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Obtaining a clear high-level perspective of operations throughout an organization calls for a consolidated software environment able to unify OT, IT and ET, providing corporate users with single-pane-of-glass visibility.
Derrick Marlow, 28, SCADA Engineering Manager, Tesco Controls, Sacramento, California
In a webcast on new SCADA features and functions, Avanceon’s Matt Ruth and Nicholas Imfeld discuss advances in SCADA technology—and how to justify investing in an upgrade.
The top 5 articles from the past week include SCADA, PLC programming and more.
Data plays a vital role in the digitalization of industrial facilities and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems will be at the center.
Structured query language (SQL) can help SCADA software users improve their connectivity and ability to send and receive data.
In an April 19 webcast, Alec Grainger, senior product manager, GE Digital, explored considerations to be made to ensure scalability when installing and working with HMI/SCADA systems. Learn more and see a link to the archived webcast below.
Leverage IT/OT convergence technology to create sustainable applications with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software, industrial PCs (IPCs) for edge computing, machine learning software and cloud connections.
Process facilities must embrace more flexible DCS production and faster implementation to reduce time to market for new product developments.
Control Engineering top 5 articles online about DCS and SCADA posted over the last year covered SCADA migration, DCS changes, the top 10 modern SCADA system features and more.
Modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solutions can offer actionable insight to allow for better monitoring and control of production processes.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2022 included stories on HMI/SCADA systems and solutions, MQTT, SI Giants and System Integrator of the Year winners and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
The most-viewed content from the past week covered HMI and SCADA systems, MQTT, SI Giants, real-time data and more.
A global agribusiness developed a sustainable supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for their company.
A distributed control system (DCS) needed to be installed in a process cell for a pharmaceutical company, but the process required an overhaul to the systems and standards in place to make it work.
When upgrading human-machine interface (HMI) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software, don’t just create a new version of the old. Enable workers with advanced HMI/SCADA capabilities after migration. See five tips for optimizing HMI/SCADA screens.
Setting out to make better use of data and workflows in the remote, a maritime company adopts data-driven technology.
A modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system should be designed to help manufacturers take advantage of digital transformation and should run on modern technology.
Integrating supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems with manufacturing execution systems (MES) can help transfer usable information and utilize it to create future improvements.
Compared to a traditional distributed control system (DCS), an industrial optical bus control system (OCS) has a lower investment cost of automation, shorter installation time and reduces control system maintenance costs.
Engineers should take another look at their supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to see how much more modern systems are able to help organizations achieve their Industry 4.0 goals.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software can play a key role in helping industrial organizations on their journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Teamwork enabled the creation of a large testing lab in just nine months
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in October 2021 included stories on the Engineers' Choice finalists, SCADA and automation, embedded systems, machine control migrations and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems are becoming more complex, which makes a well-maintained alarm system essential. Six tips are highlighted.
Travis Cox, co-director of sales engineering at Inductive Automation, discusses important topics affecting supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Arlen Nipper, co-inventor of MQTT, the publish-subscribe network protocol that has become the dominant messaging standard in IoT, outlines data management and how OT can help IT.
Articles about SCADA benefits, Engineers' Choice finalists, finite-state machines, virtualized PLCs and the Engineering Leaders Under 40 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 4-10, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
As industrial automation evolves, how do we keep speaking the same language? It helps to evaluate automation by functions, not components. Think about how industrial automation technologies like SCADA can accelerate application capabilities.
Renewable energy company sees numerous benefits in operations and business management with new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
Those who delay a DCS migration risk loss of uptime and reliability and have difficulty applying incremental improvements. Also, related controls and instrumentation upgrades incompatible with legacy equipment.
Distributed control system migrations to modern process control systems provide eight lessons learned on procedures and costs. Learn how future DCS migrations to open systems can be easier, less costly, and create more value.
Examine how to manage DCS migration preparation with front-end loading design goals. A new DCS with high-performance human-machine interface (HMI) can help operators resolve abnormal situations 41% faster.
Enable users to monitor system operation, acknowledge alarms, and review PLC setpoints and alarm history.
Checking in on remote assets includes attention to cybersecurity. Among important demands for telemetry systems is to establish a reliable communication network.
Articles about HMI and SCADA design, process control systems, six calibration tips, Ethernet-APL standards and diversity hiring were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 14-20, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
User abilities, skill levels, future plans, needs of stakeholders, and other items should be explored. See a system integrator’s advice and seven SCADA system integration/design questions to ask.
Traditional distributed control system (DCS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems designs can be improved with industrial digital transformation. Seek industrial interoperability, modularity, conformity to standards, including security standards, scalability and portability.
Articles SCADA master plan frameworks, control system evolution, edge computing, OT cybersecurity and IIoT automation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 26 to May 2, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about COVID-19 refining tests, control system evolution, data visualization, IIoT and sewage treatment and SCADA frameworks were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 19-25, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
The best application of the supervisory control and data acquisition system’s components ensure the continuity of a water and wastewater plant’s operational success
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.
Considerations for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and human-machine interface (HMI) systems include situational awareness, an emphasis on cloud and mobile delivery and more.
While human-machine interface/supervisory control and data acquisition (HMI/SCADA) systems offer some protection by design, it is not enough.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) has become the enabler for efficient plant operation and effective management decisions for operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) departments.
Articles about programmable logic controllers (PLCs), the top 5 VFD parameter changes, replacing seven SCADA systems with one, using diamond as a metallic conductor, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Dec. 28 to Jan. 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Toronto Pearson International Airport starts fast on major baggage program with new, streamlined SCADA system that serves as the heart of the ambitious project
Cover Story: System integration case studies from several industries show lower costs and greater efficiency in projects using supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), human-machine interface (HMI), and manufacturing execution systems (MES). These won awards.
The role of SCADA software in smart factories and hardware-independent software is essential for making the transition to Industry 4.0.
On-demand subscription-based predictive process analytics turns SCADA data into greater profitability
There’s a big difference between a phased process control system migration and just putting delaying the problem of control system obsolescence. Those who don’t plan for distributed control system (DCS) obsolescence will see options narrow.
Migrating controls: Plan ahead with any process control system migration to stay on track. Use front-end loading on the project, and ask these 10 questions about migrating from a legacy distributed control system (DCS) or other controls to upgraded options.
A plant’s supervisory control and data acquistion (SCADA) system could benefit from mobile broadband on 5G with cost reductions for enhanced capabilities being applied to plant asset management.
Know what you need before investing in IIoT.
Technology and demographics are changing control room design as companies try to lower risk and create appealing environments visually and operationally for the next generation of operators. See eight tips for control room design.
Articles about DCS migration, industrial automation and mobile technology, the Career and Salary Survey, monitoring assets, and alarm management and process safety were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A proven process control solution enters the 21st century.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in February 2019 included stories about the Engineers' Choice Awards, upgrading hardware and software systems, robotics as a service, the 2019 System Integrator Giants, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Process control systems: A distributed control system (DCS) should help users innovate with greater automation system usability and functionality.
Articles about upgrading hardware and software, the 2019 Engineers' Choice awards, DCS migration challenges, cybersecurity for IIoT robots, and the System Integration Giants were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 4-10. Miss something? You can catch up here.
An open, interoperable approach allows companies to get best-in-class solutions for hardware and software upgrades. See 10 reasons to upgrade process controls.
An industrial utility service company in Kentucky needed to upgrade and migrate its distributed control system (DCS), which came with a few challenges.
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...
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...
System integrators are there to solve automation problems by providing the time, talent, and technology required to turn a plan into a completed project
The April issue of AppliedAutomation focuses on distributed control system (DCS) migration and also touches on the subject of legacy control systems and their effectiveness.
It’s time to start up your new distributed control system (DCS). How do you make the transition as positive and painless as possible?
Inductive Automation announced the creation of its Ignition Onboard program, which involves device manufacturers embedding Ignition and Ignition Edge software in the devices they manufacture.
The February issue of AppliedAutomation focuses on best practices from a variety of perspectives to show how it is a constant in manufacturing.
Gilead Sciences used a new, flexible distributed control system (DCS) for a pilot lab to support research and development (R&D), clinical trials, and meet pipeline demands.
A company's potential for being hacked is growing and companies need to take steps to protect their industrial control system (ICS), which requires taking a long look at all aspects of a facility and identifying what is most vulnerable.
SCADA systems are rapidly advancing and companies should consider upgrading their software whenever possible because it will increase interactivity, planning, and communication within a company and improve the overall return on investment (ROI).
The Seeq integration module simplifies integration of Seeq Workbench into ignition displays and server gateways.
Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) Experion Elevate is a real-time process supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solution delivered as a secure and scalable service.
While the SCADA host computer traditionally has lived on the plant floor, this company moved it into the data center.
Hilscher has formed an IIoT solutions marketing cooperation with middleware-vendor Cirrus Link Solutions and SCADA-supplier Inductive Automation to support Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions to industrial automation markets.
What does Rockwell Automation’s purchase of Maverick Technologies mean for the system integration industry?
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 19-25: Engineers’ Choice finalists, 2016 SI Giants, system integration solutions, more
Articles about the Engineers' choice finalists, the 2016 System Integrator Giants, system integration solutions, SCADA and the IIoT, and six DCS/PLC action items were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 19-25. Miss something? You can catch up here.
There are many manufacturers that have designed and built distributed control systems (DCSs) and there are several methods that can be performed to make the plant implementation process more efficient.
A project team looking to reach the end of a project should look for a team member that can serve as a bridge, or a catalyst, between the technical, sales, and management side to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Engineering and IT Insight: ExxonMobil is working to define a new architecture for distributed control systems (DCSs) by creating a system made up of programmable devices and distributed control nodes (DCNs) that can collective execute multiple layers of control strategies.
Proper control-loop tuning can improve production quality and throughput and minimize production-related waste.
Part 3: After the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software has been uploaded, there are several steps the user must take to ensure that he or she is getting the most out of the system.
Smart manufacturing is designed to rapidly create applications that enable collaboration among all people, systems, and assets, but there are key hurdles that need to be addressed for this to happen.
There are many reasons to upgrade a distributed control system (DCS) for a process control system, but there are many considerations and challenges to consider when doing so.
Part 2: Understanding the network communication process between a PLC and the SCADA computer is important because there are a number of elements that need to be addressed, such as the language a computer speaks and the tools needed to streamline the process.
Kontron's FusionClient HMI is an IIoT-ready human-machine interface (HMI) industrial computer platform family is designed for real-time SCADA and manufacturing execution systems (MES) monitoring and control applications.
Intuitive modern distributed control system pilot was implemented, easing system design, integration and training.
General Electric's Automation & Controls solution platform is designed to enable users to connect machines, data, and people and includes industrial software, distributed control systems, and process safety systems.
Ross SysCon’s PLC-based control systems are designed for industrial processes, such as mixing, pumping, chemical dosing, dilution, heat exchange, separation, drying, and waste treatment.
Bedrock Automation's 10-channel Secure Universal I/O Module, SIOU.10, combines functionality of multiple I/O module types into a single, software programmable module while delivering embedded digital and physical cyber security.
Ignition v7.8 SCADA enterprise software by Inductive Automation has added modules and features desgined to make make connecting, managing, and analyzing industrial data easier as well as control multiple gateways from one machine.
Part 1: Having a clear understanding of how process information is flowing through an automation system managed by SCADA is a key skill for every instrumentation and control specialist whether they are responsible for the design, integration, installation, or maintenance of the system. This understanding can make the difference between a seamlessly integrated system and complete chaos.
Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) Experion LX distributed control system (DCS) has received enhancements for its batch systems, SCADA capabilities, and engineering tools.
Watlow's F4T with Intuition temperature process controller is designed to provide intuitive navigation and screen personalization and combines the functionality of multiple devices such as temperature PID, over/under temperature limit, power switching, math, logic, timers, and counters into one integrated system.
Rockwell Automation Solution Partner RoviSys replaced an aging DCS at a window glass manufacturer with integrated controls, a Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 AC drives, Allen-Bradley Stratix 8000 managed Ethernet switches, and Cisco Catalyst switches.
Digital Edition Exclusive: Process information flow and plant efficiency improved when a glass manufacturer replaced an aging distributed control system with a plant-wide control system, according to system integrator RoviSys. The new system provides enhanced visualization capabilities on a common control platform, with better networking, a pair of redundant controllers for each of the five main process areas, advanced visualization, and alarming.
4B Components' Milli-Speed switch is a loop powered 4-20 mA analog output speed switch designed for PLC, DCS, or stand-alone controllers and can detect belt slip, belt underspeed, stop motion, low speed, or zero speed on rotating machines.
These 7 signs of a continuous process could indicate that the ISA 106 standard may offer effective and efficient help for continuous control operations beyond the scope of ISA 88 (originally written for batch, but applied well beyond that) or ISA 95 (used to connect operations with enterprise systems), according to a Dow Chemical Co. representative. ISA 106 may be particularly useful for applications that may go years between restarts, such as various chemical and petrochemical operations.
Control Engineering China (CEC) interviewed Marcia Gadbois, vice president and general manager of InduSoft, on SCADA/HMI development, factory intelligence, and the company’s recent merger.
As field devices become more and more intelligent, they can provide huge amounts of data, which, if turned into useful information, can offer big benefits. The creation of a standardized way to describe automation components and to communicate with them is therefore becoming increasingly important. FDI (field device integration) could possibly be a new standard in the industry.
