Staff

Articles

DCS, SCADA, Controllers November 2, 2018

Foxboro secures SCADA system contract in China

Foxboro, Mass.— The Foxboro Company, a unit of Invensys Process Automation, announced March 19 that it has been awarded a $15 million SCADA system contract for the Shanxi Wanjiazhai Yellow River Diversion Project in China. This important project, funded by the World Bank, diverts floodwaters from the Yellow River to communities in Shanxi province, thereby mitigating life-threatening flood...

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors November 2, 2018

Digital technology smartens Micro Motion sensor

Boulder, Colo.— Micro Motion Inc. unveiled its new MVD (multivariable digital) Technology at its Perspectives 2001 media event on Feb. 28-March 2. MVD Technology reportedly makes Micro Motion's flowmeters work smarter by using front-end digital processing to reduce signal noise and allow faster response time than with analog devices.

By Staff
I/O Systems, I/O Modules November 2, 2018

Breakout modules add convenience, protection

Healdsburg, Calif. —IO8 and IO24 Breakout modules provide additional convenience and protection for Eason 2000 and 4000 family Intelligent Operator Interfaces. These DIN-rail-mountable modules feature removable screw terminal connectors and ribbon cable for quick hook-up and provide LED indicators for debugging and hardware troubleshooting.

By Staff
Project Management November 2, 2018

Entivity moves into project management

Entivity (Ann Arbor, Mich.)—the merger of Think & Do and Steeplechase—expanded into automation project management with its introduction of Automation ProjectNet on March 5 at NMW 2001. The new offering, adapted for automation in partnership with Citadon Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.) software for construction project management, allows users to view, share, update, and route docum...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management November 2, 2018

Sinopec selects Aspen for 25 refineries

Cambridge, Mass.— Aspen Technology Inc. announced Feb. 14 an agreement to provide supply-chain planning and scheduling software to Sinopec, China's largest petroleum and petrochemical company. Sinopec will implement AspenTech's solutions to optimize crude oil selection and production scheduling among its network of 25 refineries.

By Staff
Industrial Networking November 2, 2018

Low-cost, Ethernet-enabled controller

Hauppauge, N.Y.—FEC-FC34 compact microcontroller contains Ethernet 10baseT connectivity with TCP/IP built in. Even though it is possible to connect with Ethernet/Internet connections, user program protection is standard for security. The 16-bit, 20 MHz processor allows multitasking of up to 64 programs.

By Staff
PID, APC November 2, 2018

Rockwell International adopts Rockwell Automation name

Milwaukee, Wis.— To better reflect its business focus, Rockwell International Corp. announced Feb. 19 that it will assume the name of its primary remaining subsidiary, Rockwell Automation, after it spins off its avionics business, Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Ia.), as a separate, publicly traded company in June 2001.

By Staff
Data Acquisition, DAQ November 2, 2018

Ci Technologies launches three software tools

Ci Technologies (Charlotte, N.C.) announced three new software tools in its Plant2Business suite at NMW on Mar. 5. Plant2Net allows users to view plant information over the intranet/Internet with a browser such as Internet Explorer. Plant2Pocket delivers real-time, plant-floor information to mobile phones and personal data assistants.

By Staff
DCS, SCADA, Controllers November 2, 2018

Applied Data to use Synergetic chip in computer

Applied Data Systems (Columbia, Md.) and Synergetic Micro Systems (Downers Grove, Ill.) announced March 5 at NMW a collaborative design effort to produce a new 32-bit StrongARM computer incorporating Synergetic's EmbeddedComm/EC-1 universal fieldbus chip. The two partners report their new product suite will be sold to OEMs and equipment suppliers, and expect the suite to offer price and perform...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management November 2, 2018

Fisher-Rosemount Systems streamlines supply chain

Austin, Tex.—To streamline its global supply chain, Fisher-Rosemount Systems announced Feb. 9 that it has agreed with ACT Manufacturing, Inc. (Hudson, Mass.), a global electronics manufacturing services provider, to establish a global "straight-through" manufacturing process for components used in its automation system solutions, from circuit board manufacturing through final assembly.

By Staff
AI and Machine Learning November 2, 2018

Intrinsyc partners with Pioneer-Standard

Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Cleveland, O.— Intrinsyc and Pioneer-Standard Electronics announced Feb. 9 that they're collaborating to provide integration services and software/hardware solutions that will advance customers' development of Internet devices and information appliances based on Intel's StrongARM microprocessor.

By Staff
Energy, Power November 2, 2018

Low cost DMM meets safety spec

Everett, Wa.— Low cost 110 Series digital multimeters are designed to meet IEC safety standards for electrical measurement equipment. A poly-urethane holster disperses shock load over a greater area to protect against breakage when dropped, and a convenient battery access door allows users to change batteries without breaking the calibration seal.

By Staff
Ethernet November 2, 2018

PC on a DIN rail

Charlotte, N.C. —DIO PC control PC for networked control systems features either 386/486 or 586 microprocessor with RAM and Flash memory. The solid-state unit contains an integrated L-Bus port for local analog and digital I/O modules. Other features include 24 V dc power input, two com ports, one LPT port, and an Ethernet port.

By Staff
Energy, Power November 2, 2018

Synergetic launches EC-1 system-on-chip

Nashville, Tenn.— In a press conference attended by several technology partners, Synergetic Micro Systems Inc. (Downers Grove, Ill.) introduced its first multi-function, system-on-chip device designed specifically for embedded and industrial applications.EmbeddedComm/EC-1 is expected to enable communications and help industrial and medical applications achieve the same productivity gains ...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Innovations inundate National Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week 2001

Chicago, Ill.— Hundreds of exhibitors showed thousands of innovative products and services at the National Industrial Automation Show during National Manufacturing Week 2001 at McCormick Place. For more coverage, including streaming video clips, click on "NMW 2001" at www.controleng.com. Advantech Automation (Cincinnati, O.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Enhancements include HART support

Spring House, Pa.— Siemens-Moore recently added a HART analog output, a 1-5 V input, and a non-HART analog input modules to the Procidia control system. All modules support eight channels with the HART output module reading up to four HART variables from each controlled device. The 1-5 V and non-Hart analog input modules address user request for lower cost modules.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 2, 2018

Foxboro provides SCADA for electric utility

Foxboro, Mass.— Idaho Falls Power (IFP) recently picked Foxboro Co.'s I/A Series SCADA system to monitor, control, and maintain the power generation, transmission, and distribution system of Idaho's largest municipal electric utility. Using Foxboro's "Intelligent Power Grid" approach, the new SCADA system includes master stations, remote terminal units (RTUs), and advanced applications f...

