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Best practices matter when designing control systems
When lives depend on control system design (and even when they don’t), best practices matter. Here’s what I’d like control system designers to know.
Integrated design software lowers costs, adds flexibility
Product lifecycle management software (PLM) and service lifecycle management software enabled by integration with cloud services and applications, helps a variety of industries with digital twins, digitalization, automation design and plant design. See five attributes of a digital twin.
Process control safety and compliance advice
Process safety regulations, standards, and loss prevention practices are derived from a tangled web of documents and it's vital for a company to know the different agencies, standards, and other groups involved to reduce potential confusion.
Choosing between a sectional or monoblock valve
Sectional valves are the most versatile and configurable valve type for hydraulic systems, but a monoblock brings many added benefits when properly applied.
Focusing on controller choice, Lean
Many plant-specific factors affect controller criteria, but choices unique to controller type exist as well.
Alternatives to axles: Hydraulic direct wheel drive motors
Designing a frame to accept a hydraulic direct wheel drive system will greatly increase the available space for other system components.
How to choose an industrial automation controller
Choosing the most effective controller requires careful evaluation of multiple requirements.
OSHA and energy control
Be especially careful with the minor servicing exception in the Lockout/Tagout standard from OSHA. Certain kinds of “minor” activities that occur during normal production operations may not be covered by LOTO (but are covered under other OSHA standard provisions) and other “minor” activities are covered by LOTO; do you know which?
Integrating IIoT equipment into manufacturing systems
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) equipment should be integrated even into older manufacturing systems to optimize facility and system operations. Think you’re using IIoT technologies? Are you adding sensors in 12 steps or 6 steps?
Motion control standards drive IIoT
Among the most important standards for industrial motion control are open networking standards for interoperable communications, but don’t overlook the importance of standard naming conventions to ease system integration and promote Industrial Internet of Things and similar initiatives.
How digitalization helps machine tool builders
Inside machines and embedded systems: New technologies will drive the digital factory of the future inside a machine in three ways. Greater efficiency and reliability will add value; new services will add revenue.
Strategies for upgrading PLC hardware
As technology advances, hardware needs to be updated for optimal efficiency.
Automation product designs cure pain points
When the research and development (R&D) team communicates with customers, automation product designs improve, and the resulting designs resolve pain points.
CAN networks make mobile machine upgrades easier
CAN J1939 is the communication network used by electronic diesel engines to transmit data about the operating conditions of the engines to other devices necessary to operate mobile machinery.
Requirements for a seamless quality management system
A seamless quality management system (QMS) allows companies to close gaps across product lifecycle manufacturing (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enhance continuous improvement and Lean manufacturing initiatives.
Hot topics in Control Engineering for 2017
Think Again: Control Engineering readers choose hot topics of 2017 based on online traffic at the automation industry website. What can you learn from these top Control Engineering articles of 2017? Also see the top three covers of 2017.
Digitization of plants: An effective ROI model
Cyber-physical production systems (CPPSs) strive to merge the real and virtual worlds, improving return on investment (ROI) by accelerating operations, reducing errors, and lowering costs. Interoperability is important to digitization.
Multi-alternative power supply control
Reliable energy efficiency: Space vehicles, among the most challenging and varied operating environments, require alternative energy sources with a multi-level control structure to exclude the risk of failures and ensure uninterrupted power supply in various flight modes.
Explore an open IoT operating system
An open Internet of Things operating system (IoT OS) aims to help manufacturers. Siemens, at its recently opened Asia-Pacific Digital Experience Center, explained the purpose and benefits of its MindSphere IoT OS to Control Engineering China.
Industrial control systems are converging with Big Data
Companies are using industrial control systems (ICS) and Big Data together to provide management with the insight to improve decision-making for planning, optimization, and continuous improvement of industrial plant operations.
Rewire the process industry with IIoT
Digitalization can offer process industries increased process optimization and plant efficiency. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adds predictive maintenance, asset information management, and open device configurability.
Digital twins help to reshape manufacturing
Digitized production and use of a digital twin improves the amount and effective use of valuable data about the manufacturing process. See two methods to create a digital twin.
Cognitive engineering can humanize machines
Already part of some industrial systems, self-driving cars, autonomous drones, healthcare planning, and virtual assistants, cognitive engineering is permeating every walk of life. Optimized systems combine knowledge, contextual awareness, and situational intelligence.
Guidelines for using a closed-loop control system
Tutorial: Which factors should be considered to determine whether an open-loop or a closed-loop control design should be used?
Ease of use: Programmable controllers
With “ease of use” blowing like wind through the branches of automation and control, standard programming has abstracted into configuration, as wizards become more intelligent, and libraries of code are embedded into intuitive objects. Controller hardware touts modularity, flexibility, and connectivity.
Thermal management requirements for edge computing
Edge computing requires several variables to be considered and an advanced climate control solution.
PC-based controls: Expanding plant-floor architectures from the edge to IIoT
Edge devices facilitate data processing at the plant level, increasing security and using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) standards.
Controller embeds programming efficiency
Cover Story: PLC programming: Selecting the right controller and accompanying programming software adds efficiency to the controller programming process.
Webcast on getting started with IIoT offers extra answers
The webcast, “Leave my Things Alone: Getting Started with IIoT,” sponsored by PTC, shows how IIoT software can troubleshoot machine and connectivity issues in real-time, minimize unplanned downtime, increase efficiency and flexibility, and leverage new IIoT technologies. Extra answers from a live question and answer session are provided below.
Advice from integrators on HMIs, wireless, cloud use, thin clients
System Integrator of the Year roundtable: Tips follow on human-machine interface screen design, wireless and cloud technologies for Industrial Internet of Things, and thin-client use from representatives from two 2017 System Integrator of the Year companies.
New graphical programming platform accelerates understanding
National Instruments LabVIEW NXG 1.0 software, the next generation of LabVIEW, aims to deliver LabVIEW productivity to nonprogrammers with an easier workflow. NI continues LabView 2017 development and support. See video demo.
Defining and measuring project quality
Using a standardized methodology to define project quality ensures deliverables fit customer specifications and receive high customer satisfaction when managing projects.
Five benefits of concurrent engineering for manufacturers
Concurrent engineering, an approach in which multiple engineering tasks or projects are performed in parallel, provides benefits such as multidisciplinary collaboration, improved productivity, and a faster design process.
Easier automation helps food production
Control Engineering International: What will future food manufacturing environments look like? Suzanne Gill, Control Engineering Europe, spoke to some key industry vendors to get insights about the future of food production. As the need for skilled labor increases, and regulations require track and trace records, advanced automation is getting easier to apply and use.
Standardizing control system programming with IEC 61131-3
For the first time in the history of industrial controls, industrial control system (ICS) programming—regardless of the controller type—can be implemented with the same standard, and the programs created with that standard easily can be transported from one compliant control system to another.
Ladder logic 305: ASCII and strings
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) and strings are designed to turn printable characters into numbers that programmable logic controller (PLCs) can deal with and are commonly used in the U.S.
Exploring the basic concepts of multivariable control
Multivariable controllers can balance competing objectives. Process controllers that can juggle multiple process variables simultaneously are becoming more common and more powerful, but they can still be difficult to design and implement.
Three keys for coding efficient sequential control programs
Sequential control programs, which are usually a part of medium to complex control strategies involving either batch applications or any procedure-based applications can be an easier and more streamlined if the engineer ensures that the sequences have the same architectural model. Three tips are highlighted to make the process easier.
Controller and engineering package for streamlining language programs
Siemens' CPU 1518 ODK advanced controller and Simatic ODK 1500S engineering package are designed to streamline the configuration and functionality of high-level language programs, including C/CC++.
Principles for more effective automation
Programming is a big portion of process control and following principles such as customer collaboration, responding to changes, and emphasizing individuals and interactions can help a great deal in creating a successful project.
SCADA is not a middleware
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) can improve operations. Learn how.
Wireless takes control for industrial applications
Wireless transmitters are being widely used for monitoring, but recent developments such as energy harvesting and legacy connections show wireless is also suitable for real-time control for any application.
Simplifying drive-based and controller-based automation
Powerful drive- and controller-based innovations for kinematic application development and integration offer motion control choices.
Considerations when automating a task for a project
Automating tasks can improve quality and reduce the time required to complete projects, but certain considerations need to be taken to make sure time is not wasted creating tools.
Optimize manufacturing value in real time
If you have the engineering resources and the business commitment to improve your value-add to the business, then real-time process optimization (RPO) may be right for your organization.
Drive nuts provide linear motion in machine design applications
Amacoil's Uhing Model RS drive nuts are designed to provide smooth backlash-free linear motion in machine design applications.
Software for batch application solutions
Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk Batch software is designed to enhances scalability and responsive control of distributed, skid-level phases with the integrity of plant-level coordination with built-in mobility.
Integrated motors and drives: Benefits and solutions
A servo motor design integrated with the drive improves system efficiencies and reliability among many other benefits, when compared to nonintegrated configurations. See four key advantages of integrating motors and drives.
Internet of Things control system optimizes plants and factories
Technology Update: The Industrial Internet Control System (IICS) from GE Automation and Controls can enable a 7% increase in performance, 22% increase in productivity, and 40% decrease in maintenance costs, GE said. Here’s how this helps Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Design kit for communicating with motion controllers, PLCs
Galil Motion Control's Galil Design Kit (GDK) is designed to provide easy communication with motion controllers and programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 17-23: Engineers’ Choice, PLC programming, PLC coding guidelines, more
Articles about the 2017 Engineers' Choice finalists, PLC object-oriented programming, PLC coding guidelines, process data tools, and SCADA sending system information were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Configuration tool for documents industrial control system components
Schneider Electric's Prometheus is a configuration tool for defining, programming and documenting all components in an industrial control system (ICS), from the manufacturing execution system (MES) to the input/output (I/O).
Making an integration project both pretty and functional
Presentation sometimes takes a backseat in the heat of a project, but it’s worth considering because how something appears on the outside has an effect on the customer and their impressions of the work and care than went into creating the final product.
How to cut costs and maximize production with servo automation
Inside Machines: Lumber machine manufacturer’s moves to servo control yields increased precision, productivity.
Journey to the center of the plant: SCADA returns system information to sensors, process tools
After the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software is in place and the system is optimized, system information flows from sensors, field instruments, and other process tools to the control room and back again. Users must provide automatic and manual control commands to alter the process.
Taking advantage of VFD software
Although VFD manufacturers have made many advances in terms of ease of use, some users still find programming and monitoring with a 2-inch display tedious. This is where VFD programming and monitoring software comes into play.
Tolerance-based machining for improving CNC process
Tolerance-based machining is designed to help automate the computer numeric control (CNC) programming process, speed up delivery times, improve quality and consistency, and eliminate 2-D drawings from the process.
The velocity of PID
Inside Process: Proportional-integral-derivative (PID) theory is best introduced as the familiar second order differential equation via the velocity form instead of the more traditional positional form.
Small-scale automation projects
Inside Machines: How to get past time, money, and resource issues when executing small projects and specifying automation equipment and components.
Mechatronics efficiency achieved by designing for functional excellence
Mechatronics design looks at complexity of interdisciplinary technologies, and there are a number of aspects such as teamwork, efficient design, and functionality that need to be considered.
Technologies for the smartest machines in the IIoT era
Inside Machines: Essential technology developments within distributed, connected machines with real-time capabilities include heterogeneous processing architecture; hardware, software design and development; and readiness for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). See five architecture examples, diagrams.
Ladder logic 106: One shots
Different programmable logic controller (PLC) manufacturers use one shots to develop a scan that is exactly one scan in duration and can be generated from the rising or falling edge of the signal.
Configuration software designed for streamlining commissioning process
Wago's e!Cockpit automation engineering suite of tools is designed to shorten development time for automation projects by bringing all tasks into a single platform.
Implementing high-performance HMIs
Many companies are looking to Abnormal Situation Management (ASM)-based and other high-performance human-machine interfaces (HMIs) as part of a major control system upgrade. These efforts began primarily in refining and petrochemical applications, but have spread to other verticals and continue to grow.
Machine vision lighting tips for overdriving LEDs
Lighting quality can make or break a machine vision system. Control Engineering Europe looks at machine vision lighting that integrates lighting control into the other elements of a vision system. See five tips for safely overdriving light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
The impact of analytics on asset reliability and process quality
The IndustryWeek M&T Conference & Expo highlighted manufacturing technology strategies and trends such as implementing programs to collect and analyze data for predictive maintenance.
Help with IIoT, digital manufacturing
Why organizations are helping with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrie 4.0, and digital manufacturing: No one wants to miss opportunities to accelerate.
Storyboarding is a useful tool for the software design process
Though storyboarding adds an additional step to the software design process, it is invaluable to the client and the engineer when used in software development because it offers transparency and clarity to the client while streamlining the process for the developers and engineers.
Companies collaborate on test bed for sensor data
TE Connectivity, ifm, SAP and the OPC Foundation presented a test platform for transmitting and evaluating sensor data in IT systems at Hannover Messe.
Is the Internet of Things the next over-the-top?
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing the network, butthe ability to support far greater capacity, under the auspices of broader architectural changes, will need to evolve to make the revolution a reality.
Hardware design best practices are not static
Hardware design changes might not occur as frequently as software updates, but they need to be reevaluated to ensure they still represent best practices based on the latest hardware versions and application instructions from the manufacturer.
Ergonomic game-style controller for remote-controlled applications
Apem's PC Series is an ergonomic game style pendant controller is designed to accommodate Apem's TS Series miniature proportional joystick and is ideal for controlling unmanned vehicles, robotics and other remote controlled applications.
Programmable DIN-rail mounted controller
Wago's PFC100 DIN-rail mounted compact programmable logic controller (PLC) with a small footprint that makes it useful for industrial applications where space is a factor.
Smart manufacturing is not a thing; it’s a convergence of things
Smart manufacturing is a convergence of capabilities from multiple areas to enhance productivity. Smart manufacturing is where smart business processes converge with smart operational processes, smart equipment, and smart product definitions.
Software development kit for Industrie 4.0, IIoT applications
Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) Matrikon OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) software development kit (SDK) is able to operate in small embedded environments and PC-based applications that use Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things.
Automation products improve with customer feedback
Improved product automation is a result of customer feedback. As customers give suppliers valuable product feedback, suppliers will consider many factors that may result in a new feature being added to an existing product or launch a new product to provide a solution.
Realizing the Internet of Things’ potential
With millions of different “connected” devices and massive amounts of data, it can be hard for users to make good use of the Internet of Things (IoT) potential. Users need to use analytics to make good use of that data.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 18-24: Flow management, subsea repairs, PLCs and wind turbines, more
Articles about flow management solutions, subsea repairs, PLCs and wind turbines, data analysis and the IIoT, and sour oil and gas were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 18-24. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Software construction guidelines released
The PLCopen Coding Guidelines version 1.0 has been released and contains 63 rules for software programming and are designed to train users and provide a basis for universities to help them teach IEC 61131-3 programming more efficiently.
Support-focused enterprise controls: template design strategies
Highly productive manufacturing processes rely on standard, controller-based system applications. These applications must appeal to the technicians and engineers who will need to understand, interact, and support functioning programs whether they’re independent or interdependent programming strategies.