Benefits of adding remote access to your DCS system include lower cost service, higher service speed, and changes can be made to similar processes with less effort.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, December 15-21: PID loop tuning advice and control, System Integrators of the Year, more
Articles about learning PID loop tuning, object detection, tuning PID loops for level control, improving your aging DCS, and the 2015 System Integrators of the Year were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, December 15-21. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Several considerations need to be made when interfacing a distributed control system (DCS) to a third-party system, including the choice between using SCADA or peer-control solutions.
Product Exclusive: Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx process automation system has added virtualization, batch management, and integrated motor control capabilities to expand its DCS platform capabilities as well as simplify the system’s design and operation.
One particular area of industry that is buzzing now is the utilization of the machine-to-machine (M2M) innovation in industrial settings. M2M’s reach is so broad that we will focus on its application in the whole process control industry.
There is no “one size fit all” formula for legacy migration of control systems, but assessing the available information along with some common sense can go a long way in putting together a fundamentally sound project.
Cross-referencing really can be an art. If successful it can save a company time and money, whereas if it is not done properly it can create major headaches.
In the last few years so much has changed in cellular communication in comparison to legacy communication options, such as radio and telephone, that merit taking a serious look cellular options. The major issue, outside of a well-rested maintenance team, is the lack of efficiency from outdated technology.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 8-14: The first PLC, future of the PLC, writing a process operation document, more
Articles about the competition for the first PLC, the PLC’s future, writing a process operation document, cascade control fundamentals, and the System Integrator Giants of 2014 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, September 8-14. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 12 to September 11: The first PLC, future of the PLC, System Integrator Giants, more
Articles about the competition for the first PLC, the PLC’s future, System Integrator Giants of 2014, writing a good process operation description documents, and cascade control fundamentals, were Control Engineering’s top 5 reader favorites from August 12 to September 11. You can catch up here.
Kontron's Wildcat 2U rugged rackmount is specifically designed specifically to meet the computing needs of exploration and operations in the oil & gas industry and can be used for SCADA applications as well as control room management.
Engineers must strike the right balance on the centralized/distributed control system design spectrum.
Moxa's PowerTrans PT-7528 series are Ethernet switches with MMS data modeling that are designed to fulfill the requirements of the IEC 61850-90-4 standard, which allows the switches to be controlled and monitored by a SCADA power system. At the time of the announcement, Moxa said these were the first compliant switches.
A commonly asked question about enterprise batch records is how do you get data into them? Many devices can be recruited for this, and once they are set up the benefits reap themselves.
See extensive summary of Internet of things coverage from Control Engineering.
Internet of things (IoT) will provide for a new generation of automation systems, and these new systems will have unparalleled capability and extensibility. What can we do with the extra cycles offered by IoT to help distributed control strategies defined in IEC 61158-2, IEC 61804-2, ISA88, and ISA106? IoT will offer efficiency gains in line with Moore’s Law.
Deciding between a dedicated batch application and building an S88 style application really comes down to the level of sophistication required to make the system user-friendly and supportable by the plant.
The capabilities of a DCS appear so limitless that we’re sometimes asked to replicate an external third-party application in the existing control system. Keep these four considerations in mind.
The right process can take out the guesswork and lead to a successful migration.
Ethernet continues to evolve and it brings up many new challenges and opportunities for automation engineers.
When a utility’s new SCADA system wouldn’t communicate with existing RTUs, replacements were planned, but there wasn’t much room in the budget. A growing customer base also stressed the need for building in expandability.
Weidmuller's PRV (Push-In Marshalling) and PPV (Push-In Power Distribution) 4/8/16 terminal block series are designed for DCS marshalling and distributing PLC application signals.
Please don’t talk to me about technologies and work practices that can improve my plant performance. I can’t stand the idea of disrupting my current situation with anything new even if it is better.
You may not realize that your control system is running beyond red line in some area, and could fail at any time.
Eight-channel recorder from Moxa Americas features support for SCADA systems and supports Modbus/TCP for direct communication.
PLC vendors make much more profit from software licenses than they do selling hardware. Smart shopping can avoid some of those fees. Advice for lowering PLC licensing fees follows.
Updated software platform enhances blend plan optimization, inventory traceability, and tank information systems
Invensys Off-sites Software Suite 2.2 adds new updates to improve functionality for terminal and blending applications.
Utility to implement Honeywell’s Experion SCADA and PKS platforms to improve reliability and safety of its domestic gas distribution network.
Open C platform on ioPAC 8020-C from Moxa enables streamlined installation and configuration time.
Invensys showcases enhanced systems, information analysis, and archiving capabilities at Wonderware/Avantis User Group Meeting. The ArchestrA System Platform 2012 improves security, data integrity and throughput, Invensys said.
Since many industrial devices are soft targets for hackers, placing smaller firewalls deeper in networks near PLCs or embedding them in such controllers is a practical way to add a higher level of protection.
New Microchip MCUs feature On-Chip 12-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, Op Amps, high-speed comparators, eXtreme low power technology; 16-bit PWM offers advanced control.
ABB has been awarded a contract to engineer, procure and supply equipment by Sappi Southern Africa for their Ngodwana mill in Nelspruit, South Africa.
Omega introduces CNI-CB120SB pre-configured panel family, saves time over sourcing individual components.
Portal to success: Engineering software opens way for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to program boiler controls more efficiently, expand business for Hurst Boiler and Welding.
Involve the entire development team in control system architecture and technology decisions. This three-part checklist helps engineers get from concept to application development, reduce development headaches, and accelerate the design cycle.
Software – Control design: The TIA Portal from Siemens is automation software with one engineering environment and one software project for all automation tasks. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation has made a 19.9 percent equity investment in Iconics, a U.S. software company.
Yokogawa announces VigilantPlant solutions partner program to provide its control platforms through selected system integrators.
Westar Energy natural gas peaking plant helps address variable wind power input and balance electricity flow in a smarter grid with integrated plant controls, for 12% less cost than expected.
ICP DAS USA introduces TouchPad, a touchscreen PLC with optional real time clock.
Pepperl+Fuchs FieldConnex is a new compact power hub designed to deliver dense amounts of power in even demanding operating conditions.
Dalkia has selected Metso to supply automation, environmental technology to five biomass power plants in France
GarrettCom Ethernet terminal server is designed for substation applications and serial instruments. It includes a built-in firewall.
FreeWave communication systems will be deployed with SCADA systems in Peru and surrounding countries.
Honeywell Process Solutions’ Mobile Stations implemented at its new fluid catalytic cracking unit, help reduce commissioning time.
Wago’s J1939 interface function block increases large engine efficiency by tracking, and reacting to, engine performance parameters via Wago-I/O-System.
Well Producer from Yokogawa is a complete digital automation package for gas field well control.
Two companies, focused on leading-edge video solutions for industrial and automation applications, join forces to expand the market.
SQL Sync from Red Lion allows customers to send plant floor data from G3 HMIs directly to a Microsoft SQL server database.
New meter prover interface feature from ProSoft Technology performs sophisticated functions on Rockwell’s ControlLogix platform.
Open Automation Software announces new version of OPC Systems.net to support HMIs and SCADA systems.
HMIs can have spectacular graphics. Why shouldn't we use them?
Yokogawa FA-M3V is a high-performance PLC with the world’s fastest CPU scanning speed, capable of scanning a 100,000-step program in one millisecond, according to Yokogawa Electric Corp., in a Feb. 7 announcement.
Arab Potash Company in Jordan is installing ABB's System 800xA to help improve process efficiency, energy use, and boost production capacity.
Users of LinkedIn’s Automation and Control Group discuss the differences between PLCs, PACs - when one option better suits a specific application.
McObject database technology helps BISMARC operator interface and SCADA at the Smolensk nuclear waste installation. Baltic Information Systems (BIS), a Lithuanian company founded to provide safety-related IT systems for nuclear power plants, has developed a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) product called BISMARC that relies on the McObject eXtremeDB In-Memory Database System (IMDS).
The 2010 version of U.C.ME-OPC software from Control See Ltd includes scheduling functionalities based on information received from SCADA applications, DCS, and OPC servers.
Kollmorgen produces CVC600 Vehicle Controller that offers robust operation in a compact size, which enables lift truck manufacturers to gain space on automated lift trucks and AGVs, without compromising performance.
Huadian Inner Mongolia Energy chooses Invensys advanced process control system to optimize boiler combustion.
Gain efficiency through tighter control system integration. Ensure you're doing all you can to work effectively with system integrators.
Applying the wrong tools in control system projects can be akin to using stone knives and bearskins. Which of these five misused tools are killing your productivity?
Weidmuller’s new fully shielded sensor-actuator interface M12 connecting cables protect against EMI.
Software - connectivity, integration software: Kepware Technologies, KEPServerEX v5. KEPServerEX is an interoperability software server connecting disparate systems and interfaces. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
Network Integration - wireless - B&B Electronics, Zlinx Xtreme. Eliminating up to 40 miles of wiring for industrial wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in harsh environments, the Zlinx Xtreme IP67 outdoor-rated wireless radio modems and I/O modules offer easy field configuration options to set up reliable and secure P2P and P2MP wireless communications to monitor serial or sensor data. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Network Integration - I/O systems. Weidmuller WMF 2.5 Multi-Functional Terminal Block Series - The WMF 2.5 Multi-Functional terminal blocks provide fusing, feed-through/disconnect and grounding functions for the termination of signal loops in DCS marshalling applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
Weidmuller’s WMF 2.5 terminal block series simplifies wiring, reduces cabinet space, increases functionality, and expands wire routing and signal distribution capabilities.
PPT Vision Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System has four independently operating cameras—each running its own inspection/guidance program—for cost savings and simplified setup.
System architects can build in communication capabilities to bridge plant and enterprise systems, including ERP, MES, and historians.
Improvements to Honeywell’s HC900 standalone process control system promise less startup time and fewer operator errors.
Safety instrumented systems (SIS) demand integrator skills significantly more advanced than those required for the usual PLC project. A system integrator must be able to deliver a system proven to meet client requirements for the safety integrity level (SIL) of each safety instrumented function (SIF).
Acromag advises using signal isolators and splitters to eliminate 4-20 mA errors and ground loops between instruments.
Cost-effective wireless solution lowers the cost of adding additional measurements, MACTek says, of the WirelessHART device.
PLC investments driven by desire for machine productivity and energy efficiency, says IMS Research.
New ProSoft Technology 802.11n Industrial Hotspot solutions provide premier performance for high-capacity networks and offer a wireless solution to applications with moving, and obstructed environments that are traditionally difficult to solve with wireless technology, company says.
EDDL Cooperation Team reorganizes itself to become FDI. New unified technical and functional specs scheduled for 2010. Will it turn EDDL and FDT into one common platform? No, nor is that the intent.
The longstanding lament among engineers for many years, especially in the U.S., has been that jobs for engineers are disappearing at an alarming rate. I have personally heard many engineers say that they would do whatever they could to discourage their children from following in their engineering footsteps.
LevelCom from TMS uses pulsed pneumatic technology, reducing problems with continuous bubbling approaches.
Features like SQLTags Historian make Ignition by Inductive Automation software easier to use.
InduSoft InduSoft Web Studio is Human Machine Interface and SCADA software for all Microsoft operating systems. InduSoft Web Studio’s (IWS) collection of automation tools provides all automation building blocks necessary to develop HMIs, SCADA systems, and embedded instrumentation solutions. InduSoft integrated Web technologies take advantage of Internet/intranet connectivity from anywhere.
Alternative energy producer selects Siemens to provide control infrastructure for three new biochemical facilities.
New system integrators provide local Honeywell Experion LS process control expertise in pharmaceutical, specialty chemicals, and food and beverage industries.
The high-speed Vision130 and Vision350 "TR" models can handle inputs up to 200kHz, while high-speed outputs are able to support 5Hz to 200kHz. This enables the user to implement up to three independent Pulse Train Output (PTO) instruction sets at one time for accurate step-motor control.
Umetrics has released Simca-4000 version 12 multivariate statistical process control (MSPC) software for real-time monitoring and prediction for continuous processes. The company describes Simca-4000 as an off-the-shelf, Microsoft Windows-based software platform, providing MSPC for continuous processes.
Machine builders and OEMs looking for compact HMI control panels to replace analog hardware controls have an option with small, high-resolution, widescreen graphic hardware from Maple Systems.
The machine provides an alternative to traditional methods of mapping the heart and displaying EP catheters in real time. Getting the machine into human clinical trials fast depended on choosing capable partners, and selecting a control platform with easily implemented hot back up capability.
Dual controllers separate HMI and software-based logic tasks, and a backup system enhances reliability for APAX-5000 series PACs.
AutomationDirect's line of C-more operator interfaces now includes two new 6" TFT color panels with LED backlights.
TurboPack software package from Moxa is designed to upgrade the product firmware of Moxa's industrial managed Ethernet switches to improve network redundancy, security, performance, and management.
S95 compliant manufacturing execution system, developed with Siemens, now available to others.
Specialized MES system developed with Siemens now available to other manufacturers engaged in filling and packaging.
Consultant, ISA Fellow, and Control Engineering columnist Dennis Brandl offers a reference to help make flexible batch, continuous, and discrete manufacturing processes easier.
USA Yeast produces yeast products for bakery, ethanol, and other food production markets. It was organized in 2003 by Mike Lavallee and a group of investors to compete in an industry dominated by producers based outside the U.S. The company’s only production facility is located in Hattiesburg, MS, in a 37,000 square foot plant that was built from the ground up with modern and fully automa...
Many smart instrumentation devices can give you more than just one process variable.
Moxa's MGate EIP3000 series products provide 1 or 2-port DF1 to EtherNet/IP protocol conversion for users who need to connect Allen-Bradley PLCs to an EtherNet/IP network. This is an October Control Engineering North American edition Product Exclusive.
