Top Control Engineering articles, February 2012
What do those interested in the control engineering profession consider important reading on the Control Engineering website? What haven’t you read yet that you should? The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during February 2012 included articles on best products, motor sizing, robotics, programming with UML, cyber security, PID loop tuning, career and salary survey, machine safety, among others.
2012 Engineers’ Choice Awards: Winners, Honorable Mentions, Finalists
Subscribers voted on the best products in automation, control, and instrumentation, based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. Winners and honorable mentions were featured in the February 2012 issue.
Sizing motors right the first time
Determining load horsepower, wiring, and breaker size for safe and efficient installations.
Robotics at Frito-Lay: Flexibility, adaptability needed
Salty snacks have different motion profiles than automobiles, and snack food manufacturing differs significantly from automotive manufacturing. Robotics can do much more for consumer goods and food and beverage applications, says a Frito-Lay engineer, formerly of General Motors. Robotic palletizing at Frito-Lay requires half the space and 25% lower cost than prior methods.
UML use cases, sequence diagrams: easily converted into executable code
Engineering and IT Insight: UML (Unified Modeling Language) is the language of software engineering, and State Models in UML are used to define internal logic. When state diagrams, use case diagrams, and sequence diagrams are combined with UML class diagrams they define a system, can be easily understood by non-programmers, and can be rapidly converted into executable code.
Cyber security vulnerability assessment
First step in creating an effective defense is figuring out where the vulnerabilities are in the system. This is a difficult but necessary process, and it never ends. (Article and video.)
Tuning thermal PID loops
When dealing with critical temperature applications, PID controllers are a common regulatory approach, but tuning these often requires a different strategy than other types of loops. Auto-tuning features can help if you understand them.
Career and Salary Survey 2012
Career Update: The 2012 Control Engineering salary and career survey showed enthusiasm for automation, controls, and instrumentation professions. Pay is up, and survey respondents encouraged those interested in engineering to continue learning. Strategies for workplace success follow.
Cataloging loop drawings, tags in a spreadsheet
How a refinery used Excel to document its automation infrastructure during a DCS upgrade. Some simple tools can keep it all in order.
Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements
Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.
Monitoring critical vessel temperature
Radiometric imaging can help detect and measure uneven temperature gradients quickly and reliably.
And the next five are …
Using HART with asset management systems
Inside Machines: PC versus PLC: Comparing control options
WiFi technology for industrial environments
How to select a VFD
Demand for robotics skills grows
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– Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com.