Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 17-23: Ethernet benefits, safety integrity levels, matrix drives, more

Articles about Ethernet benefits, safety integrity levels for process applications, matrix drives reducing energy consumption, sensors and control system inputs, and radar sensors for liquid level measurement were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra April 24, 2017

The top 5 most read articles online, from Apr. 17-23 for Control Engineering, covered Ethernet benefits, safety integrity levels for process applications, matrix drives reducing energy consumption, sensors and control system inputs, and radar sensors for liquid level measurement. Links to each article below.

1. Ethernet cuts automation hardware, labor costs, errors

Think Again about digital networks: A redesigned automated industrial process with the goal of improving safety and efficiency saved $106,654 in hardware, design, and installation costs by using an industrial Ethernet protocol instead of hard wiring, not counting a two-thirds reduction in potential errors or other project benefits.

2. Determine safety integrity level for a process application

Safety instrumented systems (SIS) are installed in process plants to mitigate process hazards and they must be assigned a target safety integrity level (SIL) during the process to determine what needs to be done next.

3. Matrix drives reduce energy consumption for transporter system 

Inside Machines: Industrial matrix drives were used for a transporter system retrofit to reduce energy consumption and costs by creating a more maintenance-free mechanically integral distribution system. New system regeneration capabilities for two motors saves an estimated $1,500 per year.

4. Sensors 101: Control system inputs

Thinking of sensors as a physical input to a control system can help an engineer realize there are a lot more possibilities than they realize in a field that is narrowly focused in its thinking.

5. Getting focused: Using 80 GHz radar sensors for liquid level measurement 

The introduction of 80-GHz radar sensors represents a paradigm shift in liquid-level measurement. High-frequency devices have ushered in an era of new possibilities for the process control industry, and it’s because of signal focusing. This article looks at things an 80 GHz radar sensor can do that its predecessors cannot.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on controleng.com, April 17-23, for articles published within the last two months.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.