By Staff
Motors and Drives November 2, 2018

Tubular linear servo motor packs punch

Chicago —Shown at NMW, Series 4000 and 5000 direct-drive linear servo motors offer high force per volume in a tubular configuration. Ring-shaped neodymium magnets of alternating polarity line the length of the output shaft, which is the motor's only moving part. The cylindrical stator—also composed of rings (with teeth and slots)—fits around the shaft, producing smooth electr...

By Staff
Industrial Networking November 2, 2018

NetSilicon, eMation partner for device-to-business connectivity

Waltham, Mass.— NetSilicon Inc. and eMation Inc. recently announced they will jointly enable intelligent device manufacturers to remotely manage, service, and support their products from behind corporate firewalls. This is expected to allow new business opportunities in automatic replenishment, just-in-time (JIT) maintenance, and optimized support.

By Staff
Control Systems 2 November 2, 2018

Pneumatic cylinders gain position accuracy

Florence, Ky. —OEMs can piggyback accurate positioning capability to pneumatic cylinders with BackPack Feedback transducer. Based on Micropulse low-profile magnetostrictive linear position transducer, BackPack bolts directly to the housing of pneumatic cylinders providing noncontact, vibration-resistant position sensing.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs November 2, 2018

Components provide network, Internet capabilities

Alpharetta, Ga. —Simatic Net series of control hardware, firmware, and cabling options complements this line of high-speed switches that integrate production floor and critical IT data at 100 Mbps. These industrial Ethernet components allow users to build a high-bandwidth network with Internet management capabilities and are optimized for connectivity with a native-socket, TCP/IP firmwa...

By Staff
Industrial Networking November 2, 2018

SST confirms unique diagnostic capabilities

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada— In a recent comparison of DeviceNet diagnostic tools, SST found that its NetAlert NetMeter for DeviceNet has several essential capabilities not demonstrated by any other DeviceNet diagnostic product. This contradicts an earlier claim by Synergetic that its product matched all of NetMeter's functions.

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors November 2, 2018

PVTs use diagnostics, go digital, deliver multiple readings

Trends in Process Variable Transmitters Diagnostic capabilities Digital protocols Faster communication ONLINE See this product focus at www.controleng.com for additional information. Process variable transmitters (PVTs) perform a type of dance that goes on between various processes and the transmitter moving information to the end-user.

By Staff
Process Safety November 2, 2018

Economic indicators online

Rates of production increase, manufacturing output falls, and shipments increase. What's going on when with the economy depends on where you look, and there's a lot to see online.On Feb. 16, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued its most recent statistical release on industrial production and capacity utilization.

By Staff
Energy, Power November 2, 2018

Digital multimeter/ thermometer

Stamford, Conn.— Supermeter Model HHM290 is an all-in-one device that combines the power of a true RMS full function multimeter, noncontact infrared pyrometer with laser sighting, and a dual-input type-K thermocouple meter with differential measurement into a single handheld instrument. Additional features include built-in tripod mount and rubber boot, built-in diode and logic test, batt...

By Staff
Asset Management November 2, 2018

ABB, IFS partner, blend solutions

Tucson, Ariz.— IFS and ABB Automation announced Feb. 5 plans to integrate and market solutions blending ABB's Industrial IT platform with IFS' business applications. IFS software components for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) will be integrated with process control solutions from ABB Automation.

By Staff
Energy, Power November 2, 2018

Liebert introduces ‘mini-computer room’ enclosure system

Columbus, O.—Liebert recently announced Foundation, a scalable enclosure system designed to fit requirements of a durable rack enclosure and extending to a "mini computer room." Foundation enclosures can include power monitoring and protection, integrated computer-grade air-conditioning, adjustable mounting rails, multiple door options, cable access and management, and designed-in securi...

By Staff
Machine Safety November 2, 2018

Analyzing, tracking process hazards

Regulatory compliance is driving industry to provide more complete information concerning its manufacturing processes and systems partially because many process industries either use hazardous feedstock or produce hazardous materials. To ensure safe operation of these facilities, OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) rules (29 CFR 1910.

By Staff
AI and Machine Learning November 2, 2018

Expanding boundaries of 3D visualization

Huntsville, Ala.— When used with Elumen's (Cary, N.C.) VisionStation, Intergraph's SmartPlant Review 4.2.1 displays 3D models with a full color, 180-degree field of vision for virtual dynamic walkthroughs and design reviews. SmartPlant designs, viewed using VisionStation, help users navigate, review, and manipulate engineering design, construction, retrofit, and maintenance displays as l...

By Staff
Motors and Drives November 2, 2018

Motor starters stress safe, fast installation

Chicago—TeSys D Line ("Telemecanique System"), a new generation of motor starters from Schneider Electric/Square D, was introduced at the NMW show. The new D Line features smaller dc contactors for lower control power (uses less panel space and 75% less power than traditional coils), a mounting/wiring system that cuts panel connection time by 50% without tools, and finger-safe connection...

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control November 2, 2018

Smart two-way diaphragm valves

Irvine, Calif. —Two-way diaphragm valves from Burkert are available with intelligent On/Off , continuous proportional, or manual control. Available in either plastic or stainless steel, Types 2030/2031 are designed for automated process control and Types 3232/3233 for manual control applications requiring two-way flow control of ultra-pure, sterile, aggressive, or abrasive gases, slurrie...

