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Upgrading human-machine interface (HMI) or supervisory control and data acquisitions (SCADA) software without upgrading to modern design principles is a lot like putting worn tires on a new car.
If you're thinking of hurrying through the next upgrade of human-machine interface (HMI) or supervisory control and data acquisitions (SCADA) software by keeping all the same screen designs, think again.
A human-machine interface (HMI) establishes a machine builder’s brand, which makes any upgrade require a balance of optimal user experience, hardware options and upstream communication.
When it comes to designing HMIs and other interfaces, cognitive load is an important factor. Three design strategies are highlighted.
When designing a human-machine interface (HMI), it’s important to keep in mind it needs to be designed for the human eye. Four visual hierarchy pillars are highlighted.
With the ISA-101 standard aimed at addressing operator effectiveness, there has been an added focus on bringing practical HMI design concepts to plants. Five improvements are highlighted.
When updating a human-machine interface (HMI) to meet today's plant needs, following the ISA-101 standard is a good place to start.
Maintaining a customer-facing dashboard as an asset can help manufacturers get access to their data more quickly and efficiently. Seven tips are highlighted.
A modern dashboard is one such way to take raw production line data and present it in a way that it becomes useful information for various system stakeholders such as plant management, operations and maintenance.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2021 included stories on HMI and SCADA design, six things to know about calibration, process control system connectivity, the Career and Salary Survey and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about HMI and SCADA design, six calibration tips, the Career and Salary Survey, process control system connectivity and UPS implementation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 7-13, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Recycling center upgrades baling machine to an outdoor-sunlight readable human-machine (HMI). Larger screens decreased number for used from six to three.
Oldsmar's cybersecurity attack was due to a lack of defense in depth in the human-machine interface (HMI). A good security by design protocol can help avert this, but it requires a fundamental rethink.
A look at how COVID-19 is changing remote operations and human-machine interfaces
Unified human-machine interface (HMI) software centralizes device management and machine data, enhancing usefulness and increasing connectivity across the enterprise.
Articles about mulitvariable control, PLCs, robots remotely assisting in health care, HMI's, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Delivering the right human-machine interface (HMI) experience is critical whenever people need to interact with automation.
Investing in batch automation to limit your facility’s risk in a future pandemic will most likely pay for itself in many ways that were not originally considered.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2020 included stories about workplace distancing, COVID-19 impacts, cybersecurity risk, HMI/SCADA software, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about manufacturing the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity, HMI/SCADA software, digital transformation, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 15-21, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are evolving beyond basic visualization devices to become edge-located, data handling, and analytical powerhouses. See 5 modern HMI attributes.
Modern technology and creative thinking are enabling many impressive projects using human-machine interface software and supervisory control and data acquisition software. HMI and SCADA software help with OT and IT convergence. See six SCADA software advantages, applications.
The June issue of AppliedAutomation looks at high-performance HMIs (HP-HMIs) and remote monitoring in the age of COVID-19.
When beginning a hardware and software upgrade project, look to implement high-performance human-machine interface (H-P-HMI) graphics for greater control of manufacturing processes and systems.
Articles about the Engineers' Choice winners, intuitive HMI screens, IIoT improvements, digital transformation, and machine modules were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 24 to March 1. Miss something? You can catch up here.
CoreTigo’s TigoBridge connects a wired IO-Link device via IO-Link wireless to an IO-Link wireless master.CoreTigo provides an embedded version and an enclosed product version of the TigoBridge.
Have a plan when it comes to configuration your human-machine interface (HMI) and hiring the next generation of engineering talent.
Design standards and best practices for human-machine interfaces (HMIs) continue evolving, but simplicity and clarity never go out of style.
Microsoft Windows 7 expired on Jan. 14, and manufacturers’ human-machine interface (HMI) software may still need help migrating to a supported operating system. System integrators can provide migration assistance to lower cybersecurity risk.
System integrators should do a deep dive into the customer’s manufacturing process with detailed conversations and clarification of expectations during the design phase of any project.
Mobile interfaces facilitate convergence of operations and maintenance.
Two leading methods exist for establishing mobile human-machine interface (HMI) connectivity; one providing more cybersecurity. See table comparison of remote access HMI connections.
HMI software should mix elements of web design and controls engineering to create effective operator interfaces for industrial displays and mobile devices of all sizes.
New capabilities in mobile-responsive design make human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) applications more valuable on the plant floor.
Leveraging a mobile human-machine interface (HMI) strategy can help an organization’s digital transformation by improving operations and a company’s overall digital intelligence.
The ISA's first American National Standard on human-machine interfaces (HMIs) covers the philosophy, design, implementation, operation and maintenance of HMIs for process automation systems.
Manufacturers share knowledge where and when needed via augmented reality (AR). See eight leading AR applications, according to IHS Markit research.
Keeping a human-machine interface (HMI) up-to-date and safe even after companies stop updating the software behind the HMI can be a tricky process.
Articles about choosing the right HMI, the Career and Salary Survey, DCS migration, alarm management and process safety, and monitoring assets were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 24-30. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are available with many hardware and software features and users should work backwards from the target application to make sure all needs are addressed.
Flexible human-machine interface (HMI) solutions maintain the advanced functionality of modern hardware while adapting to the needs of each application.
Rockwell Automation’s ThinManager version 11.0 software includes support for 11 local languages in 12 countries, making it easier for global organizations to configure, deploy and manage thin client devices in their operations using their native language and character sets.
Mobile human-machine interfaces (HMIs) have evolved over the last decade and offer a lot of potential value on the plant floor, but there are perceived cybersecurity and risk management issues for many users that need to be overcome.
Two Technologies’ HMIQ is a hardware package with a user interface development platform (drag & drop) that allows companies to utilize the Android operating system and reach Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) goals.
Omron Automation Americas’ Sysmac AI Controller handles several key steps in the data-driven decision process for predictive maintenance, thereby freeing up industrial professionals from tedious calculations, analyses, and infrastructure upgrades.
The VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) was crucial in helping ensure NASA's InSight Spacecraft made a safe landing on the surface of the planet Mars. See video.
A risk management evaluation for safety-critical equipment (SCE), including use of a risk matrix, is fundamental to controlling operating hazards, but even proven industry hazard determination templates won’t work with outdated data.
Mobile human-machine interface (HMI) strategies should consider security, ease of use, level of access and detail, and collaboration when bringing HMI interfaces from the control room to the plant floor.
The 2018 HMI Software and Hardware study revealed several upward trends on the usage of human-machine interface software and hardware.
Articles about three VFD trends, avoiding alarm overload, internal automation standards, the 2018 Engineers' Choice winners, and selecting an automation controller were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 5-11. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cover Story: A new automotive production facility used a modular controller design to reduce startup challenges and optimize plant operations for Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (MCPP).
Respondents to the Control Engineering 2017 HMI Software and Hardware study unveiled five key findings regarding what end users expect and how they purchase or specify HMI software and hardware.
Schweitzer Engineering Labs' SEL-751 feeder protection relay is designed to let the user intuitively navigate to folders and applications with the tap of a finger and the appropriate security credentials.
Automation methods used in a distillery are adapted for use in the fermentation process at a brew house.
Network Integration — Ethernet switches: The IEX-408E-2VDSL2-HV-T is a combo DSL extender and 6-port Ethernet switch that leverages existing copper wire to significantly reduce the cost of networking deployments for factories, pipelines, highways, and railways. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI Software v7.0, web-based manufacturing business intelligence software
Software — Data analytics, diagnostics: FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI is a powerful web-based manufacturing business intelligence solution that integrates all data into a single information management and decision support system. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Software — HMI software: Fuji Electric Corp. of America's Monitouch V-SFT configuration software is the only tool needed to easily develop applications for all Monitouch HMIs. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Software — HMI software: InduSoft Web Studio is a powerful SCADA/HMI software platform providing flexible tools to integrate business intelligence analytics, OEE, and IIoT capabilities. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Software — HMI software: VTScada v11.2 is an all-in-one HMI/SCADA software is designed for complex multi-million tag enterprise systems. It scales effortlessly from tiny applications, yet is instantly intuitive and looks great. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Hardware — HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The Simatic HMI Comfort Outdoor Panels have been developed specifically for demanding HMI applications under extreme ambient conditions. This makes operation and monitoring extremely flexible for every outdoor area. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Hardware — Integrated HMI controllers: The XV-300 Operator Interface is an industrial automation and control solutions to support faster, more powerful OEM applications. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Hardware — Integrated HMI controllers: The Samba 7 is an all-in-one PLC with integrated seven-inch touchscreen HMI and onboard I/O, including options for high speed inputs and outputs, temperature measurement and analog outputs. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Inside Process: This two-part series examines the development of high-performance human-machine interface (HMI) methodology. Part 1 covers HMI evolution, security, improving usability, and consistent use of color.
Pilz's Machine Interface (PMI) 6 Control is an operator terminal equipped with a soft PLC in accordance with IEC 61131-3 as standard.
Tru-Vu Monitors' VMWTRPM-17C-SS touch screen is designed for use in washdown environments such as food processing plants, and other manufacturing or processing facilities that must withstand frequent water spray.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Series 82 anti-vandal pushbuttons are a unique blend of strength, style and versatility that were designed to be used on a wide-array of products that experience high-usage under harsh conditions allowing for unmatched value. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The Series 84 Halo Compact is a unique multi-functional switch that provides the most common status indication features in a single all-in-one solution with animated lighting sequences and multiple combinations of LED colors. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Software - Applications: With significant enhancements offering additional device connectivity and an improved user experience, KEPServerEX 5.18 enables users to connect, manage, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The PanelView Plus 7 Performance operator interface helps simplify and streamline visualization in large, complex applications by allowing users to consolidate multiple HMIs into a single interface with hundreds of screens, alarms and tags. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The Wonderware InTouch Panel PC provides users the freedom and power to use a PC-based Wonderware InTouch platform with applications that previously used closed, proprietary terminals. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The second generation of the Simatic HMI Mobile Panel impresses with its convenience, performance and quality. New features include a brilliant widescreen display, simple configuration and a unique illuminated emergency stop button. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers: The UniStream 15", the latest addition to Unitronics' modular PLC+HMI series, offers a 15.6-in. color-touch HMI panel with built in programming and communication ports, including two Ethernet ports for daisy-chaining units. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Motion Control: UR3 is the world's most flexible table-top robot to work alongside humans, offering 6-axis capabilities in applications where size, safety and costs are critical. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Hardware - Integrated HMI controllers: The CP32xx panel PC is a powerful, pole-mountable automation device with processors up to Intel Core i7 and a built-in multi-touch display for all-in-one HMI and control applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
Software — HMI Software: VTScada is an open architecture SCADA/HMI software for use in process and telemetry applications. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software — HMI Software: UniLogic studio software provides a unified environment for hardware and communication configuration, Ladder, and HMI applications. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Graphics on an operator interface can range from very simple to extremely complex, so when creating them there are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Performing test results with the lab in control can be expensive, so how can we cut the budget and still get valued results?
Best automation, control, and instrumentation products in 23 categories.
According to a report from IHS Inc., the demand for acryl film in LCDs is forecast to reach almost 200 million square meters in 2017.
According to a report from IHS Inc., tablets are single-handedly driving the global market for LCD panels during the first nine months of the year.
American Industrial Systems' Industrial Multi-Touch Interactive Monitors are IP65 rated, with slim profile and glass front surface for HMI software developers and designers.
Software - Diagnostics: FactoryTalk VantagePoint Energy software helps companies consolidate information into reports to help better visualize their energy consumption in ways that can reduce time and effort associated with regulatory compliance, cut operating costs, and maximize profits. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Software - HMI software: EZ SoftHMI is an affordable HMI software package built on the foundation of the award winning EZTouch that transforms any computer into a fully capable HMI platform without limiting the number of tags or screens. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Invensys' EPack SCR Compact Power Controller, the Versadac Scalable Data Recorder, the Optivis HMI Operator Panel and the OmniSlim Signal Conditioners family are machine control solutions designed to lower overall cost of ownership.
American Industrial Systems' (AIS) family of Multi-Touch Panel PCs and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are designed to improve operations for intelligent transportation systems.
American Industrial Systems' multi-touch screen monitors allow OEMs and designers to develop applications with simulatenous, dual-touch capability.
Product Exclusive: EZPanel PC HMI from EZAutomation is a reliable human machine interface that integrates a powerful Microsoft Windows 7 industrial panel PC.
Engineering and IT Insight: Train your development staff in the rules of high-performance HMIs and you will be improving operator performance, reducing operational errors, and potentially saving millions of dollars per year due to missed critical information.
The TPC-1840WP from Advantech is a widescreen multi-touch panel PC specifically designed for manufacturing control environments, building automation, and HMI applications.
At Hannover Messe Beckhoff presented its CP-Link 4, new connection technology for remote panel operation over distances as far as 100 m from the industrial PC. One CAT 7 cable transfers video signals, USB, and power. Cable and assembly costs are reduced.
How to avoid some software licensing fees from PLC vendors.
Hardware - HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Mitsubishi Electric Automation unleashes an innovative HMI solution for design engineers: The GT16 Series HMI, which tightly integrates multimedia and video that extends beyond the traditional KPI presentations. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
The VIBpoint Framework V3.0 by Data Translation uses dynamic signal acquisition (DAQ) and provides continuous or burst DAC output of noise, swept sine, and fixed frequency waveforms.
Are effective design concepts common sense?
Advantech launches advantech studio 7.0 HMI/SCADA software. The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech introduces a powerful integrated collection of automation tools that includes building blocks required to develop modern Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) applications that run on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, server editions, and CE.NET or in an inter/intranet environment.
A networked Unitronics Vision130 PLC controls local functions on the Marathon Bottling and Automation LLC mobile wine bottling truck. A Unitronics Vision1210 controls the system and collects data.
While it may not be your favorite activity, thoughtful alarm rationalization pays major operational dividends in the long run and will keep your operators happier.
All-in-one system from Maple Systems goes for simplicity and easy configuration.
The SOM-7565 by Advantech is a COM-Express Mini modules for handheld/portable applications. It uses a dual-core processor while using little power.
Software – Control design: Eaton Visual Designer software allows for the quick design and implementation of a graphic user interface for OEMs looking to bring their products to market faster and lower installation costs. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Software – HMI software: FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) from Rockwell Automation is an HMI for supervisory-level monitoring and control applications with a distributed and scalable architecture that supports distributed-server/multi-user applications, giving maximum control over information. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Hardware – HMI, operator interface, thin-client: Advantech's FPM-8151H is a 15-in. 316 stainless steel C1D2 industrial monitor. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Hardware – HMI, operator interface, thin-client: The EAO Configurable HMI Panel provides a modular and uniquely customizable approach to implementing an HMI control panel in industrial machinery by use of mixed HMI technologies within one complete unit. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Hardware – Industrial PCs (IPCs): The Addax-i Fanless Workstation from CCS-Inc. is a high-performance fanless computer suitable for harsh environments. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Hardware – Integrated HMI-controller: The VIC/HMI Control Panel from Vecoplan LLC includes innovative user-friendly HMI programming and an integrated troubleshooting guide, targeting machine builders. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
FCI's ST75 Flow Meter is designed for process industry facilities and assembly plants and is also designed to reduce the consumption of energy fuel gases, specialty gases, and compressed air.
Bourns Inc.'s new panel control models, the Model 54 and 56, are extensions of the Model 51/53. They include a push-pull and rotary switch and are designed for medical, industrial and avionics applications.
iKey released a new line of rugged panel-mount displays designed for direct and indirect sunlight viewing.
Advantech's 15-inch flat panel monitor is designed to endure harsh environments. It is designed for the oil and gas industries.
Belden's Hirshmann WLAN Access Points and Clients are certified for use in potentially explosive environments such as those found in the oil, gas or mining industries.
IEST has announced former NASA division director, Michael F. Lembeck will keynote ESTECH 2011 – “Reaching for the Stars.” He designed, coded, and integrated the first fuzzy logic application to fly in space aboard almost every space shuttle flight since STS-49, and on the International Space Station (ISS).
Optex increases durability, protection with stainless steel housed photo-electric DC sensor series; features include high pressure, high temperature resistances, scratch resistant lenses.
Annual SME Conference provides connections, trends, and developments for nearly every area of manufacturing, organizers say, featuring innovations that can change how things are manufactured.
Banner Engineering adds mid-range adjustable-field sensors, enabling foreground and background suppression for part-in-place detection, feeder bowl control, and package detection on conveyors, among other uses.
Pinpoint adds data interface to Laser Microgage system, which allows readings from remote lasers; allowing alignment, performance of production machinery to be analyzed.
Beijer Electronics has acquired a minority share in Korenix Technology Co., Ltd, forming a strategic alliance for broader product range and stronger sales.
Operator panels from B&R offer IP69K protection suitable for sanitary requirements in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications.
Software - HMI software: Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View Site Edition. FactoryTalk View Site Edition human-machine interface (HMI) software provides manufacturers with supervisory-level visualization that supports distributed-server, multi-user applications for maximum control over production information. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
SyTech Inc. Team edition of the XLReporter product family combines the most popular reporting product with leading automation industry historians, resulting in easy-to-grasp reports from anywhere in the organization, while maintaining individualized security. Interfaces are provided to advanced historians by GE Intelligent Platforms, Wonderware, Emerson Process Management, Siemens, and Rockwell Software plus supporting OPC-HDA, ODBC and OLE-DB.
The new icestation Titan by ITSEnclosures can provide benefits on the shop floor, where time is money, by protecting shop-floor computers.
Moxa's ioLogik E1200 remote Ethernet I/O products come with 2 embedded Ethernet switch ports for easy cabling in a daisy-chain topology.
EZ Series TouchPLC from EZ Automation combines the features of a high-end HMI and a high performance PLC in one compact package.
Copa-Data's zenon 6.50 HMI/SCADA software fully accepts Microsoft Windows 7 security criteria.
Software Toolbox announces Gadget Wizards 1.1 for Wonderware InTouch HMI software, which delivers realistic plant floor control graphics to panels running InTouch Compact Edition 10.1 or higher. Gadget Wizards is a collection of buttons, lights, switches, sliders, meters, fills and other graphic objects that plug into Wonderware InTouch HMI software.
Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) at U.S. Pipe Marvel City mill improved by applying FactoryTalk from Rockwell Automation, Microsoft SQL, and smart integration from Revere Control Systems Inc. and Stone Technologies Inc.
Promass 83 from Endress+Hauser is billed as the first mass flowmeter for EtherNet/IP Networks. It measures flow, density, and viscosity.
System integrators in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide (AIG) specify the industries they serve, the geographic areas they serve, engineering specialties, product experience, corporate affiliations, and their professional affiliations. Statistics for the 2010 Automation Integrator Guide follow.
Research respondents say operator training is the most important use of process simulation software. This reflects changing day-to-day operational realities.
A pending ISA99 technical report defines a standard XML format for automation vendors to publish patch compatibility information.
HMI hardware supplier integrates Wonderware, Simulink software
Maple Systems' Gold Industrial HMIs/panel PCs include a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system.
Invensys Operations Management Wonderware Intelligence 1.0 is a new enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution from Invensys Operations Management. It’s billed as an easy-to-use platform for companies wishing to contextualize, aggregate, and report historian and operational data via role-based dashboards.
In software, Control Engineering gave 2010 Engineers' Choice Awards for application software; connectivity software; dashboard software - energy; dashboard software-general; design, simulation, diagnostics; and HMI software.
Kepware Technologies Version 5 of the KepServerEX advanced communications and OPC software server from Kepware Technologies features many technical advancements, including a separation of runtime and development modes, platform flexibility, and one interface for more than 150 different communication protocols and applications.
Siemens Industry Inc. Simatic S7-1200 Compact Controller from Siemens helps OEMs, system integrators and end users reduce development time and cost by providing a compact controller, HMI and networking configuration integrated with one engineering software package. The S7-1200 compact controller includes built-in Ethernet, high speed motion control I/O, onboard analog I/O, and HMI panel connect...
Rockwell Automation Rockwell Automation says its FactoryTalk Historian ME software helps manufacturers transform manufacturing intelligence into process improvements by leveraging reliable, real-time production data to improve product quality, speed time to market, and support regulatory compliance. The application is an embedded, solid-state module hardened for on-machine data collection that ...
With MTConnect, a machine tool acts as a web server to share information about itself. An upcoming OPC-UA interface standard adds control, as explained in Control Engineering's "IT & Engineering Insight" column, February 2010.
Control Engineering sat down with the principals from each of this year’s System Integrator of the Year Award winners to get their advice on a number of subjects, ranging from business management to technology. Following are podcast descriptions and links to these conversations:
System integrators see faster, better, cheaper SAP integration for manufacturers.
Georgia Tech and PAX Streamline win grant to reduce cost of wind turbines for generating electricity
A technology originally developed to increase lift in aircraft wings and simplify helicopter rotors could help reduce the cost of manufacturing and operating wind turbines.
New third generation Cognex Checker 3G series of vision sensors provides the easiest and most affordable way to verify manufactured products. Like other Checker vision sensors, these integrate lighting, optics, camera, processor and I/O in compact industrial IP67 housing.
Click on the cover, left, to get to the Control Engineering December 1, 2009, table of contents, with links to the Automation Integrator Guide, also mailed with that issue.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories (based on the size of the organization). Three general criteria are considered for the selection of winners: business skills, technical competence, and customer satisfaction. Winners are then inducted into our System Integrator Hall of Fame.
AutomationDirect's C-more micro family now offers a 6-inch TFT color touch screen HMI panel with 32,768 colors.
Find the automation system integrator you need with this multi-parameter directory from Control Engineering.
New Solution Reveals Actionable Information for Smarter Decision Making
B2B manufacturers can set sensitivity-based prices that maximize margins without putting sales volumes at risk using the Zilliant Margin Maximizer, v7.0. See photos, chart.
MDT Software offers AutoSave Approval and Audit Trail Modules to support electronic approval with detailed audit trails for automated device programs and documents.
Machine builders and OEMs looking for compact HMI control panels to replace analog hardware controls have an option with small, high-resolution graphic hardware from Maple Systems. The HMI5043N 4.3-inch touchscreen graphic operator interface terminal (OIT) has features and capabilities often found in larger HMIs costing more (list price is $350).
Hoffman Syspend 281-Max provides heavyweight HMI suspension and positioning capabilities, the company says.
Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies. Its affiliate, the Saudi European Petrochemical Company (known as Ibn Zahr), was opening a third polypropylene factory that required integration with two prior factories. The new development is a landmark for the region’s biggest petro-chemical maker with added capacity. See photo.
When you've got a problem—or a project—and you need a specific resource to help you tackle it, who do you call? Thousands of manufacturing professionals dial the number of an automation system integrator. To help you find exactly the right one, Control Engineering created the Automation Integrator Guide in 1993.
Hoffman Syspend 281-Max HMI Suspension System for supporting and/or repositioning human-machine interface (HMI) enclosures and devices handles a maximum load capacity of 281 lb. The newest addition to the Syspend line, the 281-Max, features a modular platform of aluminum tubes and die-cast aluminum components.
Advantech is providing compact form factor Windows CE devices certified through the Powered By Wonderware program.
New release offers RTUs for oil & gas, water & wastewater applications.
Sabic Innovative Plastics selects Proficy Workflow from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms to improve work processes and drive leaner production at Lexan plant in the Netherlands.
Makers of integrated circuits offer guidance and tools so device manufacturers can upgrade designs, avoiding power vampires that drain power.
Digital resources once had their precious cycles metered out, but we are currently in the midst of an explosion of innovation driven by wasting bandwidth. What would happen if tags and clients were suddenly made abundant?
The Weidmuller line of screw clamp terminals, the W-Series, received an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approval for the use of multiple wires per contact in one terminal.
Goal is to make process control technology easier to use.
Regulatory compliance is an issue which is becoming increasingly critical for manufacturers. To help you avoid unnecessary penalties, this Webcast will examine existing technologies and processes that can be employed to help ensure compliance, including: Discussion Host: David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering Discussion Panelists: Christian Fritz, product manager for motion ...
Video play back of what an operator saw at the time of an event can be a valuable tool for training, problem-solving.
Maple Systems' three 10-in. HMIs provide more speed, capability. One gives the same pixel coverage as a 12-in. HMI in a 10.4-in. unit, and will even run a video media player.
A suite of solutions offering pre-configured business analytics and planning capabilities, is among group of offering tailored for mid size enterprises that IBM is unveiling this week at the Mid Size Enterprise Summit West in Los Angeles.
ISA Standards & Practices Board ratifies ISA-100.11a document, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications."
Company says software version 8.0 updates more than 1 million tags in 1 second on 1 machine.
Industrial control technologies, issues, and techniques are covered in a Wago industrial control seminar. Seven students used hardware and software with the Wago I/O System to advance IEC 61131 programming skills using CoDeSys.
MDT Software's AutoSave Approval and Audit Trail modules support electronic approval with detailed audit trails for automated device programs and documents.
Brands from Rockwell Automation, Siemens Energy & Automation, Schneider Electric, and Invensys were listed most frequently among system integrators, according to the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide, which includes information from 1,878 system integrators.
Honeywell released a touchscreen operator interface that helps plant operators using Honeywell HC900 Control Systems more easily manage their processes. The Honeywell 900 Control Station is a panel-mounted a 10.4-in. color display touchscreen available for all new HC900 installations. It also can be retrofitted for existing, compatible systems.
Those involved with the standard called ISA100 Wireless Systems for Automation seek one wireless structure for industrial use, incorporating multiple protocols used for industrial communications. End-users, automation vendors, original equipment manufacturers, system integrators, and others are creating an umbrella approach, seeking shelter from a deluge of wired industrial protocols.
MPLAB Starter Kit for PIC24H MCUs makes adding advanced 16-bit control to embedded designs easy.
Food and beverage manufacturing system from system integrator helps improve quality, reduce waste.
EZAutomation announces its EZ-Durapanel, its newest touch panel HMI series of operator interfaces. The EZDurapanel line features white LED backlighting that can last up to four times longer than previous models due to the 100,000 hour life of the LED bulbs. The HMI, which comes in 6-, 8-, 10- and 15-in.
MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BY A MANUFACTURER ¦ THIRD PLACE Premium coffee has become big business in recent years, primarily because many consumers now consider having a good cup of coffee an essential part of their daily lives. Ponderosa Roasting, a manufacturer of coffee roasting machines, located outside San Diego, Calif.
GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies announces the Sentinel LCT and Sentinel LNG flowmeters. Sentinel LCT has been designed for liquid custody transfer measurements of crude oil and refined oil products. Sentinel LNG provides accurate measurement of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with improved accuracy compared to traditional ship- and tank-level measurement. This is a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Parker Factory Display (PFD) visualization system panel interfaces feature high-definition resolution, flat-panel design, and built-in networking and graphics support.
FDT technology gains IEC International Standard approval to help provide standardized easy-to-deploy field interfaces for automation, controls, and instrumentation, increasing interoperability.
