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HMI, OI June 18, 2022

Benefits of upgrading HMI, SCADA software

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.

By Ben Meise
HMI, OI June 14, 2022

HMI, SCADA migrations: How to know what to keep or redesign

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.

By Chris Parkinson
HMI, OI May 31, 2022

Three effective HMI design pillars in packaging and beyond

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.

By Rick Forsgren
HMI, OI May 27, 2022

Three key design strategies for cognitive load

When it comes to designing HMIs and other interfaces, cognitive load is an important factor. Three design strategies are highlighted.

By Jennifer Faylor
HMI, OI May 20, 2022

Four ways to build a great HMI with visual hierarchy

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.

By Dante Augello
HMI, OI March 1, 2022

Five improvements made by incorporating situational awareness in an HMI

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.

By Mike Lennon
HMI, OI February 17, 2022

Optimizing plant operations with situationally-aware HMIs

When updating a human-machine interface (HMI) to meet today's plant needs, following the ISA-101 standard is a good place to start.

By Tim Mullen
HMI, OI October 26, 2021

Seven tips for creating a customer-facing dashboard

Maintaining a customer-facing dashboard as an asset can help manufacturers get access to their data more quickly and efficiently. Seven tips are highlighted.

By Dave Hurt
HMI, OI September 29, 2021

Modern dashboard benefits for manufacturing plants

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. 

By Ed Miller
HMI, OI July 1, 2021

Control Engineering hot topics, June 2021

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.

By Chris Vavra
HMI, OI June 14, 2021

Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 7-13, 2021

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.

By Chris Vavra
HMI, OI May 7, 2021

HMIs work in rugged, low-temperature outdoor applications

Recycling center upgrades baling machine to an outdoor-sunlight readable human-machine (HMI). Larger screens decreased number for used from six to three.

By Janelle Morris and Robert Springer
HMI, OI April 19, 2021

How security by design might have stopped Oldsmar HMI attack

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.

By Jeremy Morgan
HMI, OI April 4, 2021

Insights on remote operations and HMIs

A look at how COVID-19 is changing remote operations and human-machine interfaces

By Jack Smith
HMI, OI October 15, 2020

HMI software advancement for IIoT optimization

Unified human-machine interface (HMI) software centralizes device management and machine data, enhancing usefulness and increasing connectivity across the enterprise.

By Ramey Miller
HMI, OI September 8, 2020

Top 5 Control Engineering articles Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2020

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.

By Keagan Gay
HMI, OI August 5, 2020

Embedded HMIs excel in automation applications

Delivering the right human-machine interface (HMI) experience is critical whenever people need to interact with automation.

By Bill Dehner
HMI, OI July 8, 2020

How to reduce pandemic risk with batch 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.

By Michael McEnery
HMI, OI July 1, 2020

Control Engineering hot topics, June 2020

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.

By Keagan Gay
HMI, OI June 22, 2020

Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 15-21, 2020

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.

By Keagan Gay
HMI, OI June 10, 2020

Create value from data: Using HMIs as intelligent edge devices

Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are evolving beyond basic visualization devices to become edge-located, data handling, and analytical powerhouses. See 5 modern HMI attributes.

By Marcia Gadbois and Chuck Kelley
HMI, OI June 3, 2020

Doing more with HMI/SCADA software

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.

By Travis Cox
HMI, OI May 30, 2020

Upgrading HMIs and change management

The June issue of AppliedAutomation looks at high-performance HMIs (HP-HMIs) and remote monitoring in the age of COVID-19.

By Jack Smith
HMI, OI May 27, 2020

How to upgrade to a high-performance HMI

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.

By Brian E. Bolton and Eric Rector
HMI, OI March 2, 2020

Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 24 to March 1

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.

By Chris Vavra
HMI, OI March 1, 2020

TigoBridge by CoreTigo 

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.

By CoreTigo
HMI, OI February 16, 2020

Configuring HMIs and hiring SIs

Have a plan when it comes to configuration your human-machine interface (HMI) and hiring the next generation of engineering talent.

By Jack Smith
HMI, OI January 31, 2020

Configure intuitive HMI screens to simplify automation

Design standards and best practices for human-machine interfaces (HMIs) continue evolving, but simplicity and clarity never go out of style.

By Bill Dehner
HMI, OI January 20, 2020

Industrial HMI migrations: Help with Microsoft Windows 7 expiration

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI December 13, 2019

Revamped HMI provides better process control, operator compliance

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.

By Rick Vanden Boom
HMI, OI October 29, 2019

HMIs enable operations and maintenance collaboration

Mobile interfaces facilitate convergence of operations and maintenance.

By Rich Carpenter
HMI, OI September 20, 2019

Selecting HMI remote access options

Two leading methods exist for establishing mobile human-machine interface (HMI) connectivity; one providing more cybersecurity. See table comparison of remote access HMI connections.

By Jonathan Griffith
HMI, OI September 16, 2019

New mobile HMI designs respond to user, device requirements

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.

By Daymon Thompson
HMI, OI September 12, 2019

Using web browsers for HMI, SCADA applications

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.

By Travis Cox
HMI, OI September 5, 2019

A mobile HMI strategy can lead to digital transformation

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.

By Danny Strinden and Mariana Dionisio
HMI, OI August 24, 2019

Guidelines for optimizing HMI usability, performance published

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.

By International Society of Automation (ISA)
HMI, OI August 14, 2019

Augmented reality expected to address manufacturing skills deficit

Manufacturers share knowledge where and when needed via augmented reality (AR). See eight leading AR applications, according to IHS Markit research.

By Alex West
HMI, OI July 18, 2019

Keeping an HMI safe after companies stop updating the software

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.

By Dave Cronberger
HMI, OI July 1, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 24-30

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.

By Chris Vavra
HMI, OI June 10, 2019

Choosing the right HMI

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.

By Bill Dehner
HMI, OI June 4, 2019

Scalable and modular HMI options support many industry applications

Flexible human-machine interface (HMI) solutions maintain the advanced functionality of modern hardware while adapting to the needs of each application.

By Eric Reiner
HMI, OI June 1, 2019

ThinManager by Rockwell Automation

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.

By Rockwell Automation
HMI, OI May 30, 2019

It’s time the mobile HMI caught up

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.

By Mark Howard
HMI, OI May 1, 2019

HMIQ by Two Technologies

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.

By Two Technologies
HMI, OI January 1, 2019

AI Controller by Omron Automation Americas 

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. 

By Omron Automation Americas
HMI, OI November 28, 2018

Real-time operating system crucial for spacecraft landing on Mars

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.

By Wind River
HMI, OI October 9, 2018

Growing role of human/machine interaction in risk management

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.

By Niresh Behari
HMI, OI June 13, 2018

Five essential criteria for effective mobile HMIs

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.

By Mariana Dionisio, Camilo Fadul, and Cindy Scott, Emerson Automation Solutions
HMI, OI March 5, 2018

2018 HMI Software and Hardware Study: Upward trends for HMIs

The 2018 HMI Software and Hardware study revealed several upward trends on the usage of human-machine interface software and hardware.

By Amanda Pelliccione
HMI, OI February 12, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 5-11

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.

By Chris Vavra
HMI, OI January 3, 2018

The benefits of a modular control system design approach

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).

By John Hamilton, Rockwell Automation
HMI, OI June 1, 2017

2017 HMI Software, Hardware Report: 5 high-level findings

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.

By Amanda Pelliccione, Research Director
HMI, OI May 18, 2017

Feeder protection relay for simplified monitoring

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.

By Schweitzer Engineering Labs
HMI, OI March 28, 2017

Automation helps turn home brewer into brew house

Automation methods used in a distillery are adapted for use in the fermentation process at a brew house.

By Avi Aisenberg, South Florida Distillers
HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: IEX-408E-2VDSL2 Ethernet Extender Switch

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: Fuji Electric Monitouch V-SFT Screen Configuration Software v6.0.15.0

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: InduSoft Web Studio 8.0 + SP1 platform agnostic SCADA/HMI development and runtime software

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: VTScada v11.2 HMI / SCADA software

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: TP700 Comfort Outdoor Panel

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: XV-300 Operator Interface touch HMI and PLC

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.

HMI, OI October 13, 2016

EC: Samba 7 PLC, touchscreen, and I/O

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.

HMI, OI May 10, 2016

Developing high-performance HMIs: Evolution, improved usability

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.

By Helcker Goetz
HMI, OI May 9, 2016

Operator and monitor terminals with soft PLC

Pilz's Machine Interface (PMI) 6 Control is an operator terminal equipped with a soft PLC in accordance with IEC 61131-3 as standard.

By Pilz
HMI, OI January 30, 2016

Panel-mount touchscreen for washdown environments

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.

By Tru-Vu Monitors
HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: Series 82 anti-vandal pushbutton

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: Series 84 Halo Compact

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: KEPServerEX 5.18

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 7 Performance operator interface

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: Wonderware InTouch Panel PC

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: Simatic HMI Mobile Panel; 2nd generation, KTPx00(F)

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: UniStream 15″

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: UR3 table-top robot

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.

HMI, OI October 15, 2015

EC: CP32xx panel PCs

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.

HMI, OI October 20, 2014

EC: VTScada 11 HMI software

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.

By Control Engineering
HMI, OI October 20, 2014

EC: UniLogic studio software

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.

By Control Engineering
HMI, OI March 18, 2014

Operator interface graphics 101

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.

By Jeff Monforton
HMI, OI March 4, 2014

New ideas for quality management: Part 2

Performing test results with the lab in control can be expensive, so how can we cut the budget and still get valued results?

By John Clemons
HMI, OI February 11, 2014

2014 Engineers’ Choice Awards: Spotlight on Innovation

Best automation, control, and instrumentation products in 23 categories.

By Amanda McLeman
HMI, OI December 20, 2013

Acryl film to command 18% share of PVA protection film market by 2017

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.

By Source: IHS Inc.
HMI, OI December 19, 2013

Tablets propel growth of LCD panel market as most other applications struggle

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.

By Source: IHS Inc.
HMI, OI October 25, 2013

Widescreen multi-touch displays

American Industrial Systems' Industrial Multi-Touch Interactive Monitors are IP65 rated, with slim profile and glass front surface for HMI software developers and designers.

HMI, OI October 17, 2013

EC: FactoryTalk VantagePoint Energy software

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.

HMI, OI October 17, 2013

EC: EZ SoftHMI

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.

By Control Engineering
HMI, OI September 26, 2013

Machine control solutions

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.

HMI, OI September 25, 2013

Multi-touch panel PCs, HMIs

American Industrial Systems' (AIS) family of Multi-Touch Panel PCs and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are designed to improve operations for intelligent transportation systems.

HMI, OI September 9, 2013

Multi-touch screen monitors

American Industrial Systems' multi-touch screen monitors allow OEMs and designers to develop applications with simulatenous, dual-touch capability.

HMI, OI September 6, 2013

HMI includes Microsoft Windows 7 industrial panel PC

Product Exclusive: EZPanel PC HMI from EZAutomation is a reliable human machine interface that integrates a powerful Microsoft Windows 7 industrial panel PC.

HMI, OI June 18, 2013

Who is building your HMI?

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.

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI May 20, 2013

Multi-touch panel PC for rugged applications

The TPC-1840WP from Advantech is a widescreen multi-touch panel PC specifically designed for manufacturing control environments, building automation, and HMI applications.

HMI, OI April 11, 2013

Remote panel connections up to 100 m

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.

HMI, OI April 5, 2013

Products to lower PLC software costs

How to avoid some software licensing fees from PLC vendors.

By Chuck Karwoski
HMI, OI November 12, 2012

EC: GT16 Series HMI

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.

By Control Engineering
HMI, OI August 21, 2012

Software for vibration testing

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.

HMI, OI May 31, 2012

Graphics for HMIs Webcast draws record attendance

Are effective design concepts common sense?

HMI, OI April 26, 2012

Human-machine interface, SCADA software for 32-bit, 64-bit environments

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.

By Source: Advantech
HMI, OI April 17, 2012

Mobile wine bottling application technologies

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.

By Lindsay Pestilli
HMI, OI April 3, 2012

A rational approach to alarm rationalization

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.

By John E. Bogdan, Susan F. Booth
HMI, OI February 1, 2012

Combination HMI-PLC with plug-in I/O

All-in-one system from Maple Systems goes for simplicity and easy configuration.

HMI, OI January 31, 2012

Module for handheld/portable applications

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: Eaton’s Visual Design Software

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) HMI software

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: FPM-8151H Stainless Steel industrial monitor

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: Configurable HMI Panel

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: Addax-i Fanless Workstation

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.

HMI, OI November 18, 2011

EC: VIC/HMI Control Panel

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.

HMI, OI September 23, 2011

Flow meter designed for precision measurement

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.

HMI, OI September 15, 2011

Industrial-grade panel control models

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.

HMI, OI September 2, 2011

High-bright line mount displays for rugged outdoor HMI applications

iKey released a new line of rugged panel-mount displays designed for direct and indirect sunlight viewing.

By iKey
HMI, OI August 31, 2011

Ruggedized stainless steel monitor

Advantech's 15-inch flat panel monitor is designed to endure harsh environments. It is designed for the oil and gas industries.

HMI, OI May 16, 2011

WLAN access points approved for use in explosive zones

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.

HMI, OI April 22, 2011

NASA fuzzy logic expert to speak at ESTECH

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).

By SOURCE: IEST
HMI, OI March 24, 2011

Stainless steel housed photo-electric sensor for heavy duty applications

Optex increases durability, protection with stainless steel housed photo-electric DC sensor series; features include high pressure, high temperature resistances, scratch resistant lenses.

By SOURCE: Optex
HMI, OI February 11, 2011

SME Annual Conference covers manufacturing velocity

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.

HMI, OI February 9, 2011

Mid-range adjustable-field sensors gain foreground, background supression

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.

HMI, OI February 8, 2011

Pinpoint capture expands laser microgage uses

Pinpoint adds data interface to Laser Microgage system, which allows readings from remote lasers; allowing alignment, performance of production machinery to be analyzed.

HMI, OI January 12, 2011

Beijer Electronics acquires part of Korenix Technology Co., Ltd

Beijer Electronics has acquired a minority share in Korenix Technology Co., Ltd, forming a strategic alliance for broader product range and stronger sales.

HMI, OI November 16, 2010

HMI devices withstand high-pressure wash down

Operator panels from B&R offer IP69K protection suitable for sanitary requirements in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications.

HMI, OI November 1, 2010

EC: FactoryTalk View Site Edition

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.

HMI, OI September 23, 2010

Spreadsheet reporting software interfaces to advanced historians

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.

HMI, OI April 8, 2010

New icestation Titan by ITSEnclosures

The new icestation Titan by ITSEnclosures can provide benefits on the shop floor, where time is money, by protecting shop-floor computers.

HMI, OI April 7, 2010

Networks: Moxa ioLogik E1200 Series Ethernet I/O

Moxa's ioLogik E1200 remote Ethernet I/O products come with 2 embedded Ethernet switch ports for easy cabling in a daisy-chain topology.

HMI, OI April 6, 2010

EZ Series TouchPLC EZPP-T6C-FS-PLC

EZ Series TouchPLC from EZ Automation combines the features of a high-end HMI and a high performance PLC in one compact package.

HMI, OI April 1, 2010

HMI/SCADA software certified for Windows 7

Copa-Data's zenon 6.50 HMI/SCADA software fully accepts Microsoft Windows 7 security criteria.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI April 1, 2010

Pre-made graphics for use with Wonderware InTouch HMI software, others

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.

HMI, OI April 1, 2010

OEE automation project profile

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.

HMI, OI March 29, 2010

Flowmeter: Promass 83 from Endress+Hauser

Promass 83 from Endress+Hauser is billed as the first mass flowmeter for EtherNet/IP Networks. It measures flow, density, and viscosity.

By Mark T Hoske
HMI, OI March 23, 2010

Automation system integrator statistics for 2010

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.

By Vance VanDoren, consulting editor
HMI, OI March 1, 2010

Process Simulation Use Report

Research respondents say operator training is the most important use of process simulation software. This reflects changing day-to-day operational realities.

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
HMI, OI March 1, 2010

Do you know your patch compatibility?

A pending ISA99 technical report defines a standard XML format for automation vendors to publish patch compatibility information.

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI February 4, 2010

HMIs: B&R expands visualization, development options

HMI hardware supplier integrates Wonderware, Simulink software

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI February 4, 2010

HMIs: New Panel PCs expand options for industrial automation and control

Maple Systems' Gold Industrial HMIs/panel PCs include a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI February 1, 2010

Wonderware Intelligence 1.0

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.

HMI, OI February 1, 2010

Software Winners, Engineers’ Choice Awards 2010

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.

HMI, OI February 1, 2010

KepServerEX v5

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.

HMI, OI February 1, 2010

Simatic S7-1200 Compact Controller

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...

HMI, OI February 1, 2010

FactoryTalk Historian Machine Edition v2.1

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 ...

HMI, OI February 1, 2010

When machines talk, will you listen?

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.

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI February 1, 2010

System Integration of the Year Award winners offer advice

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:

HMI, OI January 26, 2010

Manufacturers may link to ERP more easily with Junot Systems, Matrix Technologies alliance

System integrators see faster, better, cheaper SAP integration for manufacturers.

HMI, OI January 19, 2010

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.

By David Greenfield
HMI, OI January 9, 2010

Checker 3G Series of vision sensors verify easily, affordably, Cognex says

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.

HMI, OI December 31, 2009

Control Engineering North American edition, December 2009

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.

HMI, OI December 19, 2009

System Integrator Hall of Fame

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 18, 2009

HMIs: 6-inch TFT color touch screen HMI panel

AutomationDirect's C-more micro family now offers a 6-inch TFT color touch screen HMI panel with 32,768 colors.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI December 16, 2009

Link here to the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide online

Find the automation system integrator you need with this multi-parameter directory from Control Engineering.

HMI, OI December 9, 2009

Fieldglass Business Intelligence Fuels Best in Class Contingent Labor and Services Programs

New Solution Reveals Actionable Information for Smarter Decision Making

By Company Supplied
HMI, OI December 2, 2009

Zilliant Margin Maximizer v7.0 software optimizes price-setting

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.

HMI, OI December 2, 2009

MDT Software: Electronic approval, audit trails for automation devices, document changes

MDT Software offers AutoSave Approval and Audit Trail Modules to support electronic approval with detailed audit trails for automated device programs and documents.

HMI, OI December 1, 2009

4.3-inch HMIs with portrait and landscape mode

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).

HMI, OI December 1, 2009

Suspend, position human-machine interfaces: Hoffman

Hoffman Syspend 281-Max provides heavyweight HMI suspension and positioning capabilities, the company says.

HMI, OI December 1, 2009

Petrochemical Efficiency

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.

HMI, OI December 1, 2009

What you’ll find in this guide

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.

HMI, OI December 1, 2009

Suspend, position large HMIs

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.

HMI, OI November 11, 2009

Advantech, Invensys partner to provide Wonderware Windows CE HMIs

Advantech is providing compact form factor Windows CE devices certified through the Powered By Wonderware program.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI November 6, 2009

InFusion SCADA 2.0 targets functionality and security for remote operations

New release offers RTUs for oil & gas, water & wastewater applications.

By David Greenfield
HMI, OI October 31, 2009

Polymer producer upgrades production work process platform

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.

By Peter Welander
HMI, OI October 31, 2009

Power vampires: Need a more energy efficient design?

Makers of integrated circuits offer guidance and tools so device manufacturers can upgrade designs, avoiding power vampires that drain power.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI October 29, 2009

No-Limits SCADA: A Case for Unlimited Tags and Clients

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?

By Carl Gould
HMI, OI October 22, 2009

Weidmuller gets UL approval for multiple wire termination, contact for screw clamp terminals

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.

HMI, OI October 9, 2009

Emerson forms Human Centered Design Institute

Goal is to make process control technology easier to use.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI October 1, 2009

Technologies for regulatory compliance

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 ...

HMI, OI September 24, 2009

Longwatch operator’s console recorder captures HMI screens exactly

Video play back of what an operator saw at the time of an event can be a valuable tool for training, problem-solving.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI September 24, 2009

HMIs: High resolution and widescreen graphic interface terminals

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.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI September 14, 2009

IBM aims new business intelligence offerings at the midmarket

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.

By Sidney Hill
HMI, OI September 9, 2009

ISA approves 1st ISA100 standard in industrial wireless series

ISA Standards & Practices Board ratifies ISA-100.11a document, "Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications."

HMI, OI September 3, 2009

Software: Canary Labs’ Trend Historian re-designed to maximize performance

Company says software version 8.0 updates more than 1 million tags in 1 second on 1 machine.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI August 21, 2009

Wago industrial control seminar: Implementation tips for I/O-based controllers

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI August 4, 2009

Regulatory compliance tool: Electronic approval and audit trails for automation devices

MDT Software's AutoSave Approval and Audit Trail modules support electronic approval with detailed audit trails for automated device programs and documents.

HMI, OI August 4, 2009

System integrators cite product experience in the 2009 Automation Integrator Guide

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI August 1, 2009

Touchscreen HMI for HC900 control system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 30, 2009

Wireless Standards

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
HMI, OI July 23, 2009

Development: Microchip ‘starter kit’ enables HMI, intelligent sensor processing

MPLAB Starter Kit for PIC24H MCUs makes adding advanced 16-bit control to embedded designs easy.

By Renee Robbins
HMI, OI July 1, 2009

Near infrared analyzer platform helps optimize process

Food and beverage manufacturing system from system integrator helps improve quality, reduce waste.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2009

LED backlit touch panel HMI

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2009

2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Premium coffee roasting machines designed in an instant

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.

By Sidney Hill, Executive Editor
HMI, OI June 29, 2009

Custody transfer flowmeters

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 24, 2009

HMIs: Factory display delivers critical, real-time messages

Parker Factory Display (PFD) visualization system panel interfaces feature high-definition resolution, flat-panel design, and built-in networking and graphics support.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 20, 2009

FDT technology becomes IEC 62453, supporting interoperability among controls,  instruments

FDT technology gains IEC International Standard approval to help provide standardized easy-to-deploy field interfaces for automation, controls, and instrumentation, increasing interoperability.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 19, 2009

Lean and sustainable manufacturing: How the two are connected

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 17, 2009

Quatech wireless Ethernet bridge, in external device or embedded

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 5, 2009

Global positioning sensor: Mobile machine control, automated guide vehicles

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 2, 2009

FDA amends regulations for bottled water manufacturers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 28, 2009

Industrial control panel maker enters U.S. market

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 27, 2009

Executives agree to accelerate smart grid standards implementation in U.S.

Smart grid leadership meeting, called for by U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Commerce, leads to technology and service offerings from power industry vendors.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 22, 2009

Pipe manufacturer found guilty of environmental crimes

Plant manager, maintenance supervisor, and engineer cited in case accusing company of committing flagrant abuses of environmental and worker safety laws.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 20, 2009

Global industry approves revision of electrotechnical products requirements

Updated guide incorporates reporting of material content information across the global supply chain as required by REACH regulation.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 8, 2009

3 ways controls will save lives with automated guided vehicles

AIMing for Automated Vehicles blogger Paul Grayson predicts where the jobs are: with U.S. government and civilian projects that save lives with AGVs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 6, 2009

415 Parts Seen: Machine Vision Guides Robot

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.

By Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering, mhoske@reedbusine
HMI, OI May 6, 2009

Dashboard: Iconics introduces GEO Productivity Portals

Cost-effective software dashboard will help visualize, manage, and alarm, and increase productivity of wind farm operations, Iconics says.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2009

Power supply considerations: Size, application, environment

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
HMI, OI April 23, 2009

Software integration: 8 tips for project success

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI April 23, 2009

Reduce variation in work processes for equipment set up, repair, more

QuickStart use cases for Proficy Workflow help users digitize, standardize work processes.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 15, 2009

2010 System Integrator of the Year Awards is open for entries

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 8, 2009

Wide-screen, high-definition HMIs

Maple Systems'  new widescreen graphic operator interface panels come deliver up to one-third more usable screen area in standard size enclosures.  

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 2, 2009

Push-wire connectors pass IEC-level shock, vibration testing

Wago Corp. subjected 773 Series Wall-Nuts Push Wire connectors to demanding shock and vibration sequence testing, adhering to IEC standards.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 2, 2009

Automation integration projects: 7 tips for success, plus 1 more, often forgotten

Communication is key when working with an automation system integrator, according to a recent Control Engineering survey of system integrators. Eight key tips follow.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2009

Greening Coal-Fired Power with Solar

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...

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
HMI, OI April 1, 2009

Reevaluating HMIs via use of best practices

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2009

Canary Labs releases new process historian

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 30, 2009

Fieldbus Foundation announces first educational institutions offering certified training

STC Brielle (Netherlands) and Fieldbus Center at Lee College complete rigorous certification process from Fieldbus Foundation. The three levels are...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 30, 2009

ABB releases new process sensors, flowmeters

Announced at the first combined ABB Automation & Power World event, these new sensors and flowmeters are designed for specific applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 24, 2009

Software designed to help global chemical manufacturers comply with regulations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 24, 2009

CIP Networks Testing: Interoperability, performance, conformance, recommended practice

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 20, 2009

Proficy HMI/SCADA Cimplicity 8.0 enhances analytics, graphics engine

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 18, 2009

Control Engineering – Control Panel Contest Videos

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 9, 2009

Four industrial-grade color HMI touch panels

Siemens panels are designed to increase productivity and lower costs; one eliminates need for  separate logic controller.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 6, 2009

A new day: Infor interface personalizes information delivery in process manufacturing enterprises

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI March 3, 2009

Virtually useful: Video-gaming technology powers next-generation HMI

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).

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI March 2, 2009

Control room design resources

A number of control room design resources and for-fee services are available to provide advice and assistance at every level.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 27, 2009

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 24, 2009

Old-guard contraction: xTuple sees 250-percent growth in open-source ERP revenue

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI February 20, 2009

Get actionable greenhouse gas information via energy management module

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 18, 2009

Sickening staples: Peanut butter recall highlights our need for a culture of responsibility

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.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com)
HMI, OI February 17, 2009

Get wireless projects approved using these productivity tips

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 10, 2009

Spot-on savings: MindTree unveils spend analysis for manufacturing

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI February 9, 2009

SCADA system customized for electrical transmission / distribution

iPower 5.0 with its DNP3 driver is HMI/SCADA system for electrical transmission and distribution utilities.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 7, 2009

Next imperative: Economy drives manufacturers to go lean; outsource more non-core functions

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI February 5, 2009

Do not use commercial Ethernet cables, hardware in harsh environments, Belden says

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2009

3-color displays viewable 600 feet away

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2009

State-of-the-art Control Rooms

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.

By Renee M. Robbins, Control Engineering
HMI, OI January 23, 2009

Software cuts equipment downtime, adds OEE

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 ...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 23, 2009

Mechatronics: Educating the next generation of mechatronics engineers, podcast explains

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 14, 2009

Micro Client II thin client has industrial touchscreen

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 13, 2009

Future business conditions index for North America rallies in December

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 5, 2009

Cyber security issues take center stage in 2009

Many companies have been talking cyber security for quite a while, and now they'll have to do something about it.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

Process Automation Systems

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).

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

Human-machine interface in Arctic Circle conditions

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

New patent addresses maglev stability

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

Factory floor visualization

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.

By Andy Balderson and Brent Meranda, Parker Electromechanical Automation Division
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

Standards, more or less

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor in Chief
HMI, OI January 1, 2009

Bit by bit: Why use serial communications?

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
HMI, OI December 31, 2008

Integrators merge: Optimation grows again with Total System Design

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 25, 2008

Pushbuttons, in 3 sizes, change colors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 24, 2008

Get the facts: Product development team launches PLM software comparison Web site

A new Web site promises to save apparel and retail customers time and money selecting a product life-cycle management (PLM) solution.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2008

Arctic HMI: Human-machine interface performs in harsh Arctic Circle conditions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2008

May we have your vote?

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.

By Norm O’Leary, Executive Director
HMI, OI December 2, 2008

Vision sensor inspects for defects at any part position, rotation

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%.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 13, 2008

PLCs: New “micro brick” controller suits first time users

AutomationDirectreleases the Click PLC, the first in its new line of inexpensive PLC components in a compact yet expandable design.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 7, 2008

Going green: New technology makes ac motors more efficient

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 7, 2008

Controls help reduce coal power plant emissions, guide largest telescope

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 3, 2008

Resources: CSIA provides system integration tools, information

Market related information, how to guides, and tips for better relations with system integrators are among information CSIA provides on its resource page.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2008

World view: Manufacturers make the most of the multiplant model

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.

By Hope Neal, contributing editor
HMI, OI October 30, 2008

NEMA announces interactive Standards and Products Guide for free download

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. 

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 29, 2008

Broadband quadrature modulator integrates automatic gain control

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) ADL5386 combines performance and integration levels for low IF (intermediate frequency) and RF (radio frequency) transmitters in many applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 28, 2008

Enterprise integration: SAP continues to push its march toward the plant floor

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI October 28, 2008

SMU dean speaks out on mechatronics education in podcast

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....

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 16, 2008

Tutorial: Challenges of unlocking HART data

Finding all the information you need about your instrumentation devices may be more difficult than you would expect.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 16, 2008

Custom-designed, advanced display HMI systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 9, 2008

Wonderware applauds users of winning applications

Wonderware Open 2008 competition winners included a water/wastewater agency, a brewery, an electric utility, and a materials manufacturer.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2008

Butler advisory: Act now to take a leadership role in IT strategy, service delivery

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.

By Butler Group
HMI, OI October 1, 2008

Control programming made easier

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2008

Behind the new touch screens

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 19, 2008

Discrete advisory: Endeca debuts engineering and sourcing solutions

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI September 19, 2008

2,000 power assets use predictive software to foresee failures; ROI is 6-9 months

Predictive software sees failures before they happen, protecting 2,000 power assets globally, says SmartSignal, with typical return on investment of 6-9 months.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 17, 2008

AIG: On the path to better operations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 11, 2008

Compressor control: Controller provides live view of compressor performance

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 11, 2008

HMI technology: Behind the (touch) screens

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 9, 2008

Get more: Openbravo and Pentaho deliver BI-enabled open ERP

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.".

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI September 8, 2008

Documented first rate: PTC streamlines product info delivery for Nikon Precision

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI September 4, 2008

Control Engineering System Integrators Hall of Fame

Control Engineering names the System Integrator of the Year in three categories; see prior winners in the System Integrator Hall of Fame.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 3, 2008

New podcast: Planning your DCS migration

A veteran of many migration projects offers her insights.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2008

Get smart with controls

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
HMI, OI August 26, 2008

Engineering help: How to choose, use ergonomic hand tools

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 18, 2008

Less, more: NEMA cites less confidence; NAM sees more exports of manufactured goods

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....

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 14, 2008

How to use ISA88 and ISA95 together: ISA technical report

ISA88, the Batch Control Systems standards committee, has completed a technical report on using its standards with the ISA95 Enterprise/Control System Integration standards.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 7, 2008

Product experience: Who leads in 2008 with automation system integrators?

The brand-specific knowledge most often named by system integrators in the 2008 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide are....

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 6, 2008

Controller platform: Small-scale system bridges device gap

Platform designed for processes that have outgrown PLC capabilities.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2008

Proximity Sensing Via Wireless Network

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2008

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.

By Jim Fulcher
HMI, OI August 1, 2008

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.

By Frank O Smith
HMI, OI July 30, 2008

Commenting on an automation standard? Here are ways to get your point across

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 29, 2008

Young women see engineering career as interesting, enjoyable

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 22, 2008

HMI: Monitors, graphic panel improve images, offer ruggedness

Advantech, AutomationDirect, and iKey debut rugged industrial human machine interface and operator interfaces.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 18, 2008

New utility from TiPS defends against harmful alarm system changes

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 15, 2008

Listen in exclusive: Kepware helps Wonderware with device communications software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 15, 2008

Listen in exclusive: Wonderware Innovation Partners to create vertical software faster

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 10, 2008

Backed by the majors: Gen 2 Standard “how-to” guide aims to ease RFID implementation fears

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.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor, Zurich, Switzerland
HMI, OI July 10, 2008

New research: Wireless operator interface terminals sought

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. 

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 10, 2008

Web portal gives improved context for real-time information

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 10, 2008

Wanted: Engineers Who Can Lead

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.

By Larry Maloney, Contributing Editor
HMI, OI July 3, 2008

Anatomy of Steam Plant

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...

By Frank O Smith for Control Engineering
HMI, OI July 3, 2008

Indusoft, Semaphore certify system integrators

To make it easier for customers choosing to use their automation, two more companies have begun certified system integrator programs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 2, 2008

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2008

Manufacturing in the clouds

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.

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI July 1, 2008

Software tools boost OEE

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...

By Matt Bauer, Rockwell Automation
HMI, OI June 27, 2008

NEMA offers guidance on water-damaged electrical equipment

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 13, 2008

MRAM extends HMI functionality

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 12, 2008

Small reader knows many codes

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 10, 2008

Mining safely: Controls help operations, cut risks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

HMI fits in 6 in. cutouts

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

Lightweight formats unlock 3D design intent

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.

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

Hot-plug-enabled portable HMI

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

Environmental stewardship featured in new CETV video

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

By the Numbers – 2008-06-01

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

Firewall device creates its own rules

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 ...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2008

Rockwell to acquire Incuity Software

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 31, 2008

Process management: MES/ERP blend yields performance improvement at Berner Foods

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.

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
HMI, OI May 27, 2008

Want this HMI? Here’s a 42-in. ultra-wide curved display

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+).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 23, 2008

Wireless: ISA100.11a Group votes on draft; compliance goals

Ballot for the ISA100.11a Working Group draft wireless standard closes June 3. ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute is developing ISA100 compliance programs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 21, 2008

Medical automation applications: HMI in contacts, robotic arm for humans

Sensors, motion control, and human-machine interface technologies used for manufacturing are being adapted for use in the medical field.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 15, 2008

Handbook: Guide to signal switching for automation, test applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 13, 2008

Easier: panel designs, short-circuit current rating compliance

Cooper Bussmann simplifies SCCR calculations with enhanced OSCAR 2.0 software.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 8, 2008

System Integrators

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 7, 2008

Listen in: New alarm management guidelines for electric utilities

Understand alarm management in the specialized language of electric utility operators.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 5, 2008

Electroindustry managers: April survey shows decline, less confidence

NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Indexes (EBCI) for present and future North American conditions fell in April after two months of increases.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2008

Manufacturing Control Systems Bridge Production and IT

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.

