I would like to propose the name of the Industrial Automation area (currently in Definition stage) be changed from "Industrial Automation" to "Industrial Control Systems" which would be more inclusive and attract wider participation. Not all industrial control systems relate to automation, but arguably all industrial automation could be considered a subset of industrial control systems.

The Embedded Systems area didn't successfully take off and those users could benefit where there is overlap in subject area - some of their example questions would fit nicely under the umbrella of Industrial Control Systems, and the others would probably fit the Internet of Things area nicely.

At the moment the only other place questions about industrial controls can really be asked is the Internet of Things area, but most of these systems would be offline (no Internet) for a start, and really there is a huge gulf between the consumer smart devices/home automation world and the industrial control systems and automation world, in terms of budget, complexity, reliability, skills required, vendors, programming, hardware, everything really.

Proposal: Industrial Automation

automation could be one example of a tag within Industrial Control Systems. It might be helpful to have tags for equipment manufucturers/brands (e.g. abb, allen-bradley, rockwell, eurotherm, siemens, mitsubishi, honeywell, motorola, hitachi, general-electric, modicon, schneider-electric, panasonic, alstom, bosch, omron, gp-systems, etc.) and communication protocols too (e.g. rs485, profinet, s7-protocol, modbus-tcp, modbus-rtu, bac-net, ethercat, opc-da2, opc-ua, mqtt, etc. to name just a few). It'd be nice to have little logos/icons next to them too :)

The subdomain could simply be the acronym, i.e. ics.stackexchange.com, nice and short, easy to remember.

  • If this name change is acceptable, I can add more example questions but not sure the questions I'd like to add would necessarily be considered within scope beforehand. – richhallstoke Sep 23 at 12:10
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    I think this is a good idea, since "Industrial Control Systems" would give a much wider scope. "Automation" is really just factory automation, whereas control systems would include all manner of mobile machinery, construction equipment, industrial tools and so on. Which is a good thing, I think. Otherwise there's a risk that this turns into a "PLC site" and there's not much of an audience for that. PLC programming has been on-topic at electronics.stackexchange.com for a long time, but there's not many questions about it. – Lundin Oct 18 at 14:07
  • @Lundin - "Automation" encompasses a lot more than merely "factory automation" – warren Nov 19 at 19:31

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