David McCarthy


DCS, SCADA, Controllers July 28, 2014

Choosing between centralized and distributed control system designs

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

By David McCarthy
Workforce Development June 10, 2014

Certifications: A system integrator’s journey

When choosing a system integrator, how much importance should you place on certifications? Both individuals and the corporation can earn them, but how much do they matter?

By David McCarthy
PLM, Control Design October 19, 2013

True cost of systems integration: Consider lifecycle costs, benefits

Systems integration may be considered as one of the last items in the project, treated as a commodity, like some equipment. True cost of systems integration can be more complicated. Understand and measure these costs to keep the budget balanced over time. See supporting Control Engineering system integration research.

By David McCarthy
Mobility May 29, 2013

Industrial Ethernet alternatives

When choosing between an industrial network or other option, such as industrial Ethernet network or industrial wireless, sort out the cost and timing of legacy upgrades.

By David McCarthy
Project Management February 28, 2013

Automation project road map: Advice for the journey

Project management advice: Thinking of the automation project as a journey helps ensure safe and secure arrival, while keeping project detours and road bumps to a minimum. Planning, schedule, validation, and follow-up are key.

By David McCarthy
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 3, 2013

Creating an HMI that doesn’t get used

When that new equipment skid or machine comes in, it probably has its own HMI, but that equipment will be controlled from a larger system. What should you want that redundant HMI to do?

By David McCarthy
Ethernet August 17, 2012

Industrial Ethernet essentials: What you need to know

Ethernet of the industrial kind requires specialty knowledge and practices, unlike Ethernet for home and office. If you are installing or operating an industrial Ethernet network, here are five need-to-know essentials about cabling, signal quality, ground loops, switches, and traffic.

By David McCarthy
System Integrators May 17, 2012

Choosing the right system integrator: Criteria to help

Not all systems integrators for factory automation and process controls devices, systems, and software are created equal, and finding the best fit can be a real challenge.

By David McCarthy
System Integrators April 24, 2012

Control Panel Design: Tips and Tricks

Enclosure ratings, filters, input and output, networking, and safety are among enclosure design considerations.

By David McCarthy
Project Management March 7, 2012

Nightmare recovery

How to avoid nightmare system integration projects: When an automation project is far astray, there may be a point where you must call in reinforcements to clean up rather than scrap it. Here’s how to recover from that nightmare project and what signs might point to a future nightmare.

By David McCarthy
Info Management November 14, 2011

7 Steps of Automation Project Success

Seven steps toward automation project success include realistic scheduling, supplier selection, specification, progress and factory acceptance tests, and three more.

By David McCarthy
Ethernet October 26, 2011

IO module replacement: What you need to know

When upgrading processors, do I/O modules also need replacing? Many processor brands will communicate with legacy I/O systems and provide most or all functionality of modern control platforms. This may not be the case if changing processor brands, according to this system integrator.

By David McCarthy