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Q+A: What’s new in industrial enclosures?
Michael Wayde, marketing manager at Phoenix Contact, sits down to walk us through the essentials of choosing an industrial enclosure.
Q+A: How to select an industrial enclosure
Jody Kinney, product manager at AutomationDirect, sits down to walk us through the essentials of choosing an industrial enclosure.
Industrial enclosures 101
Choosing the correct industrial enclosure is crucial to maximizing the performance and lifespan of sensitive electronic and computing components.
Taking a dynamic approach to safety
There is great importance of taking a dynamic approach to safety in smart manufacturing facilities in order to avoid risk.
How safety validation is changing in an IIoT, Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing world
Modern advances in controls and connectivity are increasing considerations for safety validations, according to an Oct. 20 CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course.
How to keep machines operating during stoppages and power disruptions
Zoned safety and uninterruptible power supplies for control power offer enhanced machines control during stoppages and power disruptions
Is your legacy PLC failing you on food hygiene?
Take a look at how PLCs can help address hygiene and food safety issues.
Four steps to safer plant machinery
Risk assessment is one key – and don’t forget the data.
Rethinking machine safety risk
The design phase of a project allows companies to reduce potential machine safety before it has a chance to manifest itself as a hazard and danger to workers.
Converging safety, non-safety systems increases scalability, flexibility
Integrating safety systems into a machine’s standard control platform simplifies operations, increases diagnostic capabilities and creates safer work environments for engineers and end users.
MPI-15 magnetic measuring system by Elesa (UK) Ltd.
Elesa’s MPI-15 magnetic measuring system is designed to allow precise alignment and positioning of workpieces thus reducing time of machinery processes to a minimum, saving costs, and speeding the whole production cycle.
Ethernet Security, Safety Relies on Common Sense Networking
Networks and communication Ethernet Internet and intranet PC-based control Device-level networks. The price of freedom? A little less freedom. More users are seeking to gain Ethernet's interoperability and flexibility. However, the relatively greater openness of Ethernet can mean increased network vulnerability, especially when networks are linked via the Internet.
Analyzing, tracking process hazards
Regulatory compliance is driving industry to provide more complete information concerning its manufacturing processes and systems partially because many process industries either use hazardous feedstock or produce hazardous materials. To ensure safe operation of these facilities, OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) rules (29 CFR 1910.
Plant controls and safety initiatives for industrial facilities
Implementing and maintaining safety processes is vital to help prevent and identify safety risks and hazards for industrial automation workers. Ask operators these six safety questions.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles Jun. 4-10
Articles about autotuning PID control, the 2018 Salary and Career Survey, remote technical training, motion control safety, and IT and OT convergence were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 4-10, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cloud-based safety suite to enhance worker safety
Honeywell released a way for companies to improve productivity and regulatory compliance by connecting their existing inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) through radio identification (RFID) tags.
Machine vision benefits for autonomous vehicles
Machine vision capabilities will play an increasingly important role in the development of autonomous vehicles and will play a key role in widespread deployment.
Evaluating the ISA 88 standard for batch control
Deciding whether to employ a programmable logic controller (PLC), distributed control system (DCS) or a batch control depends on certain application requirements.
Ladder Logic: Fault detection and messages
In ladder logic, faults are used to capture abnormal circumstances and each cell or station in a program will usually have its own fault routine and can send messages to a human-machine interface (HMI) or programmable logic controller (PLC).
Updating a DCS for optimized operations
If a company’s distributed control system (DCS) is more than 10 years old, it is likely a significant barrier to reaching your goals. But modernized or upgraded properly, the DCS could become vital in achieving and surpassing goals such as enhancing operations and improving productivity while exceeding return on investment (ROI) expectations.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 16-22: Wireless tank level monitoring, master welders and robots, solenoid valves, more
Articles about wireless tank level monitoring, master welders and robots, solenoid valves, a "human" human-machine interface, and conflicting machine control demands were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 16-22. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 11-17: Control system programming, safety compliance, Industrie 4.0 integration, more
Articles about control system programming, safety compliance, Industrie 4.0 integration, ladder logic, and PID challenges and benefits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control Engineering hot topics, July 2017
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in July 2017 included stories about control system automation projects, PLC programming, safety and industrial networks, the 2017 Control Engineering Salary Survey, safe node-to-node communication, and PC-based controls. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Imaging systems are leading the way for warehouse profitability
It is important to stay on top of the imaging systems trends and developments in order to use the growing industry to the company's advantage.
Control Engineering hot topics, June 2017
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2017 included stories about the 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, NEC changes, IIoT systems' future, additive manufacturing control, and coding efficient sequential control programs. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 19-25: Installing VFDs, the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, VFD fundamentals, more
Articles about installing VFDs, the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, VFD fundamentals, technology enhancements for sensors, and vision-guided robotics were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 19-25. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles June 5-11: Salary and Career Survey, improve system safety, coding efficient sequential programs, more
Articles about the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, diagnostic functions for improved system safety, coding efficient sequential control programs, additive manufacturing and 3-D printing, and IIoT's potential for maintenance were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 5-11. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control Engineering hot topics, May 2017
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in May 2017 included stories about the 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey, DCS migration, the programmable controller's origins and three stories from Hannover Messe 2017. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 15-21: Salary and Career Survey, sensors and signal conditioning, robotic safety, more
Articles about the 2017 Salary and Career Survey, sensors and signal conditioning, robotic safety, easy electrical design, and cybersecurity risk were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles May 1-7: DCS migration, programmable controller origins, human-robot collaboration, more
Articles about DCS migration, the programmable controller's origins, human-robot collaboration, safety integrity levels, and manufacturers not embracing IIoT were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 27 to April 2: Big Data and IIoT, safety and cybersecurity, PID learning, more
Articles about Big Data and IIoT value, safety and cybersecurity, PID learning, IIoT connectivity challenges, and power conversion for the IIoT were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 27 to April 2. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Control Engineering hot topics, March 2017
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in March 2017 included stories about PID learning, control system programming standards, Big Data and IIoT value, human-robot capital, and industrial cybersecurity issues. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 20-26: PID learning, Engineer’s choice, artificial intelligence, more
Articles about PID learning, the Engineers' Choice winners, artificial intelligence and machine vision, standardized control system programming, and human-robot collaboration were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 20-26. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 27 to March 5: Ladder logic, safety instrumented systems, industrial analytics platforms, more
Articles about ladder logic, safety instrumented systems, industrial analytics platforms, the Engineers' Choice winners, and artificial intelligence's impact on machine vision were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 27 to March 5. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles February 20-26: Safety instrumented systems, Engineers’ Choice, multi-platform fluency, more
Articles about safety instrumented systems, the Engineers' Choice winners, reasons to be fluent in multiple platforms, SCADA/HMI cybersecurity, and permanent magnet motors were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 20-26. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Safety instrumented systems: Applying measurement best practices
The measurement part of a safety system tends to be the most troublesome. However, new technologies offer ways to overcome many common-cause problems.
Control panel series for hazardous, non-hazardous locations
The Watconnect line of control panels from Watlow are now certified for hazardous and non-hazardous locations.
Compact gas delivery system
The EX2 Series control station is a compact gas delivery system for use with dual-stage regulators providing primary control.
EC: FlashGard Arc-Resistant Motor Control Center
Motion Control — Drives, motor control centers: Arc-resistant version of Eaton's industry leading FlashGard motor control center technology is designed to both prevent an arc flash event and protect personnel if an arc flash occurs. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: IndraDrive Mi Cabinet-Free Technology servo drive with power supply
Motion Control — Servo drives: The IndraDrive Mi cabinet-free technology is a mains module and power supply with IP65 protection. Thus, putting the power supply unit out of the cabinet and on the machine. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: MR-J4-GF-RJ Servo Drive with CC-Link IE Field
Motion Control — Servo drives: The MR-J4-GF-RJ Servo Drive with CC-Link IE Field motion applications ranging from simple point to point operations to advanced synchronous control via the gigabit Ethernet-based CC-Link IE Field network. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Energy Efficiency Module MSE6-E2M
Motion control, motors: The Festo energy efficiency module MS6-E2M is a completely new, intelligent combination of service units, sensors and fieldbus technology. It fully automatically monitors and regulates the compressed air supply. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: OEM Line Isolation Switch
Power — Energy, power protection: Eaton's OEM Line Isolation switch provides an external disconnecting means for industrial control panels, allowing an operator to access the control panel without exposure to the line side voltage. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: PSRmini, a thin safety relay with force-guided contacts
Safety — Machine safety: Phoenix Contact's PSRmini safety relay features the world's slimmest device design (starting at just 6 mm wide) without impairing safety or switching performance for the user in any way. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5370 Controller
Safety — Machine safety: The Compact GuardLogix 5370 is a controller that provides integrated safety and motion on a single EtherNet/IP network. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: AZM400 Motorized Bolt Lock with Integrated RFID Safety Sensor
Safety — Machine safety: The AZM400 safety rated motorized bolt lock with integrated RFID electronic safety sensor provides 10,000 N locking force for machine guards which must be locked until safe conditions exist. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Safety Lifecycle Manager (SLM) v2, safety instrumented system lifecycle management software
Safety — Process safety, intrinsic safety: SLM v2 is a cloud-based enterprise software platform that reduces the burden of SIS compliance requirements by consolidating process safety information, functional safety tools and reports into a customizable platform. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: InTouch Machine Edition customizable HMI software
Software — HMI software: InTouch Machine Edition enables OEMs, panel builders, and end users to quickly create highly maintainable HMI applications for intelligent machines and a variety of low level devices. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Hazards encountered in industrial automation
Recognizing safety hazards is important in any work environment—in the office, commissioning on the factory floor, or in the middle of construction. See 5 tips on avoiding common vulnerabilities.
Safety controller node connects 32 sensors, independent of manufacturer
The Sick Flexi Loop safety controller node can cascade up to 32 safety switches and OSSD safety sensors onto one loop independent of the manufacturer.
EC: Heavy Duty Safety Switches
Power - Energy, power protection: The ABB heavy duty safety switches are used as a disconnecting means for service entrances or motors, and can be used on power supplies up to 600 V, in applications where the available fault current is 200 kA or less. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Foxboro Evo Process Automation System
Process Control Systems: Foxboro Evo is a process control system that provides all production roles with advanced tools and applications across a high-speed, highly fault-tolerant and cyber-secure hardware platform. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Machine Safety: When should 2 mechanical safety switches be used on an access door?
European colleagues have many opinions about mechanical safety switches on access doors, especially in light of ISO 13849-1 and 2. Is this standard considered normative (mandatory) or informative in the U.S.?
Machine Safety: Are you farming out the designing in of functional safety component requirements?
Functional safety is supposed to be designed into machine design, but is it being farmed out for others to do? Are automation suppliers truly considering farming out the design and safety certification effort of integrating functional safety features into existing components? See four strategies and one caution.
Control Engineering industrial wireless coverage
Wireless resources: Years of wireless industrial technology, tutorials, and case history articles from Control Engineering are gathered in one place for easy reference. Bookmark this page! Updated April 16, 2013, with more articles.
CNC advances: Small grinding center offers big productivity boost
Machine design integrates efficient, error-free machining processes with integrated automation to produce small chucked components and help support an expanding automotive industry, Emag said about its VLC 100 G Vertical Grinding Center.
Advanced force test systems
The Chatillon CS225 and CS1100 by Ametek are one-column machines that are designed for precision displacement measurement and feature a touch screen that can be used in continuous operation in a production environment.
Machine Safety: OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2012
See the top five reasons why machine safety has become even more important in the past 10 years. Also see the Top 10 OSHA violations for 2012: Machine safety account for four.
Photoelectric sensors for hygenic, washdown environments
The QM26 and QMH26 photoelectric sensors by Banner Engineering are designed for chemically cleaned envrionments and are built to be as germ-free as possible for the pharmaceutical industry as well as food and beverages.
EC: Simatic Step 7 Safety Advanced v11.0
Safety - Machine safety: Siemens Simatic Step 7 Safety Advanced V11 option as part of its TIA Portal, providing end users with configuration and programming tools required for generating a fail-safe program within Siemens TIA Portal. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Position sensor for combustible dust
The WS12EX series position sensor by A.C.E. is housing rated IP67 and uses a precision potentiometer for the rotary sensing element.
Machine Safety: Without an injury, OSHA issues citations for more than $1 million
Whoa, OSHA issues fines for $1,013,000. following a complaint filed by a worker. OSHA investigated the manufacturer and discovered 13 Serious and 17 Willful violations of Regulations. Was this Company just waiting to be caught in violation or were these violations a result of their safety culture. You decide!
Safety light curtain with integrated muting
The EZ-Screen from Banner Engineering is a Type 4 safety light curtain designed for use on smaller production machines in compact spaces.
Machine Safety: Does adding a hard guard always make your machine safer?
Machine guarding is sometimes approached with the methodology that says lets first add a hard guard to protect the operator from the hazard. Does this always mitigate the hazard, reduce the hazard to an acceptable level, or achieve “safe enough”?
Back to Basics: Thermowell protection
Thermowells, while protecting temperature sensors from a process fluid, can undergo tremendous stresses. A new standard is designed to lower risk of failures.
Machinery Directive In 4 Days Drops EN 954 and EN ISO 13849-1 Is Fully In Force: What’s Your Impact?
In Europe on Jan. 1, 2012 the qualitative process (EN 954) of machine safety hazard identification (B, 1, 2, 3, and 4) and mitigation disappears and the quantitative process (EN ISO 13849-1) is fully in force with its compliance requirements of Performance Level (a, b, c, d, and e). The Category system is officially put to rest and hence forth all safety circuit (electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic) must follow these new prescriptive requirements. But, here in the United States how does this change affect your business?
Neste Oil starts up Europe’s largest renewable diesel plant
Company deploys Metso’s automation and safety solutions to support efficient operations at Rotterdam facility.
Machine Safety: Are you using planning and execution tools?
Machine guarding has clearly entered the technology world with integrated safety systems. But, are you still using 1970s approaches for planning and executing? Scotty didn’t beam colleagues to the Starship Enterprise via Hertz Rent-a-Car!
Machine safety and integrated safety systems
Integrated safety systems are proven to improve productivity, safety, and the bottom line. Really? So, what’s holding back the tsunami of industry picking up the pace to apply integrated safety systems across manufacturing?
Machine Safety Culture: Compliance versus cooperation driven
Employee safety compliance is a blend of hard physical restraints or barriers and a desire to follow a set of safety behaviors. But, compliance is interpreted by most as meeting the bare minimums. And, if employees don’t choose to accept or behave in the role “another” has found for them, they don’t have to play it. If so, how does a company develop or expand a safety culture to become best in class?
Security considerations for wireless implementation
Whether specifying a new wireless installation, expanding an existing implementation, or evaluating wireless protocols, the security issues are similar. Understanding them can improve the security and signal quality.
Machine Guarding: Do I need to follow codes and regulations like NFPA?
What is the purpose of so many codes and regulations? I work in panels all the time. Sure, I take risks every day but do “I” need regulations to keep “me” safe? Bah humbug on the regulations. I know what I’m doing! (Leave your comment: Do you think you're safe without PPE in some control panels?)
Cyber-security guidelines for automation networks
ODVA's guidelines document, Securing Ethernet/IP Networks, outlines plans and strategies for cyber-security in automation networks. See four ways to mitigate risk.
MCC add-on to protect against electrical hazards
SecureConnect, an optional safety feature for the Centerline 2100, from Rockwell Automation, allows operators to disconnect power from an individual MCC plug-in unit without entering the arc flash boundary.
EC: Failsafe ET 200 ISP modular safety I/O for hazardous locations
Network integration – I/O systems: Siemens’ Failsafe ET 200 ISP modular safety I/O offers SIL 3 certification to IEC 61508 and hazardous location rating up to Ex Zone 1. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Sirius 3RB24 electronic overload relay for IO-Link
Power – Energy, power protection: The Sirius 3RB24 from Siemens is designed to reduce machine downtimes and optimize planning of maintenance measures, while providing the added confidence of diagnostic measures like ground fault tripping, overload, and thermistor protection tripping in a higher level control. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Allen-Bradley NEMA Centerline 2100 low-voltage motor control centers with EtherNet/IP
Power – Motor control center: EtherNet/IP-enabled low voltage motor control centers from Rockwell Automation provide seamless information exchange between plant floor devices and business-level systems to increase productivity and improve worker safety. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: tiastar SmartStart motor control center
Power – Motor control center: The new tiastar SmartStart option from Siemens features plug-and-play functionality that reduces commissioning time with preprogrammed and preconfigured data. High-density designs meeting UL and NEMA standards, while reducing unit size for NEMA 1 through starters, allow for up to a 10% weight reduction and a 25% smaller footprint. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: tiastar Arc-resistant motor control center
Power – Motor control center: Siemens’ arc-resistant tiastar Motor Control Center significantly reduces risk for workers entering areas with arc flash potential by containing and directing the arc flash incident energy away from personnel while maintaining the unit’s physical integrity. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: F3SJ-E Safety Light Curtains
Safety – Machine safety: F3SJ-E easy-type safety light curtains from Omron Scientific Technologies provide simple, affordable, and reliable hand-intrusion detection for use in stand-alone devices and machines. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays
Safety – Machine safety: The new family of Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays from Rockwell Automation checks and monitors a safety system and either allows the machine to start or executes commands to stop the machine. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: RSS36 noncontact electronic sensor with RFID
Safety – Machine safety: The RSS36 is a noncontact electronic sensor from Schmersal that uses enhanced RFID technology to test the closed position of hinged, sliding, or removable machine guard doors in PL-e or SIL3 safety systems. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Simocode pro Safety overload relay fail-safe expansion modules
Safety – Machine safety: Simocode pro Safety from Siemens provides comprehensive protection, control, and communication with motor circuits and process automation, ensuring the safe switch-off of motors, fans, pumps, compressors, or similar applications—making it integral to the entire plant environment. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: The ESR5 Relay for safety circuits
Safety – Process safety, intrinsic safety: The ESR5 relay from Eaton is designed to reliably monitor the signals from safety devices and switch off quickly in the case of an emergency. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: DeltaV Intrinsic Safety CHARMs
Safety – Process safety, intrinsic safety: As an extension of DeltaV Electronic Marshalling, Intrinsic Safety CHARMs from Emerson Process Management provide significant savings in system design, installation cost, and ease of maintenance—with the added intrinsically safe circuitry for field wiring into hazardous areas, including Zone 1, Zone 0, or Class 1 Div1. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Safety Manager Field Device Unit (quadruple redundant safety system and remote I/O)
Safety – Process safety, intrinsic safety: The Field Device Unit from Honeywell Process Solutions is a single, space-friendly safety unit that allows process manufacturers to more easily implement small, stand-alone applications in their facilities while reducing costs to comply with safety standards. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Machine Guarding: Tolerable vs residual risk
Why do so many colleagues in manufacturing choose to avoid the terms – tolerable risk and residual risk? If there’s one thing “integrated safety systems” and requirements for risk assessments have brought to the industrial forefront over the past ten years – it’s risk awareness. It’s now “OK” in conversation and correspondence within companies to use words like; risk, safety, mitigation, hazard, and consequences – all in one paragraph.
China power plant to have two ultra-supercritical units added
Addition of new units are designed to help plant in central China contribute to economic development and improved grid stability
Machine guarding: Category 4 versus reliability
When is a Category 4 solution ineffective in a machine guarding application? Is your machine safety risk assessment looking at the right things? Is this your accident waiting to happen? Consider this example.
Explosion proof hollow shaft encoder
BEI Sensors' Model HS52 is capable of operating directly in environments where flammable gases, vapors or liquids or likely to exist
Machine guarding and economic value: Wired safety versus safety automation
Over the past 10 years machine safety has experienced probably the greatest transformation since the advent of machine control technology. In my opinion, the recent adoption of “safety automation” has outpaced the original adoption of PLC technology in the early 1970’s. It was in the early 1970’s that machine safety was mandated by industry standards to be “hard wired.” At this time, PLC technology had just been introduced, and its reliability paled in contrast to the robust PLC reliability of today. See graph illustrated below.
Machine guarding and the hierarchy of measures for hazard mitigation
Do you know the five levels of hazard mitigation? Machine guarding isn’t completed task that’s checked off a list. Eliminate, isolate, add engineering, implement controls, and use PPE, then repeat.
Patching over software problems
Just as you would want to patch over a hole in your pants, you might find holes in your software that could be just as problematic and leave you with serious cyber security vulnerabilities. Patch those holes before something tears wide open.
Codes and regulations: Electrical Controls’ Dirty Little Secret: We Don’t Follow NFPA Rules
Of course safety is important, but most don’t follow NFPA 70e safety rules for working on an energized electrical panel. Risky? Yes. Unsafe? No, according to this system integrator. Perhaps industrial control panels need their own arc flash standard. (Do you follow the rules when working on control panels? Link to anonymous survey results. See related articles.)
Panelboard awarded patent for breaker coordination, touchsafe capabilities
ABB received a patent for its ProLine Panelboard, noted for having complete breaker coordination and touchsafe capabilities.
Automation enables modular, safe, energy efficient packaging machinery
Mechatronic innovations help machine builders engineer more safely and efficiently, Bosch Rexroth said at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011.
Top Control Engineering articles, September 2011
HMI, safety system bypass, control engineering technologies save the world, using smartphones as a HART handheld, video on plant performance, direct drive for wind turbines, industrial Ethernet, online events, and energy efficiency for regenerative braking, among other articles.
Network safety protocol certified
The motion control network by Mechatrolink received certification by TÜV Rheinland for complying with IEC61508 safety integrity level SIL3.
ISO 13849-1 Machine Guarding Adoption, Part 4 – safety standard merger
Adopting EN ISO 13849-1 by Dec. 31, 2011 has been taking a lot of attention this year particularly for manufacturers of machinery and global end users. Guess what? The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) world and the ISO (International Standardization Organization) world are voting to merge EN ISO 13849-1 and IEC 62061. Yikes – when will “Safety of Machinery – Safety Functions of Control Systems” settle down?
Simplified Safety: Risk assessment improves reliability, performance, and compliance
Performing risk assessments regularly throughout the equipment life cycle is the best way to minimize costs, and keep people safe.
Vendor-neutral process control software suite
Honeywell's vendor-neutral process control suite is designed to allow plant operators to monitor and control all process control systems.
Putting people in the path of safety
Your safety systems should not depend on the ability of individuals to react in an emergency.
Top Control Engineering articles, August 2011
Most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during August 2011 included process and machine safety, wind power automation, plant performance, process control terms, rare-earth magnets, salary survey, PC vs PLC, making operators more effective, and award-winning products, among other articles.
Automating Highway Vehicles at Volkswagen
Electronic stability control is standard on all Volkswagen 2009 models and after, ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2012 mandate. This bit of automation has the potential to save 9,600 lives and prevent up to 238,000 injuries in all types of crashes annually. Audi introduced electronic stability control to the U.S. market in 1999.
Industrial Ethernet security check
Security for an industrial Ethernet network has to thwart hacking, unauthorized access, and disruption caused by unwanted traffic in industrial control and automation environments, which can cause downtime, program failures, and health and safety problems. Phoenix Contact gives security tips.
ISO 13849-1 Machine Guarding adoption, Part 3
What is your plan to comply with the ISO 13849-1 Machine Guarding standard? By now you’ve attended seminars, read white papers and magazine articles, heard from colleagues, or even read some of these blogs on this subject. So what? We don’t legislate compliance in the US. Instead, we have consensus standards.
Ethernet-enabled mobile communications reduces corporate travel
Ethernet communications streamline access into manufacturing operations and machinery. American Axle & Manufacturing regularly accesses 25 facilities globally via a Blackberry.
Top Control Engineering articles, July 2011
Most visited articles at www.controleng.com during July 2011 included videos on improving plant performance and cyber security, salary survey, direct-drive wind turbines, and advancing instrumentation, award-winning products, among other articles.
ATEX-approved level switch
Baumer multi-purpose LBFS switch comes in three ATEX configurations and does not require a Zener barrier because of the Profsi3 LS isolation module. The switch enables safe level detection in explosive gaseous and dusty atmospheres in chemical, pharmaceutical, food or other industries.
Safety controllers updated with configuration software
Omron STI's G9SP programmable safety controllers have been updated and are now compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems and a free demo version can also be downloaded.
ISO 13849-1 Machine Guarding adoption, part 2
The scope statement in the machine guarding standard reads, “This part of ISO 13849 provides safety requirements and guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems (SRP/CS), including the design of software. For these parts of SRP/CS, it specifies characteristics that include the performance level required for carrying out safety functions. It applies to SRP/CS, regardless of the type of technology and energy used (electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, etc.), for all kinds of machinery.” Good stuff, right? At the end of December 2011 EN 954-1; 1996 can no longer be used to demonstrate conformity.
Machine builders, integrators get help with machinery directive update
Omron STI said it is helping integrators and machine builders transition to EN ISO 13849-1:2008, which will become the standard for safety control systems effective January 1, 2012.
Safety light curtains detect hand-instrusion
Omron STI safety curtains reportedly provide simple hand-intrusion detection for stand-alone devices and machines.
Discrete machine safety components are getting smarter
Studies by IMS Research indicate machine builders and end users are starting to use intelligent safety interlocks that are touchless.
Global Perspectives: Japan quake sounds the alarm for China’s nuclear safety
Will the Japan quake slow China’s nuclear power generating plans for huge growth, 26 units now under construction? Third-generation, passive safety, may help.
ISO 13849-1 Machine Guarding adoption, part 1
Let’s assume that adopting ISO 13849-1 for Machine Guarding is unavoidable. That said, the “professorial” view is to train/educate everyone in industry about the requirements for compliance and possible business advantages. Then, there’s the “practical” view...
Arc-resistant medium voltage motor control center
GE Limitamp AR Arc Resistant Medium Voltage Motor Control delivers increased safety, reliability and ease of maintenance for operations and maintenance managers, as well as contractors and specifiers by containing and redirecting arc-flash energy away from employees.
Safety relays for machine safety applications
Idec HR1S safety relays are designed for machine safety applications and have instantaneous and time delay safety outputs, company said.
When should you bypass your safety system?
How can it be considered "good engineering practice" to bypass your SIS during critical times with your process? See diagrams.
Nuclear material site cleanup to be monitored, videotaped
IVC is supplying radiation tolerant video cameras that are radiation tolerant to Parsons Corporation to monitor processing operations in the Salt Waste Processing Facility in Georgia.
Manufacturing plant sets record with 2.5 million hours worked without lost-time incident
ABB's New Berlin campus and Fort Smith Drives Center are central to the company's focus on promoting safety, ABB said.
What is a digital certificate?
These are supposed to protect us, but they were an element of the Stuxnet attack.
Video: Partnering with your IT department
Kevin Staggs explains why it’s important for those responsible for industrial networks to form partnerships with the company IT department, and the original system vendor.
Machine Safety Pays
Does management in your organization really understand that safety pays back directly to the bottom line? Do they understand that the cost of accidents goes directly to the bottom line and potentially requires several million dollars of incremental sales as an offset? One accident can result in financial chaos at least 10 ways. How?
