Control Engineering's Process Control Newsletter for September 2001


The events that took place on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania are tragic and simply beyond compare.

Like the rest of America and the world, we at Control Engineering are struggling to understand the meaning behind

such a cruel act against humanity. In this time of sorrow, we extend our thoughts and prayers to those who may

have been personally affected by this act of terror, through the loss of a loved one, friend, or acquaintance.

In this issue:


ISA 2001 - Dave's perspective

On Tuesday, September 11th, I attended an early morning press conference and was unaware of what had occurred in our country until shortly after 8:00 AM. When I left the press conference room, everywhere I turned people appeared stunned, dazed, and you could hear them saying to one another and at the same time to no one the same thing being shouted and whispered across our nation and around the world, 'How could this happen? Who would do such a horrific thing? What could we do?'

Throughout the convention center people continued placing one foot in front of the other, but it was apparent most were doing so without real purpose or direction. Vendors with large screen projectors and Internet connections replaced scheduled presentations with live audio and video news feeds. In the Microsoft booth, audio news feeds were heard while someone at the podium searched and displayed Internet news items. A giant screen hanging above the booth became a gathering place as events unfolded during the day.

I found myself watching and listening, but more like a zombie than a living person. If someone had asked me what I had just heard or read, I wouldn't have been able to recall a single word. After watching the seemingly endless replay of the second aircraft crashing into the World Trade Center tower for what seemed like an hour, but was really only a few minutes, something in my head said, 'This isn't healthy. Don't keep watching.' I silently said a prayer, wiped my tears, and walked away. I was sure the best thing for me was to stay busy.

As I moved between appointments, press conferences, and technical sessions thoughts of the victims, their families, the survivors, and the rescue workers never left my conscious and I'm sure I wasn't a very good listener throughout the remainder of the day.

On Wednesday morning, the George Brown convention center was one of Houston's designated blood donation locations. Local Houston announcements indicated the blood draws would take place between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. When I arrived at the convention hall a few minutes past 7:00 AM there were already hundreds of people in line, each holding an American flag. I passed by the lines throughout the day, they only became longer and despite announcements by volunteers of five-hour waits, I saw no one leave the line. I suspect the same was happening all across America. (I would have donated had I not made one of my regular scheduled double red-cell plasma donations on August 1st making me ineligible to donate until November.)

Like many other highs and lows that have occurred during my lifetime-some to me personally, some to our nation, and some to the world-I will never forget where I was and what I was doing the day terrorists declared war on the United States of America. I'm home now and one of the local Indianapolis radio stations has added sound bites over the Lee Greenwood song 'God Bless the U.S.A.' I cried as I listened and sang along, the words and their meaning say it all.


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Significant products and announcements from ISA 2001

Panametric's clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter for gas

Clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters have been around for several years, but until now they have been confined to liquid processes. Panametrics (Waltham, Mass.) introduced the DigitalFlow GC868 ultrasonic flowmeter for gas processes such as natural gas, instrument air, specialty gases, etc.

According to Panametrics representatives, the GC868 has been tested on metal pipes containing air, hydrogen, and natural gas over a range of pipe sizes from 3 to 36 inches all the while producing repeatable results of +/-0.5% of reading and accuracy of +/-2% of range. Company spokespersons claim accuracy's of +/-1% are possible using precision installation alignment and point calibration procedures. For more information, visit


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E+H and Yokogawa introduce paperless recorders

Paperless recorders have been around for several years, but changes in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations concerning electronic records and signatures (21CFR Part 11) has caused manufacturers of paperless recorders to reconsider how these devices compress and store data as well as address the need for electronic signatures for changes and embedded comments.

Endress+Hauser (E+H, Greenwood, Ind.) and Yokogawa (Newnan, Ga.) both introduced enhanced paperless recorders with features and capabilities designed to help users, especially dairy product users, to meet current FDA regulations aimed at electronic records and signatures.

E+H's paperless recorders are Eco-Graph and Memo-Graph. Eco-Graph accommodates 3 to 6 analog inputs and is capable of providing output control. Memo-Graph accommodates 8 to 16 analog inputs and 7 to 37 discrete inputs. Both provide math and/or totalization capability. For more information, visit .

Yokogawa's paperless recorders are part of the DAQStation family and include the DX100P and DX200P. The DX100P accommodates up to 12 inputs, while the DX200P accommodates up to 30 inputs. For more information, visit

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Emerson Process and Rockwell Automation get serious about asset management

Asset management has been buzzing around ISA shows for several years, but the term 'asset management' had significantly different meanings to different people.

