Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Altruism is great, as long as there’s something in it for me. One-liners like this have been funny since standup comedians used to fall down for a laugh. Why? It’s because the second phrase contradicts the first one, and contradiction is a strong design element of humor. Engineering altruism is spending some personal time, sometimes even company-sanctioned time, on collaborative pro...
Do you know someone who has a useful and interesting control panel design story to tell? Giving advice about control panel design and construction, like any tutorial, can be a challenge. How much does your audience know? Should it begin with a review of basic design principles or should the tutorial go right to the most important attributes—advanced or basic? Consider doing a tutorial video.
Each year Control Engineering tallies posted article visits and provides a ranking. Top 10 online articles visited in 2009 reveal readers’ interests in robotics, professional effectiveness, wind power, and more. email@example.com
Today’s machine designers integrate engineering strategies inherent in human genetic designs. Latest theories on DNA-level adaptations in organisms align with how mechatronic designs in machinery increase productivity, agility, and the survival of manufacturing. Symbiogenesissays genetic adaptations can result from a DNA-level merging of two interdependent organisms.
Those practicing control engineering among their job responsibilities have an inherent advantage over others in the workplace, since the profession, by definition, requires continuous improvement. This means that reinventing yourself to be even more relevant within your organization — as so many businesses require today — may be easier because of what you already know and do daily. Link to related resources.
Think Again: I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together.
What would you do with 100 or a few thousand or 10,000 small robots that operate more or less autonomously, exchange information, and decide what’s best to do next based on information passed to them by their neighbors? An 11-year I know mostly listed chores that he found mundane and didn’t want to do himself. This is the August 2008 Control Engineering "Think Again" editorial.
Think Again: Understanding Thomas Edison’s patterns of thinking can help us be more like the guy who has 1,093 U.S. patents to his name, says co-author of the book, “Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor.” Sarah Miller Caldicott, also Edison’s great grandniece, helped a packed room of engineers at the SME Annual Meeting gain insights on innovation.
Think Again: Since the earliest pages of Control Engineering in the mid-1950s, engineers have argued fervently about the merits of closed-loop versus open-loop control. Please, set up closed-loop controls where possible and let them work their magic.
Think Again: Highest level of interoperability includes the capability to plug in a device and—without additional configuration—have it do what it’s supposed to do. Standards, industry organizations, certifications, and a variety of organizations profess plug-and-play interoperability as a goal.