CC-Link IE Field Network integrates safety
The latest network specification from CC-Link Partner Association, CC-Link IE Field Network, integrates safety functions for gigabit per second in a variety of fields. It meets international safety standards for SIL3 compliance of IEC61508:2010 for electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems and follows IEC61784-3:2010 for functional safety fieldbuses.
Power station in UK to use AMS Suite predictive software
Integrated asset management was chosen to reportedly ensure efficient work practices and inform business decisions.
Developing People: Making operators more effective
Tools and methods for creating an industrial operator workplace ready for the needs of today and tomorrow. Improved situational awareness and better handling of abnormal conditions helps operators make better decisions and improve safety and process uptime.
Beacon light for indoor or outdoor status indication, wireless push button
Banner's K50 Beacon Light is designed for high visibility and indoor, outdoor applications, helping with industrial human-machine interactions. Also, the K50L provides wireless push button capabilities.
Not Again – E-Stops Do Not Equal Machine Safety
How many times does this issue come up? An e-stop device is not a safety device! Therefore, it’s not a part of the safety related parts of a control system (SRP/CS). Then, why is an e-stop device so often confused as being part of the safety design for a machine?
Cover story: Giving your plant a cyber health checkup
Creating a strong cyber security health regimen so you can defend against threats, external and internal.
Product Exclusive: Faster, more accurate pressure transmitter
Siemens expands pressure transmitter portfolio with Sitrans p500 with response time of 88 ms and reference accuracy of 0.03% for quick, accurate responses to process changes.
Machine safety and degrading component reliability
Is your machine downtime sometimes a surprise? Did a component in a safety circuit fail because it simply wore out and nobody knew it was about to fail? Well, maybe help has just arrived. Has anyone heard about EN ISO 13849-1; 2008? See "4 ways to reduce surprise downtime."
Ground fault sensors, DC current transducers, switches
AutomationDirect acuAMP line of current sensors now includes AC ground fault sensors and DC current transducers and switches.
We’re safe; we’ve had no machine safety accidents for a long time
All too often I hear or read about a companies’ great safety record only to read on about a major incident or accident and the devastating human and/or business impacts that occur. One central place to stay current regarding safety in general as well as specific incidents is OSHA’s twice monthly email report titled OSHA Quick Takes.
Intelligent management of change solution for automation systems
Integrity iMOC detects inadvertent and unapproved automation configuration changes to fortify control system security and safety.
Risk assessment – A best practice for sustainable performance
Generally speaking, industry has awakened to the term, risk assessment. Yet, many companies dealing with machine safety seem to still be wrestling with issues like; when, why, if, and how often in actually implementing robust programs.
Specialty chemicals plant modernize with digital automation system
Using Emerson Process Management’s DeltaV system, AkzoNobel Functional Chemicals will utilize “built for purpose” functionality to improve process availability
Asset manager integrates all aspect of plant maintenance, operations through single solution
Honeywell's Asset Manager R400, an expansion of its Reliability and Asset Management solutions portfolio, enables seamless integration with applications in order to improve plant management.
Intrinsically-safe keyboards receive Factory Mutual approval
iKey's wireless intrinsically-safe keyboards have received Factory Mutual approval for models BT-87-TP-IS and DW-5K-IS.
Industrial automation electronics equipment market set to surpass pre-recession levels in 2011
IMS Research upgraded its forecast for a growth of almost 13 percent for 2011 in the Industrial automation electronics equipment (IAEE) market.
EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 – Are We Ready By December 2011?
Some companies and the machine safety folks are having difficulty meeting the new EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 requirements by the end of this year. So, my question remains, ARE WE READY? SIL (safety integrity level) and Cat (Category) are fading out; SIL and PL (Performance Level) are becoming the new basis for machine guarding and hazard mitigation.
Engineering inspiration: NASA’s Linenger challenges us to reach deeper, do more for each other
You don’t need to be faced with death in space to reach deeper, do it right, inspire others, and be thankful for every moment, said Dr. Jerry Linenger, retired U.S. Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut. See photos, related links, including letters to his son. He spoke to more than 1,400 engineering-minded participants at the RSTechEd 2011 conference on June 14 in Orlando.
Machine Safety and Wireless Devices
Conventional machine safety has been challenged for the last 10 years with new technology and standards. Safety automation has led the new technology pack while NFPA 79 took the lead on the standards side. Both combined in 2002 to introduce safety PLCs, safety fieldbus, and e-stops on a safety rated bus. The latest challenge to conventional safety is wireless (aka cableless) innovation impacting devices, fieldbus technology, and machine control applications. Are we ready?
All-plastic 22 mm industrial control switches
Elektron Technology announced the launch of Arcolectric’s new range of all-plastic APB, ALB and ALS 22 mm industrial switches.
Simplified safety: fail-safe functionality for hazardous environments
Incorporating fail-safe functionality into intrinsically safe technology simplifies system setup and maintenance reducing control costs.
Simplified safety: embracing performance-level risk assessment
Like it or not, new standards requiring quantifiable, statistical safety analyses are coming…and they will change forever how you evaluate hazards in your plant.
Simplified safety: taking safety beyond the MCC
When integrating safety into a motor control center, be sure to think outside the box to the components and devices in the plant that are under its control.
Module simplifies communications, enhances safety
Omron STI has developed a new module to send non-safety control data to a safety controller, using EtherNet/IP, an ODVA Ethernet protocol.
Beckhoff Automation UpDate Seminars
Beckhoff Automation UpDate Seminars are in Chicago, San Jose, King of Prussia, and Toronto, June 20, 21, 23, 24, respectively.
First ISA100.11a field wireless devices released in North America
Yokogawa released its first field wireless devices in North America based on the ISA100.11a industrial communications standard.
B and R’s Acoposmulti65 inverters are designed with IP65 protection, drive solutions that are matched to the application are a. basic requirement for keeping machines and systems competitive
MCCs have embedded EtherNet/IP capabilities
Allen-Bradley NEMA and IEC Centerline low-voltage motor control centers (MCCs) from Rockwell Automation provide seamless information exchange between plant floor devices and business-level systems to increase productivity and improve worker safety.
Cost savings opportunities in machine safety
Machine safety shifted in 2002 with the changes in NFPA 79 introducing safety PLCs and safety communication and control bus technology as solutions allowed for machine guarding, the beginning of a major paradigm shift in machine safety. See savings tally.
OSHA safety regulations: Incorporation by reference-Do I need to know?
Machine safety OSHA regulations, 29 CFR 1910.XXX, have been in place since the beginning of OSHA in the early 1070’s. So, what’s the problem, and what the devil is “incorporation by reference”?
Surge protection devices: UL 1449 approvals for overvoltage protection
Mersen, formerly Ferraz Shawmut, introduced its new X series line of UL 1449 third edition approved surge protection devices (SPDs). SPDs help protect people and equipment from harmful transients.
Safety added to motor management system
Siemens Simocode Pro safety motor management solution addresses human and machine safety, as well as motor management, maintenance, and reliability. Fail-safe expansion modules for Simocode pro V – DM-F Local and DM-F Profisafe, integrates safety with plant motor management system.
Stop! Is your machine safety life cycle program in place?
For machine safety, having a Safety Life Cycle Program in place sets the stage for increased compliance to OSHA regulations and consensus standards, and it helps drive a higher level of functional safety for each application.
Safety, sustainable services tour from GE Energy
Energy saving and safety-enhanced equipment and services are on traveling on GE Energy's "2011: An Electric Odyssey" tour, May-October, 2011.
Safety relays for applications with emergency stop, safety gates
AutomationDirect's Dold safety relay devices are designed to protect workers and equipment in applications with emergency stop buttons, safety gates, and dangerous closing movements.
Electrical engineer, arc flash expert: 2011 IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann Award
David D. Shipp recognized for contributions to the design, analysis and protection of electrical power systems and personnel in industrial and commercial applications.
Legalities: Not all automation standards are equal
Social media poll: Industry standards can be specifications, industrial standards, codes, or aspirational standards. Leave your opinions here.
Modular safety system monitors machine inputs
elobau sensor technology’s programmable safety controller, eloProg, can be extended to up to 72 safety inputs with a total of 8 OSSD.
Extensions drive up to 16 remote displays from one PC
Matrox Graphics’ software release provides multi-display desktop configurations, utilities, enhanced Microsoft Windows operating systems support on second generation of Extio KVM extenders.
Tutorial: Hazard and risk categories for electrical workplace safety
As the electrical work environment becomes more hazardous, the need for arc flash, electrical transient, and electrical shock protection increases. Standards are cited and advice follows for ways to lower risk.
GE targets industrial efficiency with GE Energy Optimization Specialists
GE Energy Optimization Specialists address electrical, motor and service needs, according to GE, to increase efficiency, productivity, and safety.
Safety application: Kia Motor Slovakia reduces safety downtime by up to 70%
Safety PLC with I/O modules on an Ethernet protocol helps maximize efficiency in body shop, decreasing downtime and adding visualization. Also read: Kia Motors safety application at a glance, with application and technology details.
Safety system providers join efforts
Invensys Operations Management signs technology partnership with ACM Automation Inc., to become the exclusive provider of its safety-related decision-support software in manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries.
Safety integration webcast: Changing regulations, efficiency, productivity
When safety is designed in and integrated into machine design or a plant floor manufacturing cell, it incorporates operator diagnostics, regulatory requirements, and productivity concerns.
Nuts and bolts of machine safety
For machine safety – let’s see the hands for everyone who’s familiar with current “nuts and bolts” for compliance! Ah, does the word current cause so few hands to be held high?
Machine Safety – Wired versus Integrated Safety Automation!
As a plant manager does it make any difference to you whether your machines are guarded via wired safety guards or integrated safety automation guards?........You alone own the safety culture of your business.
Simplified Safety: How Effective is Your Company Safety Culture?
Small changes can enable big improvements through safety automation and a more competitive presence in the global marketplace.
Simplified Safety: Rethink the Cost of Entry Using Safety PLCs
The bulk of safety projects industrial companies initiate today involve upgrading safety and control systems in existing production equipment.
Simplified Safety: UL Introduces New Functional Safety Marks
UL has introduced two new functional safety marks: the UL Functional Safety Listing Mark and the UL Functional Safety Recognized Component Mark.
Range of industrial robots on display at Automate
ABB to represent multi-move, long-arm paint cell, compact controller, material handling technology for industrial robotic automation applications.
Have You Considered Machine Safety’s Compliance Lifecycle?
As a plant manager, have you ever wondered in the dark of night how effective the machine guarding in your plant is protecting your #1 resource, your employee?
Robotics help manufacturing operations: a robotic cell for the blind
Pre-Tec offers customizable robotics solutions, including a robotic work cell for blind operators.
Top Control Engineering articles, February 2011
Most visited Control Engineering articles during February 2011 included “world’s fastest” PLC, advanced control at a steel mill, 2011 Engineers’ Choice Awards, help with engineering contracts, Stuxnet, M2M cloud, multi-core processors, and advanced motor design, among other articles. See links.
Is OSHA Rear View Mirror Enforcement?
OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels addressed the staff of Public Citizen Jan. 18 to commemorate the organization's 40th anniversary. Michaels said, "OSHA is not working to kill jobs; we're here to stop jobs from killing workers."
Does “Performance Level” Really Replace “Category” For Machine Safety In The U.S.?
Over the next ten years picture a safety circuit with six safety certified components and four are certified to Performance Level (PLx) and the other two are certified to Cat.x! Is the outcome clear?
Solvay selects DCS with flexible I/O
Electronic marshalling with Emerson’s DeltaV I/O characterization modules increases project flexibility with lower installation costs.
Global Perspective: Hyper-Secured PLC…and other curious combinations
To make life easier for automation engineers, and less costly for OEMs and end-user companies to build control systems, clever companies are converging previously separate products, observes Control Engineering Europe.
EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 – Are We Ready? – Part 2
Does anyone have an easy answer on how a safety application proof test can be accomplished with dissimilar tools and without the skilled resources for analysis? See table.
Packaged burner controls lower costs, improve safety
Standards for safety instrumented systems (SISs) can be embedded in burner management controls.
Companies reform while integrating acquisitions
Honeywell creates new Advanced Solutions business to combine Matrikon capabilities with existing offerings in one software and service portfolio.
Machine Safety – Am I Responsible?
Case examples cross my desk almost weekly asking, “am I responsible” or liable for for machine safety? These questions come from end users, OEMs, systems integrators, and suppliers. Initially, OSHA provides an answer, but beyond that...
Growing applications for multi-core processors
Multi-core processors have wide industrial application potential—from vision inspection systems to motion control—as developers increasingly implement the technology, initially in high-end systems. Link to 3 other Control Engineering articles in this four-part series.
Feedback: Gain scheduling example, safety concerns
Recent Control Engineering reader feedback includes a gain scheduling example on that related tutorial and concerns about industrial safety in light of various safety standards.
Safety system certified for burner management applications
The DeltaV SIS system receives NFPA 85, EN 298, and EN 50156-1 certification from TÜV, confirming use in burner management applications.
Unfolding Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)!
An OSHA/legal definition of de minimis and a clearer understanding of – What do employees need to know? will certainly help all companies unfold LOTO for full compliance.
Functional Safety From UL – Let’s Discuss!
Certainly, functional safety evaluations can play a large role in improving levels of machine safety in industry. However, let's start discussing the transitional issues. Old practice of determining hazards under EN 954-1 qualitatively is being replaced by ISO 13849-1 and the new quantitative PL approach.
Intrinsically safe systems receive marine-type approvals
Pepperl+Fuchs’ K-System, H-System and Z-Series intrinsically safe solutions, have received BV, GL, LR and DNV approvals for use in marine-type applications.
Machine Safety – Hardwired vs Integrated?
Since 2002, NFPA 79 took the lead for safety standards and eliminated the requirement that everything safety on a machine “shall be” hard wired.
Stuxnet as precision weapon
Cyber rifle-shot at Iran’s nuclear program emerges in greater detail, but who pulled the trigger?
Risk assessments: What, why, how to reduce risks in the workplace
Risk assessments promote safety in the workplace as a means for scrutinizing a process or price of equipment to identify hazards and to eliminate or mitigate them. Each risk assessment has four phases and five applicable standards to consider. This tutorials can help identify and classify hazards in your workplace.
Machine Safety and Lockout/Tagout
Lockout/tagout (LOTO) standard is an OSHA regulation for machine functional safety that establishes employer responsibility to protect employees from hazardous energy sources on machines and equipment during service and/or maintenance. OSHA says ...
Top Control Engineering articles, December 2010
Most visited articles at www.controleng.com during December 2010 included motor efficiency, video about the value of automation, System Integrator of the Year winners 2011, Coriolis flowmeter, and how to choose wireless technologies, among other articles.
Safety system on a fieldbus?
What is fieldbus safety instrumented function technology?
Shell awards safety system passing grade following assessment test
HIMA's HIMax Safety System stands up to examination, clearing it for use in Shell facilities worldwide.
Engineers choose Siemens Simatic ET200pro Fail Safe Controller as best in class
The Simatic ET 200pro Fail Safe Controller from Siemens was awarded the 2011 Engineers' Choice Award for Safety Controllers. The Simatic ET 200pro is the industry's first Machine-Mount safety certified programmable controller rated for IP67 installation eliminating the need for mounting in a traditional electrical enclosure.
Control unit allows flexibility of parameter selection for inputs, outputs
The new “eloFlex” system from elobau has been designed for the flexibility of parameter selection for logic control of sensor inputs and relay outputs. The user can choose between normally-open/normally-open sensors and emergency-stop types, as well as the normally-open/normally-closed input type.
Machine Safety – A Review of 2010 Developments
Machine Safety topics have covered the gamut throughout 2010 from regulations and industry standards to new compliance tools and innovative technology. The challenge to industry throughout 2010 has been to...
Fieldbus safety functions now updated
Fieldbus Foundation updates SIF specification and releases development tools.
Wireless Control and Wireless Safety!
Safe wireless (also known as safe cableless) is often applied to a machine using a “zone” concept to reduce the wireless communication distance. As wireless machine communications increase, application questions include the following.
Safety light curtains, limit switches for industrial machine safety
AutomationDirect now offers machine safety devices for use in industrial applications. Two series of safety light curtains are designed for human protection and machine safety where risks cannot be eliminated by machine design and the process might require frequent and open access during operation.
Machine Safety blog: UL offers functional safety certification
UL is offering functional safety certification, and the Control Engineering Machine Control blog has additional comments about functional safety certification, with a place to leave your views and questions.
Functional Safety – A New “Mark” From UL
UL offers functional safety certification.
Inside Machines: Process models, advanced control support super steel mill
Extensive system integration and custom advanced control software supports one of only four cold mills in the U.S. coupled to a pickle line. The mill automation system supports a continuous process requiring precision control of motor speeds and integration of auxiliary equipment.
Integrated Machine Safety – or Not!
How will the 2011 updated NFPA 79, Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery, affect arguments for and against a fully integrated architecture for safety and general control?
Training Approaches for Using Simulators to Teach Process Control Systems
Simulators are a powerful tool for training operators, but how you use them has a major effect on overall effectiveness. Don’t let technology make you forget the human factors. Insufficient perceptions and philosophies of adult learning and out-of-date training methodologies stubbornly persist. These can diminish the effectiveness of training, regardless of the sophistication of the simulators employed.
E-Stops Aren’t Safety Devices
While safety experts say machine safety e-stops are not safety devices, folks in industry pretty much all seem to think e-stops are safety devices because of their function. Ask yourself these three questions.
Bricks, blocks, control systems, and programming software
The CCBB application development software is for machine builders who develop low-cost standalone machines. It is built around a core of Allen-Bradley MicroLogix controllers, A-B PanelView Component human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and key application-specific components, such as A-B PowerFlex 4 drives.
Inside Machines: Crane Moves with IEEE 802.11n wireless
With the range of motion of industrial gantry cranes (in some cases over a kilometer), wireless Ethernet allows connectivity with moving equipment, avoiding the safety hazards and risk of moving wires or fibers.
Digital isolators for hazardous area applications
Weidmuller’s new high density digital isolators for hazardous locations include modules to convert and isolate digital signals.
Risk assessment: How do I weight manufacturing hazards that I’ve found?
The risk involved with a given machine or process depends on what bad things can happen, and how likely they are. This risk analysis tutorial explains how to weight hazards.
Cyber security standard aims at critical infrastructure in process industries
The International Instrument Users Association (WIB) releases comprehensive cyber security standard to protect critical industrial computer systems from cyber attack.
Machine safety and your safety culture
How's your machine safety culture? Have you heard anyone say: My hand is quicker than the machine, production is more important than safety, we don't need machine guards because...
Machine Safety – Hard Guarding Is Best – Right?
While hard guarding can be best for machine safety in some applications, a risk assessment will help assess which technologies should be applied to achieve tolerable risk. This can be where trouble often begins.
The Role of Simulator Technology in Operator Training Programs
Can better training reduce the losses companies experience from human error as operators attempt to respond to abnormal situations?
Control System Change Management, Security: Questions and Answers
Invensys and MDT Software provide answers on documenting software changes and security.
First order for Siemens’ 60-Hz, H-class gas turbine
H-class industrial gas turbines—the largest and newest of these machines in production—are currently in the spotlight. They promise remarkable 60+% thermal efficiency for combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants by incorporating advanced electromechanical and thermal design and use of the latest materials.
EC: Siemens Simatic ET 200pro Fail Safe Controller
Safety controller: Siemens Industry Simatic ET 200pro Fail Safe Controller. The Simatic ET 200pro Fail Safe Controller is the industry first Machine-Mount safety certified programmable controller rated for IP67 installation eliminating the need for mounting in a traditional electrical enclosure. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix PAC from Rockwell Automation
Safety controller: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix PAC from Rockwell Automation. The Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs) provide machine builders and manufacturers with integrated safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in a single controller for midrange applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: EL6900 Safety PLC Terminal
Safety controller: Beckhoff Automation EL6900 Safety PLC Terminal. The EL6900 Safety PLC terminal can integrate up to 128 4-channel safety terminals (512 safety devices) and is capable of processing 256 safety-relevant function blocks. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: miniTwin Safety Light Curtain
Safety sensor: SICK miniTwin Safety Light Curtain. The miniTwin is the world's smallest safety light curtain that provides end-to-end coverage for point-of-operation protection. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: Simatic Safety Matrix Version 6.2
Safety: Siemens Industry, Simatic Safety Matrix Version 6.2 is the new version of the Simatic Safety Matrix and is used for easy creation of failsafe applications on the basis of S7 F Systems. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: Remote Universal Safety I/O
Safety: Honeywell Process Solutions Remote Universal Safety I/O. Safety Manager Remote I/O is a module for Honeywell's Safety Manager platform that allows process manufacturers to integrate safety devices while simplifying installation and maintenance. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Safety: exida SILAlarm. SILAlarm is an engineering tool for optimizing alarm system design and operator response to alarms by helping determine which alarms are required (eliminating those that are not necessary), by establishing their configuration settings (priority, limit, deadband, on / off delay), by documenting the cause, consequence, and operator action, and by facilitating compliance with the ISA-18.2 standard. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: IndraDrive Cs Economy Compact Servo Drive
Motion Control - servo drives: Bosch Rexroth Corporation, IndraDrive Cs Economy Compact Servo Drive. The IndraDrive Cs Economy is a compact servo drive featuring SERCOS III Ethernet communication and multi-encoder interfaces to provide flexibility and value for low-power applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: Allen-Bradley Extreme Environment Panel PC
Hardware - industrial PCs: Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley Extreme Environment Panel PC. The Allen-Bradley Extreme Environment Panel PC can withstand the a vast array of temperature extremes and carries U.S. NEC C1C2 certification. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Manufacturing risk mitigation, re-assessment, and the future
Tutorial: The first pass at making a risk assessment looks at the machine in its raw condition – without interlocks, guards, and other safety features. This allows us to clearly identify the possible failure conditions, and how likely they are to arise on their own. The second step is to...
Risk assessments: Use consensus standards to help identify, evaluate, mitigate hazards
Risk assessments are among the best tools available for plants to use to promote workplace safety. They are a means for scrutinizing a process or piece of equipment to identify hazards, determine the severity of those hazards, and eliminate them or mitigate them to a tolerable level. Here are five major standards are currently associated with risk assessment, and one more you should know.
Risk assessments: Following these simple steps helps make safety a habit
Making safety a priority just makes good business sense. But is it really a habit at your place? The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) thinks it should be. Over the past year or so, the agency has shown renewed interest in workplace safety—and also in one of the primary tools available for promoting it: the risk assessment. See the four phases of risk assessment.
Video: New SIL 2 process safety platform
Rick Morse, VP of Invensys’ control and safety portfolio, explains new additions to Triconex’s product line.
Safety relays expand application versatility, improve selection, streamline system design
Compact size and enhanced functionality of Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays from Rockwell Automation help reduce wiring and installation costs, simplifies inventory management.
Compact laser scanner delivers flexible safety solution
Small size, light weight, low power consumption, and innovative features combine to deliver a simple, flexible safety solution. Omron Scientific Technologies OS32C Safety Laser Scanner has a 104.5 mm profile, light 1.3 kg weight, and low 5 W power consumption (3.75 W in standby mode).
Integrating emergency shutdown valves with process control system
ABB and Dresser Masoneilan integrate capabilities to improve overall process safety, emergency valve performance, and availability.
Safety Automation Forum – Protecting People, Productivity and Planet – November 2, 2010
Jeff Russell will discuss how Pepsi Co Americas Beverage Division achieved global safety compliance by adopting international safety standards. The Safety Automation Forum event offers automation professionals the opportunity to join industry stakeholders to learn about safety’s continued importance within manufacturing, its affect on the top and bottom line, and how to best leverage changing standards.
Improving Manufacturing Performance through Intelligent Safety System Design
Ask any production line manager about the importance of safety, and they will likely tell you about the critical role it plays in helping to protect personnel, reduce injuries and meet compliance demands. These are all valid objectives, but manufacturers and machine builders are missing opportunities if they only focus on avoiding negative consequences rather than striving for greater performance – e.g. increased productivity, improved competitiveness and overall profitability.
10 Principles of Sustainable, Cost-Effective Design: Building a Safer, More Efficient Machine
Manufacturers across many industries are placing increased emphasis on machine designs that support sustainability initiatives and drive economic prosperity. Machines that improve safety, minimize waste, consume less energy and deliver maximum return on investment are critical to the success of any sustainable production program. Building such a machine requires a holistic approach analyzing operational efficiency, safety, functionality, productivity, material use, ease of operation and maintenance. Following these 10 best-practice design principles, machine builders can deliver cost-effective, sustainable machines.
Technology Update: Integrated safety helps control system design
Advancing technologies and industry standards have made single-system platforms for safety and standard control easier and more cost-effective to design, implement, and maintain. Automation designers use recent technology advancements to deliver greater flexibility in how they implement safety systems to help streamline costs and improve productivity. Advice follows.
FAQs on Engineers’ Choice Awards
Control Engineering 2013 Engineers’ Choice Awards – FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
Risk Assessment Documentation & the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
The European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC clearly calls out the requirements for the “Technical File”. Per this new Directive companies should consider that the risk assessment is required compliance documentation. This requirement is specifically detailed in the General Principles section of Annex I.
Tips and Tricks: Advantage digital, precise CNC integration, efficiency, safety
Digital advantages; CNC precision, speed, integration; VSDs improve compressor efficiency; safety automation are among key Control Engineering Tips and Tricks this month. Control Engineering seeks to encourage the long-standing spirit of sharing engineering information common to all manufacturers. No matter what you make or how you made it, let’s help each other raise the bar on automation and process control productivity, to survive and thrive. Have something to share? Please submit under Tips and Tricks.
Intelligent valve technology and partial stroke testing
Smart valves can simplify deployment of safety systems and provide a higher level of plant protection through more effective testing. Safety instrumented systems (SISs) have become essential components of today’s new process plants. This advance has been driven by a variety of forces, from new industry standards to increased pressure from governmental agencies worldwide and lessons learned following high-profile accidents. Partial stroke tests (PSTs) of emergency shutdown (ESD) valves have long been used to improve SIS performance. By monitoring these critical valves regularly, PSTs help ensure the system’s ability to shut a process down in the event of an emergency. See more charts and graphs.
Where do we start to build a cyber security program?
Dear Control Engineering: This Stuxnet worm problem has got me concerned about potential cyber security problems with our control systems. I’m afraid that we’re pretty far behind where we should be in developing a defense strategy. Where can I go for some basic help as we look at this in earnest? You should be concerned with Stuxnet in that it represents a new level of awareness toward industrial networks.
Reliability is Required: New Safety Standard for Machine Control Systems
The safety of machine control systems is now evaluated according to reliability, so the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC refers to a new standard – EN ISO 13849. This replaces the traditional standard for machine safety EN 954, bringing a new perspective to control system design. Inside Machines, October 2010.
Trouble Implementing ISO 13849-1; 2006 per the European Machinery Directive
The European Machinery Directive clearly calls out the required transition from EN 954 to ISO 13849-1 by December 2011. With that said, some companies in the U.S. are currently struggling with conformance to the B10 requirement for simple components in order to determine their impact on the related safety performance level. Ironically, this week I’m in Germany participating in an IEC machine safety standard update meeting and I’m surrounded by leading colleagues from around the world on machine safety.
