View All Manufacturing IT, MES
In a survey of manufacturing leaders to see how they adapted to the unusual 2020 business landscape, 87% of respondents have had key markets disrupted by COVID-19, and 58% have a positive outlook for 2021.
In a survey of manufacturing leaders to see how they adapted to the unusual 2020 business landscape, 87% of respondents have had key markets disrupted by COVID-19, and 58% have a positive outlook for 2021.
Understand how automation and MES can be the foundation and first step in smart manufacturing and digital transformation.
Integrating Industry 4.0 and manufacturing execution system (MES) software can increase revenues, create faster turnarounds, improve quality for manufacturers.
When selecting industrial enclosures for electronics, process controls, power systems, and other business-critical equipment, ensure protection from water, dust, corrosive liquids and other contaminants. Also provide security and climate control to help ensure a long service life and high reliability of what’s enclosed, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Run business-critical workloads in a control room, local data center or edge environment using continuously available industrial servers, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
An information technology (IT) server rack is no longer a simple commodity. Look at environment, hardware and number of installations. Invest once and adapt as needed to get the features, functionality and engineering to provide long-term value, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) teams must find common ground to eliminate the substantial risk factors of both planned and accidental IT/OT convergence.
With the increasing number of industrial systems connected to the internet, operational technology (OT) is vulnerable to cyberattacks and stands to benefit from information technology (IT) experience.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will fund an endeavor at the University of Washington to bring atomic-level precision to devices that will transform the IT industry for decades to come.
Connected automation has failed the first rule of cybersecurity (or what Brad Pitt taught me about industrial cybersecurity)
Not so long ago, these industrial control systems (ICS) assets were deployed on separate isolated networks and fell out of the information technology (IT) cybersecurity scope. That's no longer the case.
Converging information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) is challenging, but a deep OT dive can help both sides learn a lot about their respective networks and create understanding.
When looking for the right manufacturing execution system (MES) solution, manufacturers need to consider its ability to evolve with them.
The MESA International “Model for Smart Manufacturing” intends to cover business intelligence, product lifecycle management (PLM), value chain management, manufacturing operations, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), asset management, workforce and cybersecurity. MESA told Control Engineering how it will help.
People play a crucial role in the Smart Manufacturing transformation and culture is an important part of that. See some of the ingrained challenges companies face as well as ways to overcome them.
A transformed Smart Manufacturing enterprise is digitally enabled by technology as well as by a shared digital mindset of enterprise-level transparency, optimization and enhanced decision making.
Siemens has opened its additive manufacturing network to enable the efficient execution of design and printing requests by doctors, hospitals and suppliers of medical equipment in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Opto 22 has release version 1.5.0 of its firmware for the groov EPIC platform.
Having correct and accurate drawing sets are a common challenge for plant engineering and information technology (IT) departments, but there are ways to make it easier.
Getting the most out of an investment in manufacturing IT seldom produces the desired results unless a simultaneous review and redesign of business processes is undertaken.
Companies with a manufacturing execution system (MES) often generate a good initial return on investment (ROI), but there is a great deal of potential companies don't realize.
Webcast presenter Jonathan Gross answered questions about topics such as Industrie 4.0's relevance and FDA requirements for manufacturing execution systems (MES).
Foxboro, Mass.— Idaho Falls Power (IFP) recently picked Foxboro Co.'s I/A Series SCADA system to monitor, control, and maintain the power generation, transmission, and distribution system of Idaho's largest municipal electric utility. Using Foxboro's "Intelligent Power Grid" approach, the new SCADA system includes master stations, remote terminal units (RTUs), and advanced applications f...
Oil & gas companies are looking to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to improve efficiency and productivity as the market slowly recovers.
With greater connectivity between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), and the rise of the IIoT, can increase and even change the vulnerabilities of oil and gas assets to cyber attack. Companies and standards groups are looking to counter these efforts.
Seeq has secured $23 million in Series B funding led by the Altira Group, which has extensive experience in oil & gas industry technologies and software.
A primary government incentive to reward innovation.
Master data management (MDM) is a technology-enabled business discipline in which business and IT organizations work together to ensure uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency, and accountability of an organization’s official, shared master data assets for enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects
Growing medical device manufacturers are investing in manufacturing execution systems (MES) because it provides benefits such as valuable information, error proofing, and paperless manufacturing.
Fluke Corporation is voluntarily recalling certain Digital Clamp Meters that were manufactured between Sept. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2012.
There’s security and there’s security. While a hacker might not break the encrypted communication directly, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways.
Standards Council of Canada approved TÜVRheinland to perform third-party field evaluations and inspections of various industrial machinery and electrical products manufactured in or imported to Canada.
In elections, it's always the economy; in engineering, it's the fundamentals
AT&T has agreed to purchase two of the first Ford Transit Connect electric vans.
Altruism is great, as long as there’s something in it for me. One-liners like this have been funny since standup comedians used to fall down for a laugh. Why? It’s because the second phrase contradicts the first one, and contradiction is a strong design element of humor. Engineering altruism is spending some personal time, sometimes even company-sanctioned time, on collaborative pro...
Settlements address 28 industrial plants and require pollution control upgrades, acceptance of enforceable emission limits, and payment of civil penalties.
Honeywell Process Solutions FlexLine Wireless radar gauge from Honeywell Process Solutions monitors tank levels and prevents hazardous plant and terminal incidents. The gauge is primarily used for inventory control and custody transfer purposes. The radar gauge establishes new levels of precision and flexibility in tank inventory management—especially when weight and measure approval is r...
PlantState Suite software and services to improve safety and operability at power plants.
New Mobil SHC Pegasus is reported to deliver energy savings of up to 1.5%
With a growing base of engineers specializing in low-carbon technologies Ultra Green announces an ambitious expansion plan to market new energy technologies.
Actio Corp.'s newest Regulator product enables proactive emissions monitoring and reduction.
R&D, the power industry, and more are being affected by the current the economic state of affairs in the Czech Republic. An insider in the automation and controls sector tells how.
Functional Devices Inc. introduces what it calls the world's first completely self-powered wireless current sensor with EnOcean energy harvesting technology.
Handheld computing, supply chain integration, social media impact, getting value from information technology, and digital design software were among leading concerns.
New solution to improve manufacturing flexibility, support continuous improvement and reduce the total cost of quality
FMA says main economic influences in 2010 include availability of credit, inflation, demand, and government policies. Improvements are expected.
Automated System Reduces Costs, Increases Productivity, Aids Compliance
In an effort to align projects with business needs, IT executives say specific technologies under consideration for the next 12 months include configuration management database, change management, and service catalog deployments. Link to other IT department surveys.
RFID budgets in 2010 will increase for about half of those surveyed and remain steady for 40%, said ABI Research.
Available with IFS Applications 7.5, the IEE user interface is expected to increase IFS application usability, allowing manufacturers to benefit from integration with many core features from the Windows 7 operating system, the company says.
Blytheco adds Sage ERP X3, an enterprise resource planning software suite that Sage says is advanced, simple, and cost-effective business applications designed to meet the functionality requirements of mid-to-large distributors and manufacturers.
The acquisition of AMR Research is expected to expand Gartner's suite of research offerings and also complement its consulting and events businesses.
Control Engineering and Morgan Stanley partner on global research project to provide insight on expected near-term spending, financing, and pricing trends for the automation industry.
Omega’s new series of microprocessor based portable universal circular chart Superecorder comes in four models, temperature and relative humidity, dual thermocouple, dual process, and pH and (RTD) temperature versions. Located on the front panel is a convenient keypad for programming and a large, bright, dual backlit display.
Enterprise approach to quality management can reduce total cost of quality, says Apriso and AberdeenGroup.
Emeil van Schaik, an SAP's senior VP, calls the company's Consumer Packaged Goods Customer Advisory Council "a driving force behind SAP's product direction", saying "eighty percent of the work this group does has a direct impact on the SAP product portfolio."
As one of the few remaining large textile manufacturers in the U.S., Mount Vernon Mills has long been recognized for its industry leading environmental initiatives that meet or exceed regulatory requirements. Its programs also extend to helping its customers comply with regulations.
i2 Technologies says PTT Chemicals, one of the largest producers of petrochemicals in Asia, used i2 software to reduce inventory 30% and improved visibility, in a 15 month effort involving multiple PTT entities (including logistics, manufacturing, marketing) and spanned demand planning, master planning, production scheduling and order promising.
In a few days we’ll be starting a new year—and I say good riddance to the old one. I doubt that anyone will ever look back and refer to 2009 as the good old days. The year started with the federal government shelling out billions of dollars to rescue financial institutions deemed “too big to fail.
A new licensed radio for North America from FreeWave Technologies provides a solution for rugged and heavily treed terrain applications in oil and gas, water/wastewater, electric and municipality markets. The LRS455 complements FreeWave’s other licensed radios, the LRS-760 and LRS-140. It is said to provide a faster data rate and more noise immunity than competitive offerings, and its pro...
Coskata Inc. has started production of fuel ethanol at its new semi-commercial plant in Madison, PA. This facility is designed to demonstrate the company’s new flex-ethanol process—which can manufacture ethanol from virtually any cellulose-based feedstock, ranging from sustainable energy crops to construction waste.
Business value of production metrics confirmed at MESA Europe Conference.
Effective immediately, Autodesk is supporting customers using nine products, including AutoCAD 2010, AutoCAD LT 2010 and the Autodesk Inventor 2010 family of software, on the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
CRM software help users collaborate with colleagues and customers, complete frequent tasks while out in the field, and close deals more quickly while on the road. For example, users can capture impressions immediately after a meeting via their Blackberry, rather than risk losing specific details.
According to an AMR Research study, 44 percent of respondents believe the recovery cycle is the biggest risk in 2010 because of potential commodity price increases, limited internal skills after workforce reductions, and problems meeting new demand with constrained capacity, low inventory, and transportation constraints; only 23 percent are worried that the recession will continue, resulting in weak customer demand.
Syspro's ERP software helps manufacturers with adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which will be phased into US use between 2010 and 2014.
Pepperl+Fuchs X-Series Pile Driver Extended Range Inductive Sensors are available in 12 mm, 18 mm and 30 mm diameters to deliver sensing ranges of 5 mm, 10 mm or 15 mm - up to 2.5 times longer range than traditional inductive sensors. Stainless steel housings deliver durability more than 20 times that of brass and plastic housings, according to the company.
U.S. manufacturing technology providers liked last week's passage of the Defense Production Act (DPA) reforms and reauthorization (S. 1677) in the Senate and urged the House of Representatives to approve, to strengthen defense industrial base, AMT says.
Supply chains operate best when closely aligned with business strategies and advance more efficiently with partner collaboration. Audits of supply chain management based on standards can add value. These are among points of advice for those attending the CSCMP Annual Global Conference 2009.
ColumbiaSoft Document Locator V5.3, the ninth major version release, is in time for expected October release of Microsoft Windows 7, uses Microsoft .NET for faster web access, and integrates more smoothly with AutoCAD and Brava!
Implementing an IT system is not a strategy; it's a tactic. Use a practical, scientific, and comprehensive approach to design your business strategy and performance to ensure that IT implementations and upgrades actually improve performance and profitability.
Fisher/Unitech and 6Connex collaborate to offer more than 800 U.S. design and engineering jobs.
Collaborative initiative with Fisher/Unitech and 6Connex offers more than 800 U.S. design and engineering jobs.
Opportunities for manufacturers abound as economy improves suggests a poll by sponsors of the Fabtech International & AWS Welding Show, including Metalform, in Chicago. Sponsors are American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Int'l (FMA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).
Life sciences manufacturers continue to face data challenges - more than 60% report "moderate" or "significant" variability in processes despite despite significant IT investments.
In what seems like an obvious response to the ongoing economic downturn, enterprise software supplier Oracle is offering to help its customers make a business case for attending Oracle's user conference.
Economic modeling study identifies policies that boost reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing financial consequences.
MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BY A VENDOR ¦ THIRD PLACE ERP software suites are the "backbone" systems for today's companies but, historically, users needed to be experts in navigating those systems to find the information they needed to do their jobs. With its Infor MyDay tool, ERP vendor Infor Global Solutions set out to fix this problem.
MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BY A VENDOR ¦ FOURTH PLACE Numerous studies have proven that learning a task becomes much easier if the student can observe it being performed in the proper manner. Right Hemisphere has taken that concept to new heights with its 3D Visual Manufacturing Solution, the fourth place finisher among vendor products in MBT's 2009 Innovation Insight Awards competition.
MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BY A VENDOR ¦ SECOND PLACE Shrinking product design cycles remains a chief goal for nearly all manufacturers. And few products have attacked that issue better than Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology from Siemens PLM Software. Using this solution, Razor, a maker of toy scooters, took model editing time from three hours in a traditional 3D CAD system to about five...
ERP software supplier Infor is hoping to nudge some of its existing customers to either upgrade their current solutions or purchase new ones with a program that offers deep pricing discounts and the option of interest-free financing.
Tier II ERP suppliers are maintaining a strong presence in the manufacturing and distribution industries by consistently offering solutions that meet customers' complex business requirements, according to a recent study by Panorama Consulting Group.
xTuple offers xChange, an online app store for the enterprise, with straightforward downloads of free and paid add-ons to xTuple ERP and the ability for open source community to share customizations easily.
Industrial product certification and compliance can be a challenge.
Time-proportional control, a form of pulse-width modulation, is a mathematical technique that allows a feedback controller to use an on/off or discrete actuator as if it were a continuous actuator capable of generating control efforts anywhere between 0% and 100%. The trick is to turn the actuator on and off for periods proportional to the desired control effort.
More modular, scalable solar thermal power technology will result from an NRG Energy agreement with eSolar to develop solar power plants with a total generation capacity of up to 500 MW at sites in California and the Southwest. The units could power more than 400,000 homes with solar electricity. At the first plant, ABB provides the control system, automation equipment, and engineering services.
When the wind stops blowing, the stored hydrogen can be tapped, mixed with biogas produced at the site from local corn, and fed into two traditional power stations of 350kW capacity at the facility.
Adura Technologies is a smart grid technology venture that applies low-power wireless mesh networking to the lighting market.
Following law suits from environmental groups and nine states, the EPA has proposed new regulations that would cut mercury emissions from kilns by more than 80%.
Leaner staffs undoubtedly will cause manufacturers outsource some manufacturing and product design. Companies that operatate as business partners are more useful, especially in product design. Symphony Services explains how this relates to expansion into India and China.
While doing business in emerging markets offers many rewards, it also poses risks. Manufacturing Business Technology recently spoke with Mike Novels, CEO of Preactor, a supplier of supply chain planning and scheduling solutions, about this trend.
New dc brushless motors and controls from Baldor Electric Co. allow adjustable speed applications (mixers, blowers, indexers, feeders, and conveyors) to enjoy the benefits of brushless technology: higher torque and more power in smaller packages, reduced maintenance, and quieter operation. The new BMC series (BSM25C and BSM33C) controls provide a tight speed regulation better than 0.
TÜV SÜD's exhibit at Hannover Messe focused on the introduction of its newly developed “Energy-Efficient Systems and Installations” certificate. “Plant producers that deliberately focus on energy efficiency when designing their systems will now be able to provide their customers with convincing documentation of their efforts,” says Frank Schröter from the ...
AutomationDirect has extended its T1 series slotted wire duct line to include black and blue for specialized wiring identification. Blue wiring duct is typically used to indicate the wiring to intrinsically safe components in a control panel. Black wire duct is typically used for network cabling systems, fiber cable racks, patch panels and telecommunication closets.
A bipartisan group of eight senators have introduced a bill aimed at renewing America’s industrial sector by using less energy, reducing carbon emissions and producing the technologies that will help the U.S. (and world) reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. It would increase productivity, energy efficiency, and create jobs, proponents say.
If you watch House or other medical shows on TV, you've probably seen an MRI machine in action. It stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and they're those huge high-tech looking doughnuts where the patient lies inside the hole. This technology has been available to doctors for little more than 30 years, but it has advanced diagnostics tremendously. This tutorial shows how it works and some of what it sees. (Caution: not for the squeamish.)
SAP first quarter 2009 shows a strong margin at 13.9%, with 3% less total revenue.
Hannover Fair 2009 Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield, Consulting-Specifying Engineer editor Michael Ivanovich, and Plant Engineering editor Bob Vavra were reporting from Hannover Messe on the new ideas and new technologies from the 2009 event. Also read from Hannover:- Wind in the sails, the Hermes Award winner - Innovations, energy efficiency Hannover, German y– TÜV SÜD's exhibit at Hannover Messe focused on the introduction of its newly developed "Energy-Efficient Systems and Installations" certificate. This new certificate adds a key component to the range of energy-efficiency services offered by the company, which documents the safety and quality of new and existing products, systems, and services."Plant producers that deliberately focus on energy efficiency when designing their systems will now be able to provide their customers with convincing documentation of their efforts," says Frank Schröter from the Energy Systems Department at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH in Dresden.
AutomationDirect extended its T1 series slotted wire duct line to include black and blue for specialized wiring identification. See photo.
As every manufacturing company looks for ways to cut costs and save money, there is one place that too many engineers and executives are ignoring. If you had the opportunity to reduce automation project costs or times by over 30%, reduce costs for plant-to-enterprise integration by over 70%, or reduce maintenance support costs by over 10%, you would think that most engineers or executives would...
Control Engineering cybersecurity blogger Matt Luallen conducted a series of interviews with industry experts at the SANS Institute SCADA Summit. The videos explore what manufacturing operations should be doing to protect critical infrastructure, engineering considerations related to the smart grid and smart metering plans in the electric utility industry, and NERC's new CIP regulations for the...
Can the U.S. FDA help medical device manufacturers reduce cost and increase quality? Medical device manufacturers are dealing with some of the most difficult challenges to ever face the industry. In an increasingly global environment, as competition intensifies, manufacturers must innovate and capitalize on new opportunities and expedite time to market.
Though growth for some regions of the world won't resume until later this year or next, opportunities do exist now. Inherently unstable financial systems have produced about 30 crises since WWII, and in this crisis, many people are holding their collective breath, said Cliff Waldman, global economist, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI at the 2009 CIP Networks Conference & 13th Annual Meeting.
Early adopters of a Microsoft-based supply chain visibility software suite developed by IT services firm Infosys say they are reaping substantial bottom-line benefits.
ADX says its CommerceMail solution is based on .PDF “smart” form technology that enables transaction document data to flow seamlessly into a company’s ERP system, eliminating data entry errors and costly data validation and error correction.
ASCO Numatics begins taking applications.
Collaboration technology isn’t just for big companies anymore. Today it’s just as important—and readily accessible—to small and midsize businesses.
A three-part examination by George Buckbee of ways control engineers can become more effective: This is part two of three.
Enterprise software vendor SAP made a two-pronged sustainability announcement March 2, announcing goals for its own operations; and enhancements for the environmental, health and safety (EHS) management solutions it sells to customers. For internal goals, SAP announced it will reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions down to its year-2000 levels by the year 2020. According to SAP, this would entail a 51-percent reduction in its total GHG emissions from its year 2007-published baseline levels. SAP initiated its first global GHG inventory in 2008 and will report performance and progress toward the target in its annual sustainability report. “SAP is in a unique, dual position when it comes to sustainability,” says Leo Apotheker, co-CEO, SAP AG.
In tough times, everyone must pull together. Fortunately, companies have been learning to do that for a while. In the past five years, sales & operations planning (S&OP) has become a more common process for manufacturing companies of all sizes and segments. And it's being forged into a new and more valuable practice in the crucible of this challenging economy.
When it comes to sustainability, it’s not about where you stand on climate change, it’s about where you stand on efficiency. This Webcast will get to the heart of three core approaches to efficiency improvement in manufacturing operations: Also known as vector control, this tactic enables high efficiency at faster motor speeds.
A one-day presentation can bring you up to speed on a dynamic and often confusing biofuels industry. Listen to related podcast below.
A “technology preview” from Autodesk claims to combine parametric, history-based modeling with the flexibility and ease of use of direct modelers. See screen capture.
Rugged handheld computers wirelessly monitor harvesting, production, and shipping of lemons to ensure quality standards.
New research highlights potential productivity gains resulting from the use of digital simulation as a training aid for undertaking complex assembly tasks—but also pinpoints the limitations.
Johnson Controls-Saft and Azure Dynamics Inc. partner to provide advanced lithium-ion hybrid battery technology. Link to more on batteries, instrumentation, and energy harvesting.
Even though its new parent company is known more for supplying IT infrastructure products—rather than business applications—ILOG says it will not abandon users of its packaged supply chain management solutions. In fact, company executives say being part of IBM will allow ILOG to deliver more product enhancements—and offer a higher level of service—than it could as an independent company.
No coding required: Cross-platform ERP vendor taps open source community dialogue to continually deliver system enhancements
Open source ERP vendor xTuple wants you to be clear about what’s meant when talking about open source software—and be clear about the benefits. First: It’s not necessarily free.
Unplugged: International e-commerce presents hazards, instances of fraud for U.S., Canadian merchants
International electronic commerce (e-commerce) can be a risky undertaking for U.S. and Canadian merchants, according to new data from CyberSource . During 2008, 30 percent of surveyed merchants that accept international orders online stopped taking orders from one or more countries due specifically to high levels of fraud.
