Using control engineering to optimize processes

Did these 10 Control Engineering predictions or suggestions help optimize your processes in 2014? If not, why not? What’s in the way, and how can we help? We want to know. Online, link to a set of visions for the next 25 years.


Ten Control Engineering predictions for 2014 were offered in January for the publication's 60th anniversary to help optimize processes. In summary:

  1. Secure control systems and connected networks using industry based best practices.
  2. Integrate the latest safety best practices into automation designs and culture.
  3. Optimize energy use by measuring, looking at systems (beyond just components), and applying instrumentation and human-machine interfaces to involve and educate users about energy use.
  4. Seek more places to apply closed loop control.
  5. Measure more processes by applying more sensors and vision systems, connecting to smarter and faster logic devices wirelessly and with industrial.
  6. Use more mobile machine interfaces with secure web-based software, allowing tablets, smartphones, and PCs to create greater efficiencies.
  7. Integrate disparate systems, ensuring information flows through the supply chain, improving security and quality along the way.
  8. Design for reuse.
  9. Streamline processes and apply automation, including robotics, to increase throughput, boost quality, and lower overall costs.
  10. Read, view, and learn from the global resources of Control Engineering, sharing your success stories and lessons learned with your peers.

How did these 10 prediction or suggestions work for 2014? Was there anything in the way? What? Think again about how we can help into 2015 and beyond.

"Visions of manufacturing automation 25 years from now," by Frank Bartos, PE, provides another view into the future for Control Engineering's 60th anniversary year in the Digital Edition Exclusive section in this December issue. In part, he said, "Much greater manufacturing flexibility will prevail, enabled by the latest multi-layer automation control systems, production planning tools, and software. Contactless data collection from sensors throughout the facility will provide essentially real-time process feedback to the factory control system."

This visionary article appears on page DE1 in our monthly Digital Edition Exclusive section because it is often said that the future is digital. If you're reading this in the digital edition (more than one-third of subscribers choose to), click the article title above to link directly. If you're reading paper, go to under December 2014 and click the Digital Edition Exclusive tab. Also turn to page 31 to see other digital edition exclusive articles this month and think again about the cited benefits of a digital edition subscription.

ONLINE extra

This online version contains more information than the December print and digital edition, as well as links to other Control Engineering coverage from those peering into the future.

Add your views at the bottom of the page, or consider contributing an article; see

- See related stories focused on the future of manufacturing below.

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