Innovative hydraulic lift system builds 156-ft diameter, free-standing grain bin
Application Update: Said to be the world's largest, the bin's building methods are the result of a four-company collaboration, and new design and control methods - October Control Engineering.
Updating Minds About Machine Safety
The Machine Safety segment of industry over the past ten to fifteen years has experienced phenomenal growth of product innovation, solutions for hazard mitigation, and industry regulations, to mention a few. On a global basis anyone can access information and participate in forums in order to understand this evolution of machine guarding solutions. Independent market study organizations like ARC, VDC, etc.
Siemens: Update on Stuxnet virus, Simatic WinCC SCADA systems
It has been more than two weeks since Siemens last received a report of an attack on customer systems by Stuxnet. From mid-July to late August, a total of 15 cases were reported to Siemens where the Stuxnet virus was detected in various plants, roughly one third of which were in Germany. Siemens is not aware of any instances where production operations have been influenced or where a plant has failed; the virus has been removed in all cases known to Siemens.
Security technology for OPC-based industrial automation
Deep packet inspecting firewall helps secure any system using OPC industrial integration protocol.
Stuxnet is a ‘Weapon’
Stuxnet just won’t go away as Microsoft said the worm exploited four additional zero day flaws, and two of those four remain unpatched. Now the speculation begins with experts saying various facilities, including a nuclear reactor in Iran or a nuclear enrichment facility also in Iran were among the targets.
Micro-sized trip unit for RMS circuit breakers, lower arc flash risk
Trip unit, available in RMS circuit breakers, offers system coordination, selectivity, reliability, arc flash protection.
Product Safety Certificates – Like SIL – What’s Their Purpose?
In the news recently there’s been some buzz about the product safety certificates around questions like: 1.) Are these safety certificates required by insurance companies? 2.) Are these safety certificates required by industry standards? 3.) Are these safety certificates required by local codes or regulations? 4.) And,…….the list goes on? This blog is a call for comment from anyone who has an opinion. Some of us might recall that when hardware and software based products were first made available for safety applications they had to be designed, built, and tested to a standard. The first standard that I’m aware of for industry for this purpose was IEC 61508-1 and it required that these products be tested and listed for such use. Everyone today should know that this means that groups/organizations like UL, TUV, and FM (to mention a few) are the testing and “listing” agency’s more formally known in the US as NRTL’s (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories).
Now showing day 2: The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2010
Manufacturing industry professionals are gathered at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, held at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Sept. 13-18. On display are more than 15,000 new machine tools, controls, computers, software, components, systems and processes that can improve efficiency at the show and conference, held every two years. Show organizer AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology expects 85,000 attendees.
Machine Guarding Upgrades – I’ll have to do them all!
Four manageable influences to considering a new machine guarding strategy or program are ....
How to Integrate Safety
System integration: Incorporating safety into a machine or a process at the design stage is more cost-effective than doing so later. Here’s a look at how several integrators and manufacturers approach upfront safety integration and the resulting benefits. This is a Control Engineering August feature article.
Cyber security forensics tool for industrial control systems
Analysis software helps detect and unearth threats to critical infrastructure systems after and even before cyber incidents.
Fieldbus Foundation updated technical spec supports fieldbus devices, diagnostics
Version 2010.1 of Fieldbus Foundation technical specification supports development of fieldbus devices and hosts employing NE107 field diagnostics.
Soapbox: Fight against counterfeit electrical products
The counterfeiting of electrical products, which have the potential to affect our health and safety, should be of concern to everyone. Do you know the 6 tips to avoid counterfeit electrical products?
Integrating safety in automation requires specialized knowledge
In a typical automation project, maximum efficiency is key. However, undertaking a safety automation project presents additional challenges. First, legal requirements must be met. Second, care must be taken to ensure and validate that the application is truly safe. For example, is safety ensured if the equipment is misused or fails? Are you ready? Do you need a risk assessment?
Machine safety blog: Residual risk in machine safety
Machine safety and product safety are alike when it comes to the issue of residual risk, according to Control Engineering Machine Safety blogger JB Titus, CFSE.
High Performance Industrial Networks
Demanding applications require high performance network protocols that are synchronized, with millisecond updates and jitter at a microsecond or less. Topology and configuration ease also are important, respondents to a Control Engineering survey said.
OSHA and machine guarding: Greater enforcement
Increasing OSHA enforcement, greater use of consensus standards shape future of safety compliance
OSHA and machine guarding: Aging standards
Aging standards, complex automation systems cast safety regulatory practices in new light. Protection systems have not kept pace with advancing technologies. What should you do?
LOTO: the equipment maintenance, repair, and installation safety standard
Lock-out, tag-out (LOTO) standards are the most violated, the most cited, and the most dangerous-to-ignore safety standards around. To improve machine safety and lower risk, LOTO standards are needed for industrial equipment in five situations. These are ...
OSHA enforcement returns: Is there a citation in your future?
After years of a “cooperative atmosphere” at OSHA, the new administration has vowed to put enforcement back, with an aggressive, citation-based approach. What's it going to cost you? See table.
Life cycle safety engineering: topics to consider
Think life cycle cost of equipment ownership is important? Consider life cycle safety engineering.
Safe journey: GM program strives to make safety everyone’s job
General Motors found that instilling safety in all employees and using safety automation products lowered risk and injuries. GM created a risk assessment program to help identify potential hazards, determine safety automation needs, and ensure that machines and equipment met applicable code requirements. Findings helped cost justify investments in innovative safety solutions.
Machine Safety Blogger: J.B. Titus Bio
Certified Functional Safety Expert
Applying programmable safety PLCs
During the design phase of a project, it is sometimes impossible to cover all scenarios from a safety integration standpoint, but it is still best to cover as many bases as possible before beginning further work, according to D&D Automation.
Safety from a system integrator perspective
Functional safety is best applied from the ground up as part of the overall machine design process rather than as an add-on at the end. Whenever new motion is added, such as a servo control, the functional safety of the machine must be considered.
Thailand’s first supercritical power plant is major boost to country
New plant will add 50% to national capacity. Designers select Honeywell's Experion control platform for boiler and balance of plant.
Quadlog process safety systems get upgrade path from Siemens
Process industry users can modernize their safety and control systems while leaving the Quadlog or Quadlog I/O modules in place, says Siemens Industry Inc.
Honeywell applies virtualization technology to Experion process control system
Virtualization can reduce total cost of Experion ownership by 30%.
Protecting Intellectual Property
If a company's knowledge is a valuable asset, how do you keep it from eroding? Can it be protected during critical times such as control system upgrades and migrations?
Intrinsically safe mobile smartphone: Airo Wireless A25is
The Airo Wireless A25is cell phone, smartphone, and personal digital assistance (PDA) is ruggedized and intrinsically safe.
Third-party safety testing: The case for outside certification
Case study from Moore Industries and TÜV Rheinland explains the methodology and benefits of third party safety certification.
Invensys releases InFusion 2.0
Invensys Operations Management, provider of technology systems, software, and consulting services to process and discrete manufacturing industries, has released the next evolution of its InFusion enterprise control system (ECS). The company says InFusion ECS 2.0 features new software platform updates, integration with its Foxboro I/A series distributed controls and other systems.
How to select a safety light screen for industrial machinery
Safety light curtains, appropriately applied to industrial machinery applications, can protect and provide required functionality, significantly lowering risk to personnel and equipment.
Webcast series: Arc Flash University 2010
A four-part Arc flash educational series begins Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, continuing May 20, Aug. 19, and Nov. 18. Arc Flash University 2010 includes the opportunity for continuing education units (CEUs); register once for all four free events.
DCS adds streaming video
DeltaV integrates live video display and process values on a single screen to allow operators a complete view of the process area.
Honeywell acquires rights to Shell’s operator technology for process manufacturers
Technology helps process manufacturer field workers safely increase production while reducing maintenance and operating costs.
Omron STI G9SX-SM Safety Monitoring Unit cuts wait time
Omron Scientific Technologies Inc. provides sensor-less machine standstill monitoring and improves productivity by reducing extra wait time to safely access machine.
ABB acquires Jokab Safety, helping low-voltage, machine safety
ABB, manufacturer of power and automation technology group, plans to acquire Jokab Safety International AB for an undisclosed amount.
Listen in: Invensys releases InFusion 2.0
New evolution of its enterprise control system advances applications that support real-time, enterprise-wide operations management. Hear embedded audio interview.
5 ways to wireless success: Apprion says learn from others, understand options
Look at your plant's wireless characteristics, see past the first application, and look at budgeting: These are among 5 wireless tips from Apprion, which recently integrated 2 separate standards, ISA100 and WirelessHART, into its system.
Eaton Logic Controller input/output adapter
Eaton announces new I/O and I/O adapter offerings for Eaton Logic Controllers (ELC).
Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Awards
Link to all Control Engineering awards programs from this page; Engineers' Choice Award past winners, Leaders Under 40 recognition, Control Panel Design Tutorial video contest, System Integrator of the Year Awards, and Control Engineering Tips and Tricks.
Process Control Winners, Engineers’ Choice Awards 2010
In process control, Control Engineering gave 2010 Engineers' Choice Awards for flowmeters; instrumentation and actuators; power monitoring; power protection; process sensors and transmitters; control systems, analysis, and process control; and process safety.
Control Engineering 2010 Engineers’ Choice Awards: Winning Technologies
Control Engineering 2010 Engineers’ Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products introduced in 2009 as chosen by Control Engineering’s print and online subscribers. Survey respondents were asked to select products based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. Link to winners.
Control Engineering 2010 Engineers’ Choice Awards Honorable Mentions
2010 Engineers’ Choice Award honorable mentions are designated below. For winners, see prior pages in this supplement or go online to: www.controleng.com/awards.
European safety deadline extended, but don’t wait: Rockwell Automation
New Machinery Directive allows use of EN 954-1, EN ISO 13849-1 for Presumption of Conformity through Dec. 31, 2011; EN 954-1 is withdrawn after 2011.
Don’t cloud your compliance data
Even the best security and data integrity processes may not be enough. Make sure your company's legal advisors are involved.
Control System Security Perceptions and Practices
Control Engineering cyber security bloggers puzzle over recent industrial control system security assessment survey results.
By the Numbers – 2010-01-01
2 reasons for delay: Political process details and a lot of rain. Both got in the way of a needed RTU/SCADA upgrade. http://budurl.com/uujd 6 promising nuclear power technologies are identified in Generation IV International Forum recommendations. Some can consume nuclear waste. http://budurl.com/qf6h 3 system integrator podcasts offer advice about 1.
Dealing with Undocumented Field Device Changes
Field device parameter alterations persist across industries despite the potentially enormous problems they can cause. The good news: fixing the problem isn't difficult. The bad news: the options and concerns surrounding selection of the right correction method are nearly limitless.
Sick IP69K-rated W4S-3 Inox photoelectric sensor for harsh wash down environments
Sick says the new rugged sensor is field tested to provide best background and foreground suppression in the market.
Intertek releases safety certification for wind turbine gearbox
ETL certification enables manufacturers and wind farm developers to demonstrate electrical safety compliance.
By the Numbers – 2009-12-02
Green technologies, automation software connector, tutorials on sensors and PID are among a dozen recent news items at www.controleng.com.
Achieving Sustainability With Flexible Automation
Sustainability is not at odds with good business. It can actually serve to balance prosperity with environmental and social responsibility.
Retrofit can stop arc flash in less than 8 ms
A new arc protection technology called GE Arc Vault, being developed by GE Consumer & Industrial's electrical distribution business for delivery in mid-2010, is said to be able to stop an arcing fault in less than eight milliseconds (ms). Furthermore, GE claims its Arc Vault system can contain an arc fault in less than eight milliseconds with the circuit breaker compartment doors open durin...
Applying Security Defense-In-Depth
One of the most important realizations cyber security engineers made in their early work is that security efforts are ineffective in isolation. It was this vital realization that gave birth to the concept of defense-in-depth, which is a technique of defending systems against any particular attack vector using multiple and varying methods.
New program benchmarks process safety management systems
Center for Chemical Process Safety adds formal benchmarking to its metrics, guidelines, and other tools to improve safety of chemical, energy, pharmaceutical facilities.
Listen in: Security incidents database documents industrial cyber events
Have other companies in your industry had their control systems violated? Is that story about a nuclear plant being manipulated from the outside true? The Security Incidents Organization can help.
Dairy safety in control in China
China's melamine-contaminated milk scare of 2008 serves as a product safety lesson for all manufacturers. The Yili Group's embrace of modern control and production technology in the aftermath of the event is helping to ensure a similar scenario never again occurs.
Machine Safety: ‘Acceptable’ versus ‘tolerable’ risk
In a recent Machine Safety blog posting on www.controleng.com, blogger J.B. Titus said: “To understand machine safety, you have to understand the concepts of 'acceptable' versus 'tolerable' risk. “First, 'tolerable risk' is the term used for the past several years referring to a level of residual risk for a given hazard after applying risk reduction measures.
Arc flash upgrade: 30-year-old retrofit will stop arc flash in less than 8 millisec, GE says
Every millisecond counts: GE Consumer & Industrial's electrical distribution business announces GE Arc Vault system, expected to be fastest arc flash containment technology at mid-2010 introduction.
Phoenix Contact: Quick, easy safety controller monitors safety circuits
Phoenix Contact PSR-Trisafe, a new safety controller, can monitor an entire safety circuit, from emergency stops to safety doors, in a machine or plant.
Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter allows wireless electrical measurement
Fluke 233 Digital Multimeter uses a 2.4 GHz ISM Band wireless transmitter to immediately send measurements to the detached display, improving safety and increasing productivity.
Machine safety advice: Think beyond the safety device, Rockwell Automation says
Are you ready for the new machine safety concepts in the European Machinery Directive mandate? Functional machine safety is moving beyond compliance to consider and promote profitability, productivity, and sustainability.
Danish microdairy gains data foundation
An integrated EtherNet/IP solution provides dairy staff with full control of all processes and safety aspects, and can be rapidly reconfigured to produce multiple products in one plant.
Exida selects Moore Industries logic solver for IEC 61508 applications
Integrated safety lifecycle software platform from exida integrates safety trip alarm for applications under the emerging IEC 61508 standard.
Sick laser measurement system sensors fit outdoor anti-collision, indoor profiling applications
Sick LMS100 and LMS111 series of non-safety rated laser measurement system sensors have advanced filtering technology to eliminate false trips in measurement applications. The LMS111 Laser Measurement System is a non-contact sensor designed for outdoor anti-collision environments. LMS100 is designed for indoor profiling applications.
Machine safety blog launched
“Machine Safety” is the title of a new blog launched by Control Engineering and authored well-respected safety expert, J.B. Titus. Over the past 30 years, J.B. has advised a range of clients on machine functional safety solutions, including Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, General Motors, Disney, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, and Samsung Heavy Industries.
The future belongs to solutions that simplify user operation and increase flexibility.
Cyber Security Lessons from Electric Utilities Industry
Global economic commerce has become almost wholly dependent upon constant, reliable availability of electricity. This is nowhere more true than in the interconnected Internet world, which drives global commerce and has become deeply enmeshed in modern society. Paradoxically, the capabilities of an interconnected world have created a great vulnerability point in ensuring uninterrupted flow of el...
Process control, safety integration as needed: PlantPAx from Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process control system new capabilities integrate ICS Triplex SIL 3 fault-tolerant technology and AADvance process safety systems.
Rockwell Automation PlantPAx System integrates, separates process control, safety
PlantPAx process control system expansion from Rockwell Automation includes integration of ICS Triplex SIL 3 fault-tolerant technology.
Addressing SIS Cyber Security; Is it First or Last?
Part 2: When considering integrated control and safety systems, building a strong defense is an investment in ensuring business continuity. How should you implement the concepts?
Modular safety controller adapts to machine safety applications
Sick's FX3 Flexi Soft modular safety controller is an expandable, software programmable, safety controller that is said to be adaptable to a variety of safety applications for small- to medium-sized machines. Because of the controller's modular hardware platform, it can be expanded module by module (12-144 inputs/outputs, saving space in the control cabinet while providing flexibility for futur...
Vibration monitoring switch can prevent machine failure
The ifm efector VK Series vibration switch continuously monitors critical plant equipment vibration levels to help prevent machine failure and expensive downtime. Every operating machine in a plant has a unique vibration level that can change when it experiences unusual operating conditions; a change can indicate pending failure. This is a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Drug safety regulations increase need for industry resources and expertise
Safety requirements for drug manufacturers now extends through drug lifecycle, requiring more resources to track safety post-sale as well as building it in during design and manufacturing.
Honeywell: We’ve laid the foundation for wireless process control
Upgrade to Honeywell OneWireless network features redundant gateway for better reliability.
Fieldbus Facts Online – June 2009
June 2009 Fieldbus Facts Online is brought to you by the Fieldbus Foundation, an international, not-for-profit corporation consisting of automation industry leaders dedicated to providing the "Freedom to Choose" and the "Power to Integrate." Featured This Month In This Issue... Reliance exec looks in-depth at‘world’s largest’ F OUNDATION fieldbus refinery project Fieldbus Foundation joins Applied Control Technology Consortium North American seminars help end users‘achieve operational excellence’ 2009 Fieldbus educational events planned around the world Fieldbus Foundation, Prolist sign copyright agreement Saudi Aramco picks MTL Fieldbus solution for oil and gas plant ABB Instrumentation positioner is modular, electronically configurable Emerson’s DeltaV system with AMS Suite completes host profile registration Endress+Hauser’s new fieldbus hybrid I/O block facilitates I/O integration Moore Industries, MooreHawke offer Fieldbus whitepapers, more Northwire cables promote fast, simple cabinet wiring Pepperl+Fuchs Smartplant symbol library adds Fieldbus infrastructure components R. Stahl advanced power supply integrates features for physical layer diagnosis Rockwell adds process device configuration to asset management software Reliance exec looks in-depth at‘world’s largest’ F OUNDATION fieldbus refinery project -- An interview with B.R.
Modular safety controller from Sick adapts to many machine safety applications
Modular design of the software programmable, expandable, easy-to-commission Sick FX3 Flexi Soft safety controller enables users, machine builders, and system integrators, to build only what they need for machine safety.
Intrinsically safe I/O subsystem simplifies hazardous area installations
IPS and P+F team to integrate intrinsically safe hardware with control system technology.
Social media: Why engineers should be anti-social
You should hold the line on controlling or even barring Internet access from your process control system.
Safety via Fieldbus—Hanging by a Wire?
Fieldbus is breaking new ground in discrete and process safety networks, a bastion of hard-wired systems. Users are drawn by promises of easier troubleshooting and maintenance.
Minimize arc-fault energy
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) offers arc-flash detection (AFD) capability in the SEL-751A Feeder Protection Relay, providing automatic protection against dangerous arc-flash events. AFD interrupts power to the arc flash before it can cause severe personal injury, extensive equipment damage, and lengthy system outages.
5 tips: How to monitor temperature wirelessly
Wireless devices can make temperature monitoring easier in many applications, according to Omega Engineering Inc. Today's wireless instrumentation technologies provide new ways to apply temperature measurement sensors.
Plant asset relocation assessment services
Omron STI offers asset relocation assessment services to ensure machinery compliance for cost-effective machinery relocation due to mergers, acquisitions, or plant closings.
B&R redesigns mechatronics, cuts 30% machine automation costs
B&R Industrial Automation is helping machine builders and system integrators redesign machine mechatronics to remove 15-30% of the cost of machine automation with new industrial PCs, real-time operating systems, operator panels, PLCs, I/O modules, motors, networks, and safety devices.
Arc-flash detection relay minimizes dangerous arc-fault energy
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) offers arc-flash detection (AFD) capability in the SEL-751A Feeder Protection Relay, providing automatic protection against dangerous arc-flash events. See photo.
Cyber security and safety providers merge to expand coverage
Byres Research and exida join forces to offer safety and security consultation and certification. Safety assessments are among offerings to augment availability.
ABB combines power and automation events
Noting increased customer interest in the integration of electricity- and automation-focused technologies to achieve efficiency and optimization goals, ABB combines its two annual events and announces a number of new, cross-industry products.
Companies follow control system / safety system integration pattern
Wurldtech and exida partner to provide cyber security certification for larger integrated systems.
Review today’s machinery safety standards
Interrelated, and sometimes overlapping, safety standards have been developed as a result of the European Commission's enactment of the wide-ranging Machinery Directive. Safety standards include...
Wireless power, power harvesting
Wireless power is emerging as a popular concept for industrial and consumer use, eliminating the inconvenience and mess of several chargers and wires, says Frost & Sullivan. See photo, links.
Sustainable plants: Survey reveals why recession hampers corporate green initiatives
While the recession is delaying some sustainability-related corporate spending, certain projects do tend to proceed in a down economy—especially those that carry a process or plant safety benefit as their primary driver, or relatively low-cost improvements such as adding a layer of monitoring or intelligence over existing equipment or control devices.
Integrated Safety and Motion
Safety functions combined with motion control systems allow simpler operations and cost savings. Previously separate systems were needed. Full shutdowns can be avoided in some situations.
Control Room Consolidation – Part 1, Operating Factors by Invensys
Manufacturing plant control rooms are a rare place where four variables – technology, work environment, processes, and labor – can be leveraged simultaneously. Consequently, their design and function is often part of a larger strategy to rationalize plant operations, which is often enabled with an upgrade of control and information technologies.
Author encourages reevaluation of HMIs, use of best practices
Who should design the human machine interface systems in manufacturing and process plants? Ian Nimmo says it ought to be a team approach, and include someone who knows both human factors issues and plant operations. Link to a book, Web seminar and workshops that can help.
Process plants to get interactive 3D gaming technology for training, HMIs
Invensys Process Systems (IPS) announced its Immersive Virtual Reality Process technology , which combines the interactive VR technology found in video games with process plant simulation models. See photos. Link to video. Leave your comments.
Fieldbus system OK’d for intrinsic safety, redundant power
MooreHawke, a division of Moore Industries-International, has announced that the Route-Master fieldbus system has a new ATEX approval (FM pending) as a redundant intrinsically-safe fieldbus system that can connect Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) and entity (non-FISCO) devices. It is the world's first fieldbus system approval to offer FISCO compatibility and power redundancy, company says.
Process automation roadmap from Rockwell includes PlantPAx
Strategy unifies Rockwell's process industry capabilities and technologies with those of 6 partner companies.
Honeywell controls selected for new clean power plant
A second gasification phase, including carbon capture, is under development at the plant and will enable the plant to convert coal, biomass, and natural gas into clean power.
Fieldbus Foundation: Safety Instrumented Functions final specification, development tools
Fieldbus Foundation announced new device development solutions for its Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technology and related tools.
Decrease arc flash risk with new motor control center option
The Allen-Bradley Centerline 2500 motor control center (MCC) ArcShield option from Rockwell Automation helps reduce arc flash hazards and protects against internal electrical arcs.
Cyber Security Hits Home
With the coming of the new year, cyber security activity at power plants and larger electric utilities has taken a major step. NERC CIP (National Electric Reliability Corporation, critical infrastructure protection) regulations are coming into force that require producers and distributors of bulk power to take specific security precautions to ensure uninterrupted delivery.
Asia industry banks on process
While some sectors of the Asian economy are slowing down, Asia's process industries remain in relatively fine shape—overtaking one country's electronics sector as the highest contributor to manufacturing output. The first ever ProcessCEM Asia conference and exhibition, which took place in Singapore, October 22-24, 2008, attracted more than 100 exhibitors from 14 countries and resulted in...
By the Numbers – 2009-01-01
Fluid, floating engineering projects; security undertones; New Years Eve Ball, winning system integrators, and technology transfer are among engineering related numbers of interest this month. Link to each and more.
Control Engineering North American edition 2008 index
Looking for something? Do you recall a cover image, but cannot remember enough to use a search engine? Below is an index of Control Engineering 2008 North American print edition issues by cover and headlines to help you find what you need.
Partnership develops first-of-its-kind document-handling control system
In 2003, David Bartkowiak, executive director for Ancor, a provider of customized print and electronic document services, embarked on a quest to build the ultimate machine to automate label packaging preparation with 100% verification for client Ford Motor Company. He knew an outside vendor had to be used because of the complexity of Ford documentation packages.
Alternative-fuel power plants require versatile process control platforms
Dutch power company chooses Honeywell for DCS at 3-unit, multi-fuel generating plant.
GE Fanuc expands its 8000 Process I/O line
Three new I/O modules extend flexibility of GE’s main controller platform.
‘DONA’ forget about security
There are some headlines that every manufacturing IT professional should dread. A recent one was the late October announcement that Microsoft was releasing an out-of-band security patch. This patch fixes a problem that allows remote code execution if a Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 system receive a specially crafted RFC request and can be exploited in an internet/in...
Arc flash blowout
Arc flash is quite different from electric shock. When a person gets an electric shock, effects arise from the passage of electric current through sensitive tissues, mostly nerves. Arc flash occurs when electric current passes through air. Arcs generally begin when conductors in contact and carrying high current are pulled apart.
Learning incentives: Automation college for Europe, Middle East and Africa; student competition
Honeywell announced courses to sharpen professional skills and a program to help process manufacturers invest in training and selected winners in the Automation Professionals of Tomorrow competition. Link to other learning incentive stories.
Deep-sea safety: New SIL-3 controller certified for underwater applications
Growing importance of offshore drilling for oil and gas expands demand for pressure monitoring and protection systems to prevent injuries and environmental disasters.
Top 5 things you need to know about process safety
This Webcast is designed to help you gain a complete understanding of process safety technologies, identify which solutions are most appropriate for specific applications, and how to tie them in with your existing plant infrastructure. Specific issues addressed include: To view the Webcast, visit controleng.
Safety: Protecting People, Processes, and Brand
At the heart of making machine safety part of sustainable production programs is the belief that corporate investment in environmental and social responsibility strengthens business performance and improves the bottom line. Certainly goodwill is part of the motivation, but there also is a real economic imperative to adopt sustainable production practices.
Practice Safe Sensing
With process safety and sensors, sometimes garbage in equals more than garbage out. Because these devices measure pressure, temperature, flow, level, and other process parameters, they play a pivotal role in determining a process unit’s output. A wrong reading can produce waste or create a catastrophe that costs lives and makes national news.
Safety: Software helps; SIL 2-certified pressure transmitters; safe wiring modules
A new software partnership between Green Hills and 3S Smart Software targets industrial safety, while the new pressure line from IPS has achieved CEC Dual Seal Transmitter Certification. Additionally, Wago is introducing a modular wiring system. See photos.
Are we safe enough? Plant managers can effectively mitigate risk through safety & security systems integration
Ask a plant manager why safety is important, and the answer is that protection of personnel, equipment, and the environment will prevent serious incidents. Ask an IT director, and it's data integrity and network availability that are crucial to safeguarding the entire plant and its productivity. No matter what perspective taken, all plant managers are asking themselves, “Are we safe enoug...
Particle size analyzer cuts energy use
The China Aluminium Industry Stock Company (Guizhou, China) is using an Insitec on-line particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments (Malvern, U.K.) to produce better quality carbon at lower variable cost. The milled carbon processed by China Aluminum is used to manufacture electrodes for aluminium smelting, and particle size directly influences electrode performance.
