The importance of real-time systems
A real-time computer system
refers to a system which is subject to real-time constraints. These constraints
are usually determined by the business environment, its characteristics and the
immediacy with which we have to respond to business events. For example, we may
have to process a purchase order within five minutes of arrival or we will lose
a customer, or we may need to move metal billets off the production line,
preventing inventory dead-locks.
Whatever the case, real-time
systems are characterized not only by the results they help achieve, but also by
the time these results become available. In this case, the computer system
adapts to the operating environment and business constraints, specifically to
time or real-time conditions. Delays or break-downs in real-time systems can
produce suboptimal results, such as waste product, or decrease productive
output because of idle machinery.
Examples of real-time systems are all around us:
- Manufacturing Processing Systems - making instant decisions on the production line
- Stock Management & Sales Systems – requiring sales and data arrival information to be up-to-date and accurate
- Banking Systems – handling thousands of financial transactions between individuals and businesses
- Car Valet Systems – providing timely information about allocated and de-allocated car spaces
While time is an obvious constraint, some
real-time systems can tolerate a degree of latency in the timeliness of their
responses to operating circumstances. For example, banking systems can permit a
degree of lateness by processing transactions overnight, whereas a timber
sorting system has to provide immediate reactions to prevent production
Real-time systems and You
Real-time systems and automation
solutions are reactive: they provide instant or delayed responses to important
business events, such as a request to load scrap metal into a furnace or an
incoming online customer enquiry.
You should consider investing in a real-time software solution, if:
- You operate complex industrial processes, that need to be automated
- You require immediate reactions to business events, such as customer requests
- You want to reduce production waste and increase efficiency of your business
- You want to improve the quality and speed of your decision making
Whether you are looking to support an industrial
process or increase the speed with which your company handles business
transactions, real-time solutions offer extensive benefits:
- Decreased human error: We often fail to react to business events accurately and timely, resulting in lost revenues, inefficient processes and unsatisfied customers. Real-time systems minimise these effects.
- More automated decisions: Real-time systems offer extensive analytical capability and are capable of providing automated responses to business events, resulting in sharper decision-making and less wasted-time.
- Control of complex operations: Real-time software can control highly-complex, industrial processes that require laser-sharp precision, minimising labour costs, production waste and optimising yield.
- Competitive advantage: With the ability to make faster, more accurate and more focused decisions, your organisation can become more efficient and effective than your competitors.
Canary Automation & Real-Time Systems
Canary offers a variety of real-time solutions,
designed by us and our automation partners. The key types of real-time systems
we have delivered:
- Bin sorter management system for timber processing
- Stock management and sales systems for automotive dismantlers
- Asset management systems for car valet operations