Courtesy: CFE Media

Mark T. Hoske

Articles

Virtualization, Cloud, Analytics January 23, 2023

System integration, edge computing tips for automation

System integrators are using edge computing platforms to create simple, scalable, repeatable and protected automation and control architectures. Jan. 25 webcast, archived for a year, offers tips and other information.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration January 14, 2023

How next-generation automation will help in 2023

As part of the 2023 “How to automate series” of webcasts, three firms selected as 2023 System Integrator of the Year explain how and what next-generation automation they expect will help their clients in the coming year. A preview of the Jan. 18 webcast, archived for 1 year, follows.

By Mark T. Hoske
Motors, Drives January 13, 2023

Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2022

Think Again: Automation product awards, motors and drives, automation salary and career information, Engineering Leaders Under 40, IIoT implementation help, tutorials on HMIs, SCADA and PLC programming help were among the hot topics of 2022. See top 3 covers and top 10 articles posted prior to 2022.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration December 12, 2022

System integrators: Automation glue

Control system integrators serve as the hardware, software and networking glue to help plan, design and integrate automation and controls projects.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology
Workforce Development October 19, 2022

Contribute expertise in 2023

It’s been on your career-advancement list: Share your knowledge with Control Engineering peers in 2023 on the most important topics research identified for automation and controls.

By Mark T. Hoske
CNC, Motion Control October 6, 2022

IMTS: Machine tool hardware, software, efficiency, integration tools

Siemens machine tool announcements at IMTS aim to simplify operations, increase productivity, manage machine tool resources, advance related ecosystems and digital thread, with collaboration to integrate additive and subtractive CNC machining technologies.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research September 9, 2022

Networks, computing purchasing for automation

Purchasing Industrial Computing and Networking, August 2022: Control Engineering research says one-third of buyers would switch vendors; half would consider given good reason; just 15% were very satisfied. For responses to a write-in question, honesty was most important.

By Mark T. Hoske
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 August 14, 2022

Digitalization, interoperability help with industrial sustainability

Think Again: Industrial challenges such as carbon emission reductions, increased capacity and skilled labor shortages require factory automation and process control users apply more digitalization and require interoperability.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems July 30, 2022

15 pieces of automation advice from ROKLive 2022

Automation can help optimize industrial operations, as noted at ROKLive, a recent conference on industrial operations, maintenance, engineering, and enterprise-wide solutions automation, linking operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).

By Mark T. Hoske
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 July 12, 2022

Factories born digital save 10x conversion cost

A digital-first smart-manufacturing plant to recycle polypropylene is expected to save 10 times the cost compared to facilities that convert from manual or analog in a digital transformation process.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing July 5, 2022

Building interoperable control systems

Mixing control system components from different manufacturers often took more integration time than practical. Efforts from Open Process Automation Forum are leading to interoperability among controls manufacturers.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research June 28, 2022

Automation helps combat labor shortages

Think Again: Are automation and controls helping to fill the growing manufacturing skills gap? Control Engineering research, “Purchasing Considerations for Automation Systems & Control Systems” shows an increase in spending for the next 12 months in most categories.

By Mark T. Hoske
Darrell Halterman, director, PACSystems controllers, Emerson, explains how to design a modern, flexible and secure machine control system in the June 15 webcast, “Truly open and secure machine control.” Courtesy: Emerson
PLCs, PACs June 24, 2022

Modern machine control system design in 7 steps webcast preview

Seven steps can help with modern machine control system design: Get a preview below of a June 15 webcast providing more detail.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Rockwell Automation
‘Power of Industry’ will propel Hannover Fair 2001 June 14, 2022

Use digital design tools to elevate machine design

Webcast explains advantages of designing modern machines with digital engineering software tools. Machine design concepts, proposal, system and automation design, testing training, startup, operations and maintenance all benefit from digital engineering.

By Mark T. Hoske
PLCs, PACs June 3, 2022

Modern machine control system design in 7 steps

Seven steps can help with modern machine control system design: Get a preview below of a June 15 webcast providing more detail.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2022
Workforce Development May 19, 2022

Fill the skills gap: Automation, training, retention

Think Again: Fill the growing manufacturing skills gap with more automation, training, retention, benefits and amenities, according to the Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2022, other research, related articles and a May 25 webcast, “Automation experts wanted: Hire, retain the best.”

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology
Control Systems April 14, 2022

Automation, robotics, AI, ransomware

Think Again: Applying automation, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) may be easier than you think. Preventing a ransomware attack may be more difficult, as explained at the A3 Business Forum in February. See upcoming conferences.

By Mark T. Hoske
CNC, Motion Control March 24, 2022

Motion plastics: Improved deliveries, investments in climate neutrality

Faster deliveries, movement toward carbon neutrality and motion control designs that decrease reliance on lubrication are among trends from igus, a German-based manufacturer of motion plastics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology
Control Systems March 12, 2022

Robotics, motion control, machine vision, AI

Think Again: Business is strong for automation, as explained by speakers at the A3 Business Forum in February.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics March 11, 2022

Technology trends in machine vision, motion, robotics, supply chain

Advancements in industrial networking, machine vision, motion control, robotics, supply chain, and simulation were among Pack Expo Las Vegas developments.

By Mark T. Hoske
Image courtesy: Wood
PLCs, PACs January 11, 2022

Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2021

Think Again: PLC programming, AI and control system evolution, the Career and Salary Survey and HMI/SCADA design were among top articles posted on the Control Engineering website during 2021. Why? See also top 3 covers, top 10 articles posted prior to 2021.

By Mark T. Hoske
Searching on “analytics” in the New Products for Engineers database returns 245 entries that may help when you need more than speadsheets. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology New Products for Engineers Database.
Virtualization, Cloud, Analytics January 7, 2022

Spreadsheets for analytics

Many companies offer software for data analytics to create information and insights from data collected from automation, controls and instrumentation. Most data-gathering software also downloads in a spreadsheet format: Many users have spreadsheets for special applications or quick insights.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Yokogawa
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 January 5, 2022

Advancing from industrial automation to industrial autonomous operations

A major controls vendor focuses on industry, uses cloud-based software, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics integration to move customers from industrial automation to autonomous operations.

By Mark T. Hoske
November-December 2021 Control Engineering digital edition and related links became available at www.controleng.com in December 2021. Courtesy: Control Engineering
CNC, Motion Control December 29, 2021

Control Engineering November-December digital edition, Global System Integrator Report

Inventory insights, standardization help for the supply chain, cloud and edge, motion system efficiency, control systems and AI, vibration measurement are among topics in the November-December 2021 edition of Control Engineering. Global System Integrator Report, Oil & Gas Engineering, and ebooks also are included.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering
Ethernet December 28, 2021

Single-pair Ethernet expands beyond automotive applications

Single-pair Ethernet (SPE), rated for rugged and harsh environments, is lightweight and more cost effective than four- or eight-wire Ethernet and can enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). See industrial communications speed vs. distance table.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CFE Media and CFE Technology.
Research December 16, 2021

Supply chain shortages encourage automation interoperability

Automation users are more likely to purchase from companies supporting standards that promote interoperability: Among findings in Control Engineering research.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology
Sensors, Actuators October 22, 2021

Smart sensor, compressed air monitoring helps Colgate-Palmolive with net zero carbon target

Emerson’s sensors and analytics help Colgate-Palmolive save energy and optimize production processes in manufacturing facilities, decreasing its carbon footprint. Other Emerson technologies applied to food processing and packaging were shown at Pack Expo Las Vegas, including controls, augmented reality, and pneumatics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Virtual Training Week from CFE Media and Technology, SEW Eurodrive
CNC, Motion Control October 18, 2021

Understand total system efficiency for motion control

Motion system efficiency, more than induction motor efficiency, also depends on electrical input power, variable frequency drives, gearboxes and transmission elements like chains and belts. Learn more in an Oct. 22 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CFE Media Virtual Training Week, Festo
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 October 15, 2021

How to teach digital transformation to enable advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing training can improve understanding of required competencies, Industry 4.0, Industry 4.0 technologies and use of industrial data, according to a 1-hour engineering training course available starting Oct. 18.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Virtual Training Week from CFE Media and Technology and Applied Manufacturing Technology
Machine Safety October 15, 2021

How safety validation is changing in an IIoT, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing world

Modern advances in controls and connectivity are increasing considerations for safety validations, according to an Oct. 20 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week, MIMOSA
Asset Management October 14, 2021

Asset lifecycle management: Interoperability standards help digital transformation

A lifecycle approach for digital and physical asset management adds efficiency to capital projects, handover and associated maintenance and reliability management activities and in other ways.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology
Energy Efficiency October 14, 2021

