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Manufacturing IT, MES September 13, 2022

Boosting supply chains through automation and robotics

Supply chains can benefit from employing automation and robotics at key stages as to respond to any disruptions that may occur.

By Dr. Joya Mannan
Manufacturing IT, MES April 16, 2022

Integrate new technologies, MES software

Integrating Industry 4.0 and manufacturing execution system (MES) software can increase revenues, create faster turnarounds, improve quality for manufacturers.

By Sacheen Patil
Manufacturing IT, MES February 28, 2022

How to select the right free-standing industrial enclosure

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.

By Troy Miesse
Manufacturing IT, MES February 27, 2022

Industrial servers: Easy to deploy, manage, support with hot-swapping components

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.

By DoShik Wood
Manufacturing IT, MES February 21, 2022

Key deciding factors to select the right IT server rack for an application

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.

By Hans Baumann
Manufacturing IT, MES February 17, 2022

Safety concerns and supply chain disruption

Also, while electrical safety is a prime concern, trips, slips and falls tend to be the biggest hazard.

By Kevin Parker
Manufacturing IT, MES December 17, 2021

Beware of accidental convergence

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.

By Michael Rothschild
Manufacturing IT, MES December 16, 2021

Convergence or overlap? Understanding the IT/OT relationship

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.

By Katherine Elrod and contributing staff, Sealevel Systems Inc.
Manufacturing IT, MES October 16, 2021

Center for optoelectronic, quantum technologies

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.

By UW News staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 27, 2021

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.

By Jim Cook and Dino Busalachi
Manufacturing IT, MES June 12, 2021

How IT/OT convergence starts with understanding

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.

By Matt Ruth
Manufacturing IT, MES March 13, 2021

Taking your MES with you

When looking for the right manufacturing execution system (MES) solution, manufacturers need to consider its ability to evolve with them.

By Francisco Almada Lobo
Manufacturing IT, MES April 28, 2020

MESA smart manufacturing model to detail 8 areas

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.

By Brandy Richardson
Manufacturing IT, MES April 22, 2020

Managing the cultural upheaval with Smart Manufacturing

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.

By Conrad Leiva and Stefan Zippel
Manufacturing IT, MES April 15, 2020

Managing business transformation with Smart Manufacturing

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.

By Conrad Leiva and Stefan Zippel
Manufacturing IT, MES March 27, 2020

Manufacturer connects healthcare field to produce components through additive manufacturing

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.

By Siemens Industry, Inc.
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2020

groov EPIC by Opto 22

Opto 22 has release version 1.5.0 of its firmware for the groov EPIC platform.

By Opto 22
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2019

Five strategies to effectively manage and execute automation projects

Automation projects come with many challenges that seem daunting because of their complexity. Learn about six common automation project management challenges and learn about five tips to overcome them including planning ahead and leveraging available technology on the plant floor.

By Lee Swindler
Manufacturing IT, MES June 27, 2019

Organizing drawing files for engineering, IT departments

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.

By Gary Walker
Manufacturing IT, MES May 21, 2019

Maximizing the investment in manufacturing IT

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.

By Ultra Consultants
Manufacturing IT, MES March 20, 2019

Realizing the potential and benefits of an MES

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.

By Conrad Leiva
Manufacturing IT, MES March 5, 2019

A factory of the future resolves today’s problems

Improve productivity, be more flexible to customer needs, and provide better working conditions, by using technologies from factories of the future, as needed by industry and company type, with faster return on investment (ROI).

By Alex West
Manufacturing IT, MES January 28, 2019

From manufacturing execution to supply chain management: Your questions answered

Webcast presenter Jonathan Gross answered questions about topics such as Industrie 4.0's relevance and FDA requirements for manufacturing execution systems (MES).

By Jonathan Gross
Manufacturing IT, MES November 2, 2018

Foxboro provides SCADA for electric utility

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 20, 2018

IIoT’s impact on the oil and gas industry

Oil & gas companies are looking to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to improve efficiency and productivity as the market slowly recovers.

By Anil Gosine, MG Strategy+
Manufacturing IT, MES September 19, 2018

Largest modular cryogenic gas processing plant introduced

Honeywell announced its UOP Russell business has introduced a high-recovery cryogenic gas processing plant that is 50% larger than other pre-engineered plants currently available and is designed to recover more than 99% of high-value ethane from natural gas.

By Honeywell UOP
Manufacturing IT, MES September 17, 2018

Record revenues expected from Russia’s upstream oil and gas sector

Russia is set to reap record ruble revenues from the upstream oil and gas sector over the next six years thanks to tax changes and production growth.

By GlobalData
Manufacturing IT, MES September 10, 2018

Countering security threats to oil and gas networks

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.

By Gregory Hale, ISSSource
Manufacturing IT, MES September 5, 2018

North America to lead global crude oil pipeline additions

GlobalData reports that North America is forecast to add the highest trunk pipeline length to the global crude oil pipelines industry with 44% of global planned additions by 2022.

By GlobalData
Manufacturing IT, MES August 22, 2018

IIoT company receives funding to enhance oil and gas market presence

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.

By Seeq Corp.
Manufacturing IT, MES August 8, 2018

The R&D tax credit fuels the oil & gas renaissance

A primary government incentive to reward innovation.

By Kevin Corley and Wayne Miranda, alliantgroup
Manufacturing IT, MES August 8, 2018

Crude oil prices expected to decrease from recent highs

The EIA reports that oil prices are expected to drop from recent highs by the end of 2018 due to higher production from OPEC and Russia.

By EIA
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2018

Report profiles U.S. fuel and petrochemical supply chain

Infrastructure is a must-have when an industry switches from import to export.

By American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
Manufacturing IT, MES July 9, 2018

SCADA standardization drives third-party connectivity

Ever more data leads to alternative means for capturing it as oil and gas refineries upgrade or migrate legacy control systems.

By Stephen Milton, Maverick Technologies
Manufacturing IT, MES November 19, 2017

Master data management’s benefits for ERP

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

By Ultra Consultants
Manufacturing IT, MES October 27, 2017

Three ways emerging medical device manufacturers leverage MES

Growing medical device manufacturers are investing in manufacturing execution systems (MES) because it provides benefits such as valuable information, error proofing, and paperless manufacturing.

By Valérie Goulévitch
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2013

Digital clamp meters recalled

Fluke Corporation is voluntarily recalling certain Digital Clamp Meters that were manufactured between Sept. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2012.

By Fluke
Manufacturing IT, MES March 2, 2012

Are cloud communication protocols secure?

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES April 16, 2010

Industrial machinery, electrical product inspections: TÜVRheinland accreditation

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2010

Friction Fundamentals and Accelerating Cars

In elections, it's always the economy; in engineering, it's the fundamentals

By Kevin Craig
Manufacturing IT, MES March 17, 2010

AT&T becomes principal customer for Ford electric vehicles

AT&T has agreed to purchase two of the first Ford Transit Connect electric vans.

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2010

Engineering altruism: What’s in it for me?

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...

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Manufacturing IT, MES February 8, 2010

Major Clean Air Act settlements announced

Settlements address 28 industrial plants and require pollution control upgrades, acceptance of enforceable emission limits, and payment of civil penalties.

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2010

FlexLine Wireless Radar Gauge

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...

Manufacturing IT, MES January 30, 2010

Scottish Power selects PAS to improve automation at twelve sites

PlantState Suite software and services to improve safety and operability at power plants.

By Peter Welander
Manufacturing IT, MES January 29, 2010

ExxonMobil develops energy-efficient gas engine oils

New Mobil SHC Pegasus is reported to deliver energy savings of up to 1.5%

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES January 27, 2010

Ultra Green plans to create world’s largest green engineering conglomerate

With a growing base of engineers specializing in low-carbon technologies Ultra Green announces an ambitious expansion plan to market new energy technologies.

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES January 20, 2010

Regulator designed to help reduce manufacturers’ emissions

Actio Corp.'s newest Regulator product enables proactive emissions monitoring and reduction.

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2010

Industry Update: Czech Republic

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.

