Top 10 Control Engineering articles, February 6 to March 7: Engineers' Choice, servo system specification, IEC 61131-3, more

Articles about the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, what to consider when specifying a servo system, IEC 61131-3, rethinking lockout/tagout, and process models facilitating feedback control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 6 to March 7. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.


The top 5 most read articles online, from Feb. 6 to Mar. 7 for Control Engineering covered the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, what to consider when specifying a servo system, IEC 61131-3, rethinking lockout/tagout, and process models facilitating feedback control. Link to each article below. Also see what ranked 6-10 over the last month. 

1. 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners

Best automation, control, and instrumentation products in 27 categories chosen by Control Engineering's print and digital audience.

2. Nine things to consider when specifying a servo system

This tutorial will help with selecting a servo system that will perform at the optimal level for the selected application. Ensure these areas are addressed.

3. IEC 61131-3: What’s the acceptance rate of this control programming standard?

Although the IEC 61131-3 standard for control programming languages has been around for nearly 25 years, limited awareness of its scope and features has kept it from becoming a requirement in North America. 

4. Rethink lockout/tagout to improve safety, productivity

Alternatives to traditional lockout/tagout procedures can improve productivity and reduce incentives to bypass this time-consuming process, improving machine safety and throughput.

5. Process models facilitate feedback control

Mathematical models of process behavior can be used to improve the design and performance of feedback controllers.

More popular stories on Control Engineering

As an online-only feature, we're featuring the stories that finished 6-10 over the past month.

6. Quantified benefits of Industrial Internet of Things implementations

Automation experts already have been implementing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architectures for years, prior to calling it IIoT; benefits of digital manufacturing including less downtime, fewer defects, energy savings, and more new product introductions, as explained by Douglas Bellin, Cisco Systems Inc.

7. Neural networks in process control: Neural network architecture, controls

Neural networks have been used in process control strategies for years, but they’re still not commonly found in industry. This technology has been applied in a number of fields with great success. With proper training to lift the vail from the technology, it can be more widely applied—without mystery—to solve some of the most nagging process control problems.

8. Industrial cyber security: It’s best to learn from the mistakes of others

When we don’t learn from past mistakes, we are forced to repeat them, and true to form, it has happened again. An outsourced IT department—unaware of the manufacturing elements of IT—recently shutdown production in a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company. 

9. Well-grounded serial networking

Without proper grounding in a RS-422/485 installation, the user becomes vulnerable to common mode voltage transients that can compromise accurate data transfer and sensor measurements and damage equipment.

10. The long goodbye to Microsoft Windows XP Embedded

Microsoft’s extended support for Windows XP Embedded ends on January 12, 2016, and those using the system after the expiration date need to take stock of their situation with a complete system inventory to assess the systems’ support availability and where upgrades are really needed.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, February 6 to March 7, for articles published within the last two months.  

- Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
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.
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
Mobile HMI; PID tuning tips; Mechatronics; Intelligent project management; Cybersecurity in Russia; Engineering education; Road to IANA
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

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

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me