Next-generation automation development for sustainability

Successful digitalization can enhance sustainability efforts, and Schneider Electric is helping customers with both, according to a Pack Expo Las Vegas conference presentation.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Virtual Training Week, CFE Media and Technology, PI North America
Wireless October 13, 2021

Manufacturers seek benefits of open, real-time location services

An interoperable standard for a real-time location system (RTLS) is helping industry benefit from open interfaces and ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless technologies for asset tracking indoors and outdoors, according to an Oct. 20 Virtual Training Week training session from CFE Media and Technology.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week, Wood
Edge Computing, Embedded Systems October 13, 2021

AI, controls and the future of maintenance

Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are helping control and maintenance effectiveness, and an application demonstration shows how process simulation and machine teaching builds AI-based controllers to resolve industry problems, as shown in an Oct. 21 Virtual Training Week course.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Festo
CNC, Motion Control September 28, 2021

Simplified electric motion, intelligent air flow control, I/O modules

Simplified electric motion, intelligent motion terminal flow control, decentralized I/O modules are among products shown at the Festo booth at Pack Expo Las Vegas, Sept. 27-29.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Lenze
CNC, Motion Control September 27, 2021

Smoother machine designs, better integration

Integration of motion control and robotics, along with high-powered processing capabilities enable smoother, more secure machine designs for packaging and other industries. See video from Pack Expo.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 September 18, 2021

Even smarter manufacturing

I haven’t toured a manufacturing or processing facility that left me thinking, “That was a dumb manufacturing plant.” Even so, smart manufacturing is impressive. Learn from these examples.

By Mark T. Hoske
The August 2021 issue of Control Engineering provides information about applying automation, along with other topics. www.controleng.com/magazine Courtesy: Control Engineering
Control Systems September 16, 2021

Control Engineering August 2021 edition gets a grip on applying automation

How to apply automation is the topical focus of the August 2021 digital edition of Control Engineering. Link to the August issue articles below and to prior 2021 issues.

By Mark T. Hoske
The August 2021 issue of Control Engineering provides information about applying automation, along with other topics. www.controleng.com/magazine Courtesy: Control Engineering
Control Systems August 16, 2021

Inside the how-to guide for applying automation

While everything from Control Engineering helps with applying automation, more than a dozen August articles offer advice on applying automation to get the best results.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering webcast on “Exploring industrial wireless best practices.”
Wireless August 6, 2021

Exploring industrial wireless best practices: More answers

Learn more on industrial wireless, including wireless sensors, wireless reliability and wireless technology selection.

By Mark T. Hoske
Upper left: Automotive manufacturer Nissan integrated 3D printing into its Barcelona factory using BCN3D. Courtesy: BCN3D press release Lower left: A Velo3D Sapphire additive manufacturing machine for advanced metal (AM) is used by contract manufacturers, among others. Courtesy: Velo3D press release Right: Cummins announced investment in binder jet technology to form a solid part one layer at a time at 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes. Courtesy: Cummins press release
Discrete Manufacturing July 12, 2021

Automated 3D printing: Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing uses sophisticated motion controls and moves seamlessly from design to manufacturing; 3D printing with metal progresses.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Velo3D
Discrete Manufacturing July 10, 2021

Additive manufacturing without a 3D printer: Impossible parts

Advanced motion controls, real-time sensing and monitoring, and quality assurance add value to additive manufacturing (3D printing) machines that use metals and can cost well over $1 million, and available through contract manufacturers.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Cummins
Discrete Manufacturing July 9, 2021

Cummins integrates metal 3D printed production

More additive manufacturing is expected, lower costs, higher speeds with 20 part numbers available. Depending on the complexity of the part, the technology can print 60 to 100 times faster than other laser-based printing processes, allowing high-volume production.

By Mark T. Hoske
In a July 8, 2021 webcast from Control Engineering, “Exploring industrial wireless best practices,” Laurie Cavanaugh, business development manager, E Technologies, said industrial operations have many reasons to update and expand wireless use, including mobile applications, safety and efficiency, including monitoring personnel and assets in confined spaces, augmented reality and on-the-job training, mobile dashboards, and gamification, the trend of using video game technologies in interfaces that users expect to see. Courtesy: E Technologies, Wood, and Control Engineering
System Integration July 8, 2021

Advice: Exploring best practices for industrial wireless

Reasons for updating and expanding industrial wireless use are increasing. Understand how use cases can inform a corporate industrial wireless strategy.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: BCN3D press release
Control Systems July 8, 2021