By Petr Pohorský, Control Engineering Czech Republic
Manufacturing IT, MES December 31, 2009

Functional Devices self-powered wireless current sensor simplifies retrofits

Functional Devices Inc. introduces what it calls the world's first completely self-powered wireless current sensor with EnOcean energy harvesting technology.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 29, 2009

Top 5 Manufacturing Business Technology stories for December 2009

Handheld computing, supply chain integration, social media impact, getting value from information technology, and digital design software were among leading concerns.

By Mark T. Hoske
Manufacturing IT, MES December 22, 2009

Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd. Chooses Apriso for Quality Containment

New solution to improve manufacturing flexibility, support continuous improvement and reduce the total cost of quality

By Company Supplied
Manufacturing IT, MES December 21, 2009

2010 manufacturing outlook from FMA

FMA says main economic influences in 2010 include availability of credit, inflation, demand, and government policies. Improvements are expected.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 20, 2009

Infor Delivers New Document Management Solution for Manufacturers on System i Platform

Automated System Reduces Costs, Increases Productivity, Aids Compliance

By Company Supplied
Manufacturing IT, MES December 17, 2009

Survey: Half of IT departments fail to deliver value

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES December 16, 2009

RFID budgets to grow in 2010, says ABI Research end user survey

RFID budgets in 2010 will increase for about half of those surveyed and remain steady for 40%, said ABI Research.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 10, 2009

IFS Enterprise Explorer is Microsoft Windows 7 ready

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 2, 2009

Blytheco offers Sage ERP X3

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 2, 2009

Gartner enters into agreement to acquire AMR Research Inc. for $64 million

The acquisition of AMR Research is expected to expand Gartner's suite of research offerings and also complement its consulting and events businesses.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2009

2010 Global Automation Industry Outlook

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.

By David Greenfield, Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2009

Universal circular chart ‘Superecorder’

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES November 11, 2009

Focus on quality gets a boost from an enterprise view

Enterprise approach to quality management can reduce total cost of quality, says Apriso and AberdeenGroup.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES November 6, 2009

SAP customer panel offers forum for competitors to work together for mutual benefit

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."

By Sidney Hill
Manufacturing IT, MES November 4, 2009

Lessons in sustainability

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES November 2, 2009

PTT Chemicals implements i2 supply chain planning solutions

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2009

Acquire critical data in difficult terrain

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...

Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2009

Cellulosic fuel ethanol plant begins production; organisms help

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2009

Time to turn the page—on the calendar and the economy

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES October 28, 2009

Faster KPI views needed, says MESA metrics study

Business value of production metrics confirmed at MESA Europe Conference.

Manufacturing IT, MES October 27, 2009

Autodesk announces support for Windows 7

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES October 22, 2009

Oracle announces new mobile, social enhancements for CRM On Demand

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES October 22, 2009

Risk Study: Manufacturers more worried about recovery than recession

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES October 21, 2009

Software supports US compliance with  international financial reporting standards

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.

By Renee Robbins
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2009

Extended range inductive proximity sensors

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES September 23, 2009

Manufacturing technology producers support S. 1677, the Defense Production Act

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES September 21, 2009

Supply chain management tips: Align business strategies, apply advanced technologies

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.

By Mark T. Hoske
Manufacturing IT, MES September 16, 2009

ColumbiaSoft document management software works with Microsoft Windows 7

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!

Manufacturing IT, MES September 15, 2009

Science matters when selecting software

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.

By Edward S. Pound
Manufacturing IT, MES September 10, 2009

800+ engineering jobs: Fisher/Unitech virtual job fair

Fisher/Unitech and 6Connex collaborate to offer more than 800 U.S. design and engineering jobs.

Manufacturing IT, MES September 9, 2009

Fisher/Unitech announces virtual job fair for engineers, more than 800 jobs

Collaborative initiative with Fisher/Unitech and 6Connex offers more than 800 U.S. design and engineering jobs.

Manufacturing IT, MES September 9, 2009

Poll: Manufacturers detail recession survival strategies, report better conditions

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).

Manufacturing IT, MES September 2, 2009

Aegis’ manufacturing IT survey: Most record keeping is paper, pharma and biotech firms say

Life sciences manufacturers continue to face data challenges - more than 60% report "moderate" or "significant" variability in processes despite despite significant IT investments.

Manufacturing IT, MES July 9, 2009

Oracle helping customers make a business case for attending its user conference

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.

By Sidney Hill
Manufacturing IT, MES July 6, 2009

Impact of business policies on emissions reduction examined by Business Roundtable

Economic modeling study identifies policies that boost reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing financial consequences.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2009

2009 Innovation Insight Awards: A new day for ERP users

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.

By Roberto Michel, Senior Contributing Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2009

2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Keeping product innovation in sync

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...

By Roberto Michel, Senior Contributing Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2009

2009 Innovation Insight Awards: Manufacturing meets 3D design

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.

By Roberto Michel, Senior Contributing Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES June 24, 2009

Infor offers flexible approach to upgrading ERP

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.

By Sidney Hill
Manufacturing IT, MES June 17, 2009

Study: Tier II ERP solutions work well for manufacturers and distributors

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.

By Sidney Hill
Manufacturing IT, MES June 3, 2009

Application store for the enterprise; xTuple debuts xChange

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2009

Engineering in Balance – 2009-06-01

Industrial product certification and compliance can be a challenge.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 27, 2009

Time-proportional control: more from an on/off switch

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.

By Vance VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E., Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES May 22, 2009

Solar thermal power plant to demonstrate key technologies

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 19, 2009

German hybrid power plant to produce hydrogen from wind

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 14, 2009

Former Honeywell executive to lead low-power wireless lighting producer

Adura Technologies is a smart grid technology venture that applies low-power wireless mesh networking to the lighting market.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 13, 2009

EPA proposes mercury cutbacks at cement plants

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%.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 12, 2009

Design outsourcing: Symphony Services has grown by harmonizing with client needs

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.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

Senators introduce industrial revitalization bill

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

The pros and cons of doing business in emerging markets

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

Solid and colored wire duct

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

New family of dc brushless motors, controls

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2009

TÜV introduces energy efficiency certificate at Hannover Fair

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 ...

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 29, 2009

MRI Machine Design Lessons: See Inside

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.)

By Peter Welander, Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES April 29, 2009

SAP 1Q09: Strong margin, despite revenue decrease

SAP first quarter 2009 shows a strong margin at 13.9%, with 3% less total revenue.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 27, 2009

Report from Hannover: TÜV energy efficiency certificate

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 7, 2009

Solid and colored wire duct from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect extended its T1 series slotted wire duct line to include black and blue for specialized wiring identification. See photo.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2009

Economist identifies hazards, opportunities for manufacturing, engineering

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2009

Lower Cost Medical Devices? FDA Wants to Help

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.

By Daniel R. Matlis, Axendia
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2009

Trio of new cybersecurity interviews on SCADA, NERC, more

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...

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2009

Cut costs with manufacturing IT standards, best practices

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...

By Dennis Brandl
Manufacturing IT, MES March 27, 2009

Good returns: Users report early dividends from Infosys-Microsoft supply chain solutions

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 23, 2009

Data talk: “Smart form” technology eases EDI/ERP order information transfer, validation

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.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES March 12, 2009

2009 Industrial Automation Engineering Scholarship applications available

ASCO Numatics begins taking applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 6, 2009

Web-enabled workflow: Synergy solution simplifies collaboration in smaller organizations

Collaboration technology isn’t just for big companies anymore. Today it’s just as important—and readily accessible—to small and midsize businesses.

By Hope Neal, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES March 3, 2009

Guest commentary: Seven habits of highly successful control engineers, part 2

A three-part examination by George Buckbee of ways control engineers can become more effective: This is part two of three.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 2, 2009

Lead by example: SAP sets sustainability pledge; enhances environmental software

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.

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2009

Energy Efficiency Strategy & Tactics

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2009

Julie Fraser: S&OP matures into strategic process

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.