More packaging machines, construction equipment, testing standards
Expansions: Packaging machinery shipments went up last year, says PMMI. An AEM study shows construction equipment exports were up midyear 2008 (see table). TÜV SÜD America is doubling the number of its testing standards. A motor manufacturer purchased a maker of mechanical power transmission components (photo).
Safety: Functional safety adds confidence, flexibility, and reliability
Recent wave of revisions enhance machine safety design thinking.
Enclosures: safety, durability, flexibility
New products from Rittal, Bud Industries, and Strongarm include options that support safety, ergonomics, and efficiencies. Trends include easier maintenance without exposing workers to hazards, adjustability, and more mounting flexibility to simplify system integration. See more photos and...
IPS Global Consulting Group gains traction
The consulting organization of Invensys Process Systems (IPS) celebrated a year of successful operation at the company's North American Client Conference. Today, more than 400 consultants apply industry knowledge and technical expertise in an effort to improve client performance, the company says.
Intrinsically safe accelerometer expands line of hazardous area sensors
Wilcoxon Research has received intrinsically safe certification on its full-performance, compact, industrial accelerometers. See photo.
Process safety system: Flexible platform designed to increase plant profitability
New design permits maintenance and even upgrades while in full operation.
Smart Cameras Resolve Control Issues
Image analysis for machine vision applications is essentially an exercise in data reduction. The raw data stream is a torrent. A single black and white image from a 1,000 pixel x 1,000 pixel image sensor reporting 16 gray levels contains roughly 500 kB of data. At a standard frame rate of 30 f/s, that amounts to 15 MB/s.
Encoder calibration, safety audit
Women in engineering? Yes and no Re: Articles and postings on the skills gap and particularly women in engineering. I am a chemical engineer and my 20-year-old daughter is a chemical engineering student at the University of Michigan. She said that she got an early interest in science from watching Bill Nye—The Science Guy on television.
Process safety resources at your fingertips
Recently it seems that everyone is talking about process safety, but more than that, they’re doing something about it. ARC Advisory Group says that strong growth of safety instrumented systems will continue in 2008. Current soft conditions may temper it in subsequent years, but the worldwide market, which was around $1.
By the Numbers – 2008-09-01
248,655 miles from earth was a distance record set when Apollo 13 rounded the far side of the moon, April 15, 1970. Fluke provided distance milestones to promote two new handheld laser distance meters. Others sell such meters, but typically from outlets not frequented by instrumentation, automation, and controls personnel.
Networks: Production machinery needs better security
Machinery and production systems are increasingly managed over the Internet, making enterprise networks and common network interfaces potentially more vulnerable than ever. Corporate firewalls provide access security against Internet attacks from the outside world. The most harmful programs capable of paralyzing automation systems may be introduced internally. See photo. Links provide help.
Packaging Automation Benchmark Study Vol. 2
Digital Edition Research Reveals Packaging Machine Builders Outlook and Influences With an economic value of nearly $133 billion annually in the U.S., packaging is big business, so Control Engineering and Packaging Digest set to investigate this dynamic market. The 2008 Packaging Automation Benchmark Study is a year-long, three-part research project that reveals the technology, market, and business issues affecting packagers, machine builders, and system integrators. In Volume 2, research results and analysis focus on the machine builders–who they are, what types of automation they typically provide on their products, how customers influence what automation features are standard or optional, and the impact packaging is expected to have on their business now and in the future. Vol.
Process safety: Mining the resources at your fingertips
You can find huge amounts of information on this hot topic without leaving your desk.
Packaging: Machine builders get help meeting risk assessment standard
Rockwell Automation is helping machine builders comply with the ANSI/PMMI B155.1 standard, which will apply to packaging machinery shipped after Oct. 25, 2008.
How Encoders Make Automated Motion Safe
At its core, automation is defined by control loops, but automated machine safety is more aptly described as an arrow. And that arrow’s sharp point is often an encoder that makes it possible for the control system to know where it is and how fast it’s moving. With that knowledge, the system can not only avoid trouble, but act appropriately when circumstances bring trouble to its door.
Packaging Automation Benchmark Study: Shifting safety responsibilities
For years the bottom line for worker safety has revolved largely around OSHA requirements. Under these requirements, although workers are required to follow employer guidelines, ultimate responsibility for creating a safe workplace resides with the employer. Later this year, however, current safety parameters are set to change somewhat with the release of ANSI B11.
Automation acquisitions update
Many of the biggest players in the automation and controls space continue to aggressively expand their product lines and global reach with new acquisitions. Here’s a rundown of five of the latest moves: Emerson acquired TopWorx, a manufacturer of industrial sensors and controls used for valves, for an undisclosed amount.
Partial Stroke Testing
Valves are expected to operate even if they haven’t been operated for awhile. To ensure proper operation in emergency shutdown (ESD) service, valves must be actuated. To do so, most processes must be interrupted—inconvenient at best, costly at worst, but certainly not as costly as a valve actuation failure in a safety instrumented function (SIF).
Safety automation grows; new products, resources
News in safety automation includes a new report highlighting 12% annual growth in process safety, product safety certifications, a gas detection system for wastewater treatment, and launch of a site with safety resources for industrial automation and controls.
Vertical motion: Underground mining gets a safety upgrade
Mine hoist system challenges include speed, reliability, and safety.
Safetybase.com: Manufacturing publications partner with Siemens for industrial Web site launch
Reed Business Information publications Control Engineering, Design News, Manufacturing Business Technology, and Plant Engineering —in partnership with U.S.-based safety experts from Siemens Energy & Automation —recently launched SafetyBase.com , an interactive Web site with myriad resources for dealing with industrial automation safety issues. SafetyBase.com is a free site where engineers, safety professionals, and managers can find information addressing:• Industry standards and OSHA regulations;• Safe environments for increased productivity;• Improvements in machine, process, and personnel safety; and• Risk reduction that leads to minimized insurance/liability costs.Visit SafetyBase.com to access white papers, best practices, case studies, blogs, Webcasts, and videos pooled from associated Reed Business Information media properties and Siemens. Discussion forums and links to professional services firms also uncover safety-related services and OSHA advice.
Operator Interface Outlook Clear, Bright
Operator interface terminals (OITs) come in a near-infinite variety of styles, shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. They continue to proliferate on the plant floor—and beyond—through added features and functionality that help increase the efficiency and precision of operations. This healthy state of the OIT market is confirmed in a recent online study by Control Engineering and Reed Research Group. Includes user advice, and more than 20 photos and graphics.
Video listen in: Honeywell upgrades OneWireless platform, anticipates ISA100.11a standard
Standard approval still pending, but system ready to receive final version.
M&A: Emerson acquires TopWorx; Honeywell buys Norcross
Emerson acquired TopWorx, a manufacturer of industrial sensors and controls used for valves; and Honeywell completed acquisition of Norcross Safety Products LLC, a manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Details follow.
Safety reference resources, standards, CD, white paper
As ISA is offering a CD full of process safety references, Rockwell Automation released a new white paper examining the holistic approach to safety (see photo). Also read...
European debut of intrinsic safety breakthrough
For 40 years intrinsic safety (EX i) has meant limiting the amount of electric power to less than 2 Watts in dangerous areas, for fear any spark could ignite an explosion. As a result, an entire industry of companies has developed that supply isolators and barriers to provide this type of protection.
2008 Honeywell User Group meeting overview
Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), opened this year’s Honeywell User Group Meeting in Phoenix stressing the company’s mission of safety, reliability, and efficiency and how the company’s new products and services are focused on addressing these issues according to direct customer input.
Safety white papers: Encoders, instrumented systems, light curtains, networks
White papers on safety are among those available in the Control Engineering Resource Center. Most recently, these include...
Machine Automatic Safeguarding Components and Equipment—Global Market Analysis (3rd Edition)
Findings in this new white paper from Venture Development Corp. are based on a recently completed worldwide market study on machine automatic safeguarding components and equipment. The report provides data on product types and features, geographic markets, applications and industries, user needs, and competitors, and shows 2007 and forecasts 2012 worldwide shipments of machine automatic safeguarding products by major product classes.
SME: Get lean, get automation, get help
Get educated, get help, get lean, and then apply automation and robotics where it makes sense to do so. These were among recommendations at the best practices and ideas session at the 2008 SME Annual Meeting, May 31-June 3, in Detroit. Advice to attendees and Control Engineering readers includes....
Safety: Which technologies safeguard the most machines?
Knowing what technologies are safeguarding the most machines now and in the future provides insights into what you might want to consider installing. Many types of safety sensors and controllers provide protection; the most widely used are....
An Integrated Approach to Safety: Defense in Depth
Ensuring safety requires reducing the risk of incidents, faults and failures that can disrupt normal operations. This effort goes far beyond simply installing fail-safe controllers or a safety instrumented system. In fact, to mitigate the risk of serious incidents that can cause injury to personnel, equipment and the environment, it is important to consider safety from all aspects of a plant’s operation. Honeywell’s integrated approach to plant safety helps customers improve their business perf
New project: Simulation platform for plant start-up, operator training
Honeywell UniSim platform expected to simplify starting up new oil sands facility and moving into operation.
Listen in: Looking for cyber security ideas? Here’s an event
Join others who are looking for cyber security solutions in San Diego.
Listen in: Fieldbus Foundation demonstrates safety protocol
If you like fieldbus architecture for control, it's coming for safety too.
Skills gap: Automation training expands to meet market demands
With people retiring in droves, those left better be well-equipped for any manufacturing automation challenges, says Rockwell Automation. The company is adding more than 60 new instructor-led courses, a controller certification program, and machine safety seminars to....
Cindy Jutras: Don’t overlook the basic plumbing that is ERP
ERP provides the necessary infrastructure that forms the operational and transactional system of record for manufacturers of all types and sizes.While an ERP evaluation was once thought to be a strategic five- to eight-year decision, Aberdeen research finds the average age of implementations to be almost nine years, implying the longevity of these solutions often exceeds the anticipated life.
End user initiatives, safety dominate panel discussions
Two panel discussions held at Hannover Industrial Fair 2008 in Germany provided a chance for attendees to interact with a variety of global industry representatives on trends and developments surrounding industrial Ethernet technologies and plant safety issues. The panels were hosted by Molex, a maker of Ethernet and other connectivity solutions.
Wireless multiplexers: More choices, data reliability, says Honeywell
New wireless multiplexers are said to be cost effective and support legacy protocols and more instrumentation.
Inside look: How MTL Instruments fits with Cooper Industries
With wired, wireless products; enclosed, intrinsically safe equipment; and industrial and secure devices, MTL Instruments offerings are becoming more than the sum of their parts after acquisition by Cooper Industries.
Oracle says it will leapfrog competitors in manufacturing intelligence
By now it seems ancient history, but SAP's acquisition of Lighthammer in 2005 marked a sea change in attitudes toward integrating plant operations with the business enterprise. Lighthammer was one of the first software vendors to develop a solution for enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI). These solutions aggregate data from diverse plant assets and, once combined with enterprise transac...
Safety Sensors Rise to New Heights
An integrated safety system, like any control system, contains sensors, logic, and actuation, with I/O connections, networks, and software to tie it altogether. As connected sensors advance in functionality and fall in cost, redundancy and fail-safe designs reduce risk.
By the Numbers – 2008-05-01
3 specific areas of safety and health information, personal protective equipment, heat stress and reduction, and prevention of silica exposure are the focus of a renewed alliance between U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Foundry Society (AFS).
Frost & Sullivan awards honors many automation, controls companies
Global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan honored companies for demonstrating industry excellence this month at the annual Excellence in Industrial Technologies Awards Banquet and Networking Sessions in San Antonio, TX. Winners included....
Ethernet, safety discussed at Hannover Fair
Two panel discussions at Hannover Fair provided a chance for press and attendees to interact with a variety of global industry representatives on trends and developments surrounding industrial Ethernet technologies and plant safety issues.
Listen in: GE Fanuc to acquire MTL open systems technology
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms and MTL Instruments Group announced that GE Fanuc will acquire assets of the MTL Open Systems Technology (MOST) product lines, including MTL8000 general purpose I/O, intrinsically safe I/O, SafetyNet system and process control technologies. Listen in, a 2.5 minute soundbite interview is included ....
Analysis: Engineering values from the top down
The attitudes at the top of your company influence everything, for better or worse.
7 critical things to know about Ethernet
Before Ethernet gets to the plant floor, there are seven critical things to know. Here, the Profinet protocol provides the example. 1. Network layout. Do not to take office topologies to the plant floor, but implement plant/machine topologies with Ethernet. Office Ethernet infrastructures are typically based on commercial-grade products meant to be located in a temperature controlled environme...
Globalizing Process Engineering
As we have come into the 21st century, the concepts of globalization and a flat world has been applied to virtually any topic related to manufacturing. One way it has been manifest in process industries has been the extent to which companies have deployed globally. It’s difficult to find a manufacturer of any size that does not have plants on different continents intended to move closer t...
Keeping a Lid On Blowouts
As industrial accidents go, a blowout in offshore natural gas or oil exploration surely ranks among the worst. When not contained, a blowout can release high pressure gasses that are frequently toxic and flammable, resulting in environmental damage and possible fatalities. Keeping a lid on these events requires a combination of the right hardware and control strategy.
Schneider Electric makes donation to enhance workforce safety
The multi-year, $6.5 million Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project aims to expand the knowledge of the electric arc phenomena and enhance worker safety through advances in the codes and standards relating to safe employee work practices. The effort, by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), received a boost with a $500...
Combining Cyber and Physical Security
As industrial networking evolves, the concepts of physical and cyber security strategies are on converging paths. IP technology offers many benefits for network flexibility, so the two approaches can grow hand-in-hand. Moreover, bandwidth in Ethernet-based protocols is rapidly increasing, enabling fiber-optic and copper media to transmit more data.
Knowledge and Focus are Key for Effective Safety Audit
Getting a complete picture from an optical illusion requires careful study and thoughtful examination–not a quick glance or cursory once-over. A machine safety audit requires this same depth and intensity of focus. If you don’t take time to analyze and study the entire picture, you likely will miss important details. Link to part 1 of this article.
Webcast: What to do after an arc flash study
Arc flash incidents extend beyond safety concerns and OSHA mandates to include business risks and other costs. What should be in your arc flash safety program?
E-stop: Safety monitors use AS-i network for complex systems
New AS-Interface (AS-i) safety monitors control power availability for machine safety (emergency stop) systems.
Arc flash: $6.5 million in research, testing
To help reduce 2,000-plus arc flash injuries per year, Schneider Electric donates $500,000 to IEEE and NFPA research.
New platform: Yokogawa launches new VigilantPlant advance
The next generation in the series supports operational excellence.
Safer together: exida purchases partner
Goal is more tightly integrated process safety software, using two industrial safety standards.
Safety: Tale of Two Applications
When done correctly, safety systems can be fun — or at least can make sure what's amusing doesn't turn tragic. A look at two case histories shows how integrating safety and control systems can cut costs while improving safety and reliability. The two examples are literally and figuratively from opposite ends of the earth.
2007 New Product Compendium
This online-only reference is a round up of more than new automation, instrumentation and control products introduced in North America in 2007.
Safety: A Tale of 2 Applications
Two applications show how control system safety can be implemented using new machine technologies for less overall cost.
Faster tripping: Speed lowers energy, boosts arc-flash safety at Shell refinery
Vaasa, Finland -- Shell Canada is realizing improved operator safety at its Sarnia-based petrochemical refinery with an electrical arc protection system. The Vamp Ltd. system uses light and current sensing and protects the continuous-processing plant against costly nuisance trips.
Get the Most out of your Machine-Safety Audit
This is the first part of a two-part series on machine-safety audits. The second part will appear in the April issue of Inside Machines. If you are going to take the time and effort to do something, you may as well do it right” is a simple philosophy that applies to many things, but especially to safety auditing.
Top 20 of 2007
Think Again: Review these most-read Control Engineering articles posted online at controleng.com during 2007. High-ranking topics include: PID, control valve actuators, encoders, stepper motors, control design for clean in place (CIP) applications, industrial Ethernet hardware, and security.
Cyber threats: Help offered to improve security of process, SCADA software
Foxborough, MA – Providers of real-time process control / supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technologies will improve the security of technology offerings, providing users with more integrated cyber-security solutions, because of a partnership program launched by Industrial Defender Inc. The move should help with regulatory compliance in utilities and other industries, the company suggests.
Analysis: Control Engineering Top 20 articles of 2007
Oak Brook, IL — Control Engineering tells what the leading articles of 2007 were, as read online at the Control Engineering Web site. Have your competitors learned something to make their jobs easier? Did you see these? High-ranking topics include: PID, control valve actuators, encoders, stepper motors, control design for clean in place (CIP) applications, industrial Ethernet hardware, and security. Links are provided.
Update: An OSHA alliance, greener semiconductors, automation delivers
Oak Brook, IL – Control Engineering’s global resources include other technology publications within Reed Business Information. Recent items of interest follow about an alliance with OSHA, greener semiconductors, and how automation delivers higher efficiencies.
Footswitches and pushbuttons
Automation Direct adds foot switches and 22 mm pushbuttons to its line of product offerings. The switches, in single and double units, are designed for machines such as shearing and spinning machines, lathes, wrapping machines and riveting machines and presses. Foot switches are available in two operational formats: free movement and foot switch locked in neutral position.
By the Numbers – 2008-01-01
>1,600 Automation System Integrators are in the Automation Integrator guide online, searchable eight ways so you can find an appropriate match of qualifications and expertise. Tools include a multi-parameter search function. www.controleng.com/integrators 50,000 genes are in mammals; 3,000 for the E.
‘Life planning’ for industrial systems
Making financial decisions by numbers alone is laden with risk, as the numbers are too often one-dimensional. When it comes to planning for a manufacturing plant’s financial future, it pays to take the same approach you would take to your personal financial future. A sound financial strategy can only come from a careful accumulation of several factors.
Security: ISASecure targets conformance
Research Triangle Park, NC – The ISA Security Compliance Institute invites technology providers and asset owners to join an automation controls industry program called ISASecure. ISA says its goal is to conduct independent assessments and validation of compliance to consensus industry security standards for manufacturing automation controls. Security performance requirements and testing will result.
Plant security: Invensys and Integralis protecting process manufacturers from cyber threats
Invensys Process Systems, a provider of process control technology, will offer 24/7 global network security monitoring and management through a partnership with Integralis, a global supplier of managed security services.
OSHA’s Position On Machine Guarding – Today
December 12, 2007 In this issue: OSHA's Position On MachineGuarding - Today Arc Flash Evolution Five Steps to Take the "Risk" Out of Risk Assessment and Management - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - OSHA's Position On MachineGuarding - Today When in doubt, it’s always best to go right to the source. That’s what was done in a question and answer session with OSHA regarding machine guarding. The result should clear up many of your questions and concerns about machine guarding and provide those involved in designing, building, or operating machines with some guidance.
Five Steps Take the “Risk” Out of Risk Assessment and Management
Whether you are the CEO, an administrative assistant or a plant manager, you are constantly engaging in risk assessment and management. Sometimes the consequences of being wrong are trivial. However, being wrong can sometimes be devastating, with money lost and safety compromised. That's the situation confronting those involved in the design, implementation or assurance of machine safety.
Arc Flash Evolution
It seemed safe enough. The industrial electricians were just going to take a few measurements prior to starting the job. Everything was energized, but that should have been OK, because the electricians were going to be a safe distance away. They were.
Zero force: Optical touch switch replaces mechanical push buttons
New Providence, NJ – Panasonic Electric Works Corp. of America offers the Sunx brand optical touch switch, the SW-101, a zero force replacement for mechanical push buttons commonly used in two hand control safety applications.
TED, ETTN pressure/temperature measuring
With TED/YTED and ETTN/YTTN ranges, Baumer provides robust measuring instruments for pressure and temperature control for process management. The stainless steel devices are suitable for severe industrial environments. Based on microprocessor technology, devices of both series can be programmed on site using code protected keys.
Pressure gage: Wika releases new digital display gage
Wika has released its new DG-10 digital display gage . The company says the new design is ideal for applications requiring a local, battery-operated measurement and display instrument capable of delivering accuracy, reliability and durability. Built with a rugged stainless steel housing and standard AA battery power, the DG-10 is reportedly suitable for a wide range of applications where an intermittent display is required, including hydraulics, pneumatics, pumps, compressors, and test benches. For situations where a continuous display is required, other designs are better suited. The standard DG-10 includes a multifunction LCD-display with a bar graph, featuring a drag pointer function and a min/max memory.
Ergonometric safety: Two-hand control machine actuation
Minneapolis, MN— Banner Engineering Corp. has unveiled the Duo-Touch Run Bar with STB Buttons for two-hand control machine actuation. It minimizes the possibility of defeat and accidental actuation, while its ergonomic design reduces hand, wrist, and arm stresses associated with repeated switch operation. Two preinstalled STB Touch Buttons simplify set up and installation.
Safety: Switch cuts arc-flash risk; video shows safety savings, aggregation
Recent advancements in safety include a safety switch from Cooper Bussmann, a video that demonstrates how safety devices save three to six times their cost from Omron STI, and a controller that can replace multiple safety modules from Banner Engineering.
By the numbers…
89 percent of control networks are connected to the enterprise which in turn is interconnected to the Internet, according to Paul Dorey in “Security Management in Process Control: The 3 Waves of Adoption,” Process Control Systems Forum Spring 2006 Conference. $100 + billion is the size of the global market for cyber-crime, as estimated by DHS Cyber Security and Communications Assist...
Corrosion detection monitors
Intrinsic safety versions of Pepperl+Fuchs CorrTran MV corrosion detection transmitters with multivariable outputs are now ATEX approved for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. CorrTran MV allows users to monitor online and in real-time general and local corrosion rates, as well as conductivity.
A security primer: 8 steps to building a security infrastructure
Regardless of the age of process equipment, it is very likely connected to the enterprise and in turn to the Internet. Protecting it means establishing and applying security infrastructure throughout, including hardware and software as well as policies and procedures. Controlling physical access to the control system goes hand-in-hand with creating a secure infrastructure.
Common industrial security myths Plant operations managers need to recognize that although they may feel isolated from security threats, in reality they are not. Three common myths must be debunked: Many plants—including chemical and petrochemical, refinery, pharmaceutical, and pulp and paper operations—have been identified as potential targets.
Preventing Dust Explosions
On January 29, 2003, an explosion and fire destroyed the West Pharmaceutical Services plant in Kinston, NC, causing six deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of job losses.
Sweepstakes Rules – 2007-10-24 – 2007-10-24
Control Engineering Machine Safety Trends 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.
ISA Expo 2007: Cybersecurity, software advances, links to other coverage
Cybersecurity and software were among many automation, controls, and instrumentation topics discussed during opening day here at ISA Expo 2007: ISA is finalizing a distribution agreement for what it touts as “a critical infrastructure cyber-security tool;” Siemens joined the ISA Security Compliance Institute as a founding member; and Iconics was among many companies making new product announcements, with products to enhance productivity, record-keeping, information integration.
Safety Improves Robot Efficiency
A spirit of innovation has helped Dürr Paint Systems become one of the leading suppliers of paint finish solutions. Its Ecopaint robot, which is currently used in more than 2,000 applications, is a primary example. Capable of high-quality paint finishes on everything from automobile manufacturing, aerospace and commercial vehicle industries, the Ecopaint produces a finished film thickness...
ISA Expo 2007: Technical exchanges provide targeted learning
Houston, TX —ISA Expo 2007 rolls into Houston's Reliant Center Oct. 2 for a three-day conference billed as one event, six exchanges. Aimed at professionals in the field of automation and control, attendees can see the latest new product and choose from educational tracks targeting enterprise integration, environmental & quality control, process automation, safety, security, and wireless and networking.
Machine Safety: Safety Network, Is One Enough for Your Application?
September 19, 2007 In this issue: Safety Network, Is One Enough for Your Application? No Strings Attached New Safety Regulations and Cost Saving Strategies - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Safety Network, Is One Enough for Your Application? In safety networks, not only is it true that one size doesn’t fit all, but it’s also the case, that design matters. A network suited for instrumentation at the field level, for example, could result in un-necessary downtimes or worse, if misapplied. Click here to learn more.
Are You Up To Date On New Safety Regulations and Cost Saving Technologies?
Global regulations and the technology which support them continue to change rapidly. To help bring you up to date on many of these issues, the following four critical topics will be covered. Expanding the Safety Zone with Wireless Ethernet (Sept 20th, 2pm EDT)About the Event—Whether you are at home browsing the web, in the office sending emails or in the manufacturing facility communicating to devices, Ethernet has become the backbone of the way we communicate electronically. New advancements in this technology have enabled wireless networks to be used not only in the home and office but also in the implementation of control architectures, which greatly reduces wiring and installation costs.
Emerson, Cisco team on wireless; Emerson makes machine vibration monitoring smarter
Collaboration between Emerson Process Management and Cisco could lead to more rapid development of open-standard solutions for wireless process and plant management applications that install easily and operate reliably in the challenging process manufacturing environment. In addition, Emerson extended its PlantWeb Smart Machinery Health Monitoring capabilities to include API 670 protection, Sept. 10, the opening day of the Emerson Global Users Exchange, held here this week.
Cyber security: PKS C300 process controller from Honeywell receives new certification
Honeywell Process Solutions has announced that its Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) C300 process controller has achieved the new Mu Security Industrial Control Certification (MUSIC). This certification is designed specifically for IP-based controllers and is closely aligned with the emerging ISA-SP99 security standards. It enables organizations that rely on critical infrastructure or process control to ensure their network equipment and applications meet industry-defined benchmarks for safety, robustness, resiliency and conformance. Mu Security performed the test using its Mu-4000 security analyzer to test the C300 controllers with about 60,000 communication variations in an attempt to crash the system. “When IP-based process controllers are compromised, it can lead to safety issues, regulatory requirement violations and the loss of confidential information,” says Ajit Sancheti, Mu Security co-founder and CEO.
HMI Software: Steady Growth Ahead
The role of human-machine interfaces in automation and control grows more prominent day by day. HMIs are key elements to the success of industrial manufacturing and production, which depends on these systems to do more and more to monitor and control processes, do it faster, and do it more accurately and precisely.
New to Control Engineering?
Fall evokes a “back to school” learning excitement, but truth is, if we’re not learning year round, we’re not going to remain at the top of our game for long. A subscriber new to the industry, with the title of project/process engineer, recently asked for “any general courses or references (manuals, books, articles, etc.
Rockwell Automation taps ICS Triplex for critical process strength
The recent acquisition of ICS Triplex is testament to Rockwell Automation's commitment to the process industries, and its grasp of the unique requirements for serving it well. ICS Triplex, a British company known for process safety and fault-tolerant technology for the oil & gas industry, counts Chevron, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobile, and Fina among its customers.
Part 1: What is OSHA’s Stance on New Safety Standards?
With new safety standards and solutions emerging, manufacturers worry about what’s missing. Industry consensus standards by themselves are not enough. These standards don’t have the force of law except when specifically referenced by a governmental rule or regulation. That gap leads to a question.