Hannover Fair: Business unit formed for automation, Industrie 4.0 applications
Rittal Automation Systems was formed by integrating Kiesling Maschinentechnik into the organization. Kiesling Maschinentechnik is a producer of machining centers for enclosure assembly, cutting centers, and enclosure test units.
Building a 2020 control room
Think Again about this application example: a control room designed for 2020 attracts young engineering prospects, among other benefits. See five control room design challenges and three control room design tips.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 21-27: PC-based control, Engineers’ Choice winners, heat exchanger control strategies, more
Articles about PC-based control, the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, heat exchanger control strategies, ladder logic and PLC scanning, and data acquisition and analysis were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 21-27. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Support-focused enterprise controls: conveyor application model
A support-focused control system must have the ability to enable control system designers to model conveyor applications by providing an object-oriented chart design environment that can enhance the ability of support personnel to monitor and interact with a conveyor control application.
Choosing between automation solutions or enterprise integration projects
There are several key differences between automation solution and enterprise integration projects; the latter have several challenges that can be daunting for companies that aren't aware of the scope and testing required.
Support-focused enterprise controls: trigger-first design strategy
A trigger-first design strategy enables manufacturers to obtain structured and organized control applications from many independent machine and conveyor suppliers. This method creates a common path for designs to trigger applications while enabling a standard way to develop rule-, template-, and table-based control applications.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 7-13: Engineers’ Choice, IEC 61131-3, FDI integration, more
Articles about the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, IEC 61131-3, FDI integration standards, process models facilitating feedback control, and what to consider when specifying a servo system were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 7-13. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Think again: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 models bring disruptive opportunities to manufacturing and other increasingly automated industries, augmenting human productivity. Five years from now, will you be grinding in first gear while your competitors innovate in overdrive?
Ladder logic 105: PLC scanning
Understanding how scanning works in a programmable logic controller (PLC) is something that needs to be addressed for a user regardless of the program being used.
Support-focused enterprise controls: machine operating modes
Control applications developed for conveyors often adopt operating modes specific to each area. Area modes are usually a local segment, zone, sector, or multistation conveyor process. Operating modes are specific to enabling the machine, process, or mechanism to cycle, while support modes are operational characteristics that enhance user interactions and enable overall station or process control modes.
Mathematical models help find process spill values, material savings
Designing controls: Sharper attention to spill values created 20% additional production capacity and an estimated $500,000 annually in material costs in one application.
Nanowire research for producing mesh structures for easy self-assembly
MIT researchers are developing polymer nanowires that assemble in perpendicular layers to produce mesh structures that could make self-assembly a much more practical way to manufacture memory, optical chips, and even future generations of computer processors.
Motion platform for positioning applications
Griffin’s CXY-BS Series 150mm precision XY motion platform is ideal for use in microscopy, inspection, wafer processing, microtiter plate processing, laser marking, and optical positioning applications.
IEC 61131-3: What’s the acceptance rate of this control programming standard?
Cover story, automation upgrades: Although the IEC 61131-3 standard for control programming languages has been around for nearly 25 years, limited awareness of its scope and features has kept it from becoming a requirement in North America.
Groups collaborating for transparent industrial network structure
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and PI are working on a close collaboration that is designed to enable transparent and easy bi-directional communication between CC-Link IE and Profinet devices through standardized interfaces.
Webcasts for PDH credit
Control Engineering hosted nine Webcasts for PDH credit in 2015. Learn more about the Webcasts below and the topics that are becoming more and more relevant for engineers everywhere.
Graphical software for controller configuration
Composer is Watlow’s graphical software that is designed to configure and customize the company’s F4T and EZ-Zone RM controllers as well as help users visualize and implement control and automation solutions.
Supporting machine vision for success
European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) outlines the challenges facing the machine vision industry, such as supply chain tracking, Industrie 4.0 advances, and standards cooperation in comments to Control Engineering Europe.
Adapting control architectures for smarter machines
Cover story: Embedded systems help create smart machines, providing flexibility, increasingly autonomous operations, diagnostics, and adaptive improvements to add productivity. Algorithms and tools that were used for high-end research a few years ago are now breaking into the industrial market.
Tracking HMI advances
In addition to holding on to past advances, HMIs continue to evolve. Advancements include higher resolution, wider screens, multi-touch, integrated programming, cloud connectivity, higher efficiency, greater durability, and improved connectivity.
Blast furnace and stove control systems see a retrofit
A major Midwestern steel producer sees a sequenced changeover of all process control parameters, which yields successful implementation of a system upgrade with minimal downtime. A system integrator helped transition 2,000 I/O points, install new workstations, upgrade network communications, develop more than 60 HMI screens with built-in diagnostics and alarms, program the controllers, develop system functional document and drawings, upgrade the historian, and perform on-site training.
Quarry carves out twice the production
Inside Machines: Modernization plan doubles production, minimizes costs at California quarry using automation and with universal programming software able to program all of one company’s control components. Easy programming and setup saved time, meeting contract requirements.
Touchscreen operator interface panel allows for easy customization
AutomationDirect’s EA3-T6CL C-more Micro 6-in. touch panel is designed for customizing objects, screen backgrounds and displaying bitmap graphics.
How to select a controller
Think Again: Applications and controller options vary widely. Take care in selection, especially in the overlapping areas. Functionality matters more than a name. Do you need a programmable logic controller (PLC), programmable automation controller (PAC), industrial personal computer (IPC), or distributed control system (DCS)?
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, November 9-15: PLC or DCS, Engineers’ Choice finalists, wireless communication, more
Articles about choosing between a PLC and DCS, the Engineers' Choice finalists, wireless communication developments, mechatronic system controls, and selecting an industrial wireless sensor network were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 9-15. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IIoT Webcast three on integration considerations: Questions answered
IIoT Webcast three: Integration considerations, presented live on Nov. 3, is available online for one year for PDH credit, offered by Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Oil and Gas Engineering. Below, Webcast speakers answer some additional questions from the audience that didn’t fit into the one-hour live presentation.
Automation software for manufacturing, industrial applications
Iconics’ V10.9 product suite of advanced automation software introduces many new timesaving capabilities and has products that can integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud storage, and mobile devices.
Support-focused enterprise controls: Control logic fundamentals
Controller manufacturers have made significant enhancements to controller programming environments. Today, programmers are using generic tag names to describe ladder logic instructions, simplifying programming, and making it easier to convert design information to control programming. Link to other parts of the support-focused enterprise controls series below.
Five tips for improving hydraulic control in a mechatronic system
Hydraulics tutorial: Advanced machine designs and new Industry 4.0 technologies combine mechanical motion with sophisticated electronic controls in a synergy known as mechatronics.
Process control system upgrades: Like a race car in need of a good driver
System integration: Easier process control system integration requires knowledge of standards, experience with operational and functional requirements, device and system application knowledge, and meeting the needs of operator, maintenance, quality, and management. Learn more about these four key system integrator attributes to smoothly drive the next process control upgrade.
Ball runner blocks for improved travel accuracy
Bosch Rexroth's BSHP ball runner blocks improve travel accuracy and work piece quality while increasing load capacities and service life.
Smart data and 5G are critical to enable the Industrial Internet of Things
NI Days 2015 Chicago highlighted the latest advances in platform-based technologies and 5G research to overcome escalating complexity and expand the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart data was also a main focus at the event, featuring methods to better save data for analysis and future applications. The National Instruments event was held on Oct. 15 at Navy Pier, Chicago.
Transport system for machine OEM applications
Festo's Multi-Carrier System is a transport system designed for companies offering custom products or both standard and custom products packaged on the same line and has features relevant to Industry 4.0 such as an electromechanical design and OPC-UA.
Increasing plant-level awareness of the industrial network: Extra answers from the webcast
IntraVue network monitoring software by Panduit provides visibility into all levels of devices and connectivity and enables operational field technicians to efficiently communicate with IT resources, said Michael Vermeer, Panduit Corp. senior business development manager, as he answered additional questions after the Oct. 13, 2015, webcast, “Increasing Plant-level Awareness of the Industrial Network,” now archived for viewing.
EC: AssetWorX 10.9
Software - Control design: Iconics AssetWorX is an intelligent ISA S95-integrated asset-based technology, which serves as the foundation of Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA and AnalytiX software suites to organize any system, simplify engineering and enhance navigation. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: InduSoft IoTView
Software - Control design: IoTView is a core runtime, small footprint data collection and visualization (HMI) designed to run on Linux and VXWorks specifically for use in Internet of Things/Industry 4.0 applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Dream Report v4.64
Software - Applications: Dream Report is a purpose built solution for compliance and performance, reports and dashboards for the industry. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer 24 software
Software - Control design: The Studio 5000 Logix Designer 24 software improves the design experience by more intuitively aligning the control system with the manufacturing operation, leading to enhanced automation productivity. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: SimSci Logic Validator
Software - Control design: The Logic Validator is an automated test harness aimed at automating safety logic validation of safety instrumented systems (SIS) per the International Society of Automation standard ISA-S84 that automatically executes a series of commands. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Field Information Manager (FIM)
Software - Control design: The Field Information Manager (FIM) from ABB is the world's first FDI-based device management tool. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: TwinCAT 3 SOA-PLC
Software - Control design: The TwinCAT 3 SOA-PLC is a software solution for more efficient, secure, and standardized communication in the implementation of Smart Factories and Industry 4.0 concepts. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Caution: Automation opportunities ahead
Think Again: It’s easy to be overwhelmed with data when trying to analyze input to create actionable information. Gather, analyze, and discuss, and then do. Let’s help each other along the way.
Webcast: Tips for automation system integration project management
Automation system integration project management, when done right from project inception, can mean the difference between a successful implementation that adds value, and one that doesn’t.
Company breaks ground on product testing and office headquarters
Renishaw is building a 133,000-sq.-ft. office and warehouse facility that will be the company's North American headquarters upon its scheduled completion in June 2016. It also will include areas for product testing and training.
Ways to make packaging machine design more flexible
Cover story: Control system flexibility, a need across all industries, includes the ability for users to easily re-use code from one controller to the next and scale from a simple two-axis machine to a high-axis coordinated motion system that runs on the same software, reducing hardware costs, training time, and troubleshooting.
Five ways servos improve packaging machines
Upgrade your next machine design with servo motors to decrease downtime, decrease footprint, increase throughput, make equipment last longer, and provide better diagnostics.
Ladder logic 304: Timer application
A sample timer application written in ladder logic provides examples of various programming tips, such as ensuring the programmer knows what the customer wants. See screen captures.
Standards group formed to address counterfeit pharmaceutical packaging
The Open Serialization Communication Standard Working Group (Open-SCS) announced the accelerated development of an industrial interoperability standard to focus on healthcare packaging serialization interoperability across the plant’s equipment and systems and between the supply chain.
Process modeling, feedback controllers
Feedback controllers assume that their control efforts will have some effect on the process variable. Advanced process control (APC) and advanced regulatory control (ARC) can help a controller choose its control efforts more effectively by modeling the process. The value of ARC and APC can be explained and understood without a deep dive into the underlying math. See provided examples.
Data services, cloud platform, manufacturing analytics
Think Again: Increase data flow and analytics while decreasing risk of cyber security intrusions, by using services, according to experts in cloud-based manufacturing services, cyber security, and digital factories. These are building blocks of Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things.
Three steps to select the right fuse for control circuit protection
Fuses are the same size and generally look the same, and this identity crisis can leads to mistakes in selecting a replacement fuse, putting workers and equipment at risk.
Motion controls inside Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ
Application Update: Motion control with instantaneous redundancy backup propels the Cirque du Soleil production of KÀ, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The production includes a 140-ton stage that rises from below ground level, tilts 180 degrees, and rotates 360, while acrobatic actors fly, flip, dance, climb, fight, fall, and operate puppets while the stage is in various positions from horizontal to vertical.
Create value with automation: Redesign processes first
Automation profitability tutorial: As controls and automation address the world’s greatest challenges, don’t just throw new technologies at tired processes. Redesign processes first for the greatest value, said Dr. Peter Martin, vice president business value consulting, Schneider Electric, at the 2015 CSIA Executive Conference. Control system integrators need to make value measurable, help industry focus on value, use automation to drive value, and consider automation’s real value. See related video: "Redesign processes first, then apply automation to solve problems."
Optimize cable’s role in the Industrial Internet of Things
Cover story: Internet of Things (IoT) is influencing the future of industrial automation with continuing convergence of information, automation, and operations systems (OS) in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). With faster Ethernet speeds, cabling system integrity is more important, and cabling certification can help.
Connect the potential of Industry 4.0 with real manufacturing
Cover story: A new manufacturing line can produce one product and up to 25 variants, with a 10% increase in productivity and a 30% decrease in inventory by using Industry 4.0 technologies. See the five qualities Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices need to create the Industry 4.0 manufacturing environment.
Controller selection criteria: Keys to achieving operational excellence
The process of achieving operational excellence is selecting the right automation technologies that will ensure industrial processes run smoothly at the desired level of performance.
Industrial Internet of Things needs data, clouds, and analytics
Cover story: Without data there can be no big data, clouds, or analytics. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) differs from the Internet of Things (IoT); IIoT’s things make IoT’s things. Open standards are an important requirement for IIoT, and Ethernet and software standards are available to deliver data for control and information for decision making.
Putting Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things to work in smart factories
Cover story: Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enabled with connectivity to and from devices (from a sensor to a large-scale control system), data, and analytics. Sensors and systems need connectivity with a greater network to share data; analysis allows people to make informed decisions. Industry 4.0 is working for German kitchen manufacturer, Nobilia. Ask three questions on the way to a smarter factory.
Best practices for energy-efficient machines
Machine control designs are changing to integrate best practices in energy management. These steps include measurement and monitoring of energy use and control and optimization to minimize energy consumption.
Controller selection criteria
Selecting a controller for an industrial application can be increasingly difficult with all the options available. These 11 selection criteria can help when deciding among relays, timers, analog instruments, smart relays, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and programmable automation controllers (PACs). See controller selection table.
Platform-based tools overcome Industrial Internet of Things complexity
Cover story: Smarter, platform-based approaches can address the complexity challenges the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) brings to enable IIoT systems that are adaptive, scalable, secure and continually modified and maintained.
Industrial controllers integrate control functions, connect to the enterprise
Control system strategy: Industrial controllers can manage discrete control, motion control, and process control in one, integrated control platform. A backplane provides a high-speed communication path that allows multiple processors, networks, and IO devices to be mixed in one chassis, easing communications in the enterprise with industrial Ethernet.
Use less code, get more security with a Nano Server
Engineering and IT Insight: The upcoming Microsoft Nano Server, with a much smaller footprint, exposes less code, decreases risk, and so will increase security. Reducing the need to patch, reducing the need to reboot, and optimizing for a virtual machine (VM) environment with the design of manufacturing information technology (IT) systems.
Support-focused enterprise controls: PLC Basics
PLC programs do not behave like scripted language programs used by most computer applications. A basic understanding of control application fundamentals is crucial for designing an effective support-focused system. This section of the article provides strategists with the rudimentary knowledge needed to recognize programming instructions, terms, logic circuits, and more. Link to parts 1, 2, and 3, below.
PC-based control helps KVAL door production machines
Application Update: KVAL Inc. used PC-based control, servo drives with one cable, and EtherCAT industrial Ethernet for communications to reduce the wired-to-running time of door assembly machinery from 2 to 4 days without testing for two people to less than 1 day with testing for one person. KVAL was able to program, test, and ship a 10-axis 990H CNC routing machine, with custom G-code routines, in 2 months; with prior design and technology it might have taken two or three times as long, the company said.
