DCS, SCADA, Controllers

Hardware’s Alive and Kicking

I just finished reading your article about the life of hardware in our industry in the November 1997 issue of Control Engineering ["Hardware is Dead; Long Live Hardware" on p. 55]. I found it to be a very accurate outlook on an area that is often underestimated in importance. After all, what good are PCs, PLCs, and DCSs if the data they receive are not accurate? If the hardware fails, t...

By James Dawson February 1, 1998

I just finished reading your article about the life of hardware in our industry in the November 1997 issue of Control Engineering [“Hardware is Dead; Long Live Hardware” on p. 55]. I found it to be a very accurate outlook on an area that is often underestimated in importance. After all, what good are PCs, PLCs, and DCSs if the data they receive are not accurate? If the hardware fails, the system is dead!

The knowledge of hardware has to expand at the instrument level (because they have to be more accurate and reliable) and also at the PC and interface level (to make sure that all the data communicate properly). This is why system integration is the growth sector from the suppliers point of view!

One last point: You stated that, “If you’re not running Windows NT, you’re not even in the game.” Absolutely correct. One hundred percent correct. But try and tell that to the IT people in the companies that we deal with! There are three kinds of IT manager—the manager who loves NT—but hates Unix, the manager who hates NT—but loves Unix, and the manager who is still out to lunch on the subject. (He’s the one with the weight problem!) I look forward to your next installment.

Author Information
James Dawson, senior account manager, Toshiba Systems