When Power-One agreed to be a beta tester for a new quality management application, the results were surprising. “When we saw our own data in the beta product, we realized we were getting insight we'd never [seen] before,” recalls Chris Rodriguez, strategic planning manager for global test engineering at the Camarillo, Calif.
In recent years, a number of factors have played a role in the increasing globalization of the engineering industry. Many feel a key driver is the economic advantages global companies can realize from offshoring. Others point to a reduction of engineers graduating from U.S. universities, although some question the existence of an actual shortage.
The Automation Federation has completed the Automation Competency Model, a formal federal document defining the skills and competencies needed in the automation field. The Automation Federation worked with industry experts and representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop the model over the course of several meetings.
Engineering organization celebrates historic milestone globally throughout 2009 with events, student competition. What are you doing for Engineers Week, Feb. 15-21?
MAGNET for growth: Invention Machine data platform leads to sustainable, repeatable product innovation
Best-in-class companies tend to rely on IT—especially collaboration-oriented applications—to support their product-development processes. Goldfire Innovator, a software platform from Invention Machine, makes it easy to manage data from both internal and external sources, allowing design teams to share ideas about products as they are being developed.
TriStar Plastics is reporting huge dollar savings and significant reductions in environmental waste using SYSPRO’s material yield system.An early adopter of SYSPRO ’s pioneering “green” ERP approach some five years ago, Tri-Star reports the company has saved “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and has eliminated the need to send “thousands of pounds” of plastic remnants to land fills.Aware of the vacuum that existed in the plastics industry with regard to the reclamation of remnants and the vast remnant piles being relegated to land fills, TriStar Plastics CEO Richard Cedrone urged SYSPRO to develop the Material Yield System (MYS) six years ago. At the time, Cedrone estimated that approximately 40 percent of TriStar’s inventory consisted of cut-sheet remnants. The company’s attempt to return remnants to stock for consideration in filling future orders was very costly.The SYSPRO Material Yield System accommodates customer-specific dimensional requirements and makes automatic yield calculations.
Two dual-unit installations will use IPS platforms for critical control and safety systems.
After 25 years delivering technology solutions to customers, Integrated Warehousing Solutio ns and Upp Business Systems are now rebranding under a new name. Effective in early January, the company officially became known as simply Upp . Integrated Warehousing Solutions and Upp Business Systems have operated separately under the same management to help clients achieve their bottom line through software or staffing and solutions respectively. Upp will offer all three services under one name.
Starting up an EDI initiative can be a costly and time-consuming project for small and midsize businesses with limited IT resources when it comes to managing the software, network services, and support necessary for EDI. Read here about options that can facilitate an EDI launch.
A new study delivered by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) finds 18,000 jobs are produced for every $1 billion in new infrastructure spending, and can help help revitalize the domestic manufacturing base.
This new brand identity package was developed to create a new organizational name that will appeal to all professionals in the environmental, health, safety and security industry.
The solution encompasses an extensive array of power and automation products and systems for the 100-megawatt (MW) Extresol 1 and 2 solar thermal power plant and solar collector field in Extremadura, western Spain.
Control Engineering in January 2009 North American print edition re-introduced an original comic to its pages, called Engineering in Balance, by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, and Tom Rybarczyk, Illustrator.
LXI Consortium releases Revision 1.3 of the LXI Standard and announces results of the Munich PlugFest. The Consortium approves 10 new instruments, bringing total to more than 640.
A new portal interface to the IQMS enterprise suite offers enhanced business intelligence capabilities and fast routes to finding and retrieving stored information.
Deciding to invest time and money to pursue production efficiency, more than 200 Brazilian manufacturers gathered for a GE Platform Solutions conference in Sao Paulo. Nine companies presented the following manufacturing success stories.
LXI Consortium (LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation) approved and released Revision 1.3 of the LXI Standard, so users can have advanced features without having to pay for features they don't require.
Isolated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) lie at the heart of today’s high-power motor drives.
This year’s National Federation of Businesses/Dell Small Business in Excellence Award winner is Transport Designs—chosen from more than 1,000 small businesses, and awarded $25,000 in Dell products and services. Transport Designs, a niche trailer designer, developed a motor home that’s now endorsed by Dallas Cowboy football player Leonard Davis.
Three themes could dominate how Obama economic policies will impact U.S. manufacturers in the months ahead, says the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association Intl (FMA). Also read from the technology section of the president-elect's official Website.
Fun ways young people can get involved with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) include naming a NASA mars rover and via activities at the Science Chicago Website. See images, details, and links.
The Aras Innovator software suite is built as a platform for collaborating around product data. Aras turned the suite, which runs on the Microsoft technology stack, into an open-source solution in April 2007. That means anyone can download the solution for free and distribute to an unlimited number of people within a company.
Executives and managers at industry-leading companies often focus on operations to continuously improve enterprise performance. But Steven Spear, a senior lecturer at Cambridge, Mass.-based MIT—in his book, Chasing the Rabbit—offers up a whole new look at innovative strategies used by notable companies that have established themselves as market leaders.
The IT sector is entering into its second major downturn in the space of eight years. Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) maintains that while there are some valuable lessons to learn from the previous market decline that followed the dotcom boom-and-bust, suppliers face a different set of challenges in 2009.
These days, companies in every industry—especially manufacturing—are struggling with finances as the economic downturn puts a stranglehold on lending capital. That’s why manufacturers need to adopt treasury management systems that integrate finance, supply chain, and operations to remain solvent in the short and long term.
Global consulting firm EDS , which now is an HP company, will use the Apriso FlexNet platform as the foundation for an integrated software solution to help manufacturers improve operational performance.The solution supports integration and collaboration across plant floor, warehouse, and quality operations with its ERP and product life-cycle management (PLM) systems.“Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to streamline costs, improve product quality, and exceed customer-service expectations and responsiveness,” says Darl Davidson, VP and manufacturing industry leader at EDS. “Leveraging Apriso’s manufacturing operations management platform with EDS’ global services presence will enable us to enhance our manufacturing clients’ agility while lowering their operating costs.”Together, EDS and Apriso are actively engaged with global manufacturers.
Rockwell Automation has expanded the platform capabilities of its FactoryTalk Integrated Production and Performance Suite to support industry-specific applications for the automotive, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceutical industries.
When Memorial Day rolls around, millions of Americans get ready to start grilling. That’s when the phones ring at the call center for Meco Corp., manufacturer of the Aussie Outdoor Living line of electric, gas, and charcoal grills. Meco recently turned to customer relationship management software to handle the volume and garner customer feedback.
Autoclavable and steam-sterilizable pH sensor
If you had an idea for a new product that you were sure would bring your employer significant revenue, would you know who in the company to contact about getting that product to market? If the answer is no, you’re among the majority of people employed by manufacturing companies that want to be innovative but don’t quite know how to pull it off.
Summer camps will introduce introducing students to manufacturing and engineering careers, as a result of two engineering-related foundations.
Most manufacturers rely on ERP systems to process major transactions. Now enterprise vendors want users to change the way they think about ERP—a strategy that was evident in the product announcements coming from the fall user conferences of three midmarket ERP vendors: IFS, Infor, and Epicor.
Ascon Group has released a more powerful version of its 3-dimensional solution for mechanical computer-aided design. Kompas-3D V10 includes a framework for 3D solid parametric modeling and 2D drafting, design, and release of documentation. Add-ons and libraries support features such as photo rendering, animation, kinematic and dynamic analysis, and extended CAD/CAM/PLM integration.
Manufacturers are more focused than ever on eco-friendly design, production, and distribution. But enacting the right design, manufacturing, and shipping practices that ultimately lead to environmentally friendly products is much easier said than done. IBM says a new consulting offering unveiled in the fall calls upon IBM's own applications and expertise to ensure products are made to environ...
Think Again: Who wins? The argument never has to be humans versus technology. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that any dichotomous proclamation is easier to portray and can be a more dramatic means of rallying support. An inflexible “this way or that way” attitude also is less optimal than collaboration, integration, and resolutions. Here are examples ...
At the same time the company was preparing to introduce a new version of its ERP suite to customers, the board of directors for Epicor Software was pondering what to do about a takeover bid by one of the company's largest shareholders. On October 1, Elliot Associates LP, a New York-based hedge fund that owns slightly more than 10 percent of Epicor's stock, tendered a $9.
Rockwell Software has a new president, Ralph Carter, says Rockwell Automation.
Manufacturers wishing to start a master data management (MDM) project may be unsure where and how to begin. Success or failure at the first step either defines or dooms the further evolution of the project. A cautious approach is recommended, starting with a single data type—such as customer—implementing MDM using a small footprint—such as registry style—or deploying MDM solely with a data warehouse to improve reporting.
GXS Product Information Manager (PIM) 8.3 offers these timely enhancements:• Business process management (BPM) functionality to support greater visibility and control over workflow processes;• Master data management (MDM) capabilities associated with products or product categories;• Expanded Web services support for integration within a service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure;• Mass updates capabilities across a set of products or categories; and• Embedded GXS Application Integrator for tighter integration and data sharing across internal systems—i.e., ERP, merchandising, warehousing.Suppliers need to manage product master data such as facilities, product dimensions, measurements, product ingredients, formulas, and customer locations. As part of an overall MDM strategy, companies can use PIM 8.3’s capabilities to create a central repository for all product data and can consolidate, manage, and publish product data across all internal systems and out to trading partners.External data-sharing initiatives require internal data accuracy to succeed. As part of a complete MDM program or as a focused product data initiative, GXS Product Information Manager helps companies establish a central resource for accurate, consistent product data.
The Uno-1150 from Advantech is compact, front-accessible for easy wiring, and DIN-rail-designed for easy installation. Support for multiple operating systems includes....
The current state of the economy should not be thought of as a disaster, but an opportunity to come out ahead of your competitors. Per Sjofors, a pricing expert and managing partner of Atenga Inc., says to secure your business, improve profits, and outlast your competitors during a financial crisis, the key is to implement best-practice pricing strategies.
Take time to review just a few steps companies can follow right now to innovate in tough times—a business issue unfortunately shared by many industries. You'll also learn how to leverage product life-cycle management to drive profits.
In a world where competing on product pricing alone is problematic, more companies recognize the importance of after-sales service as a means of enhancing brand value, strengthening customer relationships, and boosting revenue streams. Moreover, feedback from service activities is necessary in tracking maintenance and product configurations in the field.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) vendor Performix recently received SAP’s Industry Value Network group designation for chemicals. Users will benefit from a new level of interoperability, reduced total cost of ownership, and increased transparency and productivity across the entire value chain. The Performix xMES suite has flexible templates for both recipe management and manufacturing work-step execution to deliver an out-of-box MES solution. By using the SAP manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) application for integration with SAP solutions, Performix xMES leverages all modules and master data created in SAP solutions to streamline and simplify shop-floor execution of batch manufacturing processes and protect customers’ current investments in infrastructure.
As a writer, I like getting email—or any form of communication for that matter—about my work. It tells me that at least someone out there is reading it. It's even more gratifying when a reader's comment provokes an ongoing, intelligent discussion. That's what happened after I wrote an analysis of the recent announcement that JDA Software plans to acquire supply chain management soft...
Transaction data usually remains in the application database long after its useful life. But excess data puts a strain on application performance and leads to longer response times. Deleting data outright isn't an option since regulatory compliance requirements often dictate retention periods. As the amount of transaction data continues to grow, many companies are battling a new concern: what ...
Technology advances in industry often proceed at a slow, conservative pace. This applies more so to large, complex systems like the new-generation stationary gas turbines coming online. These weigh up to 440 metric tons—nearly a million pounds of hardware! But at the heart of the latest combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants lies innovation, not just gigantic size.
Concluding a three-year project, one of the world’s leading valve manufacturers is standardizing on a common global business template for its manufacturing operations. In the process, the company also has taken a second look at the future of the Oracle enterprise application suite that underpins its sizeable European operations.
Performix , a developer of composite applications for streamlining recipe management, manufacturing execution, and electronic batch recording (EBR), says its Performix xMES (manufacturing execution system) passes SAP xApp Certification. Through pre-built integration with SAP MII, manufacturing users can quickly standardize on the methodology for recipe creation and editing as well as execute batch manufacturing by eliminating redundancy and accelerating time-to-market.Powered by SAP NetWeaver, the Performix xMES Suite includes Performix xRecipe, a solution that standardizes the creation and management of recipes in SAP PP-PI via these tools and capabilities:• A graphical drag-and-drop user interface;• Performix xMES engine, the technology that powers the execution of recipes; and• Performix xBatch, which enables capture of electronic batch records.Like Performix xMES, these solutions enable full reporting and analytics through SAP MII based on industry-standard key performance indicators.Some MES solutions function as monolithic software suites that create functional overlap with SAP and plant-floor automation systems. This overlap often produces data redundancy, transaction replication, and expensive maintenance and support costs.
Overall Labor Effectiveness (OLE) is a new key performance indicator that measures the cumulative effect of availability, performance, and quality—but for individuals or teams of people. The ability to measure the interdependency of these attributes is especially important in the workforce. Focused improvement on any one workforce metric, such as utilization—without considering other consequences like performance or quality—can have unintended consequences elsewhere in the plant.
Larger monitors and/or dual computer displays can increase user productivity by eliminating toggling between applications. A new Ergotron Website has productivity resources to quantify that.
Compiere reports availability of Compiere 3.1, considered a substantial update of the vendor's ERP and CRM line. With more than 400 new business analysis, functional, and technical enhancements, Compiere 3.1 is said to provide global partners with an adaptable open source business solution that lowers acquisition and deployment costs compared to proprietary technology.“Compiere’s continued commitment to delivering robust open source ERP applications on a modern technology platform is evident in the significant improvements we deliver in Compiere 3.1,” says Don Klaiss, president and CEO.” These improvements result from working directly with our customers to build world-class open source applications that are flexible, adaptable, and easy to customize and upgrade.”Compiere 3.1 advances customers’ ability to securely analyze business data using their choice of third-party reporting and analysis tools. The newly introduced Business View Layer enables end-users and report designers to access ERP data through Compiere’s rich application-level security controls.Compiere 3.1 also includes new and enhanced functionality across its global financial management, purchasing, materials management, manufacturing, order management, sales and service application suite.Additional customer-driven improvements for distribution and other industries include: Support for user-defined payment schedules and payment dates; Granular control over the definition and processing of invoice batches; Up to five levels of precision for defining inventory locators within warehouses; Simplified costing controls with new products and on-hand quantity adjustments; and Hypertext data type for integration with document management systems.
In this era of high concern for energy consumption, readily available energy-efficient motors top the 96% mark, electric drives reach 95%, and many appliances and consumer devices exhibit rising efficiency. What, then, makes 60% thermal efficiency so special? It’s a much different scenario for power generation.
American Electric Power (AEP) may not be one of the most familiar corporate names to the public, but it has minute-by-minute importance to millions of customers throughout the country. Columbus, OH-based AEP, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, owns seven public utilities that are household names in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, ...
LXE Inc. has introduced the 8650 Bluetooth Ring Scanner for use by mobile workers in supply-chain environments. The small, lightweight scanner rests on a finger, with the Bluetooth module worn on the back of the hand or wrist. The module pairs with any Bluetooth-enabled handheld, wearable, fixed-station, or vehicle-mount computer, and transmits data from up to 30 ft.
If you asked Benjamin Mahan about the value of CAD software, he might respond with a line from a credit card commercial: Priceless. Mahan, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, used the Pro/ENGINEER CAD package from PTC to design a special shield that is protecting the faces—and in some cases literally saving the lives—of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Certainty? “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” If Benjamin Franklin was updating his famous quote for today, he might add a third item to his well known list: government regulations. It seems that no industry is immune, and given the global economy we all live and operate within, neither is any country.
Because of the far-reaching impact of product life-cycle management (PLM) and its expanding footprint across the enterprise, the approach now is widely regarded as do-or-die in a turbulent global economy where companies leveraging these solutions will likely be among the top performers in the coming years.
Held every two years, Europe’s Farnborough Air Show is where the global aerospace Siemens PLM Software to showcase stories from satisfied customers. Take Russia's first internationally designed and manufactured "paperless" aircraft, the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company 's SSJ100 regional airliner, which had its maiden flight on May 19, 2008—less than two months before the show. Boeing Aircraft Company and Airbus have been doing that for years—but Sukhoi’s determination to exploit Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter software suite, it turns out, was central to this, with the project plan calling for Sukhoi to work closely with a team of international partners and aircraft systems suppliers throughout Western Europe and the United States. “We set out with an aggressive plan and succeeded because of our collaboration with partners and suppliers powered by Teamcenter,” says Sukhoi President Viktor Soubbotin. “The collaborative technology played a central role in getting the SSJ100 into the air faster and at lower cost.” In all, Teamcenter helped coordinate the efforts of approximately 1,700 Sukhoi engineers and manufacturing specialists spread over eight locations in Russia with a world-class team of partners “Multiple CAD systems were harnessed together in a single PDM [product data management]of suppliers and experts, and driving down the aircraft’s development and manufacturing costs.” Sukhoi wasn’t the only satisfied Siemens PLM Software customers at Farnborough.
Cloud computing is fraught with security risks, according to Stamford, Conn.-based analyst firm Gartner . Smart customers will ask tough questions, and consider getting a security assessment from a neutral third party before committing to a cloud vendor, according to a June report from the research organization, titled Assessing the Security Risks of Cloud Computing . Cloud computing has "unique attributes that require risk assessment in areas such as data integrity, recovery and privacy; and an evaluation of legal issues in areas such as e-discovery, regulatory compliance, and auditing," says Gartner [compare security products). Amazon 's EC2 service and Google 's App Engine are examples of cloud computing, which Gartner defines as a type of computing in which "massively scalable IT-enabled capabilities are delivered 'as a service' to external customers using Internet technologies." Customers must demand transparency, avoiding vendors that refuse to provide detailed information on security programs. Gartner suggests asking questions related to: The qualifications of policy makers, architects, coders, and operators; Risk-control processes and technical mechanisms; and The level of testing that's been done to verify that service and control processes are functioning as intended, and that vendors can identify unanticipated vulnerabilities. Here are seven of the specific security issues Gartner says customers should raise with vendors before selecting a cloud vendor. 1.
Application Performance Management: The Life-cycle Approach Brings IT and Business Together , a new benchmark report issued by Boston-based Aberdeen Group , finds that application performance issues are impacting overall corporate revenues by up to 9 percent. Additionally, end-user organizations say these issues affect employee productivity and satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and brand recognition.Around 58 percent of organizations surveyed are unsatisfied with the performance of applications currently in use."A proactive approach to managing application performance is no longer optional," claims Bojan Simic, research analyst, Aberdeen. "Organizations may ignore IT department discussions on improving application response times, availability, and Mean Time to Repair, but what can no longer be ignored is the impact that application performance has on some of the key business metrics."With organizations reporting that application performance issues could impact corporate revenues by an average of $117 million annually, creating a business case for application performance management projects is no longer a problem just for IT management," Simic continues.
Dassault Systemes will support Ford Motor Company ’s CP3 NG Preferred Service Provider program worldwide with a standard global training curriculum based on Dassault's CATIA, a product life-cycle management (PLM) design solution; and Companion, an e-learning solution.In North America, Dassault Systemes Services will deliver instructors, material, and training. Globally, it will work with trainers that Ford already has in place, delivering materials and curricula.Ford began its transition to CATIA in 2003, relying upon it for body-in-white development of the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Zephyr platform. Since then, the company has methodically rolled out CATIA to interiors, chassis, electrical, and powertrain systems.The training program will help Ford standardize its methodologies across the global enterprise to gain the most efficiency from the CATIA portfolio.
With all the talk about recession, tight credit, and general tough economic conditions permeating the media and most business discussions, Control Engineering decided to conduct an economic survey of its subscribers to learn first-hand what its audience is experiencing. The goal of the survey was to determine how U.
Think Again: Understanding Thomas Edison’s patterns of thinking can help us be more like the guy who has 1,093 U.S. patents to his name, says co-author of the book, “Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor.” Sarah Miller Caldicott, also Edison’s great grandniece, helped a packed room of engineers at the SME Annual Meeting gain insights on innovation.
Audi is using Voltaire 's Grid Director switches as part of a Hewlett-Packard (HP) supercomputer to advance Audi's auto safety standards This is said to be the auto industry's fastest supercomputer, ranked No. 81 on the TOP 500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers.The system reportedly saves days of computing time along with unnecessary costs for vehicle safety simulations. The use of Voltaire InfiniBand switches and software for the supercomputer's cluster interconnect greatly improves the simulation software's performance, allowing deeper and faster analysis, and reductions in design time needed for new car models.Voltaire Grid Director switches use 20 Gbps InfiniBand technology, which delivers high bandwidth and very low latency to enhance the infrastructure and application performance.
"[Supply chain management] technologies are well-positioned to address the economic realities facing worldwide markets, where costs are skyrocketing while competition and customer demands are intensifying," says Chad Eschinger, research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner . "During the past 18 months, we've witnessed businesses rediscovering the criticality of supply chain technologies to drive greater customer and supplier satisfaction through better visibility and planning."In fact, a new report issued by Gartner indicates worldwide supply chain management (SCM) software revenue totaled $6 billion in 2007—a 17.6-percent increase from 2006 revenue of $5.1 billion. A weakened U.S.
Dynamic systems modeling tool have been added, as has direct connectivity to computer-aided design (CAD) systems.
Sustainable mind-set: New suite enables greener product design using life-cycle assessment in a collaborative workspace
Climate change, ecological and human health damage, resource depletion, social equity, regulation, brand reputation, and cost and risk reduction are impacting the way companies make products. A new suite found at SustainableMinds.com is said to be the first Web-based, early-stage design tool that forecasts a product's life cycle environmental and human health impacts in a collaborative workspace with continuously updated information services.
This paper identifies key reasons for automating die casting operations, the impact of robots on the automation, and the advantages of using Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) tools to generate and validate the automation process.
In our quest for newer and better technologies, we can't forget those who are less fortunate.
It's impossible to miss the fact that large global enterprises as well as midsize manufacturing companies have been centralizing their IT resources for several years now. They do so not only for the projected economies of scale, but to ease compliance management across multiple fronts. With systems scattered the world over, “Companies didn't know where their servers were, and they didn't ...
The market's appetite for manufacturing operations performance visibility continues to blossom, maturing slowly from an early fascination with key performance indicators (KPI) to a more sophisticated recognition that while the right KPIs have value, key performance drivers (KPD) are needed. At the technology level, this is driving a convergence between the world of traditional business intellig...
A new Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Working Group is chartered with developing a framework for using IP-based routing techniques over low-power, “lossy” networks—networks that wirelessly connect large numbers of sensors and other small, embedded devices in applications ranging from factory automation to the connected home.
Just because a company makes complex products doesn't mean configuring a sales proposal or a sales order needs to be complicated. Unfortunately, complexity is too often the case for sales in high-tech, industrial equipment, health care, and software/services. But that's not the case for best-in-class companies, which typically employ sales processes and technology that enable their sales forces...
Jerry Kelly, CIO and VP of 3Com, a global supplier of converged voice and data networking solutions, believes good governance is the cornerstone of success with service-oriented architecture (SOA). “It's absolutely imperative,” he says, adding that strong governance capability “was a big benefit [apart from] everything else we got with webMethods from Software AG.
Eager to keep market interest whetted following its $3.5-billion acquisition of UGS early last year and subsequent announcement of its Project Archimedes manufacturing initiative last summer, Siemens PLM Software heralded its April 2008 announcement of Synchronous Technology (ST) as “the next big breakthrough” in digital product development.
For years, manufacturers of brushless DC motors have promoted the advantages of their products, but growth has been less than many anticipated.
Hewlett-Packard says it now has a way of letting companies literally see the right path to take when it comes to updating legacy systems. If the methodology works as advertised, it could spur a cycle of companies super charging aging applications that still perform critical business functions albeit at less than optimum speeds.
IBM says it has started selling software that lets customers access its Cognos business intelligence software via BlackBerry mobile devices.
Content connections: Interop/Software 2008 addresses distributed performance challenges inherent to PLM
Large global enterprises as well as midsize manufacturing companies have been centralizing their IT resources for several years now. They do so not only for the possible economies of scale, but to ease compliance management across multiple fronts. At this year’s Interop/Software 2008 conference and expo, it was clear that at least several IT infrastructure providers have “felt the pain” of manufacturers and are offering distributed computing options.
The accounts receivable (A/R) department at Virtek Vision International had its hands full. Credit managers at the Ontario-based supplier of laser marking products needed to keep collections up-to-date by identifying those potentially delinquent before they became problems. Until recently, workers relied on spreadsheets that pulled information from the company's ERP system.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), the agency was the first physical science research laboratory of the federal government. It became the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 1988 to better reflect the expanded role technology development supp...
Those interested in finding out more about radio frequency identification advancements may attend several conferences this week; those interested in finding where their manufacturing assets are may be interested in a new RFID product.
After losing one potential successor to CEO Henning Kagermann, SAP has taken steps to retain another. On Wednesday, the enterprise software giant announced that Leo Apotheker will serve as co-CEO through the remainder of Kagermann’s tenure, which is expected to run through May 2009.
Think Again: I attended a two local middle school science fairs recently, at a private school and public school and learned we need to do more to get youth interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Here is what I found out and how you can help.
>1/3 of all U.S. energy is consumed by industry, says U.S. Department of Energy. Most industrial energy is supplied from natural gas and petroleum; electricity is a distant third, followed closely by coal, DOE says. Much energy per unit of product? You’re among the best candidates for efficiency efforts.
The terms “environmentally responsible” and “financially rewarding” have not typically been associated. However, in today’s economic climate, operating your business in an environmentally responsible way is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. At the time this article was written, oil prices had blown through $107 per barrel, the cascading effect of which ...
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms recently announced the launch of Proficy Workflow, a new service oriented architecture (SOA)-based business process management (BPM) application designed to extend the functionality and utility of existing enterprise resource planning (ERP,) manufacturing execution system (MES) and human/machine interface (HMI) solution.
This month’s batch of feedback from magazine subscribers and ControlEng.com users takes on a decidedly international flavor. In addition to comments received from within North America, we’ve also received feedback from individuals in Thailand, Korea, Brazil and Nigeria. The blogs hosted on ControlEng.
Standard better supports Web services and makes OAGIS simpler to use; get free download.
A roundup of articles and links from the 2008 Global Supplement
New technology doesn't become popular until there is an application that makes it compelling.
When considering the move from transactional purchasing to strategic sourcing and world-class supply management, while there is no sure-fire method for refining procurement processes, there is a five-step process that most companies pass through as they move their value propositions up into higher and higher levels.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI), noise, grounding, accuracy, resolution, aging, drift, isolation, and noisy power supplies can cause problems in applications. One subtle gremlin often goes unnoticed but can lurk in the background for months. Known as aliasing, it can hide in isolated signal conditioning modules and anywhere an analog-to-digital converter is active.
Establishing trading partner communities just got easier given a partnership between B2B platform provider Seeburger and Edifecs, a specialist in streamlined mapping of transaction specifications between trading partners. EDI specifications created in Edifecs SpecBuilder schema authoring and testing tool can be automatically imported into the Seeburger Mapping Designer via a new Edifecs export ...
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Phoenix Technologies Ltd. will collaborate on next-generation mobile PC security for notebook computers with Hitachi hard drives, allowing PC owners to track, remotely disable and securely erase the disk drive.
China has seen a 53-percent increase in the number of organizations using copyrighted software since new laws came into action in April 2006, according to the country's National Copyright Administration.
Rosslyn, VA — National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has introduced a concept to define levels of intelligence in electricity supply chains. NEMA also promotes passage of a U.S. economic stimulous package.
Progress Software claims the latest version of its Actional suite of service-oriented architecture (SOA) management software offers unprecedented ability to understand and manage the relationships between individual services and complete business processes.
Web 2.0 technologies like instant messaging (IM) have radically changed the way many people interact with friends and family. Just ask the average teenager how many IMs or text messages they send and receive a month versus phone calls. Now there is a movement within manufacturing to determine whether IM and other Web 2.
The process of vetting suppliers and obtaining competitive pricing is a challenge for all manufacturers. Small to midsize operations, where resources are fewer, especially feel this, with some turning to supplier networks for help. Such is the case for Knapheide Manufacturing Co., a producer of truck bodies based in Quincy, Ill.
Whether you choose to believe there is no shortage of engineering workers (such as those purported in the BusinessWeek article, “The Science Education Myth”) or you’re among the many manufacturers wrestling with filling engineering vacancies today, there is one fact that is indisputable: once you have the right person doing the job, it’s in your best interest to keep her there.
Tangent Inc., announced its Rugged Mini UX industrial-strength mini computer that, the company says, takes “ruggedized” to the next level. The computer is solid state, fanless, designed for use on factory floors or in the field. It can be mounted to carts or vehicles, or in any harsh environment. It withstands shock, dust, vibration, humidity, extreme cold and heat, and even electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Atlanta-based MFG.com has become the world’s largest online manufacturing industry marketplace, with $15 billion worth of transactions made on the platform since its inception. But MFG.com is not resting on past accomplishments. It recently completed a major revamp of its platform, leveraging technology from Adobe Systems.
Peggy Magliari, director of materials at The Knapheide Manufacturing Company, a maker of truck bodies based in Quincy, Ill., says "Dealing with endorsed suppliers that you know other members have used is a huge benefit” to connecting to a supplier network.
Microsoft and IBM are the leading players in the service-oriented architecture (SOA) software market, according to a recent report from Boston-based AMR Research.
Emerson on Jan. 9 announced that it acquired The Automation Group (TAG) of Houston, TX, for an undisclosed amount. On Jan. 3 Emerson announced sale of Brooks Instrument to American Industrial Partners for about $100 million.
Planar Systems Inc. has launched Clarity RP and RX rear-projection displays.
Dedham, MA – Manufacturers investing in automation systems react more nimbly to market opportunities and augment profits, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study that says discrete industry automation continues solid worldwide growth. Increased use of automation by manufacturers is crucial during this period of greater globalization, the report says.
Manufacturers of all sizes constantly revitalize their operations to remain competitive. In product development, technologies such as digital prototyping and digital manufacturing help companies see how products will be manufactured well before they're built. For one midsize engineering-focused company, the idea of “digital prototyping” supported a transformational change in its bus...
Santa has quite a task in delivering presents to the world. What technologies could help make it happen?
There are three liquid characteristics that are often thought of together, although they are different and use different sensor technology. Conductivity, ORP, and pH all have to do with specific chemical characteristics, but measuring each in a process stream requires its own approach. Conductivity is simply the ability of a liquid to conduct electricity, which is related directly to the concentration of ions in the liquid.
ExportAmerica.com, part of ExportTradingNetwork, an online global trading platform comprised of 191 country-specific website directories, and Management Dynamics, Inc., a leading provider of global trade management solutions, have announced a strategic partnership to deliver online tools to help small and medium size enterprises (SME) negotiate global trade rules.
Working with Saab Systems software engineers, Real-Time Innovations (RTI) has integrated RTI Data Distribution Service with a leading Ada compiler, GNAT Pro from AdaCore Inc.
Avocet Hardware Ltd., one of the U.K.'s leading manufacturers of window, door, and merchant hardware, expects a $4 million-plus payback from its investment in business applications from Epicor and Smart Software.
Taro Pharmaceuticals will use SupplyScape's E-Pedigree data management solution to secure its prescription drug supply chain.
The right approach: Manufacturers’ desire for unique business process is spawning more niche-oriented software
As manufacturers focus more on creating unique business processes as a way of separating themselves from the competition, software vendors are responding with solutions that address specific user needs.
Sundyne Corp., an Arvada, Colo.-based manufacturer of industrial pumps and compressors, needed to speed up the process of generating sales quotes for its products, and found the solution with BigMachines, a provider of Web-based configuration and quoting software.
Apatar recently set up an open source database integration partnership with MySQL AB; a RichWeb architecture is at the center of Compiere's new open source ERP; and a new RFID simulation tool from Pramari tests scenarios before buying.
SAP this week introduced the latest version of SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) 2007. New capabilities include multichannel customer service, real-time offer management, and optimized marketing and promotions spend. More important, the new version is said to embody the ease of use required by sales-oriented applications.
Over the past several years, MBT has chronicled the ways in which manufacturing companies—large, small, and medium-size—are using service-oriented architecture (SOA) to create innovative new business processes. Now we are starting to document an important side story: how SOAs are fueling consolidation in business software markets.
The Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) 1U industrial computer offers the latest Intel multi-core processing capabilities in an extremely quiet (&35dbA) operating platform. The standard backplane configuration features dual 32-bit PCI slots to accommodate any combination of full length 5V or universal PCI cards.
Freescale Semiconductor introduced an embedded voice-over-IP (VoIP) reference platform designed to speed time to market for industrial embedded voice applications using VoIP technology. Developed in collaboration with Arcturus Networks Inc., the solution is available as an evaluation and development kit, a ready-to-use module, or a microcontroller (MCU) and software combination for integration into a customer’s hardware and software product.
Deacom has joined the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA), which defines industry standards that allow manufacturers to bridge execution excellence with enterprise-level requirements.
Enterprise risk management—a strategic method of understanding and managing risks—is not being integrated with corporate cultures.
Apriso FlexNet enables widespread unification of all operations execution systems, creating an adaptive operations platform across multiple locations.
West Liberty, IA—Tour a turkey plant online, courtesy of Norbest, the "oldest cooperative organization of its type in the world, and is one of the top U.S. turkey marketing firms in the United States. The cooperative has approximately 125 independent turkey growers. Looking for some turkey trivia or games to play?
Florham Park, NJ—Lapp USA will supply the cable to help light up the New Year's Eve sky in New York City in the upgraded lighted globe that descends during the final countdown to 2008. On its 100th birthday, the New Year’s Eve globe received a high-tech renovation, touting energy efficient, multi-colored light emitting diodes (LEDs).
In a new partnership, Apatar becomes the first company to provide open source data-quality tools leveraging StrikeIron’s verification Web services. The new release of Apatar Open Source is available as a free download.
Flow-control products maker NIBCO is using Esker DeliveryWare to automating the flow of business transaction documents directly into and out of SAP ERP.
On Tuesday, Oracle detailed its Applications Unlimited program, a plan that seeks to build customer-driven enhancements and maintain lifetime support for Oracle's Agile product life-cycle management (PLM). The Oracle Application Integration Architecture (AIA) will be instrumental in delivering pre-built, open standards-based integration between Oracle's Agile PLM and other Oracle Applications.
Cognos, which has an OLAP platform, specializes in query, reporting, and performance management that will complement IBM’s existing capabilities in data transformation and integration, change data capture, customer data management, data archiving, and more.
Milwaukee, WI— Rockwell Automation has announced additional connector capabilities for its Rockwell Software RS PMX MES to assist life sciences companies exchange data between enterprise resource planning (ERP) and plant-floor applications. The product will be among many from Rockwell Automation and various partners this week at the Automation Fair event in Chicago.
Manufacturing Business Technology (MBT) is surveying manufacturers about the challenges of mechatronics: that is, the synchronization of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering data. Final results will be detailed in an upcoming white paper issued to survey respondents, revealing the current state of systems support, and functional areas ripe for improvement.
Supply chain management software users may soon find themselves fielding pitches from vendors offering new applications that promise to solve more complex problems much faster.
Automotive manufacturers could see valuable side benefits by adhering to a key provision of the Transportation Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.
A focus on improving invoice quality is the catalyst for a new partnership between GXS and OB10. As announced this past summer, the vendors will build an integrated electronic invoicing solution leveraging the OB10 e-Invoicing network and the GXS Trading Grid, a global B2B e-commerce and integration platform that supports creation and adoption of on-demand supply chain management solutions for ...
The ZigBee Alliance announced new features for the ZigBee wireless specification giving more choices to manufacturers as they design ZigBee products. These new features significantly expand the capabilities of ZigBee, the organization says. The ZigBee specification adds functionality to those released in 2006, giving manufacturers greater flexibility when designing ZigBee products.
Autodesk, the supplier of product design tools, does well what every ERP vendor on the planet wishes it did better: serve small and midsize manufacturers through indirect sales channels. Autodesk's ability in this regard has made it, with revenues of $1.84 billion in its most recent fiscal year, the largest computer-aided design (CAD) vendor in the world.
Is product life-cycle management (PLM) software one of the most underrated enterprise applications available to manufacturers? So says PLM vendor Arena Solutions, which conducted a survey with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Symphony Consulting to assess the challenges of manufacturing outsourcing and associated best practices.
Manufacturing lives in a material world. It is not surprising that manufacturing systems have a requirement to identify and track materials, because the main purpose of manufacturing is to convert materials in one form into materials of another form. An important part of integrating manufacturing systems with other corporate systems is maintaining and exchanging material identification and info...
Solutions that enable collaboration are the fastest-selling products in the product life-cycle management (PLM) software space, according to a report from the consulting and research firm CIMdata.
The ZigBee Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in utility, commercial building and consumer applications, announced it has approved comprehensive new features for the ZigBee specification giving more choices to manufacturers as they design ZigBee products.
When Tom Adams looks at the 18 truckloads of products returned to the Techtronic Industries of Hong Kong (TTI-HK) facility in Pickens, S.C., on an average day, he doesn’t just see defective power tools. He sees information—and the chance to save the company money. Adams shared this story with attendees of the APICS conference, held this week in Denver, where the overwhelming theme was finding the right technology solutions for specific business problems.
Supply chain management software vendor i2 Technologies hopes to expand its process outsourcing business by publicizing the work being done in its Center for Supply Chain Operations Management.
EPCglobal has ratified a new standard that promises to finally make RFID a tool for gaining complete supply chain visibility.
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Danaher Motion introduced a free Web-based linear-motion-system sizing and selection tool that enables OEM and factory automation users to optimize machine design and operation in five simple steps. The tool, called Linear Motioneering, walks users through an intuitive process to deliver all data necessary to make a quick, logical system selection for a slide table application.
One of the challenges for small and midsize companies using enterprise resources planning (ERP) is the system's over-segmentation based on roles and functions common to large companies. This segmentation can make it difficult for users who work cross-function—i.e., those who “wear a lot of hats”—to navigate and interact with the system without a lot of wasted motion.
Accessing timely information is a top concern when collaborating with trading partners. Having a professional to turn to—one with a long tradition of creating standards that eliminate manual processing and movement of business information among those partners—is a manufacturer's B2B “Ace in the Hole.
With exports of complex products from developed to developing economies on the rise, the construction equipment market is a robust one. Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) has experienced “tremendous growth,” says Scott Park, CIO and senior VP of processes and systems for the Brussels-based division of Volvo Group.
Product development pros: SpaceClaim offers CAD-neutral modification; Ansys explores engineering knowledge manager
Vendors demo new design and engineering capabilities to expand organizational and individual productivity as more people impact product development across the manufacturing enterprise.
With, according to various studies, average time spent cruising for a parking space in urban public parking areas varying from 3.5 to 12 minutes, and distance traveled ranging from a half mile to over a mile, Paris-based hi-tech startup Innovative Technologies SARL singled out this arena as a prime application area for automation.
The Wireless Industry Networking Alliance (WINA) will host "No Wires, No Hype," a wireless technology tour of the ISA Expo 2007's show floor. Departing from the WINA kiosk in the Automation Federation Pavilion (booth #2610), WINA executives will walk attendees around the show floor providing overviews of the wireless products on display. Tour times are Tues., Oct.
Management is most essential to achieving on-time shipment with reduction in costs for multisite operations, according to a report from Aberdeen Group.
CarbonView helps companies become greener by implementing their carbon emission reduction strategy and by monitoring their performance against that strategy.
· Oracle announced an agreement to acquire network intelligence and security specialist Netsure Telecom Limited.
Two years ago, SAP and Microsoft saw an opportunity to ease interoperability between SAP's back-office applications and Microsoft Office, the most widely deployed set of productivity applications sitting on the desktop. The result was Duet—to date, a limited set of prime business process workflows that allow workers to interact with a number of SAP applications via Microsoft Office, where...
For much of its existence, the Americas Beverage business unit of Cadbury Schweppes employed the common manufacturing industry practice of holding a certain amount of “safety stock” to avoid being unable to fill unexpected orders. Then the corporate office issued a directive that all business units would have to do a better job of managing cash flow.
Zurich, Switzerland—ABB agreed to sell its Lummus Global business to Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (CB&I) for $950 million, subject to regulatory and CB&I shareholder approvals.
Supply chains—i.e., the string of players involved in making goods, extending from the procurement of raw materials to the end product—traditionally operate with gross inefficiencies resulting from what they don't know.
Schaumburg, IL—Omron Electronics, manufacturer of industrial automation products and solutions, appointed Gregg Holst to be the company’s chief operating officer and president, filling the vacancy created by the death of the previous COO and president.
American Electric Power (AEP) may not be one of the most familiar corporate names to the public, but AEP's millions of customers throughout the country would have a hard time naming another company that has such a profound minute-by-minute effect on their lives.
IFS reports delivery of integrated enterprise application search (EAS), making it the first top-tier enterprise apps solutions vendor to embed the functionality within an ERP system.
You're watching CE TV, Control Engineering's online station delivering innovative videos to engineers. Videos include product demos, how-to's, messages from solutions providers, and more! Tune in often and get the latest engineering information on demand.
San Francisco, CA—IBM, as part of its Project Big Green commitment, announced the IBM Big Green Linux initiative to help its clients further integrate Linux as a way to reduce costs and energy consumption by building cooler data centers.
Newton, MA, and Concord, MA—Seemage was appointed a SolidWorks Solution Partner with the SolidWorks 3D CAD software compatible 4.2.1 release of the Seemage system.
Businesses keep giving employees more and more wireless capabilities, but haven't freed their infrastructures from a wired network.
Based on a survey of 645 midsize manufacturing companies, Boston-based Aberdeen Group ranks Lawson the top provider of business performance improvement for the money, when compared to five other ERP vendors.Aberdeen cites Lawson for more measurable business improvement given the same investment in software and associated professional services over QAD, Epicor, SAP, Oracle, and Infor.The report, The Total Cost of ERP Ownership in Mid-Size Companies , offers these particular comparisons:•ring operational costs.••nsive than the other two ERP vendors included in the study.•About the StudiesAberdeen's results are based on a survey of 645 manufacturing companies with annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion. The firm selected vendors for the two reports— The Total Cost of ERP Ownership in Mid-Size Companies and The Cost of ERP Functionality —based on the sample size available from its pool of survey respondents. Samples per vendor ranged from 41 to 275.
The project will investigate the unique RFID challenges associated with shoes and clothing, and explore "cash register-less" checkout.
