Control Engineers Boo IT

I’m in Las Vegas where we are exhibiting and presenting PROFIBUS and PROFINET at the Siemens user event.  At the Tuesday morning opening Tom Kopanski related a story told him by one of the editors attending the event.  At a nameless company’s user gathering, IT was roundly booed.  I understand this reaction by control engineers but I can’t accept it.  (Incidentally, the Siemens user event is not just attended by factory control engineers; there are process engineers and IT here, too.)

The PTO is not the right group to correct this problem.  I wish we were… and we will do what we can.  But the magazines and companies like Siemens whose products span control and MES have to be catalysts for bridging this gap.  Synergies exist between control engineering and IT and they grow with the adoption of Industrial Ethernet.  I hope they come to realize that both departments belong to the same company and that the good of the company is served by their learning to cooperate.  Please, someone provide tools to help start the dialogue between these two departments.  Detail the requirements that differ.  Show them what they have in common.

(My apologies if this diatribe sounds familiar; I did blog about it before.)