Mechatronics February 1, 1998

12-in. Motor/Drive Combinations

New Ulm, Minn.—MaxPlus 12-in. brushless servo motor delivers up to 90 hp or up to 300 lb-ft of continuous torque for high-production, high-torque applications. It is intended for very large machinery applications where the size and weight of conventional motors have made automation prohibitive.

By Staff
Mechatronics February 1, 1998

PLCs Aren’t Just Older, ‘They’re Better’

What functionality/features are today's programmable logic controller (PLC) users seeking? How are they applying PLCs? Is any other technology, such as personal computers, taking away market share from PLCs? Control Engineering wanted to know, so we asked a random sampling of 1,500 readers to participate in a survey about today's PLC.

By Staff
Mechatronics February 1, 1998

It’s Showtime!

Well, you asked for it. The 1998 edition of one of the world's largest manufacturing and technology shows is tanned, rested, and ready to go seamless.Evolving as a result of recent feedback from visitors and exhibitors requesting an even more streamlined and workable event, this year's National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS), and the three other shows that make up National Manufacturin...

Mechatronics January 30, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Definition of OMAC Concept in GMPTG

Definition of OMAC Terms Illustration of the OMAC Concept Various Levels of Openness Other Factors Definition of OMAC Terms Definitions of key terms associated with the open, modular control systems described in the OMAC White paper are restated in the following table: Terms Definitions open allowing the integration of off-the-shelf hardware and software components into a ‘de facto’ standard environment modular permitting ‘plug and play’ of components scaleable enabling easy and efficient reconfiguration to meet specific application needs economical achieving low life cycle cost maintainable supporting robust plant floor operation (maximum uptime), expeditious repair (minimal downtime), and easy maintenance These definitions also accurately reflect the OMAC concept at GMPTG. Two important elements in the definition of ‘open’ are (1) the requirement of a ‘de facto’ standard environment, and (2) the availability of commercial control hardware and software components. GMPTG is not going to wait for an international standard for an open architecture control to be defined before it will start implementing OMAC systems.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
Mechatronics January 26, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — OMAC Development Activities

GMPTG OMAC Pilot Projects GMPTG OMAC Development Strategies Many vendors in the controls community are developing products that satisfy some aspects of the OMAC requirements. GMPTG is not, and does not intend to be, in the control product development business. However, GMPTG is an end user of OMAC products and is interested in ensuring such OMAC products are available not only commercially but also expeditiously.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
Mechatronics January 25, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Technical Issues

Operating Systems Hardware Platform Motion Control Open Device Level Networks User Interface Control Software Manufacturing Information System (MIS) Level Networks Application Programming Interfaces (API) It should be clear to the controls community that GMPTG is not trying to dictate the development of OMAC by specifying technical details for every aspect of OMAC. GMPTG is not going to lead the development of any new technology but will ride the technology wave! However, GMPTG engineers are not oblivious to the technical issues associated with OMAC systems. In this section, several OMAC technical areas will be examined.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
Mechatronics January 1, 1998

SCADA Systems ‘Dampen’ Infrastructure Problems

The southern tip of California's Marin county is separated from the city of San Francisco by the most famous mile-long strip of steel and concrete in the world. Yet, within a 10-minute walk of the Golden Gate's Marin terminus begins a county-wide network of California Wildlife Service signs warning against mountain lion attacks.

By Jon Mandell and Bob Cook, Marin Muncipal Water District; Brenda Riconscente, Cal Tech Controls; Read Hayward, DST Controls
Mechatronics January 1, 1998

Advanced Control Software Goes Beyond PID

PID loops control a majority of the automated processes in industrial facilities. The proportional-integral-derivative (PID) algorithm is both simple and reliable, and has been applied to hundreds of thousands of control loops over the last 50 years.However, not all industrial processes can be controlled with PID loops.

By Vance J. VanDoren, Control Engineering
Mechatronics January 1, 1998

Controlling Chaos: Using Nonlinear Dynamics for Feedback Control

Chaos theory is now being studied aggressively. Simple practical control of the double pendulum is extremely promising for many control applications.

By Paul S. Linsay, Lipton/Linsay Associates
Mechatronics January 1, 1998

The Benefits of Personal Computer-BasedControl Systems

PCs have become more useful as part of open architecture control systems.

By Dave Gee, Steeplechase Software