By Ronald E. Menéndez, Genentech; Darrell Tanner, Honeywell Process Solutions
HMI, OI April 24, 2008

Embedded in space: LDRA tools for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Space Program

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 22, 2008

Rockwell to acquire Incuity Software; research shows how it could help

Enterprise manufacturing intelligence software combines operations data with business IT.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 16, 2008

Faster control system startup: Fieldbus Foundation diagnostics

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 2, 2008

Performance software: Construction product manufacturer links production, enterprise

Australian steel manufacturer implements KPI/KPD monitoring platform.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 2, 2008

Manufacturing Execution Systems March 2008 Product Research

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2008

Implementing Smart Grid Solutions

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 ...

By Jake Rasweiler, Arcadian Networks
HMI, OI April 1, 2008

Rockwell and Cisco back network integration via standard Ethernet technology

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...

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net)
HMI, OI March 27, 2008

How low can you go with light?

Intensified CCD camera (ICCD) for low-light applications combines a high performance intensifier tube with a small, interlaced CCD camera.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 26, 2008

Sarbox surge: Spending on governance, risk, and compliance solutions makes “to-do list”

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI March 25, 2008

Sweet savings: Bakery products leader leans out logistics using on-demand TMS

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI March 24, 2008

Print Product Exclusive: HMI/SCADA solves tough projects

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 21, 2008

ABB Drives-Feature Interactive

ABB Drives-Feature Interactive All Features Inside Rotatable View Download these valuable resources: > ABB Drives Selection Guide > 10 Benefits of Industrial Drives.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 19, 2008

HMI software: One-tag creation

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 12, 2008

Steel mill gets PC-based HMI simulator

Mirador Software released a PC-based simulator of the Rosemount RMV9000 Video Display Unit.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 6, 2008

Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide: Top 10 industries

Top 10 industries served among system integrators in the 2008 Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide are…

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 3, 2008

Control, monitoring software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2008

Industry leadership updates: ABB, Apprion

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2008

Active harmonic filter addresses power quality

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2008

Ensuring OPC interoperability, security

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.

By Renee Robbins, Control Engineering
HMI, OI March 1, 2008

OMAC unveils corporate membership program

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 29, 2008

10 signs: Just tired or ready to retire?

ISA offers a cartoon book: The Funnier Side of Retirement for Engineers and People of the Technical Persuasion.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 14, 2008

Wonderware names InSource “Wonderware Southeast” partner

"Every indication is that the best is yet to come."

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 12, 2008

Process Automation Systems Product Research (February 2008)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 8, 2008

Online search: Agilent T&M catalog on the Web

Santa Clara, CA — Agilent Technologies put its test and measurement instrumentation catalog available online using Nxtbook technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 6, 2008

A better focus: Adobe technology brings new life to BI dashboards

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI February 6, 2008

Free help: Isolated ground wiring devices, grounding tips

Certain wiring devices and accessories help protect sensitive equipment from malfunction due to noise on the equipment grounding path. Get help.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2008

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms enhances batch processing software

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2008

Automated System Improves Catalytic Converter Production

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.

By John Meyer, Siemens
HMI, OI January 18, 2008

Global growth: Control System Integrators Association 2007 membership

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 17, 2008

Pressure instrument: Programmable sensor/switch with wide operating range

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 8, 2008

Upgrade: Xinneng Energy implements new chemical process control system

Xinneng Energy Ltd. In Jiangsu Province, Zhangjiagang, China, has implemented Proficy Process Systems from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms division.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 27, 2007

Robot standards: Motion controller adds IEC standard robot programming

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 27, 2007

Groups collaborate: Younger members, demand for engineers among concerns

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 20, 2007

Industry news: User group presses for device language unity

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2007

The Integration Resource

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2007

Adieu, Adios, Farewell

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.

By Norm O’Leary, Executive Director
HMI, OI December 10, 2007

Innovation Generation: JETS, Motorola promote engineering careers to girls

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 6, 2007

Automation Fair 2007: 10 commandments of using Ethernet for control

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 5, 2007

Analysis: Strategy for tackling process industries

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 5, 2007

CE TV – Alon Refinery control system and instrumentation upgrade

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 4, 2007

If you get an Engineers’ Choice Award ballot via email, please vote!

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2007

A look back, A look ahead

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.

By Marc Moschetto, Editorial Director
HMI, OI December 1, 2007

All Together Now: Integrated Development for IT and Automation Applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2007

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2007

Video via Ethernet, now

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
HMI, OI December 1, 2007

Announcing the 2008 Systems Integrator of the Year winners

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 27, 2007

Fueling stability: Ariba helping companies cope with life at $100 per barrel

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI November 23, 2007

Winning SCADA implementation: Metro water of Southern California

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 22, 2007

New resources: HART releases upgraded tools and user guide

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 15, 2007

Software dashboards: As with racing teams, dashboards drive communication

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. 

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 13, 2007

High-accuracy digital pressure gauges announced by Omega

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

ISA standards update

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

Tactile feedback for HMIs?

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

Cyber Security: The Human Factor

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?

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

Taking steps to secure your process control system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

New high-speed camera from Dalsa: 100 frames per second

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2007

Watch for program vulnerabilities

No security policy or system is ever foolproof. Here are a few vulnerabilities to watch out for:

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 26, 2007

ISA Standards: Update on security, hazardous area equipment, EDDL

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 24, 2007

Build or Buy HMI: How Do You Choose?

White Paper CUSTOM ADVERTISING NEWSLETTER To SUBSCRIBE | To UNSUBSCRIBE | CHANGE YOUR PROFILE | PRIVACY POLICY October 24 , 2007 Top Story Build or Buy HMI: How Do You Choose? QSI Whitepaper leads you through this tough decision. As you design your next complex machine, the operator interface, or HMI (Human-Machine Interface), can either make the project a success or a failure. The vital question is should you develop it in-house or outsource it? The operator interface ultimately determines the usability of the machine.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 22, 2007

Enclosures: Submersion rating, environmentally friendly, see-through door

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 19, 2007

Strategies Summit 2007: European manufacturing’s ‘A-list’ gathers in Düsseldorf

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."

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor, LONDON
HMI, OI October 15, 2007

Fewer conflicting standards? 5 industrial groups establish OpenO&M

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 11, 2007

Power plants: KKS industry standards put in SmartPlant Enterprise

Intergraph Corp. will include Kraftwerks Kennzeichnungs System (KKS) process plant designation standards in its software.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 11, 2007

Connnectivity II:  OPC server for LabView uses Kepware technology

NI used Kepware's OPC server technology, KEPServerEX, to create the new NI OPC server.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Revised MESA model gives production execution systems strategic context

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director (kparker@reedbusiness.com)
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Manufacturers can hit product innovation targets with PLM/MES integration

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Wonderware releases bring HMI into managed applications world

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director (kparker@reedbusiness.com)
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Data historian’s role in plant performance expands in an energy-management era

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 ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Equipment – what’s in a name?

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...

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

NetDoctor DeviceNet diagnostics

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 28, 2007

Wireless: 3 industrial network, fieldbus organizations launch cooperation team

Fieldbus Foundation, HART, and PROFIBUS organizations launched a wireless cooperation team tocollaborate on implementation of wireless technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 26, 2007

For Web-enabled dashboards

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 25, 2007

Plug and play: PICMG COM Express group; LXI plugfest; new 6U cPCI line

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 20, 2007

A new perspective: Revised MESA model gives production execution systems strategic context

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.

By Kevin Parker, Editorial Director
HMI, OI September 19, 2007

10 Truths of Safety Instrumented Systems – Truths 7-10

10 Truths of SafetyInstrumented Systems CUSTOM ADVERTISING NEWSLETTER To SUBSCRIBE | To UNSUBSCRIBE | CHANGE YOUR PROFILE | PRIVACY POLICY September 19, 2007 In continuation of the 10 Truths of SIS. This newsletter we address Truths 7-10 Follows is a summary of each Truth, click on a topic for more information or go to www.triconex.com/10truths to view all Truths of SIS . Truth 7 Dual SIS Technologies do not cost less than TMR; they almost always cost more. Many companies advertise their Dual SIS technology as a lower-cost alternative to TripleModular Redundant options that offer equivalent performance. This is an unfortunate misrepresentationof the capabilities of Dual SIS architectures.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 19, 2007

No Strings Attached

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 18, 2007

Data blend: OAGIS collaborates with ISA, WBF Working Group

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 17, 2007

Microsoft touts new edition of BizTalk as low-cost solution for linking global supply chains

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
HMI, OI September 13, 2007

Donald Monell of NASA to give a “back to the moon” keynote at ISA Expo 2007, Oct. 4

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 13, 2007

HMI: GE Fanuc, Wipro plan automotive solutions; iFIX 4.5 ships

GE Fanuc Automation and Wipro Technologies will collaborate globally to provide the automotive industry with solutions in production management.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 6, 2007

System integrators: Top professional organizations in 2007

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

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 4, 2007

IDS Scheer serves up process performance at a glance

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).

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI September 4, 2007

Infolinx ushers in new era for enterprise records management with IBM FileNet/WEB integration

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).

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

HP studies the IT infrastructure library with Opsware buy

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

The unified plant: from industry-specific ERP to Manufacturing 2.0

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.

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

Data historian vendor faces an opportunity and a challenge: scaling to million-tag systems

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 ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director (kparker@reedbusiness.com)
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

U.S. Homeland Security issues new documents for control systems, wireless networks

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

Next frontier: mercury sensors

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...

By Renee Robbins, editorial director
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

Julie Fraser: Why buy plant software in a Lean environment?

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.

By Julie Fraser
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

Introducing business intelligence 2.0

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...

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor
HMI, OI September 1, 2007

Ethernet networks—already the standard for office settings—move into the plant

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...

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net)
HMI, OI August 30, 2007

Conformia/SAP integration sets up process-industry improvements from development to manufacturing

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI August 30, 2007

Fisco Intrinsically Safe Fieldbus Systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 28, 2007

Wipro taps ILOG for rules management spin on application development process

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI August 23, 2007

Ethernet tech tips CD provides a wealth of Information

Aimed at busy engineers, a CD from Contemporary Controls entitled “CTRLink” contains all the information required to get an industrial Ethernet installation done properly.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 7, 2007

Cyber security: New documents for control systems, wireless

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 6, 2007

NIST offers RFID adoption guidelines

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
HMI, OI August 6, 2007

Pharma firms tap RF-enabled logistics services for sensitive products shipping

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.

By Carolyn Heinze, Contributing Editor
HMI, OI August 2, 2007

Structural testing: Sensors, computer modeling, wireless technologies can help

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2007

Cyber security: Just in case Bruce Willis isn’t available

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2007

Your comments on ISA-88 PART 5

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...

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI August 1, 2007

Optimize wireless infrastructure for application needs

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.

By Peter Welander, process industries editor
HMI, OI July 18, 2007

CE TV: Automatic guided vehicles at GM

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 16, 2007

CE TV: Next Generation Smart Warehouse

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2007

Document wars— A new hope and an old friend

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.

By Dennis Brandl
HMI, OI July 1, 2007

Graphic touchscreen HMIs

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2007

Building products and processes at the same time

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2007

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2007

Impact on the enterprise does not require an extensive search

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI June 18, 2007

Sensors, robotics, vision: Robotics have new vision, capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 14, 2007

Whitepaper: Facts on PACs show controller evolution

A new whitepaper by Billy Piovesan of Advantech Corp.’s eAutomation Group discusses PACs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 7, 2007

Automation: Revenues of system integrators

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

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 6, 2007

Wireless: An important step to critical control

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 31, 2007

Machine Vision Product Research May 2007

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding machine vision products.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 23, 2007

Bridging Safety Networks – Why One Size Does Not Fit All

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 3, 2007

Automation: Top 10 industries served by system integrators

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 2, 2007

Network companies: Control Engineering research

A Control Engineering subscriber research article in the April 2007 issue covers industrial networking issues and concerns.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2007

Glossary of ‘Lean’ manufacturing

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.

