In the second half of the 20th century, factories began incorporating automation technology and sophisticated electronics into their production processes, jumpstarting a period now often referred to as the 3rd Industrial Revolution. PLCs were instrumental in this change in production and a key player in the adoption of Industry 3.0. Now, companies are implementing internet-connected sensors, advanced data systems, and other technologies that fall under the umbrella of “Internet of Things”, a process that’s considered to be the 4th Industrial Revolution. Will PLCs continue to be a ubiquitous part of production processes as more companies introduce cyber-physical systems? Or is the death of the PLC imminent?
was right. It
because there was
a need for it, and
other people had
that same need.”
-Dick Morley, ‘Father of the PLC’
In the second half of the 20th
century, factories began
technology and sophisticated
electronics into their production
processes, jumpstarting a
period now often referred to as
the 3rd Industrial Revolution.
PLCs were instrumental in this
change in production and a key
player in the adoption of
Now, companies are implementing internet-connected sensors,
advanced data systems, and other technologies that fall under
the umbrella of “Internet of Things”, a process that’s considered
to be the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Will PLCs continue to be used in production processes as
more companies introduce cyber-physical systems? Or is the
death of the PLC imminent?
At the moment, PLCs don’t seem
to be going anywhere. They are
easy-to-use, reliable, proven to
work well and precise so
removing or changing them in any
signiﬁcant way is unlikely in the
near future, especially among
small and medium-sized
manufacturers. Additionally, many
businesses would not be able to
support the implementation of
new control technology.
For these reasons, Temboo decided to create an easy,
inexpensive, and user-friendly way to help companies using PLCs
gain valuable insights into their operations, without needing
to replace expensive legacy systems or require personnel to
learn a new programming language.
But ﬁrst, we wanted to
hear from industry
professionals about what
intelligence features they
would ﬁnd most useful…
Oil & Gas
An EPC contractor working on
upgrading gas so that it has a higher
methane content before it’s injected
into pipelines wants to remotely
access the data to monitor the
processing and composition of the
biogas. Not only would this help
them ensure their system is working
correctly, it’s also help them with
preventative maintenance during
their 2 year warranty period so that
they could alert the customer of any
A solid waste processing facility
wants to see live trends of what key
equipment in their plants are up to
every 35 seconds. They’d also like to
monitor the health of their phone
lines to make sure that they’re
working in case of emergency.
A company that makes specialty
packaging using injection molding
machines is seeking solutions to
monitor the machines and get
alerts for downtimes. They also need
to be able to retrieve data on the
speed of the injection molding
machines so that they can get
alerted whenever cycle time is
aﬀected. This will help optimize their
operations and increase output.
An OEM that makes chemical
processing equipment for paper and
water waste processing wants to
centralize the data from their
multiple alarm systems and be able
to view that data remotely. They’re
also seeking a solution with a clean
user interface so that the data can
be easily interpreted across all
departments. Finally, they'd like
remote control of the systems so
that they do not have to ﬂy a
specialist to their out-of-state
customers for easily resolved issues.
Food & Beverage
A company that produces
ingredients for the bakery, patisserie,
and chocolate sectors is looking to
be able to follow speciﬁc ID chain
protocols and get email alerts. They
would also like to automate data
collection for FDA and OSHA audits.
Finally, they’re looking for solutions
that provide automated alerts,
rather than their current system of
manual alerts, for key events like
when a boiler goes down.
A grant-funded company developing
a new refrigeration technology needs
to be able to save the data they
collect to dropbox and remotely
monitor their facilities using an
Mining & Energy
An engineering group that advises on
solutions for mining and energy
companies wants to oﬀer an IoT
service to their customers that can
use the instrument and process
information that goes to a SCADA
system to be hosted in a user
friendly cloud service that
management and engineering teams
can view remotely. They’d also like
remote control to be able to turn
outputs on and oﬀ.
An engineering group specializing in
burner development wants to be
able to make burner, furnace, and
PLC data readily available to their
team over the internet.
After all the research and time spent talking to industry
professionals, Temboo created a PLC IoT Application
that works for all types of industries: Temboo’s PLC
Sensor Alerts and Data Visualization App. This
application is for the Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC.
FEATURES OF TEMBOO’S APP
1. Remote Sensor Data and PLC Diagnostic Data
Historian: By adding connected sensors to your PLCs you
can view sensor data and diagnostic data for your PLC in
any web or mobile browser from anywhere that you have
an internet connection.
2. Alerts: Set up email alerts for when diagnostics and
sensor readings hit certain thresholds or according to any
other conditions that you’ve set.
3. Data Visualization: Our easy-to-read dashboard
generates graphs, charts and more for the data from your
sensors and PLCs so that anyone who has access can easily
interpret and understand the information.
In terms of hardware, all you’ll
need is a gateway and any type of
sensor that you choose. Gateways,
in this instance, are internet
connected devices that serve as
the main connection point
between the data from the PLC and
the cloud, and vice versa.
Development boards with built in
wiﬁ like a Raspberry Pi or
a Beaglebone work nicely for this
type of PLC IoT application and are
cost eﬀective to boot.
There are many beneﬁts oﬀered through Temboo’s solution speciﬁcally. First, data
visualization and alerts reduce the costs of downtime and unexpected events
saving money, time, and resources.
Second, the low-cost of Temboo’s software toolkit compared to other PLC IoT
applications on the market enables even small manufacturers to be able gain
valuable insights into their remote operations.
Another great beneﬁt of Temboo’s PLC IoT application is the ability to update
gateways remotely. Whenever a change is needed, like editing sensor alerts,
adding a sensor, or even adding a new PLC, Temboo’s application is able to push
the changes over the air without having to physically access the device. This allows
users to edit their systems at any time and from anywhere, easily.
Finally, Temboo’s PLC IoT application can
lower the bar for entry into this type of
digital transformation due to our code
generation technology. Even if
employees don’t know anything about
programming software, they’ll still be
able to set up customized alerts and
data visualization for PLC systems easily.
The setup is quick and our software
toolkit machine-generates the necessary
code, removing any skill-based barrier of
entry for IoT adoption.
“The only way to create
wealth is with
essential truth must be
transmitted to the next
generation of doers in
the application of
-Dick Morley, ‘Father of the PLC’
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