Intel was founded in 1968 by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. I, like many others have a sticker on my laptop that reminds me that their microprocessor products are in millions of computers, tablets and surprisingly airplanes. Today’s airplanes, some of which first flew in the 1970’s, make extensive use of microprocessor based flight control, navigation and communication systems.
Does the name of Gordon Moore sound familiar? Moore’s law predicts that the number of transistors on computer chips would double approximately every two years. This observed rule is named after Moore and it has proven true every year since Intel was founded. Geeks around the world will tell you that the speed of a microprocessor depends, among other things, on how many transistors are on the chip. So Moore’s Law implies that computer chip speed will also double every two years. Those of us who grew up during the digital revolution can attest to how quickly computer and communication technologies have advanced. Today’s mobile devices and tablets would have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago. I notice that the practical effects of Moore’s Law have caused a technological tidal wave fueling an innovation obsessed market where rabid consumers push to have the latest tablet, phone or other gizmo du jour.
So how does Moore’s Law affect Industrial Automation? Automation and control products also make extensive use of microprocessor technology. Today’s faster, more advanced electronics mean that products can be designed which help industrial end users achieve higher levels of productivity and energy efficiency than ever before.
Enterprises can now get the data they need in the right format to truly drive world class levels of efficiency. Control systems now work faster allowing factories to increase productivity. Just like the Aerospace industry, however, our customers can’t cease using older generation products and plug in new ones so easily. Airplanes and factories often have product life times measured in decades. In Industrial Automation, equipment upgrades and modernization can be associated with the risk of lost time and money due to downtime. It is vital to have a migration strategy in place that will help customers take advantage of newer technologies and minimize risks on the journey to more efficient, sustainable enterprises. Manufacturers of Industrial Automation offers can take advantage of the latest technologies and offer upgradeable solutions to help customers make the best use of their operational capital. To get there requires joint planning by both the manufacturer and the customer. Ultimately the end result is maximized benefits and minimized risks.
Are you and your company prepared for the journey?