Control Engineering hot topics, March 2018

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in March 2018 included stories about ladder logic, fog computing, alarm management, building a machine using motion design software, and turning Big Data analytics into actionable information. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra April 4, 2018

Most HMI software allows the user to make a list of faults and then call them by number to display in a banner or other type of text display. Courtesy: Automation PrimerHot topics in Control Engineering, for March 2018, included ladder logic, fog computing, alarm management, building a machine using motion design software, and turning Big Data analytics into actionable information. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering March. Links to each article below.

1. Ladder Logic: Fault detection and messages

In ladder logic, faults are used to capture abnormal circumstances and each cell or station in a program will usually have its own fault routine and can send messages to a human-machine interface (HMI) or programmable logic controller (PLC).

2. Fog computing for industrial automation

How to develop a secure, distributed automation architecture in a data-driven world: Two examples and five advantages of fog computing are highlighted.

3. 2018 Engineers’ Choice Awards: Spotlight on innovation

The 31st annual Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards shines a light on 26 categories of control, instrumentation, and automation products, revealing the best of those introduced in 2017 as chosen by the Control Engineering print and digital audience.

4. Alarm management: 6 hazards, 4 strategies

Alarm management in an IIoT world: Correlation and classification of industrial process control alarms before the operator sees them vital for safety, speed, and efficiency. Networking and advanced software tools help.

5. Biopharmaceutical company optimizes manufacturing processes with modern DCS

Gilead Sciences used a new, flexible distributed control system (DCS) for a pilot lab to support research and development (R&D), clinical trials, and meet pipeline demands. 

Figure 1: Modern motion designer software can help specify, design and simulate fully-functional mechanics in machines and other equipment. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation6. Building a machine using motion design software 

Motion design software allows engineers to design machines for improved accuracy and overall performance.

7. Turning Big Data analytics into actionable information

To be effective, Big Data analytics must deliver on the end-user experience, and not on the hype associated with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

8. 2018 HMI Software and Hardware Study: Upward trends for HMIs

The 2018 HMI Software and Hardware study revealed several upward trends on the usage of human-machine interface software and hardware.

9. TSN solves measurement and control challenges

Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is an evolution of standard Ethernet and adds the bounded latency and guaranteed bandwidth provided by hard real-time Ethernet, which is crucial as more devices are connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

10. Product design: Incorporating commercial technologies into industrial controllers

Industrial controllers are using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies such as Ethernet, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), USB, and MicroSD cards to improve price/performance ratios, shrink form factors, and add new features.

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.