Adopting open-source technologies in automation industry

In the modern and fiercely competitive automation industry, companies are increasingly embracing open-source software solutions to boost efficiency, cut costs, and enhance overall productivity.

What does open-source software mean?

Open-source software refers to a particular type of software that is released under a specific license, granting users the freedom to run, utilize, modify, and distribute it freely and legally. This implies that anyone can modify its functionalities to align with their specific requirements. As a result, businesses utilizing open-source software have the flexibility to customize its capabilities to suit their unique needs.

Benefits of open-source software for businesses

Open-source software provides numerous advantages for businesses. Here are some key benefits:

  • Flexibility and adaptability: open-source software offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing companies to customize and tailor the software to meet their specific requirements. This adaptability supports application leaders in developing automated processes that are fully optimized for the business’s unique goals and workflows.
  • Interoperability: open-source technologies utilize common standards and open protocols, facilitating seamless integration, high performance, and compatibility with other software solutions. This interoperability enables businesses to easily connect different systems and enhance overall efficiency.
  • Transparency and reliability: open-source software is renowned for its transparency. With the source code accessible to everyone, it becomes possible to verify its quality and security. Additionally, open-source software often benefits from a robust community of developers and users who collaborate to solve issues and continuously enhance the software, resulting in a high level of reliability and stability.
  • Security: open-source software is widely recognized for its robust security features. The collaborative nature of its development, with numerous developers reviewing the code over extended periods, ensures that any issues are promptly identified and resolved. Unlike proprietary software, where vulnerabilities can remain hidden, open-source software benefits from the collective vigilance of many contributors. Transparency is at the core of open-source software, enabling anyone to enhance it in various ways, including strengthening its security measures.
  • Scalability: One of the key advantages of open-source software is its inherent scalability. Businesses can incorporate new functionalities, integrate existing systems, and handle increased workloads, without being constrained by licensing restrictions or reliance on specific vendors. This scalability empowers companies to seamlessly accommodate their growth and expansion needs.

Using open-source technologies in automation

The popularity of open-source software in the field of industrial automation has been on the rise in recent times, particularly due to the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is experiencing rapid growth, connecting various devices, and facilitating smooth communication and data sharing. Open-source software serves as the fundamental basis for IoT platforms and frameworks, empowering developers to create scalable and compatible solutions.

Our KPA Automation softPLC utilizes the open-source functionality and customizes it to meet the specific needs of businesses. As an example, we provide support for two widely used open-source protocols, OPC UA and MQTT.

OPC UA is a communication protocol that is open-source and specifically designed for industrial automation. Its purpose is to facilitate seamless communication between different devices and machines, enabling interoperability and efficient data exchange. Through OPC UA, data transmission is standardized and secure, ensuring reliable communication in complex automation systems.

On the other hand, MQTT is an open-source messaging protocol that is designed to enable efficient and reliable communication in distributed systems. Its publish-subscribe architecture allows for real-time and asynchronous communication between devices. This means that data from sensors, machines, and other automation components can be efficiently transmitted to the intended recipients. MQTT is particularly valuable in scenarios where real-time data monitoring and control are crucial, such as in industrial IoT applications.

In addition, KPA Automation softPLC utilizes an open-source Linux platform. Linux not only saves money on licensing fees but also allows businesses to customize and automate various processes according to their specific needs due to the availability and adaptability of the code. This eliminates the challenges that developers face with closed systems and the need for costly and complex modifications. With real-time extensions, Linux is now the ideal choice for industrial automation companies, giving them the speed and accuracy they need to optimize their operations.

Furthermore, it is important to note that open-source software often requires a certain level of technical expertise in order to effectively implement and maintain it. Developers and organizations must dedicate time and effort to ensure that the software remains up to date, address any bugs, and incorporate new features. Regular maintenance and updates are crucial to guarantee the security, performance, and compatibility of the software with evolving technologies. By utilizing ready solutions such as KPA Automation softPLC, these challenges can be eliminated.

As the automation industry continues to advance, open-source software is expected to play an increasingly significant role. Its adaptability, customization options, and cost-effectiveness make it an appealing choice for businesses looking to streamline their automation processes and gain a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing digital landscape.

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