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Considerations when specifying enclosures for Industry 4.0 applications

03 October 2018

Industry 4.0, the deployment of distributed automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, is based around the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing to create the "smart factory", where physical machines are monitored and controlled in pseudo real-time and autonomous decentralised decision-making manages the process.

The move to complex distributed computing brings with it some high level technical issues: IT security, greatly aggravated by the inherent need to open up previously closed production systems; the need for high levels of IT system reliability, the repeatable low system latency requirements and stability needed for critical machine-to-machine communication and the need to maintain the integrity of production processes. The distributed mini-systems will often have embedded IP capability, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, processing and communicating information from their attached sensors and controls throughout the IoT rather than raw signals going back to a central control room. 

In addition to these macro level concerns, at the micro level the widespread distribution of electronic modules and sub-systems into the factory environment requires considerable thought to be given to the selection of the housing for the electronics.

Given that the selected enclosure must provide a secure and physically robust environment for the electronics, there are several criteria to consider when choosing the optimum product design

Read the full article in the October issue of DPA

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