Poll Result

What benefits has information integration brought your facility?
Better support for decision making
55%
  
All of the above
21%
  
More automated/less manual processes
10%
  
None of the above
5%
  
Faster decision making
4%
  
Higher manufacturing productivity
3%
  
Better control of resources
0%
  

When choosing a wireless industrial network, which basic question is most relevant?
What am I trying to accomplish?
62%
  
All of these
22%
  
What am I connecting to?
4%
  
How do I want to manage the network?
4%
  
None of these
3%
  
What certifications are needed?
2%
  

What do you believe is the most important criteria when considering Connectors vs. Hardwiring?
Reliability
37%
  
Cost of connector
21%
  
Maintenance and upgrades
17%
  
Installation/testing-time
15%
  
Wiring errors
8%
  

What did you do to prepare for Microsoft ending Windows XP support on April 8?
Upgraded software to other Microsoft operating systems
40%
  
Will wait and see what happens
30%
  
Upgraded hardware with non-MS OS
20%
  
Upgraded software to non-Microsoft operating systems
10%
  
Upgraded hardware with new MS OS
0%
  
Contracted with third-parties to continue to patch MS XP
0%
  

Do you follow cyber security resources to check for security vulnerabilities in the devices in your industrial networks, such as PLCs, RTUs, Ethernet switches, HMIs, DCSs, etc.?
What? There are security vulnerabilities in industrial devices? Who knew?
35%
  
No, I had no idea such a resource was available.
29%
  
Yes, I check the DHS ICS-CERT website (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/) regularly for updates and take corrective action.
27%
  
Yes, I have checked but the information is too overwhelming to act on it.
7%
  

After the last major automation project in your plant, what happened to your shop floor head count?
Stayed the same but overall production went up
67%
  
Dropped as individuals were no longer needed
25%
  
Went up due to overall increased capacity and production
7%
  

Of the last 5 network-enabled devices or systems you installed, how many required a password reset before use?
Zero
41%
  
One
14%
  
Four
14%
  
Five
11%
  
Two
8%
  
Three
8%
  

Are your industrial networks well defended against cyber attacks?
Like Fort Knox. Solid defense in depth.
25%
  
We’re wide open, living on borrowed time.
24%
  
Working on it, but not there yet.
17%
  
Few defenses, but who would find us?
16%
  
Well defended, I think, but not positive.
16%
  

How integrated are your maintenance, controls, and instrumentation systems?
They're not
44%
  
Somewhat integrated
20%
  
Loosely integrated
20%
  
Fully integrated
14%
  

The Control Engineering 2013 salary survey said these factors have the most impact on job satisfaction. Which is most important to you?
Technical challenge
59%
  
Feeling of accomplishment
23%
  
Financial compensation
7%
  
Job security
5%
  
Relationship with colleagues
3%
  
Location
1%
  

For a robotic application, what return on investment is required to justify?
Other benefits trump ROI
46%
  
19-24 months
17%
  
6-12 months
12%
  
13-18 months
11%
  
More than 24 months
10%
  
Less than 6 months
2%
  

Would you consider buying or integrating robots for your facility with return on investment less than one year that could work side-by-side with operators and other workers, without an enclosure?
No
69%
  
Yes
20%
  
Likely
9%
  
Unlikely
1%
  

How many robots do you expect to augment the safety and efficiency of your facility during 2013, ultimately preserving and adding jobs?
More than 50
80%
  
Zero
10%
  
1-5
5%
  
6-10
1%
  
11-20
1%
  
21-50
0%
  

In your applications, what is the most important function or feature of an Ethernet router? (please choose one)
Ethernet routers are not used in my applications
53%
  
Virtual private network (VPN)
43%
  
Firewall
1%
  
Rugged environmental specifications, designed for reliability
0%
  
Network address translation (NAT) port forwarding
0%
  
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
0%
  
Another feature or function not mentioned
0%
  

Many criteria influence communication protocol selection. Of this small sample, which would you say is most important?
Open source protocol.
69%
  
Standard by corporate or plant-wide mandate, or primary control device.
27%
  
Common media, such as Ethernet.
1%
  
Meets a standard, such as IEC 61850 for substations.
0%
  
Most familiar to maintenance or engineering team.
0%
  

What is the biggest barrier to adding wireless connectivity to your industrial automation infrastructure?
Not sure how to do it
78%
  
No barriers at all; already in place or being implemented
10%
  
Lack of confidence in the technology
4%
  
Management disinterest
2%
  
Marginal need
1%
  
Technology limitations in our facility
1%
  
Lack of funding
0%
  

When evaluating Touch Panel Computers for an application, beside the usual desire for increased power and performance, of the definite purpose characteristics listed, which is typically most important to you?
Environmental certifications like; C1D2, ATEX, etc.
68%
  
Mechanical characteristics like; ease of mounting, easy access ports, etc.
24%
  
Rugged design like high operating temperature or shock resistance
3%
  
Screen characteristics like; sunlight readable, wide screen, etc.
1%
  
Touch input characteristics like; resistive, capacitive, etc.
1%
  
Circuit protection on I/O connection like serial port isolation, etc.
0%
  

Do you plan to upgrade your DCS soon?
Yes, within 6 months
68%
  
No, I don't plan to upgrade
29%
  
Yes, within 12 months
1%
  
Yes, within 24 months
0%
  
Yes, within 18 months
0%
  

Is RS-485 dead? If not, of the first four choices below, which one would you choose as the most significant reason RS-485 is still an important technology?
RS-485 is dead.
73%
  
Existing automation applications still use a lot of RS-485.
14%
  
RS-485 supports up to 4,000 feet between modules.
7%
  
Some component manufacturers still only support RS-485.
2%
  
Costly and viable RS-485 cable is already in place.
2%
  

Where do you anticipate the challenge in upgrading the safety system?
Following applicable safety standards
87%
  
Design and implementation
5%
  
Following of Functional Safety Management System
4%
  
Replacing the product
3%
  

If a system was certified according to IEC61508 Ed 1 as Proven in Use, can it be certified according to IEC61508 Ed 2?
I don’t care, I’ll continue to use the same system regardless of certification
40%
  
Provided they have documented all of the design performed according to IEC61508 Ed 1
34%
  
No way
16%
  
Absolutely
7%
  

When was the last time you performed a Hazard and Risk Analysis on your site?
Last year
47%
  
I have a safety system, why should I do that?
32%
  
5 years ago
10%
  
10 years ago
10%
  

Please check the answer that better represents you. I normally recommend or select a safety system because:
I follow the Safety Requirement Specification (SIL based)
56%
  
I’m following the corporate standard
31%
  
Nobody is going to challenge my decision to buy TMR
8%
  
I’ve always used that architecture in my plant
4%
  

Why would you use isolated signal conditioners to connect your analog I/O signals?
Isolate ground loops
46%
  
Input short-circuit protection to your system
13%
  
Eliminate crosstalk
11%
  
Add over-range protection to your system
11%
  
Reject AC and DC common-mode voltages
11%
  
Tolerate very high common-mode voltages
5%
  

How important is energy management to your company?
We monitor and work to control energy use in all parts of our plant/process.
42%
  
We are exploring how we can monitor energy use.
21%
  
We haven’t started the process.
21%
  
We monitor and work to control energy use in some areas that are large consumers.
7%
  
We are already implementing some monitoring efforts in key areas.
7%
  

Which of these PLC programming languages does your company’s controls engineering team utilize most frequently?
Ladder diagram (LD)
63%
  
Function block diagram (FBD)
20%
  
C/C++
5%
  
Structured text (ST)
5%
  
Sequential function chart (SFC)
2%
  
Other
1%
  
Instruction list (IL)
0%
  

What areas of control and automation education are most useful? (See our online video training area.)
Switches, Circuits, PLC Basics
27%
  
Sensors and I/O Modules
23%
  
Other
17%
  
Motors and Drives
16%
  
Variable Frequency Drives
14%
  

This month, are you attending or did you attend...
More than one of these
52%
  
Siemens Automation Summit
16%
  
Rockwell Automation RSTechEd
8%
  
Local or traveling seminar
8%
  
Honeywell Users Group Americas
4%
  
Sensors Expo
4%
  
Embedded System Conference Chicago
4%
  
Other industry show or conference
4%
  

May ISM numbers show slower manufacturing growth from Japan quake supply chain disruption. How’s your Q2 2011 so far?
Uncertain
41%
  
Low single-digit growth
12%
  
Slightly down
12%
  
High double-digit growth
9%
  
High single-digit growth
9%
  
Low double-digit growth
6%
  
Flat
6%
  
Moderately down
0%
  
Down big
0%
  

Which Industrial Ethernet system do you currently use or plan to use as your primary machine/plant networking protocol within the next 6 – 12 months?
SERCOS III
42%
  
EtherNet/IP
26%
  
Modbus TCP/IP
11%
  
PROFINET
9%
  
EtherCAT
3%
  
Ethernet-Powerlink
2%
  
None
2%
  
Other Industrial Ethernet protocol
1%
  

Which PLC communication protocol do you use?
EthernetIP
45%
  
Modbus
28%
  
Profibus DP
14%
  
Devicenet
7%
  
CANopen
4%
  

When selecting a wireless vendor what do you consider most important?
Technical Service
39%
  
Features
27%
  
Reputation
14%
  
Price
13%
  
Other
5%
  

Which Engineers’ Choice Award criteria is most important in selecting the best product? Also see www.controleng.com under Events and awards.
Technological advancement
50%
  
They’re equal
24%
  
Service to the industry
21%
  
Market impact
3%
  

I would consider submitting a Tips and Tricks entry under the events and awards area at www.controleng.com because it might:
Help others
29%
  
All of these reasons
29%
  
Provide fame & glory
17%
  
Help my resume
11%
  
Improve manufacturing
11%
  

I would consider a medium-voltage drive (600 V to 15 kV) because ... ?
A through D
47%
  
A. Higher supply voltages decrease losses, increase drive efficiency, save energy and money compared to lower voltage drives
18%
  
None of the above, but I'll read the Aug.'10 MV drives cover story.
17%
  
D. Less complexity, size, and weight without transformer
6%
  
B. Harmonics mitigation
5%
  
C. Cable and conduit savings
4%
  

In your experience, which main problem area do you find most troublesome in your plant?
Equipment malfunctions and maintenance problems
50%
  
Process design and control strategy issues
30%
  
Incorrect hardware selection and sizing
10%
  
Variability in feedstocks and internal systems
8%