It’s a both awe-inspiring, and terrifying prospect: a fully automated factory. While there are debates surrounding the use of such facilities, a fully automated facility is still some time away. Scott Anderson, director of Amazon Robotics Fulfillment recently said in an interview with Reuters that the technology needed to automate an entire Amazon facility was still at least a decade away. Until then, the prospect of automating every aspect of a manufacturing facility remains just as unlikely as occurring. However, this does not mean that there aren’t ways of upgrading your facility with automation technology, and increasing efficiency and reducing cost in the process.
Industrial grade computers are the backbone of any modern-day manufacturing facility, and rightly so. Industrial grade computers serve as a bridge between automation and good old fashioned labor, allowing for workers to finish jobs that used to take hours in just minutes. Just like how Email reduced the waiting time for correspondence from days to seconds, industrial-grade computers have exponentially increased worker productivity. Their use in quickening tasks extends beyond operating as workstations; industrial grade computers can help turn your facility into a smart facility.
One of the rising uses of industrial grade computers is the creation of facility wide networks. These networks can be used to monitor sensors, change up the production line, and even provide real time reports on errors and issues. Industrial grade computers, like the Rugged Mini C from Tangent, feature up to eight ethernet ports for connectivity. These ethernet ports can each handle up to 2.5 GT/s of data transfer, allowing the Mini C to easily communicate information from one end of the facility to the other with lightning speed. The Mini C’s small form factor, less than that of a cereal box, combined with flexible mounting options allows this industrial grade computer to be placed anywhere and everywhere.
Going Where Workers Can’t
While it would be nice to have a worker perform real time analysis of site that’s underwater, freezing cold, or freezing hot 24/7, this simply just is not possible. That’s where industrial grade computers like the Rugged Mini O from Tangent come in. The Rugged Mini O is IP69K certified water and dust proof, allowing for it to be used in situations where workers simply cannot be. This IP69K rating is complemented by an extreme operating temperature range of -40°F to 185°F. This industrial grade computer can be mounted in locations where other computers simply could not, and become a vital part of your industrial grade computer network.
Staying Safe And Secure
With every new leap in automation technology, there is an equal leap in the ability of phishers and hackers to hijack your facility. These hackers may be benign malevolent, but either way keeping them out of your facility is a top priority. As more components of your facility become automated, it is important to keep the software of each individual device up to date. This can help reduce the likelihood of hackers being able to find backdoors into your systems. Industrial grade computers like the Rugged Mini E3 from Tangent come equipped with a trusted platform module from Infineon. This security module can help beef up the security protocols of your network by employing cryptography and encryption algorithms to protect the integrity and authenticity of embedded devices and systems.
Automation: It’s On The Way
While automation is nowhere near ready for full deployment, it is on the horizon. Keeping your facility up to date with the latest industrial grade computers can help bridge the gap between modern-day labor and the future of automation.