Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 22-28: Electronic motion control, motion control developments, in-line flowmeters, more

Articles about electronic motion control, the greatest motion control development, in-line flowmeters using SAW-based technology, the PLC’s future, and the competition for the first PLC were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, September 22-28. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra September 29, 2014

Control Engineering Top 5 most read articles online, for Sept. 22-28, covered the past, present, and the future of motion control as well as asking what its greatest development has been in the last 60 years, an in-line flowmeter that uses SAW-based technology, the future of PLCs, and the competition for the first PLC. Link to each article below.

1. Electronic motion control, then and now

Great changes have taken place in motion control systems over the past 60 years. From proprietary, "black-box" controllers and early analog drives, electronic advancements have led to today’s largely automated controls that rely on digital signal processors, accurate motor models implemented in software, and ability to connect with other systems in a facility. 

2. What is the greatest development in motion control in the past 60 years?

Ask Control Engineering blog links to 60 years of motors, drives, and motion control coverage for the answer. 

3. Industry first: In-line flowmeter employs SAW-based technology

Bürkert is preparing to launch its new FloWave series of in-line flowmeters which, uniquely in flow applications, employ surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology. The company presented for the first time at Hannover Fair this year, Suzanne Gill reports. 

4. Future of the PLC

PLCs are evolving and continue to be the best option for a variety of industrial automation applications. Greater programming flexibility and ease, scalability, more memory, smaller sizes, very high-speed (Gigabit) Ethernet, and built-in wireless are among evolving programmable logic controller features. 

5. Inside the competition for the first PLC

The race to develop the first programmable logic controllers was underway inside General Motors’ Hydra-Matic Transmission Division in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1970. Three finalists had very different architectures. 

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, September 22-28, for articles published within the last two months.

– Chris Vavra, content specialist, CFE Media,