Jim Montague

Articles

Energy, Power May 1, 2005

Change: The New Normal

It's often said, though first by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, that people can get used to anything. Control and automation engineers and other technical professionals are no exception, despite their conservative, if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it reputation. The recent economic turnaround and their own maturing survival instinct may be why the 1,846 respondents to Control Engineering's "Nor...

By Jim Montague
Wireless May 1, 2005

Wireless: Simple, Safe, Secure, Successful

Everybody's doing it. You can too. First, try to ignore all the billowing hype, sunshine pumping, prophecies of doom, and other nebulous and/or extreme baloney presently latched onto wireless. Forget about all the cell phones, laptops, Blackberries, and other convenience-based settings where wireless is traditionally used.

By Jim Montague
Workforce Development April 1, 2005

Automation Emerging in Pharmaceuticals, Biotech

If some automation is good, then more will be better. That's how the nation's drug makers can increase product quality, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent process analytical technology (PAT) guidelines. It's also how automation and control technologies will help Interphex 2005 showcase a record-breaking 1,000 exhibitors in its 26th annual show, April 26-28, at New York'...

By Jim Montague
Process Instrumentation and Sensors March 10, 2005

Networks busting out all over (Expanded online version)

To read the original print version of the article click here. It’s not quite spring yet, but industrial networks seem to be popping up on plant floors like those proverbial flowers after April showers. Implementation of networking methods, fieldbus protocols, hardware, software, and related equipment appear to be increasing in more numerous and more diverse applications across almost all manufacturing industries. The long-awaited critical mass at which the majority of point-to-point, hardwired networks will shift to twisted-pair fieldbuses, Ethernet, Internet, and wireless may not have occurred yet, but it may be getting started.

By Jim Montague
Process Instrumentation and Sensors March 1, 2005

Networks Busting Out All Over

It's not quite spring yet, but industrial networks seem to be popping up on plant floors like those proverbial flowers after April showers. Implementation of networking methods, fieldbus protocols, hardware, software, and related equipment appear to be increasing in more numerous and more diverse applications across almost all manufacturing industries.

By Jim Montague
Workforce Development February 1, 2005

Hands-On Face-Time

Virtual reality just isn't as good as real reality. E-mail, Internet, Power Point presentations, Webcasts, and video clips are nifty, but they still can't replace talking face-to-face with other engineers; examining new devices hands-on; or getting some useful answers in-person from experts at a seminar.

By Jim Montague
Control Systems December 1, 2004

Safety Networks Up and Running

If you can't actually see your safety network, then you'd better be absolutely sure you have some way of making certain it exists and is operating properly. Luckily, regulatory changes in the past couple of years are making it possible for developers to provide safety fieldbuses and related solutions, and give end-users the material, labor, and efficiency savings they need.

By Jim Montague
Wireless November 1, 2004

Sensor Interface Standard Rides Again

Reports of the demise of the IEEE 1451 Smart Transducer Interface Standard have been greatly exaggerated—to paraphrase Mark Twain. Though not actually ailing, the standard was delayed in limbo, until developers began using its recently approved IEEE 1451.4 section. This part of the standard adds a memory component to smarten sensors, and adds self-identification using transducer electroni...

By Jim Montague
PID, APC September 7, 2004

Down-to-Earth Engineering in Space

Click here to read the original print article. Chet Vaughan, Boeing’s acting chief engineer for the International Space Station, says basic control and automation principles help the U.S. space program cope with challenges from galloping technical evolution to integration and standardization issues.

By Jim Montague
PLM, Control Design June 11, 2004

Fellowship of the Fieldbuses?

To read the original printed article click here . Driven by end-users seeking more interoperability and responding to Ethernet’s accelerating emergence, the major fieldbus protocols and their trade organizations are cooperating—at least on the surface—to meet those demands. The customer is always right, especially when they find out that their needs aren’t being met.

By Jim Montague
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