Nissan accelerates assembly, lowers costs with 3D printing

Additive manufacturing uses sophisticated motion controls and moves from seamlessly from design to manufacturing; 3D printing with metal continues to progress.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Siemens Digital Industries Software
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 June 24, 2021

Accelerate machine designs, speed to market via digital twin collaboration

A survey of industrial machinery companies explores the biggest issues with digital twin adoption. Machine builders are using digital twins to increase efficiency of machine design processes to get machines completed and running in less time at lower cost.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: PTC
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 June 23, 2021

Access real-time data; avoid digital blind spots

Agile, resilient operations derive from tools that make real-time data visible and useful. See post COVID-19 pandemic advice, including from a manufacturer, Anchor Glass.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Autotech Controls
Sensors, Vision June 22, 2021

Industry standard size 25 encoder reference website, push-button programmable encoders

An encoder part number reference website, www.autotechsmartencoder.net, deciphers more than 200,000 size-25 encoder combinations, gives descriptions and replacement options with next-day delivery for orders placed by 6 p.m. CST; 10 two-button-programmable encoders are said to cover all combinations.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Ethernet-APL
Ethernet June 15, 2021

Ethernet-APL standard is complete, products are on the way: Two-wire, 10Mbit/s Ethernet for process industries

See 10 Ethernet-APL benefits, including technical specifications, test standards, and two-wire Ethernet physical layer components enabling deployment of high-speed communication field instruments in hazardous process automation environments, available after 3 years of work.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering research, CFE Media and CFE Technology
Research May 18, 2021

Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2021

Career update: COVID-19 accelerates innovative technology implementations; engineering salaries increase; job satisfaction is high. The lack of skilled workers, economy and lack of necessary materials are biggest threats to manufacturing.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering research, CFE Media and CFE Technology
Workforce Development May 18, 2021

Career, salary survey 2021: Advice

Respondents to the 2021 Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey research provided related advice, and education was the most-offered of six topics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CSIA
System Integrators May 10, 2021

System integrators are a good investment

Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) provided benchmarking factors to improve operational and financial performance, as well as recruiting and retention for engineering and technology personnel.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering, MIT
PID, APC May 5, 2021

Control loops benefit more than control systems

The world is filled with missing feedback loops that could improve performance if those loops were closed. Learn how your automation knowledge can help others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Control Engineering at ProMatDX
Robotics April 16, 2021

Robots help streamline warehouse operations

Warehousing industry has huge automation potential, and artificial intelligence-driven robotics technologies are helping with labor shortages, rapid online sales growth, and greater demands for faster deliveries, according to a ProMatDX 2021 session. See 7 reasons for AI-enabled intralogistics robots.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: CFE Media screen capture from 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 April 13, 2021

Hannover Messe Digital Edition: Digital transformation, international collaboration, award winner

With industrial digital transformation as the theme, the 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition kicked off a week of more than 1,500 program activities with more than 500 speakers, April 12-16, covering trends in industry, energy and logistics with experts from business, science and industry. See the 2021 Hermes Award winner.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Siemens in a ProMatDX preview
CNC, Motion Control April 8, 2021

Intralogistics markets expand motion control use

Huge demand in warehousing, food and beverage, and other interior logistics (intralogistics) applications expand variable frequency drive flexibility and features.

By Mark T. Hoske
Craig Resnick, vice president, consulting, ARC Advisory Group, noted during the 2021 ARC Advisory Group ARC Forum, many common needs of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) organizations including standard-based solutions, scalable and upgradable solutions, security and energy efficiency. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, ARC Forum 2021 online, ARC Advisory Group
Cybersecurity April 7, 2021

Secure remote connections

Industrial control systems require secure remote connections. Did the pandemic help IT to understand OT needs and help OT to see IT concerns about cybersecurity and remote access?

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
Control Systems March 26, 2021

Digitalization, automation advice, benefits

A global manufacturer explains benefits and offers advice about connecting the real world of manufacturing to the virtual world, through digitalization and automation.

By Mark T. Hoske
At ARC Forum, in the Schneider Electric Zoom press conference, Kaishi Zhang, EcoStruxure automation expert/product management director, and John Conway, vice president business transformation next gen automation, discussed universal automation benefits. EcoStruxure Automation Expert software, allows users to design processes independently of the system, easily distribute changes, design a digital twin first for faster testing and adjustment. https://Exchange.se.com has more information. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology, ARC Advisory Group
Cybersecurity March 9, 2021

Interoperability best practices, integration, automation, controls

Standardization frameworks encourage more automation interoperability. Interoperability is trying to move from one or a few automation ecosystems into a wider world. See four levels of cybersecurity.