Podcast series highlights the ways in which lean manufacturing initiatives can also be used to improve sustainable production practices, as both are focused on reducing or eliminating waste.
Quatech Airborne Wireless Ethernet Bridge allows Ethernet enabled devices to connect to a high performance wireless IEEE 802.11 network via an embedded board or in an external device.
Magellan Professional introduces the ProFlex 500 GNSS Receiver; the global positioning system has a highly integrated receiver design for rugged and flexible precise machine control positioning, company says.
As currently required for bottled water products, manufacturers will also be required to test source water for contamination. Additional amendments are designed to bring bottled water standards up to EPA’s public drinking water standards.
Hoffmann + Krippner is launching its OPAL (“operations panel”) brand of operator interface panels in the U.S. H+K is an established German maker of membrane keyboard technology and complex input systems.
Smart grid leadership meeting, called for by U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Commerce, leads to technology and service offerings from power industry vendors.
Plant manager, maintenance supervisor, and engineer cited in case accusing company of committing flagrant abuses of environmental and worker safety laws.
Updated guide incorporates reporting of material content information across the global supply chain as required by REACH regulation.
AIMing for Automated Vehicles blogger Paul Grayson predicts where the jobs are: with U.S. government and civilian projects that save lives with AGVs.
The vibratory bowl conveyor provides an economical and reliable method of presenting small parts in a given orientation. However, a key weakness of the vibratory bowl feeder is its use of mechanical channels and guides to orient parts. This limits it to handling just one part or one family of similar parts.
Cost-effective software dashboard will help visualize, manage, and alarm, and increase productivity of wind farm operations, Iconics says.
Are power quality and reliability among your concerns? Are you working on a power supply retrofit project? Here are considerations, large and small, for sizing, application, and integration, to ensure minimum project disruption. A power supply system can include: Signaling module, dc power supplies, redundancy module, dc uninterruptible power supply (UPS), battery backup, and electronic diagno...
Communication is key when working with a system integrator, according to a recent Reed Business Information survey. Eight key tips follow to ensure those involved explain project details with stakeholders; disseminate decisions to all responsible for designing, implementing or using the system; and make sure everyone understands what needs to be done, along with why and how. Learn more, below.
QuickStart use cases for Proficy Workflow help users digitize, standardize work processes.
Don't miss your chance to enter Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award. The winner will be featured on the cover of the 2010 issue of the Automation Integrator Guide, distributed in December 2009.
Maple Systems' new widescreen graphic operator interface panels come deliver up to one-third more usable screen area in standard size enclosures.
Wago Corp. subjected 773 Series Wall-Nuts Push Wire connectors to demanding shock and vibration sequence testing, adhering to IEC standards.
Communication is key when working with an automation system integrator, according to a recent Control Engineering survey of system integrators. Eight key tips follow.
As renewable energy technologies become more commonplace, more questions emerge as to the practicality and other problematic side-effects from otherwise promising approaches. Even solar technologies have come into question with problems related to disposing of spent photovoltaic panels. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) assists the electric utility industry by researching new technol...
In a Web seminar sponsored by TiPS Inc. - The Alarm Management Company, Ian Nimmo conducted a mini seminar based on his book, "The High Performance HMI Handbook." As a founder and former program director of the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium and a 30-year veteran of the refining and petrochemicals industry, Nimmo says, "Early DCSs had limited graphic capabilities.
InfoLink combines trending and historian functions, data analysis, HMI graphics, on-line drawings and manuals, and aerial views into a single package at a budget price.
STC Brielle (Netherlands) and Fieldbus Center at Lee College complete rigorous certification process from Fieldbus Foundation. The three levels are...
Announced at the first combined ABB Automation & Power World event, these new sensors and flowmeters are designed for specific applications.
ERP software automates, processes, and provides documentation for compliance under the guidelines set forth in the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) legislation.
The idea that devices can conform to a specification and may not interoperate can confound end-users, system integrators, and device manufacturers alike. ODVA and its members have been working to close that gap with conformance, interoperability and performance tests. See photos.
Existing applications automatically display better, and new applications can be developed faster and with greater functionality. A new graphics-rendering engine helps Cimplicity 8.0, from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms.
Voting has closed, and videos are still available for viewing and comment. Winner will be announced in Control Engineering print and online editions . Please check out all six videos and post comments saying which you think is best in terms of how well the video explains: The thought process for determining the layout of components, both interior and exterior Component mounting techniques Wire and cable termination techniques How consistency is maintained from one person to another in component mounting and wiring practices Door work (mounting, labeling & wiring of devices on an enclosure door, or other exterior surfaces) Methods for insertion of completed panels into enclosures Methods for maintaining cleanliness and protection of the enclosure and components Testing procedures After viewing all 6 videos on this page, click here to post your comments about your favorite Click here and scroll down to see all 6 control panel design tutorial videos.
Siemens panels are designed to increase productivity and lower costs; one eliminates need for separate logic controller.
Infor MyDay for Infor ERP Adage lets users across all levels of business access reports and function-specific content to diagnose business situations and determine the “why”—not just the “what”—of business operations. Process manufacturers can use Infor MyDay to deliver real-time information, graphic representations of KPIs, and predefined reports. And it’s all presented in a personalized format.
The video-gaming industry just may be where the most innovative software is being written. That would explain why Invensys Process Systems has borrowed video-gaming technology to create its next-generation human machine interface (HMI).
A number of control room design resources and for-fee services are available to provide advice and assistance at every level.
Service Brief: User Centered Human-Computer Interface Services By User Centered Design Services Inc.
Poorly designed human machine interfaces (HMIs) can prevent operators from responding to abnormal situations properly. But knowing what constitutes best practices for HMI and control room design can be difficult to determine, and difficult to apply to your specific situation.
Xtuple , a leader in open source ERP software, reports record revenue growth in 2008, with sales up 250 percent year-over-year compared with 2007.Tightening IT budgets across all industries are spurring demand for open source solutions, fueling xTuple’s success, along with aggressive product development guided by a continuous conversation with customers, partners, and the broader open source community. Related reading: Cross-platform ERP vendor taps open source xTuple is unseating incumbent software providers by delivering the cost-effectiveness and flexibility associated with open source solutions, along with the reliability, scalability, and support required by Fortune 500 and smaller enterprises alike.Highlights of xTuple’s 2008 growth include:• Customer base more than doubled in the past year, with a broad array of new commercial users in manufacturing, retail, and distribution industries throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Australia.• Success in attracting new customers and partners has required more staff, and the company doubled its head count in the past year. While other vendors are downsizing by the thousands, xTuple is looking to hire many more employees in the coming months, as well as dramatically expand its partner program.• xTuple ERP: PostBooks Edition is consistently ranked among the top 10 projects on the SourceForge open source download portal, where it has been downloaded more than 200,000 times by IT and ERP professionals around the world.
Software and engineering services combine to monitor, model, and report CO2 emissions to convert energy data into practical greenhouse gas information. Schneider Electric says it has decreased energy consumption by 10% per employee since 2004.
The story behind salmonella-tainted products from Peanut Corp. of America has resulted in consumer wariness for all peanut-based products. Could some of the losses resulting from this tragedy have been prevented via enhanced traceability? The answer is a resounding “yes,” as the retail industry has developed a set of standards for the traceability of various food products that rely upon EDI, data synchronization, bar-code labels, and RFID.
Studies confirm that all three technologies - HART, Foundation fieldbus and wireless - should be in the design toolbox for capital projects, Emerson Process Management says. Wireless saved more than 30% of cost, applied to fewer than half of project I/O points. Link to wireless implementation resource guide.
Extracting the required intelligence out of spend data not only directly contributes to cost savings, but also provides significant inputs for budgeting, planning, and product strategies. MindTree says its new Spend Analysis solution enables strategic sourcing and better analysis of spend information to help organizations save on sourcing costs.
iPower 5.0 with its DNP3 driver is HMI/SCADA system for electrical transmission and distribution utilities.
Plant managers are looking to extend the performance of their production assets, just as consumers are waiting another year to buy a new car or washing machine. A majority would outsource non-core functions—specifically, production machinery and assets maintenance—to bolster against recession, according to a survey by Advanced Technology Services, conducted with Nielsen Research.
Commercial-grade cabling and hardware is simply not tough enough for use in harsh industrial environments, such as discrete manufacturing and processing plants, or infrastructure facilities.
Red Lion Controls has released the Plant Floor Marquee (PFM) series of highly visible, multi-color LED displays. Optimized for communicating critical machine status and production data instantly across the plant floor, the largest PFM is readable at distances up to 600 feet (182 m) The PFM series features a graphical 3-color display, available in four sizes that can convey production targets, m...
In process and discrete manufacturing plants, control systems may run the machines, but it's the control rooms that can most impact the personnel who need to keep the plants running. If your control room hasn’t been upgraded since you moved out the green screens, you could be encountering several problems that can now be easily remedied, particularly in the area of human factor engineering.
Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys, announces the release of Performance Software 3.5, the newest evolution of its equipment downtime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) software, and an integrated module of the Wonderware comprehensive MES and supervisory software. The software has an ArchestrA technology-based configuration and visualization for easy set up for one line, and ...
Mechatronics as an engineering discipline has grown in importance as embedded control systems have become ubiquitous throughout society. In a new podcast available for download from Control Engineering, Tony Lennon of The Mathworks provides a personal view of what colleges and universities should include in a mechatronics engineering program.
Kontron has announced the second generation of its Micro Client industrial HMI: Micro Client II. The unit is designed for use as an industrial thin client with touch functionality for operating and monitoring.
NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions dropped for the third straight month in December, while EBCI for future North American conditions showed a substantial gain of more than 16 points, raising the index to a six-month high. Congressional Budget Office talked about manufacturing jobs at the end of December.
Many companies have been talking cyber security for quite a while, and now they'll have to do something about it.
Reed Research Group surveyed Control Engineering subscribers in November 2008 about their use of process automation systems. Selected results presented here are based on 128 completed responses from subscribers who evaluate, specify, recommend, install, and/or purchase process automation systems (PAS).
Geotechnical company Hayward Baker uses QSI QTerm-G70 for applications in Péribonka, Quebec, Canada, where temperatures range from -20 to 24 °C (-4 to 75 °F). Other challenges to the hardware include snow, rain, wind and other extreme environmental conditions. QSI, a manufacturer of rugged terminals, serves applications in the geotechnical and oil and gas industries, including co...
MagneMotion Inc., a developer and manufacturer of linear synchronous motor (LSM) products and systems used in assembly automation, material handling and transportation applications, has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,448,327 related to magnetic levitation (Maglev) systems. The patent builds on previously issued Patent No.
Soapbox: When it comes to sharing information, the factory floor has simply not kept pace with the rest of the business world. There have been vast improvements in HMIs (human machine interfaces) over the years, but the majority of HMI and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems are standalone applications, and often manual processes.
Do automation, controls, and instrumentation standards serve people or do people serve the standards? A standard is an officially sanctioned way of designing products or processes. A de facto standard is one that so many people use that it is, more or less, a standard without a standards body. Of course, single-company ownership of a de facto standard can boost the bottom line.
In this day and age, why use serial communications, such as RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485? Digital industrial networks, fieldbuses, device- and sensor- level networks (also USB) all support many vendors’ products and can offer advanced features for configuration and diagnostics. So why use serial? Answers are low cost, simplicity, and familiarity.
Optimation has signed a letter of intent to merge with Total Systems Design (TSD) of Coatesville, PA. The companies expect to finalize the agreement early in 2009 when TSD will become a subsidiary of Optimation.
EAO, an expert in human machine interfaces, manufacturers a range of high-quality Series 95 color-changing pushbuttons in three sizes. The series allows adding up to three LEDs on the 15.88 mm and 19.05 mm or up to two on the 12.7 mm version. Independent LEDs offer the ability to show different stages of illumination and operating status of equipment provided by PCB circuitry. Link to pushbutton research.
A new Web site promises to save apparel and retail customers time and money selecting a product life-cycle management (PLM) solution.
Geotechnical company Hayward Baker uses QSI QTerm-G70 for applications in Quebec, Canada, where temperatures range from -20 to 24 deg C (-4 to 75 deg F). Other challenges to the hardware include snow, rain, wind and other extreme environmental conditions. See four frozen photos in a fast low-temperature tutorial.
Are you any better off now than you were four years ago? One might expect a question such as that from the many politicians who were up for election. But it seems out of place in this, a technical business publication. Before we dismiss it entirely, however, let’s define exactly who we mean by “you.
Inspector Vision Sensor from Sick provides an intelligent vision system in an easy-to-use sensor package. No matter the angle or orientation of the product coming down the line, Inspector can verify completeness and quality, even if products vary in size as much as 20%.
AutomationDirectreleases the Click PLC, the first in its new line of inexpensive PLC components in a compact yet expandable design.
In an effort to reduce worldwide industrial energy usage, SEW Eurodrive introduced new motor technology, to help companies' sustainability efforts. See photo. The company is among exhibitors at Pack Expo 2008.
Coal power plant emissions will decrease using a mobile data acquisition and control system, and the world’s largest telescope gets control guidance from National Instruments hardware and software. Details and two photos follow below, along with more of each available in two new NI case studies available online.
Market related information, how to guides, and tips for better relations with system integrators are among information CSIA provides on its resource page.
In 1999, saddled with an antiquated IT system from a vendor that had gone out of business, Brooklyn-based Lee Spring, a privately held manufacturer of industrial components, issued a request-for-proposal (RFP). The manufacturer was looking for a new system by which it could run its operations. One of the key requirements was the ability to support several sites.
Electrical standards will be easier to find, says National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) with a new online tool. World Standards Day, begun in 1946, also was celebrated this month, see below.
Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) ADL5386 combines performance and integration levels for low IF (intermediate frequency) and RF (radio frequency) transmitters in many applications.
The inclusion of Visiprise’s software in SAP’s portfolio of offerings helps SAP fulfill its vision of offering the ideal integrated IT system for manufacturers—one that reaches from the plant floor to the enterprise.
Dr. Geoffrey Orsak, dean of engineering at SMU, talks with C.G. Masi about issues in mechatronics education in a new podcast available for download from the Control Engineering Website. Some devices, such as robots and automatically guided vehicles (AUVs), are simply not possible without the automated electromechanical systems that....
Finding all the information you need about your instrumentation devices may be more difficult than you would expect.
Ocular Inc., a provider of LCD solutions for the embedded computing and communications marketplaces, has introduced two new lines of human machine interface (HMI) systems at the ISA show in Houston, TX. The systems feature Ocular's advanced display technology and x86 or ARM processors.
Wonderware Open 2008 competition winners included a water/wastewater agency, a brewery, an electric utility, and a materials manufacturer.
The gap between IT capability and business needs cannot be allowed to continue, and any attempts to align IT strategy with an abstract business vision or strategy are doomed to failure, says IT advisory firm Butler Group. Adoption of an end-to-end architectural approach and development of an enterprise model can help.
David Chappell, Control Engineering “Standard Profits: Make2Pack and ISA88” blog author notes in a recent post that: “It seems to me that the programming languages and function blocks available to industry today do not impose any recognizable structure or methods in their use to satisfy automation requirements.
Touchscreens are increasingly finding their way into industrial environments as manufacturers, upgrading their human machine interfaces (HMIs) to better accommodate humans, find this technology is making the task easier than ever. IMS Research predicts increased adoption of new operator interfaces by machine builders in the worldwide food, beverage, and tobacco industries.
Endeca 's Design for Supply solution gives design engineers 360-degree visibility into integrated part and supplier information to select parts that align with sourcing, compliance and other corporate objectives. A Spend Analysis solution provides sourcing professionals with real-time access and analysis of disparate sourcing, parts and supplier information to identify opportunities for reducing direct materials spend, consolidating suppliers and negotiating preferred contracts.Both product introductions are part of a focused effort by Endeca to bring new information visibility solutions to aerospace & defense, automotive, high-tech and industrial manufacturers. And both solutions reportedly solve long-standing challenges not addressed by today's product life-cycle management, spend management, supply chain management, and business intelligence applications.Each solution offers a customizable, Web-based user experience that integrates Endeca's search, business intelligence, and Guided Navigation and Guided Summarization capabilities., Engineers and sourcing professionals can quickly browse, evaluate, and drill into product and supplier data using dozens or even hundreds of attributes and criteria.Powered by Endeca's MDEX Engine technology, the solutions enable aggregation, querying and analysis of data from product life-cycle managment (PLM) solutions (Agile PLM from Oracle, MatrixOne/Dassault, Siemens/UGS TeamCenter, PTC Windchill); ERP (SAP, Oracle's JD Edwards), spend management (Ariba, Emptoris); supplier relationship management (i2/JDA, Manugistics) product catalogs; and other business-critical data systems.
Predictive software sees failures before they happen, protecting 2,000 power assets globally, says SmartSignal, with typical return on investment of 6-9 months.
While the U.S. federal government throws a lifeline to the financial insurer American International Group (AIG), another AIG provides manufacturers with needed help regularly.
A dynamic compressor surge map providing visual confirmation of compressor performance is the centerpiece of a new anti-surge controller with an integrated human-machine interface (HMI).
Machine builders and system integrators at a recent display technologies conference showed interest in new technology from Gunze, and Tyco showed off a sleek new monitor design with Acoustic Pulse Recognition (APR) touch technology.
A new agreement will allow Openbravo to embed and distribute Pentaho 's open source business intelligence (BI) capabilities with the flagship Openbravo ERP suite.By embedding open source BI modules from Pentaho, Openbravo is enabling its worldwide customer base to get more strategic and analytical value from the information that those customers capture and manage within their Openbravo ERP systems. The breadth and modularity of Pentaho's offering will enable everything from embedded operational reporting on day-to-day operations, as well as extraction and integration of Openbravo ERP data with information from other systems for advanced data warehousing and OLAP analysis.The integrated products are planned for delivery later this year."We chose Pentaho because of its extensive functionality and expertise in business intelligence, and because they've made it so easy to embed dashboards and business intelligence within our product line," says Manel Sarasa, CEO, Openbravo. "We recognized strong demand for an integrated solution that brings our popular technologies together in a way that creates significant additional customer value in a commercial open source delivery model.".
Nikon selected the PTC Arbortext service manual application for its out-of-the-box capabilities for creating, publishing, and delivering technical service information. Using Arbortext, Nikon plans to improve first-time fix rates and reduce machine downtime.
Control Engineering names the System Integrator of the Year in three categories; see prior winners in the System Integrator Hall of Fame.
A veteran of many migration projects offers her insights.
Think Again: I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together.
Ergonomically enhanced tools can include helpful features, but no matter how impressive a tool’s design is, it’s almost impossible for it to be universally ergonomic. Here are some handy tips.
A NEMA index for confidence in current North American business dropped for the second straight month in July; National Association of Manufacturers called an export surge as phenomenal, overcoming a....
ISA88, the Batch Control Systems standards committee, has completed a technical report on using its standards with the ISA95 Enterprise/Control System Integration standards.
The brand-specific knowledge most often named by system integrators in the 2008 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide are....
Platform designed for processes that have outgrown PLC capabilities.
A manufacturer of railcar moving equipment needed to integrate wireless technology that could “withstand extreme temperatures, dirty environments, high vibration, and three shifts of operation,” says Brad Goldbeck, a Calbrandt Inc. engineer. Calbrandt is an international original equipment manufacturer of railcar indexers, movers, and gate openers based in Delano, MN.
Invensys Process Systems Global Consulting: Energy producer creates method for responding to market swings
In these energy-conscious times, SASOL finds itself in an enviable position. The 58-year-old South African company has been converting coal into gasoline since its inception. It also now converts natural gas into diesel fuel and other liquids, such as industrial chemicals—and it does it all in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Incuity Software: Visual unification: SOA-based solution converts production data into actionable intelligence
International Paint was experiencing the kind of problem a manufacturer would love to have. An operating unit of Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel, the company was running its Houston-based plant full-tilt with three shifts, but needed more capacity to handle the growing business. The question was whether to expand, or find new means to improve productivity.
Effective input into a standard that's out for comment can be an art form. Knowing how to do it can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection of your thoughts. Seven tips follow, along with one more you may not have considered.
Engineer Your Life highlights engineering opportunities and shows women how engineering is desirable and within reach. Recent UW-Madison research shows no gender differences in recent math performance.
Advantech, AutomationDirect, and iKey debut rugged industrial human machine interface and operator interfaces.
To prevent problems caused when alarms are disabled during settings adjustments during a start up (and never reset), here's a tool to audit alarm settings, compare two alarm profiles, and highlight differences.
Kepware selected as primary provider to extend device communications options for Wonderware’s System Platform 3.0 product . Includes a "listen in" segment exclusive to Control Engineering.
Collaboration will more quickly create better operation management software for vertical industries. That’s what Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys, expects from its new partner program. Control Engineering talks with Wonderware in advance of the announcement.
A question-and-answer (Q&A) EPCglobal Gen 2 RFID standard has been published by the European arm of GS1 , the global not-for-profit standards body. Backed by major European manufacturers and retailers—including Carrefour, Henkel, Kraft Foods, METRO Group, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble—the guide has one avowed intent, says Stephane Pique, GS1 Europe’s director of electronic product codes and RFID. “We’re trying to drive adoption,” he explains. “The idea is to create tools and documents that will get companies more confident about adopting and using RFID technology.” Although GS1 EPCglobal standards areusers.” Focused very much as a business-level publication—rather than a technical one—the guide addresses 21 common RFID-related concerns, namely: • What are the main benefits companies anticipate they will capture by using RFID; • What kind of information can be stored and exchanged; and • What are the radio-frequency usage rules in Europe. Interaction between bar-code-based product-coding identification rules and RFID also is addressed, as are issues as diverse as costs, tools for evaluating ROI, and data synchronization. Publication of the guide is an acknowledgement, it seems, that although what GS1 describes as "major use cases" are under way at a number of European manufacturers and retailers, many RFID implementations today are typically either in closed-loop systems such as returnable packaging, or are for purely internal use within companies. “There aren’t yet enough convincing RFID-based inter-organization based transactions,” concedes Pique. It’s hoped that GS1's related work in developing trading standards will unblock the logjam. “The Gen 2 RFID standard has been very successful, and two-thirds of the UHF-based systems on the market are based on it,” says Pique.
According to new research, the interface features that end users and machine builders are willing to spend money on are wireless capabilities, touchscreens and network-enabled operator interface terminals. Useful resources, with links, are provided.
Release 3.0 of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms’ Proficy Real-Time Information Portal can help users gain business insight from plant data in real time. Enhancements in three areas include...
Employers are looking for engineers who can hit the ground running when it comes to managing high-priority projects, says Gregory Balestrero, CEO of the Project Management Institute.
Sasolburg, South Africa, is home to one of the world's only viable coal-derived oil refineries. It is also the headquarters of Sasol, a diversified petrochemical, mining, and energy company. Looking to achieve the next level of control over its vast operations, Sasol asked representatives from Invensys, a global industrial automation, transportation and controls vendor, to explain more about it...
To make it easier for customers choosing to use their automation, two more companies have begun certified system integrator programs.
Development: Pre-designed software for water/wastewater first in a series of industry specific tools
Solutions for specific industry verticals intended to offer specialization without custom programming.
The term “computing in the cloud” is the latest topic in the enterprise computing space. The image of a cloud is used in network architecture diagrams to represent the Internet. Computing in the cloud simply means using applications and services available through the Internet.
Overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is a key statistic in any manufacturing facility, so it can be particularly problematic when one of your most common machines is only running at 60% to 70% of its potential. Such was the case when Moen, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom faucets, approached Rockwell Automation to help improve equipment efficiency, increase throughput, and reduc...
Many regions have been hit with flooding, and even professionals may need to seek guidance about if electrical equipment exposed to water should be reconditioned or replaced. Experts offer free advice.
HMI capabilities exceed traditional visualization, so Siemens incorporated MRAM into its newest HMIs to maintain software-programmable logic controller process data without the need for battery-backup.
Multi-Code Reader from ifm efector inc. reads 2D data matrix codes (DMC) and 1D bar codes in high-speed industrial automation applications. It can identify, verify, and qualify most marking methods including dot-peened, laser-etched, and printed DMC codes as well as printed barcodes. The $850 list price is about half the price of competing systems, ifm says, in a Control Engineering June 2008 print edition exclusive.
More mining operations are making automation a significant part of their strategy for excellence, and advanced automation can help predict and prevent abnormal situations that can cause damage to major equipment, loss of production, excessive energy consumption, and other problems. Here's how.
Parker’s Electromechanical Automaton Division offers replacement HMI hardware for its Interact software platform. The P13 PowerStation will fit into existing cutouts of many common 6-in. HMI products, including Parker’s P1, P1H, P1P, and Motion Panel. It includes a new AMD LX700 CPU, 128 MB of DRAM, and a 256 MB CompactFlash card standard.
Making design data count where it really matters—during downstream, customer-facing processes—is easier these days at Indak Manufacturing Corp., says John Clauson, CAD/drafting manager. That's because Indak uses 3D collaboration tools that allow sales staff and customers to view and manipulate rich design data.
With ergonomic design and hot-pluggable capability, Rexroth IndraControl’s VCH08 portable human machine interface (HMI) makes it easier for equipment operators to set up, run, and diagnose their machinery, especially in gantry, material handling, line transfer, or large manufacturing cell applications.
A new 23-minute video, focusing on several aspects of “green” engineering, is available for download at www.controleng.com/BCVideo.html. In the video, Joel Shapiro, group manager for industrial measurements and control at National Instruments, sets the stage with an overview of engineers’ role in the major technological trends that have taken place over the past 30 years, cul...
1,000 trillion calculations per second (petaflop computing) may emerge on the new June list of world’s fastest supercomputers. www.top500.org 3 associations (AESF, MFSA, and NAMF) operate as one, NASF. National Association of Surface Finishing has its annual event, SUR/FIN 2008, June 16-18, in Indianapolis, IN.
Creating cyber defense-in-depth often involves adding small firewall devices at internal levels of a control system. Now those devices can be smart enough to create their own firewall rules based on observation of traffic patterns. MTL Instruments and Byres Security Inc. have released a new loadable security module (LSM) for their Tofino industrial security device that reportedly discovers and ...
Rockwell Automation has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Incuity Software Inc., a privately held company and supplier of enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) software. Incuity’s software provides real-time intelligence for business decision support. The Incuity Software management team and its employees will become part of Rockwell Automation’s Architecture & Sof...
Getting a grip on real-time plant information without being locked into a custom-coded manufacturing execution system (MES) is giving rise to a whole new generation of plant intelligence solutions. For Dakota, Ill.-based Berner Foods, a configurable plant performance management system led to a 20-percent improvement in plant efficiency.
How would this be in your control room or on your desk? A new ultra-wide curved display measures 42.4-in. diagonal and provides a 2,880 x 900 pixel resolution (double WXGA+).
