Users need to consider value, design flexibility, and potential modifications when choosing an enclosure for a manufacturing application. Courtesy: Rittal
PLCs, PACs July 15, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 8-14

Articles about selecting an enclosure, using context with the IIoT, cybersecurity best practices, digitalization advantages, and connecting a PLC were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Figure 4: A parsing instruction, such as this JSONPARSE block in an AutomationDirect BRX PLC, is needed so the PLC can drill into the layers of objects within a JSON data payload and extract the desired information. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
PLCs, PACs July 8, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 1-7

Articles about connecting a PLC, the Career and Salary Survey, June hot topics, choosing a transparent CIP system, and choosing the right HMI were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Figure 2: Ladder logic programming example; LL is the most commonly used PLC programing, most closely resembling circuit diagrams used for relays. Courtesy: Frank Lamb, Automation Primer
PLCs, PACs July 8, 2019

Other PLC programming languages

Ladder logic is commonly used in the U.S. for programmable logic controllers (PLCs), but other languages are better suited for some programming applications. See sample PLC code in five languages.

By Frank Lamb
Figure 3: An HTTP instruction, such as this HTTPCMD block in an AutomationDirect BRX PLC, enables a PLC to initiate a request to an internet website API to obtain data. AutomationDirect Do-more Designer Software has the necessary instructions. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
PLCs, PACs July 1, 2019

Benefits of connecting a PLC to the internet

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are now gaining information technology (IT) abilities to interact directly with the internet, creating new automation and information possibilities.

By Bill Dehner
An inverted Universal Robots 10 kg payload robot with a two-camera configuration makes a test sweep over an automobile in progress, using machine vision to improve manufacturing quality. Walter LaPlante, advanced manufacturing systems engineer at Ford Motor Co., Redford, Mich., facility explained some Ford machine vision applications at Automate 2019. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media
PLCs, PACs June 14, 2019

Envisioning more at Ford

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

By Mark T. Hoske
Figure: Comparison of transactional data extraction to the more sophisticated requirements of industrial data extraction across a number of factors. Courtesy: HighByte
PLCs, PACs June 12, 2019

Improve industrial data integration with ETL software

Extract, transform, load (ETL) software can help improve data gathering for operations technology (OT) applications, but there are major challenges with data integration that companies need to overcome.

By John Harrington
Figure 3: Specifying HMI operational parameters instead of a vendor allows OEMs to select HMIs with the best price-performance ratio. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
PLCs, PACs May 28, 2019

Specifying performance instead of parts

Specifying performance instead of parts when purchasing machines and process skids will cut costs, reduce lead time and guarantee operation.

By Bill Dehner
Sponsored White Paper PLCs, PACs April 30, 2019

Meet the Future: Edge Programmable Industrial Controllers

This white paper explains a programmable industrial controller designed to reduce project costs.

By Opto 22
Simulation can provide detailed visualization of a line in an existing production facility. Courtesy: Dennis Group
PLCs, PACs March 28, 2019

Optimize production line design with simulation modeling

Simulation modeling, used properly, can identify and remove risks, maximize value, and help produce successful outcomes. Ask these five questions to ensure the model reflects realistic behavior and constraints.

By Christy Starner
Accessing SQL databases is simple through the capabilities of modern control systems. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation
PLCs, PACs March 7, 2019

Six ways data acquisition strategies can support advanced analytics

Some applications require data acquisition strategies without cloud connectivity, but they can still benefit from advanced analytics technology.

By Daymon Thompson