By Julie Fraser
Manufacturing IT, MES February 27, 2009

Emerson takes biofuels summits on the road

A one-day presentation can bring you up to speed on a dynamic and often confusing biofuels industry. Listen to related podcast below.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 26, 2009

Autodesk Fusion will take modeling to the next level

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 25, 2009

Fielding quality: Argenti Lemon S.A. tracks product port-to-port using RFID-enabled devices

Rugged handheld computers wirelessly monitor harvesting, production, and shipping of lemons to ensure quality standards.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 24, 2009

Digital instructors: Simulation software helps production workers learn faster

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 17, 2009

Commercial vehicles get new hybrid battery technology

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 13, 2009

Merger fallout: ILOG supply chain customers welcomed into the “IBM family”

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., Executive Editor (shill@reedbusiness.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES February 11, 2009

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.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES February 6, 2009

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2009

Automation Competency Model finalized

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.

By Mark Hoske, editor-in-chief
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2009

Globalized engineering requires an immigration strategy

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.

By Robert Meltzer, CEO, VisaNow
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2009

New insight: Quality application sets up visual cues for process flow integrity

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.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor (malcolm_wheatley@compuserve.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES January 27, 2009

For 125 years, IEEE has engineered the future

Engineering organization celebrates historic milestone globally throughout 2009 with events, student competition. What are you doing for Engineers Week, Feb. 15-21?

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 27, 2009

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.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 26, 2009

Material yield: SYSPRO ERP continues to drive ”green” rewards

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 26, 2009

New nuclear power plants in China to be fully digital

Two dual-unit installations will use IPS platforms for critical control and safety systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 23, 2009

Single brand: Business and warehousing solutions supplier is moving on “Upp”

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 20, 2009

Small business advisory: Launching and managing EDI doesn’t call for undue IT burden

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.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES January 16, 2009

Manufacturing stimulus: Infrastructure investment is the best way to create new jobs

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 16, 2009

ACHMM changes name to Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 15, 2009

ABB automates solar thermal power plant

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2009

Engineering in Balance comic introduced in January 2009 Control Engineering

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 18, 2008

Instrumentation: LXI Consortium releases Revision 1.3

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 16, 2008

Easy data access: IQMS releases new “smart” user interfaces

A new portal interface to the IQMS enterprise suite offers enhanced business intelligence capabilities and fast routes to finding and retrieving stored information.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 11, 2008

Technology adoption: Brazilian companies pursue production efficiency

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 8, 2008

LXI Consortium releases Revision 1.3 of LXI Standard

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 4, 2008

Focus on BASICS: How IGBTs work

Isolated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) lie at the heart of today’s high-power motor drives.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 3, 2008

Super-size win: Transport Designs uses AutoCad to build motor home for BIGGest man in the NFL

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2008

Obamanomics may impact manufacturers three ways

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 27, 2008

Youth: Name a Mars rover; get your hands on Science Chicago

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 25, 2008

Window of opportunity: Open-source PLM vendor says economic winds are blowing customers its way

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 24, 2008

Chasing the rabbit: Expert resource reveals what makes a market leader 

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.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES November 22, 2008

PAC report: The economic meltdown spurs new IT spending challenges  

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 21, 2008

Recession advisory: In today’s economy, cash management is king

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.

By William Atkinson, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 21, 2008

Global partners: EDS to deploy Apriso FlexNet in manufacturing consulting engagements

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES November 20, 2008

FactoryTalk industry-specific applications launched

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 19, 2008

Cooking up success: Grill maker cuts call-center volume, customer complaints with CRM

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. 

By Hope Neal, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 12, 2008

Steam-sterilizable pH sensor resists cracking

Autoclavable and steam-sterilizable pH sensor 

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 10, 2008

Managing innovation: Microsoft forum showcases tool, processes for successful product development

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 4, 2008

Learning incentives: Grants for student manufacturing, engineering camp

Summer camps will introduce introducing students to manufacturing and engineering careers, as a result of two engineering-related foundations.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 3, 2008

Change your view: Enterprise vendors want users to embrace ERP as a strategic tool 

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2008

In brief: Epicor fends off takeover

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2008

Humans vs. technology

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 ...

By Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2008

3D mechanical computer-aided design software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2008

Cradle to grave: IBM Consulting PLM offering makes for greener products, processes

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...

By Jean Thilmany, contributing editor (thilmanyj@gmail.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES October 21, 2008

Rockwell Automation names Ralph Carter president of Rockwell Software

Rockwell Software has a new president, Ralph Carter, says Rockwell Automation.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 14, 2008

Mastering data management: MDM strategies that solve real business problems

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.

By Ravi Shankar, senior director of product marketing, Siperian Inc.
Manufacturing IT, MES October 13, 2008

Share the wealth: Product information tool embraces MDM initiatives

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 9, 2008

Embedded automation: Compact computer supports multiple operating systems

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....

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 9, 2008

For fast results: Success in economic downturn requires best practices in pricing

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2008

Industrious resource: Three survival steps in a struggling economy

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2008

Ed Miller: Leveraging after-sales service for competitive advantage

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.

By Ed Miller
Manufacturing IT, MES September 30, 2008

Filling the gaps: Performix brings MES to SAP Industry Value Network for chemicals

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2008

Free space: Applimation archiving solution stores excess application data

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 ...

By Karen Dilger, contributing editor (kadilger@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2008

New, efficient industrial gas turbines coming

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.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E., Control Engineering consulting editor
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2008

Sidney Hill, Jr.: Let’s talk supply chain management, or whatever else is on your mind

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...

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES August 20, 2008

Double-take: Pragmatism underpins valve manufacturer’s twin-strand ERP strategy

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.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor, Paris, France
Manufacturing IT, MES August 20, 2008

Certifiably MES: Composite application “fills the gaps” for SAP Batch Manufacturing

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 19, 2008

Overall Labor Effectiveness: Extending the principles of OEE to the workforce

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.

By Gregg Gordon, Kronos, Inc.
Manufacturing IT, MES August 14, 2008

You need 2 monitors: This Website will prove it

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 11, 2008

400 reasons to check out Compiere open ERP, CRM

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

‘Ring scanner’ reads bar codes

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

Driving Quality With Compliance

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.

By Gordon Benzie, Apriso
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

Ed Miller: Industry spotlight: Executives discovering value of PLM software

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.

By Ed Miller
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

Cleaning Mercury from Power Plants

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, ...

By Mike Wightman, Weed Instrument
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

Design contest proves CAD software accelerates the innovation process

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2008

The hunt for 60+% thermal efficiency

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.

By Frank J. Bartos, P.E.
Manufacturing IT, MES July 23, 2008

Double feature: Farnborough Air Show features advances in products and PLM

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.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES July 14, 2008

Tough questions: Gartner tallies up seven cloud-computing security risks

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 11, 2008

IT connection: Application performance challenges mean millions of dollars lost

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 10, 2008

Comprehensive curriculum: Ford awards global training program responsibility to Dassault

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2008

Subscribers weather economic times well

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.

By David Greenfield, Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2008

Innovate like Thomas Edison

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2008

Fast car: Voltaire to advance auto safety standards for Audi

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 17, 2008

Gartner report: Worldwide SCM software revenue grew 18 percent in 2007

"[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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 12, 2008

Maple 12 provides CAD connectivity, new analysis tools

Dynamic systems modeling tool have been added, as has direct connectivity to computer-aided design (CAD) systems.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 11, 2008

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 6, 2008

Die Casting Automation-An Integrated Engineering Approach

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 2, 2008

Let’s Not Forget the Dollar Per Day Economy

In our quest for newer and better technologies, we can't forget those who are less fortunate.

By Geoffrey C. Orsak, Ph.D., Dean of the Engineering School, SMU
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

History-free and feature-based: Siemens PLM Software unfurls its Synchronous Technology banner

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.

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

Front-end sales tool brings newfound simplicity to complex products manufacture

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...

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

Alison Smith: The time has come for the Operations Data Warehouse

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...

By Alison Smith
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

As SOA adoption solidifies, good governance is recognized as critical next step

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

Connecting sensors, embedded devices on low-power networks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

Interop/Software 2008 addresses distributed performance challenges inherent to PLM

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 ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES May 28, 2008

Brushless motors sweep up (maybe)

For years, manufacturers of brushless DC motors have promoted the advantages of their products, but growth has been less than many anticipated.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 20, 2008

Application modernization: HP promises a clear path for legacy system upgrades

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES May 15, 2008

Mobile intelligence: Cognos analytics now available on BlackBerry devices 

IBM says it has started selling software that lets customers access its Cognos business intelligence software via BlackBerry mobile devices.

