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Standards are a good thing…

“Standards are a good thing.  That’s why there are so many of them.”  So begins an article in Computer, the magazine of the IEEE Computer Society.  This article is about software, but it’s interesting to relate the author’s premises to industrial automation.  And it’s one of my pet topics anyway.  His second paragraph:

Of course, it is a good thing to have many standards when they offer legitimate alternative engineering approaches for solving a problem or when they cumulatively build upon a common framework to encompass a broad range of problems. It’s not a good thing, though, when those standards offer apparently different approaches to the same problem without equally apparent explanations of how to select from among them.

In the world of industrial automation communications there are networks which are not solving the same problem; e.g., bit-level, device-level, and IT-level networks for their respective spaces.  No problem that these are different standards.  There are also network standards that appear to “offer apparently different approaches to the same problem.”  Those that compete within any one of the spaces mentioned first, for example.  Part of the purpose of this blog is to offer the explanations of network selection criteria to help achieve “equally apparent explanations of how to select from among them.”  Of course, there might be a slight bias towards PROFIBUS and PROFINET…

Speaking of PROFINET, if you are in the Minneapolis area, this Tuesday is your chance to garner those explanations first hand.  Register now and I’ll see you there!

And speaking of PROFIBUS, if you are in Silicon Valley, Mike A will welcome you on September 19 to hear about the benefits of PROFIBUS.

And speaking of PROFIBUS in the process industry, I would like to see you in Richmond on September 21.