MooreHawke introduces the TrunkGuard TPS400 Fieldbus Power Supply for general purpose and non-incendive applications.
ATS Applied Tech Systems and Siemens continue on their MES World Tour on the benefits of manufacturing execution systems and integrated quality. Additional dates are shown below. ATS also announced general availability of ATS Simatic IT MES Filling and Packaging developed with Siemens, and implemented at Schweppes.
Say the word "integration" to a control engineer and you may quickly find yourself ensconced in the realm of DCS and SCADA. But there is another type of integration that can be equally important to the success or failure of a project—contract integration. What is contract integration? It is, quite simply, knowing the boundaries of the "deal.
Supply chain execution software supplier RedPrairie believes a technique called flowcasting can solve one of the most difficult problems confronting consumer goods manufacturers: How to keep excess inventory out of the supply chain without leaving retail customers short of needed merchandise.
Service-oriented architectures impact how engineers build workflows and make PLC, DCS, and HMI connections.
A defense-in-depth security strategy protects Air Liquide against hackers. The head of its U.S. Operations Control Center explains.
Many smart instrumentation devices can provide more than just one process variable. Is it information you can really use?
Wireless system uses ISM band and includes embedded site survey tool to ensure optimal performance.
EZAutomation announces its EZDurapanel, its newest touch panel HMI series, which features white LED backlighting that uses less energy and lasts four times longer than previous models.
Honeywell MasterLogic PLC CPUs process complex instructions at high speeds for greater control system flexibility. The powerful PLC can be deployed in a stand-alone mode without requiring any HMI and be used with Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System architecture and the recently released Experion LS. It brings power and robustness to very high-speed logic, interlock, and sequencing applications, Honeywell says.
ISaGRAF software now embedded in Kingfisher RTUs.
QuickStart use cases for Proficy Workflow from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms can help users understand the benefits of digitizing and standardizing work processes.
Evonik Degussa deploys HIMax Safety System, increases control flexibility. See photo.
Driving down the street you decide to stop to fill your gas tank. Being an eco-conscious driver, you have a flex-fuel vehicle that can burn E-85, a mix that is 85% ethanol and only 15% gasoline. While you fill your tank, you realize that the building next to the pumps isn't a normal gas station. It's actually an automated bioethanol plant, and the fuel you're pumping is made from local waste fe...
The enhanced ReDAQ software package available from Dataforth Corp. provides an integrated solution for test, measurement, and data acquisition applications when combined with one or more SCM5B isoLynx SLX200 data acquisition hardware systems. ReDAQ enables data to be monitored and outputs to be set, locally or remotely, via the Internet.
Kraft Foods Inc. commissioned a study to investigate current good practices for securing OPC client and server applications running on Microsoft Windows-based hosts, according to PAControl.com. Goal is to help engineers and technicians securely deploy OPC applications.
Small computing boards designed for harsh environments are also said to optimize connectivity and device intelligence.
Qatar Gas 1 in Ras Laffan Industrial City to undertake major automation improvements, with DCS and mesh network architecture from Invensy Process Systems. Production continues during upgrades. Link to photo.
If a process alarm or fault occurs, the internal Web server allows access to process variables, says ABB.
Scalable from a single PC and controller to multiple stations, Experion LS manages continuous process control applications and optimizes batch and sequence-oriented applications.
EnclosuresVortex A/C Model #7770 Vortec - ITW Air Management With essentially no maintenance, the Vortex A/C 7770 provides total enclosure protection from heat and contaminants, with thermostatically controlled, two-stage refrigeration to conserve energy. The new 5,000 BTUH Vortex A/C model 7770 features dual vortex tube cooling units, each with its own reliable mechanical thermostat to provide two-stage levels of refrigeration. The compact, UL listed, Vortex A/C provides reliable, below-ambient cooling in environments up to 175 °F (79 °C), keeping panels safely within a range of 80-90 °F (27-32 °C).
Control Systems AC 700F ABB ABB’s AC 700F is a powerful, compact controller that bridges the price and performance gap between PLCs and larger process automation systems, making it an ideal solution for small process applications. The AC 700F offers all the benefits of tools integrated in ABB’s Freelance compact DCS system, including engineering tools and pre-engineered visualization components, extended troubleshooting capabilities, ready-made system communication, and other tools and features. The AC 700F provides powerful, scalable control options for smaller applications, where a full size DCS solution is too much and a PLC does not provide enough capability.
This whitepaper discusses the concept of the OPC Bridge, the solution architecture, required software components, and various features to help Integrators differentiate between different OPC Bridge products.
It is surprising that more than 30% of all factory PID control loops are operating in manual rather than automatic mode. To make matters worse, of those loops operating in automatic mode, 65% produce less variance when in manual. This reality is possibly due to a dearth of personnel having sufficient know-how to tune and optimize a PID loop, which is one reason so many vendors provide automated...
The Modicon M340 programmable automation controller (PAC) from Schneider Electric has been expanded with more power and functionality. Supported by Unity-Pro V4.0 software, this midrange PAC will address more applications and provide more flexible, open solutions when remote I/O is used. It also facilitates connection to third party CANopen devices. New functionality includes....
Wireless pressure and temperature transmitters send measurements via a self-organizing network that was easier to install and less costly than wired systems.
Analog wiring from a sensor to I/O point is prone to certain types of problems than can disrupt accurate readings. Ground loops are particularly troublesome, since they are capable of serious signal disruption and their effect can be intermittent. For a ground loop to occur, two things must be present: at least two different grounds that are at different potentials, and a galvanic path or circ...
LinkBus Remote Instrument Monitoring System (RIMS) from Ametek Process Instruments provides users of Ametek process analyzers and instruments with 24/7 access through their PC Web browser, FieldBus, or ModBus protocol-based distributed control system (DCS). The hardware/software platform provides provides Internet and Ethernet communications capability and bi-directional DCS communications.
Interface can turn corrosion monitoring into a process variable for DCS.
Microsoft, Aberdeen Group, and Iconics experts will review in a Webcast next-generation 64-bit software, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Vista operating systems, and .NET technologies. Interoperable technologies can reduce the cost of automation.
A new Control Engineering blog, “Industrial Cyber Security,” can help end-users, system integrators, and others with distributed control system (DCS) and SCADA system implementation and management. Bloggers Matt Luallen and Steve Hamburg of Encari (a consulting firm that helps companies protect the cyber assets that help manage critical infrastructure) combine cyber security know-ho...
PID loop tuning problems can hobble a process unit or a whole plant. So how do operators get regulatory loops into stable operation? An amazing percentage of regulatory loops are problematic. Sad statistics about control loop health say that....
Producers partner to develop processes for manufacturing fuels from non-food sources, including perennial grasses, animal waste, and agricultural residues.
Byres Security Inc. and MTL Instruments, a division of Cooper Crouse-Hinds, introduced the Tofino Modbus TCP Enforcer Loadable Security Module (LSM) at the ISA show this week in Houston, TX. The module performs detailed analysis and filtering of all Modbus TCP messages and is certified by Modbus-IDA.
Bosch Rexroth IndraLogic PLCs and PACs with IndraControl L65 PAC feature unified programming software, scalable hardware, pre-developed functions, reusable code, large memory, and built-in connectivity to reduce engineering time for those working with complex machines. See photo.
Automation vendors are expanding management and service options. Should you use them?
SCADA system vulnerabilities... Regarding your item about "Square D Powerlogic Ion EEM" dated 09/11/08 on www.controleng.com. My name is Bob Radvanovsky, and am the owner/moderator to the SCADASEC mailing list, an openly-available discussion forum discussing impacts resulting from vulnerabilities. Earlier this year, there were several vulnerabilities found with the CitectSCADA application, spec...
Project scope calls for a broad offering of products, software, and services.
Afcon Software and Electronics Ltd. used Modbus TCP for real-time communication in a project with the Nesher Cement plant. Nesher Cement is Israel's largest cement-making company with three plants in Haifa, Ramle, and Bet Shemesh. The company updated the technology used in all three plants by moving from outdated wet production lines to more efficient and environmentally safer dry lines.
Control Engineering process industries editor Peter Welander interviewed Marjorie Ochsner, senior product manager and migration specialist for Honeywell Process Solutions, to help clarify how to know when it’s time to move to a new DCS and how to make the process as painless as possible. In the podcast, Ochsner considers several aspects of the migration issue: To listen to the podcast, go...
New technology at 2008 eAutomation World Partner Conference for the Industrial Automation Group of Advantech included Ethernet switches; touch panel and embedded computers; and software to develop better graphical user interfaces (GUIs). See photos.
Two new additions to Control Microsystems SCADAPack series of advanced controllers include compact mounting enclosures for applications where space is at a premium.
Companies invested heavily in control systems in 2007. How about 2008 and beyond?
One of Brazil's largest sugar producers processes its cane crop for consumable sugar and fuel ethanol, while co-generating electric power for internal use and sale to the grid. With fuel markets at current heights, the company's challenge is to increase its throughput capacity and alcohol yield to meet the world's rising demands for ethanol without significant new capital investment.
We had to find a better way to detect problems at our multiple warehouses and communicate to ensure employee safety, says Herman Punt, discipline engineer QMI. Wireless transmitters topped hard-wired options because...
Wireless is helping with level monitoring in pharmaceutical tank level application in an intrinsically safe area, in a wastewater application to avoid overflow, and to monitor a rural water supply. Implementation advice that follows from these applications could help with your next wireless application.
Manufacturing automation and control systems are increasingly complex, and when plant engineers have a problem, they are asking support service providers to do more. That means vendor support organizations must handle more calls, more quickly and provide better answers to hardware and software problems.
Software package based on IEC-61850 standard protocol.
Predictive monitoring and automated problem diagnoses and resolution can give quick resolution of problems. Invensys is using software from NextNine to keep its customers' plants running.
Honeywell turned its annual user conference into a platform to demonstrate that its solutions do more than merely automate production processes. A series of products unveiled at the mid-June event support Honeywell’s contention that it is now in the business of helping process manufacturers improve business performance. “We are more than a DCS [distributed control system] company,” Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions , told conference attendees. “We are expanding our product portfolio, and we now get a significant amount of revenue from services.” Honeywell made more than a half-dozen new product announcements during the conference, •• OneWireless is an architecture that supports the use of wireless sensors in industrial networks.
The names are common, but do you know what they really describe?
Given the volume of product flowing out of Coca-Cola Canners Wadeville plant in South Africa, manual labeling of shrink-wrapped pallets of finished cans was an increasing problem. As the fourth-largest canning plant in the world with output of 24 million cases annually, the sheer scale of the operation demanded an automated system that could tighten control and traceability.
No limits: Portuguese textile maker links MES, APS, readying plant-floor finite scheduling for growth
Look closely at textile finishing manufacturer Aquacolor and you’ll see what some regard as the future of plant-floor operations: an advanced planning & scheduling (APS) and a manufacturing execution system (MES) working in close harmony. It’s a transformation that took the company some years to achieve, but which now is yielding undoubted benefits.
Wilcoxon Research, a supplier of vibration sensors and sensor networks, announced the addition of a displacement sensor to its popular PC420 Series of 4-20 mA vibration sensors.
Digital protocols add to versatility and functionality of analyzer family.
At the Leeds, U.K. brewing & bottling plant of Danish brewing group Carlsberg, an asynchronous fail-over and replication solution from Double-Take Software is keeping production going when server failures take critical systems off-line.
Sophisticated DCS control availability growing for wider range of potential users.
Measurement of vibration helps with design testing and monitoring of equipment health. Training can help with implementation of related new products. (See photo.)
Automation suppliers in Asia have their eyes on infrastructure projects to ensure continued economic growth.
In Asia, increasing urbanization, unbridled economic growth, and years of public-sector neglect mean that countries need to spend US$700 billion per year to develop and expand their infrastructure, according to Michael Carapiet, executive director and of Macquarie Capital Advisers, speaking at the December 2007 Asian Infrastructure Conference held in Singapore.
In order to maintain a process variable at some desired setpoint, a feedback controller must be configured to accommodate the behavior of the specific process to which it has been applied. It needs to know how much and how long to react to errors between the process variable and setpoint. In academic circles, the traditional method for endowing the controller with the necessary insight is to cr...
We recently received a new whitepaper from the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) written by James Powell, a Siemens engineer, on the topic of fieldbus costs. The conclusion of the paper is that Profibus is less expensive than Foundation Fieldbus . You can take that claim as you will, but the larger issues of how the two platforms differ make for a more interesting discussion and a reason to read the whitepaper.
Lockhart Power Co. owns and operates a hydroelectric plant located on the Broad River in upstate South Carolina, striving to be a low-cost energy provider for more than 6,000 direct customers and 6,000 indirect customers with a 90-mile transmission network. The utility considered its prior proprietary microprocessor-based control system obsolete in an industry undergoing deregulation and contin...
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG needed to build a new multi-product biopharmaceutical plant at its site in Biberach, Germany. This new facility would be responsible for development and production of products related to diseases of the respiratory and central nervous system, and metabolic disorders.
Winners of the 2007 Engineers' Choice Awards
Globalization is driving process manufacturers to improve plant performance in ways that would be inconceivable without modern process automation systems and business processes.
In our recent Webcast, Cyber Security for Industrial Networks , the listener question that generated the most discussion from the panelists was from an end user at a chemical plant who said that his management decided that the IT department should be given responsibility for configuring firewalls for the DCS without any input from the control engineers. He thinks that’s a problem. So do the panelists. Doug Clifton (Invensys Process Systems) doesn’t like the idea, but the potential effect depends on how the firewalls are configured and what kind of traffic is passing through them.
