Top Control Engineering articles, August 2012

The most-visited articles at during August 2012 included articles on the Mars Rover Curiosity, industrial Ethernet essentials, System Integrator Giants 2012, Engineers' Choice Awards 2012, PLC developments, simulator training helps operators, good motor decisions, level control optimization, among others.


Most-read Control Engineering online articles for August 2012 at included articles on Mars Rover Curiosity, industrial Ethernet essentials, Control Engineering System Integrator Giants 2012, Engineers' Choice Awards 2012, PLC developments, simulator training helps operators, good motor decisions, and level control optimization, among others. More about each article and links follow.


Mars Rover Curiosity was designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) using Siemens software. Copyright: NASA / JPL-CaltechNew Mars Rover Curiosity is bigger, better, more efficiently designed

NASA enters a new era in space exploration: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) using Siemens software shows how modern software technology is being employed to enhance competitiveness in the aerospace industry. See images; link to videos.



Industrial Ethernet essentials: What you need to know

Ethernet of the industrial kind requires specialty knowledge and practices, unlike Ethernet for home and office. If you are installing or operating an industrial Ethernet network, here are five need-to-know essentials about cabling, signal quality, ground loops, switches, and traffic.


Education and mentoring opportunities among the SI Giants 2012 are many. More than half offer eight kinds of educational or mentoring programs. Three quarters offer formal internal mentoring, webcasts during business hours, paid training and testing for pSystem Integrator Giants of 2012

These 100 firms represent the largest system integrators of 2012, from among 2,334 in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide.


2012 Engineers' Choice Awards: Winners

Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering's print and online subscribers. Survey respondents are asked to select products based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact.


PLC Developments Increase Flexibility and Speed

New architectures are expanding capabilities, blurring the line between programmable automation controllers and PLCs.


Five Proven Methods to Boost Operator Competency with Simulator Training

Are you worried about operator competency? The Abnormal Situations Management Consortium says that of the $20 billion that industrial plants lose every year, 40% is attributable to human error. Focusing on the five proven methods will ensure best practice for your plant.


Making good motor decisions

Correct motor sizing is critical for maximum efficiency, as is making the right rewind-versus-replace determination.


Optimizing Strategy for Boiler Drum Level Control

Avoid trips and maximize steam output by reviewing your control equipment, strategy, and tuning.


Triumph of the iPad

Presentations at NIWeek all seem to talk about how the applications work on iPads. The device has really taken over.


Evaluating a process safety system

Maybe your company bought a legacy facility, or you have moved to a different plant, but you have to determine if an existing safety system is up to snuff. Where do you start?


A few additional most-read online articles include:


Motion control system for Boeing 787 assembly - Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) uses advanced motion controls on Boeing final 787 body join assembly project. It uses a high-level drives platform and motion controller system, failsafe CPU, and distributed I/O, running over Profinet network.


5 Best Ways to Extend EthernetFor many applications of TCP/IP networking, the 100-meter range limit of copper Ethernet cable becomes a problem. With conversion and extension, networks can cover distances that are measured in kilometers.


Machine Safety: consensus standards and OSHA complianceIn our plant we comply 100% with the OSHA regulations of 29 CFR for machine guarding and personnel safety. Accordingly, OSHA would have no grounds to cite us for violations, right?


Video game or HMI?Industrial HMI developers consider how video game technology can change the way operators work with control systems. Video: ABB demonstrates some interesting possibilities.


Beyond the network firewallSince many industrial devices are soft targets for hackers, placing smaller firewalls deeper in networks near PLCs or embedding them in such controllers is a practical way to add a higher level of protection.


The Dark Side of MobilitySure, the idea of “iPhone as HMI” is convenient, but it opens a whole new range of cyber vulnerabilities. Is the functionality worth the risk? Many users are already deploying the technology without sufficient safeguards.


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- Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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