Control Engineering hot topics, November 2017

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in November 2017 included stories about the Engineers' Choice finalists, micro-controllers versus PLCs, the father of the PLC, robot standards, process analytics, the IoT and ERP, and process valve safety. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra December 3, 2017

Hot topics in Control Engineering, for November 2017, included the Engineers’ Choice finalists, micro-controllers versus PLCs, the father of the PLC, robot standards, process analytics, the IoT and ERP, and process valve safety. These are based on the top 10 most read articles online in Control Engineering November. Links to each article below.

1. Vote now for 2018 Engineers’ Choice Finalists

The official ballot is open for voting for Control Engineering North American print and digital edition subscribers, for a limited time. Cast your vote using CFE Media’s New Products for Engineers platform at

2. Micro-controllers versus PLCs: Which one belongs in your plant? 

Cover Story: Single-board computers and micro-controllers offer opportunities for automation applications, but they may not be the best option for critical production applications. 

3. Dick Morley remembered as ‘Father of the PLC’

Electrical engineer best known for his work on the programmable logic controller (PLC) dies at 84.

4. Industrial mobile robot safety standards on the forefront

Mobile robot standards are evolving to keep up with the rapid developments on the plant floor and to help ensure workers and companies are safe going forward.

5. Maximize ROI with an integrated approach to control systems  

Cover Story: Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) combining integration, cybersecurity, and OPC UA bring greater productivity and reliability.

6. Three elements of a modern HMI for improved operations

Cover Story: Advancements in human-machine interfaces (HMIs) lead to increased productivity, simplified graphics configuration, and mobility.

7. IoT and ERP: A potentially profitable partnership for manufacturers

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help cut costs for manufacturers; the next step is leveraging it for business growth through enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other enterprise systems.

8. Process engineers need new analytics awareness

Improved data management requires a new way of thinking.

9. Using a PHA for process valve safety

A detailed process hazard analysis (PHA) has to examine the human factors involved and identify, evaluate, and control potential hazards to prevent future process valve incidents from occurring.

10. Embrace control room technology innovation 

Tips on how to do more with what you’ve got, look to the future. 

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, November 1-30, 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,

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is web content manager for CFE Media and Technology.