Can We Automate from the Cloud?

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I asked industry experts: can we push machine control to the cloud? Because, let’s face it, as manufacturers digitize more operations, they need scalability. Industrial technology suppliers are responding with new cloud-based capabilities, mostly around data collection and analytics. And while their solutions may differ, they are all in agreement that the cloud cannot control mission critical real-time processes on the factory floor. To be clear, it can be done. But it shouldn’t be done. The reason it shouldn’t be done is that control programs require sub-second responsiveness, which would present a real safety concern if program instructions were being sent from the cloud. In addition, it clearly presents a cybersecurity risk.

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