Jim Montague, news editor


Workforce Development December 1, 2003

Papermaker cuts downtime with remote monitoring, diagnostics

Continuous production requires continuous support because sudden machine failures can damage products, disrupt deliveries, increase labor, shrink revenues, and make customers very unhappy. Independent papermaker Finch, Pruyn & Co. Inc. (Glen Falls, NY) is especially aware that reliable equipment and uptime are crucial because one of its four machines, which produces bonded specialty paper, ...

By Jim Montague, news editor
I/O Systems, I/O Modules November 1, 2003

Laser sensor vision system improves surface quality inspection

Jet engines typically contain hundreds of small stainless steel and Inconel fan blades to generate thrust. These blades usually wear and bend due to erosion and foreign object damage during normal flight operations. Overhaul facilities regrind or replace these blades after manual inspection. This slow, labor-intensive process checks the precise length and position of each blade in the engine's ...

By Jim Montague, news editor
PLCs, PACs October 1, 2003

Optical fiber gaining on copper

The advantages of fiber-optic wiring and networks are well known. Optical fiber can move more data faster over longer distances than copper wire. Fiber is non-conductive, so it isn't affected by electrical noise, lightning, electromagnetic interference (EMI), or radio frequency interference (RFI). It takes up less space, is unaffected by vibration, and doesn't corrode in the presence of galvani...

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control July 1, 2003

Software ‘bridge’ improves CNC efficiency during retrofit

To prevent frequent breakdowns and reduce downtime, Pressed Steel Tank (West Allis, WI) recently upgraded an obsolete CNC lathe with assistance from system integrator Nova Systems Inc. To help the retrofit succeed, Nova turned to Roy-G-Biv Corp. for a key piece of motion-control integration software.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Process Instrumentation and Sensors May 1, 2003

Seagate improves yields and control with automation software

Seagate Technology LLC (Scotts Valley, CA) delivers a wide range of products, including storage area network solutions, server appliances and disk drives for enterprise applications, personal computers, and consumer electronics. Because of this variety, Seagate is always searching for new ways to improve its operations.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development May 1, 2003

Temperature control users expect built-in intelligence, remote PC access

Active users of temperature and power control systems report a growing need for digital control systems with the built-in intelligence required to manage information related to their processes and applications, according to a survey conducted in February 2003 by Chromalox Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA), which manufactures industrial heat and control systems.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Asset Management February 11, 2002

GE Power Systems buys Bently Nevada

Atlanta, Ga. - GE Power Systems stated Jan. 24 that it has completed the acquisition of Bently Nevada Corp. (Minden, Nev.) that it announced this past November.

By Jim Montague, news editor
System Integrators February 8, 2002

Parker acquires manufacturer of structural framing systems for automation

Cleveland, O. - Parker Hannifin Corp. announced Jan. 31 that it has acquired IPS Industrial Profile Systems (Houston, Tex.) for an undisclosed sum.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Networking and Security February 8, 2002

NetSilicon, Imaging Portals cooperate on imaging management system

Waltham, Mass. - NetSilicon and Imaging Portals Inc. (IPI, Los Angeles, Calif.) announced Feb. 5 an agreement to develop ImageTrak 500N, an intelligent device for managing, controlling and connecting imaging appliances and multi-function peripherals (MFPs).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Energy, Power February 7, 2002

Rockwell’s fiscal 1Q02 earnings drop almost 64%; sales down 4%

Milwaukee, Wis. - Rockwell Automation reported Jan. 22 that its first quarter fiscal 2002 earnings plummeted 63.7% to $29 million, or 16 cents per share, in 1Q02 from $80 million, or 44 cents per share, in 1Q01.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Project Management February 7, 2002

Emerson’s fiscal 1Q02 earnings down 28.5%; process control sales up 3%

St. Louis, Mo. - Emerson announced Feb. 5 that its net earnings decreased 28.5% to $255 million in first quarter fiscal 2002 from $357 million in first quarter fiscal 2001.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development January 18, 2002

Flowserve uses iBaan for CRM to aid customer collaboration

Dallas, Tex. - To improve data sharing and collaboration, and allow customers to build and buy online, Flowserve Corp. announced Jan. 15 that it has implemented iBaan for CRM from Baan (Golden, Colo.), a provider of B2B collaborative commerce solutions and a unit of the Invensys Software Systems division of Invensys plc. Flowserve supplies of flow control products to the process industries.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 18, 2002