Machine Safety: OSHA’s Stance on New Safety Standards
August 22, 2007 In this issue: OSHA's Stance on New Safety Standards Lean and Safe Manufacturing - Can You Do Both? Six Steps to Meet New Safety Standards - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - OSHA's Stance on New Safety Standards While industry innovates, with new safety standards and solutions emerging, manufacturers worry about what’s missing. Industry consensus standards by themselves are not enough. These standards don’t have the force of law except when specifically referenced by a governmental rule or regulation.
Safety ROI: Rockwell Automation advises on machine safety cost benefits
Milwaukee, WI—Manufacturers can realize long-term financial benefits by integrating machine safety programs into their workplaces as a form of insurance against potential risks, according to a new white paper released by Rockwell Automation.
Networking: Bringing wireless in the back door
If you’ve been trying to find a way to introduce wireless infrastructure to your plant, here are some real life examples of how you can do it. In these two cases, companies faced with a large and expensive wiring projects were able to justify setting up wireless infrastructure as a lower cost solution while providing a path to bring in the next wireless project at a very low cost. Maybe you can do the same at your company. Here’s how it works: The next time you are faced with an expensive wiring project, consider if a wireless system can do the same thing.
Machine sales to stabilize in 2007
The U.S. domestic demand for packaging machinery is projected to level off this year to an estimated value of $6.27 billion, according to the U.S. Packaging Machinery Purchasing Plans Study, published by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (www.pmmi.org). Except for the economic downturn that started in 2001, North American machinery manufacturers have experienced strong growth over...
Security: ISA Security Compliance Institute Proposed
Research Triangle Park, NC—At a May 2007 meeting with the ISA-sponsored Automation Standards Compliance Institute (ASCI), an ad-hoc group of users and suppliers of industrial automation technology and services moved forward with a plan to establish an ISA Security Compliance Institute.
Industry news: Honeywell acquires Enraf to build offerings in oil & gas industry
Another trans-Atlantic process industry merger is in the works with Honeywell’s agreement to purchase Enraf Holdings B.V. for $260 million. Enraf is based in Delft, Netherlands, and has six groups all centering on instrumentation and control products for oil and gas producers and transporters.
RFID: controller with Ethernet; tag firm sold; locate persons, files
Radio frequency identification (RFID) developments include a new Ethernet support from Balluff industrial RFID systems, FCI ’s acquisition of Smartag , and technologies that enable person location from Honeywell and document location from Tagsys and Ident. Balluff RFID systems have Ethernet protocol compatibility with EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, and Ethernet TCP/IP. Balluff RFID systems are Ethernet compatible , including EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, and Ethernet TCP/IP protocols (as well as other industrial communications networks, such as Interbus, Profibus, and DeviceNet). Balluff calls EtherNet/IP “the most common, has less connectivity issues, offers the fastest performance and flexibility, and is quickly becoming the predominant industrial network in North America. More to the point, it is the most compatible for supporting higher speed RFID data.” Benefits include: multi-vendor support, with open standard IEEE 802.3 Ethernet hardware topology, faster data communications and less cost with 100 Mbps communication speeds, to eliminate network bottlenecks, enhance network and control performance, and increase production throughput and performance capability.
Wireless: Mesh network ready for purchase from Honeywell
Honeywell announced that its OneWireless universal industrial wireless mesh network is available for purchase. OneWireless helps improve plant safety, reliability, and efficiency with a scalable wireless infrastructure that supports wireless-enabled devices in strategic locations throughout a facility.
Cyber security: New testing lab certifies control platforms
Wurldtech Labs, an independent division of Wurldtech Security Technologies, has announced the results of its initial round of Achilles Certification Testing. This third-party testing is intended to provide objective analysis of a product’s ability to withstand cyber attacks. The following six products earned The Achilles Level 1 Certification: In conjunction with the completion of the in...
Process control: Rockwell Automation to acquire ICS Triplex
Rockwell Automation announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Industrial Control Services Group Ltd., which does business as ICS Triplex, a global supplier of control and safety solutions for process industries. ICS Triplex claims 40 years of experience, developing and maintaining advanced products for process plant safety systems.
Preparing for Networked Safety
Gone are the days when they used to think about a hardwired system as being the only method, says David Arens, safety expert at Bosch Rexroth and member of the the American Society of Safety Engineers. “A safe system is simply defined as one that if it fails, it fails in a way that is going to protect the people and the machinery and the plant,” explains Brian Oulton, marketing mana...
Safe, Quick Jam Clearing
A challenge for companies using automated woodcutting machinery is to help operators clear jams quickly without exposure to potentially hazardous machine motion. Simply opening up the machine to clear a jam runs the risk that stored electrical or hydraulic energy might cause the machine to move. On the other hand, performing a lockout/tagout operation to put the machine in a verifiably safe sta...
Safety: Omron rebrands STI as it pursues machine safeguarding customers
Tokyo, Japan – Omron Corp. established a new category brand,‘STI’ (which stands for “safety, technology, and innovation”), as it ramps up expansion of its machine safeguarding business. The company also revealed that its OS3101 Laser Safety Scanner would be the first product marketed under the new brand. In September 2006, Omron acquired Scientific Technologies Incorporated (STI), which it says was the leading North American supplier of safety equipment, as part of its strategy to become number one in the global machine safeguarding market.
Beyond just manufacturing and process control, are flowmeters saving technology-based civilization as we know it? In the book, “Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization,” W. Hodding Carter explains in detail the water supply system constructed to supply Rome. “The Empire could tap water 50 miles away, bring it to the city, and then just let it keep on flowing.
OSHA’s Here… Don’t Panic
Having the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show up at a manufacturing facility doesn’t have to be as painful as a root canal, if the right steps are taken. Some need to be completed before the OSHA inspector walks in, and others need to be done while the inspector is present. One of the keys is to be compliant, particularly where new regulations and laws are concerned. They’ll naturally attract the most attention and so it’s important to be up-to-date.
More Standards are Coming: What you need to Know
The British are coming. So, too, are the Germans and French, with the standards relating to machine and system safety. The new standards, EN62061 and EN ISO 13849-1, signal the advent of the Performance Level (PL), a risk-based assessment that categorizes machine but not process safety.
Machine Safety: OSHA’s Here… Don’t Panic
May 23, 2007 In this issue: OSHA's Here… Don't Panic Bridging Safety Networks– Why One Size Does Not Fit All More Standards are Coming: What you need to Know - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - OSHA's Here… Don't Panic Having the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show up at a manufacturing facility doesn't have to be as painful as a root canal, if the right steps are taken. Some need to be completed before the OSHA inspector walks in, and others need to be done while the inspector is present. Click here to learn more.
New products: Big names show their range at Hannover Fair 2007
Hannover, Germany —Like a giant department store of innovation, Hannover Fair 2007 displayed aisle after aisle of automation products and technological advances. When this “world meeting place for industry and business” closed on April 20, it had hosted 230,000 visitors and given vendors of all sizes and nationalities a place to show off what they’ve been working on all year. North American buyers and browsers found much that was new in energy efficiency, system cooling, robotics and more, being offered by familiar names.
10 Control System Security Threats
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) is charged with improving the reliability and security of the bulk power system in North America, as part of a larger critical infrastructure protection mandate. To ensure uninterrupted service, NERC watches over the electric utility grid, whose systems depend on a vast network of computer-supported regulation.
Tech Tips July 2005
July 26, 2005 TECH TIP OF THE WEEK: Preventing or containing potential explosions. Unless process media are completely inert, the potential exists for fire, explosion, corrosion, and/or environmental damage in case of an alarm situation. Of these disasters, explosion and fire are often the deadliest to plant personnel. Explosions can be prevented in several ways.
The motion control industry “is going to see a flood of new standards…that promote fresh, new ways to provide machine operator safety,” says J.B. Titus, manager of business development and industry standards at Siemens Energy & Automation. That is already happening. The old way—point-to-point wired safety systems for automated machinery installations—is less th...
Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Machine
Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Machine Control, Embedded Control, and Discrete Sensor Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S.
Engineers’ Choice 2006 – Instrumentation
Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Instrumentation, Process Sensors, Control Component Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S.
Control Engineering Podcasts
Defense in depth with Eric Byres Eric Byres, P. Eng., of Byres Security Inc., talks to Peter Welander about defense in depth for control system cyber security. Byres talks about the challenges of finding time for busy control engineers to deal with security issues, and how they can harden control systems against malware and intrusions. Recorded at PCSF, Atlanta, March 2007.
Standards: Connect to international machine-control safety
If you aren't already aware that big things are afoot in the machine-control safety arena, you will be soon. International standards-setting bodies are wrapping up the process of harmonizing North American (specifically U.S.) standards regarding machine-safety systems with more advanced European standards. As part of the normal International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) maintenance cycle, the existing standard (IEC 61508) is currently being revised. Amendments are based on comments received from national committees. Two international maintenance teams are responsible.
Machine Safety: Ethernet Enabled Safety Solutions
#1 Vendor of Safety PLC's in North America*is also the #1 vendor of Ethernet Enabled Safety Devices Dear Reader,As the leader in Ethernet Enabled Safety Solutions , Siemens delivers solutions which allow you to control your machine and your costs. As an example, Siemens offers the following Ethernet enabled safety products. Wireless Ethernet Remote I/O to reduce wiring costs while safely controlling your machine PLC's with Safety Integrated which controls standard and Safety I/O to help you reduce cost HMI panels which easily monitor your entire standard I/O and machine safety implementation Cabinet less, modular, Safety and Standard I/O delivering the flexibility you need to control costs Firewall VPN so your maintenance and operations can remotely monitor your systems To see how all of these products work together, click here .
Integration improves flare-modeling analysis
Regulatory agencies are challenging the process industries to verify the safety of plant operations. A standard requirement is often a comprehensive model of flare relief systems of the plant with full documentation of network structure, control systems/strategy, and maximum relief rates capacity. Integration between two software packages means process control engineers can more quickly and easily estimate a range of flammable effects during design work. The SimSci-Esscor unit of Invensys and DNV Software have developed a link between SimSci-Esscor's Visual Flow v5.2 safety system design software and DNV Software's Phastfx flammable effects software module.
Intelligent, integrated safety delivers competitive advantage
12 companies tout machine safety movie, in theater near you
Sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train. When that happens, how you react depends on how much you like trains and on how prepared you are to meet them. In this case, rule changes governing machine-safety technology in North America represent the oncoming train.
Control device: New microprocessor-based temperature controller
Mokon has upgraded its line of circulating water, heat transfer fluid, and chiller regulation systems with a new microprocessor-based temperature controller. This device from Eurotherm reportedly provides accurate and reliable process control with easy-to-use advanced features, including internal PID functions that are self-tuning with overshoot protection. The dual LCD indicates set point and actual temperature using input from thermocouple, RTD, and mA sensors. HMI functions include tactile push buttons and password protection with configuration options shown using scrolling text messages. Mokon says the economical 1/16-DIN microprocessor controller offers several key benefits, including programmable soft start, energy efficient operation, automatic or on-demand self tuning, and advanced cooling algorithms. Mokon has been making circulating liquid temperature control systems for over 50 years with applications in plastics, die casting, food processing, chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, rubber, printing, and many others.
Disconnect enclosure isolates incoming power
Sequestr external disconnect enclosure from Hoffman is intended to help manufacturers comply with National Fire Protection Association regulations by isolating the fused disconnect switch or circuit breaker from the main control panel while maintaining door interlocking requirements of principal electrical standards for industrial machinery (NFPA 79, IEC 60204, and SAE HS1738).
By the Numbers – 2006-12-01
40 “concerned bodies” are on the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA) link page among more than 60 organizations, including Japan Electric Measuring Instruments Manufacturers' Association (JEMIMA) and Japan Robot Association (JARA). www.jema-net.or.jp/English/09link.html 38% Control Engineering subscribers responding to a survey on Ethernet protocols say they started ...
Software combination creates powerful tool for plant safety design applications
Designing safety systems for hazardous environments with large amounts of flammable products demands careful analysis of fluid-flow systems and pressure relief networks. It also requires more specialized knowledge of disaster models, including jet flame, pool fire, and boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions. Such modeling depends on specialized capabilities that are now available in a new design suite that includes two software platforms working in tandem. SimSci-Esscor and DNV have linked their respective Visual Flow 5.2 safety system design software and Phastfx flammable effects software module in a way that reportedly allows engineers to estimate a wide range of potential fire and explosion scenarios during their design work.
Panel meter: Loop powered readout for 4-20 mA sensors
When a sensor exists in isolation or you need a local readout for an instrument feeding back to your DCS, a panel meter can fill this bill. The new Loop Leader series from Precision Digital reportedly offers a low cost indicator or rate/totalizer for 4-20 mA analog instruments, even where there is no ac power available. The Loop Leader series currently offers two models: PD683 process indicator with five-digit display and 0.03% accuracy; and, PD684 rate/totalizer with eight-digit display. Both models have a 0.6 in. LCD packaged in a shallow depth enclosure with FM type 4X/IP65 front.
Food/beverage: Need for infrastructure impacts process automation
Dedham, MA —Many food companies recognize they need an improved global automation infrastructure even in the most automated facilities, a recent study by ARC Advisory Group has learned. That move, it said, will require a paradigm shift in the design, selection, and deployment of process automation systems, from automation software to plant floor control hardware to the use of more international automation standards and best practices. Initial emphasis of food and beverages manufacturers, said the report, has been on standardizing common, enterprise-wide financial systems. Many larger companies are specifying adherence to ANSI/ISA 95 (ISO/IEC 62246) for enterprise-to-control system integration, study results showed.
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Knowledge and influence. In many companies, engineers have too little of both when it comes to affecting the bottom line. And let’s face it: the bottom line is the line against which everyone is being measured. The Information Technology (IT) department — especially good people within IT — can be your ally as you seek to increase your own job satisfaction.
Make the Network(s) Fit the Application
For all the discussion of industrial networking and all the installations around the world, they aren’t as common as one might expect. In fact, many more plants aren’t networked than those that are. Michael Bryant, director of the Profibus Trade Organization, estimates that only 25% of the potential market for industrial networking has been penetrated so far, in spite of all the ind...
Pepperl+Fuchs buys intrinsic safety business from Cooper
Pepperl+Fuchs has acquired the Intrinsic Safety Instrumentation business (ISB) from Cooper Crouse-Hinds, a division of Cooper Industries. ISB is located in Buehl, Germany. Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. "With this acquisition, Pepperl+Fuchs has further underlined its ambition to maintain and extend its leading position in the international market of fieldbus connectivit...
Manufacturing safety goes right to the bottom line
When it comes to safety in manufacturing, some companies take a traditional approach: do no more than finding out what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines are and try to meet them, according to a Plant Engineering October 2006 article. Spending on safety often means little more than some new machine guards or a few extra stripes on the floor leading to emergency exits. Safety expenditures are an after-thought, and why not? If there are no injuries, OSHA won’t come calling.
Industry news: Pepperl+Fuchs acquires Intrinsic Safety Instrumentation business from Cooper
Pepperl+Fuchs has acquired the Intrinsic Safety Instrumentation (ISB) business from Cooper Crouse-Hinds, a division of Cooper Industries.
Mergers and acquisitions: STI, Omron subsidiary complete deal
Fremont, CA —The merger of Scientific Technologies Inc. and a subsidiary of Japan-based Omron Corp. is complete.
Ensuring a Safe, Secure HMI
When it comes to human machine interfaces (HMIs), the distinction between safety and security is often well defined. Safety refers to “the control that’s built into the PLCs and the safety interlocks,” says Steven Garbrecht, marketing program manager for Wonderware’s infrastructure and platform products.
Exclusive: HMI with programmable function buttons
HMi analog touchscreen operator interface (OI) from Eaton Corp. features programmable function buttons and is available in 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-in. models.
Control Engineering presents – Machine Safety: The New Competitive Advantage for Automotive Manufacturers and Suppliers
Machine Safety: The New Competitive Advantage forAutomotive Manufacturers and Suppliers Dear Reader,As the #1 supplier of Safety PLC's in North America*, Siemens is committed to help our customers become more competitive. To assist in this goal, Siemens invites you to download this valuable paper written by exida , a leading expert in machine safety and reliability.By downloading this valuable paper, which we are only offering for a limited time, automotive manufacturers and suppliers will learn how to: Reduce costs - increase safety : Utilize new standards and technology to significantly reduce costs while improving operator safety Compare yourself to global Safety Incident Rates : Are you as safe as your automotive peers? Understand the hidden costs of safety : Injuries in the workplace have far reaching operational costs Implement a Safety Lifecycle : Learn how you must look at safety as a long term competitive weapon You will also receive a case study which describes how Kuka reduced their machine safety components by 85% while increasing machine safety .'We built the system in no time and commissioning was surprisingly easy. This approach has saved ustens of thousands of dollars on the first installation alone,' says Rod Brown, KUKA Engineer.
Free electrical measurement safety videos
Fluke Corporation has updated its interactive Electrical Measurement Safety video, aimed at reducing hazards for people measuring electrical circuits to help minimize risk and liability for employers. The latest revision includes guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E standard for electrical safety in the workplace, which specifically addresses arc flash hazards. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), electrical safety compliance training violations were number seven (electrical wiring) and number ten (electrical, general requirements) on their 2005 Top 10 List of most frequently cited standards. OSHA regulations include a six-point plan to minimize potential arc flash danger for personnel that addresses issues such as requirements for safety programs, training, and use of appropriate tools for safe working conditions. The complete program includes five parts: Safety video—Hazards of electrical testing and appropriate precautions; Test tool post-test—Check your equipment against current safety standards; Interview with an arc blast survivor—A real story with important lessons; Does your meter measure up?—Conduct your own safety audit; and, Safety application notes—Topics suitable for safety meetings and reference. Fluke is a world leader in electronic test tools.
Operating system certified for SIL3 use
Green Hills Software announced that its Integrity and velOSity operating systems, the main components of the Green Hills Platform for Industrial Safety, have been certified by TÜV to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3) of the IEC-61508 safety standard. SIL3 is the highest safety level possible for an individual software component, such as an operating system. The Green Hills Platform for Industrial Safety includes tools, operating systems, services, and middleware for industrial control and automation systems for which reliability is critical. By utilizing Integrity’s strict memory-protection and resource-partitioning capabilities to separate safety critical functions from the rest of the system, developers can incorporate applications of varying safety integrity levels on one computer. For developers of simpler devices running on processors without an MMU, the certified velOSity operating system can be employed. The IEC-61508 standard is commonly used internationally by regulatory bodies for safety certification of industrial control, automation, and automotive systems.
Blurring the Lines Between Automation and Safety
Thanks to changes in standards and laws, safety systems and automation controls can now be combined into one system. Despite some initial hesitation about doing this, users are embracing such integration and experiencing bottom-line advantages that go far beyond safety. "The main incentive for integrating is making it more cost effective," says Asish Ghosh, vice president of manufacturing advi...
Intelligent Safety Networks
Intelligent Safety Networks (ISNs) for manufacturing are intelligent in more ways than one. These adaptable and fully programmable systems do a better job of ensuring safe machine operations than traditional hardwired safety systems, and they are also an intelligent choice for plant management, since they reduce operating costs and boost plant productivity.
A look inside light curtains
Safety light curtains are an advanced method of safeguarding personnel around many hazardous machines. They offer freedom, flexibility, and reduced operator fatigue when compared with traditional guarding methods, such as mechanical barriers, sliding gates, and pull-back restraints. By reducing the need, for solid guards where applicable, safety light curtains simplify routine tasks like machin...
By the Numbers – 2006-06-01
7 books are published by the B.F. Skinner Foundation; a famous Skinner quote is: "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990) was a U.S. psychologist. www.bfskinner.org 2nd look, is what you need to take, if you're thinking about moving your operation offshore, says the Save Your Factory initiative sponsored by Fanuc Robotics.
High-performance vertical machining center debuts
During its Innovation Days event in mid-May 2006 at the company's Chicago Technical Center, Mori Seiki debuted its most advanced vertical machining center, the NV6000 DCG, in North America. Among NV6000 DCG's attributes is the ability to contour more accurately and produce "significantly less" residual vibration than earlier machines. Mori Seiki stresses the machining center's "unrelenting quality, accuracy, safety, and productivity." Up time and ease of service received prime attention at every stage of design with the NV Series.
Enclosure system provides convenience, arc-flash safety
To jointly address National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) compliance and protect workers against the dangers of arc flash explosions, Hoffman introduced the Arc Flash Safety System, with Intersafe Data Interface Ports, window kits, folding shelves, the Concept Keyboard Box, and external data pockets.
Process automation educational program offered in Chinese, Spanish
Emerson Process Management has launched two global language versions of its PlantWeb University online educational program. The free training courses are available in Chinese and Spanish; both feature user-friendly interfaces and access to 46 courses and five white papers on current automation technology and business topics.
Evaluation: Control System Security Software
A large, coal-fired electrical generating-station recently installed control system security software, Verano Industrial Defender system (VID), with seamless installation and operation of the continuously run facility in mind. Based on a Sun Solaris (Unix) platform, major control of the plant is accomplished through a Invensys Foxboro I/A system, with the operator interface provided by Foxboro ...
Process Standards: Pursuing Best Practices
Most professionals know that ISA-84 is a safety-instrumented benchmark-standard. Interestingly, while the committee was chartered in 1984, it took until 1996 for first version to appear, largely due to the considerable, well-intentioned efforts aimed at specificity. Such extended thoroughness underscored the difficulties in reconciling the divergent aims participants, including both end users a...
Hannover Fair preview: Software simplifies system programming
Wood Dale, IL; Hannover, Germany—Danaher Motion will launch its Servoshaft software for simplifying system programming at Hannover Fair later this month. Software lets users run three main control system functions—data monitoring and collection on the PC (SCADA function), the PLC, and motion control—on their own computers.
Security—the latest, high-tech ‘layered look’
Tight physical- and cyber-security together with safety are not inimical to flexible and effective process-controls. The "layered look" of clothing appropriate to wintry, northern climes is a good metaphor, because one can add or subtract layers as the temperature (risk) changes. Control Engineering recently visited Honeywell Inc.
Security—the latest, high-tech ‘layered look’
Tight physical- and cyber-security together with safety are not inimical to flexible and effective process controls. The 'layered (clothing) look’ of residents of wintry, northern climes is a good metaphor—adding (or subtracting) items as the temperature (risk) changes—for amalgamating security, safety, and process controls.. Control Engineering recently visited Honeywell Inc.’s Geismar chemical plant. The occasion? An in-depth review of some of the fruits of its $100 million annual R&D spending as applied to what the company believes is the state-of-the-art integration of security and process safety.
Safety Integrity Level 3
Three safety integrity levels (SIL) were described in the ANSI/ISA-84.00.01-1996 standard. Revised standard ANSI/ISA 84.00.01-2004 (IEC 61511-1 mod) now includes the higher SIL 4. SILs are a measure of system performance: the higher the number, the better the safety performance, such as lower probability of failure on demand.
Control Engineering presents – Mechanical Guards or Electronic Guarding Systems
February 23, 2006 In this issue: Mechanical Guards or Electronic Guarding Systems: Which is best for you? Guide: Common machine safety standards, terms, violations: Terms you need to know Safety Drives Paradigm Shift: Turning an expense into a benefit Tell us Your Machine Safety Story The first 20 Siemens Machine Safety automation application stories shared will be sent a $30 Amazon Gift Certificate! Click here to tell us yours! Click here to tell us yours! Top Stories Mechanical Guards or Electronic Guarding Systems: Which is Best for the Application? By Paul Davis Automation, Inc. When evaluating choices for protecting machine operators, the options are clear. From OSHA's perspective there are three choices in descending order of importance: 1. Design the hazard out of the machine;2.
NMW conference: Compliance, Ethernet, machine vision
Control Engineering involvement at National Manufacturing Week, March 20-23, Rosemont, IL, includes a booth with IAN; moderating the following sessions on Ethernet, machine vision, and regulatory compliance; and an awards ceremony (invitation only) for winners of the Editors’ Choice Award and Engineers’ Choice Award (to be announced March 21). 2A11: Industrial Ethernet: Seven-protocol Review and RoundtableTuesday, March 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Industrial Ethernet has become the most-installed industrial communication network at the hardware level, with potential to be a unifying force ending fieldbus wars. However, at least seven industrial Ethernet protocol options have emerged.
Texas City refinery accident investigation: some $1.7 billion to be spent
Houston, TX — BP Products North America Inc. ’s Texas City, TX, refinery experienced a major explosion on Mar. 23, 2005, during the start-up of the isomerization plant.
Migrating to a DCS brings multiple benefits
Based in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, near Allentown, and operating in 30 countries, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (AP) is a top world supplier of gases, chemicals, and equipment to high growth markets, including: electronics, performance materials, refinery hydrogen and energy, and healthcare. Cost reductions and efficiency improvements at AP's Wichita, KS, facility are going straight to th...
Integrate production control with corporate management
VigilantPlant is a suite of products and services for plant optimization, process control, and automation from Yokogawa. That includes digital field instruments for predictive intelligence, asset management, and CS 3000, the sixth version of Centum, with various advanced technologies, such as FOUNDATION fieldbus, offering solutions for plant control and plant-wide integration.
"Just tell me how I'm supposed to build the stuff to comply with current safety requirements and avoid injuries, fines, and litigation." That's what engineers want to know. Yet most recent safety regulations add flexibility, especially for discrete manufacturing applications, where applying the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) concept is relatively new.
Perimeter, access guard; light curtains; connecting system
Pico-Guard Point from Banner Engineering operates with light and uses no electricity at the point of detection so can be used in explosive environments. Several guarding and other safety devices were introduced recently for machine safety applications. These include a safety perimeter guard for manufacturing cells, multiple light beam safety device, and module that allows sequential connections for up to three light curtains.
Flowmeters eliminate cleaning
Shell Chemicals, at Moerdijk, the Netherlands, operates one of Europe's largest ethylene plants, where Emerson's Vortex 8800CD dual-vortex flowmeters improved plant steam-measurement reliability. The meters provided two flow measurements on the main steam lines: one for plant process control and a separate measurement for the plant safety instrumented system. Shell found that vortex metering delivered more reliable steam-flow measurement, increasing plant uptime. Furthermore, plant operators have a better, more accurate steam-flow measurement, allowing production optimization. Shell's naphtha-cracker process mixes accurate proportions of light distillate feed-stock (LDF)—such as naphtha or ethane—and steam, heating them to a high temperature in a furnace, cracking the LDF into basic feedstocks like ethylene, and also creating some carbon and coke deposits, that recirculate with process water. To remove these deposits and assure measurement reliability, a monthly cleaning schedule had been established for each flowmeter. Engineers conducted a three-month trial with a Rosemount 8800CD on one furnace line.
Intrinsically Safe, Low-Cost Transducer Bus
Over the past few decades, analyzers have evolved into sophisticated chemical sensors and automation instruments that have migrated from the laboratory to the field for integration into real-time process control systems. However, front-end designs of analytical systems—the sample handling and preparation—have not improved appreciably for many years, including the interface for integ...