Products inside: PC-based control helps KVAL door production machines
KVAL Inc. uses Beckhoff Automation C6920 Industrial PC, TwinCAT NC I, AX5000 servo drives, AM8000 series servo motors, and ES line of EtherCAT I/O terminals to ease programming, reduce assembly time, cut wiring time to less than half, decrease troubleshooting, and increase flexibility.
Data historians and HMI: The foundation of big data analytics
Cover story: Integration guidelines for human-machine interface and historian software should help organizations determine the best combination of data historian and HMI software components to turn big data into a big return on investment. See 9 best practice strategies in combined use of human-machine interface and historian software. Link to a video demonstrating an HMI’s historical data replay technology used with a robot in a smart, connected manufacturing environment.
How to get an automation project approved
Build a case to get an automation and controls project approved. Here’s how to gain approval for automation project capital expenditures. Such investments can reduce inventory, obsolescence, and expense; improve throughput, information visibility, and regulatory compliance; create faster return on investments (ROI); and enable world-class manufacturing, said Tom Braydich, Matrix Technologies, formerly with Campbell Soup, at the 2015 CSIA Executive Conference. See a 15-point ROI checklist.
Proactive obsolescence management: Plan now or pay later
Skyrocketing costs of today’s industrial equipment coupled with the accelerated pace of technological change are creating expectations from customers that products will be supported far beyond the typical component lifecycle. Component obsolescence is inevitable and cannot be avoided.
Products inside: Acoustic emission sensing helps position control
The SBS Balance System software, ExactDress, uses acoustic emission sensing to monitor grinding wheel shape during dressing, matching it with a profile of a completed dressing operation.
Acoustic emission sensing helps position control
Machine tool maker Max-Tek prolongs grinding wheel life by using acoustic emission sensing and controls for precise wheel shape, improving quality while saving time and cost. One grinding wheel dressing pass is said to be enough 80% of the time, avoiding unneeded second dressings, often performed in high-precision applications. An automotive component manufacturer provides an example.
Feed forwards augment PID control
In closed-loop motion control applications, it is common to multiply the target speed and target acceleration by the velocity and acceleration feed forwards to generate the feed forward’s contribution to the control output. Feed forward augmentation is a prediction technique that estimates the output from a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm without waiting for the PID algorithm to respond. Feed forward reduces the error faster or keeps the error smaller than relying on the PID algorithm alone.
Companies, universities collaborate on open standards to help CNC machines, digital manufacturing
The Organization of Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) hosted a two-day industry forum on STandard for Exchange of Product model Data (STEP) for manufacturing, which demonstrated and discussed technologies, projects, and developments by companies and universities. STEP enhancements aim to streamline use of machine tools and digital manufacturing. Savings of 15% to 50% are expected in various stages of the machining lifecycle.
Motion efficiency is bolstered with newer technologies: Motor Summit 2014
Motion control: Efficiency improvements target electric motors, including developments in different topologies and innovative use of magnet materials, providing highly efficient advanced motor designs. A previous article about Motor Summit (Nov/Dec 2014) focused on trends to raise the efficiency of electrically driven systems that extend beyond the motors.
Test bed designed to bring industrial Internet to factory floor
The Industrial Internet Consortium Test Bed, the "Track and Trace" development, is designed to drive forward tool connectivity to improve industrial manufacturing and bring the industrial Internet onto the factory floor.
What does the Internet of Things mean to people who make things?
Think: The connected machine. Industrie 4.0 and IoT in manufacturing are about connecting machines (to each other, to expert systems, and to management execution systems) to get more actionable information using intelligent devices at lower levels of the system architecture.
Artificial intelligence for control engineering
Robotics, cars, and wheelchairs are among artificial intelligence beneficiaries, making control loops smarter, adaptive, and able to change behavior, hopefully for the better. University of Portsmouth researchers in the U.K. discuss how AI can help control engineering, in summary here. Below, see 7 AI-boosting breakthroughs, and online, see more examples, trends, explanations, and references in a 15-page article. Link to a 2013 article explaining how “Artificial intelligence tools can aid sensor systems.”
Distributed power control
Results from distributed power control include integrating power users with power suppliers with Smart Grid technologies and storing energy for peak load shifting, and evening the load from renewable (non-baseload) power sources.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, February 9-15: Selecting and applying VFDs, Engineers’ Choice winners, control engineers and management, more
Articles about selecting and applying VFDs, the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, 7 things control engineers should know about management, high-performance HMIs, and control system triggers were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, February 9-15. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Indexing drive nut provides linear motion in machine design
Amacoil's Model RS drive nut provides smooth backlash-free linear motion in machine design and are designed for material handling machines and other measurement devices.
Toward simpler and faster control system implementations
Control system hardware and architectures will look much different going forward: Less customized, more automated.
Reducing pumping costs for water utilities
More efficient operation of water pumping assets can help water and wastewater utilities reduce energy costs, even without updating existing equipment. Software helps weigh variables and optimizes selection.
Efficient controls require feedback
Control design: Closing the feedback loop with the appropriate sensors improves equipment and process efficiency. Identify areas where feedback can improve and optimize machine operation and process control. Carefully select from available process control and measurement sensors, and ensure each loop is programmed with the right parameters. See 7-point feedback selection checklist.
Top Control Engineering articles for 2014
Think Again: What noncontrol people should know about control engineers, inside the competition to create the first PLC, PID tuning for a faster response, the future of PLCs, Microsoft Windows XP, and System Integrator Giants were among the top 20 Control Engineering stories posted during 2014, based on online traffic for the year. See article titles and descriptions below. Link online to each top 20 article, including 20 more most-read articles in 2014 that were posted in 2013 or before.
Data center design-build upgrade is easier with process controls
Streamlined with a new process control system, M.C. Dean designs redundancy and security into a data center facility with 6 control panels (2 PLC and 4 remote I/O), 2 redundant automation stations, 16 remote I/O racks with more than 1,800 hard I/O points, 5 operator workstations, 2 server racks, 10 network cabinets, and 45 network switches for collecting more than 35,000 soft I/O points.
Battery library for system simulation
Maplesoft's MapleSim Battery Library is an add-on component library to their system-level modeling tool. The MapleSim Battery Library allows engineers to incorporate physics-based predictive models of battery cells into multidomain models so they can account for battery behavior early in the design process.
Support-focused enterprise controls: Object detection for automotive automation
The ability to sense objects and trigger an application is the most overlooked fundamental of control design. Two common forms of object detection are presence detection and movement detection. This is part 2 in a series on standardizing development of programmable logic controller (PLC) programming for controlling discrete manufacturing processes. Link to part 1, below.
Improving servo system accuracy
Servomotor systems: Careful selection of servomotors, machine actuators, and related components provides precise accuracy in motion control applications. Designers and machine builders should carefully select and review the required components, and online selection tools can help define choices. To achieve maximum performance, all servo systems need tuning at initial power-up along with proper software configuration and programming. See 8 critical components for precision motion control.
Machine builder decreases manufacturing time
Application Update: Matrix Design increased the speed of manufacturing, simplified troubleshooting, and achieved cost savings while producing more efficient and flexible robotic tending stations, reducing panel building, in some cases from 2 days to 2 hours.
Highly mature enterprise: Meet the challenges of enterprise information systems
Part 5 of 5: Standard metrics and actionable rules help organizations move from Level 3 to Level 4 in the enterprise information system maturity model, where automated decision making creates a highly evolved and mature enterprise. See also 3 keys to automated success.
Control system programming requires collaboration
Engineering and IT Insight: Programming and the other associated tasks of design, installation, debugging, and maintenance all require significant interactions with other team members, end users, and management. “Works well with others” is an important habit to remember in control system programming.
Designer software for improved automation productivity
Rockwell Automation's Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer v24 provides design capabilities to increase automation productivity and reduce costs throughout a project's life cycle.
Optimizing the climb up the enterprise information systems maturity model
Part 4 of 5: Level 3 isn’t the highest step in the maturity model; as the primary goal for most organizations, it enables a business to more efficiently understand and use its resources. Objective information (centralized for access in the previous maturity level) helps with business decisions. In the November issue, this appears as a Technology Update.
Gain a competitive advantage, meet the challenges of enterprise information systems
Part 3 of 5: A central data repository is difficult to achieve because it is technically challenging and penetrates various aspects of a business. Implementation requires coordinating many parties and often introduces new technologies to the business. Advice below helps. See 3 attributes of a technical advocate.
Industry 4.0 and industrial Internet of Things are automation investment opportunities
There is big money backing industrial Internet of Things, big data, and Industrie 4.0. Ensure you use what’s needed, and maybe more, to update your intelligent manufacturing efforts.
6 reasons why automation improves beer making
Application Update: A beer equipment manufacturer uses off-the-shelf automation components to build affordable equipment and systems for craft brewers.
Motion control and CNC accuracy
CNC applications need accurate movements, rapid changes in direction, and aggressive acceleration and deceleration. A virtual sensor system can be used to improve control performance and decrease CNC contour errors.
Cloud-connected HMIs support smarter decisions
HMI integration: Cloud-based solutions can help highly connected enterprises retrieve plant data faster and more efficiently, where and when they need it, through human-machine interfaces (HMIs). In Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things concepts, smart factories have real-time access to plant floor information, enabling management, engineers, and technicians to gather information and make decisions based on collected data.
Dual loop motion control with one encoder
Inside Machines: Motion control system example shows how mechanical stiffness can improve by a factor of 100. Dual loop control, often used to improve the secondary feedback device, is simpler when second encoder functionality is integrated in the motor.
Products used: Lean automation offers higher product quality; less wiring, programming time
Beckhoff Automation software and products were used for OPA Consulting Services to help the Quantum Group achieve 10%-15% improvements in woven product quality with 50% less I/O wiring time and 30% less programming time.
Research on real-time altitude monitoring of portal crane based on GNSS-RTK
Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and real-time kinematic (RTK) measurements can be used to help with crane monitoring in real time, calculating position, velocity of points, and baseline attitude information at the same time. Products can be customized based on monitoring functions required.
EC: Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical software
Software — Control Design: AutoCAD Electrical software was built especially to design and document electrical controls systems, and it offers all the functionality of AutoCAD software, plus a complete set of electrical CAD features. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Adams FMI software
Software — Control Design: Adams FMI enables advanced co-simulations of automotive systems by embracing Open FMI standard; engineers leverage the combination of 3D nonlinear dynamics models and 1D simulation tools expanding the scope of simulations and model automotive systems. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Control system programming: More design time, less implementation time
Engineering and IT Insight: Lazy?! Great control system programmers spend more time in design so they can spend far less time in the implementation stage. While this might seem that you need to be lazy to be a great control system programmer, you’re just being smart, efficient, and thrifty with programming time and budget.
Hazards of the technical solution
Proper documentation of a solution can be the key to improving future operations for your control system and your colleagues.
5 red flags before choosing configuration-based data acquisition software
The configuration-based model for data acquisition might be easier to set up and run, but the long-term trade-offs may outweigh short-term returns, according to Marti Chance, product marketing manager at National Instruments (NI). She spoke at 2014 NIDays in Chicago. See the five red flags to consider when selecting configured-based data acquisition software.
Taking flight with precision laser processing
Inside Machines: Aerospace companies are looking for ways to improve energy and fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, like businesses in many industries, and more efficient automation technologies are helping with that.
Control Engineering China congratulates Control Engineering on 60 years
Control Engineering China staff members praise Control Engineering for 60 years of quality engineering editorial content, in three video clips, linked here.
The importance of machine documentation
Automated machinery can be very complex and cost millions of dollars. When it breaks down seconds can count; lost production affects the bottom line and can lead to lost customers when deadlines aren’t met.
Migration projects: Incorporating the ‘old’ into the ‘new’
Most distributed control systems migration projects revolve around ensuring that the new system can meet production targets of the old system immediately, but this isn’t always the case.
Use industrial Internet of things to propel automation investments, higher productivity
Interest in the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) seems likely to spur greater automation investments and, with that, greater manufacturing productivity, suggested Dr. Richard Soley, Industrial Internet Consortium executive director, at the Moxa Global Distributor Conference.
Industrial equipment providers catch a wave of smart device technologies
Intelligent manufacturing: Capital equipment suppliers should prepare for the perfect storm of technologies used in smart devices, such as low-cost memory, powerful processors, cloud-based software, big data, Internet of things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), machine builders, and system integrators using smart devices will help the manufacturing industry to catch the wave toward greater productivity.
Control Engineering anniversary recalls impact of technology on industry, life
Transistors, microprocessors pave way to modern manufacturing, automation, and control: Reflections on six decades of publishing reveal how developments in computer hardware, software, storage, and displays dissolved communications barriers, promoted systems integration, added intelligence to simple components, and led to once-thought-impossible achievements today—and a no-holds-barred tomorrow.
Inside the competition for the first PLC
The race to develop the first programmable logic controllers was underway inside General Motors’ Hydra-Matic Transmission Division in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1970. Three finalists had very different architectures.
Developing good coding habits
Engineering and IT Insight: Good coding habits reduce errors, save time, and can help you become a better control system programmer. These simple habits may seem to add extra work, but they actually reduce the overall time to code and debug control programs.
Intelligent plant upsurge
Increased interest in smart plant technologies and intelligent plant implementations are among topics in this Control Engineering China discussion with Jiang Yachun, senior technology expert of Honeywell Process (China).
5 Ways to minimize risk when migrating your control system
Taking advantage of technology enhancements - and introducing a level of unwarranted risk - is a fine line to walk when evaluating all of the options presented while migrating a legacy control system to a new platform.
Program development: How to simplify a complex system
Control systems engineers work on processes that can be incredibly complex. The interactions of process, operator, environment, and control systems can produce at time a dizzying and bewildering array of outcomes.
Modern updates in PID control tuning
While PID control is often used because of its adaptability to a wide range of applications and operating conditions, there are several common problems that occur during the PID tuning process. Automatic and adaptive tuning can reduce the time and frustration often involved in reaching the correct tuning parameters for a given operation.
How to write a good process operation description document
Back to Basics: Describe your process to preserve the process engineer knowledge for the future. To program the process controller, programmable logic controller (PLC), or distributed control system (DCS), follow these steps and methodology, starting with understanding the requirements and documenting in a requirements document, also called a BPO, CFE, an FS, or URS. Online, see five tables and detailed examples.
Fundamentals of real-time processing in automation and control, part 2
The most important constraint in a real-time system is that the time it takes to process an input and produce an output must be well known. Part 2 of a series of articles on real-time control systems.
May I introduce myself: CAN FD
The CAN-FD protocol was first introduced at the 13th international CAN Conference in 2012 and was again the main topic at last year’s 14th iCC in Paris.
Habits to improve your control programming
Engineering and IT Insight: Control programming is programming, even if it uses ladder logic, sequential function charts, function block diagrams, and procedure function charts. Improve your programming in a dozen ways. Errors in control programs can harm people, damage equipment, and destroy products.
Pervasive sensing increases business visibility
Control Engineering International: Sensing technologies have a new role in business critical applications in process industries, suggested Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer at Emerson Process Management, at the recent European Emerson User Exchange, according to a recent Control Engineering Europe article.
