Readers value what Control Engineering editors deliver online. Average unique monthly visits increased from 21,900 in 1999 to 51,100 in 2000 to 83,100 in 2001.



Readers value what Control Engineering editors deliver online. Average unique monthly visits increased from 21,900 in 1999 to 51,100 in 2000 to 83,100 in 2001.

For more on each of these recently posted articles, go to

At Control Engineering Online, you can access and register for nine topical monthly e-newsletters, read "Today's News" each business day, fresh products weekly, explore 10 channels, show coverage, site search, and more at .

Specific areas/services also include:

Programmable batch control cuts overfill, aids ISO 9000 effort

While working to secure its ISO 9000 certification, State Chemical (Cleveland. O.) recently replaced deteriorating batch controls in its 30,000-ft.2plant with Easy Link solutions from Burkert USA (Irvine, Calif.) consisting of its Type 8035 inline flow transmitters with digital display, direct-linked to its Type 2000 y-pattern valves for on/off control.

State Chemical now automatically controls all bulk and mixed chemical transfers by using Type 8035's programming capabilities for automatic or manually entered batch volumes. This approach also saves material by reducing the plant's overfill rate from more than 5% to less than 1%; reducing necessary human interaction with chemicals during the transfer process; and offering a system payout in two months

For more information, visit or .

Technology update: software boosts control

Manufacturers, suppliers, and OEMs are under constant pressure to reduce project times. One solution is to take a modular approach to automation, but programming communication links is more complex with distributed automation solutions. The goal of Component-based Automation based on Profinet is to simplify use of "distributed intelligence."

Component-based Automation makes distributed intelligence easier to manage. In component technology, the entire functionality of a module is mapped and encapsulated in an associated software component. Component-based Automation is based on the Profinet standard, which standardizes access to the component interface among other functions. Component-based Automation allows components from different manufacturers to be combined despite their internal programming.

The devices are networked via Ethernet and Profibus. Ethernet devices to be used for Component-based Automation functions must have Profinet communication mechanisms. With Profinet's proxy concept, transparent interfaces can be created between Profibus segments and Ethernet, and Profibus devices can be used without any modification.

For more information, visit or .Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor,

Software review: optimize process with simulation

A process control system's function is to maintain unit operations of the process at specific values/setpoints or within determined bounds. One way to determine the optimum set of operation parameters is by using models developed for computer simulation of the process.

RealPlant by GKO Advanced Technologies (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) is a software tool that supports the development of graphical process models for simulation. This tool's simulation model allows users to quickly explore effects of changes to process variables and discover how the process needs to be configured at startup.

Because process conditions are the result of many parameters, testing each potential combination of parameters can be time consuming. RealPlant simulations allow "faster than real-time" process operation, so results are determined faster and without wasting resources. Once an optimal set of conditions is determined, users can verify conditions in the actual process.

RealPlant also allows control designers to experiment with placement of sensors and control elements. Poor placement of process sensors can result in less-than-optimum input for control actions. Also, as part of the package's process visualization capabilities, simulation of different distribution displays is possible. RealPlant will operate under Microsoft Windows 95 or higher systems. This review is based on RealPlant operating under Microsoft Windows 2000.

For more information, or visit .Tracy J. Coates P.E., contributing editor, is also a consulting engineer at PCE Engineering (Johnson City, Tenn.)

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.