Top 5 Control Engineering stories, Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most clicked articles from last week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2014, including articles about engineering customer service, wireless network security, solar-power devices, PLCs and PACs, and thermal PID loops.


1. Engineering customer service: 3 ways tech companies can improve the customer experience

While most of us know great customer service when we experience it, learning how to improve it can be less obvious, especially for those involved in engineering and technology. A customer service consultant and former Disney employee provided advice in the opening session of the annual business conference for A3, RIA, AIA, and MCA organizations.

2. Wireless networks can save money and speed turnarounds

Wireless networks can be as reliable as wired ones, and can empower workers to handle tasks they otherwise could not.

3. Solar-power device would use heat to enhance efficiency

New approach developed at MIT could generate power from sunlight efficiently and on demand.

4. PLC vs. PAC

These technologies continue to evolve, making differences harder to distinguish. Here are some thoughts on what does what, and how to choose between a PLC and a PAC for your next application.

5. Tuning thermal PID loops

When dealing with critical temperature applications, PID controllers are a common regulatory approach, but tuning these often requires a different strategy than other types of loops. Auto-tuning features can help if you understand them. 

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on during the week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2014.

- Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz, associate content managers, CFE Media,,

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