Control Engineering hot topics, August 2017

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in August 2017 included stories about closed-loop control system guidelines, wireless process sensing, augmented reality, Tesla coil designs, and robots and Industrie 4.0. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra September 1, 2017

Sensing is important to every control loop, open or closed. At the top of these tanks, a level sensor might provide a high-high reading for overflow protection, pressure sensors at the bottom of a tank might help ensure process quality, and flow sensors (flowmeters) can measure quantity of finished product. Courtesy: Automation Consulting LLCHot topics in Control Engineering, for August 2017, included stories about closed-loop control system guidelines, wireless process sensing, augmented reality, Tesla coil designs, and robots and Industrie 4.0. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering August. Links to each article below.

1. Guidelines for using a closed-loop control system

Tutorial: Which factors should be considered to determine whether an open-loop or a closed-loop control design should be used?

2. Implementing wireless process sensing

Installing a wireless sensing system may seem complicated, but following these four basic steps can simplify the required effort.

3. Augmented reality for manufacturing and process control applications 

Manufacturers looking to find answers quickly to complex problems within factories, buildings, and process control applications are using augmented reality.

4. Research team developing Tesla coil designs

Researchers at The Geek Group National Science Institute have set out on an ambitious program of research and experimentation seeking to discover new uses for Tesla coils (TCs).

5. IIoT and the rise of the cobots

Though traditional robots remain relevant, collaborative robots are starting to emerge more in the industry, as they should with their small size, low cost, and adaptability to offer. 

Cloud-connected welding robots on this automotive assembly line help realize the vision of Industrie 4.0 by monitoring themselves for potential downtime issues and facilitating predictive maintenance. Courtesy: Robotic Industries Association (RIA)/Fanuc Am6. Open- vs. closed-loop control in fluid power applications

Fluid power applications are complex. It can be a challenge to choose between an open- or closed-loop design; both have advantages and disadvantages. See table.

7. Readying robots and the workforce for Industrie 4.0

Industrie 4.0 is not a distant vision for the factory of the future. Already networks of robots are connecting to the cloud and contributing massive amounts of insightful data to simplify asset management and maintenance, maximize equipment and process efficiency, and improve product quality.

8. Eight things to avoid in control system automation projects

Identifying missteps such as not building a cross-functional team and not defining responsibilities early in a project can help ensure that a control system automation project is successful.

9. PC-based controls: Expanding plant-floor architectures from the edge to IIoT 

Edge devices facilitate data processing at the plant level, increasing security and using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) standards.

10. Reducing alert load via data analytics 

Technology Update: Cloud-based data analytics can help plant operators focus on the emergencies that matter and improve overall productivity as well as reduce plant downtime.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on controleng.com, August 1-31, for articles published within the last two months.

On Mondays, see the top 5 articles of the prior week. In January, see the hot topics for the prior year.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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