Ballot for the ISA100.11a Working Group draft wireless standard closes June 3. ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute is developing ISA100 compliance programs.
Sensors, motion control, and human-machine interface technologies used for manufacturing are being adapted for use in the medical field.
Learn or review the fundamentals of the switching function in automation and test applications with useful tutorial information on how to optimize automated switching systems using this guide.
Cooper Bussmann simplifies SCCR calculations with enhanced OSCAR 2.0 software.
System integrators resource page links to the Automation Integrator Guide, System Integrator Hall of Fame, tutorial podcasts, and other useful information for and about system integrators.
Understand alarm management in the specialized language of electric utility operators.
NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Indexes (EBCI) for present and future North American conditions fell in April after two months of increases.
In recent years, manufacturing execution systems (MES) and process control systems (PCS) have gained wide acceptance in pharmaceutical and biotech industries due to the adoption of industry standards and technology advancements. PCS for bulk therapeutic and biotherapeutic manufacturing achieved uniformity in the past decade thanks to the establishment of the ANSI/ISA-88 models for batch control.
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMCO) selected the LDRA tool suite to enable developers on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) program to achieve its software development goals. LDRA, a provider of automated software verification, will enable Orion developers to achieve the stringent safety-critical standards required to ensure safe transfer of astronauts.
Enterprise manufacturing intelligence software combines operations data with business IT.
Pepperl+Fuchs and Yokogawa announced tools for managing the physical layer of FOUNDATION fieldbus H1, which could reduce time for plant start-up by 80%, the companies say.
Australian steel manufacturer implements KPI/KPD monitoring platform.
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.
In 2006, after a thorough audit of its existing communication capabilities, Great River Energy (GRE) sought to implement an efficient, modern, smart wireless communication infrastructure across its distribution grid. This initiative was aimed at better serving the growing demands on its generating resources, increasing operational efficiencies, and applying a communications infrastructure that ...
Optimizing network integration across the factory floor and throughout the enterprise using standard Ethernet technology brings IT standards onto the plant floor, and is an expressed goal of a growing number of manufacturers. Taking measured steps to help them achieve that goal, Rockwell Automation—a global provider of power, control, and information solutions—and networking solutio...
Intensified CCD camera (ICCD) for low-light applications combines a high performance intensifier tube with a small, interlaced CCD camera.
For the first time since AMR Research began conducting its governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) survey in 2003, executives have shifted their GRC budget focus to operational and enterprise risk management—making Sarbox and other regulatory compliance programs a necessary "to-do," but not a top-of-mind initiative.
Otis Spunkmeyer will use LeanLogistics' on-demand solution to overhaul distribution operations and lower transportation spend throughout the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and Europe. The solution will be used for planning, execution, and settlement of transportation processes.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms announces that Cimplicity Version 7.5, the latest addition to the company’s family of HMI/SCADA products, is available for shipping in late March. Cimplicity 7.5 extends the product’s ability to solve the toughest supervisory monitoring and control projects.
ABB Drives-Feature Interactive All Features Inside Rotatable View Download these valuable resources: > ABB Drives Selection Guide > 10 Benefits of Industrial Drives.
FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ME) from Rockwell Automation is a machine-level human machine interface (HMI) that supports open and embedded operator interfaces to help enhance, monitor and control individual machines or small processes. It accesses information from local FactoryTalk servers and standard third-party OPC servers; tags need to be defined once and their values can be logged and...
Mirador Software released a PC-based simulator of the Rosemount RMV9000 Video Display Unit.
Top 10 industries served among system integrators in the 2008 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide are…
A new software system adds functionality to the Dataforth isoLynx SLX200 data acquisition system. Dataforth-SLX920 can work with the data acquistion hardware to serve as an automation or test system for factory automation, process control, test and measurement, machine control, and data acquisition.
Mike Bradley joins Apprion as CEO Mike Bradley, former president of Invensys’ Wonderware division, has been named chief executive officer of Apprion. Bradley will succeed Stephen Lambright, a founder of Apprion, who will remain with the company as vice president of marketing and customer services.
Schneider Electric has announced the release of its newest model of the Square D AccuSine PCS Active Harmonic Filter (AHF). The AHF provides simple, effective means to mitigate harmonics, reduce process-related voltage fluctuations, and improve electrical equipment operating life and distribution system capacity.
The need for security is often at odds with the need for easy interoperability. Users need software from different vendors to communicate, but greater openness in one area can lead to vulnerability others. Users and vendors in the OPC community are addressing these issues as the standard evolves and grows in acceptance.
Automation and controls might be getting more open and easy to work with after OMAC (Open, Modular, Architecture Control User Group) announced a Corporate Membership program. A key benefit members receive is a seat on the OMAC Technical Advisory Board (TAB), which advises the Board of Directors on technical direction, strategy and goals.
ISA offers a cartoon book: The Funnier Side of Retirement for Engineers and People of the Technical Persuasion.
"Every indication is that the best is yet to come."
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.
Santa Clara, CA — Agilent Technologies put its test and measurement instrumentation catalog available online using Nxtbook technology.
Business intelligence software supplier Information Builders has harnessed Adobe Flex technology to create an environment that allows for incorporating animation and other interactive features into BI dashboards.
Certain wiring devices and accessories help protect sensitive equipment from malfunction due to noise on the equipment grounding path. Get help.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has released Proficy Batch Execution – Version 5.1. The release focuses on ease of use, performance, and system integration to improve customer productivity and reduce operational costs, the company said. The version of the Batch Execution software product introduces features to simplify and improve the design, maintenance...
Founded in 1865 and in the automotive exhaust business since 1931, Eberspaecher N.A. is a tier-one supplier of both catalytic converter cans and complete exhaust systems to some of the world’s most notable automotive brands including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Mercedes-Benz.
Exton, PA — A rise in 2007 membership and global presence is reported by Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). Executive director Norman O’Leary says CSIA passed 300 members, added 59 new members (a one-year record). It has extended its global reach to encompass North, Central, and South America, as well as Europe from the U.K. to the Czech Republic. Members were also added in the Middle East, Australia, and Asia, including in China, India, Japan, and Russia.
Turck has introduced a new programmable pressure instrument that can be programmed to operate as an analog sensor with one switch point, or with two switch points and no analog output. This choice is user programmable and the same unit can operate in either mode as the application demands. According to the company, when operating in the analog sensor mode, the unit offers a 4-20 mA analog output and one switch point. It includes an onboard display and can provide readings in pounds per square inch, bar, inches of water, feet of water, millibar, inches of mercury, meters of water, and kilograms per square centimeter.
Xinneng Energy Ltd. In Jiangsu Province, Zhangjiagang, China, has implemented Proficy Process Systems from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms division.
According to Bosch Rexroth, the company’s latest IndraMotion MLC controller combines motion and logic with robotic control on a uniform IEC platform. The new MLC lowers automation costs considerably, and is capable of up to 64 axes of control with the ability to handle up to eight robotic kinematics simultaneously.
Research Triangle Park, NC-- ISA recently hosted the first Scientific and Engineering Inter-Society Benchmarking Summit. ISA’s "Building and Preserving Association Relevancy into the Future" summit recently welcomed senior leaders from more than a dozen organizations, representing more than 750,000 members.
NAMUR ( Normenarbeitsgemeinschaft für Mess- Und Regeltechnik in der Chemischen Industrie , loosely translated, the standards working group for chemical industry measuring and control techniques) is pushing along the work of a committee trying to hammer out a common platform to bring together the two major device descriptor language platforms: EDDL and FDT . The organization feels that neither is wholly adequate on its own, but putting the two together has potential to create a best-of-both-worlds solution. If you’re asking yourself what these languages are used for, device descriptors like EDDL and FDT/DTL embed information into a device that describe its characteristics, how it is configured, how it integrates into a larger control system, and more. The platform includes software to access that information and use it in a larger context.
You know you can use a hand. But finding the right resource with the right skills and the proper product/project experience is another thing all together. It’s not like you can browse AngiesList.com or the local phone book to find out who’s nearby and who’s the best at automation, instrumentation and control system integration.
It’s been some time now since I was first asked to organize and manage CSIA’s 1999 conference scheduled for Clearwater, FL. The association was searching for a new Executive Director and I agreed to postpone my retirement until they could fill this post. Time sure flies when you’re having fun.
Alexandria, VA – Encouraging young women to pursue engineering careers has become a pressing issue in the pre-college engineering education community. To address the matter from a national scope, Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) has announced receipt of a $50,000 Innovation Generation Grant from Motorola Foundation to support a girl-focused initiative through a collaborative effort with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Links to encouraging videos are available.
Before making a plant-floor networking error of biblical proportions, here are 10 commandments for applying Ethernet for control applications, according to Scott J. Johnson, product marketing specialist, Rockwell Automation Logix/NetLinx Business, Mayfield Heights, OH. One of the most frequent errors, he says, involves Ethernet switch selection. And, among other advice: Thou shall not use hubs.
The field of companies offering automation solutions for process industries seems to be getting more crowded. Along with the long established household names, there are much newer entries. Rockewell Automation falls somewhere in between as a relative newcomer, but the company has been at it for some years now.
Alon Refinery control system and instrumentation upgrade A long established Honeywell Process Solutions user, Alon USA retained that relationship when it upgraded its Experion PKS while adding integrated safety management functions to its new crude-unit heater. Layering on more sophisticated HMI capabilities and wireless instrumentation extended the control system reach into new parts of the process.
Oak Brook, IL - Control Engineering will soon begin e-mailing ballots to subscribers, requesting their vote for the annual Engineers' Choice awards. If you get a ballot, please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey, voting on a particular product area.
It may seem hard to believe, but yet another year is drawing to a close. For most, the end of the year marks a time of rich tradition – a time to reflect upon the year that has passed and look forward to the year ahead. Here at Control Engineering, we have a few proud traditions of our own. Take our annual Automation Integrator Guide, for example.
With System Platform 3.0 and InTouch 10.0 software, Wonderware has stepped up to the challenge by creating one common underlying integrated development environment to address all these factors with consistency, flexibility, and efficiency. Wonderware Development Studio, built on ArchestrA technology, supports developing and maintaining both System Platform 3.
Unquestionable Quality: Inside the Wonderware System Platform 3.0 & In Touch 10.0 HMI S.I. Beta Program
“Systems integrators have much broader experience than end-users in applying the products in many different ways,” says Wade Harsy, president of IPACT, a factory automation SI based in Valparaiso, Ind. “It was an opportunity for us to provide a lot of feedback that ended up in the product that will help Wonderware be effective in hitting the market with the best solutions poss...
Video on the plant floor can help with operations, maintenance, repairs, training, and other plant-floor activities to decrease downtime. A key enabling tool is Ethernet with video bandwidth capabilities. Beyond security applications, industrial video can save a significant amount of money on the plant floor through: Everything you need to reap these benefits is available today, but getting sta...
It’s December once again... that means that it’s time for our annual Systems Integrator Guide. For over a decade, Vance VanDoren has been spearheading the creation of this annual listing and - for the second consecutive year - we’ve also collaborated on the creation of the Systems Integrator of the Year Awards.
Spend-management solutions supplier Ariba recently issued guidance on how global organizations can offset rising fuel prices and continue to compete in a lean economy.
Denver, CO--Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California has won the Innovators Award for 2007 from Control Microsystems Inc. (CMI), global developer of advanced supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment and software. The annual award acknowledges the finest SCADA design and implementation program among Control Microsystems’ customers, the company says.
The HART Communication Foundation (HCF) has announced release of Version 3.1 of the HART Device Description Integrated Development Environment (DD-IDE). The new DD-IDE Version 3.1 supports the HART enhanced device description language (DDL) specification and the development of device descriptors for WirelessHART. Additionally, the organization has released a new revised edition of “The HART Field Communications Protocol—A Technical Overview.” The group bills the DD-IDE tool suite as a comprehensive set of integrated software tools for efficient development, testing and maintenance of enhanced HART device descriptions.
Rockwell Automation authors describe how machine operators and race car drivers have similar needs, and how the parallels can help manufacturers design better software dashboards.
Stamford, CT—Omega Engineering DPG7010 and DPG7025 pressure gauges combine high accuracy in a durable, portable, weatherproof design that includes a large, easy-to-read backlite display.
Recent standards developments at ISA include the following. ISA99: Security for Industrial Automation & Control Systems. The ISASP99 committee has made substantial progress on several fronts in its work to develop standards and guidelines for the electronic security of industrial automation and control systems.
Immersion Corp. reports that its new licensee, CTT-Net of Korea, is launching the first personal navigation devices (PNDs) to use Immersion’s TouchSense technology with tactile feedback for touchscreen interaction. Such features, if integrated in industrial applications, could make it easier for workers to confirm human machine interface (HMI) interactions.
You’ve installed state-of-the-art security equipment on your control system to keep out the bad guys. But do your people leave the front door open?
Are you serious about cyber security? Have you taken measures at your facility to protect your process from deliberate—or even inadvertent—damage or harm? If not, why not? Greenfield installations today have the luxury of designing and building protection directly into their infrastructures and systems.
Dalsa Corp. has released the Falcon 1.4M100, a 1.4 mega pixel area camera that delivers 100 frames per second at full resolution in a compact body. The camera uses the manufacturer’s patented CMOS sensor technology to deliver high quality images at high speeds. It features global shutter technology and achieves 57 dB of dynamic range.
No security policy or system is ever foolproof. Here are a few vulnerabilities to watch out for:
Recent standards developments at ISA include ISA99: Security for Industrial Automation & Control Systems, ISA12: Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Locations, and ISA104: Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL).
Options for industrial enclosures expanded recently with product line extensions that include submersion ratings, environmentally friendly enclosures, and a new cabinet with a “see-thru” door from Aitech Defense Systems, Bud Industries, and Fibox.
The conference—the third such event to be organized in recent years—marked “a valuable opportunity to share experiences and opinions about trends in manufacturing with other European manufacturing executives."
Research Triangle Park, NC—ISA, MIMOSA, the OPC Foundation, the Open Applications Group Inc., and WBF established OpenO&M, a cooperative forum in which members will work to solve automation challenges through standardization and “harmonization” of industry guidelines. The move extends several prior cooperative announcements, dating to 2004; see below.
Intergraph Corp. will include Kraftwerks Kennzeichnungs System (KKS) process plant designation standards in its software.
NI used Kepware's OPC server technology, KEPServerEX, to create the new NI OPC server.
MESA International has devised new guidelines for connecting plant-floor systems with higher-level business applications. The ultimate goal in releasing the new collaborative manufacturing execution system (MES) model is to help manufacturers deploy plant-to-enterprise solutions that support strategic business initiatives such as Lean, new product introduction processes, or Total Quality programs.
A European weapons maker is among the first manufacturers to forge a working link between a product life-cycle management (PLM) system and a manufacturing execution systems (MES). MBDA Missile Systems says this connection allows it to constantly improve everything from product design processes to the manner in which it allocates engineering and production resources.
To ensure harmony between its past and future—i.e., to support the installed base even as it moves firmly into the plant SOA era—Wonderware introduced in early September version 10.0 of its InTouch human-machine interface (HMI) software, which “brings it into the world of managed applications,” and version 3.
Two men were walking into the opening session of the recently held OSIsoft user conference. One turned to the other and said, “He's supposed to spend his time solving problems, not building spreadsheets.” Inadvertently or not, these gentlemen had homed in on not just one of the conference's themes, but of OSIsoft's mission as vendor of the PI System data historian, which collects ...
The “information” part of manufacturing IT is as important as the “technology” part. One important element of managed information is the correct identification of the equipment used for manufacturing. Equipment identification is used for scheduling, qualification, tracking and tracing, maintenance, troubleshooting, visualization (HMI), finance, capacity tracking, overal...
Woodhead Industries, a division of Molex Inc., adds the BradCommunications NetDoctor to its line of diagnostic tools. The BradCommunications NetDoctor is a passive device that continuously monitors a DeviceNet network and stores information as OPC status tags on a human machine interface (HMI) display residing on Ethernet.
Fieldbus Foundation, HART, and PROFIBUS organizations launched a wireless cooperation team tocollaborate on implementation of wireless technology.
Iconics' new Genesis64 OPC Web-enabled HMI/SCADA suite will be on display and demonstrated in its booth (#1942). It includes BizViz Productivity Analytics for visual OEE, KPIs and analysis for streamlining operations, as well as Hyper Historian, a high-speed plant historian.Genesis64 is certified for Microsoft Windows Vista, allowing for integration of real-time manufacturing and business information into a Web-enabled visualization dashboard. The Genesis64 Automation Suite includes AlarmWorX64, GraphWorX64, TrendWorX64, EarthWorX, Hyper-Historian, Workbench and OPC-UA Connectivity.For more information, visit www.iconics.com.
In separate developments, PICMG COM Express gets a plug and play subcommittee, and the LXI Consortium plans another plugfest event. Also, at Embedded Systems Conference last week, Kontron introduced a new CompactPCI 6U line.
MESA's goal in releasing a new collaborative MES model is to help manufacturers deploy plant-to-enterprise solutions that will support strategic business initiatives such as Lean, new product introduction processes, or Total Quality programs.
It isn’t only fictional puppets like Pinocchio that don’t want to be tied down by strings. The same is true for those involved in automation and related control applications. Going wireless on the factory floor can save money, reduce installation time, and offer greater flexibility when compared to the traditional wired approach.
ISA has announced that OAGIS will build ISA-95 based Business Object Documents in collaboration with the ISA-95 Standards Committee on Enterprise-Control Integration and WBF's XML Working Group. The goal of these documents is to ensure that no matter which standard a user implements, the standards interoperate.
CHEP, a $3-billion-a-year global company, manages the movement of more than 280 million pallets and containers for 300,000 customers in 44 countries. The RFID capabilities embedded in BizTalk Server improved CHEP’s ability to analyze its customers’ supply chains.
The keynote speaker at ISA Expo 2007 in Houston, TX, on Oct. 4 will be Donald W. Monell, manager for NASA’s Constellation Project Modeling, Simulation, and Data Architecture. The presentation, “Project Constellation – NASA’s New Spaceship: Going Back to the Moon,” is useful because NASA technologies have contributed significantly to process control, machine control, instrumentation, sensors and other areas that continue to advance control engineering.
GE Fanuc Automation and Wipro Technologies will collaborate globally to provide the automotive industry with solutions in production management.
The top three professional affiliations of the automation system integrators listed in the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide are ISA at 29%, IEEE at 21%, and CSIA at 15%. Learn the other leading professional affiliations and how the ranking compares to 2006
IDS Scheer announces new versions of ARIS Process Performance Manager 4.1 and ARIS Performance Dashboard 4.1 using Adobe Flex2 to display performance indicators for senior management, as well as an enhanced reporting engine (WYSIWYG) and an automated analysis process for identifying optimization potential (Advanced Analysis, Easy Mining).
In today's business environment it is imperative that comprehensive records management solutions be in place for both physical and electronic records to ensure end-to-end organizational compliance with strict government and regulatory requirements such as DoD 5015, 21 CFR Part 11; Sarbanes-Oxley, Section 508(e); and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Seeking to broaden its footprint and support for IT infrastructure libraries (ITIL), Hewlett-Packard (HP) is offering $1.6 billion to buy Opsware. Should the deal close, it would bring IT infrastructure change management and run book automation tools currently lacking in HP's infrastructure management products, previously branded as OpenView.
Having a manufacturing system with a near-real time grasp of operations means a lot more to Carl Morris than measuring point efficiencies. For Morris, president of Injection Technology Corp. (ITECH), the goal is to track the true costs of operations, and manage order fulfillment. At its 30,000-square-foot facility in Arden, N.
Be on notice: the term data historian doesn't do justice to the pervasive role such systems are poised to play in today's most dynamic industries, nor does it hint at the big part the technology will have in initiatives ranging from demand-driven manufacturing to plant energy management. If data historians turn out to be the killer app nobody ever heard of, however, answers to how the systems ...
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces the availability of two new documents in PDF form relating to control systems security. One targets security requirements and the other discusses wireless networks. The DHS Control Systems Security Program (CSSP), fosters a cohesive effort between industry and government to reduce the risk to critical infrastructure controls systems.
Software vendors and magazine editors can sometimes be guilty of oversimplification when discussing “compliance.” The one-word shorthand is meant to encompass the wide array of U.S. government regulations aimed at manufacturers and the often-complex rules for complying with them. Luckily for industry, and for the consumers these regulations are trying to protect, engineers and resea...
Is this a contradiction? On the one hand, several recent studies by analyst firms—including mine—place plant operations software on the top of manufacturers' shopping lists. On the other hand, most companies are pursuing Lean manufacturing—an environment where many practitioners believe there is no place for software.
Jim Honerkamp says there were many reasons for implementing business intelligence—or BI—systems at The Hillman Group, one of which was eliminating employee reliance on the IT department for critical information. “We don't want the IT department to be an information gatekeeper,” says Honerkamp, VP and CIO at Hillman, a Cincinnati-based supplier of hardware items, and a m...
The best approach to passing data between plant-level and enterprise systems—an issue manufacturers have wrestled with for years—could be to simply run a few extra feet of Ethernet cable. At least that's a method now being endorsed by some large IT vendors. “Customers want linked architectures supporting both the office network environment and the factory floor,” says P...
Conformia reports its Development Operations Management Solution (DevOps)—a combination of the Conformia Scale Up Management System (SUMS) and Product Conformance Management (PCM) platform—now will be integrated with SAP enterprise solutions at the platform, application, and business levels, building a bridge between the development and manufacturing functions of product operations in regulated process industries such as life sciences and beverage alcohol.
This application note is a practical guide to the selection, installation and maintenance of equipment complying with the Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO). The document begins with a discussion of the origins of FISCO and an introduction to the main elements that should be considered when assembling FISCO systems.
Wipro will incorporate ILOG's Business Rules Management System (BRMS) products into its application development process while leveraging ILOG's other product lines, namely its supply chain planning and scheduling applications, as well as optimization and visualization software components.
Aimed at busy engineers, a CD from Contemporary Controls entitled “CTRLink” contains all the information required to get an industrial Ethernet installation done properly.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces the availability of two new documents relating to control systems security. One targets security requirements and the other discusses wireless networks.
Security guidelines and best practices for RFID adoption have been issued in response to meeting Congressional mandates requiring NIST to assist federal agencies in adequately securing IT systems.
When it comes to complying with government regulations, pharmaceutical manufacturers have special needs. Requirements surrounding the tracking and monitoring of temperature sensitive products—such as such as vaccines, cultures, and tissue samples used in clinical trials—during shipping are a prime example.
In wake of the fatal Aug. 1, 2007, Minneapolis, MN, Interstate 35 bridge collapse, after recovery efforts are complete, investigations will commence about the tragedy. Preliminary reports suggest that the bridge recently passed inspection, which may raise questions about engineering methods used for such inspections. Engineering resources follow.
If your company’s cyber security strategy currently involves a movie action hero and fisticuffs to fight hacker terrorists, you might want to consider something a bit more practical. Industrial Defender has launched an updated version of its flagship cyber security software suite to enhance a range of features, including support for Cisco and Secure Computing firewalls. Industrial Defender, Inc. (You might remember the company as Verano.
Products will flow more efficiently from production through packaging, as those on standards committees and others continue to refine the details of ISA-88 Part 5. Machine builders, users, automation vendors, system integrators and others are providing input for “Batch Control Part 5: Working Draft 03, June 2007” via the “Comment Form, Working Draft 03, June 2007,” avail...
The promise of wireless is clear: You can measure more in a plant situation, with new pieces of instrumentation checking different things and giving you more information (or at least data). But more than that, you can communicate easily with things that move: enterprise data on the plant floor, walk-around HMI, personnel locators, VoIP walkie-talkies, etc.
Automatic guided vehicles at GM Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) ferry parts to the assembly line at General Motors' CAMI plant. The vehicles follow magnetic tape laid down on the factory floor. The system is less expensive and more adaptable than the overhead conveyors they replace.
Next Generation Smart Warehouse Next Generation Smart Warehouse illustrates Jervis B. Webb Company's vision for the automated warehouse of the near future featuring the company's SmartCart and SmartLoader automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and guidance infrastructure.
Genealogists and historians are well aware of the problems with finding and translating old documents. When information technology is added to the mix, the problems become harder because of the number of different possible file formats. Unfortunately, in the IT world “old documents” may be as little as fifteen years old, often less than the lifetime of a manufactured product.
Silver Series Plus graphic operator interface from Maple Systems features enhanced displays for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) applications that require a superior look and intuitive operation. Based upon the popular Silver Series, this next generation of operator interface terminals (OIT) has advanced hardware to support graphics intensive projects that can connect to multiple PLCs from...
Widely viewed as a product life-cycle pioneer, PTC's Pro/ENGINEER software for mechanical design also is seen as the forerunner of today's high-powered and feature-rich management platforms. Given the merger mania in the PLM sector, PTC's 2005 acquisition of manufacturing process management vendor Polyplan Technologies looks like a precursor to the digital manufacturing era that's taking shape...
ERP-driven business processes linked to plant operations enable real-time control, information management
Peter Martin, VP of strategic ventures for Invensys, says release of the InFusion Enterprise Control System marks a huge shift for both Invensys and its customers. “We're not a holding company anymore,” Martin declares. “We're Invensys—not Wonderware, Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, and Avantis.
Google has been quite vocal in its desire to compete with Microsoft for the hearts, minds—and desktops—of knowledge workers. To that end, it now offers Google Apps and Google Desktop, two sets of applications that some industry analysts have labeled Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook clones.
Rosemont, IL — Braintech and ABB Robotics are showing what 3D machine vision and robotics can do when integrated in new systems in exhibits at the Robot & Vision Show , underway at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, June 12-14. Robots with vision can do things that were never before performed by unattended machines, the companies say.
A new whitepaper by Billy Piovesan of Advantech Corp.’s eAutomation Group discusses PACs.
Among more than 1,000 automation system integrators providing information about themselves for the 2007 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide, 5% had revenue over $50 million, while 9% had $25 million or more revenue
One of the most promising things about wireless control is the potential for a walk-around HMI to free operators from the control room. The practical aspects of making that a reality just took a critical step with Siemens’ introduction of their Simatic Mobile Panel 277 Wireless, which the company points out has an emergency stop function that has been tested and certified to SIL 3. Don’t underestimate the importance of this simple sounding feature. (SIL 3 is considered the highest risk reduction level achievable using one programmable electronic system.
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding machine vision products.
In safety networks, as in shoes, not only is it true that one size doesn’t fit all but it’s also the case that design matters. A shoe that’s right for a formal affair is likely to turn an ankle on a sports court. Likewise, a network suited for instrumentation at the field level, for example, could make a plant floor stumble, or worse, if misapplied. Engineers would like to pick the right safety network for the job, just as they can do for control aspects thanks to open networks.
Oak Brook, IL—Among more than 1,000 automation system integrators providing information about themselves for the 2007 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide, more than 40% serve five key industries.