CAD industry news is now available in a TV format. Putting information in a video format on the Web is expected to make it easier for viewers to catch up on the latest CAD announcements and watch user case studies and interviews.
ADASA received the Excellence in RFID Technology award delivered for theindustry’s first truly portable RFID tag encoding device, enables strategically targeted tagging with the lowest total cost of ownership.
3 motion applications were among those featured in the July 2007 “soft launch” of CE TV, Control Engineering’s online station delivering innovative videos to engineers. Videos include product demos, how-to’s, messages from solutions providers, and more! Tune in often and get the latest engineering information on demand.
The process of requisitioning materials has evolved from a department function 25 years ago, to a sourcing role 10 years ago, to a strategic element of achieving the corporate business strategy today. The forces behind this evolution are competition, globalization, and partnering—and the expectations of CEOs as to what constitutes a “strategic supply manager.
A lot more goes into putting that hot dog in your hand at the baseball stadium than simply the aisle barker signaling, “Hot dogs here.” Especially if it's one from Smithfield Packing, a division of Smithfield, Va.-based parent company Smithfield Foods. “It all starts with a forecast,” says Stuart Yowell, demand planning director.
Inforreports release ofSCMAdvanced Planner 5.0, its supply chain planning and optimization solution, which boosts the power to process more complex supply chain configurations and calculations based on a new 64-bit architecture.
Princeton Junction, NJ—Conam Inspection & Engineering Services, part of Mistras Group Inc., received an Excellence in Safety Performance Award from ExxonMobil’s Baytown Ref
The recent announcement that Oracle Corp. plans to buy product life-cycle management (PLM) vendor Agile Software continues a trend of major ERP suppliers either acquiring or building applications in areas once almost entirely addressed by best-of-breed vendors.
Concord, Mass.—SolidWorks Corp. has released SolidWorks 2008, the latest version of its 3D CAD software.
WBF recognized Dennis Brandl, principal consultant of BR&L Consulting, Inc., and Dave Emerson, principal system architect, Yokogawa Corporation of America by awarding them the Thomas G. Fisher Award for their outstanding contribution to the ISA-88 and ISA-95 specifications. The announcement and presentations were made during the WBF 2007 North American Conference, held April 30 - May 3 in B...
Progress Software is extending well beyond its database/4GL roots with a range of mid-tier offerings that manage complex events and integrate processes. So when enterprise vendor QAD renewed its 20-year alliance with Progress, it significantly expanded the contract beyond the OpenEdge database and development offerings that form the core of QAD's ERP application.
After more than 32 years in industry, including 25 with Plant Engineering and six with Control Engineering magazines, Senior Editor Jeanine Katzel retired May 11 from Reed Business Information. She will continue as consulting editor with Control Engineering in print and online. “In the information repository of www.
Many companies suffer from inefficiencies with their manufacturing control systems because they do not have adequate production information about their process from which to improve operations. They do not know where process changes need to be made to positively impact production efficiencies and product quality.
When Oracle announced its intent to buy Agile Software, the $495M all-cash merger seemingly opened a new front in the ERP wars, with industry analysts and stakeholders immediately wondering about the response of Oracle rival SAP. But the deal also represents the continuing evolution of the product life-cycle management (PLM) space, as manufacturers stand to benefit when product data can be easi...
In laying out its “winning strategies” for global manufacturers at its June conference, ARC Advisory Group keyed in on the theme of collaboration. According to ARC analyst and end user speakers, collaboration among people, processes, and technology is essential to the future of manufacturing.
Microsoft Corp. passed a significant milestone in releasing Vista, the latest version of the Windows client platform; and put a stake in the sand regarding the next refresh of the Windows Server platform, which will occur in 2008. But for manufacturers—like most enterprises—platform changes take a back seat until application providers update their products.
The merging of the virtual world of product design and the physical realm of the shop floor remains a hot topic in manufacturing circles, with several high-profile deals leading some analysts to declare the official start of the digital manufacturing era. Others speculate that product life-cycle management (PLM) as we know it will cease to exist, as software providers are subsumed by ERP or fac...
The first annual OMAC technical symposium, to be held November 28-29, 2007, will center on integration between the process and discrete industries.
Soon you will be hearing a lot about something called Enterprise 2.0, the hot topic at the recent Software 2007 conference sponsored by Sand Hill Group, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. The term “Enterprise 2.0” refers to applications that, in some form or another, take capabilities that make the Web more interactive and apply them to business uses.
While most companies believe they are customer-friendly, many do not consider their service skills to be a competitive differentiator. With the right service-management applications in place, improved customer service can translate into increased profits. “In some sectors—such as automotive—it is common for some equipment to be in service for 20 to 30 years.
In new and existing installations, case studies charting actual implementations show that savings from ISA-88 extend way beyond its original use for batch control systems. At a new Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens, MA, facility, which broke ground May 2, use of standards offers savings in manufacturing operations, makes training easier, and enhances regulatory compliance.
Manufacturers were well represented among the 400 attendees at The Hackett Group's 17th Annual Best Practices Conference. Hackett, an Atlanta-based strategic advisory firm, is known for its best practice research and benchmarking in procurement, IT, finance, and HR. Senior executives from Textron, Honeywell, Rockwell Automation, Unilever, and others shared transformation stories and analyzed th...
ABB has launched a new CPM (collaborative production management) operations business unit to assist customers looking for solutions and project execution services. Demand for these services is showing sustained growth and the industry has been going through a consolidation phase, so ABB has stepped up its capacity.
Parametric Modeling Using Autodesk Inventor is the title and content of a new book for beginners by James P. LoFaso, a mechanical design engineer. LoFaso is a former employee of Synergis Engineering Design Solutions (EDS), a division of Synergis Technologies Inc.
As control systems become more sophisticated and integrated and software takes over more functions, the role of an operator will continue to change. This is nothing new and probably dates back to the first time a paper chart recorder eliminated the need for an operator to write down the process temperature. As different types of software cover more of the space between sensor and enterprise, and as these platforms become more integrated, operators’ responsibilities will evolve in response. These thoughts came out of two discussions within the last few months.
Spreadsheets can be a lifesaver for companies that rely on them for countless tasks. But when used for updating and transferring large amounts of data, users often must manually key in data that already exists in digital format. Not only is this a wasteful exercise, but it can be particularly time-consuming when moving data from Microsoft Excel or Access programs into various SAP business syst...
Plumbers have their tool boxes, carpenters have their tool belts, and even Batman has his utility belt. Manufacturing IT professionals also need a tool kit to diagnose and solve common system problems. USB drives cost less than $20 and are perfect for creating your own personal manufacturing IT tool kit.
About ten years ago, I had an engineer working for me who had come out of the aerospace industry. He was careful, complete, and thoughtful, but missed every deadline ever given to him. Fred (not his real name, of course) had developed an amazing ability to turn even the simplest project into a never-ending stream of revisions, changes, and upgrades.
Germany’s Hannover Messe—known better by its English title, Hannover Fair—is the single biggest showcase of new technology for manufacturing and automation in the world. The U.S. has nothing like it—and the U.S. manufacturing industry is the worse for it. This year’s 60th anniversary fair attracted more than 230,000 visitors to the 5-day April event.
It isn't difficult for some companies to deliver correct work instructions to the plant floor. But it's not so easy for a company like Rolls-Royce, which makes engines for commuter jets and helicopters at a plant in Indianapolis. “The process of assembling a helicopter engine is complicated enough, but it gets even more complex when the bills of material change frequently to reflect par...
At a recent ISA-SP100.11a working group meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany, 60 attendees unanimously approved the scope and systems architecture of Release 1 of the draft standard, ISA announced March 30.
AutoVue 3D Pro-SME, the latest addition to Cimmetry’s AutoVue family of visualization products, targets small and medium-sized enterprises.
Dallas, TX —RFID technologies have improved significantly in four years, as has Intel Corp.’s knowledge about implementation. That was a main message from two Intel engineers speaking at the 5th Annual RFID World conference and exhibition here, March 26-28, 2007. Debbie Mertzon, program manager for new business engagement (M&A/RFID), and Scott A.
Wonderware Modular nature of the Equipment Operations Module enables incremental, low-risk deployment of increased application functionality. Small applications that target production issues or regulatory requirements can be implemented quickly, then grown. The module offers a cost-effective alternative to complex, large-scale, high-cost projects traditionally associated with MES implementations.
With the click of a mouse, young people can get a behind-the-scenes look into the significance and fascination of manufacturing. The Manufacturing is Cool Website was re-designed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation with the goal of inspiring pre-teens and teens to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.
Palo Alto, CA —The recent scaling of a long-standing Mount Everest of mathematics is expected to lead to new discoveries in algebra, geometry, number theory, physics, and chemistry, as well as related fields such as engineering and software development. A long 110 years after discovery of a multi-dimensional mathematical object called E8, its mapping is complete. The task created 60 times as much information as the map of the Human Genome.
One of the more interesting things companies do is to establish on-line labs where users can try out proposed new features and products not yet officially released. They're put up with the understanding that they're works in progress, says Austin O'Malley, CTO of SolidWorks Corp . Users can try them out and send comments directly to the developers.
Linking the production floor with business systems is no simple task. Creating and updating business systems that use production data requires access to real data and frequent testing. Wella Corp., a worldwide leader in the hair care, cosmetics and fragrances industries, uses SAP R/3 modules to manage its business functions, and its IT team needs to constantly adapt and develop new modules and interfaces. The company recently got a boost in agility and productivity through a tool that lets them run tests with actual production data as they make changes to their applications.
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RoboGauge tool set from Orus3D creates or transforms an industrial robot into an in-line coordinate measuring machine (CMM).
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AP-5181 Access Point from Symbol Technologies Inc. is an enterprise-class access point designed to extend corporate networks securely and cost-effectively beyond office walls and withstand harsh outdoor environments to provide real-time access for mobile workers.
Service Pack 3 for AutoVue 19.1 from Cimmetry Systems, an Agile Software Co., provides 2D, 3D, and EDA native document visualization for AutoCAD 2007 SPI, Cadence Allegro 15.7, and Mentor Expedition 2005.
Touchscreens are the primary input interface for industrial controls and a variety of other growing markets and applications. Touch input technologies—whether resistive, capacitive, infrared (IR), or surface acoustic wave (SAW)—simplify accurate and efficient user input. The differences between the technologies are in how touch input is detected and in the manufacturing cost.
14 categories of Engineers Week activities include Cyber chase; Design Squad; Discover Engineering; Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering; Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (6 podcasts are available); National Engineers Week Future City Competition; and New Faces of Engineering. Learn the rest at www.
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Show organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH recognizes the success of SPS/IPC/Drives, while it focuses on maintaining the show's core technologies. Further dramatic growth of exhibitors is not envisioned, as management believes 95% of the world's electric automation providers are already on board. However, the show needs to capture those relatively few emerging companies that will develop and nu...
December 11, 2006 This week our Engineering Manager met with the Prime Consultant for the City and visited the data center where the servers are housed. The two discussed system capabilities and the possibility of expanding the project. As we await news from the City and there is little or no movement on the project, I would like to take this opportunity to recap the achievements to date on the project: Two servers are running SCADA software and a third is running a database application. 13 stations have been converted to cellular modem communication using Modbus. Graphics displays have been created for the 13 stations. Sample reports and sample help screens have been submitted for review. A sample 'representative' site has been set up demonstrating the graphics for the remaining stations and has been submitted for review.
' OPC Foundation tools are like a utility—a data pipe for sending information from one place to another—and those using automation to transfer data need to embrace OPC Unified Architecture (UA) to increase security and data integration,' was the message from Dave Emerson, principal systems architect at the U.S. Development Center of Yokogawa Corp. of America .
Design engineers at small companies who work with aerospace, automotive, and biomedical device makers may be most interested in a new desktop simulation tool ready to work with Microsoft Vista. SimOffice is specifically designed for engineers who design, analyze, and test complex mechanical parts and systems, and is the fourth piece of an emulation enterprise suite introduced by MSC Software , Santa Ana, CA. Designed for users who have standardized on MS Windows as an IT infrastructure, SimOffice puts robust simulation technology and access to common CAD geometries behind a familiar, easy-to-use Windows-based interface. "SimOffice takes form and fit information from CAD programs and puts a functional aspect on it.
InventBetter Suite 2007 is a collection of programs from Geomate Co. intended to help scientific and technical professionals automate the engineering calculation process.
Charleston, SC —In a move that could eventually help to ease the potential shortage of engineering and technical personnel in the U.S., a partnership between several organizations is helping young people explore engineering and technical careers. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation has joined with Project Lead the Way and the Silver Crescent Foundation to administer the first STEPS Academy for middle school children in South Carolina during summer 2007. STEPS stands for science, technology, and engineering preview summer. The program consists of a one-week day camp designed to give students a real-world view of engineering and technical careers using a fun and challenging project-based approach.
Swedish lubricants and seals giant SKF offered advice recently on motion control applications. 1. Use operators to drive reliability. Since machine operators are closer to their machines than anyone else, they are in the best position to note visual, auditory, and odor cues that something might be going wrong with the machines they tend.
Jan. 1, 2007, is a significant day for automation and control systems. It is the day that Microsoft drops all support for Windows NT 4.0. Microsoft stopped general support (security or bug fixes) of Windows NT 4.0 in January 2005, but there was a pay-per-incident plan available until December 31, 2006.
November 27, 2006 Engineering staff continues to perform periodic work on items associated with our internal graphics review ; however, due to the short work week last week and the uncertain direction the project is headed, there is little else to report. We are still awaiting a decision , which we hope will be to continue and even expand QDS's role in the project.
Each year the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) hosts a networking event in conjunction with the ISA Expo. The event this year, on Oct. 18 in Houston, drew a record crowd of nearly 200 executives to hear Honeywell Industrial Measurement & Control’s general manager, Revathi Advaithi, and business director, Dave Kaufman, discuss results of “Voice of the Customer” input to help instrumentation manufacturers address customers’ needs for wireless technology. Honeywell purports to have compiled customer input from their vast array of wireless installations in place over the past four years.
Centric InSight 6.0 from Centric Software is a specialized search tool intended that provides broader and deeper searches to meet manufacturing and engineering needs. It discovers and classifies results based on common product attributes from multiple systems. Centric InSight 6.0 from Centric Software is a specialized search tool intended to provide vertical markets such as manufacturing and engineering with broader and deeper searches than Google.
ZigBee networks connect control nodes and target nodes wirelessly in a mesh structure. Each node communicates with its nearest neighbors, so command signals propagate across the network via multiple paths rather than directly. Should one path become unusable (because a node fails or a communication link becomes blocked), the command can reach its target via other paths.
After correcting the driver issue for the alarm notification software, tech support remembered a call from another customer concerning the need for a sound card on a server similar to the one we are using for the same purpose. Our purchasing department ordered a USB style audio device which should come in next week. We will try it when it arrives. In addition, QDS met with selected members of the City's maintenance personnel this week to discuss some options for converting the remaining 38 stations.
AD7980 analog-to-digital converter from Analog Devices consumes less power and less space. Designed to increase the portability of patient and industrial monitors and improve the performance and throughput of data acquisition systems, Analog Devices' AD7980 1-MSPS (mega-sample per second) 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) consumes 80% less power and board space than the closest competing 16-bit ADC in its class. These power and size advantages allow designers to incorporate the new ADC and a digital interface into the new breed of highly integrated "smart sensors," which eliminate the parasitic effects, signaling errors and delayed response time caused when the ADC is physically separated from the sensor using signal cables. In industrial sensing applications, this allows equipment operators to more easily and accurately measure changes in vibration, pressure and temperature that can degrade system operation.
To serve solid industrial growth and large investments in the Czech Republic / Slovakia marketplace, Reed Business Information has launched Control Engineering Czech in print and online at www.controlengcesko.com in September. Like Control Engineering Poland and Control Engineering Russia , this new publication and Website bring the Control Engineering brand of how-to information to engineers, technicians and business people in one of the fastest growing manufacturing areas in the world. The publication is being produced in partnership with Trade Media International Sp.
Two new lines of cylindrical surface mount resistors from TT electronics IRC Wire and Film Technologies Div. include the SMC Series and HSF Series designed for surge/pulse applications and circuits subject to extreme thermal cycling. Boone, NC —HSF Series and SMC Series cylindrical surface mount resistors from TT electronics IRC Wire and Film Technologies Div.
This week we ordered a modem and voice-over-IP (VOIP) device to test the alarm notification software. Once the equipment arrives, it will be set up at the remote server location. In order to gain access to the location, I must first gain security clearance.
SolidCAM2007 R11 integrated CAM-engine for SolidWorks further expands SolidCAM’s 3-D milling functionality with a high-speed machining module for molds, tools and dies, and complex 3-D parts.
Plant and equipment are considered capital, but without the knowledge required to make them manufacture your product, they cannot perform the intended tasks. Knowledge, when documented, becomes intellectual capital—something of value to your company. Conversely, when critical information only exists on notes tacked to the wall, tucked away in a little notebook in the operator’s tool...
In an AberdeenGroup benchmark survey report, Global Manufacturing: MES and Beyond, it is demonstrated that best-in-class companies are more likely to have strategies in place to unify processes and systems across locations, primarily by means of business process standardization, as well as enterprise-level initiatives to standardize key performance indicators (KPI) across locations.
The vision is a workflow for part production in which information flows seamlessly and automatically from product design requirements through detailed designs embodied in CAD data, then to a CNC program optimized for the particular machine tool that will make the part. The reality is that the pipeline from design to machine tool is full of blockages requiring tedious and error-prone manual intervention. The Machine Tool Working Group of the Open Modular Architecture Control Technologies (OMAC) Users Group (part of ISA-The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) pinpointed the key technology needed to break those blockages and is taking steps to put it in place. The aim is to create an international standard for representing product and process information to CNC machines in an eloquent way: 'eloquent' meaning flexible, concise, machine-readable, and robust. Referred to as STEP AP238, or 'STEP-NC,' the required standard has already received Draft International Standard (DIS) status by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as part of the ISO suite of STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Data) standards.
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Engineering innovation isn’t always intuitive or even logical, suggests Doug Hall , founder and CEO of Eureka! Ranch , and keynote speaker Sept. 7 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. In his presentation, “Keynote: Jump Start Your Brain to be More Competitive Globally,” Hall suggested: Real R&D takes time: if you don’t have big ideas today, blame those in power five years earlier. Measure: Quantify what you're doing and cite reasons for prospective customers to believe what you’re offering. Less can be more: Emphasizing fewer benefits attracts more customers. Too many choices can drive people away. Be overt: Let a customer say no because what you offer doesn’t apply to them, but never let a customer say no because they don’t understand what you offer.
Universal Display Corp . and Novaled AG achieved a saturated red Pholed™ phosphorescent OLED device with a luminous efficacy of 15 candelas per ampere (cd/A) and an operating voltage of less than 4 V for a record power efficiency of 12 lumens per Watt (lm/W) at 1,000 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) brightness. The two companies shared their findings in a joint scientific paper presented at the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) Optics and Photonics 2006 conference in San Diego last month. This milestone was reached by combining Universal Display's high-efficiency Pholed™ phosphorescent OLED technology and materials with Novaled's low-voltage conductivity doped Novaled Pin-OLED™ technology and transport materials.
It would have been hard to make contingency plans for the number of unexpected turns this project has taken. Add three more to the list. Our replacement project engineer, on the job for about 3 months now and just up to speed, was diagnosed recently with two 99% and one 50% heart artery blockages. The doctors diagnosed and corrected one 99% blockage with our engineer being off the project for only a week.
U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $322.68 million in June 2006, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) . This total was down 0.4% from May but up 26.7% from the total of $254.74 million reported for June 2005.
Engineering staff has continued working on the sample submittal for the remaining 38 stations , as well as the help screens and a reporting format . However, we are limited by the fact that we are still waiting on the city's reporting requirements from the prime consultants. We have had two internal reviews of the graphics and tentative internal approval to look into a W eb - based reporting format accessible directly from the control screens. We are continuing the periodic monitoring of data usage on all of the modems. At this time , it appears that we have good control over all of the data usage.
Dallas, TX— RF Monolithics Inc . (RFM) says it made significant strides toward becoming a source of comprehensive wireless systems with two acquisitions last week. The company signed definitive agreements to buy Cirronet Inc ., a wireless data communications and networking company, and Caver-Morehead Systems Inc ., a computerized maintenance management systems vendor.
Before selecting Lockheed Martin to manage the largest military aircraft program in U.S. history, the Department of Defense wanted to put penalty clauses in the agreement because the Fort Worth, Texas-based contractor planned to work with other companies on the aircraft's design. "We were able to convince them that having design partners would not negatively impact the program," ...
When a delay occurs on an automation project, and your company is considering whether to seek additional compensation, there are really only four questions. The first question is “who caused it?” If it's your company that is to blame, lay low and don't mention it again. (Oh, and, by the way, you can forget about the three other questions.
Our engineering staff should complete the sample submittal of the remaining 38 stations by tomorrow ( 8/29 ) for review. Continued monitoring indicates that we are well within the allowable usage for all modems. We still await the city's requirements for alarm notification and reporting procedures from the prime consultants.
August 21 In the last few weeks our engineering staff completed the conversion of the last 5 of the 13 sites that only needed communications upgrades. All conversions went as expected. Template screens for the remaining 38 stations are being designed and a sample will be available for viewing by the end of the week. We are still waiting on the prime consultant to provide information concerning the city's requirements for alarm notification and reporting. We received yet another high bill from the modem provider indicating that one of the modems transferred an excessive amount of data -- even though all of the modems have the same utilization and none of the others used over the proper amount. We have requested a meeting with the provider to try and get to the bottom of this issue.
New radio frequency identification (RFID) software tools and training resources are available at no charge from IBM in an effort to accelerate the understanding and adoption of RFID, and address what it calls “shortage of RFID skills in the workplace.” These technologies and learning resources will be available on alphaWorks, IBM’s online outlet for emerging technologies. A major obstacle in the adoption of RFID is the critical shortage of internal RFID expertise that companies are experiencing, IBM says, citing a recent report from Aberdeen Group. By sharing its expertise in RFID technologies, IBM would like to enable businesses of all sizes to learn about RFID and simulate how emerging technologies can improve the way in which products and goods are handled and tracked. Resources will include a graphical tool that allows developers to simulate how an actual RFID implementation will work in their business and an educational toolkit that IBM says will equip developers and students with the resources to understand how RFID technologies work, how to develop RFID applications, and best practices for implementing RFID technologies. IBM also is collaborating with universities and providing students with RFID resources and training through IBM's Academic Initiative, a program offering a wide range of technology education to meet the goals of thousands of colleges and universities around the world. For example, IBM and the University of Arkansas, Sam Walton College of Business, are working together on a project which aims to automatically identify inefficiencies in large quantities of RFID data and then implement process changes to improve efficiency and return on investment. “As the demand for emerging technologies like RFID continues to rise, IBM is committed to providing developers and students with tools and resources needed to work with these technologies and obtain jobs in the IT industry,” said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations, IBM. A new resource in the RFID section of alphaWorks is IBM’s RFID integrated solution enablement (RISE), which will attempt to help clients identify the business need for RFID and create a customized solution. IBM also is unveiling two new development kits to help developers and students meet the growing demands in the marketplace for a trained and skilled RFID staff. Click here for more information on the RFID section of IBM’s alphaWorks. —Edited by Lisa Sutor , Control Engineering contributing editor.
A laptop for the cost of $100 will be ready to ship in spring 2007 to children around the world thanks to the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organization. The laptop, full of features unavailable on far more expensive machines, was a vision of Mary Lou Jepson’s brought to reality after over a year of travel, design, and struggle. It required those who were willing to reinvent the concept and architecture of a laptop, as suggested in “ Control Engineering 's Information Control Monthly for August 10, 2006.” $100 is the price tag goal for the One Laptop Per Child organization.
Buckeye ShapeForm VersaFlex Series line of desktop/rack mount enclosures features rounded edges and two-tone colors with a durable finish.
Natick, MA — Philips Semiconductor’s plans to spin off or sell its semiconductor business by the end of the year presents both opportunities and risks for the RFID industry, according to technology market research firm Venture Development Corporation (VDC). “The new venture, whether it be a spin off or an acquisition, should continue to lead the market on a number of dimensions,” said Louis Bianchin, senior RFID analyst. “Philips’ market share and clout, as well as its recent C1G2 certification for its UCODE chips last December, position the firm for long-term success in the RFID industry.” Philips Semiconductor stated in its 2005 annual report that it would pursue an IPO, but is also accepting bids from private equity firms.
Freescale says it’s now offering the first commercial magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) device in volume production. Austin , TX —The first commercial magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) device is now in volume production and available from Freescale Semiconductor . The company says its 4 megabit (Mbit) MRAM product has fast, non-volatile memory with unlimited endurance, a combination of characteristics unavailable in other individual semiconductor memory products.
GMMS ground monitoring system is a solid-state device that continuously monitors the integrity of an electrical grounding system and automatically reacts if a problem occurs.
Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute chose Echelon Corp. ’s LonWorks platform for use in China’s new high altitude railway to Lhasa, Tibet, which is the longest of its kind in the world. The high-tech train system uses Echelon technology to monitor and control passenger safety systems, including an oxygen supply system for the high altitude.
Lumitex UniGlo fiber optics lights under circles, semi-circles, holes and other irregularities. Strongsville, OH —Thin, flexible fiber-optic backlighting technology from Lumitex is now available in unusual geometries that were previously the domain of electroluminescent backlighting. Circles, semi-circles, holes, and other irregular shapes are possible using UniGlo patented fiber optics.
Instrumentation manufacturers are enjoying sustained demand for their products due to growing product differentiation, higher customization, and overall improved quality. So says a study of World Physical Properties Instrumentation Markets released by Frost & Sullivan . These trends are keeping the industry from settling into lower profit doldrums of mature, commoditized offerings. End-user industries such as biosciences, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and chemicals are driving the overall market.
If you have been in the market for panel-related electrical equipment recently, you probably already know that a new UL standard for control panels went into effect on April 25, 2006. You should also know this standard applies equally to your existing installations, regardless of age or application. UL 508A-2001 Supplement SB works hand-in-hand with the 2005 NEC Sec. 409 and requires that electrical panels have a short circuit current rating (SCCR) calculated and displayed on the equipment.
(HVAC Variable Frequency Drive Solutions running on bypass can waste 56% or more energy for your HVAC air handling system; here’s how to get back to efficient usage)
Legalities: Want a good starting place for figuring out whether to accept another company's terms and conditions? Try looking for these "dirty dozen" contract flaws. If you are an integrator or outside engineer and find any of these in a proposed agreement, your internal warning bell ought to be sounding. (If you are an end user, on the other hand, you might consider engaging in a round of high fives.) Link to 8 more.
Once used only as simple status indicators, LEDs, or light emitting diodes, now play prominent roles in many applications, including back lighting, panel indication, decorative illumination, emergency lighting, and signage. Greater use of LEDs can be attributed to new manufacturing technologies, packaging innovations, and availability of an increasing number of colors, along with a growing awar...
Williams Power, a unit of the Williams Companies , is installing a new generation management system (GMS) for its electrical generation assets, which include two company-owned power plants and six contracted facilities seven states. The GMS will integrate data from different automation systems and applications to help Williams precisely schedule the delivery of generation capacity from each plant to meet demand. The system monitors demand trend data by communicating with three contracted ISO (Independent System Transmission Operator) organizations that serve California, the Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic region. The Williams system will connect the regional ISOs through a LiveData Inc. server using ICCP (Inter-Control Center Protocol), which enables real-time two-directional flow of remote data across multiple protocols. A centralized business decision environment containing all plant and market demand data will allow Williams to provide hourly set point dispatch control for production from the generating plants. The GMS will be engineered using new modular power industry applications created in the Invensys InFusion Engineering Environment, which allows deployment on different automation systems. InFusion Access and Historian will collect and model data from a variety of device types at the eight power plants, comparing the production data in real time with customer demand trend data from the ISOs. The GMS replaces an existing SCADA system.
July 24, 2006 Although our engineering staff intended to convert 3 stations this week, multiple problems with the first conversion prevented this from occurring. An issue of the pumps not running because no lead pump was identified was resolved by a programming scheme to identify the lead pump. Then there was an issue with the RTU not accepting the MODBUS configuration.
Reconnecting all the instrumentation systems and repairing the physical damage of Hurricane Katrina was among the crucial tasks of the recovery effort, recalls Peter Batey, refinery manager at the Alliance Refinery for ConocoPhillips in Houston. Batey, who played a key role in bringing his company back online following the disaster, will deliver the opening keynote address at ISA 2006 in Houston on Oct. 17.
The “Global 100” companies (by revenue) as listed by Manufacturing Business Technology include many firms strong in control engineering. ( MBT , like Control Engineering , is a Reed Business Information publication). MBT ’s top 20 includes automation companies such as Emerson Process Management, ABB Automation, Siemens Energy & Automation, Rockwell Automation, and Invensys Process Systems. Others in the top 20 include technology providers widely used by control engineers, such as IBM, HP, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and others. Click here to read MBT ’s Global 100 July 2006 issue. Click here for MBT ’s chart of the 100. For more from Control Engineering about the intersection of automation and higher-level systems, search on Brandl atop any page at www.controleng.com . See also “Building Bridges to the Enterprise.” --Edited by Mark T.
July 18, 2006 A forth and fifth conversion --including the write tests--were completed this week. The conversions were not trouble-free, however, prompting a revision in the procedure to ensure that the site can be returned to its pre-conversion programming. This week our engineering staff will attempt to complete three more conversions. Periodic monitoring of the data transfer reported by the cell service indicates that the high data-transfer issue reported last week has been resolved for now.
RJCS Series current monitoring solid-state relay is the latest addition to the Solitron Series.
Interoperability formed the focus for this year’s ARC Advisory Group ’s annual forum in June. More than 350 gathered to hear manufacturers, vendors and ARC analysts discuss trends, technology and best-practice case studies. DuPont’s vice president of engineering explained how interoperability is fundamental to DuPont’s process transformation, while the OPC Foundation formally announced its Unified Architecture (UA) for data and information sharing between the plant floor and the enterprise. OPC-UA unifies existing OPC specifications and leverages SOA-based Web services technology as the communication mechanism with enterprise systems.
Our engineering staff successfully completed a third conversion of an existing RTU to Modbus last week , as well as completed commissioning of last week ' s second RTU. Write capability was tested before leaving the sites using a wireless wide-area network (WWAN ) enabled notebook. This week we plan a more aggressive schedule and will attempt two RTU Modbus conversions. This previous month we had an unexpectedly high amount of data transfer charged to the cell account for the first pump station we commissioned.
Fayetteville , AR —Progress toward a more reliable and efficient national power grid is underway as the University of Arkansas begins construction on a National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission. The 7,000-sq-ft facility, being built at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in south Fayetteville, will have 6.5 MW power capacity for testing components rated up to 15 kV. Said to be the only facility of its kind in the U.S., the center will house equipment and researchers who will design, test, and package purely electronic systems for future use in the nation’s power grid. Solid-state equipment, made partially of silicon carbide, is expected to replace outdated and obsolete electromechanical devices in the future.
July 3, 2006 Setup of the cell modems progressed better than it has in the past, requiring only 3 engineering hours to configure 6 modems. Verizon low - level technical support was able to resolve communications issues. We got the name and direct number of their technician for future reference. Engineering staff performed the field conversion of the second pumping station to the new SCADA system last week.
If you make or integrate electronics-based equipment or components and haven’t heard by now that the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) European Directive deadline is tomorrow, July 1, 2006, you may have been living under a rock. The directive (in case you do have a slate-covered ceiling) requires elimination of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and the polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) flame retardants in certain electrical and electronic equipment put on sale in Europe. It is, however, mostly oriented to household applications, according to Schneider Electric, which includes the Square D, Telemecanique, and Merlin Gerin brands. Some exemptions have been granted because, to date, no substitute materials are available, such as for lead used in glass for cathode ray tubes, the Schneider Electric says; EU is expected to modify the exemption list to adapt to scientific and technical progress. Many companies have notified Control Engineering about RoHS compliance; check suppliers’ Websites for more information.
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding networks.
Tecnomatix FactoryLink Traceability module tracks and traces key production events on serialized products and provides full bi-directional genealogy and analysis functions.
San Rafael , CA —Autodesk Inc. announced support for a more streamlined, accelerated and secure design review process while using Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software. The DWF Extension addresses a number of customer requirements, including improved flexibility and control to publish selected Autodesk Inventor 3D model representations, 2D drawing sheets, presentations files and other important information. Round-trip mark-up capabilities that enable Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD software users to overlay DWF markups directly onto drawings, edit, and republish design changes for verification; File aggregation capabilities to create one DWF file to share; Ability to publish step-by-step assembly instructions that accompany an animation; and Ability to create and publish Bills of Materials that contain structured, critical information for manufacturing and purchasing. Autodesk Inventor 11 DWF Extension is released in conjunction with the launch of Autodesk Design Review (formerly known as Autodesk DWF Composer software) and is available to subscription customers of Autodesk Inventor 11 software products. For more information or instructions to download the extension, visit: https://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=7430881&siteID=123112 . -- Control Engineering News Desk , Renee Robbins , Information Control Editor.
Met with city maintenance personnel and prime consultant to resolve some issues concerning alarm notification and reporting. Not much if anything was resolved at the meeting. The city personnel seemed unclear exactly what their needs were, while the prime consultant seemed bent on pushing its own expectations rather than finding out what the city's needs were. City and prime consultant both seemed satisfied with graphic design of the screens, with the exception of one minor problem with the resolution of a single symbol. Began preparation for a second station to go on-line.
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Several subscribers commented on "Think Again: Grow past 'not made here' bias." (CE, p.35, April 2006, www.controleng.com/archive), which suggested that undue national patriotism in product selection "encourages less-competitive firms to not invest in engineering, skills, and technologies that can upgrade productivity, quality, and competitiveness.
TorqLoc keyless hollow shaft mounting system from SEW-Eurodrive has expanded to include 19 new sizes covering shaft diameters from 3.25-3.75 in. and 80-125 mm. Lyman, SC —Expanded TorqLoc keyless hollow shaft mounting system from SEW-Eurodrive now fits larger parallel shaft helical and helical bevel gear units.
Openmake 6.41 advanced development tool for automated build-management combined with lifecycle activities management incorporates new features for centralizing control of lifecycle processes from scheduling SCM updates to executing test and deployment tools.
New line of inductive sensors comes in a wide range of sizes from 4 to 30 mm.
May 17, 2006 The prime consultant is just getting around to the matter of our price adjustment request from several months earlier. Their lead systems engineer has asked for supporting documentation (much of which we had previously supplied)in preparation for meeting with us next week. Our project team conducted a half-day project review meeting, including the new and old project manager. Our new project manager continues to study the plans, the specifications and our project documentation so far to become fully aware of all job requirements.
The Microsoft Windows CE .NET 5.0 operating system and an Intel PXA270 XScale technology processor combine to deliver fast (624 MHz) information processing in a rugged, mobile, hand-held computer. the The JETToXL computer from Two Technologies, Inc . also features XScale RISC with on-the-fly voltage and frequency scaling, sophisticated power management, and a IP65-rated package said to be completely dust-tight and able to withstand exposure to driving rain storms. It has an operating temperature range of -20 The JETToXL comes standard with both 802.11b and Bluetooth communications, as well as a USB port that operates as host or client.
Goulds Pumps shipped its millionth ANSI process pump last month. The company called the 3196 pump model "still the industry standard after 45 years."
Sometimes looking at the legalities side of your business is just a matter of figuring out all the various things that can go wrong. But anyone in the automation or control business who decides to spend an afternoon actually making a list of potential meltdowns usually ends up calling us lawyers—say, by about three o'clock.
April 12, 2006 This Monday we conducted the planned graphics review meeting with the City and its prime consultant. This meeting was to confirm acceptance of the SCADA screens and layout for the first booster station, prior to our proceeding with cutover of the remaining 12 stations. It was reported that the existing SCADA system has stopped sending alarm messages completely, and that the City did not want to invest any time or money into the old system. This has given some renewed motivation to moving the booster stations onto the new SCADA system as soon as possible. Largely, the City was happy with the graphics as presented.
Vport 3310 video server is an industrial grade 1-channel device that adopts the high-performance MPEG4 compression algorithm and can be DIN-rail mounted.
Detroit, MI —Scientists at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have designed and demonstrated what’s claimed to be the world’s most accurate gamma ray detector. Eventually it’s expected to be useful in verifying inventories of nuclear materials and detecting radioactive contamination in the environment. The tiny prototype detector, described at the American Physical Society national meeting in Baltimore, can pinpoint gamma ray emission signatures of specific atoms with 10 times the precision of the best conventional sensors used to examine stockpiles of nuclear materials.
Rootkits have been in the news recently after Sony used rootkit technologies for music-CD copy protection. Rootkit defines a set of techniques and methods for software to hide its presence from the operating system, system administrators, and end users. It's used by viruses, spyware, and trojans—such as keyboard and screen capture programs, but some companies, such as Sony, have also used...
Tuesday morning’s keynote address, “Managing Structural Costs and Maintaining Competitive Edge: Improving Your Situation in the Global Marketplace,” was delivered by Doug Engel, Vice Chairman and U.S. Manufacturing Industry Leader, Deloitte & Touche USA; and Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health & Human Services and four-term governor of Wisconsin, now Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Engel spoke primarily about structural costs and new ways to think about them. “We believe that structural costs are a gathering storm for manufacturers,” he said, “perhaps the perfect storm.” Engler cited a recent NAM study showing that such costs– including the high corporate tax environment, employee benefits, regulatory & compliance, litigation and energy add as much as 23% to the normal costs of manufacturing, a burden roughly equal to the total cost of manufacturing in China. Another study found that over 30 years, manufacturing profitability has tended to rise and fall with the economic cycle, but that recently this has broken down.
March 20, 2006 The previous week was one of the critical weeks for the project. We had a meeting with the engineering contractors to discuss our future plans. From our discussion with the engineers, it is clear that the selection of the hardware for the 38 RTU stations will be decided soon.
Digital vacuum/pressure gauge for use on leak test instruments and pressure-reading devices also connects to the test ports on Sentinel instruments to verify or calibrate the instrument’s pressure display.
Jerguson LumaStar flat-glass LED illuminator backlighting unit from Clark-Reliance makes it easy to verify gauge levels. Unit features a redundant array of LED lights. Jerguson LumaStar flat-glass LED illuminator backlighting unit for transparent level gauges simplifies the challenging task of verifying levels.
Texas Instruments’ eZ430 development tool for ultra-low-power MCUs includes a removable target board (right) with fully accessible pins and LED. Texas Instruments Inc . announced in mid-February the availability of its Z430-F2013 development tool that allows new users to evaluate TI’s MSP430 MCU architecture in minutes plus, for the first time, provides experienced developers all resources they need to complete an MSP430F20xx project.
M7500, multi-band, infrared (IR) process-control camera is configurable for mid- or long-wave imaging and four temperature bands at a cost reportedly a fraction of that for a cryogenically cooled mid-wave IR unit.
Jett-XL handheld computer from Two Technologies features a high-speed processor for fast information processing and comes in a rugged IP65-rated case. Jett-XL from Two Technologies is billed as the “fastest, most powerful mobile hand-held computer.” Device features Microsoft Windows CE .Net 4.2 operating system and Intel PX@370 Xscale technology processor for fast (624 MHz) information processing.Cased in a rugged IP65-rated package made of GE Xenoy, the unit is dust tight and can withstand exposure to jets of water. It has an operating temperature range of–20 to 50 °C and comes standard with 802.11b and Bluetooth technology.
Las Vegas, NV — Powered by Renewables Corp. (PBR) will partner with Maryland-based SunEdison LLC to develop what’s reportedly the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Clark County, Nevada. The 18 MW project almost doubles what is currently the world’s largest PV project—at 10MW—situated in Germany. PBR and SunEdison will develop a total of 36 MW of PV projects in Nevada—enough energy to power 36,000 homes.
Columbus, OH —Expenditures for research and development across industry, government, and academia are expected to rise nearly 3% in 2006, the Battelle - R&D Magazine annual forecast indicates. According to the report, spending will rise to a projected $328 billion from a $320 billion-level in 2005. The largest portion of the funding is in the industrial sector. Spending for industrial R&D alone is expected to reach $211.9 billion in 2006, an increase of 3.5% from the $204.8 billion spent in 2005.
February 1, 2006 SCADA on wheels, anyone? We mentioned implementing SCADA on a Sprint PC Phone last week. For those of you who would prefer to monitor and control your facilities from the convenience of your car (even while cruising down the Interstate, with a friend's assistance) we've got you covered. Our implementation includes a vehicle-mounted ruggedized PC with a special auto-specific power supply that can withstand the low voltage of engine cranks and automatically shutdown Windows XP and the computer after a programmable time delay or when battery voltage drops below a minimum. This is mounted under the rear seat of my Suburban.
Marathon MM Series of infrared (IR) thermometers from Raytek Corp. now comes with an optional motorized, remote-controlled variable target focus capability. Santa Cruz, CA —Marathon MM Series infrared (IR) thermometer from Raytek Corp .
ZS smart measurement sensor from Omron Electronics LLC combines two-dimensional CMOS imaging and precise laser measurement into a high-speed inspection system for automotive, electronic parts assembly, and semiconductor applications. ZS smart measurement sensor from Omron Electronics LLC combines two-dimensional CMOS imaging with precise laser measurement to create a high-speed, high sensitivity inspection system. Sensor has 110-g.Modular plug-and-play components keep sensing heads and amplifiers separate and ease installation.
Eight-ft-long tooth emerging from the head of the narwhal whale is actually a type of sensor, researchers at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine have found. Researchers have learned that the 8-ft-long tooth emerging from the head of the narwhal (or unicorn) whale is actually a type of sensor. The tooth has hydrodynamic sensor capabilities and can detect changes in water temperature, pressure, and particle gradients.
January 18, 2006 As we mentioned in our previous log, our SCADA website is open to public access. To access the site, Internet Explorer version 5.5 or above is required, however IE 6.0 is recommended for errorless operations. The following settings are needed on your IE web browser.
Autodsys (automated drafting systems) Navigator block manager and toolkit software for AutoCAD and IntelliCAD manages block libraries and inserts blocks into drawings.
CastingScope flexible borescope is designed to inspect metal castings and other rugged, hard-to-access areas.
