Top articles of 2003

From our reader survey last year, we know that 83% of subscribers read every issue or most issues, up from 70% three years prior. In case you missed some, below are a few of the leading 2003 articles accessed last year at Control Engineering Online. Factors influencing ranking beyond topical interest and usefulness include wider Internet searches, how many links to the articles are placed elsew...


From our reader survey last year, we know that 83% of subscribers read every issue or most issues, up from 70% three years prior. In case you missed some, below are a few of the leading 2003 articles accessed last year at Control Engineering Online . Factors influencing ranking beyond topical interest and usefulness include wider Internet searches, how many links to the articles are placed elsewhere, and how long each has been posted. For a top 10 list of 2003 articles and their links, read this piece online, at , under archive, February 2004.

"Schematic Software —Look Inside Clean, Productive Designs," the February 2003 cover article, covers advances in software tools for designing electrical control schematics. This class of software is particularly appealing as readers seek ways to shorten product cycle times, incorporate links to other software, and preserve intellectual investments. Anyone crunched for time—and many are—can appreciate software tools that lower design and development costs, shorten time to market, and decrease training time. In this February 2004 issue, a "Technology Update" expands on that with "10 reasons to use panel or schematic design software."

PID (proportional-integral-derivative) articles: interest in "Loop Tuning Fundamentals" in July, and "PID: Still the One," the October cover story, show how PID remains the workhorse of industrial process control. Negative feedback has been used to control continuous processes well over 100 years and PID control for more than 60 years. With that legacy in place, there's a thirst for PID updates as well as primer-based examples, since tuning loops remains one of the fundamentals of process control today. (See also "Back to Basics," in this issue.)

Wireless : "Free at Last!" Those clicking into the July cover story likely seek simpler plant-floor connectivity, as wireless technologies gain reliability, are easier to implement, and are more unified by standards. The cover article in this February 2004 expands on that, looking at "World of Wireless I/O." While not every application is appropriate for wireless technology, in many retrofit situations and in some new installations, the advantages appeal to engineers, in part for ease/speed of installation. Updates on applications and technologies illustrate the value.

For items of interest prior to 2003, look at "History: 50, 25, 10 years ago," celebrating 50 years of Control Engineering in every 2004 issue.


Top articles and news items of 2003

Here are the top 10 2003 articles and news items accessed last year at Control Engineering Online,

  1. Cover: Schematic Software--Look Inside Clean, Productive Designs . Advances in software tools for designing electrical control schematics shorten product cycle times, provide links to other software, and preserve intellectual investments. February. (See also, this issue.)

  2. Loop Tuning Fundamentals . PID loop tuning may not be magic, but its intricacies do lie somewhere between science and art. Proven tuning tips help you craft your processes. July.

  3. Rockwell sues Schneider, Solaia, law firm over patent lawsuits . Online links connect to related coverage. January.

  4. Cover: PID: Still the One . Proportional-integral-derivative controllers remain the workhorse of industrial process control, more than 60 years after introduction. October.

  5. Cover: Free at Last! Plant floor use of wireless is blossoming with more reliable technologies, safer implementation methods, and unifying standards. July. (See also, this issue.)

  6. Learning from the Other Guy: Best Practices . How best-in-class companies get that way by benchmarking competitors and applying best practices to address competitive pressures and continuous improvement. January.

  7. ABB loses $45 million in 1Q03 ; selling two divisions; divesting or laying off 35,000 employees. Debt and restructuring costs are cited. May.

  8. Programming Controllers for Improved Profit . New tools for integrating platforms, project collaboration, and modeling systems help speed project completion with higher accuracy. February.

  9. 8 Ways to Improve Control System Projects . Control system engineering should always be an integral part of the overall project. Avoid common pitfalls; improve effectiveness and efficiency. April.

  10. Finding Gold . 35 winners of Control Engineering’s 16th annual Editors’ Choice Awards delivered precious, innovative, and useful solutions to customers. January. (Watch for Engineers’ Choice Winners in March 2004!)


For more information
To link to companies providing such software, register for and use Control Engineering Buyer’s Guide and see the links below.

ECT International
Rockwell Software
SCADA Systems Ltd .

Control Engineering Feb. ’03 “Cover Story: Schematic Software—Look Inside Clean, Productive Designs

End-user, Alstom

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