Delta Systems picks president, coo; appoints cto

Rogers, Ark. - Delta Systems Inc., an automation and motion control company, announced Jan. 16 that it has appointed Jake M. Bushey as president and chief operating officer, and that it also appointed William E. Salley as chief technology officer (cto).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development January 14, 2002

Lantronix purchasing building, home automation software developer

Irvine, Calif. - To strengthen its device networking solutions with advanced automation software that has enhanced management capabilities and cuts integration costs, Lantronix announced Jan. 10 that it has acquired Premise Systems Inc. (Redmond, Wa.).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Data Acquisition, DAQ January 14, 2002

Opto 22, Interlog expand presence in South America

Temecula, Calif. - To provide automation hardware, integration and training in Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, Opto 22 announced Jan. 1 that it has agreed with Interlog Electronica Ltda. (Santiago, Chile) to expand their partnership and market Opto 22's products in the three nations.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mobility January 10, 2002

Zebra launches internal wireless card socket for networked barcode printers

Vernon Hills, Ill. - To help manufacturers relocate and reconnect networked bar code label printers faster, Zebra Technologies Corp. introduced Jan. 8 its ZebraNet wireless card socket, which aids industrial networking applications with multi-card compatibility.

By Jim Montague, news editor
PLCs, PACs January 9, 2002

Rotork buying Jordan Controls

Rochester, N.Y. - Rotork Controls Inc. announced Jan. 8 that its parent company, Rotork plc (Bath, U.K.), is acquiring Jordan Controls (Milwaukee, Wis.) for $10.4 million in cash.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Control Systems 2 January 8, 2002

Invensys selling Energy Storage Group for $505 million

London, U.K. - Invensys plc announced Jan. 7 that it is selling its Energy Storage Group (ESG) to EnerSys Inc. (Reading, Pa.) for $505 million in cash.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Networking and Security January 7, 2002

RTI offers free, web-based seminars on networking for real-time applications

Sunnyvale, Calif. - A healthy fear of writing network is still no reason to hide from it, according to Real-Time Innovations (RTI, Sunnyvale, Calif.), which recently began offering a free online educational series to help users understand networking for distributed, real-time applications.

By Jim Montague, news editor
DCS, SCADA, Controllers January 4, 2002

Ci Technologies buys firms, forms agreement, makes appointments

Sydney, Australia-Ci Technologies Group Ltd. recently announced that it has bought two South African companies, its former software distributor and related systems integration business, for about $1.5 million in order to help them undertake several major system upgrade projects for global corporations, including the wider De Beers group.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Vision and Discrete Sensors January 4, 2002

ABB on team to install largest water utility fixed network RF deployment

Washington, D.C.-To replace its many aging, inaccurate water meters, the District of Columbia's Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) recently awarded what will reportedly be North America's largest fixed radio frequency (RF) network for a water utility to the team of ABB, United Metering and Hexagram.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Ethernet January 4, 2002

Holocom Networks introduces wireless gateway enclosure

San Diego, Calif.-Holocom Networks, a provider of patented, final-300-feet-to-the-desktop-zone cabling infrastructure solutions, recently released Wireless Gateway, a secure, ceiling-mounted enclosure housing wireless electronics for companies seeking wireless network connectivity.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Industrial Networking January 3, 2002

Support, use of FOUNDATION fieldbus increasing in Japan

Austin, Tex. - The Fieldbus Foundation recently conducted a survey of its members that indicates an accelerating adoption rate of FOUNDATION fieldbus throughout Japan.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 2, 2002

IEEE salary survey: experienced women in high-tech jobs earn more than men

Washington, D.C. - Professional women with 20-29 years of experience in electronic technology and information technology fields have higher median incomes than men with similar levels of experience, according to the IEEE-USA's 2001 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey released Dec. 28, 2001.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Process Safety January 2, 2002

Chromalox’s heater controller provides small footprint

Pittsburgh, Pa. - Chromalox reports its recently introduced MaxPac compact silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) power controllers have a footprint approximately 30% smaller than competing systems.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Energy, Power January 1, 2002

Modular VFD with cell bypass eliminates interruptions

To get closer to uninterrupted operation, or at least achieve five-year run time without a failure, Marathon-Ashland Petroleum (Rockford, Ill.) recently installed an advanced variable-frequency drive (VFD) as part of a multi-year, $85-million renovation of its Fluidized Bed Catalytic Cracking Unit (FBCCU) refinery system.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Industrial Networking December 31, 2001

Westinghouse Process Control to provide Italy’s Enelpower with PlantWeb

Pittsburgh, Pa.-Emerson Process Management recently announced that its Westinghouse Process Control division was selected by Enelpower to provide PlantWeb digital plant architecture to the new Enel Produzione Piettrafitta Nuova plant in Italy's Umbria region.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Control Systems December 31, 2001

New loop-powered controllers have isolated dual limits

Tucson, Ariz.-Otek Corp. reports that its recently introduced IS900 current loop controllers require no external power to operate.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development December 28, 2001

Parker Hannifin sees widespread applications for wireless networking

Cleveland, O. - Newly available wireless networking technologies are likely to find widespread use in a range of industrial applications, according to Parker Hannifin Corp., a leading diversified supplier of motion and control technologies and systems.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Process Instrumentation and Sensors December 28, 2001

Foxboro’s new OPC server software boosts its I/A Series interoperability

Foxboro, Mass. - Foxboro, a unit of Invensys Process Systems, recently introduced its new Aim*OPC server software that expands the existing interoperability of its I/A Series control system.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Networking and Security December 27, 2001

ZiLog delivers eZ80 web server for Internet connectivity

Campbell, Calif. - ZiLog Inc. recently began shipping its new eZ80190 web server product, which is designed to enable simple, cost-effective and direct connections to networks and the Internet.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 27, 2001

Hathaway makes bid to buy motion control firm

Denver, Colo. - Hathaway Corp. announced Dec. 19 that it was recently picked as the lead bidder to acquire the Industrial Devices Division (IDC) of Automation Solutions International LLC (ASI, Petaluma, Calif.).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Energy, Power December 20, 2001

STMicroelectronics breaks 200-mW per port barrier with Ethernet transceiver chip

Geneva, Switzerland - STMicroelectronics recently announced a new 0.18-micron, eight-port fast Ethernet transceiver chip, STE800P, that it says sets new records for smallest footprint and lowest power consumption-just 180 mW per port.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Machine Safety December 10, 2001

WBF chairman, ‘Father of Batch Processing’ Thomas Fisher, dies of cancer

Chandler, Ariz. - Thomas Fisher, World Batch Forum's (WBF) chairman and a leading figure in the development of batch processing standards, died Dec. 6 after a long battle with cancer.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Edge and Cloud Computing December 7, 2001

Wind River supports Motorola’s processors

Alameda, Calif. - To provide integrated networking and telecommunications solutions, Wind River Systems Inc. announced Dec. 5 that it will support Motorola's recently launched MPC8250 and MPC8241 processors.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control December 7, 2001

Berkeley introduces new motion and machine controller

Richmond Calif. - Berkeley Process Control Inc. unveiled Dec. 4 a new integrated motion and machine controller for the packaging industry.

By Jim Montague, news editor
PID, APC December 6, 2001

Infrared sensor market expected to grow 7-8% annually through 2007

San Antonio, Tex. - North American markets for infrared sensors are projected to grow 7-8% per year from producing revenues of $474.2 million in 2000 to generating $815.4 million by 2007, according to analysis released Dec. 5 by Frost & Sullivan.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics December 6, 2001

NetSilicon projects three-phase future for device networking

Waltham, Mass. - Industrial connectivity via device networking is moving from standalone, centralized computing to distributed, interconnected autonomous operations.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Project Management November 28, 2001

3Q01 industrial laser shipments down 37%

McLean, Va.-Shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and U.S. exports for 2001's third quarter were down 37% from the year before to $105.2 million, according to a recent report by the Laser System Product Group (LSPG) of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development November 28, 2001

Danfoss opens Midwest manufacturing facility

Loves Park, Ill.-Danfoss Drives, a division of Danfoss A/S (Graasten, Denmark), opened Nov. 26 a new manufacturing facility near its original operations in Rockford, Ill.

By Jim Montague, news editor
I/O Systems, I/O Modules November 27, 2001

STMicoelectronics’ flash chip speeds read, write functions

Geneva, Switzerland-STMicroelectronics unveiled Nov. 26 its M58CR064, a high-performance 64-Mbps flash memory chip.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Discrete Manufacturing November 27, 2001

Robotics industry reports 30% drop in orders

Ann Arbor, Mich.-North American robotics companies experienced a 30% decline in new orders during the first nine months of 2001, according to statistics released Nov. 7 by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Networking and Security November 26, 2001

Softworks Group launches improved TCP/IP for networked devices

Newbury Park, Calif.-The Softworks Group launched Nov. 26 its Fusion 6.0 networking software, the latest release in its transmission control protocol/Internet protocol-based (TCP/IP) product line for OEMs building connectivity into electronic products.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development November 20, 2001

Intel’s automation technology extends managed hosting services

Santa Clara, Calif. - Intel Online Services Inc. announced Nov. 19 a new automated service technology that extends the company's managed services capabilities and adds remote man-agement and other productivity improvements.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Info Management November 20, 2001

African steelmaker selects Verano for real-time data

Sunnyvale, Calif. - Verano, a real-time software infrastructure company, announced Nov. 19 that Iscor Ltd., Africa's largest steel producer, is using its Enterprise Link software to access minute-by-minute, real-time manufacturing data, minimize costs, and maximize its production of sinter, a raw material for steel.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Asset Management November 20, 2001

Sincor consortium picks Emerson to automate Venezuelan oil upgrader

Austin, Tex. - Sincor, a Venezuela-based group of companies, announced Nov. 20 that it has selected Emerson Process Management for a $12 million application of its PlantWeb field-based architecture, Asset Management Solutions (AMS) software, and services to help automate part of Sincoir's Downstream Project in Jose, Venezuela.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics November 19, 2001

NewMonics’ Java virtual machine to be used in Parker Hannifin’s products

Lisle, Ill.- NewMonics Inc. announced Nov. 16 that it will provide its Perc virtual machine technology to Parker Hannifin Corp. (Cleveland, O.) for use in an undisclosed product line.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Vision and Discrete Sensors November 16, 2001

Tyco’s electronics division to layoff 6,000

Pembroke, Bermuda - Tyco International Ltd. revealed Nov. 15 that it is cutting approximately 6,000 jobs in its electronics division, or about 8% of the division's almost 79,000 employees.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Discrete Manufacturing November 16, 2001

Omron’s light curtain internalizes functions, uses handled programmer

Schaumburg, Ill. - Omron recently reported that its new F3SN-A Type 4 safety light curtain incorporates several innovations.

By Jim Montague, news editor
I/O Systems, I/O Modules November 15, 2001

NI’s new module performs accurate measurements for high-voltage applications

Austin, Tex. - National Instruments (NI) announced Nov. 13 that engineers and scientists can now perform accurate, high-voltage analog measurements with its new FieldPoint 12-bit resolution, ±120-V input range distributed I/O module.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development November 15, 2001

Spirax Sarco acquires valve manufacturer

Blythewood, S.C. - Spirax Sarco, a developer and supplier of industrial steam management systems, announced Nov. 5 that it has purchased M&M International (Bergamo, Italy).

By Jim Montague, news editor
Workforce Development November 14, 2001

11,000 manufacturers to seek understanding at Automation Fair 2001

Atlanta, Ga. - More than 11,000 manufacturers are registered and expected to seek learning experiences and solutions to manufacturing problems at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair 2001, Nov. 14-15, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

By Jim Montague, news editor
HMI, OI November 6, 2001

Dolch acquires Touch Controls

Fremont, Calif. - Dolch Computer Systems announced Oct. 16 that it has acquired Touch Controls Inc. (Fallbrook, Calif.), a manufacturer of rugged touch solutions for remote computing applications, industrial computers, and public access kiosks.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Networking and Security November 6, 2001

Comtrol launches one-port device for serial-to-Ethernet connectivity

Minneapolis, Minn. - Comtrol Corp. began shipping Oct. 25 its DeviceMaster Primo serial port server (SPS), a new one-port solution for connecting any serial device to an Ethernet network.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Energy, Power November 5, 2001

Phoenix Contact forms partnership with ECT

Harrisburg, Pa. - Phoenix Contact Inc. recently formed a partnership with ECT International (Brookfield, Wis.) to increase convenience and product access for their customers.

By Jim Montague, news editor
I/O Systems, I/O Modules November 2, 2001

SERCOS interface schedules technical seminar

Stuttgart, Germany - The SERCOS interface interest group announced Oct. 24 that it will hold a one-day technical seminar on its Serial Real-Time Communication System (SERCOS) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2001.

By Jim Montague, news editor
November 2, 2001

Brooks Automation buying PRI Automation

Chelmsford, Billerica, Mass. - Brooks Automation Inc. and PRI Automation Inc. announced Oct. 24 that Brooks will acquire PRI, creating a semiconductor automation systems, software and services supplier with annual sales for fiscal year 2001 of approximately $700 million.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Motors and Drives November 1, 2001

Automated line aids coffee creamer bulk bag filling, reduces waste

To lessen aeration and improve accuracy, Anchor Products (Reporoa, New Zealand) recently installed an automated packing line for filling bulk bags with sodium caseinate.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 1, 2001

Realistic off-vehicle testing of transmission components

A new automatic transmission test rig with controls developed by COM Inc. (Dexter, Mich.) uses two dynamometers-one to drive the component under test and another simulating real-world load conditions.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Process Instrumentation and Sensors September 17, 2001

Stratus’ server system cuts costs, broadens applications for Windows 2000

Houston, Tex.-Stratus Technologies Inc. (Maynard, Mass.) announced at ISA 2001 that its new ftServer 3200 reduces costs and increases performance for fault-tolerant computing.

