Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 23-29

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering’s five most-clicked articles from last week, March 23-29, including articles about PLCs, smart field devices, MIT robotics, automation system retrofits, and IT investments.


1. PLCopen part 4 blurs the lines among PLCs, robotic, and motion control

Inside Machines: The PLCopen working group for motion control has standardized and logically defined all aspects of machine control programming, providing one of the best attempts of integrating PLC, robot, and motion control in an easy-to-understand language common among many manufacturers.

2. Understanding how to apply smart field devices

The ISA108 standard is being built to help users implement smart devices in a maintenance program. You should get involved in the standard writing process.

3. Robot builds on insights into Atlantic razor clam dynamics

Mechanical engineers at MIT have developed "RoboClam," which replicates a clam's ability to burrow into soil while using very little energy. 

4. Automation system retrofit transforms 175-ton hydraulic forming press

Application Update: In less than one month, a rebuild automates press operations to increase production rates and improve quality. 

5. Justifying manufacturing IT investments using the RAVE approach

Engineering and IT Insight: Justify investing in and applying new technology by explaining four main benefits: R is for revolutionary benefit, A for avoidance, V for visionary, and E for enhancement (RAVE). Listing all expected benefits will help determine if the change is worth the cost.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on, March 23-29, for articles published within the last two months.

- Jessica DuBois-Maahs, associate content manager, CFE Media,

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