By Mark T. Hoske
The Open Process Automation Forum timeline moves from 2016 prototype to test beds and commercial deployment in 2025 to 2026 timeframe, according to Dominic (Nick) Clausi, vice president of engineering, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in a 2021 ARC Forum presentation. Courtesy: ExxonMobil, ARC Advisory Group
DCS, SCADA, Controllers March 8, 2021

Moving toward automation interoperability

More than 30 organizations were involved in the next version of the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS). A secure, standard and interoperable process control system architecture is the goal.

By Mark T. Hoske
As of its Feb. 1, 2021, introduction, Unitronics UniStream PLC Cloud Series is said to be the only PLC with embedded built-in cloud without monthly subscription fee or any additional purchase of hardware and software. Just connect and go. Courtesy: Unitronics
PLCs, PACs February 1, 2021

PLC users can use cloud services without programming

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), machine builders and others can access a no-code Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) cloud platform, providing easy-to-use data analysis tools, other functionality for bottom-line improvements

By Mark T. Hoske
Research January 27, 2021

OT, IT collaboration helps IIoT

Recent research indicates more operational technology and information technology collaboration, and 40% are spending more to do it. See a dozen bits of OT/IT collaboration advice.

By Mark T. Hoske
Coronavirus, COVID-19 January 8, 2021

Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2020

Think Again: programmable controller programming languages, COVID-19 acceleration of engineering, automation and digitalization, and variable frequency drive parameters were among top articles posted on the Control Engineering website during 2020.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems December 20, 2020

Data flow, alarms, simulation, cybersecurity, robotics

Control Engineering highlights automation, controls and instrumentation successes in every issue at www.controleng.com in between.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity December 8, 2020

More answers on what you need to know about cybersecurity

Below are more answers resulting from a cybersecurity webcast on cybersecurity architectures, training, best practices, risk assessment and trends based on research.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity November 20, 2020

What you need to know about cybersecurity

A webcast on cybersecurity offers information about cybersecurity architectures, training, best practices, risk assessment and trends based on research.

By Mark T. Hoske
PLM, Control Design November 18, 2020

Best practices matter when designing control systems

When lives depend on control system design (and even when they don’t), best practices matter. Here’s what I’d like control system designers to know.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity November 8, 2020

Think again about measurements, logic, actions

A world with a pandemic can benefit from control engineering to measure, apply logic, and take actions in a transparent way, then repeat and optimize. Cybersecurity, remote connections, digital twins, artificial intelligence, training, and challenging old information all can help.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing November 6, 2020

Process instrumentation tips and tricks

Advances in process instrumentation extend beyond sensor accuracy. Computing, algorithms and networking capabilities add functionality. 

By Mark T. Hoske
Edge Computing, Embedded Systems October 13, 2020

Collaborative robot optimization with AI, for safer manufacturing during COVID-19

Collaborative robots use artificial intelligence (AI) to increase usefulness in dynamically changing workspaces. Cobot factory applications can create more space between workers, lowering COVID-19 risk for manufacturers while increasing throughput.

By Mark T. Hoske
‘Power of Industry’ will propel Hannover Fair 2001 October 10, 2020

Control Engineering subscribers at work

Contribute your image and caption to add to this Control Engineering subscribers-at-work article; write an article for 2021 and vote for the best products.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing October 4, 2020

Process sensors, wireless transmitters, help pump diagnostics

Applying vibration and temperature sensors with wireless transmitters, paired to local or cloud diagnostics, can help keep pumps running safely and reliably. 

By Mark T. Hoske
‘Power of Industry’ will propel Hannover Fair 2001 September 16, 2020

Advanced motor and generator designer, Daniel B. Jones, dies 

Dan Jones, Incremotion Associates, dies at 84 after more than 60 years in the motion control industry, with decades of service to associations and involvement in more than 100 motor designs, including one for a NASA mission to Mars.

