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What does industrial automation involve?

As a software company, we are acutely aware that the world of industry and manufacturing is constantly evolving. New technological advancements significantly affect how we produce and operate today. But what exactly is industrial automation and why is it so important?

Industrial automation at SST Software

What is industrial automation?

Industrial automation refers to the application of advanced technologies and systems - including computers, robots, AI, and machine learning - to control and manage industrial processes. Instead of manually carrying out these processes, they are taken over by automated systems that can operate continuously with high precision and consistency. This ranges from simple tasks such as sorting products on a conveyor belt to more complex procedures such as controlling advanced robot arms in a car factory or real-time monitoring of product quality. Industrial automation also enables the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, resulting in a better understanding of production performance and more informed decision-making. In our rapidly changing world, understanding and implementing industrial automation is crucial for businesses wishing to remain competitive.

Industrial automation software

Technologies in industrial automation

When it comes to industrial automation, software solutions and technologies are key in enabling and streamlining these advanced processes. Here are some of the main technologies that play a role:

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)

These are industrial digital computers specifically designed to control production processes such as assembly lines and robotic equipment. They are robust, reliable, and versatile, making them a standard solution in many automated systems.

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

These electronic components are the heartbeat of every smart machine. They are designed to direct electrical signals between different physical components in a device, such as sensors, microprocessors, and memory modules. PCBs are essential for the operation of all electronic devices, from simple sensors to complex industrial robots. Our team of engineers and software developers works closely together to ensure that our software solutions integrate seamlessly with our customers' hardware, including their PCBs.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems

These software solutions provide a central system to monitor processes in real-time, collect and analyze data, and respond to changes in the process. They are essential for managing complex industrial systems on a large scale.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

IIoT refers to the connection of machines, computers, and people to collect and share data about industrial processes. IIoT devices can be used to collect real-time information on machine performance, enabling companies to schedule proactive maintenance and improve efficiency.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI and ML are increasingly used in the industry to recognize patterns, optimize processes, and even enable predictive maintenance. They can be used to analyze the vast amount of data collected by IIoT devices and gain valuable insights.


Software plays a crucial role in the programming and control of robots in industrial environments. These robots can perform tasks that are dangerous, difficult, or monotonous for humans, thereby improving safety and efficiency.

Each of these technologies plays a unique and valuable role in enabling industrial automation. As a software company, our job is to integrate and optimize these technologies to help businesses realize the full potential of industrial automation.

Controlling PLCs

The challenges of industrial automation

While industrial automation offers significant benefits to the industry, we as a software company also encounter certain challenges. One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the rapid technological changes in the sector. In order to provide our clients with the best solutions, we must constantly stay informed about new developments.

Additionally, integrating our software with a wide range of hardware components and systems is a challenge, given the diversity of industrial automation technologies. The complexity of these systems also requires a deep understanding of both software and hardware. Thanks to our extensive knowledge and experience, we can handle many techniques.

Moreover, we need to ensure that our software is user-friendly, so that our clients' employees can use it effectively, regardless of their technical skill level. This requires precise alignment with users and thorough on-site testing. Finally, given the crucial role of our software in industrial processes, we must maintain high standards for reliability and security to prevent potential failures and security issues.

Working with hard- and software

As a software company, working in the field of industrial automation is very exciting and rewarding. We get the opportunity every day to create new solutions and contribute to the transformation of the industry. We support our clients in their growth and success. By developing software that helps them get the most out of their systems, we feel we play an essential role in their story. This is what drives us every day to achieve the best result. Welcome challenge!

Bram Wenting

Bram Wenting is co-owner of SST Software and SST Labs. Read his blogs.

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