Fundamentals of real-time processing in automation and control
Almost all automation and control systems are designed, developed and built using data processors, microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSPs) or any other processing device. Part 1 of a series of articles on real-time control systems.
The value of field engineers
A good field engineer can help improve the process controls based on knowledge and experience, potentially saving money by being able to quickly diagnose problems.
Creating an ASM-compliant HMI goes deeper than screen color selection
Simply adopting ASM guidelines for graphics does not create an ASM-compliant HMI. Achieving that level of effectiveness involves a range of factors that address how people interact with the control system.
Best practices in wireless
Prior to choosing industrial wireless networking technologies, ask 4 basic questions to help get the most out of a wireless network.
Programming in motion
Case study: Automated Industrial Machinery (AIM Inc.) moved from an analog interface to servo amplifiers to a digital motion control network to reduce wiring and simplify programming. It used IEC 61131-3 compliant software and industry-standard PLCOpen function blocks. See examples.
Optimizing communications for embedded machine control systems
Opposite to factory automation, embedded machine control systems need to be optimized to design better products than those of competitors. This requires configuring the communication, in particular the scheduling and content of control and status messages. The process data object (PDO) protocol transmits, in real-time, control and status information as well as measured values.
Centralized controls: Smart software, networks trump smart hardware
Machine architectures require many field devices. For easier system design, engineers should select a core control platform that minimizes complexity, with a unified software platform and network. More streamlined hardware and networking architectures are easier to implement, support, and maintain.
ERP can improve project controls and bottom line
CSIA Executive Conference 2014: Plant floor automation and connected systems can be more efficient with mobile, social, and cloud technologies, using enterprise resource planning (ERP) as a enabling architecture, suggested Erik Johnson, vice president technical strategy, Epicor Software Corp.
Magnetoresistive sensor ICs: Better than reed switches
Product Exclusive: Honeywell launches the industry’s first Nanopower Anisotropic Magnetoresistive Sensor Integrated Circuits, with smaller size and greater durability than reed switches, at the same sensitivity and essentially the same cost.
7 things noncontrol people should know about control engineers
A few basic differences between control engineers and others in the plant can hinder progress toward optimization. Start a conversation to improve communications and controls. See examples and career advice. Send a link to these seven things other people should know about control engineers, so they understand.
Prototyping peer-to-peer applications for the industrial Internet of things
Programming peer-to-peer (machine-to-machine) architecture is challenging for the broad application space of the industrial Internet of things. A unified programming environment provides an intuitive method for publishing and subscribing to data of interest over the network.
Control design toolbox has additional control algorithms
Maplesoft's MapleSim Control Design Toolbox supports parameterized controllers and additional control algorithms that operate on a wide range of systems.
Convergence brings new benefits to the industrial controls world
Control convergence: Previously separate technologies, such as controllers, sensors, operator terminals, motion controls, software, networking, and services, share resources and act in synergy. Technology convergence offers new opportunities spanning firms and economies.
Smart manufacturing technologies build intelligent processes
Software enables predictive planning, performance monitoring, big data analytics, virtual modeling, and more informed-decision making.
Smart manufacturing and new automation improve lives of engineers
Next-generation automation has a profound impact on manufacturing business models and quality of life for engineers.
Router, camera system used to enhance billboards
Moxa partnered with Media Resources on a project to improve the reliability of billboards with a router and managed switch that allow for constant surveillance and updates of any potential problems.
Justifying manufacturing IT investments using the RAVE approach
Engineering and IT Insight: Justify investing in and applying new technology by explaining four main benefits: R is for revolutionary benefit, A for avoidance, V for visionary, and E for enhancement (RAVE). Listing all expected benefits will help determine if the change is worth the cost.
Building sustainable value through improved reliability
Creating a four-fold framework for instrument reliability has earned Dow Chemical’s Deer Park facility the HART Plant of the Year Award.
Appropriate automation: Human system dynamics for control systems
Technology Update: Distilling a basic control problem to its essence can show what cannot be automated, which is induction. Automation can facilitate induction; induction cannot (yet) be automated.
Power distribution fuse block saves space, time, money
A Bussmann power distribution Class J fuse block from Eaton combines a power distribution block with a Class J fuse block to help enhance overall system integrity, use half the panel space, and cut installation and labor time by one third.
Right-sizing a motion control system can improve energy efficiency
Mechatronic design tools and scalable control solutions help manufacturers optimize energy efficiency and lower total cost of ownership.
Big data can drive big energy savings
Advanced analytic technologies enable “virtual audits,” enhancing manufacturers’ ability to pinpoint—and reverse—energy waste on plant floors.
A step-by-step guide for performing a PLM upgrade
Product lifecycle management benefits are immense. That’s all the more reason to take a systematic approach to upgrading your system.
Five key considerations for improving HMI graphics during a control system migration
When taking on a DCS migration project, it’s important to create a well-thought-out strategy for handling HMI graphics. Some basic planning can avoid confused operators and lost opportunities for improvements.
Top-down strategies innovate mechatronic machine engineering
Original equipment manufacturers need to manage the design process and recognize mechatronic trends to stay ahead of the technology curve. By developing a portfolio of mechanical, electrical, and software modules, it becomes easier to quickly assemble “custom” machines to meet customer requests. Mechatronics is the convergence of power, electronics, and mechanical systems, including embedded software and hardware in engineering design.
Top 5 Control Engineering stories, Feb. 2-9, 2014
Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most clicked articles from last week, Feb. 2-9, 2014, including articles about PLCs and PACs; variable frequency drive selection; machine design; thermal PID loops, and PCs vs. PLCs.
Manufacturing velocity: Position automotive manufacturing to keep pace
Inside Machines: Automakers need to gain speed in operations to remain competitive in global markets. Infrastructure, information visibility, and workforce productivity can help.
Microsoft patches: Know when it is better to wait
Engineering and IT Insight: A recent Microsoft “Patch Tuesday” and a challenging Microsoft Windows 8.1 upgrade suggested that it can be better to wait before installing patches. Do you have a mission critical Industrial Automation and Control System (IACS)? Follow best practices for patch management and be sure you know which patches can wait.
Do not guess and check your machine design
Controls engineers are often brought in for the first time during the final steps of machine building to help tune everything. To achieve the desired performance, the machine must be designed so that mechanical resonances do not exist, or exist far above the desired control bandwidth. Earlier collaboration is better.
Serialization, where automation and IT collide
Engineering and IT Insight: If your company has a serialization project, or is starting one, to prevent counterfeits, ensure the manufacturing IT and automation groups are involved early in the project.
Carbon potentiometers boast new outputs
Piher's PT10 and PT15 potentiometers aim to provide special stepped outputs or constant voltage zones, for more consistent control.
Automation and control system integration, project management advice
Representatives of the winners of the Control Engineering 2014 System Integrator of the Year competition provide project management advice to customers and other system integrators in a video interview.
HMI display design guideline book released
The ASM Consortium's released a second edition of HMI display design guidelines with a number of changes including consolidating the number of guidelines down to 64 and revising 50% of the guidelines overall.
Updated alarm management guidelines
Control Engineering International: Alarm systems design, management, and procurement advice is available in the third edition guide from Engineering Equipment and Materials Users' Association (EEMUA), reports Suzanne Gill from Control Engineering Europe.
Siemens to acquire Tesis PLMware
Siemens has entered into an agreement to acquire Tesis PLMware, which integrates product lifecycle management (PLM) software with enterprise applications.
New options for material mixing
Application Update: Shaken, not stirred: drives and controls enable novel, impeller-free acoustic mixing. Benefits include wider variety of mixing actions, fewer components, servo motor regeneration and near power factor unity for energy savings.
Avoid a control panel redesign
Inside Machines: If you’re dropping packets with field networking for motion control and getting errors or alarms, consider these four sometimes counter-intuitive alternatives to a control panel redesign.
Motion control: To network or not to network?
Inside Machines and Embedded Systems: Understanding how motion control architectures fit a particular application also can help in deciding what motion control network should be used.
Lean manufacturing processes
Look for wasted movements, time and effort, wasted space, and disorganized work areas. Ask operators how to eliminate waste and think visually.
Fast-analytical approach to motor design gets easier with software collaboration
Motor Design Limited Motor-CAD links with CD-adapco Star-CCM+ software to increase accuracy of a fast analytical approach to motor design while simplifying the modeling process of the CFD computation.
Lean automation architectures
Technical advances lead to more efficient automation solutions.
Motion control feedback improves precision, increases uptime
Delta Computer Systems RMCTools software for RMC motion controllers gives machine builders options for more precise closed-loop motion control and more reliable operation in rugged environments. It can connect to redundant sensors, gather feedback from multiple sensors, and mathematically generate feedback inputs to control loops.
Self-contained pumping station has enclosed control room
Automation Integrator Guide case study: Designing a control room for a self-contained pumping station was a tight-fitting challenge. See photo gallery.
Distributed control system for smaller plants
Honeywell's Experion LX is a purpose-built distributed control system (DCS) designed specifically for smaller plants and can seamlessly integrate with third-party devices and drives.
True cost of systems integration: Consider lifecycle costs, benefits
Systems integration may be considered as one of the last items in the project, treated as a commodity, like some equipment. True cost of systems integration can be more complicated. Understand and measure these costs to keep the budget balanced over time. See supporting Control Engineering system integration research.
EC: TwinCAT 3.1
Software - Control design: TwinCAT 3.1 is the latest version of the Beckhoff Automation programming and runtime software that adds source code control and support of 64-bit operating systems, the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and more. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Open Core Engineering
Software - Control design: Open Core Engineering is an engineering package combining IEC programming with the flexibility of high-level language-based programming and IT technologies, like smart devices, to access the core of the control for individualized control function development. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: SOLIDWORKS 2014
Software - Control design: SOLIDWORKS 2014 is a 3D design solution that helps product designers expand innovation with powerful new tools and enhancements that shorten your design process, enhance collaboration, and increase productivity for design without limits. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: S88 Builder
Software - Control design: S88 Builder software configures devices—such as pumps, valves, mixers, etc.—into batch tasks such as blending, mixing, heating and pumping without programming. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Lenze FAST
Software - Control design: Lenze Americas' FAST engineering tool simplifies modular machine programming—application template and field-proven software modules create 80% of machine software—so machine builders can focus on value-added features and bring machines to market faster. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal)
Software - Control design: The TIA Portal v.12 is an engineering framework that unites all automation engineering systems in one single development environment. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Machine design software analysis package
MSC Software Corporation's Adams/Machinery 2013.2 is a customized analysis software package specifically focused on machine design for industrial, automotive, and machinery markets.
More with less, fewer, and smaller
The footprint of control equipment—the number of devices, physical size, and energy consumption—is getting smaller. Three companies offer observations on where technologies are headed in the server room and individual control cabinet.
Additive manufacturing used for hydraulic workholding
James Tool Machine & Engineering Inc. uses 3D printing for workholding manufacturing. North Carolina shop uses additive manufacturing to assist in the engineering and building of hydraulic workholding. The company president said the days are numbered for subtractive manufacturing processes (most cutting machine tools).
3D software suite for 8 mobile users via one remote workstation
The Nvidia Grid VCA (visual computing appliance) for SolidWorks 2014 is a GPU-based appliance for small and medium-sized businesses that can be centrally located and accessed over the company network without the IT complexity of commercial virtualization solutions.
Automation ROI: For maximum return on investment (ROI) when deciding to automate, ensure systems can scale with an operation, evolve, and be redeployed for maximum return on investment. For a productivity boost, follow 6 key steps for determining when and where to apply or upgrade automation. Don’t automatically think commercial-off-the-shelf technologies are better than a lean customized solution. Finally, economical controllers and universal programming software can ease the point of entry.
Modular, all-in-one PLC has touchscreen, IO modules
Product Exclusive: Unitronics announces the launch of its new generation of modular, all-in-one PLC: the Unitronics UniStream cuts costs, saves space, and decreases programming time with predictive programming software.
3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, electrical design software
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks 2014 3D software suite offers productivity across all industries with a portfolio of software covering 3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, and electrical design. Beta customers have been using the new release, the introduction and pre-release version is due Sept. 9, with final commercial release expected in October.
3 ways to know it is time for an automation upgrade
Figuring out the right time to update your control system can be difficult. The following factors determine if the time is right. Three reasons show why ‘It works fine’ isn’t fine anymore. A fourth consideration may lift any final objections.
Mechatronic integration facilitates control system design
A new approach for control system design uses mechatronic integration. Prior to modifying the feed-drive module of a 5-axis machining center, a full simulation model was automatically generated from the construction assembly model. Preparation, modification, and testing were all in the Matlab/Simulink environment, streamlining the process.
When deciding to automate, system integrators can help
Automation can boost productivity when correctly applied. Here are 6 steps for determining when and where to apply or upgrade automation. See table with tips.
Virtual reality applied for programming CNC machine tools
Future CNC programming may have a manual teach mode. Mechatronics researchers demonstrate how future CNC machines could be designed with virtual reality elements to allow an operator to move body elements manually so motion sequences can be saved in the machine program.
Control panel before and after: Gain productivity with lean automation, connectivity
Get wired for efficiency. This video, photos, and text explain how a cabling system can speed control panel design and construction, with build-time control panel assembly savings of 60% or more.
Panel building: Optimizing control panel design, construction
Modern control panel wiring methods can reduce the costs of manufacturing and ownership.
Time, material savings mean cost savings
Below is an example of how saving time and money on materials can translate to overall savings when wiring wire motor starters, contactors, and pilot devices.
Additive manufacturing: Disruption or evolution?
Either way, 3D printing (additive manufacturing) needs controls and materials engineers and technologies to increase speed, quality, and material properties related to these rapidly advancing machines, so think again.
System integration is a critical element in project design
Involve a system integrator early in project design to help ensure high-quality projects that satisfy project requirements. See project cost influence graphic.
System design: Agile programming streamlines software development
Agile programming helps identify and prioritize programming tasks in need of attention and address them one at a time. This involves some research, coding, and especially testing, and aims to streamline the code development lifecycle to enhance future machine designs.
System minerals library updated
System 800xA Minerals Library 5.1/4, by ABB is a fully parameterized process control system solution designed to enhance productivity in the cement and minerals industries.
Create value with re-use
When you finish a project, begin working to catalog what was built, the standards used (and improved), and where and how that work could be applied in future. Not-invented-here syndrome is a common challenge in system integration and with engineering in general. See chart and table.
Mechatronics designs can decrease the 25% cost of engineering for OEMs
Use of mechatronics—the convergence of power, electronics, mechanical systems—helps reduce the cost of engineering, which for many machines can account for 25%-30% of their cost.
Implementing mechatronics: Software engineers are different
Embedded software development, a component of controls systems and mechatronics, differs from other engineering in key ways, according to respondents to recent Cambashi research interviews.
Is SLM gaining momentum in China?
Control Engineering International: Service lifecycle management (SLM) is getting increased attention in China and Asia, with development of manufacturing services industries, according to Control Engineering China, citing PTC officials.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio v7.1
Software - HMI software: InduSoft Web Studio is scalable software from basic HMI to powerful SCADA without being complicated. Everything is included, drivers, historical alarm and trend logging, VBScripting, database connectivity and Web publishing. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: XTPE Electronic Manual Motor Protectors
Power - Energy, power protection: The XTPE provides advanced electronic overload protection integrated into a traditional manual motor protector form factor. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Integrating control system, power controls in turbine design
How to integrate control system design for wind turbines with blade-pitch and power-electronic control. Optimize parameter-tuning for different electromechanical control functions. See 10 related graphics.
