Tracy J. Coates


Data Acquisition, DAQ January 1, 2003

Package supports test and evaluation applications

Industrial control projects are not always large with hundreds of data points with extensive control action and display requirements. Many applications exist where the number of input and output (I/O) signals is small and only few display graphics are required. These smaller applications can be standalone systems or be part of a larger process that needs to be isolated from the primary control ...

By Tracy J. Coates
Industrial PCs May 1, 2002

Analyze control system electrical inconsistencies

The vast majority of control systems in use today are electrical. Not only do they require electricity to operate but they also use electrical circuits to affect control over associated operations or processes. Taken for granted, dependency on electrical power is often accompanied by the assumption that if the system is "powered up" all is well.

By Tracy J. Coates
Simulators, Optimizers November 1, 2001

Easily create process flows, material balances

When implementing chemical process control systems, the control engineer must thoroughly understand the flow of materials through the process equipment. Flow is not always apparent as chemical species change through reaction operations. These changes can create different behaviors through various separation operations in the process sequence.

By Tracy J. Coates
Diagnostics, Asset Management September 1, 2001

How to apply panel cooling systems

Control system electronic components have temperature limits that must not be exceeded if proper system operation is to be maintained. Ensuring proper operation of electronic components requires that the temperature inside their enclosures be controlled within operational temperature limits of these devices.

By Tracy J. Coates
PID, APC June 1, 2001

Software offers configuration environment options

Configuration of programmable logic controllers is a common task in the controls industry because PLCs serve as the workhorse of automation in many industry segments from component manufacturing and assembly to chemical process automation. In each industry-specific requirements exist for each application, as well as individual preferences for programming methods.

By Tracy J. Coates
I/O Systems, I/O Modules May 1, 2001

Simple RLL programming tool

Most automation projects use some form of logic control that is typically implemented in a programmable logic controller (PLC). Actual form of the PLC varies from dedicated hardware to PC applications, available from a variety of vendors. Regardless logic type, the ultimate goal is monitoring of input variables and then responding with output signals based upon a user-determined algorithm.

By Tracy J. Coates
Simulators, Optimizers December 1, 2000

Package models batch processes

When working on the design of batch processes, a major factor controlling success of the completed facility is process equipment scheduling. Inadequate attention to moving materials through the process can reduce production capacity and increase capital costs, limiting the margins available for a profitable facility.

By Tracy J. Coates
Process Safety November 1, 2000

Package aids calibration management

Maintenance of a control system after commissioning requires routine scheduled calibration of component parts including sensors, transmitters, and gauges. Scheduled calibration is a major quality assurance requirement for facilities operating under ISO9000 or QS9000 guidelines and a regulatory mandate for pharmaceutical processes governed by the U.

By Tracy J. Coates
Diagnostics, Asset Management July 1, 2000

Package aids in complex math computation

In developing or assessing the performance of control systems there are instances where complex mathematical operations must be performed. In many cases, these operations include calculus and Laplace or Fourier transforms not routinely used by many control engineers. In these cases, users must dust off old textbooks and review how to perform these operations and then execute what can be l...

By Tracy J. Coates
Process Instrumentation and Sensors March 1, 2000

Incremental HMI system

In developing a control system, there are many functions that need to be considered for inclusion. The most important in almost all applications is the nature of the graphical interface, that is, how the operator will interface with the process/operation over which the control system is functioning.

By Tracy J. Coates
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