By Staff
Workforce Development September 1, 2009

Technology companies create Lego lunar contest to inspire next-generation engineers

The X Prize Foundation, Google Inc., Lego Systems, National Instruments, and Wired's GeekDad announced "MoonBots: A Google Lunar X Prize Lego Mindstorms Challenge" at National Instruments' NIWeek 2009. The new contest will challenge small teams comprised of children and adults to design, program, and construct robots that perform simulated lunar missions similar to those required to win the $30...

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors September 1, 2009

Digital non-contact infrared temperature sensor

Keyence introduces the FT series infrared sensor family. The ability to measure IR from distances of up to 3 m (10 ft.) means the sensor head can be mounted far away from harsh environments. An optional air purge enclosure can eliminate dust buildup, increasing sensor stability and decreasing process downtime.

By Staff
Wireless September 1, 2009

National Instruments introduces wireless sensor network platform

National Instruments now offers a wireless sensor network (WSN) platform. The platform is said to be a complete remote monitoring solution that consists of NI LabView graphical programming software and new low-power wireless measurement nodes. The wireless measurement nodes are powered by four AA batteries for up to three years, making them suitable for long-term deployments.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

Modbus TCP/IP to Profibus DPV1 gateway for Modicon controllers

ProSoft Technology announces the release of the new Modbus TCP/IP to Profibus SE Gateway (5204SE-MNET-PDPMV1), designed with special features to better support and easily integrate with Schneider Electric Modicon M340 processors. The gateway offers the new Application Communication Logic (ACL) feature built into the latest ProSoft Configuration Builder (PCB) software.

By Staff
Machine Safety September 1, 2009

Danish microdairy gains data foundation

An integrated EtherNet/IP solution provides dairy staff with full control of all processes and safety aspects, and can be rapidly reconfigured to produce multiple products in one plant.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control September 1, 2009

Enhanced motion control development environment, controller modules

MotionWorks IEC Pro from Yaskawa is an integrated development environment based on the IEC61131-3 international programming standard. It is built upon the same code as the company's MotionWorks IEC Express software, including all additions made since the May 2008 release. The Pro version allows users to program in Sequential Function Chart language, configure projects with up to 16 tasks, and s...

By Staff
PLCs, PACs September 1, 2009

Ultra slim profile type 4 light curtain

Safeguard small machines with a new type 4 light curtain, the Panasonic Electric Works Corporation of America SF4C Series with slim 13 mm profile. This product expands on the SUNX brand safety product line from Panasonic Electric Works to offer a solution for small machines without sacrificing productivity. This is a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.

By Staff
Vision and Discrete Sensors September 1, 2009

Encoder offers absolute position measurement with scale tape linear design

Heidenhain has released its new LIC 4000 encoder, which applies absolute position measurement technology to a multi-substrate scale tape linear encoder design. According to the company, its specialized scanning technologies are "insensitive to contamination and therefore guarantee a high degree of equipment availability and a high traverse speed, while at the same time achieving a high resoluti...

By Staff
Project Management September 1, 2009

New production line in record time

A tightly controlled integration plan and the right technology partner helped steelmaker Southland Tube beat the competition.

By Staff
Networking and Security September 1, 2009

Network penetration testing

Network cyber security tester Ed Skoudis of Inguardians discusses how penetration testing fits in an overall network vulnerability assessment. In this 15-minute podcast, Skoudis explains how thinking like a hacker can help identify cracks in your defenses. To access this podcast, following this link: http://budurl.

By Staff
Edge and Cloud Computing September 1, 2009

Water-tight, small-footprint embedded PC

Stealth.com Inc. has released the new model WPC-500F, a waterproof rugged, small footprint, fanless computer for environments where ordinary computer hardware won't survive. This rugged embedded PC is completely water-tight, surviving liquids, chemicals, dust and dirt intrusion, meeting IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications.

By Staff
Energy, Power September 1, 2009

Is energy efficiency an effective deficit offset?

A new report from McKinsey & Co. concludes that elevating energy efficiency to a national priority could save American consumers $1.2 trillion by 2020—about the same amount as the projected 2009 Federal deficit (calculated on data from Congressional Budget Office, Annual Budget and Economic Outlook, 1/7/09.

By Staff
Energy Efficiency September 1, 2009

Siemens and Viridity Energy form alliance aimed at smart grid implementations

Siemens Energy and Viridity Energy have entered into a strategic relationship to provide virtual power plant functionality on campus environments and to other large users of electricity. Viridity will couple Siemens' DEMS (decentralized energy management system) with its VPower system for forecasting and optimization to deliver solutions and services for the management and bidding of controllab...

By Staff
I/O Systems, I/O Modules September 1, 2009

Ethernet networks with device level ring technology

Rockwell Automation says it has embedded Ethernet device level ring (DLR) technology into its Integrated Architecture system for high-speed, high-performance applications needing resilient networks, and for machine builders looking for flexible, reliable, low-cost network solutions for their real-time EtherNet/IP applications.

By Staff
Energy, Power September 1, 2009

Illuminated square keys

Machine builders now have the option of illuminated square keys from B&R Automation. Made of a short-stroke key, a light fixture and high-performance LEDs on a circuit board, the illuminated square keys can withstand up to 1 million actuations and are said to provide excellent tactile characteristics via a choice of embossing options.

By Staff
Control Systems 2 September 1, 2009

ABB adds greenhouse gas monitoring to process analyzer capabilities

ABB has released upgrade solutions for its Advance Optima AO2000 series continuous gas analyzers (CGA), which expand monitoring capability to include CO2 green house gas (GHG) emissions measurement to address expected U.S. EPA environmental compliance requirements. ABB says its continuous gas analyzers accurately measure emissions at very low levels to establish, maintain, and prove compliance.