By Bob Yenkner, Practical Process Improvements
HMI, OI April 30, 2007

Browser-based user interface for SAP

GuiXT Fuzion from Synactive Software Components bridges mainstream SAP GUI with the emerging SAP Portal platform.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 26, 2007

Books: LabView programming with style!

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 19, 2007

Temperature tutorial: Thermocouple vs. RTD vs. thermistor

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 .

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 12, 2007

LCD tutorial: High bright displays are vital HMI building blocks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 9, 2007

Control platform supports 10 ac drives per AGV

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 4, 2007

High Bright Displays: Get the Picture by Advantech

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 3, 2007

Advancing OPC: Standard moves into CNC-ERP integration

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2007

Get the Most from a System Integrator

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,...

By Vance J. VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
HMI, OI April 1, 2007

WebHMI connects to enterprise systems

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 28, 2007

Global manufacturing: Ireland invests in next-generation engineers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 22, 2007

Tech Tips May 2006

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 22, 2007

Tech Tips August 2006

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 22, 2007

Tech Tips July 2006

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 22, 2007

Tech Tips February-March 2006

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 20, 2007

HMI/SCADA: Monitoring control software adds features

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 8, 2007

Enclosures: Extend life of HMI

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 8, 2007

Feedback: OEM finds integrator for ‘whatever it takes’ automation

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 7, 2007

Alarm management: Electric utility consolidates with one system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2007

Ireland: Manufacturing Welcome Wagon for Western Europe

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...

By Michael Babb, Editor, Control Engineering Europe
HMI, OI February 15, 2007

Military adaptation: Use aerial reconnaissance technology to monitor your plant

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 13, 2007

Agreement: ISA, OAGi cooperate on data model standards

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 8, 2007

Photonics West: Floating display technology debuts in North America

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 5, 2007

History of Numerical Control

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 31, 2007

Choose the Best Industrial HMI

Industrial Displays CUSTOM ADVERTISING NEWSLETTER To SUBSCRIBE | To UNSUBSCRIBE | CHANGE YOUR PROFILE | PRIVACY POLICY January 31, 2007 Top Story Choose the Best Industrial HMI Knowing the environmental constraints and the technology that best operates within them, you can choose rugged interfaces that withstand the rigors of the plant floor or in-vehicle operations. Everyone knows that delicate and temperamental equipment has no place on the plant floor. The dust and doughnut-crumb hazards that threaten office equipment are nothing compared to the temperature swings, moisture spikes, electrical noise and physical abuse most industrial machines endure.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 15, 2007

Rotary gripper joins two functions in one

MRHQ rotary air gripper from SMC Corp. integrates gripping and rotating functions to save space and simplify wiring and piping.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 15, 2007

Panel PCs with integrated displays

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 11, 2007

Vehicle control: New automated highway, vehicle sensor standards released

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 11, 2007

HMI software: Global market to hit $1 billion by 2010

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 11, 2007

2006 Engineers’ Choice Awards Submissions tips and guidelines

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: controleng@reedbusiness.com 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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 10, 2007

Ispat Industries orders hot mill inspection system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 4, 2007

Network advice: More power over Ethernet offers design flexibility

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 2, 2007

Tongues wagging: Safety interlock switches ensure 1 million actuations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 2, 2007

Expanding RoHS? Single U.S. standard favored, one survey says

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 22, 2006

Automated system to reduce runway incursions gets patent

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2006

Control Engineering 2006 Engineers’ Choice Awards Application

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 14, 2006

New products: Panel PC at SPS/IPC/Drives 2006; Flat panel for tight spaces

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 13, 2006

Alarm management software can improve operations, says Yokogawa

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2006

New resources for now, 2007

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.

By Renee Robbins, Editorial Director
HMI, OI December 1, 2006

Industry alliances deliver significant value

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.

By Dick Verville
HMI, OI December 1, 2006

Constraints or resources?

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).

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI December 1, 2006

Emerging trends in plant operations management

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...

By Kevin Parker, Editorial Director
HMI, OI November 28, 2006

Performance booster: Microcontroller has network, HMI capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 20, 2006

DAQ with oscilloscope capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 10, 2006

New GUI boosts ERP speed, performance

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 2, 2006

SPS/IPC/Drives trade show: new CANopen specifications

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2006

DeltaV utility: New automated batch reporting software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2006

ISA Expo 2006: Wireless technologies dominate

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2006

Is anti-virus protection for you?

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...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI November 1, 2006

HMI study: touchscreens are most popular

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 30, 2006

Software configuration tool

Microsoft Windows-based configuration tool from Teleflex is intended for the CANtrak range of large-format, automotive-grade LCD HMIs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 17, 2006

HMI systems: Study shows touchscreens are most popular input device

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 9, 2006

Process data, reports

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 3, 2006

ATExpo 2006: Assembly automation firm announces new funding

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 2, 2006

Minegem: Autonomous navigation, high production without an operator

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 21, 2006

Measuring moisture contamination in alternative fuel

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 8, 2006

Linux helps Navy keep high-tech weapon system updated

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 .

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 7, 2006

ioProject and SNAP PAC by Opto 22

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 6, 2006

Honeywell releases Business Flex upgrade for Experion systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2006

10 years, still innovating

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI August 24, 2006

IMTS OMAC meeting focuses on CNC productivity

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 15, 2006

Industrial operator interface terminals show strong growth

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 14, 2006

Way out: Theoretical blueprint for invisibility

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 14, 2006

Wireless standard update: call for proposals, use case studies

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 10, 2006

In, out, and about HMI: Portable computer, smart card reader, resources

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 10, 2006

3 tips for networks and communications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 8, 2006

Then and now: www.controleng.com celebrates 10 years

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 3, 2006

Contract handles baggage at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 3, 2006

1st online software calculates UL508A short-circuit current rating

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2006

By the Numbers – 2006-08-01

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 31, 2006

Panel PCs have TFT LCDs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 28, 2006

Upcoming: OPC Foundation training seminars

OPC Foundation is offering training seminars in Atlanta July 14, Chicago Aug. 23, and Boston Nov. 8, targeting end-users and system integrators.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 13, 2006

Proficy adds alarm/event function

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 11, 2006

Electroindustry business conditions show growth despite dip

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2006

Sarbanes-Oxley audits: coming soon

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.

By Robert Fallwell
HMI, OI July 1, 2006

Finding time

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI June 27, 2006

Implementation Chronicles update

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 20, 2006

Machinery monitoring reduces shutdowns for South African paper mill

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 20, 2006

Refinery initiatives target corrosion management

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 12, 2006

Design, simulation software adds power

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 8, 2006

Submit entries by Aug. 1 for CE System Integrator of the Year Award

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."

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 7, 2006

Instrument companies develop tank-gauging system for China

Two instrumentation manufacturers are jointly developing an automatic tank gauging (ATG) and inventory monitoring system specifically for the Chinese petroleum market.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2006

Functional Specifications

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).

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI June 1, 2006

Packaging guidelines OK’d

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI May 2, 2006

Wireless summit discusses automation standards

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2006

Tips to validate, verify software

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 20, 2006

Software expands vibrational spectroscopy capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 17, 2006

Exclusive: Terminal blocks in three types

New line of XB IEC terminal blocks from Eaton Corp. includes screw type, spring cage, and insulation displacement connection (IDC) technologies.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2006

Terminal blocks in three types

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 23, 2006

Learn from the international engineer: India

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 14, 2006

Demand for Web-based HMIs rises as costs fall

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 13, 2006

ODVA network standards ‘blossom’ in sunny Phoenix

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 13, 2006

Controller board for multimedia applications

Prisma II controller board is optimized for multimedia applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 8, 2006

Wildcard IAN Homepage Webcast

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 6, 2006

Dual-level terminal block

Hybrid, dual-level terminal block provides two channels for two termination technologies in one footprint.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2006

Industrial Ethernet moves into mainstream, mission-critical applications

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI February 28, 2006

OPC appoints two to board of directors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 23, 2006

Machine vision: Greater scalability, innovative smart cameras

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 13, 2006

Information, automation platform

Industrial Application Server version 2.1 expands the capabilities of the underlying ArchestrA technology of the plant information and automation platform.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 13, 2006

New device description (DDL) features

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 7, 2006

U.S. firm establishes RoHS-compliant manufacturing in China

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2006

Pressure transmitters for pharma industry

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2006

Linux for industrial applications

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2006

Well, you shouldn’t be doing that!

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI January 16, 2006

Wire draw encoders

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 13, 2006

North American automotive is ‘pedal to the metal’…again

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%.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 12, 2006

$56 billion to expand the Middle East of the South

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 12, 2006

RFID here to stay

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 12, 2006

Acumence: Manufacturing Business Intelligence Solution

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2006

Neglect patents at your peril

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.

By Mark Voigtmann, Baker & Daniels LLP
HMI, OI January 1, 2006

Next-generation I/O devices, communications processors

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2006

Actuator for washdown applications

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2006

Process analytical technologies’ (PAT) economic benefit

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 19, 2005

Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation-December 19, 2006

December 19, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2005

Chinese utility-metering company chooses Coronis Systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 7, 2005

Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (December 7, 2005)

December 7, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 6, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (December 6, 2005)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2005

Operator interface enclosures get leaner with flat panels

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2005

Automation hunger increases for food, beverage markets

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 22, 2005

Rockwell to buy Datasweep; Sokymat acquires RFID inlay supplier

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 22, 2005

Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (November 22, 2005)

November 22, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 8, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (November 8, 2005)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 2, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System-November 2, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2005

Multi-protocol server

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2005

Spreadsheet rebuttal

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...

By Patrick Jorgensen
HMI, OI November 1, 2005

Four steps to HMI screen design

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.

By Rebecca Haley, project specialist, and Scott Kuehl, senior project engineer, Honeywell Inc. www.honeywell.com
HMI, OI November 1, 2005

Invensys unveils solutions to manage asset availability, use

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 27, 2005

Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation-10/27/05

October 27, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. MF (micro-filtration) software design 100%2. MF software code complete 100%3.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 27, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System-10/27/05

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 24, 2005

Project planning software

Clip Project 6.1 project planning software now includes such features as export to 3D-CAD files and automatic downloads of product updates.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 20, 2005

Multi-threat detection system features wireless communications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 19, 2005

Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (October 19, 2005)

October 19, 2005 Project Status Summary: 1. MF software design--100%2. MF software code complete--100%3.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 17, 2005

OMAC packaging group meets at ISA Expo 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 13, 2005

In, out, and about HMI: Technologies, training, and more

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 5, 2005

Cooper nuclear station to use Invensys feedwater-control systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2005

How to create practical manufacturing databases

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI September 27, 2005

September 27 Implementation Chronicles Update

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 22, 2005

PLCopen Motion Control specs, Part 4, underway

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 19, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System, September 19, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 8, 2005

In, out, and about HMI: displays, keyboard, mouse

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 7, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System, September 7, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 5, 2005

Source-code generator for panel design

GUI Builder source-code generator runs on a Mosaic touchscreen controller to help OEMs create effective, interactive HMIs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 5, 2005

Industrial Ethernet solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 2, 2005

Process points: Resources include SOX conference, capabilities data sheet, mapping guide

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

Get personal for quality

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

By the Numbers – 2005-09-01

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

Ethernet upswing underscores PTO meeting

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

5 Ways to Improve Engineering Communications

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.

