Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 24-30: Programmable controller origins, IIoT’s emergence, HMI’s future, more

Articles about the programmable controller's origins, IIoT's emergence, the HMI's future, Ethernet benefits, and matrix drives reducing energy consumption were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 24-30. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra May 1, 2017

The top 5 most read articles online, from Apr. 24-30 for Control Engineering, covered the programmable controller’s origins, IIoT’s emergence, the HMI’s future, Ethernet benefits, and matrix drives reducing energy consumption. Links to each article below. 

1. Origins of the programmable controller and its potential future

The programmable logic controller (PLC) went through a lot of trial-and-error in its early inception. It has continued to develop since the 1970’s and the market is now converging toward Ethernet/IP-based control networks.

2. IIoT’s emergence just a matter of when

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will continue to grow as more investments are made and technology and skills continue to develop.

3. RIP, HMI: Everything now is an interface

Digital devices, apps have freed the once-anchored device. In cloud platforms for IIoT and Industrie 4.0, applications from developers are designed to help, and a robot collaborates to improve human performance, at ping pong, all at Hannover Messe 2017.

4. 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.

5. 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.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, April 24-30, for articles published within the last two months.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is web content manager for CFE Media and Technology.