For example, early vendor offerings provided instrument and valve calibration tools. Don't get me wrong, instruments and valves are important, but they represent a small percentage of a plant's assets. Users were seeking a combination of sensors, tools, software, and expertise to help improve overall process availability, increase productivity, and reduce equipment cost-of-ownership.

Emerson Process Management's (Austin, Tex.) early asset management offerings included PlantWeb, and later the acquisition of CSI, a company with condition monitoring expertise and solutions.

More recently, Emerson established a relationship with MRO Software, providers of the Maximo computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) company and began utilizing sophisticated analysis algorithms obtained as part of the acquisition of MDC. All this has come together under what Emerson calls e-fficiency, a web based equipment and performance monitoring service for turbines, compressors, heat exchangers, furnaces, boilers, pumps, and of course instruments and valves.

Emerson is utilizing its Performance Solutions division to match customer asset management needs with industry experts to produce a CMMS solution as opposed to a collection of products.

Until recently, a similar incomplete asset management solution scenario existed within Rockwell Automation. Users were able to purchase the necessary hardware and software to build their own asset management solution, but hardware and software deliver data. What was missing was the expertise to turn data from large rotary equipment into information. Rockwell's answer is Reliability Online, a solution assembled from products, software, and expert services designed to provide customers an online surveillance monitoring solution that includes the expertise to analyze collected data and make repair recommendations.

For ISA 2001 Rockwell had the permission of a Reliability Online customer to use their site content for demonstration purposes. The customer information was actually a large shipping customer with freighters sailing the seven seas. In other words, this company's assets are highly mobile and information data gathering is via satellite. Using a browser, the demonstrator clicked on a particular ship (it could just have easily been a plant site) and was able to drill down to see the status and performance of various pieces of shipboard rotating equipment. Reliability Online's web pages were extremely intuitive and another mouse click revealed a recent pump analysis report prepared by a Reliability Online analyst suggesting pump repairs at its next port of call.

Like I already said, asset management has been buzzing around ISA shows for some years. This is the first time I've seen real solutions aimed at solving real problems with big paybacks.

For more information about Emerson's e-fficiency, visit .

For more information about Rockwell's Reliability Online, visit .

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Virtual conference and tradeshow planned for October

I know it's still a ways off, but this is one of those things you can do now and then when October comes you are ready.

Control Engineering and the Cahners Supply Chain/OEM Group are hosting a two-day online conference and tradeshow, October 17-18. During this FREE event, you can enjoy all the benefits of attending an industry tradeshow, right from your desktop. No traveling, no expenses, no wasted time...just valuable seminars, product information, networking-everything you'd find at a traditional conference or tradeshow-but on the Web. Keynote speakers are Thomas Stallkamp, CEO of MSX International and former president of Chrysler Corp., and James McNerney, CEO of 3M Corp.

Visit to register and qualify to win prizes: laptop, digital camera, and cash!.


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Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions

  • September 17-20 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Ammonia Safety Symposium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Visit for details.

  • September 25-28 Fisher-Rosemount Users Group Meeting (New Orleans, La.). Visit for details.

  • September 28, 2001, Control Engineering 'FOUNDATION Fieldbus: An Open Architecture for Information Integration' webcast. Visit for more information

  • October 7-9, Invensys Process Systems User's Group Conference (Las Vegas, Nev.). Visit for more information.

  • October 17-18, Control Engineering and the Cahners Supply Chain/OEM Group are hosting a two-day online conference and tradeshow. Visit for more information.

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September in Control Engineering

Cover stories

  • Control and automation tools for design and testing . A shortcoming of multi-vendor, open solutions lies in the availability of integrated engineering tools that reduce or eliminate double and triple data entry. This article will look at what control and automation engineering tools are available and what suppliers are doing to improve usability and minimize data reentry.

  • Control and automation tools for configuration and integration. Object-oriented programming, hardware configuration tools, and new ways to incorporate custom function blocks in programs improve development time and decrease chances for error. Integrated development environments, often looking like the familiar Visual Studio, provide additional tools to increase programmer productivity and efficiency.

Applying advanced contro l
Advanced controls are designed to solve feedback control problems that are too tough for PID loops. Here's a look at several successful applications of advanced control technology.

Product Focus: Enclosures
Original Control Engineering/Cahners research examines trends and user issues with enclosures. Recent product descriptions from leading suppliers will be included, along with research results.

Back to Basics: Motor control in relay ladder logic
Here's a brief look at simple rungs of ladder logic to control motors.

Online Exclusive: Quality in motion control
Can quality processes, such as Six Sigma, help motion control applications to improve the overall manufacturing process? An application article from a motion control system supplier will show how specific Six Sigma processes proved beneficial.

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