Control Engineering's Process Control Newsletter for June 2000


In this issue:

Batch Control for Dummies

The official title is 'Applying S88 - Batch Control from a User's Perspective' but the bottom line is, this book is a pretty good read for anyone with process control responsibilities. Don't let 'batch' in the title turn you off. The techniques described by authors Jim Parshall and Larry Lamb are as relevant to continuous processes as they are to batch. For information on how to obtain a copy of 'Applying S88' (ISBN 1-55617-703-8), contact ISA at (919) 549-8411 or visit .

Back to top

Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) conference

Being compliant with cGMPs means more than meeting the stated requirements of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. It means understanding your manufacturing process well enough to recognize its strengths and weaknesses. It means being aware of what should be done on an ongoing basis to maintain compliance status. It means understanding that the 'c' in 'cGMP' means 'current.' Attending 'GMP by the Sea' in Newport, R.I., August 28-30, 2000 will allow you to interact with FDA officials and pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry experts. For more information, contact Pharma Conference Arrangements (210) 341-5300 or visit .

Back to top

Critical Control Solution Flexibility

Not every user has the same requirements for high availability and safety protection systems, and apparently the folks at GE Fanuc (Charlottesville, Va.) understand that because they recently expanded a pretty broad offering that included dual and triple CPU even further. Their latest addition, Max-ON, addresses that segment of the market satisfied by a hot standby CPU. For more information, visit , call GE Fanuc at (804) 978-5000, or wait and visit their booth (#3627) at ISA EXPO/2000 , Aug. 21-24 in New Orleans.

Back to top

Intellution's Advanced Historian & Microsoft Excel meet

When deploying a solution to take advantage of Intellution's Advanced Historian (AH), customers needed alternatives for reporting in a simple, fast, and familiar way. As is often the case, where there's a need someone's usually willing to fill that need. Case-in-point, Mountain System's (Green Bay, Wis.) Proficy Excel Add-In is a data extraction tool that works with Intellution's AH product to report process history data, such as product, downtime, batch, etc., in context with 'time' and 'tag.' For more information about Mountain Systems Proficy, call (920) 465-4300 or visit . Visit to learn more about Intellution's Advanced Historian.

Back to top

Free OPC testing tool

Looking for a free software tool to verify your OPC (OLE for Process Control) Client and Server are working correctly? Well, look no further. ExperTune-yep the folks that help you analyze and tune control loops-have developed OPC connection testing software tool and you can download it free from their web site at . ExperTune's software acts as an OPC client on your desktop PC to validate that both local and remote OPC servers are working, but also provides valuable real-time critical process information at the same time.

While we're talking about ExperTune, they also just introduced Relative Response Time (RRT) software that tunes interacting (cascade) loops so the fast (inner) loop can respond as fast as the process allows, thus eliminating loop cycling. Visit for more information about RRT software.

Back to top

Free Honeywell IAC PlantScape CD

PlantScape is what Honeywell IAC (Phoenix, Ariz.) terms a hybrid control system that combines DCS and PLC into one system. If you've wanted to learn more about PlantScape it can't get much easier than this-just visit to order your free copy.

Back to top

June's Control Engineering

Cover: Step Motors and Controls Update
Stepper technology is one of the simplest and most cost-effective methods of motor and motion control. It competes with servo controls at the lower power ranges. This article will look at what's really new-in both stepper motors and controls-in a technology that continues to surprise with evolutionary developments. Application briefs and representative products also will be covered.

PID Tutorial
A feedback controller is designed to generate an output that causes some corrective effort to be applied to a process. A proportional-integral-derivative or 'PID' controller looks at the current value of the error; the integral of the error over a recent time interval; and the current derivative of the error signal to determine how much correction to apply, and for how long. Here's help understanding how it works.

Field Control Application
Read Hayward of DST Controls highlights challenges of another unique field control application. Mr. Hayward examines the quality control system of a major pharmaceutical technology company that extracts collagen from animal skins (a nasty job), refines, and packages it. This article provides an insightful look into the control solution that keeps this otherwise disgusting operation pure enough for pharmaceutical/USDA standards.

Power Supplies
Power supplies are required everywhere in a control system. This article will look at what's new and valuable in this fundamental component.

Product Focus: DAC Hardware
Original Control Engineering research examines trends and user issues in data acquisition hardware. Recent product descriptions from leading suppliers will be included, along with research results.

Back to Basics: Wire & Cable Types
Here's a noncommercial primer on wire and cable types used for automation and control.

Back to top

Dave's Public Service Announcement

It seems going to New Orleans, Louisiana in August to attend ISA EXPO/2000 has become a 'hot and sticky topic' for some manufacturers. I verified Fisher-Rosemount and ABB have elected to skip EXPO/2000 in New Orleans, and I've heard there are several others electing to not attend. Before you attend, I suggest you check to ensure the folks you want/need to see are making the trip. I'll be there. Look for the old guy in the floppies, shorts, and tank top.

Back to top

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.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

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.