Materials matter for enclosure design
Enclosure design: Material selection for electrical components and control enclosure design has become more complex; more than 100,000 new materials have been developed in just the past 50 years. Should you use metal, plastics, or composites?
Plant tour: Gaining efficiencies in mechanical drives
Look for operating and energy efficiencies and how to add customer value throughout the product lifecycle. These were among bits of advice for manufacturers gleaned from Siemens Mechanical Drives plant tours.
Motor control kit includes 32-bit microcontroller, driver
The DRV8312 motor control kit from Texas Instruments features a 32-bit Stellaris microcontroller and motor driver to spin three-phase brushless DC motors in minutes.
EC: MapleSim modeling and simulation software
Software – Control design: MapleSim is a physical modeling and simulation tool from Maplesoft built on a foundation of symbolic computation technology. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Leader Under 40: Jeffrey Kent
Technical Associate Director, Global Baby + Toddler Care Engineering, Procter + Gamble – BS Electrical Engineering, Clarkson University; MAS Aerospace Management, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Ethernet integration: Decentralized control gives GM manufacturing flexibility
A decentralized control network at a General Motors' powertrain plant supports overall workflow with extremely flexible assembly line configuration options. PLCs, CNCs, HMIs, RFID system and high-level Ethernet protocol are running on the GM network, part of a $872 million investment.
Technology Update: Process control simulations adapt to growing complexities
Hardware-in-the-loop simulations for process control speed verification, startup, and system optimization. Learn from other industries like automotive and aerospace where simulation is used across a variety of validation and testing tasks.
Mechatronics: PLM, Mechatronics
Product lifecycle management enables the mechatronic design philosophy.
Mechatronics – Control design: Pervasive and perplexing
Feedback, feedforward, and a disturbance observer get the job done.
Control system migration: Minimal downtime for Swedish chemical plant
DeltaV Electronic Marshalling removes the need to wire I/O to specific controller I/O cards, reducing downtime, explained Emerson Process Management.
Simulation Software in Motion Control
How to apply simulation software to motion control: Computer simulation software can drastically reduce the cost and time required to design and deploy your next motion-control system, but if you aren’t careful, it can lead you down a primrose path to disaster. See graphic and images. September 2010, Control Engineering, feature article.
Courses in this module address topics such as: PID loop tuning, advanced process control, process sensors, instrumentation, and more... Sponsored by: The Power of Integration by ABB: Integration brings significant value to process automation applications. Integration enables collaborative control system environments, improves operator effectiveness, helps generate cost effective control solutions, drives seamless control strategies and provides a flexible evolution path for existing systems. ABB's System 800xA is an integration platform with unparalleled connectivity to plant systems, applications and devices that improves operations, engineering and maintenance. Integration lets ABB deliver systems that can leverage the power of integrated information from integrated process and power automation, to integrated process and safety, to integrated smart devices.
TAG, Carlson partnership expands machine control integration options
Solutions encompass machine guidance and monitoring software, rugged ultra-mobile PCs, and NEMA rated enclosures.
Yokogawa releases VigilantPlant Services solutions package
Yokogawa Electric VigilantPlant Services is a comprehensive package of automation service solutions to help manufacturers achieve safe, environmentally friendly, and profitable plant operations.
NI SoftMotion Development Module for LabView
National Instruments National Instruments (NI) SoftMotion Development Module for LabView simplifies the development of advanced single- and multi-axis motion applications. The module provides virtual instruments (VI) and functions to help build custom motion controllers that run using LabView in combination with National Instruments hardware, such as NI RIO devices, DAQ devices, and Compact Fie...
Oracle boosts product data quality capabilities, buys Silver Creek Systems
Managing product descriptions and data integration will get easier for manufacturers with Oracle's acquisition of Silver Creek Systems.
Spacesaver Corp., storage provider, will use IFS Applications for shop-floor scheduling
IFS said Spacesaver Corp. will implement IFS Applications to simplify shop floor scheduling and streamline its business processes.
Controlling Diesel Hydrotreaters
How APC solved a chronic and burdensome operating problem on an ultra-low sulfur Diesel hydrotreater.
PLM transition have you challenged? A CIMdata review could help
'Meeting the Challenges of Transitioning PLM Implementations' is a new program review from CIMdata.
Aras delivers PLM software for Klöckner Desma Schuhmaschinen, supplier of manufacturing systems for footwear makers
Enterprise open source solution for product lifecycle management optimizes product design and development processes, Aras says.
Dassault Systemes 3DVIA Integrates KineoWorks from Kineo CAM to Revolutionize Product Documentation and Experience
Dassault Systemes today announced that the leading technology for automatic motion and path planning from Kineo CAM has been integrated with 3DVIA Composer.
Korean utility researchers use simulation platform to study clean-coal technology
Korea Electric Power Research Institute uses operator training and dynamic simulation solutions from Invensys Operations Management to develop Taean-based IGCC power plant.
Digital manufacturing tips from Sogeti and Dassault Systemes
Manufacturers are under intense pressure to ensure high quality while reducing costs, simulations are becoming more and more important. Below are tips from Sogeti and Dassault Systemes on digital manufacturing.
Wonderware Enterprise Integrator v3.5 software from Invensys enables integration
Invensys Operations Management's enterprise integration application and offers an out-of-the-box solution that addresses specific data management capabilities for integrating plant-floor applications, MES, and ERP.
Integrated PLM, global sourcing, ERP software at Stony Apparel
NGC's software will streamline processes, improve efficiency and speed to market for private and branded label apparel manufacturer, Stony Apparel.
Dassault Systemes’ PLM initiative targets consumer packaged goods manufacturers
New out-of-the-box capabilities enable one version of the truth that can drive quality improvement and cost reduction.
Product design: Simpler path to simulation data capture, reuse, backup and archiving
Ansys, Inc. has released Ansys Engineering Knowledge Manager 2.0, a software solution that addresses real-world challenges that engineers face, such as how to better manage, share and reuse simulation data, as well as how to capture the engineering expertise that a simulation result represents. Separately, Ansys released Fluent for CATIA V5 5.0.
Quick start PLM for small, mid-size manufacturers
Omnify Software's RapidStart PLM Suite helps minimize overhead and streamline processes at plants of all sizes.
Product innovation: Keeping good ideas on the fast track
It seems only fitting that product lifecycle management (PLM) software vendors are producing some of the most ingenious applications used by manufacturing companies these days. These vendors specialize in making it easier for manufacturers to nurture the ideas that eventually become new products, as well as simplifying processes for building and servicing those products.
Dassault Systemes to acquire IBM’s product lifecycle management organization
For more than 20 years, IBM has handled nearly all sales and support related to Dassault Systemes PLM and product modeling software. Once the new deal closes, 1,000 IBM PLM contracts will become Dassault's.
HACCP: Food safety and regulatory compliance
Comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulations using software of various types, stand-alone or integrated. Here are the seven principles of HACCP.
And the oldest working barcode device Ryzex found was…
Winner of the Ryzex oldest working barcode device contest will receive a new Psion Teklogix handheld computer.
When eBOMs and mBOMs converge
Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a business strategy that helps companies share product data, apply common processes, and leverage corporate knowledge for the development of products across the extended enterprise. As such, PLM software has gained the stature of being “the next big thing” in manufacturing enterprise information systems, assuming the mantle that ERP (enterprise ...
CIMdata reviews PLM from Siemens, IFS
Product lifecycle management products and capabilities get reviews from CIMdata: Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter Express and IFS' project-based PLM support capabilities.
Innovation in global manufacturing: PLM makes manufacturing lines more competitive
Japan's Daikin Industries uses product lifecycle management (PLM) technology to build and enhance flexible production lines. Here's how Dassault Systemes helped.
SWEP chooses Siemens PLM Software Teamcenter as its corporate PLM platform
SWEP a supplier of brazed heat exchangers selected Siemens PLM Software Teamcenter as its corporate product lifecycle management (PLM) and will deploy 200 seats.
Oracle offers new product lifecycle management capabilities for process manufacturers
Oracle says the latest version of its Agile product lifecycle management (PLM) software suite will help process-oriented manufacturers such as food and beverage makers better cope with the twin challenges of getting new products to market quickly while also adhering to rapidly expanding regulatory reporting requirements.
Oracle seeks to speed up application sales to mid size enterprises
Oracle says its Accelerate program makes its applications more accesible to mid size enterprises by bundling them into easily deployable packages tailored for managing business processes as they typically are conducted in specific industries and geographic regions.
CIMdata releases 2009 PLM Market Analysis Report: Slower recovery
CIMdata revised its estimates of PLM growth based on the poor results of the first half of 2009. The first half-year results have been disappointing, and indicate a potentially longer delay in the restart of the economy and in investments getting back to their previous good levels, the research firm said.
Use of virtual 3D models and simulation software generates real value
For years, software vendors have waged a war of words over which class of applications should be deemed the "backbone" system for manufacturing enterprises. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors were the first to lay claim to this title, and for good reason. They were the first to bring any real level of software-based automation to the manufacturing realm.
PLM Expands into Factory Automation
The expansion of PLM into factory automation provides a major point of integration between the traditional arena of PLM and the production planning arena of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Indeed, factory automation and product structure definition are areas of heavy overlap.
PLM data: Enovia SmarTeam data migration import utility enhanced
Rand Worldwide, a global PLM services organization, announced that version 2.4 of its Advanced Data Migration Import Tool (Admit) tool is available. Improvements include the ability to save screen visual settings (column widths, sort orders, etc.).
Oldest barcode device contest: See some of the entries
Remember the oldest barcode device contest sponsored by Ryzex and PsionTeklogix? The contest site shows entries so far.
MBT’s 2009 Innovation Insight Awards reveal manufacturers’ top priorities
Since getting innovative products to market faster is one of the biggest problems facing manufacturers, it wasn't surprising that a large percentage of our award winners have attacked that problem in one form or another.
ARC Advisory Group offering free asset lifecycle management workshops at ISA EXPO
ARC Advisory Group will be offering an extensive set of free educational sessions at the ISA EXPO taking place Oct 6-8 in Houston.
10 ways to emerge with an advantage from the economic downturn
Here are 10 ways that manufacturers can leverage technology to emerge from this difficult economic time with an advantage over the competition.
Do you have the oldest working barcode device?
Ryzex announces contest to find oldest working barcode device; winner receives free Psion Teklogix mobile handheld computer. A lifecycle management approach to devices can provide a maximum lifetime return on investment, lowest total cost of ownership, and lower environmental footprint for mission critical mobile technologies, Ryzex says.
Wireless: Honeywell develops products to the ISA100.11a standard
ISA100 Wireless standard has various parts in development, focusing on varied industrial needs. Honeywell is developing products for the ISA100.11a standard, company says.
2009 Innovation Insight Awards: A product development portal
MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BY A VENDOR ¦ FIRST PLACE Windchill ProductPoint isn't the first solution in the product lifecycle management (PLM) software market to tap Microsoft's SharePoint portal technology for Web-based collaboration. But this application, developed by PTC, can lay claim to fully harnessing SharePoint.
PLM software advances: Dassault, Oracle, Siemens
Three product lifecycle management (PLM) software vendors, Dassault Systemes, Oracle, and Siemens PLM Software, announced new or upgraded products, each promising to increase productivity, creativity, and profits for users. Autodesk is offering a technology preview of its history-free modeling technology, Inventor Fusion, starting June 25.
PLM software advances announced by Dassault, Siemens, Autodesk, Oracle
Vendors of 'digital manufacturing' tools announce new or substantially upgraded product and process design software.
PLM investments pay, even in a down economy
CIMdata research of companies that have implemented PLM solutions indicates that typical ROIs range from 100 percent to 300 percent.
Social product development is no longer just a theory
Windchill ProductPoint incorporates Web 2.0 technologies such as instant messaging and wikis to make it easier for team members to initiate collaborative sessions.
Siemens PLM Software Teamcenter: Aras connector technology reduces licensing fees
Aras and certified partner Aessis offers integration connector technology for combining the Aras Innovator suite of PLM software solutions with Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter product line. Teamcenter customers can stop purchasing licenses while expanding deployment PLM deployment scope, Aras says.
Effective Maintenance and Upgrades Keep Gantry Mills Flying
Like most manufacturers, aerospace component suppliers are seeking ways to improve their productivity and bottom line results in tough times. Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS, is a primary supplier to Boeing and other aircraft builders, and has been following this strategy for decades. Ed Fenn, facilities manager for retrofit/machine shop operations, and his team of retrofit and machine shop s...
Event notice from ARC Advisory Group: ARC asset lifecycle management event
Reduce risk, reduce costs, reduce project cycle time, reduce energy use, reduce carbon footprint! These are key challenges for asset-intensive organizations today and they can all be achieved through better Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM). Organizations need immediate results and want them achieved with minimal use of limited cash. Learn more at the ARC Advisory Group’s 2nd Annual Asset Lifecycle Management Forum.
Whitepaper: Electrical, mechanical design software enables collaboration
CIMdata white paper, “ECAD-MCAD Collaboration Solutions,” explains the collaboration possible between electrical computer aided design (ECAD) and mechanical computer aided design (MCAD) software, and includes info on product offerings PTC and Mentor Graphics.
Report identifies top performing PLM software vendors
Aberdeen's Axis report provides insight into value delivered and market readiness of PLM products.
Manufacturer strategies for best-in-class compliance and traceability
Through the analysis of nearly 650 manufacturing executives, a benchmark report by Aberdeen Group, "Compliance and Traceability in Real-Time," has found that best-in-class companies outperform their competition in many critical key performance indicators (KPIs).
Great Wall Motor deploys software for regulatory and material compliance
Dassault Systemes Enovia Materials Compliance Center is being used by Great Wall Motor Co. to verify whether materials in the entire product lifecycle meet the requirements of the relevant regional and global regulations.
Manufacturing Visibility Achieved
Until recently, manufacturing execution systems (MESs) were essentially confined to the plant floor and largely unnoticed. For reasons technological, cultural, and economic, however, MESs are no longer able to hide away and simply do their jobs. These systems may just be the key to survival for manufacturing mired in an economic downturn not seen for generations.
Manufacturer strategies for best-in-class compliance and traceability, report tells
Abderdeen Group study claims best-in-class manufacturers produce 15% more products in compliance using manufacturing execution, quality management, and product lifecycle tools.
2008 New Product Compendium: Application and Programming Software
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
Application and Programming Software Award Winners
Application Software Wonderware IntelaTrac Wonderware Wonderware IntelaTrac is a mobile workforce and decision support system. Using IntelaTrac on mobile computers for equipment surveillance opens the door to an intelligent work process that takes advantage of new sensors, portable best practices, historical data and embedded, expert knowledge to improve operators’ decision making. Wonderware IntelaTrac is built on the latest Microsoft technologies to ensure a secure, robust and scalable solution that integrates seamlessly with a company’s existing environment.
Program for displaced workers promises ‘no engineer left behind’
SolidWorks 3D CAD software reseller to invest in manufacturing communities in eight Midwestern states.
MESA attendees and guidebooks discuss enterprise solutions
Conference sessions featured users of Manufacturing Enterprise Systems (MESs), as well as industry experts discussing manufacturing business trends.
Zweave PLM solution scores big on software benchmarking site
WhichPLM is a product life-cycle management (PLM) vendor comparison Web site designed to save apparel and retail customers time and money selecting a PLM solution. Zweave is one of a handful of companies that have self-selected WhichPLM to do a thorough benchmarking of its PLM software—called Zdesign—for the apparel industry.“WhichPLM’s unique scoring process is used to evaluate the PLM solutions on the market, and we think we have the best product out there” says David Buck, CIO, Zweave. “Using a comprehensive list of more than 650 questions, Which PLM experts drive out answers on the commercial, functional, technical, implementation, and support aspects of the solution across a broad range of business processes—from trend to delivery.
Software tool for modeling and simulation shaped by organizations in 85 countries
MapleSim, a new high-performance multi-domain modeling and simulation tool from Maplesoft, is available after months of pilot testing and feedback from approximately 1,500 organizations, making the software more like pencil and paper.
PLM research: Engineers spend significant time on manual CAD repair
Studies show that users seldom get all they can from CAD and PLM deployments. Breaking out of silos and using functions saves engineering time.
Whitepaper tips and tricks: Product data management systems ready for small, medium companies
Tips and tricks follow for effective an PDM implementation, according to a CIMdata whitepaper. See link.
Rockwell Automation introduces virtual design and production software utility
The new utility available within Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 version 17 programming software allows for integration with Delmia V5R19 PLM software from Dassault Systemes.
New Allen-Bradley medium voltage motor controller
The Allen-Bradley OneGear product line includes a range of motor control center and power control center options.
PID Control Design – Beyond the Recipe
Addressed in this paper are: Traditional PID recipes, how they work, and the results they achieve; and How to perform a direct design of your system to specifications using SimApp. SimApp is a software product that offers designers a way to model their control problem and design solutions that achieve appropriate performance in the face of non-ideal plants, parameter variations, disturbances or non-linear elements. The final result may be a traditional PID system, or a control syste
Control system mounting options
In any machine control design, the designer is faced with choices regarding the mounting of individual components. Mounting options can be broken down into several basic categories: wall-mount, rail-mount, panel-mount, rack-mount, or cage-mount. Each type of mounting has unique attributes that designers must consider.
Get the Most HMI for the Dollar
Jim Robertson wears two hats. As head of engineering at the Lanxess chemicals plant near Charleston, SC, he is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance at the facility. He also oversees capital expenditures for process improvements to the plant that was originally opened in 1978. While most manufacturers separate engineering and capital work responsibilities, the Lanxess plant has achieved...
Wire, Cable & Connectors Product Research, October 2008
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding wire, cable, and connectors.
MESA International event marked by change, sustainability, SOA
As with this year’s political campaigns, the 2008 MESA International conference in Orlando, Sept. 21-23, focused on change, specifically in four areas: a new chairman, strategic initiatives guidebook updates, sustainability, and SOA-enabled innovation in processes and supporting software.
Short course: Course shows how to use compliant design
Instructor says virtually any product with multiple mechanical parts that perform a motion function can be considered.
Design collaboration: Siemens PLM updates free visualization tool
Siemens PLM Software announces the latest release of its no-charge 3D visualization solution, JT2Go. It contains functionality that should make it easier for users to work with digital models created in the JT format, the product life-cycle management (PLM) ndustry’s most widely used lightweight 3D data format for product visualization, collaboration, and CAD interoperability.In a press announcement, Siemens PLM said the new software release—combined with the increasingly widespread usage of JT—will result in enhanced collaboration and cost savings for manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.“The expanded JT2Go version will extend our usage of JT for an efficient collaboration with our suppliers worldwide and optimize the digital engineering visualization solutions in the automotive industry,” says Alfred Katzenbach, head of IT for R&D efforts at Daimler . “It is a further step to establish and support the JT format as an international standard in the field of digital engineering visualization.”According to Siemens, the new release of JT2Go contains several features that were previously only available through a purchased license of the visualization component of Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter digital lifecycle management software, including:• The ability to view product manufacturing information directly off the digital model, such as dimensions, tolerances, and other manufacturing data.
Tutorial podcast: Planning motion control projects
Motion control and mechatronics expert Lee Stephens, senior motion control engineer at Danaher, describes the steps he takes when planning a motion control project in a new podcast entitled “Modeling for motion control design,” available at www.controleng.com. In the podcast, Stephens takes listeners through the entire system life cycle, from concept to maintenance, and describes ho...
PLC and PAC Product Research (September 2008)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Programmable Logic Controllers (PACs) and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs). See full PDF report. Link to related article.
PLM: 3D Process Simulation Delivers
Market demands require manufacturers to bring products to market faster than ever, even though the products themselves have become more complex. This puts pressure on machine builders and manufacturers. They must work faster to create new, more flexible equipment while continuing to meet customers’ cost and quality requirements.
Flowmeters Product Research (August 2008)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding flowmeters.
NIWeek: National Instruments targets WiFi, Ethernet, adds LabVIEW 8.6
NIWeek 2008 starts today, Aug. 5, and National Instruments released LabVIEW 8.6, announced 10 new WiFi and Ethernet data acquisition (DAQ) devices, and is showing a partner-designed system being used by Chinese engineers to conduct structural health research on seven megastructures, including main venues for the 2008 Summer Olympics. See photos.
A new life cycle: IBM boosts support for collaborative product development
IBM says it is bolstering its product life-cycle management (PLM) offerings to support the industry’s move toward cross-functional, collaborative product development processes.
Tutorial podcast: Expert advice on planning motion control projects
Motion control and mechatronics expert Lee Stephens describes the steps he takes when planning a motion control project in a new Control Engineering podcast.
Mechatronics: Next generation tool for modeling and simulation
Product development cycles to be dramatically shortened using physical modeling techniques.
Digital engineering: Plant engineers gain new tool that joins electrical, mechanical data
Siemens Simatic Automation Designer software is said to simplify processes from project planning to virtual commissioning. Learn more; listen to podcast.
Listen in: 100 innovative years, Invensys celebrates Foxboro
Invensys Process Systems (IPS) is honoring 100 years of Foxboro innovation in a June 24 celebration at the IPS manufacturing plant in Foxboro, MA. At that Neponset Street location, brothers E.H. and B.B.
DC Power Supplies Product Research, June 2008
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding dc power supplies.
Global corporations see advances in applying search to product data
Most software applications are model-based, and include the set of procedures required to, for example, build a schedule, design a product, or control a production process. Search is different. It's an interface. And yet search is more than a box in the upper right corner of a screen. Combined with a data model and appropriate infrastructure, search is the means to very powerful applications.
Greater intelligence to drive digital manufacturing
One year later, Siemens' acquisition of UGS seems to be bearing substantial fruit, not the least of which is Synchronous Technology, which is promising to make 3D modeling software as intelligent as users have long wanted it to be. A May briefing in Boston discussed business milestones achieved and previewed new products available later this year.
New version: Prototyping platform promotes interactive, hands-on learning
New design and prototyping platform can be used by educators for hands-on, project-based learning in circuit design, control design, telecommunications, and microcontroller concepts.
PLM: Web-based operations management
Intercim links 3D modeling, MOM, and more to patented predictive analysis to…
Fashionistas say they know as much about innovation—and outsourcing—as the others
The needs of the fashion industry, when it comes to product life-cycle management (PLM), are different from those of other discrete manufacturers. But as systems evolve for fashion life-cycle management, it may be that these fashionistas—obsessed as they are with visual images—have something to teach other kinds of goods makers.
Handheld Test and Measurement Equipment (April 2008 Product Research)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding handheld test and measurement equipment.
SBC: Lots of I/O on single board computer for data acquisition
Single board computer offers high integration, scalability for industrial computing.
Canadian water treatment plant to get $23M in new controls
JMP Engineering Inc. won an upgrade task, including plantwide Ethernet and wireless radio.
MES Closes Information Gap
Achieving — and maintaining — the competitive edge is imperative for manufacturers today, not just to stay a step ahead, but to survive. Success depends on operating lean and efficient. In this information age, this means harnessing all the tools available to improve precision and quality of production and manufacturing operations.
PLM software as sport, user conferences as resources
Product lifecycle management software is engineering progress, as shown by acquistions, implementions, productivity, and training.
Temperature sensor: Accurate, low-cost, general-purpose unit
Inexpensive thermistor design suited for light- and moderate-duty applications.
Integrating PLM, ERP, MES behind the scenes
The wall is coming down between IT and manufacturing, and the result is more and better help from people who know both sides. Siemens IT Solutions & Services talks trends from the IT perspective.
Advanced Technology Exceeds Expectations
Editor’s note: This account is a first-person experience, written by the engineer who was personally involved in the plant improvements, hence the occasional personal references. Using smart field instrumentation and bus-oriented plant architecture contributed to the timely startup of a new thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) production line for Advanced Elastomer Systems, L.
Rockwell Automation, Dassault Systemes partner
Promising “a true collaboration of design and manufacturing engineering throughout a product’s lifecycle,” Rockwell Automation and Dassault Systemes announced an agreement to work together to make the virtual design and production environment a reality. The first step is a jointly developed software solution that links Rockwell’s FactoryTalk-based systems, includin...
Mechatronics: Aberdeen Group launches mechatronics study—your chance to participate
Readers are invited to participate in a study Aberdeen Group is conducting to find out how companies manage the complexity of bringing mechanical components, control design, and embedded software together as one system. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the report ($399 value).
The right fit: PTC offers SMBs multiple options for product life-cycle management
Small and medium size businesses (SMB) are becoming significant users of the Windchill product life-cycle management (PLM) application from PTC. The company says SMBs contributed mightily to the momentum that resulted in PTC reporting record revenues from Windchill sales in the fourth quarter of its 2007 fiscal year.
Operations management: Trixell improves production visibility, traceability
Trixell, manufacturer of digital detectors for use in medical radiology systems, expanded its production plant this summer and has gone live with a manufacturing operations management system from Apriso.
Chemical industry: Plant asset lifecycle management is “next frontier”
The Chemical Industry Data Exchange (CIDX), a not-for-profit global trade and standards organization, and ISA, a global, nonprofit standards organization, announced at the November CIDX general meeting that they have struck an agreement that will formalize information sharing and benefits between memberships as both plan standards for plant asset lifecycle management strategies. "Plant asset lifecycle management is the next frontier in operations profitability for chemical companies," says CIDX executive director John Wheeler. "Standards that are being developed today in this arena will ensure the smooth and consistent flow of critical information between plant assets and enterprise management systems. It is an enormous value opportunity for our members and our industry." The new agreement formalizes CIDX's participation and affiliation with ISA and the Open O&M Initiative, a standards industry consortium working to create system and data interoperability standards in manufacturing operations, maintenance and enterprise asset management. "This agreement provides ISA an avenue for reaching and educating chemical companies on the interoperability standards that are being developed.
Wonderware Certified SIs Worldwide
ACT L S.A. Applied Control Technology, Inc. Armony ASSI Sistemas e Instrumentacion ATCOM Datensysteme GmbH Atkins plc Automated Control Solutions, Ltd. Axis Projects SA de CV Barry D. Payne & Associates, Inc. Bay-Tec Engineering Briggs Automation, Ltd. C.T.S. Trinidad Ltd. Capley Marker Systems Ltd.
CAM benefits, CAM changes
Worldwide, 30-odd companies are developing and marketing computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. That is almost unique in any mature business—and is increasingly unsustainable. Consolidation, viewed by many as long overdue, is going to have a big impact on the men and women responsible for manufacturing engineering, and who program computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines too.
PLM Vendors tweak offerings to woo mid-market users
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Market Analysis Report from CIMdata
Invensys: Sudipta Bhattacharya succeeds Bradley as Wonderware president
Lake Forest, CA – British engineering firm Invensys announced that Sudipta Bhattacharya was taking on a new role within the organization as president of the Wonderware business unit of Invensys. In his new position, Sudipta will report to Ulf Henriksson, CEO of Invensys, the company said in a Nov. 5 statement. For more about Wonderware from Control Engineering, read: Global conference: Wonderware ‘breaking down barriers to operational excellence.’
Service-oriented architecture, unified development in Teamcenter
Following its acquisition of simulation software company UGS in early 2007, Siemens A&D announced in June its plans to deliver on “a true vision for PLM” that integrates automation and product lifecycle management (PLM) technologies. Siemens PLM, as the Plano, TX-based business unit is now known, took its first steps toward that goal in October with Teamcenter 2007 software.
Siemens PLM launches Teamcenter 2007
In Teamcenter 2007, Siemens is embracing a service-oriented architecture.
Dassault Systemes expands into product documentation market
Dassault Systemes (DS), a provider of 3D and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, has acquired Seemage, maker of 3D interactive product documentation.
By the Numbers – 2007-10-01
2 stages are involved in developing an embedded control system: 1) write and debug the code on a PC with the target system simulated in software; and 2) download it to the microcontroller connected to the real target system, according to the Sept. 10 “Ask Charlie” blog. www.controleng.com 3 areas for wireless in manufacturing, according to the Control Engineering Webcast, “Con...
Simulation made easier with an Ethernet infrastructure
Remember that last automation project? Remember the extended startup because of automation system software errors? The operator mistakes that caused reworked projects? The unscheduled shutdown from untested process interlocks? That near recordable emissions release? Remember the operations manager asking, “Isn’t there a better way to test our automation system and train operators b...
Nonlinear control: All you wanted to know about fuzzy logic
Rockwell Automation program manager Dave Carr and software project manager Jeff Shearer have published a 45-page white paper exploring fuzzy logic and how it helps engineers solve nonlinear control problems. Fuzzy logic provides an intuitive way to design function blocks for intelligent control systems, advanced fault detection and other complex applications.
Channel Products green-lights IFS enterprise apps across all subsidiaries
Channel Technologies Inc., will benefit from more timely financial and management reporting and increased flexibility, allowing process improvements that will help the family of companies better serve its customers.
SAP reaffirms $1B investment for India; doubles total customers in one year
In a sign of overwhelming acceptance among Indian customers, SAP reports it has doubled its customer base in India from 1,000 to 2,000 since August 2006. SAP also was the first enterprise software vendor in India to cross the 1,000 customer mark, which further reinforces the company's leadership in India.
Analysis: Why Siemens’ purchase of UGS is good for automation
Orlando, FL—Combining the digital world with the real world via the Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) May 4 acquisition of UGS will enhance customer efficiency and success throughout the product life cycl
3DLive offers collaborative world for PLM
Paris—Computer simulated worlds have emerged as the next big thing in video games, from The Sims to World of Warcraft.
ARC conference: Trends demand ‘culture of collaboration’ for manufacturing
When it comes to integrating manufacturing execution systems with the automation layer of manufacturing, "we are not seeing the level of collaboration that would really create added value," said Charles Johnson, worldwide managing director of Microsoft's Manufacturing Industry Solutions Group. There are opportunities, he adds. Johnson and other panelists provided advice and examples of collaboration in action at the recent ARC Advisory Group conference.
Building Trustworthy Software
Eelco van der Wal, managing director of the Gorinchem, Netherlands-based industrial control organization PLCopen, is on a crusade—one that impacts applications and, hence, the part of software reliability control engineers are responsible for. His efforts, though, will only provide part of the solution.
