Inside the how-to guide for applying automation

While everything from Control Engineering helps with applying automation, more than a dozen August articles offer advice on applying automation to get the best results.

By Mark T. Hoske August 16, 2021
The assessment phase will rely upon knowledge of collaborative devices and standards. Task assignment will be impacted by the capabilities of the robot itself. Courtesy: Applied Manufacturing Technologies


Learning Objectives

  • Control Engineering teaches about automation and how to apply it successfully.
  • More than a dozen articles for August target applying automation.
  • Many more posted online can help with specific automation needs at

Control Engineering has been the go-to source for understanding and applying automation since 1954, and, the August topic, “Applying automation: A how-to guide for the best results,” drew more than a dozen applicable articles. Advice from each and links (online and in the digital edition) follow. Think again about finding what you need at; we added more than 70 articles in July (pages 8-9) alone.

Applying collaborative robots

Three ways to ensure collaborative robot success: Collaborative robots offer a lot of potential for manufacturers, but they will only be successful long-term if companies are diligent in education, assessment and overall design – Kelly Chalmers, Applied Manufacturing Technologies.

Seven things for a successful cobot deployment: Choosing a collaborative robot (cobot) involves many aspects and manufacturers will need to decide on many things including if they should hire a system integrator and risks involved – Joe Campbell, Universal Robots.

Before applying new automation

Four variables to consider before applying new automation technologies: Automation investment advice: Implement leading-edge automation technology, achieve a fast return on investment (ROI) and make it simple for the end user to support. These do not have to be mutually exclusive goals for automation technologies – Tom Jensen, Beckhoff Automation

Rethinking the way industrial products are purchased

Greater operational efficiency is required in manufacturing today and it requires a comprehensive look at everything, starting with how things are purchased. See four clarifications on consolidated industrial purchasing advantages – Jason Hoover, Yaskawa America Inc.

Making the case for full automation

I think it is in everyone’s best interests to move to full automation, particularly for publicly owned facilities. Experiences running large spinning equipment in a dangerous and unhealthy environment led to exploring ways to reduce, if not eliminate, human involvement in the process – Daniel E. Capano, Gannett Fleming.

How tomorrow’s automation technology will transform workforce

The automation revolution is changing how technology is implemented and how workers are being trained. Companies need to rethink everything from the top-down to thrive in the future – Joe Bastone, Honeywell Process Solutions.

Successful IoT adoption requires iteration, learning

Digital transformation is about leveraging technology to close the loop so visibility to the products and devices and the processes are continuously expanded and internal mind set. Machine learning and data analytics help – Andy Wang, Prescient Devices.

The role of the system integrator in the digital transformation

Manufacturing automation is embracing digital transformation and the system integration plays a key role in facilitating it and integrating information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) – Jack Smith, Control Engineering, with John Cunningham, RoviSys.

Multivariable control as a core competency

A healthy multivariable advanced process control (APC) layer should be a core-competency of the process industries – Allan G. Kern, P.E., APC Performance LLC.

How to apply actuators

Actuators explained: Types of actuators, application choice, maintenance: Actuators used in industrial and other applications require careful analysis of the requirements before choosing the right actuator for the application – Gilbert Welsford Jr., ValveMan.

Getting connected: interface options for motion control

Electronic motion control systems require reliable communications interfaces to exchange information between the controllers, actuators and sensors – Christian Fell, Fraba Inc.

Going green with obsolete equipment for manufacturers

Each manufactured product has some impact on the environment and produces carbon emissions. Manufacturers are using obsolete equipment can reduce that impact – Claudia Jarrett, EU Automation.

The value in turnkey manufacturing

While more expensive initially, turnkey manufacturing offers more long-term advantages over using independent contractors. System integrators can help – Tom Catlin, RedViking.

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,

KEYWORDS: Applying automation; automation integration


Are you applying automation optimally?

Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.