Modern machine control system design in 7 steps webcast preview

Seven steps can help with modern machine control system design: Get a preview below of a June 15 webcast providing more detail.

By Mark T. Hoske June 24, 2022
Darrell Halterman, director, PACSystems controllers, Emerson, explains how to design a modern, flexible and secure machine control system in the June 15 webcast, “Truly open and secure machine control.” Courtesy: Emerson


Learning Objectives

  • Automation design should be flexible and secure.
  • Open communication improves productivity and enables a wider use of equipment in the design.
  • 7 steps can help with machine control system design.

The webcast, “Truly open and secure machine control,” explores how to design a modern, flexible and secure machine control system. In the June 15 webcast, archived for a year, Darrell Halterman, director of PACSystems controls products at Emerson, details seven steps needed to design a modern, flexible and secure machine control system.

Staffing shortages, supply chain issues and ever-increasing cybersecurity incidents have changed the face of production across nearly every industry, Halterman said. Whether they are machine builders creating the newest technologies or end users upgrading existing process equipment, companies are finding traditional design principles and products no longer meet the flexibility, efficiency and security needs of today’s global marketplace. As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and project teams look for new control solutions to address these needs, they must wade through a variety of options.

Automation design flexibility

In the webcast, Halterman shares strategies for pursuing flexibility, open communication and defense-in-depth in automation design to help harness best-in-breed control technologies to gain a competitive advantage in the future of production.

The webcast will help those attending:

  • Understand why traditional design philosophies and tools will not meet the modern challenges around staffing, supply chain issues and cybersecurity.
  • Learn how open communication improves productivity, enabling flexibility to use a wide variety of equipment in the design
  • Identify key capabilities in a new control solution to address the full scope of cybersecurity risks while unlocking flexibility in component selection.
  • Understand ways and tools to make personnel more efficient at their jobs so you can accomplish more with existing staff (or even less).

7 steps: Machine control system design

Halterman provides a programmable logic controller (PLC) design challenge checklist applicable for machine control systems and other industrial applications.

  1. Accommodate supply chain constraints
  2. Match the skill sets of a new industrial worker.
  3. Reduce risk and protect against cyberattacks.
  4. Enhance and simplify OEM/user partnership.
  5. Move at the pace of automation evolution.
  6. Increase productivity in the face of constrained resources.
  7. Fit your existing budget and footprint.

An application overview is included, going over the control system architecture for a filling machine as an example.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,, using materials for the June 15, 2022, Emerson webcast.

KEYWORDS: Machine design, PLCs, motion control


Have you updated your machine and motion control system design skills lately?

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.