By Staff
Energy, Power July 1, 2009

Software: Making sure the price is right

Though he can't divulge actual numbers, Robert Smith, director of corporate pricing at Eastman Chemical Company, says his organization has seen significant financial benefit from the adoption of pricing software. And Michael Dunne, a research VP at industry analyst firm Gartner, says Smith is likely speaking the truth.

By Staff
AI and Machine Learning May 1, 2009

Corporate fraud on the rise with market slowdown

The tough economic climate has negatively impacted just about every business sector, from real estate to retail, and services to manufacturing. Unfortunately, the lackluster market simultaneously also is stimulating growth of another disheartening trend: corporate fraud. Over the past year, fraud has grown in depth and breadth, becoming more widespread, and increasing in volume and value.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

The pros and cons of doing business in emerging markets

While doing business in emerging markets offers many rewards, it also poses risks. Manufacturing Business Technology recently spoke with Mike Novels, CEO of Preactor, a supplier of supply chain planning and scheduling solutions, about this trend.

By Staff
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 May 1, 2009

Spending lag prompts supply chain management makeovers

The precipitous drop in consumer spending that has been cited as a major cause of the ongoing economic recession now has manufacturers scrambling to adjust supply chain management strategies. In fact, lower consumer spending took the top position on the list of supply chain risks in a recent survey conducted by Boston-based AMR Research.

By Staff
Workforce Development April 1, 2009

By The Numbers – 2009-04-01

4 points from U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics about machinery manufacturing: 1) High productivity growth is expected to cause employment to decline, but many openings will result from the need to replace workers who retire. 2) Production workers, who account for over half of all jobs in the industry, increasingly need training beyond high school.

By Staff
Energy Efficiency April 1, 2009

Data Acquisition and Digitizers Advance Medical Imaging

Reducing patient stress during testing while improving the medical instrumentation used to detect cancer during checkups is truly a win-win for all involved. Such was the task facing researchers at Tokyo's Kitasato University's Center for Fundamental Sciences. The key focus of their research was to improve on traditional methods of cancer detection that do not provide sufficient resolution or r...

By Staff
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics February 1, 2009

Industry Spotlight: Global Sourcing

Global sourcing is no longer a fad or short-term trend. It is an integral part of how manufacturers do business, for one simple reason. Companies facing intense competition—like all manufacturers—cannot afford to limit their searches for quality, cost-effective sources of supply to local markets.

By Staff
Mobility February 1, 2009

Efficient environment: Cadbury uses wireless tablets in “green” data-collection program

Cadbury, the world’s largest confectionery company, has issued tablet computers to its field staff to improve workers’ ability to collect and analyze sales data. The company says abandoning its paper-based data collection system is part of its ongoing campaign to preserve the environment.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2008

In brief: Epicor fends off takeover

At the same time the company was preparing to introduce a new version of its ERP suite to customers, the board of directors for Epicor Software was pondering what to do about a takeover bid by one of the company's largest shareholders. On October 1, Elliot Associates LP, a New York-based hedge fund that owns slightly more than 10 percent of Epicor's stock, tendered a $9.

By Staff
PID, APC November 1, 2008

Packaging solutions specialist supports end-user versatility with an ETO/CTO business model

Small companies like De Pere, Wis.-based Campbell Wrapper routinely rely on key people who are well versed in a number of functional areas. “I wear multiple hats here,” says Todd Goodwin, VP of finance and administration for the privately held manufacturer of horizontal flow wrappers and feeding equipment.

By Staff
System Integration November 1, 2008

Automotive supplier finds system to support Lean internal processes, customer requirements

London, Ohio-based Nissen Chemitec America, a plastic injection molder serving automakers like Honda and Toyota, thought it was making the sensible choice in adopting an ERP system touted as tailor-made for auto industry suppliers. But while the system facilitated compliance with customer requirements, it hindered Nissen's lean manufacturing efforts “We wanted an ERP package that unders...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management November 1, 2008

ERP-enabled response management fulfills dynamic customer demand

A world-class provider of design engineering and manufacturing services for electronic products, BreconRidge collaborates using voice, video, and data applications with the world's leading communications, industrial, medical, and aerospace & defense OEMs. BreconRidge operates daily within a volatile environment, addressing a broad range of customers—each with its own unique requiremen...

By Staff
Workforce Development September 1, 2008

Transplace delivers useful blend of transportation software, logistics and consulting services

Transplace is creating a compelling niche for itself as both a third-party logistics provider (3PL) and an on-demand transportation management software (TMS) vendor—a hybrid capable of delivering a custom mix of services depending on company needs. Qualifying itself as non-asset based, CEO Tom Sanderson explains, “We don't have trucks,” electing instead to focus on the human ...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management September 1, 2008

HP application modernization promises a clear path for legacy system upgrades

Hewlett-Packard (HP) says it now has a way of steering companies onto the right path when it comes to updating legacy systems. If the methodology works as promised, it could spur a cycle of supercharging aging applications that still perform critical business functions at less-than-optimum speeds. HP's recent survey of European business executives found 94 percent of respondents want a strategy...

By Staff
Simulators, Optimizers September 1, 2008

ILOG expands SC network optimization to address new global realities

Supply chain management processes gain complexity as economic and environmental concerns gain executive mindshare. “Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers traditionally turn to offshore suppliers based largely on inventory costs,” says Ronan O. Donovan, ILOG product manager for the LogicTools line.

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management September 1, 2008

Scanning platform puts documents directly into electronic workflows

The manufacturing process generates plenty of paper—especially the engineering change order (ECO), which must be tracked and archived throughout product development and manufacturing cycles. Copying and distributing these documents quickly becomes inconvenient and costly. That's where multifunction printer (MFP) document imaging software from eCopy can help.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

Design contest proves CAD software accelerates the innovation process

If you asked Benjamin Mahan about the value of CAD software, he might respond with a line from a credit card commercial: Priceless. Mahan, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, used the Pro/ENGINEER CAD package from PTC to design a special shield that is protecting the faces—and in some cases literally saving the lives—of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

As SOA adoption solidifies, good governance is recognized as critical next step

Jerry Kelly, CIO and VP of 3Com, a global supplier of converged voice and data networking solutions, believes good governance is the cornerstone of success with service-oriented architecture (SOA). “It's absolutely imperative,” he says, adding that strong governance capability “was a big benefit [apart from] everything else we got with webMethods from Software AG.