STI: Safety laser scanners guard areas near machines
A safety laser scanner, among newest technologies to be used for machine area safeguarding, uses a small optical sensor, pulses laser light to monitor surroundings, compares results to a predefined zone, and sends a stop signal to connected machinery when an intrusion is detected, according to Scientific Technologies Inc. Its advantage over other technologies, STI says, is “versatility and non-intrusive presence.” Unlike hard guards such as fences or safety floor mats, the laser scanner works without physical barriers so is perfect for equipment that requires regular maintenance and cleaning. “Fewer hardguards are needed, allowing sweepers, forklifts, and loaders to transit through its protection area.” STI explains that “Safety laser scanners function by using a‘time of flight’ measurement to determine distance.
Control Engineering presents – What is a Risk Assessment?
October 14, 2005 In this issue: What is a Risk Assessment? Skip Risk Assessment at Your Peril The Time Has Come to Trust Safety-Rated PLCs Reader Poll Do You Trust Safety PLCs and Networks for Your Machine Safety Control? Click here and tell us what you think. Top Stories What is a Risk Assessment? By Scott Krumwiede, RWD Technologies A risk assessment is a formal process that must be followed to evaluate safety risk potentials throughout all modes and operations of a machine. This process identifies the potential problems that could injure the operator, maintenance personnel, or even individuals walking past a machine.
Control Engineering Online Update for October 14, 2005
October 14, 2005 Highlights Sponsored by Fluke As modern technology permeates every facet of a manufacturing environment, maintaining the security of plant floor information and control systems is a growing issue across companies and industry sectors. One of the most common questions manufacturers have is: "What are the real risks to a manufacturing environment?" Securing Your Plant: Real Risks Just as IT environments are vulnerable to hackers, worms, and viruses, manufacturers are at risk from a plant's own workers, policies, and procedures. Due to the growth of remote access and the proliferation of Ethernet on the plant floor, workers are often controlling plant operations electronically from various locations.
Operator panels for machine tool applications
Two new operator control panels—CP6842 and CP7842—from Beckhoff Automation are designed for use in the machine tool industry. Minneapolis, MN —Two new operator control panels from Beckhoff Automation are designed specifically for use in the machine tool industry. CP6842 and CP7842 feature a U-shaped arrangement of the control keys that matches that of the Transline concept commonly used in the automotive industry.
Control Engineering Presents – Business and Design Benefits of Integrated Safety and Control
September 14, 2005 In this issue: Business and Design Benefits of Integrated Safety and Control Benefits of Software-based Safety vs. Hardwired Systems Astec and Customers Gain Benefits from Safety Networks Reader Poll Do you conduct Risk Analyses on your machines today? Click here and tell us what you think. Top Stories Business and Design Benefits of Integrated Safety and Control Integration of safety and control has been a major topic of discussion in manufacturing over the past few years.
Astec and Customers Gain Benefits from Safety Networks
To access a free white paper from Siemens detailing the evolution and business advantages of machine safety, click here . Safety networks have been making original equipment manufacturers and their customers not only more safe, but more efficient. A case in point is Astec Inc., an OEM that designs, manufactures, and markets continuous and batch-process hot-mix asphalt facilities and soil remediation equipment. Design, installation, training, and efficiencies related to safety equipment on Astec machines have improved recently with the company’s incorporation of safety networks, suggests Mark Harned, vice president of controls for Astec. “We see a need for both AS-Interface (AS-I) and Profisafe,” Harned says, two networks represented by AS-International and Profibus Trade Organization.
Benefits of Software-based Safety vs. Hardwired Systems
By Sam Boytor, Fox Controls Inc. To access a free white paper from Siemens detailing the evolution and business advantages of machine safety, click here . In the past century, U.S.
Business and Design Benefits of Integrated Safety and Control
To access a free white paper from Siemens detailing the evolution and business advantages of machine safety, click here . Integration of safety and control has been a major topic of discussion in manufacturing over the past few years. To find out how OEMs view the debate, we focused on an OEM of packaging machinery—Cloud Packaging Solutions—for whom safety has long been a critical component due to high amounts of user interaction with their products and the ever-increasing number of global safety standards. Cloud Packaging Solutions, based in Des Plaines, IL, is a major manufacturer of high-speed packaging machinery.
Control Engineering Online Update for September 9, 2005
September 9, 2005 Highlights Sponsored by Siemens The growing use of fieldbus communications in the refining, petrochemical, and chemical industries has led to the development of different products for use in hazardous areas. This article looks at the FISCO and FNICO standards guiding these new product developments, as well as fieldbus power issues, working on fieldbus wires while energized, and long-distance fieldbus communication considerations. Be safe and secure with Siemens. Gain a better understanding of safety standards and secure increased profits and production with less downtime.
Safety lifecycle tool
exida.com has released exSILentia safety lifecycle tool, which integrates SILect (safety integrity level selection), SIF SRS (safety instrumented functions safety requirements specification), and SILver (safety integrity level verification) for functional safety standard compliance. exSILentia lets the user define a project consisting of one or more SIFs. It also manages project documentation with RTF report generation. Customizable SIL selection options include risk graph, hazard matrix, and frequency-based targets. A SIF SRS template ensures completeness in requirements definition. exSILentia SILver allows SIF definition and an IEC 61508-approved calculation engine based on the Markov modeling technique. David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disaster recovery resources for industry
Oak Brook, IL — Control Engineering staff and all of Reed Business Information offer sympathies to all affected by Hurricane Katrina. To help industrial recovery efforts (and prepare for possible future incidents), here are some resources. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment , a brochure designed for use by suppliers, installers, inspectors, technicians, engineers, and other trained professional users of electrical products. It offers advices on replacement or reconditioning of equipment, including electrical distribution equipment, motor circuits, power equipment, transformers, wire, cable and flexible cords, wiring devices, GFCIs and surge protectors, lighting fixtures and ballasts, motors, electronic products including signaling, protection, communication systems, and industrial controls, and cable trays.
Triconex to supply safety, critical controls to Canadian oil sands project
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. recently selected Invensys Process Systems to provide Triconex safety and critical control systems and related services for Phase I of the $6.8-billion Horizon Oil Sands Project under construction in northern Alberta, Canada. The Horizon project is a large grassroots mining, bitumen extraction, and upgrading facility for production of synthetic ...
Starting, Stopping Motors Softly
Good reasons not to start (or stop) ac induction motors under full input voltage include exposure to extremely high locked-rotor currents and torques up to 230% of full-load torque. Solid-state, reduced-voltage (SSRV) soft starters serve to mitigate destructive effects of such very high motor inrush currents and resulting mechanical stresses on connected equipment or system components.
NEMA reports industrial control indices surge in 2Q05
Sales of industrial control products and systems, as measured by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association's (NEMA) Primary Industrial Controls Index, expanded by 4.8% in the second quarter of 2005 (2Q05). Compared to the same period a year earlier, the index increased by 4.
Exclusive: Low-cost PLC touchscreen computer goes multimedia
EZCE Touchpanel from EZAutomation division of AVG features Microsoft CE .Net 4.2 and multimedia capabilities in a diskless computer with more than 50 PLC drivers.
Industrial control indices surge
Rosslyn, VA—Sales of industrial control products and systems, as measured in the National Electrical Manufacturers Association's (NEMA) Primary Industrial Controls Index, expanded by 4.8% in the second quarter of 2005 (2Q05).
Control Engineering presents – Safety: How to Spend $2,000 to Save $20,000
August 12, 2005 In this issue: Safety: How to Spend $2,000 to Save $20,000 Distributed Safety for Increased Production, Decreased Downtime and Wiring Changing Safety Standards Introduce New Opportunities For Increased Profit And Greater Safety Reader Poll Are you aware you may be able to lower your costs and improve machine safety with new regulations and technologies available? Click here and tell us what you think. Top Stories Safety: How to Spend $2,000 to Save $20,000 By Paul Davis, Machine Safety Expert, Paul Davis Automation Imagine arriving at work and finding the OSHA area district compliance officer waiting to tell you that your facility has been selected for an audit. If you've never experienced an OSHA walk-through at your facility before, you think the process will be relatively painless.
Multimedia PLC touchscreen EZCE Touchpanel from EZAutomation division of AVG features Microsoft CE .Net 4.2 and multimedia capabilities in a diskless computer with more than 50 PLC drivers. Prices start at $799 for a 6-in. monochrome unit and range up to $2,799 for a 15-in.
When is a PLC a safety PLC — and how does it work? Find out more about safety PLCs vs standard PLCs from the experts at Control Engineering.
QSI offers operator interface terminal with e-stop switch
Salt Lake City, UT—QSI Corp. reports that it’s added an emergency stop (E-stop) switch option to its QTerm-G55 human-machine interface (HMI) terminal.
Many Facets, One Point
Life is not a destination, it is a journey, many major philosophers say. So is security, it appears. As with life, the circumstances surrounding security measures are dynamic. Situations change, and automation and controls engineers concerned about security need to stay on top of those changes. Today, in an environment fraught with terrorism, computer viruses, litigation, and privacy issues, th...
Surface verification, simulation toolkit
MachineWorks v6.2 features further development of OpenGL rendering and instant detection of surface gouges during simulation.
Automation/safety integration, applications, risk assessment advice
Control Engineering Web site offers information on integrating automation and machine safety.
Sensor Expo 2005: Micronor exhibits passive, fiber-optic rotary encoder
Chicago, IL—Micronor reports that its ZapFree fiber-optic, patent-pending rotary encoders are the world's first commercially available, totally passive, rotary sensor solutions for harsh, hazardous environments in industrial applications.
By the Numbers
$1 billion is the minimum Samsung Electronics Corp. has realized in bottom-line improvements by updating "its fundamental approach to product, process, and personnel development by using Six Sigma as a tool for innovation, efficiency, and quality." Juran Institute www.juran.com 4.9 m/s (nearly 16.1 ft/s) maximum speed for two passengers, up to 200 kg total, in the 3,600 kg (7,937 lb) Kuka Robot...
What in the World is Sarbanes-Oxley?
When the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) became law in the 1970s, a line heard often was "OSHA is not a small town in Wisconsin." Similarly, those faced with implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in their plants today might hear: "What in the world is Sarbanes-Oxley?" The answer is not a simple one.
Measuring process fluid flow: an exacting task
To perform properly, instruments for measuring process variables must be specified correctly—a demanding job at best. And when it comes to measuring process fluid flow, many control engineers will tell you that specifying the right flowmeter is the toughest job of all. Newer technologies are gaining on more traditional sensing methods, recent research suggests.
Hannover Fair 2005 postscript
Hannover, Germany—Enthusiasm in the air during this year’s Hannover Industrial Fair (April 11-15) translated to measurable metrics, as more than 205,000 visitors—20% over 2004—were drawn to 2.2 million sq ft of technology and product displays in 24 exhibit halls.
Hannover Fair 2005 in motion
Latest developments in motors, drives, and motion control usually surround visitors to Hannover Fair’s multiple shows.
Control Engineering Online Update for May 13, 2005
May 13, 2005 Highlights Sponsored byContemporary Controls Digital bus technologies have been slower to catch on in the process industries than they have in factory automation. This article examines how fieldbus installation technologies are beginning to change that by directly addressing specific process safety and availability issues. "The ABCs of Ethernet Fiber Optics" Learning the advantages of using fiber optics in Ethernet networks. Contemporary Controls offers this resource that discusses the basic rules you need to know. Fiber size, operation mode, and transmitter power Optical power, link loss, and delay budget Ethernet standards Visit www.ctrlink.com/abc8.htm to view the document. Fieldbus Overcomes Process Industries Hurdles The control of automated production plants without digital data communication is nearly unimaginable today.
Virus protection embedded in control workstation
The Foxboro Automation unit of Invensys Process System has announced that all new I/A Series Workstations for Microsoft Windows will come with McAfee VirusScan Enterprise software pre-installed at the factory.
Siemens blends DCS, MES conferences
Tampa, FL—More than 500 users from eight countries attended Siemens’ 2005 Process Automation User Conference and Simatic IT Summit on May 4-6.
BSI2000 wins contract to upgrade water treatment plant security system
BSI2000 has received a contract for its Aqua2000 system to provide security enhancements at the J.G. Beacham water treatment plant in Athens, GA, a facility of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County.
Process Safety What are the Odds?
Within process plants, layers of protection (LOP) include relief valves, rupture disks, dikes, and a safety-instrumented system (SIS). SISs are specially engineered solutions that are continuously online and expected to instantaneously take action to mitigate any detected unsafe process events. But with weeks, months, or even years between unsafe events, what can be done to minimize the probabi...
BP updates March 23 Texas City incident
Texas City, TX--Details of the March 23 refinery explosion and fire at BP’s Texas City Refinery continue to unfold. At least 14 people died and more than 70 received medical treatment in the blast, according to a BP report.
Exclusive: Bluetooth wireless devices ease data transfer
Industrial grade Bluetooth wireless data modems from Phoenix Contact are helping to simplify the movement of serial data around the plant floor.
Control Engineering Online Update for March 11, 2005
March 11, 2005 Highlights Sponsored by IPD The financial approach to control system security investment involves forecasting the project return rate over a period of time, relative to an established hurdle rate. Risk projects are treated the same as any other project, such as capacity additions and efficiency improvements. ipd's latest Vision Appliance, iNspect, is a pre-packaged vision solution designed for high-speed applications requiring single or multiple views of a part. With the ability to accommodate views and processing for up to three cameras, iNspect performs up to ten times that of comparable smart camera solutions.
ODVA publishes CIP Safety specification
The Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA) reports that it has published its CIP Safety specification, which includes functional safety extensions to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) for safety applications.
Honeywell launches process industry training program
A training program for process industry operators who use Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) has been launched by Honeywell.
Machine Retrofits and Safety
Controls and hardware on many machines continue to work for 10, 20 or more years, well past the time when cost-effective replacement parts or clear migration paths are readily available. And automation vendors have bent over backwards to support the installed base. But in many cases, enough is enough, and the time is right for replacement because components are becoming obsolete, more productiv...
Honeywell, Intergraph standardize on process automation, instrumentation
Phoenix, AZ—To help users further improve their operations and save money, Honeywell has agreed to standardize its automation project engineering on SmartPlant Instrumentation, an instrumentation engineering solution powered by Intools from Intergraph Process, Power & Marine (PP&M).
Worth your time: NMW 2005; Bioterrorism Webcast; pharmaceutical, process safety conferences
Conferences, shows, a Webcast, and more fill the calendar during the beginning of 2005.
Control systems cyber security
Insurance companies, lawyers, governments, and individuals throughout the world are increasingly concerned about the possibility and impacts of cyber attack against manufacturing and critical infrastructure. Likewise, manufacturing and critical infrastructure industries, such as electric power, water, and oil/gas, around the globe are concerned about the cyber vulnerabilities of their critical ...
NMW 2005 to feature 1,000 exhibitors, 300-session conference
Chicago, IL—More than 27,000 attendees are expected to visit more than 1,000 exhibitors in eight trade shows, 300 conference sessions in 10 tracks, seven keynote speakers, 14 pavilions, and other special events during National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005, March 7-10, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Control Engineering AVG custom newsletter for January 17, 2005
A custom advertising newsletter from Control Engineering & AVG | January 17, 2005 Enhanced Automation AVG, the designer and manufacturer of EZTouch—one of the most well-recognized operator interface products on the market for its ease of programming and low price—now directly offers the EZPanel Enhanced operator interface, which incorporates the principal features of EZTouch with new capabilities based directly on customer input. EZPanel Enhanced EZPanel Enhanced grew out of the success of EZTouch, which was initially released to the market to provide an operator interface product with twice the features at less than half the price. The interface was also very popular because it required no prior programming knowledge to design a screen. All of this helped make EZTouch one of the top-selling operator interface products on the market. Since the development of EZTouch, AVG (based in Bettendorf, IA) has provided backup technical support for the product while sold exclusively through AutomationDirect.com.
DMM measures voltage, frequency on ‘noisy’ drives
Fluke Inc. reports that its 87V digital multimeter (DMM) is a test tool designed to maximize productivity and safety in industrial settings. 87V's circuitry can accurately measure voltage and frequency on increasingly common, adjustable-speed motor drive systems, which create electrical noise that ordinary DMMs can't handle.
OSHA allies with AHTD on machine guarding, lockout/tagout procedures
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD) have formed an alliance to provide machine automation industry workers with information and guidance on the importance of proper selection, use, maintenance, and installation of machine guarding equipment and the use of lockout/tagout procedures.
SIS extends PlantWeb digital for process safety
Emerson Process Management's Smart Safety Instrumented System (SIS) uses digital intelligence and diagnostics, from sensor to logic solver to final control, to extend PlantWeb digital plant architecture, and help users implement safer process plants. Automated safety-loop testing and other features in SIS reportedly increase system availability, reduce lifecycle costs, and ease regulatory compl...
Great 2004 information in machine control, discrete sensors
As much as I'd like to think that you've read every word we’ve written about machine control and discrete sensors, you might not have had time to see it all. Here are related items from 2004 Control Engineering worth reviewing.
Looking back on 2004 in motion control
With your busy schedules, you might have missed some of our coverage in the past year. Here are items from 2004 Control Engineering relating to motors, drives, and motion control that you might want to catch up on or revisit.
Intelligent Motion Unites Diverse Worlds
Intelligence means different things to different people. Intelligent motion control generally has incorporated motion and machine logic, plus power switching, in the same control package. Lately, other functions such as predictive maintenance, machine safety, and advanced communications, are increasingly part of the mix of "intelligent motion" architectures.
Safety in the Automated World
The words industrial accident make everyone cringe. It is in the best interests of all workplaces to maintain safe working conditions. To further the cause of safety in the workplace, the U.S. Congress established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970. Its "prime directive" requires U.
Engine Manufacturer Integrates Operator Interface
Natural gas fields provide energy to millions of homes and factories. Because the nearest gas fields are typically far from cities and towns, miles of pipelines make the connection. To push the gas from field to town requires an engine/compressor—the equipment that puts the gas under pressure and causes it to flow.
Siemens introduces safety system tool, partial-stroke valve test package
Siemens Energy & Automation announces two safety related products for the process engineering environment.
CAM interoperability toolset
ST-Machine v1.0 CAM plug-in software generates Step-NC machine-independent CNC data.
50, 25, 10 years ago – 2004-10-01
This page offers a look back on a variety of interesting items from Control Engineering's past issues, highlighting content from 50, 25, and 10 years ago. April 1955 Dr. Bush calls for automatic encyclopedia Dr. Vannevar Bush wants knowledge at his fingertips—all human knowledge. In fact, he wants the Federal Government to start planning the world's most grandiose data-processing project.
PAS introduces automation asset management system
Houston, TX—PAS recently released its Integrity.MOC automation asset management system (AAMS) to provide comprehensive lifecycle management support of industrial automation assets, especially intellectual property.
Technology and Peiople Connections: Keys to the Future
Click here to read the original print article. Intelligent devices, integrated systems, distributed architectures… Dow engineers cite past advances and call on controls field to be ready for further change. Participating in this Control Engineering 50th anniversary interview were Jerry Gipson ( email@example.com ), director of Engineering Technology, and Eric C.
Honeywell to automate Shell Martinez refinery’s process controls
Phoenix, AZ—Honeywell recently secured a $5.3-million contract to modernize the Shell Martinez refinery’s Flexicoker unit by installing a new process control system, and providing engineering and construction services.
Technology and People Connections: Keys to the Future
Participating in this Control Engineering 50th anniversary interview were Jerry Gipson (firstname.lastname@example.org), director of Engineering Technology, and Eric C. Cosman (email@example.com), automation architect, from The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI. In your experience, what do you consider to be the top three advances made in control and automation over the past 50 years? Which one of these do you th...
Why record paperless?
Traditional paper recorders are a widespread, core engineering tool, but there are major advantages to going paperless—principally because of electronic data storage. Electronic information allows for faster, more comprehensive analysis of data. It eliminates questions of data resolution, the need for interpolation of trace values from a chart, and the associated errors of transferring da...
Packaging machinery fueling automation growth in Europe
Packaging machinery is one of the highest growth markets for automation products in Europe, according to new research by IMS Research. The firm recently analyzed 11 major machinery markets, and found that packaging machinery is one of the largest machinery markets for automation products, second only to machine tools, and that it is also one of the most ...
Welcome to Rockwell Automation Extreme Machines
Extreme Machines design contest distinguishes innovative machine designers by nominating a group of designs for the 'Most Extreme Machine of the Year.' On September 1, Control Engineering, Design News and Rockwell Automation will highlight Extreme Machine nominees and ask you for your vote. Learn how your peers designed amazing machines that demonstrated cutting-edge solutions provided by Rockwell Automation and cast your vote for the most innovative design. The winner will be selected by you, our readers, and recognized in print and at a special event. Be sure to check back after September 1st to vote on your favorite machine. And remember you can vote in person at the annual Rockwell /Allen-BradleyAutomation Fair October 27-28th in Orlando, Florida.
Instrumental to the workplace: Products, services, gain approval, accreditation
Several instrumentation-related products and services have acquired approvals and accreditations recently.
Test, Measurement Device Purchases on the Rise
'Entropy happens! Therefore, follow-on maintenance and calibration is critically needed on a scheduled basis. Belts fray, sensors drift, and performance declines (not unlike our human analog)," explains Bill Southard, president of DST Controls, a system integrator. Keeping a control system in peak condition over the long haul requires users to be ever vigilant in their choices and uses of test...
Creating a secure, Internet-based control system
A client in the automotive test industry asked me to design a control system for a high-speed electrohydraulic servo mechanism. I was given free reign in the selection of a control system platform that could handle the task of running a control loop at the specified rate of 10,000 updates per second while facilitating control algorithm experimentation and rapid prototyping of graphical user int...
Nitrogen Oxides Emission Control
In a simple overview of a steam power plant, heat is used to create steam that is used to spin a turbine generator that creates electricity. Heat required to convert water to steam for the process is gathered from different sources. The most common method is the burning of a carbon-based fuel like coal, natural gas, wood, or oil.
On-Machine™ — On the Cutting Edge of Automation
Mission — Save Money with On-Machine™ Solutions.
Verano launches protection appliance for industrial operations
Mansfield, MA—To increase control system security and reliability in industrial applications, Verano Inc. has launched its Industrial Defender Guard appliance that protects control systems and networks against cyber-attacks by integrating security features, including virus protection and intrusion prevention.
On top of trends
To say that current industry trends affect the trajectory of your business or career is a "sky is blue" statement—an obvious or apparent claim. Though many trends are obvious once well under way, catching them on the upswing can increase your advantage in numerous ways, instead of forcing you to deal with after-the-fact impacts.
Open and secure controls
Making control systems more open and interoperable also have made them more vulnerable to malicious acts, internal and external. A control system can be open, interoperable, and secure but that requires stringent attention to system design and plant-wide policies, procedures, and available technologies.
Growing demand for programmable safety systems spurs growth
Natick, MA—The market for programmable safety systems is growing at a much faster rate than originally anticipated, according to recent research by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
Hannover Fair 2004: Business optimism, innovation in the air
Hannover, Germany—This year’s Hannover Industrial Fair, April 19-24, added the process automation show Interkama to its format of eight “fairs within a fair,” attracting 180,000 visitors to products and technologies from 5,040 exhibitors.
OSIsoft Conference: consultant says work needed to secure control systems
San Francisco, CA—Joe Weiss, executive consultant at Kema Inc. and a former controls engineer, talked about his concern that control system security is being overlooked during an April 20 presentation at the recent OSIsoft User Conference.
ABB professes strengths; increases manufacturer competitiveness
ABB automation and power businesses turned around in 2003, and have now seen the fifth quarter of growth; orders increased 15%, revenue gained 13%, and earnings nearly doubled, according to Dinesh Paliwal, president and chief executive officer, ABB Inc., USA, and leader of automation worldwide.
Is your HMI ergonomically correct?
Does your operator interface terminal give you a pain? No, not the frustrating kind of pain that comes from an application that just won't function properly, but real, physical pain. Like any other computer terminal, an HMI (human-machine interface) is subject to health and safety-related usage problems and concerns.
Building Secure Ethernet Environment by Schneider Electric’s Automation Business
The trend toward using Ethernet as the sole communications network for business and industry has raised concerns about security. While proprietary networks for building or factory automation have major drawbacks in terms of limiting information flow and higher cost, their separation from other systems provides a measure of protection against unauthorized access. So how do you take advantage of the benefits of Ethernet connectivity within a secure environment?
Multi-function safety relay
Telemecanique Preventa XPS-MC multi-functional, configurable safety relay complies with global machine safety standards.
Banner Engineering: safety, vision, photoelectric sensors, online
While the Control Engineering Buyer's Guide provides a reference of what companies offer what kinds of products, I always appreciate a technology review to confirm trends, update what's new, and explore future directions.
Interphex 2004: Iconics, Saflink form partnership
New York, NY—Iconics announced at Interphex 2004 that it has formed a technology partnership to support of Saflink’s Biometric Identity Assurance Management software within Iconics’ Genesis32 automation suite.
Global Distribution of Process Engineering
Product proliferation and internationalization, along with demands and costs for shipping, maintenance, upgrades, and enhancements, will continue to encourage wider geographical distribution of manufacturing activities. In fact, many companies own process plants in more than one country. These facilities (typically owned through acquisition) generally bring with them disparate legacy automation...
Popular terms integrate control components
Control components help integrate control, automation, and instrumentation systems. Similarly, the terms we use—and sometimes take for granted—tie together our understanding.
Signal conditioning—why and how
Modern integrated circuit (IC) technology and the advances made in microprocessor ICs have made it practical and cost-effective to distribute process control functionality throughout the plant. This architecture is implemented by partitioning process control functionality into sections, which can either be supervised by a central system computer or operate autonomously.
Sonar-array technology aids flow measurements
CiDRA first developed its patented sonar-array technology for undersea/down hole oil, water, and gas flow measurements, and has now applied it to more traditional flow measurements. SONARtrac flow monitoring system is non-intrusive because it clamps onto the pipe, and requires no special upstream or downstream installation requirements.
Siemens expands Safety Integrated unit; PLC safety listed
Alpharetta, GA—Siemens Energy & Automation recently expanded its Safety Integrated USA group to include process industry expertise, and announced that its Simatic S7 Distributed Safety Integrated product, including the S7-315F failsafe safety PLC, has received Underwriters Laboratory’s (UL) 508, NRGF.E232916 listing for functional safety.
Things to know: NMW, system integration, safety, sensors
National Manufacturing Week 2004, to be held Feb. 23-26, in Chicago, incorporates the National Industrial Automation Show and Conference. The conference program includes sessions on automation software, motion controls and sensors, using wireless technology to improve manufacturing, tools for process improvement, and much more.
Still Going Wrong!
Trevor Kletz is a well-known expert on process safety. His first book, ''What Went Wrong?'' revolutionized the way the process industry views safety. Kletz's latest book, ''Still Going Wrong!'' examines case histories of process plant disasters and how they could have been avoided.
Products help with machine safety
A diversity of products help with machine safety. These include emergency-stops, hardguards (such as gates and fences), interlock and enabling switches, non-contact safety interlock switches, perimeter access guarding devices, safe power distribution devices, safety interlock switches, safety laser scanners, safety light curtains, safety limit switches, safety monitoring relays, and safety programmable logic controllers (PLCs), among others.
