automation and the Internet so that business operators can have full control of the various real-time data of factory operations, and the real-time sales data and customer needs of the user terminal in order to make appropriate corresponding product production adjustments and changes accordingly.

Industrial automation refers to the combination of several equipment (or multiple processes) to form an organic consortium, and to use various control devices and execution mechanisms to perform control so that the entire production process is automated, and to reduce human operation and interference as much as possible. As the scales of industries expand, people’s demand for control system data increases continually, and so the integration level of industrial automation system data also becomes higher and higher. Networking in recent years has pushed industrial automation to an even higher level; various complicated general production automation functions have been realized by transmitting and communicating the data between the automation systems, on-site smart equipment and the control & management levels connected on each network node.

In addition to the industrial automation of factory terminals, the sales data of user terminals can also be collected through networking, and Big Data analysis can grasp user needs in real-time so that appropriate adjustments of production line operations can be made. Customizations can even be made according to customer needs, and production line operations can be adjusted flexibly in order to fully realize the development blueprint of Industry 4.0.

In order to quickly develop industrial automation systems, existing industrial automation development platforms can actually be used. CWMX6UL-Q7 released by the Cwlinux Company is one of the leading platforms; the QSeven shape volume used by it is very compact, and it uses the i.MX6 UltraLite ARM Cortex A-7 processor from NXP with a single core up to 528MHz, built-in 512MB DDR memory and 4G eMMC flash memory. It supports 24-bit digital RGB and HDMI 1.4a graphic processing and output capabilities, as well as 24-bit 96KHz audio codec. It is also equipped with 10/100M Ethernet and interfaces including USB, UART, SDHC, CAN, SPI, I2C and CSI etc. and supported operating systems include Yocto and Ubuntu etc. It only requires one 5V power to operate.

The design and integration of CWMX6UL-Q7 were fully done by Cwlinux; it has a technical team with rich development and manufacturing experience, and is able to cooperate with customers starting from the development stage. They can listen to customer needs and provide recommendations on products, making it easier for users to design the prototypes and ensure that products can be delivered. The cost of the CWMX6UL-Q7 mainboard is low and allows small-batch productions; it also has product life support up to over 5 years. It is compatible pin to pin with CWMX535, and future upgrades can be performed using QSeven specifications with the Q7 CPU module. The product also supports industrial level temperatures in order to ensure stable operation of the system. CWMX6UL-Q7 can be used for applications such as industrial automation control, IoT gateway, HMI and POS etc.; it has powerful market development potentials.

Industry 4.0 (or other similar alliances and plans) has become key development goals of governments and businesses in different countries, which also means there are great business opportunities behind the various new technologies, including sensing devices, network devices, robots, wearing devices, 3D printing, smartphones, tablets etc. in terms of hardware, and cloud platforms, Big Data analysis, artificial intelligence, virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) etc. in terms of software. These all have great business potential and CWMX6UL-Q7 can help you get ahead of the game in the Industry 4.0 trend.

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