Continuing debacles at Airbus and Boeing demonstrate a looming chasm exists between today's advanced computerized design capabilities and shop-floor realities. The cure is called “digital manufacturing.” Two vendors, Siemens PLM Software and Dassault Systemes, recently made announcements or held events to further understanding of digital manufacturing.
The TFZ programmable Foundation Fieldbus temperature transmitter from Moore Industries takes the analog signal from a temperature sensor and digitizes it to send the variable to the larger DCS via the H1 segment. The company says the transmitter can interface with 14 RTD types, and nine thermocouple types, as well as direct millivolt and resistance/potentiometer inputs. The TFZ transmitter can be installed on the same segment with all standard Foundation Fieldbus devices. The bus-powered, two-wire TFZ consumes only 10.5 mA in normal operation and offers dozens of input and operation choices.
If a piece of instrumentation exists in isolation, or if you want a display in the field for local reading, a panel mounted readout can be a handy solution. When you start looking, you may be surprised at the wide variety available and potentially confusing specifications. Here are some questions to ask as you sort through the offerings. What information is necessary? A readout can have a simple numerical display, or augment that with multiple data lines, bar graphs, alarm indicators, etc.
Inductive Automation has released new versions of its database technology, FactoryPMI 3.0 and FactorySQL 4.0, with both incorporating new SQLTags technology. The company says that with SQLTags, rapid development of web-launched SCADA systems is easier, more accessible, and more scalable. Powered by OPC, SQLTags technology reportedly turns any SQL database into a high-performance industrial tag database. Database platforms, like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL, have storage and performance characteristics that make them ideal for use in industrial applications, and are easy for IT departments to support.
Quickfilter Technologies announced a reference design to help engineers configure a single FIR-engine IC to provide multiple channel filtering in a single device. Using this solution, designers can implement audio equalization for left and right stereo channels for embedded devices.
Wonderware introduced a new set of industrial computers that promises to make it easier for plant personnel to monitor and manage production equipment—whether they are working on a single machine or overseeing production operations across an enterprise.
Oak Brook, IL—A new blog seeks to help manufacturing be more efficient and profitable with comments on the development and implementation of WBF Make2Pack ISA88 Part 5 and related standards efforts. The blog invites readers to “participate with your questions or suggestions to help the standard along, and advice on implementations, on your way to gaining competitive advantage.”
Modbus is one of the older industrial networking protocols that is still commonly used in process plants. While some regard it as a legacy technology that should be scrapped in favor of more sophisticated fieldbus and Ethernet based platforms, it performs well in many applications, including down to the instrumentation level for remote I/O devices. In a whitepaper available in the Resource Center at www.controleng.com , Moore Industries discusses what Modbus can do today and how to use it in your plant environment. For a platform that’s almost 30 years old, Modbus has been resilient and adaptable, adding Ethernet and wireless connectivity to increase its versatility.
Vendor support for and involvement in engineering education can have great positive impact on market growth for high-technology products. Comparison of two Control Engineering Poland surveys, the first conducted in March of 2006 and the second in January 2007, show how true this can be. The first survey asked approximately 150 Polish PLC users about their selection criteria for PLCs.
The new World of Coca-Cola showcase in Atlanta is putting the wonders of automation on display for public consumption. At the new tourist facility, which officially opened May 24, 2007, visitors can see depalletizing and packaging robots, a clean in place system, machine vision systems, and blending/filling operations in action.
Phoenix AZ, Milwaukee, WI and Zurich, Switzerland—Several major automation-related contracts were announced in the Middle East and China by ABB, Honeywell, and Johnson Controls.
For applications where you need a simple, inexpensive, visually indicating flowmeter, the EZ-View family of variable-area designs from Hedland offers a handy way to monitor flow outside of a larger DCS or where there is no power available. Besides offering a visual reading, they can be outfitted with an adjustable Flow-Alert switch to signal alarm if the flow is too high or low. EZ-View meters are spring loaded so they can be installed in any position without affecting accuracy. Since they can operate without long straight pipe sections or flow straighteners, they can be installed in complicated piping arrangements without any loss of accuracy.
New wireless instrumentation devices are becoming more common, and IntelliSensing LLC has introduced an interesting family of pressure sensors using ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4) communication. This capability is coupled with strain gage sensors covering a wide range of pressures from 0-100 psi all the way to 0-10,000 psi. The sensors themselves are sophisticated, including internal barometric transducers to provide precise compensation for true gage and absolute readings. Measuring 38 mm wide and 166 mm long when mounted, the PS1 provides a completely self-contained wireless pressure instrument using the latest ZigBee technology.
Ottawa, Ontario–SCADAForum is a fully interactive, virtual meeting place for Control Microsystems (CMI) customers and the SCADA industry.
Boston, MA—The process of integrating control techniques with accounting measures to drive business was reiterated at the Foxboro Users Group Conference in Boston,
Registration is open for MESA International’s 2007 Plant-to-Enterprise Conference: Integration to Innovation, which will be held Sept. 16-18 in Orlando, FL.
Users of Allen-Bradley PLCs and DCSs can extend the connectivity of those platforms using OPC and the new MatrikonOPC server . This device is an industrial-strength OPC server providing communication with A-B’s most common protocols: Allen-Bradley Data Highway Plus (DH+); Allen-Bradley DF1 (DF1); Allen-Bradley Data Highway 485 (DH485); and, Ethernet/IP. The server connects to devices via serial connections, single-port Allen-Bradley 1784- PKTX PCI cards, and Ethernet connections. This new server reportedly includes time-saving features not found in other drivers, including:Automatic discovery and configuration of devices; Competitive system expansion; Loading of device configuration files such as .l5k, .pc5, and .slc; Automatic configuration of serial connections; Automatic generation of tags are for each device; and, Support for device-level redundancy through fail-over channels. —Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com , Control Engineering Weekly News.
Ultima XL/XT Series gas monitors are an affordable version of MSA Ultima X Series monitors, offering continuous gas detection and monitoring and retaining key features of the X Series. A remote display is viewed through a portable handheld communicator, host DCS, or laptop and HART Field Communications Protocol provides convenient setup, calibration, and diagnostics.
The new ST 3000 pressure instrument line from Honeywell is reportedly the first to support HART 6 , the latest version of the analog and digital communication protocol. This allows users to take advantage of all the functionality HART 6 has to offer when used with a control system using the same capability. The ST 3000 series includes a full range of pressure measurement offerings, including: Standard gage measurement; Absolute pressure; Differential pressure; Threaded and flanged inlets; and, Standard and high-temperature versions. Honeywell also claims the title of the first to include HART 6 in a control system. Its Experion PKS (process knowledge system) was reportedly the first DCS to support HART 6 without any add-on devices or conversion tools.
New supervision software from Citect and Schneider Electric Telemechanique
LNX-1002GN is a 10 port SNMP Managed Industrial Ethernet switch with two Gigabit ports and 8 10/100TX ports from Aaxeon Technologies Inc.
AutomationDirect offers Cirronet’s wireless frequency-hopping Ethernet radio modems.
Tricon version 10.3 software from the Triconex unit of Invensys Process Systems has achieved Achilles Controller Level 1 cyber-security certification.
Mansfield, MA —Verano has relaunched its suite of cyber security products and services under its best known brand name, Industrial Defender . Henceforth the company will use that name for all its properties and allow the Verano name to fade away. This change is designed to emphasize the scale of its co-managed security services offering, which it bills as the “first integrated industrial cyber security solution.” Industrial Defender’s new cyber risk protection lifecycle solution is the product of years of experience in the power, water, energy, transportation, and chemical industries.
Moxa’s new ioMirror E3000 peer-to-peer I/O server provides an easy way to connect input signals to remote outputs over an IP network.
Strong economic activity in Asia is spurring growth in manufacturing and, in turn, in automation, according to a recent study from ARC Advisory Group . Specifically, the Asian market for distributed control systems (DCS) is expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% over the next five years, says the report. In Asia, large greenfield projects are translating to large investments in many industries, including chemical, electric power, oil and gas, and refining industries. Report authors Larry O’Brien, ARC research director, and S.R.
Emerson has expanded Ethernet connectivity for its Bristol ControlWave Micro Hybrid RTU with dual Ethernet ports. This addition allows the unit to support larger applications by providing network segmentation without the need for external routers. Emerson says the result is that host communication can be separated from expansion I/O communication, maximizing speed and bandwidth available to control I/O. The ControlWave Micro Hybrid RTU is a flexible standards-based controller designed for remote measurement, control.
Sirec display recorder units (D200 and D400 shown) provide full color data display, logging, communicating, and archiving. In some applications, it is useful to have the ability to record and visualize data from a small group of instruments in a process. Sometimes this brings together individual readouts into one functional group, or it may supplement larger data gathering tasks performed by a DCS.
Analog wiring from a sensor to I/O point is prone to certain types of problems than can disrupt accurate readings. Analog wiring is still very common, with 80+% of plants saying they have 4-20 mA communication with instrumentation. Engineers that have been trained to troubleshoot digital networks may not know how to handle these systems, so we offer this tutorial as a help for this older but still critical technology.
Distributed control systems (DCS) are automating process and control functions for two ethanol refineries in western Canada.
Invensys Process Systems InFusion enterprise control system (ECS) integrates the plant and enterprise into a unified real-time control and information environment without expensive point-to-point integration techniques. System allows process manufacturers to preserve and extend the useful life of installed automation/information assets, while linking plant and enterprise systems.
Information is power. The ability to gather time-critical data, digest it, and react upon it is the only way manufacturing companies have to stay in touch with customers’ needs and demands. Without it, companies implode. Today, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems exist in most all companies.
January 31, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Revisiting the decision for 'in-house' or 'outsource' project—Part 2 Not all automation projects require outside assistance of system integrators. The plant's in-house engineers can execute some projects just as well or better. On the other hand, a plant manager with no in-house engineering staff to draw upon is pretty much obliged to outsource the automation work.
I was recently at the ARC Collaborative Manufacturing Strategies Forum in Orlando. This has become one of the largest gatherings of industrial automation companies where they spend a lot of time talking to each other and to a small but influential group of end users. One of the functions was put on by Emerson Process Management with John Berra, division president and Peter Zornio, their new chief strategic officer. As part of their event, they had a Q&A period so attendees could pose questions to these two industry leaders.
Pittsburgh, PA; Wickliffe, OH —Advanced systems from major automation companies are providing critical monitoring and control capabilities for two power plants using new generation technologies. The installations include Emerson Process Management 's Ovation control system being implemented at China's first 1,000 MW ultra-supercritical power generation units and an ABB distributed control system being applied at a Kentucky power station using circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology to burn coal and alternative fuels. The Ovation expert control system from Emerson is helping two new power plant units in China synchronize to the power grid eight months ahead of schedule. Emerson won the $7 million contract to automate the four-unit, 4,000-MW, coal-fired facility in April 2005.
While process alarms are critical to the safe and profitable operation of a power plant, too many and too frequent alarms can have the opposite effect. To reduce alarm floods that seemed to be occurring with increasing frequency, Arizona’s Salt River Project (SRP) implemented a very effective alarm management solution at two of its generating stations, Navajo and Santan.
Lantronix' IntelliBox I/O 2100 with EventTrak Technology, which monitors and reports a variety of equipment problems and alarms, debuted last week in the February edition of Control Engineering magazine. Oak Brook, IL and Irvine, CA —IntelliBox I/O 2100 with EventTrak Technology from Lantronix monitors and controls remote digital I/O, dry contact (relay), and RS-232/422/485-based industrial equipment with secure remote access. The new product was introduced last week in the February issue of Control Engineering magazine . When an event occurs, the industrial device server responds with user-defined actions to provide what the company calls "an unprecedented level of flexibility" to monitoring and managing industrial I/O devices.
IntelliBox I/O 2100 with EventTrak Technology from Lantronix monitors and controls remote digital I/O, dry contact (relay), and RS-232/422/485-based industrial equipment with secure remote access.
Drawing from his vast experience in the development of multiple control projects and the ISA-88 batch control standards, author and Control Engineering columnist Dennis Brandl’s Design Patterns for Flexible Manufacturing documents effective rules for applying the ISA-88 standard to both batch manufacturing (called the S88 design pattern) and continuous and discrete manufacturing problems (called the NS88 design pattern for non-stop production). As the chair of the ISA-SP88 committee, Brandl was instrumental in developing these patterns and subsequent rules while applying the batch series to several projects. Published by the ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, his 350-page softbound resource (ISBN: 978-1-55617-998-3) clearly identifies elements defined in the batch series and those that make up the S88 and NS88 design patterns for flexible manufacturing. The book retails for $89 to ISA members ($99 for non-members). The book also defines design patterns for control system programming, providing patterns for the organization of programmable logic controller (PLC), digital control system (DCS), and other control system application code.
In two recent statements, ARC Advisory Group has drawn a sunny picture for industrial automation and control system suppliers, projecting that customer demand will remain strong and push annual growth higher than 6% over the next five years. The upward trend for process automation seen over the last two years will continue, thanks to its ability to reduce manufacturing costs and increase effici...
IntelliBox I/O 2100 with EventTrak technology from Lantronix monitors and controls remote digital I/O, dry contact (relay), and RS-232/422/485-based industrial equipment with secure remote access. When an event occurs, the industrial device server responds with user-defined actions to provide what the company calls “an unprecedented level of flexibility” to monitor and manage indust...
In two recent statements, ARC Advisory Group has drawn a sunny picture for industrial automation and control system suppliers, projecting that customer demand will remain strong and push annual growth higher than 6% over the next five years. The upward trend for process automation seen over the last two years will continue, thanks to the industry's ability to reduce manufacturing costs and increase efficiency. ARC's studies examine the overall process automation market and zero-in on distributed control systems (DCS). The larger process automation market world-wide is estimated at $58 billion for 2005 and expanding with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% for the next five years.