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management May 1, 2008

Plant design at light speed

Nuclear fusion could be just around the corner. Just ask the folks running the ITER project, a joint international research and development effort. With construction on a demonstration fusion power plant set to start this year in Cadarache, France, and reactor assembly projected for 2012, ITER plans to demonstrate that nuclear fusion, the energy source that lights the sun and the stars, can b...

By Staff
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 May 1, 2008

SOA pinpoints links between services and business processes

Progress Software says its Actional suite of service-oriented architecture (SOA) management software offers new ability to understand and manage the relationships between individual services and complete business processes. “As SOA makes its way more deeply into the fabric of enterprise infrastructures, increased visibility, governance, and security are even more important,” says Da...

By Staff
April 1, 2008

CMS Advisory: ECM systems are not SOA-compatible

CMS Watch, an Olney, Md.-based analyst firm that evaluates content technologies, finds enterprise content management (ECM) products ill-equipped to meet the security requirements of service-oriented architecture (SOA). “Separating out the SOA hype from the ECM reality remains difficult, as vendors have aggressively positioned their products as SOA-ready—while most are not,” s...

By Staff
Discrete Manufacturing April 1, 2008

ISA advisory: May IT forum connects IT and automation

A growing shortage of skilled engineers underlies the need for better use of IT in plants, says Eric Cosman, an engineering consultant with Dow Chemical Co. But “line-of-business managers and IT need to work together,” Cosman adds. An ISA-hosted Manufacturing IT Forum May 20-21 in Cleveland, Connecting IT and Automation, will explore new dynamics for owner-operators, suppliers, and...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management March 1, 2008

New APICS partnership lightens the transportation-certification load

A new agreement between APICS The Association for Operations Management and the American Society of Transportation & Logistics (AST&L) grants Certified Supply Chain Professionals (CSCP) and professionals or fellows who are Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM/CFPIM) waivers for two of the six modules needed to obtain AST&L's Certification in Transportation and Logi...

By Staff
Vision and Discrete Sensors March 1, 2008

A better view: Technology improvements make vision systems viable production tools

Prudent use of machine vision systems can reduce the overall need for human labor, which is a critical cost factor in developed countries. Quality control processes that currently rely on human intervention also can be error-proofed by switching certain functions to machine vision systems. These are a few of the observations contained in a report titled Advances in Machine Vision Systems, issue...

By Staff
PID, APC February 1, 2008

CAD data finds new use in manufacturing supply chain, support organizations

3D CAD data has many other uses outside the engineering function—in computer-based training tools, for example, as well as in marketing and maintenance manuals. But making use of 3D data for such purposes presents a challenge because often it's too technical for the nonspecialist user, thereby requiring costly transformations that undermine the whole logic of reusing the design data in th...

By Staff
Energy, Power February 1, 2008

Network acceleration cures congestion for pharma supplier

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Affymax—a former division of Philadelphia-based pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline—faced critical network congestion when it moved to a network-attached storage architecture. The network, recalls Affymax Engineer Ben Maulis, had neither the speed nor the capacity to handle the volume of traffic the move entailed.

By Staff
Energy, Power February 1, 2008

Design-to-cost tool raises dividends for aerial platform maker JLG

JLG Industries is a global manufacturer of design-to-order forklifts and mobile aerial work platforms. No longer relying on complete vertical integration of its design/production process, the McConnellsburg, Pa.-based company sources parts from multiple suppliers for assembly of orders to customer requirements.

By Staff
Asset Management February 1, 2008

Enterprise asset management secures a foothold in software user group agendas

The enterprise asset management (EAM) market, according to a fall briefing from Frost & Sullivan, is on the verge of two things: significant growth, and substantial change. The San Antonio-based analyst firm projects the EAM market to grow 8.9 percent through 2013, which is why IBM and several ERP vendors—including Infor and Oracle—recently made acquisitions in the space to posi...

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors February 1, 2008

Engineering passion, OEE ideas

Ticket into engineering My ticket into the engineering profession was my dad. He would help me with middle school math and science homework, but would use about 10 pages of clipboard paper, ultimately taking everything back to first principles. On occasion, I was allowed to borrow his Texas Instruments 8-digit LED calculator to check my work.

By Staff
Machine Safety January 1, 2008

By the Numbers – 2008-01-01

>1,600 Automation System Integrators are in the Automation Integrator guide online, searchable eight ways so you can find an appropriate match of qualifications and expertise. Tools include a multi-parameter search function. www.controleng.com/integrators 50,000 genes are in mammals; 3,000 for the E.

By Staff
Networking and Security January 1, 2008

SERCOS III unanimously accepted as IEC standard

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) unanimously approved SERCOS III, the real-time Ethernet version of the SErial Realtime COmmunication System (SERCOS) interface, as part of international standard IEC 61784-2 (Digital data communications in control technology) and IEC 61158 (Field bus for industrial control systems), according to organizations involved.

By Staff
Ethernet January 1, 2008

ABB joins North American PTO

ABB Inc. joined PTO North America. PTO develops and promotes the use of Profibus fieldbus and Profinet industrial Ethernet standards for automation. ABB has been actively working with the PNO (Profibus and Profinet Nutzerorganisation) in Germany since its inception in 1989 and is a member of the PNO Advisory Board.

By Staff
Process Safety January 1, 2008

‘Going green’ can be good for business

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States will require far-reaching efforts spanning all sectors of the economy, but significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time. So says a newly-released McKinsey & Company report. Annual GHG emissions within the United States will increase from 7.

