Here’s what happens when “outsiders” start talking about automation, production and manufacturing. GigaOm began as a blog which is now a full-fledged Web-based news media company. Om Malik (GigaOm) is a veteran technology reporter who started with an idea when blogging was young and built a business.

Unfortunately, when they start chasing after areas to cover, they sometimes hire generalist journalists rather than people who know the industry. So here is an article–“SCADA Is Dead, Long Live IP” in this case by Marcus Torchia, an analyst with IDC Energy Insights. This particular blog is Cleantech and covers solar, wind, utilities and the like.

“Over the past several years, wireless IP-based communication networks have proven to be worthy for distribution automation applications. With its inherent IP-based security mechanisms, ease of deployment, and broadband speeds, wireless communication networks are quickly becoming a leading choice for many utilities undertaking a DA project.”

What Torchia was really talking about was that older, proprietary radio networks are being replaced by IP (Internet Protocol) networks. Heck, we all know that. It would be nice if it could be explained more clearly to the general technology audience. And I think my friends in the security business would have something to say about the “inherent IP-based security mechanisms.”

He was picking up from the recent news that ABB plans to acquire wireless mesh networking company Tropos Networks. Founded in 2000, Tropos started out making wireless networks for cities and emergency responders, and more recently has been selling its wireless mesh networks to utilities for smart grid deployments.

This acquisition does show how important ABB sees the power grid for its future growth.

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