Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 25-31: Future of the PLC, the first PLC, System Integrator Giants, more

Articles about the PLC’s future, the competition for the first PLC, the System Integrator Giants of 2014, writing a process operating description document, and developing good coding habits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, August 25-31. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.


1. Future of the PLC

PLCs are evolving and continue to be the best option for a variety of industrial automation applications. Greater programming flexibility and ease, scalability, more memory, smaller sizes, very high-speed (Gigabit) Ethernet, and built-in wireless are among evolving programmable logic controller features. 

2. Inside the competition for the first PLC

The race to develop the first programmable logic controllers was underway inside General Motors' Hydra-Matic Transmission Division in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1970. Three finalists had very different architectures. 

3. System Integrator Giants of 2014

The 2014 System Integrator Giants boast a $396 million increase in system integration revenue, a greater concern for the economy's impact on the automation integrator market, and a strong belief in educational and mentoring programs for employees. 

4. How to write a good process operation description document

Back to Basics: Describe your process to preserve the process engineer knowledge for the future. To program the process controller, programmable logic controller (PLC), or distributed control system (DCS), follow these steps and methodology.

5. Developing good coding habits

Engineering and IT Insight: Good coding habits reduce errors, save time, and can help you become a better control system programmer. These simple habits may seem to add extra work, but they actually reduce the overall time to code and debug control programs.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, August 25-31, for articles published within the last two months.

- Chris Vavra, content specialist, CFE Media,

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