January 3, 2006 We left the SCADA system working over the holiday weekend for testing. The system is doing what it is suppose to do , but there is a lot of fine tuning still needed. We requested feedback from quite a few of our employees about the functioning of the Web site and the ease of use; this week we will incorporate those suggestions into our system.
AS-interface tools help implement an effective AS-i network. Included are: AS-Interface Bus Terminator, Tuner, and Analyzer. Bus Terminator potentially lets a user double the total length of an AS-i network. Tuner can almost triple total network length by strengthening the communications signal and monitoring network performance.
GE Fanuc Automation Americas, Inc. has named InfoPortal (IP) as an authorized representative for Mexico. Its parent, InfoLink, is the official representative for parts of the southern U.S., including: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Tennessee. Currently the only approved representative for GE Fanuc's complete line of Proficy software in Mexico, IP provides sales and techni...
Elmo Search 2005 software aims to meet the needs of CAD managers, R&D managers, IT managers, and end-users by enabling searching within AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Microsoft Word and Excel, PDF files, e-mails, and other document types. It reportedly delivers highly accurate searches in a fraction of the time required by other technical-document management solutions.
December 27, 2005 We successfully installed the first RTU and our Web SCADA system is up and running. It is in the testing phase and we will be monitoring the system this week. Hopefully, after the test is successful, we can allow you access to the site to gain feedback on some of the improvements needed. Wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year.
Beijing, China —Don’t shy away from doing business in China, advises Jack Perkowski, founder and CEO of Asimco Technologies Ltd . Perkowski added that it will be difficult to remain a global leader in the future without a meaningful presence or direct participation in China. An automotive specialty parts manufacturer, Asimco has 18 facilities in 9 Chinese provinces and also operates three U.S. factories.
Tampa, FL — International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering’s (ISPE) Professional Certification Commission (PCC) has an agreement with Professional Examination Service (PES) to perform an international job analysis study. PCC is a governing body of the ISPE. The PCC study will define the major competencies demonstrated by drug product-development and manufacturing professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the technical knowledge and expertise required by such professionals. Results of the current study will be used to develop key components of ISPE’s upcoming credentialing program for pharmaceutical professionals. Commenting on the agreement, Jerry Roth, P.E., ISPE’s director of Professional Certification, said, “The job analysis is the most critical step in developing a new industry credential.
Ann Arbor, MI — Dynics and Ann Arbor Technologies have officially merged. The proposed union of the two leading industrial computer systems manufacturers was initially announced last summer. The agreement called for the two operations to join through the purchase of Ann Arbor Technologies’ assets and liabilities by Dynics for an undisclosed sum.
December 19, 2005 Some fruits of our labor are finally beginning to appear. The engineering staff did well to get the SCADA servers installed and running at the data center this past week. As I write this, the first of the upgraded existing RTUs is being installed at a pump station.
Dual Star VXS backplane features 20 slots. VME switched serial device includes two hub slots and 18 payload slots and comes in an 18-layer controlled-impedance stripline design.
Lake Forest, CA —Claus Abildgren, Wonderware ’s program manager for production and performance management software solutions, has joined the board of directors of the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association International (MESA). Abildgren will serve as MESA’s “board member at large.” Wonderware is a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc. MESA promotes the exchange of best practices, strategies, and innovations to achieve plant-floor execution excellence. As a board-member-at-large, Abildgren will support MESA’s goal of delivering technical strategies and knowledge to promote more effective implementations of MES (manufacturing execution systems).
The Convergence of Near Field Communication (NFC), RFID, and Wireless Technologies: Providing an intuitive link between consumer devices
Natick, MA — Venture Development Corp. ’s above-titled report says that wireless communication standards such as 802.11 and Bluetooth are attention getting, often creating new market opportunities. These standards significantly influence product development and vendor strategies, especially when they converge with other wireless technologies.
Thomas & Betts Ty-Duct includes many improvements over prior wiring ducts, including a grooved cover for better grip, protective write-on cover film, and a wire-organizing design. Thomas & Betts (TB), manufacturer of fastening and wire management products, introduced Ty-Duct wiring duct, a wire management system for controlling cables in point-to-point wiring, within electrical enclosures, machine building, and data/communications panels and closets. Design enables easy installation and use in environments from -40 to 140 °F. Kevin Baker, product manager for TB's Industrial Products Group, says Ty-Duct's two-point contact design allows installation with less force than other wiring duct products.
Certainly industrial instrumentation pros are well versed in wired, but not necessarily wireless, technology. Moreover, with endless corporate downsizing, plants are lucky to have specialists with the knowledge and time to just keep "old" technology running much less simultaneously leading the wireless vanguard.
CimatronE 7.0 integrative CAD/CAM solution for toolmakers covers the toolmaking process from quoting to delivery.
According to the Massachussetts Institute of Technology’s “Technology Review,” a recent prototype hints at true “instant on” computing. Every computer user knows how bootup time has increased steadily as Microsoft’s Windows grew bigger and more complex with every release. October 17, Intel engineers at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, unveiled a prototype technology, codenamed “Robson,” that reduces startup time in notebooks from “several seconds” to “almost immediate.” A notebook using Robson was also able to launch programs much faster. For instance, one ubiquitous program application started in 2.9 sec, compared with 8 sec on a standard notebook.
Hewlett Packard's Gilles Bouchard is slated to head the line-up of keynote speakers at National Manufacturing Week 2006. Bouchard, HP's executive vice president of global operations, will discuss "Managing multiple routes-to-market in the global marketplace." NMW 2006 is gearing up to attract manufacturing leaders from around the world to its annual spring show and conference.
Control Engineering is using new technology to convert its print edition into a digital format. The digital edition is an interactive format that will be delivered via the internet and can be read on your desktop or laptop computer. There is no software installation required and the download time is just seconds.
Delivered to your computer– Control Engineering Magazine! You read your trade magazines religiously. You search the Internet every day to gather information from the links you read. What if you could use a magazine to link you directly to the Internet right when you are reading about the subject—no extra equipment, no fuss, no time at all? Now's your chance! Control Engineering magazine is offering you the opportunity to receive and read each and every issue right on your computer.
Mathsoft , a provider of calculation management software, has integrated its Mathcad software with National Instruments’ LabView graphical development environment to provide advanced joint calculation and measurement solutions. According to Mathsoft, the integration will create an end-to-end design, measurement, analysis, and reporting environment that will help engineers better execute their product development work. Integration of the software products will allow engineers to use Mathcad calculation software to trigger data capture and measurement in LabView, which can then automatically export values back to Mathcad for further calculation, processing, or reporting. Users can share LabView results with Mathcad from a drop-down menu item in the LabView user interface. LabView is a graphical development environment for creating flexible and scalable test, control, and design applications.
Propack Data PMX MES 4.1 enterprise production management software for the life sciences industry supports cost-effective, risk-based manufacturing approaches through fast electronic batch record reviews, flexible and controlled operator work instructions, and on-demand views of production information from raw material receipt through product release.
At an automation conference a couple of years ago, an executive approached me after my presentation and said, "You can talk about contracts all you want, but what you're saying simply doesn't apply to many of these companies. Some of these people operate on a handshake. The rest get by with proposals and purchase orders.
M2M (machine-to-machine communications, also called embedded or pervasive Internet) will change the world more than people understand, say some analysts. This can be the booster rocket that moves businesses past the service alignment challenges of the 1990s, allowing companies to "catch up" if they haven't yet expanded service offerings.
The 2ndedition of Electric Automation America (EAA) —the North American trade exhibition focused on drives, motion, controls, and automation technologies for industrial applications—has been announced for spring 2007 by organizer Messe Frankfurt Inc. EAA’s inaugural event, held in May 2005 in Rosemont, IL (suburb of Chicago), attracted 91 exhibitors, 1,305 attendees from 14 countries, and had “excellent turn out” for its extensive conference program. However, the number of exhibition hall visitors fell short of expectations. Decision to hold the next event in spring 2007 followed research and extensive consultation with exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, industry partners, and the Conference Advisory Council on the best possible format for the next show.
Strata 3-D Live allows 3-D content to come alive in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
Sensor transmitter from Global Detection Systems Corp. features field replaceable toxic/oxygen sensor module. Model GDS-49 sensor transmitter from Global Detection Systems Corp.
Calgary, AB, Canada — Energía Mayakán consortium has tapped Telvent to expand information management and pipeline control systems for its Phase II gas pipeline development project in Mexico. Energía Mayakán’s 700 km gas distribution pipeline transports natural gas from Ciudad Pemex in Tabasco to industrial customers in the Yucatan Peninsula. Telvent , a global real-time IT company, specializes in value-added solutions to several industrial sectors. The consortium is expanding its pipeline system by adding a second compressor station and a delivery station in Valladolid.
Elmo Search 2005 software is intended to meet the needs of CAD managers, R&D managers, IT managers, and end-users by enabling searching within AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Microsoft Word and Excel, PDF files, e-mails, and other document types.
P3010 AVM mini-sized compressed-air-driven vacuum pump reportedly offers multiple integrated control functions. Suitable for highly automated manufacturing processes where robots are used for handling metal sheets, boards, and plastic items in a variety of industries, the unit features two built-in vacuum switches for efficient, reliable handling of objects, a valve for pump start/stop, and a b...
Pulse, a Technitrol Co., introduced six models of W1000-series antennas for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of wireless devices intended for IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) frequency bands. The antennas are omni-directional, providing 360-degree coverage to improve point-to-multipoint transmission and reception between devices on wireless local area networks (WLANs). Antennas operate at 2.4 to 2.5 GHz and 5.15 to 5.85 GHz nominal frequencies, are dipole with a fundamental resonance ofr, and color options. Pricing begins at $4-5 in low volumes.
Austin, TX; Dedham, MA—Recent efforts by two organizations are striving to develop performance standards to promote quality, flexibility, and portability. The Numerical Mathematics Consortium is working to establish an open mathematical semantics standard for numerical algorithm development. In another area, ARC Advisory Group and process-industry manufacturers are seeking to establish common metrics for benchmarking performance and practices.
Englewood, CO—IHS and Foresite Systems Ltd have formed a strategic alliance to deliver a comprehensive offering for Hazmat and environmental compliance. Effort is aimed at helping manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment comply with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives and other restricted substance requirements worldwide.
Austin, TX --The PXI test instrument interface is set to follow the commercial PCI Express bus, according to information released at a PXI Systems Alliance press conference held here this week concurrently with the National Instruments NIWeek 2005 trade show. The alliance officially announced its PXI Express specification, which integrates PCI Express and CompactPCI Express technology into the PXI instrument-interface standard. With PXI Express, engineers and scientists can achieve bandwidths up to 6 gigabytes per second per system, representing a 45-fold improvement when compared to traditional PXI systems, while preserving both software and hardware compatibility with more than 1,150 existing PXI products, according to Eric Starkloff, director of product marketing at National Instruments (NI). Loofie Gutterman, president of the PXI Systems Alliance and of Geotest, commented that PXI Express represents a significant extension of what he called the most successful test-industry standard since the introduction of GPIB. In 2004, he said, citing Frost and Sullivan figures, PXI revenues reached $118 million on sales of more than 62,100 systems, representing year-on-year growth of 40%.
Goldtech switch line comes in pressure, vacuum, or differential models.
U.S. factories increased their June electronic shipments 0.5 percent above the May level, which was revised higher than initially reported. This slightly underestimates the change in unit volume with electronic product prices continuing to decline 2 percent plus a year.
Ansys version 10.0 software offers advances in performance, ease-of-use, interoperability, and coupled physics technology, such as fluid structure interaction (FSI).
Bag closure manufacturer Kwik Lok Australia Pty. Ltd. will adopt Sherwood’s DataLase Master-batch color-change technology to date-code bread bag closures for George Weston Foods (GWF).
Last month's column introduced the Capability and Maturity Model Integrated and its five maturity levels related to software development: 1. Initial 2. Managed 3. Defined 4. Quantitatively managed and 5. Optimized. Organizations at high "maturity levels" are much better at meeting schedules and report far fewer software defects.
Ann Arbor Technologies Corp. and Dynics Inc. report they've agreed to have Dynics purchase Ann Arbor's assets and liabilities for an undisclosed sum. The two firms plan to merge operations, and the newly formed entity will use the Dynics name. The transaction was expected to close by the end of July 2005.
Brooks Automation Inc. and Helix Technology Corp. report they've agreed to have Brooks acquire Helix for approximately $454 million. The two companies say merging will create a leading provider of integrated subsystem solutions to the semiconductor capital equipment industry, and that the combined organization will have more than $720 million in trailing annual ...
Propack Data PMX MES 4.1 is enhanced to make it easier for life sciences companies to integrate automation information, from raw material receiving to manufacturing and packaging.
ProcessLife monitors facility and processes using a virtual replica as a reference model.
RackGuard RG1202 600 W dual-input ac and dc rack-mounted power supply is engineered for SCADA systems typically used in monitoring and managing power lines.
Bosch Rexroth provides a comprehensive support structure to help extend the useful equipment life, including help desk and spare parts services, field-repair service, retrofits, modernization, training programs, and service agreements.
Dataforth Corporation of Tucson, Arizona, has just introduced the latest addition to its family of SensorLex 8B isolated analog signal conditioners: the 20kHz filter bandwidth 8B50/51 analog voltage input modules. These modules provide a much wider bandwidth than the recently introduced 1kHz bandwidth 8B40/41 modules and a significant increase over the 3Hz bandwidth 8B30/31 modules introduced in January 2005.
The Foxboro Automation unit of Invensys Process Systems is seeking the control room in a North American process plant that is most in need of a complete design and equipment makeover. The winning company will receive a reality TV-style makeover with a total estimated value of up to $350,000.
Coreco changed its name to Dalsa Coreco and will operate as a separate business unit under Dalsa Corp.
ARP-2019 ruggedized panel computer for industrial supervisory control applications supports dual 19-in. LCD screens simultaneously with independent display content.
Brooks Software has announced its Enterprise Interoperability (EI) Hub, which enables information exchange between manufacturing and enterprise business applications.
Robicon Corp. has agreed to sell its assets to Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. for approximately $197.5 million in cash. These assets include Robicon's stock in its subsidiaries in Shanghai, China; High Wycombe, U.K.; Sao Paolo, Brazil; and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Robicon manufactures industrial power conversion and control devices and systems.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and administrators of the Shingo Prize are collaborating with industrial and academic participants to develop a new "Lean Certification" standard, which is scheduled to be launched in 2005's fourth quarter.
New Kensington, PA—Robicon Corp. has agreed to sell its assets to Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. for approximately $197.5 million in cash.
Providing secure controls and monitoring for U.S. water supplies and meeting Homeland Security and EPA directives are among the goals of a recently formed company and its major product.
Robosuit all-enveloping suit coated with DuPont Dow Hypalon chlorosulfonated polyethelene protects vital parts, reduces maintenance, and increases automation uptime.
In the United States, control engineers typically are not educated in control engineering departments. Instead, they obtain degrees in such disciplines as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or chemical engineering. In 2003, a series of National Science Foundation-funded workshops assessed the chemical engineering curriculum.
More U.S. standards are getting in line with international standards.
Hannover, Germany—To provide accurate, high-resolution, non-contact position sensing, even in harsh environments, Pepperl+Fuchs is exhibiting its intelligent F90 linear path measurement system at Hannover Fair 2005 this week.
Recent developments in the component area include 19-in. frames for rack-mounted equipment, a power management system with secure browser-based access, dc/dc converters, surge protectors, and free seminars on lead-free electronics manufacturing.
European market for equipment used in hazardous areas is predicted to grow to more than Euro 2.0 billion by the end of this decade, a report from IMS Research indicates.
Chicago, IL—Wika Instrument Corp. is introducing its newly designed Type 233.55 lower back mount (LBM) panel builder gauge at National Manufacturing Week 2005, March 7-10 at McCormick Place.
Chicago, IL—Hoffman has expanded its family of large, freestanding A38 and A38D Type 1 enclosures, which it’s exhibiting this week at National Manufacturing Week 2005, March 7-10 at McCormick Place.
Seven models of linear motion voice-coil motors provide precision linear actuation over short distances or strokes. Motion force profile is constant and linear over the range of strokes and excitation levels. Sizes range from smallest (VM 1614) at 0.63-in. diameter by 0.55-in. long to the largest (VM 8054) at 3.
To strengthen its graphical system design platform to further integrate design and test capabilities, National Instruments has acquired Electronics Workbench. The company supplies electronics design automation (EDA) software, such as its Multisim circuit simulation software, which is used for electronic circuit design, board layout and electrical eng...
Line of liquid level switches from Madison Co. comes in PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) for high-purity applications, such as medical/pharmaceutical products and food or beverage dispensers.
Using a combination of instruments, Wyatt Technology is exploring the material characteristics of the biopolymer, hyaluronic acid (HA). With its ViscoStar, Dawn EOS, and Optilab rEX in series, the company has overcome consistent problems experienced using other techniques to accurately calculate characteristics of HA.
Elpro 905U-G-PR wireless Profibus provides wireless extension of ProfibusDP LANs, including secure firewall isolation and security data encryption.
Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International has announced that leaders from IBM and SAP Global Marketing are the newest additions to the association’s 2004-2005 board of directors.
Elf series of washdown photoelectric sensors features IP67 rating and is suitable for use in harsh environments and for presence/absence detection on bottles, cans, or cartons.
a href="http://www.bin95.com" target="_blank">Business Industrial Network has introduced Electrist, a new industrial software suite designed for Palm PDA operating systems.
What is alarm management? Most plant personnel equate alarm management with reducing alarms; however, this is only one piece of the puzzle.
Lower-cost RFID tags are a new opportunity in manufacturing that will have a major impact on manufacturing IT systems. Essentially RFID tags are radio frequency bar codes implemented with inexpensive semiconductor chips and antennas. RFID tags can be read without having to physically view the tag, making them much more automation friendly.
EZ-Light indicators offer compact, inexpensive means for showing run and stop modes, good and bad parts, process identification, and pick-to-light help. One indicator can be programmed for seven light and flash functions: red; red flashing; green; green flashing; yellow; yellow flashing; and red, green, yellow flash cycle.
The BeamOne Touchless Holographic Interface is a fully functional, touchless, holographic interface that lets operators enter commands and data into electronic equipment by simply passing a finger through holographic images of "keys" floating in the air at a convenient location. The device is powered by and delivers data to the USB or other standard PC port.
BE3L bellows-seal globe valve for steam service is designed for steam, hot water, and heat transfer fluid applications. It comes in ½ in. to 2 in. sizes in screwed, socket weld, and flanged connection styles, and is tested for valve leakage according to API598. EN 10204 (3.1B) certification is available on request.
Lawrenceville, NJ—EPCglobal Inc. reports that it has ratified its royalty-free UHF Generation 2 candidate specification. This action formally establishes the UHF Generation 2 air interface protocol as an EPCglobal standard for radio frequency identification (RFID) applications.
Telvent, a Global RealTime IT company, is upgrading a pipeline monitoring and control system with its latest supervisory control and information management technology, the OASyS DNA SCADA Suite.
Yokogawa Electric has created a Global MES Solution Center (GMSC) at Yokogawa Marex at Cowes in the Isle of Wight (UK).
Developed 40 years ago, the ISO 6983/RS274D language for computerized numerical control (CNC) programs was designed for an era when paper tape was the most popular medium for moving data between computers.
Washington, DC—IEEE-USA reports that it's pleased that Congress strengthened education provisions and technical workforce protections in its recently passed omnibus appropriations bill, but was disappointed that legislators chose to create an additional H-1B visa exemption category.
Isolating power sources and sensor signals is the most effective method for eliminating undesirable ground loop currents and induced electrical noise.
Mathcad 12, the newest version of Mathsoft’s calculation software, includes an open data model, scalability, ability to document engineering-critical values, expanded units and dimensions handling, and new 2D plotting capabilities.
New state-of-the-art computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) machining system expands in-house capabilities to supply customized plastic and aluminum enclosures.
Unlike the virtual world within a computer, the real world is "analog." Real-world variables can change at any time, not just at the end of a scan cycle or sampling interval. Variables measured by a computer are "discrete." They remain constant until the next sampling interval, even if real-world values change.
Monitor Pro v7.2 software is an easy-to-use supervision toolbox for medium to large applications.
National Instruments (NI) reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reaffirmed the judgment of infringement of three NI patents by Massachusetts-based The MathWorks Inc. The appeals court's decision affirms an existing jury verdict in NI's favor, which found infringement by MathWorks' Simulink and related products.
Manufacturing systems used to be based on single computers, such as PDP-11, VAX, AS-400, and Data General. These were "small-iron" systems, the little brothers of the business "big-iron" systems from IBM, Burroughs, and Univac. Today most mainstream manufacturing applications run on single Intel or AMD processors and use Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, despite a brief flirtation with U...
Oak Brook, IL—All the wonderful U.S. economic news during 2004’s second quarter (2Q04) seems to have spilled over into the controls industry. Job increases during the quarter cast a glow on the overall economy, even while unemployment held steady at a relatively healthy low level.
What are synthetic instruments? According to a new book, Synthetic Instruments: Concepts and Applications, the new technology of synthetic instruments promises to be among the most significant advancement in electronic test and instrumentation in recent times and will profoundly affect all test and measurement equipment developed in the future.
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reaffirmed the judgment of infringement of three NI patents by Massachusetts-based The MathWorks Inc.
Chicago, IL—Siemens is presenting two new services for machine tool manufacturers and end-users at IMTS 2004, Sept. 8-15, at McCormick Place. Virtual Production and Mechatronic Support offer assistance in developing and operating innovative machines.
