View All IIoT, Industrie 4.0
Turning IoT headwinds into tailwinds
The industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is maturing and growing and companies are looking to expand with digital transformation.
White paper on optimal cloud, edge use for industrial machine vision applications published
The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) has published a white paper that provides guidance on when to use cloud vs. edge computing for AI-based industrial applications.
Automation, IT convergence, standards at ARC Industry Forum
Industrial digitalization can drive sustainability, energy transitions and improved performance and information shared at the 2023 ARC Industry Forum, Feb. 6-9, and online Feb. 27-March 27, aims to help with that.
Industrial software company acquisition completed
AVEVA, announced the completion of its acquisition by Schneider Electric, a global industrial company specializing in digital automation and energy management.
Universal automation lays the foundation for smart factories
Universal automation can help make smart factories a reality in process industries and giving users more freedom and flexibility in their day-to-day activities.
Connecting legacy equipment
New and old equipment can work together seamlessly when industrial PCs (IPCs) come into the picture.
Leveraging MQTT, industrial edge devices in automation projects
Message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) and industrial edge devices remove systemic limitations, communicate more data and improve system security for IIoT implementations.
Manufacturing needs to be agile, resilient and sustainable
The manufacturing landscape has evolved to where consumer, industrial and cultural demands are changing and creating a world where manufacturers need to be agile and flexible in their approach.
Benefits of SDRs for IIoT device testing
Software-defined radio (SDR) systems are suitable for implementing testing and measurement of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices.
Company celebrates 75th anniversary, announces remote monitoring software
Lenze celebrated it's 75th anniversary and discussed the state of the marketplace, as well as announcing a new product
IoT testbeds rely on TSN for success
Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is a key component and driver for IoT testbeds and its role in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is growing.
In tune with times, software application provider focuses on frontline workers
An interview with serial industrial IT/automation entrepreneur Augmentir’s Russ Fadel
Unleash the power of smart manufacturing
What Industry 4.0 can mean to you
Top 5 Control Engineering content: August 29-September 4, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered Industry 4.0, 5G, SCADA, programming and mergers.
Control Engineering hot topics, August 2022
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in August 2022 included stories on IIoT optimization, digital transformation and the cloud, 5G, IIoT's impact on manufacturing and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Digital twins, blockchain and IoT are powering the metaverse
The metaverse is evolving for industrial use, and the foundation, going forward, will be digital twins, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Unified environment migration empowers data-centric business models
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) strategies offer endless productivity improvements through smart devices and systems that link machines through open platforms and enable them to think, learn and react in real-time.
The ROI of IIoT: Safety and productivity benefits
The IIoT promises to reduce downtime and save money, especially when applied to legacy equipment.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: August 15-21, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered 5G, Industry 4.0, programming, automation best practices and more.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: August 8-14, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered digital transformation, control systems, IIoT, motors and more.
Digitalization, interoperability help with industrial sustainability
Think Again: Industrial challenges such as carbon emission reductions, increased capacity and skilled labor shortages require factory automation and process control users apply more digitalization and require interoperability.
The driving force behind Industry 4.0 success
Smart sensors play a key role in helping manufacturers achieve Industry 4.0 goals.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: July 11-17, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered PLC programming, HMI and SCADA software, IIoT optimization, HMI limits and fired equipment standards. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: July 4-10, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered Control Engineering hot topics, IIoT optimization, the Career and Salary Survey, HMI and SCADA design and engineering recruiting goals. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control Engineering hot topics, June 2022
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2022 included stories on the Career and Salary Survey, leveraging IIoT, HMI design tips and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Choosing between open or proprietary IIoT solutions
Open and proprietary Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions have different emphases on data management and collection and benefits differ, depending on user goals.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: June 13-19, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered IIoT optimization, fabricating transistors, IIoT in 2022, semiconductor manufacturing and HMI design strategies. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IT/OT convergence moves automation markets forward
Cloud-native data historian expedites data migration, insights
Top 5 Control Engineering content: June 6-12, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered IT/OT convergence, Career and Salary Survey, digital twins, Industry 5.0 and building an HMI. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IIoT phases of planning, deployment, use
Five sets of questions serve as a checklist for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) planning, deployment and use for automation used for Smart Manufacturing or Industry 4.0.
Leveraging IIoT for process optimization, modernization
Industrial facilities need combined production and maintenance strategies using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital twin tools to minimize unscheduled shutdowns and optimize product quality while cost-effectively using existing operations, maintenance and engineering resources.
IIoT is reshaping the industrial sector in 2022
If you and your customers aren’t realizing the top 5 benefits of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in 2022, are your competitors? See how wireless connectivity and industrial 5G are among IIoT trends.
Control Engineering hot topics, May 2022
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in May 2022 included stories on the Career and Salary Survey, IIoT implementations, hiring engineers, PID system implementation and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering content: May 23-29, 2022
The most-viewed content from the past week covered the Career and Salary Survey, IIoT implementations, PID implementation, PLC modules and tuning a VFD motor. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Private indoor 5G network established at manufacturing facility
Wireless provider Betacom provided MxD's Chicago headquarters and Factory Floor Lab with a private 5G network.
IoT device standard challenges
Industry 4.0 adoption is pushing industry towards a more automated, and sophisticated manufacturing process, but this comes with risks.
How IIoT, AI can help make future-proof manufacturing a reality
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offers manufacturers greater productivity and better information insights through artificial intelligence (AI) as companies look toward the factory of the future.
Industrial IoT made fast and easy
With the tools available today, implementing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is not as hard as people think.
Strengthening the supply chain with IIoT technology
The IIoT enables new functionalities and more intelligent, predictive, and proactive processes that lead to enhanced efficiencies for the supply chain.
Six ways IIoT expands manufacturing system capabilities
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is best used to expand process control and automation systems capabilities while letting them perform as designed. See six methods on how the IIoT enhances manufacturing.
Why IoT is the future of manufacturing
Key network tools, such as LPWAN, offer quick adoption, flexibility and affordable solutions
Building secure wastewater management in the cloud
System integrator Perceptive Controls helps control, manage wastewater with a MQTT Sparkplug-based SCADA infrastructure for 19 production wells, 3 storage tanks, 11 treatment plants, and 63 sewer lift stations.
The IIoT’s role in smart manufacturing
Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) companies are digitally transforming business strategies and processes to better serve customers and be more competitive in a global environment.
What’s in store for Industry 4.0 in 2022?
A relentless pace of ongoing digitalization
Connectivity enables smart production lines
Before reaping the benefits of IIoT, operators need to gain visibility of the production floor
How small and medium-sized manufacturers can start toward smart manufacturing
Smart manufacturing initiatives leverage technology to provide near real-time intelligent insights to optimize the orchestration of processes and become more responsive throughout the enterprise.
Advancing from industrial automation to industrial autonomous operations
A major controls vendor focuses on industry, uses cloud-based software, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics integration to move customers from industrial automation to autonomous operations.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 27 to January 2, 2022
Articles about digital twin adoption, advanced analytics, virtualized PLCs, IT/OT convergence and AI vision were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 27 to January 2, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How to harden manufacturing against IIoT security threats
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) security should be a priority for every manufacturer and not left on the backburner. Every device potentially can be hacked.
Decoding OT data secrets
In the past, ensuring the reliable transmission of operational technology (OT) data was the only requirement; now, it is necessary to also ensure the data’s quality.
Digital twin interoperability framework announced
The Digital Twin System Interoperability Framework is designed to characterize multiple facets of system interoperability. Seven key concepts are highlighted.
Is this IoT, IIoT or Industry 4.0?
The fourth Industrial Revolution goes by many names, but the basic principle is the same: Connecting devices that previously couldn’t be connected to gather more information for industrial applications to make better decisions. See four IIoT considerations for hardware, application integration.
How augmented reality, Industry 4.0 can improve worker safety, productivity
Technologies such as augmented reality (AR) can help close the skill and talent gap while enhancing worker and asset safety and productivity.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 8-14, 2021
Articles about Engineers' Choice finalists, IIoT and controller use, cybersecurity levels, five site visit tips and finite-state machines were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 8-14, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How is IIoT changing industrial controller use, selection?
How are programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and industrial PCs (IPCs), embedded controllers, programmable automation controllers (PACs), smart input/output (I/O) modules, other logic devices and related software helping Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promises envisioned? A webcast investigates.
Four benefits from aligning IT, OT
Converging information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) offers many benefits including lower risks, better decision-making and lower overall costs.
Digital twin open-source collaboration initiative publicly available
The Digital Twin Consortium (DTC) is encouraging open-source collaboration to drive digital twin innovation for Industry 4.0 initiatives.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 27 to October 3, 2021
Articles about the Engineering Leaders Under 40, IT/OT convergence, digital transformation, COVID-19 testing and smart manufacturing ROI were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 27 to October 3, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IIoT networking framework published
The Industry IoT Consortium's (IIC) networking framework guides IIoT stakeholders on developing appropriate networking solutions to enable IIoT applications and stimulate industrial digital transformation.
IIoT trustworthiness for cyber-physical systems defined
The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) defined IIoT framework foundations to help governmental and commercial organizations for cyber-physical systems.
Even smarter manufacturing
I haven’t toured a manufacturing or processing facility that left me thinking, “That was a dumb manufacturing plant.” Even so, smart manufacturing is impressive. Learn from these examples.
Great smart manufacturing initiatives deserve great funding
Calculating financial benefits and proving the return on investment (ROI) is critical when developing a smart manufacturing project.
How do you break the trap of IIoT development?
Streamlined tools and industry knowledge can help with faster, more effective Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations.
Can you improve ROI using Industry 4.0?
When using Industry 4.0, a positive return on investment (ROI) should always be front of mind for manufacturers. Three questions for considering potential ROI are highlighted.
Secure device onboarding for manufacturing supply chain
Until now, there has been no broadly supported industry standard for automated secure device onboarding. The FIDO Alliance looks to change that.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 16-22, 2021
Articles about scalable IIoT networks, robots for manufacturing operations, motor and drive tips, HMI/SCADA design and effective process safety were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 16-22, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Tapping predictive maintenance with mobile, IIoT
Organizations can improve asset reliability with predictive and condition-based maintenance based on asset health insights from operational data and analytics.
Five trends of Industry 4.0 outline the future of flexible factories
Eight years after Industry 4.0 began, have you answered three flexible factory problems? Five Industry 4.0 trends help create flexible factories.
IoT group rebrands, shifting focusing toward marketplace maturity
The IIC has changed its name to the Industry IoT Consortium as the group's focus shifts to driving technology innovation and helping companies realize a return on their IIoT investments.
Five steps for jumpstarting a successful IIoT program
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and condition-based maintenance (CBM) alter the way we identify, assign and complete work
Successful IoT adoption requires iteration, learning
Digital transformation is about leveraging technology to close the loop so that visibility to the products and devices and the processes are continuously expanded and internal mind set. Machine learning and data analytics help.
Four tips for designing scalable IIoT networks
Don’t get distracted by the promises of the latest so-called solutions for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Focus on these essential design principles while building a data network. Intelligent input/output modules and other tools can add flexibility.
Access real-time data; avoid digital blind spots
Agile, resilient operations derive from tools that make real-time data visible and useful. See post COVID-19 pandemic advice, including from a manufacturer, Anchor Glass.
How dairy manufacturers can achieve results with Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 can help dairy manufacturers, particularly smaller ones, by improving analytics and general operations.
Common components decrease development effort, increase interoperability
Companies designing next-generation IIoT devices must produce enhanced functionality within limited time and budgets, but leveraging developer toolkits can increase efficiency and interoperability.
IIoT in the real world
Industrial Internet of Things serves as the backbone for other Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), digital twins, the digital thread, big data, analytics, and cloud and edge computing.
AI-driven insights at the industrial edge
Edge technology such as smart servers can be leveraged create a uniform fabric of data and automation that ties together control systems, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and artificial intelligence (AI) engines. Case study shows up to 30% reduction in maintenance and call out costs and as much as 30% energy savings.
The future of IoT: Collaborative solutions
The future of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity requires flexible solutions that address a wide variety of IoT applications, use cases and device types.
How to build scalable data models with MQTT Sparkplug
A key to bridging the OT/IT gap is enabling successful data modeling, which is how organizations define and organize their business processes.
IIoT manufacturer receives $50 million in funding
Seeq Corporation received $50 million in Series C funding for product and market expansion from multiple companies.
Hannover Messe Digital Edition: Digital transformation, international collaboration, award winner
With industrial digital transformation as the theme, the 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition kicked off a week of more than 1,500 program activities with more than 500 speakers, April 12-16, covering trends in industry, energy and logistics with experts from business, science and industry. See the 2021 Hermes Award winner.
The advantages of the IIoT
Industrial Internet of Things doesn’t replace, but works together with automation, human-machine interface (HMI), MES, ERP, enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI), and analytics, adding benefits.
Let IIoT do the dirty work: automating sewage treatment
Sewage treatment case study tracks early success, including accuracy and reliability
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles March 29 – April 4, 2021
Articles about the top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, free PLC programming software for education, practical and value-based Industry 4.0, and more Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 29 - April 4, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Bridging the Smart Manufacturing gap for users
A good Smart Manufacturing model bridges the gap between the needs of individual users and institutions trying to define Smart Manufacturing
Practical and value-based Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 might seem daunting and expensive, but manufacturers can make it practical without getting bogged down in details.
The practical side of Smart Manufacturing
MESA is developing a Smart Manufacturing model from a neutral point of view and provide a practical angle for users that is easy to work with.
Benefits of developing a Smart Manufacturing model
Smart Manufacturing is changing the overall economic landscape, but no one quite knows how it's all supposed to come together. A good Smart Manufacturing model can help change that.
How COVID-19 created IoT opportunities in the Caribbean
The COVID-19 pandemic may make the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) a palatable idea to the Caribbean, which can create new business opportunities for the region.
Mobilizing secure, real-time remote operations for Industry 4.0
Mobility technology is transforming the smart manufacturing and improving Industry 4.0 by providing environment and empowering an intelligent enterprise through a smart, connected automation ecosystem. See video.
Smart manufacturing starts with data-driven DTMs
Device-type managers (DTMs) using the new FDT 3.0 standard enables smart manufacturing with common components toolkits in an integrated development environment (IDE) to minimize engineering, simplify DTM certification and shorten time to market.
Control Engineering hot topics, February 2021
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in February 2021 included stories on the 2021 Engineers' Choice Awards, top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, the evolution of control systems with artificial intelligence, 3 data analysis tips, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IIoT, AI and control engineering combine to create a human-type nervous system
An enterprise-wide digital nervous system is emerging thanks to more powerful machine learning algorithms and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Connected technology advances for workers after COVID-19
A connected workforce has become a necessity because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology advances will continue even after the worst of the pandemic subsides.
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles Feb. 8-14, 2021
Articles about the 2021 Engineers' Choice Awards, top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, replacing seven SCADA systems with one, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Feb. 8-14, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
IoT-enabled process validation system for COVID-19 vaccine rollout
An Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled global process validation system with advanced process control (APC) capabilities can accelerate manufacturing efficiency, production capacity and reduce production cycle time for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Lessons learned for new approaches in machine control
Movie rentals and automation? Digital assets create better customer experience, which applies to today’s open-automation advances, such as separating software from hardware, using open-source designs and easier to implement, more flexible automation.
Organizations agree to digital transformation liaison
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII) have agreed to a liaison to accelerate the development, adoption, and monetization of IIoT technologies.
Control Engineering hot topics, January 2021
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2021 included stories about top 5 VFD parameter changes explained, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), using IIoT for a more energy-efficient pump environment, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How cybersecurity is affecting control and automation
Engineers working with industrial cybersecurity need to understand the increased risks as automation becomes interconnected. Build industrial systems that will operate securely throughout the lifecycle.
More questions answered on IIoT cloud to edge
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can include cloud to edge architectures. What mix of cloud and edge technologies should a particular application have?
Manufacturing digital transformation may start with consulting
Help needed for digital transformation? Most Chinese manufacturing enterprises have a strategic plan for digitalization; for those slow to start, consulting services may help digital transformation.
Industrial automation unites the best of OT and IT
As operational and information technology roles progressively overlap in the industrial automation space, a hybrid operational technology/information technology (OT/IT) solution becomes increasingly necessary.
Using IIoT for a more energy-efficient pump environment
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) case study shows how to use pump power measurements to save energy using sensors enabled by wireless gateway and cloud-based analytics. Secure and relatively simple technologies were used; see eight project guidelines.
Rise of the digital twin
The digital twin is set to be a key technology for the success of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
How to acquire trained talent through new learning opportunities
A shift toward engineering design will require proficiency in new tools developed through the training of current workers as well as the attraction of digitally fit new hires
Control Engineering hot topics, November 2020
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in November 2020 included stories about SCADA, HMI and MES projects, VFD parameter changes, advanced process control, how integrators can help with IIoT applications, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How integrators can help IIoT applications
End users may find the variety of IIoT devices and connectivity technology to be intimidating. A system integrator can minimize risks and costs by implementing proven specification and implementation methods and architectures.
HMI, IIoT, and AR technologies: Parts of the Industry 4.0 revolution
Industry 4.0, the next industrial revolution is underway, and human-machine interface and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are helping. Here’s how they can help your applications.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles Oct. 12-18
Articles about using human and artificial intelligence with digital twins, 2021 Engineers' Choice Finalists, automated anomaly detection maximizing production, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Oct. 12-18, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cybersecurity is the optimal route to smart manufacturing
Cybersecurity strategy in digital plants is critical for companies that want to achieve smart manufacturing.
How automated anomaly detection can maximize production
Industrial artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) software and long-range sensors predict maintenance requirements across entire enterprises, increasing productivity and profits.
Evaluating IoT wireless protocols for industrial applications
Do IoT-based wireless technologies designed for municipal, building, and residential sensor networks offer anything for industrial users? How about 5G?
Industrial Internet of Things vocabulary terms updated
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) released updated definitions for terms such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing and more.
What engineers must know about data science
Subject matter experts and enterprise analytics increasingly allied
COVID-19 accelerates the digitalization of enterprises
Facing pressure and uncertainty from COVID-19, manufacturing companies need to improve innovation, agility and adaptability as it applies to products, services, operations, and employee developments.
Engineer’s perspective of the future of engineering applications
What’s next for industrialization as the industry begins to prepare for Industry 5.0.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles Aug. 24-30, 2020
Articles about smart thermometers, predictive maintenance, edge computing and IIoT, PLC's, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Aug.18-30, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Automation at the Industrial IoT edge
Leverage edge technologies in good times and bad by using remote visualization, monitoring, access and management as well as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and analytical applications.
IIoT platform built on battery-free sensors
Everactive has developed an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform and industrial sensors that eliminate batteries altogether.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles Aug. 3-9, 2020
Articles about the value of digital transformation during COVID-19, programmable logic controllers, electronic flow measurement, IIoT and edge computing, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Aug. 3-9, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Augmented reality tools: A digital bridge for the skill gap
Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way manufacturers work in the field. See three benefits of augmented reality and three examples of how AR helps users.
COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation
Industrial organizations are realizing digital transformation value during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes rapid production changes, enterprise-wide connectivity, and a shift from proof of concept to proof of value for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations.
FDT IIoT ecosystem built to connect, empower intelligent industrial enterprise
Easier digital transformation and innovative industrial automation business models are expected to result from the FDT Group’s platform independent FDT 3.0 – IIoT Server (FITS) platform to help with control system integration in automation supplier and end-user communities in the process, hybrid and discrete markets.
Seven ways automation design software helps IIoT
Electrical and automation design software can help with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) automation implementations in seven ways. See product examples.
Manage IIoT deployments before they become a three-ring circus
Data quality begins with device validation
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 11-17, 2020
Articles about personal protective equipment, effects of COVID-19 on automation, an overview of industrial IoT, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 11-17, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How we live now
How profound an impact will the coronavirus crisis have on the technology infrastructure? It's already happening with one-third of workers logging in from home.
System designed to improve database performance for health care, IoT
Purdue University scientists developed a system called SOPHIA designed to help users reconfigure databases for diverse applications ranging from metagenomics to high-performance computing (HPC) to IoT.
Rugged smart wireless devices improve plant efficiency, smart cities
Get smarter: Industrial plants, smart cities leverage newest protocols, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) wireless gateways and sensors to increase safety and improve efficiency, communications.
Data flow is no longer hierarchical
Can industrial edge computing fit into the Purdue model?
Introduce analytics into industrial environments
Put analytics in the hands of the process experts who understand the data best.
Automation meets edge computing
Combining a scalable human-machine interface (HMI) system and supervisory control and data acquisition with additional edge functionality gives machine and plant designs a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to quickly react to changing market environments and maintain fast innovations cycles.
IoT group introduces certification affiliate program
LoRa Alliance is launching a certification affiliate program designed to increase the volume of LoRaWAN-Certified devices globally.
An overview of industrial IoT, from edge to cloud
Next generation distributed I/O brings users one step closer to seamless connectivity
Deploy IIoT sensors and networks in remote locations
IIoT adds value within a plant, but also is a natural fit for field data gathering
Internet exchange world record achieved at Frankfurt
The Deutsche commercial internet exchange (DE-CIX) set a world record with more than 9 terabits per second data throughput at Frankfurt internet exchange.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 2-8
Articles about the Engineers' Choice winners, IIoT improvements, robots in process facilities, automating auxiliary processes, and Hannover Messe's 2020 delay were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 2-8. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Organization announces metro testbed for urban rail sector
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced the Long Term Evolution (LTE) for Metro Testbed, which shows the feasibility of adapting LTE for Metro technologies for the urban rail sector.
The promise of a digital twin
Digital twins are being embraced by companies in many different ways as they realize its potential
How to make industrial data fit for purpose
Seven steps as a practical guide to data management
Use IIoT to improve OEE, increasing ROI
Case-use examples illustrate the point
Small-to-midsize manufacturers face digital transformation constraints
IT and OT software and platform convergence moves forward
Industrial internet groups unify memberships
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA) announced they are combining their memberships and will work together to drive industry collaboration and research.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 25 to December 1
Articles about profit-driven operations, data acquisition, the Engineers' Choice finalists, smart instrumentation, and control system design best practices were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 25 to December 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
10 industrial Internet terms you should know
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) released its Industrial Internet Vocabulary Technical Report V2.2. See 10 terms IIC thinks you should know and see a link for more definitions.
Five factors to smart instrumentation in Industry 4.0
Learn how Industry 4.0 incorporates the data and analytics from smart instruments to add tremendous value to an organization.
IT/OT convergence provides a path forward
Long before Industry 4.0 and cloud-connected architectures became possible, innovators championed PC-based technologies for industrial automation.
Make the IT/OT data connection
From raw materials to finished goods, the data flowing between the information/operations technology (IT/OT) system layer is key to increased efficiency, quality and agility.
Poised to go all-in on edge
Edge computing is a mesh network of micro-data centers that process or store critical data locally while also working in concert with a central data center or cloud-storage repository.
Finding success on the road to Industry 4.0
Six pillars of Industry 4.0: There’s so much talk about Industry 4.0, but many companies haven’t stopped to ask what success looks like and how to achieve it. Start with asking three questions, why the company needs Industry 4.0 and how to achieve success.
Digital engineering practices enhance technologies of tomorrow
Digitalization: By integrating digital, physical and virtual realities, digital engineering redefines product development and manufacturing. Digital engineering accelerates development of next-generation smart products, services and operations.
Eight IIoT project tips
If you’re stalled with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations or haven’t begun, consider these eight expert tips.
New ways to increase productivity with smart systems
Intelligent pneumatics offer flexibility in the age of Industry 4.0, and technology advances such as cyber-physical systems (CPSs) can help valves achieve greater connectivity and intelligence.
Smart Factory Web Testbed: From concept to reality
The Smart Factory Web Testbed aims to set up a marketplace for industrial production that comprises a web-based platform to allow factories to offer production capabilities and share resources to improve order fulfillment in a more flexible way than is currently possible with available technology.
IIoT adoption program launched to help IT, OT end users
The IIC accelerator program is designed to stimulate Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adoption to help information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) users solve real problems they face in their businesses.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 9-15
Articles about control system connectivity, vulnerable cloud servers, making things work with the IIoT, IIoT security, and succeeding with the AIoT were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 9-15. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Industry 4.0, automation advance smelter technology
Inside Process: Industry 4.0, robotics and other automation technologies are helping Sohar Aluminium advance its competitiveness among aluminum smelting companies.
Future of industrial automation: discern the possibilities, potential
Industrial automation is on the threshold of a new revolution, moving through rapid technology changes, adoption of new systems and networking architectures and looking toward interoperability of devices and systems.
Company creates material service spinoff for IIoT, Industry 4.0
thyssenkrupp Materials IoT GmbH (tkMIoT) has been created to connect machinery and digitalize processes for other companies.
Water and wastewater utilities leverage IIoT for energy management
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies and strategies help water and wastewater utilities advance energy efficiency goals. See applications: 7 IIoT benefits below.
Exploring the practical way of digital transformation
Control Engineering China: As intelligent manufacturing trends continue, enterprise are no longer concerned if they should implement digital transformation, but how, how to make it more efficient and maximize the return on investment.
Ensuring IIoT security best practices
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has developed a white paper designed to bolster best practices related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and data security.
Control system connectivity update
Digitalization, IIoT and Industry 4.0 implementations need communication hubs, a role well-suited to PLCs and HMIs.
Not all IIoT platforms are created equal
Having the best Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) architecture with the most modern and state-of-the-art technology will not benefit any company unless it is tied to a specific purpose and business outcome.
Take baby steps on IIoT
Collect usable data as the first step toward effective analysis.
Virtual reality’s benefits for machine maintenance in processing applications
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can help maintenance engineers in process industries such as the food industry repair industry and reduce potential downtime.
Making things work as part of the IIoT
Sensors are on the front line of the data gathering process, which is vital for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Benefits of digitizing reality for workers in manufacturing
Digitizing reality is now possible for workers thanks to technology advances such as the Internet of Things (IoT). This new reality allows workers to benefit from augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) to solve old problems in new and better ways.
Smart manufacturing opens the door to real-time data
Smart manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled technologies can use real-time data to optimize processes and reduce costs for manufacturers.
Your questions answered: IIoT/Cloud series, Part 2: Edge, Fog and Cloud
Webinar participants outline evolving nature of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) elements and how users are applying the edge, fog and cloud in their manufacturing operations.
Organizations struggling to understand, realize potential IoT benefits
A survey by Longview IoT and Informa Engage finds that companies are still struggling to understand the benefits the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide to their company.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 10-16
Articles about the Career and Salary Survey, retrofitting Industrie 4.0, power storage capabilities, alarm management and process safety, and choosing the right HMI were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 10-16. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Retrofitting Industrie 4.0 for digital control systems
Ypsomed, a medical technology company, was able to retrofit Industrie 4.0 digital control systems onto its legacy plastic injection molding machines.
Overcoming Industrie 4.0 challenges to improve connected manufacturing
There are a number of roadblocks preventing manufacturers from achieving true Industrie 4.0 processes, and at the same time, there are a number of emerging solutions bringing production further into the future.
Mitsubishi Electric acquires Iconics to advance IIoT offerings
Manufacturing, building automation products strengthened by deal, company officials say.
IIoT series, Part 1: Five ways to use cloud and IIoT to improve productivity: Your questions answered
Webcast presenters Alan Griffiths and Mohamed (Mo) Abuali, Ph.D. answered additional questions about topics such as augmented reality, 5G technology, and predictive analytics.
Five ways location intelligence improves IIoT operations
Digital representations of factories and industrial spaces lead to opportunities.
Should assets be monitored in-house or in the cloud?
Wireless sensors and specialized software deliver options for improved effectiveness.
Protecting the production line in the Industrie 4.0, IIoT age
Manufacturers are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 to make factories smarter, but they can't lose sight of basic cybersecurity best practices.
Use context with IIoT to provide automation value
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has a lot of potential, but without context and a clear goal, value for companies will be less. See 8 ways to move from data to information.
Industrie 4.0 challenges, and its potential
Meet the cultural changes head-on to derive benefits.
Digital innovations, AI advance Industrie 4.0
International: Industrial artificial intelligence (AI) technology applications are among the important trends in digital transformation for manufacturing and Industrie 4.0 advancements.
Hannover Messe 2019, Day 2: New partnerships, new Partner Country
Open Industry 4.0 alliance formed, Indonesia named Partner Country for 2020, TSN testbed released
High-speed engine monitoring IIoT-enhanced
Analytics improve performance of remote assets.
Hannover Fairs USA will launch Digital Industry conference in September
CFE Media to present GAMS event at event’s executive conference.
Rethink the organization’s structure
Cyber-physical environments will change what managers do.
The benefits of CANopen IoT
CANopen Internet of Things (IoT) is intended for networks without embedded internet protocol support, allowing access to local and remote CANopen networks using web protocols and communication services.
The human factor of IoT in safety
Technology can be part of the ‘culture’ in plants
Future plant design links data, operations
Manufacturers are ready to invest in next-gen digital production.
IIoT development tools receive standard update
FDT Group announced the release of its updated developer tools, known as Common Components, which are designed to enhance interoperability while accelerating time to market.
Smart manufacturing driving industry to fourth industrial revolution
Surveys by MESA International indicate the manufacturing industry is making steady progress toward the fourth industrial revolution through smart manufacturing.
Control Engineering hot topics, January 2019
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2019 included stories about MQTT's role as an IoT transport, the 2019 System Integrator Giants, industrial controller selection, the future of IIoT software, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles January 21-27
Articles about the future of IIoT software, primary and secondary flow measurement, industrial controller selection, hot Control Engineering topics for 2018, and MQTT's role as an IoT message transport were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 21-27. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Industrial networks open up to the future
Open industrial networks are fundamental components of the Smart Factory and Industrie 4.0 will play a key role in the factory of the future.
Standard for integration fieldbuses and devices approved for American market
FDT 2.0 technology, which enables enterprise-wide client/server integration and application of fieldbuses and devices, has been approved by the International Society of Automation (ISA) for the American market.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles January 14-20
Articles about MQTT's role as an IoT message transport, industrial controller selection, hot Control Engineering topics for 2018, improving industrial network communications, and IIoT software's future were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 14-20. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Four areas where the IIoT is revolutionizing the food and beverage industry
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing how food and beverage manufacturers approach safety, product quality, packaging, and how personnel work in their day-to-day operations.
The significance of industrial networking for the IIoT
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) focuses on the role of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in industrial networking.
MQTT’s role as an IoT message transport
Messaging queuing telemetry transport’s (MQTT) role as an Internet of Things (IoT) message transport derives from its simple design, when it began as an industrial communicator for a pipeline supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
Digitalization and innovation driving manufacturing’s future
Manufacturing is in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution—known as Industrie 4.0—and constant plant-floor changes are forcing companies to keep up with the rapid pace or risk getting lost and falling behind.
Identifying IIoT risks and rewards
Integrators provide a safe passage to smart factory technology
ICS/IIoT taxonomy needed for cybersecurity
There is many opinions and beliefs on what an industrial control system (ICS) is and what the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) comprises, which makes a common understanding crucial.
IIC, OpenFog groups to collaborate
Combined organization to focus on cloud computing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) research.
The next era of global manufacturing
Manufacturers are changing the way they do business as globalization is changing the nature of business. Technology and information are working hand-in-hand to make these changes possible.
Hannover Fairs USA launches new trade event
Digital Industry USA (DIG/IN USA) will highlight digital manufacturing Sept. 10-12 in Louisville.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 26 to December 2
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, IoT implementation challenges and solutions, analyzing data quality, IIoT capabilities for process plants, and AR and VR were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 26 to December 2, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control Engineering hot topics, November 2018
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in November 2018 included stories about the Engineers' Choice Finalists, matching motors and drives, designing a wireless IIoT gateway, complex upgrades, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 19-25
Articles about IIoT capabilities for refineries, multi-vendor motion control architectures, Engineers' Choice finalists, reasons to appreciate the new Control Engineering website, and choosing the right accelerometer were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 19-25, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Three phases of industrial digital transformation
Manufacturing, packaging, and logistics companies are unlocking new potential through digital transformation with the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics.
Product registry and repository launched for device packages, EDDs
FieldComm Group's product registry provides a unified interface for users to find HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus electronic device descriptions (EDDs) and FDI Device Packages while the repository provides host systems instant worldwide access to these latest files.
IIoT server architecture designed with platform independence, interoperability
The FDT IIoT Server (FITS) architecture has been empowered with full platform independence and is designed to be deployable on a Microsoft-, Linux-, or macOS-based operating system.
How recent IIoT developments are shaping 5G wireless
Addressing the issues behind Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices to help with mobile industrial computing applications.
Using IIoT to simplify automation and control
Integrating information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) organizations is difficult but critical to IIoT success. Five best practices for overcoming these cultural barriers are highlighted.
Bring IIoT capabilities to refineries and process plants
The first step to bringing fieldbus networking and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into process manufacturing plants and refineries may be changing device-level networking practices.
Extension for analytics platform provides root cause analysis, performance monitoring
TrendMiner's ContextHub is built around the structure of OSIsoft PI event frames and asset framework, broadening use and usefulness of contextual information for root cause analysis (RCA) and operational performance monitoring.
Create a buddy system for the IIoT
Finding the right Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) vendor partner is crucial to success.
Six IoT implementation challenges and solutions
The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining acceptance, but some companies remain hesitant to implement it. Six common concerns are highlighted, along with ways teams can address any concerns from management.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 1-7
Articles about matching motors and drives, process analytics, hot Control Engineering topics, variable frequency drive (VFD) benefits, and Manufacturing 4.0 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 1-7, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A new-age approach to traditional manufacturing issues
The Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS) event at IMTS 2018 highlighted the opportunities and pitfalls of the digital age with a focus on maintenance, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotics, and cybersecurity in an information-rich age.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 3-9
Articles about autotuning, ladder logic, wireless IIoT gateway design, and LTE networks were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 3-9, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 6-12
Articles about autotuning PID, integrating IIoT equipment, ladder logic, and AR and VR were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 6-12, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 30 to August 5
Articles about motion controllers, motion control standards, training tips, comparing ladder logic and object-oriented programming, and digitalization helping machine builders were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 30 to August 5, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 23-29
Articles about MES, managing IoT implementations, comparing ladder logic and object-oriented programming, IIoT effectiveness, and ladder logic's future role in automation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 23-29, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 16-22
Articles about ladder logic, managing IoT implementations, IIoT's effectiveness on the plant floor, fog computing, and comparing ladder logic and object-oriented programming were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 16-22, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 9-15
Articles about sensor selection, modular design enclosures, IIoT's effectiveness on the plant floor, ladder logic, and safety instrumented systems were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 9-15, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Industrie 4.0 group reaches standardization, international cooperation agreements
Plattform Industrie 4.0 and its international partners are aiming to make progress on data economy, organization, and qualification in 2018.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 4-10: 2018 technology trends, replacing analog meters, Engineers’ Choice finalists, more
Articles about 2018 technology trends, replacing analog meters, the Engineers' Choice finalists, robotic welding simulation benefits, and drives and machines in the Industrie 4.0 era were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 4-10. Miss something? You can catch up here.
2017 IIoT for Engineers report: 8 key findings
Respondents to the 2017 IIoT for Engineers study identified eight key findings regarding familiarity and implementation of the Industrial Internet of Things; access full report
2016 Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0 Study
Budget, awareness, use, benefits findings from the 2016 Industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 Study; download full report.
Low-voltage market projected to have short-term decline
IHS Markit projects that revenues for the low-voltage motor market will decline in 2017, but there are signs that it will rebound over the next several years thanks to technology developments such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) being used in the market.
Six IIoT, Industry 4.0 key findings
Respondents to the Control Engineering 2015 Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, Information Integration Study identified six high-level findings on their attributes and how familiar they are with the technology and the concepts.
EC: Power Xpert Insight Software
Software - Diagnostics: Power and energy monitoring platform provides dashboard view into real-time energy usage, efficiency and power quality—while new capacity management features enable users to forecast, model capacity requirements to proactively predict electrical system performance. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: AMS Device Manager 13.0
Software - Diagnostics: AMS Device Manager drives efficient intelligent field device management, helping maintenance and operations sustain the health and reliability of smart devices to avoid production interruptions. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: Uniformance Asset Sentinel R500.1
Software - Applications: Uniformance Asset Sentinel features real-time process performance and equipment health surveillance. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager
Software - Diagnostics: Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager is the first solution to proactively monitor, measure and manage industrial cyber security risk all through an easy-to-use interface. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell UniSim Competency Suite
Software - Process applications: UniSim Competency Suite is a comprehensive training solution for the process industries that develops plant operator competency through a structured curriculum of exercises and interventions that improve skills, knowledge and behavior. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell Production Accounting and Reconciliation R200.1
Software - Process applications: Production Accounting and Reconciliation is a statistical data reconciliation software for resolving material and energy balance problems in refining, oil and gas, chemicals and mining industries. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: InduSoft Web Studio 8
Software - HMI software: Intuitive software that includes all the features necessary to design HMI and SCADA applications for any industry, with mobile, cloud, IoT/Industry 4.0 capabilities and easy configuration for deployment to any device. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Assembly Management System (AMS) 4
Software - Applications: Leidos' assembly management system (AMS) enforces standardized manufacturing build-processes and integrates station-level, error-proofing actions to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce costs. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: MatrikonOPC UA Proxy
Software - Applications: MatrikonOPC UA Proxy provides a bridge between classic OPC infrastructures and the growing number of next-generation OPC UA-based products, enabling users to meet the accelerating demand for device interconnectivity and data sharing. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: PlantTriage MPC
Software - Diagnostics: PlantTriage MPC performs continuous assessments of the performance of model predictive controls. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: FactoryTalk Batch 12.0 software
Software - Process applications: FactoryTalk Batch software eases the process of modifying and creating new recipes by managing the approval process for changes and automatically tracking the genealogy of recipes. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: FactoryTalk VantagePoint 6.0 enterprise manufacturing intelligence software
Software - Diagnostics: FactoryTalk VantagePoint 6.0 EMI software improves operators' access to key data from any digital device, providing the relevant manufacturing information that helps to make informed decisions. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: FactoryTalk View Site Edition 8.0 supervisory-level HMI software
Software - HMI software: FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) is a supervisory-level HMI software for monitoring and controlling distributed-server/multiuser applications that provides a more comprehensive and accurate picture of operations to help meet the demands of multiple stakeholders. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: SCADA Expert Vijeo Citect 2015
Software - HMI software: SCADA Expert Vijeo Citect 2015 is a powerful and scalable software platform enabling real-time monitoring, efficient management and targeted optimization of production assets. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Avantis PRiSM 2.8
Software - Diagnostics: Avantis PRiSM is a predictive asset analytics solution that can provide early warning notification and diagnosis of equipment issues days, weeks or months before failure. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Wonderware Recipe Manager Plus 2014
Software - Process applications: Wonderware Recipe Manager Plus reduces the effort to manage your product formulations and setup specifications on automated production equipment and machines in manufacturing. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: UniLogic 1.14.33
Software - HMI software: UniLogic is a programming software for Unitronics' UniStream PLCs, enabling the user to set up their Ladder, design HMI screens, and configure communications in a single software environment. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: WIN-911 Enterprise (2.15.6)
Software - Alarm management: WIN-911 Enterprise is remote alarm notification software designed to work with control or SCADA software. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: PlantESP Loop Performance Monitoring v1.6
Software - Diagnostics: PlantESP Loop Performance Monitoring is a plant-wide process diagnostic and optimization solution that proactively isolates performance issues related to PID control loops and associated mechanical resources that lead to reduced efficiency and unplanned downtime. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Launching industrial Internet programs into the cloud
Cloud service providers shorten the journey to the industrial Internet. Cloud services provide practical, low-cost, and adaptable solutions to address many aspects of the industrial Internet. Benefits can include managed security, cloud data storage, analytics, applications, and improved information delivery (integration).
EC: KEPServerEX communications platform
Software — Applications: KEPServerEX is a highly flexible and scalable solution that connects, manages, monitors, and controls diverse automation devices and software applications. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: ProSys SLM software
Software — Applications: ProSys SLM is a turnkey software platform designed to streamline process safety management by providing automated and standardized workflows coupled with a unified data repository. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Dream Report software
Software — Applications: Dream Report delivers easy to use compliance and performance reports and Web dashboards. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: SimSci APC 2014
Software — Applications: SimSci APC 2014 software helps to easily build and maintain advanced process control applications, cutting implementation and commissioning time so producers can run much closer to operating limits, improving process profitability and energy efficiency. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell DynAMo Alarm Suite
Software — Diagnostics: DynAMo Alarm Suite is advanced alarm management software that increases operator effectiveness by reducing the overall number of alarms in industrial plants and helping operators focus and respond to those that are the most critical. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: PlantTriage version 12 MPC monitoring
Software — Diagnostics: PlantTriage version 12 MPC monitoring gives the user the ability to monitor the performance of advanced controls. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
New ideas for quality management: Part 6
Managing manufacturing quality is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Each situation differs and requires unique approaches to technologies, information, and training.
New ideas for quality management: Part 5
By implementing a process of testing rationalization whereby only a minimal number of tests are actually run and more tests are run only when problems occur, a process of management by exception may be implemented.
Choosing to virtualize your control systems
As we review our current facility control systems status we contemplate whether virtualizing part of or all of our control server/workstation environment is possible.
Software - Applications: KEPServerEX v5.12 from Kepware Technologies connects, manages, monitors, and controls disparate devices and software applications in an automated environment. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Dream Report
Software - Applications: Dream Report is the world-first programming-free user-friendly powerful reporting, dedicated for industrial automation, which allows users accessing various automation data sources, generating batch or time-based reports and publish/e-distribute them to a This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: INTUNE+ v5.8 with Hierarchy Reporting
Software - Diagnostics: Hierarchy Reporting is a software function that enables plant personnel to locate the source of process variability problems and to determine the cause-and-effect relationships. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell Premium Platform for Experion Virtualization
Software - Applications: Honeywell Premium Platform for Experion Virtualization, utilizing blade server technology, enhances manufacturing by providing increased protection from hardware failures and increased operations availability and reducing the total cost of ownership of control systems. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Process risk assessment uses big data
Technology Update: Predictive, process risk assessment can use big data to assess risks dynamically and report automatically, empowering plant personnel to identify issues, taking necessary preventive measures to address them, avoiding a related shutdown incident or accident.
Open frame monitors for LCD touch screens
American Industrial Systems' open frame monitors with industrial TFT-LCD touch screen are designed to help simplify all aspects of machine-to-machine interface applications.
Updated drive solution designer helps with drive optimization
Lenze's updated version of drive dimensioning software boasts user enhancements and a specific motion designer for precision dimensioning and drive optimization in winding applications.
Programming software reduces engineering, speeds commissioning
At the 2013 Hannover Messe, Siemens showed its Simatic Step 7 Professional V12 programming software. The engineering software aims to shorten time to market.
New-generation software technologies impact operational stability, safety
Operational stability, safety, and security remain critical requirements in industrial applications.
On-line tool-workpiece contact detection is based on cutting forces signal
Control Engineering International: Very small tool dimensions in the micro-milling process make finding a contact of the tool and the workpiece unrealistic without a microscope. Automating the process helps the machine operator and eliminates human errors. See graphics.
Controller works in extreme environments
Allen-Bradley ControlLogix-XT (Extreme Environment) controller from Rockwell Automation operates in abusive environments.
Software for multidisciplinary engineering
CD-adapco Star-CCM+ v8.02 is described as an easier-to-use release of integrated software for multidisciplinary engineering problems, including more productivity tools for simulation and automation of various engineering processes with JTOpen integration.
CNC offers predictive, preventive maintenance
Fanuc 30i/31i/32i-Model B CNC offers CNC predictive and preventive maintenance tools for motors and fans.
Data integration is key for overall equipment effectiveness ratings
One interface is better than multiple query tools to see data from all configured data sources to improve OEE ratings.
User-friendly data acquisition, test, and measurement software
Product Exclusive: High-performance Dataforth IPEmotion software is available with the Dataforth MAQ20 data acquisition and control system.
Does your supplier selection process include these items?
With leaner engineering departments and more options to choose from, selecting the right solution is an ever growing challenge. The selection process should remove bias, avoid conflict, and deliver a fact-based result with these eight steps.
EC: Advanced ES
Software - Control design: AdvES is an engineering system that extends the functionality of a standard PCS 7 system by reducing configuration and commissioning costs while improving engineering quality. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: SWD-Assist software
Software - Control design: SWD-Assist helps original equipment manufacturers simplify planning, testing and commissioning of switching and control circuit devices incorporated in a SmartWire-DT system network. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Pipeline Advisor v7.1
Software - Applications: Ausenco's Pipeline Advisor is a proven, easy-to-use software package which enhances slurry pipeline safety and optimizes performance by offering pipeline operators real-time expert advice, leak detection and continuous pipeline monitoring. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Refinery-wide optimization solutions drive real-time performance
Invensys strengthens capabilities of the hydrocarbon processing industry offerings in its SimSci-Esscor platform.
Machine commissioning: A programmer’s checklist
Inside Machines tips and tricks: Control engineers need to practice these programming tips to ensure project timeline pressure doesn’t harm the machine project.
Trial by Fire: Behind the Iron Curtain, in the early industrial computer age
Stephen M. Buck tells of the early struggle to bring computer technology to behind-the-Iron-Curtain Communist Poland, in the book, “Trial by Fire: Tales from the Dawn of the Computer Age.” Excerpt follows.
Motor design software suite
CD-Adapco Speed 2012 software design suite covers brushless permanent magnet (PM) motors, induction motors, DC brush motors, DC and AC wound field motors, and switched reluctance motors.
Design patterns and anti-patterns
IT and Engineering Insight: Good software design solves hard problems in a standard way and is well documented and easy to maintain and extend, as opposed to code that seemed reasonable at some time but has spread and become a nightmare to maintain or extend.
Change management software platform
Honeywell launches intelligent MOC for industrial manufacturers to manage changes and approvals across plant control and safety systems.
Video: Proper context for automation modernization
Mike Caliel, president and CEO of Invensys Operations Management, explains what to consider when prioritizing automation modernization opportunities.
UML use cases, sequence diagrams: easily converted into executable code
Engineering and IT Insight: UML (Unified Modeling Language) is the language of software engineering, and State Models in UML are used to define internal logic. When state diagrams, use case diagrams, and sequence diagrams are combined with UML class diagrams they define a system, can be easily understood by non-programmers, and can be rapidly converted into executable code.
Fixed mount industrial ID reader
Cognex's DataMan 300 industrial ID reader is designed to handle code-reading applications for high speed lines.
Modeling and testing platform enables users to incorporate electrical power systems models
SimPowerSystems from MathWorks supports model sharing via Simscape, adds access to SimPowerSystems models and analyses.
Never allow failure to stop production
Finding the right mix of automation products and services can limit unscheduled downtime, according to Joerg Theis, head of the Asia Pacific Region Process automation service department of ABB, during discussion with Andy Zhu, editor, Control Engineering China.
Remote HMI application available on app store
The C-more remote HMI application is available on the iTunes App Store and does not require third party remote desktop VNC-type applications.
EC: DT9862 isolated, high-speed USB data acquisition module
Network integration – Network hardware: The DT9862 from Data Translation provides isolated, high-speed USB data acquisition at throughput rates up to 10 MHz. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: FactoryTalk Historian Machine Edition (ME)
Software – Applications: FactoryTalk Historian ME software from Rockwell Automation collects, stores, analyzes, and visualizes production data using powerful data capture and storage engines that can be used within process, discrete, and hybrid environments. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: SolidWorks 2012 Sustainability design software tool
Software – Control design: SolidWorks Sustainability from Dassault Systemes enables designers and engineers to assess a wide range of environmental factors during product design and quickly make adjustments to reduce the environmental impacts of a product. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: SolidWorks Costing for sheet metal and machined components
Software – Control design: SolidWorks Costing from Dassault Systemes quickly estimates the manufacturing costs of designs made from sheet metal and machined components, eliminating budget and time issues during the design process. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: C-more Remote HMI App
Software - Mobile apps for controls, automation, instrumentation: The C-more Remote HMI mobile app from Koyo enables users to monitor and control operations of the C-more panel as if touching the panel itself. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Helmuth Ludwig named industry sector CEO
Siemens announced that Ludwig would be in charge of all business activity and executive management for North America.
Remote monitoring, diagnostic: Faster, cost-effective maintenance
GE Remote Monitoring and Diagnostic (RM+D), new remote motor monitoring and diagnostic solution from GE, can save customers much in software, hardware and maintenance personnel costs, and remove a lot of manual surveillance headaches.
Counter module: 8 channels, hot-swappable functionality
APAX-5080 from Advantech is a counter module that is capable of simultaneously taking counts from multiple sources using any of its fiver operating modules.
Data logging, com port troubleshooting software updated
Windmill Software’s newest version of the ComDebug data logging and com port troubleshooting software allows users to quickly identify and correct communication errors.
Industrial panel PC receives upgrade
Advantech's IPPC-9150G has an Intel Atom power processor and is NEMA4/IP65 certified
Remote collaboration, optimization and operations solution
Honeywell solution helps produce business transformation by leveraging expertise across remote facilities.
What is a patch?
When we talk about adding software patches, what does that mean, and why do those have to be managed?
Analysis software allows tuning in the frequency domain
Frequency Analysis Software from Galil Motion Control allows tuning of servo control systems in the frequency domain, often preferred for systems with resonances or when the design engineer is comfortable with classroom control theory.
Research: Embedded software development tools
Research conducted by Cambashi shows opportunities in the embedded software developer tool market, the company said.
CNC integrates adaptive control to add productivity
Fanuc iAdapt S adaptive control solution has been integrated into computer numerical controls to improve the ability for CNC material removal and decrease CNC cycle time.
Product Exclusive: 3D physical modeling simulation software
Maplesoft MapleSim 5 release opens new avenues for 3D model development, faster feedback and resolution, and code exports for other systems.
Basic CNC for milling machines, faster machining times
Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic M for milling machines, drilling, milling, even on cylindrical workpieces, offers mirror-smooth surfaces and faster machining.
Temperature measurement for sulfur recovery
Can you depend on an operator’s eyeball evaluation when optimizing critical combustion? In-plant tests verify infrared can be more precise and help improve process performance.
ISA88 Part 5 draft: Control recipe phase, equipment operation
Depending upon their backgrounds and training engineers can have different views of what should be separated into the procedural and basic categories. Draft ISA88 Part 5 language and diagrams follow. Comments are encouraged.
Trying to compare apples to apples on costs
With complex equipment and systems, the real cost extends beyond the purchase price. How do you evaluate those?
Compact, enclosed power supplies meet Eco-design Directive for Energy-Related Products
Carlo Gavazzi announces compact, energy saving SPP1 Series Enclosed Power Supplies meeting the Eco-design Directive for Energy-Related Products (ErP).
Power-line soft-modem development kit
Microchip Technology Power-Line Modem (PLM) PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit includes a 7.2 kbps software modem that enables low-cost communication and control in industrial and consumer applications.
New low-resistance battery strap resettable fuse
Bourns has released a new battery strap resettable fuse with an initial resistance of 5-15 mOhms.
Energy harvesting for automotive applications
Energy harvesters will help the automotive industry, but sometimes a battery remains more economical and practical. Examples follow.
N connector for plenum cable
RF industries has designed a new female connector to improve connections for low-loss building systems.
Custom SMB adapter allows for axial shift
Aviel Electronics CO-SMB-JKMA-3P01 SMB jack adapter allows RF electrical connection to a non-standard unit, thereby permitting the use of standard off-the-shelf RF connectors.
Saving energy in vacuum technology
The Ovem Vacuum generator by Festo prevents machine downtime, adds diagnostic preventive maintenance features, with an integrated sensor for monitoring.
New customization panels available on the Web
BR has released a new program that reportedly allows for easy web customization on the computer.
CNC system powers 5-axis machining center for stone
A custom spindle motor and application-specific CNC system from NUM has helped Omag to create an innovative five-axis machining center that combines the functions of a former and a lathe for processing stone materials.
Intense interest in energy harvesting for electric vehicles
Conferences look toward energy harvesting and electric vehicles: Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe 2011, 21-22 June; Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air Europe 2011 in Stuttgart, 28-29 June.
Companies join for high-precision product monitoring
Cognex and B&R have joined to use Powerlink in the In-Sight line of products, incorporating "visualization, control and drive technology...in production line operation."
EASTEC 2011, May 17-19
Robust manufacturing recovery is shown by large number of new machine tool and other product introductions expected at the May 17-19, SME show in West Springfield, MA.
RF vector signal analyzer for demanding automated test applications
National Instruments' NI PXIe-5665 is a 3.6 GHz RF vector signal analyzer features phase noise, average noise level, amplitude accuracy and dynamic range.
Test leads change tip length with one twist, earning CAT II-IV safety ratings
Fluke Corporation’s TL175 test leads feature adjustable tips, rugged design and visual wear indicators offer higher safety, increased versatility and improved on-the-job reliability.
Can we do without nuclear power?
Can we, as some suggest, shut down some or all our nuclear power plants? What will make up for that lost generating capacity?
Full-scope solution for biomass processing
Biomass power plant in Dalkia, France commissioned and running successfully thanks to Mesto.
Program delivers customized front panel products
Pentair Technical Products' Schroff brand Front Panel Express service assists in accomplishing quick prototypes-to-production cycle time for CompactPCI, VME, VME64x, AdvancedTCA, AdvancedMC, and PMC form factors.
What are the automation standards that you encounter most?
Please reply, "What automation standards do you use the most or find most useful and why?" As you comment below, note that those questions might not yield the same answers.
Miniature LVDT position sensors provide accurate position feedback
Macro Sensors CD 375 Series is available in full-scale measurement ranges from ±0.025-inch to ±2.0-inch, offering a core-to-bore radial clearance of 0.012-inch, repeatability with error of <0.01% of FSO.
Microelectronics educator receives IEEE’s Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award
John D. Cressler prepares strong microelectronics engineers and inspires students to be social conscious on a daily basis. IEEE honored Cressler with the 2011 Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award.
Standard precision position stages offer easy alignment, adjustment
Misumi USA has added 22 styles its family of standard precision position stages, ranging applications such as position accuracy, load capacity, feed mechanism.
Protecting power supply outputs with accuracy
PISA 4-channel protection module from PULS Power Supplies allows sensitive and demanding loads to be connected to the same power supply without complications.
ISA88 Part 5 draft: Resource Manager implementation question, answer
In posted comment and question to a prior blog posting, "Revised ISA88 Part 5 definitions," Rick Slaugenhaupt raises some good points about Resource manager implementation. Here's more information to discuss and try to clarify.
Linear system partners mechanical expertise with engineering competencies
Wittenstein’s RP+ linear system offers modular, standardized rack, pinion system capable of transferring higher maximum feeding forces.
Make2Pack member Adam B. Macki
Adam B. Macki is among Make2Pack members.
Kasa Companies, Elektro Anlagen join to deliver improvement capabilities
Kasa Companies and Elektro Anlagen have joined to create Kasa Anlagen in order to establish manufacturing improvement capabilities worldwide.
ASCO Numatics Industrial Automation Engineering Scholarship Program
Emerson Industrial Automation has opened their applications for the 2011/2012 ASCO Numatics engineering scholarship program, U.S. students will be vying for two scholarships in industrial automation-related disciplines.
Continuous position feedback sensor offered in rod-style package
MTS Systems’ Temposonic EH features a compact, rod-style package where non-contact continuous feedback is needed.
American students invited to participate in international automation competition
Phoenix Contact's xplore New Automation Award competition is expanding to the U.S.
Exoskeletal arm support system aims to assist industrial motion
Equipois’ x-Ar is an exoskeletal arm support system to aid in manual tasks that require workers to outstretch arms by mirroring human motion rather than replace it.
STEM education programs have one goal: Technology job creation
Funding provided by the SME Education Foundation supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs designed to prepare young people for technically-skilled jobs in sustainable careers.
Tubing, hose options expand line of pneumatic components
AutomationDirect has added new tubing and hose options to its Nitra line of pneumatic components, including bonded straight and coiled styles.
Pneumatic space-saving VUVG valve
Festo’s VUVG pneumatic valves feature a wide valve, thanks to patented cartridge sealing principle.
DC electric motors with potentiometer offer power, control for incubator rotating mechanism
Bosch “VMC” DC electric motor with potentiometer features space-saving compact design, weighs approximately 0.12 kg, allows for easy installation into cabinet-style egg incubators, other industrial systems, and equipment.
Motion system adds antenna accuracy
Nearfield spherical scanner uses advanced motion control system from Nexen to test stationary antennas, adding repeatability, minimizing backlash in a tight location.
Chargers cut time to power up electric fleet at Geneva Motor Show
ABB’s portfolio of charging solutions for electric cars include a fast charger that reportedly expands the range of electric vehicles by recharging them at more than 10 times the speed of a standard charger. The portfolio will be on display at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show (March 3-13).
Smart controller system features electricity savings of 20-50%
The Technology Consortium Limited (TTC) wins InnoVision Technology Award with their high efficiency local processor energy saving system, saving an average 30% of electricity
Workshop on standards and codes for electric drive vehicles
ANSI workshop will consider current, future standards, codes, conformity assessment activities needed to facilitate the deployment of grid-connected electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, support services
Multiport gigabit-capable rackmount switch for maximum functionality
N-Tron Corporation’s 7026TX multiport gigabit-capable rackmount switch is designed to provide maximum functionality in the small footprint of an open-frame or cabinet rack.
How to select a DC electric motor
Bosch Industrial Motors' Kenn Langosch discusses how to select a DC electric motor for an industrial task. To start, consider motor power, speed, shaft configuration. Then ...
Motor series for compact and higher performing machines
Kollmorgen’s AKM 8 Servomotors allow OEMs to specify the exact servomotor solution with superior performance, reduced time to market, competitive pricing.
Ultracapacitor-battery hybrid energy storage
Back to Basics: Cost, power, performance advantages for hybridized energy storage using batteries and ultracapacitors.
Engineers: Improve your writing
Think Again: 7 quick tips can help engineers improve writing and editing. Use this advice on your next piece.
Integrated user interface for machine tools
Siemens’ Sinumerik Operate integrates HMI-advanced, ShopMill, ShopTurn in one user interface for machine tools.
Interlock switch delivers Category 4 safety protection
ISO 13849-1 compliance enables use in a wide range of higher risk level applications; compact size allows OEMs to standardize across machine designs.
South Korea ranks 6th in the world for U.S. high-tech exports
TechAmerica Foundation released its newest edition of the Competitiveness series, highlighting relevant issues to the technology industry.
Technologies cooperate to control critical mixing operation
Is sophisticated batch control rocket science? Mixing ablative coating for space shuttle rocket boosters requires very high levels of precision and repeatability.
Portable container provides convenience, availability of connectors
Wago introducted Jugo-Nuts, a portable container carrying job-site quantities of connectors designed to provide on-the-job convenience.
Solid-state contactors for motor control applications
Phoenix Contact adds reversing, non-reversing contactors in a variety of amperages to an expanding family of solid-state contactors.
EMC testing device meets IO-Link specifications
IO-Link Electromagnetic Compatibility tester from MESCO Systems is designed with test software that counts erroneous and missing telegrams during the realization of the tests.
‘Your Motor Here’ program includes newest rod-style and guided actuators
New Tolomatic actuators can be matched to an engineer’s preferred brand of stepper or servo drive motor at no additional cost.
AeroDef Manufacturing Conference feature aerospace productivity leaders
Top Minds in Manufacturing Technology from OEM World, Government, NASA to keynote Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim in April.
RFID for easy user identification
Continuous integration of RFID in the field of automation makes it easy to link machine and system terminals in the logistics, production tracing and industrial IT structures. B&R RFID product is compatible with ISO 14443 and ISO 15693, enabling easy user identification at the control unit.
Annual manufacturing study measures differences between U.S., international plants
Study finds International plants spent significantly more on capital upgrades than U.S.-based facilities, U.S. plants will continue to lag on spending for capital improvements
2011 State of the Union Address: TechAmerica offers high-tech comments
Pro-innovation tax reform, free trade, improved education, immigration reform, broadband deployment, a permanent R&D credit and securing cyberspace are all critical for honing our competitive edge in the 21st century economy, said TechAmerica.
Engineering and IT Insight – Bad project documentation: Break the habit
Improve manufacturing IT, automation, or control projects by avoiding missing, incorrect, poorly written, or incomplete documentation.
Wireless handwheel for machine tools adds movement, accuracy
Heidenhain’s HR 550 FS allows for accurate measurements of machine datum, safer work environments, unrestricted movement around machines. FS stands for functional safety, meaning the handwheel corresponds to the valid requirements for safety, such as an emergency stop button and permissive buttons.
Machine safeguarding market feels effects of global recession
ARC Advisory Group discusses rebound of machine safeguarding solution market in second half of 2010.
Multi-core processors: Software key to success
Multithread parallel computing software and appropriate user tools advance the promise of high performance and power efficiency from multi-core processors. Link to 3 other Control Engineering articles in this four-part series.
SEW-EURODRIVE: The Truth about Energy Efficient Motors
This paper delves into the confusing area of motor efficiency and how it relates to saving energy.
Getting the kind of accuracy you want isn't easy, but it can be done.
Environmental ERP solutions for Freescale Semiconductor by Enviance
Freescale replaces client server software with Enviance to achieve greater emissions awareness, flexibility to manage growing environmental priorities.
Data acquisition system to manage power grid networks
Shanxi Electric Power Company of China will implement Telvent’s new data acquisition system in order to address service outages more quickly and provide a more reliable network.
Linear Motion Resource Center provides models, 3D configurator
Bosch Rexroth has online Linear Motion Resource center, featuring useful information for products, 3D Configurator for Linear Modules, Cartesian Systems.
Modular cabinets for corrosion resistant applications
A line of non-metallic modular cabinets from Midwest Plastic Fabricators has been designed for corrosion resistant applications and to include wall or floor mount features.
Automation Future: Automotive motives for better control
From economies of scale to economies of scope: How automotive manufacturers incorporate automation considerations into portfolio and product planning and what other manufacturers can learn.
Advanced machine tool automation projects get $1.6 million in R&D from Poland
Real-time monitoring for mechatronics, computer numerical controls, and machine tools projects received a $1.6 million R&D funding boost from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland for the Centre of Mechatronics for two faculties at West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland.
Engineering and IT Insight: Failure is not an option
Taking a "failure is not an option" or "do it right the first time" approach with manufacturing IT projects can hide important information and waste time, especially when workflows are in place to catch and quickly correct an occasional error.
Mechatronics: You can’t just say a system is reliable
Here's why understanding the physics of failure and having a systems approach are essential to modern engineering. As we become more dependent on complex mechatronic systems, it is insufficient to understand just how they work; we must also understand how they fail. Fault-tolerant system design has become ...
Back to Basics: How gain scheduling works
Gain scheduling facilitates process control when the gains and the time constants vary with the current value of the process variable. Gain scheduling is particularly appropriate for processes that speed up or slow down as the process variable rises and falls. It also works if the process... (Updated with subscriber comments Feb. 16, and Feb. 5, 2011.)
Plastics manufacturing group praises tax relief, job creation law
SPI, U.S. plastics industry praises Senate, House, and President Obama on Bipartisan Legislation that is hoped to boost investment, the economy and job creation - Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.
Pushbutton, E-stop boxes
Carlo Gavazzi's new line of plastic enclosure boxes, push-pull mushroom button, and emergency push button series provide additional solutions within pilot device offerings.
Power supply product reliability tests exceed 10 years
Miyachi Unitek tests power supply products, some of which reportedly have been running continuously in 105° temperatures for over a decade.
OPC servers provide connectivity for wind turbines
MatrikonOPC’s green and renewable energy offering expands with interface between Vestas wind turbine controllers and electric utilities.
Tips and Tricks – Patents: 10 things engineers should know
Basic patent knowledge can enrich engineers in many ways. Here are 10 tips every engineer should know about patent applications and patent law, including what not to do if you suspect infringement.
Engineering and IT Insight – File this under: Bad habits for control engineers
Move past the file cabinet organizational mentality to improve automation system projects. This is fourth in a series of “bad habits to avoid” from the Control Engineering Engineering and IT Insight column.
Georg Schitter, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010
Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Georg Schitter ...
Differential impedance transducer makes precision measurements
Kaman’s non-contact DIT-5200 makes sub-nanometer differential measurements for an economical price. The system also offers high thermal stability, high sensitivity, and high linearity, and senses without touching the target.
EC: MapleSim 4
Software - design, simulation, diagnostics: Maplesoft MapleSim 4 is high-performance physical modeling software that is built on a foundation of symbolic computation technology, which efficiently manages all of the complex mathematics involved in the development of engineering system models, including multi-domain systems and plant models for control applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: SolidWorks 2011
Software - design, simulation, diagnostics: Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp., SolidWorks 2011 is a 3D CAD software solution for all aspects of the design process that maximizes productivity and focus on innovation to create products better, faster, and more cost effectively. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: FactoryTalk Transaction Manager
Software - connectivity, integration software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Transaction Manager. FactoryTalk Transaction Manager software helps manufacturers manage manufacturing processes by integrating the critical data on the shopfloor control systems with enterprise IT and other manufacturing applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Think Again: High-technology job security
Investing more in R&D and business reforms would move us ahead in areas we should dominate; we still have high-tech work to do.
EC: Proficy Workflow
Software - application software: GE Intelligent Platforms Proficy Workflow. GE integrates audit trails and eSignatures into electronic work processes to further enable regulatory compliance and increase industrial environment security. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: Skintop Cube
Network Integration - wire, cable, cordsets, connectors - Lapp Group Skintop Cube - The Skintop Cube is a revolutionary approach to traditional multi-cable bushing systems with a simple and highly effective space saving design that allows up to 10 cables to be routed in one housing while featuring a faster, easier and more effective solution than existing competitor designs. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: LARC Direct Drive frameless motors kits
Motion Control - motors: Applimotion Inc., LARC Direct Drive frameless motors kits. LARC Direct Drive frameless motors kits. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
What is process linearity?
Dear Control Engineering: Recently you were talking about linearity in instrumentation devices. What is process linearity? Process linearity is similar in that it looks at the relationships between elements of a process and the output. Does output change in direct proportion to a change in input. Let’s say you want to boil a gallon of water to make spaghetti, so you put a big pot on the stove.
Robot club advice from a retired technology venture capitalist
Friday’s guest speaker at the TC Tinkers 4-H Robot Club was Bob Michaluk, a retired venture capitalist. Bob seems to be just an ordinary guy, easy to talk to. There is very little about him that would suggest that he used to...
Military transportation robot Part 2: Who drives? Who’s the best gamer?
MTRMS: A new class of robot is joining the troops on the front lines, it is known as Military Transportation Robot, Medium Size (MTRMS ). Robots smaller have been in use for several years, larger ones are in the planning stage which is what makes the R-Gator a Medium size military robot. Who gets to drive when it's not in full autonomous mode? Who's the best gamer? (See below.) The picture above is what the stock R-Gator, fresh off the Charlotte, North Carolina assembly line, looks like. It can drive itself autonomously. THE R-GATOR IN THE BROCHURE, $350K The stock R-Gator, built to the specifications in the brochure [see here: https://www.deere.com/en_US/contractsales/fedmilitarysales/cce/r_gator/r_gator.html], costs government agencies $350,000 and is considered a COTS vehicle. If you would like to see it in action, your best bet is to travel to one of the conventions, trade shows, or field events where R-Gator is being demonstrated. Contact Mark E.
Improved web reporting interface gives real-time access to centralized manufacturing data
Web Reporter offers easy-to-use interface to access complete quality data, centralized manufacturing data and library of standard reports from anywhere in the enterprise. Sciemetric Instruments released of the latest version of its proprietary analytical software, QualityWorX, which includes an improved web reporting interface that gives all users real-time access to centralized manufacturing data.
Video: Where is the value in automation?
In a video interview, Peter Martin, consultant for Invensys, explains how to show users the value of automation.
High-energy series of transient voltage suppressors
Littelfuse AK15 Series of Transient Voltage Suppressor (TVS) devices are rated for up to 15 kA surge current to protect against high-energy transients.
Tech Industry adds 30,200 jobs in first half of 2010
Tech Manufacturing, Software Services, and Engineering and Tech Services all add jobs, according to a TechAmerica Foundation report based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The report looks at tech manufacturing, communications services, software services, and engineering and tech services.
We, your shareholders, demand:
This morning I was reading an article in the Chicago Tribune that said three major energy producers (Valero Energy, Tesoro, and Occidental Petroleum) are getting grief from organizers within their shareholders. The shareholder groups, while representing very small segments of the total, are organized and taking the company management to task for spending large sums of cash in political advertising to oppose California’s Proposition 23, which will require cutting industrial and vehicle emissions. I’ll leave it to others to decide if that’s a good idea or not. My thought for this discussion is about more useful discussions that shareholders could have with company management.
Manufacturing software gets extended security, other functionality
Alere Manufacturing, a manufacturing resource planning (MRP) solution, improves sales order planning, security and more in v9.4 of Alere Manufacturing software. It also is said to provide greater control to businesses with multiple users operating within a multi-company environment.
Engineering and IT Insight: Schedules for engineers
A missing or unrealistic schedule is a bad habit common to unsuccessful projects. Lack of experience in the project space can lead to ballpark estimates and schedule slippage. Zeno’s Project Paradox is that no matter how hard you work on a late project, it is never more than 90% complete. Ask any project manager of a late project, and they always say the project is 90% complete, even if they have spent 200% of the budget and are months, sometimes years late.
Reporting from Emerson Global Users Exchange
Watch for Control Engineering video reporting from San Antonio as we travel to this major process industry event.
Cyber Crooks Have Edge
Less than 6 percent of respondents were “highly confident” that private enterprises have sufficient controls in place to minimize the occurrence of cyber crime. Almost 40 percent of respondents are “not confident” in controls implemented by private enterprises. Results from a cyber crime prevention webcast done by Deloitte showed an even split among respondents regarding whether or not their organization was likely to experience an electronic security breach in the next 12 months. Of those polled, 41.7 percent believed it was “likely” or “extremely likely” that an electronic security breach would occur in this time frame, while 38.4 percent felt it was “unlikely” or “extremely unlikely.” “Cyber crime is far more common and creates a larger threat than respondents may recognize,” said John Kula, director in the forensic & dispute services practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services.
Reporting from San Antonio…
It’s almost time again for Emerson Global Users Exchange, which is certainly among the largest, if not the largest, single process industry user group event. This year it returns to Texas, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, September 27 through October 1. Emerson Process Management is one of the more progressive companies in our industry when it comes to using social networking for marketing and building user communities.
Handbook on alarm management updated
This update will cover the new ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009 and will have significant regulatory impact on the processing industries.
China leads both ends of energy spectrum
A wire service article last week made the point that China leads the world in atmospheric carbon emissions but also in renewable energy efforts. According to the Pew Environmental Group, renewable energy investments peaked in the U.S. in 2007 at about $33 billion.
Video: 3 things you can do to make shut-downs smoother
Control loop optimization: Are you considering these key points, before, during, and after your next plant shutdown? Listen to a little advice from John Gerry at Expertune. (2:29 min.)
Domestic oil sources drying up?
An interesting article recently made the point that crude oil production from Alaskan fields is declining, and the big pipeline that brings product south is reaching the point where it is turning into a maintenance problem. Long story short, these days the pipeline is delivering less oil, which increases problems with corrosion and damage from the environment. You can walk faster than the flow velocity. The fields in Alaska that have been the biggest producers are declining and there isn’t much enthusiasm for expanding drilling, especially offshore.
Isn’t there enough real intertia around?
Mechatronics in Design: Adding inertia to a system, that is, adding mechanical mass, is not usually desirable as it slows down system response. Electronic intertia through acceleration feedback improves performance.
Make2Pack ISA88 Part 5: A little less because Part 1 is more
With the ISA88 Part 1 now out for what is sure to be the final vote, it really makes sense to push Part 5 through to completion. Here are some Part 1 highlights that will ease the burden for Part 5.
If I lived in Poland, I’d buy Kujawski
This morning I was posting a story about how a rapeseed cooking-oil processing plant in Poland improved its production using more sophisticated automation. The name of the company is ZT Kruszwica, and their main brand name is Kujawski. As it turns out, Kujawski is the biggest seller over there.
China leads global energy consumption
Yesterday the International Energy Agency reported that China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest energy consuming country. This wasn’t a surprise apparently, as the organization has expected this for some time.
A collection of academic papers covering a variety of control, sensor, and actuator research. Below are links to open source academic research papers on topics relevant to industrial automation and control. Actuator Fault Diagnosis with Robustness to Sensor Distortion Adaptive Output Tracking of Driven Oscillators Stability of Discrete Systems Controlled in the Presence of Intermittent Sensor Faults Robustness Issues in Fault Diagnosis and Fault Tolerant Control Fault-Tolerant Control of a Distributed Database System Intelligent Hybrid Control Strategy for Trajectory Tracking of Robot Manipulators Comparative Study of Some New Hybrid Fuzzy Algorithms for Manipulator Control Sensitivity Limitations for Multivariable Linear Filtering Robust Tracking Control of Mobile Robot Formation with Obstacle Avoidance Nonlinear Speed Control of Switched Reluctance Motor Drives Taking into Account Mutual Inductance Switching Systems: Active Mode Recognition, Identification of the Switching Law Low-Latency Wireless Data Transfer for Motion Control.
Handling the World Wide Web
MECHATRONICS IN DESIGN: Fresh ideas on integrating mechanical systems, electronics, control systems, and software in design, defense systems, consumer products, manufacturing. Before the WWW, engineers were handling webs at astonishing speeds.
Sensorless Control of Permanent Magnet Motors
Precise speed control of AC motors is typically accomplished with a variable frequency drive (VFD) connected to a speed or position feedback sensor. In certain situations, however, it's possible to achieve a similar level of precision speed control without the need for a feedback sensor via the high frequency signal injection method.
Data loggers expand communication options
Onset has announced a number of new enhancements to its Hobo U30 web-based energy and environmental monitoring systems, including expanded cellular network coverage. The company says that its new global cellular network plan through Wyless, allows U30/GSM users to monitor their data loggers in more than 30 countries.
Single channel, thermocouple to USB converter
New single-channel thermocouple-to-USB interface from Measurement Computing provides simple connectivity for a wide range of thermocouple types. The low-cost unit includes the necessary software for Microsoft Windows and Linux-based operating systems. It also uses DAQFlex, the company’s protocol that permits programming of DAQ devices using simple text-based messages.
Illinois EPA sets new requirements for electronics manufacturers
Manufacturers of electronics are subject to new recycling program requirements and a landfill ban on their products in Illinois.
CNC trainer shows how machine shops can use texting alerts
While large companies have been using technologies that can call, text or e-mail machine shop owners with alarm alerts technology for a few years now, systems are now available for small machine shops that run unattended cycles over the weekend and on holidays. Randy Pearson, a longtime veteran of the machine tool industry, and currently a Siemens sales support manager who trains users on CNC m...
New guided wave radar level sensor options
Emerson offers new configurations for Rosemount GWR sensors to solve more complex applications.
Dynamic Simulation for Emissions Regulation
Existing pressure relief and flare system capacity is sometimes challenged following unit upgrades and expansions, addition of new process units, or the re-routing of atmospheric vents to the existing flare system. Traditional relief load estimation methodologies are known to be overly conservative and can lead to the overdesign of flare systems or to the determination that such plant upgrades ...
Oberto sausage company lowers work-in-process with Preactor
Eighteen months after going live onthe P400 Advanced Planning and Scheduling system from Preactor, Oberto Sausage Company saw a 40 percent reduction in work-in-process, which is helping the company meet required customer service levels without stockpiling excess inventory.
PLM training: Webinars bring product design, data management techniques to your desktop
New and on-demand Web based seminars from cover 2D & 3D CAD, several approaches in FEA to modeling bolted connections, and benefits of enterprise wide requirements management.
Toyota, Denso, and Dupont awarded for plant-derived resin development
Society of Plastics Engineers recognize eco-friendly resin used in Toyota Camry radiators.
Preactor International: Strong 2009 growth; WorkPlan deal
Preactor showed 11% net revenue increase in 2009 compared to 2008, avoiding the downward trend for Manufacturing IT as manufacturers continue to invest in production planning and scheduling solutions. Separately the company announced integration of Preactor advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software with the Sescoi WorkPlan Enterprise ERP system.
Positive signs for manufacturing continue
Numbers from NEMA, along with hopeful signs from Rockwell Automation and valve manufacturers, are among recent positive economic signs for manufacturers. The NEMA Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions increased for a third straight month and topped the 50-point threshold, indicative of expansion for a second straight month.
HMI-control system makes music out of wood for Gibson
RT Engineering designed and integrated the software for the touchDry kiln control system, built by Fuji Electric Corp. of America HMI Division, into the kilns for Gibson.
Cellulosic fuel ethanol plant begins production
Designer bugs convert synthesis gas to ethanol without use of food-based feedstocks.
Manufacturers may find wisdom in Wal-Mart retail supply chain strategies
Perhaps manufacturers would want to consider a best-in-market supply chain approach rather than best in class, to better meet customers' needs. Gary Maxwell, senior vice president of international supply chain for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said a best-in-market approach requires...
The wisdom of Wal-Mart’s supply chain strategies
What can Wal-Mart teach manufacturing about global supply chains? Perhaps manufacturers would want to consider a best-in-market supply chain approach rather than best-in-class, to better meet customers' needs. Gary Maxwell, senior vice president of international supply chain for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said a best-in-market approach requires thinking like a customer; complying with local and inte...
Infor SCM software reduces labor costs up to 30 percent
Infor SCM Labor Management is a new, integrated warehouse and labor management solution that provides real-time workforce performance feedback to help improve warehouse operations and reduce labor costs.
By the Numbers: Engineering design saves dollars; jobs; safety; flywheel energy
Among recent numbers of interest to those involved in engineering are: $2,000 savings per automobile, an increase in online job demand, safety tips, and more than a billion sensors.
DC brushless motor, controller
Baldor announces a new dc brushless motor and control system that give adjustable speed applications benefits of brushless technology.
OSRAM subsidiary focuses on energy-saving LED lighting
Global lighting manufacturer believes that current political and economic interests are aligning for a shift away from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting and toward light emitting diodes (LEDs).
A speeding car industry: China shows surprising growth in automotive production
China's automotive industry is growing surprisingly fast. In 2008, China surpassed the United States to become the world's second largest auto-making nation behind Japan. China also is poised to pass Japan in 2009, according to research from El Segundo, Calif.-based analyst firm iSuppli Corp.
NEMA environmental design initiative introduced in Congress
If passed, the Environmental Design for Electrical Equipment Act of 2009 would establish uniform federal standards around use of hazardous substances in electrical products, similar to the EU RoHS directive.
Briggs & Stratton reduces electricity consumption by 9.4 million kilowatt-hours
Company uses Orion Energy Systems integrated lighting system, which includes modular high-intensity fluorescent lighting system, wireless control system, and Apollo solar light pipes.
24-hour product development
While scenarios for sharing design data may invoke grandiose thoughts of enhanced collaboration or disparate design center interactions, sometimes all a company really needs to do is make it easier for two engineers sitting in the same office to work together on a project. Just ask Black Diamond Equipment, a Salt Lake City-based manufacturer of climbing and skiing equipment.
Spending lag prompts supply chain management makeovers
The precipitous drop in consumer spending that has been cited as a major cause of the ongoing economic recession now has manufacturers scrambling to adjust supply chain management strategies. In fact, lower consumer spending took the top position on the list of supply chain risks in a recent survey conducted by Boston-based AMR Research.
Supply chains at risk: Companies tap new technology to enact smart contingency plans—inbound and outbound
Last June, Cary, Ill.-based Sage Products asked for a voluntary recall of certain lots of a preoperative skin preparation product. For Sage, a manufacturer of personal care products sold to hospitals and medical practitioners, the measure was precautionary: A batch of chlorhexidine gluconate, bought from an outside supplier, had been found to contain the burkholderia cepacia bacterium.
Software optimizes staff planning, scheduling in production environments
Labor optimization software meets scheduling needs of production environments.
A bold move: After IBM bow’s out, Oracle grabs Sun for $7.4 billion
Oracle Corp . snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc . for $7.4 billion Monday, pouncing on an opportunity that opened up after rival IBM Corp .
Industry Spotlight: Experts look at platforms for protecting intellectual property
Overview: As manufacturers globalize their businesses and form new partner chains, they likely will outsource manufacturing and promote open innovation. That means sharing documents and product data without jeopardizing intellectual property (IP), the foundation of any company’s innovative products and processes. IT platforms: Adobe Systems is a provider of digital rights management solutions that leverage the Adobe LiveCycle ES Rights Management technology to enable more secure collaboration. New Momentum offers Enterprise Risk Management solutions with tools to reduce operational risk and grow revenue and profits for companies in the high-tech, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries. Secure collaboration Just how prevalent is the concern for protecting IP among manufacturers? At least 75 percent of conversations Adobe logs with manufacturers end up centering on IP management, says Mike Morel, former director of manufacturing solutions, Adobe Systems. “Manufacturers know their PLM [product life-cycle management], ERP, and other business solutions all have inherent security, and they want to leverage that existing infrastructure,” says Morel. They want to extend that infrastructure to securely deliver documents within business processes—and in workflow.
Tutorial: Oscilloscopes are probably the most useful, and most used general-purpose electronic test instruments. In the hands of a knowledgeable test engineer, an oscilloscope can substitute for anything from a digital multimeter to a spectrum analyzer and perform measurements that are impossible for any other instrument. Here's how oscilloscopes work.
Opinion: Do you need a $60,000 process historian to log data? One SQL database expert says no.
Are relational databases too slow for fast process data? You decide.
There and back: RedPrairie enhances SCE suite with updated sourcing and recall capabilities
RedPrairie’s Enterprise Visibility solution will have updated sourcing and recall capabilities as part of an upcoming Supply Chain Execution suite release. The offering is expected to lower the cost of transporting goods from manufacturing to store—and back to manufacturing if necessary.
Watlow controllers get SpecView HMI software interface
'SpecView HMI from Watlow' provides an interface to Watlow EZ-Zone, Series F4, and Power Series controllers.
Legal fine print in a recession
What is the role of legal "fine print" in an economic downturn? Is it something to ignore because of the overhead of dealing with it (lawyers, negotiations)? Does it go on the backburner because the most important thing now—really, the only thing, for heaven's sake—is landing the project before the other guy does? Some legalities deserve increased attention in an economic downturn, including...
Linux liberty: Are you overpaying for wireless data-collection devices?
For those who think Windows CE-based systems are overkill, wireless Linux data collection devices can deliver streamlined, real-time inventory control with savings up to $1,000 per terminal.
Microprocessors make CNC machines faster, smarter
CNC technology follows mass-market computing trends, so advances in general-purpose computing engines make more capable controllers available for CNC systems. Link to tutorial.
Glimmers of hope: Consultants estimate length of economic misery
The Society for Advancement of Consulting asked its global membership to evaluate the current economic trauma. Presented here is a representative sampling of insight gained.
WTO: 2008 Global trade growth slows
A report issued by the World Trade Organization (WTO) shows the financial crisis triggered a fall in world trade growth to 4.0 percent last year, with November posting the worst slowdown, AP reported. Growth began to decline in the third quarter, and this became more accentuated as the year drew to a close.For the full year, the WTO Secretariat estimate is 4.0 percent real trade growth, said the report. Global trade grew by 8.5 percent in 2006 but slipped to 5.5 percent in 2007.
A digital transformation: 3D virtual prototypes shrink development cycles for complex products
Grinding machine manufacturer HTC, Söderköping, Sweden, builds products that literally transform the look of floors. Its machines—containing up to 3,000 discrete components and sub-assemblies, and ranging in price from [euro] 20,000 to 300,000—are used to grind and polish natural stone and concrete floors with diamond tools.
Blurred boundaries: It’s important to make PLM an enterprise initiative
The scope of PLM and ERP solutions can—and should—overlap considerably depending upon the company’s unique characteristics and priorities.
Successful load testing of 36.5 MW superconductor ship propulsion motor
American Superconductor Corporation and Northrop Grumman completed successful full-power testing of the world’s first 36.5 MW (49,000 hp) high-temperature superconductor (HTS) ship propulsion motor. Link to some HTS videos and history.
Autodesk offers Sustainable Materials Assistant
The Sustainable Materials Assistant helps answer important sustainability questions, comply with environmental regulations such as WEEE and RoHS, and deal with common engineering problems like minimizing energy use or reduce overbuilding.
PLM 2.0: Developer of SharePoint-based application promises “social product development”
PLM software supplier PTC now has an application it claims will revolutionize the product development process. Called Windchill ProductPoint, it's built on top of Microsoft Windows SharePoint Server, and lets users incorporate Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, and instant messaging into the product development process.
U.S. biofuels industry expected to consolidate
With domestic renewable fuel infrastructure relatively underdeveloped and Europe taking an increasingly aggressive stance against U.S. biodiesel imports, many analysts consider the U.S. market oversupplied, thereby leading to a constriction in 2009.
Here’s what you need to know about controls, says Automation Federation, U.S. government
Automation Competency Model is a formal U.S. document defining the skills and competencies needed in the automation field, which should lay a framework for filling the skills gap in controls and automation, Automation Federation and U.S. Department of Labor say.
Summary of Automation Competency Model progress is available
Automation Federation and the U.S. Department of Labor are working to develop the Automation Competency Model, which, when completed, will be a formal federal document defining the skills and competencies needed in the automation field.
Software: Visualize manufacturing process flow data graphically
New software simplifies product quality management and tracking process via user-intuitive, simple-to-read, graphical views of supply chain and manufacturing data.
Environmental edge: PTC advances green product design with Synapsis Technology acquisition
By proactively addressing compliance during product design, companies can avoid after-the-fact redesigns, ultimately reducing costs and improving quality and time-to-market. That’s why PTC has acquired the business assets of Synapsis Technology , a provider of environmental regulatory compliance solutions to leading customers including Motorola, Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, Visteon, Delphi, IBM, GE, Beckman Coulter, Teradyne and Cisco. With this buy , PTC broadens its support for green product design to enable customers to achieve compliance with REACH and other environmental regulations. The EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation is the latest in a rapidly growing list of environmental regulations across the globe. REACH targets hazardous substances in products, termed substances of very high concern (SVHC), and may ban up to 3,000 chemicals used in a wide variety of products. A failure to demonstrate compliance with REACH and other regulations can have severe consequences, threatening product viability and revenue. Synapsis’ solution supports product compliance tracking at the substance, material, part, and product levels to improve data collection, analysis and reporting from the beginning of product design to final disposal and recycling.
Deal breaker: Credit crunch smashes i2-JDA merger
It appears that the global credit crunch has killed JDA Software ’s plan to acquire supply chain management software specialist i2 Technologies . In announcing the proposed $346 million acquisition in August, CEOs of both companies said the deal would create one of the world’s strongest best-of-breed supply chain software suppliers. In early November, however, JDA asked to negotiate a lower price, stating that because of the recent financial crisis, “available credit terms would result in unacceptable risks and costs to the combined company.” That didn’t fly with i2 management, which argued that the deal was not tied to JDA’s ability to obtain favorable financing. If JDA didn’t agree to the original terms, i2 management said it would exercise its right to terminate the deal and collect a $20 million termination fee. On December 4, i2 announced its intent to terminate the deal and said it expected JDA to pay the $20 million within three business days. While it seems clear this deal is dead, the question now becomes: what does i2 do next? This former industry heavyweight has struggled to stay afloat since the dot-com crash. Most of the companies it competed with in the supply chain management space have either been acquired by other companies or decided to operate as smaller niche players focusing on solving specific supply chain problems. In a statement announcing the end of the agreement with JDA, Jackson L.
Managing innovation: Microsoft forum showcases tools, processes for successful product development
If you had an idea for a new product, would you know who to contact about getting it to market? If the answer is no, you're part of the majority of corporate employees. A recent study by New York-based Accenture finds 55 percent of management teams in large corporations profess a commitment to innovation, but only 41 percent are satisfied with the frequency at which they bring innovative ideas ...
Learning piping and instrumentation drawings; How to read P&IDs
ISA and Control Engineering offer resources to help engineers, technicians, students, and others who want to review or learn how to read piping and instrumentation drawings (P&IDs). Read a tutorial P&ID article now (with more diagram) and see information about ordering a workbook or CD of clip systems.
University access: Deacom offers on ERP training
Deacom , provider of the DEACOM Integrated Accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software System for building component, modular building, and batch process manufacturers, now has an online version of its business software training program, called DEACOM University. Using the Web-based platform, DEACOM University will reintroduce its live group courses, beginning with DEACOM Financial Statements on Nov. 19-20.
Four tools: Dassault business process solution empowers “Design for the Environment”
ENOVIA Materials Compliance Central for automotive and high-tech industries is a business-process application said to empower companies to adopt proactive environmental compliance strategies throughout a product’s life cycle, from design to disposal. Four strong features support those efforts.
Vendor consolidation: Acquisition of i2 Technologies points to supply chain market shift
The pending $346-million acquisition of i2 Technologies by JDA Software is a signal that supply chain management—while still an extremely important strategic function—is no longer the highly specialized activity it was perceived to be just a few years ago. Supply chain plans are still generated by “planning engines” that use complex mathematical algorithms to determine ...
New, efficient industrial gas turbines coming: Siemens, GE, full report
At the heart of the latest combined-cycle gas turbine plants from GE and Siemens lies innovation, not just gigantic size. A key enabler of increased thermal efficiency is turbine design with higher temperature combustion and exhaust gases. Link to photo of Siemens unit.
Listen in: Watching a migration in progress
An update on a major automation platform upgrade at a large-scale chemical plant.
RFID resource: SATO unveils integration solutions Web site
SATO says its new Integration Solutions Division (SATO ISD) Web site (www.satosolutions.com) offers easy access to the latest technical developments, application advances, and up-to-date news. Technical datasheets, available as PDFs, describe a comprehensive range of products for standard and specialized software logistics systems (WMS/YMS/OMS/ATS) and RFID applications.SATO ISD specializes in development and support of flexible turnkey warehousing, shipping, and tracking solutions for industrial and commercial applications.According to the vendor, with decades of experience in auto-ID systems that include more than 70 RFID solutions for Fortune 500 companies worldwide, SATO ISD is committed to providing customers with affordable, superior solutions and systems technical support.The site seeks to provide a good resource for anyone needing assistance with supply chain information technology, and data collection and labeling needs.
Excellence times three: Epicor ERP drives savings for vertically integrated electronics manufacturer
A new ERP implementation has seen Haslingden, U.K-based intruder alarm manufacturer Texecom achieve a £2m boost to its cash flow less than a year after its go-live date—even though requirements were complex. Texecom is highly vertically integrated, with three sites that embrace plastic injection molding, printed circuit board assembly, and final product assembly.
The persistence of U.S. engineering
With the rest of the world rising in economic stature and assuming many of the commodity manufacturing roles formerly performed in the U.S., some are nervous that manufacturing in America will disappear. Though the role of the U.S. manufacturing industries will continue to change, it will still play a vitally important role in the global production economy because of our strengths in engineering.
Activplant Throughput Analyzer get patent, finds product flow disruptions
Activplant Corp. was granted a patent on its Throughput Analyzer manufacturing software, said to identify key chronic disruptors to overall product flow, the company says.
Saving energy: Optimizing pump performance, efficiency
Website offers resources for taming one of your largest energy costs.
Simulation cycles: Dassault Systemes to acquire Engineous Software; partners with Intercim for A&D
Dassault Systemes is seeking to buy Engineous Software , a specialist in process automation, integration and optimization. This deal will extend Dassault's SIMULIA simulation life-cycle management solutions on the Dassault V6 IP collaboration platform.Engineous’ FIPER (Federated Intelligent Product EnviRonment) software comprises a distributed product development infrastructure that allows organizations to access, execute, and reuse design simulation tools and processes—connecting resources within an organization and externally with partners and design teams.According to Siu Tong, founder of Engineous Software, “Our vision, from the start, has been to define and build solutions for managing and automating simulation activities within the enterprise. Becoming part of Dassault Systemes will allow [us] to play an integral role in the democratization of realistic simulation for companies, their ecosystems, and their customers.”Originally sponsored by an industry alliance—including Engineous Software, Goodrich, General Electric, OAI, Parker Hannifin and Ohio University—the FIPER project enabled Engineous to commercialize its FIPER product, which streamlines design of engineered products by integrating legacy and best-of-breed analytical and design tools through a Web-enabled environment."We have enjoyed considerable success in deploying solutions from both Dassault Systemes and Engineous as part of our overall digital engineering capability," says Dr.
SME, MMA: Engineering turns world upside down
Funny as a crutch generally means something isn’t funny, but John (Mac) MacIlroy, Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), president and CEO, got some laughs recently by pointing to his crutches as a positive example of engineering value. Upside down thinking can....
Demand planning: New SAS forecasting tool can aid S&OP
SAS , long recognized as a leading supplier of technology for analyzing business processes, has introduced a new solution that supports the execution of demand forecasting.The new solution—called SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting—not only allows for predicting what products customers will want to buy over a given time frame, but also offers capabilities for shaping those demand patterns, according to SAS officials.“It allows for being proactive rather than reactive [in demand planning] by determining things like which product mix makes sense,” says Ritu Jain, SAS product marketing manager for manufacturing and supply chain solutions. The criteria for judging what makes sense can include the manufacturer’s profit margins, Jain adds.Charlie Chase, a SAS business enablement manager, says this demand-shaping capability is just one of many features“We introduced SAS Forecast Server [in 2005] as a front-end to other demand planning solutions,” Chase says. “It focused on analyzing data to create sales forecasts.”The chief selling point for SAS Forecast Server was its ability to crunch numbers faster—and SAS claims more accurately—than most other forecast engines, which gave users the capability to include many more products“They wanted an integrated solution that would also help them sense and shape demand,” he says.
Development: Partners provide Matlab extensions
CoWare, Agility Design Solutions, Numerical Algorithms Group add algorithms, enhance simulation.
SAP SCM enhancements seek to simplify partner ecosystem interactions
Adapting to changing market conditions is considerably easier said than done when the business network includes global employees, suppliers, customers, partners, and distributors. That's why SAP will release a next-generation supply chain management solution later this year, one that is being developed with customers to address supply chain responsiveness and integration with partner ecosystems.
Metering: Easier utility data gathering, reporting
Schneider Electric incorporated Primestone PrimeRead software into its products to help utilities with automated collection and management of metering data.
Events: FPGAs, student skills at IMTS, micro-, nano sensor technologies
Three upcoming events include field-programmable gate arrays, a student gathering at IMTS to help increase interest in machine tool technologies, and an all-day micro and nano-technology session, among others, at Sensors Expo. Events will be held...
Corporate mergers: HP’s Hurd, known as Mr. Fix-it, takes gamble with EDS
Buying a once-struggling tech-services company for nearly $14 billion may be Mark Hurd's biggest gamble since taking the helm at Hewlett-Packard in 2005. It's definitely HP's biggest acquisition since Hurd's predecessor, Carly Fiorina, acquired Compaq for $19 billion in 2002.
Metal finisher enjoys real-time costs picture from ERP for the order-driven business
When Rosler Metal Finishing hung out its shingle in Battle Creek, Mich., in 1999, its enterprise application needs were relatively few. As a manufacturer and distributor of machine tool consumables on behalf of its German parent company, Rösler GmbH, simple spreadsheets and a basic accounting package cut the mustard.
SOA pinpoints links between services and business processes
Progress Software says its Actional suite of service-oriented architecture (SOA) management software offers new ability to understand and manage the relationships between individual services and complete business processes. “As SOA makes its way more deeply into the fabric of enterprise infrastructures, increased visibility, governance, and security are even more important,” says Da...
Supply chain execution: Cybex pumping up lean processes with data collection software
Cybex International, a manufacturer of exercise equipment, has selected the Data Collection Advantage software package from HighJump Software to support its progressive manufacturing practices.
IBM WebSphere Premises Server V6.1 released
V6.1 significantly expands ability to act upon RFID sensor events; 11 sensor vendors certified so far.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing: Trade show reveals reasons to get familiar with PAT
The Process and Analytical Technology Initiative (PAT) was a major topic of discussion at the 2008 Interphex trade show held last week in Philadelphia. Technology suppliers argued that pharmaceutical manufacturers’ long-standing reluctance to change production processes is preventing many of them from realizing the benefits this initiative can bring.
Next-generation PLM: Avoid being a casualty in vendors’ fight for market supremacy
The potential quandary confronting product life-cycle management (PLM) users is reflected in the battle of words being waged by SAP and Oracle, the top-tier suppliers of enterprise applications that have recently begun flexing their muscles in the PLM space.
Management advisory: Pursue “time efficiency”—not “resource efficiency”—in project execution
Instead of concentrating on the most efficient use of resources when running projects, making efficient use of time is the key to success. This is true from both an operational and a business perspective. This briefing tells why.
Control Engineering Drawing Rules
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Risk think tank: Prediction market platform taps the wisdom of employees, partners, customers
Anticipating market response can be a virtual guessing game when it comes to launching a new product or determining key features during product development. Traditional surveys offer some insight to customer opinion, but usually their accuracy is questionable since the response rate is typically low.
Visibility ERP tracks deep into orders
When Ontario-based Nanometrics Seismological Inc. decided in early 2007 to find a new ERP system, the company evaluated more than 20 solutions, explains Ian Talbot, Nanometrics' director of finance. And somewhat to his surprise, Talbot relates, the choice was Visibility Corp.'s Visibility.net offering—a solution aimed at complex manufacturing environments typically engaged in building eng...
Overcome the aliasing gremlin: Dataforth engineers
Electromagnetic interference (EMI), noise, grounding, accuracy, resolution, aging, drift, isolation, and noisy power supplies can cause problems in applications. Help follows on aliasing.
Capacitive touch sensing ICs cut product development time
Application-ready touch sensors measure floating capacitance through most insulating touch panel materials.
Oil & gas industry controller benefits from embedded database
Hydril is using the fault-tolerant eXtremeDB from McObject.
Supply chain redesign gives Volvo CE options in after-sales service
Not long ago, fast-growing Brussels, Belgium-based Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) saw it faced a challenge with its after-sales spare parts supply chain—especially in the company's increasingly important North American market.
Data storage growth now a pressing issue for mid-tier manufacturers
Midtier enterprises face many of the same challenges in managing IT resources and data storage that large enterprises do, but typically lack the IT staff with the breadth and depth of skills to address them. The kind of infrastructure monitoring often needed is the sweet spot for Incentra Solutions, a Boulder, Colo.
Several paths to best practices for SAP ERP users in process industries
Formed in 2004 from a collection of state-owned chemical companies, Beijing-based ChemChina recognized in early 2007 its need for a world-class ERP system to match its aspiration of becoming a world-class player in the global chemicals market. But with 92 production and operation enterprises spread across more than 400 sites—and a product range including caustic soda, fertilizer, gasoline...
Warehouse management system sets stage for prime product location, customer satisfaction
Most manufacturers strive to ensure warehouse inventory is at the appropriate level. Doing so reduces costs and enables faster response to customer demand. The process becomes far more complex when potentially hazardous chemicals are involved, especially given the need for precise storage location and inventory-level information to comply with fire codes and government regulations.
A giant leap: 3D design solutions cut truck maker’s race to market
The jump from 2D to 3D design software saved Loveland, Colo.-based SVI Trucks weeks of rework on the fire, police, and emergency trucks it makes for local governments around the nation. The switch also eased communication between engineering and the manufacturing floor, and enhanced the company’s marketing efforts.
IBM delivers on RFID focus with global study; solutions rollouts
IBM centered its RFID efforts in automotive and aerospace closely in 2007 on advancing three global customer cases selected from a list of more than a dozen scenarios involving users worldwide. The three areas deemed to have the greatest opportunity and value include reusable container management, yard management, and work-in-process (WIP) tracking.
China peaks as largest RFID market
RFID vendors had a banner year in China in 2007 due to huge government spending on China’s national ID card program.
Detecting efficiency: Medical device maker says Apriso system performs better than expected
Trixell, a leading manufacturer of digital detectors for medical radiology, expected productivity improvements when it expanded and added new equipment to its plant in Moirans, France. But company officials say the efficiency improvements are higher than anticipated, in part due to the implementation of a new production management system from Apriso.
When there is a need to monitor a process variable that extends beyond the “big four” (pressure, flow, temperature, and level), some type of process analyzer usually does the job. And this category of instrumentation has its own big four subtypes: Since manufacturing processes are generally designed for specific functions, the composition or characteristics of a given product should...
MCA asks: Why choose one major ERP partner when you can have two?
MCA Solutions has reinvigorated its relationship with Oracle, becoming an authorized reseller in the Oracle Partner Network. That allows MCA to offer Oracle's database technology pre-integrated with MCA's Service Planning Optimization software suite. For Chief Executive Bob Salvucci, the move takes MCA a step closer to the kind of relationship it has enjoyed with Oracle rival SAP.
PLM software: Enhanced search, XML export options
PDXpert PLM 2008 Edition from Active Sensing, Inc. (ASI)
100 times smaller: New tilt sensor
Norwood, MA—Analog Devices’ highly integrated, dual-axis inclinometer makes accurate, easy-to-use tilt sensing affordable and accessible for industrial equipment manufacturers. The ADIS16209 programmable, dual-mode inclinometer sensor is used in applications that require inclination changes to be measured, including factory machine tools, motion safety monitors, and automotive wheel alignment. Functionally equivalent inclinometer solutions are typically 100 times larger than ADIS16209.
Pet products maker knows the rules for systematic compliance labeling
Compliance labeling is routine now for manufacturers in many vertical industries. But it still remains complicated, and keeping costs to a minimum is an ongoing goal—just ask CIO Roy Gallagher. “Roughly 90 percent of our sales revenue comes from Wal-Mart, Target, Petco, and Petsmart, which require specific label formatting and content,” says Gallagher, CIO at Doskocil Manufact...
Is the globally integrated enterprise a realistic goal for most manufacturers?
At diversified electronics manufacturer Laird Technologies, CIO Todd Rumsey is 19 sites into a global enterprise resources planning (ERP) rollout that he says will transform the way the company operates. Formed as a result of a merger, and growing strongly through acquisition, Laird Technologies’ move to QAD’s MFG/PRO enterprise platform is meant to support the transformation.
PLM merger: PTC to buy CoCreate Software
CoCreate modeling solutions will be integrated with the PTC Product Development System (PDS) to offer users more product development capabilities, including engineering calculations, dynamic publishing, visualization, high-speed machining, and enterprise content and process management.
Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-10-17
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Pharmaceutical manufacturers: Biologics Good Practice Guide
With an increasing number of approved biological products on the global market many biopharmaceutical companies face additional challenges, especially during process development and manufacturing stages of product development. To help them meet these challenges, ISPE, a global not-for-profit society of pharmaceutical manufacturing professionals representing 25,000 Members, recently offered the ISPE Good Practice Guide: Development of Investigational Therapeutic Biological Products.
Salary report: PLC programmer salaries
An online research center has conducted the PayScale salary survey report on Programmable Logic Controllers / Automation, which found a median salary for the position of controls project engineer to be $68,342. The PayScale results are based on the information from 217 participants.
Lawson antes up top benefits per dollar for midsize manufacturers
For the money, Lawson Software comes out on top as a provider of business performance improvement. Compared to five other ERP vendors, and based on a survey of 645 midsize manufacturing companies, Boston-based Aberdeen Group ranks cites Lawson for more measurable business improvement given the same investment in software and associated professional services over QAD, Epicor, SAP, Oracle, and I...
Entering the era of GPS-enabled RFID
IDENTEC Solutions will offer a satellite-assisted RFID tag for tracking location and movement of assets and container shipments.
Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-09-24
Control Engineering RFID SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
Semiconductor company uses linear motion guides, ball screws
Pleasanton, CA—A semiconductor automation company in Fremont, CA, hired Bosch Rexroth Corp. to provide it with precision linear motion solutions.
New service facility: PAS expands capabilities for electric utility customers
PAS recently opened its center of excellence for the power industry in St. Louis, MO. The new center is intended to expand the company’s expertise for power industry customers world-wide in the solution areas of alarm management and automation configuration management. Activity at the new center is reportedly already in high gear as PAS begins work on new contracts recently received from major regional power companies, and the formation of an engineering and projects team with extensive power industry experience.
Tag analytics provider reports “read milestone”
RFID analytics and applications supplier T3Ci recently reported its billionth RFID tag read.
Online solution unites buyers, suppliers in sourcing marketplace
Sourcing quality parts from local shops was once a difficult endeavor for Electromechanica, a Boston-based electromechanical engineering service. The company could not find the custom parts it needed for a fair price in the New England area, so it turned to MFG.com at a colleague's recommendation. “Once we found our first part on MFG.
Enterprise systems: GM and Whirlpool executives to keynote PLM Road Map conference
Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA) announced that Detlef Bielohlawek, global director of CAD and visualization for General Motors, and Dr. Thomas Gielda,
Digital prototyping next in line as 3D design sees baseline adoption
All things considered, 2007 has been a very good year for Autodesk, a $1.84B design software company that passed a major milestone in May when it announced its one-millionth seat license for its flagship 3D product. And the company is reporting record revenues for the first quarter: $509 million, a 17-percent gain over last year.
User groups keep Global 100 vendors moving in the right direction
No vendor could generate enough revenues to qualify for the Manufacturing Business Technology Global 100 without a sizeable customer base, nor could they stay on the list very long without taking continual steps to keep those customers happy. This inherent need to maintain high customer satisfaction rates has caused many of the Global 100 vendors to adopt what at one time would have been consid...
Wireless sensors: Nanotech show heavy on technical papers, light on new products
Although companies from any industry that had any connection to nanotechnology were in Santa Clara, CA May 20 to 24, there were surprisingly few new products on display at the Nanotech 2007 show. What was of more interest was the number of technical papers.
A software patchwork quilt
Computer system patching is in the news again as numerous attacks target unpatched operating systems and applications. Software patches are an unfortunate common practice with any major O/S, database, or system service application. A software attack can use any known vulnerability and can occur within days, even hours, of a vulnerability being discovered.
Awards: Congress’ support of technology recognized
Two members of the U.S. Congress were rewarded last month for support of engineering and technology, according to IEEE-USA. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) received the 2007 George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering, and Technology Leadership Award on May 1 “for their prominent roles in ensuring that the United States meets the global competitivenes...
High efficiency induction motor
SEW-Eurodrive also stressed energy-efficiency. Its new higher efficiency DR Series induction motor comes with optional die-cast copper rotor, which the company claims to have introduced five years ago and a choice of up three modular brake sizes per motor. With electronic control, less braking effort is needed, adding to the motor’s energy-efficiency.
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Interphex 2007: Instrument is ‘workhorse’ for liquid analysis uses
Rosemount Analytical Model 1056 single/dual input analyzer from Emerson Process Management features a large, easy to read, back lit display that shows up to four process variables or diagnostic parameters simultaneously. Irvine, CA and New York, NY— A new Rosemount Analytical liquid analysis platform from Emerson Process Management is said to simplify operation and maintenance beyond that of previous generations of instruments. Model 1056 single/dual input analyzer, introduced at Interphex in New York City last month, is described as a “cost-effective, workhorse instrument” for a wide range of OEM and end-user liquid analysis applications.
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Hydraulic drives: 68-story Ferris wheel begun for ’08 Olympics
Hydraulics from Bosch Rexroth will drive The Great Wheel, in which 40 passengers per capsule will get a state-of-the-art audiovisual description of Beijing and the surrounding area, including the Gate of Heavenly Peace in the Forbidden City. Hoffman Estates, IL — The Great Wheel Corp . recently awarded Bosch Rexroth with the contract to supply the automation systems for the world's largest look-out wheel in Beijing, China.
Seven rules for writing specs
Although I write a column on legal issues for an engineering magazine, I don't pretend to be an engineer. In fact, you would probably be within your rights to label me a "liberal arts" control engineering lawyer. What does that mean? It means that even though I may understand much better than your storefront lawyer what you are talking about when you say "integration," you will never find me wr...
RFID tags for harsh processes
Overmolded (OM), ISO/IEC 15693-compliant transponder family of rugged RFID tags from Texas Instruments is designed to withstand extreme environments where temperature, high pressure, and harsh chemicals may inhibit the performance of line-of-sight automatic identification technologies.
Product: Multiple detector array analyzes polymers, proteins
Using Viscotek's Tetra Detector Array, you can obtain absolute molecular weight, molecular size (to less than 1 nm), and intrinsic viscosity, as well as information on branching, conformation, aggregation and copolymer composition, all in a single GPC/SEC experiment. If you manufacture natural or synthetic polymers, biopolymers, or proteins, the Tetra Detector Array from Viscotek offers sophisticated GPC/SEC multiple detection technology for product characterization. The instrumentation array includes a low-angle light-scattering (LALS) detector, four capillary viscometer detectors, refractometer, and selectable wavelength UV/VIS. With this combination of sensors, it can reportedly characterize: Absolute molecular weight; Molecular size; Intrinsic viscosity; Branching; Conformation; and, Copolymer composition. All the detectors, as well as the GPC columns, are contained within a heated oven compartment with temperature control to 80 °C (175 °F), which means your sample never sees a temperature variation/ The integration and unique, proprietary arrangement of detectors (UV-LS-RI-VISC) ensures minimal inter-detector volumes and reduced band-broadening, and eliminates the dilution effect and viscometer breakthrough experienced when the RI is placed last in the series. Control Engineering Daily News Desk Peter Welander , process industries editor.
A personal differentiator
After more than four decades of being an engineer, Herb Flink is retiring. Flink spent 37 of those years with Parker Fluid Control Division in New Britain, CT, most recently as its customer support engineering manager. On March 1, 2007, he will leave the company that provided many opportunities to indulge numerous areas of interest, including customer support, problem solving, and training for ...
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (January 8, 2007)
January 8, 2007 We still have a problem with the alarm notifications. The client selected a software program to do the job which seems very capable. It required a modem sound card and a phone line.
Wireless: Incompatibilities, more applications, users help ISA standard
Wireless sensing has increased despite vendor incompatibilities, according to Frost & Sullivan ; In-Stat suggests wireless applications are taking flight among more businesses; and the ISA wireless standard effort for automation (SP-100) formed a working group to get more end-user input. Wireless applications are expanding to other industrial, commercial, and consumer sectors, after years of use for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). As wireless advantages motivate use of wireless sensors, vendor incompatibilities are slowing market expansion, suggests research firm . "Greater adoption of wireless technology is attributed to its proven reliability, cost effectiveness, and ability to offer real-world industrial technologies," says Dr.
What’s your energy level?
Yet another regulation will soon affect manufacturing companies. In July, 2007, the European Union Directive 2005/32/EC for Energy-using Products (EuP) will become effective. If you manufacture or design energy-using products (or parts that go inside) and sell them into the European Union, then this directive has serious implications to your manufacturing IT and business IT organizations.
Be open to change, say speakers at Pack Expo
Advice on how to succeed, greater flexibility, speed to market, and training effectiveness were among concerns discussed at Pack Expo International. The 50th anniversary show, produced and sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), was held in Chicago Oct. 29-Nov. 2. One way to succeed is to apply market knowledge to your products before your customers know about the t...
Silence can be binding
An invoice arrives in the mail. It’s from your equipment supplier. But you are involved in a bit of a disagreement with the supplier and you ignore it. A month goes by and yet another statement is in the mailbox. Once again you decide to ignore it. Certainly by now the supplier has gotten the message! Six months later, a process server is standing in your office lobby, asking you to sign ...
HMI/SCADA system now in Chinese, Japanese
Proficy HMI/SCADA iFix 4.0 from GE Fanuc Automation is now available in Chinese and Japanese, in addition to German, French, Polish, Russian, and English.
Mobile platforms – informative or intrusive?
People seem to hold two schools of thought regarding mobile technology in the workplace. Engineers and technicians within process companies and utilities view the proliferation of handheld devices as either informative or intrusive. Which is it? Many PDAs, smartphones, and other wireless devices are running operating systems such as Microsoft Windows Mobile, which has evolved from an emerging...
OLED capacity expands to meet rising demand
Responding to rising OLED (organic light-emitting diode) product demand in Europe and the United States, Univision Technology plans to expand its OLED capacity by adding another line before year's end, Chien-Chih Chiang, company vice president, told DigiTimes Daily IT News recently. Univision plans to increase volume production beginning next year to a maximum monthly capacity of 1.2 million units. The goal is to ship more than a million OLED panels per month in 2007, Chiang said. Univision currently has two OLED lines, producing primarily passive-matrix (PM) OLEDs.
Protect control systems with a sound security strategy
At one time, the technologies that supported most manufacturing processes were self-contained, proprietary, and disconnected. Today much of that has changed. The instant connectivity brought about by the Internet and the emergence of open networks and operating systems onto the industrial scene is making the need to secure a company's automation and production systems more important than ever.
CAN microcontrollers: more memory, small package
Chandler , AZ — Makers of remote sensors and actuators should check out Microchip Technology Inc.’s new four-member PIC18F4685 family of high-performance, low-power 8-bit Controller Area Network (CAN) microcontrollers. The product line comes with 80 or 96 Kbytes of Flash and integrated EEPROM memory, reportedly the largest amount of program memory available on any PIC18 microcontroller with an onboard ECAN module for CAN connectivity. Additionally, industrial and automotive designers can benefit from the small 28- and 44-pin package sizes of this family for space-constrained applications. Industry-standard CAN protocols are growing in size, so the PIC18F4685 is designed to offer enough code space for both the CAN protocol and advanced applications.
Various suppliers announce mergers
Recent mergers activities include the following.
Cable assembly services
Cable assemblies offer value-added services, such as private labeling and custom marking with bar codes, logos, company name, or part numbers.
Strong spring ’06
Through spring things were looking decidedly green for automation and control companies. In 1Q06, the Control Engineering share price index gained 18%, very healthy performance compared to the 4% gain for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial averages. This strength continued into April and May, with the index advancing another 5% on positive economic and corporate earnings news.
U.S. manufacturing technology consumption continues to grow
Rockville, MD— U.S. manufacturing technology consumption is up 18.5% compared to 2005, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and American Machine Tool Distributors' Association (AMTD) report. Year-to-date total has reached more than $1.1 billion.
Emerson monitoring system scores 94% accuracy in EPA test
Irvine , CA —Rosemount Analytical Model WQS water quality monitoring system scored an overall system accuracy of 94% in a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency verification test. The system, from Emerson Process Management , performed unattended and required no maintenance during the 52-day deployment. The system was participating in EPA’s Environmental Testing Verification (ETV) Program.
Bidirectional enterprise integration
Proficy Enterprise Connnector 1.5 provides bidirectional enterprise integration between Proficy and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as SAP.
Don’t Get Run Over: The Evolution of PC Bus Technologies by Advantech
Written by: Tiger Yeh, Advantech Corporation, Industrial Automation GroupOver the last decade, there’s been an increasing trend toward the use of PC-based automation solutions. In the early 1990s large automakers and other manufacturers began using standard PCs for machine control. These systems often replaced the compact, microprocessor-based solutions – programmable logic controls or PLCs – that were found in most plants at the time.
Electrically programmable resistors are now in SOIC8 form
Microbridge Technologies Corp. announces availability of standard-product Rejustors in SOIC8 (small-outline integrated circuitry) packages. Microbridge Rejustor is said to be the world's first electrically programmable resistor used to solve analog compensation problems in the analog domain.
Real-time graphics, .Net architecture
KX Edge real-time graphics software, based on Microsoft’s .Net architecture, lets companies in almost any industry create and use complex graphical user interfaces for command-and-control applications.
Touchscreen with PC-like graphics
Color TFT touch display module for embedded products is suited for industrial and medical applications with short development cycles.
Instrumental to the workplace: ISA activities, SIS training, alarm guide
Among instrumentation activities and resources this month are announcements from ISA about standards and conferences, upcoming safety-instrumented system training from Sis-Tech, and a newly published alarm management guide from PAS. Following are details about each, along with links to company Websites and more information.
Single-cartridge chemical pump seal
GCX single mechanical cartridge seal is designed for ANSI and DIN pump services where pumps and seals must operate in multiple chemical environments without chemical compatibility change-outs. It is suited for intermediate and batch processes in short-run chemical plants and in multiple-campaign specialty chemical and pharmaceutical plants using solvents and steam for decontamination.
Network monitors Chinese train safety
China Academy of Rail Sciences and Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute have standardized on Echelon's LonWorks networking platform for safety monitoring on next generation passenger trains—effectively making it a de factostandard for high-speed rail travel in the world's largest, passenger rail-transport market, according to Echelon Corp.
PLCopen appoints managing director for North America
Milwaukee, WI and The Netherlands—PLCopen has appointed a managing director to oversee the North American portion of the trade organization.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (April 17, 2006)
April 17, 2006 Last Friday we conducted a second graphics review specifically with the primary engineering consultant. Although he was in India and I in Baton Rouge, we were able to have a teleconference and each access the SCADA system via our Web browsers. Unlike the review with the City earlier in the week, there was a lot of feedback, both verbally and then confirmed in writing.
Control technology for safety of next-generation Chinese trains
Echelon Corp. announced that the China Academy of Rail Sciences and Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute have standardized on Echelon’s LonWorks networking platform for safety monitoring on next generation passenger trains—effectively making it a de facto standard for high-speed rail travel in the world’s largest, passenger rail-transport market.
Pittcon 2006: Spectrometer for industrial applications
Bruker AXS Inc. introduced its S8 Tiger x-ray spectrometer for high-performance elemental analysis in process and quality control at Pittcon 2006 in Orlando last week. Orlando, FL —S8 Tiger x-ray spectrometer for high-performance elemental analysis in industrial applications from Bruker AXS Inc .
Miniature industrial LED indicators
Q-Series LED indicators comes in a selection of colors and features long life and durable design.
Height gauge simplifies measurements for auto parts manufacturer
A calibration technician at NSK Steering Systems America operates a Digimar height measuring system from Mahr Federal. The device has added speed and height to the auto parts maker’s measuring operations. Motorized, programmable height measuring systems from Mahr Federal are speeding and simplifying measurements for an auto parts manufacturer.NSK Steering Systems America Inc.
NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index posts sharp increase
Rosslyn, VA —NEMA's Electroindustry Business Confidence Index for current North American conditions posted a sharp increase in February, climbing to 68.5 points from 55.2 in January. The most recent month’s reading was the strongest since last September and the 34th in a row above the critical 50-point threshold indicative of favorable business conditions. At the same time, the January EBCI for future North American conditions slipped slightly to 53.6 points, down from 56.9 a month ago. The diffusion of positive sentiment regarding North American business conditions saw its biggest jump in five months as the strength of the electroindustry surprised a number of panelists. The Electroindustry Business Confidence Index gauges the business confidence of the electroindustry in Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America, and are based on the results of a monthly survey of senior managers at NEMA member companies.
New SCADA system for ONGC Ltd.’s oil and gas assets
ABB said it has been awarded a $95 million contract for an enterprise wide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system from India's largest integrated oil and gas company, ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corp.) The new system will monitor, control and manage vital information from ONGC's production and drilling facilities, linking oil basins, processing plants, forward base, and other assets to the corporate data center. It is designed to support the company's geographically dispersed production and drilling facilities, onshore and offshore, with‘anytime-anywhere’ data access to enable faster decision-making and response. The turnkey ABB project, set for completion by year-end 2007, encompasses site survey, system design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of an integrated three-tier SCADA system, and it includes a six-year annual maintenance contract. Expected project benefits include reduction in the time and cost for data integration, enhanced reliability and scalability, monitoring and control of assets across multiple locations and improved efficiency of oil exploration. ONGC is one of Asia's leading oil and gas conglomerates and India's most valuable company in terms of market capitalization. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact.
Real-time ‘rule-engine’ platform
G2 real-time rule-engine platform version 8.2 provides a comprehensive, unified foundation for a wide range of reasoning-driven products and solutions available from Gensym and its partners.
Adobe acquires digital rights management division of Navisware
Adobe Systems Inc . has acquired the FileLine Digital Rights Management (DRM) division of Navisware, a technology company bridging computer-aided design (CAD) and enterprise intelligence. The acquisition will provide new capabilities for Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server to persistently protect business critical documents in PDF, Microsoft Office and CAD formats, independent of how they are stored or delivered inside and outside the firewall.
Toshiba named preferred bidder in Westinghouse sale
Tokyo, Japan — Toshiba has confirmed that it has been selected by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) as the preferred bidder in the sale of Westinghouse Electric Co. The Japanese firm terms the move “an exciting opportunity that will enable the company to take advantage of a number of strategic opportunities in a sector which we believe has tremendous growth potential.” Toshiba says it intends to retain Westinghouse’s U.S. identity and keep Pittsburgh the center of Westinghouse’s U.S.
One indicator, many colors, functions
EZ-Light indicators offer compact, inexpensive means for showing run and stop modes, good and bad parts, process identification, and pick-to-light help, according to Banner Engineering Corp. One indicator can be programmed for seven light and flash functions: red; red flashing; green; green flashing; yellow; yellow flashing; and red, green, yellow flash cycle.
RSS finds pertinent manufacturing data
On many Web sites you may see a button labeled "RSS" or "XML feed." These small buttons represent a way of selecting and collecting Web accessible information. RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication and is an XML-based method for any Web site or FTP site to become an information publisher. It's not just for reading; applications include manufacturing production.
Magnet, copper wire
Round magnet wire from 34-14 AWG on 10 lb spools and tinned solid copper wire on 2 and 10 lb spools are now available from Alpha-Core Inc. Tinned solid wire comes round and flat from 36-22 AWG used in pins and printed circuit board connections.
Honeywell, Servoflo add pressure sensors to product lines
New pressure sensors include the Fujikura X3 Series available from Servoflo Corp. (left) and two additions to Honeywell's SDX Series. Two companies have introduced new pressure sensor products.
GE-Honeywell—economic ‘bundling’ still off limits
Brussels, Belgium —On July 3, 2001, the economic theory of bundling moved dramatically from the academic arena to that of public policy, when the European Commission blocked the $42 billion megamerger between General Electric Co. (GE) and Honeywell International Inc. Key to the objection to this amalgamation was a concern over economic bundling.
Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (December 12, 2005)
December 12, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.
Rules-driven product management
RuleStream 6.0 .Net-based version of the company’s rules-driven product management (RPM) software aggregates and manages intellectual property (IP) assets to automate complex decisions for all product-centric operations.
American goods get high marks for quality; beer tops list
Milwaukee, WI —Non-durable goods manufacturing gets high quality marks from Americans, according to the latest ASQ (American Society for Quality) Quarterly Quality Report. Beer topped the ASQ list, as that industry group showed the most improvement among the eight industries examined in the third quarter. Other industries measured were apparel, athletic shoes, beverages and soft drinks, cigarettes, food manufacturing, personal care and cleaning products, and pet foods. Americans were more satisfied than ever with the quality of beer produced by major brewers Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors, said the report.
Advanced Automation partners with Siemens
Advanced Automation Associates, Inc . (A3) is partnering with Siemens Corp. to develop and deploy manufacturing IT solutions using Siemens’ Simatic IT Manufacturing Execution System (MES). A3 will provide MES for multiple vertical industries, including food and beverage, metals, pharmaceuticals, printing, and specialty chemicals.
Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (November 22, 2005)
November 22, 2005 The city of Baton Rouge has committed to a Phase I RTU and HMI re-request for proposals late in November with a due date the end of December. It appears possible, then, that a decision will be made sometime in January and a contract completed by March for Phase I, and a notice to proceed issued on Phase II (the installation and panel building contract) about the same time. It appears last week's prediction of the 2nd Quarter 2006 to get restarted is on target. We set up the phone/PDA communications on Sprint and, apparently are working with the right person, as our phone/PDA device running Windows Mobile 5.0 was here the next day! We have begun testing this as a tool for SCADA remote access.
Second edition of Bottom-Line Automation
ISA recently announced the release of an updated edition of Peter G. Martin's Bottom-Line Automation . Based on the results and conclusions of an applied research project of process manufacturing operations directed by the author, the book presents an overview of over three decades of industry trends, pointing out the strengths and pitfalls of each.
Analog Devices: more than 5,000 lead-free products
More than 5,000 of the most commonly used integrated circuits from Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) are available in Pb-Free packages; ADI plans to increase the number to more than 9,000 by year-end 2005. For more information and an up-to-date product listing, visit www.analog.com/PbFree. In 1999, ADI says, it was among the earliest adopters of Pb-Free packaging and began a multi-step program to reduce and eliminate lead in its semiconductor packages.
LabView upgrade introduces distributed intelligence
A major upgrade to National Instruments’ graphical development platform, 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. Austin, TX — National Instruments announced a major upgrade to its LabView graphical-development platform. 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. The 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.
Strength continues globally in machine tool production
International machine tool growth is likely to continue in double digits through 2005, with some slowing of growth in 2006, according Wolfgang Rubrecht, general manager, Siemens Energy and Automation Inc . Machine Tool Business, citing trends from the association of German machine tool builders association (VDW) . Many of the new machine tools incorporate advances in mechatronics, microelectronics, and software, Rubrecht says. World production for machine tools is expected to grow 12%, over 2004’s 36.4 billion Euro.
Photoelectric Sensors – 2005-08-15
Photoelectric sensors are typically available in at least nine or more sensing modes, use two light sources, are encapsulated in three categories of package sizes, offer five or more sensing ranges, and can be purchased in various combinations of mounting styles, outputs, and operating voltages. It creates a bewildering array of sensor possibilities and a catalog full of options.
Measuring barometric pressure
Intersema MS5534B Series pressure sensor comes in a package 9 x 9 mm square.
Eaton introduces three-phase UPS for online, double-conversion protection
Raleigh, NC—Eaton Corp. has introduced a three-phase, uninterruptible power system (UPS), Powerware 9355, which is available in 10 kVA and 15 kVA models.
AC drive with robust power ratings
E-trAC X4 ac drive is designed for hostile environments. IP66-rated contamination-proof enclosures have cast alloy frames and polycarbonate covers that exceed NEMA 1, 12, and 4x standards. Available in models from 1-10 hp with 114, 230, 460, and 575 V ac, the drives are dual rated for normal and heavy-duty applications.
U.S. machine tool consumption is up 18% YTD through May
Strong manufacturing growth continues with U.S. machine tool consumption of $249.79 million in May, up 4.4% from April and up 22.7% from $203.65 million reported for May 2004, according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology, in a July 11 report.
ZigBee adds to wireless mesh networking growth in industrial applications
Natick, MA—Shipments of wireless products using mesh networking will likely grow at a 60.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $25.1 million in 2007 from $6.1 million in 2004, according to a new study, “North American Market for RF/Microwave Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Discrete and Process Manufacturing,” by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
Laser displacement sensor has CCD for speed, accuracy
New LK-G Series laser displacement sensors from Keyence offers non-contact measurement with resolution of 0.0004 mil (0.01 µm), a high-accuracy of ±0.03%, and an ultra-fast 50 kHz sampling speed.
Bench scale line addresses over/under weighing applications
Xpress Bench Scale line from Mettler Toledo with more than a dozen scale variations helps end-users over/under check weighing applications.
Control systems, automation interest homeowners
Dallas, TX—More than half of U.S. households with Internet access are interested in buying a home control system (HCS) to automate control of home lighting, room temperature, and security systems, if the solution costs less than $200, according to recent research by the Diffusion Group (TDG).
Tubing eliminates static charges
Conductive fluoroplastic tubing comes in a variety of sizes and configurations to eliminate and prevent static charges.
ABB, e=motion team cancel electric car land speed record attempt
Wendover, NV—ABB reports that the U.K.-based e=motion team has abandoned its recent attempt to break the world land-speed record for an electric car.
IEEE forming council on electronic design automation
To coordinate electronic design automation (EDA) activities, enable new initiatives, foster interdisciplinary research, and recruit talent, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Technical Activities Board plans to form a new IEEE Council for Electronic Design Automation (C-EDA) and formally approve it in June 2005.
Standards demo: 6 software packages operate 3 CMM
Billions of dollars will be saved, according to some, when information more easily transfers among various stages of design, prototyping, inspection, and manufacturing.
Manufacturing by the numbers
To highlight the launch of Control Engineering's newest editorial department, "By the Numbers" (page 32), I decided to devote this month's column to a little number crunching. What began as a focused search to determine U.S. manufacturing productivity numbers quickly became a study of global manufacturing economics.
Design HMI software with user in mind, study encourages
HMI software architecture should be designed with the user in mind, a new ARC Advisory Group analysis indicates.
Online CAD configurator
The Configurator online tool from Lovejoy Inc. translates raw data into usable CAD drawings and dimensional data for various styles of flexible couplings used in multiple power transmission applications, including pumps, compressors, and gear boxes.
Intermec launches expert RFID deployment services group
Everett , WA—Intermec Technologies Corp. has organized a specialized group of experts to help companies evaluate, install, and maintain radio frequency identification (RFID) systems.
Tektronix introduces two real-time oscilloscopes, probe
Beaverton, OR—Tektronix Inc. has introduced what it reports are the world's fastest, most capable, real-time oscilloscopes and a new probe that facilitates designs in the computing, communications, and consumer electronics industries, based on second-generation, serial-data standards, such as second-generation PCI-Express, SATAIII, and double XAUI.
Metricate your company
The U.S. is becoming a metric country. Yes, there are those who will forever prefer their inches, feet, and miles to meters, but it is undeniable that the U.S. is on its way to becoming a metric country in a few years. Consider how much we already use metric: automobiles are entirely metric, the U.S.
Extended CMM technology
Zeiss scanning sensor and software technology is now available for some non-Zeiss coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), the company announced.
Mathsoft’s enterprise solution creates, manages engineering designs
Cambridge, MA—Mathsoft Engineering & Education Inc. has unveiled its Calculation Management Suite, which reportedly enables users to simultaneously design and document engineering work, and then centrally manage it for faster product development, higher quality, and easier compliance.
Dual-channel USB scope adapter
Stingray combines functions of oscilloscope, data logger, spectrum analyzer, voltmeter, and signal generator in one device.
Shorter schedules, onsite calibration to improve market prospects, study indicates
A sluggish economy is keeping manufacturers from having their instruments calibrated as frequently as in the past, a recent study from Frost & Sullivan indicates.
HoloTouch, Atlantex, introduce touchless holographic interface
Fully functional touchless holographic interface lets operators enter commands and data into a wide range of electronic equipment by simply passing a finger through holographic images of "keys" floating in the air at a convenient location.
Vicor: Miniature 100-Amp sine-amplitude converter
Vicor Corp. has introduced its V048K015T100 V*I Chip Voltage Transformation Module (VTM), reportedly the first product of its type with 100-Amp maximum continuous capacity.
Birth and rebirth
One of my favorite sayings is that if we learn from history, we can build on success, rather than take the same lumps over again. Control Engineering's reflections at inception and at our 25th anniversary offer wisdom for today. Birth, September 1954: "The Editors," noted that Control Engineering will gather fresh knowledge, integrate it, and transmit it.
NI Week 2004: SignalExpress software connects design and test
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) launched its SignalExpress interactive software environment for acquiring, comparing, automating, testing, and storing measurement signals at the opening of its NI Week 2004 event.
NextHop, Enea provide embedded platform for routing, switching platforms
NextHop Technologies Inc. and Enea Embedded Technology recently agreed to jointly provide seamless integration between NextHop's GateD routing software and the OSE real-time kernel.
Model 3712KPM flat panel industrial computer supports cutout compatibility with products used over the last 20 years. High-performance, all-in-one device is compatible with panel cutouts used by other Xycom units and also matches those of other vendors, including Rockwell Automation (A-B) and Schneider Electric (Square D).
Washdown motor anatomy
Industrial electric motors have inherently rugged designs, but still require extra protective features to handle pressurized washdowns and cleaning agents used in food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and related packaging applications. In particular, the industry workhorse ac induction motor has been enhanced with "washdown-duty" features, and every major motor manufactur...
Honeywell to supply process optimization, fail-safe controllers, services
Several refineries and aluminum plants are seeking to optimize their process and automation systems through significant retrofit and modernization projects, according to two multi-million-dollar contracts announced recently by Honeywell.
Process Automation Systems Product Focus Study February 2004
On average, respondents have 12 PASs at their plant. Their newest process automation system (PAS) on-site is 4.3 years of age, their oldest is 12.9 years of age, and their average is 8.5 years of age. More than half of survey participants said their newest PAS on site is excellent. Only about one in ten said the same of their oldest system on-site.
SCADA software solution
Latest version of iPower 2.30 SCADA software for electricity distribution, transmission and generation applications features enhancements in three areas.
It’s not only the technology
Sometimes integration between business systems and manufacturing systems seems harder now than in the past. This is not because the problem is harder; in fact, current industrial standards and XML integration schemas are making integration easier. It is more difficult because the underlying technologies are now the same.
Galil Motion Control: 4-axis amplifier connects directly to controllers
Adding to Galil Motion Control Inc.’s amplifier product lineup is AMP-19540, a four-axis unit intended to drive either brush or brushless motors rated up to 500 W on each axis.
Design for a fallible world
As control engineers, we tend to think that keeping the process running is our only job, but just because the process is operating doesn't mean that the plant is operating. A larger issue also needs to be addressed when using IT systems in manufacturing operations. That issue is a system architecture designed for IT failures.
Industrial keyboard has high protection in low profile
IKey Industrial Peripherals is gaining attention by decreasing its profile, at least with respect to its new SlimKey industrial keyboard. With an ABS polycarbonate case, SlimKey is 0.8 in. (20 mm) thick, and includes a three-button HulaPoint pointing device, eliminating need for an external mouse. This offering adds to iKey's line of NEMA-rated industrial keyboards, computer pointing devices an...
Wireless mesh network is fast, self-healing
Enabling wireless nodes to begin serving as routers for neighboring devices creates a mesh or fabric of wireless devices that Ember calls a Wireless Mesh Network. Developed by the MIT Media Lab and manufactured by Ember, EM2420 with EmberNet Embedded Wireless Networking can also be defined as point-to-point-to-point or an ad hoc, multi-hop network.
ABB motor parts help alleviate pain, raise quality of life
Electric motors are often regarded as "commodity items" despite examples to the contrary like motors that make Segway’s Human Transporter "hum". Here’s another novel example from the versatile world of motors.
A taxing consideration
Looking at U.S. manufacturing industries since 1975—with imports exceeding exports in many areas and a continuing account deficit—it's clear that the past few years' downturn is more than just a cyclical happenstance. A definite economic shift is underway. It can be argued that this shift parallels one that occurred in the mid-19th century, as the economy shifted from an agrarian ...
Satellite SCADA system
M2M Data Corporation, a provider of Internet-based Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), now offers a satellite-based economy SCADA system. The new system combines narrow bandwidth satellite communications with M2M's compact iAdaptor communications gateway.
Texas Instruments: New DSCs push price/performance ratio
Announced earlier this week by Texas Instruments (TI, Houston, TX), a new generation of digital signal controllers (DSCs) promises to combine the best features of digital signal processors (DSPs) and microcontrollers (MCUs) for an ''unmatched'' price-performance combination.
Trust is Crucial in Project Coordination
The key ingredient of any successful project is trust: the owner must trust the building team to envision and create the owner's goals; designers must trust the contractor's ability to work within the framework of construction documents to build a living environment; the contractor must trust that the design team has developed a plan comprehensive enough to get them all out of the jungle withou...
Sensors Expo Fall 2003: Smart-sensor standard can learn from USB
Anaheim, CA—The IEEE 1451 Smart Sensor standard effort could learn a lot from the Universal Serial Bus (USB) communication effort, both launched in 1993, says James Wiczer, president of Sensor Synergy (Buffalo Grove, IL).
Instrumentation captures electrical blackout sequence of events within 1/10,000th of a second of occurrence
On August 14, fault and power quality recorders at Ametek Power Instrument’s Rochester, NY, facility indicated an initial power voltage drop of 10% occurring over an 870-millisecond window. The voltage recovered briefly as automatic protection systems attempted to maintain normal voltage. However, after recovering for 270-milliseconds, a second, more severe voltage drop of 22% occurred for 540 milliseconds.
Invensys’ Triconex releases Tristation process developer’s workbench
Irvine, CA—Triconex released Aug. 27 a new version of its Tristation 1131 developer's workbench, which enables engineers to create and edit programs and control function blocks for Tricon and Trident triple modular redundant (TMR) controllers.
Cypress launches low-power, mixed-signal array for portable control
Lynnwood, WA—Cypress MicroSystems Inc. announced Aug. 12 what it reports are the industry's lowest-power, system-aware, field-programmable system-on-chip (PSoC) devices for high-volume, embedded-control functions in portable, flash-based applications, including remote sensors, handheld instruments and portable consumer electronics.
Entivity’s VLC 6.1 software features Transaction Express
Ann Arbor, MI—Entivity Inc. released May 5 its Steeplechase Visual Logic Controller (VLC) 6.1 software, which includes Transaction Express as the newest component of its popular PC-based control system.
Hannover Fair 2003: Cautious optimism prevails at half-way mark
Hannover, Germany—Against a background of a tough economic climate and the war in Iraq, exhibitors at Hannover Fair 2003 indicated cautious optimism on opening day, April 7, and this mood has continued through the mid-point of the six-day event.
Hannover Fair 2003: Parker Hannifin shows wireless solutions
Hannover, Germany—Parker Hannifin is demonstrating its new wireless automation products in its exhibit (Hall 23, B44) at Hannover Fair 2003 on April 7-12.
Maximize the impact
Everyone wants the most bang for the buck; the highest return on investment; and the maximum impact for any effort. Doing that for customers inside and beyond our organizations requires understanding customer needs, in all interactions. A former customer has joined Control Engineering as publisher, providing an insider's perspective to help our global team of experts optimize Control Engineerin...
Software closing in on CASE tool
Process design engineers have dreamed for years of the ultimate control system development toolset. One that uses the same toolset to develop specifications and test plans; design and develop piping and instrument diagrams (P&IDs); and then automatically turn all that information into control code and graphics for any control system.
Invensys planning, scheduling system improves ethylene plant profitability
Foxboro, MA—Invensys Production Management announced Oct. 8 that its new non-linear planning and scheduling system for ethylene/olefins production uses feedstock properties, plant models, and economic considerations to help planners maximize profitability over a broad operating range.
High-precision vertical lift stage
Pittsburgh, PA —ANT-4V High-Precision Vertical Lift Stage provides high speed (50 mm/s), accuracy (200 nm), and in-position stability in one compact package. It also offers 2-nm resolution when combined with the company's MXH multiplier. Unique ANT stages use advanced direct-drive technology (patent pending) and high-accuracy direct position feedback to achieve the highest positioning pe...
Look inside a Hershey database effort
P. Michael Rosenshine, staff engineer, Information Services area of Hershey Chocolate North America (Hershey, Pa., www.hersheys.com), is working on a pilot project on three lines to test the feasibility of a plant-wide database for process parameters and results (excluding labor, which is handled in another system). The project uses Oracle 8i, but may be ported to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 for some plants.
More from NA 2002: Accu-Sort introduces several products
Detroit, Mich. - Accu-Sort Systems exhibited several new products at the recent Material Handling and Logistics show and conference: NA 2002.
Siemens expands micro PLC line
Alpharetta, Ga. - Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. released Version 3.2 of its micro PLC programming software, Simatic Step 7 Micro/WIN 32, in conjunction with the release of two new S7-200 expansion modules-EM241 Modem Module and EM253 Position Module.
IEEE survey: experienced women in high-tech jobs earn more than men
Professional women with 20-29 years of experience in electronic technology and information technology fields have higher median incomes than men with similar levels of experience, according to the IEEE-USA's "Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey, 2001 Edition," released Dec.
Rockwell’s FactoryTalk supports collaboration via data integration
To improve interoperability among shop-floor solutions and ease data sharing among enterprise applications, Rockwell Automation introduced on Jan. 23 its FactoryTalk common infrastructure solution, which offers flexible data sharing for users seeking collaborative e-manufacturing solutions.
Bentley announces subscription program
Houston, Tex. - Bentley Systems Inc. announced January 28, 2002 a new subscription program for its integrated suite of PlantSpace plant design software.
Three-phase line filter on a diet
Orange, Calif. - Radius Power Inc. announced the its three-phase power line filters, RP300, that weighs up to 50% less than competitive models.
DSP technology- based vortex flowmeter
Newnan, Ga. —Yokogawa recently introduced digitalYewFlo, the latest advance in the YewFlo family of vortex flowmeters. Using digital signal processing technology, digitalYewFlo provides improved sensor performance, minimizes the influences of installation vibration, and conducts on-line diagnostics.
Flexible temperature sensor
North Hills, Calif. - Moore Industries recently introduced the Worm family of flexible thermowell temperature sensors for new and retrofit applications. Available in popular RTD and thermocouple configurations, the Worm provides 13% faster step response times than standard, straight sensors, bends and slides through tight installation locations, and snaps into place without removal of the enclosure, connection head, or any assembly components.
Microsoft Manufacturing User Group endorses logo program
West Chester, O. - The Microsoft Manufacturing User Group (MS-MUG) recommends that Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and manufacturing end users adopt Microsoft's Designed for Windows XP logo program as a minimum certification level for plant floor desktop applications.
Voltage attenuator system
Tucson, Ariz.— SCMVAS is an analog signal conditioning system, which is designed to safely monitor and accurately measure voltage potentials up to 1,200 V (peak-to-peak). High-level voltages of this magnitude are typically found in industrial applications such as induction heaters or electric motor drives.
Clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter for gases
Waltham, Mass.— DigitalFlow GC868 overcomes barriers associated with the use of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters for gases. Designed for unlined metal and plastic pipe from 3- to 36-in. diameter, GC868 uses Correlation Transit-Time detection techniques to achieve accuracies of ±2% of reading (±0.
Control.com launches open controls lab
Control.com Inc. opened on July 16 its Open Controls Laboratory, an independent testing facility dedicated to advancing interoperability in industrial controls. Located at Control.com's headquarters, the lab will test, characterize, and integrate open control products from suppliers to assess their ability to operate together in an open control environment.
Accelerating Product Deployment with Inter-Enterprise Recipe Management
Explore the challenges and benefits of managing corporate information to accelerate time to market for new product introductions.
Custom aluminum enclosures
Amesbury, Mass.— Bartley Machine & Manufacturing has introduced custom fabricated aluminum enclosures for electronic, industrial, and instrumentation applications requiring weatherproof construction and other special design requirements. The enclosure line meets specific requirements including, vibration resistance, EMI/RFI shielding, and heat dissipation.
Web-based motor testing aids real-world collaboration
Sometimes virtual reality isn't real enough. Hardware and other components must be physically tested to prove initial designs, optimize performance, ensure safe operation, and achieve future improvements. To allow real world testing at a distance, Electro Standards Laboratories (ESL, Cranston, R.I.
SCADA system improves petroleum distribution efficiency
When the Gulf War ended in 1991, the entire Kuwait oil industry including the Kuwait National Petroleum Company's (KNPC, Kuwait City) Sabhan Depot had suffered considerable damage and its partially completed Ahmadi Depot required rebuilding. Almost immediately after the war, KNPC began seeking solution providers with fuel depot expertise and the ability to design, procure, install, and commis...
NEMA launches energy-efficient motor program
The Motor and Generator Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced Oct. 11 that it will establish a premium motor energy efficiency program. Traditionally, there has been no industry consensus specification defining high- or premium-efficiency motors.
Feedforward for faster control response
C ontrol systems often rely on feedforward to improve their ability to respond to the command signal. Feedforward is based on the structure in control systems where one loop is nested inside another. For example, in motion control systems, a velocity loop is often enclosed inside a position loop. The position loop generates a velocity command, which is shuttled to the velocity loop.
In Business – 2000-09-01
Invensys plc (London, U.K.) and Wonderware Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) announced on Aug. 10 that Joe Cowan was appointed president and ceo of Wonderware, effective immediately.
Vision software gets speed boost
Natick, Mass. —Checkpoint II, point-and-click vision software, now can inspect up to 11,000 parts per minute—se-ven times faster than previous Checkpoint products. The product features a 400 MHz vision pro-cessor and cameras including RS-170, CCIR, wide format/digital linescan, and Cognex CVC-1000 progressive scan.
Bloomington, Minn.—Sick's new line of safety interlock switches include light duty plastic to standard heavy duty to extra heavy duty. Switches are available with attached roller or lever actuators and two-piece with removable blade-style actuators. A radio encoded noncontact interlock switch is rated for Type 4 safety applications.
Cscape 4.0 adds graphics capabilities
Indianapolis, Ind.—Developed for use with general purpose conveyor controllers and high-end operator control sta tions, Cscape provides a Microsoft Windows-based development environment that permits conversion of ladder logic to native process code that re-sides in flash memory, allowing integrators to modify and develop special functions.
Moeller standardizes on Siemens software
Moeller GmbH (Bonn, Germany) and Siemens AG's Automation & Drives Group announced at Hannover Fair in March that Moeller will standardize on Siemens software for its automation solutions. Moeller will license Siemens software for configuring and programming and for operator control and process monitoring.
Making sites, surfing more secure
One thing people like about the Internet is that they can remain completely anonymous. At least, that's how it used to be. Try to surf the web these days, and you'll almost certainly run into a site that requires registration to view all the information the site contains. This means entering personal information that many people don't care to share, such as name, address, and telephone nu...
PC Soft International renamed eMation
PC Soft International (Mansfield, Mass.) has been renamed "eMation." The firm manufactures web-enabled SCADA and other control software, including the WizFactory product suite. The company has also moved its headquarters to Mansfield, Mass., from Tel Aviv, Israel. The former headquarters will remain an R&D center.
In Business – 2000-01-01 – 2000-01-01
Recent major mergers, acquisitions, alliances, agreements, releases, orders, and contracts in the control and automation field include the following:
Technical design software
Cambridge, Mass.— Mathcad 2000 Professional is a math-based design solution for engineering projects. The software unites and streamlines the design process by combining advanced calculation, computer-aided design, and graphical analysis tools with CAD, spreadsheet, word processing, and computational programs to form an integrated technical design environment across networks or the Inter...
Software connects MES to ERP
Richardson, Tex.—USDATA Connector links its Xfactory object modeling Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to SAP R/3 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Connector provides a seamless supply chain solution from plant floor to enterprise. It is based on Compaq's Enterprise Application Integrator, BusinessBus, and Open Applications Group Integration Specification.
Toolbox software preferred
Thank you for your article, "Electrical Schematic Software Automates Wiring, Panel Design" (CE, Aug. '99, p. 47). We use Toolbox/WD by Cimlogic and are quite happy with it, after evaluating two other packages.Our company is currently making an intense cross-discipline effort to improve our documentation standards; tools aimed at underqualified draftsmen seem to run counter to the idea tha...
How to hire the right employee
Sometimes the worst part of being an employer is the tedious hiring process. Initial questions include: Where do I start looking for candidates? What should the qualifications be? How long should it take to find the right person? The list goes on, but a new Internet-based tool by Kolbe Corp. (Phoenix, Ariz.
Flow sensing know-how
Flow measurement is one of the "big four" need-to-know process parameters (others are temperature, pressure, and level). Closed-channel flowmeters are categorized by their operating technologies and fall into the following categories: Differential pressure (DP)This most common flowmeter technology includes orifice plates, venturis, and sonic nozzles.
High-speed numerics added
Champaign, Ill.— A new and faster Mathematica, version 4, increases its functionality from a prototyping tool to a final simulations environment. Packed Array technology combines symbolic algebra with fast and efficient numeric calculation, allowing users to address larger calculations than before.
Software, Internet, network solutions diversify to serve users
ABB Industrial Systems (New Berlin, Wis.) launched Comp-AC, its online Internet e-commerce web site for ac-adjustable speed drives up to 50 hp. ABB also unveiled its Power Distribution Solutions (PDS) unit, a new entity focusing on industrial power management and quality. Part of ABB Power T&D Inc.
Advancement in manufacturing is fuzzier
I read your "Career Update" column, "Flexible career development aids lifetime learning," with great interest (Control Engineering, Dec. '98, p.19). One point I would like to add to the discussion is that, in a manufacturing environment, the decision to move to a management role is a little fuzzier than simply making a choice between managing or staying in a technical role.
Cell phone detector
Redmond, Wash.— Zetron announced the CellPhone Detector Plus for use in areas within power plants, control centers, laboratories, hospitals, industrial plants, and other facilities where sensitive electronic equipment could malfunction due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by the use of nearby wireless communication devices.
Flat-panel computers/monitors work in hazardous environments
Greenville, S.C.— Computer Dynamic's Survivor is first in a new series of flat-panel computers and monitors designed for outdoors. It has a sunlight-readable 13.8-in. XGA LCD, 200 MHz Pentium MMX computer, and an infrared touchscreen. The display automatically adjusts its brightness for ambient light, dimming to 250 nits.
Software keeps stats
Norwood, Mass. —Version 4.0 of Fix Dyanamics Stats is rewritten as a native 32-bit application to take advantage of the latest microprocessors and Microsoft's latest operating systems. It has also been tested and complies with Year 2000 performance requirements. Users can build and implement reliable, consistent, real-time quality control SPC functions choosing from among five SPC chart ...
NEMA Series brushless servo motor
Newport Beach, Calif.— Applied Motion Products' NEMA Series servo motors are dimensionally interchangeable with the company's 23 frame steppers, and use Neodymium magnets are said to provide more than two times the usable torque as a similarly sized stepper motor at 2,000 rpm. The motors come in 1.
Recommended standards make the web more accessible
The Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, has given people access to all kinds of information. Seems like web graphics get flashier and become a bigger part of a web site's presentation every day. It's a tool that makes it easy and enjoyable to surf from page to page to find information.Now imagine if you couldn't even see the graphics, the links, the text, or anything else.
PID picks president and ceo
PID Inc. announced June 19 that has chosen Cary Vandenberg to be president and ceo. The appointment combines Mr. Vandenberg's ERP systems experience with the batch automation vision and expertise of Michael Saucier, PID's founder and board chair. The company reports this new executive team is organized to leverage individual management strengths to further accelerate ...
New products enhance AspenTech’s Plantelligence
In a flurry of activity, Aspen Technology Inc. recently unveiled a variety of new products and services that extend the abilities of its nine-month-old Plantelligence suite of solutions. Created to help process manufacturers design and maintain operations, Plantelligence uses models of thousands of operating constraints to define the optimal balance of physical an...
Space saving flat-panel monitor
Horsham, Pa. —With an 18-in. viewable area in a 19-in. flat monitor package, the PROformance 2009 is suitable for both factory and office usage. A 0.26 mm CRT provides 1,600 x 1,200 pixel resolution, sharp images, and adjustable colors for applications where color matching is required. Mounting options include rack or console mounts, NEMA panels, desktop plastic, or industrial metal cabi...
Sales up, profits mixed for control users, suppliers
As the U.S. economy enters its eighth year of expansion, some forecasters predict a slowdown is sure to come. These sages said the same thing about 1997, and though the economy faltered a little at year end, a slowdown just didn't happen. Even with slower earnings in 4Q97, the economy chalked up a formidable 4.
Electrical noise — what a racket
Every electrical circuit has noise in it. Noise becomes undesirable when the signal-to-noise ratio becomes low enough to adversely effect the operation of the electrical circuit. Electrical or electromechanical devices that cause fast or large changes in voltage or current are common sources of noise. Radio frequency noise can come from walkie-talkies, wireless computer systems, and other radio based systems.
NAM survey predicts 1998 job growth
Four of 10 manufacturers are predicting increases in full-time, permanent jobs this year, while only 5% say they plan to reduce employment, according to the National Association of Manufacturers' (Washington, D.C.) latest annual survey.NAM president Jerry Jasinowski, NAM chairman Earnie Deavenport, and Scott Laney, chairman of NAM's Small and Medium Manufacturers' Ac...
Overcoming the deadtime dilemma
Arguably the trickiest problem to overcome with a feedback controller is process deadtime--the delay between the application of a control effort and its first effect on the process variable. During that interval, the process does not respond to the controller's activity at all, and any attempt to manipulate the process variable before the deadtime has elapsed inevitably fails. Deadtime occurs in many different control applications, generally as a result of material being transported from the site of the actuator to another location where the sensor measures the process variable. Not until the material has reached the sensor can any changes caused by the actuator be detected.