PLCs, PACs

Control Engineering hot topics, July 2019

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in July 2019 included stories about PLC programming languages, connecting a PLC to the internet, digitalization advantages, choosing the right enclosure, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra August 1, 2019
Figure 2: Ladder logic programming example; LL is the most commonly used PLC programing, most closely resembling circuit diagrams used for relays. Courtesy: Frank Lamb, Automation Primer

Hot topics in Control Engineering, for July 2019, included PLC programming languages, connecting a PLC to the internet, digitalization advantages, choosing the right enclosure, and more. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering July. Links to each article below.

1. Other PLC programming languages

Ladder logic is commonly used in the U.S. for programmable logic controllers (PLCs), but other languages are better suited for some programming applications. See sample PLC code in five languages.

2. Benefits of connecting a PLC to the internet

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are now gaining information technology (IT) abilities to interact directly with the internet, creating new automation and information possibilities.

3. Digitalization advantages

Think Again: Major automation companies tout next-generation tools offering digitalization advantages, mobility and flexibility, for greater speed to higher profits.

4. Three considerations for selecting the right enclosure

Choosing the right enclosure goes beyond the basic design; users also need to consider value, design flexibility, and modifications to the plant floor.

5. Tips for computer integration on the manufacturing floor

Installing computer systems can be an arduous process for new and existing manufacturing plants; basic best practices for enclosures can help companies avoid costly pitfalls and long-term challenges. See five tips for using computers on the plant floor.

Figure 3: Don’t integrate computers on the manufacturing floor without protection in mind. Courtesy: Armagard

Figure 3: Don’t integrate computers on the manufacturing floor without protection in mind. Courtesy: Armagard

6. Keeping an HMI safe after companies stop updating the software

Keeping a human-machine interface (HMI) up-to-date and safe even after companies stop updating the software behind the HMI can be a tricky process.

7. Drag-and-drop data analytics using machine learning

MIT researchers have developed a system that lets nonspecialists use machine-learning (ML) models to make predictions for medical research, sales, and more.

8. Using mobile devices for communication, data collection

Mobile devices like Raspberry Pi are an inexpensive alternative for controllers in the manufacturing space and can be useful for particular input/output (I/O) applications.

9. Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2019

Engineers are getting paid more, although fewer expect to get increases in 2019; top factors for determining job satisfaction are feeling of accomplishment, technical challenge, and financial compensation.

10. Smart manufacturing opens the door to real-time data

Smart manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled technologies can use real-time data to optimize processes and reduce costs for manufacturers.

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

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


Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Chris Vavra has been production editor for Control Engineering since 2014 and has worked for the magazine since 2011. He edits articles on all automation topics and has written on topics including robotics, power generation, IIoT, AI/machine learning, and more. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature degree from North Central College and is also a self-published crime/mystery novelist on Amazon.