ESC Boston Technology Class sampler
Among scores of classes presented at ESC Boston was a two-part session on ''Introduction to Real-Time and Embedded Systems,'' by Robert Oshana, engineering manager at Texas Instruments.
Industrial security solution attracts attention
In the June Software newsletter, I wrote about Verano’s Industrial Defender Solution Suite. Click here to read the article. Since then, two major industry players—Invensys, an industrial automation software provider, and Enbridge, one of Canada’s largest energy transporters—are employing Verano’s Industrial Defender Watch product, a module in Verano’s Industrial Defender Solution Suite.
Enclosures: more materials, flexibility, options
We’re told to ''think out of the box.'' Even so, sometimes you still need an enclosure. What’s going on with enclosures? Recent products include more flexible designs, more material options, better connections, hazardous-area duty, and more accessory options, among other features.
Invensys to use Verano’s cybersecurity system in Foxboro I/A Series
Mansfield, MA—To help minimize cybersecurity threats to I/A Series system users, Invensys and Verano Inc. recently agreed to jointly market Verano's Industrial Defender Watch solution. Invensys
FNICO Takes FISCO Into Hazardous Areas
For fieldbus installations in flammable atmospheres, each of the different explosion protection methods has its own cost and ease-of-maintenance merits. While intrinsic safety (IS) is not preferred in North American hazardous locations, the newest advances in IS practice can benefit fieldbus non-incendive concept (FNICO) installations in Class I, Division 2 hazardous areas.
Reach for Machine Safety
How do you put a price on life and limb? Faster machinery, if well integrated, has potential to make more money. Downtime or lost time from machine-induced injury represents personal and financial loss for any operation. In the U.S. alone, 800 deaths and 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and abrasions are attributed to machine-related incidents a year, according to U.
ISA Expo 2003: FCI’s flowmeter measures in flaring, mixed-gas systems
Houston, TX—With a sensing element combining precision thermal mass flow and gas composition sensors, GF03 flowmeter from Fluid Components International (FCI, San Marcos, CA) delivers accurate flow measurement in flaring and other variable, mixed gas composition systems.
PackExpo 2003: Sick’s non-contact control unit safeguards machinery
Las Vegas. NV—Sick Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) launched its new control unit, RE4000, for safeguarding larger, more complicated machinery on Oct. 12 at PackExpo 2003.
Control system security and protection Web seminar
In the March 2003 issue of Control Engineering, I wrote an article titled “Get safe: Prepare for Security Intrusion.” In that article I outlined a means for strengthening control system security against cyber-attacks. A lot of the article content came from conversations with Larry Falkenau of DuPont Engineering.
GSE Systems sells process solutions division to NovaTech
Columbia, MD—GSE Systems Inc. (GSE) recently agreed to sell its Process Solutions business to NovaTech LLC (Lenexa,.KS), a provider of SCADA systems, remote monitoring and automation systems for the electric utility and oil and gas industries.
Control Engineering Polska launched in September
Five thousand engineers in Poland began receiving a new publication, Control Engineering Polska, in September 2003. The new Polish-language magazine will be published 10 times per year by Media International LLC, under a license from Reed Business Information. The publishers report that Control Engineering Polska reflects Central Europe and Poland's accelerating emerg...
Control Engineering Polska launches in September
Warsaw, Poland—Five thousand engineers in Poland began receiving a new publication, Control Engineering Polska, in September 2003. The new Polish-language magazine will be published 10 times per year by Media International LLC, under a license from Reed Business Information.
Safety experts offer equipment database and safety equipment reliability handbook
When developing safety-instrumented systems, international safety standards require users to document that sensor, interface module, logic solver, and final element’s meet defined safety integrity level criteria for failure rates, failure modes, and diagnostic capabilities. Obtaining this type of data can be tedious and time consuming.
Omron sees growth in some applications, non-traditional markets
Schaumburg, IL—Despite expectations of an overall flat market for automation products through April 2004, Omron Electronics LLC sees opportunities in some high-growth application areas, including in-line inspection, machine safeguarding and component traceability.
Control Engineering Embedded Control eNewsletter for June 2003
Texas Instruments—New Development tools for Embedded Control TI's TMS320C2000(tm) DSP controllers provide the ultimate combination of MCU peripheral integration, C efficiency and ease-of-use with the performance of TI DSPs. New Development Bundles for the TMS320F2812 DSP Controller These bundles simplify the design process and allow you to fully utilize the capabilities of the industry's highest performance, control optimized DSPs. New Enhanced TMS320LF2407 Tool Bundle This new development tool bundle gives designers a complete and cost effective way to take their designs to production and is the easiest way to fully evaluate and begin developing code for embedded applications.
How to Accelerate Commissioning
Once a new or retrofit project reaches mechanical and electrical completion, all eyes turn toward the instrumentation and control system as being the last obstacle that's preventing start up. Well, perhaps it's not quite that dramatic, but no matter how hard we try, all control and instrumentation systems eventually end up on a project's critical path.
`Division’ or `zone’ by any other name is still hazardous
Expanded online version of May 2003 Control Engineering‘Back to Basics.’ Click here to read the main article Not all parts of processing plants or manufacturing facilities are created equal. In fact, some production areas can be downright hazardous. Petrochem plants, underground mines, even grain silos pose the potential of accidental explosion, due to ignitable gases, vapors, or dust that may be present. Various classification systems have been set up to identify these potentially dangerous industrial environments so that electrical equipment operating in those areas can be regulated to prevent ignition and explosion, thereby ensuring the safety of workers and facilities. Two main classification systems have emerged, differing in details that reflect their regional origins: A North American system based on the U.S.
Few users plan to alter hazardous zone designations
Natick, MA—Only a few users and operators expect to change their applications' hazardous area zone classifications during 2003-06, according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
‘Division’ or ‘zone’ by any other name is still hazardous
Not all parts of processing plants or manufacturing facilities are created equal. In fact, some areas of petrochem plants, underground mines, even grain silos pose the potential of accidental explosion, due to ignitable gases, vapors or dust that may be present. Various classifications have been set up to identify these potentially dangerous industrial environments so that electrical equipment ...
Computers: Industrial, Commercial, and Hybrid
It's been said (by Mason Cooley) that "our most important decisions are made while thinking about something else." Considering the reasons why engineers purchase the types of computers they do, one might think that Mason Cooley could be a manufacturing engineer of one stripe or another. He isn't; he's an aphorist—a person who thinks up witty, concise things to say about life.
Siemens signs select supplier agreement with Cargill
Alpharetta, GA — Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., has entered into a select supplier agreement with Minneapolis-based Cargill, Inc., becoming a select provider of electrical and industrial control products and systems to Cargill's North American businesses.
PAS, Invensys Foxboro agree on alarm management package
Plant Automation Services Inc. (PAS) and Invensys Foxboro (Foxboro, MA) announced Jan. 2 that Invensys will distribute PAS' AMO Plus alarm management package as part of a complete Foxboro automation solution. A control system-independent software solution for alarm management and optimization, AMO is now available via Invensys' sales channels.
Intrinsic safety helps keep propane tanks in check
Preparing for barbecuing season usually means making sure your propane tanks are filled and ready for outdoor grilling. For Decoe Inc. (Elkin, NC), an industrial automation and electrical contracting company, the upcoming spring and summer means specifying, integrating, and building machines that recondition, wash, paint, fill, and label new and used, 20-lb propane cylinders, so its customers w...
Corrections – 2003-02-01
Some incorrect text was included with "Paperless recorders extend security" on page 18s of the "Finding Gold, 2002 Editors' Choice Awards" supplement to Control Engineering, Jan. '03. The correct text should have read: Honeywell Multitrend Plus Honeywell (Fort Washington, PA) offers the Multitrend Plus paperless recorder.
Intrinsic safety—fieldbus style
Devices and barriers for intrinsically safe areas are designed so the energy released by an electrical fault is insufficient to cause ignition, even in a single- or double-fault condition. The ignition point is a function of available power-voltage and electrical current. How much segment electrical current, voltage, barrier choices, and devices permitted per barrier depends on the type of hazardous atmosphere in which the devices are located, and which intrinsic safety model is used.
Urgent: Check chlorine transfer equipment
Washington, DC - Following an initial investigation into an August 2002 incident where much of a railcar's contents were released to atmosphere, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued in December 2002 an advisory regarding chlorine transfer equipment, particularly transfer hoses.
Vision system designed for integrators
Though PPT Vision's (Eden Prairie, MN) Impact Vision System is priced competitively with vision sensors, the company says it possesses the power and flexibility of large, dedicated vision systems. Its high-speed processor and sub-pixel software algorithms offer a range of inspection tasks, including pattern find, blob, edge find, OCV, OCR, gauge, and contrast sensing.
Paperless recorders extend security
Honeywell (Fort Washington, PA) offers the Minitrend and Multitrend Plus paperless recorders. Minitrend: TVMI Minitrend Electronic Data Recorder features a 5.5-in., color LCD screen; and it fits the standard DIN cutout used by 100-mm, 4-in., strip chart paper recorders. The Multitrend Plus Electronic Data Recorder represents the latest in electronic data recording in a large input/large display format.
2002 Editorial Preview First quarter 2002 Second quarter 2002 Third quarter 2002 Fourth quarter 2002 2002 EDITORIAL CALENDAR 200 ARTICLE DEADLINES: Usually 60 days prior to month of issue; schedules vary by editor. See quarterly previews or click into article detail for more information. Or contact editor preparing article for specific requirements of that piece. Department and News Up Front-Catch breaking news, more online dailyTechnology Update-Discover emerging developmentsMarket Update-Count on markets and money mattersApplication Update-Solve problems with innovative solutionsIntegrator Update-Tips from system integratorsCareer Update-Build professional awarenessGlobal or European Update-Look for worldwide trendsNews-Keep up to date and in the loopEditorial--Views you can useControl Engineering Online--More at www.controleng.comSoftware Review-Take a test-driveProduct Focus-Look for product trends and user issuesBack to Basics-Rediscover the fundamentals.
Control Engineering Editorial Staff
Control Engineering's Editorial Staff Control Engineering Sales Staff Control Engineering Europe Staff Mark T. Hoske Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Beat: Software & Information Integration Configuration tools Control software (Flow chart/symbol-based; Motion/robotic control; PC-based control; PLC programming IEC 61131-3) Data acquisition/SCADA Design software for automation ERP integration Internet MES/middleware Product selection/specification Real-time, redundant, mission-critical SPC/SQC Frank J. Bartos Executive Editor email@example.com Beats: Motors, Drives & Motion Control; Artificial Intelligence Software Adjustable-speed drives Brushless motors & controls Direct-drive technology Feedback devices Integral motors & controllers Motor control centers Motion controllers Motor starting & protection Motors Power control & devices Servo and step motors, controls Dick Johnson Senior Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Beats: Instrumentation & Process Sensors Analyzers Calibrators Data acquisition devices Flowmeters Level instrumentation Pneumatic controllers Pressure instrumentation Process variable transmitters Scales Specialized instrumentation Temperature instrumentation Valves controllers, positioners Control Components Annunciators Card cages and computer racks Circuit analyzers & protection Enclosures Handheld test equipment, multimeters Intrinsic safety devices Line protectors Power converters Readers Regulators Relays Solid-state devices UPS, power supplies Dave Harrold Senior Editor email@example.com Beats: Process & Advanced Control and Safety System Subchannel Batch control systems Distributed control systems Gas detection systems Loop controllers/Loop tuning software Neural networks (Optimization software; Artificial intelligence; Expert systems; Fuzzy logic software) Simulation Pneumatic controllers Single-loop electronic control systems Valves Gary A.
Control & Automation Links
Automation & Control | Design/Research | E-Commerce | Electronics/Measurement | Information Services | Manufacturing & Manufacturing Processes | Plant Operations | Scientific Sources | Supply Chain Protocols and Standards | Research | Tutorials and Utilities | Associations & Societies Automation & Control Control Engineering (return home) Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide Control Engineering Buyer's Guide Control Engineering Europe IAN Manufacturing Systems Back to top Design/Research Design News Industrial Product Bulletin Medical Design Technology Product Design and Development R&D Back to top E-Commerce Ecommerce Business Back to top Electronics/Measurement Test & Measurement World E-Insite (16 publications) Back to top Information Services Lexis-Nexis Reed Business Information In-Stat Back to top Manufacturing & Manufacturing Processes Manufacturing.net Reed Business Information Australia Manufacturing Systems Back to top Plant Operations Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operations Plant Engineering Back to top Scientific Sources Elsevier Science Back to top Supply Chain Industrial Distribution Logistics Manufacturing Systems Material Handling Product News Modern Materials Handling Purchasing Supply Chain Management Review Warehousing Back to top Protocols and Standards AS-Interface CAN in Automation ControlNet International Fieldbus Foundation HART Communication Foundation Institute of Instrumentation and Control - Australia Interbus Club OPC - Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control Foundation Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users Group Open DeviceNet Vendors Association PLCOpen Profibus - Profibus fieldbus standard information Seriplex Technology Organization VSM Foundation - Standard data access and parameterization for networked devices. WorldFIP - guide to the WorldFIP fieldbus standard Back to top Research Australia's Telerobot on the Web - explore telerobotics on the web and even operate robots in Perth and Pittsburgh from your desktop CAMI -The Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing - International Control Engineering Virtual Library - international control engineering resource Instrumentation and Control Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Machine Vision Unit of the Artificial Intelligence Department at the University of Edinburgh OSACA - joint European project for machine tool and control manufacturers SCAD - The Systems and Control Archive at Dallas Swedish University of Technology Libraries - Control engineering page Technical University of Berlin Microsensor & Actuator Technology Center Back to top Tutorials and Utilities Control of Stepping Motors tutorial Fieldbus Comparison Page - background and technical information on several I/O bus and network protocols The PLC Tutor - interesting introduction to how PLCs work Back to top.
News commentary: Rockwell’s Automation Fair draws crowds, unleashes new products
Anaheim, CA - Rockwell Automation's annual fest, Automation Fair, drew thousands of curious engineers to the Anaheim Convention Center along with warm Santa Ana breezes to see new products and take in some training to go along with record high temperatures. Of the 8,000 pre-registered attendees, organizers expected at least 5,000 to actually show up. Certainly the aisles were packed during the two-day event.
Automation Fair 2002: Integrated safety systems offer protection
Anaheim, CA - Machine safety has been playing catch-up to safety measures long in place in process industries. Rockwell Automation made a significant addition to its portfolio of safety products and solutions at Automation Fair 2002.
Minimize the Legwork!
I hate plumbing projects! Actually I really do not hate them. Rather I hate having to make the three or more trips to the hardware or home improvement store that seem to be required to get a project-any project-done. Even with painstaking planning on my part, extra time and legwork creep into the job, adding frustration and taking away from the satisfaction of a job well done. EXPANDED VERSION ON-LINE
Security leads discussions at CCPS conference
Jacksonville, FL—Risk management professionals met Oct. 8-11, 2002, at the Center for Chemical Process Safety's (CCPS) 17th annual international conference and workshops. Past conferences included sharing of best practices in risk, reliability and security of chemical processes, but this year's event focused on what is required to manage risk from intentional criminal and terrorist attacks.
HART 2002 Plant of the Year announced
Austin, TX-The HART Communication Foundation's executive director, Ron Helson, announced Sept. 24 that DuPont Corp.'s (Wilmington, DE) DeLisle titanium dioxide manufacturing facility (Pass Christian, MI) has been selected as HART Plant of the Year 2002.
Rockwell, Omron, Sick developing safety networking standard
Deerfield Beach, FL-To help safety technologies serve in an open, interoperable network environment, three automation and machine safety companies announced Oct. 2 that they're jointly developing an open protocol for safety communications. The three firms unveiled their project at the Open DeviceNet Vendor Assocation's (ODVA, Boca Raton, FL) Global Networks 2002 meeting and conference.
Control Engineering Process Control eNewsletter for September 2002
INTELLUTION... Optimize processes, enhance quality, and increase profitability: they're the goals of today's top manufacturers. especially in this volatile economy.
Safety controllers: a primer
Clearly, interest in providing safer workplaces is growing among machinery manufacturers and end-users. This interest has been stimulated by new and emerging safety standards and guidelines, and by increased awareness of the benefits of a safer work environment. This article is an expanded version of the September 2002 Control Engineering's ''Back to Basics.''
One Controller, Many Uses
For years basic process control (BPC) and programmable electronic safety (PES) systems generally have been assembled from different products, often from different suppliers, always for different reasons, and usually implemented by different groups. But all that is changing. Increasingly, control system suppliers market "high-availability" control-system solutions that use the same controller as...
Control Engineering Control Components eNewsletter for August 2002
In this issue: U.S. insulated wire and cable market to exceed $26 billion by 2006 Sensors Expo moves to Boston for Sept. 24-26 Product Focus: discrete sensors provide a lot of bang for the buck Back to Basics: a primer on safety controllers Digital relays improve power stability, control and safety for Marathon Oil Axcess' sensor and alert system enables wireless sensing TI launches low-power, zero-drift amplifiers for precision signal conditioning CE plans webcasts for October on manufacturing productivity U.S.
Control Engineering Process Control eNews for August 2002
In this issue: 15,000 chemical plants will need to comply; but when? FREE - Chemical facility vulnerability assessment methodology exida.com introduces cybersecurity audit service More about electronic records and signatures FREE -- Pump sizing and selection Pump sizing and selection training Good/better practices feedback Do you know the answers? Control Engineering web site redesign Control Engineering plans October webcasts on manufacturing productivity Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, & webcasts August in Control Engineering 15,000 chemical plants will need to comply, but when? In the April issue of this e-newsletter, I made readers aware of U.S. Senate Bill 1602, 'Chemical Safety Act of 2001.' On July 25, 2002, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee approved, 19 to 0, measures requiring the government to develop safety standards and to identify 'high priority' chemical plants producing or handling hazardous substances that are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. When enacted, the bill will govern security operations at 15,000 industrial chemical sites, down from the 40,000 plants and refineries included in an earlier version of the bill. The approved bill also dropped proposed regulations governing the transportation of hazardous chemicals, and softened a section that would have imposed strong criminal penalties on site managers that failed to meet security standards. The following day, July 26th, The American Chemical Council (ACC) posted a lengthy statement on its web site regarding the council's opinion of Senate Bill 1602. The following are excerpts from the ACC posting. 'We have a long history of meeting tough deadlines on commitments to protect the environment and the safety of our employees and our neighbors.
Vision systems eyes in the factory
Machine vision has been one of the most innovative areas of automation over the past few years. Bulky, hard-to-program vision systems are a relic for museums of ancient automation civilizations. PC-based systems have become stable, while software advances that include graphical interfaces and software components make them easier to use for more control engineers.
Control Engineering Process Control eNews for July 2002
In this issue: If Martha Stewart were a controls engineer Process control security requirements forum Top 20 Internet security vulnerabilities Do you know the answers? FREE - Heat and power calculator from Liebert Rotary-action valve actuators suited for water treatment plants Eurotherm introduces multi-function I/O module for DAQ applications Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts July in Control Engineering If Martha Stewart were a controls engineer I was flipping through TV channels the other day and stumbled on the 'Martha Stewart Living' show. Martha was preparing a chocolate cake, one of my many weaknesses, so thinking I might find a 'scrumdillyicious' chocolate cake recipe, I paused. It turns out Martha was following the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. That's the same recipe my grandmother, mother, and wife use. It's the same chocolate cake recipe used by millions of regular, every-day Americans. For some reason, when I started putting together this month's newsletter, the 60 seconds I spent with Martha Stewart crept back into my mind under the heading of applying 'good engineering practices.' Okay, so I'm a bit twisted, but when you think about it, Martha Stewart has a staff of hundreds and all sorts of influence.
ABB, ICS Triplex partner to aid safety systems
A new technology partnership, announced June 19 by ABB and ICS Triplex, is allowing them to share technical resources, and support advanced safety systems in the oil, gas, petrochemical and process industries. The two companies plan to cooperate on developing triple-modular redundant (TMR) protection systems for these industries worldwide.
Schneider Electric launches safety line
Paris, FranceMaking a thrust into the machine safety business, Schneider Electric recently unveiled its new Preventa line of safety controllers and safety input devices for standalone and networked applications. These components are manufactured at Schneider's Telemecanique plants in France. Preventa XPS-MP safety relay is the base controller module for standalone operation
ABB, ICS Triplex partner to aid safety systems in process industries
Wickliffe, O.; Houston, Tex.- A new technology partnership, announced June 19 by ABB and ICS Triplex , is allowing them to share technical resources, and support advanced safety systems throughout the oil, gas, petrochemical and process industries. The two companies plan to cooperate on developing triple-modular redundant (TMR) protection systems for these industries worldwide. Their agreement is expected to increase market penetration for both firms' existing products, and aid development of next-generation products. ''ABB's technology partnership with ICS Triplex further enhances our focus on safety systems,'' says Sandy Taylor, group vp of ABB's petroleum business unit.
Control Engineering Process Control Newsletter for June 2002
In this issue: Are companies still developing 'good engineering practices?' Learn what FDA investigators and compliance officers already know Do you know the answers? Time is running out to save money with Microsoft's volume licensing Honeywell offers environmental system validation services Pipe-Flo Professional 7.1 Flo-Links Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts June in Control Engineering Are companies still developing 'good engineering practices?' During a recent conference, I was talking to people from several chemical companies, and the conversation got around to the subject of standards and the use of 'good engineering practices.' You know the non-proprietary things we do to design, implement, operate, and maintain safe, reliable control, automation, and instrumentation systems. I sent a few e-mails asking end-users what's happening in this arena. Some say organizational downsizing relegated this activity to individual sites. Others say they are using intranet technologies to involve more people and make their good engineering practices even better. You tell me: 1) What's your company doing in the way of developing, maintaining, sharing, training in the use of, and enforcing 'good engineering practices' for control, automation, and instrumentation systems? 2) Would you, or someone in your company, be willing to share 'good engineering practices' with others outside your company? For now, I'm on a 'fishing expedition' and don't know where this will lead, but I promise, what you share with me won't be used without your written permission. Share your thoughts via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Back to top Learn what FDA investigators and compliance officers already know During the World Batch Forum conference I had a chance to talk with Martin Browning, president of EduQuest (Hyattstown, Md.). For 20+ years Mr.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for March 2001
In this issue: Control & Automation Support Services Survey Controller tuning problem Pushing the limits with advanced process control Learning opportunities Fieldbus news Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions March in Control Engineering Dave's public service announcement Landmark Control & Automation Support Services Survey Time is running out. If you haven't participated in this survey please take a few minutes to speak out. There is a link from the home page at or click on the link below. Control Engineering will report the results in the June issue and online. When you complete the survey, you may enter a drawing for one of five $200 e-gift certificates.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for December 2001
In this issue: FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness survey 21CFR Part 11-aware packaging system Process control strategy training Safety system information Process safety management measurement system New release of data analysis and graphing software Online engineering exercises Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts December in Control Engineering SCLE presentations archived for viewing FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness survey A number of Control Engineering subscribers work for or provide products and services to industries covered by U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations. One of those regulations, 21CFR Part 11 'Electronic Records and Signatures,' has been getting a fair amount of press during the past 12 to 18 months. 21CFR Part 11 became a regulation in 1997, but the FDA didn't start applying compliance pressure until about mid-2000.
Control Engineering Motors, Drives, & Motion Control Newsletter for March 2001
In this issue: 1,000,000-th chip for SERCOS Low-cost capacitive position sensing New ergonomic assist devices have intelligence Cheer the young 'Roboteers' Two motor starters introduced at NMW Online servo selection tool Linear motors market survey is optimistic Conferences, seminars Info free for the asking Control Engineering in March 1,000,000-th chip installed for SERCOS A ceremony on March 21, 2001 at RA Jones & Co. (Covington, Ky.)-a leading manufacturer of packaging machinery for consumer products companies-marked a notable milestone for SERCOS communication interface when the one millionth SERCOS ASIC was installed on one of RA Jones' packaging machines. SERCOS (SErial Realtime COmmunication System) is a fiber-optic-based network expressly designed for motion control applications. SERCOS, defined in IEC 61491 standard, claims more than 100 suppliers of products worldwide that comply with the interface.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for April 2001
In this issue: ABB listed on New York Stock Exchange Happy birthday to Control.com World Batch Forum meeting in Orlando The Power of Six Sigma ISA standards are easier to obtain Leveraging the work of others Easier legacy system retrofits 3,000+ industrial automation ActiveX objects Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions April in Control Engineering ABB listed on New York Stock Exchange Friday, April 6th marked a big day for Zurich, Switzerland based ABB Ltd. when ceo Jorgen Centerman rang the opening bell and celebrated ABB's listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ABB. Click here to learn more Back to top Happy birthday to Control.com March 26th marked the first anniversary of Control.com; the online community where control engineers share technical issues and help one another (and sometimes editors) get answer to questions and solve real-life control problems. Features of Control.com's web site include: Real-time Q&A; Automation tutorials; The Automation List discussion group; The PLCArchive of contributed PLC programming examples; and The PuffinPLC Project for Linux-based open source control. Click here to learn more Back to top World Batch Forum meeting in Orlando It's a dirty job, but somebody has to go to Orlando, Florida in early April. Unfortunately, no one at the World Batch Forum (WBF, Chandler, Ariz.) ask me what hours the conference sessions should be held, so I didn't get much sun.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for October 2001
In this issue: Misinformation can lead to poor decisions What are your electronic record and signature 'need to knows?' Process NMR receives CENELEC certification Rosemount introduces PPB dissolved oxygen (DO) analyzer Cost effective level measurement for water and wastewater Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions October in Control Engineering Misinformation can lead to poor decisions On I recently attended a vendors user group meeting and sat in on a session about electronic records and signatures. During the session, an audience member volunteered that magnetic media (i.e., floppy disk, magnetic tape, CD-ROM, etc.) are unsuitable for long-term electronic storage. This person spoke with such passion and quoted several statistics making me think this person had studied the subject of electronic media retention thoroughly and was sharing valuable information.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for May 2001
In this issue: Comprehensive safety systems report released On-line S88 batch process tutorial World Wide Web Consortium releases XML schema language ExperTune enhances connectivity Pipe-Flo software receives enhancementsS CimWorks enhances VisualSPC to help address FDA compliance Request for controller comparison criteria LinuxPLC project and open control Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions May in Control Engineering Comprehensive safety systems report released During 2000, Control Engineering added a process safety system channel to its web site, and we posted a considerable amount of 'how-to' information related to programmable electronic safety systems. Contributors to our safety system information include Dr. Angela Summers, president of SIS-Tech (Houston, Tex.), Paul Gruhn with Siemens Moore, and Dr. William Goble, president of exida.com (Sellersville, Pa.).