A report out of Framingham, Mass.-based IDC Manufacturing Insights cites a movement to “democratize” product life-cycle management (PLM) as manufacturing execs call for improvements in next-generation tools. According to Joe Barkai, PLM strategies practice director, IDC, “In the next generation of PLM, we expect to see that it is as much about effective product life-cycle dec...
Kevin Parker: Siemens/UGS PLM combination shows why the Global 100 is important
The July issue of Manufacturing Business Technology is devoted in its entirety to covering the 2007 Global 100 listing of leading information technology (IT) and software providers in manufacturing and supply chain. Why is it important to know what these companies are up to, and how these markets are changing? It's because the work they do, both individually and collectively, is important.
Flowmeters Product Research (June 2007)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding flowmeters.
Control design: CyboSoft Introduces MFA control toolbox for Matlab
CyboSoft, General Cybernation Group Inc., the developer of model-free adaptive control technology, released a new software product: MFA Control Toolbox for Matlab.
Oracle sets its sights on “enterprise PLM”
Oracle will acquire product life-cycle management (PLM) vendor Agile Software for approximately $495 million, signaling Oracle's newest front in the battle against rival SAP. PLM is an enterprisewide discipline that spans product design systems, and interacts with a wide range of enterprise applications.
PLM: Consolidated market to reach $13.4 billion by 2007
Recent estimates by Daratech, a leading IT market research firm , say spending on product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services topped $12.3 billion in 2006, up 8% from 2005. The increase is attributed to strong investment by large and small enterprises in technologies that foster innovation. Looking ahead, the firm projects the PLM market will reach $13.4 billion in 2007, up 8% over 2006.
New technology: Hannover Fair 60th anniversary
In human years or trade show years, 60 adds ups to a significant milestone. That point was reached on April 16, 2007, as the 60th annual of Hannover Industrial Fair opened for a five-day run. This “world meeting place for industry and business” is the single biggest showcase of new technology for manufacturing and automation in the world.
Product lifecycle management market growth should continue
The worldwide Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) market showed significant growth in 2006 and should continue to strengthen over the next five years, according to recent statistics compiled by CIMdata Inc., a consulting research firm. CIMdata indicates the PLM market experienced a “stronger than expected year in 2006,” with the overall market growing 10.
Product lifecycle management: Strong market growth should continue
Overall PLM market reached some $20 billion in 2006 and is expected to hit $30 billion by 2011, according to recent statistics compiled by consulting research firm CIMdata Inc. (Source: CIMdata Inc.) Ann Arbor, MI —The worldwide Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) market showed significant growth in 2006 and should continue to strengthen over the next five years, according to recent statistics compiled by CIMdata Inc ., a consulting research firm. CIMdata indicates the PLM market experienced a "stronger than expected year in 2006," with the overall market growing 10.4% to reach $20.1 billion in 2006.
DS and IBM: Deal offers better PLM integration, wider reach
Dassault Systemes (DS) and IBM expanded a 25-year relationship with an agreement where IBM is selling the DS portfolio of product lifecycle management (PLM) offerings: Delmia for digital manufacturing and Enovia MatrixOne for collaborative product development (in addition to Catia, Enovia VPLM and Enovia SmarTeam). The agreement allows IBM to expand its coverage of selected accounts and to better target the high tech, semi-conductor and utilities markets, where there is growing demand for PLM offerings. DS also assumes management of the IBM PLM indirect sales channel. DS is continuing to expand its role as channel management provider on behalf of IBM, and will assume direct responsibility for it as a value-added reseller channel.
LabView 8.20 adds support for text-based math
National Instruments LabView 8.20 extends the LabView graphical dataflow language with native support for text-based math with MathScript to improve control design and simulation performance and accelerate development of real-time system prototypes using standard PCs, FPGAs, or custom designs. It delivers an open platform that embraces multiple design tools, uses custom measurement capabilities...
Recorders Product Research (March 2007)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding Recorders.
Product lifecycle: Siemens moves to acquire UGS Corp.
Siemens Automation & Drives says its $3.5-billion agreement to acquire UGS Corp., a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, would make Seimens the first worldwide manufacturing industries supplier of software and hardware across the full product lifecycle. Manufacturing hardware and software technologies are converging with product lifecycle, manufacturing, and...
Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Software
Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Application and Programming Software Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S.
Automation, innovation, inspiration theme of upcoming conference
Alpharetta, GA —"Automation, Innovation, Inspiration” is the theme of Siemens Energy & Automation (SE&A) annual users conference, which will take place June 12-15, 2007 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. The Siemens Automation Summit is a comprehensive conference for anyone who works with Siemens integrated solutions for process and factory automation. It is designed to bring Siemens developers together with end users, prospects, and partners enabling conference attendees to find optimum strategies for successful lifecycle management of their systems. At the 2007 Summit industry, experts and analysts will discuss the latest trends and technologies.
Design for environmental compliance
Get ready for some tough new environmental regulations. If you aren't already familiar with them, you'll soon hear the list of acronyms for government directives that will change the way products are developed for the global market. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), and End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) regulations are affecting manufacturers,...
Integration boosts software performance
New release of OneSpace Integration for mySAP product lifecycle management from CoCreate is said to more tightly couple the OneSpace product development environment with mySAP PLM.
Model-based design links multiple domains
The increasing complexity and fast pace of innovation involved in today’s design processes places a premium on understanding the interplay between various design domains at an early phase in the design process. Many manufacturers of complex products are using model-based design for a graphical, hierarchical development approach that initially defines an entire design at a conceptual level...
Major upgrade: Simulink integrates three control system design tools
In what is being called a major upgrade, The Math Works has launched a single graphical user interface that unifies new versions of three of its control design software products—Control System Toolbox 7, Simulink Control Design 2, and Simulink Response Optimization 3. In what the company is calling a "major upgrade," The Mathworks announced a single graphical user interface unifying new versions of three of its control design software products: Control System Toolbox 7, Simulink Control Design 2, and Simulink Response Optimization 3. Jason Ghidella, senior technical lead for controls and the Simulink platform, told Control Engineering : "We've reduced the pains of designing a control system, so people with all different levels of experience can benefit from model-based design.
Get your data in order
According to Paul Herold, director of Logistics Geospatial Integration Center, United States Coast Guard, “You can’t share data when you don’t know what you have. Not effectively.” Product lifecycle management (PLM) offers big promises: integrating key processes in the entire lifecycle of a product or project to reduce design rework, and ultimately having a positive effe...
Dassault releases V5R17 of PLM suite
Dassault Systems and IBM have released Version 5 Release 17 of their product lifecycle management (PLM) portfolio, comprised of Catia for collaborative product development, and Enovia VPLM and Enovia SmarTeam for collaborative lifecycle management. New features are designed to streamline engineering-to-manufacturing cycles, optimize business processes, and maximize standards adoption. According to Dassault, "V5R17 extends V5 openness, offering major XML enhancements through its combined 3-D XML and Web services strategy." Holger Schanz, teamleader for digital body-in-white planning at DaimlerChrysler, uses Dassault's Delmia product for virtual production, which is part of the Catia product line.
China university helps UGS improve manufacturing
UGS, product lifecycle management ( PLM) software and services provider, and China's Jilin University (JLU) have signed an original equipment manufacturer agreement to integrate JLU's one-step formability analysis technology into NX, UGS' digital product development software. The technology, developed by the school's Institute of Auto-body and Die Engineering (IADE) under a UGS GO PLM initiativ...
Chinese technology to enhance UGS software
Plano, TX and Beijing, China— UGS , product lifecycle management ( PLM) software and services provider, and China’s Jilin University (JLU) have signed an original equipment manufacturer agreement to integrate JLU’s one-step formability analysis technology into NX, UGS’ digital product development software. The technology, developed by the school’s Institute of Auto-body and Die Engineering (IADE) under a UGS GO PLM initiative grant, aims to improve design and manufacturing processes. It is expected to be available in NX by third-quarter 2006. “Jilin University is very honored that UGS, a global leader in PLM, has validated our research efforts,” said Prof.
PLM investment spending rises in first-half 2006
Cambridge, MA— An increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, fueled by a staggering number of innovative technologies entering the market, are stimulating product lifecycle management (PLM) spending, reports Daratech in a recent market assessment. At the start of 2006, the IT market research firm forecast that the overall PLM market would grow about 14% to just under $12 billion. Although the company has not put a figure on the results for the first half of 2006, it says its initial forecast was “on the conservative side.” In the first half of the year, says Daratech, seven major acquisitions occurred, expanding an increasingly growing PLM market.
Modelica supports “open PLM” strategy
Dassault Systems (DS) announces its Catia Systems strategy, which reportedly puts “embedded systems modeling at the heart of the Catia design solution.” The strategy is based on the open Modelica language and is supported by Dassault’s acquisition of Dynasim . Dynasim is a Swedish company that makes Dymola, a Modelica-based modeling and simulation product suite. The Dymola product suite (Dynamic Modeling Laboratory) provides declarative continuous and discrete, object-oriented, equation-based, multi-engineering modeling and simulation. It is reportedly based on technologies with combined structural, symbolic, and numeric processing. “The creation of Catia Systems demonstrates DS’ commitment to expand its PLM vision in all sectors which require embedded systems innovation,” says Dominique Florack, executive vice president for strategy and R&D at Dassault.
Non-manufacturing adoption drives ERP growth
Although Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) had its genesis in manufacturing, users from a range of other industry sectors are taking advantage of ERP benefits, resulting in an expected compounded annual growth rate of 4.8% over the next five years. The market was $16.67 billion in 2005 and is forecasted to be over $21 billion in 2010, according to a new report by Steve Clouther, senior analyst with ARC Advisory Group.
Dassault Systemes, MatrixOne complete merger
Dassault Systemes has completed its merger with MatrixOne, enabling Dassault Systemes' new PLM Collaborative Environment portfolio to take the Enovia brand name.
Position Sensors (May 2006 Product Research)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding position sensors.
Out of Africa—Maverick oil rig, certification, buyout
Chevron’s Benguela Belize drilling-and-production platform in Angola is receiving accolades as the undertaking was named “Project of the Year” by the Offshore Energy Association. The structure, situated in waters 1,300 feet deep, features a compliant piled tower with topsides weighing over 40,000 tons. It was completed within budget and ahead of schedule and is expected to begin production in early 2006, with a capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil a day.
Don’t overlook S/N ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is used as a system figure of merit and as a system design parameter in communicating information, whether for an automated process control system or for spacecraft applications. The concept of higher the SNR value the better the system or device performance is simple enough, but keeping signal levels high is often impractical and holding down electrical noise often ...
I/O Modules February 2006 Product Research
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding I/O modules.
Extend Engineering Information
As indispensable as computers are in engineering, they often fail to fully support longer-term business objectives. To date, little effort has been made to electronically capture and reuse engineering calculations' content—data, formulas, or variables—for reporting, regulatory compliance, and effective supplier/OEM interaction.
Rautaruukki adds production without interruption
Rautaruukki's Raahe Steel Works will install and implement Honeywell automation systems to improve operations over the next three years, without breaks in production. First stage of the implementation is scheduled to take place in summer 2006. An Experion process-knowledge system (PKS) will be installed to control the coke batteries and the related byproduct plant.
NMW 2006 preview: manufacturing leadership, cost reductions
Rosemont, IL —Scores of hot topics are among those to be covered at National Manufacturing Week conference sessions, March 20-23, including those on compliance issues, industrial Ethernet protocols, machine vision tips, safety, and wireless technologies. More than 250 sessions and workshops are presented that week, part of the National Industrial Automation Show, National Design Engineering Show, National Plant Engineering & Maintenance Show, and the National Enterprise IT Show, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont (Chicago), IL.
Rautaruukki ups production without interruption
Honeywell will supply an extensive automation solution to Finland-based Rautaruukki's Raahe Steel Works to improve operations. The plant's systems will be installed and implemented over the next three years, without any breaks in production. The first stage of the implementation is scheduled to take place in summer 2006. An Experion process-knowledge system (PKS) will be installed to control the coke batteries and the related byproduct plant.
Create, model, download logic for many PLCs
Dassault Systemes' Delmia Automation product line is said to enable control engineers to digitally define, control, and monitor automated systems in a 3-D virtual environment independent of PLC hardware. Delmia Automation software can identify control logic errors before implementation through evaluation of PLC programs and/or changes on virtual equipment, the company says.
Control software enhancements
Steeplechase VLC 7.0 further simplifies the creation of control projects with a number of software enhancements.
Software Speeds Nissan’s Model-based Design
New emission standards, environmentally conscious customers, and engineering tools challenge automobile manufacturers. Even with those challenges, however, Nissan Motor Company Ltd. sought to be the world's first automobile manufacturer to deliver a vehicle to market with an exhaust-emission reduction technology that met the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Partial Zero Emission Vehicle ...
HMI and Software Product Research (September 2005)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding HMI software.
NI to host 11th annual virtual instrumentation conference
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) reports that its 11th annual customer and technology conference, NIWeek, Aug. 16-18, will feature three full days of interactive technical sessions, summits, exhibitions, and hands-on workshops on the latest technologies for test, control, and design applications.
Collaborative manufacturing white paper focuses on Adobe
Cyon Research Corp., a provider of analysis and consulting for engineering-technology markets, has released a white paper, "The Adobe Solution for Design Collaboration and Discrete Manufacturing," which identifies workable and comprehensive solutions to design collaboration in discrete manufacturing using the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
PLC-independent control logic modeling
Dassault Systemes has released its Delmia Automation product line, which is said to enable control engineers to digitally define, control, and monitor automated systems entirely in a 3-D virtual environment independent of PLC hardware.
Hannover Fair 2005: 58th edition opens with 6,000 exhibitors
Hannover, Germany—Some 6,000 exhibitors from 60 nations are spreading technologies and products over more than 2 million sq ft of display area at the 58th edition of the Hannover Industrial Fair, which got underway today at the city’s fairgrounds.
Port splitter will expand controller communication capabilities
Milwaukee, WI—Rockwell Automation reports that industrial control users soon will be able to expand the communications capabilities of existing controllers more cost-effectively with its new RS-232/DF1 port splitter.
Industrial Networking Product Research (March 2005)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding industrial networks.
Hannover Fair Widens Coverage
Change is the only constant in business today, and tradeshows are no exception. With the incorporation of Interkama+ as an annual event—after its relocation from Düsseldorf and debut here in 2004—plus the addition of two other shows, Hannover Industrial Fair is at an all-time high for number of shows under one umbrella.
Control Valves Product Research (January 2005)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding control valves.
Agile acquires Cimmetry Systems
San Jose, CA; Montreal, Ontario, Canada—Agile Software Corp. reports that it has acquired Cimmetry Systems Inc. for approximately $41.5 million in cash.
Honeywell wins lifecycle management contract
Honeywell has received an eight-year, $6.5-million lifecycle management (LCM) contract from Lyondell Chemie Nederland BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lyondell Chemical Co.
Analog introduces 16-V, zero-drift instrumentation amplifier
Norwood, MA—To enable low-drift and precision over extended temperature ranges in industrial applications, Analog Devices Inc. has introduced what it reports is the industry's first 16-V, zero-drift precision instrumentation amplifier (in-amp).
PLM poised for double digit growth
ARC Advisory Group predicts that adoption of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions will continue to accelerate, becoming one of the top enterprise software markets through 2008.