By Mark T. Hoske
‘Power of Industry’ will propel Hannover Fair 2001 September 10, 2020

Long-time Control Engineering editor, Edward J. Kompass, dies

Ed Kompass, a Control Engineering editor from 1954 to 1987, passed away on Aug. 31, 2020, at age 93. He was a regular contributor after retirement and last wrote a column for the 50th anniversary issue (linked below), “We never could have dreamed,” in 2004.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity September 5, 2020

Cybersecurity tips from subscribers

Cybersecurity advice about process, technologies, people (internal) and external threat resulted from the Control Engineering 2020 Cybersecurity Research Report. See graphic of technologies and services used online.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research August 17, 2020

Hot topics in Control Engineering

Research: For 2021, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), control system integration, instrumentation, industrial wireless, industrial PCs, industrial Ethernet, and advanced process control are among hot topics; 18 topics are in the top 10; 62 are in the top 20.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics August 10, 2020

Automation helps with COVID-19, energy efficiency, robotics, non-contact motion control, STEM

Automation innovation has opportunities to help with COVID-19 pandemic response, energy efficiency, robotics, non-contact motion control using superconductivity, training and by creating increased interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

By Mark T. Hoske
PLM, Control Design August 9, 2020

Integrated design software lowers costs, adds flexibility

Product lifecycle management software (PLM) and service lifecycle management software enabled by integration with cloud services and applications, helps a variety of industries with digital twins, digitalization, automation design and plant design. See five attributes of a digital twin.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics August 2, 2020

Robotic software improves robot health

Industrial robotic software, industrial networks and cloud-based technologies are helping to improve industrial robotic health, improve robotic uptime and better manage robotic assets.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research July 16, 2020

Research: Controller programming methods, advice

Control Engineering 2020 research on industrial programmable controllers said ladder logic continues to dominate programming, software integration and simulation capabilities are increasing, and survey respondents seek programming flexibility. See six software-related programmable controller changes since 2018 and nine programmable controller bits of software advice.

By Mark T. Hoske
Wireless July 9, 2020

What is radio frequency identification? What can RFID products do?

RFID wireless communication technologies enable many applications across industries include identification and access; people, asset and product tracking; safety and machine tools, among others.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity June 13, 2020

Cybersecurity requires asset updates

Age of existing assets are the greatest cybersecurity risk factor, 67% in 2020 Control Engineering research, up from 46% in 2016. This is of particular concern with remote operations increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and manufacturing starting up again.

By Mark T. Hoske
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 June 6, 2020

Seven ways automation design software helps IIoT

Electrical and automation design software can help with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) automation implementations in seven ways. See product examples.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research May 21, 2020

Top products since COVID-19 pandemic relate to air control, cleaning

In the New Products for Engineers Database by CFE Media and Technology, 5 of the top 6 products cover control of air or cleaning, since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research May 19, 2020

Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey, 2020

Career update: Many subscribers work in critical industries; half of non-salary compensation relies on profits, some changed by COVID-19. Lack of skilled workers continues to be the top threat to manufacturing for the survey period ending March 16, before more recent COVID-19 impacts.

By Mark T. Hoske
Workforce Development May 19, 2020

Education, attitude, communication are top tip topics from 2020 salary survey respondents

Career update: Top areas of advice offer by respondents to the 2020 Career and salary survey from Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, cover education, attitude, communications. Advice also includes engineering tips, project management, and workplace strategies.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems May 8, 2020

Engineering impact on COVID-19

How are engineers applying what they’ve learned to help during the COVID-19 pandemic? See six ways automation and control engineering industry knowledge can help.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics April 30, 2020

How to quickly start a robotic pick-and-place application

Moving parts from a bin to a precise location has required repetitive human agility or talent to address vision, programming and robotic integration challenges. A pre-integrated kit can shorten time to productivity, helping machine tending and pick-and-place robotic applications. See May 12 live webcast and 7 tips below.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research April 8, 2020

Poll results, week 2: Doubled adverse COVID-19 impact on engineers, industry

Research analysis, advice: Adverse effects of Coronavirus more than doubled in just a week for visitors to Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, Oil & Gas Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer websites taking a survey on COVID-19 impacts on engineering. For respondents answering March 11 to 19 and March 20 to 25, 13% felt a “great deal” of impact in the first week and 35% the next week.

By Mark T. Hoske
Research March 19, 2020

Poll results: Coronavirus, COVID-19 impact on engineers and industry

Coronavirus impact data was collected from March 12 to 17 from visitors to Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, Oil & Gas Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer websites. Half of respondents’ business have negative effects; half have supply chain problems. Results cover impact on business, company responses, travel, future outlook, government strategies and other topics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics March 18, 2020

More answers about robotic applications

Success of robotic applications requires putting the right robot with the right application. Learn more from system integrators from the webcast, “Robotic applications: What robots should and shouldn’t be doing,” including collaborative robots, motion, pitfalls, and more.