A Control Engineering subscriber research article in the April 2007 issue covers industrial networking issues and concerns.
Back to Basics: As lean thinking and practices continue, the definitions risk being corrupted, adapted, or mutated to nicely conform to businesses objectives. For apples-to-apples measurement, be “non-negotiable” on the following meanings, consistent with Toyota Production System definitions.
GuiXT Fuzion from Synactive Software Components bridges mainstream SAP GUI with the emerging SAP Portal platform.
Embedded programmers already familiar with National Instruments’ LabView can improve their software’s speed, footprint, and maintainability by following the principles they can learn from The LabView Style Book, written by highly experienced system integrator Peter Blume.
One of the potentially challenging choices you may have to face is selecting a temperature measuring device. Like many things in the process industries, you have a range of options and there are tradeoffs that you need to balance. The three main technologies you have available from which to choose are thermocouples , RTDs , and thermistors .
As HMIs find more and more application in modern industrial applications, the demand for high bright displays in industrial computers and monitors continues to grow.
NDC8 control platform for automated guided vehicles, version 1.4, from Danaher Motion features user-friendly programming options and a high degree of flexibility and now supports up to 10 ac drives per AGV.
In the old adage, seeing is believing. In today’s modern industrial applications, seeing is more than that. It’s the essence of control, since the human machine interface (HMI) involves the presentation of visual information. That’s why there’s such a demand for high bright displays in highly customized industrial computers and in stand alone industrial monitors.
Research Triangle Park, NC —A test project has succeeded in using OPC architecture to achieve CNC and ERP connectivity, the Open Modular Architecture Controls Users' Group (OMAC) reports. The joint Boeing / Okuma / NIST project demonstrated the ease with which a machine tool end user—Boeing, in this case—can use a truly open control platform, said OMAC. OMAC's human machine interface (HMI) working group—which promotes best practices and technology applications that provide connectivity to the enterprise through open architecture—has been working to advance OPC as a CNC integration technology best practice. OPC is an industry standard for open connectivity in industrial automation and is supported by most major industrial automation providers. To achieve this goal, the OMAC HMI working group organized a joint project between OMAC HMI members Boeing, Okuma, and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to evaluate the integration of computer numerical control (CNC) with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and determine if OPC/OMAC technologies could achieve parts accountability with minimal integration efforts.
What you don’t find out now can sneak up on you later. That’s why it’s critically important to ask system integrators the right questions before partnering on an automation project. To help with this challenge, Control Engineering asked its System Integrator of the Year award winners to reveal the questions their best clients ask during the process of selecting an integrator,...
Iconics WebHMI makes Web-based HMI/SCADA a plug and play operation, providing remote Internet or intranet connectivity to enterprise systems. Using a standard Web browser, a remote PC can view OPC and visualization information from any Iconics Genesis32 product on a network. Based on Microsoft DNA architecture, it automatically delivers "plug-ins" so that a browser station can be used as part o...
Galway, Ireland —Technology Subjects Support Service—known as t4, Ireland’s teacher support and training division in the Irish Department of Education—has announced the CAD for Education initiative. The goal of the initiative is to expand technology education in second-level schools, and further grow the pool of skilled local engineers through second-level training in computer aided design tools. Twenty-five thousand licenses of SolidWorks software are being provided to kick off the initiative. t4 officially launched CAD for Education along with authorized SolidWorks reseller, Solid Solutions Ireland.
May 30, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Applying thermocouples Thermocouples are the most commonly used devices for temperature measurement. Constructed of two dissimilar metals joined at one end and open at the other (output end), they produce a voltage for a given temperature. A thermocouple's voltage signal increases as temperature rises. Thermocouples have many advantages over other types of sensors, such as resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermistors.
TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: August 29, 2006 Common valve plug guiding methods. Accurate guiding of the value plug is necessary for proper alignment with the seat ring and efficient control of the process fluid. The names of the common methods are generally self descriptive, and they include: Cage guiding - The outside of the diameter of the value plug is close to the inside wall surface of the cylindrical cage throughout the travel range.
July 25, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Inventory tank gauging—Part 2: Contact guided microwave/radar guidelines Inventory tank gauging (ITG) applies level-measuring technology to inventory-storage and custody-transfer applications in contrast to process control measurement. ITG systems often range their measurements over greater heights and with more accuracy than process level-measurement devices. The previous 'Tip of the Week' offered some guidelines on non-contact microwave/radar tank gauging. Here are a few tips on applying contact guided-microwave/radar technology. Contact guided-microwave/radar level-measurement devices also mount at the top of tanks.
March 28, 2006 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: How to define standards for HMI screen design Take into account operators' physical environments, such as control room lighting, how many screens they monitor, and how close they sit to the screens. These factors help determine standards, such as font sizes, symbols, and colors. A shape (or picture) library will help ensure consistency in the desired images.
Proficy HMI/SCADA-Cimplicity 7.0, the latest version of GE Fanuc Automation's supervisory monitoring and control software, focuses on greater integration and easier configuration. This screen shows a portal display embedded inside a Cimplicity screen. This history report screen from Proficy HMI/SCADA-Cimplicity 7.0 demonstrates the history of changes available.
Indoor or outdoor flat-panel protection is available with multiple designs and mounting options in the ITSEnclosures viewstation line. The ITSEnclosures viewstation product line is designed to enclose and protect standard plasma and LCD displays in all popular sizes, with mounting flexibility, indoors or outside. The ITSEnclosures viewstation is designed for indoor and outdoor applications to protect the display from theft, vandalism, the elements, and display damage. Viewstation enclosures will extend the displays useful life of the human machine interface (HMI), flat-panel, or industrial computer, to protect your hardware and information investment.
A cavity pump manufacturer who is interested in automated assembly (but more focused on the design and building of pumps) wanted to automate its manual data collection process. So Enon, OH-based " seepex Inc. " found a system integrator with exactly the skills they needed. "We're planning to automate our data acquisition and assembly operations," says Matt Brown, seepex manager of quality, standards and internal systems, "but we need outside help to make that happen." He used the 2007 edition of Control Engineering 's "Automation Integrator Guide" to make the connection.
Ameren Corporation, a St. Louis based electric utility with more than 30 generating facilities, has chosen one vendor to support their enterprise-wide alarm management initiative. PAS ' Alarm Management Optimization—Real-Time (AMO-Rt) software will be the new platform at all facilities, replacing a mixed bag of systems throughout their network. The AMO-Rt license includes modules for Alarm & Event Analysis, Documentation & Rationalization, Audit & Enforce, and State-Based Alarm Handling.
Europe's market is huge: more than 540 million well-educated, prosperous citizens with above-average incomes and a high standard of living. Manufacturers and sellers of goods can't ignore the business opportunity it presents, but they can hardly afford to move here. In spite of the warm feelings economic unification has brought, the area remains a crazy quilt of differing laws, languages, and c...
You may have seen stories on TV about small radio-controlled aircraft performing dangerous recon duties in hostile situations. An Air Force technician can sit safely in a control bunker and fly a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) into a situation much too dangerous for a helicopter, guiding fire control or smart bombs, or sending back video. It's fascinating technology and has probably spared many lives.
Research Triangle Park, NC —Standards have potential to become more useful for manufacturing interoperability when they unify, which makes them more, well… standard. Two standards-making bodies took another step toward harmonizing and expanding data models recently. ISA and OAGi (Open Applications Group Inc.) have agreed to cooperate on joint projects and exchange standards documentation.
A new floating display technology from Schott uses glass fibers to make images on LCDs and OLEDs appear to float on top of the faceplate covering them. The development was introduced to the North American market at Photonics West last month. A new floating display technology uses glass fibers to make images on LCDs and OLEDs appear to float on top of the faceplate covering them.
To Historians and others interested in Numerical Control for Machine Tools: A History of Numerical Control for Machine Tools has been compiled from the contributions of those who were the Early Pioneers in this industry.
MRHQ rotary air gripper from SMC Corp. integrates gripping and rotating functions to save space and simplify wiring and piping.
CP62xx Panel PCs from Beckhoff Automation pair integrated displays with PC technology. Available with an Intel Celeron M ULV 1.0 GHz processor and 64 MB compact flash as standard, the unit offers a depth of 2.4 in. (6 cm), has two Ethernet interfaces, and is IP65 rated.
New standards have been released governing data collection and communications among vehicle sensors and automated highway transportation systems. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have jointly released five new standards relating to the National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol (NTCIP). The NTCIP is a joint standardization project of AASHTO, ITE, and NEMA, with funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Since 1996, groups have been jointly developing the NTCIP family of communication protocols for traffic management devices.
The global human-machine interface (HMI) software market will hit nearly a billion dollars by 2010, a recent ARC Advisory Group study shows. "Over the last two years," said ARC research director Craig Resnick, "HMI software has been propelled into applications that have previously been custom or proprietary. This has caused unprecedented market growth…and we expect the momentum to continue." In 2005, the market totaled more than $650 million, outperforming the industrial automation market and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) projected at more than 9% over the next five years, reports ARC.
Control Engineering 2006 Engineers' Choice Awards Submissions tips and guidelines One application form per product please. Products should be NEW products; if you are describing a new version or new model of an existing product, be clear about what features or functions are new. Products must have been available for sale in North America between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. More isn't necessarily better; twenty 10-page nominations per company or product line won't increase chances of winning. We're seeking quality information, not quantity. Points may be deducted for submissions that aren't complete in a one email. All submissions become property of Control Engineering and Reed Business Information; some or all of what's submitted may be cited or quoted in print and/or online. Materials must be submitted electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 630-288-8580. Questions can be directed to Editor in Chief Mark Hoske at 630-288-8570 or Editorial Director Renee Robbins at 630-288-8013. Control Engineering image requirements Digital images should be Photoshop compliant JPG, TIFF or EPS formats, at 300 dpi resolution for grayscale and four-color images (at the approximate size it could appear in the magazine), with highlight on grayscale of 3% and shadow 90%, in RGB format.In general: Capture images at the largest size resolution possible with highest pixel depth your equipment can produce. Control image correction as much as possible during image capture, do not sharpen. Previously scanned high resolution files are acceptable. Files should be submitted uncompressed (TIFF format) RGB color mode with no embedded color profile. EPS files are also acceptable in PhotoShop or Illustrator programs. JPEG files are compressed and therefore not preferred but will be acceptable only if they are high resolution. Unless otherwise requested, any added type or logos, other than what would appear on a normal software screen shot, will be cropped out to ensure uniform publication style.
Ispat Industries Ltd., one of India’s leading metals manufacturers, is improving its hot strip mill steel manufacturing operations in Dolvi, Maharashtra, with a surface inspection system and coil release application. Founded by Mohan L. Mittal, Ispat Industries is one of the largest private sector producers of hot rolled steel coils. The company selected the system in order to guarantee outstanding quality for its customers, including manufacturers in the growing Indian automotive market. Ispat Industries chose espresso SI software from Parsytec AG for the surface inspection application and will augment it with Parsytec's surface quality yield software, parsytec 5i.
Those implementing industrial networks should plan ahead for higher power capabilities over Ethernet (from 12.95 W to up to 60 W per device), suggests Venture Development Corp . Commenting on Ethernet's expansion in power conversion and control practices, Venture Development Corp. (VDC) offers a research note on Power Over Ethernet, The PoE+ Standard and New Opportunities . VDC's Brian Greenberg, analyst for power conversion, says, "With the past success of Power over Ethernet (PoE) (IEEE standard 802.3af) powering network devices operating on 12.95 W or less, observers expect great things from PoE+ (IEEE-pending standard 802.3at).
Universal tongue-operated safety interlock switches from Omron Scientific Technologies include model T2008, designed to provide at least 1 million actuations in severely space restricted applications; and model T2011, which features a glass-filled thermoplastic housing and provides at least 2 million actuations. Fremont, CA —Two universal tongue-operated safety interlock switches are the latest offerings from Omron Scientific Technologies Inc . Switches feature a NEMA 6/IP67 enclosure for operation in water washdown environments.
Chicago, IL —Congress should enact an RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) law to create one compliance standard for the U.S., a recent poll by a major electronics distributor indicates. California enacted a RoHS-like law yesterday; other states may follow with variations. Newark InOne conducted the survey on its Website over a three-month period during fall 2006.
I really, really don’t like the idea of bits of junk laying out on runways, just waiting to puncture the tires, fuel tanks, or any important parts of a jumbo jet I’m riding on. I’ll bet you feel the same way, too. And, as a private pilot, I get to see that stuff up close and personal.
Control Engineering 2006 Engineers’ Choice Awards Application printable (pdf) Any and all products introduced in North America between December 1, 2005, and December 31, 2006, are eligible. One application form per product please. Applications are due January 30, 2007.
V Panel Express panel PC by Kontron has Intel Core Duo T2500 technology on a COM Express compliant, scaleable ETXpress computer-on-module (COM). Scaleable multicore processors are among the features of the new V Panel Express panel PC introduced by Kontron last month at SPS/IPC/Drives 2006 in Nuremberg, Germany. Also introduced in the last month is the XGA flat panel monitor from Advantech . Equipped with Intel Core Duo T2500 technology; on a COM Express compliant, scaleable ETXpress computer-on-module (COM); the unit features embedded multi-core process technology.
When a process doesn’t perform as expected, associated software can notify the appropriate persons, so they know what needs attention, where, why, and perhaps even when and how. As applied in applications, functionality for managing alarms and other advanced operator assistance varies, according to Fred Woolfrey, a Yokogawa Corporation of America systems solutions consultant. Alarm effectiveness is rooted in control system design and implementation, and software can help organize the correct response and improve operations with better use of process control, machine control, and human machine interfaces. Woolfrey discussed new alarm-related software coming in 2007 from Yokogawa at the company’s Technology Innovations Fair, held Nov.
If there's anything I've learned about helping to create, shape, and relay knowledge to engineers for 20 years, it's that engineers love to know things. When you don't know something, you'll dig until you find an answer that satisfies. When you do know something, it can take a seismic shift to get you to change your mind.
In today’s automation industry, suppliers, customers, and support organizations are forging strategic alliances that deliver significant value to all participants. These alliances, employing cooperative collaboration that elevates open systems and interoperability to a higher level, now resonate loudly in the marketplace.
Wait or implement? A lot of what we do depends on perspective. Do you see constraints or resources? Limitations or opportunities? If your cup is half full, are you going to complain or offer a toast, drink, and move on to enjoy dinner? If pragmatic uniformity guidelines are available, you could wait until they're a standard (formal or de facto).
Congratulated at Rockwell Automation Fair on a just-inked agreement to put OSIsoft's PI System into Rockwell's FactoryTalk suite, OSIsoft founder and CEO Pat Kennedy's immediate, characteristically gruff response was to say, "Now we have to make it work." With PI System, OSIsoft made the market for data historians, and Rockwell—especially since ex-GEer Kevin Roach's arrival as...
Block diagram shows the main elements of Atmel's AT91SAM9263 microcontroller, which claims to offer more bandwidth than any other ARM9-based MCU on the market. San Jose, CA —A 200 MIPS ARM926EJ-S-based microcontroller from Atmel Corp . reportedly overcomes the bottlenecks created by graphically-interfaced, data intensive applications.
MAQbox3000, 5000, and 8000 systems from Acqiris USA are multi-channel data acquisition system said to deliver essential oscilloscope capabilities in a small, modular package and eliminate the need for extensive software development.
El Segundo, CA —A new graphical user interface (GUI) developed by Glovia International, a subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd. , is now part of the company’s extended ERP solution, glovia.com. The GUI is said to heighten the level of clarity significantly, accelerate the speed of navigation, and improve control of information flow in the latest version of the system: glovia.com v9.
New specifications of CANopen industrial network protocol are available: CANopen application layer (CiA 301 and CiA 302), the standardized gateways for TCP/IP networks (CiA 309), AS-interface (CiA 446), and multi-layered CANopen networks (CiA 400). Staff from the related network organization will be available at the CAN in Automation (CiA) exhibit at the SPS/IPC/Drives trade show in Nuremberg, Germany (Hall 1, booth 537), Nov. 28-30 to explain how the new specifications can translate into new functions. The international user's and manufacturer's organization for Controller Area Network (CAN) are expected to offer the latest information about the CANopen specifications and the group's international standardization activities, such as the CANopen profile for motion control (IEC CD 61800-7).
If you use DeltaV historians, there is a new set of off-the-shelf batch analysis reports designed by Novaspect Inc., for Incuity Software Inc . Incuity EMI is a business intelligence package for manufacturers that integrates plant floor production data and enterprise business information from disparate sources. This includes DeltaV's continuous and batch historians, allowing users to analyze information in Microsoft Excel. Novaspect has developed a set of tools reportedly able to import DeltaV models and configuration information into Incuity's unified production model with a set of pre-configured batch analysis reports that automate configuration and viewing of data generated in any batch run.
Following its “Automation Without Limits” theme, ISA Expo 2006 hit a wide range of topics at the Houston show in October, discussing everything from secure wireless Ethernet to the need for more engineers. New products and new technologies dotted the show floor as attendees braved torrential rains to participate in a technical conference called by several “the best ever.
If the question is, “Should it run anti-virus software?” the answer is usually an easy “yes” when the applications are commercial databases, historian systems, or other non real-time control applications. However, if the applications involve real-time control or guaranteed response times, such as HMIs, DCS systems, or PC-based control systems, then the answer is not so e...
Touchscreens were the dominant input device on operator interface terminals shipped to North America in 2005, a recent market report by Venture Development Corp. shows. The study, “The North American Markets for Industrial Electronic Monitors, Operator Interface Terminals, and Associated Software—Sixth Edition,” indicates 62.
Microsoft Windows-based configuration tool from Teleflex is intended for the CANtrak range of large-format, automotive-grade LCD HMIs.
Natick, MA —Touchscreens were the dominant input device on operator interface terminals shipped to North America in 2005, a recent market report by Venture Development Corp. shows. The study, “The North American Markets for Industrial Electronic Monitors, Operator Interface Terminals, and Associated Software—Sixth Edition,” indicates 62.5% of the industrial electronic operator interface terminals shipped to North American in 2005 were equipped with touchscreens, and that the share will likely increase further through 2010.
XLReporter Professional Version 7.0 from SyTech Inc. automatically produces reports in Microsoft Excel from live process data, historians, and relational databases and sends them to printers, e-mail, fileservers, and Web servers.
MagneMotion's QuickStick LSM modular, linear synchronous motor system for assembly automation and material handling combines pallet and vehicle propulsion, positioning, and feedback in a single module. Acton, MA— More funding for a magnetic levitation technology provider could eventually translate into 80% savings in lifecycle costs for your next conveyor system, according to some estimates. MagneMotion , a developer and manufacturer of assembly automation, material, and transportation systems that use electro-magnetic technology, has secured a $3 million mezzanine round of funding for growth and marketing of its linear synchronous motor (LSM) and core development of its magnetic levitation (MagLev) technologies.
Minegem is Caterpillar ’s underground loader automation system featuring the first sophisticated autonomous navigation system. It allows the operator to work in a safe and ergonomic location far from the loader—on the surface or underground. The robotic haulage technology already is working in a number of world-class mines and is fully supported by Caterpillar. The operator no longer needs to travel to the machine to drive it; thus, the operator is not exposed to the risks of the underground environment.
The Aquacounter titrator from Karl Fischer is compact and allows technicians to measure moisture content quickly and easily. The growth of alternative fuels research and use has spurred the need for a simple and reliable method for measuring moisture content to avoid operational problems in engines and turbines. Alternative fuels, such as ethanol, methanol, natural gas, propane, biodiesel, etc., are becoming more common, but some of them have handling characteristics different from typical gasoline and diesel fuel.
General-purpose computing systems (in other words: personal computers and workstations) could be useful within a variety of control systems as human machine interface (HMI) platforms, network interface systems and even host computers, but many engineers hesitate to incorporate them because of the many stability and security issues surrounding the dominant PC operating system, Microsoft Windows XP. Linux provides an open-source alternative that avoids these Microsoft-related issues. As more engineers become acquainted with Linux, and Linux vendors make their implementations easier to use, PCs running Linux OS have begun to appear in many mission-critical applications. For example, Real-Time Innovations (RTI) and Concurrent Computer Corp .
ioProject Software SuiteioProject software gives you everything you need to complete yourautomation project quickly. Graphical interfaces are easy to use. I/O pointnames, variables, and commands are in plain English. A single tagnamedatabase is shared by all applications in the suite, so the tags you build forcontrol are immediately available for human-machine interface (HMI) andOPC use.
With embedded trends, shapes & Active X controls, Honeywell's Business Flex application displays provide graphics designed for easier reading than schmatics. Honeywell has released Business Flex 200, an updated version of their manufacturing execution system (MES) software package and part of the larger Experion process knowledge system. Business Flex reportedly helps companies synchronize their production schedules with larger objectives while reducing operating costs.
One of the first things Control Engineering (CE) did on its new Website 10 years ago was a Weblog. We didn't know to call it a blog, naming it “Control Engineering Forum” instead. Who knew? Now www.controleng.com is partnering with one of the largest industry communities, www.control.com, to offer links to and from its discussions, to continue to enhance and enrich the value of what...
Interested in computer numerical control (CNC) efficiencies for machine tools? There’s a lot to learn at the upcoming International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Sept. 6-13, including an OMAC Machine Tool Working Group meeting on Sept. 11, 1-3:30 p.m. OMAC Machine Tool Working Group is charged with maximizing the business value of discrete part machinery by providing automation guidelines, developing best practices, and assisting in international standards development for end-users, control vendors, and OEMs, says Sid Venkatesh, technical chair of that working group (and also with Boeing).
Natick, MA — The North American market for industrial operator interface terminals shows strong growth, according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp. “The North American markets for industrial electronic monitors, operator interface terminals, and associated software” forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 8%, increasing from $612.5 million in 2005 to $898.2 million in 2010. The study says a number of product trends—particularly declining component and subsystem costs, primarily for displays—are making adoption more attractive. These trends are strengthened by increasing demand and production capabilities for these products in non-industrial consumer and commercial markets, the report goes on.
Invisibility cloaks and starship cloaking devices may not only belong in the worlds of Harry Potter and Star Trek, according to researchers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and at Imperial College London. Using a new design theory, a blueprint was developed for an invisibility cloak with many uses, they suggest, such as hiding a refinery, electrical or other transmission towers, or manufacturing facilities in the way of a beautiful view. It could also clear an electromagnetic pathway, researchers say, for improved wireless communications. A cloak like this could hide an object so well that observers would be completely unaware of its presence.
Research Triangle Park , NC —ISA's standards committee on wireless systems for automation, ISA-SP100, issued calls for proposals (CFPs) to encourage a variety of experts to collaboratively create a new series of wireless communication standards for industrial monitoring and control. In a separate development, at Sensors Expo in Chicago, the committee announced completion of several use case studies and plans for continued efforts. The ISA-SP100 committee is establishing standards, recommended practices, technical reports, and related information that will define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment with a focus on the field level. Guidance is directed toward those responsible for the complete life cycle, including the designing, implementing, on-going maintenance, scalability or managing manufacturing and control systems, and will apply to users, system integrators, practitioners, and control systems manufacturers, and vendors. Two working groups of ISA-SP100, WG3 and WG4, issued calls for proposals to provide input to the committee and encourage a variety of experts, who may not be members of ISA-SP100, to participate in this process.
HMI products making their way to market this month include a rugged portable computer from Acme Portable Machines Inc. and smart card reader from Omnikey. In addition, check out additional HMI and display resources, including an upcoming mobile display conference, an article on a $100 laptop, and an upcoming article from Control Engineering on HMI standardization. Portable computer from Acme Portable Machines for factory floor applications features a 17-in.
St. Louis, MO —Today's networks require a cabling infrastructure capable of supporting a variety of needs such as voice, data, video imaging, and control, according to Belden . The most efficient networks are high-performance media systems designed to meet present and future physical infrastructure needs.
Control Engineering editors have amassed a huge resource of information over 10 years at www.controleng.com. Moving well beyond multiple print editions, the site helps subscribers and other readers do their jobs better to make manufacturing a more valued part of an efficient enterprise. Oak Brook, IL -- Control Engineering launched its Website, at www.controleng.com , 10 years ago in August 1996 to serve its already Internet-savvy audience.
FKI Logistex extends its Changi Airport relationship for high-speed sorting. FKI Logistex announced that it received a full-service contract for the baggage operations at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, covering operation and maintenance of equipment from various suppliers used in baggage check-in, transportation, security control, identification, and sorting. The airport serves approximately 24 million passengers a year; FKI Logistex has managed operation and maintenance of the baggage operations at Changi Airport Terminal 2 for the past five years. FKI Logistex technicians occupy the airport's baggage control room 24/7 to ensure the system is running smoothly and continuously; 45 staff work three shifts, seven days per week.
St. Louis, MO — Cooper-Bussman says it’s offering the first software for complying with UL508A SCCR (short-circuit current rating) requirements. OSCAR (which stands for Online Short-circuit Current UL508A Rating) helps comply with regulations governing industrial panels, equipment, and assemblies.
3 ways not to become extinct in manufacturing are to develop a clear vision that focuses on your customers' success; drive the waste out of all of your processes; and grow your people. So says David Hogg of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, in "Manufacturus Extinctus: Can North American Manufacturers Thrive in the Challenge of Change?" at www.
Panel PCs now feature TFT LCDs. Suitable for a variety of applications including industrial automation, HMI/SCADA, and in-vehicle, the units feature LAN, RS-232/RS-485 serial ports, 3 USB ports, and compact flash function.
OPC Foundation is offering training seminars in Atlanta July 14, Chicago Aug. 23, and Boston Nov. 8, targeting end-users and system integrators.
A second Productivity Pack is now available from GE Fanuc Automation Inc. for Proficy HMI/SCADA iFix, Cimplicity, and View users. “Today, customers need to be able to receive critical information regarding their systems at any time and anywhere,” said Roy Kok, senior HMI/SCADA product manager. “We have created Alarm & Event Express, an email notification tool for sending alarms to users based on the OPC A&E standard that works with our Cimplicity, iFix, and View products as well as other OPC A&E compliant applications.” Kok pointed out that GE Fanuc has also worked with Specter Instruments to validate and integrate support for Win911 in the iFix product, allowing alarms to be sent to paging devices and phones, similar to the Pager option that exists for Cimplicity. According to Frank Grygier of Specter Instruments Win911 Version 7.04 is enhanced for tighter integration with iFix and quality tested by GE Fanuc.
Rosslyn, VA— The National Electrical Manufacturers Association ’s (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions dropped slightly from last month, but still reflects conditions favorable to growth, the association reports. The index measured 53.6 in June, down 2.2 points from the 55.8 reading in May. However, for the 39 th consecutive month, the indicator remained above the 50-point threshold said to indicate conditions favorable to growth. In addition, the index for future North American conditions rose slightly from last month, climbing nearly a point (0.9) to 27.8.
