Top 5 Control Engineering articles Jul. 2-8

Articles about ladder logic, robotic automation trends, mechatronic systems, embedded vision's future, and IIoT effectiveness on the plant floor were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 2-8, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra July 9, 2018

Figure 2: A general overview of IEC 61131-3 languages and where they best fit for programming ease and readability. Courtesy: Breen Machine Automation ServicesThe top 5 most read articles online, from Jun. 25 to Jul. 1 for Control Engineering, covered ladder logic, robotic automation trends, mechatronic systems, embedded vision’s future, and IIoT effectiveness on the plant floor. Links to each article below.

1. Ladder logic’s future role in automation

Nine considerations when selecting a programming language. Ladder logic is favored by manufacturers in discrete industries, but as technology and automation evolve, its usefulness compared to other IEC 61131-3 programming languages and PC programming depends on application complexity and other factors. 

2. Six future trends in robotic automation

Robotic automation trends for the future include further IIoT adoption, increased cybersecurity measures, and increased use of collaborative robots on the plant floor.

3. Mechatronics systems certification program created

Siemens and Festo Didactic teamed up to create the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP), which is designed to help students, instructors, and learning institutions address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry.

4. The future of embedded vision in manufacturing

Embedded vision can be used in many different ways for a variety of functions, and the future of embedded vision technology could take several different paths for manufacturing applications.

5. Case study: IIoT effectiveness on the plant floor

Create and collect machine and sensor data to augment overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and determine machine efficiency.

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, Jul. 2-8, for articles published within the last two months.

Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,