By Reuters
Manufacturing IT, MES May 7, 2008

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2008

Business intelligence solution presents customer data without delay

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.

By Karen Dilger, contributing editor (kadilger@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2008

NIST…it’s not just for calibration

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...

By C.G. Masi, Control Engineering
Manufacturing IT, MES April 14, 2008

RFID knowledge: IEEE International RFID Conference; asset tag

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 2, 2008

Succession planning: SAP names co-CEO, eventual successor to Henning Kagermann

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2008

By the Numbers – 2008-04-01

>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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2008

Green motors, copper wires and more

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2008

Help students in the STEM game – science, technology, engineering, and math

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.

By Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2008

Economics and the environment

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 ...

By Marc Moschetto, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2008

GE expands and extends SOA offering

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 13, 2008

494 BODs (business object documents) in OAGIS Release 9.2

Standard better supports Web services and makes OAGIS simpler to use; get free download.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 5, 2008

Wireless podcast: What’s the killer application for your plant?

New technology doesn't become popular until there is an application that makes it compelling.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 5, 2008

Control Engineering’s 2008 Global Coverage

A roundup of articles and links from the 2008 Global Supplement

By Marc Moschetto
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2008

Dataforth engineers overcome the aliasing “gremlin”

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2008

Purchasing’s evolution to strategic sourcing is a multistage process

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.

By Karen Dilger, contributing editor (kadilger@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2008

New partnership speeds setup of electronic trading communities—and ERP ROI

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 ...

By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES February 12, 2008

Agreement makes laptops more secure

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 11, 2008

Anti-piracy campaign: China reports crackdown on illegal software is paying off

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.

By Xinhua Economic News Service
Manufacturing IT, MES February 6, 2008

NEMA defines electric supply chain intelligence; urges economic help

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 4, 2008

Total control: New SOA suite pinpoints links between services and business processes

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2008

Supplier networks offer more than just reduced prices

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.

By Carolyn Heinze, contributing editor (carolynheinze@free.fr)
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2008

When worlds connect: IBM sees potential for IM, virtual role playing in PLM 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.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor(Jfulcher@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES January 31, 2008

Finding, retaining talent: Culture is key for motor manufacturer

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 24, 2008

Minicomputer takes ‘ruggedized’ to the next level

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 11, 2008

Open marketplace: Adobe technology makes MFG.com an easier place to buy, sell goods

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.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 11, 2008

Buying advantage: Today’s supplier networks offer more than just reduced prices

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.

By Carolyn Heinze, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 9, 2008

SOA stalwarts: Microsoft, IBM support most service-oriented architectures

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 9, 2008

Emerson sells Brooks Instrument, buys The Automation Group

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 8, 2008

Visualization: Curved video walls benefit from new rear-projection displays

Planar Systems Inc. has launched Clarity RP and RX rear-projection displays.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 2, 2008

7% annual growth: New automation systems create nimble, more profitable manufacturers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2008

Richlin Machinery taps 3D design, recasting itself as custom builder

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...

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES December 25, 2007

Santa: What technologies give Santa what he needs to make deliveries?

Santa has quite a task in delivering presents to the world. What technologies could help make it happen?

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 20, 2007

Tutorial: Conductivity sensors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 19, 2007

Global trade: Vendor alliance supports midsize companies seeking international growth

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 18, 2007

RTI and Saab integrate support for Ada

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 17, 2007

Solid ROI: Avocet expects $4-million payback from business software investment

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 17, 2007

Taro Pharmaceuticals hastens product security

Taro Pharmaceuticals will use SupplyScape's E-Pedigree data management solution to secure its prescription drug supply chain.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 14, 2007

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. 

By Carolyn Heinze, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES December 14, 2007

Lean front-end: Sundyne streamlines sales process with BigMachines configurator

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 6, 2007

Economics of change: Vendors blend EAI, ERP, and RFID with open source ease

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. 

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 5, 2007

Sales-oriented support: SAP refreshes its CRM interface

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2007

Powerful rackmount computer

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2007

Sidney Hill, Jr.: Vendors benefit from SOA just as much as users

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 29, 2007

Faster development: Move over, Skype, here comes embedded VoIP

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 26, 2007

Deacom ERP supports MESA standard

Deacom has joined the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA), which defines industry standards that allow manufacturers to bridge execution excellence with enterprise-level requirements.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 26, 2007

Apriso extends visibility from ERP down to the shop floor for Amcor Flexibles

Apriso FlexNet enables widespread unification of all operations execution systems, creating an adaptive operations platform across multiple locations.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 26, 2007

Conference Board advisory: Attend to risk management day by day

Enterprise risk management—a strategic method of understanding and managing risks—is not being integrated with corporate cultures.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 22, 2007

Talking turkey: Tour a processing plant, gobble up some trivia

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?

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 20, 2007

New Year’s Eve: Better cable, more efficient power, lighting inside countdown ball

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 19, 2007

Apatar and StrikeIron connect open source with data quality

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 19, 2007

NIBCO speeds order processes into SAP with Esker document solution

Flow-control products maker NIBCO is using Esker DeliveryWare to automating the flow of business transaction documents directly into and out of SAP ERP.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 14, 2007

PLM pledge: Oracle confirms lifetime support of Agile Software with new integration plan

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 14, 2007

Intelligent investment: IBM in motion to buy Cognos

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.

By Tony Baer, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 12, 2007

Better integration: Rockwell Automation extends software RS PMX MES

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 7, 2007

Design disconnect: MBT survey lets your voice be heard on mechatronics challenges

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 6, 2007

Innovation engine: ILOG upgrade could spawn new generation of supply chain applications

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 5, 2007

Early profit warning: TREAD Act exposes value of automated tracking systems   

Automotive manufacturers could see valuable side benefits by adhering to a key provision of the Transportation Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

Research and partnerships signal further evolution of electronic invoicing

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 ...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: Autodesk as the un-PLM company

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

PLM forges link between OEMs, contract manufacturers

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.

By William Atkinson, contributing editor (w.atkinson@mchsi.com)
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

Wireless networking: More Zigbee capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

We live in a material world

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...

By Dennis Brandl
Manufacturing IT, MES October 29, 2007

Fast talk: Collaborative solutions are fueling PLM market growth

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 25, 2007

Tunnel vision: APICS attendees looked to solve specific problems

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES October 25, 2007

Networking: Zigbee Alliance adds capabilities

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 18, 2007

Renting process knowledge: i2 Technologies moves into the outsourcing business

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 17, 2007

It’s payback time: The next generation of RFID may hold real value

EPCglobal has ratified a new standard that promises to finally make RFID a tool for gaining complete supply chain visibility.

By Bryan Tracey
Manufacturing IT, MES October 10, 2007

Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-10-10

Control Engineering PTC SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

RosettaNet-E2open survey validates XML B2B integration

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.

By Karen Abramic-Dilger, contributing editor (kadilger@comcast.net)
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: “Google-like” capabilities impact enterprise system use

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

Web-based sizing and selection tool helps optimize linear motion solutions

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

To reach desired “IT end-state,” Volvo CE focuses on multi-plant performance

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.

By Kevin Parker, editorial directorand Frank Smith, senior contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES September 28, 2007

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 27, 2007

Wireless: Parking lot gets smart with ZigBee

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 26, 2007

WINA’s wireless tour

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 20, 2007

Distributed order management key to best practice

Management is most essential to achieving on-time shipment with reduction in costs for multisite operations, according to a report from Aberdeen Group.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 12, 2007

CE TV: Invensys – PPG Moves to the Mesh

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 11, 2007

Supply Chain Consulting launches five-step carbon emission-reduction platform

CarbonView helps companies become greener by implementing their carbon emission reduction strategy and by monitoring their performance against that strategy.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 6, 2007

Oracle buys Netsure; CDC Software adds in Catalyst; Cognos to buy BPM vendor Applix

· Oracle announced an agreement to acquire network intelligence and security specialist Netsure Telecom Limited.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2007

Good forecasting tools point the way to lower inventories

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.

