PID, APC

PID, APC September 1, 1998

Color sensor helps Lego get heads on straight

New toys almost always pose new automation challenges. This time it was transparent and translucent miniature figure heads.Denmark-based Lego Systems Inc. produces about 31 million miniature figures per year, from plastic molding to decorating and assembly. In the process department at Lego's U.

By Staff
PID, APC September 1, 1998

Study predicts infrared analyzer growth

Intensifying global competition is driving manufacturers to lower production costs, and many are seeking analyzers able to provide rapid, near real-time results with little operator oversight. Consequently, one technique with these abilities, process infrared systems (PIRSs), is likely to grow dramatically over the next several years, according to the "Worldwide Proc...

By Staff
PID, APC September 1, 1998

New touchscreenflat-panel displays

Metheun, Mass.— MicroTouch Systems Inc. has expanded its touchscreen desktop and chassis display lines with the introduction of four new flat-panel models. Space savings, lower power consumption, higher color resolution and brightness, and rapidly declining LCD prices are featured. A flat-panel display saves as much as 75% of the space taken up by a CRT monitor with (equal screen size.

By Staff
PID, APC August 1, 1998

Looks may not be deceiving after all

Maybe I spent too many years working for a PLC vendor, or maybe I'm just skeptical. When it comes to a factory-floor control system, though, I'm more likely to be impressed by reliable, predictable behavior than by fancy screen displays.The people at Wonderware Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) have consistently delivered good graphical user interfaces for the application programmer as well as the e...

By Jay R. Jeffreys, P.E.
PID, APC July 1, 1998

New ‘Soft DCS’ Reaches the Market

PCSoft (Braintree, Mass.) set a goal to build an open distributed control system (DCS)—one that provides features and functions of a traditional DCS, utilizes a defacto-standard operating system, makes extensive use of open standards, and resides on a single hardware platform.WizDCS is the result of its efforts and indications are PCSoft has exceeded its goal.

By Dave Harrold, Control Engineering
PID, APC June 1, 1998

Merger mania shakes control field now, may stabilize it later

The bigger they are… the better they can serve their customers, compete globally, and maybe control their destinies. That's the reasoning behind a recent epidemic of mergers and acquisitions in and outside the control and automation fields.In one of the most significant mergers, Danaher Corp.

By Staff
PID, APC June 1, 1998

Graphical programming for analog control

If it's true that just any old picture is worth a thousand words, then a detailed picture of a regulatory control strategies must be worth quite a few words of machine code, right? That certainly seems to be part of the design intent behind the control system software development package known as Gello, available from RTP Corp.

By Jay R. Jeffreys, P.E.
PID, APC June 1, 1998

Variable torque drive controls energy cost

St. Louis, Mo. —Specifically developed for complex control applications involving centrifugal pumps and fans, the Unidrive variable torque controller (VTC) combines energy savings with quiet operation. Features hand/ off/auto operation, PID control, eight preset speeds, motor overload protection, spinning motor "catch," dynamic V/Hz, filter maintenance timer, lubrication maintenance time...

By Staff
PID, APC June 1, 1998

Ben & Jerry’s scoops with PID’s OpenBatch

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's recently installed the Rockwell OEM version of OpenBatch and RSBatch from PID Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.) to enhance the existing PLC-based control system at its newest and biggest plant in St. Albans, Vt. The software controls the mix making process of Ben & Jerry's ingredients.

By Staff
PID, APC May 1, 1998

Extend DCS Life with In-Place Replacement

Older digital systems, even though fully depreciated, drain the enterprise cash flow because of high operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Much of the true O&M cost is not reported because it involves removing spares from inventory that were valued at the purchase price, not at today's higher replacement cost.

By Lawrence Ricci, Hathaway Industrial Automation