By Michelle LaBrosse
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

Software speeds HMI configuration

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2005

IEC 61499 automation software

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI August 23, 2005

Control Engineering & DataWorks present: The Modern-day Manufacturing Dilemma

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 18, 2005

Big predictions for robotic DARPA Challenge racers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 18, 2005

Display provides instant instrumentation for diesel engine equipment

CANtrak universal automotive- and industrial-grade operator display from TeleflexMorse now includes an SAE J1587 protocol in its communications capability.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 11, 2005

Multi-vendor historical data access

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 11, 2005

Manufacturing information system update

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 4, 2005

Cooperative project advancing support for EDDL technology

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 3, 2005

Urea letdown valve tolerates high pressure drops

Urea letdown valve from Flowserve Corp. is designed to tolerate the high pressure drops and crystallization associated with the letdown process in urea production.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 2, 2005

Optimation automates farm-to-consumer egg production system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 28, 2005

Add-on box provides real-time guidance for the plant floor

iGear GearBox aims to ensure product quality, products shipped in sequence, and customer satisfaction.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 18, 2005

DAQ supports Modbus

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2005

Service agreements

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2005

Improve control system programming

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI July 1, 2005

GE Energy starts HMI maintenance program to protect against cyber security threats

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI June 2, 2005

USS secures GM machine vision contract

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 23, 2005

Software for real-time maintenance

Enhanced condition monitoring (CM) software is said to empower plant operations and maintenance personnel to work collaboratively and improve asset reliability.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 19, 2005

Siemens Westinghouse approves Macro Sensors as LVDT position sensor source

Macro Sensors has been designated an approved vendor by Siemens Westinghouse for LVDT (linear variable differential transducer) position sensors on Westinghouse steam turbines.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 17, 2005

OMAC releases PackSoft Application Library standard

Research Triangle Park, NC—The Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users’ Group reports that it has released its PackSoft Application Library (PackAL) standard.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 12, 2005

Do you have an HMI story to tell?

Have you or your facility built or developed your own human-machine interface?

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 12, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 5, 2005

System integrators affiliate with professional organizations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 4, 2005

Regulatory compliance services assist life sciences OEMs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 4, 2005

Process points: Pharmaceutical industry targets global regulatory affairs

More than 200 pharmaceutical industry professionals and global regulators are expected to gather in the Czech Republic this fall to discuss global regulatory affairs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 4, 2005

Process points: GE Fanuc offers automation guide for water, wastewater treatment

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 3, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 29, 2005

FAQs about CESupplierSearch, powered by Kellysearch

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 26, 2005

Interphex 2005: Iconics shows manufacturing intelligence software for regulated industries

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 26, 2005

Interphex 2005: Cognex introduces optical character verification

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 18, 2005

Exclusive: Software bridges production-business gap

Incuity software is a real-time enterprise decision support system from DataWorks designed for businesses that rely on automated production equipment.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 12, 2005

Hannover Fair 2005: ProSoft shows wireless Ethernet solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 12, 2005

Asset manager software analyzes symptoms, faults

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 7, 2005

System integrators list top five product experience firms

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2005

7 Lessons on Working with Asia

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.

By Mia Doucet
HMI, OI March 29, 2005

Invensys donates FOUNDATION fieldbus extensions to PACTware Consortium

Foxboro, MA—Invensys Process Systems reports that it has transferred ownership of software extensions for FOUNDATION fieldbus to the PACTware Consortium.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 22, 2005

Automation Integrator Guide

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 17, 2005

Ircon GUI brings advanced connectivity to IR sensors

Multi-Sensor Interface (MSI) from Ircon Inc. is designed for the Modline 5 series of infrared sensors.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 15, 2005

NMW 2005: Lapp conforming to RoHS, WEEE standards

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 10, 2005

HMI system provides compliance support, reduces development time for pharma OEM

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 3, 2005

Integrators do most work on PLCs, RTUs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 3, 2005

ISA organizes wireless standards committee

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 3, 2005

Circonix updates extrusion controls, reduces downtime

Circonix Technologies LLC recently launched its latest system solution, ExtrusionPro, which was initially developed as a retrofit for existing extrusion process equipment.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2005

Comply or die

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI March 1, 2005

OMAC standards yield operational savings

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI February 22, 2005

Material handling demand to reach $20 billion by 2008

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 17, 2005

HART Foundation opens membership to product users

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 10, 2005

Plan to attend 2005 National Manufacturing Week for HMI-useful topics

Make plans now to attend the 15th annual National Manufacturing Week.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 3, 2005

Automation integrators report top regions served

Automation integrators in the Control Engineering’s 2005 Automation Integrator Guide were recently asked to identify the regions they serve from among 12 choices.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2005

Corrections – 2005-02-01

The listing for Loman Control Systems Inc. in Control Engineering 's 2005 Automation Integrator Guide , mid-Dec. '04, p.

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2005

NEMA seeking to expand international free trade

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 27, 2005

STEP-NC prototype demos; ARC, OMAC meetings

A STEP-NC control prototype was demonstrated at Watervliet Arsenal on Dec. 16, 2004, according to Step Tools Inc., involved in the standardization effort.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 18, 2005

Keithley offers free tutorial CD for semiconductor reliability testing

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. 

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 11, 2005

NEMA supports bill to penalize counterfeit manufacturing product labels, packaging

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 6, 2005

CSIA offers training for Registered Member audits

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2005

HMI software enhanced with ‘smart symbols’

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2005

Small-footprint controller has HMI

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI December 9, 2004

Keeping in touch with touchscreen technologies

The popularity of touchscreens is evident in the introduction of three new products featuring this technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 9, 2004

Arista, ACP partner to market thin-client computers

Arista Corp. and Automation Control Products (ACP) are partnering to market a family of industrial thin-client computers.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 9, 2004

In, out, and about HMI: new offerings focus on PDAs, scheduled communications, flat-panel monitors

Among HMI-related products, smaller sizes, better communications, and better visibility are among recent trends in the operator-interface market.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 2, 2004

Emerson releases EDDL whitepaper

Emerson Process Management has published a whitepaper that can help users understand and implement electronic device description language (EDDL) technology.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 2, 2004

Automation integrators report top five industries served

Automation integrators in the new Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide were recently asked to identify the industries they serve from among 77 choices.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 30, 2004

Meterman Test Tools launches CAT III digital multimeters

Everett, WA—Meterman Test Tools has introduced what it reports are the world's smallest, fully featured CAT III digital multimeters (DMMs).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 11, 2004

3M Touch Systems demonstrates DST, introduces capacitive solution

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 9, 2004

Keithley offers free, updated low-level measurement handbook

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.'

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 3, 2004

Maple Systems presents – Graphics-powered communication

&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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2004

Analyze serial communications

I-Spy32 Serial Communications Analyzer package includes software and I-Spy box, a compact unit that allows easy connection between two serial devices.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 21, 2004

Instrumental to the workplace: precision weighing, IR thermosensor, reference materials

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 19, 2004

SoftWire offers free graphical programming extension

Middleboro, MA—SoftWire Technology is offering its SoftWire platform free of charge to any individual or corporation worldwide.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 18, 2004

Data collection software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 18, 2004

Gateway for OPC connectivity

FactorySuite Gateway communications product provides OPC connectivity to current and legacy Wonderware products running across a range of Microsoft Windows operating systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 14, 2004

HMI software is critical to manufacturing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 11, 2004

Extruded aluminum boxes

Extruded aluminum boxes are suitable for many uses, including equipment designed in-house, prototypes, or small production runs.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 6, 2004

ISA Expo 2004: FDT Joint Interest Group starts test, certification process

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 5, 2004

ISA Expo 2004: Iconics releases real-time, data-mining software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 5, 2004

ISA Expo 2004: Invensys announces alarm management services

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2004

Proof Is in the ‘Proving’

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.

By Steve Whitman, Coastal Flow Measurement Inc.
HMI, OI September 22, 2004

IMTS 2004: Solutions shine on the show floor

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 16, 2004

ISA releases job analysis study for automation professional certification

ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society, has published a Job Analysis Study for its Certified Automation Profession (CAP) program.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 13, 2004

User-friendly HMI

Exter configurable, scalable HMI uses the manufacturer’s Intelligent Design concept to stress product user-friendliness, ergonomics, functionality, and performance.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 9, 2004

In, out, and about HMI: Instrumentation on handhelds; mobile display controller

Developments in a couple of product areas have implications for the HMI/display market.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 7, 2004

K-Tek, ASI partner to provide point-level measurement for dry bulk solids

Prairieville, LA; Houston, TX—K-Tek has formed a partnership with ASI Instruments to focus on detection and measurement of dry bulk solids.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2004

UL combines three standards for certifying measurement, control, lab equipment

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2004

Fieldbus Foundation releases free application guide for IS systems

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 30, 2004

Electrical safety program on CD

Multi-part safety information program is aimed at reducing hazards for people measuring electrical energy and cutting risk and liability for employers.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 24, 2004

Wonderware’s FactorySuite Gateway adds OPC to legacy operating systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 13, 2004

Control Engineering Online Update for August 13, 2004

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 5, 2004

ISA releases study guide for certifying automation professionals

The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA) has released the study guide for its new Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 28, 2004

Iconics, Endress+Hauser start OEM partnership

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 26, 2004

Radio for high-interference areas

OS2400-485 frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum radio operates in the license-free 2.4 GHz band and is designed for high-interference environments.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 20, 2004

Harting, Krohne develop outlet for office/factory connection

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..

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 12, 2004

Outside updates unavailable until mid-August

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 12, 2004

Enhanced HMI software

InTouch HMI software version 9.0 uses SmartSymbols to integrate object-oriented technology with InTouch graphics and transform them into reusable templates.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 8, 2004

Iconics launches HMI training classes

Two new HMI training courses are being offered by Iconics this summer at its Foxborough (MA) Training Center.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2004

Know your control project IT scope

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...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI June 29, 2004

Measurement Specialties acquires Elekon Industries

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 17, 2004

ISA certification program Web page launched; lists requirements, exam dates

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 10, 2004

HMI solution designed to cut replacement, upgrade costs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 10, 2004

In, out, and about HMI: Monitors—flat panel, touchscreen, wireless, flush mount

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 10, 2004

Phoenix Contact picks Profinet as preferred Interbus-to-Ethernet solution

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 3, 2004

CSIA highlights achievements at executive conference

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 3, 2004

Real-time Profinet soon available for high-end motion control

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2004

Cyber security guidance

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...

By Holly Beum, Interface Technologies
HMI, OI May 26, 2004

Control Engineering Maple Systems custom newsletter for May 26, 2004

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 20, 2004

Instrumental to the workplace: Catalog, training courses, slide rule tool

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 8, 2004

Quality Congress features software track

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 8, 2004

Invensys, Microsoft, discuss RT solutions, applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 6, 2004

Rockwell expands A-B CompactLogix with two controllers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 5, 2004

InTouch 8.0 by Wonderware Invensys

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 5, 2004

IndustrialSQL Server 8.0 ™ by Wonderware Invensys

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2004

Free, but not cheap

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).

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
HMI, OI March 27, 2004

How to > Submit Application/ Technical Papers /Product Specs

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 16, 2004

IAONA’s Modbus-IDA Group and ODVA joined by SERCOS, EtherCAT and EPSG

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 12, 2004

Control Engineering Online Update for March 12, 2004

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 9, 2004

Fiber-optic rotary joints

Line of rotary joints for fiber optic systems allows uninterrupted transmission of data in applications that require full 360° fiber rotation.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2004

Embedded Linux on SBC

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI January 29, 2004

Almost last chance: Want to learn more about system integration?