Dallas, TX —Hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) plants will use previously untapped production capacity with advanced process control technologies as a result of an agreement between Invensys Process Systems and Cutler Technology Corp. (CTC), say the two companies. At a press conference at its customer conference here last week, Invensys announced that the recent agreement makes it a global re-seller and certified implementer for CTC's patented adaptive dynamic matrix controller (ADMC) technology.
Although fieldbus platforms have many advantages over hardwiring, one you may not think of right away is device management. Fieldbus networks facilitate communication of devices to the control system, but also the system to its devices. Invensys recently introduced a new field device manager utility for its Foxboro I/A series DCS that reportedly provides a toolset for configuration, commissioning, diagnosis, and optimization of smart field devices. This utility doesn't work everywhere, but if you are using Invensys' I/A series DCS and FOUNDATION Fieldbus, you can take advantage of the latest enhanced electronic device description language (enhanced EDDL) and field device tool (FDT) technologies.
Smart sensors can give more information about your process, but only if you can hear what they have to say. In an environment where instrumentation is hard wired with only analog process variable information, there is no mechanism to communicate diagnostics. But soon, wireless networks will provide a method that crosses vendor platforms.
Singapore, now a first-world country, offers English as its first language, half the world’s people within seven hours of flight, and an increasing ability to offer integrated supply chain capabilities, according to a Singapore government representative. Singapore has 12.7% compound annual growth rate in gross domestic product (GDP) over 40 years, growing from $966 million in 1965 to $117 billion in 2005. The country’s area is 270 square miles, about four times the size of Baltimore, MD, explains Ko Kheng Hwa, managing director, Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) .
ISA Expo 2006 was the setting for a number of announcements from Iconics , the automation, manufacturing, and HMI/SCADA visualization software developer. Marking the firm's 20th year of providing Web-enabled, OPC-based HMI/SCADA software, company president and CEO Russ Agrusa said, "Iconics is ready for the future and the next wave in technology, including 64-bit computing and integration with Microsoft's new Vista operating system and Office 12." The company also noted the receipt of several new U.S. patents.
Municipal water packages from GE Fanuc Automation are designed for the water and wastewater industry. System combines Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix, historian, and portal products in a variety of sizes to let users select the size of the system they need. Packages can be expanded by increasing the tag size of iFix or historian applications or adding portal clients as required. "Operational costs are one of the largest problems water facilities face today," said Roy Kok, senior product manager, Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix, adding that the package allows the use of all operational data gathered and stored to gain insight and make decisions needed to reduce energy and chemical costs. Package includes: Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix : Scan-based operation is suited to applications requiring consistent performance and known response times.
Charlottesville, VA —Proficy HMI/SCADA iFix 4.0 from GE Fanuc Automation is now available in Chinese and Japanese. The iFix system for monitoring, controlling, and distributing plant-side data, and key component in the Proficy automation software platform, was previously available in German, French, Polish, Russian, and English. The new version also offers improved third-party PLC integration and developer and operator productivity enhancements. Commenting on the product's reach, Roy Kok, GE Fanuc senior product manager, said, "GE Fanuc has been investing in product localization for many years.
Two presentations at Emerson's Global Users Exchange carried the news that instrumentation and controls communicating via fieldbus technology has finally forced its way into the electric utility industry. Known for its conservatism, the power industry has been very slow to adopt new control technology, or in this case, slow to adopt proven technology. However, at least two full-sized U.S.
High growth awaits the global market for distributed/remote I/O (DRI/O) systems using safety buses and networks, a recent VDC study reports. “Industrial distributed/remote I/O: Global market demand analysis and user requirement analysis” says that although the market is small right now, it is poised for significant growth, led by PLCs.
September 25, 2006 This past week we officially submitted preliminary sample screens for the remaining stations to the city's prime consultant who forwarded them to the city for review. That review is now pending. This week our engineering staff started setting up the specified software package that will send alarm notifications to city maintenance personnel. This is specified as "a robust, redundant system using well-proven methods," allowing us to notify personnel via voice messages to their phone or cell phone, and via text messages and e-mail.
Natick MA— High growth awaits the global market for distributed/remote I/O (DRI/O) systems using safety buses and networks, a recent VDC study reports. "Industrial distributed/remote I/O: Global market demand analysis and user requirement analysis" says that although the market is small right now, it is posed for significant growth, led by PLCs. The report puts shipments of safety buses/networks at 2.3% in 2010, up from 1.3% in 2005. DRI/O in PLC system applications had the highest use of safety buses and networks.
The sources of the problems that thrust Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant into the limelight in 1979 were undoubtedly many, but some would argue that the root cause of that unfortunate incident was that operators, confronted with such a bewildering array of information, could find no clues in the display to tell them what had gone wrong…or what to do about it.
Learn the basics of instrumentation engineering in a four-day course, “Introduction to Process Instrumentation and Control,” at the University of Kansas , November 6-9, 2006. The course offers an overview of instrumentation and control (I&C) from a non-mathematical and practical point of view, suitable for operations, technical, and supervisory personnel. This course can stand alone or as part one of a three-part I&C certificate program available from the university. N.E.
Foxboro, MA— A supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system installed at CHS Inc. will integrate existing third-party programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and monitor and control data from 15 pumping stations along two refinery pipelines. Communications among the stations will be made over a wide-area network (WAN) using fiber optic, VSAT, and dial-up links. The InFusion -based SCADA system for Front Range Pipeline LLC and Cenex Pipeline LLC is being installed by Invensys .
Q45H/64 dissolved ozone analyzer is suitable for a wide range of applications—from the standard 0-2 ppm display range required by water bottling systems or municipal water treatment to high range ones of 0-20 or 0-200 ppm.
MESA International’s 2nd Annual Plant-to-Enterprise (P2E) Conference will be held Oct. 9-12 in Orlando, FL. The event’s tagline, “Solving the Puzzle of Manufacturing Excellence,” refers to the way in which companies assemble the many pieces of manufacturing success, such as PLM, SCADA, PLC’s, ERP, MES and more, say show organizers.
Red Lion Tank Level and Multi-Tank Level Monitoring HMI Modbus remote terminal units (RTUs) from MTS Systems Corp ., Sensors Div., are intended for multiple tank systems. They provide storage information on temperature, volume, interface, and level. Display screens positioned at the bottom of the tanks can be tailored for 4-, 8-, or 16-tank systems at petroleum tank farms, pipeline terminals, or fuel depots. Touchscreen displays provide feedback for each tank and gauge on the system.
Models DVT 515 and DVT 535 machine vision sensors from Cognex are intended for a entry-level inspection, automatic identification, and gauging applications. Natick, MA— DVT 515 and 535 machine vision sensors from Cognex are said to be affordable and easy to use devices that meet a range of performance requirements, from simple parts inspection to defect detection, high-resolution, and color applications. Models operate with the manufacturer’s Intellect software, which facilitates set-up, integration, and maintenance, and are compatible with FrameWork.
It used to be straightforward. When new instrumentation or automatic control applications were needed, the necessary equipment was purchased, installed, and commissioned. When it was running smoothly, everyone moved on to the next project. It's not that simple anymore—performance usually has to be proven.
Long-term, enterprise key-performance indicator (KPI) goals are directly correlated to short-term, process-and-control system KPI-goals. Case studies clearly demonstrate that improved control system KPIs directly drive improved corporate KPIs. Managing process-and-control-system KPIs has the advantage of immediate response to problems, identified and solved quickly at the plant floor level wit...
Migration from an existing control system to a DeltaV digital automation system continues as the second phase of a major upgrade is completed at the Solutia chemical manufacturing plant in Newport, South Wales.
Cologne, Germany—Distributed control system (DCS) technology installed at the new combined-cycle power plant at the Solig Gas Power Co. Ltd. facility in Inner Mongolia is performing balance-of-plant control. The system, supplied by GE Energy, links to a 126-MW GE PG9171E gas turbine controlled by a Mark VI control system.
Foxboro, MA — InFusion enterprise control system from Invensys is said to integrate existing plant floor and enterprise systems cost-effectively into a single environment that allows real-data to support decision-making. InFusion enterprise control system from Invensys includes a collaboration wall that presents data from multiple sources in context for better decisions. InFusion unifies Foxboro's process control capabilities with Wonderware's HMI, plant intelligence, and device integration capabilities into a new ArchestrA-based system. ArchestrA is Invensys' software architecture built on .Net and other Microsoft technologies.
May 23, 2006 It's taking some time for our new project manager to get his hands around all the software involved in this project. Some detail cleanup work needs to be completed at the first pump station this week in preparation for changes being replicated to the other sites. The City is moving glacially slow at getting the PLC/HMI contract issued. Glacially slow also describes the process of resolving change order issues and getting a notice to proceed to the contractor that is building and installing the control panels.
ControlWave ExpressPAC combines ControlWave Express RTU with a variety of options commonly required in SCADA applications. Flexible remote automation system suited for energy, water, and wastewater industries includes an Express RTU, a compact NEMA 4X rated enclosure, power supply and solar panel options with battery backup, operator display/keypad input options, and wireless communication opti...
A number of trends have moved users toward greater implementation of industrial Ethernet. These include: 1. Control: from centralized to distributed. At one time, PLCs (and DCSs) were big, monolithic, rare, and expensive devices. All automation projects' wires came to them. As remote I/O connections progressed from "dumb" to "intelligent," fieldbuses allowed control to move out from the central...
SCADAPackER automation controller, first rack-mounted system in the SCADAPack family, provides flexible solutions for applications requiring high-speed control and monitoring.
April 14, 2006 Highlights Sponsored by Invensys/Foxboro There simply aren’t enough people in a modern cement plant to achieve true process optimization using conventional manual control methods,” said an engineer for Lafarge Group, a worldwide cement manufacturer. So, the company developed an automated, real-time closed-loop supervisory control system. The expert system application combines real-time reasoning technologies with knowledge from Lafarge engineers to reduce the needed number of human interventions and increase production. New Coriolis Technology Keeps Your Profits Flowing An informative whitepaper from Invensys Foxboro details hidden measurement challenges that result in lost production, compromised quality, and inaccurate pricing during custody transfer applications.
Distributed Control System (DCS) technologies have focused recent advancements on improved integration with alarm diagnostic middleware. These improvements allow for easier system deployment, improved performance visibility, better network security, and more versatile operating interfaces. Deployment costs It's no longer necessary to replace hardware from the operator stations down to the regul...
Model TPZ Profibus PA temperature transmitter from Moore Industries comes as a ready-to-install assembly with sensor, thermowell, fittings, and enclosure.
Last week we discussed cell communications bandwidth usage, promising to give you some comparative data. Our comparison is based upon monitoring the system for the past 8-9 days. After the changes made to aggregate data into 1 polled data block vs. 5 smaller data blocks, data usage went down about 80-85%.
Model TPZ Profibus PA temperature transmitter from Moore Industries comes as a ready-to-install assembly with sensor, thermowell, fittings, and enclosure. Device saves wire and installation costs by allowing up to 32 field devices (126 with repeaters) to be networked onto one, low-cost Profibus PA data link.
System integration is part of a $26 million contract for Switzerland-based ABB to automate a new coal-fired power station at Torrevaldaliga Nord at Civitavecchia, Italy (near Rome). The award was made by engineering-procurement-construct (EPC) contractor Enelpower to supply a DCS (distributed control system) to convert a heavy-fuel-oil power plant to advanced control...
Tighter system integration and new controls at the 10th largest U.S. power plant improved load ramp rates by 3% and better regulated temperature. Emerson Process Management said that its Power & Water Solutions group is replacing legacy controls in all four units of Progress Energy Inc.
February 28, 2006 As mentioned in the previous blog, the data usage over the cellular network had to be limited using bit packing and sequential addressing methods. The changes were made to the RTU last week and our monitoring has revealed some really positive results. We shall be able to get the exact numbers after careful monitoring for about a week, but the rough estimates show that the bandwidth usage has gone down at least by 30%.
System integration is part of a $26 million contract for Switzerland-based ABB to automate a new coal-fired power station at Torrevaldaliga Nord at Civitavecchia, Italy (near Rome). The award was made by engineering-procurement-construct (EPC) contractor Enelpower to supply a DCS (distributed control system) to convert a heavy-fuel-oil power plant to advanced control systems so that it can be converted to burn coal cleanly. The project is parent company, Enel SpA’s first large investment in clean coal technology—to balance its power plants’ fuel mixes while protecting the environment. Project scope includes: design, supply, assembly, and commissioning of automation components and instruments, supervision, control and protection of the entire power sta-tion—including critical boiler and filter systems.
HMI/SCADA iFix 4.0 from GE Fanuc Automation offers enhanced functionality, providing visibility into the automation environment. Charlottesville, VA —Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix 4.0 for the comprehensive monitoring, control, and distribution of plant-wide data is now available from GE Fanuc Automation . Part of the Proficy automation software platform, this new release of iFix 4.0 adds functionality, including third-party PLC integration, productivity enhancements, and the ability to handle large SCADA systems.Release is said to feature innovative device discovery and automated configuration capabilities supporting the Siemens S7 PLC.
Z-Gard DS sensors detect the presence of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide gases in a variety of applications, including vehicle storage areas.
Worldwide DCS market is expected to grow an average 6% between 2004 and 2009. (Illustration and data courtesy of ARC Advisory Group) Dedham, MA —Healthy growth in the global distributed control systems (DCS) market is expected to continue through at least 2006-2007, a recent study from ARC Advisory Group reveals. DCS worldwide outlook market analysis and forecast through 2009 reports overall market growth of an average 6% between 2004 and 2009.DCS market has been primarily buoyed by growth in developing countries such as China and India and by a slowdown in hardware price declines.
Rueil Malmaison, France and Sydney, Australia — Schneider Electric’s main Australian subsidiary, Schneider Australia, and Citect have signed a merger implementation agreement. Under the agreement, Schneider Australia will acquire, by way of a scheme of arrangement, all shares in Citect. The enterprise value of the transaction is estimated at 48 million Euros.
Yokogawa Electric Corp. and Moore Industries-International Inc. have signed a global preferred vendor agreement to offer Moore Industries' HIM HART loop interface and monitor with Yokogawa's HART multivariable transmitters and flowmeters. Yokogawa will sell the application solutions realized when its mass flow instruments are used in combination with the Moore device.
Schneider Electric's main Australian subsidiary, Schneider Australia, and Citect have signed a merger agreement. If approved, Schneider Australia would acquire all Citech shares. The enterprise value of the transaction is estimated at 48 million Euros.
Tricon Communications Module (TCM) is said to offer open and flexible communications integration between safety instrumented systems (SIS) and distributed control systems (DCS) without compromising either safety or security. TCM incorporates an embedded OPC server and Modbus TCP/IP with safe peer-to-peer and other standard Triconex features.
Areal’s TopKapi Version 4.0 is being shown at ISA Expo 2005 in Chicago, after being introduced in late September. The SCADA package upgrade includes: Database structured objects’ editor; Active-X component providing access to data for connectivity to external applications, DBMS, MES, etc.; HMI macros and scripts; New graphic functions; Web server optimized for PDA; Native backup of remote links (ADSL, VPN) through PSTN; Time-stamping to a millisecond; Configuration by TS Client (terminal services) available in standard version; and SIG interface (geographical information system). “Thanks to its technical qualities, Topkapi continues its diffusion on the SCADA markets,” Areal says. For more info about ISA Expo 2005: Read this ISA show item from Control Engineering Search ISA at / Click here —Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering , MHoske@cfemedia.com.
The process and advantage of DCS (distributed control system) migration are spotlighted in an upcoming Webcast from Control Engineering and Honeywell . The program airs Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.
October 11, 2005 This past week focused on existing RTUs. It began with the cityof Baton Rouge calling us to assist with two of the RTU units they were not able to replace successfully at two stations. Several problems surfaced.
October 4, 2005 The UF (ultrafiltration) skid instrumentation includes flow meters that transmit a pulse signal where each pulse corresponds to a volume of liquid that has passed through the measuring element. We had previously assumed that these signals would not be used by the application, as we have never used this type of signal in biotech applications. That was a bad assumption. The customer is requesting a totalizer control module that counts pulses.
This week we learn what the definition of “done” is when referring to portions of an integration project. According to blogger John Sever, Cascade Controls has developed specific terminology surrounding the completeness of project assignments to avoid communication errors. Meanwhile, the Baton Rouge wastewater SCADA project is getting back on track as discussions relating to Phase I rebids get underway and agreements are established pertaining to the use of Ethernet as the preferred communication architecture for the project. Wastewater SCADA project Last week, chance meetings with maintenance personnel reviewing thePhase II drawings indicated that there were numerous scope and technicalissues to be resolved.
September 27, 2005 Last week, chance meetings with maintenance personnel reviewing thePhase II drawings indicated that there were numerous scope and technicalissues to be resolved. Left unaddressed, we could find ourselves in aposition that no matter how well we performed on the contract, the citywould be unhappy. To address this problem, we helped the city develop a punch list of their concerns.Discussion of the rebid of Phase I and this list became the agenda for ourmeeting with city maintenance personnel and the primary engineering consultant. It was agreed that employing standard Ethernet communications is thepreferred architecture. The primary consultant expressed a strongpreference for RTU and local HMI units to be selected from among the major PLCmanufacturers, for reasons of reliability and support.
September 7, 2005 As I’ve been saying for the past few weeks, no HMI hardware has arrived this week either, so we continue to develop equipment module logic in parallel with the software design. The automation design on this project is divided into two main documents grouped by major process system– Microfiltration (MF) and Ultrafiltration (UF). The UF system design specification will be submitted later this week. The MF system design document is roughly 150 pages and includes design details for the follow control modules. Equipment System Control Modules Harvest Vessel 22 22 Harvest Vessel Temperature Control 10 MF Skid Feed 11 MF Skid Retentate 6 Shared Equipment 17 CIP Distribution 4 Misc.
Master Controller module from Red Lion Controls lets users create a virtual HMI and control and monitor machines over any networked PC with a standard Web browser. York, PA — Master Controller Module from Red Lion Controls Inc. enables a host of serial devices and legacy machinery for easy to use and low-cost network and Web-based communication and control.
Universal chlorination/de-chlorination controller from Moore Industries is designed for water and wastewater applications. New controller from Moore Industries offers accurate control in water and wastewater applications. The, alphanumeric display readable in all light conditions. Menu prompts are presented in plain English and set with large, backlighted keys.
Demand for automation and control solutions in the European chemical sector is being hampered by chemical production moving overseas and the absence of new chemical plants in the western countries of the European Union, according to a recent assessment by Frost & Sullivan . Solution suppliers without an installed base of existing products, says F&S, risk being marginalized by the lack of “open” opportunities. On the other hand, the global consulting firm sees chemical manufacturers investing in retrofits and upgraded systems to improve production efficiency and counter competition from low-cost suppliers. Clear findings among end-users, says the report, show chemical firms favoring existing suppliers for upgrades, particularly in key DCS product sectors where relationships are well entrenched. Chemical firms are particularly reticent about investing in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technologies, the research indicates, and suppliers are faced with convincing them of increased functionality and reliability of SCADA, particularly in batch-oriented chemical manufacturing.
The engineering services group of Kalki Communication Technologies has formed of a dedicated off-shore engineering delivery center for power systems. This center will cater to power utilities, OEMs, and system integrators in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The new business unit will address large automation, engineering, commissioning, and start-up projects in the oil and gas and power systems industries. Services to be offered by the center include: SCADA, PLC, DCS, and RTU specification support; design; engineering and field drawings; programming; commissioning and testing; software integration assistance; application software and customized reporting assistance; and specialized power system and pipeline software packages. —Vance J.
Manufacturing management increasingly is looking upon the plant floor as a source of untapped wealth. Value there lies in the rich vein of data streaming through automation control systems—data to be mined to improve critical enterprise performance. That means boosting global operations and supply chain efficiency; coordinating collaboration among partners and suppliers; increasing market...
Polychemie manufactures coagulant and solution flocculants for its parent company, SNF Inc. SNF is one of the world's largest suppliers of water-soluble polymers, widely used for water and wastewater treatment and a broad range of specialty applications. The Pearlington, MS, plant produces a monomer that's a precursor for Poly DADMAC polymer (poly-diallyl, dimethyl ammonium chloride).
Completed initial end-to-end testing of trial system. This included Control Microsystems ScadaPack Modbus RTU communicating via an Airlink Raven CDMA cell modem over Verizon's cell infrastructure and the Internet to a host running Software Toolbox's TOPS Modbus OPC Power Server, Indusoft's Web Studio HMI, and a networked Microsoft SQL server. While there is still no word on release of the Phase II contract's notice to proceed, the good news is that the city of Baton Rouge appears to have worked out details of a contract extension with the overall engineering consultant, which should be completed soon. We are working now to set a date to meet with them and the city's maintenance management to develop an agreement about this extension.
HMI-related products and services this month include enhancements to a holographic interface to extend its applicability, event notification software that is TAPI- (telephony application programming interface) compliant, and a new HMI/PLC training seminar.
August 9, 2005 Checked in with the general contractor for Phase II. The major national control panel builder who originally bid (and later backed out), has now come back with a much improved price. The price difference between their new price and their original price can be justified due to the past year's price escalation.
A Brazilian paper mill has achieved operational expense savings of more than $2 million thanks to the application of a Yokogawa GMSC (formerly Yokogawa Marex) Exaquantum plant information management system (PIMS).
Talk is cheap, but radio frequency identification (RFID) systems and tags are still relatively expensive. This is especially true if the tags are applied on a close to per-item basis and if they're not reused. So, when Wal-Mart told its top 100 suppliers in June 2003 that it wants RFID tags on all cases and pallets shipped to its distribution centers by January 2005, many started slapping, ship...
July 25, 2005 The city's non-renewal of the overall engineering consultant's contract is looming as an obstacle to the engineering schedule. The city engineer's prior time commitments are leaving little time available for him to serve in this capacity. This is resulting in our requests for information going unanswered. The engineering team completed a site visit to the city's existing SCADA system.
HI 3600 machine monitor now includes Ethernet/IP. New communication capability lets a company monitor the health of rotating and reciprocating equipment using Hardy sensors, and moves data into a PLC or DCS.
Using language rules to address control issues was borne of the need to deal with problems that resisted precise mathematical definition for one reason or another. Also, the traditional control technologies of basic regulatory control (BRC) and advanced regulatory control (ARC) discussed in the previous installments assume the availability of robust signals from field transmitters to provide th...
Yokogawa’s Centum Series production control system, a core product of its industrial automation (IA) business, is 30 years old.
Arrival of the latest Microsoft patches reminds us that it is time to lock the doors and bar the windows in our factories. But Microsoft isn't the only technology company weathering security issues these days. There are security holes in almost all software, including Linux, the Firefox browser, Oracle databases, Cisco servers, and Sun's Java Web Proxy Server.
At the process show Interkama during Hannover Fair, Yokogawa launched its ISA-95 interface with the SAP NetWeaver platform.
FB Series temperature/process controllers from RKC Instrument have an accuracy of 0.1%. Operator can choose from autotuning, advanced autotuning, or the company's advanced Brilliant II autotuning feature, which allows selectable PID control.
ENGlobal Corp. has formed ENGlobal Automation Group (EAG) as a division of its ENGlobal Engineering Inc. to provide services for implementing process control, advanced automation, and information technology projects.
GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. reported March 9 that it has signed an agreement with Chicago-based Solaia Technology LLC, which reportedly gives broad rights to GE Fanuc Automation, GE, Japan-based Fanuc Ltd., and their customers under Solaia's 5,038,318 U.S. patent, "Device for Communicating Real Time Data Between a Programmable Logic Controller and a Program Ope...
Corrosion evaluation methods used by expert corrosion engineers often involve analysis of sacrificial samples (coupons) placed in the pipeline. These samples are precisely weighed prior to exposure to the process media, analyzed for metal loss and other imperfections, and serve as the basis for determining general and localized corrosion rates for the process.
wMPC Series controllers offer up to seven zone controllers in a single wall-mount package. They accommodate a universal range of temperature and process inputs. Input type is individually configurable from the keyboard for each zone, allowing a single unit to handle multiple sensor types (temperature, pressure, velocity, flow, volume) at the same time.
Built on its IndustrialIT solution, ABB's Industrial System 800xA Extended Automation encompasses functionality beyond the essential process control offered by ABB's 800 control systems, reaching into production management, safety systems, smart instrumentation, smart drives and motor control, robotics, information management, asset optimization, and documentation.
Dedham, MA—The worldwide market for distributed control systems (DCSs) is expected to grow at a close to 4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and reach almost $12 billion by the end of 2008, according to recent research by the ARC Advisory Group.
Enhancements to Tecnomatix Technologies’ FactoryLink software solution offers users more functionality and the ability to build and deploy applications and react to operations more rapidly.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. has added a sensor-level network version of the CC-Link open device level network, CC-Link/LT, to its automation network architecture.
drive.web is an Internet-accessible distributed control technology that uses TCP/IP over Ethernet to provide robust connectivity among ac and dc drives, remote I/O, PLCs, operator stations, and SCADA systems.
A 500-member forum of industry, government, and academic technical experts, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has released a new draft set of cyber security requirements for industrial control systems. The requirements in this 149-page document, "System Protection Profile for Industrial Control Systems (SPP-ICS)," were developed by the Pr...
Houston, TX—To replace CRTs, extends system life, and lowers cost, Christensen Display Products exhibited its 20-in. flat-panel retrofit package for Honeywell's TDC3000 console at last week's ISA Expo 2004.
Milwaukee, WI—Badger Meter Inc. recently agreed with Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI) to jointly develop, sell, and license a new, automatic meter reading (AMR) technology.
Houston, TX—Intergraph Corp.’s Process, Power & Marine division and Yokogawa Electric Corp. recently agreed develop an interface between Yokogawa’s Centum CS 3000 R3 distributed control system (DCS) and Intergraph’s INtools lifecycle instrumentation engineering, design and operational documentation software.
North Hills, CA—Moore Industries reports that its HIM HART loop monitor can now confirm that a Fisher FieldVue DVC6000 series digital valve controller from Emerson Process Management is performing a partial valve stroke test to validate proper emergency shutdown (ESD) of valve operations.
Dedham, MA—The distributed control systems (DCS) market in Asia is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 6.3% from just over $2.6 billion in 2003 to more than $3.5 billion in 2008, according to “DCS Outlook for Asia–Market Analysis and Forecast through 2008” by ARC Advisory Group.
Historian software helps collect and analyze data to improve manufacturing processes and decision-making. That capability can help rewrite the future history of any business, but is especially useful in the competitive market of supplying terephthalic acid (TPA), polyester resins, and polyester staple fibers to the western hemisphere.
I received some comments about my column on free software (April 2004), and I believe some clarification is needed. Although the term "free software" may be legally correct when defining software that can be freely modified but may have fees, it has been a marketing disaster. It was difficult to explain to end-users that their free software actually costs money.