By Jean Thilmany, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2007

ERP-Link business optimization platform drives SAP-Microsoft interoperability

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 31, 2007

Nearly $1 billion: ABB sells Lummus Global oil & gas process technologies to CB&I

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 30, 2007

Stanford Research advisory: strategic spot trading benefits supply chains

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. 

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 29, 2007

Omron names new COO and president

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 27, 2007

Accurate mercury emissions monitoring ensures regulatory compliance

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 21, 2007

IFS first to market with embedded enterprise application search

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. 

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 20, 2007

CETV Testing!!

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 17, 2007

Energy savings through Linux-based servers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 16, 2007

Seemage partners with SolidWorks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 13, 2007

Wireless LANs bring newfound freedom, yet users may be putting corporate databases at risk

Businesses keep giving employees more and more wireless capabilities, but haven't freed their infrastructures from a wired network.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 9, 2007

Aberdeen ranking: Lawson delivers most benefits per dollar for midsize manufacturer

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 9, 2007

Attention shoppers: Expedited checkout is on the way

The project will investigate the unique RFID challenges associated with shoes and clothing, and explore "cash register-less" checkout.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 9, 2007

CAD industry: Video broadcasting puts news in TV format

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 6, 2007

Device maker ADASA wins technology excellence award

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2007

By the Numbers – 2007-08-01

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2007

Supply manager role takes on strategic nature to meet value-add expectations

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2007

Smithfield Foods, Perdue Farms see plant capacity gains from forecasting and BI tools

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 30, 2007

Infor powers more complex supply chain optimization

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.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 20, 2007

ExxonMobil gives testing group safety performance award

Princeton Junction, NJ—Conam Inspection & Engineering Services, part of Mistras Group Inc., received an Excellence in Safety Performance Award from ExxonMobil’s Baytown Ref

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 18, 2007

Oracle buying PLM vendor is no surprise to those who follow enterprise software trends

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.

By Roberto Michel
Manufacturing IT, MES July 12, 2007

Design: SolidWorks 2008 incorporates user requests

Concord, Mass.—SolidWorks Corp. has released SolidWorks 2008, the latest version of its 3D CAD software.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Merger with Oracle puts Enterprise PLM on the table

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Collect useful information

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.

By Bob Vavra for MESA International
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Control Engineering’s Jeanine Katzel retires

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

A hefty dose of supply chain apps extend PLM from concept creation to service and maintenance

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Obstacles to collaboration

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.

By Renee Robbins, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Office productivity, Web 2.0, SOA seen as “new vistas” in apps vendor partnerships

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

Mid-tier offerings prove it’s not just the database anymore

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2007

WBF recognizes Dennis Brandl and Dave Emerson with Thomas G. Fisher Awards

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 10, 2007

Standards: OMAC initiates first ever technical symposium

The first annual OMAC technical symposium, to be held November 28-29, 2007, will center on integration between the process and discrete industries.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2007

Sidney Hill, Jr.: Who’s ready for Enterprise 2.0?

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.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2007

Process Standards: Groundbreaking savings expected at Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens plant

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2007

Service skills seen as the next competitive differentiator for best-in-class companies

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2007

Specialists share transformation models with tech providers, industry peers

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 14, 2007

ABB expands collaborative production management business

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 10, 2007

Book: Parametric modeling for beginners

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 2, 2007

Analysis: What becomes of the operator?

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2007

Being good and done

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.

By Chuck Sherman
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2007

World’s fair of engineering

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.

By Renee Robbins, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2007

Data migration tool eases transfer path from Excel to SAP

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2007

Build your own manufacturing IT tool kit

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.

By Dennis Brandl
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2007

Integrating design and manufacturing systems breeds continuous improvement

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...

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor
Manufacturing IT, MES April 11, 2007

Wireless: Scope, systems for ISA-SP100.11a draft OK’d

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 9, 2007

Visualization software targets small, medium enterprises

AutoVue 3D Pro-SME, the latest addition to Cimmetry’s AutoVue family of visualization products, targets small and medium-sized enterprises.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 2, 2007

RFID lessons: Improved technology leads to easier implementations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2007

Fun Website: Connect kids to the world of manufacturing

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2007

Equipment Operations Module 1.0 is scalable, flexible

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 27, 2007

New knowledge: 60 GB math object advances engineering

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 21, 2007

SolidWorks Labs lets users try, evaluate new software on line

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 15, 2007

Enterprise systems: Wella Corp. ‘shuttles’ production data into SAP

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 13, 2007

Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-03-13

Control Engineering MCC SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 5, 2007

Toolset transforms robots into CMMs

RoboGauge tool set from Orus3D creates or transforms an industrial robot into an in-line coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2007

Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-03-01

Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 26, 2007

Access point withstands harsh environments

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 5, 2007

Software adds native document viewing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2007

By the Numbers – 2007-02-01

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2007

Advancements in polymer films expand resistive touchscreen use

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.

By Bruce DeVisser
Manufacturing IT, MES January 26, 2007

Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-01-26

Control Engineering RFID SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2007

Reaching its limit?

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 15, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (December 11, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 14, 2006

User conference: Embrace OPC Unified Architecture, says Yokogawa

' 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 .

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 14, 2006

Simulation: Entry-level tool links to MD Nastran and supply chain

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 11, 2006

Faster engineering calculations

InventBetter Suite 2007 is a collection of programs from Geomate Co. intended to help scientific and technical professionals automate the engineering calculation process.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 5, 2006

Hands-on experience: Partnership promotes engineering, technology

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2006

4 tips for motion control

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2006

Goodbye Windows NT

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES November 27, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (November 27, 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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 22, 2006

Industry leaders ponder: what do wireless customers want?

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 9, 2006

Software targets technical, engineering Internet searches

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2006

ZigBee to improve wireless mesh networks in 2007

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 30, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (October 30, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 26, 2006

New product: A/D converter lowers power, space requirements

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 11, 2006

Control Engineering launches in Czech Republic, Slovakia

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 10, 2006

Harsh applications: Resistors deliver stable performance

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 3, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (October 3, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 2, 2006

High-speed machining module

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2006

What KPI metrics do best-in-class companies monitor?

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2006

Turn knowledge into capital

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...

By Jim Upchurch
Manufacturing IT, MES September 28, 2006

Taking the next STEP in CNC programming

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 26, 2006

Sweepstakes Rules – 2006-09-26

Control Engineering Web Technologies SurveySweepstakes RulesNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN 1. How to Enter : To enter the sweepstakes, complete the survey and submit your email address provided in the survey. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 25, 2006

IMTS 2006: Get more competitive, jump start your brain

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 14, 2006

Joint effort produces red phosphorescent OLED devices

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 12, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (September 12, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 7, 2006

Manufacturing technology consumption up 23.9% in 2006

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 6, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (September 5, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 5, 2006

RF Monolithics adds wireless capabilities with two acquisitions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2006

A winning strategy

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," ...

By Sidney Hill, Jr., Executive Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2006

Seeking dollars for delays

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.

By Mark Voigtmann, Baker & Daniels LLP
Manufacturing IT, MES August 30, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (August 28, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 21, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (August 21, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 18, 2006

Free RFID educational, training targets ‘skills shortage’

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 17, 2006

$100 laptop ready for children early 2007

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 14, 2006

Rack mount enclosures

Buckeye ShapeForm VersaFlex Series line of desktop/rack mount enclosures features rounded edges and two-tone colors with a durable finish.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 10, 2006

VDC: RFID plans could be affected by Philips spin off

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 8, 2006

Freescale produces 4 Mbit MRAM memory in quantity

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 7, 2006

High altitude railway will run on Echelon’s LonWorks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 7, 2006

Ground monitoring system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 3, 2006

Fiber-optic backlighting fits under switches, buttons, indicators

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 2, 2006

‘Grandfathered’ equipment falls under new UL 508 regulations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 2, 2006

Achieve quick payback on your HVAC energy savings via these four (4) easy steps by ABB

(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)

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 2, 2006

Custom products maintain instrumentation supplier profitability

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2006

Beware the dirty dozen

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.