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 15, 2004

Of FPGAs and ASICs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2004

Golden

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.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
HMI, OI January 1, 2004

Loop-powered radar measures interface, level

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2003

Integrated manufacturing software

Integrated manufacturing software solutions are aligned with international ISA S95 guidelines.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 11, 2003

Computerized work management systems for utilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 9, 2003

Banner’s adjustable-field laser sensors aid error proofing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 20, 2003

Free document assists users implementing FOUNDATION fieldbus technology

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 13, 2003

Take steps to secure SCADA systems, NIST Director warns

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

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 6, 2003

Profinet installation guidelines available

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2003

How to improve techno-business

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI October 22, 2003

ISA Expo 2003: ICP DAS USA controller offers best of PC, PLC worlds

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 14, 2003

Instantiations buys Eclipse Plug-Ins Lab’s SWT Designer GUI tool

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 6, 2003

Design data repository

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 2, 2003

Metrobility introduces industrial Ethernet products

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2003

Correction – 2003-10-01

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI September 18, 2003

FDA releases new 21 CFR Part 11 guidance document

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 17, 2003

IEEE developing standard to create baseline for more secure operating systems

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 11, 2003

OPC spec opens way to possible Web-based HMIs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 8, 2003

Process simulation software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 4, 2003

First draft of IEEE’s mobile computer battery standard is completed

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 2, 2003

Touchscreen interface

HMI500 Series of touchscreen operator interfaces now have support for four new controller protocols.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 22, 2003

Radar level device market to grow more than 10% annually

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 15, 2003

Control & Automation Buyer’s Guide

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 14, 2003

Green Hills Software: Real-time software/hardware debugging

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 14, 2003

Embedded Touch Keyboard for Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

Padless Touch System (PTS) technology may be used in a wide range of applications including process instrumentation, machine tools, auto manufacturing, and consumer goods.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 8, 2003

PROFInet Update for August 2003

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2003

Process automation

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2003

HMI/SCADA solution

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 22, 2003

MDSI introduces new packaged control solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 10, 2003

GE Fanuc introduces Cimplicity HMI 6.1

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2003

Hi-res, low cost digital camera

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI June 18, 2003

Control Engineering HMI eNewsletter for June 2003

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 12, 2003

Saab Rosemount secures tank gauging contract in Bahamas

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 2003

CSIA adds technical section to registration process

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2003

Machine vision system learns as it works

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 30, 2003

OMAC working group’s “Best Practices” helps users evaluate, implement Microsoft

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 8, 2003

Interphex 2003: automation highlights pharmaceutical congress

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 3, 2003

Liebert provides web-based consulting

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

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 2, 2003

DVT expands headquarters, training/conference center

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. 

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 17, 2003

Wonderware products target FDA 21 CFR Part 11

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2003

It’s a Recorder! No, It’s a Data Acquisition System! Actually, it’s Both

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2003

Diagnostic Repeater aids Profibus cable troubleshooting

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2003

Guided-wave radar helps level-detection in harsh settings

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...

By Eric Fauveau and Kevin Hambrice, K-Tek
HMI, OI March 1, 2003

Server, software target FDA 21 CFR Part 11

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI February 28, 2003

Siemens’ Diagnostic Repeater aids Profibus troubleshooting

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2003

Siemens delivers millionth Simatic HMI system

Siemens Human Machine Interface (HMI) division has delivered its millionth Simatic HMI system.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2003

Certainty in uncertain times

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...

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI January 30, 2003

Citect focuses on manufacturing information

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 20, 2003

New Web access to data from GE Fanuc

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 15, 2003

Verano launches Linux-based platform to manage plant operations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2003

Study projects growth in material handling world market

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, ).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2003

Berkeley adds OPC, ActiveX to automation products

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2003

Architecture offers manufacturing tools

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 31, 2002

The Editorial Package

Control Engineering delivers the right editorial mix Complete Package of must-have information Control Engineering 's resources keep readers sharp: In print, online, via electronic newsletters, Control Engineering keeps readers sharp about the latest technologies in automation, control, and instrumentation - a top career concern. Control Engineering editors have expanded beyond 14 North American print editions and six European editions per year, with a daily, global publication, Control Engineering Online , at www.controleng.com . Check Control Engineering Online daily , for fresh news, issues, and products about technologies important to you, brought to you by Control Engineering editors. E-mailed newsletters -Sign on to Control Engineering topic-specific e-mail newsletters. Get a free subscription and view past editions from the home page of Control Engineering Online at www.controleng.com . Buyer's Guide and Automation Integrator Guide in print and online At www.controleng.com/buyersguide , manufacturers can update their listings year-round. Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide Online , the most complete resource of system integrators, is located at www.controleng.com/integrators . Control Engineering Online quality content grows Control Engineering editors produce significant amounts of information for the web first or exclusively: more than 850 items per year in 2000 and 2001 at Control Engineering Online under News, Products, Web Exclusives, e-newsletters, video interviews, and technology webcasts.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 31, 2002

Industry’s Preferred & Best-Read Brands

Custom Publishing and Special Projects Custom Publishing Marketing Services Custom Publishing Create a marketing message with lasting impact through a unique custom publishing vehicle. A custom publishing piece is a strategically based project that adds appeal with a different approach to your marketing message. The results? Depth. Dimension.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 30, 2002

Niche Statement

Niche Statement Control Engineering's mission is to be the voice of the global control, instrumentation, and automation marketplace, providing more total information on technology, products, news, and trends in print and online, than any other source. Market Coverage Control Engineering, Control Engineering Online, and Control Engineering Europe cover the $130 billion worldwide automation market. Control Engineering reaches more than 45,700 plant sites in North America, providing greater proven distribution than any other publication.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 30, 2002

Directories & Advertiser Extras — Print & Online

Directories: Print & Online 2003 Automation Integrator Guide The industry's most complete and comprehensive system integrator reference guide. Searchable by company, industry or location and five other criteria. The Automation Integrator Guide is published in mid-December, and searched daily online at www.controleng.com/integrators .

By Staff
HMI, OI December 27, 2002

About the Buyers Guide

Directories: Print & Online Control Engineering Buyer's Guide This special issue-with complete company listings of all control, instrumentation, and automation products-is mailed to Control Engineering's entire circulation list in August. Update your company information online any time at www.controleng.com/buyersguide . BUYER'S GUIDE AD RATES MORE Control Engineering Buyer's Guide/Integrator Guide www.controleng.com CE Europe Editorial Calendar Print Ad Rates & Specs Online Ad Rates & Specs CE Editorial Staff CE Sales Staff CE Europe Staff.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 27, 2002

Control Engineering 2002 Ad Rates

Online rates & specifications Advertiser Extras Black & White Advertising Rates Color Rates Buyer's Guide/Automation Integrator Guide Rates European Combination Rates Mechanical Requirements Digital Ad Specifications Film Requirements Contract and Copy Regulations Issuance and Closing Dates Commission & Terms Mailing & Shipping Instructions General Black & White Advertising Rates Size 1X 3X 6X 12X 18X 24X 36X Full Page $10,495 10,420 10,165 9,585 9,450 9,295 9,150 2/3 Page 7,905 7,795 7,600 7,380 7,060 6,925 6,800 1/2 Isl. Page 7,310 7,190 7,025 6,615 6,515 6,385 6,290 1/2 Page 6,140 6,030 5,905 5,570 5,470 5,315 5,200 1/3 Page 4,075 3,980 3,905 3,810 3,625 3,485 3,435 1/4 Page 3,155 3,087 3,045 2,940 2,835 2,770 2,675 Color Rates 2-Color $950 Match/Special Color 1,480 3- or 4-Color 2,140 Control Engineering Buyer's Guide & 2002 Automation Integrator Guide (all rates include color charges) Full Page 2/3 Page 1/2 Island 1/2 Page 1/3 Page 1/4 Page $8,675 6,455 5,975 5,015 3,265 2,615 European Combination Rates(North American & European editions, same month. Add rate and color below to North American earned rate.) Size Rate Full Page $3,805 2/3 Page 2,770 1/2 Page Island 2,510 1/2 Page 2,215 1/3 Page 1,815 1/4 Page 1,500 Color Rates 2-Color $ 660 Match/Special Color 1,010 3- or 4-Color 1,480 Mechanical RequirementsPublication Trim Size: 7-7/8 x 10-1/2 inchesStandard Unit Size: Inches Wide x Deep Full Page 7 x 10 2/3 Page 4-1/2 x 10 1/2 Page Horz. 7 x 4-5/8 1/2 Page Vert. 3-3/8 x 10 1/2 Page Isl. 4-1/2 x 7-1/2 1/3 Page Vert. 2-1/8 x 10 1/3 Page Sq. 4-1/2 x 4-5/8 1/4 Page Vert. 3-3/8 x 4-5/8 Width of Column: 2-1/8 inches Depth of Column: 10 inches Number of Columns to Page: Three, 2-1/8 inches or Two, 3-3/8 inches Minimum Depth Requirements: 4-5/8 inches Printing: Web Offset Binding: Perfect binding Bleed: No bleed charge Specifications for Bleed Advertisements: Single Page 8-1/8 x 10-3/4 inchesSpread 16-1/4 x 10-3/4 inchesTrim Size 7-7/8 x 10-1/2 inches Vital advertising matter should be kept at least 1/4 inch away from trim dimensions.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 27, 2002

Control Engineering Europe Staff

Control Engineering Europe Staff Control Engineering (N. America) Editorial Staff Control Engineering (N. America) Sales Staff CE Europe Sales Contacts Asian Sales Representatives Editorial & Business Offices Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS UK+44 1342 842 475www.controleng.com/europe CE Europe Editorial & Business Staff Michael Babb , Editor-in-Chief mbabb@reedbusiness.com Dave Harvey , Publisher dharvey@reedbusinees.com Barry Painter , News Desk , Germany bpainter@compuserve.com Juliet O'Donovan, Business Manager jodonovan@reedbusiness.com Katherine Tyrka , News Desk, France ktyrka@compuserve.com Sue Johnson , Production Manager sjohnson@reedbusiness.com Art Studio Pict One Design Studio Roberta Lewis, Art Director Lorna Francis, Art Editor lorna.francis@pictone.co.uk Control Engineering (USA) Mark Hoske , Editor-In-Chief MHoske@cfemedia.com Contributing Editors George Blickley, Tracy Coates, Vance VanDoren Editors Frank Bartos, Dave Harrold,Dick Johnson, Gary Mintchell,Jim Montague CE Europe Sales Contacts Advertising OfficeCahners Europe Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, SurreySM2 5AS UKTel +44 20 8652 8248Fax +44 20 8652 8249 Mike Hancock , vp International salesmhancock@reedbusiness.com Karen Hills, office managerkhills@reedbusiness.com Circulation OfficeElsevier Business Information Belgium B.P.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 9, 2002

Automation Fair 2002: Electronic and design tools enlarge tool box

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 5, 2002

Berkeley adds OPC, ActiveX to motion, machine automation products

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 2, 2002

High reliability process pump

The Mark III In-line chemical process pump features improved pump reliability and extended mean time between planned maintenance.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 27, 2002

Vision appliance from Coreco’s `ipd’ simplifies gauging

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 26, 2002

Transbotics launches dual-conveyor, laser-guided vehicle

Charlotte, NC—Transbotics Corp. released its new dual conveyor laser-guided vehicle on Nov. 5 at the Pack Expo 2002 tradeshow in Chicago.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 20, 2002

ESC Boston 2002: Applied Data Systems unveils HMI/SCADA embedded solution and SBC

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 20, 2002

Upgraded HMI costs less

Pricing for the upgraded HMI500 series touchscreen has been lowered to $495 for the 6-in. version.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 14, 2002

iFIX 3.0 expands security and data integrity

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 23, 2002

Internet helps users see the process; deliver intelligence

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor in Chief
HMI, OI October 21, 2002

ISA 2002: FDT Group demonstrates universal field device interface

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 11, 2002

‘Dismal science’ suggests more economic challenges ahead

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2002

Upgraded HMI costs

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

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 2002

iFIX 3.0 expands security, data integrity

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 9, 2002

Schneider Electric seeking to buy Digital Electronics

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2002

Simulate, analyze for fast product development

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.

