One Programming Language. Industry is standardizing on the IEC61131 programming languages for industrial control. More and more controls engineers are learning this syntax in school, thus more and more controls engineers are available to quickly understand your machine and make changes.
One Controller for Motion, Logic, and Robotics. Industry is also moving toward a single point of control for all of these functions (“Industry 4.0”). More and more vendors are offering a high-end, extremely powerful machine automation controller that can control all of these devices.
Remote Monitoring and IIOT. It is becoming more and more common for the machine builder to be able to access a machine remotely, using a secure VPN connection, to help end customers diagnose problems quickly and get back up and running as soon as possible. This also reduces costs.