U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) requires companies to establish and maintain internal controls to ensure the accuracy of reported data. Soon you will be ushered into a conference room and told that you have to prove that flow measurements in your plant or refinery are accurate. Knowing SOX requirements beforehand will help you prepare for compliance.
We're well into summer. Year's more than half over. The long list of want-to-get-done things in 2006 is longer than it was in January, despite having crossed off scores of accomplishments and a few more now out of reach. At day's end, it's far easier to feel heat for a dozen things left undone rather than satisfaction for the few completed.
June 27, 2006 Received Static IP address for 6 more modems last week from Verizon.Historically, these have been troublesome to get from them, often requiring their Level 4 support to intervene. We will need to test each to verify their functionality. Performed a test of the writes for PS 514 last week with myself and a representative of the city present. Started and stopped all of the pumps from a laptop by first logging onto the server, and then by going to the website.
Bearing failure on air fans can result in the shutdown of a recovery boiler for 6 to 8 hrs. Installation of an online vibration monitoring system from Emerson Process Management reduced unplanned shutdowns. Austin , TX —The number of unplanned shutdowns has dropped significantly for the Mondi Business Paper’s Richards Bay Mill in South Africa, thanks to an online vibration monitoring system.
Phoenix, AZ— Two new corrosion research programs from Honeywell will seek to help refineries increase the production of alkylates for high-octane gasoline and maximize production per barrel of crude oil. Companies in the refining industry sponsor the Joint Industry Programs (JIPs), which address common industry issues. Latest JIPs—“Predicting corrosion in sulfuric acid alkylation” and “Assessing refinery crude oil corrosivity”—were identified and developed based on input from Honeywell refining customers worldwide. Participating companies will partner with Honeywell to develop new approaches to corrosion management and will have access to the latest software tools for corrosion prediction, risk assessment, and process optimization. “It’s a paradox for refiners: They can improve their profitability by increasing per-unit throughput of alkylates or processing lower-grade crude oils,” said Dr.
Newest version of Automation Studio design, simulation, and documentation software for fluid power and electrical projects optimizes workflow from system design to maintenance, service, and training.
Those eligible for the first ever Control Engineering System Integrator of the Year Awards can be "part of a contract engineering firm or an engineering division of a larger company that can design and implement computerized control systems for industrial machinery, manufacturing lines, or other automated facilities that produce either a commodity or a finished product."
Two instrumentation manufacturers are jointly developing an automatic tank gauging (ATG) and inventory monitoring system specifically for the Chinese petroleum market.
If you don't know what you require and don't document it, you're going to get whatever someone thinks you require. Process engineers sometimes mistakenly believe control engineers should be able to develop automation/control logic based on the content of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs).
OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) approved new PackAL guidelines, which will be added to the OPW Guidelines for Packaging Machinery Automation. PackAL is an application library of common software elements used in packaging applications developed by the PackSoft subgroup of the OPW.
Research Triangle Park, NC—About 40 end-users from a variety of industries met recently with representatives of ISA's (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) Wireless Systems for Automation Standards committee (ISA-SP100) to help define needs and guide standard development and implementation.
When verifying, validating, and testing software, you need to figure out if the software is regulated or not, how severe a software failure would be, and how much and what type of validations are needed. Above all, "always do the right thing that's going to allow you to sleep at night," recommends David Vogel, president and founder, Intertech Engineering Associates Inc.
Madison, WI —Release of version 7.3 of Thermo Electron Corp .'s Omnic Professional Software suite expands capabilities of its FT-IR, Raman, and FT-NIR spectrometers. The software provides new time-based experiment features, Raman productivity tools, enhanced data transferability, additional capabilities for regulatory compliance, and compatibility with Thermo's dedicated FT-NIR systems. The series software for time-based experiments has been enhanced with new 2-D and 3-D data visualization tools, programmable data collection events, and integrated data processing and analysis functions, such as a new one-click spectral search feature that lets users extract experiment results quickly and accurately. Version 7.3 adds features to improve sample analyses from Nicolet Almega XR dispersive Raman spectrometers.
New line of XB IEC terminal blocks from Eaton Corp. includes screw type, spring cage, and insulation displacement connection (IDC) technologies.
New line of XB IEC terminal blocks from Eaton Corp. includes screw type, spring cage, and insulation displacement connection (IDC) technologies. All have a dual bridge shaft with the same shape and common accessories to reduce inventory and simplify installation. Accompanying Echart software for DIN-rail assemblies facilitates customized design.
Traveling internationally provides broad, enriching personal experiences, particularly in India. In millions of miles of travels to locations ranging from Manila to Moscow, I have learned a few things along the way. In recent travels to Mumbai (Bombay) and along the West Coast of India, reconfirmed lessons include the need to have a host, be prepared for economic diversity, do not plan to drive yourself, and ensure your papers are in order. A "host" is a person that can advise about the best-suited accommodations, local customs, where it is safe to travel and eat, can communicate with locals in the native language and can assist in making arrangements for transport, meetings, or other important needs.
Palo Alto, CA —Demand for Web-based human machine interface (HMI) systems is increasing as prices in the market have fallen steadily, recent research from Frost & Sullivan (F&S) indicates. The study, “World Human Machine Interface Products and Software Markets,” reveals the market earned $1.85 billion in 2004 and is expected to reach $2.75 billion by 2011. World HMI market in 2004 generated revenues of $1.85 billion and is expected to grow at 5.8% to $ 2.75 billion by 2011. Data and image courtesy of Frost & Sullivan.
Balmy Phoenix, AZ, was an appropriate venue for ODVA’s recent 2006 CIP Networks Conference & 11th Annual Meeting. Below are the highlights of the four-day conference. For those unaware, it’s not the same old ODVA versus 1999 with only a DeviceNet focus. Since then its stable has expanded to include: 2000: EtherNet/IP 2005: CIP Safety 2006: CIP Motion 2006: CompoNet; and 2006: CIP Sync As ODVA enters its 11th year it has 270 members.
Prisma II controller board is optimized for multimedia applications.
Embracing Industrial Ethernet Learn about the technological trends of implementation and discover end user benefits. Webcasts On Demand Understanding the Impact of UL 508A Comply with new panel building guidelines in less time and more cost-efficiently. Click here for more Webcasts.
Hybrid, dual-level terminal block provides two channels for two termination technologies in one footprint.
It wasn't that long ago that Ethernet was viewed as an office, not a plant, technology. However, business, economic, and technical factors have driven industrial Ethernet into the mainstream of mission-critical applications. This ubiquitous communications technology—allowing commercial and industrial networks to be connected or combined—enables manufacturers and utilities to close t...
Scottsdale, AZ — OPC Foundation has named two new members to its board of directors. They are Kevin Roach, vice president, Rockwell Software, and Grant Wilson, vice president of technology, Emerson Process Management. Announcing the appointments, Thomas J. Burke, president and executive director of the organization, noted the expertise of the two gives the foundation “the necessary leadership to carry forward the OPC Unified Architecture as the basis for secure reliable interoperability for automation and beyond.” Roach is responsible for automation and information software globally at Rockwell, and is also chairman of MESA International, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the exchange of best practices, strategies, and innovations in managing manufacturing operations and achieving excellence in plant operations.
Manufacturers of vision system technologies are finding it extremely challenging to keep pace with semiconductor industry developments, according to Frost & Sullivan ; component miniaturization creates the need for higher-throughput vision systems with superior accuracy. “Commensurate advancements in lighting and illumination, lasers, lighting, processors, sensors, and optics have to complement machine vision systems,” says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Vishnu Sivadevan. “Developers face the challenge of reducing set-up time and also incorporating greater enhanced functionality, scalability, and upgradeability.” Pay special attention to time and costs for set up time and installation, he says; user-friendly features, robust integration capabilities, and reduction of operator training time will drive investments in machine vision systems. Advanced automation standards also require flexible machine-vision systems that are scalable across multiple products and production lines.
Industrial Application Server version 2.1 expands the capabilities of the underlying ArchestrA technology of the plant information and automation platform.
Austin, TX —The Fieldbus F OUNDATION has announced an updated version of its F OUNDATION fieldbus specifications. The new specification defines features that enhance fieldbus functionality and provide additional incentives for automation equipment suppliers to adopt fieldbus. According to Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation’s product manager-fieldbus products, the updated specifications are an essential tool for controls and instrumentation manufacturers wanting to take advantage of the rising demand for fieldbus-based control solutions around the world. Specification 6.0 includes powerful new features standardized in device description language (DDL). The updated DDL specification extends the concept of interoperability to the HMI and diagnostic data level with improved visualization and graphical features.
Downers Grove, IL — Contemporary Controls manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, has transitioned to lead-free operation to meet the European Union’s (EU) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. The directive, which goes into effect July 1, 2006, limits the amount of lead in electronic equipment manufactured or sold in EU-member countries. China is expected to soon release its own legislation similar to RoHS. Changes in material and processes eliminate lead in the company’s products well ahead of the regulation’s effective date.
Sitrans 300 pressure transmitter for pharmaceutical and food/ beverage industry applications has a stainless-steel housing and measuring cell flush with the front panel making it easy to clean and sterilize. It is suitable for process temperatures to 392 °F (200 °C) and is available with a full range of sanitary connections in accordance with FDA, 3-A, and EHEDG recommendations.
Blue Collar Linux is now available in WinSystem's -40-85 °C EPIC, PC/104, PC/104-Plus, and EBX single board computers (SBCs). Implementation of GNU/Linux provides a way to embed Linux for industrial applications. Integrated with the company's x86-based products, it provides a starting point for developing applications in machine control, instrumentation, COTS/military, machine-to-machine c...
Many manufacturers outsource IT infrastructure support, including management of networks, servers, email, and desktop help. Valid economic reasons exist for outsourcing these standard services. In a business environment, not much added value is gained from performing them internally. However, big problems occur when manufacturing infrastructure is ignored in service outsourcing.
PRF incremental wire draw encoders provide resolution up to 0.025 mm at lengths up to 50 m and are available with HTL or TTL interfaces.
Houston, TX —According to Industrial Information Resources (IIR), the bad news out of Detroit in recent months has obscured positive early indicators on the capital and maintenance outlays. Investment seems to be on the rise for this year as it was in 2005. Last year at this time the automobile industry’s expected spending was diffident according to IIR’s analysis, some $4.8 billion versus 2004’s level of $4.7 billion. The shock came in evaluating actual 2005 expenditures, the industry plunked down $9.6 billion, flowing to the: U.S., 65%; Canada, 31%; and Mexico, 4%.
Cordoba, Argentina —Based upon Industrial Information Resources Inc. ’s conversations with Alejandro Granado, vice president of refining of Venezuela’s government-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDV) , plans to boost crude oil production to 5.8 million barrels per day by 2012, and 7.5 million barrels by 2020. Additionally, it will spend some $3 billion on expanding refining capacity.
Boston, MA —According to Business Wire, Aberdeen Group’s (AG) latest research shows that, despite perceived challenges, 53% of executives surveyed plan additional investments in RFID in the next 12-24 months. AG’s report, “Finding the Technology's Tipping Point,” indicates that 60% of senior management respondents say they are optimistic on finding value from RFID within their organizations. Of those respondents, two-thirds indicated potentially significant differentiation in existing business processes due to RFID.
Manufacturing Business Intelligence Solution version 5.5. from Acumence Inc . offers new KPIs alerting and plant analytics server enhancements that help manufacturers more quickly: identify, analyze, and react to decreasing plant performance. For operators of high-speed, high-volume manufacturing processes, this means less scrap and greater efficiency.
One of the simplest ways for a company to suffer huge losses in a single year, or even worse—self-destruct—is to infringe on someone else's patent. Lawsuits for patent infringement are guaranteed to cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars (even much more to defend) and may cost additional millions if infringement is found to have occurred.
E1 and E2 boards are Ethernet-ready I/O and communication processors for digital and analog I/O-systems. These versions of company's Optomux family of Brain Boards are designed to migrate existing Optomux installations to faster networks, high performance, and more communication options. E1 is designed to upgrade the B1 Brain Board for digital I/O systems, connecting to a rack of Opto 22 G1, G4...
Series HYG guided hygienic actuator provides high-loading capabilities of a guided cylinder and can be used in hygienic washdown applications or places in which the cylinder is exposed to liquid. Uses include food-processing machinery, bottling machinery, or applications requiring the cylinder surface to be wiped down.
Dr. Peter G. Martin, author and authority on real-time performance management and vice president of performance management at Invensys Process Systems, presented a seminar entitled "Optimizing PAT with Metrics that Matter," on Nov. 9, 2005, to members of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) at its annual meeting.
December 19, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.
Chicago, IL — HowDeep Tech Co. Ltd , a provider of individual, commercial, and industrial utility-metering solutions in China, has selected France-based Coronis Systems to provide wireless solutions for gas metering. It is Coronis’ first large-scale industrial contract in China. The contract’s initial phase involves equipping 50,000 residences in Yichang, China, with a wireless, automatic meter-reading (AMR) system.
December 7, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.
December 6, 2005 Well, we got an answer sooner than we expected regarding the primary consultant's evaluation vs. our own on the RTU and local HMI. Turns out that the primary consultant isn't going to evaluate our solution at all.
Hoffman redesigned its Concept operator interface (OI) enclosure series to meet “demands of modern manufacturing.” Proliferation of flat-panel touchscreens led Hoffman to redesign its Concept operator interface (OI) enclosure series to, “address the aesthetic, ergonomic, and functional demands of modern manufacturing,” says Mark Saunders, Hoffman product manager. “These enclosures reflect the requirements of flat screens, providing more sizes and options for the profusion of computer-driven controls.” Twenty standard enclosures designed for pendant- or pedestal-mounted controls accept the new generation flat-screen OI devices, including touch screens, LCD monitors, pushbuttons, and other traditional controls. The enclosure has one part number for the 14-gauge steel body, quarter-turn latching back door, blank aluminum front plate (for easy customization), and aluminum “comfort grip” handle extrusions that extend enclosure height. The extrusions, said to add “modern aesthetics” and improve operator comfort, are available in blue, red, purple, and turquoise accent colors and a RAL-9005, black polyester-powder finish.
According to a Frost & Sullivan study, 2004 revenues in the food-and-beverage market were $2.7 billion. The global automation-and-software solutions market has had moderate growth rate in the past. However, the company expects manufacturers' investment in automation to increase due to new developments in technology and regulatory requirements.
Milwaukee, WI; Granges, Switzerland —Two recent acquisitions are notable in the automation and controls industry. Rockwell Automation has agreed to buy Datasweep Inc ., a provider of manufacturing production management software solutions. Sokymat SA , a supplier of RFID transponders, has acquired IMASYS, a German supplier of RFID inlay manufacturing equipment. “This acquisition is a key milestone in developing the FactoryTalk suite into a multi-industry, multiplant capable enterprise manufacturing software platform,” said Rockwell Software Vice President Kevin Roach of the company’s move to acquire Datasweep.
November 22, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.
November 8, 2005 The prime consultant is meeting this Wednesday with city purchasing for approval to advertise the Phase I RTU and HMI request for proposals. It will need to be advertised for at least three consecutive weeks. The soonest this can be evaluated and awarded is probably 3 months from now.
November 2, 2005 The prime consultant is routing a final draft of the Phase I RTU and HMI request for proposal document to city purchasing for approval. They are also working on terms of a change order to cover post-bid cost increases incurred by the Phase II installing contractor. These increases occurred due to the delay of issuance of a notice to proceed, now extending beyond a year from the initial bid date. A number of SCADA server configuration tasks were completed.
ABCIP DA-server-3.0 advanced, multi-protocol device-integration server provides configurable read/write access from all Wonderware software packages that require real-time plant-floor data to Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley PLCs and control devices. Server reportedly lets users expand existing control systems to incorporate more advanced supervisory HMI or production and performance managemen...
Editor's note: In the September 2005 issue, Chris Randles, CEO and president of Mathsoft Engineering & Education Inc., took Excel to task regarding its usefulness as an engineering tool. This month, a reader offers his views on the subject. A spreadsheet used for design calculations will be as good as the talent of the individual programming the sheet, regardless of the shortcomings of some...
The task may sound intimidating, but designing a human-machine interface (HMI) screen actually isn't too different from creating a word document or presentation. Just follow some basic rules: Designing HMI screens doesn't mean copying a piping and instrumentation design (P&ID) onto a graphic. It means simplifying the process so an operator can easily see what's going on in a particular area.
Predictive solutions that let process manufacturers manage asset availability and utilization to improve business performance were unveiled by Invensys Process Systems at its recent customer conference in Houston. The asset performance management tools draw upon technology from across the company (Avantis, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex, Wonderware) and its technology partners.
October 27, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. MF (micro-filtration) software design 100%2. MF software code complete 100%3.
October 27, 2005 The prime consultant on this project has completed a draft of a Phase I RTU and HMI request for proposal document that is being circulated with the city of Baton Rouge. This consultant also had a meeting with the Phase II installing contractor and the city, mainly to provide them a status update on the project. We are in the process of testing a phone/PDA device running Windows Mobile 5.0 for use by maintenance personnel in receiving after-hours alarm notifications. The city currently uses a Nextel phone to get email alarm notifications.
Clip Project 6.1 project planning software now includes such features as export to 3D-CAD files and automatic downloads of product updates.
Safesite multi-threat detection system from MSA Instrument Div. monitors, detects, and communicates the presence of up to six potential threats and features wireless capabilities. Safesite multi-threat detection system from MSA Instrument Div.
October 19, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. MF software design--100%2. MF software code complete--100%3.
OMAC seeks to increase return on investment for industry by working with end-users, OEMs, and suppliers by developing industry guidelines for packaging applications. The organization is updating progress at ISA Expo 2005, “OMAC’s Packaging Guidelines– Increasing the ROI for Industry,” Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3:30-5 p.m. The session intends to cover the latest on guidelines recently developed and underway in: Common interface language (such as naming conventions for communications) between production machinery within the packaging industry, including adaptation of ISA-88 standards; Control architecture platforms and connectivity options for greater packaging machine automation interoperability; Common software elements and structures within industry languages for improved packaging machinery interoperability; Justifying automation return on investments; and Defining and satisfying the educational and training needs of industry. OMAC’s Packaging working committees are PackSoft, PackConnect, PackML, PackAdvantage, PackLearn, and Make2Pack. For more about this session and about ISA Expo 2005 in Chicago, Click Here For more Control Engineering coverage on Make2Pack and OMAC, Click Here —Mark T.
Recent items of note in the HMI field include advancements in holographic technology, new HMI-training courses, a series of articles devoted to applying nanotechnology to information display, and looks at the anatomy of a display and at HMI screen design. Find out who, what, and where to get more information about these topics in the descriptions that follow. HoloTouch Inc. received a patent from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which, says the company, validates its claims to its basic, touchless, holographic actuation and control technology in Canada.
Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Cooper Station will use Triconex technology for feedwater turbine controls. Simulation for the control system checkout will be accomplished using SimSci-Esscor software. NPPD will also employ a new operator interface based on Wonderware InTouch human-machine interface software. Invensys upgrades are being implemented to replace controls associated with plant tripping, and for expansion of an existing control system.
Based on the response received to my "Sometimes a database is enough" column, I thought it would be helpful to delineate a practical approach to develop such databases in cases where an MES system cannot be justified. Typical database applications involve recording an event, a person, a place, a material, and a time.
Highlighting the continued infiltration of Ethernet into industrial applications, integrator QDS explains its planned use of standard Ethernet communications in the Baton Rouge wastewater filtration project. According to blogger Stan Prutz, Ethernet will be used in each site where RTUs are being installed, using existing Modbus communications over TCP. While practical communication aspects are being addressed in Baton Rouge, on the West Coast, integrator Cascade Controls focuses on the operational philosophy affecting its biopharmaceutical filtration automation project.
First public draft of PLCopen’s Motion Control specifications, Part 4–Interpolation—is planned for April 2006. Part 4 of PLCopen ’s evolving suite of Motion Control specifications reportedly got off to a good start at a kick-off meeting held at Siemens AG in Nuremberg, Germany, on July 13-14, 2005. Goal of Part 4, “Interpolation,” is to define a set of extensions to “Part 1-PLCopen Function Blocks for Motion Control” and “Part 2-Extensions,” which focus on coordinated multi-axis motion in 3-D space, according to PLCopen’s managing director, Eelco van der Wal. Specification Part 1 and 2 deal with single axis and a master/slave type of coordinated motion control, such as electronic camming and gearing.
September 19, 2005 Later this week we will meet with the city maintenance personnel and primary engineering consultant to discuss how to proceed with the Phase I RTU (remote telemetry unit) and HMI (human machine interface) contract. Because this portion of the contract expired, it must be rebid. A request for proposals process will again be employed to award this contract. We are investigating the possibility of using standard Ethernet communications to each site where new RTUs are being installed, retaining the originally planned Modbus communications over TCP for existing RTUs.
LED backlighting from CI Displays provides alternatives to cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) to provide brightness control and other advantages in every day and extreme environmental conditions. Displays and entry devices take center stage in the HMI field this month. In the spotlight are the addition of LED backlighting to display products from CI Displays, a sealed keyboard and mouse from InduKey North America, and a new book on active matrix LCDs from Elsevier Science & Technology Books.
September 7, 2005 Hurricane Katrina has passed—the worst storm ever to hit the Gulf South. New Orleans looked like it would be spared until several levees gave way. Now over 80% of the city is covered with up to 20 feet of water.
GUI Builder source-code generator runs on a Mosaic touchscreen controller to help OEMs create effective, interactive HMIs.
Industrial Ethernet solutions help users address network design issues, including determinism, efficient traffic management, quick recovery from network faults, and integrity of the physical infrastructure.
Among available process-related resources announced recently are an upcoming conference on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a laboratory information management system capabilities data sheet aimed at chemical and petrochemical industries, and a best practices guide to warehouse and production facility temperature and humidity mapping. Details and links to more information follow. Complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley law while improving overall operations is the focus of an upcoming conference hosted by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). “Beyond compliance to Sarbanes-Oxley—financial benefits from integrating your management systems” is scheduled for Sept.
Although organizational capability is important when it comes to programming control applications, individual capability is critical to a quality product. It is not uncommon to see 10 to 1 differences in errors per thousand lines of code between the best and worst software developers, and the best and worst development teams.
70 Nearly 70 registered members are listed at the CSIA site as of late July. At www.controleng.com/integrators, other criteria can be added to CSIA membership in a multiparameter search. Control and Information System Integrators Association (CSIA); Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide www.
At the Profibus Trade Organization's (PTO) annual general assembly on Aug. 2-4, the continuing upsurge in industrial Ethernet served as the cornerstone for much of the meeting's discussions. Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group's analyst, noted during his presentation that industrial Ethernet grew at a 35-45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2002 to 2004.
How many engineers does it take to communicate a concept or idea to a team effectively? The answer is six; five to develop a collaborative communication system, and one to explain it. As an engineer, I've heard my share of engineering jokes over the years. I know the story: we're poor communicators who chose engineering so we don't have to communicate.
Simatic WinCC flexible 2005 HMI software from Siemens allows consistent configuration of all Microsoft Windows-based Simatic HMI operator control and monitoring devices from a micro panel to PC-based solutions. Users can carry out configurations quickly, import existing tag lists in a user-friendly way, and translate projects into Asian languages using external tools.
ISaGRAF 5.0 is said to be the "world's first commercially available IEC 61499 automation software." (IEC 61499 presents guidelines for using function blocks in distributed industrial process, measurement, and control systems.) Product incorporates IEC 61131-3 and 61499 standards to give users ability to build traditional control systems where interactions between devices are automatically regul...
The Modern-day Manufacturing Dilemma Bridging the plant floor to enterprise gap requires more than open file transfer capabilities, what's needed is software that can accommodate the custom data structures and concepts specific to the manufacturing environment. Get your FREE download of the next generation in manufacturing intelligence solutions. For existing users of ActiveFactory 8.5 and earlier, DataWorks Systems is giving away free download copies of its new Incuity HDA historical data access system—the entry-level system in the Incuity EMI family of enterprise manufacturing intelligence products. Incuity HDA connects to any of several popular plant historian databases and exposes the full value of the historical data through standard Internet browsers, Microsoft Office applications, and its own data analysis tools.In addition to providing a single rich client toolset for use with all major process historians, Incuity HDA provides services to integrate and manage that data according to user-defined needs, and offers presentation services that empower people with more useful and practical production information.It also provides an upgrade path to Incuity EMI, DataWorks' expanded version now in beta testing.
Austin, TX --Robotic vehicles competing in the DARPA Grand Challenge fell far short of completing the race, going just a few miles at best. But this year’s contestants feel their unmanned vehicles may be able to complete the 150-mile course through the desert. “There’s a very real possibility someone will win this year given that we’ve had another 14 months,” says Brett Leedy, captain of the Virginia Tech team. “Last year’s teams didn’t have enough time.
CANtrak universal automotive- and industrial-grade operator display from TeleflexMorse now includes an SAE J1587 protocol in its communications capability.
DataWorks Systems, a developer of real-time business intelligence software for manufacturing enterprises, has released its Incuity HDA historical data access solution for integrated deployment of plant-wide production information.
Starthis, an industrial automation software company, has released the second version of its Enterprise 2 Factory Floor (E2FF) manufacturing information system, which is said to provide real-time data connectivity tools for enterprise IT and operations personnel.
The Fieldbus Foundation (FF) reports that it recently added to its agreement with the HART Communication Foundation, Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V., and OPC Foundation to further develop Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL).
Urea letdown valve from Flowserve Corp. is designed to tolerate the high pressure drops and crystallization associated with the letdown process in urea production.
Syracuse, NY—To meet the increasing demand for eggs, inspired by the high-protein Atkins diet fad, an innovative, upstate New York supermarket chain recently asked its system integrator, Op-timation Technology Inc., to create a sophisticated control system for its company-owned egg farm.
iGear GearBox aims to ensure product quality, products shipped in sequence, and customer satisfaction.
isoLynx SLC200 data acquisition system implements industry standard Modbus RTU and TCP protocols to enable communication with a variety of existing third-party software drivers and HMI/SCADA packages.
High-end automation may still include service as part of the installation, but increasingly, past initial purchase (and perhaps, installation), a service agreement may be needed with an automation vendor to ensure efficiency and return on investment. After all, the very word investment implies return; otherwise it's called cost.
When we think about control system programming for PLCs, DCSs, and HMIs, we often tend to focus on the "control system" side, but it's important to remember that control system programming is programming. Most control system programming uses highly specialized languages, such as ladder logic, sequential function charts, process flow diagrams, and function block diagrams.
To address the increasing risk of cyber security threats to power plants and other industrial facilities, GE Energy has launched a human-machine interface (HMI) maintenance program to keep critical control system components safe from viruses and security breaches. The company debuted the program at the 15th annual joint ISA POWID/EPRI controls and instrumentation conference on...