By Mark T. Hoske
Coronavirus, COVID-19 March 17, 2020

COVID-19 impact on engineering, engineers

Engineers like facts and seek credible information sources on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) effects to the engineering-related world. Engineers also have technologies, processes and expert advice that can help. See Control Engineering highlights.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems March 12, 2020

How to compete and win with automation

With automation at an inflection point, a variety of technologies and interoperable standards efforts are bringing higher levels of flexibility, integration and optimization.

By Mark T. Hoske
Webcasts March 10, 2020

Which applications can benefit from a robot?

When should a robot be used for what industrial applications and why? Learn from and ask your questions of expert speakers. Share your challenges in a live webcast poll. A PDH credit is available for this RCEP webcast.

By Mark T. Hoske
Industrial PCs February 18, 2020

What kind of redundancy: Mirrored server or edge devices?

This advice will help with the decision between an industrial mirrored server or twin edge devices when designing a new computing system or control system architecture. Short video gives three edge computing tips.

By Mark T. Hoske
Discrete Manufacturing February 14, 2020

Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2019

Think Again: Engineering salaries and career tips, object-oriented programming, rate-predictive control, Internet of Things (IoT) and career advice were among top articles posted on the Control Engineering website during 2019.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI January 20, 2020

Industrial HMI migrations: Help with Microsoft Windows 7 expiration

Microsoft Windows 7 expired on Jan. 14, and manufacturers’ human-machine interface (HMI) software may still need help migrating to a supported operating system. System integrators can provide migration assistance to lower cybersecurity risk.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems January 11, 2020

How clear were 2020 automation predictions?

Think again: Did you have 2020 vision? How clear were your foresights? Predictions of automation, controls, and instrumentation for 2020 were spot on, though perhaps closer to the ideal than to where most are. Are you making these changes quickly enough to stay competitive?

By Mark T. Hoske
Ethernet December 14, 2019

Ethernet for process and discrete devices

Think Again: Separate efforts aim to extend Ethernet to process and discrete devices. Standards can promote interoperability for devices and software if standards are specific enough.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration November 4, 2019

Five control panel building tips

Software, data management, and decreased wiring are among control panel design benefits, when digitalization is integrated in design.

By Mark T. Hoske
Webcasts October 15, 2019

Cannot find enough welders? Could a collaborative robot welder help?

Technology Update on robotic welding: Learn how a collaborative robot could help with welding applications.

By Mark T. Hoske
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 October 13, 2019

Eight IIoT project tips

If you’re stalled with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations or haven’t begun, consider these eight expert tips.

By Mark T. Hoske
Motors, Drives October 12, 2019

Survey respondents offer motor drive advice

Motor drive advice was offered in a write-in question in the Control Engineering motor drive research, summarized in the September issue.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integrators October 8, 2019

Packaging system integration advice

A vegetable processor packaging project included integration of weighers, baggers, robotic case loaders, case formers and closers, robotic palletizing and conveyors. Packaging, records and raw materials were updated and automated across eight sites. Seven bakery lines converge in one packaging area that fills 20 cases per minute.

By Mark T. Hoske
Workforce Development September 21, 2019

Control Engineering 2020

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), process and machine control systems, automation and instrumentation are among the topics Control Engineering will advance in 2020, a year that suggests perfect vision and hindsight, as we mark 65 years in September 2019.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing September 13, 2019

Leonard W. Moore, founder of Moore Industries-International passes away at 85

Leonard (Len) W. Moore, P.E., founder and owner of Moore Industries-International Inc., an industrial and automation control company, passed at the age of 85.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing September 10, 2019

Continuing education advances process control, instrumentation productivity

Process control productivity requires education for optimal technology specification, integration and use. Industrial suppliers are among those doing the educating.

By Mark T. Hoske
Motors, Drives August 16, 2019

Motors, fans, pumps, compressors: IIoT avoids downtime

Think Again: Remote monitoring, sensors, analytics and real-time intelligence is helping those who manufacture, use, and repair motors and attached critical assets to avoid downtime with prescriptive maintenance technologies, says EASA and Plant Engineering research.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics August 11, 2019

Collaborative robotics deliver faster ROI

Technology update: Collaborative robots used in industrial applications can be easier than traditional robotics for set up and redeployment, producing rapid return on investments (ROIs) in many diverse applications, according to one robot manufacturer.