By Paris Altidis
HMI, OI September 1, 2002

More than 1 million visits

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI August 29, 2002

Honeywell launches wireless HMI for process automation

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 23, 2002

Entivity updates software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 15, 2002

Six tips for designing a manufacturing database

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.

By Jeff Buck, system architect, Rockwell Automation, Canonsburg, PA
HMI, OI August 7, 2002

Sensing technology helps reduce heat stress risks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2002

North American HMI Hardware Market by Product Type

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).

By Staff
HMI, OI July 24, 2002

OSIsoft introduces `embedded historian’

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2002

Discrete Sensors Provide a Lot of Bang for the Buck

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.

By Dave Harrold
HMI, OI July 1, 2002

Cutler-Hammer, Canary Labs cooperate on trending software

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI June 28, 2002

Omron’s HMI architecture provides transparent data access

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 27, 2002

GE Fanuc launches online Institute for Automation Training

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI June 12, 2002

Control Engineering’s monthly newsletter for Human-Machine Interface — June 2002

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 gmintchell@reedbusiness.com . 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.

By Gary Mintchell
HMI, OI June 1, 2002

Kinder, Gentler HMI Simplifies Support at Sanitation Plant in Paradise

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...

By David Payne and Read Hayward, DST Controls
HMI, OI June 1, 2002

IDA, PNO ‘talking’ to each other

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...

By Michael Babb, editor Control Engineering Europe
HMI, OI May 30, 2002

Control Engineering’s Process Instrumentation Enews – January 2002

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.

By Dick Johnson
HMI, OI May 9, 2002

Braintech’s 3D Robotic Vision Application Passes Pre-Deployment Tests with Major Automaker

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 26, 2002

Ci Technologies expands connectivity options

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 15, 2002

Citrix releases updated cost comparison tool for thin client computing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 8, 2002

HART CD free for the asking

Austin, Tex. - The 2nd edition of the Desktop HART Product Reference and Technology Guide is now available.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2002

Integrator Registration Aims to Promote Excellence

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...

By Vance VanDoren, Control Engineering
HMI, OI March 27, 2002

NMW 2002: Iconics announces OEM agreements

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.).

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 25, 2002

Platform for education and promotion of Java data objects standard launched

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 21, 2002

NMW 2002: Intellution to add IMG’s onscreen keyboard to iFix, iBatch

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2002

Low-cost operator panel has many uses

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI February 28, 2002

Intelligent Instrumentation, Entivity partner on monitoring, control

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 26, 2002

Embedded Linux Consortium ratifies Intellectual Property Agreement

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI February 5, 2002

National Instruments among Fortune top employers for third consecutive year

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI February 1, 2002

Expandable micro PLC

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 2002

Uticor’s OI terminal offers free software, ‘hot’ downloads

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI January 29, 2002

Wonderware supports Microsoft Windows XP

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI December 18, 2001

TI offers Web-based “Getting Started” support tool for DSP

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI December 15, 2001

All this and more online

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI December 1, 2001

Aisles crowded at Automation Fair 2001

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI December 1, 2001

System integrators achieve registered status

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2001

Cimplicity HMI gets major revision

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 1, 2001

GUSPro adds ASM operator effectiveness solution

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 9, 2001

Thermography training courses scheduled

North Billerica, Mass. - The Infrared Training Center (ITC) recently released its 2002 Course Schedule.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI November 6, 2001

Dolch acquires Touch Controls

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.

By Jim Montague, news editor
HMI, OI November 2, 2001

Sun announces two servers, will it help them in manufacturing market?

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI November 1, 2001

Programmable analog array

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2001

HMI development studio updated

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 31, 2001

Siemens Dematic opens Advanced Assembly Technology Center

Norcross, Ga. - Siemens Dematic Electronics Assembly Systems Inc. opened its new Advanced Assembly Technology (AAT) Center at its U.S. headquarters near Atlanta.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI October 29, 2001

NKK Switches launches revitalized web site

Scottsdale, Ariz. - NKK Switches new and improved web site highlights the company's global presence and switch solutions.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
HMI, OI September 1, 2001

Analyze heat dissipation and airflow

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2001

Software for SNAP Ultimate I/O

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2001

Project management skills enhance career advancement

"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...

By Gary A. Mintchell
HMI, OI September 1, 2001

Marquee control from HMI

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.

By Jeffrey Hadley, NEDDAM SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES
HMI, OI August 1, 2001

Search the Buyer’s Guide online

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2001

RSView Enterprise Series HMI

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 2001

Pick up free stuff

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI August 1, 2001

Digital valve positioner extends features

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2001

Canary Labs enhances historian products

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2001

PC-based logic control adds drivers

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2001

Laying foundation for subsea fiber-optics

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2001

Six-inch touchscreen control station

Milford, O. -Computer with 166 MHz Pentium processor and 6-in. touchscreen display provides control in a small package.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2001

6-in. touchscreen control station

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2001

Linear feedback devices control motion precisely

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.

By Frank J. Bartos, executive editor
HMI, OI April 1, 2001

Intellution releases iFIX 2.5

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2001

PlantScape enhancements include FOUNDATION fieldbus

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 7, 2001

Analyze heat dissipation/airflow

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2001

Precision non-Hg thermometer

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2001

In Business – 2001-01-01

Lantronix Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) on Dec. 18 bought US Software (Hillsboro, Ore.) for $7 million in stock and cash.

By Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 2001

Ultrasonic sensor technology

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2000

A Safe Tent for the Pilgrims

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 2000

Get help; get it done right

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI December 1, 2000

Intellution introduces ‘Manufacturing Historian’

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2000

PC-controlled conveyor enhances productivity, customer service

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 2000

Understanding pH measurement

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.

By Tom Griffiths
HMI, OI November 1, 2000

Control Engineering 2001: an automation odyssey

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...

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI October 1, 2000

Do you get ‘IT’?

"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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI September 1, 2000

Internet influences, traffic have increased

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, ...

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2000

ProfiNet strategy links Profibus, Ethernet

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2000

Troubleshooting guide aims to solve DeviceNet problems

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 2000

Software extends beyond HMI

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2000

GPS guides farm tractors in France

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 2000

Independent thinking

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...

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI June 1, 2000

PC-based control software offers more drivers, help, printing options

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2000

Information marquee integrates easily with HMIs

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 2000

ABB Automation, WorldOil.com partner on online marketing

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 2000

Integrated control and HMI system

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.

By Tracy J. Coates, P.E.
HMI, OI April 1, 2000

PC-based control software upgraded

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 2000

Think & Do combines communications, data, control

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...

By Gary Mintchell
HMI, OI March 1, 2000

Train on your own time

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.

By Laura Zurawski
HMI, OI March 1, 2000

More of the best

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI February 1, 2000

Taking the e-track at NMW 2000

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...

By Laura Zurawski
HMI, OI February 1, 2000

Bandwagon version of IEC 61158 approved by committee

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 1999

How to Find the Right Control System Integrator

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.

By Norm O'Leary, executive director, CSIA
HMI, OI December 15, 1999

Time to shop

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.

By Michael Drakulich
HMI, OI December 1, 1999

Corrections – 1999-12-01

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1999

Lead effectively using feedback

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
HMI, OI November 1, 1999

Odyssey, Total Control partner on Windows CE

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1999

Corrections – 1999-11-01

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1999

Integrated Automation

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1999

Inside: Controlling the Sun’s Center

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 1999

Help others adapt to change

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...

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI October 1, 1999

Develop test programs faster

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 1999

Package provides library of SQC tools

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.

By Tracy J. Coates
HMI, OI September 1, 1999

Control valve characteristic guidelines

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 dharrold@cahners.com.

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
HMI, OI September 1, 1999

Corrections – 1999-09-01

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1999

Knowledge guided neural network development

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1999

How measuring volts helps motors work with drives

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.

By Chris Lanier
HMI, OI July 1, 1999

You’re on our team

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
HMI, OI June 1, 1999

Sequencia launches new OpenBatch version

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 1999

V. 5.1 ProTool/Pro

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 1999

Intellution rebrands software products

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 ...

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 1999

Top 10 reasons to go online

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.

By Jane S. Gerold
HMI, OI May 1, 1999

Repackaged version of standard PC and PC/AT bus platforms

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 1999

New Cimplicity PocketView

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 1999

Rockwell purchasing parts of Dynapro software

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Who’s Who in Automation System Integration

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.

By Vance VanDoren
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Summarized Guide to Attribute Control Chart Selection

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.

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Summarized Guide to Variable Control Chart Selection

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.

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Honeywell awarded Hungarian process order

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Medium and fine grained bulk-solids reliably measured

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1999

Decision-making an essential skill

"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.

By Gary Mintchell, Senior Editor
HMI, OI February 1, 1999

Valve characteristics selection guidelines

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).

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
HMI, OI February 1, 1999

1999 System Integrator Guide

The following corrections rectify errors appearing in the Control Engineering 1999 System Integrator Guide, published in mid-December 1998:

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 1999

Choosing RTDs and thermocouples

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.

By Jim Sulciner
HMI, OI February 1, 1999

Users’ choice is a ‘fundamental belief’

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).

By Staff
HMI, OI February 1, 1999

Aimax controls heat exchanger, manages energy

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI December 15, 1998

Safer Wafers

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.

By Jim Stewart and Jeff Tilleman, P.E.
HMI, OI December 15, 1998

Why Your Business Needs a Control System Integrator

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.

By Richard A. Brandon, CSIA Executive Director
HMI, OI December 1, 1998

Daily Internet use swells

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.

By Lara Jackson
HMI, OI November 1, 1998

SCADA/HMI software runs on Windows CE

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1998

Visualization software adds tools

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI November 1, 1998

Cahners offers wealth of online information

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.

By Lara Jackson, Editorial Assistant
HMI, OI October 1, 1998

Magelis HMI product line

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 ...

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 1998

Windows CE-based HMI

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI October 1, 1998

Laser seam finder improves welds, cuts search time

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 1998

Percent moisture analyzer

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 1998

MES package runs on Windows NT, uses COM/DCOM, ActiveX

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 1998

How touchscreens work

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI September 1, 1998

Cutting down on Internet abuse at work

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.

By Matthew Bellm
HMI, OI September 1, 1998

Pedestal-mount HMI/data terminal

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1998

Papers sought to mark ARCNet’s 20th birthday

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1998

PCDirect unveils new HMI software

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1998

Handheld data terminal

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 1998

Miconex 98 is largest ever; CE’s first exhibit in China

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&#8212...

By Staff
HMI, OI July 1, 1998

Dual or quad DC alarm module

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI June 1, 1998

Dynapro scales supervisory HMI software to run on Windows CE

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 1998

Object-oriented software

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI May 1, 1998

Microsoft announces Year 2000 resource center

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 1998

Wonderware’s FactorySuite 2000 aids performance

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 1998

Investment group acquires Xycom

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;...

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 1998

VMIC picks TA Engineering’s AIMAX

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI April 1, 1998

HMI can be OPC client and server

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1998

TA Engineering to Unveil AIMAX for Enterprise Enhancements

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...

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1998

Active-X/DCOM funtionality

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1998

Live Data to Virtual Library

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.

By Staff
HMI, OI March 1, 1998

Gaining Control with SPC Software

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...

By Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor
HMI, OI October 8, 1997

ISA TECH/97 Highlights From Anaheim, Calif., Day Two

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI August 1, 1997

Ground Loops and Their Cures

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.

By William L. Mostia, Jr. PE, Amoco Chemicals
HMI, OI January 1, 1990

Buyer’s Guide Information

Control Engineering Buyer's Guide 2000-01FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS... Q. How do I update my free listings?A.

By Control Engineering Staff
HMI, OI January 1, 1970

Ruggedized computer controls mining equipment

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, Senior Editor, gmintchell@cahners.com