Brisbane, Australia—Elpro Technologies reports that its new Smart Wireless Gateway range overcomes the problems of extending a high-speed data bus.
SLC Retropak Series process controllers are designed to replace the Bailey SLC product line recently discontinued by ABB.
Model 2800 RF power analyzers now make GSM transmitter quality modulation measurements.
Schaumburg, IL—Omron Electronics LLC has introduced five new products that it says will help it meet increasing demand for quality, traceability, safety, and environmental capabilities.
Sensors Expo 2004, in Detroit in June, offered a variety of sensor and communications technologies for many applications.
Starthis Inc., a provider of software products for linking enterprise applications, industrial control systems and operations personnel, has been awarded a contract from the Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop software architectures that combine the standards-based security features of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform with the iTapestry industrial automation software product from Starthis.
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding enclosures/consoles.
Sixnet reports that it’s offering an easy way for system integrators, OEMs, and end-users to test Linux IPm technology and their unique ideas.
Dallas, TX—Texas Instruments (TI) Inc. has added five new members to its ADS5500 high-speed analog-to-digital converter (ADC) family.
drive.web is an Internet accessible distributed control technology from Bardac Corporation designed specifically for use in configuring high performance AC and DC drive systems. It uses TCP/IP over Ethernet to provide robust connectivity between drives, PLCs, operator stations, remote i/o and SCADA systems and it incorporates a powerful library of drive control function blocks for a wide range of applications such as PIDs, winder controls, position controls, drive synchronization, arithmetic, logic, etc.
Rochester, NY—To provide increased reliability and redundancy, Microwave Data Systems (MDS) has introduced the newest solution in its packaged product portfolio.
Natural gas processor Sid Richarson improves liquid handling efficiency with Foxboro process control
Engineers at Sid Richardson ’s Keystone plant were looking for an economical,easy-to-use,expandable DCS to meet vessel monitoring and control application requirements,provide morefeatures than PLCs,and cost less than a traditional DCS.The system also needed to provide acost-effective,building-block solution for adding applications over time.
Originally configured to gather a few hundred critical parameters across a 1,000-acre plant and display results on seven operator interface terminals, Aughinish Alumina's OSIsoft PI (pronounced pie) historian software now serves as the operational data repository for more than 25,000 measurements; interfaces with other applications; and provides results to operators, management, and laboratory ...
Yokogawa Corp. will provide complete upstream measurement and control facilities for the Sakhalin II crude oil and natural gas development project under contracts awarded recently.
The distributed control system (DCS) market in China is expected to grow at a 15.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years from $531 million in 2003 to a projected $1.07 billion in 2008, according to a new study, "DCS Outlook for China," by ARC Advisory Group.
From our reader survey last year, we know that 83% of subscribers read every issue or most issues, up from 70% three years prior. In case you missed some, below are a few of the leading 2003 articles accessed last year at Control Engineering Online. Factors influencing ranking beyond topical interest and usefulness include wider Internet searches, how many links to the articles are placed elsew...
Robust growth is expected for the DCS market in China, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. The market, set at $531 million in 2003, is forecast to reach $1.07 billion by 2008, for a 15.1% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next first years.
Experion PKS (Process Knowledge System) industrial automation system is the system platform for Honeywell Industry Solutions' PKS suite of knowledge-driven applications, technologies, and services, which are designed to help capture and manage information for increased production, safety, and profitability.
Engineered for demanding industrial applications, NET Concentrator System (NCS) from Moore Industries-International provides real-time process control and distributed I/O gateway between the field and a DCS, PLC or PC-based control strategy. It has the ability to handle current (4-20 mA, 0-20 mA), voltage (0-5 V, 1-5 V, and -10 V to 10 V), sensor (RTD and thermocouple), direct millivolt (-50 to...
FilterWare for air pollution control systems, industrial ventilation systems, and powder filtration systems automates process control, maintenance, and EPA compliance needs simultaneously to provide plants with a fast return on investment. Software includes process visualization, report generation, and remote services.
More than a year ago, the term programmable automation controller (PAC) emerged to better describe controllers that combine multiple platforms, such as sequential, motion, and process control, with expanded information-handling capabilities. By converging the best attributes of the PLC, PC, DCS and open control platforms, the PAC has proven it can meet requirements of an integrated manufacturing enterprise, according to Rockwell Automation.
The combined worldwide market for distributed and remote I/O products totaled about $2.5 billion in 2002, which consists of a little over 50% or $1.26 billion for products used with programmable logic controller (PLC) systems; 36.5% or $913 million for distributed control systems (DCSs); and 13.
The OPC Foundation underlined its commitment to web services and XML at ISA Expo 2003; formed alliances with two industry groups to avoid standards duplication; and demonstrated operations and maintenance information standard interoperability among nine companies. OPC, The Instrumentation Systems and Automation Society (ISA), and MIMOSA (an Operations and Maintenance Open ...
ControlWave Micro process automation control system combines technologies provided by PLC, RTU, and DCS architectures into a hybrid system well suited to process applications in the energy, water, and wastewater industries. It offers wide temperature operation from -40 to 70 °C for remote sites and very low power consumption for solar applications.
OPC (OLE [object linking and embedding] for Process Control) is basically a link between two pieces of software, with one called the client and the other the server. On this link, the client software (or program) makes a service request (asks for data) from the server, which then fulfills the request. Although the concept of client/server in OPC can be used within a single computer, the communications model of OPC provides a simple and convenient way to connect programs that are distributed over networks.
The worldwide DCS market including hardware, software, and services is expected to grow 2.5% per year from $9.1 billion in 2002 to more than $10.3 billion in 2007, according to a new study titled, "DCS Worldwide Market Outlook and Forecast: 2002-2007," released July 8 by ARC Advisory Group.
AutomationDirect offers AC variable speed drives in a variety of sizes, including their own line of GS series drives. GS drives range in size from 1/4 to 10 HP and 230 or 480 VAC input/output, and offer features such as built-in keypads, simple Volts/Hertz control, electronic overload protection, and more. Prices for the GS series drives start at $99. In addition to their drives products, the company also offers 3,500 industrial automation products through their 1,300-page catalog and online store.
NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS- Reserve Your FREE Seat: Introducing LabVIEW 7 Express Be one of the first to see the NEW National Instruments LabVIEW 7 Express software in action at a Worldwide Tour event in your area. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about Express VIs, interactive measurement I/O assistants, and Real-Time, FPGA and PDA targets that deliver both power and ease of use for developing applications. For every engineer and scientist, now is the time to take a new look at LabVIEW 7 Express.
Yokogawa Electric Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) has launched its Stardom process automation system in North America. Refinements have been made since introduction in Japan more than a year ago to make Stardom more appropriate for this marketplace, company representatives told Control Engineering's editors recently.
Dublin, Ireland—Yamanouchi Ireland Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Japan's Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals, recently announced that it will use ABB's IndustrialIT technology to upgrade its Dublin-based production facility.
Control-system security is often portrayed as a reactive art. In reality, organizations that handle control-system security well are proactive, spending less time in a state of crisis and remediation, and more time in planning, design, implementation, and testing. In reading the growing volume of control-system security related reports, three themes reappear.
Invensys Foxboro introduced Jan. 27 its new Foxboro A2 (ArchestrA) automation system. Foxboro's A2 automation system integrates Invensys technology, expertise and services targeted to fit applications needing DCS functions, though unable to justify DCS-type prices. Based on Invensys' Eurotherm technology, Foxboro A2's I/O system provides high-density packaging of a broa...
North Hills, CA—Engineered for demanding industrial applications, NET Concentrator System (NCS) provides real-time process control and distributed I/O gateway between the field and a DCS, PLC, or PC-based control strategy. It has the ability to handle current (4-20 mA, 0-20 mA), voltage (0-5 V, 1-5 V, and -10V to 10V), sensor (RTD and thermocouple), direct millivolt (-50 to 1,000 mV), 0...
Lake Forest, CA - Wonderware, an operating unit of Invensys plc, announced January 20 the launch and availability of the FactorySuite A2 (squared) integrated software product series, which will provide automation and information solutions based on Invensys' ArchestrA software architecture.
OPC Foundation (Scottsdale, AZ) recently showed the interoperability of its OPC Data eXchange (DX) standard with a working, multivendor system using products from 10 of its member companies, including Emerson Process Management, Hertzler Systems Inc., Indusoft, Intellution, Invensys, Kepware Technologies, Progea SRL, Rockwell Software, Siemens Energy & Automation, and Wonderware.
HIM Smart HART Loop Interface and Monitor from Moore Industries-International Inc. (North Hills, CA) converts HART digital data to 4-20 mA signals that can be used by DCSs or PLC-based control systems. HIM Smart HART allows up to three additional analog process measurements from smart HART multivariable mass flow, level, pressure and pH transmitters.
Alpharetta, GA - Siemens Energy and Automation released version 5.2 of Simatic STEP 7, which includes support for Microsoft Windows XP Professional, configuration in runtime (with supporting S7 CPUs), as well as online help and updates to an internal system hardware catalog over the Internet.
AutomationDirect- AutomationDirect offers EZTouch PLC touch panels with a built-in Data Highway Plus (DH+) interface, or Ethernet option cards for use with certain EZTouch panels. Data Highway Plus versions of the EZTouch panels are available in color or monochrome 6-inch models, and 8 and 10-inch color regular or slim bezel models. EZTouch panels with the DH+ card pre-installed start at $1,159 for the 6-inch monochrome version.
[This is a part of a "Site FAQs" (frequently asked questions) series devoted to helping readers get the most from the resources available at Control Engineering Online.]Oak Brook, IL—Control Engineering Online 's readers viewed the following articles most during October 2002:
Alpharetta, GA—Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. announced Oct. 8 that it has received orders from the Baker Petrolite (BPC) business unit of Baker Hughes Inc. (Houston, TX) to provide automation, electrical infrastructure and services at facilities in California and Oklahoma.
Until May 2001, the residents of a small community west of Olympia, WA, used individual septic systems to handle their wastewater needs. Located at the southwestern edge of Puget Sound, houses and farms were spread over a sparsely populated area. With the addition of a 500-unit housing development and a new golf course, however, a switch to a centralized wastewater treatment facility to accommo...
Cincinnati, OH—Programming utilities, S2K DLL and S2K ActiveX DLL, are said to "open the door" to accessing quality assurance information regardless of the data format or where data are stored. The utilities allow Synergy 2000 Statistical Process Control software users to communicate with virtually any data source including SQL databases, ERP and MES, supply-chain management application...
Tallaght, Ireland--Training control engineers and other skilled technicians for Ireland's burgeoning pharmaceutical manufacturing industry has taken a step forward with the government's opening of the first Pharmaceutical Technology Training Centre here at the Institute of Technology, just outside of Dublin. The centre is expected to produce over 200 highly skilled workers each year.
Alpharetta, Ga. - Siemens Energy & Automation announced July 17 that InduSoft Ltd. (Austin, Tex.) is the first third-party industrial software developer to be certified for the company's Simatic MP370 HMI platform, which is based on the Microsoft Windows CE operating system.
In this issue: Shape of things to come Linux for PLCs -- July Control Engineering Rockwell Automation Tracking Pro Real-time software from Microsoft Your comments from last month Web-based report generator Software for power industry MachineMate wins in Rockwell CNC agreement More OPC drivers Control Engineering Buyer's Guide Shape of things to come While writing this newsletter, I had an opportunity to visit with Kevin Roach, vp, Glenn Graney, commercial marketing manager, and Rich Carpenter, MES business leader and senior technical advisor at GE Fanuc Automation. So I asked what are the things that customers need these days and how they are responding. Their response was that managers expect control engineers to be able to automate processes and machines.
Siemens' Quadlog safety PLC. Luton, U.K . - Siemens Process Automation and Rotork Control and Safety say they have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to sell each other's safety products. Siemens will offer Rotork's solid state safety system, particularly to the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.
In this issue: Fieldbus runs off the track OPC unveiled New OPC servers available Solving continuous pH control problems Borrowing technologies from another industry Freeware from Intellution New Safety System site FREE roadmap for designing a safety instrumented system Helpful links Public service announcement About the editor, Dave Harrold Fieldbus runs off the track I n the early days of railroads, companies established their own distance between the rails, making it impossible to exchange freight and passenger cars between rail lines without first changing the wheels and axles-a failure to provide interoperability. Apparently Dick Caro, vp of ARC Automation Research (Dedham, Mass.) and Convenor of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) SC65C/WG6 fieldbus committee felt the eight-part, non-compatible IEC 61158 fieldbus standard was becoming similar to the railroad track problems. That's why he recently resigned as committee convenor .
In this issue: Fieldbus war, or first battle? Quality and customer service reader feedback Webcast reader feedback October in Control Engineering Dave's public service announcement Fieldbus war, or first battle? The fieldbus wars re-erupted a few months ago when Endress+Hauser (E+H) accused Fisher-Rosemount (F-R) of being unfair in how they share fieldbus-related patents with the rest of the industry. Following this story got me wondering-there are over 120 FOUNDATION Fieldbus members, so if this is such a big deal, why aren't companies like ABB, Foxboro, Honeywell, Rockwell, Siemens, etc. backing E+H's play? What possible reason would keep these companies from ganging up on F-R and making them say 'uncle?' Could it be that F-R is not the only company that's holding patents related to fieldbus technology? It didn't take long to learn that, sure enough, other companies do hold, and/or have applied for a variety of patents they believe give them a competitive advantage in their fieldbus product development endeavors. So, what appears to be a war between E+H and F-R could actually be the first of many battles. In the meantime, the civilian population (read: end users) are the ones getting hurt-just like it's been since 1984 when we all believed competing companies would set aside their own interests and hammer out a standard that delivered a single interoperable fieldbus. Now don't get me wrong-I favor the free enterprise system and I recognize companies have a right to develop and protect intellectual properties.
