Automation is the latest technology that reduces human intervention in the process by predetermining decision criteria, subprocess relations, and related actions. To automate the processes; mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic, and computer devices are used.
If we look at global statistics, over 67% of companies use automation solutions to improve visibility and productivity. These intricate systems have embedded systems that are based on microcontrollers (i.e., microprocessors with integrated memory and peripheral interfaces), that are dedicated to specific tasks. These systems can be optimized to increase their reliability and performance.
The merger of technologies (i.e., automation+embedded systems) is opening doors that assist in tasks by improving quality, accuracy, precision, cost reduction, and savings.
This blog is a detailed overview of how important embedded systems are in an automation process.
What are embedded systems?
An embedded system is a computer system (composed of a computer processor, computer memory, and input/output peripheral devices) that serves a specific purpose within a larger mechanical or electronic system.
It is an integral component of a complete device, which typically includes electrical or electronic hardware and mechanical components. Because an embedded system typically controls the physical operations of the machine in which it is embedded, it is frequently constrained by real-time computing requirements.
How does an embedded system work?
Embedded systems’ design resembles miniaturized circuit boards with a processor, power supply, memory, and communication ports for communicating with other components of a larger system. It is possible for the processor to be a microprocessor or microcontroller.
Systems on Chips (SoCs), which include multiple processors and interfaces on a single chip, are one of the most prevalent trends in embedded system technology. They are frequently employed in high-volume embedded systems.
In the industrial IoT (IIoT) ecosystem, SoC has facilitated the development of new design methodologies, products, and solutions. Real-time operating environments are frequently suitable for SoC-embedded technology that is typically fast enough and tolerant of slight variations in response time.
Which are the most recent embedded system architectures?
The most commonly used embedded system design architectures are-
- Simple control loop
It is software that consists of a simple monitoring loop for input devices. The loop invokes subroutines, each of which manages a distinct hardware or software component. It is therefore referred to as a simple control loop or programmed input-output.
- Cooperative multitasking
In this, the loop is hidden in an API. The programmer defines a series of tasks, and each task receives its own “run” environment. When a task is inactive, it invokes an idle routine, which is typically referred to as “pause,” “wait,” “yield,” “nop” (which stands for no operation), etc.
- Interrupt-controlled system
These embedded systems are primarily governed by interrupts. This means that system tasks are triggered by various types of events; for instance, a timer at a predefined interval or a serial port controller receiving data could generate an interrupt.
- Preemptive multitasking or multi-threading
In this type of system, a low-level piece of code uses a timer to switch between tasks or threads (connected to an interrupt). This is the level at which an “operating system” kernel is generally considered to exist. Depending on the required functionality, it introduces more or less the complexities of conceptually managing multiple tasks running in parallel.
- Microkernels and exokernels
A microkernel is logically superior to a real-time operating system. Typically, the kernel of the operating system allocates memory and switches the CPU between threads of execution. User-mode processes implement fundamental functions such as file systems, network interfaces, and so on.
Which industries use embedded systems for automation?
- Food production:
Each step of the food production process requires the company to monitor product quality, adhere to sanitary regulations, legal, and industry standards, and minimize food waste. Automation and robotics in the industry can assist with these tasks.
For instance, there are artificial intelligence (AI)-powered systems that can distinguish between fresh and rotten fruits, and machine learning (ML) solutions can assist with preventive and predictive equipment maintenance.
- Municipal infrastructure:
Intelligent parking is an illustration of embedded electronics. Powered by sensors, computer vision, and data analysis capabilities, they are quite effective for municipal parking lot management and revenue generation.
Water, organic fertilizers, and manual labor are agriculture’s primary drivers. Nonetheless, this procedure can be improved by employing agricultural robots, which are embedded Internet of Things (IoT) systems. They can be used for fertilizing the soil and pulling weeds.
- Manufacturing enterprises:
Embedded systems’ design is central to the development of smart cars. Audi is an example of a car manufacturer that uses embedded systems to track quality and compliance for each component of the assembly line.
- Object trading service:
Large stores and shopping malls can also use an embedded system for controlling and optimizing electricity and heating consumption.
- Pharmaceutical products and medical equipment:
Medical devices are examples of embedded software, but pharmaceutical companies may also use embedded software as part of an industrial control system in the process of medicine production and quality assurance.
What is the future of embedded systems in industrial automation?
Industry 4.0 is bringing us from the first to the fourth generation of the industrial revolution, powered by IoT, data analytics, and AI. Embedded systems only produce raw data. Integrating industry 4.0 technologies creates valuable insights for a robust digital infrastructure, and expands automation and innovation.
Embedded modules are becoming more sophisticated, allowing machines to predict or prescribe solutions that could supplement human decision-making or perform tasks faster than humans. They’re making machines smarter, safer, and more effective, controlling industrial automation. Embedded systems are expected to expand IoT applications like wearables, sensors, drones, video surveillance, 3D printers, and smart transportation.
Need solutions for your automation?
Technosoft Engineering is a one-stop solution for you. We merge technologies like IoT, embedded systems, and hardware systems to deliver a fully-automated system that assists in multiple tasks. We design custom PCBs, hardware components, firmware, electronics, etc., and connect them to networks across the globe to generate expected results.
Besides that, we develop mobility and analytics solutions that unlock backend value and give value-driven output.
So, wait no further and get the best embedded system design solutions with complete automation at Technosoft Engineering.