By Mark Voigtmann, Baker & Daniels LLP
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2006

LEDs: Rugged, versatile light sources

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...

By Jordon Papanier, LEDtronics Inc.
Manufacturing IT, MES July 27, 2006

Williams Power installs generation management system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 25, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (July 24, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 20, 2006

Instrumentation challenges of Hurricane Katrina to highlight ISA 2006 keynote

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 20, 2006

MBT’s global 100 includes control engineering firms

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 18, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (July 18, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 17, 2006

Current monitoring solid-state relay

RJCS Series current monitoring solid-state relay is the latest addition to the Solitron Series.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 13, 2006

Interoperability highlights ARC Forum in Boston

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 12, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (July 12, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 3, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (June 3, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 3, 2006

New center to help ensure reliability of nation’s power grid

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 30, 2006

Did you comply with the July 1 RoHS deadline?

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 30, 2006

Networks Product Research (July 2006)

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

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 26, 2006

Exclusive:‘Out-of-the-box’ tracking, tracing

Tecnomatix FactoryLink Traceability module tracks and traces key production events on serialized products and provides full bi-directional genealogy and analysis functions.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 19, 2006

Mechanical design software enhances review, security 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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 19, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (June 19, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 16, 2006

Privacy Policy – 2006-06-16

Automatic Data Collection: Methods used to collect this information may include "cookies" and "clear GIFs" (also known as "pixel tags" or "beacons"). A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a server and stored on your computer’s hard drive. Most browsers allow Users to block the receipt of cookies, but doing so may compromise your ability to use certain features of this Site.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2006

Feedback: Bias built into many countries

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 30, 2006

Expanded hollow-shaft mounting system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 29, 2006

Enterprise build-management software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 22, 2006

Inductive sensors in many sizes

New line of inductive sensors comes in a wide range of sizes from 4 to 30 mm.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 17, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (May 17, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 11, 2006

High performance hand held in IP65-rated package

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 3, 2006

Process milestone: ITT delivers millionth ANSI pump

Goulds Pumps shipped its millionth ANSI process pump last month. The company called the 3196 pump model "still the industry standard after 45 years."

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2006

Make this or make it do this?

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.

By Mark Voigtmann, Baker & Daniels LLP
Manufacturing IT, MES April 12, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (April 12, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 3, 2006

Micro-gamma ray detector developed

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 3, 2006

Video server is DIN-rail mountable

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 2006

Root out rootkit problems

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...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES March 23, 2006

Healthcare Cost-Control Seen as Key to Manufacturing Survival

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 20, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System – 2006-03-20

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 13, 2006

Digital vacuum/pressure gauge

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 9, 2006

Flat-glass LED illuminator helps verify levels

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 9, 2006

$20 MCU development tool

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 20, 2006

Process monitoring camera

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 9, 2006

Military goes solar

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 9, 2006

Ruggedized mobile computer in IP65 package

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 7, 2006

Industrial R&D expenditures reflect increasing optimism

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (February 1, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 24, 2006

IR thermometer with variable target focus

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 .

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 19, 2006

Measurement sensor for inspection applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 19, 2006

Researchers solve whale tooth mystery: It’s a sensor

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 18, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System (January 18, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 16, 2006

Managing block libraries

Autodsys (automated drafting systems) Navigator block manager and toolkit software for AutoCAD and IntelliCAD manages block libraries and inserts blocks into drawings.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 9, 2006

Borescope for hard-to-access areas

CastingScope flexible borescope is designed to inspect metal castings and other rugged, hard-to-access areas.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 4, 2006

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System(January 3, 2006)

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2006

Tools to implement an optimal AS-i network

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2006

GE Fanuc names InfoPortal for Mexico

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2006

Engineering data search

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 27, 2005

Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System-December 27, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 27, 2005

Manufacturing exec: Don’t be afraid of China

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 21, 2005

ISPE and PES agreement for international job analysis study

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.

Manufacturing IT, MES December 20, 2005

Computer manufacturers finalize merger

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 19, 2005

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

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 12, 2005

Backplane with 20 slots

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 6, 2005

MESA International adds member to board of directors

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 5, 2005

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2005

Wiring duct upgrades ease wire layout, installation

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2005

Wireless cloud

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.

By Richard Phelps
Manufacturing IT, MES November 21, 2005

Software for toolmaking

CimatronE 7.0 integrative CAD/CAM solution for toolmakers covers the toolmaking process from quoting to delivery.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 10, 2005

PC in a flash

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2005

Manage multiple routes-to-market globally

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 24, 2005

Control Engineering Digital Edition

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 24, 2005

Control Engineering Digital FAQ Page

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 13, 2005

Mathsoft and National Instruments integrate software products

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2005

Three messages about M2M/the embedded Internet

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2005

Handshakes and automation contracts

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.

By Mark Voigtmann
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2005

Software for life sciences

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 22, 2005

U.S. version show in 2007

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 19, 2005

3-D content comes alive

Strata 3-D Live allows 3-D content to come alive in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 15, 2005

Sensor transmitter accepts toxic, oxygen modules

Sensor transmitter from Global Detection Systems Corp. features field replaceable toxic/oxygen sensor module. Model GDS-49 sensor transmitter from Global Detection Systems Corp.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 6, 2005

Information management, gas pipeline control systems expanding

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 5, 2005

Enterprise search engine

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2005

Compact, modular vacuum pump

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2005

Omni-directional wireless antennas support multiple protocols

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 23, 2005

Strategic alliance forms to promote environmental compliance

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 23, 2005

Consortiums seek to develop standards for benchmarks, algorithms

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 18, 2005

PXI takes the Express

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%.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 15, 2005

Durable pressure switches

Goldtech switch line comes in pressure, vacuum, or differential models.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 11, 2005

Electronic Factory Orders Up

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 8, 2005

Integrated software flexibility, performance

Ansys version 10.0 software offers advances in performance, ease-of-use, interoperability, and coupled physics technology, such as fluid structure interaction (FSI).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 4, 2005

Plastic additive improves laser marking

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2005

Dynics buys Ann Arbor Technologies

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2005

Software development capability

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2005

Brooks Automation buying Helix Technology for $454 million

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 ...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 25, 2005

Enterprise production management software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 18, 2005

Real-time safety management system

ProcessLife monitors facility and processes using a virtual replica as a reference model.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 11, 2005

Rack-mount power supply

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 7, 2005

How to get the most from your service agreements and providers

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 5, 2005

Dataforth Broadens 8B Family of SCMs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2005

Foxboro seeks control room most in need of a makeover

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 23, 2005

Dalsa Coreco is the new name, to reflect acquisition

Coreco changed its name to Dalsa Coreco and will operate as a separate business unit under Dalsa Corp.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 20, 2005

LCD panel computer for SCADA

ARP-2019 ruggedized panel computer for industrial supervisory control applications supports dual 19-in. LCD screens simultaneously with independent display content.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 2, 2005

Brooks Software unveils enterprise interoperability hub

Brooks Software has announced its Enterprise Interoperability (EI) Hub, which enables information exchange between manufacturing and enterprise business applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2005

SME, AME, Shingo Prize join to set lean certification standard

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2005

Siemens to acquire Robicon for $197 million

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 11, 2005

Siemens acquiring Robicon for $197 million

New Kensington, PA—Robicon Corp. has agreed to sell its assets to Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. for approximately $197.5 million in cash.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 4, 2005

Secure controls, monitoring for water systems is new company’s focus

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 2, 2005

Protective ‘coats’ for robots

Robosuit all-enveloping suit coated with DuPont Dow Hypalon chlorosulfonated polyethelene protects vital parts, reduces maintenance, and increases automation uptime.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2005

Take a systems approach

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.

