One of the things economists and industrial end users have in common is: Both hate black swans. But what is a Black Swan? Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Black Swan Theory explains it this way: “What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes. […] rarity, extreme 'impact', and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability.” Black Swan events are outliers, cannot be anticipated and thus lead to unpredictable indirect effects.
The communication landscape of today’s industrial automation is very heterogeneous, as a result machines and production systems connect via a variety of network standards. Siemens and Hilscher, a German supplier of industrial communication solutions, are now cooperating to provide users of SIMATIC IPCs with flexible access to all common fieldbus and real-time ethernet systems.
These last weeks, I had the opportunity to talk to many stakeholders of industrial automation. Not only several Industrial PC and controller manufacturers, such as Beckhoff, Pepperl+Fuchs, Siemens, WAGO, but I also talked to their customers, like machine builders and system integrators. A recurring theme was the unprecedented long delivery time and the steep price increase for electronic components and automation controllers. Particularly the buyers of IPCs suffer strongly from it.