Industrial Systems

The application of digital computing techniques to solve industrial problems.


During the information technology revolution, alot of effort was placed on research in areas where digital computing systems technology could be improved. The idea of a computer in an ordinary persons house was preposterous when I was a child until the introduction on the Sinclair ZX81. Those who would have been fully grown adult computer enthusiasts would have perhaps purchased the Sinclair ZX80 a little in advance, provided they were prepared to build these items themself. The price of a digital computer in the US was coming down as LSI fabrication prices came down and the technology became readily available. The ZX81 meant an 8-bit computer for the same price as mechandised childrens toy, that child did not have to build and came with bespoke keyboard you could pour hot tea over and still not break the keyboard.

I have watched the computer industry intently since a child and have had some very deep insights into advances in systems processing systems which have been developed within computing which can be applied to industrial processes in the physical world to achieve greater throughput using the same resources. I attempt to find solutions to industrial problems by looking at ways in which the same processing power (which is often physically intensive) or less can achieve a the same or greater throughput than that which is currently the case.

Various examples where computational solutions to industrial systems can suggest improved efficiencies by way of reducing the burden on processors and still increase the throughput of the various parts of industry where these computational solutions can be mapped to the physical networks and processors of physical industry.

A Look at a Distribution Network

Roads and Forks and Processing

There is a street on the island of Britain known as watling street. The street is so old and so long that it has, over time, widened to contain several roads along it, including the main trunk motorway of the M6 and the more traditional roads which extend "watling street"'s width. Suffice to say, distribution existed before watling street was built to improve the way in which things were being done.

Industrialisation has automated processes which hitherto required the physical labour of men and horses. Automation is being uptaken but prohibitively expensive to invest in and thus, the best ideas improving the systems throughput should avoid the investment of new capital wherever possible and ideally reduce the processing power requirements within the system to achieve the same or faster results with less work being done.

The following terms will be referred to frequently throughout and are given here at the beginng so we can begin.

A Conduit

A conduit is any means by which a sequential sequence of parcels will arrive. A conduit is parenthesised by a node at each of its ends. A conduit can potentially convey parcels one direction or the opposite direction or bidirectional depending on physical limitations.

A Node

A node can be attached to one or more conduits at any one time and can be geographically repositioned by the most efficient means for the distance being considered. A node can have one to many processors attached to it at any time. Nodes have a physical location or can appear as close to a physical location as is desired by the teleporter employing these means to transport items through a network by the fastest means. There are physical world limitations depending on the node type such as the two dimensional area required to transfer a parcel from one conduit to another.

A Processor

A Processor carries out some sub-process of the overall process of distribution. A processor could be a driver who carries parcels from the sender to the to the receiver, eventually moving parcels from a van to the more automated parts of the network. A processor could be a van which carries out the process getting the driver to the places where he loads and unloads and unloads parcels. A processor could be a sender or receiver at the terminating junctions of the part of the network we are looking at.

System Constraints Unique to the Physical World

Every conduit has a width. In computing we speak of bandwidth, or in radiography, an area of frequencies with the electromagnetic spectrum. On a conveyor belt where physical size dimensions were important factors, literally, the width of the rubber band around the conveyor. Where height is on no concern to a conveyor, the "bandwidth" of the conduits effective width can be increased by multple factors based upon some constraints like weight.

If there is human access at a conveyor there is a safe rate that the speed of the conveyor. There are some limitations to the speed at which an array of items on a conduit can be processed which are unique to the physical world. The human themself may be a conduit and solutions are based on the equipment which is available without further capital investment or increased burden on labour.

Software Specification

To follow ...