By Thomas F. Edgar, University of Texas
Manufacturing IT, MES April 28, 2005

2 NEMA standards on power drive systems align with IEC

More U.S. standards are getting in line with international standards.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 12, 2005

Hannover Fair 2005: Pepperl+Fuchs exhibits intelligent linear path measurement

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 7, 2005

Components: Racks, power, surge protection, lead-free seminar

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 6, 2005

Legislation spurs growth of European hazardous-areas equipment market

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 9, 2005

NMW 2005: Wika exhibits lower back mount, panel builder gauge

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 8, 2005

NMW 2005: Hoffman adds freestanding enclosures for varied applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2005

National Instruments buys Electronics Workbench

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2005

Linear motion voice-coil motors

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 17, 2005

Instrument combination characterizes biopolymers in new ways

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 17, 2005

Switches designed for high-purity level measuring applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 14, 2005

Wireless extension for Profibus DP LANs

Elpro 905U-G-PR wireless Profibus provides wireless extension of ProfibusDP LANs, including secure firewall isolation and security data encryption.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 10, 2005

IBM and SAP join MESA board

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 7, 2005

Washdown sensor for harsh use

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 13, 2005

Electrical software for PDA

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 6, 2005

Institutionalizing Alarm Management by Matrikon

What is alarm management? Most plant personnel equate alarm management with reducing alarms; however, this is only one piece of the puzzle.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2005

1 indicator, 7 light/flash functions

EZ-Light indicators offer compact, inexpensive means for showing run and stop modes, good and bad parts, process identification, and pick-to-light help. 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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2005

RFID impacts automation

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.

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2005

Holographic interface’s keypad images float in air

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2005

Globe valve for steam service

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 28, 2004

EPCglobal ratifies UHF Generation 2 standard for RFID

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 16, 2004

Telvent upgrades pipeline monitoring, control system

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 9, 2004

Yokogawa creates MES Solution Center

Yokogawa Electric has created a Global MES Solution Center (GMSC) at Yokogawa Marex at Cowes in the Isle of Wight (UK).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 9, 2004

Standard enables data flow between CNC, CAD/CAM

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 7, 2004

IEEE-USA happy with strengthened workforce protections; unhappy with added H-1B exemptions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 17, 2004

Why Use Isolated Signal Conditioners by Dataforth

Isolating power sources and sensor signals is the most effective method for eliminating undesirable ground loop currents and induced electrical noise.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 11, 2004

Mathcad upgrade incorporates XML

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 8, 2004

Custom enclosures

New state-of-the-art computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) machining system expands in-house capabilities to supply customized plastic and aluminum enclosures.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2004

Analog, discrete, digital: deciphered

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.

By Vance VanDoren
Manufacturing IT, MES October 25, 2004

Enhanced SCADA solution

Monitor Pro v7.2 software is an easy-to-use supervision toolbox for medium to large applications.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2004

Appeals court upholds NI’s patent infringement judgment

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2004

Time to cluster

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...

By Dennis Brandl, BR&L Consulting
Manufacturing IT, MES September 28, 2004

Good economic news spurs controls sector

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 16, 2004

Late-night reading: Synthetic instruments

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 14, 2004

Appeals court upholds NI’s patent infringement judgment against MathWorks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 10, 2004

IMTS 2004: Siemens launches virtual production, mechatronic support services

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 5, 2004

Electro-Matic plans Aug. 24 Web seminar with Brad Harrison

Electro-Matic Products Inc. plans to hold a Web-based seminar at 10-11 a.m. on Aug. 24.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 3, 2004

Gardner Denver buying nash_elmo Holdings

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 2, 2004

Mechanism design, analysis

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 8, 2004

Replacing the Aging Process Automation System: Finding the Best Option by Foxboro

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 5, 2004

Software suite enhancements

Applied Stats Software Suite version 6.0 can be integrated with ASI DataMyte PACT Suite 5.5.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2004

CAN module for USB port

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2004

TCO protects electrical equipment

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2004

Process knowledge highlights Honeywell users’ conference

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 22, 2004

Variable-speed drive manufacturers’ OEMs shifting from North America

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 14, 2004

Technical desktop tools

Maple 9.5 desktop productivity environment for use by industry, research organizations, and academic institutions has new features.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 10, 2004

Motorola SPS becomes Freescale Semiconductor

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2004

ERP market projected to gain from European Union expansion

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2004

Computing practices of new engineers

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.

By Thomas F. Edgar, University of Texas
Manufacturing IT, MES May 4, 2004

MTS, NI to deliver framework for standardized noise, vibration testing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 3, 2004

Zigbee wireless solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2004

Foxboro’s SCADA to monitor, supervise, control three pipelines in China

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2004

Building a soapbox

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.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
Manufacturing IT, MES April 22, 2004

Market update: ‘Decentralized drives’ and ‘motors with a built-in drive’

Like it or not, new technologies tend to be adopted earlier and faster in Europe than in North America.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 22, 2004

Siemens expresses confidence in Exider investment

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 20, 2004

Philly Fed Bank survey finds increasing regional manufacturing activity

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 5, 2004

SCADAlarm ™ 5.0 by Wonderware Invensys

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 5, 2004

Effectively Managing Real-World Assets by Opto 22

An overview of the challenges and opportunities for extending the reach of IT networks.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 30, 2004

High-power ac drives market growing in China

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 11, 2004

M2M Data Corp. and Stratos Global join to deliver remote automation solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 24, 2004

Universal Instruments, CyberOptics form partnership

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 23, 2004

Single-chip ZigBee solutions expected to swell wireless market

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).

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 8, 2004

MDS’ gateNETTM protects legacy equipment; aids network management

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

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2004

World Batch Forum releases new versions of two markup languages

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2003

Europe’s wireless technology market expected to quadruple

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2003

Embedded Linux test tools

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 ...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2003

Automation market for discrete industries to exceed $30 billion

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 9, 2003

iKey expands offerings, slims profile

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2003

Better than payback

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.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
Manufacturing IT, MES September 26, 2003

Eaton renames industrial, commercial control, Cutler-Hammer division

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 23, 2003

SatCon delivers fuel cell electronics to petrochemical plant

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2003

Corrections – 2003-09-01

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 cadbcu@aol.com. To reach DVT, visit www.dvtsensors.com.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2003

Action/reaction

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.

By David Greenfield, Editorial Director
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2003

Tecnomatix to buy USDATA for $10.3 million in stock

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 26, 2003

Contemporary’s PC card adapter acquires CAN messages in real time

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 14, 2003

Lighthammer and webMethods form alliance

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 8, 2003

NI extends ‘smart sensing’ capability to all analog sensors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 2, 2003

ObjectAutomation reportedly resumes operations

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2003

GE Fanuc acquires Mountain Systems

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 27, 2003

Court grants injunction in favor of NI against MathWorks

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2003

Get ready

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.

By David Greenfield
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2003

Hannover Fair 2003: Cautious optimism prevails

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2003

The case for engineering input on to-order software

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.

By Thomas R. Cutler
Manufacturing IT, MES March 28, 2003

LabView becomes part of Virginia Tech curriculum

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 26, 2003

eXtreme Programming pays off

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 11, 2003

NMW 2003: Weidmuller’s software helps plan terminal rails

Chicago, IL—Weidmuller Inc. (Richmond, VA) exhibited at National Manufacturing Week 2003 its new RailDesigner software.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 4, 2003

NMW 2003: More than 73% of NAM members see ”manufacturing crisis”

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.''

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 3, 2003

New publisher joins Control Engineering

Oak Brook, IL—Michelle Tegtman joined Control Engineering as publisher on Feb. 24.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 17, 2003

Rococo, New Tigers cooperate to develop China market

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 10, 2003

Privacy Policy – 2003-01-10

July 17, 2002 Overview This Privacy Policy describes the policies of Reed Business Information ("RBI" or "we"), a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. ("Reed Elsevier"), regarding the collection, use, disclosure and protection of the following types of information: Information obtained when you and other users ("you" or "Users") visit the www.manufacturing.net web site and its network sites (the "Site"). Information obtained through e-mail communications with you related to the Site. This privacy policy does not apply to information that we may collect from you by other means (including offline) or from other sources. Your use of this Site constitutes your acceptance of all of the terms and conditions contained in this Privacy Policy and your consent to any action we take with respect to your information that is in compliance with this Privacy Policy. We may change the terms of this Privacy Policy, so Users are encouraged to review this page from time to time.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 20, 2002

SPS/IPC/Drives 2002 posts positive results, counters recent show trends

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 20, 2002

Momentum builds for Eclipse ecosystem

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 6, 2002

GE Fanuc Automation completes acquisition of Intellution

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2002

USDATA replaces president and ceo, board chairman

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2002

RFID tags improve tracking, quality on Ford line in Mexico

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.