By Staff
PLCs, PACs January 1, 2008

Photoelectric sensor in metal housing

The OG-Cube photoelectric sensor from ifm efector inc. provides high optical performance in a compact metal housing. The sensor offers position detection in industrial applications such as conveying, packaging, material handling and automotive manufacturing. Its robust metal housing withstands harsh industrial conditions and is reportedly more durable than traditional plastic housings.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control January 1, 2008

Baldor helps Dolphins make big impression

Although the Dolphins will not be Super Bowl-bound this season, the team did leave an outstanding impression on fans in the United Kingdom. The real-life model of the towering 26 foot high animatronic figure 'Big JT’ - NFL Miami Dolphins star player Jason Taylor - has very fast feet. When physical effects company Artem was commissioned to create the figure, they had to be quick as well.

By Staff
PLM, Control Design January 1, 2008

Rockwell Automation, Dassault Systemes partner

Promising “a true collaboration of design and manufacturing engineering throughout a product’s lifecycle,” Rockwell Automation and Dassault Systemes announced an agreement to work together to make the virtual design and production environment a reality. The first step is a jointly developed software solution that links Rockwell’s FactoryTalk-based systems, includin...

By Staff
Workforce Development January 1, 2008

Promoting engineering to girls

Encouraging young women to pursue engineering careers has become a pressing issue in the pre-college engineering education community. To address the matter from a national scope, Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) has announced receipt of a $50,000 Innovation Generation Grant from Motorola Foundation to support a girl-focused initiative through a collaborative effort with the National ...

By Staff
Energy, Power January 1, 2008

Westinghouse, Emerson join for nuclear plants

Nuclear power plants (and many conventional power plants as well) are not known for their cutting-edge automation technology. Nuke plants have been particularly slow to modernize due to strict controls from regulating bodies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Emerson Process Management and Westinghouse Electric hope to do their part by partnering on future plant design.

By Staff
Control Systems January 1, 2008

Dual-line 6-digit process meter

Precision Digital Corp. introduces a 1/8 DIN panel meter with 6-digit dual-line LED display. The ProVu process meter provides the operator with a more precise and informative view of their process for better overall control, according to the company. The large main display is complemented by a second line of display which can be configured to read user-defined engineering units, custom legends,...

By Staff
Mobility January 1, 2008

Secure WiFi for any electronic device

MatchPort b/g Pro from Lantronix is an embedded module that provides 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity for virtually any device with a serial interface on its microcontroller. This application-ready device server enables OEMs to build integrated networking and Web services into their products that enable users to access, monitor and manage their equipment over a wireless network or over the Inte...

By Staff
System Integration December 1, 2007

Parsec Automation urges tangible financial spin on OEE

Operational equipment effectiveness (OEE) looks at three factors: asset availability, performance or rate, and quality. Getting plant managers, Six Sigma gurus, and other process excellence experts excited about OEE metrics is one thing, but senior executives are an entirely different proposition. Unless, of course, OEE is given a financial spin.

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors December 1, 2007

High-availability server ensures centralized IT network access for German automaker

MAN Nutzfahrzeuge—a Munich-based vehicle manufacturer that sold 80,000 commercial vehicles and 7,300 buses in 2006—places a premium on a high level of server availability. After successfully using high-availability software and service solutions from Marathon Technologies for a few years, leadership at MAN's commercial vehicles unit decided to do more.

By Staff
IIoT, Industrie 4.0 December 1, 2007

MCA asks: Why choose one major ERP partner when you can have two?

MCA Solutions has reinvigorated its relationship with Oracle, becoming an authorized reseller in the Oracle Partner Network. That allows MCA to offer Oracle's database technology pre-integrated with MCA's Service Planning Optimization software suite. For Chief Executive Bob Salvucci, the move takes MCA a step closer to the kind of relationship it has enjoyed with Oracle rival SAP.

By Staff
Workforce Development November 1, 2007

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals takes paper out of batch processes; puts MES in

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is transforming itself based on the need for operational excellence. The Collegeville, Pa.-based company views integrated systems and standard processes across its research and manufacturing facilities as a good way to drive down costs and improve quality. Already today, Wyeth makes use of what enterprise and execution systems have to offer.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

Research and partnerships signal further evolution of electronic invoicing

A focus on improving invoice quality is the catalyst for a new partnership between GXS and OB10. As announced this past summer, the vendors will build an integrated electronic invoicing solution leveraging the OB10 e-Invoicing network and the GXS Trading Grid, a global B2B e-commerce and integration platform that supports creation and adoption of on-demand supply chain management solutions for ...

By Staff
PID, APC November 1, 2007

International Paint adds EMI to its production IT palette

For actionable intelligence based on real-time visibility, International Paint is using IncuityEMI, an enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution.  Recipes are downloaded from a QAD enterprise system to the production system, including supervisory control software. Incuity is linked to the production system via standard OPC connectors to access both historical and real-time production data.

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management November 1, 2007

Online-obtained drugs may be hazardous to health

The abuse of brand names in online sales of pharmaceuticals is nothing short of shocking, says Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer for brand-protection specialist MarkMonitor. MarkMonitor's online solutions automate workflow and assist companies in creating, monitoring, and protecting their brands wherever they may appear on the Internet.

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management November 1, 2007

Experience monitoring boosts IT systems productivity

How do IT leaders really know if enterprise software is being used effectively? Some experts think rather than tapping into traditional systems management solutions, the answer lies in a relatively new class of software. “Systems management tools ensure that systems and the network infrastructure are up and running, but what they are missing are measurements of the end user's actual exper...

By Staff
System Integrators November 1, 2007

Rockwell Automation ups the ante with global process transformation

Rockwell Automation is best known as the leading U.S.-based automation vendor, but it's also a manufacturer in its own right. “We're a hardware manufacturer that makes thousands of products, most of them custom,” says Mike Jackson, VP of global business services and CIO. “We have 27 plants around the world and are doing more with partners and contract manufacturers.

By Staff
AI and Machine Learning October 1, 2007

The key to worry-free compliance is a nonfinancial e-business audit

Today, an e-business audit can have greater impact on a company than a financial audit. So says nuBridges, which researches changes in legislation that effect e-business. nuBridges also develops solutions that meet and exceed mandates across the retail, manufacturing, health-care, and financial services industries.

