A Generalized Architecture for Academic and Industrial Automation and Control via Internet
Ahmed O. Abdul Salam
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK
Automation via the internet has recently received considerable attention. The prime objective of internetbased process automation underlies, amongmany others, the feasibility of remote monitoring and control of a wide range of distributed and collaborative experimental and manufacturing tools and machineries. Such emphasis would adopt the recent software and hardware development technologies. This paper investigates the minimal hardware and software requirements to design and implement a fully functional academic and industrial automation system that can be readily attached to the available internet/intranet infrastructure. Three tiers mainly constitute the proposed system, the instrumentation and measurement tier, the software platform (for data collection, processing, displaying, and communication), and the client-server tier. The common controllerbased techniques, such as PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers), SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and DAQ (Data Acquisition) platforms can be very well employed in such applications without sophistication burdens. Eventually, the ultimate intentions of having engineers and technical operators to monitor, control, maintain, and calibrate factory equipment, or students involved in lab experimentation, from local or remote distances can be successfully achieved around the clock. Previous and current practical implementation examples will be verified to assess the feasibility range of existing techniques and their implications.
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