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for May 2000
In this issue: Initial PID tuning constant settings U.S. OSHA recognizes ANSI/ISA S84.01 Safety system training sources Fitting the instrument into the process OPC advancing and expanding What's in the May issue of Control Engineering Dave's public service announcement 2001 Editorial input opportunity Initial PID tuning constant settings (no guarantees) Control Engineering readers consistently indicate loop analysis and PID tuning articles are among the most useful articles we provide. But establishing valid PID tuning parameters requires determining process dynamics, and that's seldom possible until the process is up and operating.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for July 2001
In this issue: Making the Invisible Visible FOUNDATION Fieldbus webcast planned for September Virtual trade-show planned for October Rating your control and automation suppliers NEMA releases new standard Performance-based safety standards article ARC releases process automation systems study Control.Com opens 'open' source interoperability testing lab GSE upgrades D/3 system Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions July in Control Engineering Just for fun Making the Invisible Visible In a 'former life' I sometimes listened to unit managers complain about the cost of control systems and what they perceived as poor ROI (return on investment). I knew some of what they said was posturing, but quantifying technology, and especially control system investments is a challenge even for the most creative among us. But maybe the control system community can make use of the information contained in a recently published book titled, 'Making the Invisible Visible' by Donald Marchand, professor of Information Management and Strategy at the International Institute of Management Development (Lausanne, Switzerland); John Rollins, managing partner of Strategic Information Technology Effectiveness for Accenture (New York, N.Y.), and William Kettinger, director of the Center of Information Management and Technology Research at the University of South Carolina (Columbia.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for February 2002
In this issue: FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness survey Do you know the answers? How mistake-proof are your processes? Six Sigma Green Belt training via the Internet New instrument specification forms available Cool products Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts February in Control Engineering Electronic records and signatures awareness survey Is your company covered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulation on Electronic Records and Signatures, also known as 21 CFR Part 11? To help prepare for an April article, we want to understand your awareness of this regulation. Complete AFAB Group's 25-question survey via https://afabgroup.com/surveys/fda_21cfr_part_11.html Those curious about preliminary survey results, a summary report is posted on AFAB Group's web site. I will also be presenting the findings of this awareness survey at the World Batch Forum (WBF) meeting, April 7-10 in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for June 2001
In this issue: Purdue CIFM Center assists the food industry Virtual trade-show planned for October EPA issues counter-terrorism guidelines CPS releases new risk analysis book ARC releases control-valve study Honeywell releases ProfitBridge PSM best practices FDA and cGMP conference LinuxPLC project and open control follow-up Conferences, seminars, and exhibitions June in Control Engineering Purdue CIFM Center assists the food industry Not too far from where I work and live is Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.). Besides having a decent sports program and a really great golf course, Purdue also is home to the Computer Integrated Food Manufacturing Center (CIFMC) and Pilot Plant. Purdue University's CIFMC is an impressive facility with an extensive inventory of pilot plant equipment and knowledgeable staff. Students attending CIFM courses are handpicked upper classmen and graduate students focused on food service industry related topics.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for August 2000
In this issue: Reader feedback on last months open system question Honeywell IAC donates to Purdue University Sequencia's gRecipe available Process Safety Institute Courses What's in the August issue of Control Engineering Short fun quiz helps determine if you're a 'professional' Reader feedback on last month's open system question Last month I asked for your thoughts about open systems and whether or not they were meeting expectations and living up to the hype. Several readers were less than bashful about sharing their thoughts and a few were quite frustrated with the computer-related issues open systems add to the control and automation solutions available today. One responder at a big-name company was struggling to find a way for maintenance technicians to determine if a PC's (personal computer) motion control card was bad, the drivers were corrupted, important DLL files had been accidentally deleted or modified, another application was hogging the interrupts, or some other PC-related problem existed. He thought his company's IT department could help, but he was told they didn't have time to get trained on all the new PC technologies, especially when some were only going to be around for a short while. At almost the other extreme was a reader who was quite pleased with the migration their distributed control system (DCS) vendor was making in using PC-based solutions, and was looking forward to continued migration as long as they didn't lose the 'outstanding administrative features' offered by the proprietary DCS.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for January 2001
In this issue: FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness survey Fieldbus I/O simulation Remote monitoring via the Internet New life for Moore's law Applying Six Sigma to alarm management Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts January in Control Engineering FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness survey Is your company involved in FDA's 21 CFR Part 11 Electronic Records and Signatures regulation? To help prepare for a future article, we want to understand your awareness of this regulation. Please click on this link to complete a 25-question survey. https://afabgroup.com/surveys/fda_21cfr_part_11.html Back to top Fieldbus I/O simulation In my former life of installing control systems for a living, we used I/O simulation software to test our control/application code.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for May 2002
In this issue: Praise to openness XML schemas available Do you know the answers? Web-based support services gaining in popularity Sanitary valve disassembles without tools Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts May in Control Engineering Praise to openness In the May 7, 2002, issue of PC Magazine (Ziff Davis Media), editor-in-chief Michael Miller wrote about key developments that changed the personal computer (PC) industry. Mr. Miller credits the move from a character-based to a graphical interface and the widespread adoption of the Internet for moving the PC from a novelty to a business tool. However, the point of Mr.
Schneider Electric launches Preventa safety line
Hannover, Germany; Hannover Fair - Making a major thrust into the burgeoning machine safety business, Schneider Electric showed the world its new 'Preventa' line of safety controllers and safety input devices for both standalone and networked applications.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for April 2002
In this issue: The clock is ticking! Do we need this law? Do you know the answers? Design for Six Sigma example How does your PID loop rate? Paperless recorder with extended security Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts April in Control Engineering The clock is ticking! For those with an interest in FDA 21 CFR Part 11, 'Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures,' I wanted you to know the FDA is soliciting comments on '00D-1542 Draft-Guidance Document Electronic Signatures: Time Stamps.' This document reflects the FDA's current thinking regarding the time stamp requirements of 21 CFR Part 11, but don't wait too long; the FDA allows 90 days for comments, and the clock started ticking on March 20, 2002. View the draft guidance document at https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/00d1542/00d1542.htm Back to top Do we need this law? Last October, U.S. Senators James Jeffords (I-VT), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) introduced Senate Bill 1602, 'Chemical Safety Act of 2001.' The bill was read twice on the floor and referred to the Committee on Environmental and Public Works (EPW), which is headed by Senator Jeffords. According to Senator Jeffords, this bill is the results of a letter sent to President Bush by the American Chemistry Council requesting the federal government immediately begin a comprehensive assessment of security at chemical plants. Having worked in and around chemical plants the past 35 years I'm unsure if this is good legislation or not.
Exclusive: Eaton/Cutler-Hammer introduces IT contactors and starters with all 24 V dc control, MCCs, and more
Milwaukee, Wis. - Focus on 24 V dc for control power expands into new electromechanical contactors and starters just introduced by Eaton Corp.'s Cutler-Hammer business unit. They're part of Phase 2 in an evolving program called Intelligent Technologies (IT), with the goal to develop various efficient, cost-effective power control products.
Control Engineering’s Process Control Newsletter for March 2002
In this issue: FDA 21CFR Part 11 awareness poll results Do you know the answers? Pulp and paper solutions Safety system certification update Conferences, seminars, exhibitions, webcasts March in Control Engineering Internet videocast features Jack Welch, former GE CEO Electronic records and signatures awareness poll results Thanks to the many people who took the time to share their knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) regulation on Electronic Records and Signatures, also known as 21 CFR Part 11. The information you shared was very helpful in guiding my development of the April article appearing in Control Engineering titled 'I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help You!' The article uses ideas from several expert sources to lay out an electronic records and signatures implementation plan that complies with the FDA regulation in a way that produces measurable business benefits. Another place survey information is being used is at the April 7-10 World Batch Forum (WBF) conference in Woodcliff, New Jersey. First thing Tuesday morning (April 9), I will present a few of the findings the poll revealed, and then I have the honor of introducing Mr.
Safety systems growth expected despite process automation slowdown
The worldwide market for safety systems is expected to grow more than 4.5% per year from $675 million in 2001 to $847.4 million in 2006, according to a new study, "Safety and Critical Control System Worldwide Outlook—Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2006," by ARC Advisory Group.
Market study on safety & critical control systems released
Dedham, Mass. - The recently published ARC market study titled "Safety and Critical Control System Worldwide Outlook-Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2006", forecasts growth in Safety Systems despite a general showdown in the process automation market.
Rockwell Automation acquires German safety products company
Milwaukee, Wis. - Rockwell Automation announced January 10, 2002 the expansion of its machine safety product and R&D capabilities by acquiring Tesch GmbH, an electronic products and safety relay manufacturer located in Wuppertal, Germany.
WBF chairman, ‘Father of Batch Processing’ Thomas Fisher, dies of cancer
Chandler, Ariz. - Thomas Fisher, World Batch Forum's (WBF) chairman and a leading figure in the development of batch processing standards, died Dec. 6 after a long battle with cancer.
Welcome to Control Engineering’s monthly newsletter for process control
Welcome to Control Engineering's monthly newsletter for process control
Suit Yourself: Tailoring a Best-Fit Network
Most control engineers don't give a rat's rear-end about historical fieldbus conflicts and shifting market shares of networking equipment. They care about immediate implementation, monitoring, maintaining, and updating their individual applications because their jobs depend on objectively measured performance of those applications.
Machine vision in 3D
In a recent issue of Control Engineering Europe we have an article about a new machine vision product called "Optigo" that inspects—and measures—manufactured parts in three dimensions. The camera, which is made by a start-up company called CogniTens, has been making the rounds of European trade shows.
Protect Plant Personnel
Spurred by European directives, companies provide enhanced safety devices and risk assessment education to enable control engineers to design better safety into machinery and processes.
Fail Safe Controller
Phoenix, Ariz. -FSC 2oo4D, a Quadruple Modular Redundant (QMR) Fail Safe Controller (FSC) with diagnostics (D), has diagnostics-based QMR technology designed to extend system reliability and improve life-cycle performance. FSC 2oo4D can be applied in high-integrity, process-critical situations to perform wide-ranging process control/safety functions.
Rosemount Analytical links safety with process analyzers
I n the past, many analytical analyzers were so temperamental that users often refused to allow them to be directly connected into the control system. Instead, control systems would interface with the analyzer through an operator who would observe the readings and 'tweek' the control system accordingly. In order to ensure system safety when their analyzer is part of the control system, Rosemount Analytical (Orrville, O.) has developed and obtained a control safety patent for its Raman Process Analyzer and other optical analyzers. The Raman Process Analyzer uses the Rayleigh backscatter principle to provide reliable laser cessation for increased safety.
Connect Plant Floor to the Top Floor
Integrating plant with enterprise has become an ongoing topic in companies seeking to connect all operating areas.Vince Tullo, senior vp of Automation Equipment Business for GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, Va.) says, "When we talk about advances in automation technology, we're talking about solutions that enable e-business.
Automationdirect.com offers AVG operator interface panels
Cumming, Ga.—Automationdirect.com has forged a product development relationship with AVG (Autotech/Viktron Group, Carol Stream, Ill.) to offer a new line of operator touch panels. Six new EZTouch operator panels are available in 6", 8" and 10" sizes, priced from $399 to $1,699. "This new relationship with AVG allows us to offer innovative products with superior features that sell for well...
SEEING the LIGHT: Fiber Optics Illuminate Process Control and Instrumentation
Fiber-optic technology—it's not just for decorative lighting anymore. In the 1970s, decorative lighting using fiber-optic cable made a statement (dancing pinheads of ever changing colored light) in college dorm rooms, bachelor pads, and the homes of the avant-garde. What might have been creating really neat novelty lighting at that time was not yet setting the industrial world on fire.
Wireless tank-monitoring system
City of Industry, Calif.—TankScan W Series wireless measurement system combines cost-effective sensor technologies with RF wireless communications. Its controller communicates with up to 30 TankScan WL MIR level monitors, WU ultrasonic level monitors, or WA 8 analog input monitors and WO indicators via a bidirectional wireless link.
Going with the future of flow
Why should there be a concern about measurement accuracy? The answer to this question lies in the answer to, why measure flow? Flow measurement requires reasonable accuracy to monitor and improve process efficiency, quality, and safety. Investments are made in flowmeters with the expectations of receiving a return that exceeds costs associated with installation.
Looking for a quick payback? Digital paper's an investment stacked in your favor. When the Pennsylvania Treasury's Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Disbursements learned the computer system they were using to process benefit checks was not Y2K compliant, they were forced to replace the system with a more efficient document management and imaging system.
Keeping the ‘Explosion Genie’ in the Bottle
Many industries must routinely deal with materials that explode, burn, or explode and burn. Actually, explosions in gas, vapors, or dusts are not detonations but very rapid burning of the media best described as deflagrations. Handling "media from hell" often requires many specialized equipment and disciplines (everything from mechanical system design to satisfying numerous industry assoc...
Combine & Conquer
Swirling flavors and sounds of New Orleans' culinary and musical icons will be briefly rivaled when ISA Expo/2000 and IMS Expo 2000 co-locate to host a technological smorgasbord of 750 exhibitors and a symphony of conference events for about 28,000 guests here on Aug. 21-24.Sponsored by ISA, the international society for measurement and control (Research Triangle Park, N.
Is it time to seriously consider pipeless batch processing?
Thomas Archibald, vp and director of global operations and manufacturing for Rohm and Haas Co., explains future-manufacturing operations must be capable of achieving:Achieving each of these goals requires looking at old ways of doing things in a new way—companies must do more "thinking outside-the-box.
Despite e-everything, control still core of Hannover Fair
Software, e-commerce, Ethernet, and wireless technologies permeated the air, yet automation and control remained the backbone of Hannover Fair 2000, March 20-25. Attendance was down slightly (4.3%) from last year to 270,000, which was attributed by fair organizer Deutsche Messe AG to removal of the event's lighting technology sector.
Process indicator has modular design
San Diego, Calif.—The 2408i indicator can be configured to accept virtually any process variable or temperature input. The device's modular design provides three option slots plus one optional Modbus communications slot. Its 24-V transducer and bridge excitation modules are useful for pressure, flow, and weight measurement.
Smaller, faster, easier
Trends in terminal blocks are not as fickle as trends in fashion. However, like fashion, everyone wants to keep on top of what's hot and what's not. Easier, faster, smaller, and more economical are buzzwords often used when describing trends in terminal blocks. "Everything is getting smaller and easier to use.
Safety Requirements Specification in a Capital Project Environment
Creation of the SRS early in a project's life saves time and money.
Modular design indicator
San Diego, Calif.- The 2408i indicator can be configured to accept virtually any process variable or temperature input. The device's modular design provides three option slots plus one optional Modbus communications slot. Its 24-volt transducer and bridge excitation modules are useful for pressure, flow, and weight measurement.
Mosaic mapboards monitor membrane filtration plant
Operations at the world's largest membrane filtration treatment plant—designed by Moroni Engineering (Denver, Colo.) and recently built in Kenosha, Wis.—function under the watchful eye of Mauell Corp.'s (Dillsburg, Pa.) mosaic technology.Three mosaic mapboards continuously monitor status, flow, and filtration of up to 18 million gallons of water per day for Kenosha Water Utili...
Use Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) to Comply with Performance-based Standards
T he performance-based standards ANSI/ISA S84.01, IEC 61508, and IEC d61511 mandate the use of risk assessment techniques to meet the established target risk level(s) for a process. Different risk assessment techniques that are quantitative, qualitative or semi-quantitative in approach are used to evaluate the process risk and identify the safety systems needed to meet the target risk levels. Such an analysis of process safety requirements is called Safety Integrity Level (SIL) analysis. Semi-quantitative risk assessment techniques are used to derive most of the benefits of the quantitative techniques, and to minimize the resources necessary for a rigorous quantification of risk.
Where control systems have been, and where they are going
Here We Go Again.
Do I need a safety instrumented system?
The number one goal of any safety system or device is to protect people and do it while remaining unnoticed. Sensors and activation mechanisms for automobile airbags are safety systems. On commercial airplanes, flight attendants explain that a sudden cabin depressurization will automatically cause oxygen masks to drop from the overhead compartments.
Control Engineering: Online Expands Coverage
Regular users of Control Engineering Online have no doubt noticed by now a significant change in the look and feel of the web site. It has undergone the most significant redesign in its history to better serve the steadily growing number of people who visit www.controleng.com to keep up-to-date on happenings in the automation and control industries.
Managing Risk Don’t Fall Flat
Broad grins on the faces of skydivers in free fall come from two things. First, the exhilaration of free falling through space just can't be concealed; and second, skydivers are confident they have properly assessed and mitigated the risk before stepping out of an airplane. Careful inspection and preparation of equipment, hours of rigorous training, and reliable back-up systems permit sky...
Managing Risk Improves Production
Completing mandatory regulatory compliance leads to improved process cycle times and greater productivity.
Incomplete Combustion Burns Money
Those plant managers continuously seeking ways to increase profits could benefit by visiting the boiler house. (It's that building tucked near the back of the property with the big coal piles around it). Once there they need to ask one question: "What has been the average percentage of O2 in each boiler's stack over the past 24 hours?"Burning coal (or natural gas, fuel oil, wood, or gar...
Getting down and dirty: Product research about discrete sensor trends
Control Engineering product research shows discrete sensors are getting smaller and easier to setup, and they can include short-circuit protection. Sensors need to detect transparent objects, differentiate between the object and background, detect flaws in microcomponents, automatically adjust to changing conditions. See charts.
Predictive Maintenance Maximizes Machinery Health
As the name implies, predictive maintenance anticipates equipment outages rather than reacting to them. Benefits include fuller useful life for equipment and lower backup inventory. It goes beyond preventive maintenance, which at least strives to shift plant downtime to noncritical periods. Initial cost of predictive monitoring systems tends to be high, but much less than forced reactive ...
Protecting your investment
The most functional, easiest to use, and most innovative control equipment is useless unless it's sheathed in a protective cover. Protection of this sensitive, often fragile equipment may be just as vital to the control engineer as the function they are designed to perform. Now, control equipment is performing in more and more harsh environments, and beside the contaminants they encounter...
Predictive Maintenance Widens Its Acceptance
Predictive maintenance is the most sophisticated of industrial maintenance and asset management techniques. It's an evolving, forward-looking method that combines hardware elements--for sensing and collecting information about equipment operation--with software elements for analyzing and managing the data. Actually, predictive maintenance employs a collection of nondestructive methods to do its work; for example, vibration analysis, oil wear particle analysis, infrared thermography, various electric motor circuit analyses, motor parameter monitoring, etc. Predictive, more than preventive Sophisticated numeric analyses then go on to estimate machine health and predict remaining life of equipment, using historical as well as operational data.
Pneumatic Control: Not Dead Yet
Pneumatic control may be considered a dinosaur, but it is still walking this Earth very much alive. The predecessor of the "beloved" 4-20 mA standard, pneumatics has remained "active" in many process industries, even though it now often shares the spotlight in hybrid analog control systems. Even though control has slowly edged its way into the digital era, it has adapted to newer surroun...
Less power for intelligent motor controls—more power to users
Dramatic size reduction of soft starters and related motor control devices has arrived. The key to this advance is a new design that separates control and logic circuits to cut power requirements and focuses exclusively on low control voltage at 24 V dc.Emergence of 24 V dc control has been ongoing, but mainly driven by low-amperage applications.
The goal of enterprise-wide networking is to tie all computers, applications, printers, control systems, intelligent devices, and the Internet/intranet together to achieve real-time communications throughout the corporation.Long the network of choice at business levels of an enterprise, recent reports insist Ethernet works for industrial networking and permits a single network architectur...
Is a New Control Room in Your Future?
Some companies are evolving control rooms into operations centers and locating them further from process areas. Success requires ability to identify, understand, and address the unique challenges arising when large distances separate team members.For the most part, today's control rooms evolved from advances in instrumentation and control systems, but the evolution is not over.
Sample Batch Reactor for Time Estimating
This sample was developed by Control Engineering and sent to 14 control system supplier companies with batch product focus requesting participation in this article. The sample application was developed from material provided in Guidelines for Safe Automation of Chemical Processes published by Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (New York, N.Y.). This sample was written and presented in a manner similar to what many service estimators receive from users.
Streamlining flow instrumentation specification and documentation
One of the more tedious tasks in the design of a control system for process applications is specification of instruments. Design-related procurement and documentation requires determining what process conditions the instrument will need to withstand and measure.Process environmental requirements for each instrument include not only what chemicals are present but also the range of both pre...
STD 32 Computer Controls Insertion Machine
The Image Packaging System from K&M Newspaper Services uses a dual-processor STD 32 Star System from Ziatech Corporation (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) to tailor the contents of newspaper inserts targeting specific insert packages to certain zones or demographic segments. According to system architect Jack McDaniel of McDaniel Control Systems, the STD 32 Bus was chosen because of its multiprocessing capability, upgrade capability, and reliability in the 'dusty environment'' of a newspaper printing room. The inserting machine works like an assembly line, with moving pockets passing under hoppers that drop inserts into the pockets. When a complete package of inserts is built, it is dropped onto a delivery conveyor. The STD 32 system controls which inserts are fed into the pockets and which pockets are dropped on the delivery conveyor.
Mini safety switch
Rockaway, N.J.— The Euchner NM series mini safety switch is a reliable, lightweight safety interlock, according to the company. It is available in two compact fiberglass reinforced housing sizes, NZ 01 and NZ 12. The NM series safety switches have an IP 67 protection rating for use in harsh environments.
Fieldbus I/O system fits hazardous areas
Minneapolis, Minn. —Created for interface between field wiring from hazardous areas and a control system in a safe area, Sensoplex MC offers simplified wiring, reduced costs and startup times, and eliminates of conventional DIN rail-mounted intrinsic safety barriers. Dual-color LED's on each I/O module indicate errors and fault conditions such as, breaks or short circuits in field wiring...
Virtual trade show features safety products
In a move that may save users' feet, if not fingertips, Honeywell's Micro Switch division recently launched a web-based "virtual trade show." Located at www.honeywell.com/sensing/virtual/, the computerized show includes a virtual lobby, main hall, registration, document library, literature cart, press area, and hyperlinks to related web sites.
4-20 mA Transmitters Alive and Kicking
Because they've been around so long, everyone already knows all there is to know about 4-20 mA transmitters and how to install them. But, if so much is known about selecting and installing 4-20 mA transmitters, why do the same questions keep coming up? Questions like:Transmitter classificationsUnderstanding differences between two-, three- and four-wire devices will help clear up several ...
Improving Safety in Process Control
Environmental law, customers, and good business sense require finding effective ways to integrate plant safety into industrial process systems. No one wants an unsafe situation, but overengineering safety can put a company out of business almost as fast as a major violation.Regulatory agencies' standards and regulations require process plants to protect against accidental damage to person...
PLC architecture can provide high safety integrity
There's no safety like nuclear safety. Consequently, process safety instrumented systems (SIS) requiring a high safety integrity level (SIL) can benefit from a programmable logic controller (PLC) architecture used in nuclear safety systems. (See this issue's cover articles for related safety topics.
Can We Talk?
It seemed like a simple enough question. "How many pages we will have in the September issue?" I asked our managing editor. "That depends on who's counting," he replied. Our business department monitors pages according to ad revenue; the post office counts pages by demographic distribution; and we editors count pages in terms of articles, news, and other information in the magazine.
Designing and Applying Remote Field Instruments
A remote field instrument is a device used to sense a physical parameter such as pressure or temperature. This measurement is translated to a signal current in the range of 4-20 mA which is proportional to the measured variable. The 4-20 mA standard has provided an excellent platform for the development of process instrumentation.
Pressure Calibration Onsite or In the Lab?
Keeping processes running to specification requires accurate calibration of plant instrumentation. Pressure instrumentation, including gages, switches, transmitters, transducers, and differential-pressure units, all require this attention on a regular basis. Calibration equipment types vary widely.
Tons of Technologies Hit Houston
They may or may not beat the Texas heat, but visitors and exhibitors at ISA Expo/98 will certainly find what they need to clobber competitors at this year's event.Billed by organizers as the biggest control and instrumentation show ever, ISA Expo/98 is the second alternate-year-format event for ISA, the international society for instrumentation and control (Research Triangle Park, N.
Sensors get smart
Adding intelligence to sensors is a definite trend in the industry. Not too long ago, users were content with just on/off contacts. Engineers now are eager to implement networks. With machine uptime a critical issue, the ability to implement diagnostics to improve maintenance response is also essential.
Enclosures—Think Outside the Box
Considering the globalization trend of industry, a completed control system may be shipped anywhere in the world. To discover what users want and need in enclosures, Control Engineering surveyed 1,500 readers. Of the 465 responses, 50% work in process industries while 39% identified their primary application as discrete product manufacturing.
Copper’s Not the Only Way to Network
You have to install a new manufacturing data network. Before you call for a truck-load of twisted-pair copper wire, better check out all the applications. There may be areas where copper won't work.There are other choices. Fiber-optic technology is not new, but is becoming easier to use. Radio frequency is moving from warehouse data collection to sensors and networking.
Industrial networks promote ease of use
Industrial networks proponents at NMW emphasized ease of use and other attributes at exhibits and a concurrent FieldComms International (Mooresville, N.C.) conference.ControlNet International's (Coral Springs, Fla.) Bill Moss explained that industrial users should use ControlNet, rather than Ethernet, including media redundancy, intrinsic safety, determinism, and sch...
Honeywell joins U.S. machine safety markets
Honeywell's Micro Switch Division recently entered the machine safety market with a broad product portfolio. The new product families include safety control modules, safety mats, solenoid key-operated safety interlock switches, and a miniature safety interlock switch. Honeywell Micro Switch has supplied safety products in Europe since 1982 and has already adopted Eu...
Millennium problem risks control system safety
Concern about the "millennium computer bug" and its implications for safety-related computer control systems prompted the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to commission research last year on the nature and extent of the problem, and ways of tackling it. In the report, Safety and the Year 2000, David Eves, HSE's deputy director general, says, "No one who reads ...
Recorders Offer Something for Everybody
What functionality and/or features are today's recorder users seeking? How are they applying recorders? Are paperless recorders replacing traditional paper recorders? Are ink recorders more popular than thermal recorders? Do people order more single-channel than multichannel recorders?To find out the answers to these and other questions, Control Engineering conducted original market res...
High Density IS Modules
Durham, U.K.—Series HiD 2000 provides control system builders with the means to cut the number of cabinets needed for interfacing to hazardous areas. Four channels may be packed into an 18-mm wide plug-in module, compared to the one or two channels common today. Further space savings are gained by the range of termination boards for mounting modules which incorporate loop-disconnect ter...
PLCs Aren’t Just Older, ‘They’re Better’
What functionality/features are today's programmable logic controller (PLC) users seeking? How are they applying PLCs? Is any other technology, such as personal computers, taking away market share from PLCs? Control Engineering wanted to know, so we asked a random sampling of 1,500 readers to participate in a survey about today's PLC.
Connect to the Benefits of Digital Industrial Networks
More users, system integrators, and manufacturers of control hardware and software are realizing the benefits of digital networks at the sensor, device, and fieldbus levels.In this kickoff of the "Year of the Network" series, Control Engineering asked leaders associated with 12 major industrial networks to reveal growth projections, ideal applications, views on standards, and future out...
Intrinsic safety protects your plant against explosions
Explosions can be prevented by limiting the amount of electrical energy available in hazardous areas or by containing the situation using bulky, heavy devices called 'explosion-proof enclosures.' Limiting excess electrical parameters such as voltage and amperage (current) requires the use of energy-limiting devices known as 'intrinsically safe (IS) barriers.' Explosion-proof enclosures prevent or control explosive situations with brute force. They are heavy containers designed to hold an explosion inside. Electrical devices within explosion-proof enclosures can operate at normal power levels.