Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 8-14: The first PLC, future of the PLC, writing a process operation document, more

Articles about the competition for the first PLC, the PLC’s future, writing a process operation document, cascade control fundamentals, and the System Integrator Giants of 2014 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, September 8-14. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
By Chris Vavra September 15, 2014

1. 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. 

2. 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. 

3. How to write a good process operation description document

Back to Basics: Describe your process to preserve the process engineer knowledge for the future. To program the process controller, programmable logic controller (PLC), or distributed control system (DCS), follow these steps and methodology. 

4. Fundamentals of cascade control

Sometimes two controllers can do a better job of keeping one process variable where you want it. 

5. System Integrator Giants of 2014

The 2014 System Integrator Giants boast a $396 million increase in system integration revenue, a greater concern for the economy’s impact on the automation integrator market, and a strong belief in educational and mentoring programs for employees. 

The list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on controleng.com, September 8-14, for articles published within the last two months.

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