Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2023
Think Again about the top industrial automation, controls and instrumentation article topics of 2023, the most-viewed industrial automation-related webcasts and videos and the top Control Engineering magazine covers of 2023, as the publication begins its 70th year in 2024.
- Review hot topics in Control Engineering articles and best covers in 2023.
- See hot topics among Control Engineering webcasts in 2023.
- Explore hot topics for Control Engineering videos in 2023.
Control Engineering hot topic 2023 insights
- Control Engineering measures leading articles of 2023 based on Google Analytics and presents its three leading covers in 2023.
- Control Engineering lists the leading webcasts in 2023 based on number of registrants.
- Control Engineering shares leading videos in 2023 measured by YouTube views.
In the Control Engineering annual tally of hot topics in industrial automation, controls and instrumentation for articles posted during 2023, the following topics ranked highest
based on Google Analytics for www.controleng.com. Also see top 3 covers below with and top 10 Control Engineering articles posted before 2023. New to the measurements are the most-viewed industrial automation webcasts and videos. 2024 is Control Engineering’s 70th year of publication.
Top 5 article topics posted during 2023 were: PLC programming, robotic trends, VFD optimization, automation salary and career information and 6G wireless.
Hot topics in Control Engineering during 2022 were: Automation product awards, motors and drives, automation salary and career information, Engineering Leaders Under 40 and IIoT implementation help.
These automation and control topics help Control Engineering subscribers do their jobs better. There’s a lot of value here: Think again about bookmarking this article and reviewing what you may have missed.
For future areas of automation coverage based on subscriber research and to contribute articles, see the Control Engineering article topic list for 2024.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles posted in 2023
Analytics count the number of visits to articles posting during 2023, so articles posted earlier in the year have an advantage; just two articles of the following 10 were posted after midyear. Below these top 10, see links to articles popular in second-half 2023, July through December:
PLC programming language fundamentals for improved operations, maintenance, July 18: Programmable logic controller (PLC) programming languages help keep manufacturing operations running smoothly. Learn about the five types of PLC programming languages and how they’re used.
Six industrial robotics trends for 2023, January 20: Robotics are becoming more important and manufacturers are recognizing their growing role in many different industries and applications. Six industry trends are highlighted.
Eight frequently-neglected VFD parameters to optimize, February 1: Recognizing variable frequency drives (VFD) parameters such as thermal current, pulse-width modulation and more can help engineers get better performance for many different applications.
Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2023, May 15: Leading-edge automation technologies are helping solve workforce shortages and economic challenges by adding efficiency. Automation salaries increased more than bonuses fell. Worker shortages were cited as a threat by nearly half of respondents in 2023.
Important technological developments to watch for 6G, January 8: Several requirements are needed to be considered when designing a 6G radio to further improve link range as well as enhance data rate as research begins.
Manufacturer opens packaging and logistics headquarters, June 8: ABB Robotics’ dedicated Packaging and Logistics facility in Atlanta will develop AI-enabled robotic skills to help U.S. customers remain competitive.
Is Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing working for you?, July 13: 2023 marks a dozen years of Industry 4.0. Control Engineering asked an Industry 4.0 expert how companies can tell if they’re moving quickly enough toward smart manufacturing and digital transformation. Are Industry 4.0 benefits passing you by?
Analysis: Ability to delay Microsoft DCOM hardening patch ends as of March 2023, January 7: The mandatory Microsoft DCOM hardening patch, “one of the best changes Microsoft has made for DCOM,” effects only a small percentage, but still a large number of applications. There’s no postponing the patch as of March. Be aware of the impact and related misinformation.
How to create PLC ladder logic code with Excel, May 22: Programmable logic controller (PLC) ladder logic code can be mass produced with Microsoft Excel to generate repetitive logic like I/O mapping and alarms.
Beyond PID: 6 advanced strategies to add value to modern process control, August 28: While PID control is a good choice for most process control applications, sometimes the application is too challenging or complicated. When that’s the case, six strategies can simplify the process.
Hot topics in Control Engineering July through December
Hot topics monthly in the second half of 2022 (with less time to accrue traffic) include:
Each of the monthly tallies are for articles posted that month or two months prior.
Also see a mid-November tally of second-half 2023 popular Control Engineering articles.
Top Control Engineering covers of 2023
Top 3 covers of 2023: Michael Smith, Control Engineering creative director, explained why he selected these three favorite covers of the year (Figure 1). Review these and other print/digital editions here: (Do your favorites differ? Why?)