Electro-Matic Products Inc. plans to hold a Web-based seminar at 10-11 a.m. on Aug. 24.
Quincy, IL—To complement its compressed air products and widen its global presence, Gardner Denver Inc. reports that it's buying nash_elmo Holdings LLC for $223.5 million in cash.
Ch Mechanism Toolkit for mechanism design and analysis contains many mechanism classes and objects for design and analysis of commonly used mechanisms such as four-, five-, and six-bar linkage; crank-slider mechanism; and cam-follower system.
Today, for a variety of reasons, tremendous pressures are building that will require plant managers to update their aging automation systems during the next decade. Defining the need for and exploring alternative approaches to this modernization of manufacturing systems is the subject of this report.
Applied Stats Software Suite version 6.0 can be integrated with ASI DataMyte PACT Suite 5.5.
More than 600 attendees from 26 countries participated in Honeywell's 31st annual Users' Group Symposium here on June 14-17. Topics presented at the conference covered Honeywell's products and services, but the focus was on Experion PKS (process knowledge system), security, and wireless technologies.
E-Series Microtemp thermal cutoff (TCO) provides electrical and electronic equipment upper limit temperature protection. Compliant with European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, TCO contains no cadmium, lead, mercury, or hexavalent chromium. E-Series maintains the same one-shot operation, low resistance, and compact size of the company's...
USB-to-CAN compact is a low-cost CAN module for connecting to a USB bus. The 16-bit microcontroller system provides reliable, loss-free transmission and reception of messages in CAN networks with a high transmission rate and high bus load. Messages are provided with a time-stamp and can be filtered and buffered directly in the device.
San Antonio, TX—Despite slight projected revenue gains through 2010, variable speed drive (VSDs) manufacturers in North America still face a shrinking client base because the OEMs they serve are shifting production to newly industrialized countries, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan.
Maple 9.5 desktop productivity environment for use by industry, research organizations, and academic institutions has new features.
Implementing the previously announced separation from the parent company, Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) has been reorganized to do business as Freescale Semiconductor Inc., as of April 4, 2004.
Software tools such as LabView and Matlab, which are heavily used in many engineering colleges, offer considerable potential for enhancing productivity in manufacturing, Tom Kurfess pointed out in this column in February 2004. Further evidence of this industrial-academic software connection is found in a recent study performed by the CACHE Corp.
Besides opening markets in Eastern Europe, this year's 10-nation, €40-billion expansion of the European Union (EU) is expected to result in more manufacturers in these countries needing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in the next few years. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta are all becoming E...
Austin, TX; Eden Prairie, MN—A href='http://www.mts.com'>MTS Systems Corp. and National Instruments (NI) have formed a long-term contractual agreement to deliver a low-cost framework for standardized noise and vibration testing.
EmberNet includes embedded networking software and development tools and a low-frequency self-organizing, self-healing wireless embedded networking platform for the forthcoming Zigbee network standard.
China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) Corp. has awarded Shanghai-Foxboro Co. (SFCL) an approximately $500,000 turnkey contract to supply a Foxboro's supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for its new dispatching center, which will be located in the Xuzhou area in eastern China.
Since I came to Control Engineering more than a year ago, numerous changes to content and presentation have been made. Starting in May 2003, we introduced a new order to editorial content to make navigating the magazine easier. In June, we re-designed our look for a cleaner, up-to-date, easier-to-read publication.
Like it or not, new technologies tend to be adopted earlier and faster in Europe than in North America.
Siemens Energy & Automation expressed confidence in ability for integrated automation to help North American manufacturing; one demonstration of this confidence is the 14-car Siemens Exider Technology Train exhibit, now on its third continent.
Philadelphia, PA—The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reports that activity in the region's manufacturing sector continues to expand, according to firms surveyed for the bank’s Business Outlook Survey for April 2004.
SCADAlarm 5.0 event notification software from Wonderware,a business unit of Invensys Systems,Inc.,is based on the Microsoft Windows operating system and serves as a telecommunications link to industrial automation software systems.
An overview of the challenges and opportunities for extending the reach of IT networks.
Dedham, MA—Increasing demand for high-power ac drives will likely cause that market to grow at a 11.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from more than $225 million in 2003 to more than $380 million in 2008, according to a new study by ARC Advisory Group.
M2M Data Corporation, a provider of Internet-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) services, has joined with Stratos Global Corp., a global provider of remote communications products and services, to market and deliver end-to-end remote automation solutions to customers in the energy, industry, and government markets.
Minneapolis, MN—CyberOptics Corp. and Universal Instruments Corp. recently agreed to integrate CyberOptics' new Embedded Process Verification (EPV) inspection technology into Universal's latest-generation electronic component placement systems.
Cambridge, UK—The low-cost, low-power attributes of the IEEE 802.11.15 radio standard, also known as ZigBee, will vastly increase the wireless market, and 2004 will be the standard’s critical design-in period, according to Cambridge Consultants Ltd. (CCL).
Rochester, NY—Microwave Data Systems (MDS) recently introduced a new solution that enables backward compatibility and manageability of installed MDS systems. MDS produces industrial, wireless, networking solutions with applications in the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), automation, public safety, telecommunications, and online transactional markets
World Batch Forum recently released new versions of its two XML-based markup languages for implementing the ANSI/ISA S88 and S95 standards and its international counterparts IEC-61512 and IEC/ISO-62264, respectively. Enhancements in WBF's Batch To Manufacturing Markup Languages (B2MML), Version 2.
Because they're still at the initial stage of development, wireless technologies for industrial applications continue to make up a highly fragmented market that displays only a vague structure in terms of products, suppliers, and applications. Still, a new study by Frost & Sullivan found better growth prospects among European wireless technologies intended for industri...
Suite of development tools supports the entire embedded Linux development cycle, including easy to use, step-by-step testing and validation. Products are designed to take the guesswork out of building and testing a Linux platform for embedded development. The tools, part of the TimeStorm Linux Tool Suite and powered by the open source Eclipse platform, provide solutions to many problems facing ...
Despite the recent global economic tailspin, the overall future of automation products serving the discrete industries looks bright over a five-year period, according to ARC Advisory Group. The total automation business to the world's discrete industries is expected to grow at a 6.
Austin, TX—iKey hopes to garner more attention by decreasing its profile, at least with respect to its newest product release, the ''first of its kind,'' iKey SlimKey industrial keyboard.
In the August 2003 issue, I discussed why it was so important for engineers to start "looking at things like an accountant." My point was that engineers today can no longer satisfy management by ensuring that their decisions are keeping operations running. Today, engineers have to do that and "show the money" to upper management to gain support for their projects.
Cleveland, OH—Eaton Corp. announced Sept. 22 that it has renamed its Industrial and Commercial Controls business and its Cutler-Hammer organizational unit as Eaton Electrical.
Cambridge, MA—SatCon Technology Corp. reports that it recently delivered a prototype power conditioning system (PCS) for a 75-kW fuel cell power generation unit at a petrochemical plant application. Hydrogen by-products from the plant's chemical and plastic production will power a planned 35-megawatt fuel cell power generation system.
Though I received a good deal of feedback from a variety of sources to my "Change Engineers" column in the July issue, it was Mark J. Nelson, an engineering product manager at Hilliard Corp. in New York who brought home the impact of the control engineer's shifting job requirements in an email that drew from his experiences.
Tecnomatix Technologies Ltd. recently agreed to purchase USDATA Corp. for approximately $10.3 million in stock. The deal is expected to close in September 2003, and is subject to customary approvals and closing conditions, including approval by USDATA's stockholders.
Incorrect URLs were listed for Barcodes Unlimited and DVT Corp. in the cover story, "See the Results," Control Engineering, August 2003. To contact BarCodes Unlimited send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach DVT, visit www.dvtsensors.com.
Downers Grove, IL—Contemporary Controls recently extended its family of CAN products with a PC card adapter that adds a physical layer option for CANopen networks. ICPCM-CO enables OEMs to instantly connect all CAN networks to a notebook computer.
The push to integrate more real-time plant floor data with enterprise level systems to enhance supply chain performance is beginning to show itself not just in new product capabilities and/or introductions, but in business partnerships. A recent example can be found in the agreement between Lighthammer Software Development Corp. and webMethods.
Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) launched Aug. 5 an online database for Virtual transducer electronic data sheets (TEDS), which are IEEE P1451.4-compliant electronic data sheets that instantly give plug-and-play capabilities and auto-configuration functions to legacy sensors.
Irvine, CA—ObjectAutomation (OA) announced July 1 that it has assembled a team of OA’s original software engineers and new talent in the U.S. and Europe, and is resuming operations.
GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. recently acquired Mountain Systems Inc., which provides advanced manufacturing execution systems (MES) for a variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, life sciences, and pulp and paper. Mountain says its integrated software helps users manufacture consumer health care products, ensure h...
Austin, TX—National Instruments announced June 24 that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall Division) has issued an order in NI's favor that forbids the sale of Simulink software from The MathWorks, once any appeal has been resolved.
There's an initiative coming your way, if it hasn't already. It's from corporate, and it will directly impact you. It goes by many names, but is most often referred to as the "real-time enterprise." Don't roll your eyes too quickly upon hearing those words. The real-time enterprise initiative differs from previous ERP and/or supply-chain efforts.
Selecting and upgrading automation processes is a common problem for manufacturing managers. Making such changes in an environment where products are extensively engineered in pre-production to suit each client's order, as well as re-engineered to accommodate changes made by customers while the order is being produced, can be a nightmare.
Against a background of a tough economic climate and the war in Iraq, exhibitors at Hannover Fair 2003 indicated cautious optimism during the six-day event, according to fair organizer, Deutsche Messe AG (DMAG), which stated that, "This is a clear indication that the fair is going well.
Blacksburg, VA - National Instruments (NI) recently announced that students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) department of mechanical engineering are gaining hands-on programming experience using NI's LabView graphical development software as part of its curriculum.
Sydney, Australia - Citect announced the release of CitectSCADA V5.42, the first Citet-SCADA release to be developed using eXtreme Programming (XP), a customer-centric, agile development methodology designed to deliver zero-defect code.
Chicago, IL—Weidmuller Inc. (Richmond, VA) exhibited at National Manufacturing Week 2003 its new RailDesigner software.
Chicago, IL - Skyrocketing health care costs, slow overall growth and many other challenges are forcing more than 73% of the recently surveyed members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM, Washington, DC) to conclude that the U.S. is ''facing a manufacturing crisis.''
Oak Brook, IL—Michelle Tegtman joined Control Engineering as publisher on Feb. 24.
Dublin, Ireland—New Tigers Consultancy (NTC) agreed Jan. 13 with Rococo Software to help it develop and promote sales in China, as well as identify local partnerships to support Rococo's wireless software products there.
The Eclipse Consortium announced December 16 that it has welcomed 13 new supporting member companies and organizations and that it is launching four new open-source projects for tools and technology implementation: COBOL, Project Hyades for Automated Software Quality, the Eclipse Modeling Framework and the Koi Project.
Nuremberg, Germany - In contrast to other technology shows suffering recent declines in number of exhibitors, and especially visitors, SPS/IPC/Drives 2002 upheld its reputation as ''the must event'' for the automation industry in Europe.
Charlottesville, VA - GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc ., an affiliate of the General Electric Company, announced November 5 that it has completed its acquisition of Intellution Inc., formerly a division of Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business. Intellution is a supplier of industrial automation software, with more than 185,000 installations around the world. The business, which will become known as GE Fanuc Intellution, is based in Foxborough, Mass., and will operate as an integral part of the GE Fanuc Global Solutions Business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Using award-winning technology, Intellution provides an industry-standard software platform that collects, distributes, controls, and visually presents information from the plant floor throughout the enterprise, supplying customers with scalable solutions that deliver increased productivity and return on investment (ROI). ''Bringing Intellution into the GE Fanuc family supports GE's ability to deliver world-class solutions that improve quality, reduce cycle times, increase profitability, and facilitate collaboration in the supply chain to drive customer competitive advantage,'' said Charlene Begley, president and ceo of GE Fanuc.
Charlottesville, VA GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. announced Oct. 22 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Intellution Inc. (Foxborough, MA). GE Fanuc reports that Intellution's software and services will complement its e-manufacturing solutions. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions and is expected to close in the near future.
USDATA Corp. announced on Oct. 29, 2002 that its board of directors has accepted the resignation of Robert Merry as president and ceo and board member effective immediately. The board has appointed James Fleet as interim president and ceo and board member. Mr. Fleet is a vp with Phoenix Management Services Inc.
The Ford Motor Co.'s facility in Cuautitlan, Mexico, produces 300,000 to 400,000 cars and trucks each year. Ford builds vehicles in Cuautitlan using a method of just-in-time suppliers with vendors supplying parts on an as-needed basis. Because of this method, it's crucial that inventory and tracking in the plant be precise and closely monitored.
Europe's second-highest court dealt a crushing blow to the European competition authorities on Tuesday with a decision to overturn their veto of a euro 5.7 billion ($5.5bn) deal between the French electrical groups Schneider Electric and Legrand, reports the London-based Financial Times.
Clifton, NY —Sixnet has recently released the VersaTrak IPm Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) on an embedded Linux platform. Designed for datalogging and SCADA applications, VersaTrak IPm is said to provide users power and flexibility of open-source software and the reliability of industrial- grade hardware.
Lyon, France - Axeda Systems Inc. announced September 12 immediate availability of Axeda Supervisor, which includes the new Microsoft Windows XP version of its Wizcon 8.2 supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. Part of the Axeda DRM family, the product allows users to leverage the Internet to remotely monitor, manage, and service industrial automation devices.
Family of isolated and software configurable single-channel data acquisition modules contains 27 models. Dubbed SCM9B-D100 series, modules convert analog input signals to digital data.
The OM-CP-QUADTEMP is a 4-channel, battery powered, standalone, thermocouple-based temperature datalogger.
Marion, Ind.— VIA Development has released v.16 of its Wiring Diagram electrical design and drafting software. The application is designed to work as an add-on to AutoDesk's AutoCAD system. For customers not wanting to purchase AutoCAD, VIA licenses and includes the AutoCAD engine in a standalone, full-function version of Wiring Diagram.
Two national trade shows thematically related to Interkama will be held for the first time in 2003 in the growing markets of China and India. Interkama China will make its debut March 18-21, 2003, at the newly opened, column-free Shanghai (Pudong) New International Exhibition Center (SNIEC).
Hannover, Germany - Erwin Sick introduced miniature photoelectric switches with precise background suppression-a market first, the company claims, thanks to a new "laser-like" light source that makes use of a specially developed optical ASIC.
Hannover, Germany - Another Hannover Industrial Fair opened here on April 15, 2002, amid much awaited, but not yet convincing, economic turnaround in Germany, Europe and the U.S.
Chicago, Ill. - James Truchard, president and ceo of National Instruments (NI, Austin, Tex.), explained in his Mar. 19 keynote speech at National Manufacturing Week 2002 that flexible, intelligent software and next-generation measuring technologies will likely improve the manufacturing of everything from computer hard drives and automobile electronics to medicine and food packaging.
It was only a matter of time until someone was able to marry microprocessors to proximity switches. Cutler-Hammer, an Eaton company, has released just such a product.
Milwaukee, Wis. —It was only a matter of time until someone was able to marry microprocessors to proximity switches. Cutler-Hammer, an Eaton company, has released just such a product. "iProx" series proximity switches offer application flexibility. Customers' most requested feature is longer range.
Morris Township, N.J. - Honeywell announced today that its Board of Directors has elected David M. Cote, president, ceo, and member of the Board effective immediately.
Hannover, Germany - This year's edition of the "world's largest industrial fair" will consist of seven individual trade shows, with Factory Automation continuing in the centerpiece role. MicroTechnology, CeMAT, SurfaceTechnology, Energy, SubconTechnology, and Research & Technology comprise the other shows in the lineup. The event is all set to come together for a six-day run, April 15-20, 2002, at the Hannover Fairgrounds.
Foxborough, Mass. - Intellution, a division of Emerson Process Management, announced Feb. 12 that Procter & Gamble Co. will implement its plant-wide Intellution iHistorian as a key data collection, storage and retrieval engine for the company's manufacturing execution system (MES) applications.
Cambridge, Mass. - The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Mich.) and Aspen Technology announced February 11th an agreement whereby Dow will standardize on key elements of AspenTech's integrated engineering and manufacturing technologies in Dow's global manufacturing operations.
Tucson, Ariz.— WPN20R Series 20-watt dc/dc converter can withstand an operating temperature range of -40 to 221°F with no output power derating, making it ideal for use in extreme environments. The device is available in three wide-range input voltages of 9-18, 18-36, or 33-75 V. It can be specified with a choice of seven single or dual outputs of 3.
Ravisent Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary, eMation Inc., announced Jan. 14, 2002, that they've changed their names to become Axeda Systems Inc. The renaming follows Ravisent's completion of its acquisition of eMation last month. Axeda provides device relationship management (DRM) software and services that allow companies, such as Beckman Coulter, Air Liquide an...
Costa Mesa, Calif.— MET QWERTY is an 88-key enclosed keyboard intended for use in severe industrial environments. The rugged-duty keyboard is specifically designed for easy cleaning by preventing places for impurities to accumulate. The mini keyboard will perform all typical PC keyboard functions and can be specified with or without a built-in pointer-mouse or joystick.
Redmond, Wa. — BioComp Systems recently released Process Intellect version 2.0, a process intelligence system that provides on-line analytic desktop tools to access, clean, and filter manufacturing data; build forward-looking predictive models; and develop sophisticated optimization schemes to enhance product performance and avoid process faults.
With cost-effective measurement algorithms in the latest photoelectric sensors, a part can be economically inspected on the production line in real time for many parameters. Error proofing creates significant benefits for both automated and manual assembly procedures, including increased quality and productivity. With new sensor technologies, assemblies can be validated and error-proofed automatically in-process rather than post-process.
Las Vegas, Nev. - During his keynote address January 7 at the 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft Corp., previewed "Freestyle," which includes a new user interface to enable consumers to access their music, videos, and photos from anywhere in the room.
Washington, D.C. - Professional women with 20-29 years of experience in electronic technology and information technology fields have higher median incomes than men with similar levels of experience, according to the IEEE-USA's 2001 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey released Dec. 28, 2001.
Stroudsburg, Pa.— E3.schematic is a comprehensive Microsoft Windows-based software solution for design and documentation of complex electromechanical power and control systems. It is said to provide an encompassing environment based on common component databases and symbol libraries to ensure unique representation of circuit diagrams and produces accurate, error-free schematics wit...
San Diego, Calif. - Lambda, an Invensys company and manufacturer of ac-dc and dc-dc power supplies, recently appointed Don Naab as president.
Zaltbommel, Netherlands - Applying various, often incompatible motion control systems can be complex, confusing, and costly to users.
Addison, Ill.— The DW4 recorder with probe is water resistant and housed in a rugged fiberglass NEMA-4X case. The case features a compact design with wall mount capability. The recorders are available in seven temperature ranges in both °C and °F in both 7-day and 24-hr recording times.
Cambridge, Mass. - Venturcom Inc. announced the availability of RTX 5.1 for Windows XP Embedded on Nov. 28. RTX 5.1 for Windows XP Embedded extends the operating system to mission-critical environments.
Hubertus, Wis.-ExperTune recently released a software enhancement to its process analysis and control loop tuning application for conducting Time Line Analysis (TLA).
AFAB Group launched Sept. 25 a customer satisfaction measurement service for the instrumentation and control industry. AFAB's website allows authorized manufacturers to create free, product-specific customer satisfaction surveys. After selecting and approving survey and product types, survey development authorization is validated, and a uniquely coded URL is provided fo...
Cedex, France - PLDApplications introduced a framegrabber at Vision East, which offers high performance, flexibility, more processing power on the PC, and vision processor features at a framegrabber cost.
Round Rock, Tex. - TouchSystems Corp., in partnership with eTurboTouch Technology, announced plans to re-enter the capacitive touchscreen market.
Aston, Pa. - RS 'rolling ring' linear drive now offers five pitch settings for improved linear motion system flexibility. Standard RS linear drives have a fixed pitch setting of 0.5 times the shaft diameter, which is now extended to 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 X shaft diameter, as well.
Charlotte, N.C. - Ci Technologies offers multi-tasking Citect Version 5.40, with richer product customization and automation via inclusion of 'CitectVBA, Graphics Builder OLE Automation,' and improvements to the programming environment. This new environment and language options, with pre-configured project start-up templates ('QuickStart') and other enhancements intend to make Citect easier and more flexible to use for end-users and integrators.
Brookfield, Wis.— ECT International's Raceway Multi-Pack provides new ways to manipulate and extend control system design within "promis-e" electrical design software, an AutoCAD add-on. Raceway module shows connections between multiple panel layout or termination diagram pages. Shortest Distance Routine module generates a connection list to minimize wire lengths.
Brookfield, Wis. - ECT International's Raceway Multi-Pack provides new ways to manipulate and extend control system design within 'promis-e' electrical design software, an AutoCAD add-on. Raceway module shows connections between multiple panel layout or termination diagram pages.
San Diego, Calif.— Advantage Lite Series consists of medium capacity, compression type, stainless-steel points and sensors. The load point assembly is self-checking, free floating to minimize unwanted forces, and is not limited in its positioning to the vessel for tight installations. Each load point comes preassembled with a C2 compatible, matched, and sealed load sensor.
