Rumors of the death of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) may be—as Mark Twain said—greatly exaggerated. Originally called programmable controllers ("PC"), the PLC has been the foundation of factory control for almost 30 years.But technological battle lines have been drawn. Only a few years ago, few engineers would have considered using a personal computer (PC) for machine ...
More than 350 industry professionals attended the first "pc & automation" conference here on March 26-27. Organizers presented the international standards for Microsoft Windows running on PCs with fieldbus networks as the technologies that will drive automation in the future.
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...
Roy Slavin, chairman, president and ceo, Wonderware Corp.The on-going consolidation of smaller suppliers in various market segments is likely to continue into 1998. Yet, the industry as a whole will remain robust. Varying regional economic conditions will require major national suppliers to continue to actively grow their global business mix.
When I joined Control Engineering 11 years ago, one of our seasoned editors said to me, "Jane, keep an eye on that ISA SP50 committee. They're trying to develop a digital networking standard for smart communication among multiple vendors' instrumentation. It's going to be the biggest thing since 4-20 mA!"We waited.
Working overtime at their 1998 General Assembly, Fieldbus Foundation (FF) members took action March 5 on an array of milestone issues. Most of these related to controls and instrumentation end-users preparing to install FOUNDATION Fieldbus systems, according to John Pittman, president of the Fieldbus Foundation (Austin, Tex.
Exciting new technologies are making larger flat-panel displays with sharper images possible. The first products with technology derived from the web (the world wide web or Internet) are appearing. The popularity of micro PLCs has opened a market for small operator interface devices while technology is giving them a new, improved look.
PLC I/O devices have gone a long way from being wiring devices on a backplane. Once thought to be dinosaurs replaced by smart sensors and device networks, I/O devices are showing new life by offering users new ways to improve control of machines in a cost-effective manner. Several trends in the market are occurring simultaneously, but all have one direction—increased opportunities f...
"Control products just keep getting more advanced, yet simpler to use,"was the consensus among editors at Control Engineering when it was time for them to choose the best control products of 1997. For the 11th consecutive year, the editors chose the 50 best products based on three criteria: technological advancement, impact on the market, and service to the industry.
Operating Systems Hardware Platform Motion Control Open Device Level Networks User Interface Control Software Manufacturing Information System (MIS) Level Networks Application Programming Interfaces (API) It should be clear to the controls community that GMPTG is not trying to dictate the development of OMAC by specifying technical details for every aspect of OMAC. GMPTG is not going to lead the development of any new technology but will ride the technology wave! However, GMPTG engineers are not oblivious to the technical issues associated with OMAC systems. In this section, several OMAC technical areas will be examined.