By the Numbers

248,655 miles from earth was a distance record set when Apollo 13 rounded the far side of the moon, April 15, 1970. Fluke provided distance milestones to promote two new handheld laser distance meters. Others sell such meters, but typically from outlets not frequented by instrumentation, automation, and controls personnel.
By Control Engineering Staff September 1, 2008

248,655 miles from earth was a distance record set when Apollo 13 rounded the far side of the moon, April 15, 1970. Fluke provided distance milestones to promote two new handheld laser distance meters. Others sell such meters, but typically from outlets not frequented by instrumentation, automation, and controls personnel. Placing a few yellow demo units “by the register” at Fluke distributors affirmed demand. Customers suggested industrial applications resulting in a “101 uses” document. www.fluke.com/distance

8 sponsors help BrainCake, a smart and sweet website to help encourage girls 11-17 with math and science. Many more organizations are sponsors. Site says, “You just might change the world. Connect with the people and opportunities that can make your dreams happen. Sign up, take a bite, and treat your brain.” www.braincake.org

6 approaches to “take it or leave it” contracts are: Bid with exceptions, provide specific alternative language, appeal on the basis of fairness, appeal on the basis of risk control, incorporate your proposal, and use the rider from the Control System Integrators Association, says Baker & Daniels LLP. Legalities column gives more advice. www.bakerd.com

90 day Phoenix Mars lander mission at the Mars pole is gathering and analyzing samples. It uses robotics and advanced power management among other technologies related to automation. For more see the July 10th entry at www.edn.com/pryingeyes

4 benefits of federal lab technology transfer are: 1) access to federal expertise; 2) a variety of accessible entry points into the federal R&D system; 3) ability to leverage R&D costs; and 4) reduced product development time and costs. www.federallabs.org/home/about/industry

25 million Profibus nodes are installed through July 2008; 4.5 million nodes were installed in 2007. Profibus has the oldest fieldbus organization, founded in 1989, and the largest with 1,400 members. Profibus is configured for 2,800 device types and has 410,000 machine and process safety nodes in 41,000 installations, 4,000 of which are in process industries. Profibus User Organization (PNO) has 500+ specialists working in 50+ working groups, 25 regional associations, 37 certified competency centers, 10 certified test labs, and 16 certified training centers. www.us.profinet.com

9 measurement standards and instrument calibration services provided by Process Measurements Division of U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are airspeed, gas flowrate, humidity, liquid density, liquid flowrate, liquid volume, pressure, temperature, and vacuum and leaks. www.cstl.nist.gov/div836

$2,732 billion in industrial output puts the United States on top, followed by Japan at $1,360 billion, China at $1,072 billion, Germany at $838 billion, and the U.K. at $572 billion, says the “Pocket World in Figures 2008 edition from The Economist. www.economist.com

20:08, 8, 2008 On Aug. 8, 2008, at 8:08 p.m. (20:08 hours), several Control Engineering editors ate Chinese food on the 2008 Olympics’ opening day. Search “Olympics” for related technology items at www.controleng.com