SCADA and PLC "RPA"?

Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is spreading very fast and gaining grounds across major sectors like e-governance, Banking & Financial Services, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Retail & CPG etc.

"Robotic process automation (RPA) is the practice of automating routine business practices with “software robots” that perform tasks automatically. These tasks include transaction processing, IT management and automated online assistants. These software robots could replace human beings for common tasks. Robotic process automation makes heavy use of artificial intelligence to train these robots. "

When i look into SCADA and PLC projects, i don’t see any room for innovation at all. The job of a smart SI is mostly copy, paste, edit, tweak, upload and repeat. 80% of every PLC, SCADA project engineering workflow is nothing but routine and repetitive which can easily be automated.

I think, very soon most of the SCADA and PLC vendors will start selling RPA tools and pre engineered, ready for commissioning projects online instead of engineering software. The SI contractor will be able to just select the demo project which suits his/her requirement from the showcase, evaluate online, chat with the sales guy for some customization and discount, add it to the shopping cart, pay by cc and finish the deal.

BY 2020, more than 50% of PLC, SCADA jobs will be eliminated. By 2022, around 80% jobs will disappear. What do you think?.

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Are we now calling a script a software robot? Most SI’s are already automating a majority of the code that goes into a PLC, and this has been happening for a long time!

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It’s also why, IMO,. that coding is becoming a lost art. Like multiplying without a calculator.

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Some idiot re-discovered that software can do repetitive tasks that humans do. Software has been used to automate otherwise-human tasks since computers were first invented. Duh. “Robot” is a cool buzz-word, and stokes fears of imminent replacement of all workers with machines. Such has been predicted for decades now – decades in which automation has spread like wildfire. And yet, we happen to have record low unemployment at the moment. Huh.

Please spare us the hype and let us focus on delivering automation solutions for our clients.

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Today, the Engineering and productivity tools have become very powerful and user friendly. If we look across the verticals and horizontals of the process automation business, we won’t find more than 50 key processes. Almost 80% of the functionalities and code of every process automated by PLC and SCADA is identical and reusable. Hardly 20% of the code needs some customization. Most of the tips and tricks are freely available on web and youtube. In the worst case, the solution is available for a very reasonable price (less than the monthly salary of an automation engineer) from the product vendors, veterans and freelancers on the net. Supply of skilled professionals exceeds demand everywhere.

In the past 20 years, almost every decent process on this planet has been automated. All major PLC and SCADA vendors have done enormous case study of every key process automated with their products and have built a huge warehouse of projects. They are just getting ready to automate project engineering and open their e-project shops.

You have no idea, what’s going on in India. India has become the world’s largest laboratory for RPA giants like Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UIPath, IBM, Capgemini, Accenture etc to build their Robot workforce. They are recruiting 1000’s of low cost, well qualified, English speaking labour across India to train their RPA robots. They are working 24x7 (in 2 shifts), to automate US and Indian civil services, Banking, Insurance, Tax collection, retail etc. Almost 65% of US and Indian jobs are getting automated with full support and collusion of US and Indian Government authorities. Ironically, India, a nation with the largest pool of qualified jobless manpower has been hired by US giants to eliminate millions of US, Indian and ME jobs by 2020. The workers have been severely warned and threatened that they shall NOT discuss their jobs in public or social media. Otherwise, they will be sacked (may even be killed) immediately.

One can always say that these are some low end jobs and his job is beyond automation. But the problem is, one can NOT sit and eat his hard earned bread peacefully while hundreds of hungry eyes are watching him. Unless a miracle happens, impossible to stop this RPA tsunami.

After the integration firm I was working for relocated I had to quit and went to some job interviews. One of the engineering firms I interviewed with told me that I could help them, but not for long. You see, the PLCs were going to be programmed by electricians and the HMIs would be developed by the ACAD drafters. It would all be just plug and play soon. There wouldn’t be much use for integrators in a couple of years. That job interview was 35 years ago.

BTW, thanks for all your technical posts on this forum, Phil.

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You’re welcome. :blush:

While I agree with you, the reality isn’t quite as inclusive as you think. I know WonderWare has a tool called Prometheus that does the same thing you are referring to. However, these tools must work with ALL vendors and devices, and these tools just don’t support everything. The other reality is that there is still some human intervention in making this all happen (i.e. someone has to hook up the wire to the I/O card). The tools seem to create templates of code that become reusable and allow faster deployments, which is what most people have been alluding to here. Those code segments still need to be interconnected.

On the flip side, you are right in that the industry is changing from lower level programming to higher level programming (i.e. assembly language to C). As we abstract this more, we allow new roles to achieve more with less time in the details, where an individual can focus on bigger picture things. However, there will ALWAYS be someone that needs to know the details (when was the last time you looked up a CPU OPCODE?). The market need for such a role will become less needed, but not gone. The role you are describing is evolving, but it must prove to be more valuable than current state or it will never change. The other reality is that this doesn’t mean our jobs are going away; rather, it is just changing. If we get onboard with this, we will find ourselves in a job for a lifetime.

Interesting observation, nonetheless! :+1:

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Do you have a source for this? :open_mouth:

Abolish Excel, email, copy, paste. There will be an instant shortage of manpower worldwide. Break your mobile phones. Every human on this earth will get free home, food and clothing :slight_smile:

To protect business interest, occupy resources and capture nations, greedy humans have been waging wars and killing millions of poor humans ever since. Big IT firms are run by Harvard educated mafias in India. They have state machinery under their control. They will do anything to protect their business interest. Do some research on the net.

If the claim was brought up by you, then the burden of proof belongs to you. The ‘do-your-own-research’ (Argumentum ad googlum) argument does not hold here.

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I think, you have carefully avoided the above statement which is difficult to refute.

Pretty long-winded and rambling way to say “No, I don’t” and attempt to change the subject. Please point to a reputable source’s article on workers being threatened, or perhaps describe how and when it happened to you. Otherwise you’re just trolling. Not appropriate or appreciated here on a technical forum.

You are rapidly approaching the point where I will permanently mute you here and send you to /dev/null everywhere else.

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Please do it :slight_smile:

Done. And this thread, too.

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Welcome. cool :slight_smile: If you don’t like a particular topic, just ignore it. It’s very boring to discuss always technical. I think, this forum has answered almost every technical issue with Ignition. Do you see any technical issue which has not been resolved yet?.

I have made my agenda very clear. I am spreading Ignition by “Igniting the minds, Igniting the passion and setting automation on fire”.

Two weeks back, i gave a detailed presentation to an SI and explained him how he can make more money with Ignition than any other top 3 SCADA. I gave him the links to my “provocative” topics and asked him to dig deeper. Yesterday, he called me and said that he is considering Ignition seriously for next project. He had expressed interest to appoint me as a project consultant for Ignition because he believes that i know how to get the job done.

Any experienced SI reading my topics, first gets astonished and wonders how a company could allow such open discussions on their website. Later he realizes that only a brave company with strong fundamentals can allow such comparison and criticism on their product.

My provocative topics have elevated the image of Ignition, pulling the crowd and works as a fantastic sales pitch for Ignition.

You have too remember that in most commen devices. That have been upgraded in the last 10 years moved too ieee standards. Allowing cross compadibility. This allowed programmers too know the basics in 4 devices. But be proficient in a coding style.