Jeanine Katzel for Control Engineering
Whether for traceability, electronic record-keeping, or emissions monitoring, automated controls and software systems help facilities meet regulations—and let control engineers rest easier at night. Regulations involve monitoring and managing process emissions, tracking and tracing the manufacture of a food or pharmaceutical product, or other operation or process, failure to comply with them—and the consequences of downtime, product waste, costly fines, or worse. Control Engineering October issue feature article.
System integration: Incorporating safety into a machine or a process at the design stage is more cost-effective than doing so later. Here’s a look at how several integrators and manufacturers approach upfront safety integration and the resulting benefits. This is a Control Engineering August feature article.
Cover story: As components get smarter and more powerful, manufacturers are finding themselves managing high-performance automation and control systems whose parts are capable of monitoring themselves, diagnosing their own problems, and maybe even making a decision or two, economically and easily.
Packaging machinery OEMs need to find a way to set themselves apart to succeed, and one way may be with attention to energy efficiency. Doug Burns, practice lead for sustainable production at Rockwell Automation, says, “We are starting to see end users ask for energy data and add it to their primary decision points of cost and performance.
Having been in business for more than 150 years, Intermet is considered an expert in designing, engineering, and manufacturing castings from ductile iron, aluminum, magnesium, and zinc. The operation has a capacity of more than 700,000 tons annually. With headquarters in Ft. Worth, TX, the corporation consists of three multi-plant manufacturing divisions: ferrous, die cast, and PCPC (pressure-c...
Until recently, manufacturing execution systems (MESs) were essentially confined to the plant floor and largely unnoticed. For reasons technological, cultural, and economic, however, MESs are no longer able to hide away and simply do their jobs. These systems may just be the key to survival for manufacturing mired in an economic downturn not seen for generations.
The distinctive ring from the radio phone told the control room operator that the person on the other end would be the tank level technician. He also knew that if a call was coming in, something was amiss at the remote site tank farm. “I can’t get on the last tank” said the voice on the other end.... Here are considerations for deciding between intrinsically safe and explosion-proof.
Controls and information system personnel are building joint teams that are optimizing manufacturing operations in new ways. Business pressures and technology advances both enable and encourage the collaboration.
Operator interface terminals (OITs) come in a near-infinite variety of styles, shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. They continue to proliferate on the plant floor—and beyond—through added features and functionality that help increase the efficiency and precision of operations. This healthy state of the OIT market is confirmed in a recent online study by Control Engineering and Reed Research Group. Includes user advice, and more than 20 photos and graphics.
Concerns about energy efficiency and environmental practices are back and gaining momentum, so automation vendors and their customers are helping ensure that manufacturing is one of the greenest sectors of the economy.