By Mark T. Hoske
Other Networks July 4, 2019

Digitalization advantages

Think Again: Major automation companies tout next-generation tools offering digitalization advantages, mobility and flexibility, for greater speed to higher profits.

By Mark T. Hoske
Sensors, Vision June 14, 2019

Envisioning more at Ford

Plans are underway at Ford to use machine vision with robotics to increase quality and throughput, as explained at Automate 2019. See video.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics May 30, 2019

Why collaborative robots need plug-and-play peripherals

Faster startup, redeployment and return on investment (ROI) are among the key reasons for using plug-and-play peripheral effectors and sensors with collaborative robotics.

By Mark T. Hoske
Workforce Development May 22, 2019

Research: More skilled workers are needed; outsourcing, STEM initiatives may help

Think Again: The 2019 Control Engineering Career and Salary Survey includes questions on topics of concern, such as outsourcing, workforce, process improvement, cybersecurity, automation, and threats.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems March 31, 2019

Don’t ignore these automation trends

Think Again: No one wants to miss the next big thing. What if the next big thing in automation for your applications has been here all along, and you haven’t noticed?

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems March 24, 2019

Automated test equipment attributes

What attributes are needed in automated test equipment (ATE)? What automation should be considered for ATE designs? See 10 questions to ask when applying automation.

By Mark T. Hoske
Industrial PCs March 8, 2019

10 best practices for edge computing

When choosing, installing, and using an edge computing device for a manufacturing or process facility application, these 10 best practices can help.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems March 7, 2019

Automation trends, insights from a new company president

Companies need to be open to new technologies to see fundamental paradigm shifts in productivity, beyond incremental improvements. Rapid increases in productivity, visibility, flexibility, and agility are needed.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing March 4, 2019

Manufacturing and process facility trends: Digitalization

Technology update: Digitalization was are among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.

By Mark T. Hoske
Cybersecurity March 4, 2019

Manufacturing and process facility trends: Cybersecurity

Technology update: Cybersecurity remains a key concern for manufacturing and process facilities as explained in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems March 4, 2019

Manufacturing and process facility trends: Optimization

Technology update: Optimization is among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.

By Mark T. Hoske
Process Manufacturing March 3, 2019

Up next: More open process automation?

Process automation systems need lower lifecycle costs, easier integration with third-party components, better scaling, intrinsic security, flatter architecture, and interoperability. Multiple, broad-based efforts are underway to create cooperative, rather than conflicting, standards.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems February 22, 2019

Help for automation design, selection, implementation

Automation product design, system integration, and application advice follows from some of the 2019 Engineers’ Choice winners.

By Mark T. Hoske
Control Systems February 13, 2019

Use the positive effects of automation to plan ahead

Automation helps manufacturing employment, aids exports, and adds productivity. Key concerns include attracting and retaining a quality workforce, price increases in raw materials, trade uncertainties, and rising health care and insurance costs.

By Mark T. Hoske
Workforce Development January 14, 2019

Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2018

Think Again: Engineering salaries and career tips, neural network advances, ladder logic, cybersecurity, and autotuning were among top articles posted on the Control Engineering website in 2018.

By Mark T. Hoske
Other Networks January 13, 2019

Software helps industrial network communications

Industrial network stacks and other industrial connectivity software work to enhance connectivity among devices and systems. OPC UA, MTConnect, EtherNet/IP, and CC-Link are among software that organizations provide. Middleware also provides connectivity between the plant floor and other systems.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration January 4, 2019

System integration in the automotive industries

Automotive industries are addressing competitive challenges with automation-related upgrades. A review of some technologies being integrated and why follow.

By Mark T. Hoske
Robotics December 10, 2018

Industrial robot safety requires industrial risk management

Five ways to lower robotic system risks: Industrial safety, while a widely used term, is a misnomer; nothing is without risk. When something is declared safe in an industrial setting, those involved should think again about risk assessment and determine if the risk is acceptable.

By Mark T. Hoske
Workforce Development November 20, 2018

Five reasons to appreciate the new www.controleng.com site

Think Again: Website redesigns can cause user discomfort, but you’ll like the new Control Engineering website in five major ways.

By Mark T. Hoske
Ethernet November 15, 2018

Four ways to encourage manufacturing expansion

In a positive example of collaboration to encourage manufacturing growth, Harting announced a $6 million expansion inside existing Elgin, Ill., facility. Community colleges, government officials, and various organizations worked with Harting and encouraged that growth in four ways.

By Mark T. Hoske