The Future Looks Smart for SPS

By Chantal Polsonetti

Company and Product News

A colloquialism that has long since become the standard in the automation industry has now been made official: From now on, SPS IPC Drives will be known simply as SPS.

To mark its 30th anniversary in 2019, SPS IPC Drives is changing its name.  Many people in Germany and around the world already prefer to keep it short, so the electrical automation exhibition has decided to follow suit and be officially known as SPS from now on.  Meanwhile, the abbreviation no longer stands for a key component of automation technology – namely speicherprogrammierbare Steuerung, the German words for “programmable logic controllers” – but Smart Production Solutions.

What prompted this name change?  At a time when the purposes of automation equipment (such as controlling, powering, and visualizing devices) are clearly shifting to software-based function blocks that are distributed across a wide variety of hardware components, a very hardware-centric name like SPS IPC Drives no longer reflects the true core of current and future automation technology.  Furthermore, cloud and big-data technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital twins, and other functions from the world of IT are enriching automation technology in noticeable ways.  

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