Control Engineering announces first Engineers' Choice awards

Chicago, IL—Control Engineering announced the eight winners of its first Engineers' Choice Awards at its recent 17th annual awards reception during National Manufacturing Week 2004.


Chicago, IL—Control Engineering announced the eight winners of its first Engineers' Choice Awards at its recent 17th annual awards reception during National Manufacturing Week 2004 . To determine the winners, subscribers to Control Engineering 's North American edition were asked to choose the best technologies for automation, control, and instrumentation from among the 35 winners of Control Engineering 's 2003 Editors' Choice Awards, announced in the January 2004 issue.

Criteria for selection are: service to the industry, technological advancement, and market impact. Subscribers were asked to apply the same criteria in their decision-making to select Engineers' Choice winners, one in each of eight categories.

'This year we added a new element to our annual awards by finding out what our subscribers--the engineers who use the products we cover--thought about the winners we selected,' says David Greenfield, Control Engineering 's editorial director. 'Every entry received numerous votes from subscribers, showing a broad recognition factor with our audience. Adding this element to our awards process proved to be an exciting exercise, underscoring interest in both our awards and the products we select for coverage.'

Mark Hoske, Control Engineering 's editor-in-chief, adds that, 'An overriding feature among winners is the ability to make applications (and the lives around them) run more easily. The new award also helps highlight 2004 as Control Engineering s's 50th anniversary year.'

The eight 2003 Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Award winners are:

AnadigmPID from Anadigm , in the Embedded Control category
AnadigmPID, an electronic design automation tool, automates development of analog proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control loops and reduces to minutes time required to design and implement one of the most common types of control circuits. The tool allows users to build an analog PID control loop on an integrated silicon platform by merely specifying the top-level control coefficients. Once designed and simulated, the controller circuit can be immediately downloaded to a field programmable analog array device for testing and validation.

ABB Automation’s Gary Freemer (left) receives his Editors' Choice Award from production editor Mary Nasiri (right), while editor-in-chief Mark Hoske (center, background) describes some of InformIT ScreenMaster 3000's features during Control Engineering's recent Editors' and Engineers' Choice Awards ceremonies at Dave & Busters in Chicago.

InteractX from Parker Hannifin Electromechanical Automation-CTC , in the Human-Machine Interface category
InteractX from Parker Hannifin Electromechanical Automation-CTC is an innovative Microsoft Windows-embedded HMI system developed to meet the needs of machine control and OEM applications. InteractX runs on Windows98/2000/NT/XP and Embedded NT/XP operating systems, and includes an OEM-friendly 'Pack and Load' feature that simplifies project management, making it easy to deploy HMI applications to a CTC PowerStation or industrial PC. It has advanced and powerful graphics using vector-based, scalable 3-D rendering.

SONARtrac flow monitoring system from CiDRA Corp. , in the Instrumentation and Process Sensors category
CiDRA first developed its patented sonar-array technology for undersea/down hole oil, water, and gas flow measurements, and has now applied it to more traditional flow measurements. SONARtrac flow monitoring system is non-intrusive because it clamps onto the pipe, and requires no special upstream or downstream installation requirements. SONARtrac flowmeters are robust full-bore and clamp-on, so require no process downtime to install. It works with the thickest slurries and through lined pipes.

Control Engineering’s senior editor Jeanine Katzel and publishing director Steve Rourke share a chuckle at the bar during the Editors' and Engineers' Choice Awards festivities.

OptiGen adjustable-speed generator from Baldor Electric Co. , in the Motors, Drives, and Motion Control category
OptiGen Adjustable-Speed Generator from Baldor Electric Co. automatically adjusts generated power output to match various load requirements for standby power applications. Designed to supply up to 250% rated power for electric motor starting, OptGen is about half the size a fixed-speed unit. The new generator's exclusive power electronics and engine control regulates engine speed, and monitors electrical power consumption, while maintaining constant voltage and frequency output during all load conditions. OptiGen is installed like a standard fixed-speed generator.

Legend Spectral Camera Color SmartImage Sensor from DVT Corp. , in the Machine Control and Discrete Sensors category
Legend Spectral Camera ultra-sensitive color SmartImage sensors from DVT Corp. merges the color sensitivity of a spectrophotometer with an in-line vision sensor. This fits applications in which small color variations are critical, such as inspecting individual parts in an automobile door, where one model may have several variations of white. It uses a built-in spectrograph to split the incoming light into its constituent wavelengths, and small spectrum deviations detected. DVT says these are the first Ethernet-ready industrial vision sensors with color capability.

Opto 22's Benson Hougland and David Crump (left, center) check out some new PDA technology presented by QSI Corp.'s Todd Christensen during the reception prior to Control Engineering's Editors' and Engineers' Choice Awards ceremonies.

EtherCAT Ethernet-based I/O system from Beckhoff , in the Networks and Communications category
Beckhoff reports that its I/O bus system, EtherCAT, sets new standards where conventional fieldbuses reach their limits. For example, using commercial, off-the-shelf Ethernet network cards, EtherCAT can scan 1,000 points in 30 microseconds. The company says EtherCAT can achieve this speed because it has a straightforward wiring structure, and it is open to all Ethernet protocols. EtherCAT uses a simple line structure for a bus, the way Ethernet was originally deployed back in the 1970s. This avoids costly Ethernet star topologies and Ethernet switches.


PACSystems from GE Fanuc , in the Process and Advanced Control category
PACSystems controllers from GE Fanuc contain an engine built on standard embedded architecture using commercial, deterministic operating systems. This makes the engine portable to multiple platforms, and allows users to choose the hardware and programming language that best suits each application. The programmable automation controller (PAC) supports distributed I/O through multiple networks. VME64-based RX7i offers four times the speed of existing PLC backplanes and up to 10 MB of memory usable for programming and documentation storage.

Mark Hoske, editor-in-chief (center), presents one of only eight Engineers' Choice Awards to Autodesk’s Scott Reese (left), while Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield (right) describes some of the winning solution's essential characteristics.

AutoCAD Electrical 2004 from Autodesk , in the Software and Information Integration category
Autodesk's AutoCAD has incorporated and augmented VIA Development's Wiring Diagram (WD) to create its new AutoCAD Electrical 2004 software, which Autodesk says is the 'first fully integrated solution for designers of electrical control systems.' The software's controls design package is integrated with AutoCAD to maintain full native DWG format compatibility. AutoCAD Electrical 2004 saves users time because they don't have to purchase and install two pieces of software. Upgrades include many Euro-friendly features.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark Hoske, editor-in-chief, and Jim Montague, news editor ,

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