View All Edge and Cloud Computing
How the cloud can improve embedded systems
Embedded systems are isolated and kept independent from one another, but the cloud can help bring these systems together to give manufacturers greater visability and operational capabilities.
Edge computing use cases, success stories
The adoption of edge computing at all levels within a system architecture means that a diverse range of hardware and software solutions are required.
Controllers, interfaces provide advanced edge computing capabilities
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are used for real-time control, but now they can do much more to ease implementation of analytics and other needs with edge computing technologies.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: February 27-March 5, 2023
The top 5 articles from the past week include cybersecurity news, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and edge computing.
Evaluating edge opportunities for industrial automation
For a rapid and reliable approach to building edge solutions, industrial automation designers should leverage hardware and software to improve operations. See nine elements of edge automation platforms. One implementation saved 30% water use.
Five things to know before diving into edge technologies
Edge computing can help companies gather and process data more quickly, but those getting started need to understand how much data they’re processing and how their systems work. Five tips for integrating edge computing are highlighted.
Navigating the road to sustainability at the edge
Achieving sustainability at the edge looks different for every organization. There are key steps to help narrow down which path to take to reach those sustainability goals.
Collaboration on research projects for edge computing, internet and more
Georgia Tech Technology is pursuing 30 quick-turn research projects that touch on key priority areas such as internet for the future, capabilities at the edge, and optimized application experiences.
Product advice: Building IIoT with edge I/O systems
Secure, granular data processing, connectivity, and communication in the field create a foundation for large-scale IIoT according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Zero-touch, secure and highly automated edge computing platform
When considering industrial edge computing, look for a zero-touch, secure and automated platform, designed and built for edge environments. Seek self-protecting and self-monitoring features and built-in application virtualization with fault tolerance, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles January 3-9, 2022
Articles about embedded systems, automated pressure testing, the 2022 SIY winners, PLCs' role in automation and no-code robotics were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 3-9, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
OEM delivers automated pressure testing with edge computing
An oil and gas original equipment manufacturer (OEM) uses edge computing for integrated data and control to maintain the safety and integrity of drilling facilities.
Event-driven applications for embedded systems: Summary of PDF
C code is provided and explained for creating event-driven applications for embedded systems, and simulating a task-manager application.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 22-28, 2021
Articles about Engineers' Choice finalists, finite-state machines, AI shortcuts, nanotube-based sensors and SCADA and automation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 22-28, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
On the edge: Smartening up sensors
Edge computing makes sensors smarter to use in many manufacturing applications. See five manufacturing use cases for edge processing and three edge computing benefits.
Edge computing for industrial AIoT applications
Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and edge computing provide advantages for real-time decisions and smarter actions in the field. See advice on edge computer selection and tools for building Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) applications.
Edge computing’s importance in Industry 4.0
Edge computing links on-the-floor devices and the cloud and pre-processes data for use. Four common edge computing mistakes are highlighted.
Edge computing provided cost-effective upgrades
Case study: Used equipment had functional controllers, typically legacy programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and others had defunct PLCs or no automation at all. Edge controllers and input/output (I/O) devices helped integrate the equipment into a cohesive system, which led us to make an edge controller the central focus.
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles March 15-21, 2021
Articles about the top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, evolving control systems, free PLC programming software for education, more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 15-21, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
AMP upgrades to edge controllers
Largest U.S. rotary heat-treating facility modernizes controls and automation with tight database integration.
Edge computing, artificial intelligence power automation innovation
Edge computing allows engineers to use lower costs to develop newer applications such as shop-floor data analysis and quality prediction. Artificial intelligence (AI) improves the efficiency and accuracy of plant operations.
Control Engineering hot topics, August 2020
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in August 2020 included stories about edge computing and IIoT, PLCs, digital transformation, COVID-19 developments, personal protective equipment, automation, SCADA, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Patching embedded systems aids cybersecurity efforts
Improving the process of patching code in vulnerable embedded systems is a major cybersecurity concern because much of the code currently running is vulnerable to hackers.
How edge computing will unleash the potential of IIoT
Combining the potential of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices with the processing power of edge computing, automation solutions and analytics is giving manufacturing production data more value. See five ways to make edge IIoT deployment more effective.
Is it time to look at edge computing?
With the rise of 5G in manufacturing, effective edge computing requires consideration of industrial PCs (IPCs) at the edge.
Helping autonomous cars see with embedded vision
Sensor companies are creating a detection system that can sense a vehicle’s environment better than human eyesight through a combination of camera, radar, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors.
8-Channel RTD Simulator Board by United Electronic Industries
United Electronic Industries’ DNA-RTD-388, DNR-RTD-388 and DNF-RTD-388 boards are 8-channel, RTD simulators are based on actual switched resistors and will precisely duplicate the behavior of the RTDs simulated.
Embedded systems in industrial vision applications
Embedded vision systems leverage unique technology to help applications ranging from aerospace to robotics to logistics and transform machines into intelligent systems.
Embedded sensing in autonomous navigation
While autonomous navigation is still in its early stages, there have been many technological breakthroughs.
Embedded vision applications in supply chain management
Embedded vision applications has the ability to quickly generate visual data, and it is being used at all stages of the supply chain.
Embedded vision systems’ potential for imaging, vision technology
Embedded vision systems have the potential to transform how imaging and vision technology and will push the boundaries of what's possible with machine vision technology.
What is an embedded system?
The meaning of an embedded system varies depending on the application; system integrators, end users, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may have different views.
Infrared and thermal imaging system benefits and applications
Infrared and thermal imaging solutions have become widely available, they've become widely utilized and have become cheaper overall. They bring a number of advantages over visible imaging solutions for certain applications.
Embedded high-performance computing for industrial applications
Edge, fog, and cloud applications demand increased computing power in industrial environments using embedded controls; COM Express (Type 7) offers more and faster Ethernet connections and more throughput.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 25 to October 1: Differential pressure flowmeters, choosing sensors, IoT evolution, more
Articles about a greenfield plant, securing your automation system, open- and closed-loop control, IoT and maintenance, and IIoT's acceptance in manufacturing were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 25 to October 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 24-30: Computing and data storage chip, control system automation, integrator advice, more
Articles about a 3-D computing and data storage chip, control system automation tips, integrator advice, and PLC programming and advice were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 24-30. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 12-18: NEC changes, control system automation, 2017 Salary and Career Survey, more
Articles about seven NEC changes, control system automation missteps, the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, networking used at CERN, and integrator advice were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 12-18. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 22-28: Salary and Career Survey, future IIoT systems, graphical programming platform, more
Articles about the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, the future of IIoT systems, graphical programming platforms, sensors and signal conditioning, and easy electrical design were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 22-28. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 6-12: PID learning, control system programming, Engineers’ Choice, more
Articles about PID learning, standardized control system programming, the Engineers' Choice winners, multi-platform fluency, and ladder logic were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 6-12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Artificial intelligence and its impact on machine vision
Several companies are working on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the machine vision industry that will allow AI to think more like humans by employing deep learning techniques and other functions that humans use to develop their brains.
EC: Servo Press Kit YJKP
Motion control, motors: Festo modular servo press kit YJKP provides an excellent price/performance ratio for extremely precise press-fitting systems with its high level of repetition accuracy. Simple, cost-effective and quick to install. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: eWorx SE300 Ethernet Switch
Network Integration — Ethernet switches: IEEE802.3az energy efficient, cost effective, industrial grade SE300 monitored switches remotely monitor and analyze network status supporting Modbus/TCP and SNMP simultaneously for full read control to IT and control engineers. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Bedrock Ethernet I/O Module (SIO4.E), software configurable IIoT enabler
Network Integration — I/O systems: Software-configurable, the 5-channel SIO4.E Ethernet module is a powerful enterprise IIoT enabler with military-grade, embedded cyber security. Multi-concurrent protocol translation simplifies aggregation/integration of production data with enterprise applications and strategies. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: microBlox uB31 DC Voltage Input Module
Network Integration — Signal conditioning: microBlox uB31 conditions and converts a low-level dc voltage field input signal to a scaled 0 to 5 V or ±5 V output. The uB31 has filtering for low-band applications. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: SmartSwarm 351 Modbus eavesdropper
Network Integration — Wireless products: The SmartSwarm 351 Modbus eavesdropper recognizes and extracts data from existing Modbus SCADA systems, transforms it into actionable information, and presents it to IT systems without disrupting the Modbus Master. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Eaton 2-3 kVA 9PX UPS
Power — Energy, power protection, UPS: Eaton's 9PX 2-3 kVA UPS provides reliable and efficient backup power. Its quick installation, advanced battery management and remote communication capabilities make it an ideal solution for engineers. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Rockwell Software Quality Management
Software — Applications: The Rockwell Software Quality Management application is an out-of-box, comprehensive, quality-management solution that allows manufacturers to easily model and enforce their plants' in-process quality regimens. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Development Environment
Software — Control design: The Rockwell Software Studio 5000 development environment has three new applications: Architect, View Designer and Application Code Manager. These additions reduce the need for multiple tools when developing automation systems. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Memograph M RSG45 Data Manager
Hardware — Data acquisition: Memograph M RSG45 Data Manager is a compact device that can serve as a data acquisition/analysis system for small process control applications. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Fluke Condition Monitoring
Hardware — Handheld test, measurement, calibration: Fluke Condition Monitoring is a system of rugged voltage, current, temperature, and power sensors that can be moved from assets to asset and left in place for continuous monitoring. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: AcroPack PCIe-based I/O Modules
Machine & Embedded Control — CNCs, board-level products: Acromag's AcroPack PCIe-based mezzanine modules deliver maximum I/O density when used with AcroPack carrier cards for PCIe or VPX buses. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: IndraControl XM 22 PLC
Machine & Embedded Control — PLCs, PACs, industrial PCs: Rexroth’s IndraControl XM 22 programmable logic controller uses Intel 1.3 GHz ATOM Processor and onboard Sercos automation bus to create a functionally complete and scalable control system. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Merger between information companies completed
Dell Technologies announced the completion of the acquisition of EMC Corporation for $67 billion; the merger creates a family of businesses designed to provide infrastructure for organizations looking to expand their digital network and information technology (IT) assets.
Multi-touch monitor for end users
Advantech's IDS-3118W is an 18.5-in. multi-touch open frame monitor is designed to meet end users' needs for multiple embedded applications.
Webcast: Information Integration and IIOT
Information integration ensures that the right information gets to the right persons, automated systems and devices in time to make the right decisions. Implementers of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 platforms understand that effective information integration is required for intelligent and highly competitive manufacturing.
Webcast: IIOT Integration Considerations
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promotes intelligent devices and systems by sharing information and awareness among systems and the humans that use them. Integrated networking, security, cyber security practices and technologies help enable these connected systems. Learn from industry experts.
How to rank controllers
With the growing number of controller choices available to automation engineers, separating the chaff to find the best device for a particular application can be difficult.
Making engineering choices
Engineers and plant managers face a constant barrage of choices that affect the day-to-day operations and the bottom line for plants.
EC: PLC Logic
Machine & Embedded Control - PACs, PLCs: PLC Logic is a pluggable smart relay system that that enables logic capability in a small package, making it ideal for simple control applications in small spaces. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Simatic ET 200SP open controller
Machine & Embedded Control - PACs, PLCs: The Simatic ET 200SP open controller is the first controller of this type to combine the functions of a PC-based software controller with visualization, PC applications and central I/Os in a compact device. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: Sinumerik 808D Advanced
Machine & Embedded Control - CNCs, board-level products: The Sinumerik 808D Advanced is a compact, user-friendly, panel-based CNC used for basic turning and milling applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Centum VP R6
Process Control Systems: Centum VP R6 is the latest enhanced version of Yokogawa’s distributed control system. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: 800xA Networks NE870
Network Integration - Network hardware: The NE870 is a high performance layer 3 industrial Ethernet switch and firewall that supports ABB's Redundant Network Routing Protocol (RNRP). It is used in control system client server and controller networks. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: IndraMotion MTX micro CNC 13v16+
Machine & Embedded Control - CNCs, board-level products: The IndraMotion MTX micro is the first compact CNC system to have high-performance 5-axis interpolation, giving equipment builders a single, cost-effective yet powerful platform for standard turning, milling, drilling, grinding and gear-cutting machinery This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Webcast: lloT webcast two: Operations
In the late 20th century industrial companies viewed process automation combined with a few monolithic applications as the norm for plant operations. But many companies are now experimenting with - or already pursuing - new approaches that take advantage of intelligent connected products coupled with potent software and analytics.
Data acquisition module for embedded applications
Data Translation's DT7816 is a real-time ARM-based data acquisition module designed for use in embedded applications and an open-source Linux platform as well as interfaces for USB host and client.
Multi-channel capacitive displacement sensor for embedded OEM applications
Lion Precision's CPL230 is a precision capacitive displacement sensor system that features up to six sensors in a small space and is designed for embedded OEM applications and has a differential output that for situations where output connections must traverse longer distances through machines.
Choosing embedded controllers among others requires considering the application. Embedded system design software helps control designers to program once and port to many types of controllers.
Define, integrate, implement MES with controls, ERP
Modern manufacturing execution systems (MES) can deliver the flexibility to enable manufacturers to define the solutions that meet their strategic needs. MES is what you make it: Define the MES functions needed, use standards, consider modularity, and integrate controls with MES and MES with enterprise resource planning (ERP), as needed.
Feedback for machine motion
Closing servo-motor loops with feedback devices improves performance, but care must be taken with design and installation. Closing the loop improves monitoring, measuring, and control—even when outside forces cause deviations to the desired setpoint. A one supplier system should be considered first, with escalation to a custom system only when off-the-shelf systems cannot meet performance demands.
Phasor measurement unit for insights into grid health
National Instruments' phasor measurement unit (PMU) hardware platform for the NI Grid Automation System is designed to gain better insight into grid health so operators can tailor measurement solutions to meet their specific needs.
HMI with RISC computing power
Sealevel's SeaPAC R9-8.4 features a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) computer as well as 128 MB RAM and 256 MB flash memory for embedded systems.
EC: DS1000 series sensors
Machine & Embedded Control — Machine Vision, Barcode Readers: The DS1000 3D sensor optimizes product quality by providing three-dimensional inspection of your products and includes industry-leading Cognex vision software with a powerful 3D toolset. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software-designed controller for control systems
National Instruments' CompactRIO software-designed controller integrates embedded technologies from Intel and Xilinx and is supported by LabVIEW 2014 and NI Linux Real-Time and is designed for harsh industrial environments.
Module designed to develop embedded systems faster
National Instruments' NI SOM is a module designed to enable design teams to deploy complex embedded systems for high-reliability applications and features a complete middleware solution and has a Linux-based real-time operating system (ROTS) integrated.
HMI software for machines and embedded systems
Schneider Electric's InTouch Machine Edition is an HMI software product designed to be operable on embedded versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems and enable users to access the information they need to improve plant operations and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) in real time.
Product Exclusive: OEMs can save time, costs with custom-build PLC
Triangle Research International Inc. (TRi) is supplying original equipment manufacturers with the brain of its top-of-the-line PLC in a small CPU board called SmartTILE (TRi Integrated Logic Engine), so OEMs can optimize their equipment with less time and effort.
Siemens-FDI Cooperation, new FDI style guide
FDI Cooperation announced the first public release of the FDI Usability Style Guide and a preview release of the Field Device Integration (FDI) developer toolkit, which together, will make it possible for automation suppliers to prepare for developing FDI-compatible products and host systems. The announcements were made at the 2014 ARC Forum.
PLC chip for embedded applications, with Ethernet communications
The P-Series PLC on a Chip by Divelbiss can be added to any embedded application and features an advanced programming tool to monitor the program. It included Ethernet communications.
China’s automotive telematics market shifts to consumer-electronics-based systems
Embedded telematics systems from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) currently dominate China's automotive telematics market, generating sales of 1.5 million units in 2013, according to an IHS report.
Software for SCADA, HMI projects
AutomationDirect's Point of View software is designed to developed SCADA, HMI, and OEE projects and supports three types of remote application viewers and has 19 communications drivers.
Advanced control and communication controller
Advantech's APAX-6572 integrates computing, control, and communication into an open system architecture that is designed for factory-wide DA&C as well as unit operations.
Dual channel embedded vision system has high speed and resolution
The EOS-4000 by Adlink Technology offers speedy, high-resolution performance in industrial automation and medical imaging applications.
EC: DCS Migration
Process Control Systems: ProSoft Technology provides migration solutions designed to minimize system downtime with features including monitor mode, allowing users to test and debug the new PlantPAx configuration while the legacy DCS is still on. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: FactoryTalk View 7.0 HMI software
Software - HMI software: FactoryTalk View 7.0 HMI software offers more efficient alarm management, simplified installation, improved user experience, and integrated data sharing in a wide range of production environments. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
What a difference a decade makes: Infotainment technology transforms automotive business
The rise of interactive communicatons has transformed the automotive industry in the last decade with infotainment becoming a big selling point for automotive companies.
PIC microcontroller integrates 16-bit analog, data acquisition, USB, LCD
Microchip PIC microcontroller system on a chip integrates 16-bit ADC, 10 Msps ADC, DAC, USB, and LCD: Microchip PIC24FJ128GC010 family provides intelligent analog and very low power for portable medical and industrial applications. See system on a chip photos and diagrams.
Database management tool works with mobile applications
RDM 12.0 by Raima is designed for embedded, real-time, memory, and mobile applications and includes feature like database cursors, shared memory protocol, and three new native data types.
HART – the next 20 years…
Control Engineering Europe talked with Ted Masters, president and CEO at HART Communication Foundation, offers views on how and why the HART protocol will stay relevant for the next 20 years.
When to automate: Economical controllers ease the entry point
With automation becoming more flexible, smaller lot sizes can make it practical to profitably automate what previously was considered only for hand assembly. Modular, flexible embedded PCs, programmable with one software platform, can lower the entry point for when to automate.
Integration, software advance product lifecycle management
Cover story on system design: Smarter project designs result from system integration and planning, collaborative software tools, systems-driven engineering, and agile, integrated programming. Descriptions and links follow.
Simpler software design tools
Integrating hardware and software into embedded systems can be complex. Keep it simple when choosing and working with software design tools to shorten design, development, testing, implementation, and upgrades. The right tools can speed development and enhance quality along the way, resolving issues earlier in the design cycle.
Baseline your system or else
In this Automation System Integration blog post, Anthony Baker learns that the lack of data about how a system has been operating can create a moving target after an upgrade.
PC-based controls help packaging machines
Application Update: Bag-in-box food packaging machines from Pattyn Packing Lines embrace modular concepts, adaptability, ease of maintenance, reliability, high ease of operation, and universal high-performance control systems.
PC-based control products used on the Pattyn machines
Application uses Beckhoff CX1010 Embedded PC with directly connected EtherCAT Terminals; Beckhoff EL7041 and EL7031 stepper motor terminals control the stepper motors.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Advantech's TPC-1251SR is a 12.1 SVGA 1000 NIT high brightness LCD, Intel Atom CPU fanless Touch Panel Computer. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Leader Under 40: Mark Sullivan
Sr. Mechanical Engineer, U.S. Dept. of Defense - BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland; MS Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland
Automation legalities: Papering the maintenance relationship
Automation providers cover the "maintenance and service" relationship in three basic ways. Learn the five basic legal clauses, starting with payment.
Flexible automation system
Automation engineering Inc. is shipping the next generation modular design of its flagship CMAT (Camera Module Align, Assembly, and Test) camera module active alignment platform.
Control system for Smart Grid power electronics
The National Instruments FPGA-based control system, NI Single-Board RIO General Purpose Inverter Controller (GPIC), helps with Smart Grid power electronics commercialization, specifically, the rapid deployment of advanced, field-reconfigurable digital energy conversion systems.
Quiet industrial computers
Advantech offers new platforms that reduce noise and manage temperature.
Fanless embedded system
Advantech's ARK-1120 is a fanless embedded system powered by an Intel Atom N455 processor designed for compact spaces and factory automation applications.
Embedded platforms get more integrated, mobile
Embedded systems are more tightly integrating hardware, and software and mobile devices are more a part of embedded system design teams’ considerations, according to a National Instruments report discussed Feb. 27 at Embedded Systems World in Nuremberg, Germany.
Processor IP roadmap for Embedded System on Chip applications
Cortus announces the expansion of its product range to include a total of four 32-bit embedded microcontroller cores.
EC: NI CompactRIO 9082 system controller
Machine and embedded control – PACs: The NI cRIO-9082 system delivers the highest processing power of any CompactRIO product and is ideal for performing complex signal processing and control within applications such as rapid control prototyping, advanced motion control, and machine vision. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Junma AC Servo Series
Motion control – Servo drives: The Junma servo system from Yaskawa America provides a cost-effective alternative to stepper technology allowing for increased throughput with minimal commissioning effort. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Roller Pinion System, Universal Rack model
Motion control: The Universal Rack Roller Pinion System from Nexen provides high positional accuracy for medium-load motion control applications. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Leader Under 40: Levi Hill
I+E Technician, Kinder Morgan CO2 – United States Navy/Marine Corps experience; AS Electronic Technology, Barstow College; BA Business Admin, Colorado Technical University, Concentration: IT
Compact multicore controller uses Intel Core i7 processor
National Instruments cRIO-908x system is NI's first multicore CompactRIO with an Intel Core i7 Processor. Also announced at NIWeek are the smallest NI single-board RIO Devices. These products expand the NI RIO advanced control and monitoring platform with higher-performance and smaller form factor targets.
M2M in manufacturing eases legacy network connections
Machine-to-machine technologies are moving into new markets and making machine processes and network connections more efficient.
Tips and Tricks: How to ruggedize an embedded control system
10 tips for making rugged control systems include knowing the end user of the product, how the product will be used, and operating conditions. Which are the most important attributes, and which one requires the most careful consideration?
Technology Update: Low-power designs for automation
Microchip Technology provides microcontrollers with low-power capabilities, Powercast harvests energy to power wireless sensors, and STMicroelectronics demonstrates a chip for a smart power design to reduce electronic components’ energy consumption.
Next-generation power demonstration
STMicroelectronics demonstrated next-generation smart power technology, said to enable significant power consumption decreases in electronic systems for manufacturing, hybrid-electric-vehicle chargers, power conversion, medical equipment, and consumer and other devices.
Bluetooth evaluation kit for embedded design, development
Microchip's Bluetooth Evaluation Kit enables flexible wireless communications development with a wide range of 16/32-bit microcontroller and digital signal controllers.
Crane automation systems selected for new port in Abu Dhabi
TMEIC GE will automate 30 Konecranes automated stacking cranes for a new port in Khalifa, Abu Dhabi, UAE with an initial capacity of 2 million TEU.
Floodgate-Packet Filter is the first embedded firewall with dynamic filtering
Icon Labs’ Floodgate-Packet Filter can improve cyber security protects medical devices, industrial control systems, other networked devices from Denial of Service and other Internet attacks.
White Paper: Stability of Discrete Systems Controlled in the Presence of Intermittent Sensor Faults
This paper presents sufficient conditions for stability of unstable discrete time invariant models, stabilized by state feedback, when interrupted observations due to intermittent sensor faults occur. It is shown that the closed-loop system with feedback through a reconstructed signal, when, at least, one of the sensors is unavailable, remains stable, provided that the intervals of unavailability satisfy a certain time bound, even in the presence of state vanishing perturbations. The result is first proved for linear systems and then extended to a class of Hammerstein systems.
FPGA kit enables quick evaluation with flexible I/O
Kontron COM Express starter kit features Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA and two HSMC boards.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio v7.0
Software - HMI software: InduSoft Web Studio v7.0 is a truly unique development and runtime software that incorporates all the tools users need to create SCADA HMI applications, dashboards and OEE interfaces. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: CX5000 Embedded PC
Machine and Embedded Control - PACs: Beckhoff Automation, CX5000 Embedded PC. Embedded PC (PAC) with rugged magnesium housing for automation and motion control. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
NIWeek: More high-speed I/O expansion for inline processing, control
Expansion of graphical software programming for FPGA, an expanded I/O module line, and three new reconfigurable I/O chassis deliver advances for high-speed cabled, wireless buses.
MathWorks Simulink PLC Coder is TÜV SÜD certified
MathWorks says TÜV SÜD certifies Simulink PLC Coder for development processes that must comply with IEC 61508-3 and IEC 61511-1. With this certification, engineers looking to develop high-integrity control systems can streamline the certification of industrial controllers programmed using IEC 61131-3 structured text generated by Simulink PLC Coder With Simulink PLC Coder.
Sealevel 8.4-in. flat panel computer
SeaPAC R9-8.4 from Sealevel Systems combines a powerful RISC-based human-machine interface (HMI) with a bright 8.4-in. TFT LCD to create a wide-temperature, ruggedized, flat panel computer. It has an industrial, LED backlight for longer life compared to CCFT backlit flat panels and -30 °C to +70 °C operating temperature range. This is a North American edition April Product Exclusive.
Two Technologies ultra-rugged hand held computer Hydrus Luna, optional RFID
Two Technologies Hydrus Luna RFID, an ultra-rugged and powerful hand held computer designed for long-term daily operation in the harshest working conditions.
Manufacturing IT: C# .NET community can now leverage distributed data management, object persistence
programming, control software, embedded control
Software: The MathWorks releases version 2010a of Matlab, Simulink products
New are streaming capabilities for signal processing and video processing in Matlab, nonlinear solvers, and expanded Simulink support for large teams designing complex systems.
The MathWorks targets PLCs/PACs with new Simulink PLC Coder
New product generates IEC 61131 structured text, helping machine builders use model-based design to create mechatronic systems, including those based on Rockwell Automation PLCs/PACs. Simulink PLC Coder generates source code in structured text format from Simulink models, Stateflow charts, and Embedded MATLAB code, and then uses an integrated development environment (IDE) from an industrial automation vendor to compile the code and run it on a PLC or PAC.
Controllers: Adlink introduces PACwiz with IEC 61131-3 support
Automation applications get support for 256 axes of distributed motion control and up to 2,016 points of distributed I/O.
Rugged HMI from QSI Corp. controls military targeting system
QTERM-G58 HMI chosen by ATA Defense Industries to remotely control systems.
National Instruments CompactRIO, Single-Board RIO get machine vision capabilities
Pre-integrated automation: Programmable automation controllers and embedded systems from National Instruments (NI) provide advanced control, measurements, and machine vision within one.
Embedded systems: RTOS kernel built for safety meets certification requirements
SafeRTOS was developed to ease the path to certification, bringing the benefits of off-the-shelf software to applications with safety implications or certification requirements. Certification packs are tailored to IEC 61508 SIL3, FDA510(k) Class III, and EN62304.
Smart screens for industrial applications
Developers of smart screen HMIs can achieve industrial-grade reliability and real-time performance by using both Flash and C/C++ components. Design of a building automation system provides an example.
Connectivity: Modules simplify connection of 50 controller brands to Rockwell Automation PACs
Additional module enables Messaging Services for enterprise connectivity
Water-tight, small-footprint embedded PC
Stealth.com Inc. has released the new model WPC-500F, a waterproof rugged, small footprint, fanless computer for environments where ordinary computer hardware won't survive. This rugged embedded PC is completely water-tight, surviving liquids, chemicals, dust and dirt intrusion, meeting IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications.
GE and Fanuc end joint venture begun in 1986
GE Fanuc to split: GE gets the software, services, embedded systems and control systems businesses. Fanuc will take the CNC business.
GE and Fanuc to dissolve joint venture
Fanuc to reinforce industry-leading CNC portfolio; GE to continue global investment in industrial automation and process control systems, software solutions and embedded computing.
Embedded control: Combine real-time, general-purpose operating environments
New CNC system uses an RTOS for Windows to gain multitasking capability and real-time determinism.
Eurotherm releases EtherNet/IP for EPower SCR power controller
New connectivity improves communication, expands networking choices.
High-tech Cart Control System
New automated guided carts at a major carbonated-beverage producer cost half of typical automated guided vehicles and yield major benefits.
Industrial Networks: Open Source
Industrial networks options are many. If modifications are desired beyond the commercially available industrial network, suppliers offer commercial products that support protocols. In some cases, open source options may be a more viable option. Probably due to the cost of commercial products, many companies decide to start developing their own protocol stack.
LabView 2009: New features and wireless sensor networks support
National Instruments announced LabView 2009, the latest version of its graphical system design software platform. With more than 100 new or enhanced features, the software lets engineers use virtualization technology to reduce system cost and size, streamline algorithm design and deployment to embedded systems with real-time math, deploy distributed custom measurements across vast physical hard...
Sensors Expo photo gallery: Olympic torch, power harvesting, wireless demo
See how accelerometer and software make images in the air; harvest power with a device smaller than a cellphone; many wireless demos, including application hosting.
Embedded systems: VDC highlights of 2009 ESC
Vendors are increasing depth, breadth of application support available to customers. See product highlights, pictures.
Finding intelligence: SAP applies search engine principles to new business analytics platform
Enterprise software giant SAP claims its new business intelligence solution makes mining through mountains of corporate data almost as easy as Googling the location of the nearest pizza parlor.
Vision system company Matrox Imaging launches integrator program
Matrox Imaging announced an authorized integrator program in North America. Learn more about the benefits to customers and system integrators and link to other articles on machine vision and system integrator programs.
Embedded systems: Standards groups seek support for virtualized system development
Organizations involved in the creation of standards for embedded design are taking several different approaches to support virtualized system development (VSD). Support is crucial, but how to do you choose? Here’s a guide.
Micro-battery stores low-power ambient harvested energy
The Infinite Power Solutions' new module provides continual power to wireless sensor nodes and other micro-systems when used with energy harvesting.
Embedded Systems Conference: Controllers, wireless, boards ease system integration
Embedded Systems Conference 2009 (ESC) product introductions include new controllers, wireless connections, board-level products, modules, and developer tools, among others to make system integration easier. See photo. Link to air-hockey-playing robot video.
Real-time control systems to benefit from no-charge data distribution service (DDS) middleware
Qualifying projects can get Real-Time Innovations' implementation of the Object Management Group's DDS software and free training. See photo.
Control and simulation technology play key roles in EcoCAR challenge
The three-year competition gives engineering students the opportunity to design and build advanced vehicles with next-generation automotive technologies while gaining valuable hands-on learning experience with the latest automotive engineering tools and techniques. Graphical design software, embedded control systems, prototype and simulation tools are used.
Microchip Technology’s Hi-Tech Software acquisition delivers Mac, Linux development options
Microcontroller provider acquires Australia-based provider of development tools for embedded systems.
Network security challenges for remote access
Effective network security is most successful when it is built up using a layered approach. Here we review common technologies and challenges for secure remote access, and examine one commercial device-based approach.
2008 New Product Compendium: Machine and Embedded Control
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
Alaskan pipeline flows with Modbus TCP in its industrial Ethernet
Enhanced automation architecture for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System provided capability to remotely operate the system, incorporating Modbus TCP in its industrial Ethernet network technology. See diagram.
Machine and Embedded Control Award Winners
Discrete SensorsR-Gage QT50R Sensor Banner Engineering The QT50R Sensor employs radar technology to detect close and long-range presence of moving or stationary objects. The technology was originally designed to track freight traffic within the Betuwe Route—an underground tunnel connecting Holland and Germany—where harsh conditions made other sensing technologies ineffective. The QT50R solves a broad range of challenging indoor or outdoor applications, reliably detecting moving or stationary targets, such as cars, trains, trucks and cargo.
FPGAs and the Industrial Ethernet Maze
Today, there are more than 25 Ethernet-based industrial communication systems that co-exist in the market. Vendors of industrial devices need to create solutions to optimally support multiple RTE (real-time Ethernet) protocols within a single hardware platform, and that can be field-upgraded to support new versions of existing protocols, or even completely different protocols, without replacing...
CE blog: Ask Charlie turns 100!
The Jan. 12, 2009, posting in the Control Engineering Ask Charlie blog is the 100th in the series, answering questions from readers. The automation tutorial blog covers discrete control, motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, embedded systems, and other areas.
Picking a Controller Technology
Embedded control systems vary from temporary data acquisition and control systems running experiments to “brains” for standard mass-market products. Embedded control systems also range in complexity from telecommunications switching systems to alarm clocks. Different applications have different requirements, with several form factors available to meet them.
Pack Expo: Machine vision frame grabbers, cameras, free seminars
Matrox Imaging added frame grabbers, Dalsa Corp. added machine vision cameras, and Cognex invites manufacturing professionals to its free machine vision seminars.
New Technology Changes the RTOS Game
Not long ago, building a digital control system for a real-time application was relatively simple. You started with whatever real-time operating system (RTOS) you were most enamored with, selected a microcontroller that was 1) supported by that RTOS, and 2) had price, performance, I/O features, and memory that met your application needs.
Embedded: PLCs in Asia, Linux, Intel Atom, COM Express module
New systems and software and a new report on the Asia Pacific PLC market top the embedded controller news. Hughes Telematics has opted for Wind River's Linux Operating System to aggregate all vehicle data in one interface. Green Hills Software supports Intel Atom Processor N270, while cognec AG has unveiled a new module in its COM Express line based on the N270. See photos.
Real-time controls prototyping
During the spring semester, I had the opportunity to teach a real-time control development course. Our target area was automotive systems, and I wanted to take students through a complete cycle of development from prototyping to deployment on an embedded system. The ultimate task for the students was to develop a real-time air flow controller for an engine using actual mass air flow (MAF) sens...
Can smart instruments help predictive maintenance?
Control Engineering senior editor Charlie Masi recent tackled this question in his blog, “Ask Charlie.” Masi says: “This question combines the unrelated concepts of smart instruments and predictive maintenance. The smart instruments (sometimes also called “smart sensors”) concept is a hardware-architecture strategy.
NIWeek: WiFi, Ethernet, and LabVIEW 8.6
At its annual user conference (NIWeek), National Instruments released LabVIEW 8.6 and announced 10 new WiFi and Ethernet data acquisition (DAQ) devices, extending NI measurement hardware and software to wireless remote monitoring applications. The company also showcased a partner-designed system being used by Chinese engineers to conduct structural health research on seven megastructures, incl...
ABCs of SBCs: Single board computers for embedded control; Lego learning
Two new SBCs have higher speeds and easier programming: Men Micro supports multiple Intel processors; National Instruments has RIO devices targeting embedded control and data acquisition. See photos (and more Legos)....
Free webinar on Zigbee for embedded systems
Rabbit Semiconductor will present a free how-to guide on ZigBee mesh networks and embedded devices.
Digital manufacturing: Autodesk Inventor shows component interactions
New Autodesk Inventor software (see photo) helps users visualize, understand and control assembly relationships and constraints in digital prototypes of complex machines and workcells, providing….
Modeling Hybrid Control Systems
Most industrial processes include continuous elements and event-based elements. These processes are described as hybrid in that the process can be continuous locally, but event-based or discrete at a higher level. To model such a system requires combining continuous dynamics and event-based dynamics. See more diagrams, equations, and development projects...
Controllers: NI introduces high-performance Compact FieldPoint controllers
New controllers promise increased performance, higher processor speed and improved Ethernet throughput.
8-core microprocessor drives news at FTF Americas
Development tools providers rush to support extreme-multicore device.
Loss prevention: Checkpoint Systems to acquire RFID specialist OATSystems
Checkpoint Systems , a specialist in identification, tracking, security, and merchandising solutions, reports a definitive agreement to acquire OATSystems , which offers RFID-based application software and middleware to its client base in retail, consumer products, consumer electronics, manufacturing, life sciences, and the aerospace & defense industries.Checkpoint and OATSystems offer complementary merchandise protection and inventory management applications that strengthen their combined presence in these markets.“With this acquisition, Checkpoint is redefining the scope of Shrink Management," says Rob van der Merwe, CEO, Checkpoint, "to help retailers and their suppliers migrate more easily with our Evolve Electronic Article Surveillance platform to Electronic Product Code RFID. As our industry moves to a common EPC standard, [we] will now be able to offer solutions that enable retailers and their supply chains to gain deeper inventory visibility, further reducing shrink and increasing bottom-line profits by enhancing on-shelf merchandise availability for consumers.”.
Freescale IDE moves to Eclipse open source standard
Major revision to Freescale’s cross-platform integrated development environment makes it easier to learn, use, and support.
Eder’s edge: Lawson enterprise management supports Eder Deutschland growth plans
Eder GmbH Deutschland , which sells, leases, and services agricultural machinery and forklifts, will use Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System to meet strong growth within the Eder group of companies.Eder’s legacy system could no longer support its requirements, and the company determined that further in-house development of its enterprise software systems would be too expensive. In addition, Eder wanted a solution that offered a new business model for communicating more efficiently with business partners.Eder selected Lawson for its industry-specific offerings, as well as compatibility with Eder's existing IBM System i platform. Another benefit is the implementation support that Lawson offers through its local partner Terna , based in Germany.Eder will use M3 in conjunction with other software solutions for CRM, payroll, and operational data collection.“We were looking for a highly integrated solution that would cover our key business areas,” says Peter Eder, managing partner, Eder GmbH.
Microsoft launches new standard for Windows in embedded systems
Microsoft announced Windows Embedded Standard, the operating system intended to be the next generation of Microsoft Windows XP Embedded.
Hybrid control systems: Advances in simulation, tools predicted
In the next few years, the hybrid control systems approach combined with the statechart programming model will gain popularity; plan now to learn more.
Single Board Computers for Control Applications
Haydn Povey, senior product manager at embedded processor designer ARM, points out: “People are moving from PLCs to high-end microcontrollers as their control algorithms become more complex.” According to David Pursley, applications engineer for Kontron, changes in the engineering community also fuel a trend away from traditional control technology: “In the last two or three y...
Graphical System Design for Machine Control by National Instruments
The traditional process for designing embedded machine control systems typically involves multiple stages of development that each requires specialized electronic design automation (EDA) tools such as state-diagram and flowcharting tools, SPICE circuit simulation, board layout and routing, control design tools, finite element analysis (FEA), C and VHDL languages, multiple target-specific compilers, and human-machine interface (HMI) tools.
Machine control going www by B&R
Over the last few years control systems have undergone drastic technological enhancements. Where the classic approach of using microcontrollers as a Programmable Logic Controller – PLC – was industry standard in the past, today’s machine control is based on PC technology adopted for the harsher environments found in industrial applications. By applying this technology onto a machine control system a great variety of PC features is now embedded within the actual control.
Embedded Systems Conference highlights
Multicore embedded computing was a major development at the conference, held April 14-18 in San Jose. (See product photos.) Recently, companies have started developing software that....
Embedded computer: New small form factor specification
The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG), led by embedded computer integrator WinSystems, announced an interconnect specification.
Automating vendor managed inventory in the ultracompetitive papermaking industry
Korsnäs AB makes the specialty board and papers used in packaging liquid and food products. Papermaking at the moment is an intensely competitive industry. In fact, Korsnäs says competition within its carton board segment is higher as a result of imports from low-cost countries like Brazil and Chile, the weakened state of the U.
Microsoft’s embedded offerings extended
Microsoft Corp. has announced .NET Micro Framework Version 2.5 to provide developers and device-makers with support for Web Services on Devices compatible with the implementation built into Windows Vista and supported by the other Windows Embedded platforms. Devices can discover and communicate with Windows-based PCs or other devices on the network with no user configuration.
Life after flash memory
Non-volatile flash memory has played a large role in enabling the performance we see in today’s microprocessors and computers. To store data, flash memory relies on controlling electrons stored in a transistor’s gate circuit. Flash provides attractive read-write speeds with reasonable power consumption.
Less flight vibration, better pictures for world’s largest infrared telescope
Air suspension system maker ContiTech reported that a custom suspension system it built for of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) research airplane turned in an outstanding performance in the first test flight using sensors and controls. The air suspension system ensures vibration-free operating conditions for the world’s largest infrared observatory telescope, t...
Russia’s Industrial Automation Market in 2007
The year 2007, as expected, was a successful year for the entire Russian economy. High oil prices and high domestic political motivation for investment ensured fairly good growth rates in most industries. Investors strove to use the favorable situation to the fullest extent and build future-oriented businesses.
Open embedded frame chassis: Don’t get backed into a corner
A new open frame chassis for embedded system test and debugging lacks side or back walls around the card cage area for easy access.
Fast PC: Don’t go slow with embedded control
Beckhoff Automation CX1030 Embedded PC, with a 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium M processor, is the most powerful device in its family.
A slap in the wallet: EU imposes record fine for Microsoft’s “unfair benefits”
The European Union hit Microsoft with an 899-million euro (1.34 billion U.S. dollars) fine on Wednesday, alleging that the company has ignored the EU’s long-standing request to provide competitors key software at a fair price.
Embedded PC can be PLC
To provide automation and control applications with the most powerful PC-based controllers possible, Beckhoff Automation announced its new CX1030 Embedded PC. The DIN rail mounted computer is equipped with a 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium M processor and is the most powerful device in the Beckhoff Embedded PC family, at present.
Pinpoint tracking: e-registration stops fraudulent returns without comprising consumer privacy
Manufacturers and retailers have long sought a method of tracking products through their lifecycles—to ensure only authorized returns and in-warranty work—without infringing on consumer privacy concerns. One company finally offers the technology to do just that.
IP Core Store builds a better mousetrap
A fledgling company called IPextreme has come out with a new business model for distributing semiconductor intellectual property to the fabless semiconductor folks. It's best characterized as Amazon.com for semiconductor IP. The new company helps developers at the low-footprint end of the embedded-system industry create their own highly integrated system-on-chip ICs.
Software development solution for Power Architecture 405EZ embedded processor
development solution for Applied Micro Circuit Corporation’s Power Architecture 405EZ embedded processor
Intel Pentium M: Embedded automation computer
Cincinnati, OH – The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech has released the UNO-2176 Intel Pentium M 1.4 GHz/Celeron M 1.0 GHz embedded automation computer that supports a pre-configured Microsoft Windows XP Embedded OS and Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 images with optimized onboard device drivers.
Lowest power: Microcontrollers claim twice performance, battery life
Dallas, TX – Texas Instruments announced five new families of MSP430F2xx high-performance microcontrollers, claimed to be the industry’s lowest-power 16-bit general purpose microcontrollers (MCUs). They provide a direct upgrade path for corresponding devices in the company’s MSP430F1xx generation of ultra-low-power MCUs, with software and pin compatibility, twice the performance, twice the battery life, and increased memory, TI says.
Cable organizer: New system is better for quick moves, adds, changes
Hoffman introduces the new CableTek Management System, a versatile, uniquely designed system that provides support for cable bundles and individual cables in standard 19-inch data racks and simplifies moves, adds, and changes (MACs). This system is said to offer Horizontal and Vertical Cable Managers in a variety of sizes and allows simple transitions from horizontal to vertical systems, optimizing storage capacity, reducing cable expenses and increasing time efficiency.
Embedded: IP licensing firm on the prowl for new ideas
Santa Barbara, CA — Patriot Scientific (PTSC) in Carlsbad, CA, is looking for significant embedded systems or microprocessor technology in which to invest. The company says it has developed significant intellectual property, which it began licensing to a number of major microprocessor and other embedded-system companies during the 1990s, resulting in income in the tens of millions of dollars per year to invest in new businesses and technology.
More powerful PC: DIN rail mounted
To increase processing power in some of the smallest DIN rail mounted Embedded PCs available, Beckhoff Automation introduced its CX9010. In its basic configuration, the device includes CPU, internal flash memory, main memory (RAM), NOVRAM as non-volatile memory and one switched Ethernet port with two external RJ-45 interfaces. Additional Compact-Flash, DVI/USB or serial RS-232 / RS-422 / RS-485 interfaces are available.
National Instruments debuts controller for OEM market
Austin, TX—Original equipment manufacturers will benefit from a new pair of products for the embedded controller OEM market, introduced today, Nov. 27. In a departure from National Instruments’ past market focus, NI is targeting OEMs with new products based on the NI CompactRIO line of high-performance data acquisition and control systems. The NI cRIO-9072 and cRIO-9074 CompactRIO systems give engineers and machine builders a solution for rapidly deploying industrial machines at high volume.
HP plant puts in RFID-based inventory tracking
Reading Gen 2 passive tags affixed to printer assemblies, the system cut safety stock 17 percent.
Embedded USB 8-channel analog output module has arbitrary waveform generator
Acces I/O Products, Inc. has introduced Model USB-DA12-8A. The board features eight independent 12-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and broadly configurable arbitrary waveform generation (ARB) capabilities. The module can be used in any PC or embedded system with a USB port. Features include single-ended and differential outputs for increased noise immunity, ARB status and control signal...
Making connections: More work for Harting, less effort for customers
Connections are catching on, creating more business for Harting’s 110,000 ft2 North American facility here and other manufacturing and assembly sites in Europe and Asia. The desire to make reliable connections more quickly is feeding demand, including power, pneumatics, and industrial communications, such as industrial Ethernet hardware, managed and unmanaged designs, inside, in-between, and outside enclosures.
Networking: Embedded systems get better communications
Green Hills Software announced their plans to add support for CANopen, IEEE 1588, EtherNet/IP and Profinet protocols to the company’s royalty-free RTOS running on Freescale Semiconductor’s embedded microprocessors and microcontrollers.
Pack Expo 2007: Controller enhances I/O speed, power, accuracy to meet machine builder needs
Beckhoff Automation unveiled two new solutions which enable OEMs to create more powerful, more precise and higher performance machines, helping packaging machine builders, users, and system integrators. The eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) Technology is an optimized control and communication solution for I/O response times of 100 microseconds or less. CX9010 is a DIN rail mounted, EtherCAT-ready PC, which comes fully installed with TwinCAT automation software.
What’s Driving the Industrial Marketplace?
When Sumiya Donna Imam took over as manager of industrial market development at Freescale Semiconductor, she told Control Engineering that her first task would be to determine the forces driving adoption of embedded systems by developers of industrial control systems. We invited her to present this exclusive report summarizing her research.
Making processors faster, better, cheaper: Boston’s Embedded Systems Conference 2007
Solution showcased at this year’s Embedded Systems Conference in Boston (Sept. 18 – 21, 2007) shared several common themes: more powerful processors, increased efficiency, and lower power consumption.
Antitrust battle: Microsoft loses appeal of EU fine; mulling its next move
Microsoft's Senior Vice President Brad Smith said the EU's insistence on penalizing Microsoft raises concerns about the protection of trade secrets. He also questioned whether the EU is consistent in considering perceived monopolies, since companies like IBM, Apple, and Google control large portions of their respective markets in Europe.
Purisma appliances: a new approach to data governance
Taking a different approach to master data management (MDM) and related data governance issues, start-up Purisma, asks, why not put all this into an appliance? “Other [MDM] solutions force you to reengineer your systems to point to a single golden copy in one repository—an approach that can take years to accomplish,” claims Bob Hagenau, Purisma's VP of products.
Statecharts can help program powerful systems
The statechart model of computation is arguably the most functionally descriptive model of system behavior. State-charts give programmers a high-level design tool with powerful scalability through programming concepts such as hierarchy, concurrency, and events. The statechart programming model is especially useful for designing complex systems that must respond to a variety of events, such as e...
Purisma appliances signal new approach to data governance
Taking a different approach to master data management (MDM) and related data governance issues, Purisma, a new start-up, asks, why not put all this into an appliance?
Textual computation models
Early computer systems were manually programmed using physical switches to configure the address, data and control lines of the machine. To enter data into memory, each instruction was converted into bit patterns and then the appropriate address, data and command switches were set based on these patterns.
Storage/time server system
Cepoint Networks’ iS900 iSCSI NAS storage/time server system with GPS or atomic time synchronization features is expandable to 18 TB and is designed with embedded GPS, IRIG (inter-range radio international group) timing, or precise atomic time generator or receiver that enables synchronized, precise back-up timing for organizations with geographically disparate storage locations that need to be all backed-up at a precise time.
Software for real-time recording
Pentek Inc. released the newest version of its SystemFlow real-time recording and development software for its family of RTS systems.
Core system firmware
SecureCore from Phoenix Technologies is reported to be the most advanced core system firmware available today to support unified extensible firmware interface v2.0 (UEFI 2.0) and legacy BIOS implementations and drivers.
ZigBee: Helping wireless find an industrial home
One technology steadily gaining in popularity was well-represented at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in April: wireless networking, especially in the form of ZigBee (IEEE 802.15). The ZigBee Alliance had an eight-company pavilion and there were 21 other Alliance members scattered over the show floor.
Multi-Core Processors Push Performance Envelope
A new breed of microprocessors is delivering unprecedented performance at lower power and clock speed, with greater power efficiency levels. 'Multi-core processor,' as the term suggests, provides more than one execution core for the processor—without increasing semiconductor package size, power consumption, or cost.
IEEE 1588: Development kit for multi-controller synchronization
Imsys Technologies, an established manufacturer of processors, modules and tools for embedded applications, announced a development platform for the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol.
Embedded control: broadband LAN delivers infotainment options
One of the themes at the Embedded Systems Conference (April 3-5, 2007) was the ubiquitous nature of broadband LAN technology. Machine builders and designers of vehicle control systems are gaining new options for small-space, high data throughput networking.
Linux: Real costs of a roll your own platform
Linux is the operating system of choice for a growing number of new device software projects.
Graphical System Design for Machine by National Instruments
Embedded System Development for Machine Control Using a Single, Automated Graphical Programming ToolChain and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs)
Networking: Bandwidth hungry applications get fed at ESC
San Jose, CA —If any one issue stood out as commanding the greatest share of mind for attendees and vendors at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) here in San Jose, CA, last week (April 3-5, 2007), it has to be 'interconnectedness.' That is, the ability of embedded control devices, from the lowliest sensor to enterprise-level integrated systems, to link rapidly, robustly and flexibly together. It's not just networking per se, although the buzz surrounding Zigbee, USB, Ethernet, and other physical layer standards was quite high. The general issue of how to pass digital signals between embedded-system components seemed to come up in nearly every conversation. Freescale Semiconductor dropped the first rock into the proverbial pool by introducing a semiconductor device intended to solve the 'last mile' problem for broadband wide-area-network (WAN) communications by making fiber-to-the-home economical.
As more devices and systems get woven into the fabric of our networkedworld, the scale and the complexity of integration is growing at a rapidpace. Our existing methodologies and training for system software design,rooted in principles of object-oriented design, that worked superbly forsmall scale systems begin to break down as we discover operational limitswhich requires frequent and unintended redesigns in programs year overyear.
RFID: AT&T and Tyco jump in, Motorola closes the loop
Dallas, TX —AT&T jumped into sensor-based network and radio frequency identification (RFID) services, Tyco Electronics showed an extended family of RFID products, and Motorola demonstrated closed-loop RFID hardware and software technologies. These were among developments at the 5th Annual RFID World conference and exhibition here, March 26-28, 2007. As RFID use continues to expand beyond manufacturing, those on the plant floor can benefit by lower overall technology costs, advancing integration and services, as well as from continuing standards developments. AT&T expanded with three sensor-based network services covering mobile resource management, RFID asset visibility, and managed passive RFID solutions.
GPS module for OEM electronic systems
GPS2056 receiver module for OEM electronic systems from DeLorme is based on the STMicroelectronics STA2056 GPS receiver chip.
Tech Tips October 2006
October 31, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Network PLCs for complex control applications Increasing use of automation in industry has led to the need for communications and control on a plant-wide basis with programmable controllers, computers, robots, and CNC machines interconnected. Any such piece of equipment capable of communicating on a network is called a 'node.'Networks can take three basic forms. With the star form (figure), nodes are each directly linked to a central computer, termed the host or master, with the nodes being termed slaves. The host contains the memory, processing and switching equipment that enable terminals to communicate.
Fully managed Ethernet switch for harsh environments
Albuquerque, NM —The rugged RES-110 Layer 2 and 3 managed Ethernet switch is said to be an outstanding modular package optimized to meet challenging performance and thermal requirements in harsh environments, including military, industrial, or extreme commercial applications, suggests GE Fanuc Embedded Systems , a leading provider of embedded military and commercial solutions. The switch provides Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. RES-110 features an innovative wiring harness said to reduce wiring weight, volume, and complexity, making it ideal for integration into ground and airborne vehicles and other rugged Ethernet applications. Compliant with the MIL-STD-810E specification, the RES-110 is designed to operate under high temperatures, shock, and vibration conditions. “The RES-110 is another piece in our distributed architecture design for military and commercial applications.
New software: Piping design suite models installations
Engineered Software Inc . has released its Pipe-Flo Professional 2007 program, used to design and simulate operation of fluid piping systems. This new version is the first major update since the 2005 release.
LCD offers flicker-free images
VT201RMX display from VarTech Systems is tailored for harsh environments.
Embedded systems: Vita adopts new policy on intellectual property used in standards
Vita Executive Director Ray Alderman explained the organization's policy at the Bus & Board show in Long Beach, CA. Long Beach, CA —Vita, the VMEbus Trade Association, and its standard-setting body VSO made some history at the Bus & Board show in Long Beach, CA in January: By a 35-to-2 vote with 12 abstentions, VSO adopted a policy that requires any holder of intellectual property included in a new standard to which it is a party to reveal early in the process any patents (issued and pending) that have an essential bearing on the new standard, along with the maximum fee and royalty schedules. Those fees and royalties cannot then be increased, and must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Failure to disclose patents in a timely way can result in the offending company being required to license the intellectual property for free.
USB embedded DAQ modules
Model USB-IIRO4-2SM USB embedded data acquisition modules from Acces I/O Products incorporate four optically isolated digital inputs, four Form C (SPDT) electromechanical relay outputs, and two RS-232, -422, -485 serial communications ports in a small, rugged enclosure.
NI CompactRIO – Reconfigurable Control and Acquisition System by National Instruments
National Instruments CompactRIO is a small rugged industrial control and acquisition system powered by reconfigurable I/O (RIO) FPGA technology for ultrahigh performance and customization. NI CompactRIO incorporates a real-time processor and reconfigurable FPGA for reliable stand-alone embedded or distributed applications, and hot-swappable industrial I/O modules with built-in signal conditioning for direct connection to sensors and actuators.
High accuracy time-stamping software
Software-only implementation of the IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP) from Real-Time Systems GmbH reportedly eliminates the need for hardware-based time-stamping and delivers possible accuracies of ±5 ìs or better.
Pre-configured radio subsystem
Model 6821-422 digital receiver board with high-speed A/D and installed FPGA dual-channel digital downconverter is the newest member of Pentek’s GateFlow installed-core products.
Integration: B&B Electronics acquires wireless developer AES
B&B Electronics acquired Advanced Embedded Systems (AES), a designer and developer of wireless solutions for the industrial market. AES, based in Phoenix, AZ, will become part of B&B Electronics' engineering and technical group in Ottawa, IL. The acquisition provides B&B Electronics with in-house wireless design expertise, enhancing the company's research and development capabilities, the companies said.
All-in-one computer/LCD: Centralized command center controls multiple displays
Baton Rouge, LA —VTPC320 all-in-one display and computer from VarTech Systems features a 32-in. screen, with 42-in.- and 47-in.-screen models to be released soon. Suited for a variety of automation and digital signage applications, the unit has standard loop-through capability and can be used as a central command center.
ISA Expo 2006:Take a stroll down “Innovation alley”
Houston, TX —Visitors to ISA Expo 2006 are invited to spend time at 'Innovation Alley,' a place to see and experience emerging technologies. This feature is described as an attempt to communicate the adventure of technology and relay the excitement, innovation, and joy of building something where nothing before existed. Attendees are encouraged to experience Innovation Alley and meet technologists who are pushing the limits.
Motion control for packaging applications
IndraMotion MLC controller-based motion control system from Bosch Rexroth Corp. is designed for packaging machines with centralized or distributed architectures and a maximum of 16 axes per controller.
Plant floor/SAP integration
SAP-certified NLink product suite from Junot Systems Inc. now includes a new auto-documentation module that produces Microsoft Visio-driven graphical views of configured interfaces, supports OPC unified architecture, and has improved hierarchical browsing of OPC DA and HAD services and support for ISA-95/B2MML.
Tiny 8-bit microcontroller with Ethernet
Microchip Technology Inc. is optimized for embedded monitoring and control applications.
Fall into education
Educational opportunities in late September and October include more than 15 U.S. automation-related conferences, shows, and expositions. These include Get on the Fast Track to Fieldbus, 15th annual Embedded Systems Conference Boston, Assembly Technology Expo 2006, SANS Institute 2006 Process Control and SCADA Security Summit, Schneider Electric Initi@tive 2006, Emerson Global Users Exchange, ...
Real-time, Windows-based package
DAP 840 board and DAPstudio software combine to form a development and runtime package that provides a real-time product in a Microsoft Windows-based product.
Expert systems software tool
Exsys Corvid development tool and expert system software based on artificial intelligence now offers enhanced multi-language features and an improved interactive user inter-face.
Form Factors Facilitate Fit, Function, Features
The term "form factor" in the context of industrial circuit boards, single-board computers (SBCs), and embedded control cards refers to the shape and physical size of these products. However, exact terminology is elusive in practice. Other terms are too often interchangeably used to convey the notion of a board-level product form factor.
Image acquisition subsystem
Matrox Nexis integrated image acquisition subsystem features two remote camera heads with a dual camera control unit (CCU) and frame grabber on one PC/104-Plus card.
Data access for embedded, enterprise systems
RTI distributed data management (formerly SkyBoard) v. 3, among those products shown at Embedded Systems Conference 2006, is intended for real-time distributed applications that require high-performance and highly available database access.
Tyco Electronics provides Unique, RFID-inlay assembly system
Burr Ridge, IL— Tyco Electronics’ Global Application Tooling Division (GATD) announced that it has collaborated with 21-year-old Graphic Solutions International LLC (GSI) to provide a unique RFID Inlay assembly system. It will assemble semiconductor chips, surface mount devices and printed batteries onto a continuous web of printed antennas, adding radio frequency identification (RFID) capability to tags and labels. To meet the customer’s exacting specifications, Tyco Electronics provided a reel-to-reel system that allows GSI to mount flip chips, surface mount devices (SMDs), and printed batteries on a continuous web of printed antennas and conductive traces. The system is capable of high-speed mounting of electronic components on a 6,000-ft-plus (1,800-m-plus) roll of 20-in.
Rugged network connectors
Myriad industrial network options are only exceeded by the styles and brands of rugged connectors—designed to protect the points linking measurements, logic, actuation, and points in-between and beyond. Robust network connector design can vary by network type (fieldbus, device bus, sensor bus), application, industry (such as electronics, robotics, or nuclear), manufacturer, and standards ...
ISA releases new test measurement resource
A new test measurement resource is available from ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society. Fundamentals of Test Measurement Instrumentation targets those who want to learn to design test measurement systems.
ESC 2006: Atmel’s 32-bit DSC focuses on throughput, power savings
At Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, Atmel Corp. announced its AP7000 family of high-performance, 32-bit digital signal controllers (DSCs), the first based on the company's high-throughput AVR32 core—claimed to consistently outperform competing 32-bit cores in industry benchmarks for performance and code density.
ESC 2006 is in the record books
"Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) is now "old enough to vote, soon old enough to drink," was an introductory remark at the keynote presentation of this high-tech event catering to the needs of embedded systems developers and engineers. Indeed, ESC has come of age as it completed its 18th annual presentation, April 3-7, 2006, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.
Windows XP for embedded applications by Advantech
The embedded version of Windows XP is a componentized version of the well-known Windows XP Professional operating system. Instead of everything being wrapped tightly into a single package, XP Embedded breaks the OS down into more than 10,000 individual components, allowing developers to create systems that have the functionality and familiar features of XP.
ESC 2006 Silicon Valley hits lively note
San Jose, CA — Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley was alive with the latest embedded system developments and products during its April 3-7, 2006, run here. Perhaps it was the new location at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center that instilled a fresh outlook on the 18th edition of this annual high-tech event catering to the needs of embedded systems developers and engineers. Unchanged for ESC was its synergistic combination of “how-to” technology sessions, design seminars, and tutorials on the Conference side—numbering 290 this year—plus an Exhibition featuring the latest products from leading companies. Some 300 companies participated on the show-floor. Event keynoter on April 4 was Dean Kamen, entrepreneur, technology advocate, and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, among other accomplishments.
PetroChina to modernize, optimize refineries
The Asia-Pacific region's largest oil company, PetroChina Co., has selected Honeywell Inc. to implement a planning system project at 11 of its refining and petrochemical facilities throughout northern China. Honeywell will install an Advanced Planning System (APS) to help PetroChina optimize crude oil selection, production distribution, and plant production.
First antenna technology boosting UHF RFID-tag read performance
OMRON Corp. has developed a new electronic control antenna technology that it claims to be the first of its kind* that’s embedded in UHF-band RFID reader, improving RFID-tag reading performance—a patent is pending. UHF offers significantly greater communications range than other frequency bands. Consequently, use of UHF RFID systems for full product traceability has seen tremendous growth in logistics industries, mainly in the United States, but also in other parts of the world.
ISA releases online demo of CAP learning system
Research Triangle Park, NC — ISA , the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, has released a fully operational, free online demo of its Certified Automation Professional (CAP) learning system. System is a comprehensive CAP exam preparation and professional development tool. Program combines printed textbooks with online review and testing tools to provide automation training. Learning system includes comprehensive print materials, including seven textbooks covering the CAP body of knowledge and the seven technical topics covered on the exam. A second component of the system is an online learning module that focuses on review and testing.
Gas sample conditioning for CEM
Gass-2040 gas analysis sampling system from Perma Pure can be stack mounted to prepare difficult sample gases for analysis at the source. Gass-2040 gas analysis sampling system from Perma Pure prepares demanding gas samples for analysis, removing acid mists, coalescable liquids, water, and particulates without altering the concentrations of analyte gases. A stack mounting option reportedly increases accuracy and reduces costs.System transforms wet, hot, dirty gases into dry, cool, clean samples for continuous emissions monitoring.
Guide to controller area network (CAN) technology
“A Comprehensible Guide to Controller Area Network,” by Wilfred Voss, has recently been published by Copperhill Technologies Corp . This book is claimed to be the most thoroughly researched and most complete work on CAN technology. CAN, a serial network technology that was originally designed for the automotive industry, is now a popular bus in industrial automation and other applications.
PetroChina to modernize and optimize refineries
Beijing, China —The Asia-Pacific region’s largest oil company, PetroChina Co., has selected Honeywell Inc. to implement a planning system project at 11 of its refining and petrochemical facilities throughout northern China. Honeywell will install an Advanced Planning System (APS) to help PetroChina optimize crude oil selection, production distribution and plant production. “The Honeywell APS system will have a widespread positive impact on our entire operation,” said Gu Xuejing, deputy general manager, Department of Technology and Information, PetroChina Co.
Lattix: New member of Eclipse Foundation
Lattix Inc. has just announced that it has joined the Eclipse Foundation—an open-source community chartered to implement an extensible development platform for building software applications. Lattix will serve as an "Add-In Provider" member of the foundation and is committed to deliver its Lightweight Dependency Models (LDM) approach for managing the software architect...
Embedded data management
eXtremeDB integrates with I-Logix’s Rhapsody, a unified modeling-language-based Model-Driven Development (MDD) environment, to generate faster time-to-market of high-quality embedded applications that require embedded data management.
Workstation for extreme environments
Industrial NEMA 4X (IP66) workstation, equipped with a flat panel LCD and sealed keyboard and pointing devices, is designed to withstand extreme conditions that require washdown. Optional panel PCs, installed embedded computer systems, or video extenders (CAT 5 or fiber optic) are available. Series meets many harsh environmental applications requiring NEMA 4x watertight and corrosive protection.
Mathworks and Aspen-Tech link software
The MathWorks and Aspen Technology Inc. announced that the two companies are offering a co-simulation link between their products, Simulink and Aspen Dynamics. The link, available as a Simulink block within Aspen Dynamics, enables engineers to use model-based design to develop embedded controllers for complex chemical processes.
Intelligent device design and management
LabView 8 introduces distributed intelligence—a suite of new capabilities for engineers and scientists to use to design, distribute, and synchronize intelligent devices and systems. National Instruments' release also features a new project-based environment for developing and managing large-scale applications and the latest in Express technology for simplified instrument control.
The Mathworks and AspenTech link software
The MathWorks and Aspen Technology Inc . announced that the two companies are offering a co-simulation link between their products, Simulink and Aspen Dynamics. The link, available as a Simulink block within Aspen Dynamics, enables engineers to use model-based design to develop embedded controllers for complex chemical processes. The companies claim that linking Aspen Dynamics, which is said to provide dynamic simulation of chemical processes, and Simulink, a simulation platform for control design and embedded system development, allows engineers to use nonlinear chemical process simulations to design, prototype, and evaluate advanced control strategies.
Continued growth seen for wearable systems market
The global market for wearable computing and communications systems is expected to reach more than $270 million by 2007, according to a recent study by VDC Corp. Sales are expected to grow more than 25% annually, based largely on the sale of customized solutions to the core market segments of warehousing and transportation. Wearable computing and communications global market is expected to reach more than $270 million by 2007, according to recent research by VDC Corp. Worldwide shipments and forecasts for general-purpose computing/communications wearable systems are projected to increase from $133.7 million in 2004 to $271.7 million by 2007.
New 16-bit MCU and DSC families: Performance, memory, peripherals, migration
Microchip's new products include 22 general-purpose MCUs (PIC24 family) and 27 DSCs (dsPIC33 family)-available in 64-, 80-, and 100-pin thin quad, flat pack (TQFP) units. With embedded system designers facing increased challenges—on-time project delivery while hitting cost goals, responding to new customer/marketing demands, and providing product differentiation—welcome relief may be at hand via new 16-bit microcontroller (MCU) and digital signal controller (DSC) families recently announced by Microchip Technology Inc . A total of 49 devices comprise the introduction.
GE Fanuc buys DNA Computing Solutions’ PowerPC line
GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Inc., (www.gefanuc.com/embedded) a unit of GE Industrial, has purchased the multiprocessor PowerPC product line from DNA Computing Solutions Inc. Included in the deal are the VS/VE750, VQG4, and Nexus I VME boards; WingSpan software suite of optimized signal, image, and vector processing software libraries; and VxWorks and Linux board support ...
GE Fanuc buys DNA Computing Solutions’ PowerPC line
Charlottesville, VA — GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Inc. , a unit of GE Industrial, has purchased the multiprocessor PowerPC product line from DNA Computing Solutions Inc. Included in the deal are the VS/VE750, VQG4, and Nexus I VME boards; WingSpan software suite of optimized signal, image, and vector processing software libraries; and VxWorks and Linux board support software. Jeff Garwood, president and CEO of GE Fanuc, called the move a “key extension of our hardware and software product line.
Shows: assembly, robotics, networks, ISA, NMW
End-users, system integrators, and manufacturers with interest in industrial networking equipment, components, and enabled devices will be among those participating at upcoming industry events, such as Assembly Technology Expo, International Robot & Vision Show , an industrial Ethernet control seminar, 2005 IEEE 1588 Conference, PTA-2005 Moscow, ISA Expo 2005, Fieldbus Foundation End User Seminar—Focus on Biotech, Life Science Applications, National Manufacturing Week 2006, and others. A Lapp invitation to the Sept. 27-29 Robot and Vision Show near Chicago connected to an interesting graphic of how 20 Lapp products can be used in manufacturing. (Click into the graphic to see more closely.) The products include rugged cords, cables, conduit, connectors, and flexible tracks.
Accu-Sort installs automated RFID labeling at Schering Plough
Accu-Sort Systems Inc. reports it recently installed a Fast Tag In-Motion automated RFID and barcode system at Schering Plough Corp.'s distribution center in Memphis, TN. Fast Tag reportedly will help the distribution center with new RFID compliance standards outlined by Wal-Mart and other retailers.
Linear rail system offers long-wear, low cost
Kerk Motion Products offers the LR Series linear rail system, designed for light-load applications where minimal frictional drag, long-wear life, and low cost are primary concerns.
In, out, and about HMI: LED drives, alphanumeric displays, surface-wave touchscreens, multifunction keyboards
Among the new HMI-related products making their way to market this month are two white LED drivers, a six-in-one visual display/performance management tool, a 31-in. surface-wave touchscreen, and a compact-size mulitifunctional keyboard.
MEN Micro: New graphics modules offer embedded flexibility, FPGA compatibility
Embedded system designers are always on the lookout for graphics controllers that provide flexibility to configure application-specific functions in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
150 London Underground stations using Wonderware’s application server
Wonderware reports that its industrial automation and information software was selected by Thales to provide station management systems at 150 London Underground stations. These facilities are maintained by Metronet, which will use the systems to manage passenger communications and monitor the stations.
GE Fanuc realigns, grows Proficy, awards users
New Orleans, LA—GE Fanuc realigned its organization to better meet customer needs while striving to triple its revenue over the next few years.
Contemporary Controls continues development with new Weidmüller subsidiary
Downers Grove, IL; Eisleben, Germany—Contemporary Control Systems Inc. (CCSI) reports that the Weidmüller Group has acquired a majority interest in Heyfra Electronic GmbH (HEG), a longtime CCSI business partner.
Real-time performance monitoring system
FastFact real-time performance monitoring system is a complete stand-alone hardware and software solution for real-time/full-time production and process monitoring.
Multiprocessing RTOS coming for multicore CPUs
At Embedded Systems Conference-San Francisco in March, Enea Embedded Technology announced that it would offer later in 2005 an “enhanced” Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP) solution with integrated load balancing for its OSE real-time operating system (RTOS).
Automate Quality Control
Electronic industry operations should consider value of making quality an automated, closed-loop function. By Georgi Nickolov Stoilov, Technical University, Branch Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Embedded Systems Conference 2005
The 17th edition of Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) concluded today on several notes of success.
ESC 2005: Texas Instruments’ 100 MIPS digital signal controllers
Among offerings from Texas Instruments (TI) at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005) were the first three members of a new digital signal controller (DSC) family that combine real-time performance of DSPs with integrated peripherals and microcontroller ease-of-use.
ESC 2005: Xilinx showing ecosystem embedded processing solutions
San Francisco, CA—Xilinx Inc. is exhibiting the latest advances in its embedded processing ecosystem in more than 25 different product demonstrations and technical conference papers by Xilinx (Booth #1525) and other companies at the at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2005, March 6-10 at the Moscone Center.
ESC 2005: Kontron’s newest ‘computer-on-module’
At Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005), Kontron will exhibit its newest RISC processor based E²Brain computer-on-module (CoM), among other products.
ESC 2005: Macraigor Systems’ debug software
Offerings from Macraigor Systems LLC at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005), will include added capability for the company’s debug software when used with its OCDemon family of products.
Elo introduces flat profile touchscreens, rear-mount touchmonitors
A range of Super Flat Profile (SFP) touchscreens and two 17-in. LCD rear-mount touchmonitors are among the latest offerings from Elo TouchSystems Inc., a business unit of Tyco Electronics.
Green Hills Software files antitrust lawsuit to fight Wind River litigation
Santa Barbara, CA—Green Hills Software Inc. reports that it has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit to stop Wind River Systems Inc. from reportedly abandoning their mutual customers. Green Hills adds that Wind River also recently sued it allegedly to force termination of a 99-year cooperative agreement between the companies.
Control Engineering Online Update for January 14, 2005
January 14, 2005 Highlights Sponsored by Lantronix Avoiding data collisions on Ethernet networks is a major concern for engineers, especially in applications where real-time data transfer is critical. This article examines how data is transferred on Ethernet and how it can be managed for synchronization and time slicing at the microsecond level using Ethernet Powerlink. Real-time Ethernet data management To achieve predictable timing on Ethernet networks, collisions need to be avoided. Moving from shared Ethernet (many devices on one network segment) to (fully) switched Ethernet (only two devices on a network segment) seems to be a promising solution.
Embedded software regional market overview: improvements
The embedded software market had a year of "transition" in 2003 from the previous two years’ "global economic challenges"—with general improvements likely to come—according to a Nov. 2004 Venture Development Corp.
Harman International purchases QNX Software Systems
QNX Software Systems recently accepted an offer to be bought by Harman International Industries Inc., which makes Harman Kardon, JBL, and Becker audio speakers and other products. QNX reports that the acquisition will accelerate its growth, and help it become the preferred operating system for advanced embedded applications.
B&R says real-time Ethernet Powerlink is growing rapidly
Chicago, IL—B&R reported at a recent press conference that more than more than 20,000 Ethernet Powerlink nodes have been successfully deployed in series machines and embedded systems during the past two years.
General Cable, Panduit to jointly launch structured cabling solutions
Highland Heights, KY; Tinley Park, IL—To provide technology-enabling systems, General Cable Corp. and Panduit recently announced an alliance, and will soon introduce their new PanGen structured cabling solutions for diverse network infrastructure requirements.
LEDs small, colorful, bright
SMD 0603 ultra-bright LEDs come in a range of six colors in dimensions of 1.6 mm by 0.8 mm and a low height profile of 0.6 mm.
Memory embedded database system
eXtremeDB version 2.3 memory embedded database system now has an option to write database changes into a transaction log on persistent media, combining the performance of an in-memory database with the persistence of a conventional disk-based one.
New microcontroller offers single-chip Fast Ethernet connectivity
Said to be industry’s first complete, single-chip 10/100 Mbps Ethernet device for end-node connectivity, 16-bit MC9S12NE64 microcontroller replaces more complex multi-chip offerings.
Freescale shows single-chip, fast Ethernet microcontroller at summit event
Austin, TX—To reduce system complexity and design costs, Freescale Semiconductor Inc. introduced what it reports is the industry’s first complete, single-chip, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet device at its first Embedded Connectivity Summit, Oct. 4-6, at the Hilton Austin Hotel.
Enabling smart device security
Boston, MA—Bsquare introduced a packaged, security-focused service, Secure JumpStart, for device makers at the recent Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004.
Embedded Linux puts pressure on Windows CE, VxWorks
Worldwide shipments of embedded Linux operating systems, add-on components, and related services are expected to grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate from $65.2 million in 2003 to $118.5 million in 2006, according to "2004 Embedded Software Strategic Market Intelligence Program" by Venture Development Corp.
Magnetic sensors market revenues expand
Palo Alto, CA—Worldwide revenues from magnetic sensor components and modules/subsystems are projected to increase 10-11% per year from $746.6 million in 2003 to more than $1.56 billion in 2010, according to “World Magnetic Sensor Components and Modules/Subsystems Market” by Frost & Sullivan.
Simulation software upgrades
Upgrades to two control application and simulation software packages include MatLab 7 and Simulink 6.
Acrosser embedded PC-104 SBC incorporates Windows CE .Net
Recently announced by Acrosser U.S.A. Inc.—an ISO-9001 certified embedded platform service provider for OEMs—is the bundling of Microsoft Windows CE .net image with the company’s AR-B1551 embedded PC-104 single-board computer (SBC).
Enea combines RTOS and Linux in distributed systems platform
Enea Embedded Technology—a subsidiary of Enea Data AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden—just announced what it calls "the first integrated software platform for high-availability telecom and datacom systems that combines embedded Linux with a hard real-time operating system [RTOS]."
USB high-precision DAQ
DAQ24USB-5V is the newest member of the DAQ24USB digitizer family.
Ethernet programmable controller
Upgraded Ethernet TCP/IP programmable fieldbus controller Series 750-841 has double the data memory of the previous version, a multi-task operating system, and the ability to complete on-line programming changes.
Shrinking Hardware, Increasing Functions
There's no question that board- and chip-level control products are shrinking in physical size, while continuing to add embedded functions. It's part of a natural progression to smaller, portable, more functional devices and gadgets desirable in the commercial and consumer world. The trend extends into industry, as well, where original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face continual demands to re...
Airbee, Link Plus partner to develop long-range wireless technologies
Columbia, MD—Airbee Wireless and Link Plus Corp. have formed a strategic partnership for co-developing new products around the emerging ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4) wireless standard.
Intermec files RFID patent infringement lawsuit against Matrics
Everett, WA—Intermec IP Corp. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Rockville, MD-based Matrics Inc. that relates to Intermec's radio frequency identification (RFID) patents.
Industrial laser shipments jump 40% in 2004’s first quarter
McLean, VA—Shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and U.S. exports shot up 40% to a total of $122.7 million in the first quarter of 2004 (1Q04) compared to 1Q03, according to new research by the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of the Asso-ciation for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
SID 2004: Touchscreen technology, full-color system-on-glass, touch application among conference highlights
A new vibration-based touchscreen technology designated as "breakthrough" by its developer, and a full-color "system-on-glass" input display, were among notable highlights at the Society for Information Display international conference, symposium, and exhibition, held in Seattle, WA, last month.
Xycom VME to operate as an independent company
Saline, MI—Monroe PMP, with the support of its partner, Saline Lectronics, recently acquired the net assets of Xycom Automation Inc.’s VME business unit.
ABB Automation World: security means avoiding ‘plug and plague’
Atlanta, GA—More open systems have created “plug and plague concerns,” says Stephen L. Thomas, associate project engineer for Olin Chlor Alkali Products, during his presentation at ABB's Automation World conference on April 21.
Best-of-show products at ‘electronicaUSA/ESC’
Innovative, high-tech products were in the hunt for Best-of-Show Awards at "electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference 2004.
‘electronicaUSA with ESC’: RadiSys introduces long-life ATX board
San Francisco, CA—RadiSys Corp. launched its new Endura SH845GV long-life, Intel 845GV ATX board at the recent “electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004” at the Moscone Convention Center.
‘electronicaUSA with ESC’: Silicon Motion demos embedded solutions
San Francisco, CA—Silicon Motion Inc. is showing how it supports many operating systems and CPUs by exhibiting reference platforms from AMD, Antelope, Applied Data Systems, Intel and Renesas during “electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004.”
‘elecronicaUSA with ESC’: Green Hills releases royalty-free microkernel
San Francisco, CA—Green Hills Software Inc. announced at “electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004, Mar. 29-April 1 at the Moscone Convention Center, that its velOSity real-time microkernel, the foundation of its Integrity real-time operating system (RTOS), is now available independently.
‘electronicaUSA with ESC’: Analog Devices introduces precision MCU
San Francisco, CA—To simplify control and monitoring for industrial, optical networking and automotive applications, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) introduced its ADuC702x precision analog microcontroller on March 29 at “electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference” (ESC).
Digi debuts interchangeable Wi-Fi, wired embedded modules
Minnetonka,MN—To produce one product that can support wired and wireless networking, Digi International has launched its Digi Connect Wi-ME and Digi Connect Wi-EM, which it reports are the industry's first fully customizable, secure, 32-bit, 802.11b, wireless, embedded modules.
Lantronix launches WiPort wireless embedded device server
Irvine, CA—Lantronix Inc. has launched its new WiPort wireless embedded device server, which it reports is the first to offer both IEEE 802.11b wireless and wired Ethernet connectivity in one compact, integrated module.
Dates set for 50th International Instrumentation Symposium
Dates for the 50th International Instrumentation Symposium have been announced by ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society.
Cypress debuts long-range radio system on a chip
San Jose, CA—Cypress Semiconductor Corp. recently introduced its WirelessUSB LR device (CYWUSB6935), which is a low-cost, 2.4 GHz radio system-on-a-chip that delivers up to 50 meters or more of wireless connectivity for commercial and industrial applications.
Color verification, ID system
VeriColor high-resolution color verification and identification system is designed to reduce color errors in manufacturing assembly and sorting operations.
Automotive embedded software development costs outpace other apps
Rising costs of software development should not come as a surprise, but its impact on the automotive sector from 1999 through 2002 is an eye opener. Software now accounts for more than one-third of total automobile production costs, according to a Venture Development Corp. (VDC) worldwide survey of automotive embedded developers published in October 2003.
SpacePC 4200 CPU fanless 5x86 class PC/104-Plus processor board is based on the 32-bit AMD Elan SC520 microcontroller.
Industrial laser shipments down 10% for 3Q03
Industrial laser shipments for North America and U.S. exports were down approximately 10% to $86 million in the third quarter of 2003 (3Q03) from the same period a year earlier, according to recent research by the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
Server secures savings, scalability
Industrial Application Server (IAS), version 1.5, from Wonderware is an application delivery platform built on the ArchestrA software architecture. IAS offers new enhancements that provide more capable FactorySuite A2 solutions, which enable increased performance, robustness, upward scalability, high availability, improved alarm and system management, and object validation.
Raven Industries acquires Fluent Systems for $1 million
Sioux Falls, SD; Madison, WI—Raven Industries Inc. announced that it has acquired substantially all assets of privately held Fluent Systems LLC for approximately $1 million in cash.
Ultimodule introduces modular building blocks for embedded systems
Sunnyvale, CA—Ultimodule Inc. recently introduced its portfolio of modular hardware and software building blocks that accelerate time to market for embedded systems.
Free LabView software improves thermocouple measurement accuracy 400%
Anyone using National Instruments (NI) LabView software should consider downloading free thermocouple calibration software that NI spokespersons say improves the accuracy of thermocouple measurements by as much as 400%.
Emulation and Control System Assurance
Determining that a control system works before you build it seems like a contradiction. At best, it represents a considerable challenge. Years ago—when the industry was young—you could build a prototype, try it out, make modifications, try them out, and so on. Today, this approach generally falls short for three main reasons.
Wago launches Ethernet TCP/IP programmable fieldbus controller
Germantown, WI—Wago recently introduced its Ethernet TCP/IP programmable fieldbus controller (PFC), part number 750-841, which features 100 Mbps Ethernet, IEC-61131-3, and open architecture software interfaces and protocols.
Wonderware releases FactorySuite A2 industrial application server
Lake Forest, CA—To add support for Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 operating system and Stratus’ ftServer hardware, Wonderware released Sept. 25 its new FactorySuite A2 Industrial Application Server, version 1.5 which is built on the ArchestrA software architecture.
ESC Boston 2003: Aonix releases pacing agent with Perc 4.1
Boston, MA—Aonix released its Perc 4.1 platform on Sept. 15 at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston 2003. Perc 4.1 is a Java virtual machine that provides a pacing agent and profiling tools that gives developers accurate, real-time control of their applications.
Simulate Your Embedded System
Video games simulate characters, environment, and storylines of many movies to maximize revenue related to your latest cinema experience. These include "Finding Nemo" and "The Matrix," among many others. Software applications simulate the controls and manufacturing environments of projects to maximize revenue connected with your latest automation experience.
Test Your Control System with Simulation
Computer-based simulations abound in the 21st century. The most familiar examples are just for fun—video games, animated toys, amusement park rides, and the like. But simulations can serve a serious purpose in the manufacturing world as well. The functions of a proposed control system can be tested with a simulated plant, allowing mistakes to be identified in a cost-free virtual world.
Single-board Computers Widely Applied
The single-board computer (SBC) has its roots in the need for application-specific computing power in the control industry. Early designs go back 20 years or more. And although the designs were often based on the idea that an SBC could be just that—a single-board device—board-level component size, power requirements, and the need for expanding systems options often made SBCs only ...
Parvus, EuroTech merge to create embedded PC/104 leader
Salt Lake City, UT; Amaro Udine, Italy—Parvus Corp. and EuroTech SpA announced Aug. 21 that they've merged to capture more market share for embedded computer products and system integration services and become a global leader in products for embedded PC/104 computers.
Control Engineering Embedded Control eNewsletter for July 2003
National Instruments— Greatly Reduce Your Control System Development Time National Instruments LabVIEW Real-Time graphical development software and Compact FieldPoint hardware can help you reduce your control system development time. Learn how easy it is with the combination of National Instruments software and hardware to create reliable and deterministic control applications that you can deploy as distributed or stand alone systems. To take an online tutorial or request a product guide click here: click here ASIC versus FPGA issues Hot-swappable controller for cPCI applications Partnering on high-density cPCI serial card: Kontron, Comtrol Think about embedding a PLC board Worth reading: How to streamline embedded designs' Control Engineering resources ASIC versus FPGA issues Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) present alternative design approaches for embedded control designers. Each approach offers tempting tradeoffs: ASIC advantages include high-performance features, lower power usage, and robustness of a custom chip product, which come at a price due to the associated upfront costs. However, ASICs require longer development times and also commitment to a specific chip design or target application without the luxury of reprogramming. On the other hand, FPGA's strong suit is design flexibility.
Control Engineering Embedded Control Newsletter for May 2003
Texas Instruments- New Development tools for Embedded ControlTI's TMS320C2000(tm) DSP controllers provide the ultimate combination of MCU peripheral integration, C efficiency and ease-of-use with the performance of TI DSPs. New Development Bundles for the TMS320F2812 DSP Controller These bundles simplify the design process and allow you to fully utilize the capabilities of the industry's highest performance, control optimized DSPs. New Enhanced TMS320LF2407 Tool Bundle This new development tool bundle gives designers a complete and cost effective way to take their designs to production and is the easiest way to fully evaluate and begin developing code for embedded applications.
i-comm 2003: Socket, Isochron show Bluetooth wireless solutions
Miami, FL—Socket Communications Inc. (Newark, CA) and Isochron Data Corp. (Austin, TX) announced May 5 that they're jointly developing and deploying Bluetooth solutions that allow wireless communications between pocket PCs and industrial equipment.
A Wider Field of View
The technology basket that represents today's mix of "sensors" includes much more than the standard sensors to which we're accustomed. Wireless networking, intelligent systems, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), MST (microsystem technologies), nanotechnology, biosensors, and others are firmly in the mix.
Vapid Software releases event-logging solution
Raleigh, NC—To support complex embedded applications and provide familiar functionality, Vapid Software Inc. launched Mar. 31 its Vapid Log event logging system.
In Business – 2003-04-01
To complement its motion control portfolio, Agilent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) has acquired exclusive rights to absolute encoder technology from Optolab Microsystems AG (Erfurt, Germany), a supplier of optoelectronic solutions. While its motion control products already include absolute encoders, Agilent plans to introduce new encoders later this year, based on Optolab's technology for use in industrial automation applications. GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc.
ESC reaches 15 years of innovation
Though it seems like only yesterday the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was just learning how to walk, so to speak, the conference has now reached its 15th year. This latest "teenage" edition of ESC, featuring more than 300 exhibitors and a conference with 146 technical sessions presented by 90 industry experts, expects to draw more than 11,000 attendees to San Francisco's Moscone Conventio...
NMW 2003: Digi provides customizable network connectivity
Chicago, IL—Digi Connect 50 device server, exhibited by Digi International Inc. (Minnetonka, MN) at National Manufacturing Week 2003, uses the NET +50 NetSilicon processor to provide complete external network connectivity that can be customized for specific applications.
Transmeta offers processors for fanless, embedded applications
Santa Clara, CA—Transmeta Corp. launched Jan. 6 its new, energy-efficient Crusoe Special Embedded (SE) processors for x86 embedded applications, including industrial automation and scientific instrumentation.
Temperature/humidity monitoring system
LTM-8201C and LTM-8203C temperature and humidity monitoring and control systems are said to provide low-cost, standalone solutions for up to 32 input points connected on one to three data lines.
Cygnal, CMX introduce embedded Ethernet reference design
Austin, TX; Jacksonville, FL—CMX Systems and Cygnal Integrated Products launched Dec. 3 an Embedded Ethernet Reference Design, which features the CMX-MicroNet TCP/IP stack and Cygnal's C8051F124DK Development Kit.
NewMonics Asserts Leadership Over Mission-Critical Java
Tucson, AZ - NewMonics has released PERC 4.0, a development platform for complex embedded systems.
Motorola expands 16-bit hybrid MCU/DSP portfolio
Phoenix, AZ - New options will soon be available from Motorola for embedded systems that require high performance microcontroller (MCU) and digital signal processor (DSP) functionality with integrated Flash memory.
ODVA Global Networks 2002: DeviceNet solutions highlighted
Nine members of the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA, Boca Raton, FL) released new DeviceNet-related products and described solutions on Oct. 1 at ODVA's 8th annual Global Networks 2002 conference and annual general meeting.
Ampro, TimeSys speed embedded Linux application deployment for OEMs
San Jose, CA and Pittsburgh, PA - Ampro Computers Inc. announced October 14 the immediate availability of a certified, production-quality Linux distribution from TimeSys for its PowerPC ISA- based EnCore PP1 module.
Entry-level CANopen implementation by ESAcademy
San Jose, CA-The Embedded Systems Academy (ESAcademy) announced October 14 availability of MicroCANopen, an entry-level, minimized CANopen implementation. CANopen is a high level networking protocol based on the Controller Area Network.
Sandia National Labs’ Linux minicluster based on parvus hardware
Livermore, CA and Salt Lake City, UT - parvus Corp. announced September 26 that it has helped Sandia National Laboratories develop a portable Linux cluster computer system based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) PC/104 technology.
OSIsoft releases second version of ECHO time-series database
San Leandro, CA- OSIsoft announced Oct. 1 the second release of its Embedded Component Historian Object (ECHO), which is a database technology for time-series data archiving. This latest version introduces four new capabilities: online backup and restore functionality; support for archiving BLOBs and BSTrs; CFR 21 Part 11 compliance documentation; and an OPC server interface.
Motorola announces family of low-acceleration sensors
Phoenix, AZ - Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector is now offering a range of low-gravity (g)inertial sensors (also called accelerometers), ranging from 1.5g to 8g.
Control Engineering System Integration eNewsletter for August 2002
In this issue: CSIA's white paper defines system integrator market CSIA adds membership category for start-up integrators Vintage paper machine gets fresh start with new PC-based controls Profibus seminars for integrators offered free-of-charge Lockwood Green presents advice on working with integrators ABB, software and integrator partners combine robotics and AGVs Reference design speeds development of CAN and Ethernet-based embedded systems Control Engineering plans October webcasts on manufacturing productivity Search database of more than 1,000 system integrators, eight ways CSIA's white paper defines system integrator market A recent white paper published by the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA, Exton, PA) traces the history and helps define the system integration field and its participants. The 26-page report, 'CSIA White Paper: The Market for Control System Integrators,' was prepared for CSIA by Walt Boyes, of Spitzer and Boyes LLC. The document reports that data collected by CSIA indicates that the market for control system integration considerably larger than previously believed. CSIA estimates that the worldwide gross revenues for professional control system integrator companies is $12 billion per year, based on the 2,200 companies that meet CSIA's definitions and qualifications as control system integrators.
Axeda updates software for its DRM system
Mansfield, Mass.— Axeda Systems announced July 1 the immediate availability of release 1.5 of its Axeda Access application, a component of the Axeda Device Relationship Management (DRM) System. This solution provides secure, Internet-based remote desktop sharing between service and support specialists and remote computers installed at customer sites. Axeda Access 1.5 expands the supported platforms to provide access to devices running any version of Microsoft Windows and popular versions of the UNIX operating system, including Sun Solaris 8 and Linux. The release also enhances features including unattended operation, device access control, multiple concurrent user sessions, and provides performance improvements.
Embedded Control: Heart of the System
Embedded can mean almost whatever each definer states. Most people would equate embedded with small, but a Eurocard 6U size CompactPCI or VME computer platform often classifies as embedded. The term can also imply dedicated purpose, that is, a control system specifically designed for one application.
Sensors Expo 2002 highlights…
San Jose, Calif. The west coast edition of Sensors Expo 2002 featured numerous innovations on May 21-23. Advanced Embedded Systems (Marana, Ariz.) unveiled RT12-4204 wireless transceiver designed to link remote sensors to data acquisition inputs. Operating in the license-free ISM band at either 900 MHz or 2.
Control Engineering’s E-News Letter for Embedded Control – March 2000
In this issue: Control Engineering in March and April Conferences and trade shows A little buggy Soft control automates turbine generator Steeplechase Software makes jump at NIA Is America moving from manufacturing? PC-based robots The merger urge Industrial information infrastructure Another dot com More products from National Industrial Automation Show Control Engineering in March and April Check out the best products of 1999 as chosen by the editors of Control Engineering in the March issue . Winners in the PC-based Control category included Iconics, Intellution, National Instruments, and Think & Do Software. Also in March, the product focus on PLCs revealed CE readers are moving toward smaller and smaller PLCs.
Control Engineering’s E-News Letter for Embedded Control – March 2002
In this issue: Special Embedded Systems Conference Issue Plus Patents and lawsuits update Petri Nets and Grafcet for modeling discrete logic Spring Embedded Systems Conference In Ohio, we talk about spring as a time of 'breaking out,' meaning flowers, tree buds, little animals, and joggers. In San Francisco last week at the spring Embedded Systems Conference, attendees and new product announcements were what were breaking out. Once again aisles were filled with engineers looking for the latest products and technology trends, as well as soaking up information in the technical conference sessions. My overall impression was that almost all exhibitors were much more optimistic about business than last year.
Control Engineering Newsletter for Software — March 2002
In this issue: National Manufacturing Week Web Services Linux USDATA seminars National Manufacturing Week Next week is National Manufacturing Week, four trade shows in one venue. The trade shows are Industrial Automation, Plant Engineering, Design Engineering, and Industrial IT. Also included is a Motion Control pavilion.
Peddling the lifecycle can produce pain, gain
Feel like you're pedaling (and peddling) as fast you can without traction? How big is your automation budget? How big's your maintenance budget? Talk much with your chief financial officer about how automation can help meet and exceed business goals? Don't assume that others in the organization—in maintenance, operations, or finance—know the long-term benefits automation can bring ...
Motorola’s development tool strategy for 8-Bit microcontroller system design
Austin, Tex. - As part of a strategy to assist embedded systems engineers develop fast, re-programmable embedded systems using cost-effective Flash memory, Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector is providing complimentary licenses of Metrowerks CodeWarrior tools for the HC08 Flash MCU family.
Data acquisition using Palm OS devices
Santa Clara, Calif. - Datastick Systems Inc. has announced availability of Datastick Connection 2.0 and the alternative Datastick Connection Plus 2.0, the software component of the Palm-OS-based MyCorder DAS-1206 Data Acquisition System. The system allows users to take sophisticated scientific and industrial measurements in the field, record them, display them on a Palm handheld, and sync them at a later time to their desktop computers for analysis.
Gas monitoring system
PureAire has developed a continuous monitoring system that detects and measures low levels of hydrogen in gaseous process streams.
Motorola, Xycom Automation sign OEM agreement
Saline, Mich. - Xycom Automation Inc., a subsidiary of Pro-face America, announced March 25 that it has entered into a strategic OEM agreement with Motorola Computer Group, a part of Motorola Inc. This agreement allows Xycom to purchase, re-label, and integrate select Motorola 68K VMEbus products as part of a system solution for Xycom customers.
Embedded Systems Conference: Many companies make announcements on first day
San Francisco, Calif. - There are many announcements with the first day of the Embedded Systems Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center this week.
SatCon launching RF wireless amplifier for WLAN applications
Cambridge, Mass. - SatCon Technology Corp. announced on Feb. 26 that its Semiconductor Products business unit introduced a new high-speed, 5.7-gigahertz, radio frequency (RF) power amplifier for wireless large area network (WLAN) applications at the Wireless Systems Design Conference and Expo, Feb. 26-28, in San Jose, California.
Addressable gas alarm system
Model 812FB gas alarm system consists of a single sensor, redundant gas detection control modules packaged in a NEMA 4X control enclosure.
Metrowerks eases development of Net Services Applications
Austin, Tex. - A new development tool kit from Metrowerks allows developers of Net services software applications to quickly and easily create Novell NetWare applications, NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) and device drivers using the popular CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and tool set.
Brooks Automation acquires Zygo Corp.’s Automation Systems Group
Chelmsford, Mass. - Brooks Automation Inc., a supplier of tool and factory hardware and software automation solutions for the global semiconductor industry, announced December 14, 2001 that it has completed the purchase of Zygo Corp's Automation Systems Group.
TenAsys, Annasoft provide embedded Windows solutions
Beaverton, Ore. and Poway, Calif. - TenAsys and Annasoft announced an agreement in which they will work together to provide a combination of deterministic, hard real-time control with Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Windows XP Embedded Configuration Kit from Annasoft
Poway, Calif. - Annasoft is offering special promotional pricing on the Windows XP Embedded Configuration Kit through February 28.
Wind River supports Motorola’s processors
Alameda, Calif. - To provide integrated networking and telecommunications solutions, Wind River Systems Inc. announced Dec. 5 that it will support Motorola's recently launched MPC8250 and MPC8241 processors.
Phoenix|x-ray determines BGA opens, improper wetting
Camarillo, Calif. - phoenix|x-ray Systems + Services Inc. introduced the pcba|sentry, a new x-ray inspection system that fills the void between fast automated inline and offline semi-automatic or manual failure analysis systems.
TouchSystems announces open chassis touch LCD
Round Rock, Tex. - TouchSystems today announced the release of Apollo Open, an open frame TFT touch LCD.
Red Hat Linux 7.2 now available
Research Triangle Park, N.C. - Red Hat Inc. October 22 announced that Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux Professional are now available in stores, through computer resellers, and direct from Red Hat.
All-weather transceiver antenna system
Carlsbad, Calif.— RAMM 2000 provides maximum RF link performance when using 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz unlicensed links. The device eliminates costly and bulky RF coaxial cable that often contributes to poor performance and system reliability. A one-piece all-weather unit incorporates a high-gain 13-dBi low profile panel antenna and a high-performance 1 W (900 MHz) or 0.
Control Engineering’s E-News Letter for Embedded Control – March 2001
In this issue: Patent discussions Trade shows Introducing Entivity Siemens does PCs Best bosses look for allies 15 years of CAN Distributed control paper from Russia Siemens offers online training Cool products Sign up for our Technology Webcast Patent discussions Almost every discussion at the recent National Industrial Automation Show (part of National Manufacturing Week, March 5-8 in Chicago) eventually turned to patents. Primarily, discussion revolved around Schneider Electric's patent infringement lawsuit against Opto 22. Some discussed the other Schneider patents that involve OPC.
Embedded Systems’ boards, chips dock at Chicago’s Navy Pier
The Midwest version of this year's three Embedded Systems Conferences was held here on July 9-11. Though expected to end up smaller than the Sept. 6 - 9, 2001, event in Boston, attendees at Chicago's Navy Pier packed the aisles to discuss products and technologies. Keynoter and PC industry veteran, Robert X.
Cost-effective light industrial touch computing
Round Rock, Tex.— IndustraTouch, a compact, durable, all-in-one touch computer, is targeted for general industrial applications. IndustraTouch features a small footprint and easy integration into any application at a competitive price. IndustraTouch is a multimedia, Microsoft Windows-based, industrial touch panel PC System with a standard Celeron/ Pentium III.
In Business – 2001-05-01
GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, Va.) recently formed partnerships with VMIC (Huntsville, Ala.) to develop embedded PC technology-based devices and with Marathon Technologies (Boxborough, Mass.) to sell its Assured Availability server solutions for Microsoft Windows environments. Krohne Inc. (Peabody, Mass.
Embedded Systems Conference packs ’em in
San Francisco, Calif.— While many recent trade shows have drawn fewer exhibitors and visitors, this year's Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) initiated its new venue, San Francisco's Moscone Center, with packed aisles and people who actually attended the conference sessions. Linux continues to generate buzz, but the operating system is maturing with companies showing real products built ...
Java brings opportunities to industrial automation
Like many in the embedded systems industry, industrial automation vendors have watched and waited for the validation of Java in their domain. At the top of the list of concerns are performance problems caused by simplistic implementations of the Java virtual machine (JVM) and garbage collection algorithm.
Linux, Windows link for new networking
Vancouver, British Columbia., Canada -Building on its deviceCOM for Microsoft Windows CE and NT, Intrinsyc's new deviceCOM for Linux enables customers to use Windows at the enterprise level, while taking advantage of Linux benefits for embedded devices. Using Windows and Linux and bridging the enterprise and device levels, this represents a major step toward the development of multi-operating system solutions. Intrinsyc Software www.intrinsyc.com Added information Intrinsyc deviceCOM was originally developed to provide distributed COM services on Microsoft Windows CE.
Controller delivers real-time control over Ethernet
Palatine, Ill. -Two new models of Modicon Momentum M1E processor adapter integrate an Ethernet port to network data acquisition, peer-to-peer communications, and I/O scanning. Five embedded web pages, usable with a standard web browser, read status and diagnostic information from the processor, extending Schneider's Transparent Factory architecture.
Synergetic’s ‘Embedded Comm’ moves board onto chip
In the soft logic, automation, and embedded systems markets, users typically spend several hundred dollars on communications modules, which prevents high-volume implementation of communications and networking functions.To give users an improved, inexpensive solution, Synergetic Micro Systems (Downers Grove, Ill.
Top stories of 2000; you predict 2001
Year-end wrap-up stories provide closure. Prognosticators expound about what will be. Either direction can be fun...Leading news stories of 2001: I'd pick Control Engineering readers' abilities over any set of clairvoyants, soothsayers, and fortune-tellers...e-mail me your predictions for the top news stories of 2001 in automation, instrumentation, and control.
How to Integrate Software
Automation software integration within and among manufacturing sites is becoming more challenging with the increasing mergers, acquisitions, and ties from control into the rest of the enterprise.System integrators accustomed to working with software offer advice on moving from plant-floor to enterprise-wide integration across sites and through the supply-chain.
Embedded Systems show ends run in San Jose
The Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held its last visit here on Sept. 25-28 with exhibits packed into every available nook and cranny. Next year, ESC's West Coast incarnation will move to San Francisco's Mosconi Center on March 5-8, 2001. As usual, this eclectic mix of technologies showed off many hardware and software products bringing power to ever-smaller pac...
Wish list for future central processing units
Ask a simple question and get a simple answer, right? That wasn't the case when Control Engineering polled readers on features they desired in a computer board. One question generated over 20 replies that included consistent, reliable operating systems, higher upgrade flexibility, scalable parallel processor, easy assembly, standardized structures, equipment and design support, small foo...
VenturCom buys Phar Lap Software
VenturCom Inc. announced Sept. 21 its acquisition of Phar Lap Software Inc. (also Cambridge, Mass.), developer of Embedded ToolSuite (ETS), consisting of Embedded Studio Express, a Visual Studio Add-In, and a 32-bit x86-based real-time operating system based on Microsoft's Win32 API.
Excel add-in for iFix
Green Bay, Wis. -Mountain Systems has added Excel Add-in to the Proficy suite of software modules. Proficy Excel Add-in is a data extraction tool that allows the presentation of Intellution's Advanced Historian (AH) data in Microsoft Excel.
VenturCom acquires Chesapeake Bay Systems
VenturCom Inc., a provider of software and services for Windows-based intelligent connected equipment (ICE), announced May 4 that it has acquired Chesapeake Bay Systems (Virginia Beach, Va.). Chesapeake Bay Systems provides consulting and development services that assist OEMs in bringing new products to market, specializing in Windows NT, Windows CE, QNX, and Hyper...
Bringing desktop interoperability to real-time systems
Component Object Model (COM) is the de facto standard for handling objects in desktop PCs and is how Microsoft implements many of its Windows system interfaces. COM provides a complete language-independent object model, and a simple programming model that is widely used and well understood. Distributed COM (DCOM) extends this programming model to the network, bringing location-independe...
Embedded Linux Consortium forms
Responding to the rising tide of interest in using the Linux operating system for embedded applications, representatives from dozens of embedded technology firms announced formation of the Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC), a vendor-neutral trade association dedicated to the advancement of Linux-based solutions in embedded applications.
Applied Microsystems, bSquare provide tools
Applied Microsystems Corp. (AMC, Redmond, Wash.), an innovator in software development solutions, and bSquare Corp. (Bellevue, Wash.) have agreed to cross-reference each other's products. The firms will provide across-the-board, one-stop shopping for development of Microsoft Windows CE- or Windows NT-based intelligent computing devices.
In Business – 1999-12-01 – 1999-12-01
Comtrol Corp. (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Steeplechase Software Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.) announced Nov.
Alternative to plug-in cards, ATE rack systems
Cleveland, O. -Integra Series Model 2700 multimeter/data acquisition system combines the functionality and high channel count of a datalogger with the accuracy, convenience, and traceability of a true six and a half digit DMM for the price of a higher-end PC plug-in board hardware. The Model 2700 provides 80 differential channels in a high-performance, half-rack system.
Controlling the Sun’s Center
In Livermore, Calif., early in the next decade, a "science factory" with an astounding array of control technologies will aim up to 192 lasers at one point, another step toward using lasers to "ignite" fusion. The blast of energy aims to fuse hydrogen isotopes of deuterium and tritium into helium nuclei—with energy output higher than energy input.
In Business – 1999-10-01 – 1999-10-01
ABB USA Inc. (Norwalk, Conn.) announced Sept. 1 that it recently received a $66 million order from the U.S.
Scalable process system
Austin, Tex.—Version 3.2 of the DeltaV scalable process system released by Fisher-Rosemount Systems, extends the systems capablilities to meet the needs of more users, while also solving problems they may have faced with other, older systems. The release includes easy-to-use advanced control using fuzzy logic and patented autotuner technology, an integrated batch historian, and a new OPC ...
Vision Systems See New Technology Bring Lower Prices
Want to banish the "magic" from machine vision integration and pay less? Machine vision systems today reflect commercial microprocessor advancements as well as software enhancements to make systems easier, more powerful, and less expensive. The power of Intel's Pentium microprocessor with MMX (multi-media capability) has allowed many suppliers to leverage commercial technology that is les...
Pre-configured touch monitors
Fremont, Calif.— Elo TouchSystems Inc. has announced the first Universal Serial Bus (USB) compatible touch monitors that are pre-configured in the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system for instant operation in a plug-and-touch environment. These new products may be added to existing systems or networks by plugging them into the computer without the need for loading separate devices drivers.
Xycom Automation bundling software, hardware
To help users avoid Christmas-like "some assembly required" hassles when buying PC controls, Xycom Automation (Saline, Mich.) is bundling soft-logic control with traditional PC hardware. In a discussion with Control Engineering at National Manufacturing Week, Tom Gross, Xycom Automation's ceo, says the remade firm will deliver control products tested to work together, ...
Starter kit for embedded PC control
Cumming, Ga.— AUTOMATIONdirect.com has introduced the WinPLC starter kit, featuring Think & Do software release 5.0 and the WinPLC embedded PC control hardware platform. According to the company, the Think & Do software release 5.0 is the first PC control package to support the Windows CE operating system, as well as Microsoft Windows NT.
National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week highlights
Chicago, Ill. -- National Industrial Automation Show (NIAS), part of National Manufacturing Week (NMW), March 15-18, included the following announcements: Industrial Ethernet association forms In an effort to clear confusion surrounding use of Ethernet in industrial applications, Mike Justice, president of Synergetic Micro Systems (Downers Grove, Ill.) has formed the Industrial Ethernet Association. To start, the user and vendor trade group will use www.industrialethernet.com as a clearinghouse for technical information, including an Ethernet terminology white paper; online discussion forums and published standards also are planned on the website.
Support for ICA
Kanata, Ontario, Canada— QNX Software Systems Ltd. (QSSL) has introduced QNX RTOS support for the Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) from Citrix Systems Inc. With the ICA software client for QNX, users see and work only with the application's interface; the application executes 100% on a Citrix WinFrame or MetaFrame server.
Windows CE board support package
San Jose, Calif.— Cell Computing Inc. and VenturCom announced the availability of their new Windows CE board support package (BSP) for the Cell CardPC micro-motherboard. It lets embedded system designers design applications using the Microsoft Windows CE operating system and the industry's smallest Intel Pentium motherboard.
Year 2000 Remediation in Action
With year 2000 less than 355 days away, your facility and business should be well underway with software accessment and remediation efforts.Major manufacturers have to communicate the Y2K message to a number of audiences: employees, shareholders, and customers. While messages may differ, internally and externally, if adequate plans aren't in place, the majority of post-2000 communications...
Power supplies mobile embedded computers
Palo Alto, Calif. —Jupiter-MM boards supply up to 50 W to mobile PC/104 embedded systems. Input voltages are 8 to 30 V dc with output provided directly to PC/104 bus connectors as well as an auxiliary connector for external tapping. Both dual output (+5, +12) and quad output (+5, +12, –5, [-12]) versions are available.
Steeplechase, dispensing machine builder sign OEM agreement
GSE Klieverik BV (the Netherlands) recently selected Steeplechase Software's PC-based control software as the standard control solution for its dispensing systems. The company formerly used a DOS-based control system for its paint dispensing systems, but found it wasn't flexible and cost-effective for its customers.
New industry classification system available
A new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system has been published and is now available from the federal superintendent of documents. This system will allow business marketers to classify customers and prospects by industry type.
Structured programming tools for embedded systems
Sometimes it's fun to imagine what the world might have been like if John von Neumann had a room full of Crays or if Galileo had the Hubble telescope. On a somewhat smaller scale I wonder what my own career might have been like if I'd had something besides machine code back in the days of designing embedded control systems for microwave ovens, simple RTUs, and steam-driven chiller packages.
Made2Manage buys Bridgeware
Made2Manage Systems Inc. recently paid about $3.4 million in cash and issued 91,000 shares of stock to acquire California-based Bridgeware, which provides advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software and related services to manufacturers in North America, South America, and Europe.
Smell this process quality control
There can't be many people who would mention smell as an important feature of paper. Yet for Enso Paperboards, a Finnish manufacturer of Performa (a paperboard used in food, candy and tobacco applications), controlling sensory properties is crucial because "off" smells could taint customers' products.
17.7-in. flat-panel industrial computer
Ann Arbor, Mich.— AAT2000 features a 17.7-in. flat-panel display in a complete industrial computer system that offers the same viewing area as a 20-in. CRT. In comparison to a 20-in. system, however, the AAT2000 weights only 35 lb while the average 20-in. system is 85 to 100 lb. Depth of the unit is less than 8 in.
Software suite for intelligent systems
Anaheim, Calif.— SmartWorX is a new Microsoft Windows NT-based suite of intelligent systems software for managing and optimizing dynamic processes. Included in the suite are SmartWorX Alarm manager; SmartWorX Knowledge Developer, which adds intelligence to standalone or embedded systems; and SmartWorX Expert Optimizer, which standardizes operating practices to constantly target and achie...
Embedded Systems Conference updates engineers on accelerating implementations
Embedded systems are popping up in so many products and industries that even developers are struggling to keep up with the field's fast-multiplying implementations.To help engineers stay on top of these changes, the Embedded Systems Conference, March 31 to April 2 at Chicago's Navy Pier, introduced many new products for the control industry.
QNX’s Voyager SDK Wins Best Product Award at Paris RTS Show
Voyager SDK, a software toolkit for building Internet access into TV set-top boxes and other embedded systems, won the prestigious "Prix Fournisseur RTS" on Jan. 16 here at the Real-Time Systems Exhibition (RTS). Developed by QNX Software Systems Ltd. Inc. (QSSL), Voyager SDK competed against products from many other companies including Motorola, Integrated Systems, an...
GroupIPC Pavilion, Tutorials Highlight Mezzanine Modules
GroupIPC, an association of 40 Industry Pack (IP) and PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) makers, distributors, and end-users seeking to increase awareness of mezzanine modules, is holding a joint pavilion and tutorials from Feb. 18-20 at Embedded Systems '98 in Sindelfingen, Germany.
Board Packs Powerful Port
Westbury, N.Y.— LPTek's new line of computer boards is specifically designed for data acquisition, control, and measurement through the parallel port. All boards can be embedded in the user's system, or they can come packaged in the TMC port. In embedded systems, the LPTek data bus permits configuration of add-on cards as a mezzanine bus, so up to 16 boards in any combination can be stan...
Industrial Flow Measurement
Tustin, Calif.— Industrial Vortex System (IVS) is a flow measurement device consisting of an injection-molded sensor and transmitter system. It uses vortex-shedding technology to provide versatile and cost-effective measurement and transmission of flow rates. In the system configuration, the integral transmitter features a bayonet-style twist-lock mounting design for easy display panel a...
Automated Assembly Market to Reach $4.5 Billion by 2002
Demand for automated assembly systems and related subsystems in North America is expected to increase to $4.5 billion by 2002, according to a recent market study by Advanced Technology Advisors (ATA). The report, "North American Market Demand for Automated Assembly Systems," states that demand will increase for assembly systems, electronic parts placement, assembly r...
VenturCom Supports Microsoft’s CE Quick Start Program
VentureCom Inc. recently announced its support for Intel's Pentium processors for embedded applications through Microsoft's CE/PC program. As part of the CE Quick Start Program, VenturCom will provide a platform support package that enhances delivery of Microsoft Windows CE operating on Pentiums in embedded solutions.