Control Engineering predictions for 2014

Think Again: 10 predictions follow for Control Engineering subscribers in 2014.

01/13/2014


Ten Control Engineering predictions for 2014 follow. May Control Engineering’s 60th anniversary year propel you and your organization to new heights. This year, not necessarily in this order, more subscribers will use automation, control, and instrumentation products, software, and networks to:

1. Secure control systems and connected networks using industry based best practices, ceasing to ignore threats as if cyber security threats do not pertain to them.

2. Integrate the latest safety best practices into automation designs and culture, doing risk assessments and applying the latest local, national, and international standards to minimize risk and ensure compliance. This includes safe-speed zones when humans enter traditional high-speed robots and lower speed and inertia robots that can operate next to humans without traditional guards in many cases.

3. Optimize energy use by measuring, looking at systems (beyond just components), and applying instrumentation and human-machine interfaces to involve and educate users about energy use. Plants and other facilities will power down various processes as practical for additional savings.

4. Seek more places to apply closed loop control, finding and closing control loops that are open or set on manual, and seeking additional places that could benefit from fully automated controls, moving more analysis and optimization in-line in real time.

5. Measure more processes by applying more sensors and vision systems, connecting to smarter and faster logic devices wirelessly and with industrial Ethernet where it makes sense, communicating with actuators to close the control loop, optimizing along the way.

6. Use more mobile machine interfaces with secure web-based software, allowing tablets, smartphones, and PCs to create greater efficiencies in getting information to where it needs to be.

7. Integrate disparate systems, ensuring information flows through the supply chain, improving security and quality during the product life cycle.

8. Design for reuse. A little more time up front, separating functions in logical ways, can ensure that intellectual property is preserved and can be replicated and upgraded as needed, in automation, controls, instrumentation, networking, and human-machine interface (HMI) software.

9. Streamline processes and apply automation, including robotics, to increase throughput, boost quality, and lower overall costs. Applying the latest automation to tired processes seldom maximizes return on investment. ROI is better when applied to lean processes where all the stakeholders participate in the upgrade.

10. Read, view, learn from the global resources of Control Engineering available at www.controleng.com to be more profitable in 2014. Think again about sharing your success stories, lessons learned, and other advice with your peers. Learn how at www.controleng.com/contribute.

- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

ONLINE extras

Add your Control Engineering resolutions using the comment section at the bottom of this posted article. What are you going to do in 2014, why, and what are the anticipated benefits?

See and comment on the most read articles of 2013, linked below. Do these reflect your top issues and concerns? 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.