Control Engineering hot topics, May 2017

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in May 2017 included stories about the 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, DCS migration, the programmable controller's origins and three stories from Hannover Messe 2017. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra June 1, 2017

Hot topics in Control Engineering, for May 2017, included stories about the 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, DCS migration, the programmable controller’s origins and three stories from Hannover Messe 2017. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering April. Links to each article below.

1. Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, 2017

Control Engineering salary and career survey research shows an average salary of $96,045 in 2017, up slightly from the 2016 results; job satisfaction continues among respondents. Life-long learning remains critically important. To get youth interested in engineering, more investments in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and high-profile projects need to be made, respondents said.

2. Four things to remember about DCS migration

Whether it’s a refinery, chemical plant, or other process-related facility, the primary control system must operate efficiently, safely, and economically. If it doesn’t, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade.

3. Origins of the programmable controller and its potential future

The programmable logic controller (PLC) went through a lot of trial-and-error in its early inception. It has continued to develop since the 1970’s and the market is now converging toward Ethernet/IP-based control networks.

4. Manufacturers still not embracing IIoT

Seven manufacturing market trends for 2017, according to IHS Markit report at Hannover Messe, include more growth and an attention shift from remote cloud-based analytics to local and edge computing.

5. Determine safety integrity level for a process application

Safety instrumented systems (SIS) are installed in process plants to mitigate process hazards and they must be assigned a target safety integrity level (SIL) during the process to determine what needs to be done next.

6. How to navigate the future of IIoT systems

It’s critical to understand which IIoT connectivity technologies to use for each application in the IIoT space. 

7. Robots, humans coming closer to each other

Hannover Messe 2017 opening a high-tech event with Schunk winning the 2017 Hermes Award for its collaborative robot and Poland, the event’s partner nation, emphasizing innovation.

8. 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards: Spotlight on innovation

The 30th annual Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards shines a light on 28 categories of control, instrumentation, and automation products, revealing the best of those introduced in 2016 as chosen by you, Control Engineering’s print and digital audience.

9. Sensors 102: Signal conditioning

Users that have to convert a signal from a sensor on their own have plenty of tools available, but there are aspects that need to be consider such as cost and field conditions.

10. RIP, HMI: Everything now is an interface

Digital devices, apps have freed the once-anchored device. In cloud platforms for IIoT and Industrie 4.0, applications from developers are designed to help, and a robot collaborates to improve human performance, at ping pong, all at Hannover Messe 2017.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, May 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 year.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,