By Jim Montague, news editor
PLCs, PACs March 9, 2001

Applied Data Systems, Synergetic Micro Systems partner on platform products at NMW

Applied Data Systems

By Jim Montague, news editor
Mechatronics and Motion Control March 6, 2001

40 Control Engineering Editors’ Choice Award winners include NIAS exhibitors

The envelope please. A list of the 40 companies that won 2000 Control Engineering Editors' Choice Awards follows. For complete information on the Editors' Choice Award winning products and their descriptions, pick up the March 2001 edition of Control Engineering at booth 4508 or visit Control Engineering Online at www.controleng.com.ABBAEA TechnologyArtesisBarton Instrument SystemsBeckhoff AutomationCognexDaat Research Corp.Danaher ControlsExpertuneFieldbus FoundationFisher-RosemountFoxboroGE FanucHoneywell Industrial Controlifm efectorIntellutionIntrinsycLantronixMathWorksNational InstrumentsNewport Electronics/Omega EngineeringODVA and ControlNet InternationalOmron ElectronicsOPC FoundationOpto 22Real-Time InnovationsRittal Corp.Rockwell AutomationSchneider ElectricSiemens Energy & AutomationSmartSignalThink & Do SoftwareTol-O-Matic (sp?)USDATAVIA DevelopementWatlowWonderware Chicago, Ill.

By Jim Montague, news editor
March 6, 2001

Manufacturers predict flat growth or contraction

Chicago, Ill. -More than 80% of 327 U.S. manufacturers surveyed in mid-February predict stagnant growth or recessive contraction in their industries during the first half of 2001 and weak capital investments and earnings for the whole year, according to the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) annual survey released March 5 at National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2001. 'In light of their weak economic position, it's no surprise that the majority of manufacturers expect GDP growth of 2% or less in 2001,'says Jerry Jasinowski, NAM's president.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Edge and Cloud Computing February 1, 2001

Synergetic’s ‘Embedded Comm’ moves board onto chip

In the soft logic, automation, and embedded systems markets, users typically spend several hundred dollars on communications modules, which prevents high-volume implementation of communications and networking functions.To give users an improved, inexpensive solution, Synergetic Micro Systems (Downers Grove, Ill.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Diagnostics, Asset Management February 1, 2001

Human element gains value in control, manufacturing equation

Many firms are trying to evaluate and maximize the positive impact of intangible assets—beyond image and branding—which were often ignored in the past. How? By increasing training, naturally, and including newer concepts, such as web-based learning and realignment of employees' learning, performance, and passions with their organization's redefined core purposes.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Industrial Networking October 1, 2000

F-R calls E+H’s fieldbus-related patent attacks ‘total trash’

"There is no Trojan horse, no monopoly, and no trap," states Fisher-Rosemount (F-R) in a Sept. 6 response to recent charges by Endress+Hauser (E+H, Reinach, Switzerland) that implementing the new IEC 61158 and EN 50170 fieldbus standards would infringe on some of F-R's patents.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Asset Management September 1, 2000

Communication, relationship building nurture mergers

Mergers and acquisitions are never simple. Still, they can be made easier—and achieve greater long-term success—if participants engage in open, honest communication and build new relationships with the same diligence devoted to financial matters. Too often mergers seem to be bottom-line driven, inspired by a bigger-must-be-better mindset, or simply intended to stifle competition.

By Jim Montague, news editor
PID, APC June 1, 2000

Frequent, face-to-face conversation key to proactive project management

Engineers, trained to be whizzes at meeting technological challenges, are sometimes rewarded with management jobs they aren't prepared to handle.Engineering education and most manufacturing settings are traditionally so focused on completing technical tasks that they sometimes neglect to give rookie project managers the leadership and people skills they need to help their teams cooperate ...

By Jim Montague, news editor
PID, APC April 1, 1998

Riding the whirlwind of change and opportunity

Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know. Control and automation professionals have always been aware that technical training and on-site experience are the key to success. However, as manufacturing grows more technologically and financially chaotic, traditional knowhow may seem to be powerless in the face of today's upheaval.

By Jim Montague, news editor