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Smart factories are moving to Linux – here’s why

  • March 29, 2017 /
  • by Severi Tikkala
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This month Tuxera visited Nuremberg, Germany for the annual embedded world exhibition and conference. Although the hot topic on the floor was IoT security and safety, the event had a hidden gem of insight for those working with embedded software:

Linux is now gaining a foothold as the operating system for industrial processes.

From the Industrial Era to the Linux Era

For years, the industrial sector has lagged behind in terms of processing power and memory capabilities. The reason: the processors used in manufacturing and industrial environments – programmable logic controllers (PLCs) – only needed to do one or a few tasks. Thus, because there wasn’t any pressing need for complex “brains,” PLCs ran application-layer tasks using real-time operating systems (RTOS) or even no operating system at all (otherwise known as a bare metal environments).

But that’s changed.

Today’s manufacturing processes are smarter and more data-driven than ever before.  Data from multiple sensors pours in from various points throughout the process delivering info on the line speed, environmental conditions, equipment conditions, and more – plus the machines also communicate and share data between each other. To crunch, store, and share that data, that takes an operating system, along with a way to store the data. Because Linux is the go-to OS for embedded systems, it makes sense that the industrial sector would eventually follow suite.

Industrial PLCs have very demanding requirements due to the harsh extremes and safety concerns in these environments. The hardware needs to withstand temperature extremes, vibration, and have a long lifetime. Likewise, dependable software is a must-have. Linux has proven itself so far across every industry – even in automotive where environmental and safety demands are most taxing.

Final thoughts

Today’s smart factories need resilient hardware and software to boot. All the data used to make manufacturing operations more efficient needs reliable, fail-safe, and power-safe storage management – and that means more than just the hardware. Data corruptions or inefficient reading and writing of data compromises the efficiency of today’s smart industrial operations. This is where fail-safe file systems such as Tuxera FAT and Tuxera Flash File System make all the difference.


Having trouble with data corruption in your industrial operations? We’ll help you find the right fail-safe data storage software!

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Severi Tikkala
Severi is our Sales Executive responsible for consumer electronics accounts in Europe, Russia, and Turkey. He handles numerous accounts and prospects from multiple industries and countries. Severi graduates from Aalto University with an M.Sc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering this year.