From Knowledge@Wharton: Manufacturing accounts for about 13% of the U.S. economy. Should we even focus on trying to "bring it back," now that information and services - the "knowledge economy" - seems a more promising path?
The top machine builders are switching from proprietary hardware-based PLCs, like Allen-Bradley, TwinCAT, Mitsubishi and KEYENCE, to open standards-based EtherCAT-enabled software PLCs on IPCs. KINGSTAR provides a fully-featured and integrated software PLC based on an open and accessible RTOS. KINGSTAR Soft PLC also includes add-on or third-party components for motion control and machine vision that are managed by a rich user interface for C++ programmers and non-developers alike.