United Sales & Services (USS) Engineered Control Systems Inc. reports it recently won a three-year blanket order to provide DVT machine vision error proofing equipment to General Motors (GM).
Enhanced condition monitoring (CM) software is said to empower plant operations and maintenance personnel to work collaboratively and improve asset reliability.
Macro Sensors has been designated an approved vendor by Siemens Westinghouse for LVDT (linear variable differential transducer) position sensors on Westinghouse steam turbines.
Research Triangle Park, NC—The Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users’ Group reports that it has released its PackSoft Application Library (PackAL) standard.
Have you or your facility built or developed your own human-machine interface?
In, out, and about HMI: Waterproof mouse, protection for LCDs, panel-mount terminal, firmware upgrade
An interesting array of HMI products is among new offerings to the marketplace this month.
When asked about ties to professional organizations, system integrators reported that they’re most often affiliated with ISA, IEEE, and CSIA, according to information collected for the “2005 Automation Integrator Guide,” published by Control Engineering in December 2004.
New OEM-specific regulatory compliance services (RCS) from Rockwell Automation are intended to help life sciences original equipment manufacturers minimize project risks and accelerate system development.
More than 200 pharmaceutical industry professionals and global regulators are expected to gather in the Czech Republic this fall to discuss global regulatory affairs.
An automation guide for municipal and industrial professionals in the water and wastewater treatment industries is available free from GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc., a unit of GE Infrastructure.
Keeping Motor Drives at the Rady Eases Retrofit of an Existing Processing Line, and Re-activation of a Mothballed Line by ABB
With manufacturing orders in the U.S. rising throughout the last half of 2003, and the economy showing indicatorsof a new cycle of growth, demand for all types of manufactured goods is following suit. Processors forced tomothball production areas or lines to weather the recent downdraft now will find themselves needing to retrofitexisting processes, to improve throughput. They also will need to re-activate equipment that has waited in standbymode.
General information/frequently asked questions Listing/category information Advertising questions/print guide Other General information/frequently asked questions What’s happening to the Control Engineering Online Buyer’s Guide? To expand reach, traffic, listing quality, and make it easier to use, Control Engineering has partnered with sister company Kellysearch to upgrade our online Buyer’s Guide, which will now be known as CE SupplierSearch at www.cesuppliersearch.com . Can I get to CE SupplierSearch from the Control Engineering online and the Control Engineering Resource Center? Absolutely. Access and links from www.controleng.com , / and from the widely used URL www.controleng.com/buyersguide remain the same. Also get there directly via www.cesuppliersearch.com . Why is CE SupplierSearch at www.cesuppliersearch.com powered by Kellysearch? Advantages are many.
New York, NY—Iconics launched its new, real-time, manufacturing intelligence software for regulated industries, BizViz, on opening day at Interphex 2005, April 26-28, at the Javits Convention Center.
New York, NY—To help check printed materials and help users comply with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations, Cognex Corp. launched its ProofRead optical character verification (OCV) system at Interphex 2005, April 26-28, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Incuity software is a real-time enterprise decision support system from DataWorks designed for businesses that rely on automated production equipment.
Hannover, Germany—ProSoft Technology is exhibiting its Industrial Hotspot RadioLinx RLX-1H and its first ProLinx wireless gateways this week in the Wireless Pavilion at Hannover Fair 2005.
Phoenix, AZ—Honeywell Process Solutions has introduced its Asset Manager, Release 310, which is the first release developed in conjunction with participants in Honeywell's Process Knowledge System (PKS) Advantage Program.
The following are the top five product brands that system integrators in the 2005 Control Engineering System Integrator Guide use most often. The integrators chose from among 137 brands.
Working with your Asian colleagues presents greater challenges than working with Western colleagues. This is to be expected, as cultural and language issues complicate and slow things down. But your willingness to adapt words and actions to the following seven key differences will increase effectiveness with Asians.
Foxboro, MA—Invensys Process Systems reports that it has transferred ownership of software extensions for FOUNDATION fieldbus to the PACTware Consortium.
Control Engineering 's Guide to Automation System Integrators lists over 1000 engineering companies that offer their time, talents, and technology for industrial automation and control projects. Listings include ... The company's name, address, phone, FAX, e-mail, Web site and contact person. The company's classification by age and annual revenues. The industries they serve. The geographic areas they serve. Their engineering specialties. The product lines they use the most. Their corporate affiliations. Their professional affiliations. A corporate resume describing their background and expertise. The printed Automation Integrator Guide will next appear in December of 2005 as a special issue of Control Engineering Magazine. An Online Integrator Guide is available year-round. Search the current lisitings Create a new listing Edit existing listing For over 50 years Control Engineering Magazine has covered the global control, instrumentation, and automation marketplace, providing more information on technology, products, news, and trends in print and online than any other source for personal and plant-wide productivity.
Multi-Sensor Interface (MSI) from Ircon Inc. is designed for the Modline 5 series of infrared sensors.
Chicago, IL—Lapp USA, a member of the worldwide Lapp Group, has revealed that it’s in the process of conforming to the Europe-based RoHS and WEEE standards.
A commercial HMI solution is helping a pharmaceutical OEM reduce development time and meet U.S. FDA 21 CFR Part 11 safety regulations for its custom batch sterilizers.
Automation integrators in Control Engineering’s 2005 Automation Integrator Guide were recently asked to identify the top five types of systems they work on most from among 101 possible choices.
To reach out to and assist end-users of wireless technologies, ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, recently organized its new ISA-SP100 standards committee.
Circonix Technologies LLC recently launched its latest system solution, ExtrusionPro, which was initially developed as a retrofit for existing extrusion process equipment.
Every possible advantage: That's what manufacturing needs in many cut-throat global marketplaces. End-user manufacturers are setting and using guidelines and standards from the eight-year-old OMAC (open modular architecture controls) Users Group and reducing some costs by 50% or more. Companies involved read like an operational efficiency benchmark list: 3M, Boeing, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble...
The Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users Group's guidelines and initiatives can deliver more than 50% savings according to end-users at OMAC's meeting on Feb. 3-4. These savings involve software security, machine tool efficiencies, and more flexible packaging equipment. For example, bottom-line benefits to corporations from good software security, best practices, a...
Cleveland, OH—The U.S. market for material handling equipment and systems will likely in-crease 4.3% per year to $20.4 billion in 2008 due to demand for improved productivity, safety, and ease-of-operations in, for example, material handing robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and services, according to a recent study, “Material Handling Equipment and Systems,” by the Freedonia Group Inc.
HART Communication Foundation (HCF) is extending its membership reach by offering a program for users of HART Communication technology. The User Associate Membership Program provides support services and benefits for users of HART-enabled instrumentation products, including vendor-neutral technical support resources and the HCF Library of registered device descriptions.
Make plans now to attend the 15th annual National Manufacturing Week.
Automation integrators in the Control Engineering’s 2005 Automation Integrator Guide were recently asked to identify the regions they serve from among 12 choices.
The listing for Loman Control Systems Inc. in Control Engineering 's 2005 Automation Integrator Guide , mid-Dec. '04, p.
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) reports that its 2005 trade agenda is focusing on extending free trade and further leveling the playing field in international markets.
A STEP-NC control prototype was demonstrated at Watervliet Arsenal on Dec. 16, 2004, according to Step Tools Inc., involved in the standardization effort.
Cleveland, OH—Keithley Instruments Inc. has released an interactive, tutorial CD on reliability testing for semiconductor test engineers. The firm is offering 'Understanding Measurements: Essential Reliability Testing Techniques' free of charge.
Rosslyn, VA—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) reports that it's supporting legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) that would amend U.S. criminal code provisions imposing sanctions on traffickers of counterfeit products, labels, and packaging.
Since the executive directors of the Control and Information System Integrator Association (CSIA) recommended in 2002 that all of its members must become Registered Members within three years of joining, several major fallout effects have occurred, according to Norm O’Leary, CSIA’s executive director.
InTouch HMI software version 9.0 from Wonderware uses SmartSymbols to integrate object-oriented technology with InTouch graphics and transform them into reusable templates. Changes made to the templates automatically propagate throughout an application to reduce time needed to create, modify, validate, and revalidate HMI applications.
Allen-Bradley Pico GFX-70 small-footprint controller from Rockwell Automation features a multi-function HMI. Combining control and HMI capabilities, the device adds to the Pico family of "nano controllers" designed to perform simple logic, timing, counting and real-time clock operations. Engineers can use the integrated graphic display to program control and HMI functions with one software pack...
The popularity of touchscreens is evident in the introduction of three new products featuring this technology.
Arista Corp. and Automation Control Products (ACP) are partnering to market a family of industrial thin-client computers.
Among HMI-related products, smaller sizes, better communications, and better visibility are among recent trends in the operator-interface market.
Emerson Process Management has published a whitepaper that can help users understand and implement electronic device description language (EDDL) technology.
Automation integrators in the new Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide were recently asked to identify the industries they serve from among 77 choices.
Everett, WA—Meterman Test Tools has introduced what it reports are the world's smallest, fully featured CAT III digital multimeters (DMMs).
Dispersive Signal Technology (DST), 3M Touch Systems’ recently unveiled touch solution, was demonstrated for the first time on 30-in. and 40-in. touchscreens integrated on LCDs at last month’s Global Gaming Exposition in Las Vegas.
Cleveland, OH—Keithley Instruments Inc. has published an updated version of its popular reference book, 'Low Level Measurements Handbook: Precision DC Current, Voltage, and Resistance Measurements.'
&ALIGN="LEFT"> A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & Maple Systems| November 3, 2004 Graphics-powered communication Graphic operator interfaces improve communications with machine operators by providing a visual representation of what is taking place in the PLC or controller. Because of the expanded communications power of graphics, graphic touchscreens are one of the most popular operator interface choices for industrial automation; however, an operator interface rich in communications-enhancing graphics may cost thousands of dollars, making it one of the most expensive components of many systems. Many engineers and systems integrators, especially small machine designers, find that graphic operator interface terminals—also known as human-machine interfaces (HMIs)—won't fit their systems' requirements in two major aspects: size and cost. Most graphic touchscreen displays are at least 5-in.
I-Spy32 Serial Communications Analyzer package includes software and I-Spy box, a compact unit that allows easy connection between two serial devices.
A variety of products and resources have made their way to market this month. Products include a precision, IP67-rated weighing platform and weighing modules from Mettler-Toledo and an infrared thermosensor from Omron Corp. that provides an accurate, highly stable, cost-effective way to measure the temperature of objects.
Middleboro, MA—SoftWire Technology is offering its SoftWire platform free of charge to any individual or corporation worldwide.
WinWedge Pro v3.1 data collection program is reportedly easy to use and designed for interfacing RS-232 and TCP/IP devices&m>laboratory instruments, balances, pH meters, moisture analyzers, flowmeters, bar code scanners, or other serial output devices&m>to any Microsoft Windows application.
FactorySuite Gateway communications product provides OPC connectivity to current and legacy Wonderware products running across a range of Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The global HMI software market is expected to reach more than $559 million by 2008, outperforming the industrial automation market, a new ARC Advisory Group study reveals.
Extruded aluminum boxes are suitable for many uses, including equipment designed in-house, prototypes, or small production runs.
Houston, TX—FDT Joint Interest Group (JIG) reported at ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, that its steering committee has approved a comprehensive framework for compliance testing and certification of FDT Device Type Managers (DTMs).
Houston, TX—Iconics released its new BridgeWorX Version 8 software on the first day of ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.
Houston, TX—To minimize nuisance alarms and help process control system operators to respond more effectively to abnormal situations, Invensys Process Systems introduced its Alarm Management services for Foxboro's I/A Series automation system on the first day of ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.
Flow measurement is essential in a variety of businesses, including and especially in the liquid hydrocarbon (petroleum) industry. An ongoing challenge is to provide accurate flow measurement while anticipating and correcting problems in the measurement system. An important objective of flow measurement is to control costs, particularly in flowmeter maintenance and unaccounted-for product losses.
Chicago, IL—The latest edition of the bi-annual International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2004 on Sept. 8-15 at McCormick Place included exhibits featuring thousands of useful products and services.
ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, has published a Job Analysis Study for its Certified Automation Profession (CAP) program.
Exter configurable, scalable HMI uses the manufacturer’s Intelligent Design concept to stress product user-friendliness, ergonomics, functionality, and performance.
Developments in a couple of product areas have implications for the HMI/display market.
Prairieville, LA; Houston, TX—K-Tek has formed a partnership with ASI Instruments to focus on detection and measurement of dry bulk solids.
In a move that could streamline certifications, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) has published a new second-edition standard that combines three existing UL standards—UL 61010A for laboratory equipment, UL 61010B for test and measurement equipment, and UL 61016C for process control equipment—into one standard.
Austin, TX—To assist device developers and end-users, the Fieldbus Foundation (FF) has released its new FOUNDATION fieldbus Application Guide for 31.25 kbps Intrinsically Safe Systems (AG-163, Revision 2.0).
Multi-part safety information program is aimed at reducing hazards for people measuring electrical energy and cutting risk and liability for employers.
Lake Forest, CA—Wonderware reports that its recently released FactorySuite Gateway provides OPC connectivity to its current and legacy products running on many Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Highlights Sponsored by Coupling OPC with generic database access technology enables the swapping of data between real-time and relational databases. Don't miss Control Engineering and GE Fanuc's September 22 Webcast. Register today! Using generic database access technology to expand OPC By Randy Kondor At the foundation of most automation applications are databases. They are the windows to our innermost operations as well to our connections with the outside world when used as a gateway to a process optimization application, computer maintenance management system (CMMS), composition analyzer, or a custom, in-house application. As our dependence on databases has increased, so too has our reliance on OLE for Process Control (OPC)—the open connectivity standard for industrial automation and enterprise systems.
The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA) has released the study guide for its new Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program.
Foxborough, MA; Reinach, Switzerland—Iconics has launched an OEM technology partner-ship with Endress+Hauser in which the Switzerland-based manufacturer will OEM and private label Iconics’ Genesis32 automation suite as Endress+Hauser’s P View PC-based process visualization suite.
OS2400-485 frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum radio operates in the license-free 2.4 GHz band and is designed for high-interference environments.
Elgin, IL—Harting and Krohne report that they’ve jointly developed a user-friendly, forward-looking "Industrial Outlet" to serve as a link between office and plant areas that are often becoming part of the same integrated communication system..
The 2004-2005 print version of the Buyer's Guide is now in production, so to ensure data integrity we've turned off outside updates until mid-August.
InTouch HMI software version 9.0 uses SmartSymbols to integrate object-oriented technology with InTouch graphics and transform them into reusable templates.
Two new HMI training courses are being offered by Iconics this summer at its Foxborough (MA) Training Center.
Understanding the scope of IT in a control system project is an important first step in identifying the expertise needed. I have been working on a project that illustrates the multitude of information technologies used in modern control systems. The project involves purpose-built equipment and control systems, packaged equipment, and control systems, HMI, MES (manufacturing execution system), d...
Fairfield, NJ; Torrance, CA—Measurement Specialties Inc. (MSI) recently acquired Elekon Industries USA Inc. for $7.5 million, including $4.5 in cash at closing and $3 million in deferred payments.
Current information about the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society’s (ISA) new Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program is now available on the ISA Web site.
A new HMI solution from CCS-Inc. and strategic partner InduSoft is said to significantly reduce the cost of replacing or upgrading proprietary products, according to the developers.
Several new monitors have brightened HMI horizons this past month. Included in the new offerings are a low-cost flat panel monitor, touchmonitors with infrared touch sensors, a family of wireless monitors and display systems, and an aseptic flush-mount monitor.
Scottsdale, AZ; Harrisburg, PA—The Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) reports that Phoenix Contact will support Profinet as its preferred Ethernet solution for Phoenix’s Interbus protocol.
In a word, the past year was all about 'achievements' at the Control and Information System Integrators Association," said Norman O’Leary, CSIA’s executive director, during his annual review to members at the organization’s recent Executive Conference in Palm Desert, CA.
The Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) reports that it will release its Profinet Isochronous Real-Time (IRT) extension for high-performance motion control applications within 18 months.
In April 2004, two groups of cyber security and automation system experts issued more than 260 pages of security guidelines for industrial control systems. The ISA-SP99 standards committee issued the first two of several Technical Reports on Manufacturing and Control Systems Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Process Control Security Requirements Forum issu...
A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & Maple Systems| May 26, 2004 Elevating the Art of the Human-Machine Interface... At Maple Systems, we're operator interface experts who have specialized in the design and support of HMI solutions for over 20 years. This experience is evident in the quality, versatility and affordability of all our HMIs. Value... Performance.
A variety of information for simplifying instrumentation and control tasks is available free for the taking. Among the latest offerings are an instrumentation catalog, technical training seminars, and a leak rate calculating slide rule.
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) will feature a software track at its 58th Annual Quality Congress (AQC), May 24-26, 2004, in Toronto, ON, Canada, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Unifying the approach to people, processes, and technologies was among recommendations given to more than 100 senior-level manufacturing professionals this month in Chicago at Invensys' and Microsoft's Plant Intelligence Conference.
Mayfield Heights, OH—Rockwell Automation recently added two controllers to its Allen-Bradley CompactLogix family: CompactLogix 1769-L32E, which provides cost-effective EtherNet/IP connectivity; andCompactLogix 1769-L31, which enables for stand-alone control.
InTouch ® HMI software is designed to visualize and control industrial processes.It offers engineers an easy-to-use development environment and extensive functionality to rapidly create,test and deploy powerful automation applications that connect and deliver real-time information.
Since its introduction in 1997,there have been more than 10,000 installations of Invensys Wonderware ’s IndustrialSQL Server ™ real--time plant historian,making it one of the world ’s most popular production data historians.
Free software is an enticing proposition. It allows us to stretch our project dollars to implement better controls and procedures. There are free operating systems (Linux), process control applications (such as ProcessViewBrowser—http://pvbrowser.org), and application development tools (such as MySQL, GNU SQL, Apache Web server, PHP, and Java IEDs).
Thank you for your interest in submitting white papers, articles and product specifications. Below you will find the information you need to send us your contributions: 1. Guidelines Word document Image requirements Rights 2.
Magdeburg, Germany—The memorandum of understanding (MoU) that established IAONA as platform organization for IDA-Group and ODVA in 2000 was recently renewed and enlarged to include the Interest Group SERCOS (IGS), EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), and Ethernet Powerlink Specification Group (EPSG).
Highlights Control Engineering's new Website Profiles promise to make the installation, setup, and integration of field devices easier, quicker, and less expensive. Go to www.controleng.com today and see the new, easier to use and navigate Website. Features include more daily and weekly articles, enhanced industry channels, and engineering tutorials. Visit today! The "Profile" Concept in Fieldbus Technology By James Powell, P.Eng. A device profile is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a "representation of a device in terms of its parameters, parameter assemblies, and state model that describes the device's data and behavior as viewed through a network.
Line of rotary joints for fiber optic systems allows uninterrupted transmission of data in applications that require full 360° fiber rotation.
PC/104, EBX, and STD Bus single board computers now have Red Hat Linux embedded on them. Powerful, robust, and low-cost operating system is suited for extremely small, embedded applications. Embedded Linux systems include a Web server, Telnet access, FTP, and serial terminal support. Development kits come with board-specific drivers, documentation, cables and a quick-start guide.
System integrators are sharpening their skills to better serve end-users. They’re doing that by working more closely with CSIA and manufacturer affiliations, according to a recent Control Engineering Webcast.
Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) have their special spaces within the expanding arena of embedded controls. Reconfigurability and capability for product prototyping are prime benefits of FPGAs, leading to faster time-to-market—and favorable price/performance for the right application.
2004 is shaping up to be a special year for Control Engineering in many ways. For starters, it is our 50th anniversary and we will be celebrating it throughout the year. 2004 is also the first full year of publication under our new design and guidance, and we will be debuting new columns and sections.
Eclipse Model 707 is reported to be the first two-wire, loop-powered, radar level meter that can measure both upper liquid level and a liquid-liquid interface below it. This situation is typically found in hydrocarbon condensate/water interfaces. The 707 uses time-domain reflectometry, which sends high-frequency pulses down a wave guide.
Integrated manufacturing software solutions are aligned with international ISA S95 guidelines.
With so much focus on the utility industries following last summer’s blackouts, advice on how to improve operations is coming from all corners. A new entry is a book examining computerized work management systems (CWMS), which claim to improve the work management process; reduce operating costs by improving asset availability, performance, and reliability; capture needed information in cost and work history; and enable employees to have direct access to information for better decision making.
Minneapolis, MN—Banner Engineering Corp. recently introduced its Q60 adjustable-field laser sensors, which feature a mechanically adjustable sensing cutoff point that allows them to reliably detect extremely small objects with relatively low reflectivity.
Fieldbus Foundation is making available its FOUNDATION fieldbus System Engineering Guide. Available as a free downloadable PDF file, this is a comprehensive (101 page) document which describes the design, specification, installation, configuration, commissioning, and maintenance of FOUNDATION fieldbus-based control systems.
SCADA system security issues are receiving increased attention lately, in part thanks to last summer’s power blackout in the Northeast. In a recent keynote address at a National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop, the director of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) cited the organization’s ongoing work with a number of industry-led standards-development organizations to produce guidelines for implementing SCADA security
The Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) reports that its new Profinet Installation Guideline is now available. The guideline gives users information they need to implement Ethernet-based Profinet in industrial and office environments.
How can you help improve your technology-interdependent business? These bits of advice, taken from a session at this fall's Sensors Expo & Conference entitled "The Sensor Industry: State of the Business," can benefit anyone using, selling or integrating any automation, controls, and instrumentation.
Houston, TX—ICP DAS USA Inc. is showcasing its recently announced advanced controller, WinCon-8000, at ISA Expo 2003 this week. ICP DAS USA is co-locating with Indusoft in Microsoft’s exhibit at Booth #1631.
Portland, OR—Instantiations Inc. recently acquired SWT Designer, including exclusive title of the product and all related technology, from Eclipse Plug-Ins Lab and its author Konstantin Scheglov.
RSAutomation Desktop is a Microsoft Windows 2000 or .Net-server-based application that acts as a central repository for control system design data to help reduce rework and improve collaboration in automation projects.
To provide Ethernet-based connectivity from the factory floor to the control room, Metrobility Optical Systems recently introduced a modular, dual dc-powered, DIN-rail mounted, two slot chassis to support industrial applications migrating from legacy fieldbus interfaces to optical Ethernet.
In the print edition of the Control & Automation Buyer's Guide, a supplement to Control Engineering, August '03, the entry for Honeywell Industrial Measurement & Control (p. 70) should have included product category references under actuators, analyzers and monitors, control systems, controllers, data acquisition, flowmeters, networking (devices, equipment, and components), chart record...
In a May ’03 article titled ''FDA’s New Initiative,'' I mentioned how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was undertaking a new initiative to enhance its entire current-Good Manufacturing Practices (cGAMP) program, including Part 11 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations; Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures—also known as 21 CFR Part 11.
Piscataway, NJ—Because enhancing information system and network security is limited by their underlying operating systems, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has begun work on a standard to formulate consistent baseline security requirements for general-purpose (GP), commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) operating systems.
The OPC XML Data Access (XML DA) specification is part of a move towards platform-independent interoperability and generic support for Internet-based Web services, an ARC Advisory Group Industry News item reports.
PRO/II 6.0 process simulation program models a wide range of processes and is well suited for oil/gas, refining, petrochemical, and engineering applications.
The first full draft of a new standard for mobile computer batteries has been completed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is circulating for comment among the companies that created it. The IEEE P1625 standard, entitled ''Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Computers,'' takes a systems approach to improve the reliability of the next generation of rechargeable lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries.
HMI500 Series of touchscreen operator interfaces now have support for four new controller protocols.
Dedham, MA—The worldwide market for radar level devices is expected to grow at an 10.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years from nearly $238 million in 2002 to more than $388 million in 2007, according to a new study by ARC Advisory Group.
Product Index Green pages — In this Product Index section, product categories are presented alphabetically and include the page numbers on which each section begins in the Product Locator Section. For example, to find information on mass flowmeters, first look up "FLOWMETERS," then scan down the page to look for the subhead "Mass.
A hardware trace probe that brings high-speed software trace collection to processors with embedded trace ports has been announced by Green Hills Software Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA).
Padless Touch System (PTS) technology may be used in a wide range of applications including process instrumentation, machine tools, auto manufacturing, and consumer goods.
PROFInet COMPETENCY CENTER OPENS IN JOHNSON CITY, TN. The PROFIBUS Trade Organization has announced the opening of the new PROFInet Competency Center located in the PROFIBUS Interface Center (PIC) in Johnson City, TN. The Center is certified for competency instruction and development assistance for all PROFInet products.
Simatic PCS 7 Version 6 eliminates traditional boundaries between different software tools used to configure a process automation system. A single common interface configures the human-machine interface (HMI), control, historian, batch and fieldbus aspects of a process-control device. Version 6 allows online system modifications for its I/O, controller, HMI, batch, and historian components.
Cimplicity HMI 6.1 features dynamic screen localization and connectivity enhancements to simplify data exchange between the plant floor and the enterprise. Scalable and said to be easy-to-use, Cimplicity HMI 6.1 shares data with process execution products such as Cimplicity Machine Edition, and Plant Intelligent products such as iHistorian.
Ann Arbor, MI—Manufacturing Data Systems Inc. (MDSI) has launched a new group of open-architecture control solutions that include industrial PC, touchscreen monitor, machine interface components and cabling, as well as preloaded OpenCNC or WinMotion software.
Foxborough, MA—To help users streamline operations, extend manufacturing information infrastructures and improve ROI, GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. introduced its Cimplicity HMI 6.1.
MegaPlus ES 1020 high-resolution compact digital camera captures mega-pixel images at 48 full frames per second. This series has a more compact frame than its predecessors and comes in both monochrome and Bayer color versions. Unit features Kodak CCD technology, a user-friendly GUI, and a Camera Link interface, and is suited for a multitude of applications, including semi-conductor and electron...
IKEY- IKEY manufactures a complete line of NEMA rated industrial keyboards, flat panel monitors and computer pointing devices. Featuring a wide range of sizes, styles and features, IKEY's innovative products are manufactured to the highest standards of quality, while being ruggedized to survive in dirty, dusty and washdown environments. IKEY's products are available in a variety of configurations including desktop, panel mount, rackmount and OEM.
Freeport, Bahamas—An oil storage tank terminal owned by Bahamas Oil Refining Co. (BORCO) and Venezuela-based PDVSA has ordered Saab Rosemount's radar-based tank gauging for its 43 storage tanks.
The Control and Information System Integrators Association (CSIA, Exton, PA) reported during its recent 2003 Executive Conference that it's adding a technical management section to its Best Practices and Benchmarks Guidelines for registering system integrators (SIs). Developed during the past year by CSIA's best practices and benchmarks subcommittee, this technical secti...
ZiCam ZI-640 performs machine vision tasks that once required human supervision. Essentially a self-learning machine vision system embedded into a high-performance digital video camera, this device features a neural-network-based Zero Instruction Set Computer-or ZISC-that eliminates the need for programming to execute image-understanding algorithms.
Dedham, MA—The Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users Group's Microsoft Manufacturing User Group (MS MUG) published a "Best Practices" report on April 14 that highlights key aspects of Microsoft's architecture related to reliability, cost and supportability, and then provides options for plant-floor users to consider when applying Microsoft's technology.
New York, NY—Thousands of innovative solutions and useful products were viewed by thousands more attendees at the International Pharmaceutical Industry Congress (IPIC), March 31-April 2, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. IPIC gave attendees a chance to participate in four simultaneous and related shows and conferences, including Interphex.
Columbus, OH—Liebert recently opened its Consultant's Corner, a secure web-based resource to help reduce dependence on paper catalogs, and provide quick turnaround of sizing and capacity data
Duluth, GA—DVT Corp. recently moved into its new headquarters, which has more than three times the floor space of its previous home, and features an expanded Global Training Center and communications infrastructure.
Lake Forest, CA - Wonderware's FactorySuite Industrial Application Server and InTouch 8.0 human-machine-interface (HMI) software are said to lower maintenance and development costs involved in engineering FDA 21 CFR Part 11, electronic records and signature, applications.
It used to be so simple. If you wanted to record something, you bought a circular or strip chart paper recorder. If there were multiple channels and not a lot of space available, you bought a multi-pen or multi-point recorder. If you happened to work for a utility company, once a year you made some salesman's day when you placed a huge order for chart paper.
Siemens Energy & Automation introduced Feb. 25 its Simatic Diagnostic Repeater, which it reports is the only device capable of delivering online diagnostic information about RS-485 Profibus cable during operation. The easily installed Diagnostic Repeater is designed to help users reduce plant downtime, speed commissioning and integrate system diagnostics in new or exi...
When it comes to measuring levels of bulk solids, liquids and everything in between, guided-wave radar technology is now offering more level-detection capabilities than ever. For an increasing range of previously hard-to-measure substances, such as molten sulfur, liquid ammonia and petrochemicals, guided-wave radar transmitters provide accurate level measurements, even in harsh, chemical enviro...
Lake Forest, CA— Wonderware's FactorySuite Industrial Application Server and InTouch 8.0 human-machine-interface (HMI) software are said to lower maintenance and development costs involved in engineering FDA 21 CFR Part 11, electronic records and signature, applications. FactorySuite Industrial Application Server provides an infrastructure to simplify development, deployment, maintenance...
Alpharetta, GA—Siemens Energy & Automation introduced Feb. 25 its Simatic Diagnostic Repeater, which it reports is the only device capable of delivering online diagnostic information about RS485 Profibus cable during operation.
Siemens Human Machine Interface (HMI) division has delivered its millionth Simatic HMI system.
During uncertain times, there can be comfort in things that change little. For some, it's faith-based—that there's a higher power guiding, overseeing, or protecting. Others sometimes joke that there are only two certainties: death and taxes. While I prefer the eternal timeline of a faith-based approach, I also find comfort in information gathering to augment the here and now: •Whe...
Oak Brook, IL — Citect CEO and managing director, Wayne Morris, and marketing director, Frank Volckmar, recently discussed business and strategy with Control Engineering's Mark Hoske and Gary Mintchell.
Charlottesville, VA - GE Fanuc Automation North America, Inc., an affiliate of GE Industrial Systems, has introduced a new version of Cimplicity DataViews software, which allows remote and casual users to access critical data via a standard web browser.
Mansfield, MA—Verano introduced Jan. 13 its Performux software, which is designed to cooperate with Verano's Instant Awareness software to provide users with intelligence about production status, asset utilization and operational alerts.
The world market for material handling equipment and systems is projected to grow by 6.2% per year from $79.8 billion in 2001 to $107.9 billion in 2006, including price increases, according to ''World Material Handling'' by the Freedonia Group Inc. (Cleveland, OH, ).
Berkeley Process Control Inc. announced Nov. 21, 2002, that it's adding OLE for Process Control (OPC) server and ActiveX controls capabilities to its BX and BAM motion-and-machine controller products. The firm expects these open, industry-standard interfaces to improve interoperability, and expand market access to its automation productivity solutions.
Microsoft's .Net (pronounced "dot net") initiative is destined to be important for control engineers. Microsoft has said it is committed to helping manufacturers extend beyond their four walls to effectively communicate with other plants, partners and customers. Microsoft has built the platform and business tools to allow manufacturers to be more lean and agile in the digital economy.
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Anaheim, CA - Is it possible for an engineer to have too many tools? Rockwell Automation unveiled several electronic and design tools at the recent Automation Fair with a view to making things easier for customers.
Richmond, CA—Berkeley Process Control Inc. announced Nov. 21 that it's adding OLE for Process Control (OPC) server and ActiveX controls capabilities to its BX and BAM motion-and-machine controller products.
The Mark III In-line chemical process pump features improved pump reliability and extended mean time between planned maintenance.
Billerica, MA—Coreco Imaging's Intelligent Products Division, 'ipd,' released Nov. 19 its iGauge, which is the first product in its line of user-friendly, task-specific vision appliances.
Charlotte, NC—Transbotics Corp. released its new dual conveyor laser-guided vehicle on Nov. 5 at the Pack Expo 2002 tradeshow in Chicago.
Boston MA - Applied Data Systems (ADS) demonstrated an embedded HMI/SCADA solution at ESC featuring InduSoft web Studio (IWS) running on ADS' Graphics Client Plus, a RISC-based StrongARM system.
Pricing for the upgraded HMI500 series touchscreen has been lowered to $495 for the 6-in. version.
Emerson Process Management's release of Intellution's iFIX 3.0 HMI/SCADA application expands iFIX's security, usability, and data integrity and traceability capabilities.
Today's ultra-competitive world requires that ''looking at your process'' delivers more than a sense of what's going on. Measurement, analysis, visualization tools and software can deliver business intelligence to the right persons, in the required units, at the right time to optimize decision-making.
Chicago, IL—To enable creation of common tools for configuring, accessing, and managing intel-ligent field devices, the FDT Group demonstrated its Field Device Tool (FDT) specification on Oct. 21 at ISA 2002 at McCormick Place. FDT Group reports that its FDT specification consists of the world's first universal field device interface solutions.
Las Vegas—-Amid a dreary short-term U.S. and global financial outlook, Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's managing director and chief economist, offered ways the U.S. and world can perform better in the long run. Mr. Roach made his comments here, Oct. 10, as part of "The Resource Revolution Symposium" by Invensys plc (London).
Everett, WA— Pricing for the upgraded HMI500 Series touchscreen has been lowered to $495 for the 6-in. version. It comes with standard recipe and real-time clock, 133 MHz processor, 5 MB RAM, 256 colors, and supports 20 controller brands. www.maple-systems.com. Maple Systems Circle 418
Foxborough, MA.— Intellution's iFIX 3.0 HMI/SCADA application expands iFIX's security, usability, and data integrity and traceability. It also adds point verification, a set of core functionality that requires users to enter username and password information each time a change is made to the HMI/SCADA application or to perform specific actions within the process.
North Andover, MA— Schneider Electric announced Sept. 9 that it has reached a conditional agreement to acquire a 35% stake in Digital Electronics (Osaka, Japan), and adds it is scheduled to launch a takeover bid for the remaining portion of Digital's share capital. Among other conditions, this planned transaction is subject to reaching a minimum stake of 66.7% and successfully completing due diligence requirements. Digital and its 1,100 employees specialize in human machine interface (HMI) products, and generate approximately 200 million Euros annually.
With its unified interface, MSC.visualNastran 4D (vN4D) from MSC.Software (Santa Ana, CA), allows an engineer to complete the analysis of a system of parts/assemblies involved in multibody motion and interaction, to check its structural integrity with finite element analysis (FEA) methods, and to control it with industry standard Matlab/ Simulink.
If you build it, they will come. With apologies to a famous baseball movie and novel, that's also been Control Engineering editors' plan: deliver trusted, must-have editorial quality online as well as in print. Annual online visits to www.controleng.com are expected to exceed 1 million in 2002, according to projections as of Aug.
Phoenix, AZ— Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions' (ACS) Industry Solutions business introduced Aug. 26 its Mobile PKS, which it reports is the first wireless human interface for industrial process automation. Mobile PKS extends the reach of automation by providing mobile computing capability for Experion PKS, Honeywell's Process Knowledge System. Experion PKS reportedly controls the scope of production, and is tightly integrated with distributed control for site-wide information, management and workflow optimization.
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Entivity has updated VLC (originally from Steeplechase) and Studio products. With such new features as connectivity to Cognex In-Sight vision products, added support for Windows XP, and added development tools for project design and implementation.
Designing and maintaining a manufacturing database is a complex task. Many issues need to be considered before adopting and deploying a solution. You do not want to be re-thinking your da-tabase strategy after you have logged 40-million records into your online production database!Here is a partial list of recommendations to think about when planning a database strategy.
Oconomowoc, WI - In response to tragic events that occurred at football training camps at professional, collegiate, and high school levels over the past several years, Quest Technologies now offers a more automated approach to heat stress monitoring and management. The company offers three area heat stress monitors suitable for monitoring heat stress in any hot weather activity.
Though total market revenue declined 13.5% from 2000 to 2001, many human-machine interface (HMI) suppliers in North America reported that orders started to increase in 1Q02, and that the HMI is expected to recover and experience healthy growth from 2002 to 2005, according to a recent study by IMS (Austin, Tex.; Wellingborough, England).
San Leandro, CA - Long-term data storage will be the next embedded function, according to OSIsoft values per second. ECHO architecture lets OEMs create data historians for any device running a Windows operating system. The tool, called ECHO (Embedded Component Historian Object), encapsulates all time-series data with `no data loss and no performance degradation' over time, and imposes `virtually no limitations' on storage or retrieval of time-series data, according to Matt Miller, product manager. Speaking about some ways it could be used, Mr. Miller noted that a manufacturer could get data for remote diagnostics and could collect data about customer use for market research and liability management.
Once upon a time, the term discrete sensor was synonymous with limit switches, but not any more. Today's discrete sensors are intelligent, rugged, accurately measure or sense many different things, provide all sorts of built-in protection, know how to communicate on a network, and still don't cost a lot of money.
Eaton Corp. announced June 19 that its Cutler-Hammer (C-H) division has formed a partnership with Canary Labs (Martinsburg, Pa.) to provide advanced trending software for C-H's new PanelMate ePro line of human-machine interface (HMI) platforms. Canary's Trend Viewer software allows PanelMate users to access and analyze data.
Schaumburg, Ill.— Omron Electronics LLC unveiled June 26 its new architecture for HMI, NS advanced operator interface, at its Technology Connection 2002 event here. Omron reports that NS can access information from PLCs up to three networks away from a single screen. Informa-tion can be accessed simultaneously from an Ethernet network, Omron's ControllerLink network, and up to two serial ports. In addition, NS HMI features a four-channel video input module to display camera images from increasingly popular vision inspection sensors.
Charlottesville, Va.— GE Fanuc Automation has launched the Online Institute for automation training at https://onlineinstitute.gefanuc.com . It offers visually engaging, interactive courses with 24/7 availability and self-paced learning modules for users of GE Fanuc automation software and hardware. With the same content as instructor-led courses and available via the web, the Online Institute features the depth of traditional training but without any travel expense. Each course is geared toward performance-based objectives and provides users with both guided and independent practice of concepts as well as interactive assessments with immediate feedback.
In this issue: Check out the new Controleng.com Memo to CEOs Pilz introduces compact computer Rockwell introduces rugged peripherals Dolch Safe-T-Touch Vibration and acoustic analysis Predicting machine performance Trenton single-board computer Check out the new Controleng.com You may have noticed a redesigned Control Engineering Online at / . Some new or enhanced features include a more organized search function, better navigation, integrated site/e-newsletter registration, and the Control Engineering bookstore. Like what you see? Something you would like to see added? How are the searches? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org . One of our sister magazines, MSi, did a sponsored webcast on distributed control system migration. If you want to take a look, the June 12 webcast is archived at https://www.msimag.com/seminar Back to top Memo to chief executive officers Last month I wrote about business ethics and heard from a large number of you about your concerns with the direction of many of our business leaders.
Built in 1970, the wastewater treatment plant at Fort Kamehameha ("Ft. Kam", Pearl Harbor, Hawaii) was recently refurbished, but its legacy human-machine interface (HMI) system was poorly supported locally. The U.S. Navy wanted to ensure that the HMI system would keep up with on-going plant modifications and continue processing the 6-million gal/day of wastewater produced by a military and civi...
IDA president Martin Müller and PNO chairman Edgar Küster told a joint press conference at the recent Hannover Fair 2002 that their groups were collaborating on "technical subjects of mutual interest for Ethernet-based communication solutions." Both the Interface for Distributed Automation (IDA) group and Profibus Nutzerorganisation (PNO) are working on real...
In this issue: Three new programs help with Control Systems Technician certification New alliance seeks educational consensus Understand industrial processes, measurement, control Infrared sensor market poised for growth Size does matter! So does accuracy in setting food processing records Specialty instrument department: porometer Archive Control Engineering News: survey, webcast, expo, online Three new programs help with Control Systems Technician certification Virginia Beach, Va. - Coastal Skills Training (Virginia Beach, Va.) and ISA, the Instrumentation Systems and Automation Society (Research Triangle Park, N.C.), have developed three new training programs, which will help technicians prepare for ISA's Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) Program. The training programs, available in both web-based and CD-ROM formats, include the following: The Basic Process Control Series -- This 9-part series teaches the principles and concepts of process control, covering many aspects of instrumentation with special emphasis on maintenance skills; Process Measurement -- This 8-part program details the principles of temperature, pressure, level, and flow; and The Calibration and Test Equipment Series -- This 6-part series covers calibration and the use of process control test equipment.
North Vancouver, B.C., Canada - Braintech Inc. announced May 1 that Vision Guided Robotic, ("VGR") solutions ordered by ABB Inc. for a major auto maker have passed all tests and are ready for immediate installation. These solutions allow robots with "eyes" to pick engine parts out of bins and assemble them on a conveyor line.
Charlotte, N.C. and Sydney, Australia - Citect announced April 22 that Plant2Business Version 2.1, available April 30, expands the open connectivity of previous versions to include Wonderware's InTouch. It already delivers custom connectors for Intellution's Fix32 and iFix, as well as the company's HMI/SCADA product, Citect.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - Citrix Systems Inc. has announced availability of the global version of the Application Computing Environment (ACE) Cost Analyzer, a Web-based cost comparison tool for analyzing the economic impact of Citrix implementations. This new version of ACE, which is freely available for use by Citrix customers, prospects, and partners, includes enhancements that improve ease of use and internationalization.
Austin, Tex. - The 2nd edition of the Desktop HART Product Reference and Technology Guide is now available.
For lawyers, it's the bar exam. For doctors, it's "the boards." For control system integrators, there's the Professional Engineering (PE) exam, at least for the engineers on staff. But is it enough for a system integrator to have an office full of technically competent PE's designing control and automation systems for their clients? Does that guarantee that the end-users will get what they paid...
Chicago, Ill. - Iconics (Foxborough, Mass.) used National Manufacturing Week as a forum to announce two OEM agreements for its HMI/SCADA software with Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, Ill.) and Phoenix Contact (Harrisburg, Pa.).
San Mateo, Calif. - Leading Java data objects (JDO) vendors have created JDOcentral.com, a communication platform for the promotion and education of the emerging Java standard "Java Data Objects (JDO)". JDO, a standards initiative developed by a group of experts under the guidance of Sun Microsystems' Java Community Process (JCP) is a new API providing persistence services complementary to the well-known JDBC.
Chicago, Ill. - IMG (Woodland Hills, Calif.) announced Mar. 11 and at National Manufacturing Week that it has signed an OEM license agreement with Intellution to offer its My-T-Soft programmable onscreen keyboard utilities with Intellution's latest iFix and iBatch products.
Ann Arbor, Mich. —paneLink12 family of industrial computer systems is designed with flexibility in mind. All paneLink 12 systems share a set of features including a 12.1-in. SVGA TFT display with 800 x 600 pixel resolution, analog resistive touchscreen, 300 MHz Geode processor, Ethernet connectivity, and multiple communication ports.
Tucson, Ariz.; Ann Arbor, Mich. - Intelligent Instrumentation and Entivity announced Feb. 25 that they've formed a partnership to offer a fully integrated monitoring and control solution based on Intelligent Instrumentation's EDAS CE modular Ethernet I/O systems and Entivity's Studio control software.
Santa Rosa, Calif. - The Board of Directors of the Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) voted to adopt an Intellectual Property Agreement (IPA) that lays the groundwork for building a unified embedded Linux platform specification.
Austin, Tex. — For the third year running, National Instruments (NI) is among the 100 best companies to work for according to Fortune magazine, which releases its fifth annual list of top employers in its Feb. 4, 2002 issue.
Sunnyvale, Calif. —MicroSmart family of micro PLCs welcomes the addition of expandable, modular siblings. "Slim" style units are available with 20 or 40 I/O points with varying types of outputs. Each CPU module includes four high-speed counters, an RS-232 port, an analog potentiometer, and built-in analog input.
Uticor's (Bettendorf, Ia.) Q Square PowerPanel operator interface terminal, based on the recently introduced G Square Series, includes free screen-development software that allows online downloads without data interruption. Slightly smaller than G Square, Q Square can replace QuickPanel from from GE Fanuc (Charlottesville, Va.
Irvine, Calif. - Wonderware, a unit of the Invensys Software Systems (ISS) group of Invensys plc, announced January 25 that the company's flagship product, InTouch, now fully supports the Professional version of Microsoft's new Windows XP desktop operating system.
Houston, Tex. - Answering demand from engineers new to digital signal processing (DSP), Texas Instruments delivered December 17, 2001 an easy-to-use, web-based tool that helps customers get their designs from inspiration to implementation.
Before your next automation project, unleash the power of the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide, in this 2002 print edition and at Control Engineering Online at www.controleng.com.Advanced search capabilities new this year will help online users narrow the search for exactly the system integrator needed.
Remember the last time it was difficult to move from booth to booth at a trade show? That's a very old memory for many, but it's as recent last month for visitors at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair 2001. An estimated 8,000 attendees packed the 10th annual event's aisles and exhibits at the Georgia World Congress Center on Nov.
The Control System Integrator Association (CSIA) recently announced the names of the first 18 of its members to successfully achieve Registered Integrator status. They gained this distinction by passing an independent auditor's examination of their business practices per benchmarks and standards established by the CSIA.
Charlottesville, Va. - GE Fanuc's recent release of Cimplicity HMI Plant Edition includes: an HTML style interface designed to guide users through setup and configuration and automatically detect GE Fanuc Ethernet-enabled PLCs on a network, and ability to allow an unlimited number of users to securely view screens over a company intranet or the Internet; support for remote access and configuration over Internet/intranet using Microsoft's thin client terminal services technology. SQL database logging enhancements include high-speed bulk insertions, dead bands, optimized storage, and direct support to Oracle databases using standard ODBC drivers. GE Fanuc.
Phoenix, Ariz. - Honeywell Automation and Control recently added the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium's operator effectiveness solution to the GUSPro operator sta-tion. Included in GUSPro's operator effectiveness technology is advanced alarm rationalization, management, and help; advanced trending and trend analysis tools; and operating procedure and equipment information access. Honeywell.
North Billerica, Mass. - The Infrared Training Center (ITC) recently released its 2002 Course Schedule.
Fremont, Calif. - Dolch Computer Systems announced Oct. 16 that it has acquired Touch Controls Inc. (Fallbrook, Calif.), a manufacturer of rugged touch solutions for remote computing applications, industrial computers, and public access kiosks.
Santa Clara, Calif. - Sun Microsystems, the "network is the computer" company, announced two new servers October 29 based on its UltraSparc III microprocessor and Solaris operating system.
Chandler, Ariz.— Recently introduced, AN10E40 is a breadboard approach to field-programmable analog array design. Through a GUI, users select and interconnect up to 20 cells populated with library-selected functions to create a complex analog system on a chip for multi-channel signal conditioning and/or complete signal-processing applications.
Cincinnati, O.—AStudio 5.0 contains several enhancements to its predecessors. The HMI/SCADA development platform includes a WebLink OPC server, direct dial modem support, e-mail file attachments, and new graphic objects. AStudio 5.0 enables remote control and monitoring from outside the plant using standard web technology.
Norcross, Ga. - Siemens Dematic Electronics Assembly Systems Inc. opened its new Advanced Assembly Technology (AAT) Center at its U.S. headquarters near Atlanta.
Scottsdale, Ariz. - NKK Switches new and improved web site highlights the company's global presence and switch solutions.
Hanover, N.H. -Control engineers concerned with thermal management problems can use Coolit v3.5 software to help visualize what is happening within control enclosures. The computational fluid dynamics program creates 3-D models that predict heat transfer and airflow within an electronic enclosure.
Temecula, Calif. - ioControl, a flowchart-based control programming software, allows users to develop control and data acquisition applications quickly and easily. Control engineers can program with an extensive, self-documenting, plain-English command set or use a powerful, built-in scripting language for math, conditional branching, string handling, and other complex functions.
"Today, more manufacturing engineers are finding themselves leading or participating in multidisciplinary project teams," says Stan Portny, president of Stanley E. Portny and Associates LLC and author of Project Management for Dummies (IDG Books Worldwide, Foster City, Calif.)."These teams often include people with diverse educational backgrounds, operating styles, organizational responsi...
H ave you ever wanted to configure and control your marquee within your HMI package? Not just sending messages from your HMI to a marquee, but having a whole bank of marquee displays with the ability to send a fully configurable, unique message to each of them? I recently ran into this challenge. Our customer has a group of marquees that they wanted to control. The marquee manufacturer supplied a driver application that exercised full control over the marquee.
The Control Engineering Buyer's Guide Online at www.controleng.com/buyersguide is among the most up-to-date collection of automation and control information available, featuring more than 7,000 sources and a friendly, full-featured interface to better serve users. Now, manufacturers can update their listings at any time.
Milwaukee, Wis. - RSView Machine Edition 1.5 machine-level HMI software provides a consis-tent operator interface across multiple platforms, supports both open and embedded HMI solu-tions, adds support for Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, and help with connectivity with the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controller via Ethernet. RSView Machine Edition 1.5 in-cludes a new PC-based development tool called RSView Studio that helps to make application design more simple and reduce development time.
People sometimes look sort of sheepish when it happens. Some won't even make eye contact. I have no shame, though. "What was this, anyway?" I asked, picking up a metal wheel with four spokes and cogs from a neighbor's trash can, during my morning jog. "Part of an old loom, he said. "I always meant to put it together but never did.
Spring House, Pa. - SIPART PS2 is Siemens newest digital valve positioner incorporating auto-tuning, improved diagnostics, and actuator leak test as standard in all units, permitting users to identify and schedule necessary maintenance actions, thereby avoiding unplanned shutdowns. The PS2 supports Profibus-PA or HART communications protocols and can be operated through a Microsoft Windows-based HMI using simple PC software.
Martinsburg, Pa. - Canary Labs recently released new versions of Tend Link and Trend Historian software with OPC-Historical Data Access compatibility-an OLE for Process Control standard interface allowing historical data access among compliant applications from different suppliers. Trend Link is a client side, ActiveX control that can be embedded into many HMI packages, Visual Basic applications, and other containers, such as web browsers.
Milford, O.—MachineShop version 1.3 features enhancements for ease of use, integration, and connectivity. Configurable memory model can double program and system memory, allowing PC-based Logic Control (PCLC) Software to run more complex applications. It also offers over 50 standard communications drivers including an A-B Ethernet driver.
Alameda, Calif.— Installing and maintaining fiber-optic cable 10,000 ft down on the ocean floor requires highly specialized equipment, such as Sonsub Inc.'s (Houston, Tex.) Sedna, a free-flying, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for cable maintenance and burial. Tethered to a surface vessel, Sedna serves as both eyes and guide on the seabed.
Milford, O. -Computer with 166 MHz Pentium processor and 6-in. touchscreen display provides control in a small package.
Milford, O.—Computer with 166 MHz Pentium processor and 6-in. touchscreen display provides control in a small package. P1P workstation comes with Interact HMI software modules including panel tools, graphics, alarming, and networking. Optional additional modules are also available. It is designed for MachineLogic PC-based machine control software.
Scan heads for open linear encoders can be made very small to fit tight machine spaces. Component-style construction and a separate interface board go along with miniaturization, as in this RGH34 read head from Renishaw Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.). L inear motors and motion systems depend on position feedback for best performance.
Foxborough, Mass. --Intellution recently announced the release of iFIX 2.5 designed to address increasing needs to extend HMI/SCADA solutions to include connectivity with other business systems. iFIX 2.5 enhancements include iClient, a thin client designed to take advantage of Microsoft Windows 2000's terminal server functionality and create a centralized, full function iFIX client/server engineering development and management environment.
Phoenix, Ariz. -Honeywell Industrial Controls recently unveiled Release 400 of the PlantScape Hybrid Control System that includes integration with FOUNDATION fieldbus devices, Honeywell HMIWeb technology, @sset.MAX Alert Manager from Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions, and support for Microsoft Windows 2000 and SQL Server 7. Using a chassis-based Fieldbus Interface Module, PlantScape Control Builder works in conjunction with FOUNDATION fieldbus's Library Manager, the key to interoperability, allowing users to create fieldbus device templates containing blocks from both sources based on manufacturer-supplied device description and capability files.
Hanover, N.H. -Coolit v.3.5 software helps users visualize what happens within control enclosures. The computational fluid dynamics program creates 3-D models that predict heat transfer and airflow within an electronic enclosure.
Ridgewood, N.Y. -PreformaTherm thermometer's STB blue liquid is said to be safer than both mercury and most traditional spirit thermometer liquids. The proprietary formula is biodegradable, nontoxic, noncaustic, and nonhazardous.
Lantronix Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) on Dec. 18 bought US Software (Hillsboro, Ore.) for $7 million in stock and cash.
Milwaukee, Wis.- GLI Intl.'s Model U53 uses ultrasonic sensor technology to automatically calculate flow using either pre-programmed or custom user-defined flow structure tables. It provides accurate open channel flow and depth measurements using a menu-driven structure to help guide users through operation sequences. Model U53 flow measurements can be viewed directly on the display, or output to a chart recorder, datalogger, or remote SCADA system via two current outputs.
To supply fabric for a 200-acre tent, one manufacturer had to nearly double material output, revamp automation in three locations, and start production within four months. The project—conceived to prevent disaster—could have been tragic for business if timelines were missed. In spring 1997, a fire occurred in the huge Tent City erected annually to house Muslims making the holy...
