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Motion control looks set to keep running for many years

04 November 2019

Industrial control is a highly developed field that advances year on year as the underlying technology advances. But will it and all its specialist sub-sets continue to thrive? Gerard Bush, a motion specialist with INMOCO, offers his opinion.

All technologies develop over time, with most eventually reaching an upper limit where they are as advanced as they can be. This is clear in older technologies where the peak has been reached, an example being steam trains which over about 100 years developed from Stephenson's Rocket to the Flying Scotsman. In other cases, it is less clear. Cars, for instance, continue to develop at a rapid pace. There is no denying that a 10-year-old car is not as sophisticated as one fresh off the production line, but it can be argued that the developments are actually advances in constituent technologies rather than fundamental car design – for example, is an engine management system an advance in automotive engineering or electronics applied to automotive applications? Is satnav automotive engineering or digital technology?

Cars are currently offering us another important insight to the advancement of technologies – the role of disruptive change, with the manufacturers responding to socio-political pressures and developing electric propulsion. A Cinderella technology for at least a couple of decades, electric and hybrid cars are now available from most automotive majors and are moving into the mainstream markets.

Read the full article in the November issue of DPA

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