By Dick Johnson
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2002

GE Fanuc buying Intellution from Emerson

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 23, 2002

European court overturns EC decision on Schneider Electric, Legrand merger

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2002

Open-source RTU

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 20, 2002

Axeda ships Internet-based control and information application

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2002

Single-channel DAQ module

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2002

4-channel temperature datalogger

The OM-CP-QUADTEMP is a 4-channel, battery powered, standalone, thermocouple-based temperature datalogger.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2002

Wiring diagram integrates with Web

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2002

Asian Interkama shows coming in 2003

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).

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 21, 2002

Super small, super strong

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 19, 2002

Hannover Fair 2002 opened on optimistic note

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 20, 2002

NMW 2002: NI’s ceo stresses savings with intelligent software in keynote

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2002

Programmable proximity switch

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2002

Exclusive: Programmable proximity switch

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 22, 2002

Honeywell names David M. Cote president and ceo

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 15, 2002

7 shows in one at Hannover Fair

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 14, 2002

Procter & Gamble implements Intellution’s plant-wide historian software

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 13, 2002

Dow extends standardization of AspenTech engineering and manufacturing solutions

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2002

Converter handles temperature extremes

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2002

Back to Basics: Sensors rule in error proofing

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.

By Michael Dean, technical marketing manager, Banner Engineering Corp.
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2002

Ravisent and eMation become Axeda Systems

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2002

Predict key performance metrics

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2002

Keyboard has wipeable keys

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 9, 2002

Microsoft Unveils New Home PC Experiences With “Freestyle” and “Mira”

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 2, 2002

IEEE salary survey: experienced women in high-tech jobs earn more than men

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.

By Jim Montague, news editor
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2002

Document complex control systems

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 26, 2001

Lambda names new company president

San Diego, Calif. - Lambda, an Invensys company and manufacturer of ac-dc and dc-dc power supplies, recently appointed Don Naab as president.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES December 12, 2001

PLCopen’s Function Blocks add order to motion control

Zaltbommel, Netherlands - Applying various, often incompatible motion control systems can be complex, confusing, and costly to users.

By Frank J. Bartos, executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2001

NIST-traceable temperature recorder

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 30, 2001

Venturcom supports Microsoft Windows XP Embedded

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.

By Gary Mintchell, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 26, 2001

ExperTune’s TLA software reveals relationships for optimal control

Hubertus, Wis.-ExperTune recently released a software enhancement to its process analysis and control loop tuning application for conducting Time Line Analysis (TLA).

By Dave Harrold, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2001

Free customer satisfaction surveys available to manufacturers

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 30, 2001

PLDApplications introduces new generation framegrabber

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES October 26, 2001

TouchSystems/ eTurboTouch to re-enter capacitive touchscreen market

Round Rock, Tex. - TouchSystems Corp., in partnership with eTurboTouch Technology, announced plans to re-enter the capacitive touchscreen market.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2001

Change pitch in rolling-ring linear drive

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2001

New ways to extend control system design

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2001

Software extends electrical design

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 2001

SCADA software works with VBA

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2001

Miconex 2001 returns to Shanghai

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...

By Frank Bartos
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2001

Load points and sensors

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2001

Control and automation firms report good health

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.

By George J. Blickley, Consulting Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2001

Extend prox switch range affordably

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-...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 7, 2001

More flexibility, performance keys to latest FactoryLink

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2001

Schneider Electric merges Steeplechase with Think & Do

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2001

Module solves data collection problems

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2001

Tough fiber-optic sensors

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2000

Protective sleeving for cord sets and sensors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2000

MCAA salary, benefits survey shows pay, incentive increases

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 2000

PartSpec and PlantSpec features 2D and 3D images

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2000

New design software for induction motors

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 (...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2000

ABB meeting heralds platform integration

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2000

12 challenges in supplier, vendor selection

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 ...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2000

Miconex 2000 mirrors China’s move into new millennium

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.

By Frank J. Bartos, executive editor
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2000

USDATA launches web-based analysis tool

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2000

Wire, cable growth driven by fiber-optics

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 2000

Electronic batch record system includes MES functionality

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2000

High-torque step motors

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2000

Metso’s Neles Automation buying StoneL

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2000

Xfactory 1.4 SE supports Windows 2000

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 2000

Vaporizing regulator for analytical applications

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 2000

GE, American Superconductor form SMES alliance

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 2000

In Business – 2000-03-01 – 2000-03-01

GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. (Charlottesville, Va.) bought the CimWorks GageTalker division and product lines from GageTalker Corp. (Kirkland, Wa.) on Jan.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2000

Scan bar code reader

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 2000

Introducing chaos theory to automation

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.

By David Bell
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2000

Radio-Modem reduces SCADA telemetry costs

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 2000

National Engineers Week 2000 to Help Nurture Female, Minority Engineers

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...

By Jim Montague, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 1999

Touchscreens for portable computing

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

Accurate thermocouple thermometer

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

Data historian built for batch processes

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.

By Dave Harrold, Senior Editor
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

Right on the level

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

Interkama to change frequency, length; add coverage

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

XML is in your future

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.

By Gary A. Mintchell, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1999

IBSS joins Intellution’s CAP program

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1999

Biogas analyzer

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1999

Integrating data with ERP at acetate, yarn plant

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1999

Motion code generator

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 1999

USB set to drive new data acquisition market

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.

By Control Engineering Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 1999

Alarm management software for Intellution

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES August 1, 1999

Chinese AC drive market grows

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...

By Xiaozhong Ji, industrial project manager, Frost & Sullivan China, and Feng Pang, director, Frost & Sullivan China/Beijing Consultech
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 1999

Honeywell, Sequencia expand batch relationship

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 1999

Sag-proff doors and hinges

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 1999

More e-commerce expected

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES May 1, 1999

PC use, manufacturing, sales surge in China

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.

By Zhang Sie Lin
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1999

Create your own page

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.

By Laura Zurawski, CONTROL ENGINEERING
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1999

Siemens, Motorola unveil chips on 300 mm wafers

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1999

Square D, Schneider support IBM power needs

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1999

Seamless plant floor, MES solution launched

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1999

Managing technology: how to look beyond technical issues

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.

By Jim Montague
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1999

Zone Automation picks president, ceo

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1999

Passive component demand increasing

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1999

Sequencia, SAP partner on plant-centric agility

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1999

SPS/IPC/Drives is a ‘Novemberfest’ for automation

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 1999

New eccentric plug control valve

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES January 1, 1999

Dateppli merges with E3 Engineering

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 1998

Milling center designed for panels/enclosures

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 1998

Wonderware, Origin alliance to provide solutions

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES December 1, 1998

New SCADA modem protects against lightning

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1998

New wafer-level burn-in cuts costs, cycle time

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1998

Miniature digital process meter

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 1998

High current IGBT modules

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).

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1998

GE Fanuc says new software version easier, more flexible

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1998

AFD for small applications

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES September 1, 1998

ABB merges OCS, MES platforms

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...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES July 1, 1998

In-line carbon dioxide analysis

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 1998

Manufacturers aren’t all flocking to the web

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.

By Matt Bellm
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 1998

Industrial controls perform well in 1997

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...

By George J. Blickley, consulting editor
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 1998

Flame detector uses UV-IR

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 1998

Revision 4.0 batch component available

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 ...

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES April 1, 1998

Virtual Private Networks simplify communications

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...

By Matt Bellm
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1998

OpenDWG Alliance Formed to Make CAD Files Accessible

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES March 1, 1998

BIAS ’98 Plans ‘Executive-Level’ Roundtable

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1998

A New Look for Control Engineering Online; Advice on Viruses and Hoaxes

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...

By Matt Bellm
Manufacturing IT, MES February 1, 1998

R&D 100 judges needed

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.

By Staff
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 1997

Is Annunciator Evolution Overdue?

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.

By Henry M. Morris, Special Projects Editor