In this issue: Microsoft in the News Rockwell Software Citect's Gary Hopkins speaks up Adonix data collection for ERP IBM Websphere Red Hat What's a Professional? Microsoft in the News Microsoft has been in the news several times in the past week. The company announced a JDBC driver enabling Java developers to utilize SQL Server database. Another announcement was the acquisition of Navision, a Danish company that provides business solutions to mid-market and smaller companies. It will be integrated with Great Plains Software, another recent Microsoft acquisition.
North Hills, Calif. - The HIM Smart HART loop interface and monitor announced by Moore Industries on May 14, 2002 allows up to three additional analog process measurements to be obtained from smart HART multivariable mass flow, level, pressure and pH transmitters with no additional process penetrations or wiring.
Sydney, Australia-Ci Technologies Group Ltd. recently announced that it has bought two South African companies, its former software distributor and related systems integration business, for about $1.5 million in order to help them undertake several major system upgrade projects for global corporations, including the wider De Beers group.
Caterpillar Inc.'s 350-acre, Decatur, Ill. manufacturing facility produces construction and mining trucks, wheel tractor scrapers, motor graders and the 360-ton Model 797, the largest mining truck in the world.A manufacturing cell was designed to produce axle shafts for this equipment. These shafts range from approximately 17 to 180 in.
Westborough, Mass. - Control.com Inc., the global online community for control professionals, has announced the appointment of two senior engineers at the Open Control Laboratory, Dr. Marc Bumble and Terence Creevan.
Fresno, Tex.— The 7828 is a tuning-fork insertion densitometer, intended for use in liquids and slurries. The devices can compute a wide range of density-derived values including °API, %solids, and °Brix. The computed values are available via the unit's industry-standard 4-20 mA output for controlling valves, mixers, and blenders; while Modbus communications facilitate in...
Pompano Beach, Fla. - The release of NetSuite 3.0 is said to provide the RTP 2200 redundant hybrid control system all the functionality found in DCS's including centralized project tag database management, and local and remote alarm management tools. The NetSuite integrated development environment includes an enhanced library of configuration tools and utilities, and RTP's data archiving system providing 20 millisecond data acquisition and recording capability.
Milwaukee, Wis. - Rockwell Automation recently introduced ProcessLinx OPC, a server-to-server communication software that allows users to replace legacy DCS consoles with ProcessLogix stations. ProcessLinx OPC interface performs as an OPC client to the ProcessLogix OPC server.
Maryville, Tenn.— Model 571 intrinsically safe loop-powered, vibration transmitter protects rotating and reciprocating machinery from catastrophic failure by alarming increasing vibration levels. It measures both acceleration and velocity in three ranges and is reverse polarity protected.
Once control engineers or system integrators have designed a control system and decided what instruments, controllers, PLCs, and associated electronics/communication paraphernalia will be required to make it function, the search for "real estate" in which to house the more delicate components begins.
The semi-annual Sensors Expo—sharing the Rosemont Convention Center with the International Robots & Vision Show and Finishing 2001—featured cool chips and connectivity here on June 5-7. National Instruments (Austin, Tex.) unveiled its Order Analysis Toolset for LabView, which adds sound and vibration analysis capabilities, and its latest Imaq vision softwar...
Portable digital assistants are helping with natural gas pipeline data collection at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E, San Francisco, Calif.), one of the largest utility companies in the free world. PG&E pipelines transmit natural gas from source wells in Canada to the San Francisco Bay area for retail consumption.
Bensalem, Pa. -Stelex, a regulatory compliance consulting and solutions provider, recently introduced ComplianceBuilder, a patent pending technology for creating a secure, central archive database for all documents related to regulatory compliance. ComplianceBuilder is designed to address each section of the FDA's 21 CFR Part 11 regulation on electronic records and signatures and is available in two versions.
KEY WORDS Process and advanced control Modeling Model predictive control Process control theory Process controllers Loop tuning In its simplest form, a mathematical model is nothing more than an equation that relates the value of one variable to that of another. A model is used to describe the behavior of a process in quantifiable terms.
KEY WORDS Software Manufacturing execution systems (MES) Enterprise resource planning (ERP) It used to be so easy. Of course, it didn't look like it at the time. All a control engineer had to do was automate a piece of machinery, maybe a production line, or a process. Now, there are more pressures.
As part of implementing or maintaining a control system it is necessary to adjust or "tune" control loops. This procedure is needed on any loop typically called a Proportional-Integral-Derivative loop or "PID loop." The PID loop is the workhorse of the control industry, even more so today because of the ever-changing production demands brought about by improved plant-floor connectivity.
Hubertus, Wis. -ExperTune has made available the source code for an industrial PID control algorithm. The ExperTune algorithm incorporates industrially hardened technology similar to that used within the major DCS systems.
Newnan, Ga. -DAQStation DX has the ability to access, retrieve, analyze and archive network or Windows PC data as well as communicate with PLCs and other network devices. The instrument supports File Transfer Protocol, Dynamic Data Exchange, and OLE for Process Control to provide true networking capabilities.
Phoenix, Ariz. -Honeywell is offering a free CD presenting the features and benefits of the PlantScape hybrid control system. Areas included on the CD are DCS, batch, PLC, SCADA, safety systems, building control, security, and advanced applications. Honeywell IAC www.iac.honeywell.com.
Knoxville, Tenn. -Model 570 stud mount accelerometer interfaces with control systems such as DCS, PLC, data logger, or computer providing continuous machine vibration monitoring. Acceleration and frequency range enhances vibration measurement on reciprocating and rotating machinery.
Statistical process control/statistical quality control software is closing the loop by working online, identifying and fixing problems before an operator is aware any problem exists.Software for statistical process control and statistical quality control (SPC/SQC)—once used exclusively offline for analysis—now integrates with control and human-machine interface software.
Kanata, Ontario, Canada— Control Microsystems announces the release of the IEC-61131 programming standard for its SCADAPack and TeleSafe Micro16SCADA controllers. In addition to standard programming, flow-charting is provided along with enhanced function blocks for SCADA applications. These include Modbus mastering, dial-out/dial-in modem control, serial communications routines, HART pro...
Champaign, Ill. The evolution of data communication networks is creating a new environment for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems based on frame relay, Ethernet, Internet protocols (IP), and increased data rates, according to a recent report by Data Comm for Business (DCB) Inc.
It's all about protection. Protecting your equipment, protecting your end product, protecting your job. For process engineers, a good process variable transmitter can be the difference between meeting production objectives and meeting potential disaster. Control Engineering's 2000 Process Variable Transmitter Study examines the market of these vital components to process engineers.
Using strategies and utilities usually found in distributed control systems, GE Fanuc Automation's Cimplicity OpenProcess is expected to give process control engineers the open system tools they need to design, implement, document, and maintain process control systems. GE Fanuc will launch OpenProcess at Booth 953 during ISA Tech/99, Oct.
London-— With a market value of $1.9 billion, automation software is the most dynamic sector of the global automation industry and will be a crucial product for large control system suppliers during the next decade, according to a recent report by Datamonitor, a market analysis firm. Its "Global Automation Software" report states that the global market for automation software has g...
Shell International B.V. (The Hague, The Netherlands) and Invensys Intelligent Automation extended June 8 the global automation agreement established between Shell and Siebe Control Systems in 1996. Invensys Intelligent Automation is a division of Invensys plc, created by the recent merger of Siebe and BTR.
Making sense of masses of machine-condition-related information is a daunting task. The Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance (San Diego, Calif.) was formed for this purpose and to promote a broad industry initiative for generating basic equipment performance and operational data. MIMOSA consists of both suppliers and users of instrumentation and maintenance information management technology. It is a nonprofit corporation of over 50 companies and 200 individuals worldwide--and growing. MIMOSA advocates open exchange of equipment-condition-related information among condition assessment, process control, and maintenance information systems.
New Berlin, Wis.— ABB's new generation dc drive, DCS 400, is economical and extremely compact, claims the company. ABB's new digital six pulse "Smart Drive" is available as a nonregenerative or regenerative unit, and covers 5-500 hp range, with input voltages of 230-500 V at 50/60 Hz, and an output current range of 20-820 A dc.
Because digital buses and networks are highly prized methods of reducing control system wiring, a recent study projected increases in shipments of distributed/remote I/O products that interface via Ethernet and Foundation fieldbus. These products are used with distributed control systems (DCSs), PC-based control systems, and programmable logic control systems.
Cambridge, Mass.— Aspen Technology Inc. announced the release of Aspen OnLine, a software solution for implementation, maintenance and execution of online modeling applications. Aspen OnLine establishes communications, analyzes data and controls the flow of information between plant data sources and process models.
Aston, Pa. —Sensaphone SCADA 3000 is an intelligent remote telemetry unit featuring monitoring, alarm, communications, and data logging in one package. Included software is used to program the unit and retrieve data. Its modular design is ideal for small to medium applications. Communications to remote locations is by radio or telephone, while alarm notifications are direct to a choice o...
In some sense, all process controllers are "adaptive" because they force a process to adapt its outputs to the values operators desire. However, most process controllers do so according to algorithms designed (or at least fine tuned) by the operators before the controller ever starts its work. The operators may periodically re-tune parameters of a traditional controller, but this is gener...
Intellution Inc. recently released its FIX Dynamics human-machine interface/supervisory control and data acquisition (HMI/SCADA) component version 2.0, which uses underlying component object technology to give users measurable performance results. The company says the new version allows users to solve problems that were previously too time consuming or expensive by ...
Plattsburgh, N.Y.— Preso Meters Corp. has just introduced its Venturi/SMV line of differential pressure flowmeter technology, with "smart" multivariable transmitter for direct-compensated mass flow measurement. The device uses a Preso venturi in the classical nozzle or low-less design, and a "smart" compensating transmitter which provides direct 4-20 mA signal output to the DCS system.
In "Improving Safety in Process Control" in Control Engineering September 1998, an incorrect web site address for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers was listed on pgs. 56 and 84. The institute's correct web address is www.aiche.org . A report on the BIAS trade fair in Control Engineering International January 1997 included ORSI's introduction of CUBE-DCS, a soft PLC/soft DCS package with IEC-1131-3 environment, embedded Windows NT real-time kernel, hot backup, and open I/O devices on standard fieldbus.
Control Engineering partnered with two prominent companies in the process control industry to conduct the latest research in the batch control market. Of the 1,500 people polled, 30% gave us the scoop on what goes on in the various batch control arenas today. According to the results of the "Control Engineering Batch Control Survey," engineers aren't wandering very far away from the m...
Because they can help improve process control, consistency, and productivity, distributed control systems (DCSs) are gaining increasing attention among China's plant directors. In fact, some large Chinese process industry plants began using DCSs about 10 years ago to help make products meeting the same standards as those from other countries.
Bruehl, Germany—Planar4 is a programmable hard-wired control system for applications requiring high level of safety. To meet those requirements, Planar4 is certified to DIN 19250 and IEC 61508, and thus usable for applications to Requirement Class seven (AK7) and Safety Integrity Level four (SIL4).
Calgary, Alberta, Canada — SCADALink 900-MB combines control and license-free communications (frequency hopping spread spectrum radiomodem) intended for remote monitoring and control applications. With integral Modbus compatible I/O (4 in-puts and 4 outputs), no further equipment is said to be needed for many control applications.
Foxboro, Mass. —DCS Integrator for Fisher Systems was intended to ease users' migration from Fisher distributed control systems to the latest I/A Series open industrial system technology. This straightforward approach integrates the I/A Series system at the basic process I/O level, avoiding any possible use of proprietary elements.
Austin, Tex. —BridgeView 2.0 is the latest version of a SCADA software package that combines popular software technologies and the G language of LabView, together with an event-driven data engine. The package is said to give engineers and systems integrators the power to develop automation solutions quickly and easily.
Is the PLC dead or alive? This was the main question debated by members of ISA's Chicago and Will-DuPage county sections during a Jan. 13 technical dinner meeting and panel discussion. The panel included representatives of PLC, DCS, and PC-based control manufacturers, such as Fisher-Rosemount (Austin, Tex.
I just finished reading your article about the life of hardware in our industry in the November 1997 issue of Control Engineering ["Hardware is Dead; Long Live Hardware" on p. 55]. I found it to be a very accurate outlook on an area that is often underestimated in importance. After all, what good are PCs, PLCs, and DCSs if the data they receive are not accurate? If the hardware fails, t...
Dick Caro, chair of the Fieldbus standards committees, recently joined Automation Research Corp. (ARC) as vice president. Before joining ARC, Mr. Caro was senior manager at Arthur D. Little Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.), a technology and management consulting firm. Prior to that, he was a founder of Autech Data Systems, which produced a fault-tolerant DCS.
You're relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon, a favorite beverage in one hand, the remote control in the other. Suddenly, your pager goes off. You think to yourself, "Oh no, not another weekend afternoon spent chasing an emergency at the plant."You log into your home computer to read your e-mail.
Year 2000 bug (aka Y2K or millennium bug) is touted as modern automation's biggest glitch. Financial impact is being bantered well into the high billions of dollars—all because two little numbers should have been four.In the late 60s and early 70s, computer systems were new and very costly.
Several developments are underway as Cutler-Hammer/Eaton migrates from PLC-based controls to Open Automation (OA), DCS- and PC-based systems, and soft-logic software. So C-H's new $2 million, state-of-the-art training center here is just the tip of the iceberg comprising its recent expansion effort.