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Industrial access on the go
Adoption of industrial automation mobile access continues to increase, as technologies improve, and user concerns are addressed.
IIoT platform helps in automation use cases
FDT Group's updated FDT 3.0 standard is designed to meet demands for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in the process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturing sectors.
Technique to manufacture flexible electronics developed
Researchers at Stanford University have invented a manufacturing technique that yields flexible, atomically thin transistors less than 100 nm in length, making flexible electronics (flextronics) closer to a reality.
Mobile access to production data through customized applications
Customized applications can help industrial organizations manage field devices and reduce overall operating and maintenance costs.
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles Nov. 23-29, 2020
Articles about how integrators can help IIoT applications, VFD parameter changes, mobile technology, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Nov. 23-29, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Mobile technology with augmented reality bridges social distancing
Training methods address loss of human resources and personal contact during pandemic, improve operations
Connecting industrial applications to a private 5G network
Companies are working on developing a private 5G network to allow industrial applications, such as machines, controls and other equipment to be connected to a private network to better control behavior and usage.
Algorithms developed to detect COVID-19 from smartwatch data
Purdue University researchers have begun a study that would help determine if biometric smartwatch data could be used to detect signs of COVID-19 early early in asymptomatic users.
Advances in mobile devices
In automation, many software and hardware technologies have been developed that allow companies the means to remotely monitor and control business processes from anywhere, via any device, at any time
Is 5G ready for deployment in the real world?
Installing 5G networks is being built around the needs of machines and systems rather than handset users.
Smart watch study expands to identify COVID-19 symptoms
Researchers at Duke University are helping establish a more comprehensive method of early-symptom detection. Data collection, analysis, and alarms parallel industrial human-machine interface (HMI) mobile software applications.
Portable detector developed to identify pathogens in minutes
University of Illinois researchers developed an inexpensive and rapid smartphone-based pathogen testing device designed to ease pressure on testing laboratories during pandemics such as COVID-19.
Bluetooth smartphone signals could automate COVID-19 contact tracing
MIT researchers have developed a system that enables smartphones to transmit “chirps” to nearby devices could notify people if they have been near an infected person.
Enhancing safety with mobile devices
The use of intrinsically safe smart devices can help improve productivity and the safety of employees while providing data efficiently.
Material developed to improve insulation for mobile devices, computers
Stanford researchers have found that a few layers of atomically thin materials can provide the same insulation as a sheet of glass, which is 100 times thicker and will improve the compactness of cell phones and computers.
Software developed to empower workers on the factory floor
Tulip, an MIT spinout company, has developed a customizable manufacturing app platform that connects people, machines and sensors to optimize processes on a shop floor.
Using mobile devices for communication, data collection
Mobile devices like Raspberry Pi are an inexpensive alternative for controllers in the manufacturing space and can be useful for particular input/output (I/O) applications.
Finding common ground between industrial automation and mobile technology
Mobile technologies are challenging traditional data handling practices as they move into the industrial arena.
Adapting to the new mobile device landscape
Using mobile devices on the plant floor offers many potential benefits, but the right approach is a must because of safety and cybersecurity concerns.
Part singulation system benefits for robots
Part singulation can help companies who are considering using robots for assembly, picking, and palletizing applications.
Five safety fencing benefits and considerations
Safety fencing plays an integral role in protecting employees from hazards posed by industrial machinery and companies need to consider aspects such as operator safety and the ease of installation and modularity.
Seven benefits to using mobile software in your organization
Intuitive mobility automation and engineering software helps organizations attract and retain talent, driving competitive advantages.
Apply technology advances to automation software
Automation software design inspiration comes from new technologies, partners, and involved customers.
Control Engineering hot topics, January 2018
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2018 included stories about PID controllers, modular control systems, control and instrumentation results, 2018 technology trends, and VFD management. Miss something? You can catch up here.
What’s needed for wireless control?
Think Again: Wireless control in six easy steps: Technologies can enable wireless control and mobility applications. What are you waiting for?
Wireless control and mobility in automation
Advances in wireless control and mobility allow human-machine interface (HMI) systems allow devices to load and display relevant data that is based on a user’s location and proximity to networked equipment through multiple interfaces and screens.
Software for detecting diagnostic information on car developed
MIT researchers have developed machine learning software designed to take diagnostic information on any car through a smartphone by analyzing the car's sounds and vibrations, which are measured by the phone's accelerometers and microphone.
Architecting an interconnected enterprise
Automation, the conventional pinnacle of productivity, increasingly requires multi-platform connectivity to stakeholders across the enterprise to realize the advantages of smart manufacturing in the Industrie 4.0 era. How? Look at platforms, people, processes, and products.
Web access module for mobile devices, laptops
Siemens' Sinamics V20 Smart access is a web server module that mounts directly onto the V20 drive and transforms a mobile device or laptop into a virtual operator panel.
Role-based manufacturing apps for real-time operations
PTC's ThingWorx role-based manufacturing apps are designed to unify data from enterprise business systems and the sensored physical world, and are designed to deliver user information and real-time insight in context for individual roles.
Control Engineering hot topics, April 2017
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2017 included stories about the programmable controller's origins, automation methods used at a brewery, PID learning, artificial intelligence and machine vision, and the emergence of the IIoT. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 10-16: System integration mobile controls, system integration success, SI partnership, more
Articles about system integration and mobile controls, system integration success, SI partnership, matrix drives reducing energy consumption, and automation enhancing a brewery were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 10-16. Miss something? You can catch up here.
System integration of mobile controls and monitoring: Questions and answers
Cover Story: Reliable wireless capabilities are facilitating mobile monitoring and control. Experts explain why and how mobility helps automation and control applications.
The IoT’s impact on process manufacturing environments
The Internet of Things (IoT) in the manufacturing world is about data and how to get more of it. But process manufacturing companies looking to take advantage of this need to do their homework to really understand its benefits.
IoT technology market expected to take over M2M
Mobile Experts released a report that analyzed the migration of the M2M market to the Internet of Things (IoT) technology market with device shipments expected to increase to more than 450 million devices by 2021.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile engineering apps for reference-based applications
Engineering mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. Applications for Autodesk, Leviton, Schneider Electric, and Lincoln Electric help with project documentation, National Electrical Code, timing relays, and weld settings.
Human capital defines the future of system integrators
System integrators need to learn how to transform and acquire new talent that understands the “fail fast” and move on concept to experience growth and innovation.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for essential engineering applications
Engineering mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of December 2016.
App for improving transparency in commissioning projects
Maverick Technologies' eStart is an app designed to make commissioning more efficient and transparent by digitally gathering data and creating loop folders to house all relevant instrument data and checksheets.
Industrial software platform for HMI, SCADA applications
Schneider Electric's Wonderware InTouch Omni is an industrial software platform designed for beta users and third-party application developers who work with human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
EC: Digi Connect Sensor, battery-powered cellular gateway
Network Integration — Wireless products: Battery-powered cellular gateway brings remote monitoring within reach. Digi Connect Sensor wireless gateway lets users connect with sensors in locations that were previously inaccessible. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: TC mGuard secure cellular communication product
Network Integration — Wireless products: Phoenix Contact's TC mGuard provides secure remote communications using the cellular network wherever a wired connection is not possible. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Micropilot FMR20 non-contact radar transmitter
Process Control — Flowmeters, process sensors: Endress+Hauser's cost-effective, innovative and efficient Micropilot FMR20 non-contact radar transmitter measures the level and open channel flow measurement of liquids. Configuration and envelope curves are available via Bluetooth. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: CSI 6500 ATG stand-alone machinery protection
Safety — Machine safety: The CSI 6500 ATG is a stand-alone protection system that introduces prediction to user’s assets. ATG View lets users see data from anywhere on their plant network. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Adams Explore, multibody dynamics simulation software for Microsoft Excel
Software — Control design: Adams Explore provides the power of simulation within Excel. Non-CAE users view design models in Excel, expose model parameters as variables, solve, and view before/after results side by side. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Honeywell Pulse industrial mobile app
Software — Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: Honeywell Pulse is an industrial mobile app that remotely connects plant managers, supervisors and engineering staff to customized, real-time plant performance notifications, increasing overall safety, efficiency and collaboration. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: myMOBILE, independent HMI/SCADA application for iOS and Android devices
Software — Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: Mobile SCADA application for Google Android and Apple iOS. Complex control, scalable graphics, real-time data, alarms, trends and charts, historical data—all in one device. Independent on desktop or servers. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: GOT Mobile wireless connection for graphical operator terminals
Hardware — HMI, operator interface, thin-client: GOT Mobile provides webserver functionality useful for production monitoring. Web browsers on devices like tablets, phones and computers access the production information from Mitsubishi Electric's GT25 and GT27 Series GOTs. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Finding the right tools to delve into process data
Cover Story: New tools beyond the spreadsheet are needed to empower process engineers so they can derive insights from the data that is being transmitted.
Smart products for commissioning of roller and chain conveyors
Lenze Americas' Smart Product solutions designed to deliver a mechatronic drive solution for clearly specified roller and chain conveyor applications for easy commissioning.
How to implement the Industrial Internet of Things
Industrial organizations need an effective way to get started with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). See the seven ways to get started with IIoT, including appropriate processes, devices, systems, and expertise in operations, industrial automation, and controls.
Handheld communicator for harsh industrial environments
Emerson's AMS Trex Device Communicator is a handheld communicator built to withstand harsh industrial environments and has a full-color touchscreen display that adjusts to lighting conditions and aids in troubleshooting.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for programming and work floor applications
Motors and drives mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of September 2016.
Advances in wireless remote monitoring
Wireless monitoring is helping users solve problems by integrating new and existing technologies across a common infrastructure to get data into the hands of those who need it—securely.
Testbed for sending sensor data to the cloud approved
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has approved a testbed on sensor-to-the-cloud connectivity called the Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brownfield Sensors Testbed, which is being carried out by IIC members TE Connectivity, SAP, ifm, and the OPC foundation.
Power market projected to have modest growth
IHS Markit projects that the merchant power supply market will continue to grow with the ac-dc non-commodity market having the most growth over the next several years.
Touch computers with mobile enterprise operating system
Janam Technologies' XT2 rugged touch computers features Microsoft Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT) and is designed to run business applications across a broad range of industries including field service, automotive inspections, and transportation and logistics.
Packaging operation increases by half with planning, wireless, mobility
Cover Story: System integrator upgrades a cherry packaging operation at Prima Frutta, for a 50% production increase, using Ethernet, wireless, and mobility technologies, along with extensive planning and simulation.
Design suite software for process applications
Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) UniSim Design Suite Release 450 process modeling software, which is designed for process designs in the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical, and power industries.
Top 5 Control Engineering August 8-14: PID control, tablet-based augmented reality, high-performance HMIs, more
Articles about PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, tablet-based augmented reality, high-performance HMIs, selecting flowmeters for natural gas, and improving flowmeter calibration were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Tablet-based augmented reality helps predictive maintenance for pumps
IIoT Video: sensors on critical pumps can feed a system to help technicians or operators identify when failures are pending and improve energy efficiency. A major U.S. refinery will host a pilot pump diagnostic project, similar to an NIWeek 2016 stage demonstration held on Aug. 2. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) demo highlighted collaboration among Flowserve, PTC ThingWorx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and National Instruments. It builds on a 2016 NIWeek augmented reality demo using a highly instrumented mountain bike.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 1-7: PID control, smart machines and IIoT, control system migration, more
Articles about PID control and loop tuning, smart machines and the IIoT, control system migration, DCS migrations, and mobile HMIs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Report projects major growth in number of industrial IoT devices
According to a research report from Berg Insight, the global number of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used in industrial automation in 2015 stood at around 14.3 million and is expected to exceed 60 million by 2021.
Application for monitoring critical asset health information
Emerson Process Management's asset data monitored with a CSI 6500 ATG system can be delivered to smart devices to make it easier for users to track equipment and process health.
Time-sensitive networking and Industrial IoT
The future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is built upon the foundation of time-sensitive networking (TSN). IIoT creates a smart system of systems where smarter, hyper-connected devices and infrastructure of manufacturing machines, transportation systems, and the electrical grid will embed sensing, processing, control, and analysis capabilities. Here’s how TSN will help.
Eye-tracking system uses ordinary cellphone camera
Researchers at MIT and the University of Georgia have developed software that can turn any smartphone into an eye-tracking device, which can be used for discrete sensing and vision as well as medical applications.
Connected services driving growth, opportunities in remote monitoring markets
IHS estimates the global remote monitoring market was worth $24.7 billion in 2015 and connected systems and services are expected to play a large role in the growth of this industry in the coming years with the Internet of Things (IoT) leading the way.
Integrated process software solution software
Honeywell Process Solutions' (HPS) Uniformance Suite is an integrated system of process software solutions designed to turn plant data into actionable information enabling smart operations.
Industrial robot companies investing in the cloud and Big Data
Robot companies are starting to collect data about their operations and, through the use of deep learning, improve performance by connecting their robot systems and using deep-learning AI networks for their industrial robots.
Ethernet as a leading machine automation protocol
Although there are still dozens of industrial fieldbus protocols used in machine automation, Ethernet is starting to become the norm with EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP becoming leading protocols in North America.
Statistical computing in manufacturing through historians
Statistical software packages allow high-level analysis of production data by connecting through historians.
Delivering an executable manufacturing strategy for process industries
A manufacturing strategy offers a structured approach to decision-making facilitating economic performance within the operating environment.
Service departments are new revenue drivers for manufacturers
A survey by Salesforce indicates that service departments are the main revenue driver for manufacturers, but some companies are still lagging behind with outdated methods and technology.
Optional parameters for CANopen provide additional support
CANopen features mandatory, conditional, and optional parameters. However, the device still has to behave as specified even if the optional parameters aren’t implemented to ensure interoperability.
Wireless pendant for automated guided vehicles
AutoGuide has introduced a wireless pendant with remote route programing and diagnostics for its TV Series of automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
Advice on integrating legacy technology with IIoT
Think Again: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) methods can help increase quality, throughput, and cybersecurity, while decreasing unplanned downtime, according to the opening panel discussion and keynote at the Industrial IoT USA conference in Chicago. This includes benefits for connecting to legacy equipment and predictive maintenance.
Optimizing remote collaboration, monitoring at process plants
Mobile solutions also allow plant supervisors and managers to analyze problems and abnormal situations at process plants as well as allow collaboration amongst users to determine ways to improve and optimize operations without traveling to the site.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help
Cover story: System integrators are able to provide expert advice and bring value from a financial as well as from an operations standpoint to many projects. Advice from industry experts follows.
Next-generation Industrial HMIs Webcast: Questions answered
More answers about next-generation industrial HMIs, the topic of a Apr. 14 Webcast, are provided by two speakers. Topics include programming and software compatibility.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for mechanical applications
Mechanical mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of April 2016.
Manufacturers need faster Internet in UK to embrace IIoT
Manufacturing is changing in the United Kingdom, and it needs high-speed Internet connectivity to embrace the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Contextual mobility for monitoring and control
Infrastructure to support contextual mobility is needed. Mobility solutions used to monitor, diagnose, maintain, and control buildings and energy management systems (EMS) are now being modified by advances in contextual mobility and have many benefits for mobile devices and operations. Such systems can derive context from location and role.
Telematics package for IIoT, data applications
The i3 GENSET telematics package has the ability to tap into both J1939 and Modbus to gather and analyze crucial information at the wellsite.
Profibus interface for mobile applications
Softing's PBpro USB is a compact Profibus master interface designed for tasks such as network configuration and device parameterization to plant maintenance and production data acquisition.
Webcast: Next Generation Industrial HMIs
The evolving sophistication of human-machine interface (HMI) software requires maintaining compatibility with applications created in previous software versions. System integrators and end users are faced with choices such as upgrading the operating system and HMI software versus selecting a new HMI software vendor.
Depth sensor filters out ambient infrared light for outdoor use
Researchers at MIT have developed an infrared depth-sensing system built from a smartphone with a laser attached that can work outdoors as well as in, which could be beneficial for future field activities.
The whitelist: Finding the light in cyber darkness
Attacks on critical infrastructure and energy organizations are becoming more frequent and a threat from a safety and financial standpoint. Application whitelisting can be an effective strategy in limiting what programs can run on a computer, which can limit the potential for a cyber security attack.
Encoder diagnostics tool for mobile use
Heidenhain's PWT 100 is a compact device designed for checking the function and adjustment of encoders and supports multiple serial interfaces.
Distributed control system software upgrade
NovaTech's updated DCS software, D/3 Version 15 (D3v15) adds features that are focused on modernizing configuration, improving operator interfaces, and facilitating reporting.
Farming and shipping industries powering IIoT revolution
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) revolution is in full swing, with the agriculture and transport sectors leading the way as enterprise technology becomes more and more important for manufacturing.
Pay attention: Industrie 4.0 and ICS cyber security
Industrie 4.0 is propelling organizations and their production and service delivery capabilities far beyond steam power and factory electrification, and industrial control systems (ICSs) can provide a vital layer of protection to keep networks safe.
Mobile CRM program
The upcoming release of the Mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program will give sales people, customer service reps, and company executives who use the ERP system complete visibility of customer data from their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Collaborative robot companies are broadening their market and influence
Sales of collaborative robots (co-bots) represent just 5% of the overall robot market with projected sales expected to reach over $1 billion by 2020.
Incremental encoder for functional safety applications
Sick's DFS60S Pro incremental encoder for functional safety is designed for mobile and stationary applications that require safe motion monitoring.
Mobile interface system updated with graphics capabilities, OEM customization
Opto 22's groov 3.1 is designed to help engineers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) build custom mobile smartphone and tablet interfaces for their automation systems and IoT applications.
Custom scripting as a potential safety hazard
Most users don't consider custom scripting as a potential hazard or safety concern because custom scripting allows users great flexibility in human-machine interface (HMI) development. However, HMI development software for a newer distributed control system (DCS) has much greater functionality today than in legacy systems.
Hack-proof RFID chips being developed by researchers
Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments have developed a new type of radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that would prevent burglars from swiping personal information as well as goods from a warehouse by swiping the tags because of innovative countermeasures being developed.
11 free programs for your computer, part 2
These freeware programs are designed to be useful to any computer user regardless of experience that help enhance a feature or improve operational efficiency.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for monitoring, control
Control methods mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of February 2016.
Industrial handheld oscilloscope for electro-mechanical systems
Fluke's ScopeMeter 120B Series features technology that recognizes signal patterns and automatically sets up the scope’s triggering, amplitude, and time base eliminating the typical trial-and-error setup process.
Multi-touch LCD monitors for industrial applications
Stealth.com's Multi-Touch Panelmount LCD Monitors are available in 17.3- and 21.5-in. sizes and feature a projected capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen for industrial applications and can be used in dirty, wet and hostile environments.
Technology converging for asset performance monitoring
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley, explained the need for IT, OT, and digital engineering model integration to help with asset performance monitoring, at the ARC Industry Forum, on Feb. 8, in Orlando.
Industrial Internet, mobility applications for increased connectivity
Honeywell Process Solutions announced Honeywell Pulse, software for tablets and smartphones, and its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) network, iiOT, at the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum on Feb. 8 in Orlando.
Remote support update advice and best practices
When a controls programmer has make a live update to an already running process, it is best to follow strict procedures and best practices to mitigate risks and ensure success when making these changes.
Industrial cellular modem for machine monitoring, maintenance applications
ICP DAS USA's GTM-203M-3GWA is an industrial quad-band 3G cellular modem with RS-232 and USB interfaces and is designed for machine monitoring, remote monitoring and maintenance applications.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for codes and standards
Codes and standards mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of January 2016.
Mobile robotics expected to fuel industry growth in robotics market
Rapid growth in mobile robotics is expected to fuel the robotics industry as a whole according to an IDTechEx Research report, with the market projected to exceed $120 billion by 2026.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for measurement
Mechanical and measurement mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of December 2015.
Heavy-load material transporter robot
Otto heavy-load material transporter from Clearpath Robotics Inc. is a self-driving vehicle designed to increase throughput and reduce operational costs in warehouses and industrial centers.
Mobile platform can be used as base for mobile machining
Kuka Mobile Robotics (KMR) Quantec can be used for payloads of more than 1,000 kg and as a platform for mobile robotic machining of pieces too large to fit into standard machine tools.
Printing and vacuum technologies competing for market share in the flexible electronics sector
Printing technologies have been the dominant force in the growing flexible electronics market, but vacuum technologies are becoming more cost-effective and have some distinct advantages.
Companies collaborate to improve manufacturing production
Fanuc America and Rockwell Automation demonstrated technologies designed for secure remote monitoring and safety aggregation to reduce downtime and boost plant-floor productivity at Automation Fair in Chicago, Ill.
Apps for Engineers: Business Administration
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These business administration applications are listed in the app as of November 2015.
Automation enterprises invest in cloud technologies
Facing new demands from manufacturers and the latest developments in the Internet of Things, enterprises in industrial automation begin to invest in cloud technology.
Wireless digital insulation tester
The Fluke 1587 FC Insulation Multimeter is a wireless digital insulation tester plus a digital multimeter (DMM) and is designed to provide enhanced versatility for both troubleshooting and preventive maintenance applications.
Designing HMIs: For the big screen or a phone?
What should your first impulse be: Shall we create our operator screens for massive displays or with a smart phone in mind? Video: What does “mobility first” mean?
Where should the cloud connection take place?
As we look to the future and the IIoT, many system architecture and connectivity questions are emerging. Video: Darek Kominek considers where users might want to draw the line between local control and where the cloud connection happens.
EC: Fluke Connect Assets
Software - Applications: Fluke Connect Assets is a cloud-based wireless system of software and test tools that gives maintenance managers a comprehensive view of all critical equipment. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: KPIWorX 10.9
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: Iconics KPIWorX is a new app that allows for the creation, saving and loading of self-service dashboards that leverage responsive design technology to run on any tablet or smartphone. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: groov 3
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: With groov 3.0 you can quickly build a mobile app to securely monitor and control multiple automation systems and equipment from any smartphone or tablet, log events, and dispatch event-based email or text notifications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
Smartphones and tablets in manufacturing
Manufacturing environments are seeing wisdom in adopting smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, offering faster access to critical information and problem-solving applications. This is a major subtopic of discussion within Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 circles.
Mobile operator interface for control systems, automation
Opto 22's groov action plan authorizes automation end-users and machine OEMs to monitor and control systems and equipment from smartphones and tablets in industrial automation, control, and remote monitoring.
Modules for M2M, automotive applications
u-blox's LTE cellular modules are designed to support LTE Cat. 1 for M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) applications in the industrial and automotive markets and can operate in demanding industrial and automotive environments.
Artificial intelligence in manufacturing
Ask Control Engineering: What does artificial intelligence have to do with control engineering? Link to resources on artificial intelligence and situational awareness are provided below.
IIoT video: See on-machine sensor values in real time via Apple iPad
In an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) demonstration using a mountain bike tricked out with sensors and instrumentation, ThingWorx, a PTC business, revealed how an operator might see an industrial machine’s metrics in real time by looking through a mobile human-machine interface (HMI) or a head-mounted display. The NIWeek demo on Aug. 5, 2015, used myRIO embedded hardware programmed with NI LabVIEW.
Security for wireless instrumentation
Cover story: Keeping wireless field device communications secure: Protocols for wireless instrumentation and other field devices use encryption as a key security element. Is it enough?
Microsoft prepares Windows 10 for the Internet of Things
Microsoft Windows 10 will underpin Microsoft's foray into the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing an operating system and ancillary services for “things” that do not resemble traditional computing devices.
Apps for Engineers: Energy management and savings
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. These energy management and savings applications are listed in the August 2015 edition and in the app.
Four reasons to upgrade an HMI platform
Human-machine interface (HMI) platforms are evolving as data and connectivity become more critical for end users. HMIs with newer features can go a long way to help engineers connect to machines.
Rise of the service robots; comparison to industrial robots
The market for service robotics is growing. Service robots have been employed in industrial settings for many years. During the past five years, more than 100,000 service robots for professional use were sold. See comparison to industrial robots.
Handheld wireless Bluetooth transmitter with app for data transmission
Omega Engineering's UWBT Series of Bluetooth transmitters measures different sensor inputs such as thermocouple, RTD, relative humidity, and pH and transmits the data to the user's smartphone or tablet via wireless Bluetooth communication from the UWBT iOS or Android app.
Cloud technologies are having major impact on manufacturing operations, innovation
Plex Systems' survey examining the use of technology on manufacturing organizations found that the cloud and cloud technologies have had a major role in improving productivity on the plant floor.
Automated solution for software downloading for mass manufacturing applications
JOT Automation's M10 Six Slider is designed to provide software loading capacity in a minimal footprint for smart phones for fast-paced mass manufacturing and is applicable for downloading software to assembled products or at the board level.
Where does your field service organization fall on the analytics usage model?
Want to improve service outcomes, but not sure where to start? Take a look at how incoming service data can improve strategic decision-making.
2015 technology trends create opportunity for field service organizations
2015 is off to a fast start as burgeoning technology trends create products and services ripe for field service use.
Apps for Engineers: Apps to improve productivity
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems form various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these applications designed to improve productivity.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, January 19-25: High-performance HMIs, third-party systems for a DCS, the cloud and mobility technology, more
Articles about high-performance HMIs; integrating third-party systems with a DCS; the cloud and mobility technology; efficient controls require feedback; and SCADA, HMI differences were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, January 19-25. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Apps for Engineers: General engineering apps
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems form various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these general engineering applications.
Cyber security essentials: Part III
The third and final installment of the Cyber Security Essentials series identifies best practices for protecting your internal and external networks, components of well-secured networks, and other dangers to be aware of.
Augmented reality enables smarter maintenance using smartphones and glasses
Visualizing in-situ services will make diagnosis and repair actions more intelligent and effective during industrial processing. A plant maintenance technician in the future could be led to the exact location of a mechanical component in need of maintenance, for example, a valve or a field transmitter, by a smartphone handset or “smart glasses.”
Graphic terminal for machine builders has 5 screen sizes
Rockwell Automation's Allen Bradley PanelView Plus 7 Standard graphic terminal are available in five screen sizes, including widescreen options and are designed for machine builders and plant operators.
Wireless interface module and sensor: Connect up to 150 sensors to the wireless module
Ametek Solartron Metrology's wireless interface module (WIM) features a Bluetooth-enabled interface controller for wireless communication with the Orbit 3 network. A user can connect up to 150 sensors to the module.
Apps for Engineers: Product Catalogs, Documentation
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We’ve organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these product catalogs and documentation apps.
Smart thermometer for logging and capturing temperature data
Lascar Electronics' EL-EnviroPad-TC is a handheld smart thermometer designed to take and records temperature readings through data logging, spot measurement, and checklist for immediate, short- and long-term temperature monitoring.
Get Modbus/TCP communications to mobile interface software
Product Exclusive: groov 2.3 from Opto 22 adds native Modbus/TCP communications to groov, the company’s web-based mobile interface software, which allows thousands of industrial devices yo be monitored and managed using operator interfaces on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Next big thing in manufacturing IT: Moving data faster and easier
Latest HMI and SCADA technology easily moves large data sets between OPC servers, OPC clients, .NET applications, SQL servers using WAN, LAN, and the Internet in an open format.
Apps for Engineers: Field visualization and reference
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We’ve organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these field visualization and reference apps.
PoS attack means manufacturers should remain vigilant
Recent data breaches and hacks in the retail industry should be seem as warning signs to manufacturers. Security professionals in the industry should remain vigilant and know an attack is just a click away.
EC: INTUNE+ I+C INSIGHT
Software — Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, Instrumentation: ControlSoft's INTUNE+ I&C INSIGHT mobile app for power plants messages diagnostics on process controllers and final elements for corrective action, allowing info drill-down from messages and control hierarchy view to performance indices and process trends. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: EZ-RMC mobile HMI
Software — Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, Instrumentation: The EZ-RMC mobile application provides real-time access to the HMI installed on a machine, and a summary report on machine productivity and diagnostics to a user anywhere in the world at his or her fingertips. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Fluke Connect mobile app
Software — Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, Instrumentation: The Fluke Connect system allows maintenance technicians to wirelessly transmit measurement data from their test tools to their smartphones for secure storage on the cloud and universal team access from the field. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Software — Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, Instrumentation: Iconics MobileHMI is a groundbreaking enterprise mobile application that runs on hundreds of different phones, tablets, and Web browsers, delivering real-time rich visualization, historical trends and alarm notifications anytime, anywhere, without compromising security. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software — Mobile Apps for Controls, Automation, Instrumentation: groov is a zero-programming, Web-based method to create and deploy operator interfaces on smartphones and tablets so authorized automation end-users, system integrators, and machine OEMs can monitor and control almost any automation system from anywhere. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Apps for Engineers: Electrical reference
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We’ve organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these electrical reference apps.
Apps for Engineers: Conversion applications
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We’ve organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these engineering conversion apps.
2020: Future automation
Engineering future: Ambition to change the world is essential as automation spreads into areas beyond industrial applications. See three key technology advances expected by 2020 and a sampling of those advancements today, including mobile robotics, as explained by Control Engineering China.
Google’s secret drone delivery program
The Atlantic revealed the inside story of Google's two-year secret X-labs drone-delivery project in a detailed story by Alexis Madrigal.
Barcode scanner designed to read mobile phone screens
Denso ADC's QK30 barcode scanner is specifically designed to read 1‑D and 2-D barcodes displayed on the LCD screens of cell phones and other mobile devices and it offers programmable multicolored LEDs and remote device management.
Apps for Engineers: Real-time control and data
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Android and iOS operating systems, created by various companies. We've organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these real-time control and data apps.
Intelligent sensing platform for Internet of things networking
B&B Electronics' Wzzard intelligent sensing platform uses iterative control limits and gateway data aggregation to support applications closer to the network edge.
Internet of things: Finding security in the cloud
Technology Update: So what’s the best tool for implementing security and locking down our devices? The answer is the cloud. The cloud doesn’t have to be insecure or expensive; centralized data collection and management is the key to securing Internet of things devices.
Cyber security for smart mobile devices
Implementing cyber security at the HMI instead of at the mobile devices results in a simpler and more secure system.
Apps for Engineers: Team communication apps for iOS and Android
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of more than 170 engineering-related applications for Android and iOS operating systems, created by various companies. We've organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, gain access to our team communication category.
Parking robot at Düsseldorf Airport
Ray is a parking robot designed to take the hassle out of finding a parking space for incoming and outgoing passengers at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 23-29
ASM-compliant HMIs, Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform, mobility apps, things noncontrol people should know about control engineers, and wirelessly operating industrial robots were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, June 23-29. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
U.S. public utility suffers a compromise
The unidentified utility was vulnerable to a brute-force cyber security attack, where hackers try different combinations of passwords until they find the right one.
What is the future of operator terminals?
Fully integrated and highly functional operator terminals are enticing machine builders and end-user alike to migrate from more basic products.
Industrial appliance for harsh conditions
Opto 22's groovBox is an industrial appliance that distributes automation systems to mobile devices and is designed to withstand harsh industrial environments.
Mobility apps should provide self-direction, portability, freedom
Mobile app design tips: Don’t replicate industrial human-machine interface (HMI) screens in mobile apps, advised Rockwell Automation. Enable, simplify, and do things you couldn’t do before when creating mobile app screens, according to presenters at RSTechED USA. See three pillars of user enablement for mobile apps and related video.
All companies host some kind of malware
One hundred percent of companies end up calling malicious malware hosts, according to Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report.
Apps for Engineers: Drawing and graphing apps for iOS and Android
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of more than 240 engineering-related applications for Android and iOS, created by various companies. We've organized apps by category, company, and type. This month, gain access to drawing and graphing apps.
Software-based, all-in-one instrument for benchtop testing
National Instruments' VirtualBench has five instruments in one device with an innovative software experience. It integrates a mixed-signal oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, programmable dc power supply, and digital I/O capabilities. See online extra interview about design considerations.
Programmable operator interface HMI has touchscreen, mobility updates
Product Exclusive: Fuji Electric Corp. of America introduces a series of next generation HMIs for the U.S. market; the Monitouch V9 Series Programmable Operator Interface HMI ranges from 8.4-in. to 10.4-in. and includes standard models to replace the V8 Series, and offers a step-up line known as V9 Advanced.
Fluke Connect’s goal: Capture and share meter data anywhere
App-based system announced as a way to provide real-time data management from field and plant equipment.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 27 to May 4
Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most-clicked articles from last week, April 27 to May 4, including articles about operator interface graphics, software patching, prototyping peer-to-peer applications for the Internet of Things, real-time data integration in the digital oil field, and building a maintenance management program for valves.
Wireless mobility architecture, apps, and tips: An extended Q&A
Harry Forbes, a senior analyst for automation at the ARC Advisory Group, answers reader questions after Control Engineering's April 29 webcast on wireless mobility trends.
Webcast: Wireless Mobility
Mobility can bring with it a complex supporting infrastructure. It requires networking hardware and software, devices to connect to the infrastructure, applications to run on the devices, and processes and procedures to work effectively, safely and securely.
PLM benefits become more accessible
Control Engineering International: Product lifecycle management is becoming even more accessible for more companies in the Czech Republic, according to Control Engineering Czech Republic.
Wireless mobility: architecture, apps, and tips
Webcast on wireless mobility covers infrastructure, hardware, software, and applications. Ask questions about wireless mobility in the last 10 minutes of the live webcast. Earn a professional development hour. The webcast and Q&A will be archived for viewing afterward. Link to related resources.
Connecting sensors and automation to the Internet of Things
The medical, manufacturing and food industries rely on automation and sensors, and their interconnectivity may result in big changes in a short amount of time.
Circuit breaker analysis mobile application
The Circuit Breaker Analyzer App runs on a Microsoft Windows 7-compatible tablet or PC to identify potential mechanical failures before they happen.
Software to go provides wireless mobility
Think Again: Mobile applications are allowing those in the control engineering profession to take software with them in smartphones and tablets. What kinds of mobile apps are available?
Web visualization app for monitoring and control
Wago's Web visualization application, the Wago-WebVisu-App, enables the user to monitor and control operations directly from a smartphone or tablet for the plant floor and up to 100 controllers can be defined for direct and quick access via URL.
8 ways the cloud is a no-brainer for manufacturers
Cloud computing: Some people still debate the merits of using cloud computing in manufacturing, but there are specific cases when a cloud solution is the obvious choice. Here are eight reasons why cloud computing works for manufacturers. Cloud computing is the quickest, most economical way to make things happen in a hurry.
More connected than ever: 6 billion new Internet-enabled devices to be produced in 2014
The global market for connected devices that allow users to access the Internet is set to surpass 6 billion units this year, as new products including cellphones, tablets, and computers enter the electronics ecosystem, according to a new report from IHS Technology.
Mobile woes: Modems expose control panels
In another scenario where mobile devices have an inherent lack of security, vulnerabilities in 3G and 4G USB modems can end up exploited to steal login credentials or send premium rate text messages, a researcher said
Developments to watch: Google gallops into robotics
Google expansion in robotics closes the control loop, bringing integrated sensing and actuation to the logic based in Google algorithms and other Google-owned businesses.
ARC 2014 Industry Forum: New product announcement round up
At the ARC 2014 Orlando Forum, suppliers and organizations, such as AT&T Mobility, FDI Cooperation, GE Intelligent Platforms, Genpact, Inductive Automation, Invensys, and Yokogawa Corporation of America, made new product announcements.
After a Strong December, LCD Panel Market to Moderate in Q1
Large-sized liquid-crystal display (LCD) panel sales saw a normal lull for Q1, but are still expected to be higher than first and second quarters sales of 2013.
4G smartphone market in China set for explosive 1,500 percent growth this year
4G smartphones are poised to become the new hot market in China as the government has granted licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom for TD-LTE, which is China's version of the LTE standard.
Webcast: Were we just hacked? Applying digital forensic techniques for your industrial control systems
This webcast explains how you can analyze and document your systems well enough to perform incident response and learn from those attacks. Your ability to know every detail about your systems is the biggest advantage you have when trying to secure your systems.
Developments to watch: Web-based HMI
Web-based operator interface systems for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) as well as PCs and high-definition TVs (HDTVs) are among recent Control Engineering developments to watch.
Processor market set for strong growth in 2013, courtesy of smartphones and tablets
The global market for processor microchips is set to rise by a hefty 24% in 2013, propelled by the strong sales growth of smartphones and tablets, according to a new report from IHS Inc.
Apps for Engineers: Data display and recorder, friction calculator, mechanic tutorial, switchgear product guide
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of more than 170 engineering-related applications for Android and iOS operation systems, created by various companies. This month, gain access to a data display and recorder, friction calculator, mechanic tutorial, and a switchgear product guide.
Automated cell for bearing machining, parts sorting
Texas shop’s automation team deploys programmable gages for measuring and sorting mud-motor bearings. Process-controlled hard turning cell paid for itself in 18 days.
Augmented reality enhances plant floor view, productivity
Automation Integrator Guide: Technology integration provides augmented reality view of industrial plant floor to streamline equipment maintenance, reduce downtime, and improve bottom line.
Wireless carriers reshape business to cash in on fast-growing M2M segment
Global M2M connections will rise to an estimated 375 million in 2017 and the revenue generated by wireless carriers will more than double in that time span.
Mobile app for reporting analytics and metrics
Rockwell's FactoryTalk VantagePoint Mobile App is designed to work natively for Windows 8.1 and it allows users to access and share centralized reporting and analytics for key performance indicators (KPIs).
Real-time interface to connect, integrate with mobile software
FactoryStudio Enterprise by Tatsoft integrates with the PI System through a communication interface.
EC: SPECTRE 3G-W cellular router with Wi-Fi
Network Integration - Wireless products: SPECTRE 3G-W cellular router with Wi-Fi is a single box solution for machine-to-machine network connectivity. Local devices and networks connect to the router via its built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, Ethernet 10/100 ports and I/O ports. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: FC2 Available Fault Mobile App
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: The FC2 mobile app quickly delivers fault current calculations in the palm of the user’s hand. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Endress+Hauser Operations App
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: The free Operations App (for iPhone, iPad, and Android) lets technicians quickly download device information about their installed Endress+Hauser instruments from a mobile device - wherever and whenever needed - while working in the field. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio Mobile Access
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: InduSoft Studio Mobile Access allows operators, maintenance staff, and managers to efficiently interact with real-time alarms, trends, project screens, and process values accessible on smartphones and tablets, including iOS and Android devices. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: groov lets users create and deploy operator interfaces for mobile devices in a web browser, and then view them in a web browser using most smartphones, tablets, or other devices, regardless of size and brand. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio
Software - HMI software: InduSoft Web Studio is a scalable automation software for developing intuitive HMI/SCADA applications for machines, OEE dashboards, mobile solutions, data collection, and production/overhead digital signage. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Mobile DRAM posts improved revenue in Q2 from dismal first quarter
Revenue for mobile DRAM units reached $2.8 billion from April to June thanks to anticipated demand for mobile devices for the rest of 2013.
Energy monitoring has a new upper limit
Ethernet-based industrial networks can make it easier to pinpoint, and stem, energy losses.
Selecting the right SCADA technology
Modern SCADA technologies offer choices that satisfy functionality and security requirements while improving performance for remote users.
Smart energy management without wires
Energy harvesting wireless offers an easy, inexpensive alternative for adding energy management features to older automation systems.
Cyber security experiment reveals threats to industrial systems
A recent report shows how “honey pots” designed to look like municipal water utility networks attract many hackers. Security experts offer their analysis of the findings and suggest how they could influence your defensive strategies.
Touchscreen interfaces are everywhere in consumer electronics, and they’ve moved into the plant. Do you know how they work?
Software designed for all-encompassing access
Wonderware InTouch Access Anywhere from Invensys enables users to access plant-floor data at anytime, using any mobile device, including Microsoft Surface tablets, iPads, iPhones, Androids and others.
Faster flexible testing, higher throughput
Case study: Harman accelerates infotainment system testing and throughput, including increased automation and throughput. Additionally, the stations can easily be adapted to handle evolving products and provide Harman with a competitive advantage.
The HMI of the future will look very familiar
HMI/SCADA applications enable companies to benefit from commercial off-the-shelf technologies adapted for industrial automation to lower costs and improve operations.
Explaining an IP67 rating to civilians
Why that fancy new smartphone won’t get destroyed if it gets rained on.
Machine Safety: A dashboard would help balance safety and compliance with profitability
What is a dashboard and how will that help my business? Is there a dashboard template to balance safety and compliance?
How virtual machines can fit in your workplace
Too much computer hardware in your manufacturing environment? Virtualization gets more from less, and can make your life easier.
Cyber security webcast available online
A truly interactive discussion with two security experts yields useful pointers for system owners.
Cyber security for automation systems
Honeywell introduced cyber security products to enhance and improve existing technologies for control rooms. These include a cyber security dashboard and a wireless network.
Industrial Ethernet alternatives
When choosing between an industrial network or other option, such as industrial Ethernet network or industrial wireless, sort out the cost and timing of legacy upgrades.
The Industrial Internet of Things
Should industrial users embrace IP networking? It promises convergence of many technologies, but is it necessary or even beneficial? An examination of why and why not, what, and how.
Build OS-neutral, mobile interfaces for automation, monitoring, control applications
Opto 22 groov is a new system for building simple, effective web-based interfaces to monitor and control systems and equipment using computers and mobile devices. With only a Web browser, Opto 22 groov allows fast building and deployment of Web-based automation, monitoring, and control applications that work on most computers and mobile devices regardless of operating system. Optional app optimizes performance on mobile devices.
Machine Vision Resource Guide from Control Engineering
Machine vision resource guide: feature articles, application notes, case studies, tutorials, and research on machine vision technologies and related productivity. Updated May 10, 2013, with new articles, now more than 50 in all.
Information integration for machines ties PLCs with mobile devices, higher-level systems
Control Engineering Europe: At Hannover Fair 2013, work on integration of PLC and information technology was recognized. Bosch Rexroth, won the 2013 Hermes Award at Hannover Messe, for its Open Core Engineering project. Award-winning integration solution puts machinery manufacturers in the driving seat, according to Control Engineering Europe.
Power management: Automation enhances power management applications
Strategically approaching plant upgrades and automation projects can help users extend the serviceable life of their equipment while improving the efficiency, reliability, and safety of their systems.
Getting a grip on handheld HART communication and calibration devices
If you see your handheld communicator as just for commissioning new devices, you’re missing much of the value of these versatile tools. Here’s how to get more from your handheld.
Robotic innovations, safety
Cover story: U.S. robotic safety regulations are changing to accommodate global rules allowing collaborate human-robots operation without enclosures. Simpler programming methods and designs improve industrial robot usability, flexibility, and effectiveness, as applications show.
Changing the face of industrial HMI
This webcast explains the benefits and possible issues of the next generation HMIs; emerging opportunities and how they’ll affect different parts of the industry.
Multi-touch technology comes to HMI/SCADA systems
Multi-touch screen manipulation is three times faster than with a keyboard and a pointing device, greatly increasing operator efficiency and productivity.
Information systems: The exploding power of HMI software
Once a hardware-driven technology, HMI systems now depend on the power of software to control operations and applications. Led by advancements in programming languages and innovations in interfaces and mobility, these workhorses of manufacturing are playing expanded roles throughout the enterprise—and with the influence of a new-age workforce are looking to add greater functionality in the future.
Commercial tablets get industrial enclosures
Making tablets rugged: Industrial-grade environmental protection can help ruggedize and protect Apple iPad, Google Android, and other tablet computers.
Checklist for robotic survival
Roboticists who ignore one or more of three principles when designing robots will fail, and many do. Six systems require attention for mobile robotics.
Industrial wireless: Bluetooth can be robust, easy to use
Technology Update: Bluetooth offers optimal features to satisfy industrial requirements of robustness, reliability, and seamless, coexistent operation with Wireless LAN networks. In addition to low power consumption, Bluetooth allows for multiple wireless links, offers fast connections, and has easier configuration and setup than many other wireless technologies.
New industrial cyber security video training series
Learn the basics of industrial cyber security concepts in this 13-part series with Matt Luallen, consultant, trainer, and author. Watch one segment as a free sample.
Mobilizing real-time operational intelligence
Value is achieved by going beyond mobilizing HMI/SCADA screens, connecting multiple systems, and controlling when and what data are sent to which device.
Machine Safety: Can hand held devices play a role?
Wireless hand held devices (smart phones, tablets, pads, etc.), common in daily life, are emerging on the shop floor. Can they improve machine safety?
Industrial robots being equipped with vision system
PickVision system by ABB Robotics and SVIA Industrial Automation in Sweden equips industrial robots with vision enabled functionality for “plug and play” performance and flexibility.
App for controller information
KoolCode by Danfoss is an app for Android and iPhone allows technicians and engineers to look up alarm, error, and status codes for refrigeration controllers as well as link up to the KoolApp library.
Profinet website receives upgrade
PI North America has retooled their Profibus website for 2013 and has been designed to be device responsive so users will receive the same experience regardless of their Internet platform.
Monitoring system for legacy machine tools
The MT Focus from Syscon International allows manufacturers to see machine performance through the Internet. Its adapter/agent module collects and stores machine status and performance data.
Agreement made to strengthen American, European EV standards
Groups from the United States and Europe met in Brussels to discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) and agreed to continue working to align standards in both regions as well as worldwide. Goal is to prevent the proliferation of conflicting standards.
The next big thing is at hand
Engineering and IT Insight: For manufacturing, the next big thing has arrived. Have you noticed? The operator assistant, based on the second generation of smartphones and the software capability to provide situational awareness, will be the “always-on” eyes and ears of operators, listening and looking for problems and patterns not normally visible to operators.
Monitoring CNCs via tablet-type devices
The Series 30i/31i/32i-Model B CNCs by Fanuc FA America can now be monitored through a tablet and allows the display of any CNC screens on any device via the Internet.
Headset computer, RFID system, rugged tablet computer
Motorola Solutions products, including a headset computer, radio frequency identification system (RFID), and rugged tablet computers, were among plant-floor and automation productivity tools at Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair 2012 in Philadelphia, Pa.
EC: Genesis64 v10.7
Software - HMI software: Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Software Provides State of the Art 3D/2D Graphics, Charting, Trending and Intelligent Asset Management with Fault, Alarm, Energy and Process Analytics within Intuitive Role-based Dashboards. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Studio Mobile Access
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: Mobile Access allows operators, maintenance staff and managers to be more efficient by securely viewing and interacting with process variables, trends and alarms from any HTML5 device, such as iPad, iPhone, or Android tablet/phones. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: iQagent allows iPad and iPhone users to scan any machinery, equipment or process and view relevant live process data, chart, graphs and documentation, and enter preventive maintenance or trouble reporting actions on the target system. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Data Dashboard for LabVIEW
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: The Data Dashboard for LabVIEW and Data Dashboard Mobile for LabVIEW iOS and Android apps enable engineers to visualize measurement data and accelerate productivity using their smartphones and tablet devices. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: AWK-1127-PoE Industrial Wi-Fi Client
Network Integration - Wireless products: The AWK-1127-PoE Wi-Fi client offers superior convenience, value, and performance by featuring serial and Ethernet connections, PoE support, and the speedy Turbo Roaming that Moxa is known for. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: CP2xxx and CP3xxx Multi-Touch Panel Series
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Industrial Control Panels and Panel PCs with multi-touch display technology. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Series 57 Pushbutton
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Extra large actuation area with dual illuminating rings to show visual indication of operational state is unique to industry also combining integrated finding tone/alert and illuminated symbols within one unit. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Business Intelligence Dashboard Template
Software - Applications, monitoring: Transform raw data into meaningful information in a very easy way. Design custom dashboards in minutes and drive conclusions from raw data and visualize the information without being a database expert. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Leader Under 40: Michael De Boer
Division Manager, Interstates Control Systems Inc. - AAS Industrial Instrumentation, Northwest Iowa Community College
Application for signal conditioners
Jumpflex-ToGo by Wago is a signal conditioner that can configure input/output parameters and is compatible with nine devices including thermocouple and RTD devices.
Automation supplier launches series of dedicated sites
Mitsubishi Electric Automation launches websites serving machine tool, automotive, packaging, and robotics industries.
Compact serial device server: Portable, plug-and-play Ethernet connectivity on the wire
Lantronix xDirect offers portable, plug-and-play Ethernet connectivity on the wire. New compact serial device server offers ease-of-use and flexibility for machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity.
Handheld Bluetooth transmitter
The iBlue by ITAMCO gathers, records and sends data wirelessly though its three multicompatible ports and does not require special software for installation.
Building solutions for energy independence: Automation systems, engineering software bring accuracy, efficiency to shale gas drilling
Siemens technology and components are key ingredients in the web-based water management system that is helping the gas and oil industry procure natural gas economically, responsibly, and in compliance with monitoring and recording regulations.
This supplement could be better than a new iPhone
Industrial Energy Management: This supplement to Control Engineering and Plant Engineering provides insight into how systems integration unlocks the true value of energy management systems. While it’s nowhere near as large that of mobile apps, the ecosystem of energy management solutions is growing daily. Link to four industrial-strength energy saving articles below.
New Nokia phone will help to establish wireless power, Qi standard
Today’s announcement from Nokia that its upcoming Lumia 920 smartphone will have integrated wireless charging is an important milestone for the development of this market.
Process Instrumentation: Has wireless instrumentation delivered?
Five years ago as wireless process instrumentation broke onto the scene in a big way, the promise of major deployments seemed just around the corner. Has that dream been realized?
OEM telematics market in China to shine as aftermarket struggles
Shipments of OEM telematics systems in China are projected to be more than 10 million units in 2019, 13 times bigger than the number of units shipped in 2012.
How do I know if a wireless app is secure?
Before you download that new app, is there some way to tell if it is secure? Here are five questions you can ask.
Wearable technology innovation to drive market growth
A major challenge for suppliers is to establish and expand the number of compelling use-cases for wearable devices.
MEMS sensor: Tiny 3-axis gyroscope
STMicroelectronics offers tiny 3-axis gyroscope delivering power, speed, and design-in advantages. Ultra-compact sensor enhances user experiences, leveraging ST MEMS heritage for current and future applications, company said.
Three-axis gyroscope for motion-sensing applications
The LEGD20H gyroscope by STMicroelectronics is designed for advanced motion-sensing applications and is small enough to be used in experimental projects like wearable electronics.
Triumph of the iPad
Presentations at NIWeek all seem to talk about how the applications work on iPads. The device has really taken over.
How AT+T’s 2G shutdown will impact M2M
Even casual industry observers are aware that the telecom giant finds itself facing a spectrum crunch.
Isolated analog signal conditioner
The 8B43 analog signal conditioner by Dataforth includes 10 modules and has a special input circuit that provides protections against accidental connection of power-line voltages up to 240 V AC.
Analog device server
Lantronix's xSenso analog device server enables sensors with analog outputs to transparently send real-time to any node on the network or over the Internet.
Improve the scalability of measurement and control systems
NI LabVIEW 2012 by National Instruments includes ready-to-run starting points for a breadth of LabVIEW applications and access to new training options that help improve the quality of measurement and control systems.
The future of broadband for mobile radio
Despite all this apparent activity from manufacturers, there still remain many hurdles to be overcome before mobile broadband is a day to day reality in many countries.
SCADA software designed for deployment anywhere
InduSoft releases Web Studio v7.1
Video: Cyber security students, class of 2012
Professor Luallen ups the ante with industrial cyber security students, challenges them to understand functionality of industrial devices and networks.
3 pillars of industrial cyber security
Engineering and IT Insight: A stable physical structure requires at least three main supports. Three “pillars” form the basis for an effective industrial cyber security system: technology, policy and procedures, and people.
Airline entertainment increasingly shown on passengers’ own laptops, tablets
Wireless in-flight entertainment is forecast to be on around a quarter of the global commercial fleet in just six years’ time, according to new research.
Mobile HMI software, hardware in a preprogrammed package
AndOnMobile released a line of lean tools and mobile human-machine interface (HMI) products: Maximize manufacturing efficiency with a wireless AndOn to monitor overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), hear MP3 audio, and see real-time and historical data acquisition in one, simple, preprogrammed package.
HMI family with power to support data processing, animations, and video
Maple Systems introduces next generation HMIs with advanced features and high-durability enclosures.
Load cells used to help complete micro-rover project
Miniature force transducers from Sherborne Sensors were used to complete development on a prototype micro-rover developed by Carleton University in Canada that may be used in future space exploration on the Moon and Mars.
The Dark Side of Mobility
Sure, the idea of “iPhone as HMI” is convenient, but it opens a whole new range of cyber vulnerabilities. Is the functionality worth the risk? Many users are already deploying the technology without sufficient safeguards.
Outstanding industrial wireless
From sensor networks to long-haul wireless, industrial wireless technologies bring outstanding savings to industrial automation and process control applications.
Is the Apple Siri steering wheel control pushing the right buttons?
Several major automotive vehicle manufacturers are planning to implement a steering wheel button that can be used to activate Siri functionality, according to IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc.).
SIM card shipments to rise to 6.6 billion by 2017
Annual volumes of SIM cards shipped are forecast to increase from 4.8 billion 2011 to 6.6 billion in 2017, according to IMS Research.
Average price of tablet PCs declined significantly in Q1 2012
According to recently released figures in the IMS Research quarterly tablet PC tracker, tablet ASPs (average selling prices) have declined by 21% in a single year to $386 in the first quarter of 2012.
PC OEMs under pressure to diversify
IT professionals are increasingly buying mobile computing devices, threatening commercial PC sales.
More than 100 million smart meters with integrated HAN gateways to be deployed in the next five years
More than 100 million smart meters will be deployed with integrated home area network (HAN) gateways in the next five years, according to IMS Research.
Low energy Bluetooth wireless protocol
Bluetooth low energy technology isn’t just another Bluetooth revision—it’s a whole new technology that can benefit industrial communications.
Cloud Deployments Grow with Utilities
Municipal water and wastewater systems like cloud communication to stay connected to widely spread assets.
Multi domain modeling aids in the movement of automated guide vehicles
Design and control of AGVs, robots, is easier with enhanced modeling software.
Wireless technologies for industrial automation
Wireless networks for industrial automation enhance the ability to gather time-critical information, digest it, and react, key to continuously adapting to change with increasing reliability and profitability. No one type of wireless technology resolves all challenges.
Video game or HMI?
Industrial HMI developers consider how video game technology can change the way operators work with control systems. Video: ABB demonstrates some interesting possibilities.
Tips and Tricks: 6 overlooked places to use industrial wireless
How Wi-Fi industrial wireless communications can save time, trouble, and money: Flexible work cells, mobile connections, and network enabling legacy devices are three overlooked areas to apply industrial wireless technologies. Three more are...
Industrial wireless or wired networks?
Tips and tricks: Have obstacles, mobile applications, or a large region? Wireless may be the best choice.
Engineering project management: How Microsoft SharePoint and dashboards can help
Aggregating and sharing information from multiple sources helps motivate teams and deliver projects on time and budget, according to DMC Inc., at the CSIA Executive Conference.
Product Exclusive: Multi-touch panel PCs ease navigation
Beckhoff Automation’s new control panel and panel PCs offer flexibility, sleek design, and innovative touchscreen technology.
Top Control Engineering articles, April 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during April 2012 included articles on process control and safety systems, mobile engineering applications, alarm rationalization, machine control, industrial energy savings, and machine guarding, among others.
Converting DC Voltages
Solid-state devices that change dc voltages without transformers are getting to be more common.
Information systems: Adding video to your HMI
Growing demand for a more precise, accurate eye on operations—on the plant floor and in remote locations—is fueling the use of video-enabled displays. And advances in cameras, processing power, storage capacity, and connectivity are creating the perfect storm to put this technology within reach of nearly every plant.
Apple to build major fuel cell installation for data center
Green power for your iCloud application will come from natural gas and solar.
Top Control Engineering articles, March 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during March 2012 included articles on salary survey, mobile applications for engineers, field device networks, project management, and energy savings, among others.
Automation to go
Think Again: I’ll take my automation to go, please, and throw in a big helping of continuous improvement, productivity, quality, and optimization, with a side of safety and industrial energy management, thanks.
3-mile WiFi connection enables mobile HMI access
Wireless local area network easily cover 3.1-mile span for a California water system, saving more than $15,000 compared to a wired solution, says Phoenix Contact.
Human-machine interface, SCADA software
Product Exclusive: Full-featured HMI/SCADA software, InduSoft Web Studio (IWS) v7.1, adds many productivity features and tools.
Wifi module for sensor platform
Libelium's Wifi module for the Waspmote sensor platform has a radio module, which adds an extra layer of intelligence for collected data being sent to any web server in the cloud.
Industrial mobility: Information where needed
Industrial-strength mobility is happening with the manufacturing and IT workforce today. Embrace it, guide it, make it secure, or it may dictate how your business will change, suggested experts at a recent industry conference.
Mobile workers respond to alarms, view data logs
Apple iPad serves as remote workstation for graphite product manufacturer Toyo Tanso.
Mobile industrial worker
Technologies have enabled industrial workers to get mobile, and there’s no going back.
Tips and Tricks: 9 tips for a smarter wireless industrial workforce
Nine tips help enable an industrial wireless mobile workforce, including standards, self-healing technologies, and the right blend of hardware and software.
Mobile app delivers plant data directly to smartphones
SmartGlance mobile application from Invensys Operations Management is a reporting solution that delivers plant data and reports directly to mobile devices via the cloud.
How Secure is that mobile device?
Real-life study focused on SMB's shows most companies have incomplete security practices when it comes to using mobile devices with company networks.
Robotics at Frito-Lay: Flexibility, adaptability needed
Salty snacks have different motion profiles than automobiles, and snack food manufacturing differs significantly from automotive manufacturing. Robotics can do much more for consumer goods and food and beverage applications, says a Frito-Lay engineer, formerly of General Motors. Robotic palletizing at Frito-Lay requires half the space and 25% lower cost than prior methods.
Digital edition: Control Engineering upgrades to more interactive digital magazine platform
Control Engineering upgraded its digital edition software in January 2012 for faster and more intuitive navigation on more devices and platforms, delivering a more interactive subscriber experience.
Who’s iPhone goes into the plant?
When companies add communication via wireless devices, who’s device is it? Is that my iPad, or the company’s?
Top Control Engineering articles, November 2011
Tutorials, cases studies, new products: What do you peers consider important reading on the Control Engineering website? What haven’t you read yet that you should? The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during November 2011 included articles on best products, robotic bowling, iPhone as and HMI, control panel safety, induction motor energy efficiency, and a fuzzy logic tutorial.
Automation crossroads: Product definitions narrow
Frost & Sullivan report finds an automation crossroad with emerging megatrends: cyber security, mobile and wireless technology, enterprise ecosystem, cloud computing, and sustainability.
Cloud Computing for SCADA
Moving all or part of SCADA applications to the cloud can cut costs significantly while dramatically increasing reliability and scalability.
Wireless apps, cloud services transform decision making, data management for packaging lines
Dairy products producer balances quality and consistency during facility expansion, incorporating and monitoring new product filling and packaging lines and associated equipment.
Mobile app for on-demand access to electrical solutions
The PowerEdge mobile application is available for the iPhone and iPad and is designed to share and organize information on all Eaton electrical power management solutions.
ERP, MES: When accountability meets agility
ERP and MES are not an either/or proposition. The two serve different functions, and should be partners within a given manufacturing organization.
EC: Harmony Wireless, Battery-less Push Button
Network integration - Wireless products: Harmony Wireless, Battery-less Push Button from Schneider Electric is the first industrial switch with no wires and no batteries that offers maximum freedom and mobility to equipment operators and allows them to cut installation costs by 20%. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio HMI, SCADA software
Software – HMI software: InduSoft Web Studio is scalable software from simple HMI to advanced SCADA with everything included—drivers, alarming, trending, VBScripting, database connectivity, and web publishing. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Opto iPAC mobile application for control systems
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: Opto 22's Opto iPAC mobile application lets automation engineers and field technicians interact with their control systems using popular mobile devices including the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Dulaney named CEO for Infrastructure and Cities Sector
Siemens names Daryl Dulaney as the CEO for their Infrastructure and Cities Sector in North America, which comprises of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.
Miconex in Beijing: Food safety, home automation, Internet of things
A major trade show in China shows how industrial automation and smart-grid technologies may be influencing innovative, blue-ocean life and home automation markets.
Leader Under 40: Jason Stoddard
Lead Controls Engineer, Michigan Custom Machines Inc. – AS Electrical Engineering, Mott Community College
IO module replacements: Look at physical location, measurements, processing needs
I/O wiring can be among the most challenging of upgrades. When replacing input/output connections, what are key considerations? Brett Burger, senior product manager for embedded I/O with National Instruments, offered answers.
Gas detectors help with drug tablet coating thickness
Sensitive detectors, from Minneapolis-based Sensor Electronics, monitor ethanol gas concentrations in the exhaust streaming from the coating machine.
Mobile app scans barcode data into PLC
ProSoft Technology's barcode scanner is designed for the ProSoft i-view, a mobile SCADA phone app. Mobile and remote workers will be able to monitor and modify control data wirelessly.
Bluetooth serial port adapter communicates up to 1000 m
connectBlue's RBS433 has a plug-and-play solution and can interface with any device that has an RS232/422/485 port and communicates up to 1000 meters.
An iPhone as Your Next HMI?
Consumer-grade smartphones and tablet computers are fast becoming commonplace extensions of industrial networks, permitting process monitoring and, even (gasp!) process control.
Tips and Tricks: Help for ASIC design
When considering a new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design, consider the role analog functions will play in its deployment. To minimize risk, consider these six tips for ASIC design.
Control Engineering August 2011 Digital Edition
Did you see the Control Engineering digital edition for August 2011? In addition to the monthly North American print edition, CFE Media offers a digital edition, with...
Energy monitoring and control providers form partnership for more comprehensive offerings
Opto 22's monitoring hardware integrates with the eSight Energy Management software to help companies reduce utility bills. Video discusses energy management issues and partnership.
Technology Update: Computer vision systems get help from board-level systems
PCI Express (PCIe) has multiple gigabits/second of bandwidth and deterministic behavior, well suited for use with a computer vision system frame-grabber; it can capture high-resolution and high-frame-rate image streams for more effective machine vision applications. See table, graphics.
Sensor selection: Consider more than capital costs
Spending a little more time, effort, and money in sensor selection can pay off significantly in the lifecycle costs of the sensor or switch, according to Honeywell Sensing and Control. Tips and Tricks: Learn the five misconceptions about sensing.
Engineering and IT Insight: What’s the best manufacturing operations management systems design?
Should your manufacturing operations management (MOM) systems be centralized or distributed? These key considerations can help you decide. MOM includes MES (manufacturing execution systems), LIMS (laboratory information management systems), WMS (warehouse management systems), tank farm management systems, and AMS (asset management systems).
Ambient light sensors for mobile technology
TAOS released the TSL2x72 series, which reportedly uses ALS technology for mobile technology in a variety of lighting conditions.
Shell Eco-Marathon offers thousands of MPG
Engineering on the cutting edge of energy efficiency means going well beyond hundreds of miles per gallon to thousands of miles per gallon. Look at these efficiencies. How are advanced automation technologies helping?
Collaborative solutions to unify operations, commercial interests
Honeywell and SAP AG will enable oil and gas companies to better leverage plant information in business decisions, Honeywell said.
Alarm and notification software adds RSS capability
Exele releases RSS capability for TopView Alarm and notification software. RSS feeds of current alarms for OPC/SCADA, OSIsoft PI, SQL (OLEDB/ODBC) and PerfMon data sources can be viewed on desktop, mobile, or tablet devices, embedded into web pages and even displayed on hardware devices such as LED tickers and factory message displays.
Plant performance monitoring solution helps make smart decisions
GE’s MyFleetTM Plant Performance Monitoring software equips plant operators with better access to fleet performance data
Bluetooth Ethernet gateway
Wago Corporation has released Bluetooth Ethernet Gateway ideal for mobile applications.
Multi-touch, high-speed, high noise immunity, low-voltage resistive touchscreen controllers
Rohm Semiconductor new BU21023/BU21024 series of high-speed, high noise immunity, low-voltage resistive touchscreen controllers are the industry’s first to enable multi-touch (two-point) operation and intuitive gesture control, including pinching, spreading and rotating – previously possible only with more expensive capacitive touch systems, the company said. The design can save power, Rohm told Control Engineering.
Choosing the right HMI: Focus on three factors to help optimize efficiency, productivity
Modern HMIs are tools with advanced capabilities that allow them to increase equipment productivity at little or no increase in the cost of the HMI.
Changing workforce well-equipped to use powerful, high-efficiency HMI software
The labor force today is rapidly evolving, and as it does, it is having a significant impact on the next generation of human-machine interface solutions.
Scan cameras used with embedded vision system to solve demanding applications
PPT Vision’s Impact M500 series includes 12 new models each supporting multiple encoder configurations with direct digital inputs.
Software download creates protection for data stored on BlackBerry, microSD
JumpVault, with microSD security features, keeps data safe even if devices are lost or stolen. This is more applicable to manufacturing IT operations as facilities incorporate smart phones into plant- and engineering-based mobile computing and communications.
Batch operations benefit from process analytical technology
A successful application of batch analytics for online operation, resulting in a solution validated for a specialty chemicals batch process. The discussion illustrates basics of batch analytics operation, including access via a Web interface.
From video games to industrial simulation
Havok, a company that built its reputation on video games and movie special effects, moves into industrial simulation platforms. What might this mean?
Lift stage with large aperture offers precise elevation of heavy loads
Aerotech’s AVS1000 series is a high-load lift stage with aperture that offer excellent pitch, yaw characteristics over full travel.
2011 Fieldbus Foundation General Assembly, Mumbai, India
Fieldbus Foundation held the 2011 General Assembly in Mumbai, India, attracting leading suppliers and end users of Foundation technology. Meeting was the largest in the group's history.
First multi-protocol wireless router
Libelium Meshlium Xtreme multi-protocol router supports five wireless standards - WiFi, ZigBee, GPRS, Bluetooth and GPS – as well as wireline Ethernet, to help connect wireless sensor networks to the Internet. Libelium said it is the first multi-protocol wireless router to bridge ZigBee and the Internet.
Will there be room for industrial wireless?
With cellular phone suppliers fighting over wireless spectrum, and paying big bucks, will there be enough left for us?
Embedded System Conference offers design solutions to engineers in Silicon Valley
ESC will feature solutions to design challenges, information, and current technology across a wide array of areas relevant to design of embedded systems.
Conference aims to sharpen the tools of manufacturing
Registration is now for the WBF 2011 North American Conference, which will focus on the manufacturing processes of the industry.
Electric vehicle infrastructure with ABB, ECOtality
ABB invests $10 million, signs accord to supply technology for ECOtality's Blink charging stations.
Active Contact Flange can simplify complex assembly applications
Touch sensitive automation allows for precise buffing, polishing, surface processing, gentle material handling. Keba's Active Contact Flange combines highly sensitive sensor, positioning and control technologies.
Challenging color image processing applications
PPT Vision's Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System features a wide array of camera specifications, applications meeting the needs of most applications.
Updated software provides tools for data acquisition, enhanced signal processing
Data Translation VIBpoint Framework Application V2.0 is designed to replace more expensive FFT Analyzer instruments and to enhance signal processing, analysis features and display.
Second generation RFID reader features LCD display, large storage capacity
The UHF Generation 2 RFID reader's design includes an LCD display, long battery life and the capability to save thousands of RFID scans in its internal memory, said Tharo Systems.
Security: Lose more than your mobile device while traveling
Security of automation and control systems could be at risk during the travel season, if smart phones, laptops, netbooks, and USB sticks aren't adequately protected. Could your staff be leaving more than their troubles behind at the security gates when jetting off this festive season? See 8 security tips below.
Test driving NI LabVIEW Robotics
My NI LabVIEW Robotics adventure taught me a few new things about automation and control hardware and software for robotics. An old dog attempts learning new tricks. Here's what I learned.
Post live sensor outputs, via widgets, online
SensedIn, from Cores Electronic, posts live sensors, represented by widgets, on the Internet of things to share data between users.
Paul Smith, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010
Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Paul Smith ...
Operational systems health monitoring application
ION system health monitoring from Apprion provides real-time analysis of the overall health of critical systems.
Automation in 2000, via 1927
The plot centers around the conflict between the leisure class (the head) that enjoys life at the expense of the underclass underground (the hands). The story is about the search for the heart that can unite the two.
Cellular communication for remote I/O
Dear Control Engineering: I was looking at the announcement about using cellular service for industrial devices. Is this really practical? Wouldn’t it be hugely expensive?
QSI is North American subsidiary of Beijer Electronics after acquisition
QSI Corporation, manufacturer of industrial human machine interface (HMI) and mobile data terminals based in Salt Lake City, UT, has become the North American subsidiary for Beijer Electronics, with Beijer's purchase of QSI, announced Oct. 22.
Industrial computers for CPU-intensive applications, fanless, dual core
Sealevel’s Relio R5000 series of industrial computers are designed for CPU-intensive applications in industrial environments and to run fanless up to 40 degrees Celsius.
EC: ProSoft i-View
Software - HMI software: ProSoft Technology, Inc., The ProSoft i-View application transforms iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices into mobile human machine interfaces using ProSoft Technology's 802.11 industrial wireless or cellular solutions. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
How to choose wireless technology for industrial applications
Wireless technologies are being adopted for simple monitoring, control to supervisory control and data acquisition. Wireless provides reliable data communications in interference-heavy environments. Information follows to help choose the best wireless technology for an industrial application.
New generation of processors provide extreme integration, high-performance
New platform of devices combines 1.5 GHz TI DSP and 1.5 GHz ARM cores enabling precision, control and system cost savings for machine vision, test and measurement and tracking, and control applications.
New microprocessors boost performance, integration
Ideal for single-board computing, communications and networking, these 1.5 GHz Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara ARM MPUs offer customers software compatibility, reduced system cost and software for easy development.
ABB and GM to collaborate on electric car battery research
Project will examine the potential of reusing spent lithium-ion battery packs from GM’s electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, as a means of providing cost-effective energy storage capacity, which will improve the efficiency of electrical systems as they evolve into smart grids.
Enterprise-wide control system capabilities grow
Invensys announces enhancements to its InFusion platform, among new releases at OpsManage’10 Conference, along with Wonderware System Platform 4.0 software and flagship Foxboro I/A Series 8.6 distributed control system (DCS), OpsManage attendees will see a number of new InFusion ECS components, including a new Foxboro programmable automation controller (PAC) system, a new Triconex general purpose safety system, a preview of new software-based workflow capabilities, a new Eurotherm nanodac data controller/recorder, and a new Wonderware endorsed-partner application that provides a software as a service (SaaS) mobile reporting solution.
WiFi tag technology brings measurements to web pages, media sites, mobile devices
With its Widget Instrument, Cores Electronic is able to bring measurement data from sensors to web pages and media sites for much larger exposure to processing and display.
Promoting Sustainability: How Automation Technologies Impact Compliance
Whether for traceability, electronic record-keeping, or emissions monitoring, automated controls and software systems help facilities meet regulations—and let control engineers rest easier at night. Regulations involve monitoring and managing process emissions, tracking and tracing the manufacture of a food or pharmaceutical product, or other operation or process, failure to comply with them—and the consequences of downtime, product waste, costly fines, or worse. Control Engineering October issue feature article.
John Deere’s Robot Gator – Part 1 – revolutionary change
This button has changed robotic history: Full-Auto. John Deere Robot-Gator, the R-Gator, is now in LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production), which means they are rolling off the assembly line. See more photos.
Industrial Ethernet: Room for more, IPv6
IP version 6 (IPv6), developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), will be the next generation Internet protocol, replacing IPv4 and providing additional IP addresses for the increasing number of mobile devices and network-ready appliances, including for industrial applications.
The Case for Wireless Standards Convergence
Should end users care if wireless standards for field devices come together? One user offers his thoughts.
Video: Beer fridge security system, with power and temperature monitoring
Beer fridge security system, with power and temperature monitoring, as shown at National Instruments' NIWeek.
Flash memory chips for instrumentation transmitters, other electronic devices
Microchip Technology expands serial flash portfolio for new generations of low-power devices.
Apple’s problems and wireless instrumentation
Dear Control Engineering: It’s been interesting following some of the problems that Apple is having with its iPhone 4. Should I be concerned about similar reception difficulties with wireless instrumentation devices? It’s difficult to compare a cell phone network and wireless instrumentation in a typical industrial plant, but some of the issues of one may be instructive for another. Apple’s situation is indeed interesting.
Smart grid options examined for industries, commercial buildings, city residents at Siemens event
Smart grid technologies, controlling, monitoring and metering electricity use, applied with the appropriate public policies, can help make cities more attractive for residents, businesses, and industries. Smarter electricity use can increase convenience, lower costs, improve the environment, and augment competitiveness, said experts from the Siemens Smart Grid Tour event.
GarrettCom Magnum 6KM hardened mobile Ethernet switch
Industrial grade GarrettCom switch withstands shock and vibration to provide Ethernet network connectivity under rough mobile conditions.
WiFi instrument tag sends data to real-time data-brokerage platform
Data from instrumentation cloud device readable anywhere via Internet, offers multiple powering options, says Cores Electronic about its Tag4M sensor tag.
Siemens Automation Summit: Cost-effective ways to reduce risk, limit cost, improve effectiveness
As U.S. manufacturing roars back to life, resolving engineering challenges and maximizing return on investment were among goals of Siemens Automation Summit and the Siemens Answers for Industry Conference, in Charlotte, NC, June 8-10, 2010.
Manufacturing: Get lean, flexible, and improve product flow
Baldor Electric Co. has been improving its manufacturing processes as it integrates people, processes, manufacturing capabilities, and best practices in a "Lean-Flex-Flow" initiative after several major acquisitions.
Real time HMI data: Proficy Pulse empowers operators to do their jobs better
Software from GE Intelligent Platforms increases analytics and unifies presentation of information.
Denso Robotics protocol allows control of robot by PC or PLC
New b-CAP Ethernet TCP/IP control protocol allows use of familiar interfaces and programming languages, extends control to vision systems and smart phones.
Coca-Cola to test new fuel cell technology
Fuel cells powered by biogas will be tested at a Coca-Cola packaging plant.
Fujitsu markets wireless module products in North America
Fujitsu Components America Inc. says the move expands component portfolio for wireless device original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Jetter expands highest-level of JetWeb controller series
JetControl 940MC has been developed for motion system applications requiring quick cycles and high dynamics.
Manufacturing IT: Mobile phone software makers battle for marketshare
The Blackberry has a hold on corporate e-mail phones in North America today, but Google's Android, iPhone and others may become the enterprise integration instruments of choice.
Web tags leverage RFID, Internet to create instrumentation cloud
Tag4M WiFi sensor tag takes analog readings and provides digital I/O; all readings are sent automatically to the Internet and further to a user-assigned web page over standard WiFi access points. What does this mean for computer-based instrumentation? See examples.
Oil companies hit by cyber attacks
FBI says three major U.S. oil producers got hacked. This time it's IT networks, but could manufacturing be a next step?
Wireless operations at the hump yard
Norfolk Southern Railway automates manual processes with RFID scanners and HMI software processed through eight PCs.
Transportation industry manufacturing groups call for cooperation on emissions and energy issues
Two transportation industry groups announced separate calls to action for cross-industry steps to address CO2 emissions and energy efficiency. Their announcements were as follows: Related to the first announcement, the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers said that a national program to address CO2 emissions has become a priority to automakers because a national fuel economy program would allo...
TIA tells FCC of wireless broadband benefits, recommends wider bandwidth allocations
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) urges FCC to create a new, innovative, technology-neutral spectrum band plan. See graphic.
Wireless advantages increase with IEEE 802.11n, say Rockwell Automation, Cisco
IEEE 802.11n wireless protocol has throughput up to six times existing wireless networks, better packet retry handling, and backward compatibility, according to Cisco and Rockwell Automation.
HyperOffice announces beta release of cloud computing collaboration suite
This Ajax-powered reinvention of HyperOffice software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools was rebuilt after two years of R&D with HyperOffice users worldwide, company says.
Motorola Establishes U.S. Take-Back Recycling Program for Enterprise Mobility Solutions Customers
Motorola, Inc. announced today that it has established a take-back recycling program for its U.S. EMS customers to help them responsibly dispose of used equipment.
PLC to Blackberry link achieved through Mitsubishi Electric partnership with Schad GmbH
e-F@ctory Alliance integration lets users remotely make changes to production schedules, diagnose performance parameters, and respond to fault conditions. Hazelwood said future plans call for BlackBerry connectivity to be expanded to larger Mitsubishi products such as the iQ Automation Platform as well as inverters and servos.
Multizone safety laser scanner
New SafeZone Multizone Series B safety laser scanner from Rockwell Automation is designed to protect personnel in automated robot and assembly applications by detecting objects or people in its sensing field. This was a North American print edition Product Exclusive.
SmartTurn on-demand warehouse management is integrated with NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform
Integrated with NetSuite's native inventory management system, SmartTurn enables wholesale distributors and eCommerce businesses to increase shipment and inventory accuracy while reducing inventory-related labor and carry costs, the company says.
Rugged fanless mini PC with front removable storage
Industry standard mobile 2.5" SATA hard drive slides directly into Stealth's LPC-395F PC without having to open the chassis.
Invensys Operations Management: New approach requires real-time adaptability to customer orders
Automation no longer just about the cost of materials and labor, now it has to do with real time adaptability to customer orders, says Invensys Operations Management president Sudipta Bhattacharya.
Invensys Operations Management explains new approach
At the annual Invensys user conference, Invensys Operations Management president Sudipta Bhattacharya addressed the company's recent merger of divisions and how it plans to differentiate itself in the industrial automation market.
NetSuite 3Q results: More cash flow, record sales; lighting manufacturer win
NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N) reported some positive news with third-quarter 2009 financial results, including more cash flow and record sales. Separately a lighting manufacturing company switched to NetSuite, among other recent wins, NetSuite said.
Plant deployment demonstrates wireless standard
Installation in a brownfield chemical plant shows interoperability within ISA100.11a and practicality for instrumentation improvements in long-established operations.
Wireless technology enables chemical plant’s ‘Project Zero’
Chemical manufacturer Huntsman wanted a system to give personnel real-time access to information needed to operate the plant as safely and efficiently as possible - no matter where they were. The result is one of the largest and most ambitious industrial wireless application networks to date.
Remote diagnostics help reduce rising cost of ownership for mobile devices
The upfront costs of most technology typically is fairly straightforward, and mobile devices are no exception. Typical costs may include deployment, software and hardware, and installation. However, the cost of ownership of ruggedized mobile solutions is not so clear-cut. Many users do not realize they may be shelling out an additional $2,500 to $3,000 per year for maintenance, downtime, and up...
Wireless Enables Huntsman Project Zero
One of the largest and most ambitious industrial wireless application networks to date helps chemical manufacturer Huntsman strive for zero product defects, zero safety incidents and injuries, zero environmental releases, and zero unscheduled downtime.
Siemens combines four businesses to form Siemens Industry
Effective Oct. 1, 2009, Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., Siemens Building Technologies Inc. and Siemens VAI Services LLC will merge, and the resulting corporation will be renamed Siemens Industry Inc. Daryl D. Dulaney has been appointed president and CEO of the newly formed Siemens Industry Inc.
By the Numbers – 2009-11-01
Learn more about each item by searching on relevant keywords at www.controleng.com. 40 to 35,000 gpm is the flow rate range for line sizes from 2 to 48 in. with a McCrometer turbine flowmeter, which is specifically designed for water applications. Measurement accuracy is ±2% at temperatures up to 140 °F.
Dassault: PLM’s future includes social networking in 3D
Dassault Systemes (DS) is pushing further with its vision of making the virtual world better reflect the real world, and demonstrating what "PLM 2.0" can accomplish. At its 2009 customer conference, CEO Bernard Charles and his team painted a very different picture of PLM than what some have in mind.
NetSuite OneWorld for Oracle brings cloud computing to division, retains corporate ERP
New NetSuite software helps divisions of large Oracle legacy accounts manage multinational, multi-sub business operations in real-time using cloud computing techniques.
Dassault lays out PLM’s 3D social networking future
Customer conference shows PLM growing beyond CAD, CAE and product design.
Are mobile devices a money pit?
In recent years, BlackBerries and other multi-function PDAs have become an essential business tool, and a major line item in corporate budgets. But data from Compass shows that a large portion of this growing spend is either wasted, or worse yet, invisible.
Wireless demonstration project operates ISA 100.11a for process automation
Wireless system installed at Arkema chemical plant seeks to prove device and infrastructure interoperability using equipment from multiple vendors using ISA100.11a Process Automation Applications Wireless Standard.
Siemens merges 4 businesses into Siemens Industry, names Dulaney to lead
Siemens appointed Daryl D. Dulaney as president and CEO of Siemens Industry Inc., which is the merger of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., Siemens Building Technologies Inc. and Siemens VAI Services LLC.
Siemens merges 4 businesses into Siemens Industry; Dulaney leads
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., Siemens Building Technologies Inc. and Siemens VAI Services, LLC will merge. Siemens appointed Daryl D. Dulaney as president and CEO of Siemens Industry Inc.
Regulatory Compliance for Food Safety
Different types of software, used separately or in an integrated fashion, can be leveraged to meet the requirements of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliance.
The iPhone goes to work
NetSuite, a supplier of a cloud-based ERP suite, and product lifecycle management (PLM) software specialist Dassault Systemes have released applications for the iPhone. Both applications also work on the Apple iTouch media player.
Online community aids ERP software development; more process control planned, IQMS says
Manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is getting more mobile, evolving more quickly, and integrating more tightly with manufacturing processes, IQMS told Manufacturing Business Technology. IQMS designs, develops, and implements manufacturing ERP software.
Mobile CRM keeps enterprises moving in the right direction
Mobile devices are a must-have tool for manufacturing companies seeking an edge in today's business environment, as they allow field staff—in both the sales and service side—to keep business moving, no matter where they are, with immediate access to critical customer information. Advancements in network speeds, mobile hardware, and applications are making it possible to replace slow...
3M selected Wavelink for mobile device management
3M selects Wavelink for mobile device management to manage devices from multiple vendors, reducing week-long process to 30 minutes.
National Instruments leaders give U.S. economic engineering advice
Three leaders from National Instruments offered U.S. business leaders advice about how to thrive as the country moves out of recession.
Engineering company executives provide U.S. economic advice
Three National Instruments leaders offered U.S. business leaders advice about how to thrive as the country moves out of recession. The engineering-minded executives also suggested ways U.S. policymakers, economists, and financial wizards might avoid future economic disasters, in an Aug. 4 discussion.
Controleng.com goes mobile
The clear trend in communication technologies is toward delivering information to anyone who needs it in any form they want it. With that in mind and the growing use of mobile devices as Internet access tools, Control Engineering has configured much of its online information for more optimal viewing on mobile devices.
Panjiva launches application store for global trade
Panjiva asks organizations, such as organizations such as certification organizations, government agencies, and credit bureaus to submit information via onPanjiva so businesses can gather information with Panjiva Search, a search engine for global trade.
Intel to acquire Wind River, grow machine control presence
Intel Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wind River Systems Inc., under which Intel will acquire all outstanding Wind River common stock for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $884 million in the aggregate, according to a statement posted on the Wind River site. Wind River is a leading software vendor in embedded devices, and will become part of Intel’s strat...
2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Getting pricing right
MOST INNOVATIVE PROCESS ¦ FOURTH PLACE Having exhausted most of their ideas for cutting operating costs, a growing number of corporate executives are looking at how the prices they charge for products and services impact the bottom line. Zilliant, a supplier of price optimization software, is glad to be a part of such discussions.
It is time to end any perceptions that wireless costs too much to implement, connect, and integrate, as recent information from Motorola and Honeywell demonstrate. Wireless also can be the next game-changer in productivity advances, an easy-to-construct "bridge" between islands of automation, even as handheld wireless devices converge, offering multiple capabilities.
Motorola enterprise mobility: Wireless LAN, industrial sensing growth expected
Manufacturers plan to expand use of wireless LAN and wireless sensing technologies within process and discrete manufacturing environments, says a survey commissioned by Motorola Inc.
Motorola wireless mobility: More integration, automation efficiencies, sensors
Manufacturers plan to expand use of wireless LAN and wireless sensing technologies within process and discrete manufacturing environments, says a survey commissioned by Motorola Inc.
Bar code and laser scanner celebrate 35th anniversary
Motorola offered some bar code technology reflections, since Symbol Technologies, now a part of Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions, was founded, in part, by Dr. Jerome Swartz, the inventor of the laser scanning device for use with bar codes.
Intel to acquire Wind River, for embedded devices, handheld computing
Wind River, a leading software vendor in embedded devices, will become part of Intel's strategy to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional PC and server market segments into embedded systems used for machine control and in mobile handheld devices.
Wireless alliance for 60 GHz technology
More than 15 technology companies announced the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance, an organization formed to establish a unified specification for 60 Gigahertz (GHz) wireless technologies. The widespread availability and use of digital multimedia content has created an ever-increasing need for faster wireless connectivity that current wireless standards cannot support.
Rugged HMIs deliver handheld photo capture/send, sealed full-function PC abilities
Two rugged HMI offerings show how industrial interface hardware designs must include protection from dust, water and temperature extremes: The Hydrus Luna rugged handheld from Two Technologies, Inc. and the Armor X10 rugged tablet PC from DRS Technologies.
Apprion, Motorola: More industrial wireless networks, mobility
Integrated products from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement will focus on industrial enterprise wireless application networks and industrial enterprise mobility, say Apprion and Motorola.
Wireless Gigabit Alliance forms to promote 60 GHz wireless technology
There's a new alliance to promote new 60 GHz wireless technology (10x faster than today's wireless LANs), and 15 big names are behind the effort. Commercial applications have potential for the industrial space.
European biofuel consortium plans for biomass-to-liquid production plant
Optfuel group chooses initial vendors to design process for second-generation plant, turning wood residue into liquid transport fuel.
AT&T chairman sees mobile devices driving economic development
The rise of mobile broadband technology will drive a new wave of productivity and economic development similar to that produced by the advent of the Internet. Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, made that declaration during his keynote address at the annual conference for customers of Sterling Commerce, a supplier of B2B integration solutions, and an AT&T company.
A new of wave prosperity: AT&T chairman sees mobile devices driving economic development
Will mobile broadband bring a new wave of prosperity? New devices will come with 4G networks, and soon it will be difficult to find any electronic device that is not connected wirelessly, says AT&T. The Apple iPhone, for instance, has an entire ecosystem.
By the Numbers: Electrical safety, PUMA electric vehicle, battery institute
$5 DVD on electrical safety; 0 accident 2-seat GM-Segway (see GM photo, link to Segway video); $1.3 million for EPRI Smart Grid work; 3 universities help with new battery institute; more.
Report from Hannover: Innovations, energy efficiency
They talked of a manufacturing world without boundaries or trade restrictions, where innovation, skill and initiative would solve the economic crisis and the global energy crisis. The opening of the 62nd Hannover Messe in Germany came with acknowledgement of the crises that face global manufacturing. Sunday night discussions emphasized the need to use technology to address the global crisis in energy.
Report from Hannover: Flying penguin, innovations, efficiency
Control Engineering is at Hannover Fair in Germany this week, with daily reports on the largest industrial manufacturing event in the world. Watch for relevant developments from among 25 separate halls (see photos). Our team will keep your team up to date on the latest news and product innovation, including...
Corporate Idol: Popular TV show offers lessons on creating innovative cultures
When Steve Jobs announced health concerns were forcing him to take a six-month leave from his position as CEO of Apple , it raised serious questions about the future of one of the world’s most innovative companies.Three months later, Apple appears to be doing just fine. It has rolled out several new products and its stock price is up more than 30 percent, even as the overall market has declined.Still, close industry observers wonder if Apple can keep ground-breaking products flowing through its development pipeline if Jobs doesn’t come back.“We were never concerned about what would happen to Apple during a six-month leave,” Dan Frommer, senior editor for the high-tech news Web site, Silicon Alley Insider, recently wrote . “The potential for Apple to slip is several months—or years—down the line Steve Jobs taking a leave of absence raises questions about whether Apple truly has an innovative corporate culture.
Smart service: Syclo teams with SAP for mobile asset and service management solutions
A new partnership gives manufacturer maintenance and service technicians remote access to the SAP Business Suite and Syclo’s package of field service and enterprise asset management solutions.
Tool talk: Mobile workers report back with BI-enabled smart devices
As mobile computing technology proliferates, the demand for business intelligence (BI) capabilities is on the rise. Users want pervasive “actionable intelligence” delivered via smart phones, tablet PCs, and other sub-notebook devices to a remote, mobile workforce.
Super model: Energize and optimize your business with SaaS—and focus on “the important stuff”
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is proving to be a cost-effective way for companies to get the sophisticated business solutions they need to compete and grow without incurring the often high initial costs associated with purchasing and maintaining the applications and infrastructure.
SAP partner: InfoLogix forms global SCE & and mobility solutions group
InfoLogix is extending capabilities offered to Global 2000 and midmarket enterprises running SAP enterprise systems with mobility solutions and a proprietary platform for delivering wireless data to handheld devices.
What’s it to ‘ya? How a survey can set customer and employee expectations
Have you ever used one of those “How was our service?” questionnaires to register a complaint, then never heard back from the organization that sent it? When it comes to enterprise feedback management (EFM), this is a cardinal sin. EFM centralizes the collection, analysis, and distribution of customer and employee feedback to make good decisions and respond accordingly.
Big Pay-Off from Automation Investments
Pharmaceutical manufacturing is generally considered a hybrid industry, in that it has major elements of process and discrete industries, often in the same facilities. Manufacturing of ingredients follows normal process procedures, while very sophisticated packaging lines use discrete control. Building control systems that span this divide across multiple production units can be challenging, bu...
Linked in: Transpara’s operational intelligence software demos in 16 Microsoft Technology Centers
Chuck McCann, a director for Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) alliances, says enterprise mobility is largely an untapped opportunity. But now, via a new agreement with Transpara Corp., the MTCs can use Transpara's Visual KPI technology to demonstrate the power of putting business-critical information—from supply chain to purchasing to engineering metrics—on familiar mobile devices that decision makers use every day.
Efficient environment: Cadbury uses wireless tablets in “green” data-collection program
Cadbury, the world’s largest confectionery company, has issued tablet computers to its field staff to improve workers’ ability to collect and analyze sales data. The company says abandoning its paper-based data collection system is part of its ongoing campaign to preserve the environment.
AIM Global announces availability of Grid Matrix Code, for Chinese
AIM Global announced public availability of International Symbology Specification-Grid Matrix, a square, variable-sized, two-dimensional matrix symbology with a robust finder pattern. The grid, first symbology originating from China that AIM standardized, is designed to encode the entire Chinese character set (GB 2312-1980).
To See and Control
Anyone who’s seen a law-enforcement photo of their car rolling through a red light knows the power of video to monitor events, report exceptions, and initiate action—such as send notice of a moving violation and fine. If your town doesn’t have such video applications, it’s likely to soon.
Wireless: Adoption trends in factory automation
Wireless devices are perceived as the next big technological wave in factory automation. However, the current adoption trends are moderate at best, despite requirements for real time data, mobile workforce, remote access and flexibility in operation. This is mainly because wireless devices are not found to be robust enough by end users. Concerns include reliability, security and interoperability.
Intelligent predictions: OnPATH shares top five IT industry trends for 2009
Asset utilization, the adoption of 8Gbps speed as a new standard, Web as desktop, and physical layer automation are said to be among the top strategic technology trends in the coming year.
Fair warning: 10 signs your ERP system is killing your business
Most manufacturers look to their enterprise resources planning (ERP) system to enhance the organization’s overall performance. But in so many cases, the systems fall short of anticipated benefits. This checklist sets up 10 warning signs that will help you determine if your ERP system is killing your business.
Personifying Web 2.0: WorkLight and Tata team up for desktop gadgetry, collaborative gizmos
A new alliance will yield solutions to securely engage customers, partners, and employees through consumer Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, iGoogle, iPhone apps, desktop gadgets, RSS, and more. Enabling secure, personalized, and enterprise-grade interactions beyond the portal, users are expected to gain a real business edge by increasing the value of their existing infrastructures.
Trying to pick a winner: Competing industrial wireless standards stir—rather than clarify—issues
Wireless technology is proving itself in industrial settings. A number of manufacturers—lured by potential cost savings or the ability to place sensors in previously unreachable areas—are using industrial wireless networks. Most of these early adopters are pleased with the results of their projects, with the belief that the number of industrial wireless networks would multiply quic...
Industrial Machining Embraces Nano Positioning
Where several ten-thousandths of an inch was once considered to be high precision, some applications now require the ability to reach sub-micron levels.
Scalable, animated Web HMI applications
Just as sports fans use Internet-capable devices to get the latest information about favorite teams, manufacturers can remotely monitor plant-floor operations status with FactoryTalk ViewPoint software from Rockwell Automation. It is among the first commercially available, thin-client applications for manufacturing built using the new Microsoft Silverlight technology.
Wireless application: Tank farm level sensing allows device portability
Real-life application stories of wireless instrumentation are becoming more common as technology is adopted.
Wonderware announces new system integrator certification
At the WonderWorld event in Las Vegas, Oct 6-8, 2008, Wonderware announced the addition of an “endorsed” system integrator level to its existing “registered” and “certified” programs.
Mobility dominates WonderWorld partner and technology expo
Thirty-seven partners exhibited their products and services at the WonderWorld event in Las Vegas. The expo featured three “industry zone” theaters and highlighted technologies aimed at specific industry verticals.
Sidney Hill, Jr.: Economic storms slow investment, but not innovation
As I write this, the U.S. Congress is debating something called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. You may know it as the financial services industry bailout. Whatever it's called, the emergence of this legislation offered a rare opportunity to see clearly how what happens in Washington can affect our everyday lives.
Manufacturing life-cycle solution finds defects before it’s too late—or too costly
A flawless inspection process is essential to building a 20-foot power boat that costs $50,000 to $90,000. Production defects can result in astronomical scrap and rework costs. Correct Craft, with an 83-year history in boat manufacture, plans to prevent such costly defects with a new quality execution system from AIMS Co.
New takes on emerging software
The steady consolidation in the enterprise software industry hasn't driven choice out of the market—at least not yet. Software vendors continue to emerge by carving out new niches or by winning over companies interested in alternative delivery models for established application categories. Take the case of iPurity's ERP choice.
The mobile enterprise: AT&T unveils manufacturing-centric smart phones
AT&T Inc. offers a new series of mobile-device applications that cater to companies in specific vertical industries, including manufacturing.Companies can opt to have the new AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications hosted in an AT&T data center, or they can run the applications on their own premises. Either way, the applications will be accessible through AT&T smart phones.The AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications support three primary business processes:• Sales force automation, which provides sales organizations with a complete view across all facets of a customer relationship;• Field force automation, which provides field service workers with bidirectional access to real-time customer, inventory, and other job-related information; and• IT support, which empowers IT technicians with real-time, virtually anywhere access to time-sensitive, incident, and problem-management information.These applications are supported by the Antenna Mobility Platform developed by Antenna Software .
Corrosion data logger: Identify problem situations in real-time
Diagnose process conditions that promote equipment corrosion.
Virtual learning: Companies turn to BPO to combat talent retention
Boston-based NelsonHall, an independent business process optimization (BPO) analyst firm, offers a new report containing a comprehensive assessment of learning BPO (LBPO) services. The highlight in the marketplace over the last 12 months has been stronger focus on the development of mobile learning content, and the use of virtual classroom technology.
Caught unaware: Beijing games signal supply chain snafus ahead
The Chinese government's attempts to limit pollution during the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing have some U.S.-based manufacturers adjusting their supply chain strategies. That's because Chinese government began shuttering a number of factories in the city and surrounding area three weeks before the games, and the city's 3.
Embedded learning: Logic analyzers, design contest, robot brains
Attend a free Webcast about logic analyzers, join a PIC32 design challenge, or ponder robots that use a compact board-level form factor for brains. Details include....
Quick case history: Yes, a few companies still make custom instruments
Some of the best ideas for instrumentation devices come from customers' special orders.
Better together? Ametek, Dresser-Rand, IntervalZero, Rexroth make acquisitions
In separate transactions, Ametek Inc. agreed to acquire the programmable power business of Xantrex Technology Inc., Bosch Rexroth will purchase Hagglunds Drives AB, Dresser-Rand Group Inc. acquired certain assets of Peter Brotherhood Ltd., and IntervalZero buys Ardence embedded software from Citrix.
Software certified by AT&T: Runs on PDAs, cellphones, enables mobile applications
InduSoft has completed Enterprise Solution Certification testing by the AT&T devCentral program, which means InduSoft CEView, an HMI/SCADA software package that can run on personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellphones, other handheld devices and diskless computers, and....
New products: Supporting wireless communications at every level
New wireless products abound, from chips with embedded IP connectivity, to sensors and receivers, to plantwide network services. Recent offerings include products from Omega Engineering, ConnectOne, and Invensys Process systems in partnership with Motorola. See photo.
Survey Says: Users Demand Wireless Monitoring, Control Products
Industrial wireless applications are expected to grow at a 19% compound annual growth rate from 2007 to 2012, according to a recent Venture Development Corp. (VDC) survey covering radio frequency (RF) or microwave industrial monitoring and control products. Market to double in 5 years VDC estimates the combined worldwide market to be $629 million in 2007, expanding to more than $1.
Co-winners Qualcomm and Motorola: A whole new angle
Gardner Denver, Ce De Candy take wireless route to better business performance
Customer management: Microsoft and TenDigits to deliver mobile access to BlackBerry
A new alliance promises to deliver full-featured mobile access to both Windows Mobile phones and BlackBerry mobile phones for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. MobileAccess 4.0, developed and distributed by TenDigits , will extend rich client access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM for users of Windows Mobile phones and Research in Motion -based BlackBerry mobile phones. This solution gives organizations the choice and flexibility to meet the requirements of their users while enabling anytime/anywhere access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The solution also enables access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality while off-line to fuel productivity and responsiveness of remote employees and partners. MobileAccess 4.0 may be administered within Microsoft Dynamics CRM rather than with multiple servers, which minimizes IT management overhead and setup. MobileAccess v4.0 augments the range of offerings available for mobile users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which includes CRM Mobile Express and Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008.
Power supplies, dc, more products
Additional dc product supply products accompany the recent Product Research article on the same topic.
Solid HMI Connections, Sealed Edges Prove Tough Enough
The old saying about kitchens and heat applies, with a twist, to the process industries and rugged human machine interfaces (HMIs). Increasingly, these intermediaries between people and equipment can take the heat—not to mention the humidity and the vibration. They can do so thanks to advances in HMI design, manufacturing and technology.
Energy-efficiency dominates Germany’s Hannover Fair
Efficient energy usage and alternative energy sources, relatively recent issues for the U.S., have been long-term concerns in Europe and elsewhere. No surprise, energy-efficiency and energy developments permeated this year's Hannover Industrial Fair. In fact, Energy Technology—one of 10 shows comprising the Fair in 2008—brought together 900 companies to exhibit innovations for effic...
Dairy Processor Stays Flexible
Milk is a demanding product. Let the temperature drift during processing, and purity can be compromised or the product’s flavor or texture might be ruined. To perform the delicate balancing act that dairy products demand, plant operators need complete control, including the ability to know precisely what is happening at every moment and to perform minor tweaks on a dime.
Operating practice: Your people as multivariable sensors
Can your operators tell more about the process than your control system?
The two critical information flows in field service pertain to getting technicians out to customer sites quickly, and getting timely reports back from the field. At Toshiba America Medical Systems, a CRM system paired with an earlier generation of mobile technology—namely pagers and cell phones—was effective for the first part of that equation: rapid response.
More interoperability, less effort
Think Again: Highest level of interoperability includes the capability to plug in a device and—without additional configuration—have it do what it’s supposed to do. Standards, industry organizations, certifications, and a variety of organizations profess plug-and-play interoperability as a goal.
Beyond networks: Optimize information use, Fieldbus Foundation says
Fieldbus Foundation digital network technology saves on wiring, said presenters at the first in a series of North American seminars in 2008. Dave Smith, Yokogawa, was among multiple live demonstrations showing better information integration, diagnostics, along with....
The Worldwide Market for RF/Microwave Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Discrete and Process Manufacturing
This white paper is based on a market study completed by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) in March 2008. Covered in the market study are the following RF/microwave wireless products used in industrial monitoring and control applications: • Data Acquisition Systems; • Network Products (access points, I/O devices, modems, repeaters, routers, transceivers); • Operator Interface Terminals (handheld, notebook, tablet, vehicle mount, wearable computers, and PDAs); • Remote control
Rugged computer in head-on crash!
She didn't have much hope for the computer, but she blew off the broken glass fragments, and fired it up. The only damage she found was a grass stain on the plastic!
Status: Industrial wireless standard progresses; attend next meeting
Here’s a look at where a standard for industrial wireless has been and where it’s going. Would you like to participate? Next chance is very soon...
Professor receives $50,000 Honda grant to develop holographic instrument panel controls
Tarek El Dokor, director of the Machine Vision Lab at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was awarded a $50,000 Honda Initiation Grant for development of holographic instrument panel controls and displays. “It implements a software alternative to what is currently a hardware solution to various controls,” said El Dokor.
Sweeping success: Mobile data application smoothes productivity, inventory management, customer service for Tennant
Just weeks after rolling out Dexterra’s mobile field service management application in Spain, Portugal, and Italy—thus completing its European implementation of the solution—Minneapolis-based floor-cleaning machinery maker Tennant has seen a transformation in its operations, whereby some 93.5 percent of service orders are now processed without any manual intervention.
Feel-good control system: Torque feedback for steering
Danaher Motion's Torque Feedback Device (TFD) combines tactile and position or velocity feedback with a steering wheel interface in a compact, IP66 rated package.
Remote connections: New Motorola architecture enables central management of wireless LANs
The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola Inc. has unveiled new access points that allow for extending wireless LAN (WLAN) coverage to branch offices and other remote sites without adding new networking equipment or IT staff at those locations.
Computing upgrades: Are solid state drives in your immediate future?
Products utilizing solid-state storage are now offered as a valid option to resolve complicated upgrades to accommodate highly demanding business processes. The question is: are the benefits you’ll get from a gadget equipped with a solid state drive worth the extra money you'll have to shell out?
Researcher wins grant for holographic instrument panel controls
A $50,000 Honda Initiation Grant goes to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor.
Integrator: Replace serial cable with a wireless modem
Orem, UT – Replacing long-range serial connections with wireless technologies have become easier for system integrators with new self-contained battery powered RF Field Modems from Ad Hoc Electronics.
ISA in the factory: Wireless networks, automation interest group meets
Burlington, MA — ISA, a organization originally for standards and best practices in instrumentation and process control, is aiming to help more in factory automation with launch of an interest group for factory automation and wireless issues. Second meeting is Jan. 25; Mark O’Hearne, vice president of business development & marketing at Millennial Net, held the first teleconference meeting of ISA’s Interest Group on factory and discrete automation; 21 attended on Jan. 11.
Technical enhancements: Manufacturers improving inventory management, customer service with RFID
Boston-based athletic apparel maker New Balance is 99.5-percent sure of where each item in its supply chain is located at any given time thanks to RFID.
UID barcode verification system
Meet MIL-STD-130, AIM, and DPM verification standards
Secure WiFi for any electronic device
MatchPort b/g Pro from Lantronix is an embedded module that provides 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity for virtually any device with a serial interface on its microcontroller. This application-ready device server enables OEMs to build integrated networking and Web services into their products that enable users to access, monitor and manage their equipment over a wireless network or over the Inte...
AIM issues its Top 5 RFID predictions for 2008
AIM Global, the industry trade association for automatic identification and mobility solutions, says these five components will impact the RFID landscape in 2008 and beyond:
Zebra printers see XML and SAP extensions; more wireless security
Zebra Technologies has expanded its line of XML-enabled thermal printers, making direct-connect capabilities available for the 105SL, S4M, and Z Series. Enabling firmware with Zebra XML technologies means XML output can be sent directly from a company's ERP system—e.g., SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft—to the Zebra printer.
RFID: 5 predictions for radio frequency identification from AIM Global
Warrendale, PA — Five predictions highlight trends, developments, and innovations that will impact the radio frequency identification (RFID) industry in 2008 and beyond, according to AIM Global, a worldwide industry trade association and authority on automatic identification and mobility solutions.
Unisys predicts: IT consumerization, service access, and “green” requirements will dominate outsourcing in 2008
An increasingly mobile workforce, new requirements for access to services, and environmental concerns will be among the key factors impacting enterprise outsourcing decisions in 2008, according to Unisys, a worldwide information technology consulting and solutions company.
Extending RFID: Motorola inks deal to codevelop long-range RF solutions
Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Division will codevelop new RFID platforms for specialized long-range RF applications, such as cold-chain distribution and high-value asset tracking. Motorola’s partner in the venture is Intelleflex, which has built an RFID platform specifically to support the application of RFID technology in environments that require the signals to travel fairly long distances.
Panel of thought leaders see pains, gains in manufacturing enterprise IT
As 2007 comes to a close, Manufacturing Business Technology turned to some of those it knows best in the vendor community to get an idea of what may lie ahead in the ongoing convergence of manufacturing systems and information technology. Based on a recovery in capital goods investment and increased exports, by 2006, 14 of 22 U.
From the East, globally
In Shanghai for Advantech’s third World Partner Conference, Control Engineering Asia group editor Bob Gill finds an ambitious Eastern company ready to take globalization to the next level. Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” These words, written over 100 years ago during the high noon of Britain’s colonial empire by Rudyard Kipling, are still t...
Mobilizing BI: MicroStrategy offers report-validation tool for BlackBerry Smartphones
MicroStrategy has expanded its business intelligence platform with a brace of software modules that enhance report mobility and quality.
Expansions: Control Microsystems, Rexroth, Schneider Electric, Yokogawa
Multiple companies in automation, controls, and instrumentation announced expansion-related news recently, including Control Microsystems, Rexroth, Schneider Electric, and Yokogawa. Expansions may translate into better services and more or broader product development for customers.
Photoelectric family for small applications
Photoelectric family from Balluff is designed for small parts conveying equipment to help designers reduce a machine’s overall footprint on the factory floor. The family, called BOS 11K, includes diffuse, retro-reflective, polarized retro-reflective, and thru-beam styles within a compact 34.5 x 29.
Emerging 40 Vendors: Recognizing innovation in the global manufacturing enterprise
The U.S. manufacturing industries have seized upon the term “innovation” as epitomizing what it takes to survive and thrive in an era of free trade and rapid technological change. Through increased exports, the manufacturing industries today are contributing big time to the health of the U.
Pulling the plug: Cisco and Emerson team on industrial wireless solutions for process manufacturers
"When Emerson first approached me with their industrial wireless solution, they said, 'We're plug-and-play,' recalls Tim Gerami, senior design engineer at PPG. "I have to admit I laughed; nothing I'd seen so far was that easy. But I'm a believer now."
Machine design: Selecting and using joysticks
Joysticks have replaced many traditional lever systems for the control.
Market report: rugged mobile accessories
The Venture Development Corp. report measures the aftermarket mobile device accessories market.
Choosing the Right Joystick
As the primary interface between the user and the system, the joystick, can literally make or break the system.
Robot safety standard approved, safety conference planned
Ann Arbor, MI — The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) has recently updated its safety standards. Approved by ANSI (American National Institute of Standards) last month, Experts will highlight these new requirements during the National Robot Safety Conference XIX (Oct. 1-4, Monday through Thursday) at the Marriott Center East in Indianapolis.
Backup for Critical Processes
In many industries, there are processes so critical that extraordinary methods must be taken to ensure that those processes are not halted or even stalled. To facilitate this, end users in many industries implement hot standby, or redundant systems. While it might not be practical for end users to implement a hot standby solution with a very expensive distributed control system (DCS), many end ...
Mobile software pulls in business system information in the language users know
Field service remains notoriously constrained by paper-centric and manual processes. That's why mobile enterprise applications are the next competitive differentiator—especially for service repair situations—when a customer has a problem with a product. Wi-Fi-enabled mobile applications offer much promise—with a caveat: Adoption is as much about culture change as it is process...
Industrial computer features compact footprint
The Relio R1300 industrial computer, powered by Geode LX800, has a compact footprint that permits convenient mounting. Introduced by Sealevel Systems, it can be mounted to walls, under counters, on tabletops, or to DIN rails using available optional brackets. Fanless operation improves reliability in dusty surroundings; it is rated to operate from 0 °C to 50 °C to accommodate harsh en...
Automation vendors address need to govern industrial wireless use of local radio spectrum
Given technology advances, emerging standards, and demand for affordable plant applications, in the last two years, major automation vendors have introduced products for wireless monitoring of the I/O and field devices used in process control. Just as important, they've introduced solutions for managing the wireless networks that result.
Wireless 4G technology moves forward; standards battles loom
Scottsdale, AZ—The official definition of wireless 4G technology is not scheduled until the 2008-2009 timeframe in the form of the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) IMT-Advanced requirements, yet the high-tech market research firm In-Stat reports that there are clear contenders for the designation.
HMI: Buying rugged has lower total cost of ownership
Natick, MA–A new analysis from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) on the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile computer and communications devices in Enterprise Mobility Solutions across a wide spectrum of vertical and application markets finds that almost half of the cost of operation is associated with worker productivity downtime during device failure.
Fieldbus Foundation releases test specification kit, expands abroad
Fieldbus Foundation May to August announcements include educational events, expansion abroad, and an updated host profile specification and test kit.
Digital Manufacturing Takes Off
Product lifecycle management (PLM) software could be coming to a control system near you. Maybe not to tomorrow, but given recent developments, sooner than you might suspect. The link from PLM directly into the controls layer is an emerging trend that presents yet another challenge — and opportunity — for control engineering professionals.
WiFi on the plant floor
Interested in implementing a wireless communications network on your production line, on the plant floor, or even expanding the network outside the manufacturing walls? Manufacturers have three key wireless elements to consider, and what may be a surprising solution: WiFi, that ubiquitous IEEE 802.11 standard popping up in cafes and airport terminals across the U.
Versatile rotational connectors
Multi-axial rotational connector (MARC) from Anderson Power Products is designed to mate while traveling through an arc with a 3 in. minimum radius. Suited to medical and mobility applications, it is rated to 30A while combining power, signal, and ground circuitry in one package. UL listed connector enables rotational blind mating with approximately 0.
The Global 100
The story behind the MBT 2007 Global 100 The 2007 Global 100 lists the leading IT and enterprise application providers for the manufacturing and supply chain markets. Vendor revenues for fiscal year 2006 were the starting point for inclusion, but additional research was conducted before the final list was compiled.
Intelligence and performance management accept a merger
Rather than considering business intelligence (BI) and performance management software as two distinct solutions sets, leading manufacturers now see them as complementary tools. Using them in concert brings increased understanding of enterprise conditions, and how to act appropriately to improve business performance.
Haptics: Tactile feedback technology enhances touchscreens
TouchSense tactile feedback for portable devices provides confirming tactile response to user touchscreen interactions.
Manufacturing Gels Around Automation
When the company set out to build its new Fayetteville plant, Nitta Gelatin wanted a world-class manufacturing facility that would employ the latest practices in automated systems, enterprise integration, security, manufacturing operation management (MOM), and analytical tools. To implement these objectives, Nitta looked for help from a major system integrator to design, build, install and comm...
Air control valve for extreme environments
Viking Xtreme heavy-duty industrial in-line valve series is designed for extreme operating conditions.
Portable PC-based data recorder
Big River P440 data recorder from Conduant Corp. delivers more than 400 megabytes per second sustained recording and playback performance for field or mobile applications.
Telematics: Linux tapped as preferred platform for intelligent highway vehicles
Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium selected Wind RiverGeneral Purpose Platform, Linux Edition as the platform for developing vehicle on-board equipment for its intelligent highway system proof-of-concept activities.
ISA recommended practice: HMI task analysis document approved
A new recommended practice for HMI task analysis has been approved by the ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society . ISA-RP77.60.65, “Fossil Fuel Power Plant Human-Machine Interface: Task Analysis” provides guidance and suggests an approach for conducting a task analysis as part of the design and development of new control rooms and systems for power plants and for supporting major control room upgrade programs. When task analysis data are collected early, says ISA, they are beneficial throughout the design process and serve to identify instrumentation needs, assist in evaluating design options, and in validating completed designs for HMI concerns. The recommended practice is part of a three-part series on the topic.
A Chip off the New Block
Matt Chang is a hardware design engineer at Opto 22, the Temecula, CA-based automation hardware and software manufacturer. As such he has a hand in the development of new products, and something about embedded control chips used to bother him. The chips would have features that he, or any automation hardware designer, would never use.
Machine Vision: Now is the Time
Envision this: Hardware and software that excludes rejects at high speed, guides robotics, and reads characters on parts and labels for error-free handling. Many subscribers are employing machine vision technologies for these and other purposes—many with success, some with setup challenges, according to the latest research from Control Engineering and Reed Research Group.
Wireless: LAN helps public safety personnel increase mobility
Implementing wireless mobile-to-mobile (M2M) technology can reduce lengthy cabling cost, save time, and labor over hardwired networks, but some wireless solutions also increase workforce mobility.
The story behind the MBT 2007 Global 100 The 2007 Global 100 lists the leading IT and enterprise application providers for the manufacturing and supply chain markets. Vendor revenues for fiscal year 2006 were the starting point for inclusion, but additional research was conducted before the final list was compiled.
Touchscreen markets: Strong growth forecast for large, small sizes
The fastest growth for touchscreen sensors and displays will occur at opposite ends of the display size marketplace—with equipment less than 8-in. and greater than 15 in.—Venture Develop Corp.
Wireless comment: LCRA power plant becomes Invensys infrastructure site
The Lost Pines Power Park, operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is implementing wireless infrastructure based on Invensys and Apprion networking technology. The initial application, now online, involves wireless voice communication via WiMax/WiFi. The larger Power Park actually includes two separate power plants that are now under common management and will be linked with shared layered wireless infrastructure. Implementation of this project began with a comprehensive site assessment study to support wireless network design and engineering.
Operations software: Transpara named ‘cool vendor’ by IT research firm
Pleasanton, CA —Operations intelligence software vendor Transpara Corp . is among the companies listed in Gartner 's "Cool Vendors in Manufacturing, 2007" report, released in March. The research and consulting firm's report called Transpara "a vendor that plays across a broad set of manufacturing verticals." Its Visual KPI software delivers on-demand data about process manufacturing and utility operations to any handheld or desktop browser, including SmartPhones, PDAs, and Blackberry devices. Gartner analysts Dan Miklovic, Dale Hagemeyer, Marc Halpern, and Jim Duggan said in the report that: "manufacturers must look beyond traditional large enterprise systems vendors for technology and applications that can provide competitive advantage.
Gartner names Transpara ‘cool vendor’
Operations intelligence software vendor Transpara Corp. is among the companies listed in Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Manufacturing, 2007” report, released in March. The research and consulting firm’s report called Transpara “a vendor that plays across a broad set of manufacturing verticals.
Web Studio v6.1 runs on multiple platforms
Indusoft Web Studio v6.1 runs on various configurations of the Microsoft Windows platform, from redundant workstations using the latest Intel processors and Windows server software to handheld PDAs and “smart phones” that use Windows CE/Windows mobile technology. It also runs on diskless embedded processors and Panel PCs, and supports Web-based applications.
Design: AutoDesk stresses digital prototyping
A major theme of the 2007 AutoDesk World Press Day event, held Feb.12, 2007, in San Francisco, was the coming world of digital prototyping—the creation of computer models of structures, machines, and products that not only look like the actual products when viewed on the screen, but act like them as well, with all functions operating. Speaking at the event, Robert 'Buzz' Kross, vice president of manufacturing innovation, and Dr. Andrew Anagnost, senior director of CAD/CAE products, cited statistics from the Aberdeen Group that 'best in class' companies create half the number of physical prototypes as do run-of-the-mill companies, and bring products to market an average of 58 days faster, at 40% less cost and with more innovation. By the time a physical prototype is built, it's too late to discover design errors. But the traditional solid models generated by conventional CAD systems, said Kross, are not digital prototypes; they contain just geometry and not the actual function of the things they represent.
Throughout civilization, humanity has devised ways to record events for future generations: word-of-mouth, cave paintings, symbols on clay tablets, alphabets on scrolls. Not long after the industrial revolution, it became apparent to manufacturers that recording data was better accomplished through technology.
Pittcon 2007: Monitoring system among new offerings at instrumentation show
Bruker's RAID-AFM is designed to monitor large buildings and facilities for accidents or attacks involving toxic industrial chemicals or chemical warfare agents. (Photo courtesy of Business Wire.) Chicago, IL and Billerica, MA —A system designed to monitor facilities for accidents or attacks involving toxic industrial chemicals or chemical warfare agents is among the new products being introduced at Pittcon 2007, the 58th Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy . The event takes place at Chicago's McCormick Place Feb.
Enclosures – 2007-02-01
To protect and serve” appears on countless police and public safety vehicles in the United States. Although taken for granted by many, it is a serious motto for those in law enforcement, fire protection, and security fields. This same motto could appear on industrial enclosures as well. Their function is also to protect and serve.
What’s Your RFID Spin?
Supply chain mandates for use of radio frequency identification device (RFID) technologies put control engineers in a position of strength, since engineers have long seen RFID more as a benefit than a cost. Two approaches continue to be underway in many facilities. One is the “slap and ship” concept, where the lowest-cost RFID tags (transponders) are applied to comply with requireme...
Rugged PCs: BIOS-level support for security software ensures laptop recovery
The Toughbook 19, designed using the military's MIL-STD-810 test procedures for equipment durability under harsh conditions, now has BIOS-level software for tracking lost or stolen units Secaucus, NJ and Vancouver, Canada —An agreement between Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., a provider of mobile rugged PCs, and Absolute Software Corp. adds Absolute Software's guaranteed Computrace theft recovery software to the BIOS firmware of Panasonic's Toughbook line of notebook PCs. With Computrace, Panasonic mobile PC users can securely track their Toughbooks in any mobile or remote environment, locate and recover them if lost or stolen, and remotely delete sensitive data if required. Panasonic has embedded BIOS support for Absolute's patented Computrace-enabled security solutions within its CF-19 and CF-30 rugged notebooks and CF-T5 business-rugged tablet alternative.
DPM on metal: Guidelines for improving direct part
Direct part marks can be hard to read on metal without proper quality guidelines, says AIM Global. Warrendale, PA —Labeling metal parts with dot peening, laser etching, molding, or embossing is challenging, since there's often little or no contrast between the "marked" elements of a symbol and the background. Lighting and signal processing techniques help create contrast needed for machine vision or bar-code readers to decode a 3D code on metal.
Exclusive: PoE switch extends network
EDS-P308 from Moxa Technologies is an 8-port smart Ethernet switch that features PoE on ports 1 through 4 and supplies up to 15.4 W of power per port.
Fieldbus Foundation announces site, topics for 2007 assembly
The Fieldbus Foundation’s 2007 General Assembly will be held in Houston, Texas, Feb. 22-23. Planned for the Houstonian Hotel, the annual event will be attended by technology suppliers, end-users and other industry participants from around the world, the organization says.
More options: Modules enhance in-vehicle, wireless CompactRIO abilities
Engineers and scientists developing acquisition, design, and control applications requiring connectivity to in-vehicle communication buses and sensors along with wireless communication now have more options. Three companies have developed custom modules for the National Instruments CompactRIO platform: Aviaok International Co., Drivven, and Science & Engineering Applications Datentechnik GmbH (S.E.A.) National Instruments' CompactRIO goes wireless with new third-party modules from AVIAOK International Co., Drivven, and S.E.A. CompactRIO combines an open embedded architecture with small size, ruggedness, and hot-swappable I/O modules and is powered by Labview FPGA technology, which engineers can use to reconfigure the platform or create custom modules.
Take AIM: System integrators, others get RFID, bar-code training
AIM North America (NA), the regional chapter of AIM Global, plans an educational program to help increase sales and maximize profits. The group represents resellers, system integrators, and distributors in the automatic identification and mobility industries. The Channel Forum is a one-day event held in conjunction with the AIM Showcase in Tampa, FL, Feb. 26-27, 2007.
PoE switch extends network
EDS-P308 from Moxa Technologies is an 8-port smart Ethernet switch that features Power over Ethernet (PoE) on ports 1 through 4 and supplies up to 15.4 W of power per port. Combining the network signal and device power in one twisted-pair Ethernet cable connection, the switch is said to provide economical deployment, increased mobility, and simplified wiring for network connections.
Starter kit for mobile mini-devices
RoHS-compliant X-board miniKit for ultra-compact and robust mobile applications from Kontron is based on the X-board open standard for computer-on-modules.
System integrator JMP Engineering gets Microsoft recognition
JMP Engineering was selected as a finalist in the Mobility Solution of the Year category at the 2006 Microsoft Partner Program Impact Awards . A ceremony tonight, Nov. 2 in Toronto, Canada, acknowledge winners of the fourth annual Microsoft Partner Program Impact Awards for "exceptional work technology partners in Canada are doing with Microsoft-based technologies and software to deliver innovative solutions and unmatched value to their customers," Microsoft Canada says.
IT-Savvy Engineers Retool Careers
As the Chinese say: may you live in interesting times, says Don Clark. No Zen sage, Clark is currently director for industry marketing for Invensys Process Systems, but he started out 30 years ago as a control engineer for 3M Company. In the passage of time, however, he has garnered experience and wisdom sufficient to substantiate his claim that, for engineers, these are indeed interesting times.
Software integrates barcodes, RFID for wireless data collection
System integration of barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID) for automated data capture (ADC) in production, warehouse and field service locations can help companies reduce asset management costs, improve productivity, and create a real-time view of resources. Avnet Technology Solutions recently introduced wireless data capture products and services for barcode and RFID technologies integrating Data Systems International's (DSI) dcLink software. Avnet and DSI will provide configuration and integration support to assist their business partners in developing integrated wireless ADC solutions. The integrated offering includes DSI dcLink software, industry-standard x86 servers, wireless data capture hardware, and supporting infrastructure.
Handheld Test and Measurement Instruments
'Form follows function.” The phrase originated with American sculptor Horatio Greenough and was popularized by architect Louis Henri Sullivan, but its wisdom also applies to product design. As the need for portable test and measurement equipment grew, manufacturers of these devices initially learned that the box was the optimal shape for containing and protecting the inner workings.
Symbol Technologies, Transpara partnership widens use of KPIs
Pleasanton, CA — Symbol Technologies Inc. is adding Transpara , a Web application developer, to it stable of partners. As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in Symbol’s PartnerSelect program, the company will provide tested, end-to-end enterprise mobility systems that link the benefits of Symbol products and Transpara’s Visual KPI software. Transpara says its participation in the PartnerSelect program confirms a growing demand for mobile solutions with real-time delivery of and access to critical data about process manufacturing and utility operations at the desktop or in the field.
AIM Global announces 2006 RFID Executive Summit
Warrendale, PA — AIM Global , the industry trade association for automatic identification and mobility, plans its third annual RFID Executive Summit and Legislative Fly-In, 1-7 p.m., Sept. 7, in Washington, DC. The invitation-only meeting will bring thought leaders from radio frequency identification (RFID) and automatic identification together in a networking and educational environment. The program covers strategic issues facing the RFID and automatic identification markets: privacy and security issues influencing acceptance of RFID technology, latest market analysis, current state of RFID and Automatic Identification standards, and the latest feedback from key users.
Industrial networks, Ethernet, RFID conferences: Aug.-Oct.
Network-related conferences are listed among other upcoming industry meetings at the Control Engineering homepage calendar, at the bottom of www.controleng.com. These include the 12th Annual PTO General Assembly Meeting, Fieldbus Foundation free “Get on the Fast Track to Fieldbus” seminars, the 11th international CAN Conference, WINMEC RFID Executive Forum, and a free EtherNet/IP seminar from ODVA. 12th Annual PTO General Assembly Meeting , Aug. 1-3, Scottsdale, AZ, is preceded by a special Profisafe Developer Class and a Profisafe User Overview Class on July 31.
Wireless in ’07: unified, scalable, secure
Honeywell unveiled an industrial wireless roadmap for customers at its annual Users Group Symposium on June 12. Starting with wireless technologies in 2002, the map leads to a 2007 next-generation technology: one, scalable, secure wireless mesh, a "cloud" to enable end-users fine-tune plant operations and improve plant employee productivity.
Wireless in 2007: scalable, secure, facility-wide, 30k nodes
Phoenix, AZ— Honeywell unveiled an industrial wireless roadmap for customers at its annual Users Group Symposium on June 12. Starting with wireless technologies in 2002, the map leads to a 2007 next-generation technology: one, scalable, secure wireless mesh, a “cloud to enable end-users fine-tune plant operations and improve plant employee productivity. Industrial automation and wireless experts outlined Honeywell initiatives, including secure network technology that extends applications to improve compliance, safety and security, reliability, and optimization, incorporating all wireless needs, remote sensing among them.
New 128 x 64 pixel chip-on-glass (COG) LCD line includes three sizes: 50 x 25 mm, 70 x 40 mm, and 60.6 x 33.1 mm, including view areas.
Free seminar explains how to build a fieldbus network
Fieldbus Foundation End User Council will conduct three, one-day Fieldbus Educational Seminars for end-users in May in Wilmington, DE , Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA.
Standards: Direct part marking; packaging application library
Direct part marking and packaging applications are among recent standards-related news. AIM Global, a trade association for automatic identification and mobility, announced that the second Public Review Draft of the AIM Global Direct Part Marking (DPM) Quality Guideline, is available for public review until June 7, 2006.
NIR analyzers for process control
Antaris II near-infrared (NIR) analyzers offer a common platform for method, procedure, and data transferability of analytical quality control methods along product development and scale-up processes.
Enclosure operator stations, handhelds, PCs
Various enclosures offer protection for lights and pushbuttons at operation stations, personal digital assistants (PDAs) for monitoring and controlling processes, and personal computers to be used in industrial settings.
Building an Automated Assembly System
Manufacturers rely heavily on automated assembly machinery to meet two critical production requirements: speed and cost-efficiency. However, with today's extreme customization and shortened product life cycles, machine flexibility also rates high on the requirements list. Driving this demand are cost savings and time-to-market advantages inherent with ability to modify a production line without...
Engineering solutions to America’s urban dilemmas
Oakland, CA —In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the national debate about the future of America's cities has often led to gloomy forecasts and lowered expectations. For students heading to Washington, D.C. for the National Finals of the National Engineers Week Future City Competition, Feb.
Control Engineering Online Update for February 10, 2006
February 10, 2006 Highlights Sponsored by ABB Integrating serial devices into a network infrastructure offers distinct advantages for businesses that want to centralize their operations, overcome the distance limitations of standard serial communications, and lower costs associated with hands-on administration of these devices. However, integrating serial communications into a network is challenging. Data networks ease communications, lower costs Prior to the advent of widespread networking, devices communicated using a standard serial RS-232 or RS-485 interface. Despite the many advancements of the computer industry, serial communications remain well established, with a large number of off-the-shelf and inexpensive hardware devices and software applications that continue to be designed without networking in mind. Serial communication was designed to provide a direct connection between two devices using a point-to-point connection that is limited in cable length.
In, out, and about HMI: Webcasts cover HMI topics
Iconics Corp . has announced a series of Webcasts covering a variety of HMI topics from visualization dashboards to OPC tunneling. Each Webcast runs 45-60 min.
Non-Contact Drug Tablet Monitoring
Various methods of drug tablet monitoring have been introduced over the years for process monitoring purposes. Non-invasive techniques, such as acoustic emission (AE), have been widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for monitoring granular materials. By measuring AE it is possible to identify many of the phenomena that occur during powder compaction of pharmaceutical products, such as gran...
Increasing efficiency and mobility in CNC/DNC Communication by using wireless technology by Moxa
In this the age of the laptop computer, wireless LAN technology is just what the doctorordered. Install one or two Access Points in your home, spend a minute or two toconfigure a few parameters, and you’re ready to go. The main benefit for most people ismobility.
BASF Automates Bulk Pharmaceuticals Production
Demand for bulk pharmaceutical products, such as caffeine, theophylline, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine, has grown so consistently that BASF's Minden, Germany, pharmaceutical plant existed in a near-continual state of expansion to meet production requirements. By the mid-1990s, however, the site near Mittelland Canal had grown about as large as it could.
Acquire video, PCM, avionic bus data
D5000 Series—with enhanced signal module capabilities for the acquisition of video, PCM, and avionics bus data—features compact, high-channel capacity signal interface modules and flexible configuration solutions that can easily adapt to changing requirements in airborne and mobile applications.
Touch panels enhance contrast, clarity
Enhanced image contrast and clarity in high-ambient light applications are available with the High-Transparency Resistive Touch Panels for transmissive LCDs from Fujitsu Components Ltd. Additions to the company's 4- and 7-wire resistive offerings, the panels feature 86% transmissivity and are intended for a variety of portable and stationary applications, including tablet PCs and industrial ins...
Plug-in security for mobile devices
Wavelink Avalanche CE Secure plug-in provides advanced user authentication and security on Microsoft Windows CE mobile devices.
Digital notepads, PC tablets
CyberPad Series of digital notepads and PC tablets from Adesso Inc. stores exact reproductions of notes or graphics in real time. CyberPad Series of digital notepads and PC tablets from Adesso Inc .
SPS/IPC/Drives 2005: An embedded control viewpoint
Embedded (and PC-based) controls are growing in industrial automation as evidenced at the recent SPS/IPC/Drives Exhibition and Conference in Nuremberg, Germany (Nov. 22-24). This notable show covering the gamut of electric automation again set new growth numbers.
By the Numbers – 2005-12-01
6 high-end control applications show how "PC-Based Control Delivers for Manufacturing," the cover story in this issue. For more applications, read the article online, under December 2005, at www.controleng.com/archives 7 ways that system integrators should be required to improve and monitor their business expertise are: general management, quality management, project management, technical manag...
PMC card delivers video, multimedia features
AtlasPMC/2 card from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing saves slots and eases integration of multimedia functionality in VME, CompactPCI, and PCI systems. Leesburg, VA —AtlasPMC/2 from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing delivers video, RGB, and DVI input capability and an extensive range of multimedia features, including dual-head analog or DVI output display, stereo audio I/O, and an on-board USB 2.0 controller. PMC card saves slots and eases integration of multimedia functionality in VME, CompactPCI, and PCI systems. Based on ATI Technologies' Radeon Mobility 9000 (M9) mobile graphics processor, the card supports dual 2-D, 3-D, OpenGL, and DirectX compatible displays with up to 16.7 million colors.
In, out, and about HMI: Durable keyboards, mobile panel
Mobile and durable devices for rugged environments are in the HMI spotlight this month. New to the market are a keyboard from Ikey that accommodates a gloved hand, an indoor/outdoor keyboard from Small PC Computers , and a mobile panel from B&R Industrial Automation that combines operating, monitoring, control in one unit. Details and links to more information follow. DP-72 rugged keyboard from Ikey includes extra space between oversized keys to accommodate use by gloved hands.
Intermec, Symbol resolve RFID dispute
Everett, WA; Holtsville, NY — Intermec Technologies and Symbol Technologies Inc. have agreed to settle their radio frequency identification (RFID) intellectual property dispute. In addition, all other pending and anticipated legal actions have been put on hold while the two companies attempt to resolve remaining disputes. The conflict began in June 2004 when Intermec filed a patent infringement suit against Matrics Corp.—which is now Symbol Technologies—related to Intermec’s RFID patents.
Enea joins AUTOSAR Alliance
Enea , a leader in device software for telecommunications, medical, and automotive applications, announced that it has joined the Automotive Open Systems Architecture (AUTOSAR) industry alliance. AUTOSAR alliance is a global partnership of leading automotive manufacturers and system suppliers, formed in July 2003, to provide a standard framework for automotive basic software, functional interfaces, management, and integration methodology. As an associate member, Enea will support the alliance’s work to establish an open standard for automotive electric/electronic architecture. It will also work to provide AUTOSAR-compliant interfaces for Enea’s EE-Auto real-time (RT) automobile software platform.
HMI investment reflects a growing market
If one area of automation and control has experienced change and growth of late, it is the human-machine interface (HMI). Advancements in hardware and software technology have brought sophistication and precision to the display and the systems it controls. Elaborate graphics and animation and the ability to perform more complex functions, coupled with enhanced wireless and connectivity capabili...
NI introduces 1st products for laptop control of PXI/CompactPCI
Engineers now can control a PXI/CompactPCI system from a laptop computer using new National Instruments ExpressCard MXI and PCMCIA CardBus interfaces. This new capability is said to be ideal for portable and mobile applications, such as in-vehicle data logging, machine condition monitoring, and field tests including RF spectral monitoring, in automotive, military/aerospace, and other industries. NI demonstrated the capability during the Aug.
Tiny controller eases stepper-motor control
Nippon Pulse America's Motion Checker enables either constant-speed motion or trapezoidal motion with programmable high/low speeds. A palm-sized controller with built-in constant-voltage driver promises to bring plug-and-play control to stepper motors. Motion Checker MCH-2 from Nippon Pulse America Inc. is said to simplify starting of stepper motor projects for experienced engineers or ease the control learning curve for students.
Exclusive: Scripting capabilities for CE devices, Web browsers
Web Studio v6.1 from InduSoft (IWS 6.1) introduces VB scripting for Microsoft Windows CE-based devices and Web browsers. Latest release to the SCADA software package also adds a new trending tool, sophisticated screen translations, an advanced development environment, and database management functions.
Tablet PC market anticipates solid growth
The tablet PC market approaches its third anniversary showing increased shipments, but mixed success, according to In-Stat, a market research firm.
Omron Electronics fuels growth with partners
Omron Electronics LLC introduced nine partner companies, four new products, and reported a 9% increase in worldwide automation sales for fiscal year 2005 at its recent Editor's Day 2005 event. Integrating technologies with its new partners is one way Omron plans to double revenues in two years, stated Craig Bauer, Omron Electronics' president and COO.
Omron Electronics fuels growth with partners, products
Hoffman Estates, IL—Omron Electronics LLC introduced nine partner companies, four new products, and reported a 9% increase in worldwide automation sales for fiscal year 2005 during its Editor’s Day 2005 last week.
Laser marking edible products
Database Edible is a patented additive for laser marking edible products such as fresh produce, hard-shelled confectionery, and pharmaceutical tablets.
New products unveiled at SID symposium
Display and touchscreen products and technologies took center stage at the 43rd Society for Information Display (SID) International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition held late in May in Boston.
Canbra Foods Automates Batch Operations
Canbra Foods Ltd. is Canada's largest fully integrated oilseed crushing, refining, processing, and packaging company. Its major products include cooking and salad oil, margarine, shortening, and a line of proteins. Recognized as a leading supplier of canola products in North American and international food industries, Canbra markets packaged products to retailers and distributors in the food se...
Exclusive: DMC reader handles high volume of data in small housing
“dualis DMC” (data matrix code) reader is designed to reliably read and decode ECC200 data matrix codes, then transmit decoded nformation from the reader via IEC-232 communication.
MEN Micro: FPGA offers embedded flexibility for new SBC
Embedded industrial system designers have an additional 3U single-board computer (SBC) to consider for applications with demanding environmental conditions.
Moxa Technologies starts daily wireless device server essay contest
Taiwan-based Moxa Technologies reports that it’s sponsoring a daily “Wireless Device Server Contest” to promote its new NPort wireless device servers.
Flat Panels: Thin Is In
They're everywhere! In your living room, at the ATM, on your desk, and most especially as part of your automation and control system. Taking form most commonly as LCDs (liquid crystal displays), flat panels have finally made it to the big time, replacing with ever-increasing frequency those bulky, heavy CRTs (cathode ray tubes) with sleek and slender units that boast many benefits beyond being ...
Interphex 2005: GE introduces analyzer to accelerate cleaning validation
New York, NY—GE Infrastructure Sensing is exhibiting its Kaye Validator ITMS at Interphex 2005, April 26-28, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Dual-channel controllers designed for variety of applications
Two new six-digit, dual-channel controllers from Macro Sensors are designed for applications involving LVDT-based displacement transducers or CR half-bridge gauging probes.
Tiny device turns PDA with CompactFlash slot into DAQ tool
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) reports that standard personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be turned into customized, portable measurement tools with its new, postage stamp-sized NI CF-6004 CompactFlash data acquisition (DAQ) device.
In, out, and about HMI: flat-panel monitors, graphical workstation, PDA for mobile data capture
A variety of HMI-related products offers new and improved features. Among the latest offerings are flat-panel monitors from Advantech Corp., a PC-based graphical workstation from Notifier, and a PDA for mobile data capture from Datalogic.
Microvision’s Bluetooth Flic Laser barcode scanner integrated with BlackBerry wireless handhelds
Microvision Inc. reports that its application development partner, Infinite Peripherals, has created an application interface that integrates the Flic Cordless laser barcode scanner with Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry wireless handhelds.
Two rugged, embedded PC/104-Plus computers announced
Salt Lake City, UT—To better aid high-speed networking, data transfer, and bandwidth-intensive applications, Parvus Corp. reports it will soon release two additional PC/104-Plus single-board computers (SBC) based on the Intel’s ultra low-voltage (ULV) Celeron Tualatin processor and Intel’s 815E chipset.
Robotic update: Honda’s ASIMO; Kuka’s 6-axis, shelf-mount robot
Available for various fits, forms and functions, robotic technology also is gaining sophistication. A prime example is Honda Motor Co.’s ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) humanoid robot, which in its latest version incorporates a level of mobility approaching that of humans.
Diaphragm position control pump
H/G25 Kel-Cell series industrial pumps feature diaphragm position control (DPC) technology under a variety of adverse inlet conditions. DPC, says the pump manufacturer, provides maximum protection against diaphragm ruptures, flow to 20 gpm, and pressure to 1,000 psi. DPC feature is included in all new Kel-Cell series pumps and may be retrofit on H/G25 pumps already in the field.
Defining (and re-defining) HMIs
From a simple device for viewing an activity to a complex, sophisticated tool for monitoring, controlling, and analyzing processes and systems, the human-machine interface (HMI) has grown—and grown up. Even its name has changed. From man-machine interface to graphical user interface to operator interface, the terminology has evolved, but the acronym HMI is seemingly universally accepted.
Fujitsu marks significant strides in mobile computing solution business
>Fujitsu Computer Systems is shipping in volume its second-generation convertible Tablet PC, the LifeBook T4000, the company announced recently.
PLCs become small, fast, smart (Expanded Version)
To read the original print version click here . Expanded Version Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are the logical choice for many control applications and, like many technologies in automation, continue to shrink in size, increase in function, communicate more, and integrate well with other forms of industrial computers. For these and other reasons, Control Engineering subscribers plan on buying more PLCs in the coming year, according to those responding to a recent Reed Research Group survey. Among the 202 respondents who specify, recommend, or buy PLCs, 59% do so for in-plant requirements, 19% for OEM needs, and 22% for both. Forty-five percent of respondents said they will increase PLC spending, 49% remain the same, and 6% expect a decrease; in 2002, just 29% expected to buy more, 64% remain the same; and 7% decrease. The survey also showed that wireless connections to PLCs are expected to increase drastically in the coming year; Ethernet use also will increase. Popularity of PLCs sizes (by number of I/O) stayed about the same in 2004 and 2002; but use of PC-based control and soft-logic controls increased a bit.
Wonderware unveils operator interface touchscreen computers
Lake Forest, CA—Wonderware has introduced a new family of Operator Interface touchscreen computers featuring 10- and 12-in. display options.
MCAA: Innovation asks questions; new FDA report
Long before there’s an answer, there’s a question. An innovative culture questions everything, according to Marijn E. Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Electron Corp.
Freescale holds inaugural Embedded Connectivity Summit
Under the banner of "Discover. Design. Connect," Freescale Semiconductor Inc.—previously known as Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector—held its first annual Embedded Connectivity Summit (ECS) October 4-6, 2004, at the Hilton Austin Hotel in Austin, TX.
Do you have a ‘defining moment’ in HMIs?
How do you define human-machine interface? What does it mean in your operation? Control Engineering would like to know.
Software supports ‘industrial tablets’
Version 8.5 of ActiveFactory data analysis and reporting software for the IndustrialSQL server real-time plant historian offers real-time and historical plant analysis tools, as well as Web-based reporting capabilities.
Lantronix’s wireless device server provides mobility, flexibility, access
Irvine, CA—Lantronix Inc. has launched its WiBox external device server to bring 802.11 wireless network capabilities in minutes to virtually any device with serial connectivity.
Process points: educational opportunities for the process industry
Here are some educational opportunities specifically directed at those in the process industries.
Wonderware upgrades data analysis software with web-based reporting
Lake Forest, CA—Wonderware has released the latest version of its ActiveFactory data analysis and reporting software for the IndustrialSQL Server real-time plant historian.
Wrapping up SID 2004: Attendance, sales up
Numbers were up on all fronts at the 2004 Society for Information Display Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, held in May in Seattle.
RFID: education, unreadiness
Recent news about radio frequency identification (RFID) includes education opportunities and cost concerns about RFID’s use on pallets.
RFID: adoption increases despite costs
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology mandates from the U.S. Department of Defense as well as retailers such as Wal-Mart are pushing RFID hardware and software providers to keep up with trends. Practically speaking, having a few big customers mandate that technology providers move to next-generation standards will help other RFID customers realize greater RFID connectivity and saving...
Choosing HMI Data Entry Tools
Imagine, if you will, an operator on a plant floor monitoring a process...any process. The person is wearing a headset that includes a tiny display. An alarm sounds. The operator glances around, then speaks into the mouthpiece attached to the headset, verbally acknowledging the event and adjusting a setpoint.
June robotics seminar, open house
June appears to be a fertile month in the accelerating robotics sector. Happenings include "North America’s largest robotics conference" and a manufacturer’s technology open house.
Portable wireless operator interface terminal shipments expected to rise
Portable wireless operator interface (OI) terminal shipments are expected to grow to more than $80 million by the end of 2005, a recent VDC Corp. study shows.
Hannover Fair 2004: ‘Relaunch’ poises fair for growth
Hannover, Germany—With the theme of "See Tomorrow, Today," the 57th edition of Hannover Industrial Fair concluded its six-day run here on April 24, 2004, drawing some 180,000 visitors to technology, product, and seminar offerings of 5,040 exhibitors from 61 countries.
Fujitsu announces record growth, introduces tablet PC
Fujitsu Computer Systems says it achieved record-breaking growth in 2003 by increasing its year-on-year number of U.S. portable shipments by 53% from 2002.
Users want more tablet PCs
Wellingborough, U.K.—Users of rugged mobile computers expect their consumption of tablet PCs to significantly increase over the next three years, according to a new study by IMS Research.
Have HMI, Will Travel
PDAs—personal digital assistants—you see them almost everywhere these days. And their increased application in the automation and controls environment is no exception. Use of PDAs as human-machine interfaces (HMIs) is growing remarkably, and the market is expected to explode over the next few years.
Seminars, conferences, education
Upcoming calendar events in this technology sector include the annual convention/expo of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) and a very "fertile season" for robotics seminars and conferences. See the following summaries for details and registration information.
Honeywell, Symbol to supply wireless asset, control solutions
Phoenix, AZ—Honeywell Process Solutions has formed a relationship with Symbol Technologies Inc. to provide wireless asset management solutions.
In, out, and about HMI: bundled hardware/software, upcoming symposium; Automation Fair
Industrial tablets and touch-panel computers from Wonderware have been pre-integrated with InTouch HMI software to provide users with an easy-to-use, familiar development environment for creating, testing, and deploying automation applications.
Wonderware launches industrial tablets, touch-panel computers
Lake Forest, CA—Wonderware has released its new Industrial Tablets and Touch Panel Computers, which are built on innovative hardware, Microsoft’s operating systems, and Wonderware’s software and support services.
Feeling flexible? Bend over backwards
It seems everyone's feeling flexible these days, bending over backward to help each other. That's part of the season's spirit for many faiths and cultures. Also, everyone's excited about improving business. Whatever the motivation, I like what it means. Feeling flexible? Put "Bending over backwards" in the subject line and let me know how.
Wide range of HMI, SCADA products debut
Visualization, SCADA products, mobile HMIs, and displays were among the products making their debuts this month. Included in the offerings is a group of visualization products introduced by Iconics at ISA Expo 2003 and a selection of batch and pocket SCADA solutions from Citect.
In, out, and about HMI
Improved displays, operating system support for HMI software, and the results of a new operator interface survey are among the newsmakers in the HMI field this month.
Citect launches CitectSCADA Pocket mobile solution
Atlanta GA—Citect recently introduced a pocket PC-based operator interface, Citect SCADA Pocket, which gives managers and operators the freedom to remotely monitor and control their plants.
Italian research center to test Boeing’s network technology for automotive applications
St. Louis, MO—Boeing and an Italian R&D center, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), agreed Oct. 30 to evaluate Boeing's patented IntelliBus Network Systems technology for possible automotive applications.
Nordson’s EFD aids accuracy with XYZ dispenser controlled by Palm handheld
East Providence, RI—To increase accuracy in bonding, gasketing and filling operations, EFD Inc. introduced on Sept. 29 its Ultra TT automation series, which is a tabletop system that combines dispensing accuracy with programming ease to allow manufacturers to enhance production capacity.
Accessible, organized, secure
Controls, automation, and instrumentation software can collect, analyze, and store vast quantities of myriad data types. Making data into information and presenting data securely for real-time decision-making will help make you a hero within your organization. Advice follows. Organize data and related processes.
Workshop covers machine vision for robotics
Automated Imaging Association (AIA) is putting on what it calls the ''the first-ever Machine Vision for Robot Guidance Workshop,'' Oct. 8-9, at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Novi, Michigan. Purpose is to ''increase throughput, improve quality, reduce costs, and develop process improvements in your robotic applications.''
Control Engineering Embedded Control eNewsletter for August 2003
Texas Instruments—TI's Perfect Solution for Your Space Constrained Applications The new LF2401A digital signal controller from Texas Instruments, part of TI's TMS320C2000 control-optimized DSP platform, is ideal for space constrained applications that require the control peripherals and ease-of-use of a traditional microcontroller and the processing power of a DSP.evaluate and begin developing code for embedded applications. Visit LF2401A website for more information or to get started today. Stealth Computer: Small, fanless PC for embedded microcomputing Metrowerks toolkit speeds development cycle on Motorola MPC500 processors Advantech: 2.5-in PXA-255 RISC platform for faster integrator development New PICMG ePCI-X products from DTI Timely educational course Check out Control Engineering's free info service Stealth Computer: Small, fanless PC for embedded microcomputing LittlePC eliminates the need for cooling fans and associated noise via an extruded aluminum chassis that acts as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat. ''A breakthrough in embedded microcomputing'' is what Stealth Computer Corp .
Touch International unveils Digital Ink touchscreen
Austin, TX—Touch International Inc. has released Digital Ink, which the firm says is the worlds' thinnest and only form-fitting, unbreakable, wear-resistant touch technology capable of stylus, finger, and gloved-hand input with palm rejection. The company adds that Digital Ink brings the functionality of a touchscreen to any material.
Digi launches operating system-independent, serial-to-Bluetooth adapter
Minnetonka, MN—Digi International has launched its Wavespeed/S Wireless Serial Adapter, which uses Bluetooth technology to connect peripheral devices.
Global semiconductor sales expected to increase through 2006
San Jose, CA—The worldwide semiconductor industry is projected to grow 16.8% in 2004, and it will likely have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% through 2006, according to a new 2003-2006 midyear forecast by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Industrial Tablet PC for mobile workers
CT60 rugged tablet personal computer brings the ease of a tablet PC to mobile workers regardless of the environment. Unit uses Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC edition operating system and a Mobile Intel Pentium III Processor-M for speed and productivity. Protected by a fully sealed, vacuum-tested, milled aluminum housing, the device is said to perform in demanding situations, including freezing ...
`Embedded’ at ESC 2003
San Francisco, CA—The 15th Embedded Systems Conference (ESC 2003) enjoyed an eventful run in the "City by the Bay" on April 22-26, 2003, and included some 11,500 attendees from 41 countries and 270 exhibiting companies.
Exclusive: Unilever applies batch software to freshen deodorant production
Body odor isn't pleasant, but most people rarely have to smell it thanks to Unilever's personal care products plant (Raeford, NC), which has 600 employees and runs a 24/7 operation. Faced with a required relocation, consolidation and upgrade of its deodorant application, the 72-year-old company recently implemented Rockwell Automation's (Milwaukee, WI) batch management software and used its Glo...
Portable PC meets multiple industrial needs
Chicago, IL - Logic Instrument, a major European company in industrial portable computer manufacturing, recently launched TETRASmart, a new portable PC.
NMW 2003: Invensys demonstrates Avantis EAM on Microsoft .NET
Chicago, IL - Invensys plc announced it is extending its strategic alignment with Microsoft by embracing the Microsoft .NET rich client strategy for its enterprise asset management (EAM) solution.
Woodhead Industries to explore development of mobile industrial gateway devices
Deerfield, IL - Woodhead Industries announced January 23 that it had signed a license agreement with Nimble Microsystems that will enable Woodhead to investigate the market opportunities for mobile industrial gateway devices.
Portable PC has six-hour battery life
Dolch Computer Systems' (Fremont, CA) FieldPAC all-metal portable computer combines size, ruggedness, and mobility for demanding field conditions. The aluminum enclosure provides protection, while the computer includes a user-definable, full-size, shared ISA/PCI expansion slot, along with two standard PCMCIA/CardBus slots.
Wireless, handheld pad has Web access
Mobic, short for Mobile Industrial Communicator, is a wireless, robust, handheld web pad from Siemens Energy & Automation (Alpharetta, GA) that delivers wireless access to the Web or an intranet. Unlike palm-sized devices, Mobic's 8.4-in., SVGA 800 x 600-pixel, daylight-readable display eliminates the need to scroll for data.
CE Site Update: Human-Machine Interface E-news, 11/02 edition
Oak Brook, IL—Control Engineering Online updated its site Nov. 12 with "Control Engineering Human-Machine Interface E-News" e-mail newsletter at http://www.manufacturing.net/ctl/index.asp?enewsID=19786&layout=eNewsCTL&pubdate=11/01/02.
ISA 2002: Dolch shows wireless display and fully sealed PC
Chicago, IL—Dolch (Fremont, CA) exhibited a wireless display interface for its rugged computers and its latest fully sealed, metal, portable computer, MilPAC, at ISA 2002, Oct. 21-24, at McCormick Place.
Microsoft claims Windows XP Professional can save billions
Redmond, WA—'We're so convinced of the value of Windows XP Professional to enterprise customers that we'll prove it at our cost,' said Microsoft's vp of Windows client group, Rogers Weed, to Control Engineering editors on Oct. 9, 2002.
Opto 22, Nokia to deliver wireless communication
Temecula, CA and Irving, TX - Opto 22 has teamed with Nokia to create, promote, and market a solution providing wireless connectivity to external physical business assets.
Cognex adds capabilities for pharmaceutical industry
Natick, Mass. - Cognex Corp.'s In-Sight vision sensors now have the ability to read and verify RSS (Reduced Space Symbology) codes on pharmaceutical packages for the purposes of product identification and traceability. RSS codes are space-efficient, linear bar codes that are used to mark small "unit-of-use" products that cannot be marked with UPC or standard bar codes, such as individual medicine doses and blister-packed tablets.
iChip allows monitoring, control WAP-enabled phones or PDAs
Phoenix, Ariz.- Connect One reported July 10 that its iChip Internet Controller is the first Internet peripheral chip to store and serve Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) documents as WML files in an on-chip WAP web site. This allows industrial and household products to send content to, and be managed by, WAP-enabled phones and PDAs. With WAP-based mobile management, users are no longer restricted to PC-based web browsers for device management. WAP is a standard for providing information services on wireless handsets and Internet appliances.
Touch International supports Microsoft Windows XP, CE.Net and 3.0 for touch applications
Austin, Tex . - Touch International announced June 11 that the company's TurboWare touch screen driver now supports Microsoft Windows XP, CE.Net and CE 3.0. Target applications include personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet PCs, Web pads, smart phones, and any smart devices that employ Microsoft's new technology, 'Mira.' TurboWare is available now and will be delivered free with the purchase of any eTurbo family product, including both resistive and capacitive touchscreens: Turbo T4, Turbo T6, Turbo Pen, and XGT. Founded by three industry veterans, Touch International Inc.
Control Engineering HMI eNews for May 2002
In this issue: Wireless, handheld HMI in May Control Engineering Trade shows Expand your knowledge HMI offering from Cutler-Hammer Shallow depth flat-panel display Bundled HMI Power back up for your HMI Ergonomic palm buttons Rugged handheld computer Wireless, handheld HMI in May Control Engineering In the May edition of Control Engineering I investigated the state of wireless, handheld HMI devices. These devices come in a couple of sizes, namely palm-size and tablet. There is some development for Palm OS products, but most effort appears to be on the Microsoft Windows-based Pocket PC.
Beam Up Some Information, Scotty
Not too long ago the idea of a machine dialing a maintenance technician's cell phone to call for help seemed far fetched. Then came the great success of Palm spawning the "palm top" market. Research In Motion's Blackberry e-mail device was next in the commercial hit parade. It is only natural that engineers using these devices for part of their business life would ponder how to exploit them fo...
Touchscreen industry veterans form Touch International
Round Rock, Tex. and Trier, Germany - Three touchscreen industry veterans announced February 20 the launch of Touch International Inc., a worldwide supplier of high-quality touchscreen components and touch-enabled displays. Company founders Michael Woolstrum, Gary Barrett, and Robert Senior-with more than 40 years of combined experience-have set a goal of capturing a double-digit share of the rapidly growing, multibillion-dollar touchscreen market.
Zebra launches internal wireless card socket for networked barcode printers
Vernon Hills, Ill. - To help manufacturers relocate and reconnect networked bar code label printers faster, Zebra Technologies Corp. introduced Jan. 8 its ZebraNet wireless card socket, which aids industrial networking applications with multi-card compatibility.
Microsoft Launches Windows CE .Net
Las Vegas, Nev. - In his keynote address January 7 at the 2002 International CES in Las Vegas, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., announced the launch of Microsoft Windows CE .Net.
Milwaukee, Wis.—Expanding access to factory floor information, Allen-Bradley MobileView interfaces give operators and maintenance personnel mobility around a machine while accessing information. The thin-client applications reduce costs. Machine Terminal is a cabled Microsoft Windows CE terminal.
J Consortium submits Java file format to ISO for approval
Paris, France; Cupertino, Calif.— For small computing devices, such as smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), that have limited memory for computing, J Consortium is submitting to the ISO/IEC JTC 1 standards organization an efficient file format for Java applications called JEFF.
Access automation data on tablet
Albany, N.Y. -Cimplicity TabletView combines a Microsoft Windows CE tablet-style computer with an 8-in. screen, Cimplicity industrial automation software, and wireless Ethernet card for viewing real-time graphical screens from anywhere in the plant, or entering information using a docking station.
The Internet at ISA Expo/2000
The weather was hot and humid in New Orleans, La., this past August, but it was still the "cool" place to be during ISA Expo/2000. Many companies displayed new and continuing Internet efforts as the world of automation and control edged closer to the pool of industries going online. The following are a few highlights.
2001-01 Buyer’s Guide
Several errors were included in the Control Engineering 2000-01 Buyer's Guide:
Devices operate ‘standalone,’ have enhanced displays
Cellular phones, laptops, and palm pilots, oh my. If Dorothy Gale's family had access to test and measurement equipment to detect that legendary tornado, "The Wizard of Oz" story line would have been significantly different. Dorothy was instructed to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City where you will find The Wizard.
‘Bolt-on’ weight sensor
Seattle, Wa.— L-Cell weight sensor, a "bolt-on" device traditionally used on skirted silos, can now be applied to legged vessels. The palm-sized L-Cell, which uses the developer's Microcell technology, is attached to the support structure of a vessel (vertical legs, horizontal supports, and skirts) and uses its dual strain gauges to measure vessel weight.
bSquare delivers XML kit for Windows CE
bSquare Corp. has launched its CE XML Developers Kit, reportedly the first to support development of application software running on all devices using Windows CE version 2.11 and above. The kit helps developers create XML-aware Windows CE applications and process XML messages faster.
Add Up Your Software Project’s IQ (Implementation Quotient)
Complete this test to determine if you're an idiot to continue, or should start declaring success now.
Best Power releases new double-conversion, three-phase UPS
Necedah, Wis.- Best Power recently introduced its Axxium TriStar, a new double-conversion, three-phase uninterruptible power system (10-40 kVA), designed to protect factory automation systems, midrange computers, and other equipment and systems. Called the industry leading UPS for energy efficiency and power factor correction, it also has 'premium communication options, compact footprint, and easy mobility,' the company says. The modified input circuit reduces total input current harmonic distortion to less than 15%, saving the additional costs of harmonic filters and floor space. The advantage for the user is an operating efficiency as high as 94%, with an input power factor that can exceed 0.98.
Dial up data acquisition
Cleveland, O.— LogBook/360 is a high-speed, portable, PC-based data acquisition system designed to be a self-contained measurement solution. It has three internal slots for signal conditioning cards. Optional modem support provides freedom to operate in remote and mobile applications. The 16-bit, 100-kHz system offers 16 single-ended or eight differential analog input channels, 24 genera...
Rugged handheld PC
Clearwater, Fla.—Husky's fex21 is targeted at mobile users who need reliability, flexibility, and wireless communications. Military standard protection minimizes risks associated with weather (rain, snow, and extreme temperature variation), mobility (collision, vibration, electrostatic charge), and accident (drops and spillage).
Single-chip disk combines flash memory, controller
M-Systems recently launched a tiny single-chip flash disk, MD2200, that combines a controller and high-density flash memory in a single-die, 32-pin DIP package. MD2200 is the first model in M-Systems' DiskOnChip Millennium series. With 8 MB (64 Mbit) performance, an EDC/ECC controller, a small footprint, and low-power consumption, MD2200 can be used in Internet acc...
Countdown to Year 2000
Depending on your point of view, year 2000 brings images of computer-based chaos, futuristic societies, benevolent advancement of humanity, or the apocalypse.More than likely, despite a few computer-related glitches, year 2000 provides a launching pad for the potential of human imagination. Much of Control Engineering coverage in the past few years has focused on issues critical to auto...
The flowchart is the program
Right now in my top desk drawer along with pencils, staples, and a big bottle of antacid tablets is a large green plastic rectangle with outlines of various shapes cut from it. Protecting it is the original paper envelope which explains the meaning of those oddly shaped cutouts. Block letters proclaim: "IBM Flowchart Template.
Secure autodialing monitor and alarm unit
Emeryville, Calif. —Designed for remote monitoring and autodialing alarm notification, security is maintained by requiring that all programming and changes are made through telephone dial-in. When an alarm condiion occurs, the station can call standard phones in the office, plant, or home, as well as pagers, cellular phones, computers, or voicemail systems.