Sensors, Actuators

Eight companies win Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards

Chicago, IL—Three of the exhibitors at this week’s National Manufacturing Week 2005 were among eight winners of Control Engineering’s (CE) second annual Engineers’ Choice Awards, which were announced last night at the magazine's 18th annual awards reception at the Peninsula Hotel.

By Control Engineering Staff March 9, 2005

Chicago, IL— Three of the exhibitors at this week’s National Manufacturing Week 2005 were among eight winners of Control Engineering ’s (CE) second annual Engineers’ Choice Awards, which were announced last night at the magazine’s 18th annual awards reception at the Peninsula Hotel. Innovative products from National Instruments, Solidworks, and Wago were voted the best in their respective Editors’ Choice Award categories by CE ’s readers.

The magazine’s North American subscribers were asked to choose the best technologies from among 40 winners of CE ‘s 2004 Editors’ Choice Awards, announced in the January 2005 issue and also presented last night. Criteria for selection are: service to the industry, technological advancement, and market impact. Subscribers were asked to apply the same criteria in their decision-making to select the Engineers’ Choice winners, one in each of eight categories.

‘This is the second year we’ve added an extra dimension to our annual Editors’ Choice awards by finding out what our subscribers—the engineers who use the products we cover—thought about the 40 winners we selected,’ says David Greenfield, CE ‘s editorial director. ‘Every entry received numerous votes from subscribers, which demonstrated a broad recognition factor with our audience. This added element to our awards process is an exciting exercise, and reemphasizes interest in both our awards and the products we cover.’

Preceded by the categories in which they won and followed by their Web sites, the eight winners of CE ‘s 2004 Engineers’ Choice Award winners are:

Embedded control
An industrial PC with embedded PC technology, Wago Corp.’s I/O-IPC Series 758 integrates standard PC functions, including network and fieldbus interfaces, to achieve decentralized control, sub-networking with popular fieldbuses, as well as recording, analyzing, and measuring even large amounts of data. It provides flexible interfaces, and supports Microsoft Windows CE, RT-Linux, or IEC 61131-3.

Human-machine interface
BeamOne Touchless Holographic Interface is a touchless, holographic interface that lets operators enter commands and data into electronic equipment by simply passing a finger through holographic images of ‘keys’ floating 4 in. in front of the device. Atlantex Corp. reports that Beam-One uses HoloTouch Inc.’s technology to generate its floating controls images.

Instrumentation and process sensors
Honeywell Process Solution’s XYR 5000 wireless transmitters can measure and communicate process variables online without wiring or external power, which gives users the flexibility to gather data in places where hardwired transmitters would be too costly, difficult, or time-consuming to implement.

Machine control and discrete sensors
Pico GFX-70 small-footprint controller from Rockwell Automation features a multi-function HMI, with 70-mm graphic display. Engineers can use the integrated graphic display to program control and HMI functions with a software package or with on-display buttons. Device consists of an HMI, processor/power supply, and up to 272 I/O points.

Motors, drives, and motion control
SoftMotion Development Module for LabView lets machine builders and OEMs create customized motion controllers for any platform with National Instruments’ (NI) SoftMotion technology. The module’s software includes functions for trajectory generation, spline interpolation, position and velocity PID control, and encoder implementation in LabView Real-Time and FPGA modules.

Networks and communications

Foxboro Automation Systems’ ‘mesh’ networking technology for Invensys’ I/A Series system uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet switches, ports, and fiber-optic media in meshed configurations to provide multiple communication paths between network stations. This technology can configure ultra-high-availability, high-performance, 100 Mbps/1 Gbps, switched Ethernet process control networks and field networks for new I/A Series systems.

Process and advanced control
Smart Safety Instrumented System (SIS) from Emerson Process Management uses digital intelligence and diagnostics, from sensor to logic solver to final control, to extend PlantWeb digital plant architecture, and help users implement safer process plants. They implement a safety integrity level (SIL) 3 strategy, with transmitters and valve controllers certified to IEC 61508 and SIL-3-compliant safety systems.

Software and information integration
Cosmos 2005 software is an upgrade of SolidWorks’ advanced design analysis capabilities. It consists of CosmosWorks, CosmosFloWorks, and CosmosMotion, and features more than 100 user-driven enhancements, such as updated interfaces, simplified analysis processes, and tighter integration with SolidWorks 3-D mechanical design software.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor