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Manufacturers at Automate are emphasizing on helping customers with flexible solutions that give them as much information as possible to give engineers the right context they need.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) returned to McCormick Place in Chicago with an emphasis on improving information management and communication in manufacturing facilities.
Information flow and control on the factory floor can improve automation and help manufacturers make better decisions.
Software as a service (SaaS) brings faster-than-local software performance without installation or versioning hassles, for CAD, PLM, IIoT and augmented reality development, according to PTC at the LiveWorx 2021 conference.
Electronic batch records (EBRs) can improve record-keeping by making it more automated and removing the human element from the equation.
Articles about programming standardization, scalable IIoT networks, simulation and computer-aided design, programmable fibers and IEC 61131-3 structuring were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 19-25, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about IEC 61131-3 structuring, simulation and computer-aided design, edge computing, industrial wireless best practices and HART status information were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 12-18, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Mature engineering information management can save millions in operational costs.
A data transfer system that pairs high-frequency silicon chips with a polymer cable as thin a strand of hair has been developed by MIT researchers.
Giving operators on the manufacturing floor a simple and clear-cut philosophy for alarm management with a simple and clear-cut system can help reduce downtime and improve overall automation and efficiency.
International: Move from vision to reality: It’s time to embrace digital twins for manufacturing. Benefits include more efficient digital transformations and more effective asset monitoring and performance.
Integrating controls: It is critical to understand differing operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) priorities to achieve collaboration and integration. Without this, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and control projects will fail.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in October 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.
Seeq announced availability of its analytics solutions delivered via software as a service (SaaS) to allow process manufacturing organizations to analyze, predict, collaborate, and share insights to improve production outcomes.
Cover Story: Implementing cost-effective multi-touch panel technology now can future-proof system architectures.
Articles about process analytics, cloud control and cloud-based solutions, industrial wireless networks, and LTE networks not being IIoT ready were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 24-30, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can provide data to supply chain management (SCM) with predictive analytics and Big Data to help spot potential challenges and issues before they happen. Two steps for using AI and four potential problems are highlighted.
Articles about integrating IIoT equipment, choosing an automation controller, time-sensitive networking, plant performance management, and cybersecurity for SCADA were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 20-26, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Using an approach that combines systems engineering (SE) and product lifecycle management (PLM) will result in innovative products and systems for the future.
Corporate manufacturing leaders know they have some amount of error, waste, and inefficiency in their operations. Manufacturing execution systems (MES) can eradicate these productivity barriers.
When designing human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for mobile devices consider critical factors such as navigation, layout, and system controls.
Mobile devices with human-machine interface software can be used in the context of the worker’s location and work that needs to be performed. Contextual HMIs allow workers to increase efficiencies and improves worker safety and security.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in May 2018 included stories about the 2018 Salary and Career Survey, data analytics, building a small controls project, and condition-based maintenance. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Tools needed for data cleansing, visualization, contextualization, and modeling.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in March 2018 included stories about ladder logic, fog computing, alarm management, building a machine using motion design software, and turning Big Data analytics into actionable information. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about pick-and-place robots, fog computing, building a machine with motion design software, Big Data analytics, and steam trap stations were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 26 to April 1, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about fog computing, alarm management, TSN measurement and control, incorporating commercial technologies, and the differences between industrial Ethernet and business IT switches were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 12-18, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about alarm management, the Engineers' Choice winners, edge computing benefits and its value, and industrial controllers were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Feb. 26 to Mar. 4, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
MIT researchers have developed a chip designed to reduce neural networks’ power consumption by up to 95%, making them practical for battery-powered devices.
Fault detection and diagnostics (FDD), which uses the existing information available about the equipment, detects in real-time when an operational issue exists and allows the operator to correct the fault and decrease energy consumption for a building overall.
MIT researchers have developed a platform for microfluidics using LEGO bricks to better perform operations such as mixing, sorting, pumping, and storing fluids.
The 31st annual Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards shines a light on 26 categories of control, instrumentation, and automation products, revealing the best of those introduced in 2017 as chosen by the Control Engineering print and digital audience.
The discipline required to follow standardized programming best practices can pay off in the long run.
Articles about selecting an automation controller, performing an ICS assessment, hot Control Engineering topics, 2018 technology trends, and Bluetooths and VFDs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 22-28. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Companies looking to get a good return on investment (ROI) on their quality management system (QMS) should do research before picking one and make sure the system meets company and customer requirements.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2017 included stories about the Engineers' Choice finalists, System Integrator of the Year winners, five technology trends for 2018, analog meters, robot implementation success, and optimizing data. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Additional answers on human-machine interface (HMI) questions are offered here by a system integrator speaker in the December 2017 Control Engineering RCEP webcast: “HMI hardware and software: What you need to know.”
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 6-12: Engineers’ Choice finalists, control room innovations, integrated control systems, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control room technology innovation, integrated control systems, three modern HMI elements and micro-controllers versus PLCs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 6-12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Lean and quality initiatives have the same goals in mind when it comes to improving manufacturing. Digital upgrades and improve their overall process and increase efficiency.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in October 2017 included stories about HMI elements, VFDs, process engineers, and the Engineers' Choice finalists. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 23-29: Modern HMI elements, father of the PLC, cloud computing, more
Articles about three modern HMI elements, Dick Morley remembered as "Father of the PLC," cloud computing, wireless tank level monitoring, and master welders and robots were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 23-29. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Consolidating software can provide companies benefits such as better data quality, increased efficiency, and lower overall costs for a project.
Advances in human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are more lean and efficient with wearable technology and web-based software.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in September 2017 included stories about PID, ladder logic, differential pressure flowmeters, cloud computing, and process sensors. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A factory acceptance test (FAT) is designed to spot potential problems and flaws at the beginning of a project's development and reduce costly errors.
Think Again: Hot topics in Control Engineering, from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, include PID topics, System Integrator Giants, motor power, and programming help, among other topics.
Best practices for programmers include defining their structure, knowing the system resources and tools, consistency, and keeping track of changes during a project.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that are outdated and haven't been updated are in dire need of a business process review process to assess the current value of the system.
MIT researchers have designed new methods for paring down neural networks so that they’ll run more efficiently on handheld devices.
Cloud computing is designed to revolutionize the way manufacturing organizations implement information systems and manage critical production and business processes.
Bayesian updating is important in the dynamic analysis of a sequence of data.
Silicon Designs, Inc. announced the recent expansion of its offerings for automotive testing to include six new high-performance and low-cost model series.
New technique helps elucidate the inner workings of neural networks trained on visual data.
GE Digital's user interface of its plant applications manufacturing execution system (MES) solution are designed for hybrid manufacturing industries.
A real-time cost analysis tool for power plant operations supports owners' and operators' capital planning, operations training and decision making.
Beckhoff's CPX control panel and Panel PC series are designed to enable applications in hazardous zones.
HMI Research advice: Control Engineering’s new human-machine interface hardware and software research respondents advise others to get HMIs with software pre-loaded, use standards, collaborate on planning, train, look for flexibility and ease of use, and pay attention to implementation timing. Watch out for a long list of cautions, regular cybersecurity updates among them.
The eye diagram is an analysis method for evaluating the signal quality of transmission networks. Eye diagram analysis can help finding corrupting influences on CAN networks.
Address challenges involving real-time signals exchanged by many data-generating devices.
Several IP core vendors have announced CAN FD products. Some of these CAN FD cores are already implemented in micro-controllers. They differ especially regarding the message buffer capabilities and other dedicated features.
The C&S Group has developed an interoperability test system according to the CAN FD physical layer interoperability test specification and have offered interoperability testing since November 2016.
Airbus is making plans to transition to a digital factory that will bring skilled workers to the fold, but it is a challenging feat in an industry that hasn't changed production very much in the last several decades.
Being fluent in multiple platforms can be a helpful tool in the automation field for engineers and integrators and can give the engineer the ability to solve more problems and be a better, more rounded engineer.
Control Engineering Europe: Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) have evolved into sophisticated computer systems capable of acting as automation gateways for controlling and monitoring an industrial process, even remotely. These advanced HMI functions can save time in commissioning, maintenance and production.
AutomationDirect’s C-more EA9 series of touchscreen human-machine interfaces (HMIs) now include 7-in. widescreen TFT models.
Omega's OM-DAQXL is an 8- or 16-channel analog input portable data logger with a 7-in. resistive touch color display and is designed for a wide range of applications including R&D and industrial labs, chemical, water treatment, and strain measurement during physical material testing.
System integration is going through many changes and the 2016 Global System Integrator Report is designed to do several things to keep pace with the change.
MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) researchers have developed techniques to improve sound recognition for computers, which could enhance machine learning.
MIT researchers have developed a computational model of the human brain's face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed, which could be beneficial for future machine learning projects.
Clear communication during a project allows everyone to understand what the goals are and how to overcome potential problems and cab vital in many unexpected ways.
PLCopen has released coding guidelines designed to help provide industrial control programming solutions for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and was created by members from different companies as well as educational institutions.
For automation, return on investment (ROI) is more important than total cost of ownership (TCO). When making a capital investment in automation, companies need to determine value based on the solution’s impact on facility performance and its workforce. Also consider cost of downtime and services.
Process controls simulation can serve as a powerful and effective tool for training operators and assess safety and environmental risks.
Advantech's IDS31 industrial touch monitor series with flexible mechanical design ranges from 7- to 32-in. in both 4:3 and 16:9 sizes and is ideal for industrial applications where display differentiation is a critical factor.
EAO Corporation's Series 45 potentiometers are mechanically turned electrical units designed to make adjustments to the resistance of machinery variably over a rotational range of 270-deg.
An absolute encoder, while necessary and useful, can offer some challenges if the user doesn’t understand the mathematics of how they work and function.
EAO's Series 45 mushroom-head pushbuttons are designed to provide positive tactile feedback and the IP69K protection allows the pushbuttons to be used in harsh environments.
Binary-coded decimal (BCD) is a class of binary encodings of decimal numbers where each decimal is represented by a fixed number of bits, usually four or eight, which goes against the way humans compute data. This disconnect can cause problems for programmable logic controller (PLC) users.
The Omega OM-SGD series of panel meters are designed for process monitoring in a wide range of industrial or laboratory applications and are available in three screen sizes.
Exor America's eTop4Food human-machine interface (HMI) solution is designed for food and beverage applications and does not require the HMI to be shielded from high temperature, high pressure cleaning.
If everyone on a team is not on the same page when it comes to file storage and keeping everything orderly, the result can often lead to a mess that will require a project-sized effort to fix the problem.
IHS forecasts steady growth for the world operator terminal market from 2016 to 2019 after a slowdown in 2015.
Once values from an analog card have been captured, there are methods to filter the data and methods to simulate a filter using Microsoft Excel before it is coded into a PLC.
Maintenance mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of March 2016.
Banner Engineering's next-generation touch buttons for its K30, K50 and K70 multicolor indicators and pick-to-light sensors employ smart electric field sensing and provide immunity to false triggering caused by the buildup of detergents, oils and other foreign materials, as well as exposure to direct water spray.
Best automation, control, and instrumentation products in 27 categories.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, February 1-7: Process models, wireless and closed-loop applications, information systems, more
Articles about process models and feedback control, wireless for closed-loop applications, information systems, lockout/tagout for improved safety, and mathematical models for process applications were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, December 28 to January 3: System Integrator Giants, flow measurement, more
Articles about the 2015 System Integrator Giants, flow measurement challenges, fixing PID, and deploying smart HMIs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 28 to January 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 controller is designed to enable faster system performance for smart devices in manufacturing and industrial operations and includes an embedded 1GB Ethernet port to support communications, I/O and applications with up to 256 axes of motion.
All-in-one automation panels can offer deterministic, real-time control as traditional programmable controllers for many applications, especially for low- to mid-range applications that require a dedicated operator interface (OI). Advantages include simpler architecture, easy remote connectivity options, and lower total cost of ownership for easier industrial Internet productivity.
OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) when built into automation software eases integration with other systems and enhances security for a better expansion of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 concepts.
Iconics Version 10.9 of its Genesis64 HMI/SCADA and building automation suite includes universal connectivity with a wide variety of data sources including OPC, BACnet, SNMP, Databases and Web Services, and enhanced compatibility with OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA).
In consideration of the scope of designing, migrating, or upgrading a control system, it is important to not overlook or underestimate the importance of HMI graphic development.
InduSoft Web Studio v8.0 offers enhanced IoT and interface capabilities for use on smartphones, tablets, revision control, and application lifecycle management.
Hirschmann Automation and Control's (PAT) iScout PRS90 wireless indicator is designed to improve productivity in lifting applications.
A well written design specification that has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed can greatly minimize the startup headaches and number of changes.
Although the field of computer security and its relation to ICS security is extensive and highly technical, these recommendations can help mitigate many of the most common and easily exploitable security holes.
Back to Basics: Planning a control system can be implemented using specification documents that are formatted very simply and easily understood by the non-control system engineers.
Technology Update: Should you build or buy a human-machine interface (HMI)? Developing PC-based HMI software may seem a simple task, but there are pitfalls. Configuring a purchased HMI software package is often a better long-term option. A table compares HMI software development versus configuration.
Project deployment is a critical time in the life cycle of a process automation project. It follows design/development and precedes startup/commissioning. During this project stage, the process automation team ‘deploys’ the applications they have written and tested with the customers into the plant’s systems and hardware.
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these applications to use as tools to increase productivity.
Big Data isn’t just more data, it is smarter decisions, faster. Smarter measurements and faster decisions can result from wise use of smarter sensors, instrumentation, networks, and software, so engineers can better manage the collection, processing, and analysis of data and can make more informed decisions faster.
HMI design isn’t just about being creative, it has to take into account who will be seeing it on a regular basis and what it will be used for.
Put big data to work: Use the past to change the future with real-time input. Integrating human-machine interface (HMI) and historian software can produce hybrid screens comparing the past to the present to effectively change the future for the better. See 7 application examples, 9 best practices, and 7 ways to view and analyze machine data. These articles are the May 2015, Control Engineering cover story.
Rockwell Automation's PharmaSuite v7.0 MES software allows medical device manufacturers to combine discrete and batch processes in their operations as their sole track-and-trace platform and tracking capabilities down to the smallest saleable unit.
As data collection becomes a larger task, it may be time to see if you need an automation system that lasts longer and makes system integration easier.
While nobody can deny the benefits of progress, sometimes there can be too much progress in the PC operating system world. A control engineer is left with a couple of options with a legacy control system and HMI platform: either rip and replace everything and start with a new control installation, or use current technology to extend the life of these existing systems. This post will focus on the latter option to look at how we can save some money and retain our previous programming.
AutomationDirect's C-more HMI configuration software version 6.0 offers alarm and recipe features, additional math and tag logic, and improved Microsoft Windows compatibility as well as improved menu options, customizable toolbars and updated graphics.
Application Update: Combined heat and power (CHP) plant with a biomass retrofit delivered by Nexterra uses programmable automation controllers, HMIs, and a historian to provide more than 12% of the steam for University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver. In the first year of operation, the facility displaced more than 115,000 MMBtu of natural gas, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 6,000 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 1,250 cars off the road; better performance is expected. The facility is part of UBC’s “Campus as a Living Laboratory” initiative.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, December 8-14: PID loop tuning, System Integrators of the Year, drum level measurement, more
Articles about PID loop tuning, the 2015 System Integrators of the Year, optimizing drum level measurement, ladder logic, and automation improving beer making were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, December 8-14. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Case study: General Cable saves in raw material use by decreasing inconsistencies in process variation across sites with a statistical process control (SPC) analysis engine; return on investment (ROI) is less than six months.
Defining a secondary human-machine interface for automation and process controls can decrease the need for manual controls data capture, increase automation integration, and improve management of related processes. Smart-enabled devices connect sensors to signals to master controls, while dashboards parse and elevate meaningful data. See 7 control loop tests and 4 ways a measurement has value.
Hardware — Integrated HMI Controllers: SAMBA is an integrated PLC with a 3.5-in. color-touch HMI, used to control any automated process. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
The dark art of software development, information control: For software development to be successful, the right programmers much be chosen from the beginning and must stay until the end of the testing phase, the most difficult and longest lasting part of the process.
Bosch Rexroth's IndraControl VR series of HMIs and embedded terminals feature an ARM Cortex-A8 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 256 MB of flash memory, and an integrated SD card memory slot.
Industries specifically dealing with extraction and purification of metals have switched from traditional methods to using induction melting furnaces. The integration of HMI and PLC is proved to improve the process.
60th Anniversary: CE History from 60, 30 and 15 years ago on info storage, sensors, project implementation
Happy 60th, Control Engineering! Help us celebrate by looking at issues from 60, 30, and 15 years ago. Control Engineering magazine first published in September 1954. This monthly column in 2014 will review coverage in issues 60 (or 59), 30, and 15 years ago. While technologies have progressed since then, topics below (information storage, control sensors, project implementation) remain relevant today.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation's GOT2000 Series is a human machine interface (HMI) that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen, and it acts as a gateway to industrial automation devices.
The X20 Controllers from B&R Automation feature 32 built-in digital and analog I/O channels and are available with 200 MHz and 400 MHz CPUs.
Using its own products in 20 production facilities globally, Rockwell Automation is implementing SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Rockwell Automation software, replacing disparate customized, homegrown manufacturing execution systems that previously reported to as many as 5 ERP systems, at one location. Improvements are seen across the supply chain with 4%-5% gains in productivity per year expected, the company representatives said at the RSTechED USA conference.
Intelligence in your eyeglasses: Readability, interface, and batteries may take some getting used to and could benefit from improvements. Still, the idea behind Google Glass has a lot of potential. Have you tried them? Do you have a pair? See photos, short video clip, and add your comments.
AutomationDirect's new EA3 series operator touch panels are available in 8- and 10-in. versions and feature seven user-defined function keys, 30 MB of memory, and a USB type-B programming port.
Edson Packaging InteleVüe is a multi-touch enabled packaging machine interface that uses a 24-in. CP3924 multi-touch Control Panel and the C6930 Industrial PC (IPC) from Beckhoff Automation.
Inside Machines: Edson Packaging, a manufacturer of case packing machinery, turns the page to a new era of multi-touch enabled machinery, putting an industrial spin on one of the most popular consumer electronics technologies.
For real-time monitoring, a control chart is a statistical tool to analyze the past and predict the future. Choosing the wrong one from among hundreds increases the risk of errors. Advice follows on how to choose the right control chart. This is a March Digital Edition Exclusive.
Sandy Vasser, facilities electrical and instrumentation manager for Exxon Mobil Development, was the first of two keynote speakers on the second day of the 2014 ARC Industry Forum. He discussed “The automation challenge,” toplining 12 challenges for suppliers in executing a successful automation strategy.
Don Pearson, chief strategy officer at Inductive Automation, and Tom Hechtman, MES product manager, discussed and demonstrated Inductive Automation’s soon-to-be-released Track and Trace Modules, the latest addition to what the company says is a “potentially disruptive HMI/SCADA/MES platform.”
Genpact executives discussed the company’s comprehensive portfolio of engineering and asset optimization solutions.
Inside Machines: OI standardization helps original equipment manufacturers speed time to market by using or adapting standard human-machine interface (HMI) screens.
GE Intelligent Platforms announced three new PACSystems RX3i modules aim to make communication more reliable and leverage performance.
CimQuest Ingear's Net.Logix v5.0 software allows programmers to read and write large blocks of data at one time and comes in four versions for different programming needs.
The SeaPAC-R9-HAS by Sealevel is designed to be used as a process controller and human machine interface (HMI) for hazardous environments and features an 8.4-in. TFT LCD screen and Windows CE 6.0 binary and low-level drivers for system IO.
Raima adds the National Instruments Linux Real-Time platform to its embedded database technology.
Applied Automation covers aspects of the bagging process, PID tuning, and HMI system standardization in the December 2013 issue.
EAO Corporation is moving its North American headquarters to a 20,000 sq ft facility in Milford, Conn., to double current engineering and manufacturing capacity for human-machine interfaces (HMIs).
A well organized and well documented system, complete with commentary within your code, can only help you and your fellow developers and programmers.
Tuning a PID controller correctly can bring the setpoint closer to the constraint with reduced variability.
Automation and control industry leaders gather to congratulate, review manufacturing trends.
Think Again: Automation and controls increasingly are being integrated with enterprise-level applications through the manufacturing execution systems (MES) and manufacturing operation management (MOM) systems.
The Panel 800 PP882 and PP885 operator interface panels by ABB feature quick response time and sharp, brilliant displays to improve operator visualization of processes.
This platform turns up in many places, and can do many things, but there aren’t many that really understand it. Here is a quick guide to explain the basics.
Invensys releases bundled data historian and reporting package. Aims at reduced implementation time and costs, improves on-demand performance. Video: Maryanne Steidinger explains its development strategy.
Asking yourself a few questions about what your manufacturing execution system needs to do can help sort out a large and complex project.
CFE Media’s Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of more than 170 engineering-related applications. Below, save energy with motors, ensure alignment, calculate VSD savings, analyze status lights.
HMI promiximity and gesture recognition systems in automobiles are expected to grow to more than 38 million units in 2023, which is up from 700,000 in 2013.
Packaging applications need sensors, logic devices, motion devices (motors and pneumatics, in machines with conveyors and robotics), networking, software, and human machine interfaces (HMIs). Pack Expo, Sept. 23-25, Las Vegas, offers three halls equipment and the latest automation advances, often applied in the latest packaging machines.
The Simatic Process Historian central archiving system from Siemens Industry Sector delivers long-term archiving functionality for process and alarm data in real time from any number of lower-level WinCC systems for plant-wide analyses and reports.
As you’re launching a new project, ask yourself a tough question: Can you justify what you’re doing for solid business reasons, or are you simply captivated by a cool technology?
IEEE 802.15.4 based wireless networks can be reliable, robust, and cost effective for many industrial, warehousing, and facility applications. These wireless networks transmit through walls and floors, reducing wiring and routing challenges, and making equipment placement more flexible and productive.
An overview of techniques and programs to evaluate and improve your manufacturing.
Eaton Galileo software provides powerful visualization environment to help OEMs reduce costs, improve efficiencies.
You might get ahead of your control system software suppliers, but you can probably install the most up-to-date operating systems now and get the maximum lifespan.
Engineering and IT Insight: Embedded systems are often mechanically connected to other systems, and planning for network connectivity will allow them to also be electronically connected. See 8 requirements to add for embedded system design.
Failure to communicate across platforms often blocks effective continuous process improvement.
Time-efficient design, greater energy efficiency, and higher machine vision performance are among embedded system advances that help manufacturing and other markets, said the National Instruments Embedded System Outlook 2013.
Sick introduced and showed RFID, scanning, reader, and machine vision technologies at the 2013 Automate and ProMat shows.
Mergers and acquisitions: Axiomtek USA expands North American operations with acquisition of the Suntron Embedded Computing Solutions (ECS) business unit.
Product Exclusive: Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s EnergyPAQ Energy Monitoring and Control Solution allows users to measure, track, visualize, and optimize energy consumption from every piece of equipment and machinery in factories and plants.
Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers: XV Series HMI-PLCs combines control, visualization and data management tasks in one device, while the SmartWire-DT system replaces traditional control wiring to components with one cable enabling simplified and less error-prone connectivity. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Machine and Embedded Control - PLCs: The Do-more Series PLC is the next generation programmable controller, with a powerful, intuitive set of new programming tools, built on a strong PLC foundation that makes control applications easier to implement. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Software - Applications, monitoring: ExperTune's ProcessApex provides real-time diagnostics and advice for process unit operations, based on the expert advice of Greg Shinskey and others. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Software - Control design: SolidWorks 2013 is a comprehensive 3D design solution that empowers innovative design with application specific tools that help users quickly define, share and validate the form, fit and function of their designs. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Software - HMI software: FactoryTalk VantagePoint 4.0 software from Rockwell Automation is designed to simplify the end-user experience, include connectivity to additional Rockwell Automation products, and provide native integration to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Network Integration - Network hardware: B&B Electronics' portable and rugged UH201 USB Port Guardian isolator protects computers and like devices from surges, spikes, electrostatic charges, etc., which occur when connecting them to equipment in the field. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Software - Diagnostics: PlantTriage diagnoses process and control issues, prioritizes them, and provides the tools to resolve the issues immediately. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Sr. Systems Analyst, Matrix Technologies Inc. - AAS Computer Studies, University of Maryland; BS Computer Management Information Systems, University of Maryland
Automation Integrator Guide: New vision system simplifies product inspection for a more efficient manufacturing process.
The XV series by Eaton is an HMI that incorporates PLC functionality and is designed to enable remote intelligence for smaller and smarter machines.
Rosemount 644 temperature transmitters can be customized for specific applications.
Case study: Briggs & Stratton’s first-of-its-kind power regeneration system cuts costs in reliability lab. Global small engine maker captures wasted energy, expects to save $50,000 per year, and modernizes data collection and control system.
MathWorks introduces major new releases of MatLab and Simulink which are now available that promise improved use and navigation.
IMTS 2012: Two new Renishaw additive manufacturing systems are designed for rapid material changeover and low cost of ownership. Fully welded vacuum chamber and ultra-low oxygen content in build atmosphere allow processing of reactive materials, including titanium and stainless steel. Both use "machine tool" engineering in design, operation, and serviceability, emphasizing ruggedness and ease of operation.
New process automation system simplifies maintenance and increases flexibility for potential increases in renewable energy resources.
System integration and maintenance services for process control systems and IT infrastructure extend through the full lifecycle of a project. When deciding between in-house or hired-out integrator, consider the quality and type of services available, and ask the following questions.
ABB AquaProbe insertion flowmeter is available with mains, battery, and renewable power sources.
Technology Update: White LEDs show high-temperature advantages for touchscreen HMIs or operator interface backlighting compared to cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlit liquid crystal displays (LCDs).
Rosemount Analytical 6888 analyzer helps reduce emissions and improve efficiency of combustion processes.
The Allen-Bradley PowerMonitor W250 and 500 power meters by Rockwell Automation are designed to monitor energy consumption at multiple sites without requiring additional components.
Industrial Energy Management: The U.S. electrical grid is characterized by mechanical switches with slow response times, a lack of analytics, and poor system visibility. Sounds like a job for an automation engineer.
For discrete control and manufacturing, the trend toward using programmable logic controllers (PLCs) controls is increasing as specialized control systems are abandoning proprietary based controllers in favor of more open, readily available, and sustainable hardware platforms.
Sherlock inspection software was added to the BOA Pro smart camera, allowing for an industrial vision solution with diverse applicability in manufacturing.
Control Engineering China interviews Lingxi Li, assistant professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University, also chairman of IEEE vehicular electronics and safety conferences. Sensing, wireless, and other control technologies are improving transportation.
Hardware – Integrated HMI-controller: The new Eaton XV Series of operator interfaces allows customers to easily create Web-based applications for the manufacturing environment that enhance their ability to diagnose machine faults, prevent downtime, reduce maintenance costs, improve process effectiveness, and bring their machines to market faster. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice Award Winner.
Machine and embedded control – PLCs: The A3200 MotionPAC from Aerotech is a software-based PLC integrated with the A3200 motion controller. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Process control systems: CombustionOne from Yokogawa is an application solution for improving and sustaining combustion assets like fired heaters and boilers to help users comply with API556 recommended practices. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software – Applications: KepServerEx v5.7 is an industry proven communication server that manages critical automation, facility, and infrastructure data by connecting disparate devices and applications to plant control systems and enterprise information systems. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software – Applications: FactoryTalk Historian SE v2.2 from Rockwell Automation is a plug-and-play historian that automatically configures with existing equipment and feeds additional and more granular data into production and business systems to gather actionable manufacturing data to improve operations. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Software – HMI software: The Status Vision Designer from Mobiform Software provides compelling, real-time data visualization for Microsoft Windows and the Web. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture delivers new dimension of scalability, as applications with fewer than 200 I/O leverage Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller for integrated motion, safety and standard control.
Seven steps toward automation project success include realistic scheduling, supplier selection, specification, progress and factory acceptance tests, and three more.
Flat-panel displays, protected properly, can perform well and stand up to hard use even in a hazardous and corrosive environment.
Mechatronics Engineer, Siemens – BS + MS Mechanical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Concentration: Control Systems
President, Marcus Engineering LLC – PhD Biomedical Engineering, BS Electrical Engineering + Entrepreneurship, University of Arizona
Rittal’s Mobile Design Center, a 36-ft bus full of 5,000 lb of Rittal technologies, was parked inside the Pack Expo booth. Among latest offering is the Rittal Comfort Panel, engineered to accommodate the latest generation of HMI operator panels with a slim-line design to match the Rittal support arm systems.
The $1.9 billion Montes del Plata pulp mill in Southern Uruguay will receive process and quality control as well as process information systems by Honeywell
Technology Update: Electrophoretic technology helps designers of electronic devices to think outside the rectangle for a thin, flexible, energy-efficient user interface.
New control system for an automated measuring system testing improves communications and saves space.
New Yokogawa DXAdvanced Touch data acquisition and display station provides a more efficient way to navigate the display screens and normal operating modes of the unit, and it does so with no degradation of the display quality and clarity.
Invensys' new version of ArchestrA, 1.1, is designed to streamline business operation and make things more efficient
SID (Society for Information Display) Display Week Conference & Exhibition is May 17-19, Los Angeles Convention Center. Among products displayed will be an Optrex America triple wide, 19.2-in diagonal, 1920 x 360 pixel display, useful for control rooms, or control programmers.
The Adlink ASD Series of SSDs has an extended operating temperature range, and is able to withstand high levels of shock and vibration. It will be at the Embedded Systems Conference Chicago, June 6-8, 2011, in Rosemont, IL.
Adding expansion card helps Red Lion HMI platform interface with Siemens devices.
Maple Systems supports video feed for process analysis, surveillance; record and watch in real time.
Honeywell's Master Logic programmable logic controllers bring power and robustness to very high-speed logic, interlock and sequencing applications.
Central plant optimization is a process with seven key steps, and when implemented holistically, central plant optimization can deliver sustained energy savings of up to 60%, according to a Johnson Controls white paper.
ISPE’s GAMP 5 explains the methodology for implementing an ERP system, either new or existing, in a regulated environment. Here is a discussion of an actual implementation.
Ease control programming across multiple controller platforms using IEC 61131-3 CoDeSys programming software. IEC 61131-3 standard programming drives efficiencies through reduced development and training costs, enabled flexibility, and allowing end users to select the device most suited to their needs, regardless of supplier.
iX evolves the concept of a HMI solution to becoming an integral part of a user experience by adding the right look and feel with advanced 3D-style graphics, icon based navigation and controls.
Maple Systems releases two new UL-listed, high-resolution widescreen HMIs that run MS Windows CE.
Thinking of robotics? Here are the metrics needed to make a smart return-on-investment decision about a robot purchase.
Fusion4 single stream controller boosts accuracy and reduces costs of additive injection or product blending.
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 Mark Johnsen ...
Software - HMI software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk ViewPoint. FactoryTalk ViewPoint software is a thin-client, Web-enabled human-machine interface (HMI) application that extends access to FactoryTalk View displays and dashboards to users via a Web browser for improved real-time decision making. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Software - HMI software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ME). Provides manufacturers with visualization solutions that ease development and maintenance time, and provide the critical real-time production data they need to quickly make informed business decisions. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Software - HMI software: Iconics Genesis64 Designed from the ground up utilizing OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) and 64-bit multi-core hardware platforms, the Genesis64 suite includes several modular solutions that simplify connectivity from the plant floor to corporate business systems. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Software - connectivity, integration software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI. FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI software helps empower users at every level of an enterprise with information from Web-based dashboards and reports on key performance indicators from multiple manufacturing and business data sources. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Software - connectivity, integration software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Historian Machine Edition. FactoryTalk Historian Machine Edition software is an embedded, solid-state module hardened for on-machine data collection to help manufacturers gather machine-level time series data and gain a new level of visibility into production operations. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Software - application software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Historian Site Edition. The new version of FactoryTalk Historian Site Edition (SE) software combines access to the unified production model and Web-based reporting of FactoryTalk VantagePoint software to aggregate historical and real-time data and provide more consistent, insightful reports, dashboards and key performance indicators. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Process control systems: Invensys Eurotherm nanodac. The nanodac recorder / controller offers the ultimate in graphical recording combined with PID control in a quarter DIN box. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Process Control - analysis, optimization, tuning: ExperTune Inc. PlantTriage Control Performance Monitoring, Identifies the root cause of process, control, and equipment problems. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, displays: Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 6 HMI terminal. Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 6 HMI terminal has increased memory, no runtime memory limitation, a factory default option and built-in, pre-registered, time-saving design enhancements. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
InduSoft Inc. expects to launch, by early third-quarter 2010, its next generation of Human Machine Interface and SCADA software, InduSoft Web Studio Version 7.0. Continuing more than 12 years of forward compatibility, Version 7.0 represents a major update to the InduSoft user interface, the company says.
Automation software: Factories, plant designs get more efficient with new 3D design suite, Autodesk says
Autodesk accelerates design and visualization with new design suite family, including Autodesk Factory Design Suite, for machine and equipment builders, system integrators and manufacturers to design, visualize and simulate layouts of machine lines and manufacturing facilities.
In-plant operations and maintenance workers follow plant best practices: Honeywell Field Advisor platform
New software developed by Honeywell around technology from Shell Global Solutions helps workers minimize unplanned shutdowns and optimize plant performance.
QSI Corp. puts Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 in the graphic handheld QTerm-G58 and new QTerm-G56 human machine interface terminals.
Genesis64 suite from Iconics is designed with OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) and 64-bit multi-core hardware platforms.
Human-machine interface maintenance is easier with EZ Durapanel EZD-T10C-S from the EZAutomation division, AVG Automation, with improved LED HMI backlights.
Red Lion Crimson software works with G3 series and G3 Kadet series HMIs.
Engineering and IT Insight: Automation engineers spend a lot of time just getting to the right place to identify and fix problems. The IT solution to this problem is based on VNC, or virtual network computing.
With its participation in the "Powered by Wonderware" program, B&R has expanded its options in the field of visualization software.
To help companies control procurement, Management Dynamics released Trade Portals, a product line to help companies extend purchasing, origin logistics, and compliance processes to trading partners.
New Solution Provides Powerful, Actionable Analytics Capabilities to Help Companies Achieve Greater Business Performance
Manufacturers' increasing integration of automation and enterprise technologies are being used for a variety of purposes, from production margin optimization to strategic energy efficiency decisions.
Manufacturing technologies and the marketplace have continued to advance in spite of the economic slowdown, so it's just a matter of time before a non updated facility becomes noticeably outdated. Bridge the gap between today's low productivity and tomorrow's high demand by integrating and improving the entire manufacturing enterprise.
Kuka Robotics at Pack Expo 2009 for packaging and palletizing include five robotic palletizers said to have superior performance and high payload capacities, 300 kg to 1,300 kg.
Maple Systems’ three new 10-in. graphic operator interface terminal (OIT) models have faster CPUs, enhanced graphic appeal, and enhanced capability in a choice of widescreen or high resolution displays. With a display resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, the HMI5104XH is a high-resolution graphic OIT with a 500 MHz CPU, 256MB of flash memory, and 256MB of DRAM.
Cirque Corp., the inventor of the first commercially successful capacitive touchpad and a subsidiary of ALPS Electric, formed a strategic relationship with Ocular Inc., to advance the state-of-the-art of touch display screens.
As conditions change, are your supply chain metrics actually boosting business performance? What you measure matters. So it behooves companies to review performance metrics to ensure continued strategic alignment with business objectives.
Aggregating and delivering data is essential to getting processes under control, said Bob Di Scipio, president and CEO of Aegis Analytical, as the company released findings about recordkeeping and EMI software use at pharma and biotech companies.
Imagine a group of automotive executives sitting around a table and examining a new vehicle on-screen, presented in its entirety as an accurate geometric 3-D virtual model. While exploring the model, they focus on the windshield. Using product life-cycle management (PLM) technology and simulation, they discover a design issue.
Economic conditions in the past year have led to many companies seeing their demand volume drop—and the mix change. Have companies re-weighted supply chain metrics to accommodate those shifts?
Three areas of dashboard evolution will impact your day-to-day manufacturing life soon. Here's what you need to know.
Packaged goods manufacturing and retail industries targeted as nuBridges Exchange Network delivers product SKU inventory data via secure EDI to eSENSE Retail's online dashboard, for retailer buying behavior and sales trend analysis.
Infor says a dashboard human-machine interface (HMI) can contain role-based homepages, dynamic information, and collaboration to help knowledge workers make better decisions: 3 trends.
GT Nexus launches fast, simple solution to make unlimited filings through the ocean industry portal to meet Importer Security Filing rules.
Industrial automation and advanced manufacturing system integrator expands food and beverage, confectionery, pharmaceutical services.
IBM's ILOG unit unveiled a set of new supply chain and business rules management software offerings in mid June, but IBM managers seem just as excited about broader synergies with IBM's software group as they are about the specifics of the new applications.
With thousands of SKUs and up to 12 quality control tests being run on each one, BGF Industries, a manufacturer of fiberglass and other high-performance fabrics, had collected approximately 5 million data points solely through its lab testing operations. But getting the data out so that it could be analyzed was virtually impossible, making it difficult for the company to determine if there were...
Running manufacturing sites accounts for plenty of carbon emissions, but in reality, it's the process of making and shipping goods that generates emissions, not strictly the buildings themselves. This basic perspective reflects the functionality of the Eco-footprint Management tool from ERP vendor IFS.
Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys, announced the addition of Wonderware HMI Reports to its offering of operations management software solutions. No programming skills or IT expertise is needed, according to the company.
As cluster-based high-performance computing becomes more affordable, more mainstream manufacturers are turning to the technology. Automotive and aerospace companies are using Microsoft's High-Performance Computing Server. One benefit is decreased problem-solving time.
Before 3D ContentCentral 2009, users and suppliers who communicated through online catalogs were restricted to exchanging CAD data, says DS SolidWorks. With social networking features, they can converse, compare knowledge and experience, and help each other make better buying decisions.
Seven emerging technologies (see photos) could result in automated guided vehicles that never stop to recharge, more nimble robotics, and smarter trending for better pattern recognition to detect cancer as it forms (which could advance predictive controls). Other advances include robotic exoskeletons and...
Latest version of IndustrialIT cpmPlus Smart Client from ABB includes enhancements for expanded visibility of alarms and events.
For Edge Products, getting new designs to market quickly is a basic business requirement. Since its inception, this Salt Lake City-based company has been on the cutting edge when it comes to developing electronic modules that boost the performance of an average car or truck. The company is particularly known for its ability to boost the performance of diesel engines, and has further differentia...
It’s understatement to say that these are distracting times. While I felt out of sorts considering the many ways we might jump start the economy, 789 billion ways has my head spinning. (Did anyone ask the grandkids if that was OK?) If the U.S. economy had dashboard software used in manufacturing, the outcome would have been different.
SolidWorks releases software that can be used to gauge the environmental impact of a product design.
Company also plans to cut water use by 20%; both goals to be achieved via ecomagination data center automation initiatives. Here's how.
The GT16 series combines a host of video and sound capabilities with embedded communications interfaces.
Emerson Process Management says it has greatly expanded manufacturers’ ability to monitor, control, and improve production processes with the release of a new “smart” operations management software suite.The new package, called Syncade, was officially unveiled at the recent ARC Strategy Forum. Needham, Mass.-based analyst firm ARC Advisory Group sponsors the annual event that focuses on exploring strategies for improving production operations. This year’s forum was held the first week in February in Orlando.Emerson’s Syncade announcement was one of several that highlighted manufacturers’ growing desire for systems that allow people across the enterprise—including office workers and company executives—to get near real-time updates on plant-floor activities.
Closer to the core: Accenture’s presence at ARC forum signals importance of plant-to-enterprise integration
The growing emphasis on linking plant-floor systems with enterprise applications became evident this week as global consulting giant Accenture made its first appearance at the annual ARC Strategy Forum, an event that focuses squarely on strategies for managing and improving production operations.
The founder and CEO of TVC Systems, Nels Andrew Tyring, died Dec. 14, 2008, at age 77, after a two-year battle with cancer. Among a diversity of automation achievements, he was credited with coining the term: control system integrator. Tyring began his active involvement in the fields of automation, instrumentation, and control in 1954, and twice served in the position of vice president on the...
by William Atkinson, contributing editor Most manufacturers seeking to analyze and improve business performance have more than enough relevant data flowing through their enterprise systems. The problem lies in how to access the exact pieces of data needed at any given moment to answer performance-related questions.
Founder and CEO of TVC Systems Nels Andrew Tyring, 77, died Dec. 14, 2008, after a two-year battle with cancer. Among a diversity of automation achievements, he was credited with coining the term: control system integrator. Link to a photo.
Micro Digital’s GoFast floating point library, said to improve speed for higher-level functions, ported to CodeWarrior IDE for Freescale ColdFire processors.
During Automation Fair 2008, Rockwell Automation announced the release of FactoryTalk VantagePoint for its FactoryTalk Integrated Production and Performance Suite. VantagePoint allows end users to self-configure Web-based dashboards, trends, and reports.
Software supports Microsoft Windows-based systems and dedicated operator interfaces.
Software AG executives were upbeat at the company’s Innovation World 2008 user conference in Miami this month, with recently announced third-quarter operating profits up 50 percent, reflecting in part the successful integration of its $546-million webMethods acquisition in summer 2007. They also were uniformly consistent in their message that they are well positioned for growth despite the global economic downturn.
While much has been done to improve operations in distribution centers and warehouses, there's always room for improvement. In fact, results of a recent study conducted by Boston-based Aberdeen Group find best-in-class companies want to maximize organizational value across their supply chain operations.
Software AG executives presented a positive message at the company's Innovation World 2008 user conference held in Miami in early November: third-quarter operating profits up 50 percent, reflecting in part the successful integration of Software AG's $546-million webMethods acquisition in summer 2007.
Back when Miniature Precision Components first looked at EnterpriseIQ, an enterprise platform from IQMS, the obvious attraction was the ability of the ERP system to link machines on the shop floor to applications at the enterprise level. But managers soon discovered that once EnterpriseIQ reached the shop floor, there were many more connectivity advantages to leverage.
Software automatically aggregates multi-plant data for performance benchmarking and analysis.
MTConnect is described as an open, royalty-free standard to foster greater interoperability among controls, devices, and software applications by publishing data over networks using IP to help machine tools communicate seamlessly. The technology was displayed at the IMTS show in Chicago in September where the ability of manufacturing equipment to share data in a near real-time environment was d...
Beijer and Alfa Laval agreed to produce operator interface products jointly for Laval's processing equipment sold worldwide.
Aravo Solutions , a specialist in on-demand supplier information management (SIM) solutions, reports quadrupled company revenue over the last 12 months. Aravo says new research confirms Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based supply chain management solutions are gaining wider acceptance among global enterprises, underscoring the vendor's recent growth.The Aravo SIM 10 platform mitigates risk, manages sustainability programs, and improves overall supplier relationship management processes. It transforms the management of supplier information into a key strategic asset by providing an easy-to-use platform that cuts across organizational boundaries and provides a single unified view of supplier information to internal users, suppliers, and third-parties service providers."Aravo is well positioned to satisfy the growing demand from global organizations for centralized, on-demand solutions that deliver the speed, visibility, and scalability needed effectively manage their supply chains" says Tim Albinson, CEO of Aravo.
Apriso says FlexNet Version 9.4 Service Pack 1 of the Apriso FlexNet Operations Execution System (OES) now supports governance of global manufacturing systems, complex sequencing, and expanded containment management spanning production, warehouse, supply chain, and quality processes.According to Tom Comstock, an Apriso senior VP, “These updates allow our manufacturing customers to better lock down their global best practices, yet still modify local processes as needed, at each site. Electronic signatures ensure only authorized personnel perform or change processes, while maintaining full traceability across multiple sites.”FlexNet Containment Manager’s expanded capabilities cover processes for identifying, holding, locating, and inspecting potential noncompliance materials that may then be quarantined, returned, or disposed. With FlexNet, corrective action can be taken against all elements of manufacturing, including equipment, materials, tooling, labor and suppliers.FlexNet Just-In-Sequence (JIS) enables manufacturers to sequence material flows and manufacturing activities for a complex mix of products.
With today’s competitive manufacturing environment, companies will certainly be looking at which technology can help them deliver more quickly, cheaply and efficiently to meet their customer’s demands—the question is: can this be achieved through an ERP system or does it require specialist functionality that only MES provides?
There's a difference between a multinational corporation and a global enterprise. The former has operating units—production plants and other facilities—in numerous countries that essentially function on their own. The latter has an infrastructure—typically built on standard business processes and integrated information systems—that allow its globally dispersed units to ...
Data Miner 2.0 data reporting software for manufacturing from Aegis Software streamlines the way engineers, managers, and executives access volumes of manufacturing information to create reports and analytics. It can retrieve, visualize, interrogate, and report on process, quality, production work in process (WIP), traceability, and performance information without requiring IT assistance, any d...
Aegis Software iMonitor 2.0 enables manufacturers to create their own real-time dashboards to monitor the enterprise through Web browsers, helping machine operators, production managers, and executives. It's reportedly as easy as making a Microsoft PowerPoint slide.
Synalloy will use DEACOM ERP to integrate its specialty chemical manufacturing business with one software system as part of a companywide initiative to reduce costs associated with productivity, safety, inventory controls, quality, and delivery.Synalloy, a diverse manufacturer of piping and piping systems and specialty chemicals, has been in business since 1945 and employs more than 440 people in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. The company used a combination of software systems to manage its chemical group, which consists of Blackman Uhler LLC, Organic Pigments LLC , and Manufacturers Chemical LLC . The setup lacked the centralization needed for viewing information across the entire chemical group, according to Synalloy Information Systems Director Rhonda Harmon."One of our chemical companies was still running a homegrown system separate from our main ERP system," Harmon says.
LDRA enhanced its tool suite to comply with the released version of the MISRA C++:2008 standard. Although a standard directed by the automotive industry, MISRA has gained widespread acceptance.
After recently surveying early adopters of service-oriented architecture (SOA), Ann Thomas Manes, an analyst with Midvale, Utah- based Burton Group, concluded that the technology approach was stuck in a holding pattern. “It has become clear to me that SOA is not working in most organizations,” she writes in her blog, adding that most SOA-enabled companies “have yet to demonst...
Express Logic’s royalty-free BenchX IDE wins Venture Development Corp.’s Best in Show and eg3.com’s Editor’s Tech Choice awards
By year's end, IDS Scheer will roll out a new engine that will provide what the business process management (BPM) specialist calls “the missing governance link” in the business process life cycle. IDS made the announcement as part of its annual Process World conference held in Orlando in February.
ERP solutions supplier SYSPRO released a solution aimed at gauging financial health for small and medium-size businesses (SMB). Financial Ratio Analysis is an addition to SYSPRO’s general ledger module.
PPG Industries uses a database solution from ESS, a provider of environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) and crisis management software, to monitor 130 manufacturing facilities. While the system meets PPG's need today, Jerry Osheka, director of environmental compliance for the Pittsburgh-based coatings and specialty products supplier, says PPG is always looking for a better way of doing thi...
Open for business: Unisys exec says corporations are ready to put core functions on open-source platforms
In 2008, IT executives in large enterprises will weave open-source solutions more closely into the fabric of their core IT infrastructure—from procurement processes through deployment of next-generation applications, says Anthony Gold, VP and general manager, Open Source Business, with Unisys.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Idaho National Labs (INL) have produced some outstanding cyber security training tools. Their distribution has not gotten much publicity, however, with the unfortunate result that they remain well kept national secrets.
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) have gained increasing acceptance in key industrial verticals, most recently based on their role in multi-plant production scenarios. But it's still difficult for an MES to suit all of a company's plants. There is no “standard” MES in the sense that ERP can be standard, says Simon Jacobson, senior analyst with Boston-based AMR Research.
Milwaukee, WI – Fresh on the heels of its 2007 Automation Fair conference in Chicago, Rockwell Automation announced that IBM’s Global Business Services has joined its FactoryTalk Information Solution Provider program. As a partner in the program, IBM will extend its existing relationship with Rockwell Automation by helping manufacturers build plant-wide information applications and manufacturing execution systems (MES) using the FactoryTalk suite.
New Momentum, a provider of supply chain risk management software for companies that make or use electronic components in their products, says National Semiconductor is evaluating New Momentum’s Brand/Intellectual Property protection software.
Despite the drive for integration between automation systems and operations management/enterprise systems, barriers still exist. Manufacturing engineers are beginning to understand the benefits of integration—increased asset utilization, maximum operational effectiveness, reduced fixed costs, etc.
When OptiMedica outgrew its Intuit QuickBooks-based financial management system, the 30-employee company started a systems search that led it to the Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP platform. Founded in 2004, and growing rapidly upon FDA approval of the core technology embedded in its products, the Santa Clara, Calif.
More than 46,000 users of Oracle products have taken over downtown San Francisco this week. The scene on Monday morning resembled a rock concert, as badge-wearing conference attendees formed a line that snaked alongside the city’s Moscone Center for two full city blocks waiting to enter the opening keynote from Oracle President Charles Phillips.
The movement for making business intelligence (BI) solutions a regular part of an executive’s life has taken another step forward with an announcement from Information Builders that its WebFOCUS BI tools can be accessed through mobile devices.
“You can’t make supply chains simple, nor can you stop them from changing,” says Richard Douglass, director of industry marketing for manufacturing at Sterling Commerce. “But you can use technology . . . to eliminate unnecessary complexity.”
Business demand for increased operational performance across multiple sites has been the impetus behind enterprise integration, and, in turn, has prompted the need for software “dashboards” that provide real-time information on plant operations and overall performance. Such enterprise-wide software applications let a facility’s entire operation be viewed by everyone in an organization in a way that best suits their role, from plant operators to executive management. Dynamic online dashboards have become much more sophisticated over the years and now offer user-defined and automatic queries, charts, tabular displays, key performance indicator (KPI) flags, and links to other dashboards. A dashboard should provide the most information a user needs to do his or her job in a single dynamic screen. Dashboard designs that include the following functionality provide the most powerful search and query capabilities.
Take advantage of the vision and thought leadership of prominent manufacturers and major solution providers that are enabling plant-to-enterprise integration.
Mesa Electronic’s CFADPT10 is a low cost SATA-to-compact flash adapter designed for embedded systems, which allows users to connect a compact flash drive to any system that has a SATA port. The adapter uses the same mechanical layout and connectors as a 2.5-in. SATA hard drive and can be powered by 5 V or 3.
Marc Moschetto assumed the editorial director position at Control Engineering the week of Sept. 10. He was hired after Renee Robbins, who came on as editorial director in March 2006, chose to move into the role of senior editor. Moschetto, a cum laude graduate of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, brings more than 13 years of industry experience to his role at the publication.
British American Tobacco Belgium developed a business intelligence (BI) program to merge two outdated data warehousing platforms in a very short time frame.
Kontron AG unveiled the CP6001 – a new 6U cPCI (CompactPCI) board based on Intel’s Core Duo / Core 2 Duo processor and mobile chipset – during the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, MA. The new line provides OEMs and other machine builders with a solid combination of low power consumption and robust processing speeds for demanding embedded applications.
Manufacturing Outsourcing: Seven Common Pitfalls to Avoid Prepared by Symphony Consulting and Arena Solutions.
Since the late 1990s, outsourcing has become a way of life for electronics manufacturers. Most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) no longer consider manufacturing to be a core competency. Even in cases where some of this capability is retained in-house, there is an ongoing eff ort to evaluate more activities that can be offl oaded to a contract manufacturer (CM).
On the surface, outsourcing production operations is the ultimate no-brainer. It can save on manufacturing labor and capital equipment costs, and allow more time spent on innovative product designs that lead to new revenue streams. But outsourcing arrangements don't always work out as expected. Stephen Hochman, a director with Boston-based AMR Research, says the desire to lower costs is the No.
Many of the machines and vehicles in daily use in commercial and industrial settings worldwide feature displays and touch pads for operator input and control. These devices are known as Human-Machine Interfaces or HMIs, but are also commonly called Operator Interface Terminals and Mobile Data Terminals.
A growing number of IT leaders recognize the value that lean can bring to a business and they are looking for ways of delivering the appropriate systems to lean practitioners. A pragmatic approach to bridging the gap between lean and IT would encompass these five steps:
BEA's evolution from Java to service-oriented architecture (SOA) provider reflects the larger trend of the middle tier becoming the next enterprise software battleground. With the emergence of SOA commoditizing software architecture, and Web services standards starting to level the playing field on how software applications expose functionality, the path is cleared for emergence of composite ap...
Milwaukee —Summa, has joined Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk information solution provider program, launched in October 2006.
Honeywell Process Solutions will be installing its Experion process knowledge system (PKS) in two operating units in BASF’s sprawling Ludwigshafen chemical facility . The technology allows BASF to retain much of the legacy equipment while combining operation of the two units into one control facility and upgrading many functions. “The solution we’ve delivered enables BASF to use its existing automation units for the next 15 years, but allows the customer to benefit from a new generation of operator interfaces,” says Paul Orzeske, vice president, Honeywell Process Solutions, EMEA. “In essence, this allows BASF to run a state-of-the-art system without the expense of a totally new system.” Using Honeywell technology, BASF will have a more powerful process control system and more sophisticated HMIs.
Industrial Defender 3.0 from Industrial Defender (formerly Verano Inc.) helps enhance operational efficiency and cyber security by centralizing critical security and performance information. Information from all Industrial Defender sources, including the NIDS, HIDS, SNMP, and perimeter protection subsystems are automatically stored in the Industrial Defender repository.
Embedded computing software vendor Wind River Systems and aerospace embedded system developer Curtiss-Wright Controls’ Embedded Computing announced a multi-level strategic agreement by which Curtiss-Wright is standardizing its x86-based rugged board products on Wind River General Purpose Platform, Linux Edition and RTCore, and on Wind River Workbench.
Change is a fundamental reality of the manufacturing environment. Old products are abandoned. New products are introduced. Processes are improved. Demand fluctuates. Suppliers go bankrupt. Companies merge. Information systems become obsolete. None of these changes is particularly new. What is new is the speed and frequency with which these changes are taking place.
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Added features and enhancements to two operator interface products are among recent new offerings for automation and control systems.
Five IGP chipsets from Via Technologies Inc. have received the Microsoft Windows Vista Basic logo from Microsoft.
Control Engineering 's coverage of embedded control news and new products is being expanded. Look for news, case histories, and technology articles from Senior Editor Charlie Masi, Consulting Editor Frank Bartos, and Contributing Editor Peter Cleaveland online and in print. Charlie and Peter will be combing the floor of the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose next month to bring you the latest announcements. You'll find reports from the conference and coverage of other embedded control topics in Control Engineering 's Machine Control Monthly e-newsletter.
Operational Insight Lite software tool from Matrikon is designed to acquire, display, and analyze OPC real-time and historical data.
Like the people who use its products, premium golf club maker PING constantly works to improve its performance. In recent years, the company slashed the time it takes to get new products to market from two years to nine months, while also shrinking delivery time for a custom-made club from six weeks to two days.
Managing the juncture between an enterprise's business and operational plans often gets hampered by one basic factor, as Tom Dadmun sees it: human nature. More specifically, the culprit is the natural tendency of professionals to stick up for their point of view. Dadmun is VP of supply chain operations at ADTRAN, a Huntsville, Ala.
SDRxR serial FPDP-based streaming data recorder from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing is intended for sensor-to-processor streaming data applications. This is the last year for the Bus & Board show under that name, but not the last show from VITA, the organization celebrating the VMEbus 25th anniversary. The show, held in Long Beach, CA, in January, was the platform for a number of new product introductions and an announced name change for next year.
Matrikon's Operational Insight Lite software tool is based on its ProcessNet visualization and decision support software, here showing an operational dashboard for a plant with three production lines. Graphic display includes such main KPIs as status, OEE, and cycle time. From here, a user can drill down into a particular line to visualize more information or retrieve a historical trend on any displayed KPI.
East Rochester, NY —Exele Information Systems Inc. announces OPCcalc 3.2, software that lets users create process calculations that use OPC tags as equation inputs and outputs. The software handles simple to complex equations, single to multiple OPC servers, and single-computer or enterprise-wide applications.
Through tighter software integration of information systems, Canadian manufacturers have greater opportunities to optimize plant performance, maximize shop-floor operations, drive out costs, and enhance executive decision-making, according to SAP Canada , which recently named Real Time Systems Inc . an SAP Service Partner. Adaptive manufacturing helps businesses in six ways, the companies say, by: Closing the gap between the factory and the enterprise; Pinpointing and taking advantage of cost efficiencies; Optimizing plant performance and productivity; Automating and synchronizing orders; Better planning for materials and maintenance; and Increasing visibility in manufacturing, which leads to better decision support for improved plant operations. RTS, which works with manufacturers to design, install, and maximize benefits from automated shop floor processes, is said to have "deep expertise in plant-floor IT implementations and the SAP xApp Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP xMII) composite application to drive adaptive manufacturing in the Canadian market." The SAP xMII composite application enables manufacturers and their production personnel to adapt to change and respond rapidly to shifts in demand by providing real-time visibility to manufacturing exceptions and performance variances, including root causes and business impacts.
Process control is hip. Manufacturing line optimization is cool. Everybody from the CEO down wants a piece of it. And judging by the clamor around video walls, information portals, and executive dashboards, everyone wants to visualize control to drive performance. Globalization and pressure on companies to compete at the most fundamental level of operational excellence means everyone is looki...
SP Series in the Clarity line of rear-projection displays from Planar Systems uses Texas Instruments' DLP (digital light processing) technology in a variety of configurations, including this video wall for a security application. First shipments of rear-projection displays that use DLP (digital light processing) technology from Texas Instruments are on their way to specialty markets, Planar Systems Inc . announced last week.
Telemecanique-brand Magelis HMI products from Schneider Electric include the Smart iPC, Compact iPC, and XBT-GT graphical touchscreen terminals.
The days of the rugged individualist are over. At least, that’s how it seems for companies developing high-technology products, such as embedded software and hardware systems. To produce world-class equipment, you need to bring together world-class expertise from many areas; to achieve world-class expertise in any area, you have to specialize. Creating tools for embedded-system developers is a perfect example.
OSIsoft is expanding the presence of its powerful operational data management framework—the Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) platform—through key alliances with a series of automation industry heavyweights targeting the process industries. Emerson Process Management announced continued support for the technology, which is said to "cross IT and process boundaries to incorporate and display operational information." Yokogawa Electric entered into a major partnership to better serve industrial automation markets throughout much of Asia. And Rockwell Automation said it will incorporate the OSIsoft PI System and related components into its FactoryTalk integrated production and performance suite. In the first alliance, OSIsoft and Emerson announced continuation of their global value added reseller agreement of the last three years.
Panel PCs from Maple Systems come preloaded with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and include touchscreen displays. Panel PCs preloaded with Microsoft Windows XP Professional join the line of operator interface products from Maple Systems . Available with 8-, 10-, 15-, or 17-in.
Light bar message center from Ametek Dixson adds digital technology to the company's modular Next Generation Instrumentation (NGI) system. Amber backlighted LCD features two, 20-character lines. A light bar message center (LMC) that incorporates digital technology is the latest addition to Ametek Dixson 's modular Next Generation Instrumentation (NGI) system.
Microprocessor-based embedded control systems traditionally have used proprietary real-time operating systems (RTOSs) to attain real-time or near-real-time response needed in such applications as automotive engine control systems. Proprietary RTOS, however, involve some particularly thorny issues. One major issue is simply the engineering cost to develop an RTOS.
San Leandro, CA— Partnership agreement between Yokogawa Electric Corp . and OSIsoft Inc . is designed to serve industrial automation markets throughout much of Asia.
Tin cans have firmly established themselves as the medium of choice for shipping and storing a broad range of products. An important part of this success story is their simplicity. If an opening-tool is needed at all, it is the modest and universally compatible can-opener. Computer systems have long been the antithesis of this. Even simple tasks called for specialist skills. Not so for embedded systems!
Nexus Quattro quad-processor 6U VME board is based on Freescale’s MPC7447A and MPC7448 processors containing PowerPC cores.
Right now, plant floor people and systems "may be doing all the right things, but they don't look like it," said Peter Martin, vice president and general manager of Performance Management for Invensys. Martin was explaining the motivation behind the launch of InFusion, the Invensys "enterprise control system" that unites automation and information systems.
Offering high throughput and low latency, the Celero multiprocessor VME board supports a wide variety of intricate applications, including military and aerospace, that require multi-processing power.
The table "NEMA and IEC enclosure comparison" shown in "Enclose as Needed" (CE, p. 58, March 2006; www.controleng.com/archive) could be construed by readers as a direct one-to-one correlation and interchangeability from IEC IP [ingress protection] Code-rated enclosures to NEMA Type-rated enclosures. No such direct conversion is possible.
Just in case you were wondering, "What’s Next in Advanced Manufacturing?" there’s a keynote panel discussion on that topic at the AM Expo, on Wednesday, May 17, 9 a.m., in Greenville, S.C. According to the description for the session, “Challenges for implementers of advanced manufacturing solutions never end. Productivity, flexibility, upgradeability, quick return on investment, and more are always on the minds of engineers and managers who seek better solutions, not just new technology. There is a steady stream of innovations in manufacturing equipment and systems, control software, integration engineering, and manufacturing management.” But application success depends on many technical and business factors. Panelists are expected to share their expectations for “new technologies targeting advanced manufacturing, covering emerging software technologies for industrial automation and instrumentation and embedded systems, the growing importance of RFID in manufacturing control systems and supply chain systems, the rapidly changing system integration technologies for industrial automation, and the expectations of users and implementers of new manufacturing technologies and strategies.” An opportunity for questions and answers will follow. Panelists are: Gary Foster, general manager, Automation Engineering Corp.; Bob Yenkner, director Americas lean operations, Celestica Corp.; Marcia Gadbois, vice president– business development & marketing, Indusoft; and Matt Ream, senior manager for RFID Systems, Zebra Technologies. Panel will be moderated by Mark T.
Incuity EMI software lets companies connect to business applications, databases, process histories, and control systems to provide Web-based access, manipulation, and viewing and sharing of information throughout an enterprise. Package lets users quickly collect and organize data on the back-end to build Web-based, browser-accessible front-ends more easily.
Manufacturing Business Intelligence Solution v. 5.5 from Acumence Inc. adds KPI alerting and a variety of other enhancements to the plant analytics server that reportedly helps manufacturers identify, analyze, and react more quickly to decreasing plant performance.
Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) need not be limited to disk-based computer systems, according to recent news from Enea, a leader in advanced device software. In March 2006, Enea announced Polyhedra FlashLite, its new RDBMS designed for use with flash memory for data storage.
Charlottesville, VA — GE Fanuc Embedded Systems has completed the acquisition of the technology assets of Condor Engineering, which include test-and-simulation products, embedded boards, and core technology to meet the data communications needs of commercial and military aircraft manufacturers and suppliers. “We are very pleased that the addition of the Condor Engineering technology provides GE Fanuc Embedded Systems with an expanded reach in the avionics industry,” said Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO of GE Fanuc. “Synergistic product lines offer compelling, high-performance solutions that address the needs of the customers in this industry.” Condor’s products include hardware interface solutions for application engineers, extensive high-level API libraries for software developers, GUI monitor and control programs for integrators and test engineers, and core logic for embedded designers. This technology supports F-16, F-18, F-22, C-17, C-130, Airbus, and Boeing aircraft.
Renee Robbins has been named as Control Engineering's editorial director. In this role, Robbins will manage the content direction for the publication and its increasingly rich online offerings to ensure that Control Engineering continues to evolve with today's industry trends. The rest of the magazine's experienced editorial team remains intact, providing timely, thought-pr...
Two, new USB 2.0 JTAG debug interface devices, demonstrated at the recent Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, CA, are available for ARM, Xscale, and PowerPC processors. The usb2Demon and usb2Sprite function identically except for speed, to give embedded developers flexibility in choosing an appropriate price/performance ratio for projects; usb2Demon is the high-speed version.
Three separate books give readers insights on the practical application of the wireless spectrum—from site surveys through networking and security. 802.11 Wireless Network Site Surveying and Installation Performing a wireless LAN (WLAN) site survey before installing a wireless network is key in a successful WLAN deployment. Each location and company have unique needs that must be taken into account. The book delineates challenges of site surveys, including multipath mitigation, reflection, absorption, and radio wave interference, plus the added complexity of user and application demands.
Wonderware , a Invensys Systems Inc. subsidiary, and Pavilion Technologies recently announced 'Powered by SAP NetWeaver' certification status. For Wonderware, the status was attained through successful certification of two new plant-to-business integration solutions. The first is Wonderware's Business Package for Process Performance Analysis 60.1 integrated with the SAP NetWeaver Portal.
Both units of American Electric Power's Cook nuclear-plant, in Bridgman, MI, get upgrades with Triconex electronic control systems, from Invensys Process Systems, for the main turbines and feed-water pump turbines. New digital systems will replace existing controls on a fast track to meet AEP's implementation goals.
Boston, MA —Better-performing manufacturers are using real-time analytics and electronic dashboards to improve decision-making capabilities from the plant floor to the boardroom, a recent AberdeenGroup study found. Manufacturing Transparency: Turning Visibility into Value shows that emerging technology solutions are collecting, aggregating, and presenting data from a variety of plant-floor devices and helping decision makers manage production, respond to immediate issues, and monitor improvement metrics. The benchmark study concluded that manufacturers performing these activities are better prepared to compete in today’s global economy than those in the early phases of automating manufacturing operations. It also helped confirm that the relevance of real-time plant floor data has increased significantly as enterprises focus on top- and bottom-line results.
Touchscreen graphics, one switch-selectable serial port, and communications via EIA-232, EIA-422, or EIA-485 are among features of the QTerm-Z60 operator interface. Unit has a QVGA, 320 x 240-pixel, 256-color, STN LCD and is viewable in most lighting conditions. Terminal uses QSI's Qlarity object-based graphic terminal programming language for design of a control panel interface or a complete s...
Telemecanique Magelis XBT-R matrix screen display from Schneider Electric features four lines of large-font text for easy viewing. Palatine, IL —Compact display terminal from Schneider Electric is said to provide low-cost connectivity to control systems for machine operators. Telemecanique Magelis XBT-R matrix screen display accommodates up to four lines of large-font (20-mm high) text for easy viewing.Latest addition to this family of operator interfaces is designed to provide an affordable HMI display for small- and medium-sized machines.
DualHead2Go multi-display upgrade from Matrox Graphics is an external device that adds support for an extra monitor. It is compatible with a variety of laptops and other systems. Montreal, Canada —DualHead2Go multi-display upgrade from Matrox Graphics Inc .
Over the past two decades, job insecurity has become the norm in the manufacturing industry worldwide. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that U.S. manufacturing employment dropped, on average, by 1.08% annually between 1986 and 2003. And though the U.S. job market posted a 2,000-person net gain in six major engineering-and-computer job classifications ...
System designers and developers have traditionally used separate environments for different phases of development—for example, in requirements analysis through design versus implementation through deployment. This is an inefficient approach, because a design has to be recreated in implementation and needs manual updating for changes. A new strategic partnership between Green Hills Software Inc .
Know Tech Environmental Inc. has selected human-machine interface (HMI) equipment from QSI Corp. to help manage the processing of its lobster and aquaculture products. Qterm-G70 operator interface (OI) terminal is being used with the company’s Tally Ho! Weighmeister, a machine for styro-packing operations, to record the weight of boxes of lobsters and generate printed shipping manifests for each order.
ISA's certification program, Certified Automation Professional (CAP) , will play a critical role in the future of the automation industry, the organization says. CAP represents the first certification for the automation field, ISA says. The initial step of the program was ISA’s completion of a feasibility study to survey the market regarding the proposed certification. CAP’s feasibility study supported the concept of worker differentiation through certification in the automation field.
Eugene Buechele, CTO and VP of customer engineering for Encirq Corp. , will speak at the ARM Developers’ Conference 2005, held Oct. 4-6, in Santa Clara, CA.
It's always been editorial policy at Control Engineering to keep a close eye on topics that have the potential to impact our readership and adjust content appropriately to keep up with relevant trends. Based on a number of key issues ranging from regulations to intellectual property, we are launching a new, quarterly column in this issue—Legalities.
Ontario, Canada's drinking water regulation (part of the country's Safe Drinking Water Act) was enacted to ensure that water intended for human consumption is free of disease-causing organisms or unsafe concentrations of toxic chemicals or radioactive substances. The regulation also stipulates that drinking water should be aesthetically acceptable and palatable—taste, odor, turbidity, and...
In June, The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) released ISO/IEC 17799:2005, the latest update to their code of practice for information systems. This version includes more guidance for information security and incident management than did its predecessor, and addresses risk assessment, provisions for business p...
Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston —described as “the most important educational forum on the East Coast for engineers and engineering managers developing embedded systems”—is set for another run at the Hynes Convention Center, Sept. 12-15, 2005. This year, ESC will be co-located with the Embedded Security Seminar (Sept.
Inspired by new contracts with three food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, system integrator Advanced Automation Associates Inc. (A3) recently expanded its APlus factory maintenance support services.
Sentinel Series rugged flat-panel monitors withstand harsh environments to provide reliability in demanding military and industrial applications.
Four new Celeron-based PC/104-Plus and PCI-104 embedded processor boards are designed around the ULV Intel Celeron Tualatin processor and Intel 815E chipset.
For some time now, Control Engineering has devoted considerable ink to the convergence of engineering and IT in manufacturing. Now it appears that vendors are doing more than simply offering products, such as intelligent devices, remote monitoring, and manufacturing execution systems (MES), to address this merger of technologies and departments.
The free Elsevier Science Web site Scirus has indexed data of 13 million patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the company reports.
By introducing its own embedded Linux operating system (OS), Axiomtek has notably expanded OS support for the company’s x86 PC architecture platforms.
Touchscreens are preferred over keypads for entering data into operator interface terminals, a recent study shows.
Newest addition to QSI Corp.’s family of Qlarity human-machine interface (HMI) terminals is the Qterm-Z60. Said to be rugged and economical, the HMI uses touchscreen graphics, comes with one switch-selectable serial port, and can communicate via EIA-232, EIA-422, or EIA-485.
The 17th edition of Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) is just around the corner.
Thousands of engineers and other technical professionals will explore the latest embedded hardware and software technology products from more than 350 exhibiting companies at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), March 6-10, 2005, at San Francisco's Moscone Center. The 17-year-old conference's technical program will include 132 classes, 16 full-day tutorials, seven design...
San Francisco, CA— Thousands of engineers and other technical professionals will explore the latest embedded hardware and software technology products from more than 350 exhibiting companies at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), March 6-10, 2005, at San Francisco‘s Moscone Center.
Aggregate global demand for electronic displays is projected to increase more than 13% a year through 2008 according to a study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market firm.
E2Brain RISC processor-based computer-on-module is intended for embedded systems in the real-time domain, with minimum power consumption and passive cooling.
Information that varies continuously as a function of time is analog information. Computers are digital devices and, therefore, must convert analog information to a digital format in order to work with the information.
Developments at organizations active in embedded systems and controls continually make the news.
At its Sapphire conference earlier this year, SAP announced that one of its main initiatives would be greater connectivity of its systems to plant-floor software solutions following the ISA S95 standard.
A new LIMS/CDS (laboratory information management system/chromatography data system) has resulted from a partnership between Thermo Electron Corp. and Orbis Information Systems.
Fracas (Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Correction Action System) Management System version 2.2 features two new modules: Dashboard and Human Factors Analysis.
Faced with a large increase in demand for its pet food products, Dad's Products Co., a $60-plus million, Meadville, PA-based manufacturer of canned, dry, and soft-moist dog and cat food, sought to automate processes and improve production efficiency. Bachelor Controls Inc. (BCI)—a provider of control and system integration solutions—was chosen by Dad's to implement a plant-wide auto...
Jointly announced by Munich International Trade Fairs and CMP Media LLC on July 26, 2004, electronicaUSA will be discontinued. The reason offered for the decision was that the show ''had mixed success,'' based on its debut presentation in spring 2004, in San Francisco, under the name of ''electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference.''
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada—Tundra Semiconductor is launching what it reports is the industry's first PCI/X-to-VMEBus bridge. Tundra Tsi148 is the next VME component in the firm’s VMEbus System Interconnect portfolio.
LTC3802 wide-input voltage range, dual 2-phase dc/dc synchronous controller converts a high-input voltage to low-output voltages at a high switching frequency. Leading edge modulation architecture allows extremely low duty cycles without compromising the operating switching frequency. Fast nominal 550 kHz switching frequency is phase-lockable from 300 to 750 kHz.
Among the 132 classes at Embedded Systems Conference that addressed wide-ranging technology topics were: "Implementing Process Control Systems with Field-programmable Analog Arrays" and "Linux 101." Here is added information about these two noteworthy educational classes.
A variety of new offerings are brightening and expanding HMI horizons this month. They include touchscreen monitors, programmable keyboards, displays, and software tools as well as training.
Automation system integrators are the engineering firms that manufacturers turn to for help connecting the disparate components of their automated factories. System integrators provide the time, talents, and technology required to turn a plan into a functioning automation system. But exactly what engineering services constitute "system integration" and which engineering service providers qualif...
QTerm-G55 handheld graphic operator interface terminal, newest addition to the family of Qlarity terminals, is rugged and lightweight. It uses screen graphics and a keypad interface and can be equipped with two EIA-232, 422, or 485 serial ports, Ethernet 10Base-T or a Power-over-Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af) interface.
Among those specifying, recommending, and/or buying operator interface terminals, 60% do so for in-plant requirements, 35% do so for a systems integrator, and 27% do so for OEM (resale) requirements.
Formula 7400 professional mobile PC can integrates a Wi-Fi card for wireless IEEE 802.11b communication.
Human-machine interface (HMI) solutions are increasing along with parallel growth in HMI technology and the demand for efficient operation and monitoring of production equipment in European industrial plants, a recent study by Frost & Sullivan reveals.
HMI-related products and services made their presence felt at the National Industrial Automation show during National Manufacturing Week last month. Introductions included new HMI integration technology, a line of wireless monitors and displays, and two handheld devices.
"electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference" is set to run March 29 to April 1, 2004, at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.
San Francisco, CA—Billed as the most comprehensive systems design educational forum in North America, 'electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference' (ESC) runs March 29 to April 1, 2004, at the Moscone Convention Center.
Numerous useful solutions and products from exhibitors highlighted National Manufacturing Week 2004, Feb. 23-26, at McCormick Place. Here are some of the show's most significant releases and exhibits:
Engineers at Kemet Electronics Corp. (Greenville, SC) have developed a process over the last 18 months that involves the growing of polymers on a capacitor anode using an electrochemical process. The company is ramping up this new coating method because of the undesirable effects that can be encountered when growing the counter-electrode for tantalum capacitors.
Billed as the "most comprehensive systems design educational forum in North America," "electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference" (ESC) will run March 29 to April 1 at the Moscone Convention Center. Organizers expect 14,000-15,000 attendees to visit about 400 exhibitors in 18,000 m² (194,000 ft²) of display space, and attend more than 300 tutorials...
StealthVU Model SV-2100 industrial grade LCD monitor features an all-steel enclosed touchscreen built to withstand harsh environments. NEMA 4/IP66 displays, used primarily as operator interfaces, withstand water, dust, and dirt intrusion. High-precision 21.3-in. viewable unit can run resolutions up to its native mode UXGA of 1,600 x 1,200 pixels with both analog and digital input sources.
Yokogawa group has turned its Yokogawa Marex plant information subsidiary in Cowes, U.K. into its global center-of-excellence for its new generation of manufacturing execution systems (MES) worldwide.
Monitors are growing slimmer, smarter, and more stylish. Take a look at some of the innovative, capable and cost-effective monitors that are available in the marketplace today.
Pleasanton, CA—To strengthen its position in the agent development environment for embedded platforms, AdventNet Inc. reports that it has partnered with QNX Software Systems to help address the requirements of agent developers using the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system (RTOS).
Oak Brook, IL—An automation system integrator is often the answer when there aren’t enough staffers to execute an automation project in-house, or when in-house engineers lack the required technological expertise, according to Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering’s consulting editor.
Invensys has been anything but quiet about ArchestrA, its industrial software architecture, designed for the rapid assembly and integration of software applications and devices—both new and legacy—across a plant’s automation framework. One of the principal issues Invensys has been promoting about ArchestrA is its standard device integration methodologies, which allow for interoperability of old and newer systems by normalizing all data into a common integration layer.
First member of a new family of NET+ARM 32-bit microprocessors from NetSilicon Inc., a division of Digi International, was announced at Embedded Systems Conference Boston.
Intended to slash time needed to develop graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for various products, Amulet Technologies introduced a 5.7-in., 320 x 240 pixel QVGA display panel (LCD) that embeds a graphical operating system (OS).
Operator interfaces (OI)—more elaborate, more efficient, more powerful. Today's OI systems are more complex than ever before, bringing more precise monitoring and control to the processes they oversee. And thanks to technological advancements, applications are increasing in size and shape. While OIs are being built to meet more demands, users are continuing to demand still more.
Houston, TX—Iconics showcased several new visualization products at ISA Expo 2003, including BridgeWorX; Genesis32, version 8.0; and OPC ToolWorX.
The Control and Information Systems Integrators Association (CSIA), which has called itself ''the premier organization for independent control and information system integrators in North America,'' may soon have to expand its horizons if the developments of recent months continue.
Saline, MI—IVC Displays, formed in August 2003, has introduced its IVC NP-600S, a low-cost, 6-in. operator interface (OI) with Microsoft Windows CE.NET.
You may know that the IEEE 1588 is the ''2002 Standard for a Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and Control Systems,'' sponsored by the Technical Committee on Sensor Technology TC-9. There’s an IEEE 1588 Workshop on Sept. 24, 2003. Workshop registration deadline is Sept. 10.
Pro-face PanelStation series programmable operator interfaces offer large protocol driver support for ease of system integration from factory floor to management information systems.
Campbell, CA—Anadigm announced June 3 an electronic design automation (EDA) tool that fully automates development of analog 'proportional, integral, derivative' (PID) control loops.
MetaPure data quality auditing tool for database systems continuously monitors and audits data to ensure adherence to pre-configured, customized rules. Easy to install and use, the system lets information systems and analytic personnel monitor data quality and correct data quality problems before they cause serious errors in how data are used and analyzed.
Despite having become law in March 1997, end-users have been slow in complying with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA, Rockville, MD) 21 CFR Part 11 regulation on electronic records and signatures. Users often cite the FDA's need to provide a better interpretation of what it meant to be compliant as the reason for their slowness.
Geology dictates that even the fastest whitewater river must slow down occasionally. Rafters, kayakers and canoeists reach stretches of deeper, slower moving water, and have a chance to briefly catch their breath before the next gut-wrenching plunge. These windows of relative calm are similar to the economic pause apparently being experienced by the 1,376 control and automation engineers and ot...
Hardworking industrial human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are usually found on plant floors, not at the PC-based controls of a luxury yacht moored in sun-splashed Palm Beach, Florida. However, the 153-ft, aluminum-hulled Detroit Eagle is not an ordinary ship. Owned by legendary racing-owner and industrialist Roger Penske, Detroit Eagle was launched in 2001, and mixes recreation with industrial con...
Natick, MA - Cognex Corp. announced January 21 that it has expanded the data access capabilities of the SmartView system, the company's web inspection system used for detecting and classifying defects in papers, metals, nonwovens, and other materials.
Austin, TX —Emerson Process Managements new PlantWeb migration products for field connection, control, and operator interface—combined with simulation and training services—help minimize process downtime for transition to digital plant architectures. Predefined drag and drop display dynamos, such as pumps, valves, and motors enable easy building of new displays; or services a...
Anaheim, CA - Rockwell Automation developed a ''ViewAnyWare'' strategy a few years' ago and has stuck with it as a platform for new product development in both hardware and software.
Applied Data Systems (ADS, Columbia MD) demonstrated at Embedded Systems Conference 2002, Nov. 19-21, an embedded HMI/SCADA solution featuring InduSoft Web Studio (IWS) running on its Graphics Client Plus, a RISC-based StrongARM system. IWS allows users to access a web browser for real-time, dynamic and animated graphic screens, trends, alarms, reports, and recipes.
Exton, PA - Lighthammer announced November 12 that the Whirlpool appliance company has selected Illuminator as its manufacturing information systems platform to help drive operational excellence through improved quality, reduced costs, and increased operational equipment effectiveness (OEE).
Washington, DC— More than 2,000 of Aspen Technology Inc.'s (Cambridge, MA) customers, representing 600 companies from 48 countries, gathered here at AspenWorld 2002 on Oct. 28-Nov. 1 to learn about AspenTech's product direction plans and to share their experiences using its products in their own plants.
Chicago, IL - A collection of 10 independent system integration firms announced Oct. 21 at ISA 2002 that they have formed the Automation Alliance Group, which they say, ''Puts the power of peer-based knowledge to work in a multi-skilled, geographically distributed solutions provider.''
Richardson, TX - USDATA Corporation, a supplier of industrial automation software solutions, announced October 1its acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding stock of Wizard Information Systems Ltd., a privately held company located in the United Kingdom and a major distributor of USDATA.
Chicago, IL— To help boost production equipment utilization and reduce machine downtime, GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, VA) is exhibiting its new Cimplicity i Cell at IMTS 2002, Sept. 4-11, at McCormick Place. Cimplicity i Cell is a Windows-based, supervisory software package that manages multiple CNC machine tools from a central location. It supports operations, such as parts machining, data collection, remote diagnostics and state-change monitoring, as well as enabling quick recovery in the event of a failure, which can increase machining productivity by reducing downtime and optimizing equipment performance.
Orlando, FL- To improve interoperability in manufacturing facilities and across supply chains, Invensys Manufacturing Solutions (Foxboro, MA) introduced Sept. 9 its Invensys Production Engine at the opening of its Invensys Showcase 2002 user conference and exposition, Sept. 8-12, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
Temecula, CA - Turbocraft Inc. (Tukwila, Wa.), an engineering services company specializing in factory automation and machine design, has released two PID control products for users of the Opto 22 FactoryFloor and ioControl software suites.
Austin, Tex. - Designers of industrial and automotive systems using the controller area network (CAN) communication protocol can now reduce development times and overall system costs by using the new CAN reference design from Motorola Inc.
San Jose, Calif. - Advanced Embedded Systems (AES, Marana, Ariz.) unveiled RT12-4204 wireless transceiver designed to link remote sensors to data acquisition inputs.
Fremont, Calif. - Dolch, manufacturer of rugged industrial portable computers, will feature its new operator interface workstations for harsh environments at this year's Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada June 11-13.
Saline, Mich. - Xycom Automation, Inc., a subsidiary of Pro-face America, Inc., announces updated GP-PRO/PBIII C-Package01 for Windows screen development software.
Arlington Heights, Ill. - A representative from Canada's second-largest steel maker says he has helped apply automation and controls to keep assets working longer and more efficiently throughout products' lifecycles. Vlad Djuric, Dofasco Inc. (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) explained how automation helped maximize asset reliability, doing its part to turn the company around from an economic abyss in the mid-1980s.
Andover, Mass. - I-Logix Inc. announced April 16 the incorporation of Use Case Diagrams into the systems engineering process. The company has added Unified Modeling Language (UML) compliant Use Case Diagrams to Statemate Magnum 3.1, providing engineers with the most comprehensive systems engineering tool available.
End-users expect significant benefits from achieving compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA, Rockville, Md.) 21 CFR Part 11 regulation on electronic records and electronic signatures, according to similar but independent polls conducted during late 2001 and early 2002 by AFAB Group (Avon, Ind.
[Editor's note: In a recent Technology Update article, "Uticor's OI terminal offers free software, 'hot' downloads," CE, Feb. '02, p. 8, it was reported that Uticor's Q Square terminal can replace GE Fanuc's QuickPanel.] As a proven operator interface, the GE Fanuc QuickPanel provides an easy-to-use, cost-effective graphical solution.
Salt Lake City, Utah — Fonix Corp. and parvus Corp. announced January 31 the signing of a collaborative agreement to promote mutual opportunities for implementing voice recognition technologies in embedded computer systems.
Milwaukee, Wis. - Rockwell Automation announced January 31 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Propack Data GmbH, a supplier of manufacturing information systems for the pharmaceutical and other regulated industries based in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Lisle, Ill. - NewMonics Inc. launched version 3.2.1 of PERC becomeing the first embedded JVM to provide enterprise-class profiling.
Richardson, Tex. - USDATA and Intag Systems (Seattle, Wash.), a manufacturing systems integrator, announced the availability of the xApplication Suite, a collection of tools for developers of USDATA's Xfactory 2.0 software.
Newark, Calif. - Corresponding with launch of Microsoft Corp.'s latest embedded operating system (OS), Windows XP Embedded, M-Systems announced that Windows XP Embedded contains native support for the DiskOnKey and DiskOnChip product lines.
Sunnyvale, Calif. - Verano, a real-time software infrastructure company, announced Nov. 19 that Iscor Ltd., Africa's largest steel producer, is using its Enterprise Link software to access minute-by-minute, real-time manufacturing data, minimize costs, and maximize its production of sinter, a raw material for steel.
Richardson, Tex. - USDATA Corp. announced the release of its manufacturing execution system (MES) software, Xfactory 2.0.
Carlsbad, Calif. - SBS Technologies announced execution of a letter of intent to acquire Interactive Circuits and Systems (ICS) Ltd., an Ontario, Canada-based provider of advanced board and system level products for data acquisition, signal and image processing, advanced Software Defined Radio (SDR), and wireless applications.
Technology and accounting trends are blending and driving business decisions, says Peter Martin, vp, Invensys Automation (Foxboro, Mass.), said in a session at ISA 2001 on Sept. 10. Today, it's not only technology that matters. If you can prove to the company that you're delivering $4 million to the bottom line, you're not going to get laid off.
Waukegan, Ill. - Open-loop vector and Volts/Hertz are two control choices offered in versatile GPD 315/V7 adjustable-frequency ac drive. Rated at 1/8-10 hp, the compact drive comes in NEMA 1 and 4X/12 enclosure types.
West Lafayette, Ind. -The Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture (PERA) website's ( www.pera.net ) mission is to provide a reference site for PERA materials, and a forum for sharing information on recent developments and products in Enterprise Master Planning and Systems Integration. Intended visitors to this site are computer and telecommunications network professionals, control engineers, enterprise management, and project managers who are responsible for the design of industrial and corporate control and communication systems.
Dedham, Mass.— The worldwide human-machine interface (HMI) software market will grow at a 9.9% compound annual growth rate CAGR from more than $461 million in 2000 to almost $741 million through 2005, according to a study by ARC Advisory Group. The study, "Human Machine Interface Software Worldwide Outlook, Market Analysis & Forecast Through 2005," was released May 8.
San Francisco, Calif. —Motorola Computer Group, a business unit of Motorola Inc., recently announced its plan to provide Bluetooth wireless technology for the first time on embedded infrastructures running on a choice of three operating systems—Linux, VxWorks, and Microsoft Windows 2000—and on two architecture processors—PowerPC and Intel.
Spring House, Pa. -Siemens-Moore recently added a HART analog output, a 1-5 volt input, and a non-HART analog input modules to the Procidia control system. All modules support eight channels with the HART output module reading up to four HART variables from each controlled device.
Chevron Phillips Chemical, a 50/50 joint venture between Houston-based Chevron and Phillips Petroleum, recently signed a $14-million Total Plant System (TPS) agreement with Honeywell Industrial Controls for its olefins and aromatics plant in Port Arthur, Tex. Components included in the TPS agreement include Global User Stations for operator interface, High Performance...
Object Management Group (OMG) and J Consortium established a liaison Jan. 25 to encourage rapid development of specifications for real-time and embedded markets. They will also aid development of standards for real-time and embedded systems, such as sensors for the medical, avionics, automotive, and other industries, and promote moves toward computer-controlled "appli...
Automation makes it easy to collect data, but is it the right data? Have key metrics been defined and are those metrics being monitored? Is reducing process variability the goal? Is data actually analyzed to gain information; or is data simply taking up a hefty chunk of storage space?Data accessibility is a major obstacle that must be overcome if the continuous improvement journey to achi...
Alpharetta, Ga.—New to North America, Simoreg 6RA70 DC Master—a 5th generation dc drive—has joined Siemens' MasterDrives family. With modular design in the forefront, the same micropro-cessor (MPU) board and firm-ware work across the drive's entire output range and five operating voltages (400-830 V ac), which make 6RA70 a truly global product.
ABB Automation opened the first of three factory-authorized centers for industrial repair services here on May 23. ABB Automation is consolidating its testing, repair, and reconditioning centers into three strategic locations to better serve its worldwide customer base. Two more centers will be located in Europe and Asia.
Charlotte, N.C.— AlterSys Inc. announces Virgo 2000, a modular, PC-based process control and automation software suite that combines the performance and reliability of the QNX real-time operating system with connectivity and ease-of-use of Microsoft Windows NT. According to its developer, Virgo 2000 enables system integrators, OEMs, and end-users to build high-end, real-time open control...
Racine, Wis. -Rho4 PC-based motion and logic control system provides control and operator interface on the same processor. Programmers develop operator interface screens in Visual C++ or Visual Basic and communications with standard DLLs, DDE, or OLE.
Milwaukee, Wis. —RSView Machine Edition provides interactive features, capabilities, and design tools that support PC-based operator interface solutions for individual machines or small processes. Designed to run on Microsoft Windows NT and CE operating systems, RSView uses the same developmental environment as its developer's RSView32 software for process monitoring and control.
Steeplechase Software Inc. and Bradley Ward Systems (BWS, Atlanta, Ga.) recently partnered to provide plant-floor automation to the food and beverage industry. BWS will use Steeplechase's PC-based control solutions to speed time to market, lower equipment downtime, and provide better data connectivity between the factory floor and plant information systems.
Electronic displays traditionally provide read-outs of programmable logic controller, operator interface data, or safety statistics. However, Engineered Plastics Corp. (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) recently discovered that displaying real-time production data for its plant employees enhances productivity and saves thousands of dollars per month.
Salem, Va.— AV-300i adjustable-speed drive features closed-loop, field-oriented control (FOC), sensorless FOC, and volts/hertz operating modes. The drive is suitable for applications from 3/4 to 200 hp. Its dimensions range from 4 x 12 in. for the 1/2 hp device to only 20 x 46 in. for the 200 hp unit.
Cygnus Solutions announced availability April 7 of its GNU Compiler Java (GCJ) edition with open-source Java libraries. GNU stands for GNU's Not Unix, an open-source Unix software development consortium. This permits Java developers to use GCJ, a Java compiler built with GNU compiler technology, which allows Java source code and Java byte codes to be compiled to na...
Simpler usually means faster. To cut costs and simplify deployment, integration, and management of manufacturing enterprise systems, Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, Wa.) recently collaborated with its customers, developers, and manufacturers to develop a new technical architecture.
Austin, Tex. —Provox control system users can upgrade the operator interface and add an application server running on Microsoft NT 4.0 platforms. The Provox operator console (POC) can be installed in a client/server or stand-alone configuration. Existing database can be preserved; information can be downloaded directly to new POCs.
Salt Lake City, Ut.— New QTERM-K65 graphical operator interface terminal from QSI Corp. features: 240 x 128 pixel lighted graphics LCD, object-orientated software, 512 Kbytes of flash memory for program and screen storage, resistive touchscreen that allows keys on or around the display, and a temperature sensor and automatic contrast adjustment for use in changing environments.
Engineers tend to think if they create the best product in the world, it will sell without marketing. However, in reality, better marketing frequently outsells the best product. This may be as frustrating as it is illogical, but its often true anyway.As a result, technically astute engineers that want to become entrepreneurs find they must learn to promote their products.
The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market for automotive electronic products in North America is expected to increase more than 7% per year through 2002—reaching close to $30 billion, according to a recent report by the Freedonia Group Inc. This would be a significantly faster pace than most other OEM light vehicle component markets.
The 28th edition of BIAS, the International Automation, Instrumentation, and Microelectronics Conference and Exhibition, will be held Nov. 24-28 in the new Portello Pavilions. BIAS will be the largest trade fair in the control and instrumentation field in Europe this year.The last BIAS exhibition in 1996, which was its 40th anniversary, welcomed 58,912 visitors and 2,...
Maple Systems Inc., a manufacturer of operator interface terminals, announced two new additions to its Operator Interface Terminal (OIT) Family. The OIT3165 features a 2-line by 20-character backlit LCD, and the OIT3175 features a 4-line by 20-character backlit LCD. Both are said to offer the same advantages as the other members of the company's OIT family.
In an effort to reach customers far more directly, AVG Automation recently formed a new company, "OI Dir>ct," which will allow buyers of its Operator Interface (OI) Panels to purchase equipment directly from the manufacturer. Customers comfortable with using written instructions and on-line support to install new equipment will benefit from the cost savings an...
As any postal worker can tell you, we are a country of catalog junkies. From Dell Computer to Land's End, we buy direct to save time and money. But can catalog sales work in the industrial marketplace? Are industrial customers willing to bypass salespeople and distributors to buy direct?One of the early pioneers to test this concept is Omega Engineering, headquartered in Stamford, Conn.
Ninety-five percent of U.S. manufacturers believe the Internet is here to stay, according to the latest "Survey of American Manufacturers," by the accounting firm of Grant Thornton (Chicago, Ill.). Websites for mid-sized manufacturers have increased dramatically, and more companies are expected to have their own website up and running sometime in 1998 (see table).
VentureCom Inc. announced April 10 that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, Wa.) to incorporate VentureCom's Component Integrator for Windows CE into the next major release of the Microsoft Windows CE Embedded Toolkit for Visual C++. Component Integrator is a modular, extensible system for engineering and deploying Windows CE-based products.
Chandler, Ariz. —Embedded Processor Module Development Kit supports Intel Embedded Processor Modules based on 438HX PCI sets. Processor modules supported include the 133 MHz Pentium and the 166 MHz Pentium with MMX technology. Real-time offerings included in the kit are: QNX real-time operating systems from QNX Software Systems Ltd.
When Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle awoke from his 20-year nap, he found himself in a new country. When computer users wake up on Jan. 1, 2000, they may find themselves in the old century.Year 2000 poses a myriad of problems for computers and software applications that only recognize two-digit date codes (e.
Manufacturers may focus on software and hardware, but when you push for better than 99% reliability, improved human input must be encouraged too. This was just one of the messages during a Dec. 1-2 forum on "Empowered Productivity" staged by General Electric and Microsoft to stimulate thinking and take a global look at what encourages productivity.