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SCADA Shake-Up

In this insightful webinar, learn why the leading industrial technology research firm writes that “the HMI/SCADA market is ripe for disruption” and that the Ignition SCADA software platform shows the potential to positively transform an industry that has been slow to change. Doug Harris of Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Kyle Chase of Kymera Systems join us to discuss how new technologies have changed the way they do business.

Key Takeaways

Disruptive technologies have changed many industries.

The term "disruptive technology" describes a new technology that displaces an established one, often unexpectedly. More than an improvement to an existing technology or an innovation, a disruptive technology is distinguished by three key characteristics: it redefines its category, changes how business is done, and creates new markets. Well-established incumbent companies can be caught off-guard by disruptive technologies because they tend to focus on established markets and are slow to change products or adopt new technologies. A historical example of disruptive technology is the cell phone and its descendant, the smartphone, which over the last few decades have fundamentally changed the phone business as well as consumers' definition of phones.

New technologies are disrupting the manufacturing sector.

Currently, new technologies including Big Data, The Cloud, The Internet of Things, and mobile and social technologies are disrupting the manufacturing sector. These technologies have certain elements in common: each is driven by data, increases access to information, enables real-time connections, and facilitates greater collaboration. ARC, the leading industrial technology research firm, predicts that the manufacturing facility of the future will be more connected and automated and that more data will be available throughout it.

Despite some convergence of HMI, SCADA and MES platforms, this market is "ripe for disruption."

As manufacturers' needs have changed due to a variety of factors, HMI / SCADA platforms have evolved from standalone components into integrated solutions. "Despite these evolutionary changes," ARC writes, "the HMI/SCADA market is ripe for disruption, particularly as it relates to ease of use and total cost of ownership." Increasingly, converged platforms are expected to serve not only as operator interface windows but as enterprise integration tools. According to ARC, converged platforms will continue to evolve into single devices supporting many applications. "This opens the door for new technologies, such as Ignition, that can change the way that data and information is made visible and actionable across the plant floor and throughout the enterprise," ARC writes.

Ignition disrupts the SCADA technology model by bridging the gap between IT and controls technologies.

To bridge the technological gap between traditional HMI/SCADA software and IT systems,
Inductive Automation introduced the industrial software platform Ignition in January 2010. Ignition does not just improve on existing technologies but introduces disruptive technology and business models to the industrial software market. Ignition is web-based, cross-platform, works with any database, and has a modular architecture, which all make it faster, more accessible, more flexible, and more scalable than other SCADA solutions.

Ignition disrupts the SCADA licensing model with server-based licensing and unlimited clients and tags.

Ignition is not only revolutionary because of its technology; its licensing model is also changing the SCADA business. Traditional SCADA software licenses charge users by the number of tags and clients, which is quite expensive and restrictive for most users. Ignition disrupts this model with by-the-server licensing and unlimited free clients and tags. Unlike other SCADA software companies, Inductive Automation sells an open-ended platform that encourages customization and innovation, and provides free support to integrators, who are an important extension of its sales force.

Ignition changes the old SCADA technology and business models. As ARC writes, "In many respects, Ignition's web-based, database-centric, modular, Java-built, cross-platform solution goes beyond what is traditionally thought of as HMI/SCADA … Ignition provides discrete and process users and OEMs with opportunities to innovate and become disruptive forces in their own right." In a world of rapid change and upheaval, Ignition provides the unified platform and tools that companies need to succeed in the long term.

published: 03/27/14

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