By Staff
Industrial Networking October 1, 2007

Expanded line of rugged cables

Northwire Inc. is expanding its DataCell Field rugged cable product line to include CC-link, mid ODVA DeviceNet and nominal 100V and 80V FOUNDATION fieldbus cables. The high flex life DeviceNet cables are designed for discrete factory automation and control and have been tested to survive more than 10 million cycles on the company’s testing equipment.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

Web-based sizing and selection tool helps optimize linear motion solutions

Danaher Motion introduced a free Web-based linear-motion-system sizing and selection tool that enables OEM and factory automation users to optimize machine design and operation in five simple steps. The tool, called Linear Motioneering, walks users through an intuitive process to deliver all data necessary to make a quick, logical system selection for a slide table application.

By Staff
Ethernet October 1, 2007

More automation interaction with 2nd tour vehicle

More people can learn about automation and electrical interconnect products now that Wago Corp. has added a second vehicle to its “Innovation in Automation Tour” mobile marketing program. The program is designed to reach engineers across North America. Wago products include terminal block systems, connectors, components, industrial Ethernet and other automation.

By Staff
Motors and Drives October 1, 2007

Durable peristaltic pump

Watson-Marlow Bredel’s 720 Series peristaltic pump is designed for accurate metering and dosing of corrosive, abrasive, and sensitive fluids, and is ideal for the contamination-free transfer of acids, paints, oils, inks, dyes, or waste slurries found in many markets. It is said to provide increased capacity and tighter flow control than other pumps from the company.

By Staff
Mechatronics and Motion Control October 1, 2007

Efficiency, growth, effectiveness at MESA’s Plant2Enterprise conference

The convergence of production and business data, actionable metrics and continuous improvement processes were again hot topics for automation vendors, end user and analysts at this year’s MESA’s annual Plant2Enterprise Conference, Sept. 16-18, in Orlando, FL. Presentations included data collection and business process management, with a heavy focus on “real world” storie...

By Staff
Mobility October 1, 2007

Photoelectric family for small applications

Photoelectric family from Balluff is designed for small parts conveying equipment to help designers reduce a machine’s overall footprint on the factory floor. The family, called BOS 11K, includes diffuse, retro-reflective, polarized retro-reflective, and thru-beam styles within a compact 34.5 x 29.

By Staff
Networking and Security October 1, 2007

Rugged outdoor wireless access point/bridge

The AWK-1200 series multipurpose wireless access point/bridge and AP client from Moxa is housed in a rugged IP68/67 certified weatherproof enclosure to withstand extreme climatic conditions. Its design helps to guard against the harmful effects of rain, dust, and temperatures from -20 to 70°C for outdoor wireless applications such as wind energy plants or road tunnels.

By Staff
October 1, 2007

Field device tool knowledge

The FDT Technology Seminar Series launches in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and in Houston, TX, on Tues., Sept. 18 and on Mon., Nov. 5, 2007, respectively. Sites are the SAIT campus in Calgary and the Chevron headquarters in Houston. There is no charge. Separately, ISA plans an ISA-SP103, Field Device Tool Interface Specification meeting at EXPO 2007 in Houston, TX, on Oct.

By Staff
PID, APC October 1, 2007

Steeplechase VLC with integrated motion network

Steeplechase VLC software from Phoenix Contact now features integration of the SynqNet motion network when used with the RapidCode VLC driver. The software with integrated SynqNet provides a programming environment for real-time motion control, which simplifies development and reduces the need to purchase, learn, and maintain multiple programming packages, says the company.

By Staff
PID, APC October 1, 2007

Emerson, Cisco collaborate on wireless applications

Collaboration between Emerson Process Management and Cisco could lead to more rapid development of open-standard solutions for wireless process and plant management applications that install easily and operate reliably in process manufacturing environments. In addition, Emerson extended its PlantWeb Smart Machinery Health Monitoring capabilities to include API 670 protection, the American Petro...

By Staff
October 1, 2007

OAGIS collaborates with ISA, WBF

ISA has announced that OAGIS will build ISA-95 based Business Object Documents in collaboration with the ISA-95 Standards Committee on Enterprise-Control Integration and WBF’s XML Working Group. The goal of these documents is to ensure that no matter which standard a user implements, the standards interoperate.

By Staff
PID, APC October 1, 2007

Switch-locking devices provide alternate control method

SLD series switch locking devices from Omron Scientific Technologies Inc. are intended for use as an alternative control method while performing routine, repetitive, or integral tasks to the production process. The SLD series enables personnel to quickly lock a safety interlock switch to a safe position to allow for certain types of maintenance.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

NetDoctor DeviceNet diagnostics

Woodhead Industries, a division of Molex Inc., adds the BradCommunications NetDoctor to its line of diagnostic tools. The BradCommunications NetDoctor is a passive device that continuously monitors a DeviceNet network and stores information as OPC status tags on a human machine interface (HMI) display residing on Ethernet.

By Staff
AI and Machine Learning October 1, 2007

Micro Switch celebrates 75 years of sensors

Spotlighting longevity, durability and impact on the industry, Honeywell celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Micro Switch technology with a gathering of employees, executives and media at its facility in Freeport, IL. The day included a historical review of sensors and switches and tours of production facilities.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Manufacturers can hit product innovation targets with PLM/MES integration

A European weapons maker is among the first manufacturers to forge a working link between a product life-cycle management (PLM) system and a manufacturing execution systems (MES). MBDA Missile Systems says this connection allows it to constantly improve everything from product design processes to the manner in which it allocates engineering and production resources.

By Staff
System Integrators October 1, 2007

Easy replication of programming with flash tool

The FlashDrop from ABB is a palm-sized tool for parameter selection and setting which can copy parameters between two identical drives or between a PC and a drive. Users can open the top of the box and place the FlashDrop wand into the access point built into ABB low voltage drives and they are programmed in as little as three seconds.

