Top Control Engineering articles, July 2013

The most-visited articles at during July 2013 included: System Integrator Giants of 2013, temperature sensor selection, future human-machine interfaces, Invensys sales talks, programming methods, top articles in June, when to automate advice, and industrial network selection, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske August 26, 2013

Most-read Control Engineering online articles during July 2013 at included: System Integrator Giants of 2013, temperature sensor selection, future human-machine interfaces, Invensys sales talks, programming methods, Top articles in June, when to automate advice, and industrial network selection, wireless networks for industry, system integration’s role in project design, PCs, lessons from NASA, industrial revolution, cyber security study, and others. 

Because Control Engineering posts fresh content each business day, some articles posted later in the month don’t get as much time for exposure as those posted earlier. Therefore, articles are divided into two sections: Those posted during the past two months (June and July 2013) and those posted prior to June 2013. More about each article and links follow, along with links to the most-frequented Control Engineering pages during July 2013. A link to each article or page is provided. 

July 2013 most-read online articles, among those posted in June and July 2013

System Integrator Giants of 2013 – The 100 firms on the System Integrator Giants list represent the largest system integrators of 2013, among the companies listed in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide. In the survey, system integrator revenue is defined as automation integration services minus the cost of all off-the-shelf products: hardware, software, and equipment. The system integrators who responded to this survey provided information about engineering specialties, industries served, products integrated, associations/affiliations, and challenges from their industry.

Temperature sensors: Make the right choice, RTD vs. TC – June 25 – When you need a temperature measurement, one of the most basic decisions is choosing which kind of sensor to deploy. The application should guide your decision.

The HMI of the future will look very familiar – July 7 – HMI/SCADA applications enable companies to benefit from commercial off-the-shelf technologies adapted for industrial automation to lower costs and improve operations.

Schneider Electric in talks to acquire Invensys – July 12 – Proposed $5 billion deal could position company against rivals in industrial, building, and data center markets. 

Understanding statefull programming methods – July 1 – A straightforward approach that enforces discipline with preparation, planning, and documenting.

Top Control Engineering articles, June 2013 – July 2 – The most-visited articles at during June 2013 included: System Integrator Giants of 2013, SIS standards, PID math, industrial networks, human process control, industrial wireless networks, and switch selection, among others.

If it ain’t broke, don’t automate it? – July 16 – Maybe it is broke, and you just don’t recognize it. Sometimes problems and inefficiencies in our plants persist simply because nobody wants to take responsibility for finding a solution. Effective automation might be the key.

7 reasons to a consider a non-Ethernet industrial network – June 5 – Here are seven reasons non-Ethernet networks might be specified for an industrial project, to help determine if an Ethernet, fieldbus, or a device or sensor-level network should be considered.

How wireless networks are changing industrial environments – June 4 – IEEE 802.15.4 based wireless networks can be reliable, robust, and cost effective for many industrial, warehousing, and facility applications. These wireless networks transmit through walls and floors, reducing wiring and routing challenges, and making equipment placement more flexible and productive. 

System integration is a critical element in project design – July 15 – Involve a system integrator early in project design to help ensure high-quality projects that satisfy project requirements. See project cost influence graphic.

PCs in the workplace: Will they survive? – July 8 – Will the traditional computer hardware in your control room go the way of the floppy disk? 

Lessons, opportunities from NASA – July 9 – Think Again: Learn how to avoid failures and innovate, according to NASA experts involved in the Space Shuttle program and the in-progress Mars Curiosity robotic mission.

Industry prepares for the next industrial revolution – June 27 – Automation companies share views on the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, according to Control Engineering Europe

Control Engineering 2013 Cyber Security Study – July 3 – This study was conducted by Control Engineering in May 2013 to evaluate cyber security awareness and implementation of cyber defenses. 

Most read online Control Engineering articles during July among those posted prior to June 2013 

PID math demystified, part 2 – You’ve seen the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 2: Adding integral and derivative to the mix. 

2013 Engineers’ Choice AwardsControl Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation, and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering‘s print and online subscribers. Subscribers to the North American print and digital editions are asked to select the best products based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact.

PLC vs. PAC – These technologies continue to evolve, making differences harder to distinguish. Here are some thoughts on what does what, and how to choose between a PLC and a PAC for your next application. 

How to select a VFD – These guidelines dispel the confusion about matching variable frequency drives (VFDs) and motors to fans and pumps that are typically encountered in commercial building applications. While the motivation to increase energy efficiency could be financial (reduced energy costs) or ethical (reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with power production), it is taken for granted that VFDs are an easy way to improve energy efficiency in a motor application. And with these noble intentions in mind, the engineer will specify a VFD for his client. Often, that isn’t the end of the story for the engineer. 

System Integrator Giants of 2012 – These 100 firms represent the largest system integrators of 2012, from among 2,334 in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide.

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.

PID math demystified, part 1 – You’ve seen the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 1: The basic concepts and proportional control. 

Understanding SIS industry standards – Process safety standards and practices are spreading from oil and gas and other energy-related industries to broader process industry applications. Here’s basic advice on how to make more sense of the numbers and acronyms [such as SIS – safety integrated systems].

Motion control: Statue of Liberty rescue elevator – Application Update: At the Statue of Liberty, the new fast, efficient rescue elevator features a smooth ride to the top, ensured by a motor drive, to improve safety, emergency access, and evacuation for the crown jewel of U.S. statues and tourist destinations. (Superstorm Sandy damage to the base has been repaired, and the Statue of Liberty reopened July 4. It was closed since November 2012.)

System Integrators of the Year for 2013 – Automation Integrator Guide cover story: Control Engineering recognizes the best system integrators in the industrial automation business. The winners are…

Pages: Most popular Control Engineering pages in July follow

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Control Engineering System Integrator Hall of Fame – Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories (based on the size of the organization). Three general criteria are considered for the selection of winners: business skills, technical competence, and customer satisfaction. Winners are then inducted into our System Integrator Hall of Fame. This page was updated in December 2012 with the class of 2013.

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– Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,