“Integrating robotics, automation,” April: The cover design does a great job of keeping the presentation simple and colorful making for an impactful cover design. The robotic automation clearly visible and is setup in a configuration widely seen in many manufacturing environments. Cover message is interesting and integrated, like the technologies, as it wraps around the machine fence.
“How to automate,” May: The cover design is very powerful as a full bleed image of software and hardware used by today’s engineers, making this image very relatable. The selective outline of product image at center interacting with the logo, along with the added ghosted screenshot on the far-right add further motion to this image. Futuristic type design enhances the look and feel of the cover.
“Engineering Leaders Under 40: What makes an engineering trailblazer?” What is engineering without people? The annual calling for Engineering Leaders Under 40 is a fantastic way to increase interest in engineering and makes the people behind the engineering relatable to all demographics. The use of controlled colors, elegant display monochromatic engineers and typographic design make this cover design very strong and memorable.
Top 10 articles posted in Control Engineering posted prior to 2023
Many articles with the most traffic during 2023 posted before 2023 cover tutorial topics such as VFDs, permanent magnet motors, PLC programming, PID tuning, pulse-width modulation and other industrial controls and automation hot topics.
Top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, 2020: Programming variable frequency drives (VFDs) to fit most industrial applications require only the most basic settings to operate the motor. Understand these 5 VFD parameter changes to optimize VFD programming to fit most motor-drive applications.
Understanding permanent magnet motors, 2017: A permanent magnet (PM) motor is an ac motor that uses magnets imbedded into or attached to the surface of the motor’s rotor. This article provides an elementary understanding behind the terminology, concepts, theory, and physics behind PM motors.
PLC programming: What you need to know, 2022: While the programmable logic controller (PLC) is very important, the programming inside the controller is just as critical and can be overlooked.
Understanding PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, 2016: PID loop tuning may not be a hard science, but it’s not magic either. Here are some tuning tips that work.
Understanding the effect of PWM when controlling a brushless dc motor, 2022: Motion system designers can be challenged when selecting or developing electronics using pulse-width modulation (PWM) to drive brushless dc motors. Heed some basic physical phenomena to avoid unexpected performance issues, along with general guidelines for using a PWM driver with a brushless DC motor. See diagrams, equations.
Five characteristics of cloud computing, 2017: Cloud computing’s characteristics and benefits include on-demand self-service, broad network access, and being very elastic and scalable.
Understanding Derivative in PID Control, 2010: The third factor in PID is the least understood. Derivative action can do good things, but when used improperly, it causes headaches.
Antenna basics, antenna types, antenna functions, 2014: Industrial wireless tutorials: What you need to know about industrial antennas, antenna functions, and antenna capabilities.
Learning PID loop tuning from an expert, 2014: Hands-on experience helps accelerate the PID learning curve.
Free PLC programming software for education, 2021: Available programmable logic controller (PLC) software that is free for users is crucial for users and students who can’t currently access a lab. See table with a breakdown.
Leading Control Engineering 2023 webcasts based on registrants
Most popular webcast topics are new to this year’s article. See the top Control Engineering webasts below, based on number of registrants, with link to the description pages below. Caution: Webcasts are posted for one year, so to view or review any of the following, do so before the following dates in 2024.
Top three Control Engineering 2023 webcasts eligible for one RCEP PDH credit for those listening live on the broadcast date were:
Top three 2023 webcasts created by suppliers of industrial automation and controls were:
NEW: Most viewed 2023 Control Engineering videos
Based on views on the Control Engineering YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/@ControlEngTV, the following were the three most-popular videos posted during 2023.
1. PixelPaint non-overspray technology for two-tone painting (robotic painting at Automate 2023)
2. Expert Interview: Manas Dutta and Mukesh Kumar, Honeywell, discuss the connected worker.
3. VTW: Control theory: A superior paradigm over AI for improving plant performance? (a prior course reposted as a video).
Based on views on the Control Engineering YouTube channel, the following YouTube shorts were the three most-popular videos posted during 2023.
1. ProMat 2023: Fetch Robotics mobile robot.
2. ABB Robotics Flex Picker Robot picking up dice at Automate 2023.
3. ProMat 2023: Yaskawa Motoman robotic automation.
The following Control Engineering videos posted before 2023 received the most views during 2023:
1. Tutorial: Measuring liquid level using a bubbler.
2. Thermocouple tutorial.
3. Advanced process control: Past, present and future.
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Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org. Traffic ranking and compilation based on www.controleng.com Google Analytics and Control Engineering’s YouTube channel were performed by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, email@example.com. Emily Guenther, CFE Media and Technology director of interactive media, provided webcast measurements. Cover analysis was by Michael Smith, creative director, Control Engineering.
Control Engineering, automation hot topics, 2023
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