By Staff
October 1, 2007

InTouch 10.0: 200 new features, automatic porting to MS Vista

At corporate headquarters in Lake Forest, CA, Wonderware engineers and marketing people gathered to present what they called their “most significant launch in 20 years.” Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company, they announced and demonstrated InTouch 10.0, Development Studio and System Platform 3.

By Staff
Energy, Power October 1, 2007

Electrical panel design application

Moeller Electric’s M@x is a software application for designing electrical panels dedicated to power distribution developed with IGE+XAO, a computer aided design specialist. Application gives quotation of an electrical installation, panel mounting schematics, and the list of components of any installation up to 4,000 amps.

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors October 1, 2007

Rugged, under water temperature sensor

Direct immersion RTD temperature sensor from Weed Instrument is nuclear qualified and designed and tested to be installed directly into the bypass of the primary coolant loop of pressurized water reactors. Model N9355 RTD has been environmentally and seismically qualified to the RCC-E K2 equipment qualification standard.

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors October 1, 2007

Industry powers autonomous vehicles

During a test demo before the upcoming Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge on Nov. 3, the autonomous racecar Lone Wolf was recently made available for ride-alongs to industrial representatives, local media, and engineering students from the University of Minnesota. The event was hosted by Comtrol, a manufacturer of data communications products used to connect and c...

By Staff
Info Management October 1, 2007

SATA-to-compact flash adapter

Mesa Electronic’s CFADPT10 is a low cost SATA-to-compact flash adapter designed for embedded systems, which allows users to connect a compact flash drive to any system that has a SATA port. The adapter uses the same mechanical layout and connectors as a 2.5-in. SATA hard drive and can be powered by 5 V or 3.

By Staff
Info Management October 1, 2007

Control Engineering: Robbins selects senior editor role; Moschetto named editorial director

Marc Moschetto assumed the editorial director position at Control Engineering the week of Sept. 10. He was hired after Renee Robbins, who came on as editorial director in March 2006, chose to move into the role of senior editor. Moschetto, a cum laude graduate of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, brings more than 13 years of industry experience to his role at the publication.

By Staff
Motors and Drives October 1, 2007

Industrial control equipment sales rising, says NEMA

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) tracks industrial control equipment, among other numbers, and at present, the trend looks good according to the organization’s “Primary Industrial Control Index” through mid-2007. Industrial control equipment, a $2.6 billion U.S. market, is primarily used in industrial applications for the control or regulation, or both, of ...

By Staff
Process Safety October 1, 2007

Multiparameter analyzer

Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Analytical model 1056 intelligent analyzer is flexible, multiparameter, and is said to reduce the cost per loop and save panel space by offering a single- or dual-sensor input with an unrestricted choice of dual measurements. It is ideal for a wide range of industrial and municipal applications and can measure turbidity, flow, pH/ORP/ISE, resistivity...

By Staff
Networking and Security October 1, 2007

Small keypad panels

Beijer Electronics’ expanded its line of Extern panels with the K10m and K20m models. They are the smallest keypad panels in the series to meet the demand for operator panels in applications with limited space and no need for a graphical display. They are ideal for use in smaller machines within the packaging, manufacturing, and food and beverage industries.

By Staff
Process Instrumentation and Sensors October 1, 2007

Integrated coil for flexible production

Parker Fluid Control’s integrated coil for its Series 204 and 304 solenoid valves features a rotating conduit hub for easy installation. Both types offer a complete line of high-temperature watertight coil designs to meet demanding environmental conditions. The valve lines also include interchangeable ac and dc coils and a tab coil for flexibility in production.

By Staff
PLM, Control Design October 1, 2007

By the Numbers – 2007-10-01

2 stages are involved in developing an embedded control system: 1) write and debug the code on a PC with the target system simulated in software; and 2) download it to the microcontroller connected to the real target system, according to the Sept. 10 “Ask Charlie” blog. www.controleng.com 3 areas for wireless in manufacturing, according to the Control Engineering Webcast, “Con...

By Staff
Energy, Power October 1, 2007

High temperature data acquisition system for instrumentation

C&D Technologies’ ADS-939 sampling A/D converter is designed for use in medical imaging, radar, sonar, communications, and instrumentation applications. It is a fully integrated data acquisition system that gives true 16-bit resolution performance at a 10 MHz sampling rate over the entire operating temperature range, up to military.

By Staff
October 1, 2007

Nearly $1 billion transaction: ABB sells Lummus Global oil & gas process technologies

ABB agreed to sell its Lummus Global business to Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (CB&I) for $950 million, subject to regulatory and CB&I shareholder approvals. The Netherlands-based CB&I will purchase the Lummus Global business, which had reported revenues of $988 million in 2006. Lummus with approximately 2,400 employees, provides process technologies used in the oil & gas and p...

By Staff
Industrial Networking October 1, 2007

OEM module for DeviceNet

Woodhead Industries’ new Brad Communications DC100DN OEM module for the DeviceNet fieldbus is a range of modules characterized by small size (90 X 40 mm) providing a connection to a choice of fieldbuses, including CC-Link, Profibus-DP, and DeviceNet. The DC100 modules are said to be designed for machine builders, system designers, and operator interface manufacturers who want to implement...

By Staff
Diagnostics, Asset Management October 1, 2007

Platform offers early testing for embedded software

S2 Technologies’ Stride 2.1 Embedded Software Verification Platform is a scalable platform that enables the development of software for wireless digital handsets supporting both standard cellular telephones and push-to-talk two-way radio service. Stride provides reusable, automated testing to support process optimizations and best practices and to emphasize early and continual automated s...

By Staff
October 1, 2007

Evaluation board for programming

The II-EVB-600 from Connect One is an evaluation board for programming the iChip CO2064 and supports upper layer Internet protocols using either AT+i commands or the iChipConfig utility. It can be used for evaluation and development of secure WiFi, LAN, cellular, or dial-up networking for flexibility in connectivity.

By Staff