Top 10 Control Engineering articles July 8 to August 8: PID control, high-performance HMIs, oil and gas skills gap, more

Articles about PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, high-performance HMIs, the oil and gas skills gap, improving flowmeter calibration, and selecting flowmeters for natural gas were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 8 to August 8. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.


The top 5 most read articles online, from Jul. 8 to Aug. 8 for Control Engineering, covered PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, high-performance HMIs, the oil and gas skills gap, improving flowmeter calibration, and selecting flowmeters for natural gas. Also see what ranked 6-10 over the last month. 

1. Understanding PID control and loop tuning fundamentals

PID loop tuning may not be a hard science, but it’s not magic either. Here are some tuning tips that work.

2. Developing high-performance HMIs: Enhancing interface effectiveness  

This two-part series examines the development of high-performance, human-machine interface (HMI) methodology. Part 2 focuses on accuracy versus context, accessibility, visual hierarchy, animation versus static indication, and 2-D versus 3-D screens.

3. Bridging the oil and gas ‘Skills Gap’

In tough economic times, smart hiring is essential—and can’t be overlooked.

4. Improving flowmeter calibration

Instrumentation engineers should understand the common methods used in measuring viscosity and their effects on final flowmeter calibration data.

5. Selecting flowmeters for natural gas

Different parts of the natural gas delivery chain require different instruments, such as differential pressure (DP), ultrasonic, and Coriolis flowmeters.

Figure 1: An ideal a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller computes its output CO(t) by multiplying the sum of the proportional, integral, and derivative terms by the controller gain P. The proportional term is the difference between the desirMore popular stories on Control Engineering

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

6. Industrie 4.0 will have a major effect on MES, plant floor

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are becoming less and less useful with the advent of Industrie 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) and cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) can help guide a new kind of MES onto the plant floor.

7. Information from wireless transmitters saves energy

Wireless transmitters provide process information and increase energy efficiency in facilities.

8. Storyboarding as the first step in high-performance HMI migration

The first step in migrating to a high-performance human-machine interface (HP-HMI) should always be storyboarding, which offers a visual representation of the layout and hierarchy of the new high-performance graphics (HPGs). This helps operators become an active part of the migration planning process.

9. Surviving a control system migration project

Control system migration projects can provide significant value to industrial operations by ensuring a smooth transition to newer technology with virtually no changes to physical wiring or intellectual property. 

10. DCS migrations: Opportunity for improvement, or operational disaster

When planning a distributed control system (DCS) migration, some of the old can be retained, but don’t go too far. Training is critical to a smooth and safe transition.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, July 8 to August 8, for articles published within the last two months.  

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

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