Not that you couldn't do it yourself with help from the right in-house team, but with all you have to do, why not call in an automation system integrator to help with that next project? Where to start? With so much at stake and so many automation system integrators out there, how should you go about finding the right firm? You're in the right place.
Intellution launched an initiative Nov. 6 to develop and market a new generation of plant-wide process historians. "Manufacturing Historian" is the latest component in its Intellution Dynamics platform—an open, standards-based platform that allows users to easily plug in software components from Intellution and third-party developers.
To improve productivity and customer service in meeting the demands of its $1.3 million, 4,000-order-per-day business, Kennametal Inc., a global supplier of metal cutting tools, wanted to consolidate eight regional distribution facilities into one, state-of-the-industry, automated North American Distribution Center.
I n the process world, pH is an important parameter to be measured and controlled. The pH of a solution indicates how acidic or basic (alkaline) it is. The formal mathematical definition of pH is the negative logarithm of hydrogen ion activity.
Every year seems an odyssey at Control Engineering, but with the start of the real new millennium around the corner, who can resist the reference? Unlike HAL 9000 computer's takeover in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, today's automation, controls, and instrumentation serve as tools. These tools sense, measure, decide, and actuate, transmitting data and information through manufa...
"If people at the controls and automation level don't get out there and lead [in interconnecting manufacturing processes with the enterprise and beyond], they'll be subsumed by IT. Don't you agree?" someone asked me recently.Yes and no. Yes, because some people don't understand what IT (information technology) departments have to do with control and automation.
Internet influences in manufacturing began with information delivery via e-mail, web sites, and customized Intranets. This information has aggregated—into portals, organizations, and wider communities—to accompany commerce, bidding, and other Internet-based transactions. Internet-based services have expanded to include search engines, marketplaces, make-to-order capabilities, ...
To give control and automation users more "openness and integration," Profibus International (PI, Karlsruhe, Germany) unveiled its ProfiNet strategy at an Aug. 10 press conference here. The organization describes ProfiNet as an "open, transparent coupling" of Ethernet TCP/IP at the automation systems level and Profibus at the field level.
To help users install and maintain DeviceNet systems, Synergetic is offering two free guides. "The Fast Troubleshooting Guide for DeviceNet" is a thorough, step-by-step tutorial on quickly finding and eliminating problems. Armed with this guide, most people can identify and solve DeviceNet mysteries in a few minutes.
Wonderware Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) is among software vendors hoping to "change the game," by moving beyond traditional software definitions of human-machine interface, or even the software suite. Software vendors—solution providers—are web-enabling or moving software platforms to the web.
Following two years of development, French researchers recently created a prototype automatic guidance system for agricultural tractors using a kinematic global positioning system (GPS). Renault Agriculture partnered with Cemagraf (Research Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Engineering) and LASMEA (Science and Materials Laboratory for Electronic...
Independent thinking, bravery, and hope for the future enabled certain citizens throughout U.S. history to risk their lives and livelihoods to move toward freedom and greater opportunities. On Fourth of July we remember U.S. patriots. Brave people who have implemented cutting-edge automation systems also fit that description; at the extreme, incorrect use of controls can cost lives, or at...
Saline, Mich. -ASIC-200 PC-based software, version 5.0, features user interface and printing enhancements, and new function blocks and I/O options. The system includes control, human-machine interface, and runtime software in one Microsoft Windows-based platform for application development and execution.
Milwaukee, Wis.— Adaptive Micro Systems has made integration of LED marquees with human machine interfaces easier with the Alpha ActiveX marquee control. Designed to work with, Intellution, GE's Cimplicity, Rockwell's RSView, Wonderware and other HMIs built on Microsoft Visual Basic or Visual C++, users can configure the system to acquire, manage, and distribute critical production, ev...
To cross-promote each company's e-business capabilities, ABB Automation Inc. and World-Oil.com announced April 11 that they have formed an e-business co-marketing agreement to jointly promote their respective web and e-business capabilities. WorldOil.com is reportedly the largest listing of oilfield equipment and services on the Internet.
Within the control system world, the definition of what platforms and tools are "typically" used in various applications is continually changing. Software applications that operate on standard PC hardware now exist in areas once reserved for dedicated hardware/software solutions. The PC is now used for more than data acquisition and operator interface functions.
Ann Arbor, Mich.—Nematron Corp. has introduced Version 5.4 of its industrial automation software suite, designed to provide enhanced functionality. New features include online logic control changes, flowchart trace, and enhanced reporting and editing capabilities. The new release also includes compatibility with OLE for Process Control 2.
To help users implement e-business applications, Think & Do Software (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is developing three new products—Think & Do Live!, Think & Do Live! Pro, and Think & Do Release 6. The trio is reported to be the first products in the industry to combine communications, information, and control technologies to deliver "e-control" capabilities in support of e-man...
Once upon a time, attending training courses meant having to make sacrifices. To receive the training, one had to travel to a specific location for a prescheduled course or seminar. Schedules had to be set around the course times and workdays were often missed for the sake of traveling and attending the training.
Each year, Control Engineering editors have the pleasure of reviewing more than 1,000 products covered through the year to select Editors' Choice Award winners. We've located and "presented" you with the 40 best products of 1999 in the cover story, based on technology advancement, service to the industry, and market impact.
Once again, it's time for the National Industrial Automation Show and National Manufacturing Week. As manufacturing professionals prepare for the big show, they may be wondering which conferences, seminars, and exhibits will tune them in to the future of manufacturing. It should be obvious by now that it's important to stay focused on the growing presence of the Internet and how it's bein...
When is an international fieldbus standard not standard? When it consists of eight non-interoperable protocols, according to some involved in the process.Despite this proprietary pile-up, the eight-part IEC 61158 proposed fieldbus standard was approved in a 25-4 vote before Dec.
Let's assume you're familiar with the many benefits a control system integrator (CSI) could contribute to your next automation project. You may need a CSI to supplement your in-house engineering resources, or for their extensive hardware, software, or application expertise. Perhaps you want to contract a guaranteed turnkey installation.
Starting off the new century with an automation project? Look no further. Begin your project right here.Welcome to the 2000 edition of our Automation Integrator Guide, Control Engineering's annual directory of control system integrators. This is the seventh year of our Automation Integrator Guide.
An incorrect phone number was printed for Trendview Recorders (Austin, Tex.) in Control Engineering's 1999-2000 Control and Automation Buyer's Guide, p. 187. The correct phone number is 800/834-6307.
There's good news and bad news. Bad news first: Not all managers are leaders, and not all leaders are managers. Now the good news: Everyone can learn to make their environments a better place by applying effective leadership skills.Great leaders—in management positions and in peer-to-peer relationships—contribute mightily to the bottom line by creating positive environments wh...
Odyssey Software Inc. announced Oct. 15 it is joining Total Control Products' (TCP, Melrose Park, Ill.) Microsoft Windows CE Partners Program. Odyssey's CEfusion product has been certified to integrate with TCP's FactoryClient 2000 shop floor terminal for control, HMI, data interface, and third-party client applications.
An incorrect telephone number for Xycom Automation was listed in the "Supplier Locator" section of the Control & Automation Buyer's Guide 1999-2000 , July-Aug.'99, p. 191. The correct number is 734/429-4971. An incorrect photo ran with the "Ethernet I/O module becomes thin server" article in the Products&Software section, CE, Oct.'99, p.
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada -AutomationX from M & R Automation is said to be a software package that integrates DCS, PLC, and SCADA systems all in one. It provides a one-step graphical approach to the development of HMI, system configuration, database development, and control strategy configuration/logic programming. Also said to be entirely hardware independent and designed to comply with open industry standards, AutomationX protects hardware and software investments while providing flexibility for the future.
T he coliseum-sized National Ignition Facility (Livermore, Calif.) uses an astounding array of controls and software technologies. This cutaway diagram illustrates the fusion project's size and complexity. (For more information about the project see CE , Nov.
Certainty often provides comfort, except when that certainty is the ever-increasing rate of business change.Rapid changes, even when familiar, often cause discomfort and create stress. To consider the impact, think of feelings created when encountering three or more of the following changes within a week: reorganization or merger; switch in project ownership; addition or loss of team memb...
Cleveland, O.— XControls is a library of software components that help programmers shorten development time with new graphical user interface (GUI) and data/file management functions. Optimized for test and data acquisition applications, XControls contains a suite of 18 compact, efficient 32-bit ActiveX controls for Microsoft Windows 95, 98, and NT.
As part of the lifecycle of many control systems, users need to perform statistical analysis of data pertaining to the operation. This function can be required at any point from being part of the initial definition process though post startup performance appraisals.Northwest Analytical Inc.'s (Portland, Ore.
Liquid Level Control System Control valve pressure drop Best inherent characteristic Constant delta pressure Linear Decreasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load > 20% of minimum load delta pressure. Linear Decreasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load & 20% of minimum load delta pressure. Equal percentage Increasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load & 200% of minimum load delta pressure. Linear Increasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load > 200% of minimum load delta pressure. Quick opening Source: Control Engineering with data from Fisher Controls Flow Control Processes Best inherent characteristic Flow measurement signal to controller is: Location of control valve in relation to measuring element is: Wide range of flow setpoint Small range of flow but large delta pressure change at valve with increasing load Proportional to flow In series Linear Equal percentage In bypass * Linear Equal percentage Proportional to flow squared In series Linear Equal percentage In bypass * Equal percentage Equal percentage * When control valve closes, flow rate increases in measuring element.Source: Control Engineering with data from Fisher Controls Pressure Control System Application Best inherent characteristic Liquid process Equal percentage Gas process, small volume, less than 10 ft (3 m) of pipe between control valve and load. Equal percentage Gas process, large volume [process has a receiver, distribution system, or transmission line exceeding 100 ft (30.5 m) of nominal pipe volume], decreasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load >20% of minimum load delta pressure. Linear Gas process, large volume, decreasing delta pressure with increasing load, delta pressure at maximum load &20% of minimum load delta pressure. Equal percentage Source: Control Engineering with data from Fisher Controls Comments?E-mail email@example.com.
Siemens Energy & Automation was left out of Control Engineering's 1999-2000 Control and Automation Buyer's Guide , published July/August 1999. Siemens Energy & Automation is located at 3333 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, Ga, 30005. This division's listings will be added to the online version of the Buyer's Guide and can be viewed at www.controleng.com/buyersguide . An entry in the Literature Mart section of Control Engineering's 1999-2000 Control and Automation Buyer's Guide , published July/August 1999, p.
Austin, Tex.— Pavilion's Production Chain Optimization version 5.0 extends several prediction, control, and optimization applications and includes a knowledge guided gain-constrained neural network modeling algorithm previously available only to Pavilion's development engineers. The gain-constrained training algorithm permits users to add process information to neural network data modeli...
It's increasingly popular to combine adjustable-speed drives (ASDs) with three-phase induction motors, but they can have a stormy relationship if not applied properly.For example, a major ASD-related problem can occur when repetitive high-voltage spikes bombard the motor, due to fast power switching in the drive.
I'm proud to be editor-in-chief of Control Engineering, but even more proud to be part of the editorial team that creates the automation and control industry's most comprehensive set of information vehicles.Day to day, as we exchange advice and expertise, let us know how to help you be more effective.
To increase interoperability with other platforms and lower engineering costs, Sequencia Corp. on May 24 released its new OpenBatch 4.0 automation software. This latest version is also designed to leverage new Microsoft technologies and provide built-in support for NAMUR NE33 standards, which are a precursor to international ISA S88 standard and provide a set of Germa...
Alpharetta, Ga.—The Industrial Software Business Unit of Siemens Energy and Automation has released v. 5.1 of ProTool/Pro, a configuration and visualization software package for Simatic HMI. Offering full operating functionality with Microsoft Windows 95/98 and NT, it gives users a common platform to easily configure simple text displays, high-end graphical operator panels and, with its i...
To reflect a broader application range served by its newer products, Intellution recently changed the name of its software family from FIX Dynamics to Intellution Dynamics.The firm's new iFIX version 2.1 was released as the first product with the new name. Formerly, iFIX was the human-machine interface/supervisory control and data acquisition (HMI/SCADA) component of ...
At the Control Engineering Editors' Choice Awards reception, managing editor, Mark Hoske, tongue planted firmly in cheek, asked the audience, "By show of hands, how many of you think the Internet is important to your business?" No surprise, every hand in the house shot up. In classic understatement, he joked, "I think this Internet thing is really going to catch on.
Carol Stream, Ill.— The PC/104 board from OI Direct Inc. is a repackaged version of standard PC and PC/AT bus platforms. It offers full architecture, hardware, and software compatibility with these buses, but in a very small form factor (3.6 x 3.8 in. stackable modules that can be stacked 0.6 in.
Charlottesville, Va.— GE Fanuc Automation is introducing mobile access to its popular Cimplicity product line with PocketView, running on Microsoft Windows CE. PocketView is a hardware and software-bundled product that uses a wireless link to connect to an HMI server and display Cimplicity screens and data on palmtop computers—this is the first Cimplicity product to use its new Th...
Can you buy your own software? Certainly, if it was developed by someone else, if you like it well enough, and especially if it's a potential competitor.Rockwell Automation agreed to buy portions of Dynapro (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) on March 4. Rockwell Automation's ControlView and RSView32 human-machine interface (HMI) software and its Allen-Bradley Pa...
Many different companies contribute to a typical system integration project. The following list divides them into several broad categories and describes the general functions of each. These are by no means hard and fast job descriptions.
G enerally, selection of a control chart and rational subgroup must be balanced between needs, costs, and acceptable risks. Larger sample sizes may make the chart more sensitive in detecting changes, but usually will cost more to operate. X-bar & R charts are usually effective, but in some situations they are not as effective as other chart types.
Generally, selection of a control chart and rational subgroup must be balanced between needs, costs, and acceptable risks. Larger sample sizes may make the chart more sensitive in detecting changes, but usually will cost more to operate. X-bar & R charts are usually effective, but in some situations they are not as effective as other chart types.
Honeywell Control Systems recently received a $16 million order from the Hungarian national oil and gas company, MOL, to provide process control equipment and services at a new coker and lube oil hydrocracking complex MOL is building at Százhalombatta, Hungary. Honeywell will provide five TPS Systems with 28 GUS stations, which will be installed in a common con...
Greenwood, Ind.— Compact design, top-mounted Levelflex transmitter uses patented guided time-of-flight technology via Micro-impulse Time Domain Refletometry to measure a wide range of bulk solids, such as minerals, plastics, agricultural products, food items, and solid fuels. Levelflex is immune from influences such as: moisture content, dielectric constant, or change in bin contents; bi...
"The only purposeful way we have to influence life is through our decision-making. Unfortunately, we don't treat decision-making as the skill it is," says Ralph Keeney, business and systems engineering professor, Center for Telecommunications Management, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.
C ontrol valves are called to handle all kinds of fluids at temperatures from the cryogenic range to well over 1,000F (538selecting a control valve to ensure satisfactory operation without undue initial expense. Reputable control valve manufacturers are dedicated to helping customers select the control valve best suited for the existing service conditions. Frequently several correct choices may be available, thus it is important for customers to provide control valve manufacturers the following information. Type of fluid to be controlled. Temperature range of fluid. Viscosity range of fluid. Specific gravity range of fluid. Minimum and maximum flow required. Minimum and maximum inlet pressure at the control valve. Minimum and maximum outlet pressure at the control valve. Pressure drop across the valve expected during normal flowing conditions. Pressure drop across the valve at zero flow. Maximum permissible noise level, if pertinent, and the measurement reference point. Degrees of superheat or existence of flashing across the valve, if known. Inlet and outlet pipeline size and schedule of pipe. When conducting an audit of existing processes, the control valve is already installed. The following guidelines can be useful in determining if the control valve installed, is suitable for the application. Flow control processes Flow measurement signal to controller Location of control valve in relation to measuring element Wide range of flow setpoint Proportional to flow In series Linear In bypass (see note) Linear Proportional to flow squared In series Linear In bypass (see note) Equal percentage Small flow range with large changes in pressure drop across the valve In series In bypass (see note) Equal percentage characteristics should be used for applications with a small range of flow setpoint, large delta pressure at the valve, and increasing loads.Note: When control valve closes, the flow rate as measured by the sensing element increases. Pressure control processes Liquid process Equal percentage Gas process with small volume and less than 10 ft (3 m) of pipe between control valve and load valve. Equal percentage Gas process with large volume (process has a receiver, distribution system, or transmission line exceeding 100 ft (30.5 m) of pipe).
The following corrections rectify errors appearing in the Control Engineering 1999 System Integrator Guide, published in mid-December 1998:
The two most common ways of measuring industrial temperatures are with resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermocouples. But when should control engineers use a thermocouple and when should they use an RTD? The answer is usually determined by four factors: temperature, time, size, and overall accuracy requirements. What are the temperature requirements? If process temperatures fall from -328 to 932°F (-200 to 500°C), then an industrial RTD is an option. But for extremely high temperatures, a thermocouple may be the only choice. What are the time-response requirements? If the process requires a very fast response to temperature changes--fractions of a second as opposed to seconds (i.e.
I wanted to let you know I thought your editorial in the October 1998 Control Engineering ("Users Pick Standards," p. 69) was right on. Your first two points are fundamental beliefs that have guided Opto 22's long-term strategy in providing better solutions to our customers (the Microsoft monopoly is of a less critical nature).
TA Engineering Co. announced Jan. 18 that Barrington Systems Inc. (San Carlos, Calif.) has agreed to integrate and resell TA's Aimax software as part of Barrington's Starview and GalXC systems. To help form a total management and control solution for building automation, energy management, facility maintenance, and similar applications, Aimax will act as the central...
With demand for semiconductor wafers exceeding manufacturing capacity, Integrated Device Technology (IDT, Hillsboro, Ore.) rushed to construct a new submicron, Class 1 fabrication facility or "fab." In the meantime, the company spent $30 million to upgrade a 10-year-old facility to boost production while waiting for completion of the new plant.
Ask 10 people for a reasonably short, concise definition of control system integration and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Control system integrators (CSIs) are quite diverse, fitting description only in broad terms: The intelligent incorporation of control system products, software, and services.
Daily Internet usage among 1,000 randomly selected Control Engineering readers increased from 35% in 1996, and 44% in 1997, to 52% in 1998. The Cahners Corporate Research released an Internet Readiness Study for Control Engineering Internet Readiness Study measures readers' interest, experiences and plans for Internet usage.
With the launch of its new P-CIM package, Afcon Control & Automation recently became one of the first companies to market a supervisory control and data acquisition/human-machine interface (SCADA/HMI) software program using Microsoft Windows CE and NT platforms.
Charlottesville, Va. —Version 4.0 of Cimplicity HMI introduces Workbench and Power Tool Suite allowing users to monitor and control processes ranging from a single machine to plant-wide supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Workbench is an integrated development environ-ment supporting the Power Tool Suite.
Cahners Business Information offers a gamut of useful web sites to those who work in control engineering.The main web site for readers of Control Engineering and Control Engineering International is www.controleng.com. Among other features, the reader can search for current and back issues or a specific topic.
North Andover, Mass.— Schneider Automation's Magelis HMI product line delivers a broad range of operator and control station solutions that seamlessly integrate into industrial environments from the control room down to the process itself. Within a single product family, Magelis meets the requirements of machine manufacturers and users for openness and clear dependable communication in ...
Hilton Head Island, S.C. —CEView is a supervisory control, process monitoring, and operator interface package running on Microsoft Windows CE. Windows CE looks like Windows NT, but with reduced memory requirements and no hard disk. CEView is based on InduSoft's Windows NT supervisory system and includes object-oriented database, math functions, report generation, archiving, alarms, batch...
Next to good brakes, considerate motorists, and meatloaf, a properly welded rear axle is probably one of the things truckers appreciate most. To make sure they have it, Scania AB (Lulea, Sweden) recently installed two arc welding Laser SeamFinder systems from Selcom AB (Partille, Sweden).The two SeamFinders significantly reduced Scania's trimming and fixturing requirements, increased weld...
Pittsburgh, Pa.— WDG-Humox percent moisture analyzer for processes with 5 to 85% moisture and operating temperatures of up to 1,760 8C has been added to the company's Thermox product line of flue-gas analyzers. The process and emissions monitoring device is designed for direct-fired combustion applications in which accurate measurement of moisture and percent oxygen previously had been d...
InSite is a manufacturing execution system (MES) software package that is said to be the first built from the ground up as a native Microsoft Windows NT application, according to Camstar Systems Inc.InSite supports modeling and management of manufacturing processes, data collection, manufacturing activity recording, multilevel work-in-process tracking, and tailora...
A touchscreen is a computer input device that enables users to make a selection by touching the screen, rather than typing on a keyboard or pointing with a mouse. Computers with touchscreens have a smaller footprint, can be mounted in smaller spaces, have fewer movable parts, and can be sealed.
The Internet is proving to be a useful and very accessible tool for businesses. Many companies provide employees with access to the Internet.But let's face it, we all know that a lot of web surfing during working hours is not work related. Looking up a work-related news story easily leads to checking the baseball standings or a movie review.
Salt Lake City, Ut.— QTERM-B30 is a low-cost, rugged, operator interface terminal intended for industrial applications. Features of this pedestal-mount terminal include a 40 3 4 supertwist, lighted LCD, a 55-key, tactile membrane keypad with QWERTY-style layout, and 4 programmable indicator LEDs for operator feedback.
To recognize ARCNet's longevity as a networking standard and its rebirth as an embedded network or field technology, the ARCNet Trade Assocation (ATA) is producing an interactive CD-ROM called ARCNet— The First 20 Years Platinum Anthology. Project sponsors include: ATA, Standard Microsystems, Contemporary Control Systems, Toyo Microsystems, and the Europe-bas...
To give small to medium human-machine interface (HMI) applications alarming, data logging, trending, and recipes, PLCDirect recently added LookoutDirect, a low-cost, full-featured HMI software package to its PC-based line. LookoutDirect is a 32-bit application powered by Microsoft Windows 95 or 98 and Windows NT.
Manchester, N.H.— 1200 is a ruggedized handheld data terminal built to withstand the harshest industrial and outdoor mobile data collection and HMI applications. Designed for one-hand operation, the lightweight unit features enhanced processing power and an extended-life nickel metal hydride battery pack offering 30 hr operation.
A spirit of progress in the industrial sector was evident at Miconex 98—the International Fair for Measurement, Instrumentation & Automation—held here on May 25-29, 1998. Some 120 companies, including major names like Elsag Bailey, Endress+Hauser, Fisher-Rosemount, GE Fanuc, Intellution, Rittal, Siemens, and Smar—as well as 350 local firms—...
Dallas, Tex. —AS4F alarm module provides quad or dual relay outputs at preset analog input levels. Programmable in engineering units from the front-panel, the 4-digit LED display continuously displays the process variable, or shuts off after a period of inactivity. Signal preprocessing functions include alarming on an averaged signal, on-delay alarming, which requires the alarm trip poin...
In another leap toward open, scaleable architectures, Dynapro (New Westminster, B.C., Canada) unveiled what it says is the first human-machine interface software architecture to run on Microsoft Windows CE. A hardware and software maker for both Rockwell Automation and its own industrial control and automation channel, Dynapro made its announcement May 11 at the Int...
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada—FrameworX is an object-oriented software technology for factory control and automation. With FramworX, engineers can develop and edit control logic, HMI animations, and systems management parameters simultaneously. This single environment for software development provides for drag and drop functionality between programs to establish links.
To help customers find solutions for year 2000 software problems, Microsoft Corp. opened a new web-based resource center Apr. 15 at www.microsoft.com/year2000/. The site contains new material, such as a product guide that outlines Y2K compliance status of specific Microsoft products.
Free of the usual custom interfaces or traditional integration costs, FactorySuite 2000 from Wonderware Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) appeared to be one of National Manufacturing Week's main attractions. FactorySuite 2000 is a more tightly integrated team of simultaneously upgradable automation software components for developing plant-floor automation applications.
Factory-floor automation manufacturer Xycom Inc. was acquired and recapitalized March 24 by an investment group of factory automation specialists and business development experts. Details of the transaction weren't disclosed.The new entity, Xycom Holdings Inc., was formed by three principals: current Xycom chair Erwin Ziegelman; James McGrath, another Xycom director;...
Automation software manufacturer TA Engineering Inc. announced March 5 a resale agreement with VMIC (Huntsville, Ala.). Under the agreement, TA Engineering's AIMAX software will be resold with VMIC's IOWorks Soft Logic control software. AIMAX will give VMIC customers a total control solution for PC-based systems.
Milwaukee, Wis.— RSView32, version 6.0, is staking a claim to being the first HMI software to be both a client and server of OPC (OLE for process control) data, providing users with added flexibility for peer-to-peer networking as well as the ability to create a system using control products from multiple vendors.
A new web server, data-logger historian, "alias" database for long tag name support, expanded soft-logic support, and a "keyless" software protection system are among enhancements that TA Engineering Co. recently added to its AIMAX for Enterprise software. These improvements use Microsoft's DCOM (distributed component object model) and ActiveX; SQL (structured query l...
Moraga, Calif. —New enhancements including Microsoft's DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) and Active-X; Structured Query Language database support, and the latest Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol networking functions of Windows Sockets 2.0 specifications have been added to AIMAX for Enterprise software.
Willoughby Hills, O. —Paragon ShopDoctor Virtual Library can now bring live data to its plant-wide network that includes more than 150 types of document formats. Live data can come from any DDE server application such as RSLinx or Excel. It can also link real-time PLC data and HMI tags to MS Word documents, spreadsheets, flowcharts, drawings, and pictures.
Charting the progress of statistical process and statistical quality control (SPC/SQC) shows a definite trend. It's straight up.However, the latest software promises to tame the charting beast. Vendors are integrating their wares more completely with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, targeting their products at audiences other than quality engineers, and opening pr...
Boeing Explores Development of 'Smart' Transducer Bus Lee Eccles of Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. began his presentation in the 'Use of Automation to Enhance Productivity in the Aerospace Industry' by asking the question 'why bother?' In structural sensing and testing of airplane wings and fuselages at Boeing, a lot of effort goes into simply setting up the test. Structures for destructive testing of a wing or testing flight-control actuators require huge setup times.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) defines a ground as 'a conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.' A ground loop can be defined as any objectionable current flowing in a circuit's ground or return path. Here is a short guide that will help identify possible sources of ground loops in your electrical systems and how to solve them. The simplest ground loop involves connection between two different earth grounds as shown in the top figure. With earth ground #1 at one potential, and earth ground #2 at a different potential, a ground loop current will flow in the loop as indicated.
Control Engineering Buyer's Guide 2000-01FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS... Q. How do I update my free listings?A.
Equipment used in open pit mining travels over some of the worst terrain in the world—in hostile environments that include temperature extremes and lots of dust and dirt. Aquila Mining Systems (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) provides computer-based monitoring, control and guidance systems for large blasthole drills.