(Rapid Open Control Solutions)
of the biggest issues facing operators in todays industry is fallout from
Moores Law. Specifically the rate of change of technology has proved disasterous
to the long term support of many ROV systems.
A standard workclass ROV will
have a life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years. Mechanically, this is
not a major problem but most designs over 5 years old are aready suffering
from obselesence when it comes to electronics. There are ways
round this and companies like ROV network are using a technique dignified with the name
or Commercial off the shelf solutions. This is not a cure all philosophy but used carefully
gives clients the best bang for their buck.
In general, ROV network tends to use
off the shelf components in their designs. In studies of the major computer bus systems
used in industry, we found that the expected life of most designs such as STD bus and
VME were unrealistically short. The only long term solutions available were PC104 and
PCMCIA (although Compact PCI does come close, issues with the edge connectors rule it
out for many applications.) PCMCIA is a bit too new for comfort and we suspect it may
well come into it's own for remote I/O over the next few years but right now the size
of the edge connects makes it a bit too fragile which is a shame as hot plugging comes
as standard. So right now. PC104 is our system of choice for larger controllers. The
hardware is reliable, low cost and will still be available in 10 years time. There are
very few systems that you can say that about.
So why don't we build our own ? Well, we do but once again as many companies have found to
their cost, components become obsolete, engineers move companies, requirements change and
custom electronics particularily in one-off systems can be a major headache.
ROV Network's philosophy is to develop in-house, only when the equivilent is not
available on the open market. By using commercial products we are buying into a large
userbase with significant reliability history attached.
ROCS is a PC104 based
control solution. It is extremely compact, utterly rugged and one off systems can be
developed in a few weeks rather than the months it would normally take.
following systems make up our standard line.
Low cost compact touch screen interface
Medium system networked with touch screen or laptop graphical
Large scale multi option system using low level control with
In between each of these standard units sits any combination of I/O and
user interface from simple switches and relays through to multi client multi node systems
with 10's of thousands of I/O.