Tips and Tricks: Advantage digital, precise CNC integration, efficiency, safety

Digital advantages; CNC precision, speed, integration; VSDs improve compressor efficiency; safety automation are among key Control Engineering Tips and Tricks this month. Control Engineering seeks to encourage the long-standing spirit of sharing engineering information common to all manufacturers. No matter what you make or how you made it, let’s help each other raise the bar on automation and process control productivity, to survive and thrive. Have something to share? Please submit under Tips and Tricks.

10/04/2010


Digital advantages; CNC precision, speed, integration; VSDs improve compressor efficiency; safety automation are among key Control Engineering Tips and Tricks this month.

This page is devoted to automation and controls advice. Control Engineering seeks to encourage the long-standing spirit of sharing engineering information common to all manufacturers. No matter what you make or how you made it, let’s help each other raise the bar on automation and process control productivity, to survive and thrive. Have something to share? Please submit under Tips and Tricks at www.controleng.com/events-and-awards. Advice below was gleaned from areas of www.controleng.com as noted.

Gain advantages beyond the control loop with digital automation

John Berra, after 41 years, retired from Emerson Process Management. Among comments available at www.controleng.com/videos, he said automation is an integral part of how to run a plant, enabling businesses to move beyond mastery of individual control loops to optimizing business decisions. Digital technology has changed the face of automation. There’s a lot to gain by jumping on innovation and selling the benefits throughout the organization. The people in the top quartile are getting there with smart applications of automation, along with the training, management, and business processes they put around that automation. The highest ROI in any plant is from control and automation, which account for 5-10% of the expenditure of the plant, but enable higher productivity in the other 90% of the investment. When the automation isn’t any good, the other 90% doesn’t run at all.

CNC cost savings: higher precision at higher speed; easier training, design simplicity with integration

Sloan Zupan, Mitsubishi Electric, says higher precision CNCs have increased tool speed and throughput, increasing return on investment. In savings less quantified, integration of CNC and automation controls lowers costs by reducing training and saving control cabinet space. - Video: Mitsubishi Electric interview at IMTS. www.controleng.com/videos

Variable speed drives add efficiency to air compressors

Allen Kuhlman from Atlas Copco says annual energy cost of running an air compressor equals the cost of the compressor.  Variable speed drive (VSD), added to some compressor designs, creates only what’s needed, rather than unloading pressure from the system, which creates waste. Garner more savings by not over-designing piping; stay within 5% of maximum pressure. Do preventive maintenance to extend compressor life and avoid unplanned shutdowns. - Video: IMTS 2010: Atlas Copco talks air compressors. www.controleng.com/videos

Buy robots with the next application in mind, too

“Robots look for opportunities too,” a Sept. 24 “Ask Control Engineering” blog post, suggests that when investing in a robot, the purchaser should consider the next application as well, not just the current one, so a robot with an appropriately flexible skill set can be selected. www.controleng.com/blogs

Overdue for risk reduction and cost savings: Is it unsafe to not automate safety?

“When will the 85% of the market update their minds about machine safety and stop living in the 70’s and 80’s with old technology and costly solutions that don’t always work 24/7?” asks J.B. Titus, Control Engineering Machine Safety blogger in the Sept. 24 post: “Updating Minds About Machine Safety.” If you’re still with the 85% not implementing safety automation, see past the slightly higher cost of the new components. Understand that safety automation eliminates dozens of engineering hours and wiring & checkout, creating savings, in addition to lowering risk. Automated, integrated automated safety solutions helps with the major machine safety buzzwords: risk assessment, functional safety, mean time to fail dangerous, coefficient of diagnostics, and others. www.controleng.com/blogs

Submit your Tips and Tricks for Control Engineering now at www.controleng.com/events-and-awards/ce-tips-and-tricks.html.



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
Big plans for small nuclear reactors: Simpler, safer control designs; Smarter manufacturing; Industrial cloud; Mobile HMI; Controls convergence
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
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.