Enclosures/Consoles Product Research Study-February 2005
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding enclosures/consoles.
UGS acquiring Tecnomatix for $228 million
Plano, TX; Herzlia, Israel—To give users the best possible product lifecycle management (PLM)/manufacturing process management (MPM) solutions, Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. reports that it has agreed to be acquired by UGS for approximately $228 million in cash, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Collaborative automation for distributed applications
Schneider Electric's Unity Collaborative Automation Platform is a set of software products and associated hardware designed for distributed automation applications. Unity products are designed for control engineers, system integrators, and IT development engineers. The software's open design and interoperability with other systems and devices, provided by using XML, allows collaboration among e...
Microsoft and Dassault Systemes form alliance
Microsoft Corp. and Dassault Systemes have announced a multiyear, global strategic alliance to deliver Dassault Systemes' product lifecycle management (V5 PLM) and 3D design solutions to companies using the Microsoft software platform.
Handheld Test & Measurement Equipment Product Focus Study (August 2004)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding handheld test and measurement equipment.
Recent software developments: Software projects, GE platform
A variety of items posted at Control Engineering Online recently include information on software projects, platforms, and product lifecycle management. Click on the titles to read the articles.
Software links business processes, CAD design
OneSpace Designer for the mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution integrates a CAD tool for 3-D modeling and adaptive business solutions. This integration allows enterprises to reduce time-to-market and time-to-volume while improving cost baselines and product quality. Key functions include support for concurrent engineering; complete mapping of the standard CAD model and associated d...
Wire, Cable & Connectors, Product Focus Study for July 2004
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding wire, cable, and connectors.
Although system integrators are the experts when it comes to designing and implementing factory automation systems, not all automation projects require outside assistance. Some projects can be executed just as well or better by the plant's in-house engineers. 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.
Collaborative, synchronized system integration
A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & Schneider Electric| June 14, 2004 Simplify control system design and managementNeed to lower system design costs and turn projects around faster? Try Unity, the innovative Telemecanique collaborative automation software from Schneider Electric. Click here for a free trial. www.us.telemecanique.com/unity Take the adventure out of system integration Experience the speed of UnityTake the controls for a free, 21-day trial of Unity Pro and a narrated demonstration of Unity Studio software.
Fellowship of the Fieldbuses?
To read the original printed article click here . Driven by end-users seeking more interoperability and responding to Ethernet’s accelerating emergence, the major fieldbus protocols and their trade organizations are cooperating—at least on the surface—to meet those demands. The customer is always right, especially when they find out that their needs aren’t being met.
I/O Devices Monthly Product Focus Study, May 2003
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding I/O devices.
Autodesk to host national Web simulcast
San Rafael, CA—To help engineering design professionals and CAD managers navigate the demands of the rapidly changing manufacturing industry, Autodesk and its resellers are hosting a half-day, Web-based simulcast event, National Solutions, on June 15, 2004.
Autodesk’s new Inventor Series software aids users’ productivity
San Rafael, CA—To help users manage design data for greater productivity, Autodesk Inc. has announced the upcoming release of its Inventor Series 3-D mechanical design software.
Role of Controls in Product Lifecycle Management
Those with responsibility for control engineering have a lot to gain by collaborating with design engineers, saving considerable resources through product lifecycle management (PLM). Don't think you don't have something to contribute to the process. Have you ever identified a product design modification that could significantly streamline manufacturing, then thought better of suggesting a chang...
Laser doubles speed, cuts thinner metals, operates ‘closed loop’
With a smorgasbord of controls technologies, a recent unveiling of the latest laser metal-cutting machine here satiated select metal-fabricating customers with competitive superlatives.
Control Engineering Autodesk custom newsletter for May 20, 2004
A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & Autodesk| May 20, 2004 Why should you attend Autodesk's biggest manufacturing event ever? Autodesk set to host nationwide solutions day June 15th, 2004 Five major trends are creating the challenges driving many of the decisions manufacturers make and increasing the industry's need for creative, problem-solving engineers. That's why Autodesk is hosting the biggest manufacturing event of the year to help engineering design professionals and CAD managers be better prepared to excel in the rapidly changing manufacturing industry. These five major trends and their corresponding engineering challenges will be addressed at Autodesk's half-day simulcast National Solutions Day on June 15 , hosted by an authorized Autodesk reseller near you. The components within the panel layout drawings are linked back to the components in the control schematics. When one device changes, it is automatically reflected on the other drawing in the project. Each of these trends revolve around product design largely because the design process accounts for 80% of all costs associated with bringing a product to market.
Omnify and Cimmetry form OEM partnership
Omnify Software, a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software for mid-market electronic, medical, mechanical, and defense OEMs, and Cimmetry Systems, a vendor of visualization and collaboration solutions for the A/E/C, engineering, manufacturing and electronics markets, have formed a new OEM partnership in which Omnify Software has licensed Cimmetry's AutoVue Visualization and Collaboration technology to be embedded in the Omnify PLM system.
PTC buys Ohio Design Automation to expand offerings
Needham, MA—To deepen its commitment to product lifecycle management for electronics, PTC recently acquired New Hampshire-based Ohio Design Automation (Ohio-DA) Inc. for approximately $12 million in cash.
Continued growth predicted for product lifecycle management
According to figures released from consulting and research firm CIMdata Inc., the worldwide product lifecycle management (PLM) market achieved overall growth of 4% during an economically tough 2003.
Interphex 2004: Emerson, GE Fanuc, Honeywell, Iconics prescribe new products
Hundreds of exhibitors showed thousands of solutions to tens of thousands of visitors at the recent Interphex 2004 show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Here are some of the most significant advances in the process control and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries:
Single-Board Computers Product Focus Study September 2003
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Single-Board Computer Products.
Machine Vision Product Focus Study June 2004
Among those who specify, recommend, or buy machine vision products, 74% do so for inplant requirements, while 34% do this for OEM needs.
Interphex 2004: Honeywell’s POMS sSpec tools aids lifecycle management
New York, NY—To help improve product lifecycle management, Honeywell introduced its POMS eSpec 2.1 software at Interphex 2004.
10 reasons to use panel or schematic design software
Just as computer-aided design (CAD) software offers many advantages over a drafting board, computer-aided engineering (CAE) software specifically for electrical or panel design tops generic CAD software. Advantages include faster and more efficient wiring layouts, lower design and development costs, and less training time for users.
Testing PLCs against virtual models
RSTestStand Enterprise from Rockwell Software is a design tool for describing, testing, and implementing manufacturing control systems. RSTestStand, previously called Control Planner/Simulator (CP/S), consists of general-purpose modeling, visualization, and testing tools for process and discrete applications.
Exclusive: Schneider Electric enters collaborative automation market
More proof of the inexorable combination of IT and control engineering can be found in Schneider Electric's recent release of Unity, a set of software products and associated hardware designed for distributed automation applications. Unity products are designed for control engineers, system integrators, and IT development engineers.
Schneider Electric enters collaborative automation market
More proof of the inexorable combination of IT and control engineering can be found in Schneider Electric’s release of Unity, a set of software products and associated hardware designed for distributed automation applications. Unity products are designed for use by control engineers, system integrators, and IT development engineers.
A common problem for control engineers is how to design systems for long lifetimes, often 10 to 20 years, when using technologies that seem to change and become obsolete daily. The IT world has over 40 years of explosive growth and changes with quarterly upgrades in hardware, operating systems, and applications.
Education: NI shows energy in hiring, research, donations
Austin, TX—Control Engineering recently learned about efforts by National Instruments (NI) to promote university-level interest in automation, and asked for a run-down of NI’s college-level activities.
ABB’s new ac drive family: sophisticated, yet simple to use
New Berlin, WI—“Sophisticated technology made simple” is the calling card of ACS550 DriveIT, an all-new low-voltage ac motor drive family from ABB Inc.’s Automation Technologies, Drives and Motors. It’s a motto that users should appreciate as well.
Rockwell uses TI’s digital signal controller for ergonomics, safety
Milwaukee, WI; Houston, TX—To help improve industrial workplace ergonomics and safety, Rockwell Automation is using Texas Instruments’ TMS320LF2401A digital signal controller to bring digital signal processing (DSP) to operator interface applications
Once Written, Often Used
Control engineers have long seen the value of re-using software programs running control operations. That value has increased dramatically in the past few years as companies demand that engineering staffs shorten project times to save costs and get products to market faster. Some would argue that control engineers are not programmers and shouldn't have to become so involved with the intricacies...
Enterprise asset management market to reach $1.9 billion by 2007
Dedham, MA—The worldwide market for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) including IT assets is projected to grow at 3.1% cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) from $1.6 billion at present to $1.9 billion in 2007, according to a new study, “EAM/CMMS Solutions Worldwide Outlook,” by ARC Advisory Group.
Omnify PLM provides enterprise view of product development
Wilmington, MA—Omnify Software, a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software for mid-market electronic, medical, and mechanical OEMs, has announced the availability of Omnify 2.5, a business-ready PLM solution that is said to provide a complete view of the product development process throughout the entire enterprise.
AMR projects 3% increase in enterprise applications market in 2003
Scottsdale, AZ—The enterprise applications market is predicted to grow 3% to reach a total market size of $36.9 billion by the end of 2003, according to research released June 5 by AMR Research (Boston, MA) at its Spring Executive Conference.
Nine companies help NI support Matrixx initiative
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) announced April 22 that nine companies with advanced control design experience have joined the NI's Alliance Program to provide professional services and support for Matrixx, a suite of software tools for control design and simulation.
Emerson awarded $1.8 million water/wastewater contract
Pittsburgh, PA - Orange County Water District (OCWD, Fountain Valley, CA) recently awarded Emerson Process Management's Power and Water Solutions industry center (formerly Westinghouse Process Control) a contract to automate its new advanced water treatment facility.
NMW 2003: Autodesk buying VIA Development, two software firms
Chicago, IL - Autodesk, Inc. (San Rafael, CA) announced today it has agreed to purchase certain assets of VIA Development Corp., the Marion, IN-based software firm. Autodesk also will acquire the assets of two other software companies - truEInnovations, Inc., and Linius Technologies, Inc.
Product service management market to near $2 billion by 2008
The Product Service Management (PSM) market, which includes enterprise solutions for product service organizations, is expected to more than triple in size from $650 million in 2002 to almost $2 billion by the end of 2007. This represents a compound annual growth Rate (CAGR) of almost 25% during the forecast period, according to a new study by ARC Advisory Group.
Open Source meets PLC The MatPLC Project
This material is the complete text of ''Open Source meets PLC: The MatPLC Project'', found in the July 2002 Control Engineering cover article, ''Embedded Control: Heart of the System.''Click here to read the complete cover article.
Advanced controller with DAQ
The rack-mounted HC900 hybrid controller features a modular, scalable design that is sized to meet the automation needs of process industries.
Analyzing Control Loop Behavior in the Frequency Domain
The frequency domain is a mathematical construct that simplifies the analysis of a control system's performance. It can be used to show how a process operating under the influence of a feedback controller will react to inputs from the controller or a change in the behavior of the process. Frequency domain analysis rests on two fundamental principles.
Control Engineering Newsletter for Software — February 2002
In this issue: Coming in Control Engineering Feedback -- programming and question of the month Future of Ideas Collaborative manufacturing software Design and modeling software for processes Coming in Control Engineering When you receive this, the January issue will still be posted on our web site. Look for the February issue in mid-month. In the cover article, I explore ways that technologies from the Internet are used in manufacturing.
The Mathworks combines mechanical simulation and control design
Natick, Mass. - The MathWorks Inc. announced April 17 the availability of SimMechanics, a suite of tools for engineering design and simulation of mechanical systems within the Simulink environment. The release of SimMechanics provides tools for control designers modeling mechanical systems.
NMW 2002: SAP, IBM aim to integrate product lifecycle software
Chicago, Ill. - IBM Corp. (Armonk, NY; www.ibm.com) and SAP (Newtown Square, PA; www.sap.com) strengthened their alliance to consult with customers to integrate and implement mySAP Product Lifecycle Management solutions.
GE Industrial Systems, Datastream cooperating on lifecycle management solutions
Charlottesville, Va.; Greenville, N.C. - GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. and Datastream Systems Inc. agreed Feb. 14 an agreement to deliver integrated asset lifecycle management (ALM) solutions globally. They state their agreement brings together Datastream's software and service capabilities with GE Fanuc's e-manufacturing systems, business expertise and worldwide customer support.
The Mathworks delivers code generation for embedded control
Natick, Mass. - The MathWorks, Inc. announced Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder 2.0, which further extends The MathWorks model-based design solution to meet the need for production-quality C code generation for embedded target deployment.
WBF honors Thomas Fisher
Phoenix, Ariz. - World Batch Forum (WBF) recently awarded Thomas G. Fisher its distinguished Dr. Guido Carlo-Stella Award.
Indus International introduces Internet-based EAM
Atlanta, Ga. - Indus International Inc., supplier of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software solutions, October 23 introduced Indus InSite, a pure-internet software solution offering a full range of asset management solutions that are global across all industries and scalable to all business sizes.
Power Up Programming with Graphical Modeling
First there was text-based programming with tools such as general editors/compilers like Basic or C, or Structured Text or Instruction List. Then graphic programming for control was adapted from Relay Ladder Diagrams, first on special programming terminals, and later on personal computers. Function block diagrams added another dimension to graphic representations of process control.
Software provides single environment for controls documentation
During the initial phases of a control project, when team members are working to define and document what the requirements are for a control system, there are many software tool options that support these activities. The software chosen at the initial phases of a project is important because its strengths and weaknesses will affect both development and system support over the life of the ...
Project Success Requires Vision and Attention to Detail
Many companies talk about needing flexibility, agility, repeatability, and tight integration in highly automated processes, but far fewer actually achieve such lofty goals. One exception is Genentech's (South San Francisco, Calif.) new pharmaceutical manufacturing campus located in Vacaville, California.
User requests improve control design software
Marion, Ind. -VIA Development has incorporated a wide array of user-requested features in Version 6.0 of its Electrical Controls Design software. User productivity improvements include: Device locator zooms directly to a device tag; Change module addressing allows 'recycling' modules from earlier drawings; Setup wizard speeds project configuration efforts using simple question and answer format; Module builder helps maintain consistency by allowing users to modify existing or create new I/O modules; Coil/contact cross-referencing report provides error-checking of assigned parts; and ODBC connectivity between databases. VIA Development Corp.
E-Influences...It sounds like a strain of flu. For those not going as fast as they—or their customers—think they should with E-Initiatives, perhaps E-Influences have exceeded Y2K as a stomach irritation.End of year, decade, century brings reflections, resolutions, and timelines ad nauseum.
Microsoft embeds Windows NT
Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.) has taken the next step in Windows NT technology and caught some by surprise. As NT has been welcomed into corporate Information Technology departments, Microsoft has been moving to reach the embedded, real-time markets. Closely following the launch of Windows CE is the announcement of embedded Windows NT. The need for a general-purpose operating system (OS) capable of spanning business and industrial applications is growing.
New school of thought produces safer process control designs
A "new" way of thinking about problem solving—derived from the Russian Navy—has potential to improve safe designs of process control systems.Presently accepted tools, such as Hazardous Analysis and Operability (HAZOP) studies, What-if reviews, and event trees are used to conduct formal safety audits of process designs to ensure the consequences of incidents have been eliminate...