Following recent biennial exhibitions in Beijing, Miconex—International Fair for Measurement, Instrumentation, and Automation—returns to Shanghai's Mart Exhibition Center on Oct. 23-26, 2001. Miconex debuted in Shanghai in 1983. Miconex is regarded as China's most important trade show for measurement, instrumentation and automation by the event's joint organ...
A good way to measure a company's performance is to take a peek at its annual report. A good way to measure an industry's performance is to look at a number of annual reports of the companies that serve that industry. The bar chart accompanying this article includes data from the annual reports of a representative sample of industrial controls companies.
Florence, Ky. —Need greater sensing distance while keeping proximity switch diameter small? Now it's possible to cheat the laws of physics with Prox Actuator. Actually, the same low-cost small proximity switch can be used with sensing range expanded to 3.8-in. (97 mm). A threaded stainless steel actuator is mounted in the traditional through-hole such that the extended end of its spring-...
Richardson, Tex. -Developed to run on Microsoft Windows 2000 and NT operating systems, FactoryLink 7 is designed to help SCADA system users have the lowest possible cost of ownership. FactoryLink 7's increased flexibility, performance, and scalability enable data to be processed, managed, accessed by users, and distributed to key personnel and to higher-level manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource planning software.
La Mesa, Calif.—HLIM-7 Isolated Data Logging System is a 4-channel module said to solve data collection problems arising in manufacturing/processing operations commonly plagued with electrical noise and ground-loops. The module plugs directly into its developer's portable datalogging system and incorporates four fully isolated inputs.
Schneider Electric Automation and Think & Do Software (Ann Arbor, Mich.) venture capitalists have agreed to merge Steeplechase Software—bought by Schneider on Nov. 22, 2000—with Think & Do Software. They also plan to complete a large second round of financing for their new, independent company, which will be called Entivity.
Exton, Pa.—OB fiber-optic sensor system's glass fibers are fitted with a 316 stainless steel jacket that can withstand mechanical damage and temperature extremes up to 600 °F. Thru-beam fibers have a sensing range of one meter and diffuse fibers sense a target as far away as 150mm. The amplifier incorporates a pushbutton and LED display for easy programming.
New York, N.Y. -Thomas Register is making available to qualified users, free copies of Edition 4.0 of PartSpec and PlantSpec CAD on CD-ROM. Edition 4.0 features parametric 3D drawings from 194 manufacturers.
Minneapolis, Minn. -Turck Inc.'s Firefast protective sleeving insulates cord sets and sensors from damaging high-temperature materials and is constructed of heat-treated, acryl-coated braided fiberglass. Firefast provides protection from flames and molten materials in extreme-condition industries including resins, coatings and metal fabricating.
Salaries rose only slightly, but increased almost across the board. Incentive pay shot up in a few job categories, but spiraled down in others—indicating that area's comparatively greater volatility. These were two primary results of the "2000 Salary Survey" of 4,527 employees at 57 process measurement and control firms published by the Measurement, Control & Automation Associat...
Lebanon, O .—PC-IMD 2.5 for Windows offers a Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT-based CAD program for the design and simulation of ac induction motors. The interactive software models various single-phase induction motors, along with multispeed and 2- and 3-phase ac motors. Motor sizing, preliminary design parameters, selected power electronics and control parameters, and various analysis data (...
ABB Automation began its first integrated Elsag-Bailey/ABB user group meeting in North America on Oct. 3 by explaining how its new IndustrialIT platform for software and hardware will integrate disparate ABB systems. About 600 customers learned that IndustrialIT will move users from existing systems, as upgrades are needed, with seamless backward compatibility.
Choosing a control system is intimidating simply because it's not a job anyone does every day and because continuous "marketing embellishment" makes so many solutions indistinguishable, according to Dave Woll, enterprise integration vp, ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, Mass., www.arcweb.com). To help users wring emotion out of this process and instill the consistency needed to secure the most ...
With less ceremony than previous editions, Miconex 2000—International Fair for Measurement, Instrumentation, and Automation—opened with renewed vigor here on Sept. 11 for a four-day run. This year's event was the largest overall of 11 Miconex shows, which began in Shanghai in 1983.
USDATA Corp. recently introduced a new module in its Xfactory manufacturing execution system (MES). "Analysis" is a set of software tools that improve visibility into production environments, and helps manufacturers make real-time production changes. Built using TopTier Software's patented HyperRelational technology, this add-on tool correlates information sources...
Cambridge, Mass. -Building from products obtained through the acquisition of M2R Technology, Aspen Technology recently introduced Aspen Electronic Batch Record System (AeBRS). Designed to fill the manufacturing execution system (MES) needs of life sciences, consumer package goods, and medical device industries AeBRS assist in ISO 9001 and U.S.
Demand for insulated wire and cable in the U.S. will likely increase 5.1% annually through 2004 to approximately $22.7 billion, according to a recent study by the Freedonia Group (Cleveland, O.). Demand is defined as the total amount of wire and cable manufactured and used by U.S. plants, including imports.
Metso Corp.'s automation and control technology division, Neles Automation, announced June 14 that it's acquiring Minnesota-based StoneL Corp., which supplies valve monitoring and communications solutions used from general purpose to restrictive environments. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, though it's scheduled to close in August 2000.
Richmond, Calif. -Using an ultra low internal volume, Parker Hannifin's new AVR3 steam- and AVR4 electric-heated vaporizing regulators are reported to significantly reduce sample transfer times in analytical sampling applications. Features include field serviceable heat transfer elements and a threadless internal design that eliminates areas for sample particle entrapment. Parker Hannifin www.parker.com.
Dover, N.H. -A family of NEMA size 23 high-torque stepping motors offers 1.5 times the power of standard motors of similar size. Three stack lengths (1.75, 2.22, and 3.09 in.) supply holding torques of up to 250 oz-in.
Richardson, Tex. -USDATA Corp. Xfactory version 1.4 Second Edition (SE) Manufacturing Execution System software uses Microsoft Windows 2000 functionality and simplifies implementation and communication, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate their plant-floor data collection systems with ERP systems to provide a complete Enterprise Production System.
American Superconductor and GE Industrial Systems, a division of General Electric Co., recently allied to provide American Superconductor's Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) systems to utility and industrial customers. The SMES device is applied to improve customers' electrical power performance during system disturbances and high-load conditions.
GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. (Charlottesville, Va.) bought the CimWorks GageTalker division and product lines from GageTalker Corp. (Kirkland, Wa.) on Jan.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J.— The BL-600 is an ultra-compact and lightweight bar code reader. Said to be the world's smallest, the device uses its developer's proprietary polygon mirror and motor technology to provide accuracy at very wide reading angles. Despite its size, the BL-600 offers 1.6 times the reading range and twice the reading area on conventional readers.
Just mentioning "chaos theory" usually generates a smile, plus the confession: "We've got a lot of it here." Chaos is a hot topic with information and encryption folks, game theorists, economists, and geophysicists. But what does it have to do with engineers and automation? Chaos theory dates back to Einstein.
Champaign, Ill. -DCB has introduced the X2 Radio-plus Data Modem, a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum device that is said to combine multiple communications technologies into a single, low-cost device for remotely controlling SCADA and other remote industrial control systems. The X2 allows host computers to access sites in a radius of 20 to 80 miles.
Talk about a tall order. It won't be easy to top the engineering feats of the 20th Century and the past millennium. However, it will be a lot more likely if engineering can increase its future ranks with the women and ethnic groups the field has lacked in past decades.To begin this task, National Engineers Week 2000 will include a concerted effort by many of the event's 60 engineering soc...
Methuen, Mass. -TouchTek4 4-wire touchscreen has low power requirements that are required for battery-powered portable devices. The company says its touchscreens are four times more durable than competitive ones on a pen-stroking test and rates 4H in a pencil hardness test compared to the usual 3H or less.
Integrated Business Systems & Services Inc. (IBSS) announced Oct. 18 its membership in Intellution Inc.'s (Norwood, Mass) Cooperative Automation Partner (CAP) program. IBSS will integrate its Synapse Manufacturing system with Intellution Dynamics' industrial automation software.
Big changes are in the wind for Interkama, the International Trade Fair for Industrial Communication, Automation, Measurement, and Analytics that held its 14th edition here Oct. 18-23. In view of recent industry developments, show organizer Messe Düsseldorf GmbH and Interkama's executive board decided to reshape the event with forward-looking strategies.
C hances are if you use a personal computer and access data using web technologies, then XML is in your future. XML is the three-letter acronym for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a markup meta-language and syntax used to create declarative languages.
Feasterville, Pa.— Level Mate II liquid level measurement system is designed for a wide range of applications. It's able to handle applications from basic well-level measurement to sophisticated process tank level control. Level Mate II is said to be easily installed, and is nearly maintenance free.
When the term "data historian" is mentioned, most users visualize x-y plots of process variables scrolling across a screen. If the process is batch, it takes patience and perseverance to map process variables to batch events, such as when a phase started or ended, an operator responded to a system prompt, or an alarm occurred and cleared.
Redmond, Wa.— PT-2 digital thermocouple thermometer is a slim instrument that easily fits into a shirt pocket. It has convenient probe replacement capability and still maintains the PT-2 instrument and probe system accuracy. It comes with a heat-resistant handle and cable, shock resistant housing, and is safe for food contact.
San Marcos, Calif.— FlexMASSter ST95B-EN is ready to measure a dozen of the most frequently encountered environmental gas concentrations, and comes from the factory preconfigured. With a menu seen through a window on the meter, the unit is set to measure 9 biogasses along with air, oxygen, and ozone.
The original block diagram was daunting: multiple plants, numerous business lines, a wide mix of control systems from a variety of vendors, and countless custom legacy applications. The overall goal was to tie it all together in an "available-to-promise" architecture that would let customers confirm product availability, pricing, manufacturing, and delivery with one phone call.
Seekonk, Mass.— MotionSoft is an intuitive, state logic and icon-based motion sequence-programming tool. It offers a series of easy-to-fill-in forms to define application motion requirements. It is motion-card independent. The manufacturer says it eliminates the need to program in any control card native code and the associated language.
Austin, Tex.—LogMate alarm management software captures alarms from Intellution applications and deposits them into ODBC compliant databases. Information such as time, date, tag, type, area, and priority can be extracted into separate fields in the database to facilitate more powerful searches using point-and-click SQL queries.
I f Data Translation (Marlboro, Mass.) is correct in its prediction, the 'U' in USB (Universal Serial Bus) will also mean ubiquitous. Taking advantage of USB ports installed on most computers today, the company now makes adding data acquisition capabilities as easy as plugging in a mouse or a keyboard. The company's DT9800 Series USB function modules are said to perform just as well as plug-in boards without needing an external power source. Tim Ludy, product marketing manager for Data Translation, recently talked with CE's Dave Harrold about how the Universal Serial Bus can be used in industrial environments. DH: What's a practical, sustainable data rate for 8 to 10 devices? TL: That depends on the type of device and the implementation requirements.
It took China's manufacturers 20 years to begin trusting ac variable-speed drives, but since then most Chinese iron and steel firms have switched to ac drives because they're more reliable, easier to maintain, better automated, and more energy efficient. These and other multiplying applications eventually caused skyrocketing growth and have now given China's ac drive sector a majority of...
Aurora, Ill. — Equipto Electronics Heavy Duty line of electronic cabinets now features sag-proff doors and hinges, allowing users to mount equipment directly on the doors. Frames are of double-ledge construction with doors mounted flush with the frame surface and recessed within the protective perimeter of the frame.
Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions and Sequencia Corp. expanded their batch manufacturing relationship on June 22 and extended their existing agreement on Sequencia's OpenBatch software for five years. This will allow Honeywell to continue delivering its TotalPlant batch solution using OpenBatch.
Electronic commerce and bus systems were two innovation themes at Hannover Industrial Fair '99 that can add substantially to customer benefits, according to Klaus Wucherer, president of Siemens A&D Group (Erlangen, Germany). The innovations stem from the deeper reach of information technology into industrial businesses.
Personal computers (PCs) are making enormous gains in China in manufacturing technology and overall use. As a result, the nation's PC sales were expected to be among the world's largest and fastest growing in 1998.China sold 3.2 million PCs in 1997 and was projected to sell more than 4 million in 1998.
Square D and Schneider North America revealed Jan. 21 they'll support all IBM real estate and site operations in the U.S. with electrical distribution, control, and automation solutions. This three-year agreement follows two years of development and six months of testing at IBM's northeastern U.
Search engines are becoming more sophisticated, and many now offer an option of creating your own personalized start page. This is a page powered by a particular company's search engine that you can customize to display all the information you want on one page, which is then usually selected to be the first page your browser opens when you start the program. This is a great way to keep track of everything you need to on a daily basis, from news in your industry, town, or country, to stock quotes, weather, sports scores, television listings, calendars and reminders, even horoscopes.
Intellution Inc. and Mountain Systems Inc. unveiled Feb. 1 a seamless plant floor to manufacturing execution system (MES) solution for quality and grade management. Mountain Systems is an MES firm that specializes in pulp and paper.Intellution and Mountain Systems' solution can help users achieve faster time to market, enterprise-wide integration, and tailored func...
Munich, Germany and Austin, Tex. — In a move that may cut computer chip production costs by 30%, Semiconductor300, a joint venture of Siemens Semiconductors and Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector, unveiled Feb. 11 the first fully functional chips processed entirely on 300-mm equipment.
U.S. demand for passive electronic components is expected to increase 5% annually to more than $17 billion through 2002, according to a recent report, Passive Components, by the Freedonia Group Inc. This increase is slower than 1992-97's pace, and reflects cyclical factors, such as slowing demand for passive-containing OEM products, including personal computers, moto...
Understanding and using technology is different than managing it within an overall business context. Engineers trained to design and build products and applications are now facing added leadership, cultural, financial, and other nontechnical challenges as the traditional control and automation field increasingly overlaps with administrative and business realms.
Scott Farrell was appointed president and ceo of Zone Automation on Jan. 7 by Tom Quinn, Zone's founder and board chairman. Formerly general manager of Eaton Corp.'s Cutler-Hammer sensors business, Mr. Farrell brings Zone nearly a decade of successful marketing, sales, and operations experience in a start-up growth business environment.
To increases process manufacturing agility, Sequencia Corp. (Phoenix, Ariz.) and SAP AG recently demonstrated a solution that provides a transparent, bi-directional path for production orders between SAP and plant floor-control systems. The solution was demonstrated at SAP's recent Industry Forum for Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals in Mainz, Germany.
The 9th edition of the SPS/IPC/Drives exposition and congress on Nov. 24, 1998, welcomed visitors with a spectrum of traditional to newer automation technologies. A mostly German show on the upswing, SPS/IPC/Drives had 485 exhibitors, 145 more than in 1997. About 87% were German companies, with other European firms making up the other three-quarters.
Houston, Tex. —The Baumann 4200 series eccentric rotary plug control valve handles a broad range of industrial and general service applications. The valve provides a solution for low-pressure steam since its gasketed seat ring is designed to avoid costly wire-drawing problems. An optional low noise/anti-cavitation insert provides an effective and economical solution for noisy and trouble...
Dateppli Inc. recently merged with E3 Engineering Inc. The new firm will have five offices in the U.S. and Canada, and will continue to operate as Dateppli Inc. from its Midland headquarters. "Dateppli's achievements come from being the superior performer in providing National Instruments-based (NI, Austin, Tex.
Slidell, La.— Control Microsystems' Model 5901 SCADA modem is designed for use with dial-up telephone lines or cellular telephones. The unit provides heavy-duty lightning protection, an operating temperature range of –40° to 158°, screw-type and RJ-11 phone line terminations, and automatic recovery from failure to answer.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada— CAT3D CNC milling and engraving system is designed specifically for fabrication of 19-in. front panels, subracks, and machining of electrical or control enclosures. The three-dimensional milling center consists of a 60,000 rpm high-frequency spindle with integrated cooling.
Irvine, Calif. and Eindhoven, the Netherlands— Wonderware Corp., a unit of Siebe Intelligent Automation, announced a strategic alliance Nov. 10 with Origin BV to deliver solutions integrating shop floor and enterprise systems. Origin is an information technology (IT) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) services provider.
Santa Clara, Calif. —A new series of 1,200 V IGBT modules has current ranges from 75 to 300 A per IGBT with companion FRED diode having the same ratings. Each module is suitable for PWM operation up to 30 kHz. Module series comes in three circuit topologies: dual IBVT half-bridge (MII); boost configuration (MID); and buck configuration (MDI).
Tucson, Ariz.— Series 6000 miniature digital process meters come with a large display-to-board size ratio and handle such input signals as V dc, mA dc, strain-gage, current loop, true RMS, and RTD. Users have a choice of a plastic case, conduit housing, or an explosion-proof housing for hazardous environments.
W. L. Gore and Associates Inc. recently launched two new products expected to reduce costs and accelerate production cycle times by about 25% each. Targeted at the semiconductor test market, GoreMate wafer contactors and Inferno wafer probe interconnect boards were developed to simultaneously contact all die on a 200 mm wafer during the burn-in cycle of the full wafer.
To help users develop, commission, and maintain systems more efficiently, GE Fanuc unveiled Version 4.0 of its Cimplicity human-machine interface (HMI) on Sept. 21. The company says Cimplicity 4.0 combines an easy-to-use, intuitive graphical interface with new development and control tools, such as a system doctor, report manager, and action calendar.
Milwaukee, Wis.— AF91 microdrive may be one of the smallest ad-justable-frequency drives (AFDs) made. AF91 is geared toward customers who require AFDs for low-horsepower functions. Changing load conditions are monitored and controlled by ramp regulators. An automatic recovery mechanism will attempt to regulate a faulty condition up to nine times following the first indication something i...
ABB Industrial Systems (Rochester, N.Y.) merged its OCS and MES platformas into an object management framework, S. Zafar Kamal, director of MES Program Management at ABB, told Control Engineering editors here in August. The move to Microsoft-centric architecture also leverages extensive company experience connecting to the enterprise resource planning layer via...
Irvine, Calif. —Designed to reduce the time lag between CO2 measurements and when adjustments are made, the D-CO2 in-line carbon dioxide analyzer provides 1.5 sec response times. Compliant with steam-in-place and clean-in-place requirements, the D-CO2 analyzer features a drift-free membrane sensor, reducing the frequency of calibrations.
In spite of the Internet boom of recent years, many companies are still holding out. For whatever reason, they just don't believe there is benefit in being on the web.USA Today recently reported that, according to studies by PC chipmaker Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.), "fewer than five percent of the more than seven million U.
One way to determine the health of a business or industry is to examine annual reports of major companies in that sector. However, this method is becoming difficult as more companies are gobbled up by corporations that serve increasingly diverse industries.In the industrial controls field, many companies that once offered somewhat homogeneous products are disappearing into the confines of...
Norwood, Mass.— VisualBatch 4.0 adds new and increased functionality to allow users to bind and rebind equipment and units at multiple stages in an active batch procedure life cycle. It reduces cycle times and increases production, manages a real-time journal of the active batch, provides enhanced OPC communications to other OPC-compliant systems, and includes a collection of interfaces ...
One of the latest trends in corporate networking and supply-chain strategies is the virtual private network (VPN). As the name suggests, a VPN is not a truly private corporate network, but an alternative to a traditional wide-area network (WAN).One advantage of VPNs is companies are able to reduce network maintenance costs by using the Internet and Internet Protocol to connect locations i...
Manchester, N.H. —Special Edition 850 is a UV-IR optical flame detector with a patented dual infrared sensing channel. This Factory Mutual approved model is designed to detect silane, hydrogen, and hydrazine flames as well as typical hydrocarbon flames. Dual infrared sensing enables the detector to sense two distinct wavelengths of infrared.
The BIAS '98 trade fair will stage a "first-time-ever" roundtable of process industry ceos to discuss challenges faced by instrument and control systems manufacturers, according to Antonio Rampini, BIAS' organizer. He said ABB Group, Elsag Bailey Process Automation, Honeywell, Siemens AG, and Yokogawa have confirmed their participation in the event.
Fourteen companies, representing CAD vendors and users, announced Feb. 10 that they've formed the OpenDWG Alliance to share expertise on the DWG file format. The new association of vendors and users is promoting Autodesk's DWG drawing file format as an open industry standard for the exchange of computer aided design (CAD) drawings.
Control Engineering's web site at www.controleng.com has a new look. Users will find more information directly accessible from the home page. Getting around CE's page is now easier, with navigation links at the left of every screen and no more scrolling. Control Engineering Online also provides links to Manufacturing Marketplace's home page, product directory, search engine, other mag...
In addition, R&D is looking for the world's top technical experts to help judge the R&D 100 Awards entries for 1998. R&D is asking acknowledged experts in applicable fields—who can devote 10-20 hours from late March to early April to this task—to send their resumes and other relevant information to:Vic Comello, R&D 100 Awards, 1350 E.
Though they're often called Christmas trees, most annunciators don't spit out presents when they light up. Most simply let control room operators know something is wrong. However, annunciators that only announce problems aren't enough for users of today's increasingly complex and integrated automation systems. Fast, coordinated information is crucial to help operators correctly handle many current process problems, and so some annunciators are evolving to meet their demands. Annunciator essentials So far, annunciator evolution has consisted mostly of prioritizing the signals they put out.