Get the latest updates on the Coronavirus impact on engineers.Click Here
Process Manufacturing

Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 1-7

Articles about feedforward control, rate-predictive control, IIoT and machine control, Big Data analysis, and the top stories of March 2019 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra April 8, 2019
Figure 3: Running forward. Running forward down a straightaway is easy. With a view of the track ahead, the runner can compensate almost instantaneously to any slow drift to the left or right, even when sprinting at top speed. In much the same way, a feedforward controller applied to a process with limited, measurable disturbances can keep the process variable close to the setpoint easily enough. Running forward around a curve is not all that much more difficult. The runner can visually measure any impending disturbances (curves), anticipate the effect on future trajectory, and make course corrections as needed rather than afterwards. Advance knowledge allows a front-facing runner to round a curve much faster and with much less error than a rear-facing runner can. Advance knowledge allows a feedforward controller to be more aggressive and more accurate. If the controller can correctly predict how a disturbance is going to affect the process variable and how to compensate for it, the controller can afford to apply more assertive control efforts. Doing so can reduce the effects of an impending disturbance just as a runner can stay right in the center of the lane when anticipating upcoming curves. Courtesy: Control Engineering

The top 5 most read articles online, from April 1-7 for Control Engineering covered feedforward control, rate-predictive control, IIoT and machine control, Big Data analysis, and the top stories of March 2019. Links to each article below.

1. Understanding feedforward control

Feedforward controls applied to a process, with limited, measurable disturbances, can keep the process variable close to the setpoint.

2. What is rate-predictive control?

Advanced control: A new non-PID control algorithm, rate-predictive control (RPC), is adaptive to changes in process gain, which is helpful given the industry’s difficult history of loop tuning, auto-tuning, and model maintenance. RPC also can serve as a model-less feedback multivariable control algorithm.

3. IIoT-ready technologies improve machine controls

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies have the potential to improve user benefits through diagnostics, prognostics and predictive maintenance.

4. Big Data analysis or data acquisition? 

Centralized data architectures are adapting to new opportunities for data collection and analytics.

5. Control Engineering hot topics, March 2019

Control Engineering’s most clicked articles in March 2019 included stories about the Engineers’ Choice Awards, edge computing advantages, manufacturing and process facility trends, Big Data analysis, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, April 1-7, for articles published within the last two months.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Chris Vavra is an associate editor for CFE Media.