Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 28 to August 3: centralized and DCS system designs, traffic and rail coordination, PID control loop tuning, more

Articles about centralized and distributed control system designs, light-rail and traffic light coordination, tuning PID control loops, 3D vision inspection systems, and offshore oil and gas drilling were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, July 28 to August 3. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra August 4, 2014

1. Choosing between centralized and distributed control system designs

Engineers must strike the right balance on the centralized/distributed control system design spectrum. 

2. Coordinating light-rail trains, traffic lights

PLCs work with traffic light controllers to help light-rail trains pass safely through intersections. 

3. Tuning PID control loops for fast response

When choosing a tuning strategy for a specific control loop, it is important to match the technique to the needs of that loop and the larger process. It is also important to have more than one approach in your repertoire, and the Cohen-Coon method can be a handy addition in the right situation. 

4. 3D vision cup inspection system

Industrial Control Inc. developed the IC ThermoChecker using a 3D smart camera to reliably detect and reject the defective parts, resulting in a substantial increase in defect detection before parts left the client’s facility. 

5. Drilling deeper for offshore oil and gas production

Automation improvements make deep offshore drilling economically feasible, while still maintaining safety and reliability. 

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on controleng.com, July 28 to August 3, for articles published within the last two months.

– Chris Vavra, content specialist, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.