Control Engineering hot topics, August 2021

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in August 2021 included stories on COVID-19 prevention, process safety, industrial product purchasing, manufacturing processing and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra September 1, 2021

Hot topics in Control Engineering, for August 2021, for stories posted in the last three months, included COVID-19 prevention, process safety, industrial product purchasing, manufacturing processing and more. Links to each article below.

1. Face mask prototype can detect COVID-19 infection

Engineers at MIT and Harvard have designed a prototype face mask that can diagnose the person wearing the mask with COVID-19 within about 90 minutes and can be used to detect other pathogens and chemicals.

2. How to achieve effective process safety

Automation systems and people can work together with a corporate safety culture in place that emphasizes zero-risk tolerance and proper understanding of engineering principles such as using proper alarm management strategies and systems, regulatory procedures and industry best practices.

3. Rethinking the way industrial products are purchased

Greater operational efficiency is required in manufacturing today and it requires a comprehensive look at everything, starting with how things are purchased. See four clarifications on consolidated industrial purchasing advantages.

4. Optimizing manufacturing processing and quality management with digital twins, IIoT

An examination of the concepts and practices on the design, implementation and some preliminary outcomes based on a real-world use case in a production process control and quality management application in the steel industry, guided by Lean management and Six Sigma concepts and best practices.

5. Four tips for designing scalable IIoT networks

Don’t get distracted by the promises of the latest so-called solutions for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Focus on these essential design principles while building a data network. Intelligent input/output modules and other tools can add flexibility.

6. Multivariable control as a core competency

A healthy multivariable advanced process control (APC) layer should be a core-competency of the process industries.

7. When designing HMI/SCADA, consider many factors

User abilities, skill levels, future plans, needs of stakeholders, and other items should be explored. See a system integrator’s advice and seven SCADA system integration/design questions to ask.

8. From simulation to computer-aided design of control systems

Cover Story: While simulation systems can help for control system programming design, a general-purpose programming language like C# can be used: First, some basic control system theory.

9. Single blade rotary knife: Application overview

Industrial rotary knives, usually servo-driven, cut a continuously-fed web into desired lengths. Software helps size and configure the servo for rotary knife applications.

10. What IEC 61499 means for the PLC

The IEC 61499 international standard doesn’t signal the end for the programmable logic controller (PLC), but its impact, particularly in process control applications, will change how PLCs are used.

On Mondays, see the top 5 articles of the prior week.

Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is senior editor for WTWH Media LLC.