Get the latest updates on the Coronavirus impact on engineers.Click Here

Machine Safety

Machine Safety August 1, 1999

Getting down and dirty: Product research about discrete sensor trends

Control Engineering product research shows discrete sensors are getting smaller and easier to setup, and they can include short-circuit protection. Sensors need to detect transparent objects, differentiate between the object and background, detect flaws in microcomponents, automatically adjust to changing conditions. See charts.

By Michael Drakulich, assistant editor
Machine Safety July 1, 1999

Less power for intelligent motor controls—more power to users

Dramatic size reduction of soft starters and related motor control devices has arrived. The key to this advance is a new design that separates control and logic circuits to cut power requirements and focuses exclusively on low control voltage at 24 V dc.Emergence of 24 V dc control has been ongoing, but mainly driven by low-amperage applications.

By Frank J. Bartos,
Machine Safety July 1, 1999

Predictive Maintenance Widens Its Acceptance

Predictive maintenance is the most sophisticated of industrial maintenance and asset management techniques. It’s an evolving, forward-looking method that combines hardware elements–for sensing and collecting information about equipment operation–with software elements for analyzing and managing the data. Actually, predictive maintenance employs a collection of nondestructive methods to do its work; for example, vibration analysis, oil wear particle analysis, infrared thermography, various electric motor circuit analyses, motor parameter monitoring, etc. Predictive, more than preventive Sophisticated numeric analyses then go on to estimate machine health and predict remaining life of equipment, using historical as well as operational data.

By Frank J. Bartos, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Machine Safety July 1, 1999

Protecting your investment

The most functional, easiest to use, and most innovative control equipment is useless unless it's sheathed in a protective cover. Protection of this sensitive, often fragile equipment may be just as vital to the control engineer as the function they are designed to perform. Now, control equipment is performing in more and more harsh environments, and beside the contaminants they encounter...

By Michael Drakulich, assistant editor
Machine Safety July 1, 1999

Predictive Maintenance Maximizes Machinery Health

As the name implies, predictive maintenance anticipates equipment outages rather than reacting to them. Benefits include fuller useful life for equipment and lower backup inventory. It goes beyond preventive maintenance, which at least strives to shift plant downtime to noncritical periods. Initial cost of predictive monitoring systems tends to be high, but much less than forced reactive ...

By Frank J. Bartos, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Machine Safety July 1, 1999

Pneumatic Control: Not Dead Yet

Pneumatic control may be considered a dinosaur, but it is still walking this Earth very much alive. The predecessor of the "beloved" 4-20 mA standard, pneumatics has remained "active" in many process industries, even though it now often shares the spotlight in hybrid analog control systems. Even though control has slowly edged its way into the digital era, it has adapted to newer surroun...

By Dick Johnson, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Machine Safety June 1, 1999

Ethernet Everywhere

The goal of enterprise-wide networking is to tie all computers, applications, printers, control systems, intelligent devices, and the Internet/intranet together to achieve real-time communications throughout the corporation.Long the network of choice at business levels of an enterprise, recent reports insist Ethernet works for industrial networking and permits a single network architectur...

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Machine Safety May 1, 1999

Is a New Control Room in Your Future?

Some companies are evolving control rooms into operations centers and locating them further from process areas. Success requires ability to identify, understand, and address the unique challenges arising when large distances separate team members.For the most part, today's control rooms evolved from advances in instrumentation and control systems, but the evolution is not over.

By Dave Harrold, Control Engineering and Ian Nimmo, Honeywell IAC
Machine Safety April 1, 1999

Streamlining flow instrumentation specification and documentation

One of the more tedious tasks in the design of a control system for process applications is specification of instruments. Design-related procurement and documentation requires determining what process conditions the instrument will need to withstand and measure.Process environmental requirements for each instrument include not only what chemicals are present but also the range of both pre...

By Tracy J. Coates P.E
Machine Safety April 1, 1999

Sample Batch Reactor for Time Estimating

This sample was developed by Control Engineering and sent to 14 control system supplier companies with batch product focus requesting participation in this article. The sample application was developed from material provided in Guidelines for Safe Automation of Chemical Processes published by Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (New York, N.Y.). This sample was written and presented in a manner similar to what many service estimators receive from users.

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING