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Safety instrumentation market expected to increase
The safety instrumentation system market is expected to grow to almost $7 billion by 2023 due to increased demand for safer devices.
Key strategies for improving alarm design and management
Coupling strategic engineering techniques with integrated management software helps unlock best-in-class alarm solutions. See five rules of alarm relevancy, three examples.
Synthetic polymer can remove dyes from wastewater
North Carolina State University researchers have demonstrated that a reusable synthetic polymer can remove dyes from water.
Implementing a hierarchy of automation safety
A layered approach for addressing industrial automation safety provides optimal results.
Linking PSM, NFPA, and ISA/IEC 61511 for fired equipment
Many facilities rely on prescriptive applications to manage fired equipment, which may not always be sufficient.
Some straight talk on process safety
Will increased connectivity change the definition of a process?
PSM compliance training according to OSHA
To ensure the safest environment for employees, review current PSM training to verify that it meets OSHA requirements
Reduce downtime and risk with effective alarm management
A more intelligent design that can deliver the right alarms at the right time is critical in reducing downtime and risk for operators.
Gap in workplace safety processes, strategies
Companies lack a well-defined roadmap to implement safety improvement measures, according to data from a Sphera report.
Wastewater virus removal study receives grant
University of Michigan researchers are studying how well current treatment methods remove viruses from wastewater, which might reduce the complexity of upgrading water treatment facilities.
Center innovation for customers in process and safety control opens
The Center of Excellence in Houston is designed to expands manufacturing and logistics capabilities.
Merging process safety and digital transformation
Done correctly, digital transformation and process safety don’t have to be mutually exclusive and can, in fact, strengthen a manufacturing operation.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 9-15, 2021
Articles about effective process safety, optimizing manufacturing processing, serial communication monitoring, HMI and SCADA design and what IEC 61499 means for PLCs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 9-15, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Water treatment chemistries and equipment evolution, post-COVID
Integrated solutions and managed services address challenges facing global water industry.
How to achieve effective process safety
Automation systems and people can work together with a corporate safety culture in place that emphasizes zero-risk tolerance and proper understanding of engineering principles such as using proper alarm management strategies and systems, regulatory procedures and industry best practices
How wastewater monitoring can mitigate health outbreaks
USC Viterbi researchers are using data collection to study wastewater as a way of predicting future disease breakouts ahead of testing data.
Entry management portal reduces risks for workers
Entry management at industrial sites and facilities needs to be a proactive part for manufacturers for companies vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak or any other infectious disease.
A team approach to resolving process upsets
Maintain business and process reliability with 24/7 knowledge management
Campus wastewater tested for COVID-19
LSU researchers are testing campus wastewater to see how the COVID-19 travels and as a way to determine cases.
COVID-19’s impact on wastewater treatment facilities
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on wastewater treatment facilities from many perspectives including maintenance, operations and safety.
Grant awarded to track COVID-19 in wastewater treatment plants
A North Carolina State University-led team of researchers has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to monitor wastewater from four U.S. cities for indicators of COVID-19.
Nano strategy fights superbugs for wastewater plants
A three-step method developed by Rice University researchers to produce molecular-imprinted graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets can help catch and kill free-floating antibiotic resistant genes found in secondary effluent produced by wastewater plants.
Know when to not follow safety procedures
While safety is vital, there are times when following the standards isn't practical. Certain situational factors and abnormal occurrences require responses that are beyond the norm.
Improving customer trust in the smart manufacturing supply chain
Food manufacturers are implementing “traceback” initiatives with data exchanges in their supply chain to trace a food product from the retail shelf back to the source to improve customer trust. The lessons learned could help the supply chain in other industries.
Intelligent alarms create actions from noise
Inside process: Alarm management software can decipher raw data, identify critical alarms, locate alarm sources, and provide role-based intelligence for faster resolution.
Stress and corrosion can accelerate alloy cracks
Arizona State University researchers have found that alloys, while strong, can be broken down by stress and corrosion in harsh chemical environments.
NFPA 652 compliance starts with a dust hazard analysis
Combustible dust safety standard requires understanding the codes.
Safety and controllers
Safety and controllers are looked at from different angles in the August issue of AppliedAutomation.
Technique developed to allow real-time microscopy at high heat and loading
Researchers at North Carolina State University have demonstrated a technique called in situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) heating and loading, which allows them to track microscopic changes in metals or other materials in real time in extreme environments such as nuclear reactors.
Method developed to assess heat distribution in nuclear reactors
A research team from the Department of Energy (DoE), using a supercomputer at the Argonne National Laboratory, have devised a high-fidelity approach to assess the heat distribution in a nuclear reactor design with fewer or no modeling approximations.
10 alarm management tips for the busy control engineer
Alarm management has been a great success for the process industry. Initial challenges have largely been met, but new challenges have emerged. Alarm management is most effective as an operations tool, not a safety tool.
More manufacturing, jobs and products equals more wastewater
Predicting wastewater impacts allows operators to make necessary adjustments to successfully treat wastewater during changing production conditions.
Researchers enhance water filtration systems
Texas A&M University is lead collaborative efforts to enhance water filters that turn wastewater to safe drinking water, which is a meticulous process.
Benefits of a transparent CIP system
Transparent clean-in-place (CIP) systems can be programmed in a variety of ways, but the process is often difficult to follow. Learn more about the benefits of a transparent process and how it helped one company improve their operations.
Improving process safety principles and best practices
A good process safety environment involves promoting best practices and principles early and often with engineers and encouraging education.
Economic indicators online
Rates of production increase, manufacturing output falls, and shipments increase. What's going on when with the economy depends on where you look, and there's a lot to see online.On Feb. 16, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued its most recent statistical release on industrial production and capacity utilization.
Star Trek-inspired diagnostic device developed for medical applications
Researchers from the University of Glasgow developed a multicorder that was inspired by Star Trek’s tricorder device. The multicorder uses sensors to make quick and accurate diagnoses.
Sensors designed to make structural infrastructure safer
The goal of structural health monitoring is to increase supervision of critical areas, extend the lifetime of structures, and reduce operating costs and improve safety.
Software, instrumentation providers collaborate on IIoT for process applications
SAP and Endress+Hauser are cooperating in developing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications for process industries.
Global vision standards drive industry’s success
Machine vision standards are designed to guarantee component interoperability and it allows component manufacturers to develop better overall products.
Implementing remote technical training
By using an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gateway, or a remotely-controlled PC, critical how-to skill-based training can be made available to engineering students anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
Achieving profitable efficiency through process control
Profitable efficiency is profitability control cascaded to process control to maximize operational profitability in real time and improve financial as well as operational efficiency.
Pattern matching improves object location and reduces image-processing overhead
There are two main approaches to pattern matching: those based on correlation, and geometric pattern matching and both approaches rely on first locating a region or regions of a template image to provide reference data.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 28 to September 3: Wireless process sensing, sensors and signal conditioning, augmented reality, more
Articles about wireless process sensing, sensors and signal conditioning, augmented reality and process control, choosing sensors for applications, and control system automation projects were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 28 to September 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 14-20: Tesla coil research, fluid power control, augmented reality, more
Articles about Tesla coil research, open- and closed-loop control for fluid power, augmented reality and process control, closed-loop control guidelines, and how to choose open- or closed-loop control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 14-20. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Determine safety integrity level for a process application
Safety instrumented systems (SIS) are installed in process plants to mitigate process hazards and they must be assigned a target safety integrity level (SIL) during the process to determine what needs to be done next.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 13-19: PID learning, control system programming, human-robot collaboration, more
Articles about PID learning, standardized control system programming, human-robot collaboration, IIoT and Big Data value, and the Engineers' Choice winners were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 13-19. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Trace moisture transmitters for measuring contamination
Michell's Pura trace moisture transmitters were developed for applications where purity of gases is of critical importance and even trace amounts of moisture are considered to be a contaminant.
Six action items for an aging DCS/PLC
Plant and operations managers need to be aware that their distributed control systems (DCSs) and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) could be obsolete and they should take appropriate steps to deal with the problem. Six immediate action items for an aging system are highlighted.
Safety toolkit for machine safety applications
The Safety Lifecycle Toolkit from Rockwell Automation is designed to give engineers one environment to complete the entire machine safety lifecycle.
Develop a process to make informed decisions with Big Data
Big Data can help synthesize information and provide users with the exact data they need to make informed, intelligent decisions. Developing a process that benefits everyone in the plant from the top on down is crucial.
Technique developed to explain computer thinking
MIT and CSAIL researchers have developed a training technique designed to train neural networks so they provide not only predictions and classifications but rationales for their decisions.
OSHA releases best practices for safety, health issues
A set of "Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs" was released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety. Ten tips for establishing a safety program are listed.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 7-13: Three-phase motors, PID velocity, PLC programming benefits, more
Articles about three-phase motor operation, PID velocity, PLC object-oriented programming benefits, the Engineers' Choice finalists, and scary automation on Halloween were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 7-13. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Position hinge for mounted components
The RT-50 position hinge from Reell Precision Manufacturing is designed to hold the angle of mounted components in any position in small assemblies.
The basics of designing an effective alarm management system
To implement and maintain an efficient alarm management system, end users need to understand the requirements during the design phase and realize the advantageous features of an alarm management system.
Analytics, mobile software company celebrates 30th anniversary
Iconics, which creates integrated automation software for automating, monitoring, and optimizing critical assets, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Demand for smart high-end safety solutions increasing
IHS Markit predicts that revenues from safety input/output modules are projected to grow faster than standard modules as demand shifts from price to providing more features.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles October 8 to November 7: Engineers’ Choice finalists, PID velocity, PLC programming benefits, more
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, PID velocity, PLC object-oriented programming benefits, scary automation on Halloween, and operating a three-phase motor were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 8 to November 7. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Five automotive industry advances, lessons for other industries
The automotive industry has made many technological and safety enhancements, which can be applied to other industries. See five advances and advice on traceability and data collection, upgrades, machine vision, robotics, and safety systems.
Cloud-enabled software for providing information to equipment builders
Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud application is a Microsoft Azure cloud-enabled capability designed to give equipment builders with information and provide access to performance analytics from deployed systems.
Safety is good business, execs say
Executives at the EHS Today's Safety Leadership Conference talked about how companies that are the safest are the most productive and offered advice on how to make safety more than about compliance.
Pushbutton series for processing, pharmaceutical applications
AutomationDirect's Schmersal 22mm IP69K-rated pushbuttons, selector switches and indicator lights are designed for food processing, pharmaceutical, and medical applications.
Condition monitoring system for maintenance teams
Fluke Condition Monitoring is designed to provide a system of rugged voltage, current, temperature, and power sensors that can be moved from asset to asset or left in place for continuous monitoring.
Find cybersecurity vulnerabilities, analyze, then fix: See examples
Once a cybersecurity researcher finds vulnerabilities and provides analysis behind the problem, the next level is to create a secure environment where the user needs can put the issue into perspective.
Enhance smart manufacturing with production process management
Production process management (PPM) applies process design and management tools to enhance smart manufacturing. Twelve tips of what PPM offers are included.
Safety is a key aspect of the IIoT
While safety is sometimes maligned as anti-production, it still has a crucial role to play with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and should not be overlooked.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 10-16: PID velocity, level instruments, small-scale automation, more
Articles about PID velocity, 2017 Engineers' Choice finalists, choosing the right level instrument, ladder logic, and small-scale automation projects were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 10-16. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Explosion-proof motion sensor for hazardous locations
Larson Electronics' EXP-MS-N4X-AT-HV explosion proof motion sensor is designed for use in hazardous areas and is constructed of copper free non-sparking aluminum construction with a glass window front for motion detection.
Temperature measurement and monitoring systems for automotive brake applications
Tecat Performance Systems' Wiser TC2-K family of temperature measurement and monitoring systems are designed for automotive brake rotors and ideal for mounting inside wheel hubs.
Robot safety conference, collaborative robot workshop announced
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) is hosting two events in Cincinnati: The 28th National Robot Safety Conference is from October 17-19, 2016, followed by the International Collaborative Robots Workshop on October 20th.
EC: PlantPAx Modern Distributed Control System
Process Control Systems: The PlantPAx modern DCS features productive design environment to enhance automation productivity; integration of new enabling technologies to improve operations; and enhanced control capabilities to help meet operational goals. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling FBM 248, a Universal Fieldbus Module
Process Control Systems: The Foxboro Intelligent Marshalling FBM 248 offering improves flexibility, reliability and efficiency of control and safety system design and operations. It includes redundancy capabilities, which eliminate costly, labor intensive processes. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: PlantStruxure PES v4.2 process automation system
Process Control Systems: PlantStruxure PES V4.2 is a process automation system that targets Industrial Internet of Things engagements for process industries, and drives asset reliability and operations efficiency to improve plant operations. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: SPA2IS Programmable Limit Alarm Trips with Intrinsically-Safe Field Connections
Safety — Process safety, intrinsic safety: SPA2IS is an alarm trip featuring intrinsically-safe field connections providing necessary protection typically afforded by a galvanically isolated intrinsically-safe barrier in plants/facilities where the method of protection is intrinsic safety. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Honeywell Uniformance Suite, process analytics software
Software — Data analytics, diagnostics: Honeywell Uniformance Suite is a new, fully integrated system of process software solutions built on a common platform that turns plant data into actionable information, enabling smart operations. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: Line Performance Suite v1.0
Software — Data analytics, diagnostics: Accelerated time-to-value, real-time visualization and analysis, rich performance reporting, plant floor to business connectivity that underscores SOPs; the Schneider Electric Line Performance Suite offers a simple, turnkey, OEE solution. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
EC: ROMeo 6.4 process optimization software
Software — Data analytics, diagnostics: ROMeo 6.4 from Schneider Electric Software combines the ability to optimize the process side with a solver that finds the optimal set of utility sources to meet optimized process requirements. This is a Control Engineering 2017 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalist.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles September 10 to October 10: PID velocity, level instruments, small-scale automation, more
Articles about PID velocity, choosing the right level instrument, small-scale automation projects, ladder logic, and SIF validation procedures were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 10 to October 10. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Of wireless technology, process safety, and VFD software
During the last decade, the use of industrial wireless sensor networks has been growing rapidly in the process industries. Variable frequency drive (VFD) software has also gone through a number of changes.
Avoiding nuisance trips from SIFs
The actions a specific safety instrumented function (SIF) takes to correct a problem and avoid escalation can take various forms and for a serious situation, the action the SIF takes can be hugely disruptive.
Arc welding robot for high-density layouts
Yaskawa Motoman's 6-axis MA1440 arc welding robot features a 6 kg payload and a large 50 mm wrist hole and is optimal for welding large workpieces and reaching over jigs.
Creating SIF validation procedures
Implementing safety system validation as part of the safety lifecycle is defined by IEC 61511 and ANSI/ISA-S84.01. Here’s how it’s done.
Health and safety checks for engineering, manufacturing
Health and safety checks in engineering and manufacturing workplaces are paramount and companies should be aware of potential hazards. Three of the biggest concerns are highlighted with some solutions.
Know the risks of securing safety systems
Even if a safety system is isolated and separate from a network, the potential for a cyber attack remains and companies and users need to be vigilant and take necessary precautions.
Proximity sensor series with cylindrical, rectangular styles
AutomationDirect's Contrinex DW-series of extended and triple-distance proximity sensors in 3 to 30mm cylindrical and 20mm rectangular styles.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 12-18: PID control, ladder logic, system integration and packaging, more
Articles about PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, ladder logic, system integration improves packaging operation, tablet-based augmented reality, and improving plant and energy efficiency were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 12-18. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Water-resistant permanent magnetic dc motor
RAE DC Products' Model M7000 permanent magnetic dc motors are designed to provide the protection needed to operate in water and dust operating environments.
IT, OT teams need to work together
Information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) experts agreed that both sides can learn from one another and need to be willing to share and open up so both sides can benefit.
Series of stop switches with IP69K rating
EAO Corporation's Series 45 stop switches are used as on/off switches for safe switching in mechanical engineering applications and do not require a failsafe and are sealed to IP69K.
Developing security from the inside out
End users and developers have been working on developing their security from the inside out by starting with the core infrastructure and stretching it out to individual devices, which has the potential to ward off inside and outside attacks.
Non-contact safety switch series
The Omega LPC/LMC, CPC/CMC, and SPC/SMC series are designed to interlock hinged, sliding, or removable machine guard doors in factory automation applications.
Swivel mount enclosures for harsh and washdown environments
Hardy Process Solutions' swivel mount enclosures contain HI 6000 series of weight processors that are designed for harsh and heavy washdown environments.
How to keep process facilities safe
Proper safety management can be taken to minimize risk.
Safety hinge switch for industrial environments
Schmersal's Tesk safety hinge switch is designed to provide position monitoring for machine guards.
Researchers use equation to predict force to push objects through granular, pasty materials
MIT engineers have reported that they have identified a mechanical explanation for why the resistive force theory (RFT) equation works so well for granular materials and that they can accurately predict estimates through sand as well as pastier materials like mud and gel.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for control method applications
Motors and drives mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of August 2016.
Flexible coupler kit for electrical continuity
The T&B Cable Tray flexible coupler kit from Thomas & Betts (T&B) features a bendable plate and provides horizontal installation flexibility and installation that eliminates the need for cutting cable tray side rails.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles August 22-28: Tablet-based augmented reality, PID control, IoT and power plants, more
Articles about tablet-based augmented reality, PID control and loop tuning fundamentals, IoT technology and power plants, IoT benefits, and industrial control system integration were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 22-28. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Safety gate system for protecting personnel, processes
Pilz's Psenmlock safety gate system is designed to protect personnel and processes and is suitable for machines with a hazardous overrun that makes guard locking essential for applications such as rotating knives, flywheels or robots.
Leakage current clamps for monitoring critical equipment
Fluke's 368 FC and 369 FC Leakage Current Clamps help industrial electricians and maintenance technicians identify, document, record, and compare leakage current readings and minimize external electromagnetic interference.
Wireless emergency stop for machine safety applications
Humanistic Robotics' (HRI) Wireless Emergency Stop (E-stop) is a tool designed to help companies avoid unsafe and unproductive situations by enabling anyone to intervene in the operation of a machine wirelessly.
Single-point load cells for filling applications
Mettler Toledo's SLP85xD load cell is made for automated weighing and is ideal for dynamic weighing applications in filling machines and conveyors.
Signapore testing on-demand robot taxis
Delphi Automotive and NuTonomy will begin testing six phone-dispatched autonomous taxis in Singapore that will go point-to-point based on customer requests with a goal of providing no-driver-in-the-car service by 2019 and cars without steering wheels by 2022.
LED signal light for hazardous environments
Larson Electronics' EPL-TL-1X10W-C-PA LED signal light is equipped with an audible horn and can be configured for different lamp colors and different tones with an alert system that can withstand demanding conditions and be heard over industrial machinery and equipment.
Guided wave radar for level instrument performance verification
Emerson Process Management's Rosemount guided wave radar verification service is designed to to help users avoid process disruptions and improve process safety for level instrument performance.
Tips for a successful ControlNet system
Even though industrial Ethernet networks are becoming more common, some users still need to maintain and install ControlNet systems.
Safety interlock switches with stainless steel tongues
The Omega K-SS Series tongue operated safety interlock switches are designed for food processing, pharmaceutical, packaging, and petrochemical applications.
Digital magnification system for inspection applications
Dazor Lighting Solutions' CODA is a digital benchtop magnification system designed for production, quality control, and other inspection applications.
Safety rope switches for conveyor and machine applications
The Omega GLHD Series of safety rope switches are designed for applications such as chemical, water, electronics, automotive, and warehousing/shipping.
Cybersecurity system design, vulnerabilities
Intelligent systems, at home or in the workplace, can have vulnerabilities, especially with greater complexities and interconnections through the Internet of Things. We should embed cybersecurity in devices and systems and proceed with caution, according to Control Engineering Russia, in this article edited for Control Engineering.
Applying network best practices via Ethernet network redundancy
Implementing redundancy in an industrial network and choosing an appropriate application method can ensure continuing reliability and operational success.
Manufacturing better machine safety
Inside Machines: As technology advances, safety needs to be a priority to improve operations and minimize damage in manufacturing processes. Barriers can limit productivity; automation can help.
Size matters when selecting the right enclosure
Panel location and budget are always thought about when building control rooms, but aspects such as size, spacing, NEMA rating, mounting, and heating and cooling need to be considered, as well.
Front locking nut technology for M12 connectors
Mencom's front locking nut technology for M12 connectors are designed for thread mount applications that need specific keyway orientations due to the space constraint or any other unexpected engineering situations.
Condition monitoring system for voltage, current, temperature
Intermittent-error problem solving on machines, in plants, and facilities is expected to get easier with Fluke’s 3500 FC Series Condition Monitoring System for remote or local sensing, data logging, and alarming of voltage, current, and temperature measurements. See three values of condition monitoring and three benefits.
Monitoring system designed for checking voltage, current, temperature conditions
Fluke’s 3500 FC Series Condition Monitoring System for remote or local sensing, data logging, and alarming of voltage, current, and temperature measurements and is designed to help finding intermittent faults in discrete manufacturing lines, process facilities, and industrial machines.
IIoT hinges on effective security
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) president Vimal Kapur talked about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how cybersecurity will be key as manufacturing starts to embrace its potential in the next few years.
Handling IT, OT convergence is crucial for cybersecurity
Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) have always been on opposite sides, but they need to come together to combat a cybersecurity threat that is becoming easier for anyone to exploit and use.
Mid-infrared laser system developed to detect atmospheric chemicals
Researchers at MIT have found a way to use mid-infrared lasers that produce glowing plasma filaments in open air, which could enable long-distance monitoring.
Developing high-performance HMIs: Enhancing interface effectiveness
Inside Process: This two-part series examines the development of high-performance, human-machine interface (HMI) methodology. Part 1 covered HMI evolution, security, improving usability, and consistent use of color. Part 2 focuses on accuracy versus context, accessibility, visual hierarchy, animation versus static indication, and 2-D versus 3-D screens.
Process alarm switches for analog transducers
CR Magnetics' CR3595 Series of process alarm switches is designed to function as an accessory to analog transducers and can be installed with 35mm DIN-rail or panel mount.
Industrie 4.0 will have a major effect on MES, plant floor
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are becoming less and less useful with the advent of Industrie 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) and cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) can help guide a new kind of MES onto the plant floor.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 27 to July 3: PC-based control, energy saving projects, streamlining assembly systems, more
Articles about PC-based controls, energy saving control projects, streamlining assembly systems, natural gas flowmeters, and digital innovations for improving safety were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 27 to July 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Eight steps for managing removable media use in critical infrastructure environments
Using removable media can be a major risk, and companies that are involved with critical and hazardous environments need to take stringent measures to ensure that industrial control systems (ICSs) and other key components aren’t compromised.
Tip-over and acceleration sensors for automotive, industrial applications
Memsic's MXD6240, 41AU, MXC6244AU, and MXC6245XU sensors provide tip-over and acceleration sensing in automotive, industrial, and consumer applications.
Updating process control systems
When legacy control systems are replaced with new technology there is a great opportunity to benefit from modern systems and advanced technology.
Safety sensors to prevent hazardous movements
The Eden OSSD safety sensor operates as an output signal-switching device (OSSD) for “stop” commands to prevent hazardous movements.
Capturing value from disruption in manufacturing
Manufacturers can optimize the digital thread and overcome potential barriers, according to Richard Kelly, partner, McKinsey and Co. Inc. in a presentation about Industrie 4.0 and its potential at the SAP Manufacturing Industries Forum. See five barriers and five ways the digital thread captures value.
Using test cases as a cost and risk control tool
Bugs going unseen until production end up costing even more time and money. Testing should be viewed as a cost and risk control tool upfront during project planning.
CANopen profile for item detection devices released
CAN in Automation's (CiA) CiA 462 CANopen profile for item detection devices, which include 2-D and 3-D optical cameras, has been released.
Digital display series for machine setup and monitoring
Series of stand-alone digital display units are designed to connect directly to rotary encoders, inclinometers, linear sensors, and provide a direct readout of position, rotational speed or angular displacement.
Tech group exploring the meaning of a robot
The Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington are exploring what it means to be a robot, which has business, legal, insurance, and safety considerations.
Advice on securing the supply chain
While managing cybersecurity for the supply chain is a challenge, companies can take many steps to secure their supply chain and prevent potential cyber attacks.
Robotic motion planning in real-time
Duke University researchers have introduced a specially-designed computer processor for motion planning that can plan and operate in real time and is designed to be used in large-scale manufacturing environments with thousands of robots.
Securing the supply chain with cybersecurity
While manufacturers are becoming more aware of cybersecurity threats, they need to be aware that the organizations in their supply chain could be vulnerable and susceptible to an attack.
Dual-Ethernet HMIs with IIoT capability, enhanced security
Maple Systems' 7-in. HMI5070DL and 9.7-in. HMI5097DXL dual-Ethernet human-machine interfaces (HMIs) has two separate Ethernet networks that offers a connected Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) system while providing security.
Celebrating 10 years of Applied Automation
AppliedAutomation celebrates its 10th anniversary and the issues that were relevant in 2006 still hold some weight today.
Valve manifold series with zoned safety capabilities
Asco's Numatics 503 series valve manifold allows the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and end user to configure up to three safety circuits in a production machine.
Extreme weight processor for stable weight readings and feed control
Hardy Process Solutions HI 6500-XP extreme weight processor has an update rate of 660 updates per second and is designed for applications such as batching, blending, filling, dispensing and check weighing.
Non-contact analog sensor for harsh conditions
ASM Sensors' Posirot PRAS6 non-contact analog angle sensor is designed to measure angular displacement and position of rotating objects and are resistant to shock and vibration.
Digital transducer for noncontact linear position and displacement sensing
Kaman's digiVIT is a digital variable impedance transducer for noncontact linear position and displacement sensing and is designed for proximity sensing, part sorting, process control, laboratory testing, engine dynamics testing, condition monitoring, and other related applications.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 6-12: Additive manufacturing, Big Data and virtualization, engineering career advice, more
Articles about 3-D additive manufacturing, Big Data and virtualization, engineering career advice, statistical computing in manufacturing, and an IIoT Webcast Q&A were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 6-12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Cybersecurity defense needs a new game plan
Cybersecurity methods and defensive strategies that worked in the past are being beaten by a well-funded, invisible enemy. Companies need to change their strategies and adapt to the times to try and keep up, said Frank Grimmelmann at the ICSJWG 2016 Spring Conference.
Cybersecurity needs to go beyond basic security methods
Basic cybersecurity methods, while useful, are only a temporary solution to a larger and growing problem. A successful cybersecurity program goes beyond the basic solutions and provides a comprehensive approach.
Choosing the proper valve material
Engineers must consider flow media, pressure, flow velocity, and the intended purpose when selecting valves used in high-pressure water hydraulic circuits.
Creating visibility in the plant a major benefit of IIoT
Sal Spada of ARC Advisory Group delivers a view of information management at CFE Media Webcast.
System integration enables Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0 platforms
Data mining and analysis tools can improve operational decisions within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 platforms, and that happens more effectively with system integration, explains Michael Gurney, CEO of Concept Systems Inc., a 2016 System Integrator of the Year.
Smart manufacturing isn’t so smart without standards
Successful manufacturers will need to incorporate smart technologies that allow them to adapt to changes while optimizing energy and other resources, but they need to follow standards in order to be successful.
Compact linear stage for research and OEM instrumentation
Physik Instrumente's (PI) Q-545 compact linear stage is designed for use in research and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) instrumentation that require positioning precision and alignment.
Surge suppressor kit for explosion-proof applications
Moore Industries' surge suppressor kit is now available for use with field-installed instruments enclosed in BH and SB housings and provides 3kA of surge protection stopping failures due to lightning, spikes, and overvoltage surges while minimizing other electrical noise.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, May 23-29: High-performance HMIs, salary and career survey, engineering career advice, more
Articles about high-performance HMIs, the 2016 Salary and Career Survey, engineering career advice, smart manufacturing, and robot programming languages were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 23-29. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Enclosure series for hazardous, washdown environments
Bud Industries' PTS series enclosures are made of impact-resistant gray polycarbonate reinforced with 10% fiberglass and are designed for hazardous, dusty, and washdown factory environments as well as extreme weather conditions.
Electromagnetic flowmeter for concrete batching applications
Badger Meter's M7600 electromagnetic flowmeter is designed to provide a measurement solution for use in a wide range of concrete batching applications.
Integrate safety into a business strategy
Company leaders looking to revitalize a company in decline should apply strong safety principles in their business strategy to become a more productive company.
Mass flow controller for OEM and process integration applications
Alicat Scientific's Basis 20SLPM is a mass flow controllers designed for use in OEM gas analyzers, automated gas mixing on process lines, and anywhere mass flow-only control is required.
Origami robot developed for healthcare applications
Researchers developed an origami robot that unfolds from ingestible capsule, removes button battery stuck to wall of simulated stomach. See video.
Rittal leaders respond to customers’ questions
During Hannover Fair, members of Rittal Corp.’s leadership team answered questions from system integrators and distribution partners.
Vision sensors for code reading and inspection applications
Festo's SBSI series of low cost vision sensors are designed for code reading and inspection and is designed to make it easy for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to incorporate the power of vision sensing into their solutions.
Establishing and improving safety, security
Cybersecurity experts share their advice on how improve security networks at manufacturing facilities.
Toggle sticks for machine operating functions
EAO's Series 45 toggle sticks are designed for machine operating functions and are ideal for the intuitive and precise operation of coordinate-controlled machine functions and can be used at operating temperatures from -25 to 70 C.
Multiple axis system with enhanced safety functions
KEB America's multiple-axis system Combivert H6 features a TÜV-certified module that operates the standard rpm-dependent safety functions and all functions can be used in applications up to SIL3.
Transmittance monitor for UV disinfection dosing
Sensorex's UVT-LED-PW transmittance monitor is designed to provides continuous monitoring for accurate UV disinfection dosing. The compact monitor delivers fast, accurate, in-line transmittance readings in industrial process settings where UV disinfection is used.
Die-cast aluminum boxes for harsh conditions
Bud Industries' AN-A Series of enclosures are IP68-rated boxes designed for housing sensitive equipment in hazardous, dusty, and washdown factory environments, as well as in wet outdoor locations.
Preparing for an incident response
Preparation and planning are essential to an organization’s ability to detect issues, minimize losses, mitigate exploited vulnerabilities, and restore computing services.
Executive panel discussion on manufacturing
Siemens held an executive panel discussion on manufacturing at Hannover Messe discussing topics ranging from challenges in the industrial sector to energy efficiency to connected technology and big data.
Pushbuttons for impact resistance and sealing
Apem has added three models to their AV series of pushbutton switches and are designed to withstand adversity such as rain, frost, ultraviolet rays, and vandalism.
Physical security meets OT
In operational technology (OT) cyber security situations, the purpose is to protect the process and keep it running in high-value applications such as factories, pipelines and jets rather than protecting data.
Joint process needed for security framework
A request for a joint and collaborative process was a consistent theme in the comments from NIST’s December 2015 Request for Information on the Cybersecurity Framework, which was created to improve cyber security risk management.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 11-17: PLC scanning, automation upgrades, data acquisition and analysis, more
Articles about PLC scanning, managing automation upgrades, data acquisition and analysis, ensuring cyber security protection were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Ultrasonic sensors for fill level and feeder applications
Turck's RUU/3GD ultrasonic sensors are designed for fill level applications in tanks or feeder applications and their rust-proof and acid resistant surface made from stainless steel is also resistant to aggressive media.
Protecting HMIs from ransomware threats
When it comes to on industrial cyber security issues, a good backup is the best defense. This is especially true as companies are being targeted more and more by ransomware threats from hackers.
Thermal multimeter for improved troubleshooting applications
Fluke's 279 FC TRMS Thermal Multimeter is a test tool with an integrated a full-featured true RMS (TRMS) digital multimeter (DMM) designed to allow technicians to quickly and safely check for hot spots with the imager and then troubleshoot and analyze issues.
Process viscosity analyzer for measurement applications
PAC's ViscoSure is a process viscosity analyzer that combines oscillating piston technology with tight temperature control to provide precise viscosity analysis that requires little to no maintenance.
Synchronous interface for servo drive series
Servotronix's BiSS-C interface on the CDHD family of high-performance servo drives is compatible with the universal serial synchronous interface (SSI).
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 28 to April 3: Cyber security protection, Engineers’ Choice winners, Industrie 4.0 and ICSs, more
Articles about cyber security protection, the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, Industrie 4.0 and ICS cyber security, heat exchanger control strategies, and data acquisition and analysis were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 28 to April 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Signal conditioner for monitoring safety applications
Define Instruments' Sentry trip amplifier is a DIN-rail mountable signal conditioner is designed for industrial monitoring and alarming applications.
Ensuring network cybersecurity
Good cybersecurity requires understanding network risks, threats, and the technical safeguards that can prevent unwanted plant data intrusions.
Traditional and collaborative robots working safely with humans
Inside Machines: Traditional and collaborative robots, depending on the application, may be used partially or fully in areas with human workers, and there are new standards and applications designed to improve their safety capabilities.
The need for critical infrastructure specialists
Specialized experts for specific critical infrastructure projects are becoming more and more common as projects become more complex and more demanding.
Hazardous location certifications 101
Tutorial: It is important to know precisely which certification scheme is required for the installation of electrical equipment in a hazardous (classified) area and what precautions need to be taken in each circumstance.
Financial benefits of combining automation and safety projects
Collaborating on seemingly disparate projects could help companies save money by having the different departments focus on areas where their interests and agendas overlap.
Software features for enhancing collaborative robots
When setting up a collaborative robot, users should be aware of software functions such as safety plane functions and programming standards that are designed to improve the robot's function and safety features on the plant floor.
Plugs and connectors for washdown, food and beverage applications
ABB IEC 60309 plugs and connectors are IP69K rated, making the connectors ideal for applications requiring liquid ingress protection such as wash-down operations in food processing plants, dairy farms, and breweries.
Controller designed for machine safety applications
The Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller from Rockwell Automation is designed to combine networks and controllers for safety and motion in applications with up to 16 axes.
Communication system assists human-robot teams
Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) presented a method of modeling robot collaboration that could make it easier to design systems that enable humans and robots to work together.
High performance HMIs for increased efficiency and overall process safety
Using high performance HMIs is a powerful way to streamline how operators manage processes and allows them to react to process upsets as efficiently as possible.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles, February 6 to March 7: Engineers’ Choice, servo system specification, IEC 61131-3, more
Articles about the 2016 Engineers' Choice Awards winners, what to consider when specifying a servo system, IEC 61131-3, rethinking lockout/tagout, and process models facilitating feedback control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 6 to March 7. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Flying robots communicate, artificial intelligence used for data analytics
Executives from Intel and IBM talked about disruptive changes in purchasing thanks to developments in robotics and the cloud. Examples include unmanned robots flying in sync to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Watson changing data processing's nature from being transactional to cognitive.
Self-driving vehicles a priority for automakers
Billions are being invested into making autonomous cars in the near future and several traditional and upcoming car companies demonstrated them at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Unpredictability as a cyber defense
Researchers are developing Chameleon, which is an operating system (OS) that is designed to run unknown programs that could be malware in a special "unpredictable" environment that intentionally introduces some unpredictability to the way the system operates.
Wireless recreating security defenses
While wireless has been a part of networking for more than a decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) will change the way network architectures end up designed.
Delivering real-time data to companies in the field
Inductive Automation and Cirrus Link demonstrated the speed and flexibility of the message queueing telemetry transport (MQTT) Modules for Ignition at the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum in Feb. 8 in Orlando.
Increased efficiency and productivity through the IoTSP
Internet of Things, services, and people (IoTSP) is delivering tangible results, according to Greg Scheu, president, ABB Americas, and Peter Terwiesch, president, ABB Process Automation, at the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum on Feb. 8, in Orlando.
Intelligent conveying system company acquired
Rockwell Automation announced that it has agreed to purchase MagneMotion, a manufacturer of intelligent conveying systems as the company looks to create a portfolio of independent cart solutions for industrial and material handling applications.
Six things to consider for industrial CCTV coax cable selection
Selecting the incorrect coaxial cable for a closed circuit television (CCTV) can degrade signal transmission and quality. Consider basic properties like shielding, RG type, and jacket composition when choosing a coaxial cable.
Added protection through virtualization
Network virtualization is the process of combining hardware and software network resources and network functionality into a single, software-based administrative entity, and it is essential that preventive measures be taken to protect the network from potential breaches.
Motor repair standards for increased efficiency and reliability updated
An updated edition of the repair of motors and generators by ANSI/EASA describes industry best practices for the repair, rewinding, and testing of electrical apparatus for ac and dc motors and generators.
Rethink lockout/tagout to improve safety, productivity
Inside Machines: Alternatives to traditional lockout/tagout procedures can improve productivity and reduce incentives to bypass this time-consuming process, improving machine safety and throughput.
Automation system software upgrade for safety-related applications
Pilz's Release 13 for the PSS 4000 automation system features a non-persistent online change function that allows individual changes to be transferred to the control systems for safety-related applications.
Industrial cyber security: It’s best to learn from the mistakes of others
Engineering and IT Insight: When we don’t learn from past mistakes, we are forced to repeat them, and true to form, it has happened again. An outsourced IT department–unaware of the manufacturing elements of IT–recently shutdown production in a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company.
Lineator for harmonic mitigation in marine, offshore applications
Mirus International's Marine and Offshore Specific (MOS) Lineator is designed to provide harmonic mitigation performance designed for marine applications.
The three R’s: Repair, replace, or retrofit
Deciding whether to repair, replace, or retrofit an asset within a plant depends on business goals and operation and maintenance requirements of each asset in a facility.
Functional safety supply company partners with manufacturer
exida, a certification and research firm that specializes in safety critical/high availability automation systems, announced a business partnership with Phoenix Contact, a worldwide manufacturer in industrial electrical and electronic technology products.
Securing the Industrial Internet of Things
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offers greater connectivity and benefits for users as it becomes more and more prominent in the automation and manufacturing industries. As a result, security has become more and more important.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles, December 12 to January 11: SI Giants, flow measurement challenges, more
Articles about the 2015 System Integrator Giants, overcoming flow measurement challenges, choosing between a PLC and DCS, and heat exchanger control strategies were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 12 to January 11. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Knife disconnect terminal blocks support test, measurement applications
Phoenix Contact's UT 4-MTL and 6-MTL knife disconnect terminal blocks are designed for test and measurement applications and does not require a tool to actuate, which is useful for critical relay protection cabinets housed in substations.
Absolute solid shafted angle encoders
Heidenhain's ROC 2000 and ROC 7000 family of absolute solid shafted angle encoders feature an absolute track with serial code structure as well as an incremental track that uses single field scanning.
Eight ways manufacturers can use strategic IoT solutions
Developments in monitoring power and performance data allow manufacturers to provide better service and preventive maintenance packages. Learn about the eight ways the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way medical equipment manufacturers do business.
Thermal dispersion flow switch series for liquid monitoring
Aplus Finetek Sensor's SP Series of thermal dispersion flow switches are designed for use in monitoring flow/no-flow conditions of liquids in pipes and other conduits and it can be used with hazardous explosive fluids.
Securing a wireless application
Industrial wireless applications are being used by leading manufacturers and operators to improve availability and reduce costs, and there are plenty of protection techniques such as defense-in-depth to keep a network from being compromised by a security breach.
Retractable sensor housings with intelligent locking system
Mettler Toledo's InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions and features an intelligent locking system that makes it possible to remove the probe only when the insertion rod is fully retracted.
IO measurement and control solution for utility, industrial applications
The SEL Axion is a modular, scalable, and distributed I/O measurement and control solution that is capable of serving up to 64 phasor quantities at 60 measurements per second, which makes it suitable for small to large power management units (PMUs).
The long goodbye to Microsoft Windows XP Embedded
Microsoft’s extended support for Windows XP Embedded ends on January 12, 2016, and those using the system after the expiration date need to take stock of their situation with a complete system inventory to assess the systems’ support availability and where upgrades are really needed.
Safety relay unit for machine builders
Omron Automation and Safety's G9SE Safety Relay Unit is designed to reduce installation and troubleshooting time for safety input devices such as emergency stop switches, door switches and light curtains.
Tips for improving safety, ROI for collaborative robots
Collaborative robots are becoming more common on the plant floor. Deciding whether or not to use them, however, requires the plant manager and the workers to consider safety and business considerations and if the robots can benefit the company as a whole.
Changing ROI for Industrial Robotics Webcast: Questions answered
More answers about the changing return on investment (ROI) for industrial robotics, the topic of a Dec. 17 Webcast, are provided by a robotic system integrator for robotics and automation and a robotic and machine safety standards expert. Topics include safety, ROI, applications, integration, technologies, and trends.
Making control system standards work
Understanding a company’s operational technology (OT) security posture and the developments from IEC 62443-2-4 have added security program requirements and benefits for industrial automation and control systems (IACS) security and are key in protecting a company’s infrastructure.
Good security programs require vigilance and communication
Cyber security awareness is becoming more and more of an issue in light of recent high-profile attacks. Having a plan with clear-cut objectives and having a good relationship with the IT department are essential to avoid issues that can cost the company time and money.
Webcast: Changing ROI for Industrial Robotics
Collaborative robots, so called because they may be able to share a workspace with a human, have safe-speed, safe-torque, and other features that can make robotics more approachable. Expert speakers will cover the following topics and provide application and standards-based examples. Collaborative robot implementations will be discussed; links connect to additional information.
Business computing to focus more on cognition processing
Cognition processing will be at the forefront of business computing within 10 years, according to Robert High, the CTO of IBM's Watson Group, in his keynote speech at RoboBusiness.
Situational awareness during safety incidents—knowing what state the plant is in
A safety incident has just happened in your facility. Everyone is doing their jobs to make the plant safe, but is there any single place to get a truly comprehensive picture of what’s happening and what state every element of the process is in? Video: Phil Jarrell explains a new approach for integration.
Position sensors for pneumatic cylinder operations
Macro Sensors' BBP Series of Air Extended, Spring-Loaded LVDT Position Sensors are designed to ensure proper operation for pneumatic cylinders and has a probe that makes measurements near the end of the probe movement when the sensor is fully extended.
Four overlooked aspects of risk management, process safety
Process safety trends in risk management and functional safety: The basic process control system (BPCS) focuses on optimizing the process for business continuity. Risks mitigated through “after-the-fact” measures try to minimize an event’s impact. Between these strategies lies the very important layer of Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS). See four often overlooked aspects of risk management.
Process safety: Shutdown failures
Incidents are typically the result of multiple failures to address hazards effectively—represented by the holes in successive slices aligning.
Safety light screen for manufacturing, packaging environments
Banner Engineering’s EZ-Screen Light Screen is optimal for machine safeguarding and built to withstand challenging conditions found in manufacturing and packaging environments.
Packaging, processing group announces new chairman, board of directors
PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, elected Paul Irvine as chairman, Mark Anderson as vice chairman, and four additional members to serve on the board of directors for three-year terms that start in 2016.
Critical decisions for selecting pressure transmitters
There are many considerations when it comes to selecting a pressure transmitter, and few are examined in school. Here’s advice to avoid tough lessons as you learn on the job.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, November 2-8: PLC or DCS, Engineers’ Choice finalists, DCS development changes, more
Articles about choosing between a PLC and DCS, the Engineers' Choice finalists, DCS development changes, robotic vehicles, and improving hydraulic controls were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 2-8. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Dissolved oxygen analyzer for rugged industrial process environments
Electro-Chemical Devices' (ECD) DO90 Trace DO2 Analyzer provides continuous measurement and alarming of trace dissolved oxygen (DO2) levels in boiler feed water supporting electric power generation steam turbine systems.
Maintaining stable gas pressure for hydrochloric acid production
In a chlor-alkali membrane process, hydrogen and chlorine gases are produced using electrolyzers. Maintaining stable pressure on both sides of the membrane is critical for safety and equipment life.
Robotic vehicles are not the highest form of auto technology, MIT professor says
David Mindell, an MIT professor, argues against the idea of fully automated cars and vehicles in a book titled Our Robots, Ourselves, and says that while technology advances are good, it is a fallacy to believe that artificial intelligence advances for driverless vehicles will make the roads inherently safer.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 12-18: Leaders under 40, Engineers’ Choice finalists, methane regulations, more
Articles about the Leaders Under 40, Engineers' Choice finalists, methane regulations, storing solar energy as hydrogen, and power quality for mission critical facilities were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 12-18. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Inspiring cyber-physical security into design
Visualizing the relevance of cyber-physical systems in applications provides background for why new approaches to security are required.
The coming changes to standard Ethernet: Extra answers from the webcast
Todd Walter, National Instruments, AVnu Alliance Industrial segment chair and board of directors, answered additional questions after the Sept. 30 webcast, "The Coming Changes to Standard Ethernet: Industrial IoT Convergence with the Control System." Learn more about TSN, IIoT, and standardization.
EC: Honeywell DynAMo Alarm and Operations Management
Software - Alarm management: DynAMo Alarm and Operations Management software delivers operations integrity through better plant safety, availability and compliance across an organization’s entire enterprise. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: ProSys SLM 2
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: ProSys SLM is a safety lifecycle management suite of software modules covering the entire safety lifecycle, providing automated and standardized workflows coupled with a unified data repository to achieve best practices and satisfy regulatory requirements. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: Micro Motion Model 5700 transmitter
Process Control - Flowmeters: The Micro Motion 5700 Coriolis flow and density transmitter delivers the best in measurement technology and offers unparalleled support—ensuring total measurement confidence, valuable process insight and improved productivity through simplified solutions. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: STZ functional safety dual input smart HART temperature transmitter
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: The STZ functional safety dual input smart HART temperature transmitter is a SIL 3-capable temperature transmitter that reduces process interruptions and is certified by exida for use in safety instrumented systems where dangerous processes occur. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Platinum series temperature, process controllers
Process Control Systems: The Platinum series PID process and temperature controllers are extremely powerful and versatile with unparalleled flexibility for process measurement. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Allen-Bradley Guardmaster 440C-CR30 safety relay with EtherNet/IP module
Safety - Machine safety: The new, optional EtherNet/IP plug-in module for the Guardmaster 440C-CR30 safety relay allows the relay to easily communicate diagnostic data to a CompactLogix or Micro800 controller. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: OptiSIS packaged safety instrumented system
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: Ideal for oil and gas, and specialty chemical producers, the OptiSIS solution is a pre-engineered safety instrumented system that can help ease deployment and reduce lead times for small- and mid-sized process applications. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: Simatic S7-1200F safety controller
Safety - Machine safety: The Simatic S7-1200F is a safety controller for fail-safe and standard functionality in a single compact system with minimum space requirements and easy reproducibility of the control cabinet. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: aeShield v4
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: aeShield is an enterprise level software application for executing, monitoring, and sustaining the functional safety lifecycle required by IEC 61511 providing one tool for executing the entire lifecycle. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 5-11: Leaders under 40, common VFD myths, motor starting methods, more
Articles about the Leaders Under 40, common VFD myths, current motor starting methods, OEE concepts and formulas, and industrial control panel standards were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 5-11. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 10 Control Engineering articles, September 8 to October 8: Leaders Under 40, common VFD myths, industrial control panel standards, more
Articles about the the Leaders Under 40, common VFD myths, industrial control panel standards, ladder logic, and system integration project management tips were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 8 to October 8. Miss something? You can catch up here. Also see what ranked 6-10.
Servo drive for cabinet space savings
Rockwell Automation’s Kinetix 5700 servo drive offers dual-axis servos, a 1.6 to 60 kW power range, and tuning technology designed to help machine builders reduce cabinet-space requirements by up to 70%.
Develop an effective industrial equipment SCCR strategy
Technology Update: Short-Circuit Current Rating (SCCR) compliance requires attention to multiple considerations. See the SCCR regulations. Online extra: Below, learn five steps to define equipment SCCR.
Middle managers can be cyber security threats
Middle managers sometimes are an obstacle when it comes to implementing and promoting security within their realm. The idea of middle managers bottlenecking the security culture and program is a huge obstacle to overcome.
Smart manufacturing on display at Pack Expo
The Center for Trends and Technology (CTT) at Pack Expo Las Vegas and Pharma Expo 2015 at Las Vegas explores smart manufacturing and other critical topics with displays of automation systems and expert advice from industry members.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 21-27: Leaders under 40, automation software changes, SCADA systems, more
Articles about the Leaders Under 40, automation software changes, SCADA systems and the big picture, common VFD myths, and Ethernet connectivity were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 21-27. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Mechatronics reduces inefficiency, errors, and unnecessary expense by breaking down traditional engineering silos.
Research on textured surfaces and boiling water could benefit plant safety
Research of textured surfaces and what happens on a hot surface as water boils by MIT researchers could lead to more efficient, and less dangerous, power plants. See related video.
Packaging’s role in food fraud prevention
Food fraud is a major challenge worldwide, and it can have a lasting impact on a country from a social as well as an economic standpoint, as professor John Spink from the Food Fraud Initiative (FFI) cited during a presentation at Process Expo. Automation and processes focusing on authentication, traceability, and supply chain optimization help companies and law enforcement find counterfeits.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, September 14-20: Leaders under 40, common VFD myths, wireless instrumentation security, more
Articles about the Leaders Under 40, common VFD myths, wireless instrumentation security, industrial control panel builders changing standards, and ladder logic advice were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 14-20. Miss something? You can catch up here.
High to severe control system threat levels
One in four respondents to the Control Engineering 2015 Cyber Security Study identified a high cyber security threat to their control system. Four additional findings from the study related to threats to control systems are below.
Security from an executive level
What leaders need to know and ask to ensure a strong security profile.
3D line scan cameras for machine vision quality control
The Chromasens 3DPixa 3D line scan color camera is designed to improve productivity by preventing defects and reducing waste in industries, such as the pharmaceutical, food products, automotive, and electronics industries.
Wireless devices enable safety from a safe distance
Wireless can provide safety for users, while also giving a big boost to productivity. Wireless units enable operators to control industrial equipment from a safe distance away from heavy machinery, hazardous materials, or dangerous environments and elevate the standard for worker safety and productivity.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, August 17-23: Common VFD myths, ladder logic, IIoT and machine sensors, more
Articles about five common VFD myths, ladder logic, an IIoT and machine sensor demonstration, IEEE 802.11ah and wireless devices, and the future of oil prices were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from August 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 27 to August 2: SCADA cyber security, industrial manufacturer priorities, lathe machine tending, more
Articles about SCADA cyber security, industrial manufacturer priorities, automating lathe machine tending, robotic trends, and safety instrumented systems were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 27 to August 2. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Staying vigilant and aware on cyber security
Ask Control Engineering: With the high profile coincidental computer glitches, is it possible they are cyber attacks and no one is saying? What else is happening that we don't know about? Link to resources that could help a discern whether a computer glitch is just that or perhaps a cyber security attack.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 20-26: SCADA cyber security, arc flash compliance, cyber security and process plants, more
Articles about SCADA cyber security, arc flash code compliance, cyber security in process plants, IDS software and IoT risk, and SCADA HMI software security were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 20-26. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Working with robots and without enclosures
Ask Control Engineering: What’s going on with collaborative robotics? Collaborative robots work in proximity to humans, often without enclosures. Robots can be retrofit with sensors or designed from the start to operate without enclosures, depending on the application and end effectors used. A number of examples were shown or demonstrated at the Automate 2015 show in March.
Keeping industrial enclosures cool
Inside machines: Steelmaking application calls for consistently cool cabinets in a hot, hostile environment. Equipment specifications for data center environments are far different from those for industrial environments.
Aluminum alloy gearmotor for corrosion protection in harsh environments
Nord Gear Corporation's Sealed Surface Conversion system is designed to protect aluminum alloy housings with a corrosion-resistant surface and protect the gearboxes from scratches and blemishes as well as contamination.
Digital manufacturing tutorial on standards
Machine tools standards ease transfer of machining instructions from machine to machine anywhere in the world, making manufacturing 15% more efficient, according to tests. Digital manufacturing uses models and simulation to increase flexibility and quality and decrease costs. A workshop in October will address a remaining hurdle, providing potential benefits to precision machining, robotics, 3D printing, and other areas.
Meeting the requirements of Industry 4.0
Achieving smarter factories and reaching the goals set by the Industry 4.0 initiative can be helped by what CC-Link IE has to offer, as Control Engineering Europe editor-in-chief Suzanne Gill explains.
Alarm management system for PLC, HMI products
Unitronics' UniStream Alarm Management System has been added to its PLC + HMI products and is designed to allow operators to detect alarms, analyze them, and make any corrections or adjustments needed.
Industrial message displays for harsh conditions
Spectrum Controls’ full-color InView industrial message displays are designed to handle the harsh conditions of the factory floor while communicating productivity, status, and alarm conditions to the factory floor.
Internet of Everything’s future will change perceptions in manufacturing, daily lives
Industry experts discussed predictions for what the Internet of Everything (IoE) will look like in 2025 for manufacturers during a panel discussion at Cisco Live in San Diego and predicted that it will have enormous impacts in how people work, process information, and live their lives outside of work.
Cyber security in process plants: Recognizing risks, addressing current threats
As attacks on industrial control systems (ICSs) become more frequent and increasingly sophisticated, defensive strategies must evolve to keep up. Fortunately, the tools are getting better. See related video.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 6-12: Salary and career survey, PLC basics, oil and gas employment, more
Articles about the 2015 Control Engineering salary and career survey, PLC basics, oil and gas employment, monitoring aging equipment, and automation and control integration tips were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 6-12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How to implement industrial security as a CEO
For many executives and board members, cyber security is a new area of risk management. Here are some suggestions for chief executives on how to communicate effectively with management about cyber security.
Address the weak link in a cyber security plan
There is no unplanned cyber attack. Before an attack happens, the hackers know exactly what to take and what to do with the results. End-users should have a serious security plan in place and understand the weakest link and address it.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 9 to July 9: Salary and career survey, oil and gas employment, PLC basics, more
Articles about the 2015 Control Engineering salary and career survey, oil and gas employment, PLC basics, 7 benefits of HMI-historian integration, and motion controls for Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 9 to July 9. Miss something? You can catch up here. Bonus this month: Also see what ranked 6-10.
HART temperature transmitter for hazardous conditions
PR Electronics' 7501 explosion- and flame-proof temperature transmitter features a local operator interface (LOI) designed for HART programming, review, and diagnostics of process values in hazardous conditions.
Snap-in pushbutton for industrial applications
Apem's FP26 is a 26mm snap-in pushbutton that comes with an illuminated option and in single and double pole and is designed for dimly lit applications such as instrumentation, security, medical, and industrial automation.
Measuring safety instrumented systems
Process safety tutorial: PFD or PFH? The probability of failure on demand (PFD) and the average frequency of dangerous failure per hour (PFH) are two ways to measure safety instrumented systems (SISs). Control Engineering China explains when PFD or PFH should be used to measure SISs effectively.
Machinery health analyzer for laser shaft alignment fixtures
Emerson Process Management's CSI 2140 Machinery Health Analyzer has a wireless interface for laser shaft alignment tools that allows operators to perform route-based vibration data collection, analyze the root cause, and align the machine in one trip.
Wi-Fi in plant environments: Convenience vs. risk
Wireless Ethernet is everywhere, including your manufacturing areas. It’s a great convenience, but are you protecting it adequately?
Emergency stop control stations with safety trip mechanism
AutomationDirect's IDEM emergency stop control stations are designed to provide emergency stop protection and feature a safety trip mechanism that opens the contacts if the station lid is removed as well as a button protection shroud that accepts a padlock for maintenance activities.
Collaborative robot that can operate without safety fences
Fanuc's CR-35iA Robot is a 35kg payload robot designed to cooperatively work alongside human operators without safety fences and has safety functions that allow the robot to stop safely when it comes in contact with a human operator.
Smart steering wheel for automotive, transportation applications
Hoffmann+Krippner Inc.'s SensoFoil sensing technology can measure sensitivity in addition to position and can trigger the correct safety protocol to either wake up the driver or to implement corrective measures.
Time for OT, IT to align priorities
One of the most difficult aspects of cyber security lifecycle for ICS engineers is the maintain phase. Here are some tips to establish a good baseline before getting to the maintain level.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 15-21: Salary and career survey, PLC basics, servo system performance evaluation, more
Articles about the 2015 Control Engineering salary and career survey, PLC basics for enterprise controls, evaluating servo system performance, BP Texas City 10 years later, and railroad axle manufacturing retrofits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, June 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 priorities for industrial manufacturers
Booz Allen Hamilton has released a report that advocates industrial manufacturers embrace technology and analytics to optimize operations and improve customer experience to better prepare them for the future.
Cyber security: Beware of the wild robot
Insurance policies that cover cyber-security-related issues are something new to the marketplace, but should be highly considered because of the rising occurrence of attacks and the damage that can be done by these attacks.
Smart camera for assembly inspection and automating parts
Teledyne Dalsa's BOA2 Smart Camera is designed for assembly inspection and automating parts and is rated for use in harsh industrial environments. BOA2 has three models that offer 2, 3, or 5M pixel resolution. CMOS sensor format can achieve inspection rates of up to 80 parts per second for high speed applications.
Safety limit switches provide interlocking and monitoring
Banner Engineering's SI Series of Safety Limit Switches is designed to monitor the position of a wide variety of guards, gates, covers, moveable machine fixtures, and tooling.
Security plan for electric substations
Adoption of new technologies in electrical substations has improved communications, but it has also made these networks more vulnerable to cyber threats. Good cyber security policy focuses on three objectives. See five levels of industrial control system (ICS) security.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, May 11-17: HMI-historian integration, 7 benefits of HMI-historian integration, feed forwards augmenting PID control, more
Articles about HMI-historian integration, 7 benefits of HMI-historian integration, feed forwards augmenting PID control, data historians and HMIs, and getting an automation project approved were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, May 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Industrial networking embraces wireless connectivity
Historically industrial network designers have shunned wireless systems in favor of wired connectivity. The reasons for this are that safety, security and reliability are paramount in a factory environment. However, attitudes are now shifting due to advances in wireless technology.
If you cannot afford an Einstein to protect the network, try a canary
By using what is known as a “canary,” companies can take an active defense against cyber attackers. The canary will alert IT when there have been changes to the system and actions can be taken to shore up the system and block the attackers. The time between system compromise and detection is more than seven months, too long to know that the manufacturing IT system has been hacked.
Wireless security: Extensible authentication protocols
EAP is an authentication framework that specifies methods of secure key distribution and usage for the mutual authentication of a client (supplicant) and an authenticator, which is usually a wireless access point (AP). Wireless security tools can lower risk of cyber security intrusion. See EAP chart.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 6-12: Feed forwards augmenting PID control, overcoming process deadtime, hacking oil and gas control systems, more
Articles about feed forwards augmenting PID control, overcoming process deadtime with a Smith Predictor, hacking oil and gas control systems, artificial intelligence for control engineering, and Microsoft Windows 10 benefits for manufacturers were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, April 6-12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 10 to April 9: Augmenting PID control, hacking oil and gas control systems, Engineers’ Choice winners, more
Articles about feed forwards augmenting PID control, hacking oil and gas control systems, the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, selecting and applying VFDs, and artificial intelligence for control engineering were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 10 to April 9. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Collaborative robots and humans working together
Companies and researchers continue to work on developing robots that can work safely with humans on the factory floor without enclosures and be able to adapt and learn from human behavior. This has many potential benefits for a manufacturing industry that is becoming more specialized and seeks higher levels of automation to boost productivity.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 30 to April 5: Feed forwards augmenting PID control, hacking oil and gas control systems, wireless technology benefits, more
Articles about feed forwards augmenting PID control, hacking oil and gas control systems, wireless technology benefits, Microsoft Windows 10 benefits for manufacturers, and dc drives in an ac age were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, March 30 to April 5. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A dual split-range control strategy for pressure and flow processes
Maintaining setpoint for two-mode or wide-range operations can be much easier when there are two control devices. Split-range control has been widely used in industrial processes for controlling pressure, temperature, and flow. See diagrams.
Cyber security lab offers real-time off process modeling for facilities
Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) opened its Industrial Cyber Security Lab to advance its development and testing of technologies and software to defend industrial facilities and operations, such as refineries and manufacturing plants, against cyber attacks.
Six debugging techniques for embedded system development
Learning and propagating various debugging techniques reduces bug count and increases code quality. Here are six techniques that can go a long way in assisting the debugging process. Reset software coding expectations and get better results for embedded systems development.
Siemens: Security lifecycle plan a must
One of the most difficult aspects of cyber security lifecycle for ICS engineers is the maintain phase. Here are some tips to establish a good baseline before getting to the maintain level.
Capacitive sensor series has better immunity to dust, humidity, EMI
Carlo Gavazzi's 4th Generation Tripleshield CA18CA capacitive proximity sensors feature improved immunity to dust, humidity, and EMI and also features an optional dust alarm output that gives an early warning of accumulation on the face of the sensor.
ICS cyber insecurity: Not if, but when
Think Again: A major cyber security incident will happen to industrial control systems (ICS): not if, but when. Are you and your coworkers ready? Is your organization ready? Do you have the technologies, processes, and procedures ready at every level?
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 9-15: Selecting and applying VFDs, Engineers’ Choice winners, high-performance HMIs, more
Articles about selecting and applying VFDs, the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, high-performance HMIs, integrating wastewater with wireless, and artificial intelligence for control engineering were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, March 9-15. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Wireless: The future of communication across global industry
Industrial wireless has the potential to revolutionize industries by adding flexibility and capability. It will not be far into the future when wireless becomes as widely adopted as more traditional wired networks.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, February 10 to March 12: Engineers’ Choice winners, selecting and applying VFDs, high-performance HMIs, more
Articles about the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, selecting and applying VFDs, high-performance HMIs, artificial intelligence for control engineering and control system triggers were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 10 to March 12. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Webcast: Integrating wireless into an industrial Ethernet application
Learn about wireless selection criteria including equipment reliability and capabilities, availability, ease of management, conformance to open standards, and integration with an existing Ethernet network
Safety device series for hazardous areas
Idec's EU2B family of safety devices includes pushbuttons, pilot lights, selector switches, and ammeters are designed for hazardous areas are designed to prevent the release of electrical energy that could ignite explosive gases or particles.
Apps for Engineers: Mobile control methods
CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems form various companies. We've categorized apps by category, company, and type. This month, see these apps for mobile control methods.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, March 2-8: High-performance HMIs, Engineers’ Choice winners, alarm management philosophy, more
Articles about high-performance HMIs, the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, alarm management philosophy, PID for motion control and robotics, and artificial intelligence for control engineering were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, March 2-8. Miss something? You can catch up here.
How to hike safety, reduce failures
Because catastrophic incidents are so rare and their consequences so severe, organizations are poorly equipped to self investigate. High-hazard process industries require increasingly stronger safety systems that reduce the potential for catastrophic failures.
Deadline for revised hazard communication standard coming up
Safety data sheets and product labels need to be revised by June 1, 2015. The revisions include the mandatory use of red color, the potential need for multiple languages if shipping to other countries, and many other regional regulatory requirements for compliance in the global marketplace.
Solenoid and pneumatic valve series for clamping and locking operations
Festo's VS series of piston-spool solenoid and pneumatic valves and valve manifolds are designed ideal for simple clamping and locking operations in semiautomatic assembly as well as explosive environments.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, February 16-22: Engineers’ Choice winners, selecting and applying VFDs, motor and drive systems, more
Articles about the 2015 Engineers’ Choice winners, selecting and applying VFDs, motor and drive systems, distributed power control, and 7 things control engineers should know about management were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, February 16-22. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Common misconceptions: Safety instrumented system basics
ISA84 is not a "cook book" or "prescriptive standard," but rather a "performance standard" for a general approach plant owners can use for each phase of a safety instrumented system over its lifecycle.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, January 13 to February 12: Selecting and applying VFDs, control engineers and management, high-performance HMIs, more
Articles about selecting and applying VFDs, 7 things control engineers should know about management, high-performance HMIs, the cloud and mobility technology, and control system implementations were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 13 to February 12.
Diverse cyber security work force must have technical expertise, flair for problem-solving
Attacks on government, corporate, and individual computers have exposed the vulnerabilities of an increasingly networked world, while revelations of widespread government surveillance cause many to wonder whether personal privacy is a thing of the past. Cyber threats have been called the United States’ greatest security problem—as highlighted by the recent Sony hack. The cyber security profession offers solutions, and not all of them are technical.
Training suite to improve operator competency through 3D simulation
Honeywell Process Solutions' UniSim Competency Suite is designed to improve operator competency for industrial facilities that are facing a growing shortage of trained operators and they have expanded their suite by integrating SNC-Lavalin's FieldOp3D, which allows the user to navigate a 3D replica of the plant and practice tasks essential to the user's job.
DoE releases guidance for cyber security framework
In developing this guidance, the Energy Department collaborated with private sector stakeholders through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and the Oil & Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council.
U.S. Navy unveils firefighting robot prototype at Naval Tech Expo
The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and developed by researchers at Virginia Tech is designed to help evaluate the applications of unmanned systems in damage control and inspections aboard naval vessels.
Malware targets manufacturers
Manufacturing is one of the sectors targeted by a new malware variant that is not only able to steal passwords and other sensitive information, but is also capable of infecting files, researchers said.
Web operator panels with electrostatic discharge protection
Advantech's WebOP-3070T, WebOP-3100T, and WebOP-3120T web operator panels have dual level four electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, which makes the panels useful for work in semiconductor factories where ESD is a major concern.
Miniature magnetic encoders for embedded OEM applications
Renishaw's RLS series of three high-performance miniature magnetic encoders for embedded OEM motion control applications and can also be integrated into small motion systems.
Planning algorithms evaluate probability of success, suggest low-risk alternatives
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing algorithms that allows a planner to specify constraints and reliability thresholds for a project and is able to assess risk.
European Union contributing $87 million in European robotics projects
The EU, under Horizon 2020, the mechanism the European Commission is using to stimulate robotics-related research, has co-funded 17 new robotics-related projects.
Flexible control for winches and cranes
Bosch Rexroth has developed a control solution suitable for simple and complex winch and crane drives that allows designers to generate systems quickly and features a modular system that allows the designer flexibility.
Global chemical industry needs integrated engineering
In addition to advanced management requirements, large volumes of data need to be available and up-to-date at all times from planning to operation. This requires a highly integrated engineering process over the entire lifecycle of plants.
High-performance HMIs: Designs to improve operator effectiveness
Users and system designers consider how changing HMI strategy can help make operators better at their job and reduce those confused phone calls.
Display mount with locking arm feature
Southco's A Series is a tilt, swivel, and swing display mount is designed with a plunger that locks the arm securely into place, which allows the A Series to maintain position in extreme conditions or when devices are mounted on uneven services.
Machine Safety: Benefits of safety assessments, risk assessments
The need to evaluate hazards and apply corrective actions to reduce those hazards began years ago. Over the past 12-plus years this process has been refined, documented in standards and regulations, and it’s now a requirement. A general term defined for this process is “risk assessment.” Below, learn who a risk assessment is for and some best practices for a risk assessment.
Process safety management needs modernization
Implementing key federal and state chemical safety board (CSB) recommendations will result in significant improvement of process safety management (PSM) regulations in the United States.
System integration safety module helps minimize downtime
Emerson Industrial Automation's SI-Safety module is a System Integration module designed to minimize production downtime by enabling a machine to slow down or stop, removing the need to power-down the machine after interruption.
Full HD camera designed for harsh, extreme conditions
Moxa's VPort 56-2MP IP zoom camera is engineered offers Full HD 1080p and is designed for mission critical applications and harsh conditions. The VPort 56-2MP can be easily turned into an IP positioning system with PTZ capability and two-way audio using an optional built-in fiber interface and PT scanner accessory.
Machine Safety: Are machine builders shipping unsafe machines?
Can a U.S. original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ship a machine without safety integrated into or included as part of the machine? Aren’t there regulations requiring machine manufacturers to provide machine guarding? An example of basic machine safety is an emergency stopping device, such as an e-stop.
Machine Safety: Risk of an actuator wired to general machine control versus safety controller
When deciding to apply a device to achieve a safety function, by default, that safety function should be achieved each time, actuated consistently and within a certain time period. For machine hazard mitigation, review these four points when considering risks and reliability of controllers versus safety controllers, defined by IEC 61508 (Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems – Part 1: General requirements).
Machine Safety: Functional safety standard explains validation
Machine safety validation is defined by the international standard ISO 13849-2, Part 2: Validation, which specifies the procedures and conditions for analysis and testing of the specified safety functions, the category achieved, and the performance level achieved. Some functional safety reliability results from a machines’ software design. See 5 steps often used during validation.
Global integration trends, with a focus on best practices
System integrators globally need good business practices as much as they need good technical abilities if they are to serve their clients well, said Bob Lowe from the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). Improving efficiency, security and safety of industrial assets, such as waste treatment plants, manufacturing plants and process industries, requires the skill set that industrial system integration companies possess, thereby resulting in a healthy industry, CSIA said.
Rockwell: Security a business enabler
Security awareness is on the rise throughout the industry. Security is becoming a business enabler that can provide manufacturers more than just an insurance policy.
Environmentally sealed pushbutton switch
The P3-30308 from Otto Controls is a rugged E-Stop pushbutton push/pull switch that is environmentally sealed and is designed for handheld controllers or compact control panels where a full size E-Stop switch is too large.
Combustible dust creates safety hazard
Workers ended up exposed to combustible cornstarch dust, dust particles in excess of permissible exposure limits and other hazards at Paris, Ill.-based Septimus Inc. and is facing fines of $46,400 for 21 serious safety and health violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, December 1-7: Controls project requirement framework, automation upgrade for networks, PID loop tuning, more
Articles about using a framework for controls project requirements, an automation upgrade for communication networks, PID loop tuning advice, machine builders decreasing manufacturing time, and modernizing automation were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, December 1-7. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
7 questions for industrial wireless security
What is the No. 1 concern when it comes to wireless solutions in the industrial world? While the answer might be debatable, it always comes down to these two questions – is it reliable enough and can I secure it?
Stacklights for process control and industrial applications
Eaton's SL stacklight series have the ability to display up to five processes at once and configure a range of audible notifications, which make them useful for overseeing machine processes. The 70-mm (SL7) and 40-mm (SL4) stacklights have a twist and lock feature that enables easy dismantling and mounting of complete towers in the field.
ICS attack responses
Attacks can happen anywhere and anytime and they don’t have to be major attacks by nation states. They could come from inside or outside. Professionals in the control environment need to understand the security lifecycle where the user goes from assessing to implementing to maintaining the system.
Machine Safety: ISO 13849-1 status, interlock switch safety
Upon reviewing a machine that has two interlock switches mounted to an access door, can you say that the machine is safe? Most industry experts today would say, "Probably not." Here's an explanation of why and the relevant standards.
Step one in chemical exposure limit update
OSHA is seeking public comment regarding current practices and future methods for updating PELs. A national dialogue with stakeholders will launch on ways to prevent work-related illness caused by exposure to hazardous substances.
Safety interlock switches monitor and communicate
Product Exclusive: Eaton’s Reed Switch (RS) safety interlock switches are engineered to monitor protective guards in industrial electrical equipment and communicate with safety relays to reliably and quickly switch equipment to the off position in an emergency. All switches in the RS family are safety-rated and are designed with magnetically coded actuators to reduce tampering.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 14 to November 13: Smart devices, tuning PID loops, automation vs. headcount, more
Articles about manually configuring smart devices, tuning PID loops, automation vs. headcount, support-focused enterprise controls, and optimizing servo controls were Control Engineering’s top 5 reader favorites from October 14 to November 13. You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, November 3-9: Engineers’ Choice finalists, tuning PID loops, automation vs. headcount, more
Articles about the 2015 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalists, tuning PID loops for level control, automation vs. headcount, optimizing servo controls, and finding success in an engineering career through failure were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, November 3-9. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Machine Safety: 12 hazards of unused machinery
Look at the 5 levels of hazard mitigation to help determine risk of a machine no longer in use. Consider the following 12 hazards of end-of-lifecyle machines. An unused machine is not necessarily safe.
Assisted living for your aging DCS
Has your control system moved past the point where you can depend on it? Understand the signs that it’s time to retire your platform before it’s too late.
Four risk factors jeopardizing automation projects
Pharmaceutical companies are making a beeline to automate manufacturing. Here are four primary risk factors, most of them non-technical, which might hinder the early phases of any automation project.
Medium-voltage drive adds safe torque off (STO) option
The Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 7000 medium-voltage drive by Rockwell Automation has added a safe torque off (STO) option, which designed directly into the drive control and it works side by side with the drive's control functions.
Yokogawa: Safety, security a fundamental
Safety and security is one of the four fundamentals to running a plant along with availability, efficiency and human reliability.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, October 20-26: Engineers’ Choice finalists, control system integration industry, support-focused enterprise controls, more
Articles about the 2015 Engineers’ Choice Awards Finalists, evolution of the control system integration industry, support-focused enterprise controls, alarm management, and the first PLC were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, October 20-26. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Emerson Process Management on the evolving process industry landscape
Video: Steve Sonnenberg, EPM president, discusses how the company is approaching greater growth in North America and lessons learned supporting mega-projects around the world.
EC: PumpSmart MV
Process Control Systems: An Intelligent medium voltage variable speed pump controller with dynamic curve visibility. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: PSR-MXF safety relay
Safety — Machine Safety: Phoenix Contact's new PSR-MXF multifunctional safety relay can connect three dual-channel safety sensors in a compact 22.5-mm design. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Simatic S7-1500F safety controller
Safety — Machine Safety: The Siemens Simatic S7-1500F is a CPU 1518F safety controller for demanding standard and fail-safe applications, with advanced functionality requirements. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: HIMax X-CPU 31
Safety — Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety: The new HIMax SIL 3 CPU integrates all functions of the system bus module and is even more scalable and able to be adapted to specific small and mid-range safety applications. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: One Series Safety Transmitter
Safety — Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety: The One Series Safety Transmitter is aSIL 2 certified pressure and temperature transmitter for functional safety systems. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: SAFESERIES SIL relays
Safety — Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety: The SAFESERIES SIL relays provide switching for single- or two-channel safety circuits in high-risk or aggressive conditions and can either energize or de-energize to safe mode features such as alarm capabilities for emergency shutdown systems. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable wireless pressure transmitter, flowmeter
Sensors: The 3051S MultiVariable wireless pressure transmitter and flowmeter consolidates differential and static pressure measurement points while eliminating process penetrations reducing installation cost by 40%. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Rosemount 5300 series guided wave radar transmitter verification reflector
Sensors: The unique verification reflector function in the Rosemount 5300 Series guided wave radar enables device integrity testing without manually raising product level—saving time, enhancing safety, and reducing the risk of spills. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell SmartLine temperature transmitters
Sensors: SmartLine temperature transmitters help plant personnel decipher process temperature data faster and more accurately to increase plant and employee efficiency, while lowering overall lifecycle costs. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Tracerco Profiler
Sensors: The Tracerco Profiler is a unique high resolution instrument designed to measure real time vertical distribution of multiple phases in gravity separators at high temperature providing operator confidence to maximize an assets production capability. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: SL series stacklights
Control Components: Eaton SL Series Stacklights are designed to improve control over key processes and enhance machine availability in industrial applications. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Eaton ePDU G3 platform
Power — Energy, Power Protection: Eaton's customizable ePDU G3 models are rack power distribution units designed to streamline the power distribution needs of today's IT and data center managers with next-generation power monitoring capabilities. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Data-enabling safety relays add value to simple machines
Inside Machines: Safety relay advances help machine builders cost-effectively meet customers’ compliance goals while addressing needs for a connected enterprise.
Profibus and Profinet celebrates 20 years at annual meeting
At its general assembly meeting held on Sep. 23-25, PI North America executive director Michael Bryant addressed members. Today, nearly 50 million Profibus devices and 10 million Profinet devices have been installed.
Industrial cyber security: An idea whose time has come?
IHS believes there will be a shakeout in the market for industrial cyber security. Although the market will attract some new entrants, this will be largely offset by companies choosing to exit the business and by acquisition-driven consolidation.
Machine Safety: Identify machine safety standards for your business
Why is it important in the United States to identify machine safety standards for your business? See 6 ways standards help with machine safety.
Exploring controls upfront is key to profitability
By exploring and defining desirable controls early in a project cycle, more time is afforded to take advantage of creative ideas, thereby enhancing both productivity and profitability while reducing potential for errors that could jeopardize both.
Machine Safety: What is your safety elevator pitch?
In less than 30 seconds, can you tell me why I should care about your plans for exceeding industrial safety compliance? Are business benefits part of your answer?
Security for industrial domain and the IT side: understanding differences
There are huge differences in security implementations between the industrial domain and the IT side.
Machine Safety: Safety and security combined
Some recent reports, cyber attacks have grown by 600% since 2010 costing industry around $400 billion a year impacting productivity, machine uptime and profitability. Machine safety automation also addresses productivity, uptime and profitability. Perhaps “safety” and “security” efforts should combine.
Control Engineering advice: 60 years and beyond
Think Again: Wisdom from the past helps us innovate for the future, adapting to educational needs of control, instrumentation, and automation systems, worldwide.
Machine Safety: Crossing the yellow line
Yellow line theory versus complacency: On a train platform few people cross the yellow line, without any specialized training, yet, in a manufacturing environment, accidents happen regularly after people cross the yellow line and even more formidable barriers. Why?
Triple output micromodule regulator
Linear Technology Corporation's LTM4634 regulates common intermediate power buses such as 12 V, 5 V and 3.3 V in instrumentation with its combination of wide output voltage range, a thermally efficient package, tight regulation accuracy, and small solution size.
New threats emerging: Cisco report
Cyber security risks increase: Pharmaceutical and chemical industries saw the biggest increase in cyber attacks so far this year, a new report said.
Can luck cover for a lack of alarm management?
Is it safe to run a plant without alarm management? An effective alarm management program will let you run the plant harder while still remaining safe.
Understanding radiation with new detector
An inexpensive portable radiation detection device could help people better understand the radiation around them and whether or not it poses a health risk.
Machine Safety: Which takes precedence, a Type-B or a Type-C safety standard?
Understanding the hierarchy of Type A, B and C safety standards, isn’t a Type B safety standard to be considered precedent over a Type C safety standard?
Fraud and product theft prevention in industrial enterprises
Measurement and process automation, products and materials tracking, advanced data analytics and correlation will deliver increased detection, better investigative capabilities and deter fraud and product theft.
Rotary encoders with over-speed capability
Leine and Linde's 800 rotary encoder series includes an integrated over-speed capability with programmable switching speeds.
Trojan variant making big attack push
A wave of attacks pushing a new variant of Pushdo Trojan compromised more than 11,000 systems in just 24 hours.
Yes, robots don’t need workers’ compensation coverage
Insurance savings typically don’t top the list of return on investment (ROI) justifications for installing automation and controls, but a reengineered insurance program may yield benefits far beyond cost reductions. Automation can lower risk to employees in manufacturing. Forward a link to this article to the appropriate contacts in your company so that lower costs can increase your budget.
Machine Safety and safety maturity: Are you safe without injuries?
International Labor Organization said every 15 seconds approximately 160 workers have a work-related accident, and one of those injured workers will die. So, does it make sense to keep detailed records of injuries to claim that an absence of injuries equates to the presence of safety? Know the 5 progressive steps to a strong safety culture.
Remote device management software with web-based structure
Advantech's SUSIAccess 3.0 remote device management software uses a web-based structure that focuses on Console-Server-Agent connection for cloud management.
Motorized test stands for laboratory, production environments
Omega's MTS300 series of motorized test stands feature an LCD display and are designed for tension and compression testing applications for laboratory and production environments.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 8 to August 7: Tuning PID, PID math, radio frequencies, more
Articles about tuning PID control loops, PID math, radio frequency basics, creating an ASM-compliant HMI, and offshore oil and gas production were Control Engineering’s top 5 reader favorites from July 8 to August 7. You can catch up here.
Helmet technology demonstrated using compact data acquisition system
At NIWeek 2014, Dr. John Lloyd demonstrated his prototype helmet technology, which is designed to cut rotational impact forces by 50% and reduce the potential for a concussion for the wearer. The test stand was demonstrated at the 20th annual National Instruments conference and show in Austin, Texas. (Link to related news below.)
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 28 to August 3: centralized and DCS system designs, traffic and rail coordination, PID control loop tuning, more
Articles about centralized and distributed control system designs, light-rail and traffic light coordination, tuning PID control loops, 3D vision inspection systems, and offshore oil and gas drilling were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, July 28 to August 3. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Gateways with two Ethernet ports for separate subnets
Three new PLX30 gateways have two separate Ethernet ports that allow protocols to reside on separate subnets
Machine Safety: Do not tell employees that a safety compliant machine is safe
Just because you were particularly careful to purchase a new machine compliant to the latest machine safety standards and delivered with all the usual mandatory conformity marks like CE, UL, etc., you cannot tell employees they are working on a safe machine. Listen to OSHA and ANSI.
Machine Safety: Does a CE mark make a machine safe?
Machine safety discussions have risen to new heights with the advent of improved technology and the availability of Internet communication. Beware: pay attention to the details. An EU (European Union) discussion may not fully apply here in the U.S.
Embedded vision growth predicted across various application markets
Shipments of embedded vision devices are forecast to exceed 14 million units in 2018.
Security breaches on the rise
A new study reported no decrease in the number of network security events or breaches last year.
Safety laser scanners to increase monitoring flexibility and machine productivity
Omron Automation and Safety's OS32C-4M safety laser scanners feature pollution tolerance modes that allow them to operate in dirty and dusty application environments and can report status and measurement data via EtherNet/IP.
Machine safety standards: ANSI Z10 versus new ISO 45001 in late 2016
ANSI Z10-2005 is a machine safety concern and an opportunity, as recently discussed. I barely finished that blog post when I was informed about a brand new ISO Project Committee (PC) 283 tasked to take Z10 to the international stage. The new ISO 45001 is planned for approval in late 2016, but what would happen to the ANSI Z10-2012 safety standard?
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, July 7-13: PID, radio frequencies, PID math, more
Articles about tuning PID control loops, radio frequencies, PID math, programming PLCs, and ASM-compliant HMIs were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from last week, July 7-13. Were you out last week? Miss something? You can catch up here.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, June 10 to July 10: PID, ASM-compliant HMIs, PLCs, more
Articles about tuning PID control loops, ASM-compliant HMIs, programming PLCs, PID math, and integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs were Control Engineering’s top 5 reader favorites from June to July 10. You can catch up here.
Security as fundamental as safety
Compromised technology means it is not safe, causing trouble for manufacturers.
Vision sensor series for enhanced communication and inspection
Banner Engineering's iVu Plus TG Gen2 and BCR Gen2 vision sensor series feature Ethernet connectivity and multiple inspection capability on the plant floor and have an IP67-rated housing, making it useful for hazardous plant conditions.
Changing the face of process control for a new generation
Like it or not, younger workers coming up now are vastly different than the graybeards. Companies can try to resist changes or find ways to embrace a younger generation and improve operating results.
Machine Safety: We haven’t finished assessing cloud computing; here comes the fog
Cloud computing has been discussed by all the big guys (Microsoft, Apple, Cisco Systems, IBM, Google, Facebook, HP, Sony, etc.) for several years. Some suppliers have already developed hardware products that only store data in “the cloud.” And, machine safety experts have begun assessing how, or even if, “the cloud” can play any role in providing machine safety.
Machine Safety: Can one channel mitigate a Cat 3/PLd functional requirement?
Category 3 and 4 architectures typically call for a control reliable (that is, redundant) circuit design no matter what safe logic solver under consideration: safety relay, safety PLC, safe drive, and so forth. So why would there be any confusion?
Ethernet switches for harsh environments
Belden's Spider II 16TX EEC and Spider II 16TX/2DS-S EEC switches have a high port density and are designed to implement industrial Ethernet technology and can withstand extreme heat and cold, and can be used in environments with a high explosion risk.
Safety system for PLC, operator interface, and third party control systems
ABB's High Integrity (HI) safety system is designed for use with any ABB or 3rd party control system, PLC or operator interface where deep integration with the process control system is not required.
Motion control in packaging: 10 tips for improvement; 1 for good measure
Inside Machines: Eleven tips follow about how to apply recent technology advances to packaging machine and line motion control, benefitting end users and machine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Highly automated lines and machines create faster product changeover, faster recipe adjustments, homing of new line components after an install, enhanced troubleshooting capabilities, and other benefits for most automated machine builders.
Devices generate an average of 10,000 security events per day
The number of security events sheds light on why recent high profile attacks go undetected for so long.
EtherCAT box with IP69K protection
The Beckhoff EQ series stainless steel EtherCAT Box I/O modules with IP69K protection are designed for direct use on machines in areas with strict hygienic requirements.
Software reduces cost and resource strain of process safety and SIS management
Mangan Software Solutions (MSS) announces the launch of ProSys SLM, its newest generation of Safety Lifecycle Management software. The new product reduces cost and effort with automated and standardized workflows to execute compliance and engineering processes.
Machine Safety: Wireless and cableless are similar but different
Know the differences, when considering machine safety, between wireless and cableless. As an analogy, is your hand held smart phone, with all its Internet, social media, photograph and movie capabilities, wireless or cableless?
Machine Safety: One design for OEMs, globally
Can’t original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have one design for global customers? For at least 15 years we’ve heard about “global harmonization” of machine safety standards. Perhaps OEMs can finally enjoy the economies of scale of one design for global customers?
Deltabar FMD71 level transmitter
The FMD71 level transmitter uses a two pressure sensor modules measuring the hydrostatic pressure and the head pressure eliminating impulse lines or capillaries.
Test automation software certified for automotive, aerospace industries
dSpace's test automation software, AutomationDesk 4.1, a test authoring and automation tool for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing of electronic control units (ECUs), has been certified by TÜV SÜD for testing safety-related systems.
Machine Safety: e-stop devices versus safety devices
Safety devices and e-stop machine safety requirements consistently raise questions and merit review. The universal (and global) emergency stop device is not so universally understood. An e-stop is NOT a safeguarding device and certainly an e-stop is NOT a reset button. Review these e-stop device requirements according to machine safety standards.
Connector for harsh industrial, agricultural environments
Binder-USA's Harsh Environment Connector (HEC) is designed to endure extreme environmental conditions like high pressure and high temperature washdowns, making them well-suited for industrial and agricultural environments.
Overcoming challenges in securing the Internet of things
Vendors are now working together to develop best practices and blueprints for securing things, data generated from those things, and the automation of those things across different industrial environments.
Machine Safety: Verification is not validation
Know the 5 steps of the functional safety lifecycle. To perform functional safety and comply with safety standards like ISO 13849-1 and ISO 13849-2, design engineers need to know how to perform verification and validation measures; they are not the same step.
Machine Safety: Integrated safety can learn from the 1960s
Machine safety thought leaders of tomorrow can learn from the evolution of machine guarding since the 1960s. Some safety was integrated even before PLCs.
Power fail-safe state: After the power outage
Identifying a power outage – small or large – is only a fraction of the battle for your equipment.
Industrial safety networks, security
Networked safety: Unify your design. You can do without a separate safety architecture. Industrial safety networks lower risk as needed, while simplifying automation for the plant floor or within a machine. Don’t forget security, which can impact safety.
Machine Safety: Networks can enable advancements in machine safety
Networks have seen significant advancements over the past 10 years to include safety certified networks. Have these technological achievements really advanced machine safety?
Simplify industrial networks and machine safety
Machine safety networking, simplified: Combine safety and standard networking into one solution. The answer is a little like moving away from an out-of-control Facebook account.
Machine safety networks
Networked safety: Learn everything you wanted to know about safety networks and their functions but were afraid to ask. Machine safety network checklist includes one often overlooked point.
Plastic push buttons for enclosures
Bud Industries' PBB Push Button Box is a plastic button with a NEMA 4X/IP67 rating that is designed to keep out dust and water in extreme conditions, making it useful for harsh environments.
Machine Safety: Can machine operators be safe with Google Glass?
Special technology for machine safety can be applied in special ways to provide compliant machine safeguarding. Technologies such as Google Glass are starting to merge into human activity. How will safety behavior be impacted if employees are allowed to wear Google Glass near operating machinery?
Safety switches for commercial, industrial applications
ABB's heavy duty safety switches are designed for commercial and industrial applications and offer touch-safe visible blades and operating mechanisms that are fully enclosed and protected from dirt and debris.
Machine Safety: enhanced safety networks, the Internet of things, and autonomous safety
Does anybody remember HAL 9000, the computer that controlled the universe in the science fiction movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey? Is autonomous safety where we’re headed with networks and technology for integrated machine control and safety automation? [HAL 9000 was not OSHA approved.]
CNC collision avoidance
Technology Update: Machine builders and end users can protect the machine and operators with advanced CNC technologies.
Flexible safety relay solution allows multiple safety zones
The Allen-Bradley Guardmaster 440C-CR30 safety relay from Rockwell Automation is designed to allow machine builders to implement required safety functions and multiple safety zones.
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, April 6-12
Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most-clicked articles from last week, April 6-12, including articles about Windows XP support, integrating HART data from smart devices, machine safety standards, and treating system integration as a commodity.
For machines that cannot be upgraded, what needs to change now that Microsoft Windows XP support has ended?
Ask Control Engineering sought advice from industrial software developers related to the end of Microsoft Windows XP support. Here, Beckhoff Automation provides answers related to Microsoft Windows XP obsolescence.
Machine safety standard merger: One global machine safety standard
In a few years, could we just have one functional safety standard? The world has two predominantly accepted functional safety standards for machinery: IEC 62061, Safety of machinery: Functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems, and ISO 13849-1, Safety of machinery - Safety-related parts of control systems - Part 1: General principles for design.
Machine Safety: what is the value of ISO 13849-1 for U.S. domestic compliance?
ISO 13849 clearly states that it is a standard for designers. If these designers work for U.S. original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), does the OEM have an enforceable legal requirement for compliance? Under the European Machinery Directive (MD), common opinion is no, but there may be exceptions.
Machine Safety: safety system validation and daisy divination
Take safety system validation seriously. Validation is substantiating that a required safety function is reliably achieved in a machine’s safety system. Validation is not the same as verification. Safety automation offers flexibility.
Motion control and drives profile expanded
The CiA 402 motion control and drives profile originally developed for CANopen systems will be extended for functional safety. In addition, A new PDO mapping was introduced, to control asynchronous as well as synchronous motor with the very same device.
Machine Safety: Who is responsible for international standards?
A lot of work has gone into harmonizing international machine standards but a dilemma still exists – who is responsible? Ensure you know the answer.
Developments to watch: Engineering can save train engineers
Control engineers should offer railroads simpler and more cost-effective systems to automatically slow or stop trains as needed to lower risk.
Machine Safety: Do safety and security converge or intersect?
Machine safety and security each involve potential hazards that can result in personal injury, damage to property, and / or interruptions and unplanned downtime in manufacturing. While the outcome can be the same, machine safety and security differ in causal behaviors based on intent.
Density and concentration meter for harsh conditions, applications
Emerson Process Management's Micro Motion Fork Density meter helps users achieve fast-response density and concentration monitoring in challenging conditions.
Machine Safety: Don’t play hide and seek with a safety program
Is your safety program like the game “Hide and Seek”? Or is your program “Top Down and Bottom Up” best-in-class machine safety? We all have a choice. Don't play games. Be proactive for machine safety compliance.
Instrumentation software offers device setpoint confidence, remote monitoring
Control Engineering International: Challenged with device documentation? A chemical manufacturer in Switzerland uses a software application to ensure accurate remote monitoring of field devices and remote monitoring, among other benefits, according to a Control Engineering Europe report.
Growing awareness of counterfeit electrical products, survey says
A joint survey from power management company, Eaton, and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) showed both an increased awareness of counterfeit electrical products and a still growing need for more.
Machine Safety: Moving automation changes safety needs
Safety considerations change as the source of hazards transforms, such as on moving workstations like automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Even Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is assembled on slow moving AGVs. How can guarding for operator safety accommodate changing hazard levels during assembly?
Machine Safety: Is your safety culture a top-down approach?
Safety culture is key to “best-in-class” performance. Engaging machine safety at the executive level daily permeates an entire organization. Are you seeing top-down benefits?
Top 5 Control Engineering articles, Feb. 17-23, 2014
Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering five most clicked articles from last week, Feb. 17-23, 2014, including articles about automation system retrofits, HMI graphics, DCS upgrades, plant safety, and NIST’s Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.
Software measures safety culture and compliance, advises of needed changes
Rockwell Automation Safety Maturity Index online software tool helps companies understand current level of safety performance and the steps needed to improve safety and profitability.
Think again: Robotic expansion, efficiency, safety
If robots aren’t helping to expand your profitability, quality, and safety, why not?
Mechatronics adds machine safety
Integrated machine safety: The study of mechatronics includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering, control engineering, and computer engineering. Original equipment manufacturers need to manage the design process, integrate safety, and recognize mechatronic trends to stay ahead of the technology curve.
Safety does not come out of a box
The solution to making your process plant a safer place isn’t something you can buy. Much of it depends on changing the ways your people work and think.
Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity: An explanation of the NIST framework
NIST’s Vicky Yan Pillitteri, at the 2014 ARC Forum, discussed the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and today’s release of the Executive Order 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.
‘Best practices,’ according to who?
While many best practices are based off of decades of experience there are many who don’t follow them for their own reasons.
Integrate safety engineering into mechatronic design
The study of mechatronics includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering, control engineering, and computer engineering. Adding safety engineering to mechatronics design theory could have a large economic impact on manufacturers globally.
Safety monitoring software
ACM Facility Safety's SafeGuard Sentinel safety monitoring software is designed to continuously measure, monitor and alert operations and enables plants to reduce risk and identify critical safeguards during operation.
Machine Safety: Year over year safety automation growth outpaces general automation
Safety automation growth is outpacing growth in general automation. See these seven reasons and add your thoughts using the comment feature.
Industrial Ethernet cables also are available with M12 or RJ45 connections
Balluff's conductor cables are designed for almost any industrial Ethernet application and can be used in harsh workplace and weather conditions, depending on need and function. They are also available with M12 D-coded or RJ45 connectors.
Stainless wall mount enclosures in 30 sizes are NEMA 4X, IP66 sealed
Hammond Manufacturing's HWSSHK304 and 316L stainless steel wallmount enclosures are available in 30 sizes and are sealed to NEMA 4X (IP66) and UV resistant.
Machine Safety: 5 measures for making machine safety stick
Do you see continuous improvement in machine safety or backsliding? Use these five measures to emphasize and improve machine safety.
The increasing role of functional safety in complex machine design
Mechatronics and safety: Proper application of safety standards is required to attain CE Marking, vital for machines placed in Europe. See the five steps to self certification.
DART and the promise of high power with intrinsic safety
Dynamic Arc Recognition and Termination (DART) technology is set to become an IEC standard after first hitting the headlines in 2008, with the promise of making higher power possible in hazardous areas. Suzanne Gill, Control Engineering Europe, explains the latest.
Impact of access control on mechanical locking devices
IHS expects from 2012 to 2017, global revenues for electromagnetic locks and electric strikes will grow at compound annual growth rates of 6.9% and 7.8% respectively.
Understanding the cyber security implications of a physical break in
When someone breaks into a remote facility, you may dismiss it as simple theft or vandalism. There might be a far more sinister action taking place.
Power system testing, calibration system
Fluke's automated and traceable Calibration 6135A/PMUCAL Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) Calibration System is an integrated system that can complete 600 tests and certify a PMU configuration in less than one day.
Control Engineering predictions for 2014
Think Again: 10 predictions follow for Control Engineering subscribers in 2014.
Machine Safety: What are your 2014 New Year machine safety resolutions?
Will 2014 be another year of the same or do you have a list of New Year resolutions for machine safety? Here are three machine safety ideas on which to focus this year, based on key OSHA violations.
Machine Safety: 13 terms to know for compliance with functional safety, ISO 13849-1
Knowing these 13 machine safety terms will help in efforts to comply with the international standard, ISO 13849-1: 2006, Safety of machinery, Safety-related parts of the control system. Many large companies have become early adopters of the new quantitative approach for designing machine control systems.
Machine Safety: OSHA’s top 10 cited violations for 2013
Are you very aware of OSHA’s top 10 citations for 2013? Is this because of your excellent safety culture and organizational diligence? Or, is it because you’ve been cited by OSHA?
Machine Safety: Has the era of cageless robots begun?
Could safeguarding become a requirement of the past? Baxter who? See the list of technology highlights in the past 40 years. Is OSHA keeping up with manufacturing technology innovations?
Process safety system design software
SafeGuard Profiler provides LOPA and SIL-Verification/Validation Packages to help process automation professionals design and evaluate plant safety systems.
Machine Safety: Safe enough versus compliance, 8 compliance best practices
How does “safe enough” compare to “compliance”? It doesn't. Not having accidents for a period of time doesn't mean there isn't risk. See these eight machine safety compliance best practices.
Machine safety strategy: Stay the course or change?
Learn the four core behaviors of safety cultures. If a discovered hazard or an unexpected incident is only viewed as a problem, then problems could be distractions instead of enablers for continuous improvement or opportunities previously unseen.
Software provider and system integrator join forces to deliver safety system monitoring platform
ACM Facility Safety partners with Autopro Automation Consultants to deliver safety software for process industries allowing real-time risk visualization.
Workbench for process safety applications
Rockwell's AADvance Workbench 2.0 is designed for process safety applications that require a flexible architecture and features a multiuser, multicontroller environment with built-in version control and traceability.
Machine Safety: A new international standard for interlocking devices on guards – ISO 14119: 2013
Have you had unintended consequences of a “temporary defeat” or bypassing guard interlocks? Just-updated ISO 14119 “Safety of machinery – Interlocking devices associated with guards – Principles for design and selection" may help.
Angle encoder has a functional safety setting
Heidenhain's RCN Series now features a functional safety setting that generates absolute position values and error bits in a safe control while maintaining a secure connection between the shaft and encoder.
CIP Safety standard to include safe motion applications
ODVA's CIP Safety Specification will include services for safe motion applications that will allow users to deploy networked motion systems using Ethernet/IP and SERCOS III.
Controller for up to 8 robots, functional safety for zone, tool position monitoring
Yaskawa's DX200 robot controller features multiple robot control technology for up to eight robots as well as a Functional Safety Unit (FSU) for control-reliable zone and tool position monitoring.
Thermal camera shipments heat up as prices melt
Reduced prices and high unit growth have led to increased demand in the commercial security sector for thermal cameras.
Webcast: Industrial Ethernet, Part 2: Case Studies
Industrial Ethernet case studies provide lessons learned as detailed in specific installations to gain practical advice from working installations, to ensure your next application uses the best practices to maximize benefits in a minimum amount of time.
Machine Safety: Has Moore’s Law helped?
Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years. While many consider this a joke, it’s not far off the mark looking back. Even so, has this rapid advancement in technology played a role in machine safety?
Machine Safety: You can have both safety and productivity
Solutions can deliver machine safety and productivity. Safety automation delivers a viable option to cabling discrete electromechanical components for safety compliance. And, by eliminating the need for cabling, safety automation can now help improve productivity.
Emergency stop button series has indicator for normal status
IDEC's 22 mm XW emergency stop switches have a smooth, ridgeless button and a green mechanical indicator that make it easy to check latched or normal status.
Now arriving: Automation technology for airport entrance control
Automation is becoming more common at airports in an attempt to cut costs while maintaining appropriate levels of security, though the airport environment remains a challenge.
Webcast: Industrial Ethernet, Part 1: Technologies
Learn from automation system integrators about criteria used to choose types of switches, cabling, and topologies being applied for industrial Ethernet applications.
Distillation columns: Product composition control – process identification models
This technique can help reconnect information and actions that are separated by time.
New cyber security certification program
Designed to help bridge the IT and OT divide for cyber security professionals, GICSP certification will help companies understand basic needs for security individuals. Video: Program designers explain its scope and concepts.
Energy intelligence in plant-to-enterprise integration
With the economy picking up again, manufacturers are scaling up their operations. Factories can gain a competitive edge using energy intelligence.
Machine Safety: ISO 13849-1 is mandatory for conformity to the Machinery Directive in Europe but in the USA?
Can this mandatory standard in Europe help U.S. safety efforts? ISO 13849-1 is titled – Safety of Machinery – Safety Related Parts of Control Systems – Part 1: General Principles for Design.
Machine Safety: Thinking of bypassing an e-stop? Have you talked to an attorney?
Is it ever permissible to install a bypass switch or to disable an e-stop? For some reason, some Internet “safety forums” have had this continuing discussion. See the one requirement consistently missing from these international discussions. And ask these 4 questions.
Infrared cameras with auto-focus
Fluke Corporation's Ti200, Ti300, and Ti400 infrared cameras uses a laser to pinpoint exactly where the camera should focus for precisely focused images every time and can connect wirelessly to a mobile app for editing.
Machine Safety: Industry 4.0 and how it could impact machine safety
The fourth industrial revolution could be well underway 10 to 20 years from now, say industry experts. The basis for this belief is a smart industrial intranet and Internet that connects machines and products using technologies like wireless and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies to gain knowledge and improve efficiency without human intervention. Machine safety has a role.
EC: AC500-S Safety PLC
Safety - Machine safety: The AC500-S Safety PLC from ABB is a safety programmable logic controller used in machinery automation involving functional safety. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Focus II Safety Light Curtains
Safety - Machine safety: Focus II Light curtains protect personnel from potentially hazardous machinery, robots or automated systems by creating a protection field with infrared beams, which, if interrupted, trigger a safety mechanism that immediately stops the machinery. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: AZM300 Interlock Switch
Safety - Machine safety: The AZM300 is a solenoid locking keyed interlock switch with integrated RFID based electronic safety sensor for machine guarding applications with washdown or hygienic requirements. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Daniel 3818 LNG Ultrasonic Flow Meter
Process Control - Flowmeters: Daniel 3818 Liquid Ultrasonic Flow Meter provides stable, accurate and reliable dynamic volume measurement for liquefied natural gas. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Rosemount 3051SFC Compact Annubar Flowmeter
Process Control - Flowmeters: The Rosemount 3051SFC compact Annubar flowmeter is the industry's first averaging pitot tube that installs like a traditional orifice plate. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Rosemount 3051 Wireless Pressure Transmitter
Process Control - Process sensors: The Rosemount 3051 wireless pressure transmitter combines all the features and benefits of IEC 62591 WirelessHART with the industry standard Rosemount 3051 pressure transmitter for a trusted, proven, and cost-effective wireless solution. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: Rosemount 3308 Wireless Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
Process Control - Process sensors: The Rosemount 3308 is a wireless guided wave radar transmitter for continuous level monitoring in difficult to reach locations. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Honeywell SmartLine Pressure Transmitter
Process Control - Process sensors: Honeywell's SmartLine pressure transmitter accurately measures process pressure to deliver total value across the entire plant lifecycle by making it easier to support field devices and promote plant reliability. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Process Control - Process sensors: Tracerco LevelFinderPlus is the first and only nucleonic instrument capable of providing reliable, accurate and repeatable level measurement in process systems prone to solid deposits and vapour pressure changes. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: Datapaq Furnace Tracker System for Glass Tempering
Process Control Systems: The Datapaq Furnace Tracker System for glass tempering processes accurately measures temperatures from all types of glass, including hard and soft-coated low-E glass, effectively optimizing cycle times and reducing energy costs. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
EC: PlantPAx process automation system
Process Control Systems: The PlantPAx process automation system is a single, multidisciplined platform helping users achieve a plantwide view, and capable of managing the range of production automation applications, including process control, discrete control, power, information. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: The GDU-Incus is designed to provide reliable, wide-area gas leak detection (toxic and combustible) coverage in any hazardous-area applications where pressurized gas is present and the threat of dangerous fugitive gas leaks exist. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
EC: Liquiphant FailSafe FTL8x Point Level Measuring System
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: The Liquiphant FTL8x level switch monitors minimum and maximum liquid levels in critical applications, meeting SIL3 with a single instrument. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: SSX/SST Safety Isolator and Splitter
Safety - Process safety, intrinsic safety: exida IEC 61508:2010 certified SSX 2-wire and SST 4-wire safety isolators and splitters from Moore Industries provide isolation and signal conversion for SIS, protecting and enhancing loops while passing valuable HART data from field transmitter to host systems. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Machine Safety: If only OSHA regulations are law, what are ANSI consensus standards?
OSHA regulations are enforced and considered as U.S. legal requirements for machine safety. Among thousands of consensus standards, it is not always clear which are significant for machine safety and could be an obligation for compliance.
Machine Safety: When workers use their own devices
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the new rage. Articles describe BYOD and IT departments are scrambling. How can companies maintain control over machine safety and plant security?
Machine safety compliance: Who is responsible?
Who is on the hook for machine safety compliance? What standards apply? How will merging standards affect machine safety? What tools can help? A functional safety expert answers these and other machine safety questions.
Machine safety compliance: Which standards apply? Do a risk assessment
Engineers want to know what to do to comply with machine safety requirements. Heed this advice.
Universal light curtain, light grid
ABB Jokab Safety Focus II Light Curtains and Light Grids offer complete range of features in one low cost package. One curtain or grid model works for all applications, eliminating the need to stock multiple versions for varying machine safety requirements.
Machine Safety: Discourage the defeating of safety interlocks
There are people who intentionally defeat safety interlocks. Doesn’t this increase risk and hazard level? See 6 proactive actions to discourage disabling of safety interlocks, along with one additional technology-based solution.
Ensure cableless control reliability
Industrial wireless, or using ANSI’s term, cableless control, requires reliability. Don’t let radio frequency interference lead to downtime; follow these policing precautions.
Machine Safety: Legal advice and safety automation projects
There are steps (or pot holes) for minimizing project-related risks from contract through completion. Safety automation priorities may vary.
15 steps to help with European Union’s Machinery Directive, EN/ISO 13849-1
Machine safety compliance is more flexible and interpretive than in the past. Basic definitions of the machinery directive and the following 15 steps can clarify. See table and chart.
Taking the wrinkles out of a production process
Many cosmetic products are designed to help users hide the years. Sometimes manufacturing equipment that’s showing its age needs technological help to remove wrinkles and make it run like it’s young again.
Machine Safety: Near-miss events and residual risk
Are near-miss events and residual risk related when it comes to machine safety? Is there a machine guarding requirement specified for near-miss events?
Machine safety compliance: start with design
From ergonomics and e-stops to OSHA and output, here are the essential considerations for machine safety compliance. Safety starts with design.
Integration in the intruder alarm industry starts to gain traction
IMS Research reports that home automation and home security systems are becoming more and more integrated, which will lead to a fast-growing industry in the next few years.
Hardware configuration of redundant safety integrated systems
Control system architects apply redundancy selectively to ensure reliability while minimizing false alarms. Here are some of the strategy options.
Dassault Systèmes acquires fatigue simulation software company
Safe Technology, based in the U.K., specializes in fatigue simulation technology to test and predict product durability. The software firm had worked with Dassault Systèmes’ Rhode Island-based realistic simulation brand, Simulia, for more than 15 years and is expected to enhance customers’ ability to predict and analyze product life quickly and accurately. Dassault Systemes also owns Solidworks. Purchase price was not disclosed.
Human-robotic collaboration: What will OSHA say?
Safety lifecycle approach is best when robots and humans work in the same areas, say automotive and safety experts from Rockwell Automation.
Digital panel meters and scanners
Precision Digital's ProVu PD6080 Series Super Snoopers of 1/8 DIN digital panel meters and the ProtEX-MAX PD8-6080 Series of explosion-proof scanners are housed in explosion-proof enclosures for use in hazardous areas.
Machine Safety: Design a safer machine with risk assessments
Understand why and how to conduct a risk assessment on a machine to improve the design by increasing safety and productivity. Note 6 reasons why to do risk assessments, and 8 steps to conduct a risk assessment.
Machine Safety: System integrators report shortage of safety resources
Those adopting safety automation are seeing reductions in machine downtime and easier maintenance, in addition to lowering risk for workers. With a shortage of industry talent remaining a concern, these are positive results.
Safety and control in collaborative robotics
Robotics technology is moving at the speed of light, and the standards process is struggling to keep up. New types of collaborative robots can be safely implemented: Do a risk assessment, work with experienced suppliers, and get involved with standards development.
Is that light supposed to be blinking?
If finding an alarm on your HMI is like playing Where’s Waldo, you might want to reevaluate some of your operator display graphics. A process upset is no time to try and remember what a flashing light means.
Machine Safety: Domestic U.S. versus international standards
For machine safety, who needs to follow OSHA regulations, domestic standards, and various state and local requirements? Are you confused? Explanations follow.
Do not ignore those recurring errors in manufacturing or processing
Error messages matter, a lot. Find them, track them, and remove them. Adopt a 4-point no-errors policy. Can you answer 4 questions about errors, warnings, and alarms in manufacturing and processing? Learn from Anthony Baker.
Machine safety and layers of protection
Another study confirms the relationship between tasks performed and injuries and fatalities. Don't risk assessments find such relationships? Recognizing layers of protection can help.
Industrial cable jacket coating uses nanotechnology
Helukabel's Clean Plus uses nanotechnology to replicate the lotus effect on cable jackets to reduce contamination and contact with the cable to enhance longevity and performance in rugged applications.
If it ain’t broke, don’t automate it?
Maybe it is broke, and you just don’t recognize it. Sometimes problems and inefficiencies in our plants persist simply because nobody wants to take responsibility for finding a solution. Effective automation might be the key.
Machine safety: Will applying OEE improve safety, compliance, and profits?
Safety culture that include overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) principles can improve safety performance and compliance to requirements? These two metrics can drive profits and establish the foundation for a sustainable safety strategy.
Top Control Engineering articles, June 2013
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during June 2013 included: System Integrator Giants of 2013, SIS standards, PID math, industrial networks, human process control, industrial wireless networks, and switch selection, among others.
Time to step up: Actions you can take today
Your control system cyber assets were not coded with security in mind, so you have to build defenses yourself, always thinking about your complete security posture. Here are ways to start now.
Top Control Engineering articles, May 2013
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during May 2013 included: PID math demystified, lambda tuning, motor repair and replace advice, industrial Internet of things, maintenance strategy, safety integrated systems, mechatronics, project management, and robotics, among others.
Process safety: Managing process safety with flexible IO
Industrial facilities should approach safety and security holistically by addressing critical requirements from the process control network to the perimeter of the plant.
Safety systems: Protecting researchers, scientists with safety automation
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory upgraded its relay-based safety system with a new control and safety platform.
Machine safety: Does ISO 13849-1: 2006 weight severity, frequency, and probability equally?
New quantitative requirements for designing safety-related parts of the control system (SRP/CS) have created many discussions. Even with new requirements from ISO 13849-1, this updated standard begins with the same old qualitative approach to determine the “goal” (Performance Level required- PLr) for any safety function, asking about severity, frequency, and probability.
Machine safety: Executives balance risks, profits
Industrial executives are engaged more than ever in operational risk oversight. This certainly includes machine safety.
Understanding SIS industry standards
Process safety standards and practices are spreading from oil and gas and other energy-related industries to broader process industry applications. Here’s basic advice on how to make more sense of the numbers and acronyms.
Safety: Risk management
Risk assessment and risk management plans help with industrial safety and machine safety efforts, using standards, processes, hardware, software, and continual education.
Achieve a higher safety performance level with EN ISO 13849-1
If you do not consider yourself as one of the early adopters of ISO 13849-1, is there still time to change to comply to the machine safety standards current requirements, and what does it involve?
Machine safety: PLC versus PAC, is there a difference for safety?
Is PAC the newest PLC? Is there less risk for machine safety in using one or the other?
Safety first: Put up your guard
Case study: Machine safety culture change at global consumer products manufacturer results in closing of 69% of the major findings from global assessments; 95% of corrective actions and preventive actions from fatalities have been closed.
Products used in unified robotics platform for packaging
Rockwell Automation programmable automation controllers (PACs), I/O modules, motors, servo drives, ac drives, and operator interfaces help packaging systems provider Cama Group standardize its robotics automation.
Control Engineering industrial cyber security perceptions and practices survey
In 2009, one out of four industrial users reported that they saw no potential cyber threats that could affect their businesses. That was before Stuxnet and other high-profile criminal incidents. How has the landscape changed? Let us know your thinking on our new cyber security survey.
Machine safety: Does effective grounding include ancillary hand rails, fences, and more?
How inclusive is effective grounding for machine safety? Should safe machine grounding consider hand rails, walkways, and protective fencing?
Machine safety: What is ambient air temperature and the relationship to safe operation?
How can the ambient air temperature range from -30 to +120 degrees Fahrenheit inside a manufacturing plant? The product specs call for certification at -5 to +30 degrees Centigrade for safe operation. Do the international machine safety standards address this?
Red/blue training brings ICS cyber security weaknesses to light
Cyber security war games can provide insight into the techniques that bad guys are using against your control systems and networks.
Machine safety: Are most machines are intrinsically safe by design?
It is odd to think that anyone in the U.S. believes most machines are intrinsically safe by design. Yet, only three weeks ago I heard this comment spoken in a conference room. Honestly, this kind of statement needs a lot of scrutiny to understand the intended validity.
Industrial safety light curtain protects fingers, hand, body
ifm Type 4 light curtains provide finger, hand, and body protection and continuously monitors itself for faults and monitors the surrounding area with an infra-red beam.
Compact differential pressure flowmeter family
ABB takes four differential pressure technologies and marries them to its latest transmitter family to create a versatile range of compact DP flowmeters.
Fundamentals of lambda tuning
Understanding a particularly conservative PID controller design technique.
Cyber security: Understanding spear phishing and defense techniques
Since defending against social engineering is more training than technical, your people have to learn to recognize when it’s happening.
5 industrial control system cyber security mistakes
From spear phishing to encryption errors, there are many ways to let bad guys into your networks.
How to make a health, safety, and environmental plan
Making an HSE plan is more than a creating set of rules for manufacturing health, safety, and environmental activities. Here’s what you need to know about HSE. See table: Effects of current on the body.
HART benefits the bottom line at MOL Refinery
Implementing the right technical solution the right way can have a major impact on your profitability. A HART Plant of the Year Award recipient reveals keys to effective implementation and resulting financial benefits.
EMEA and North America command and control room market valued over $2.8 billion for first time
The market for services and key control room technologies in the public safety, transportation and utilities markets across North America and the collective Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region is set for solid growth.
How to use ISO functional safety standards
Navigate and apply ISO functional safety standards using this plain-English, journeyman’s roadmap for common-sense machine safety risk reduction.
Hannover Messe 2013: Kuka introduces lightweight robot, gives rides
Kuka Robotics LBR iiwa, a lightweight robot that is “sensitive and yielding,” makes its debut at the Hanover, Germany, trade fair. Hannover Fair 2013 (Hannover Messe in German) has an integrated automation theme, and Kuka is integrating attendees in its exhibit, with rides on its latest version of Robocoaster (see video).
Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety as part of your machine safety plan, Part 4
When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer. Part 4 of 4 looks at how manufacturers should look at their machine safety programs in light of international safety compliance requirements.
Safety light curtain
Sick's deTec4 Core safety light curtain has brackets that can be positioned in any location on the housing without causing blind zones and has an IP67-rated industrial design.
Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety as part of your machine safety plan, Part 3
When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer. Part 3 of 4 looks at international safety emphasis and impact with OSHA.
Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety, part 2
When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer. Part 2 of 4 looks at U.S. vs. international safety.
Robots optimize analysis of sugar beets at Nordic Sugar
Nordic Sugar worked with distributor AH Automation to install user friendly, reliable robots without enclosures or robotic experts. “Now we can invest in new robots instead of buying spare parts for the old ones.”
Safety laser scanner
Omron's STI OS32C safety laser scanners are designed to report status and measurement data via EtherNet/IP and feature user tools to speed consumer development time and conserve engineering resources.
Statue of Liberty rescue elevator project information
Grand reopening: Superstorm Sandy damage to the base has been repaired, and the Statue of Liberty reopens July 4. It was closed since November 2012. The Statue of Liberty rescue elevator project, part of a $30 million renovation, included the following project participants and product components.
New robotic safety regulations are pending
Robotics, subject to many safety regulations, are about to get a few more, addressing some technological advances for robots. See video summary.
Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety, part 1
When considering “functional safety,” look at what differs compared to other safety initiatives, consider U.S. versus international standards, examine conformance responsibilities, and think about what changes are needed, if any, as a manufacturer.
Cyber security advice from the field highlights
Transcribed highlights from a Control Engineering interview with Michael Assante and Tim Conway with security suggestions for plant operators.
Machine Safety: What are fault exclusions?
Where did the term “fault exclusions” derive? Can you simply choose any fault to exclude? Who would ever exclude a fault while trying to provide employees with appropriate safe machine guarding?
Machine Safety: Serious machine guarding issues
Improper machine guarding is the result of... what? Could it be that there’s no universal cause for serious machine guarding issues? See below, six sources of machine safety issues.
Machine Safety: Is prevention through design enough?
U.S. consensus standards provide direction to suppliers on how to design in machine safety. Can users understand and comply with the additional requirements of ISO 13849-1?
Machine Safety: Managing operational risk
Risk management has historically been a core element of business management to protect vital enterprise resources. Key executives now take a much broader perspective called “Managing Operational Risk,” with benefits for machine safety. See six data points or ways to measure.
Software moles in your systems
Old programs, utilities, and plug-ins languishing on your computer or control systems could threaten your security.
DCS supplier partners with security provider to beef-up protection
Yokogawa and McAfee enter partnership to enhance security of industrial control systems offering value-added solutions across the industrial automation world
Thermoset jacket for industrial cables
The HaloarrestXLink LSZH Thermoset Jacket by Belden are designed and approved for installations and applications that require oil, abrasion, oxidation, and acid resistance.
Relay protects against ground-fault hazards with variable speed drives
Littelfuse EL731 AC/DC Sensitive Earth-Leakage Relay provides complete range of ground-fault protection in variable speed drives from 0 Hz to 15,000 Hz in one device. See video clip.
Machine Safety: Does sustainability matter?
Effective, sustainable machine safety programs often contain these five high-level characteristics. Also see two more possible components of successful programs. These may help with your machine safety program’s consistency and focus over time.
Do I need Java or not? How do I know?
Determining what you have on your computer is a first step to greater security. Java is a case in point.
Encoder interface box for safety applications
Heidenhain EIB 2391S encoder interface box is designed for safety-oriented applications with Siemens Sinamics drive components. It uses an 8-pin M12 connection that allows the user to connect to small locations.
Machine Safety: Protection is better than a cure
Can protection be an effective strategy for machine safety or does industry need a cure for hazards to protect employees? Here's why this questions should be asked daily.
Machine Safety: Effective safety cultures, can they evolve?
Many in manufacturing seek advice on waking management to opportunities for a “Best in Class” safety culture, or even a better safety culture.
Integrator Update: Remote access programming
Internet promises of better remote access, monitoring, and tweaking of automation systems have been slowed by malware and other security issues; options are available for secure remote access programming.
New updates for safety system aimed at upstream oil and natural gas facilities
Yokogawa releases enhanced version of ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system extending connectivity and environmental operating limits.
Machine Safety: More on shared responsibilities
Broad responsibilities of designing and building a safe machine from the supplier perspective were detailed in a November Control Engineering article by Steve Wright. Issues beyond that include additional shared responsibilities.
Understanding machine safety analysis in the U.S. (Part 2)
If you struggle trying to figure out how OSHA, ANSI, and ISO relate, you’re not alone. Part 2: Reaping rewards.
How close are we to a truly Smart Grid?
There are still hurdles to overcome, at least in the U.S., before the Smart Grid becomes reality.
Machine Safety: Does multitasking provide an effective illusion of safety?
Is it possible to have everyone’s safety behavior in the factory exactly as it should be 24/7 without exception? Can safety performance always be at its peak? Are we capable of safe multitasking?
Machine Safety: Can end user companies comply with ISO 13849-1: 2006 without design engineering resources?
ISO 13849-1: 2006, an international machine safety standard, is written for individuals who perform design responsibilities for control systems. What are end users responsibilities?
Understanding machine safety analysis in the U.S. (Part 1)
If you struggle trying to figure out how OSHA, ANSI, and ISO relate, you’re not alone. Part 1: What does OSHA want?
Find near-misses hidden inside process data
Product Exclusive: Near-Miss Management’s Dynamic Risk Analyzer software discovers near-misses hidden within process data, helping to improve process performance and avert operational issues before they’re noticeable.
Decentralizing process control and information management
The “D” in DCS has always stood for distributed. While the technological drivers behind this networking strategy may have changed, do the basic concepts of distributed intelligence still apply?
Machine safety risk level assessment priority: Possibility, severity, or frequency?
Which factor has the highest priority for assessing hazard risk levels: possibility, severity, or frequency? The ANSI B11.0 – 2010 standard may help.
Challenges of offshore oil and gas production
Working in more extreme environments is driving improvements in networking, and standards development for subsea automation systems. Sophisticated equipment on the sea floor has to communicate topside.
Machine Safety: Is upgrading to solid state enough?
Moving machine guarding solutions to solid-state-based components from hard-wired components has been a persistent U.S. discussion since 2002. Are solid-state components enough to provide effective machine safety and personnel safety?
Combining functional safety and cyber security
Both have to work for a plant to be truly safe. How can we learn and use the best from each?
Methods and best practices to map displays to operator decisions
HMIs should be designed to reflect the ways in which operators have to deal with information and solve problems.
What happens when automation systems fail?
Inside Machines: Do the math to ensure the statistically predicted system error rates are acceptable for the processes involved when looking at automation systems, such as machine vision. (Online extra: more about the math.)
Machine safety: Confusion amuck, quantitative circuit design versus qualitative risk assessment
When talking about qualitative versus quantitative as they relate to machine safety standards and compliance requirements, are we talking about the risk assessment process? Or do we consider the process to engineer and mitigate hazards related to the Safety Related Parts of Control System (SRP/CS)?
Implementing safety in control systems
Four basic concepts that should guide process safety system analysis and design.
EC: FL mGuard RS2000 and RS4000
Network Integration - Ethernet hardware: The new mGuard security devices feature improved hardware and easier configuration options, making it easier to support customers and add IT and security functions to an industrial network, even in a harsh environment. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: SafetyBridge Technology
Network Integration - I/O systems: Phoenix Contact's new SafetyBridge technology makes it possible to distribute safe I/O modules in a network without the need for a safety controller. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
EC: Modular Knifeblade Fuse Blocks
Power - Energy, power interruption: Industry's first modular fuse blocks for Class H (K), R, and J fuses 70 A to 600 A make installation easy and increase flexibility and electrical safety. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Experion PKS Orion
Process Control systems: Experion PKS Orion is a distributed process automation and control system that will help modernize manufacturing by allowing plants to remotely configure process and safety IO without additional hardware; and trim production costs using virtualization. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: Pluto D45 Safety PLC
Safety - Machine safety: A safety PLC used for the automation and control of machine safety systems in a variety of industrial applications including presses, packaging systems, robotic cells, injection molding machines, assembly lines, conveyors, food processing, and other uses. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
EC: EP1908 EtherCAT Box
Safety - Machine safety: IP67-rated I/O block with eight digital safety inputs for use outside of electrical cabinets and in harsh environments. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: SLC440 Safety Light Curtain
Safety - Machine safety: The SLC440 series Type 4 Safety Light Curtain has innovative features that include a seamless one-piece body for superior mechanical strength, integrated alignment aid, visible output status indication and a 7 segment message display. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
EC: Allen-Bradley GuardLogix 5572S, 5573S PACs
Safety - Machine safety: Allen-Bradley GuardLogix programmable automation controllers are designed to provide OEMs and manufacturers with integrated safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in one controller, while executing SIL2 and SIL3 safety functions. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
Wireless electrical, temperature troubleshooting measurements
Fluke CNX Wireless System simplifies troubleshooting by enabling up to 10 simultaneous electrical and temperature wireless measurements.
22 mm IEC pilot devices are made in USA
c3controls line of American-made 22 mm pilot devices include a modern, low-profile design that helps machine builders and panel builders save space behind the control panel. Time is saved also; no tools are needed for installation or removal. Included is a new Push-Twist-Release (PTR) emergency stop, said to conform to the EN418 Standards for “Safety of Machinery.”
Leader Under 40: Brad Prosak
Product Manager, Safety Components; Rockwell Automation - BS Industrial Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University
Machine Safety – does new technology create new hazards?
When NFPA 79 changed by removing requirements for hard wiring machine safety devices in 2002, many automation suppliers introduced new safety rated devices for machine guarding. Domestic standards also have updated requirements to provide direction for use of safety rated devices. Do the new devices represent new hazards, such as lighted emergency stop buttons?
The rocky relationship between safety and security
This webcast examines best practices for avoiding common cause failure and preventing cyber security attacks in an age of open systems and system integration.
When worlds collide
Does a meeting of the IT group and the controls group always have to result in a collision? Can we avoid the broken glass?
Webcast: The rocky relationship between safety and security
Register now to hear it live: Best practices for avoiding common cause failure and preventing cyber security attacks in safety systems.
Machine Safety: Are you a chosen one?
A joint committee is merging two global machine safety standards (ISO 13849-1:2006, Safety of machinery -- Safety-related parts of control systems -- Part 1: General principles for design and IEC 62061:2005, Safety of machinery - Functional safety of safety-related electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems). Is this a good thing?
Multifunction safety light curtains integrate signaling, alignment aid
Schmersal’s SLC440 Series Safety Light Curtains and Safety Light Grids incorporate a full range of functions, highly visible signaling, and an alignment aid in a rugged housing.
Machine Safety: Consequences of not performing risk assessments!
If a machine shop hasn't had an incident or employee injury for 10 years, is that result of an excellent safety culture or simply great luck? Are “hope” and “lack of attention” proactive business strategies?
Machine safety: A social responsibility or KPI?
Is machine safety, as part of a corporate safety culture, focused at a social responsibility? Or is it part of the business culture as a key performance indicator (KPI)?
Top Control Engineering articles, September 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during September 2012 included the following topics: mobile software applications for engineers, direct-drive rotary motors, industrial Ethernet article and webcast, best automation products, servos versus induction motors, PLC developments, danger of what you don’t know, largest system integrators, and level control, among others.
Machine Safety: hazard remediation, mechanical versus control system solutions
What's the residual risk for Cat 3 hazard mitigated by a fixed steel plate? Did the repair result in a control reliable solution? Are physical barriers or control solutions better to reduce risk. Five steps define the hierarchy of measures for hazard mitigation and machine safety risk reduction.
Machine Safety: Globalization of safety standards doesn’t equal global compliance
Countries are teaming to globalize and harmonize machine safety standards. IEC and ISO standards are trending to global standards and slowly are being adopted by various countries as requirements for conformance. Is compliance becoming global?
Information systems: The evolution of the HMI
From push buttons to PCs, from text-based to graphical, from CRT to LCD, the shape and role of what has come to be called “visualization” has changed dramatically over a few short years. The move from islands of automation to sophisticated control and analytics reflects unprecedented growth, and the journey is far from over.
Machine safety: DANGER: Machine without brain requires yours!
Who really has the brain, the machine or the person? Whether it’s the operator, maintenance technician, set-up technician, engineer, or clean-up staff, the human brain has capabilities that surpass any brain on the machine.
Reliable electrical connections help safety, productivity
Case study: Faulty electrical connectors cause 1000 amp safety issues. Pierced cables create short in automotive manufacturing plant.
Machine Safety: Only engineers can lead the Risk Assessment process?
An incremental documented process called “Risk Assessment” is required in many updated standards. And, a new standard, ANSI B11.0 – 2010, Safety of Machinery – General Requirements and Risk Assessment, is dedicated to this topic. With all this attention folks still are not clear regarding whether an engineer is essential to lead the risk assessment process.
Technologies Inside: Machine builder safety system
Rockwell Automation provides machine builder Automatic Handling International with integrated safety system using Allen-Bradley GuardLogix, Point Guard I/O modules, PanelView Plus human-machine interface, PowerFlex and Kinetix drives, and its Integrated Architecture.
Top Control Engineering articles, August 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during August 2012 included articles on the Mars Rover Curiosity, industrial Ethernet essentials, System Integrator Giants 2012, Engineers' Choice Awards 2012, PLC developments, simulator training helps operators, good motor decisions, level control optimization, among others.
Machine Safety: Where do effective safety cultures roost?
An improved safety culture, advocated at the business level with engineering input, can bring about faster implementation of proven machine safety technologies, improving safety and adding economic value.
Smarter and safer recovery from mature and remote assets
Upstream oil and gas production is becoming more difficult as old fields are depleted and new fields are more remote. Integrated operations can facilitate safer and more profitable operation in challenging situations.
Machine Safety: an automatic sequencer does what?
In the world of machine control and machine safety, to really appreciate where we are today, don’t we need to have a reasonable understanding of where we’ve come from?
Distributed safety IO modules without controller
SafetyBridge technology from Phoenix Contact allows a user to distribute I/O modules in a network without a safety controller.
Machine Safety: consensus standards and OSHA compliance
In our plant we comply 100% with the OSHA regulations of 29 CFR 1910.xxx for machine guarding and personnel safety. Accordingly, OSHA would have no grounds to cite us for violations, right?
Emerging safety technologies
As technology becomes more sophisticated, the variety users have to choose from continues to increase.
A new standard for networked safety
The openSAFETY standard eliminates the "Fieldbus wars" of years past and creates a singular standard that provides both safety and versatility for industrial network users.
Top Control Engineering articles, July 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during July 2012 included articles on system integrators, mobile device security, pneumatic actuation, a PLC Product Exclusive, video game influence on HMI, and industrial wireless communications, among others.
Understanding proximity sensor IP ratings
The IP ratings established by the IEC are often misunderstood or misapplied, which can cause problems for the user and potentially be dangerous.
Packaging machinery initiatives
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) are very good resources for staying up to date on current events with food and product safety initiatives.
Convergence of standards, technologies creates food safety conformance
Safety standards and technologies converge to enable gains in productivity, operational excellence, and brand protection.
Machine safety and safety certified networks
Do you remember when PLCs came out in the early 1970s – were there any communication networks available at that time? What is pier to pier? Fishing?
Machine safety and functional safety: Which type?
What did you say? There’s potentially more than one type or level of Functional Safety on any one machine? Learn about product-level versus system-level functional safety.
Machine Safety: What do you mean the vice president said: So What?
After a two hour presentation in the conference room providing all the new high technology based machine guarding solutions and testimonials on operating cost savings, the vice president of operations said, “So what!”?
BP and the divorce of safety
The gulf spill and Texas City explosion still haunt BP. Observations from the Chemical Safety Board and OSHA.
PROFIsafe: Networked Functional Safety
Implementing functional safety over a network reduces the number of components, wire, and cabinets; speeds installation and commissioning; and increases uptime. With PROFIsafe, PI’s functional safety application profile, messages are exchanged transparently between Profibus (a serial fieldbus) and Profinet (an industrial Ethernet).
CIP Safety: Fail-safe communication between nodes
CIP Safety, for functional safety applications on the EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet networks, provides fail-safe communication between nodes, such as safety I/O blocks, safety interlock switches, safety light curtains, and safety PLCs in safety applications up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.
Safety at Work tutorial on networked safety strategies
Safety at Work, a multi-vendor, open technology, simplifies machine safety installations by collecting and controlling functional safety devices like e-stops, light curtains, guard switches, etc., connected to a simple and flexible two-conductor power and data network. See diagrams, video links.
Are thumb drives a real cyber threat?
Are stories of cyber attacks via malicious thumb drives for real, or some sort of scary urban legend?
Machine Safety: Updating ISO 13849-1 & compliance for robots
On Feb. 7, I wrote a blog titled - ISO 13849-1 compliance is mandatory for robot applications (ANSI/RIA/ISO 10218-1&2: 2011). This particular blog has created a significant amount of feedback, which was my goal.
Malt-O-Meal integrates safety, assessment process
Malt-O-Meal implements an integrated safety system and standard assessment process to help protect workers and enhance its commitment to sustainability. The food manufacturer used a safety PLC, adjustable speed ac, motor starters, energy management software, and an industrial Ethernet network to help reduce downtime and cut costs.
Technologies used for Malt-O-Meal integrated safety project
Safety PLC, adjustable speed ac drives, motor starters, and energy management software from Rockwell Automation, along with EtherNet/IP communications from ODVA helped reduce downtime and cut costs.
New industrial safety standards drive component revenue growth in 2011
The world discrete machine safety component market, valued at $1.8 billion in 2010, underwent a significant change at the end of 2011 as EN 954-1 ceased to be harmonised under the European machinery directive.
Machine Safety: Are the stopping categories confusing?
My e-stops are validated to achieve a Category 0 stop function. Therefore, of the three stopping categories, we’re stopping machine motion the quickest way possible. Right? (Standards are cited below. Are they clear enough?)
Top Control Engineering articles, June 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during June 2012 included articles on HMI and PLC integration, video game influences on HMI design, motor-driven systems efficiency update, wireless instrumentation video, and tutorials on thermowells and boiler drum level controls, among others.
Machine Safety: My main disconnect e-stop isn’t red with a yellow background
Does my main disconnect functioning as an e-stop need to be red with a yellow background?
Machine safety: What does ‘reset’ mean?
Who hasn’t heard the term “reset” around machine control? And, how many understandings are there from machine builders to machine users? What do standards think about the term?
Machine Safety: What differentiates a hazard analysis from a risk assessment?
With machine safety, why aren’t the differences well known between a Hazard Analysis and a Risk Assessment? It has been 12 years since machine safety jumped to the forefront of industrial opportunity.
Machine Safety: Where do I start?
“We are a medium sized business in manufacturing and our new owners are very interested in machine guarding and machine safety for our employees. Where do I start?” Eight tips follow for a machine safety and machine guarding.
Machine Safety: How do I know that a consensus standard has been updated?
At almost every Machine Safety Seminar I hear someone ask: “How do I know that a consensus standard has been updated?”
Machine Safety: Has OSHA ever fined an employee for a safety violation?
Everyone knows that OSHA applies fines to employers for citable safety violations to its regulations. Yet, since OSHA also requires employees to be responsible for safety, has an employee that violates safety regulations ever been fined?
Top Control Engineering articles, May 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during May 2012 included articles on a video-game-like human-machine interface, process control and safety systems, data packets, VFDs, and engineering project management, among others.
Emergency safety button with illuminated base
Banner Engineering's 30mm Mount Illuminated Emergency Stop Pushbutton is IP65-rated and is designed for emergency stop safety applications.
Machine safety compliance
Inside Machines: Does adopting ISO 13849-1:2006 change the U.S. model for compliance and enforcement?
Software technology tools can help lower cyber security risk
Software tools help control access by providing capabilities like authentication and role-based authorization.
Information access versus security
Striking the right balance between information access and security calls for a layered security approach that’s more about people than technology.
Safety control systems: Essential considerations, costs
Safety control systems have four typical architectures, each with advantages and disadvantages, and differing cost (per unit). See tables, photos.
Machine Safety: Does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?
I have presented or been a presenter at literally scores of machine safety seminars over more than 10 years and absolutely the most asked question is, “Does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?”
Cyber security: Common sense security for industrial engineers
Inside machines: Even the best industrial security products cannot prevent all unwanted traffic and malicious attacks to control systems; there is no such thing as a completely secure control system. Control engineers can reduce cyber incident risk by consistently investing time and effort in security measures. Cyber security advice follows.
Safety controller for Profinet networks
The new B&R SafeLogic safety controller allows Smart Safe Reaction technology to be used with Profinet. It's 10 times faster than previous solutions, the company said.
Machine Safety: Does a risk assessment need to be updated for a minor machine modification?
We’ve made some minor changes to several machines over the past six months but none of these modifications included the safety system. Our engineer said that there was no change in operator safety. Do we have to update the risk assessments anyway? See ANSI B11.0 – 2010 Safety of Machinery – General Requirements and Risk Assessment; OSHA recommended.
Machine vision cuts PV module assembly time
Photovoltaic (PV) assembly is among industries benefitting from a machine-vision enhanced automated soldering system from Mondragon Assembly, to shorten cycle times, ensure consistently high product quality, and enhance equipment usability.
Machine vision technologies for photovoltaic soldering
A photovoltaic assembly soldering machine uses machine vision to improve quality and throughput. Machine vision technologies include Cognex In-Sight 5100 intelligent vision system to optimize the process of soldering the cross-links between photovoltaic modules. See related application article.
Vision-guided robots automate oil tool assembly
Machine vision locates parts for picking by one robot and checks the diameter and location of the pipe before it is threaded by a second robot, without fixturing or accurate locating. The application may lead to a new generation of vision-enabled robots to improve productivity and quality for oil tools.
Technology checklist for oil tool automated assembly
A machine vision robotic assembly application for an oil tool industry manufacturer used the following technologies. See related application article.
Machine Safety: Functional safety and the steps to be compliant in the U.S.
Who has the steps identified for anyone considering moving their machine safety compliance to functional safety for their organization? Let’s assume for this discussion that functional safety means being compliant with EN ISO 13849-1.
Logic solver passes SIL 3 safety certification
Moore Industries STA safety trip alarm certified by exida under IEC 61508.
When can the process control system, safety system share field devices?
An SIS and BPCS can sometimes share components, but not without careful analysis.
Control technology for supercritical coal-fired plant in Indonesia
Ovation technology by Emerson Power Management is designed to unify boiler and turbine controls for improved plant stability, responsiveness and thermal efficiencies; tighter control of plant operations; and a clearer view of plant and turbine parameters.
U.S. nuclear power update: A 2012 overture?
The first new operating license in 34 years was approved in early February 2012 by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for two reactors at Southern Nuclear Operating Co.’s Vogtle power plant located near Augusta, Ga. Other license approvals are pending. The industry is at a crossroad with positive and negative developments. Link to photos, videos.
HART technology, partial-stroke valve testing: A powerful duo for improving plant safety
Digital valve controllers make the job of implementing partial stroke valve testing programs much simpler.
Machine Safety: The missing ah-ha for plant management
Isn’t the machine a hazard as well as the individual hazards on a machine? Last week I blogged about risk assessments, the mitigation process, and how the new methodologies have migrated from qualitative to quantitative approaches. Since designers have engineering tools to design out hazards. Managers need reliable tools to designate an individual hazard level for each machine on their plant floors.
Machine Safety: Does it matter, the Aggregate Hazard Level for a machine?
When conducting a risk assessment of the machine’s individual identified hazards does the safety level of the complete machine or system matter? Does anyone have a solution for determining the aggregate level of an entire machine? Does anybody care?
Top Control Engineering articles, February 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during February 2012 included articles on best products, motor sizing, robotics, programming with UML, cyber security, PID loop tuning, career and salary survey among others.
Twilight of nuclear power?
The Economist is characterizing it as “the dream that failed.” Is that too harsh a judgment?
Can you depend on that sensor?
An instrumentation device that is supposed to keep your process from erupting during an upset may sit there for years if there is no emergency. Will it work when the time comes? Safety sensors can help you sleep better.
Industrial safety first
Control Engineering International: For better manufacturing safety awareness use a high-profile risk management mechanism, says Control Engineering China.
Machine Safety: System degradation and incidence of injury
Are older hardwired safety systems less safe than newer integrated safety systems? (See table.) Since 2002 when integrated safety automation was introduced for machine safety, a growing awareness has emerged questioning the effectiveness over time of a hardwired / hardware safety system versus an integrated safety system. What is the ultimate effectiveness of a safety-related function comparing the date of commissioning to a date several years later given the two approaches?
New FDA regulations impact food and beverage companies
Electronic records and execution functionality could play a role in meeting new FDA regulations, finding appropriate insurance coverage. Manufacturing execution systems can help.
Control Engineering top articles, January 2012
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during January 2012 included articles on control panel safety, programming software and controller hardware, 100-ft high dancing robotic birds, articles on best products, video on system integration project management, temperature sensor best practices, and energy management tips.
World’s largest recovered fuel fired boiler to be built in Sweden
Metso has agreed to supply Mälarenergi's combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Västerås, Sweden, with the world's largest recovered fuel fired boiler. The CHP plant will be commissioned in the middle of 2014.
Machine Safety: NFPA 70E and international requirements
Machine Safety has several different focused areas of potential hazards. One of the areas getting a lot of attention is Arc Flash and NFPA 70E. A recent article published by Control Engineering earlier this month had some startling results. An alarming 72% of respondents (302) “always” plus “mostly” regularly violate NFPA 70E while working on control panels.
High output accelerometer for machinery health monitoring
The 786-500-D2 accelerometer by Meggitt is designed for condition monitoring for rotating equipment and can be used in hazardous areas because of its Class I Div 2/Zone 2 certification.
Security at the device level
Individual field devices may be the target of cyber attacks. Getting that deep is a challenge, but attackers have done it.
Machine Safety: How safe is safe enough?
In machine guarding, how safe is safe enough? Over my 40 years in industry I’ve heard this comment many times. Is this attitude driven by “safety culture” or is it just a product of qualitative risk management? Is this why risk management for machine guarding and functional safety is advancing globally to quantitatively derived engineering and validation?
Top Control Engineering articles, December 2011
The most-visited articles at www.controleng.com during December 2011 included articles on best products, award-winning automation system integrators, control panel safety, video about returning the human to automated processes, programming software, cloud computing for automation, iPhone as an HMI, 100-ft high dancing robotic birds, and lessons learned in operator training simulation.
Cyber security vulnerability assessment
The first step in creating an effective defense is figuring out where the vulnerabilities are in the system. This is a difficult but necessary process, and it never ends.
How safe are your electrical system work practices?
Survey results show many don’t always follow the rules when working on industrial control equipment. Is failure to wear required protective equipment a foolish choice or an acceptable risk? Clamor for regulatory reform among survey respondents tells the story.
EN ISO 13849-1, the quantitative approach to machine safety begins with a qualitative process
EN ISO 13849-1 has now been fully in force since Jan. 1, 2012, without exception and EN 954 has fully been withdrawn. We’ve heard for four years or more that this change in direction equates to a paradigm shift for industry because it in part moves hazard level determination and mitigation from a qualitative process to a quantitative process. There’s more...
Machine Safety: The myths of safety cultures
Every organization at some point in time has held a myth about machine safety. Here are six machine safety myths. What’s yours? Leave a comment.
Automation system to be used by milk company in Finland
Valio, the largest milk producer in Finland, will use the Experion Process Knowledge System for their new plant in Lapinlahti, Finland, which is designed to produce demineralized whey powder.
Product Exclusive: B&R Automation Studio meets programming goals faster
B&R Automation Studio 3.0 enables faster control software programming using a mechatronic approach and object-oriented programming, using C++ along with IEC 61131-3 programming languages.
Leader Under 40: Aaron Crews
Principal Control Systems Engineer, Emerson Process Management – BS Chemical Engineering, Texas A+M University
Emissions control system for transformer oil processing applications
GE NuAir removes more than 84% of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions during reclamation service procedures in California and Ontario, Canada.
Why do we call it loop tuning?
If a process can stick to the setpoint, isn't that enough?
Pinch valve allows automated control of low-volume, clean, sterile liquids
Emerson Process Management's Baumann 85000 eliminates the inefficiencies and poor control given by manually-operated pinch valves typically used in these high value applications.
High-resolution perimeter guard light curtains extend to 30 meters for safety, security
Tapeswitch Perimeter Guards designed for safety and security applications provide a higher resolution (100 mm) compared to the company's standard line of perimeter guards (two, three and four beams). The light curtains have a maximum range of 30 meters.
Wireless sensors push smart machines into green revolution
STMicroelectronics, ARaymond, and Micropelt demonstrated thermal-energy harvesting solutions at Hannover Fair.
Pulling out your hair to measure humidity
What technologies are available for measuring airborne moisture?
Optical sampling oscilloscope module provides sensitivity, range performance
Tektronix's 80C14 is an optical sampling oscilloscope module for the Tektronix DSA8200 Digital Serial Analyzer Series.
Video: The state of manufacturing, part 2
Interviews with industry leaders look ahead to manufacturing in a post-recession environment. Part 2 looks at pricing pressures and improving U.S. competitiveness.
SmartBird unravels the mystery of bird flight
Festo was driven to decipher the details of bird flight, utilizing technology to create an efficient mirror of nature.
Capacitive proximity switch has high-resolution analog output
Lion Precision’s CPA100 Capacitive Sensor proves standard measurement ranges from .05 mm to 6 mm.
MicroManufacturing and NanoManufacturing Conferences
Co-located conferences bring information, webinars, exhibits on Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing.
Video: The lingering effects of Stuxnet
Two cyber security experts discuss what we should learn from the Stuxnet experience, and how companies may want to change their thinking going forward.
Gain scheduling and process linearity
Can we really have a linear process nonlinearity? Sure!
Process engineers: Do you enjoy your job?
Take our survey on job satisfaction for process engineers. Tell us what you think.
Moore Industries-International, Inc: Safety Instrumented Systems: The “Logic” of Single Loop Logic Solvers
Safety Instrumented Systems: The “Logic” of Single Loop Logic Solvers examines what the "new generation" of safety-certified Single Loop Logic Solvers can achieve in IEC 61508 Functional Process Safety applications.
Pressure spray control valves to be used in overseas nuclear power plants
Special Fisher pressure spray control valves will be supplied by Emerson to the State Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation of China for Sanmen 2 and Haiyang 2 nuclear power plants.
PC enclosures for food process applications, NEMA 4X
A line of thermoplastic custom PC enclosures from Midwest Plastic Fabricators are intended to replace heavy traditional materials with their light-weight design and absence of draft angles. They have NEMA 4X-rated with a UL94V-0 flame rating.
Machine Safety blog: 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...
Stimulate your thinking: look at PID in a different way
Maybe you should turn off the automatic tuning feature for a moment and consider what's really going on in that controller.
Variable torque drives serve variable torque fan, pump, and blower applications
VLT Automation VT Drive from Danfoss is designed to reduce initial investment and to maximize flexibility for future in-field upgrades.
Happy With Your Temperature Sensors?
Users are divided on their favorite temperature sensing technology, but most seem satisfied with what they have and how they perform.
Safety laser scanner for irregularly-shaped areas
Banner Engineering’s AG4 Safety Laser Scanner is designed to deliver safety, simplicity and versatility in a single, compact optical device.
Energy savings for industrial operations, manufacturing
Participation in U.S. Department of Energy program continues Opto 22's efforts toward conservation and sustainability.
Driving out the dampness
How can you get rid of moisture inside cabinets and enclosures?
Thermocouples are the best temperature sensor in every application. Right?
Are they? How do you handle your temperature measurement needs? What types of devices do you use, and are you satisfied with the performance? Take our quick survey.
Is it water or orange juice?
Dear Control Engineering: I am working in the process to automate a pasteurizer. I am looking for a sensor technology to detect the change from water to orange juice, and from orange juice to water in the output process. It has a color sensor, but it doesn't detect the change all that well.
Level sensors receive SIL-2 rating for use with safety systems
New certification allows Honeywell Flexline devices to be used with overfill protection systems.
EC: FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation
Process control systems: FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation. FactoryTalk Batch software helps users rapidly design and run batch applications to secure operator overrides, expand data collection and reporting, and improves material management capabilities. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: DX99…D Single-Chamber Instrinsically-Safe FlexPower Nodes
Network Integration - wireless - Banner Engineering - DX99...D Single-Chamber. Instrinsically-Safe FlexPower Nodes -The DX99...D Single-chamber Intrinsically-Safe FlexPower Node is a battery-powered, easy-to-install transceiver designed to wirelessly communicate data in hazardous areas. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Growing range of thermocouples, RTDs, and specialized sensor cabling
AutomationDirect’s line of ProSense process measurement devices now includes type J and type K thermocouples, more varieties of RTD sensors, and matching extension wire. Thermocouple probes with connection heads feature cast aluminum NEMA 4 screw covers with captive gasket and stainless steel chain. The 1/4 in. diameter probes are available with temperature sensing ranges of 32 to 1,330 °F (Type J), or 32 to 1,700 °F (Type K).
Motor Summit 2010 just around the corner
Motor Summit 2010 will convene in Zurich, Switzerland, Oct. 26-28, 2010, bringing together experts from research, government, and the private sector with the intent of supporting various ongoing processes in IEA’s new Implementing Agreement 4E.
What is a “sanitary” device?
Dear Control Engineering: One of the things I see regularly in your new product listings are devices that are designated as “sanitary,” for use in food and pharmaceutical applications. What does that mean? Manufacturing plants that produce food and pharmaceutical products are concerned about bad things growing in a manufacturing environment that could make it into the final product and cause contamination. Such things can make consumers sick or even dead, so we should all be glad such concerns exist.
Advancing Technology: ‘American Idle’ – Nuclear Power
New U.S. nuclear power plants will not be operative for years, but the licensing process to allow building the first of new generation plants is nearing approval - September 2010 Control Engineering.
Norway’s Statoil begins development of offshore oil and gas fields
Producer plots strategies, chooses infrastructure suppliers, to develop Norwegian continental shelf production units.
Pressure gage ranging and accuracy
Dear Control Engineering: I was reading the recent article on differential pressure sensors, and I had a question coming out of that discussion. The author made the following statement: “The pressure in the line may be upwards of 1,000 psi, but the pressure drop is usually very small. Using two separate gage pressure devices and subtracting the readings would result in the combined error of two devices having wide measuring spans.
Back to Basics: Closed-loop stability
Tutorial: Stability is how a control loop reduces errors between the measured process variable and its desired value or setpoint.
Ultra-compact mini PC
Performance that rivals desktop and mobile computers, but fits in your hand.
Embedded control: Zero-drift, programmable instrumentation amplifier with diagnostics
National Semiconductor's LMP8358 simplifies pressure and thermocouple bridge measurements with easy detection of shorts, open circuits and degraded source connections.
NEC Electronics America expands 8-bit microcontroller line
Peripheral set delivers precision analog sensing for battery-powered portable devices, and industrial building automation sensors and monitoring devices.
Beckhoff releases new energy-saving panel PCs with Intel Atom CPU
Multi-functional and compact Panel PC for complex automation tasks is designed for reduced energy consumption.
Honeywell joins the EDDL Cooperation Team
Honeywell's move adds support to industry efforts to develop a unified standard for integrating field devices with industrial facility control systems. It joins a group process automation developers supporting the Field Device Integration (FDI) specification.
Carbon management as a supply chain strategy
A.T. Kearney report on Carbon Disclosure Project notes that most global companies are preparing to de-select suppliers who fail to manage carbon.
Preserve process manufacturing procedural knowledge: Yokogawa
To help process manufacturers preserve procedural knowledge, achieve production objectives, and meet health, safety and environmental regulatory requirements, Yokogawa launched Modular Procedural Automation (MPA).
Discrete Control Winners, Engineers’ Choice Awards 2010
In discrete control, Control Engineering gave 2010 Engineers' Choice Awards for Machine safety, machine vision, PACs, and PLCs.
Fluke 773 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter
Fluke Electronics Fluke 773 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter delivers comprehensive test and measurement capabilities. It’s engineered to accurately measure the minute amounts of current that flow through control system circuits without having to shut down the system, break the circuit and insert a test instrument.
Video tutorial: Measuring liquid depth using pressure
If you want to measure the level of liquid in a tank, one of the simplest approaches is to use a pressure gage. The fact that liquid has weight means that you can measure that weight in the form of pressure. By drilling through the side of a tank and inserting a gage, a reading can be translated into the depth of liquid above the gage.
Lack of visibility, process automation are leading causes of elevated supply chain risk, says Gatepoint Research, E2open
Increasing complexity of the supply chain creates paramount need for multi-tier visibility and fully automated supply chain processes. See chart.
Manufacturing methods: Partnership uses metrology to increase production of right-first-time composite parts
Metrology assisted production process integrates Nikon Metrology Laser Radar into Magestic Systems Inc.'s PCS manufacturing system to improve composite part production quality and throughput.
U.S. health & manufacturing
Anyone you know think that the USA doesn’t make anything anymore? U.S. industrial output is about equal to the combined total industrial outputs of the second and third place countries (Japan and China, respectively), according to “The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2009 Edition.” U.
DOE awards more than $155 million for industrial energy efficiency projects
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded more than $155 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 41 industrial energy efficiency projects across the country. These awards include funding for industrial combined heat and power systems, district energy systems for industrial facilities, and grants to support technical and financial assistance to lo...
Researching for insight
A few months ago, Control Engineering was contacted by Morgan Stanley about partnering on an automation industry research project. Morgan Stanley was in the process of determining whether or not to revive its investment advisory service on this sector and needed data to help determine the current and future viability of automation industry investment.
TomTom WORK and Software AG Form Strategic Partnership for Fleet Management
Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, and TomTom WORK, the B2B division of TomTom, are joining forces, effective immediately.
Digital pressure gages for outdoor use
New five-digit display with large characters from APG offers convenience of mechanical designs but uses MEMS sensing technology for high accuracy, stability.
Non-incendive, intrinsically safe, and explosion-proof pressure transmitters
Transmitter family from AST now offers ¼ in. connection for retrofits and new installations where space is limited.
Protect motor bearings from shaft currents
Baldor Electric Company announces the availability of bearing protection ring technology as an option on Baldor Reliance motors. Aegis SGR Bearing Protection Ring technology, manufactured by Electro Static Technology, protects motor bearings from shaft currents induced by adjustable speed drives. Electro Static Technology guarantees that any new motor up to 100 hp/75 kW will not fail from elect...
Construction equipment firm masters transportation management with Sterling Commerce solution
For manufacturers, managing transportation costs is a constant juggling act. The challenge is identifying and implementing cost-savings techniques without hindering customer service. Given a choice, supply chain managers usually will expedite shipments for a valued customer, says Patrick Connaughton, senior analyst, sourcing and vendor management, at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass.
CyboSoft wins DOE technology development research grants
CyboSoft, a provider of control technology for process, buildings, and equipment, has received two new grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): DOE is focusing grants on this area based on its own data that shows U.S. industrial plants consume more energy than any other sector, including the building and transportation sector.
Embedded intelligence increases photoelectric sensor reliability
New IP69K-Rated Sick W12-3 photoelectric sensor with rotating connection withstands washdown environments; Sick OES3 ASIC, provides smart background and foreground suppression.
Texas Instruments tops ABI Research Mobile Internet Device Platforms Vendor Matrix Ranking
Texas Instruments has been ranked at the top of the latest Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research. NVIDIA and Freescale Semiconductor claimed the second and third spots in the company's new evaluation of worldwide Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform vendors.
Valve status monitor with multiple signaling options
New series 52 2N1 ProxSensor line of valve status monitors from Bray Controls now includes AS-i, DeviceNet, and Profibus DP network connectivity.
60 megawatts of energy produced from landfill gas
HMI, SCADA, controllers from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms used to recover methane gas and convert it to electricity.
PAC8000, high-availability PACSystems RX3i controllers available from GE Fanuc
Latest additions to GE Fanuc controller families deliver improved performance in DCS process applications, and reflective memory technology for high-speed data transfer.
Portable ultrasonic flowmeter
New portable Fluxus F601 ultrasonic flowmeter from Flexim is fast and reliable.
NEC Electronics changes manufacturing process to eliminate hazardous chemicals
Company eliminates use of phenol, dichlorobenzene, and trimethyl benzenes in seminconductor production process, resulting in $150,000 annual cost savings.
Feedback, KPIs critical to FDA’s case for efficient manufacturing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is promoting how knowledge acquired in the development, manufacture, and use of one generation of product can be applied to future generations that a company plans to market. To do this, the FDA is using total product lifecycle (TPLC) to show how feedback and key performance indicators (KPIs) can make manufacturing more efficient, resulting in lower-c...
Grocery Manufacturers Association outlines food safety reform agenda
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) president and CEO Pam Bailey has announced that the group is advocating legislative and regulatory reforms that will modernize the U.S. food safety net, and prevent problems before they arise to bolster consumer confidence in the safety and security of the food supply.
MBT Editorial Video: SOA as a Business Process Management Tool
Service-oriented architecture—or SOA—was a concept developed by IT professionals to ease the process of integrating the growing number of disparate applications that were sprouting on corporate networks. But it soon became apparent that a properly structured SOA could have much greater value: serving as a platform for the quick, easy creation of new, innovative business processes. This Webcast will highlight manufacturers are using SOAs to build the agile technical and business infrastructures that are necessary to maintain a competitive edge in a constantly changing business environment.
For standard smart grid, NEMA publishes protocol specification
NEMA published ANSI C12.22 Protocol Specification for Interfacing to Data Communication Networks. NEMA says smart grid success depends on advancing interoperability among communications modules and meters.
Spring has sprung: Sprinklers use industrial controllers, programming software
National Instruments product manager uses NI LabVIEW and FieldPoint in a self-described do-it-yourself geekout, setting out to create the most elaborate lawn sprinkler ever. On the upside, neighborhood dogs have learned about remote control capabilities. The process included electrical and mechanical implementation, control design, start-up, testing, and operations.
New flowmeter combines mechanical and electronic functions
Proven variable area flowmeter gains sophistication with digital signal processing technology. Solid state design electronically senses movement of the magnetic piston assembly and provides accurate, repeatable flow measurements. The device has no mechanical linkages, which results in longer operating life. While pre-calibrated, it still can be configured for...
Chinese chain pulls Johnson & Johnson products in chemical debate
Shanghai-based Nonggongshan Supermarkets Corp., which operates 3,500 stores in eastern China, pulled the products in response to a debate over safety related to dioxane and formaldehyde content.
Electronics components board adopts environmental regulatory tracking service
The Electronics Components Certification Board announces that it will use EIATRACK as a quality assurance tool in its Hazardous Substances Process Management (HSPM) Green Manufacturing Certification Program.
Dow to construct CO2 capture plant on coal-fired boiler
West Virginia location will use advanced amine process to remove greenhouse gas. Link to other carbon-capture research and studies.
Wireless, wired I/O, controllers
Wired Ethernet network options and wireless 802.11a/b/g capabilities now are available on standard Opto 22 Snap PAC controllers and I/O systems. Using wireless for programmable automation controllers and I/O is as easy as it is for PCs and laptop computers, rather than the hodgepodge of proprietary and incompatible technologies typically found in the industrial automation industry. This was a Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Vibration energy harvesting for wireless condition monitoring
Deployable demonstration system shows OEMs vibration energy harvesting technology can be used.
EDI outtakes: Brown-Forman chooses Crossgate B2B services for streamlined e-invoicing
Brown-Forman, which sells its 35 wine and spirits brands in more than 135 countries, soon realized it had a steadily increasing backlog of EDI project requests, with each transaction requiring multiple weeks of internal effort. It found a way to decrease the complexity by outsourcing the EDI processes to B2B specialist Crossgate.
Survey indicates consumers view safe, sustainable U.S. manufacturing as a priority
Most Americans believe highly automated factories important to economic growth; majority support a stimulus package to modernize U.S. factories. See detailed survey results. Post your views below.
Control Room Consolidation – Part 2, Operating Factors by Invensys
In process and discrete manufacturing plants, control systems may run the machines, but it's the control rooms that can run the operators and managers who need to keep the plants producing at peak efficiency. Choosing the right control system, deciding on the best operating and alarm procedures, and designing useful HMI screens are obvious and crucial factors.
Mass flowmeter optimized for biofuels applications
Growing numbers of biogas and methane recovery sites can monitor collection systems with FCI mass flowmeter. See photo. Link to product research.
Fortify says: U.S. government needs software-security assurance processes for open source
President Obama's Administration is being encouraged to embrace open source software, copying a similar U.K. government game plan. However, the Administration needs to insist that secure development processes are in place for open source projects, says Fortify Software , a specialist in security assurance solutions.In a letter to President Obama, a group of 15 open source advocates are suggesting that the U.S.
‘Tri-brid’ motor vehicle developed
World Energy Solutions creates a vehicle running on a hybrid hydrogen-oxygen engine.
My American Jobs: New organization set to offer manufacturing certification for American companies using U.S.-based materials, components
Tiered certification now is offered for American-produced goods that contain 50 percent to 100 percent U.S.-made materials.
Pump Systems Matter and Hydraulic Institute sponsor pump optimization course
Piggy-backing on WQA Aquatech 2009 conference should help draw potential attendees seeking to optimize pumps. Four tips for pump optimization follow with a link to a pump optimization guide.
Guest commentary: Seven habits of highly successful control engineers, part 1
A three-part examination by George Buckbee of ways control engineers can become more effective. Part one of three. (Links to parts 2 and 3 follow, below.)
Critical decision: Omnify sees PLM uptake in highly regulated med device industry
Omnify Software reports an increase in medical device manufacturers implementing product life-cycle management (PLM) technology due to the ability of Omnify’s solutions to support controlled design processes and manage data for FDA (Food and Drug Administration) compliance.Omnify's growing medical device customer base includes companies such as Criticare Systems , a designer and manufacturer of patient monitoring technology; Pacific Biosciences , a developer of third-generation DNA sequencing technology; PLC Medical Systems , a medical technology company specializing in innovative technologies for the cardiac and vascular markets; Still River Systems , a developer of proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) systems; and Thermage , a leader in non-invasive tissue tightening.Many are leveraging Omnify Empower PLM to meet requirements set forth by the FDA regulation Part 11 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR Part 11) and the FDA 21 CFR Part 820 Quality System regulation; and have completed the Software Validation process mandated by the FDA for software used to design, develop, or manufacture medical devices.“The benefits medical device customers receive from our PLM solution is twofold,” says Chuck Cimalore, Omnify CTO. “First, they are able to benefit from improved product design and development processes. Second, they are able to leverage features such as history tracking, secure electronic signatures, reporting, a closed-loop Corrective and Preventive Action system, and training records management to meet stringent FDA compliance guidelines.”“PLC’s validation of Omnify Empower confirmed that we chose wisely in selecting a PLM product,” says Ern Damon, document control manager for PLC Medical Systems.
Nanotech safety high on Congress’ priority list
Legislation highlights the growing attention on Capitol Hill for the need to strengthen federal efforts to learn more about the potential environmental, health and safety risks posed by engineered nanomaterials.
Fieldbus Foundation releases Safety Instrumented Functions specification
Fieldbus Foundation announced new device development tools for its Foundation for Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technology. The release includes the Foundation for SIF final Technical Specification package, SIF Interoperability Test Kit (ITK), and an updated Device Description (DD) Library with SIF function blocks to support development of interoperable SIF devices for use in of industria...
HMI I/O controller does simple tasks without a PLC
A new I/O module easily interfaces with Beijer Electronics’ HMI and allows the user to implement simple monitoring and automation tasks without a PLC. The compact HMI I/O controller is developed for the plus version of the H-T40, the H-T40m-P, which features extended memory. The module can be easily mounted on the back of the H-T40m-P.
Instruments measure greenhouse gases from space
Ibuki satellite uses interferometer to measure atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide. See photos; link to video.
Contemporary control rooms: Statoil Hydro Tjeldbergodden
At this methanol plant, people can collaborate comfortably to troubleshoot problems, allowing error recovery to happen faster. HMIs are two high-resolution, big screen displays. ABB helped Statoil Hydro.
Tutorial: Understanding the tricky thermocouple
Fixating on the junction can cause you to ignore potential problem areas. After the article “Challenges of Temperature Sensing” came out (Control Engineering, December 2007) we received comments about the explanation of thermocouples. So let’s go into more detail on these often misunderstood devices....
Temperature sensors: Comprehensive line of RTDs
Technology offers combination of precision and robustness for critical applications.
ProSense pressure sensor family expands operating range
AutomationDirect's line of sensors and switches cover a wider scope of possible applications.
Control Engineering Control Panel Design Video Contest Rules
Official Rules NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. 1.
Book Review: Bebop to the Boolean Boogie
Clive Maxfield's encyclopedic treatment covers digital electronics in a light, clear, and thoroughly irreverent style.
PVC manufacturers reach settlement regarding breach of EPA regulations
Shintech Inc. and its subsidiary K-Bin Inc., have agreed in a settlement announced by the Justice Department and EPA to spend $4.8 million to comply with the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at their manufacturing facilities in Freeport, TX.
WIB Plant Security Working Group selects Kube as cyber security expert
Process industry user group seeks help in developing security architecture for control systems.
USB help: Whitepapers help engineers incorporate USB into embedded systems
To help overcome the lack of information available concerning the use of USB in embedded systems, Micro Digital has recently released four white papers. Written by Yingbo Hu, R&D embedded software engineer, the whitepapers are free.
Miniature infrared temp sensor can replace thermocouples
Non-contact technology offers fast response, high accuracy.
Fresh savings baked in: Sara Lee announces major outsourcing initiative
Sara Lee Corp. will outsource financial transaction processing and indirect procurement activities, a move that will render roughly 700 positions redundant—including positions currently performed by contractors. Annual savings are anticipated to be nearly $250M over the next three years.
IO Link: Sensor to Automation System Communication
Innovations in sensors such as proximity switches have been impressive. The packages are smaller, yet have longer ranges. Microcontroller-driven “teach-in” processes for precise sensor settings have replaced cumbersome and inaccurate potentiometer synchronization. Diagnostics have expanded to include such things as early warnings against dirt contamination.
Nouveau NPD: CA brings its product portfolio management solution to the PLM arena
CA, long known as a leading supplier of solutions for managing IT resources, is moving into the product life-cycle management (PLM) realm with the introduction of a solution for managing the new product development (NPD) process.
Smart pump: Device can manage itself, help control process
New rotary positive displacement three-screw concept pump can manage own performance, order own replacement parts.
System stall: Enterprises still struggle with file transfer processes
A new survey confirms very few companies have enacted a comprehensive managed file transfer (MFT) process, but both applications vendors and industry experts alike know there’s plenty of interest in solutions adoption in the coming year.
Semiconductor test leaders ally to improve industry productivity
The semiconductor and test community has formed a new organization to encourage pre-competitive collaboration and standards development to improve industry productivity.
Smart product design: It’s getting easier to be green
By making informed design decisions and using the right tools, manufacturers can take the necessary steps toward making greener—or more eco-friendly or sustainable—products. That's because many of the things considered in everyday good design decisions also are great sustainability design decisions.
NEMA applauds passage of anti-counterfeiting legislation
NEMA likes that the U.S. Congress passed anti-counterfeiting legislation. If signed into law, it could help with a variety of issues facing manufacturers, including safety.
Listen in: Operator alert extends alarm capabilities
Operators can set their own time- or process-based pre-alarms and reminders.
Controls add to robotic flexibility, application diversity; photo gallery
Original equipment manufacturers are starting to run robotics with off-the-shelf controls. Even large robot manufacturers are adopting the use of embedded nonproprietary software. Tutorial, robotic photo gallery, useful links follow.
Upgrading Control: Migration or Evolution?
At a recent automation supplier user group, a speaker cited an interesting statistic. He said that 50% of the DCS (distributed control system) platforms running process plants today are at least 20 years old. Knowing that, it isn’t hard to understand why control system upgrades are on many peoples’ minds as companies face growing cost and competitive pressures.
Vision help: Service helps users implement imaging algorithms
Agility Design Solutions announced an imaging-algorithm implementation service offering to deliver working systems in less than half the time of conventional approaches.
MBT Annual Innovation Awards
The MBT Annual Innovation Award for an information technology or enterprise software solution designed to streamline manufacturing and supply chain processes.
Asset tracker: IT channel seeing growth in RFID projects
Information technology (IT) channel companies say their customers are showing more interest in RFID technology. A worldwide survey of 155 IT companies conducted by Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.-based CompTIA , the Computing Technology Industry Association, finds 46 percent of their customers have implemented one or more RFID solutions either as pilot projects or production deployments. This represents an increase from a 2007 survey, when IT companies reported 34 percent of their customers had initiated RFID projects.The Web-based survey, conducted during the second quarter of 2008, questioned IT channel companies on their current and future intentions for addressing RFID. Customers come from a cross section of industries, including manufacturing, services, government, finance, health care, retail, and communications.The most popular RFID deployments tapped by customers are asset tracking, cited by 32 percent of IT companies surveyed; personal identification (28 percent); supply chain (25 percent); retail marketing (15 percent); and closed-loop manufacturing (9 percent)."RFID offers adopters of the technology benefits in the form of improvements in manufacturing, inventory, and distribution processes; and reduced costs for product theft, spoilage, or obsolescence," says Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers use PLM to swallow bitter regulatory pill
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are focusing attention and resources on product life-cycle management (PLM) adoption, according to a report out of London-based Datamonitor, titled Streamlining Information in the Pharmaceutical Industry with PLM. “Similar to other industries without a traditional focus on PLM, there have been above-average growth rates in PLM for pharmaceuticals and biotechno...
USDA OKs hygienic robot; robots have vision for photovoltaic manufacturing
Fanuc Robotics received USDA approval for a high-speed food pick robot; Adept Technology explains how robots with machine vision can help photovoltaic manufacturing. Photos....
Under the hood: Transplace offers fuel conservation tip list for energy-efficient shipping/receiving
Fuel has reached record-high prices, with no apparent relief in sight. And transportation management services supplier Transplace knows all too well the challenges for carriers and Over the Road (OTR) drivers brought on by these higher prices.Via research conducted with its carrier alliance partners, Transplace has compiled a handy list of fuel conservation tips to help both carriers and OTRs endure rising fuel prices.In sharing this list, Transplace hopes to alleviate the pressure and make the shipping and receiving processes of its clients more energy-efficient.Here are a few highlights from the Transplace Fuel Conservation Tip list.OTR Driver Fuel Conservation Tips:• Plan routes through major cities during off-peak hours.• While customer requirements often dictate that deliveries occur during peak hours, supply chain partners should work together to establish flexible shipping and receiving hours to maximize the efficiency of all affected parties.• Reduce deadhead and empty miles by laying over and waiting on the next closest load, if practical.• Coordinate the most efficient backhaul with your driver managers, rather than running long distances to pick up the next load. This applies your available capacity to the closest load and reduces the total gallons required to reposition for the next pickup.• Utilize low RPM shifting techniques for maximum fuel conservation.• Less fuel is used when changing gears more quickly at lower RPMs, which also reduces long-term wear on vehicles engines.• Ensure all equipment is properly maintained and all air/fuel filters are changed according to the manufacturer’s specs• Instead of trying to save money by lengthening the time interval in-between service checks, ensure your vehicle is running safely and efficiently by following the manufacturer’s specs.• Eliminate unnecessary equipment/ tools/personal effects to reduce total weight on truck.• Remove excess weight from the vehicle, such as TVs and double bunks.
Qualcomm wireless connectivity services let OEMs build out smarter machines
OEMs for industrial and other type machines are beginning to appreciate the opportunity to differentiate their offerings in the market by embedding intelligence in their products, as well as the means to communicate over vast distances to enable greater product uptime and service. Companies like Gardner Denver, John Deere, and ABB are turning to Qualcomm for assistance in providing the wired a...
Products are in process for VME radio frequency standard
Products are on the way that use a new communications standard recently approved by VMEbus International Trade Association called VITA Radio Transport (VRT). The standard defines....
Built-in tools: Benchmarking process operations in real time
ProcessApex software from ExperTune benchmarks and tracks business results of fired heaters, heat exchangers, and dryers. It can find bottlenecks and....
Steam Distribution Metering Solved
Pacific Klamath Energy (PKE) operates a 500 MW electric co-generating station for the City of Klamath Falls, OR, providing electricity for about 450,000 residents. The plant also serves as steam host to a local wood products manufacturing facility that employs about 100 people. PKE is a subsidiary of PPM Energy, based in Portland, Oregon.
General machine drive line extended
ABB has extended the ratings of its ACS350 general machinery drives to 20 and 25 HP, at 480 V. Units are RoHS-compliant, with coated boards, and suit a range of machine applications in food processing, material handling, textiles, printing, rubber and plastics, semiconductor, automotive, and woodworking industries.
Ed Miller: Manufacturers leverage the expanding footprint of PLM
Once predominately focused on engineering design, product life-cycle management (PLM) is extending its reach to a broader range of activities, from early-stage product strategy development and planning to product engineering and manufacturing engineering, and on through to product maintenance and support.
Hannover: Signal, power connectors; wireless; depth gauge
On display during Hannover Fair this week, were innovative introductions and demonstrations featuring Baumer, Dust Networks, and Molex, to mention a few. Also read, from Control Engineering ...
Yokogawa buys Analytical Specialties, real-time laser analyzers
Yokogowa Corporation of America purchased Analytical Specialties and its TruePeak Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy (TDLS) Gas Analyzers, said to be highly accurate, repeatable, and real-time. Yokogawa also established a Laser Analytical Division within its U.S. subsidiary as a core unit for the industrial automation environmental and measurement business.
PLC: Controller cuts engineering time for machine builders
Scalable hardware, pre-developed machine functions, reusable code, and unified programming software to reduce engineering time for machine builders working with complex machines are all part of the Bosch Rexroth IndraControl L10 PLC.
Pharma makers secure full chain of custody using Acsis track & trace
It's one thing to track drugs moving through production; following them throughout the supply chain is the bigger headache—and one for which there is no magic pill. “As an industry, pharmaceutical manufacturers are taking steps to quickly respond to evolving patient safety requirements,” says Andre Pino, chief marketing officer at Acsis, a track & trace solutions supplier.
Safety mats with quick cable disconnects
Omron Scientific Technologies, Inc. has introduced the UMQ Series Safety Mats, which feature an IP67 quick-disconnect cable connector to lower costs through reduced inventory, while simplifying installation and replacement of damaged cables. The quick-disconnect feature allows for last minute cable length changes in the field and, since the cable is not attached until the end of the installatio...
More safety, productivity: 2007 robot orders up 24%
North American manufacturers ordered 24% more robots; total of $1.07 billion, RIA says.
Tire making quality control
Making rubber tires involves a complex, multi-faceted manufacturing process. To enhance production, Honeywell has introduced the MXProLine Wire Calendar Quality Control System (QCS), a next-generation system that enhances visibility and automation of quality parameters for the wire calendering process in tire making.
Tour: Guess the company …scroll down for photos, answers
Think Again: I love facility tours and did another in February. Guess where? Eleven hints follow. 1. It is a business one year older than the U.S. town that shares part of its name. 2. It was established before the Civil War. 3. It contains a lot of automation and instrumentation, and few key portions of the process were hand-crafted more than 100 years ago and still serve admirably.
Industrial controls finish 2007 strong; optimism in 2008
NEMA reports strong growth in 2007; A separate Morningstar report suggests manufacturing optimism through 2008.
Data structure tips for Logix controllers
Save memory and optimize performance of Rockwell Automation controllers.
Tutorial: Guided-wave radar level sensors
Versatile guided-wave technology helps in normal and problematic continuous level applications.
Process analyzers: What makes wine good?
Using modern instrumentation to unlock the ancient art of winemaking.
Business process perk: Costa Coffee reengineers order taking, debt management using Epicor enterprise system
Costa Coffee is reporting many benefits out of a newly completed phase of a major business engineering project that uses Epicor Enterprise from Epicor Software Corp. to help maintain strong growth within its Corporate Sales Business.
New board: Your company in Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance?
Research Triangle Park, NC – Industrial wireless education and global expansion are among leadership goals touted by the newly elected board of directors for Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA), an Automation Federation organization.
Analysis: Control system builders want your feedback
Honeywell and others are soliciting suggestions for control systems. Whichever your platform, you should provide feedback when possible.
Control Engineering: Engineers’ Choice Awards 2007
Control Engineering announces its Engineers' Choice Award winning products in the February 2008 North American print edition.
The right prescription: Pharma manufacturers use PLM to swallow bitter regulatory pill
Regulatory compliance pressures and increased competition have pharmaceutical manufacturers focusing much more attention and resources on adopting product life-cycle management solutions, according to a report out of London-based Datamonitor.
Pressure instrument: Digital gage includes data logger
MadgeTech, Inc . has released the PR2000 family of digital pressure gages with onboard LCD and data logging capability. Reportedly capable of storing up to 262,143 readings in non-volatile memory, the series features real-time graphing capability, displaying a graph as data is received showing 100 previous readings.
Tutorial: Coriolis flowmeters for gas service
More than once in these pages we have discussed the tricky process of measuring compressed air or other gas flows. (See earlier stories on rotameters and thermal mass flowmeters .) The compressible nature of gas makes it more difficult to measure than liquids, particularly when your goal is to convert the reading to a standardized temperature and pressure or mass measurement. In critical situations, a Coriolis flowmeter may be the best solution, although it will not be the least expensive. In the larger instrumentation picture, Coriolis flowmeters are known for being highly accurate, capable of very wide turndown ranges, and costly.
Visibility on demand: Sterling Commerce unveils new supply chain collaboration solution
Sterling Commerce says True Value Company, one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives, will be an early adopter of a new on-demand solution that promotes partner connectivity, process integration, and real-time visibility throughout a company’s extended supply chain.
‘Makeover’ for manufacturing
No matter what your company produces, product innovation and process efficiency keep you one step ahead of the competition. An increasingly scarce supply of new engineering talent joining the ranks, however, could place that competitive advantage at risk. The good news is that an incredible amount of energy and creativity is being invested in reaching out to young people to engage and inspire.
‘Going green’ can be good for business
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States will require far-reaching efforts spanning all sectors of the economy, but significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time. So says a newly-released McKinsey & Company report. Annual GHG emissions within the United States will increase from 7.
That was easy? Standard profits
I'm convinced that the value of the ISA88 Part 5 standard, if widely applied as intended, will mean the difference between profitability and plant closings at many facilities. Part 5 is the core of most basic control. Despite that value, making standards isn't easy.
Take a look around: Sensor sees cylindrical surface, 360 degrees
Natick, MA — Ability to see the cylindrical surface of bottles and cans, vials, or cosmetic containers at 360 degrees without product orientation or accurate positioning would save a lot of time and effort. The Cognex OmniView uses 4 cameras to do so, reading barcodes, verifying text, inspecting graphics and measuring features at speeds up to 1,200 parts per minute.
Control room: Users, designers benefit from remote graphics hardware validation
Remote graphic units (RGUs)
ABB joins North American PTO, supporting U.S. Profibus, Profinet efforts
Wickliffe, OH — ABB Inc. joined PTO North America. PTO develops and promotes the use of Profibus fieldbus and Profinet industrial Ethernet standards for automation. ABB has been actively working with the PNO (Profibus and Profinet Nutzerorganisation) in Germany since its inception in 1989 and is a member of the PNO Advisory Board.
Embedded: Green Hills Software supports AMCC PowerPC processors, 405EX, 405EXr
Santa Barbara, CA — Green Hills Software Inc. today announced availability of its software development solution targeting Applied Micro Circuit Corp.’s (AMCC) PowerPC 405EX and 405EXr embedded processors.
Quality control tips: How to avoid making errors in the first place
While error-proofing isn’t free, it can be considerably less costly than shipping the wrong parts, causing a shutdown, or triggering fines or remediation efforts that are built into some supply contracts, says David Marten, Faurecia manager of manufacturing metal engineering.
Analysis: Processors living with variability
During a recent visit to Control Engineering’s offices, Jack Bolick, president of Honeywell Process Solutions had a few minutes to record a podcast with our editorial director, Marc Moschetto. While the whole podcast is interesting, Bolick made a particularly interesting point about a new set of problems that he sees process producers facing in all verticals. The two issues are unrelated, but they compound to make life more complicated. First, he notes that producers are having to deal with higher levels of variability in raw materials and feedstocks.
AC Adjustable-Speed Drive Product Research (November 2007)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding AC Adjustable-Speed Drives.
A smooth blend: HP links acquired products with homegrown solutions to automate IT management
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled an integrated set of applications for managing IT operations. This new software suite combines several of HP’s homegrown solutions with technology from companies HP recently acquired.
How to control quality: Err not
Is it just too obvious to say that the best way to ensure quality products go out the door is to not make errors in the first place? Perhaps. Less obvious is how to effectively design products and workflow to avoid making mistakes. While error-proofing isn’t free, it can be considerably less costly than shipping the wrong parts, causing a shutdown, or triggering fines or remediation effor...
SOA Governance: Software AG touts automated method for making services reusable
Software AG is making a bid to become a leading supplier of service-oriented architecture (SOA) management tools with the recent release of its CentraSite Governance Edition suite.
HMI: Handheld operator panel saves time, effort
Beijer Electronics introduces a new member of its user-friendly series of operator panels, Exter M70.
Expert advice: Schneider Electric opens development lab for automation vendors
Schneider Electric hopes to spur smoother development of advanced industrial automation and control solutions by establishing a center where original equipment manufacturers (OEM) can collaborate freely with other industry experts.
Network security appliance protects plant operations from malware
As manufacturers rely on the Internet as the means to run applications—and the vehicle for sending and receiving email—concerns about network security grow in equal measure. One issue, says Charles Kolodgy, research director with Framingham, Mass.-based analyst firm IDC, is determining what type of security product should be used.
Temperature sensor: Free “Worm” for you to test
In the July issue of this newsletter, we ran a product release about a new flexible temperature sensor from Moore Industries . The company has found that once customers try the device and understand its capabilities, they buy more. With that in mind, Moore is now offering one for you to try, free. The offer includes a choice of a thermocouple or RTD sensor, 24 in.
Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Analytical model 1056 intelligent analyzer is flexible, multiparameter, and is said to reduce the cost per loop and save panel space by offering a single- or dual-sensor input with an unrestricted choice of dual measurements. It is ideal for a wide range of industrial and municipal applications and can measure turbidity, flow, pH/ORP/ISE, resistivity...
Scales and Load Cells
Weighing technology has been a critical part of industrial activity ever since its earliest development. Simple comparison of materials by weight (whether done with a crude balance or a simple manual comparison—one sample in one hand, one in the other) formed the basis for recipes, inventory measurement, basic custody transfer transactions and determination of selling price.
Safety Network, Is one enough?
Communication systems that cooperate will achieve a better overall level of safety, than single 'universal systems'. 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 intended for instrumentation at the field level, for example, could cause in unnecessary downtimes or worse, if misapplied. Engineers would like to pick the right safety network for the job, just as they can for control aspects thanks to open networks. Now that choice of the best solution—even if it means using two networks—is possible because of Siemens F-Link and related devices.
Plant2Enterprise conference: Efficiency, growth, effectiveness take center stage
MES vendors, users gather to bring plant floor / business data together.
Detroit Science Center receives two Kuka robots
The Detroit Science Center’s Fun Factory, which features 39 hands-on exhibits spanning 2,800 square feet, is where visitors can learn how a variety of manufacturing processes turn an idea into reality. Kuka Robotics Corporation donated two 6-axis robots to the Fun Factory to demonstrate how robots are used for welding, in foundries, and other manufacturing applications.
Rockwell Automation advises on machine safety
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. It looks at return on investment (ROI), summarizing how managing risk can reduce costs and increase productivity.
Intermec RFID hardware first to be certified for use in China
Intermec's passive UHF RFID readers comprise the first RFID hardware to be certified by China's State Radio Regulation Committee (SRRC).
Tire pressure monitoring requirement kicks in
Your next new car is going to have a direct-type tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) consisting of a miniature data acquisition system and wireless data transmitter. So says the U.S. Congress.
Black Book excerpts: Execs are dumping environmentally unfriendly outsourcers
Green factors are forcing a new stage of expectations on global outsourcing suppliers. Environmental concerns have entered into the formal selection process of outsourcing vendors, according to Brown-Wilson Group, authors of The Black Book of Outsourcing, an independent study of industry decision-makers and analysts.
New orders: North American robot sales jump 39% in first half 2007
New orders to North American robotics companies increased 39% the first half of 2007, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA),
Bar code specification: Public review costs $140; auto ID handbook
The trade association AIM Global announces the Public Review Draft of the International Symbology Specification–Ultracode, developed by AIM Global’s Technical Symbology Committee.
Industry expert offers retrospective on RFID
Lack of collaborative process change and effective measurement of ROI has had a dilatory effect on adoption, according toAMR Research in a three-year review of the technology.
Manufacturing intelligence drive capitalizes on Rockwell/Microsoft partnership
As many a plant manager would attest, global manufacturing enterprises today expect unprecedented levels of detailed information about plant performance. One reason is the increasing scale of multi-plant operations, of extended supply chains, and of outsourced production, which call for the kinds of manufacturing intelligence that allows flexible, collaborative response to ongoing change and i...
New D40A noncontact safety switches are said to reduce costs by connecting up to 30 switches to a single controller. High-visibility, two-color LED indicators provide “at-a-glance” status indication at the guard door for quick adjustments, as necessary, the co. says. An auxiliary contact allows for remote status indication.
Partners pair tag/reader solutions to foster new RFID apps at lower cost
While enforcement of Gen 2 tags represents another big stride in RFID's evolution, users are still looking for greater ease of use. Offering prepackaged solutions of tags and readers is one way to streamline the path to RFID—at lower cost. Labeling supplies specialist Avery Dennison recently announced a plan to combine its RFID inlays with Motorola's hardware and tag design expertise.
Lack of IT governance is putting business value at risk
Leveraging the value of IT investments and governance goes hand in hand, but formal adoption continues to lag. “There's been a lot of publicity given to IT governance over the last few years, yet the understanding and penetration of formal IT governance processes among organizations of all sizes is much lower than I would have expected,” says Tim Jennings, research director at Butl...
Major players propose human workflow extensions to business processes spec
Enterprise software heavyweights—namely IBM, BEA, Oracle, SAP, and Adobe—are submitting a new proposal to extend the BPEL Web services business process orchestration specification to include human workflows. The proposals, to be submitted to the Web services standards body OASIS, will include an extension of the BPEL spec—named BPEL4People—which specifies the inclusion o...
Model-based design verifier
Model-based design methodology allows developers of embedded systems—especially safety-critical or complex designs—to automatically obtain test cases to satisfy industry-standard metrics, such as modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC), while uncovering design errors earlier in the development process when they are significantly less expensive to fix.
Flow tutorial: Magnetic flowmeters
In our last issue, we discussed turbine flowmeters because they had tied with magnetic flowmeters as the most commonly used in a recent Control Engineering product research survey . This month we look at magnetic flowmeters and examine what makes them so popular. Magnetic flowmeters work on the principal that a conductor moving through a magnetic field generates a current in proportion to the speed at which it moves. In this case, the wire is replaced by the fluid which moves through magnetic coils on opposite sides of the pipe.
Loop control: Self-tuning device minimizes process disruptions
In any process plant, there is usually a PID loop or two that needs more attention than others. Self-tuning controllers can often help that, but they frequently introduce their own peculiarities to a process. Microstar Laboratories has designed a self-tuning process that uses its standard hardware components and a software package that the company promises can adjust on the fly with minimal process disturbance. ( Read an article on self-tuning control strategies here and watch for a feature article: Fundamentals of Self-Tuning Control in the July issue of Control Engineering .) Self-tuning controllers typically find out how a process works by manipulating their control efforts and seeing how the process variable responds.
Suite facilitates information collection and analysis in the real-time factory era
“Business people suddenly discovered real time,” is how OSIsoft President and CEO Patrick Kennedy characterizes the past 12 months. As a result, there's been something of an explosion taking place in the amount of real-time data being collected from the factory floor—a development reflected both in the demand for OSIsoft's products, and in the changing nature of those products.
Re-target your innovations
Apply innovations in the right amounts to the right areas to prevent your organization's extinction, or, at least augment net income. Consider managing innovations, rather than processes, says Geoffrey Moore, venture capitalist and author of “Dealing with Darwinism” and “Crossing the Chasm.
Industrial computers: NEMA 4X touch screens in stainless steel enclosures
EnduraTouch series of NEMA 4X industrial computers
Microsoft orchestrates an enterprise-ready BizTalk RFID platform
The next version of Microsoft BizTalk Server business process management software will have RFID capabilities that Microsoft positions as a more enterprise-ready approach to RFID than that offered by traditional RFID middleware. Steve Sloan, senior product manager for Microsoft's Connected Systems Division, says the RFID capabilities are a major area of focus for the next version of BizTalk, kn...
Sensors: Fab delivers world’s largest flexible photosenisitive array
Nanoident Technologies AG, manufacturer of printed-semiconductor-based optoelectronic sensors, delivered the world’s largest printed semiconductor-based photodetector array on a flexible polyethylene terephthalate foil substrate.
Non-contact temperature transmitter
New Rayomatic 20 non-contact process IR temperature transmitter from E Instruments Group LLC is configurable for a wide variety of applications.
What’s better than a good microprocessor?
The short answer to the question, “What's better than a good microprocessor?” is “one with multiple execution cores embedded into the same-sized semiconductor package.” But you should know more. An appropriate comparison must first recognize that performance of normal, single-core (“good”) microprocessors has increased almost without limit over many generations.
Fake goods hamper manufacturing market health; call for criminalization imminent
Counterfeit goods trafficking is a global problem that goes far beyond designer handbags and watches. Note the following: “The growth of counterfeiting in all industries and all markets is alarming,” says Mark Mutterperl, partner the New York law firm Fulbright & Jaworski, which specializes in intellectual property protection.
Disruptive technology on display in San Jose
A feature of the 2007 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, CA was the Disruption Zone, featuring companies with technologies that have to potential to make waves in the world of embedded systems.
Energy storage: Ultracapacitors answer power needs
In today’s electronics world there is a constant cry for more power, including for motion control applications.
Fed up? MCAA wants smoother product certifications
Williamsburg, VA —There's a growing disconnect between the business practices of third-party product testing laboratories and the needs of instrumentation companies and their customers, according to the Measurement, Control & Automation Association . And MCAA members plan to do something about it. "Member companies have noted that while product design and life cycles have shortened, the third-party approval process has become increasingly complex, expensive, and time consuming. Acting on the belief that the Association can be a catalyst to bring the parties together in a process intended to enhance the competitiveness of member companies, the Association is proposing a one-day conference to be held between July and October 2007," according to MCAA.Representatives of each testing laboratory will be asked to attend along with MCAA members, with the purpose of minimizing delays and unforeseen expenses.
Biodiesel from beans: System integrator picked for controls design
Control system design for the largest U.S. biodiesel facility goes to Matrix Technologies Inc ., a process design and automation firm with corporate headquarters in Maumee (Toledo), OH. Louis-Dreyfus Agricultural Industries LLC made the selection, saying Matrix will provide the control system design and integration for the country's largest soybean oil extraction and biodiesel processing facility, to be located in Claypool, IN. Included will be a combined 50-million bushel per year soybean processing plant and biodiesel production facility.
ABB takes automation show on the road
The Marriott Hotel in San Ramon, CA, played host to the first 2007 ABB Low Voltage Products Roadshow, on Feb. 21-22, where the company displayed more than 25 drive, instrumentation, process automation, and power products and solutions. Under the name “Results-Driven Power Control,” the user event is scheduled to tour major regional markets across the U.
Growth in Asia: Joint venture brings large-format TFT glass substrate plant to Korea
Responding to increasing demand for TFT-LCD (thin film resistor-liquid crystal display) glass substrates, Kuramoto Co. Ltd. and Schott have opened a joint venture plant for processing large-format TFT-LCD products in Korea.
New software: Distillation and absorber column modeling package
Mynah Technologies has expanded its offering of process simulation software with its new MiMiC Distillation Modeling Package. This tool is designed to help in control strategy development, testing, control loop tuning, and optimization of distillation systems. It reportedly provides accurate process models to save time and cost for new capital projects and improvements to existing units. The MiMiC Distillation Modeling Package is built primarily for process automation system software acceptance testing and operator training.
3 ways to engineer success
One of the most common counseling sessions I provide to engineers is based on a premise that I learned in the most valuable class I took in college. The class was an accident, really. I needed a filler between calculus and FORTRAN (now there’s an example of tuition well spent), and there was an opening in a public speaking class.
Support of innovation
The rapid growth of overseas manufacturing is creating opportunities and challenges for U.S. manufacturing. Companies are investing billions of dollars abroad to access emerging markets and take advantage of skilled workers. This month’s International Insight column (p. 20), focuses on two automation companies investing in Asian partners, and our “Global Focus on Manufacturing”...
CompactPCI board: single or dual MPC7448 processing
Interface Concept offers a new CompactPCI / 6U board, the IC-xe6-cPCIb, with one or two Freescale 1.4 GHz MPC7448 PowerPC processors. Briec-de-l — Interface Concept , said to be a European leading designer, developer and manufacturer of embedded boards, unveils a new high-performance CompactPCI / 6U board, the IC-xe6-cPCIb, powered by one or two Freescale 's most advanced 1.4 GHz MPC7448 PowerPC processors. This new single- or dual-processor SBC, being PICMG2.16 compliant, is ideal for use in defense, aeronautics, transportation, and medical fields in which high-performance processing application is required in combination with low power consumption and large communications capabilities. To complete the processor, the board implements a Marvell Discovery III chipset (MV64460).
News: Use of collaborative production management for process manufacturing growing quickly
The market for collaborative production management systems for process manufacturing (CPM-P) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% over the next five years. So says a study recently released by ARC Advisory Group . Its analysts estimate the market was just over $1.6 billion in 2006 and forecast it to reach nearly $2.8 billion in 2011. Demand for CPM software and services for process industries is accelerating, benefiting from the prolonged growth cycle for manufacturing IT that will continue for the next couple of years.
Programmable Control Valve Actuators Product Research (January 2007)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Control Valve Actuators.
Communications 101: An Engineer’s Primer By Herb Flink Customer Support Engineering Manager Parker Fluid Control Division
Today’s engineers are measured by how well they link technical expertise with effective communications skills. Communicating clearly, concisely, and professionally is vital whether handling a customer call, creating a department report, or emailing a customer about a project inquiry.
Display conference: Hear from BMW, Universal Pictures
Executives from BMW, Universal Pictures, and AKT will provide the keynote addresses at the Society for Information Display's (SID) upcoming annual event. Display Week 2007: The SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, set for May 20-25, 2007 in Long Beach, CA, will gather together scientists, engineers, manufacturers, and users from the electronic-display industry to learn about technology and applications ranging from high-definition flat-panel displays using both emissive and liquid-crystal technology to the latest in OLED displays and large-area projection-display systems. The show and conference will include state-of-the-art information on the latest in image processing, systems software and display processor hardware, human factors and applied vision, and new applications such as multimedia and electronic cinema.
Service center: New facility offers flowmeter calibration, repair
When faced with a flowmeter that doesn't work or needs calibration, there aren't many choices for help outside of the original manufacturer. Flow Technology Inc . now offers an alternative with the opening of its new service facility in Tempe, AZ.
Control valve for process applications
Spira-Trol general service control valve from Spirax Sarco features a modular design. Two-port device is intended for food and beverage, pharmaceutical, rubber, plastics, metals, chemicals, and electronics manufacturing applications.
Flowmeter: New magmeter for tough municipal, industrial water applications
Flow measurement in municipal and industrial water and wastewater applications can be a dirty job with wide flow ranges, solids content, and poorly configured piping. All these make accurate readings difficult at best. The new Marsh Multi-Mag from McCrometer reportedly is designed to thrive in these environments, delivering volumetric flow accuracy of The Multi-Mag inserts into existing piping from 4 to 120 in.
Level measurement: BP depends on megnetostrictive sensors for flammable liquids
BP is the second largest pipeline company in the U.S., transporting 450 million barrels of refined fuels and other products daily over 30 states. With that much flammable material on the move, safety concerns are key and enforced by the U.S. Dept.
Embedded computing: Association moves to reform standards setting
VITA , trade association for the critical embedded computing industry, and its standards organization (VSO) are working, with guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice, to develop new patent policy procedures aimed at improving the standards-setting capabilities within the VSO. VITA requested guidance from the Justice Department's antitrust authority about a proposed patent policy designed to ensure that participants in the VSO standard-setting process disclose patents that are essential to implement a new standard, and declare the most restrictive licensing terms that will be required to license any such patents. "VITA members will benefit for many years to follow from the changes and improvements being made to the VITA patent policy," said Ray Alderman, executive director of VITA.
Eaton offers UL508A information database
Since April, there has been increased scrutiny for full compliance with NEC Article 409 and UL508A SCCR (short-circuit current rating) requirements to help prevent misapplication of control products and related equipment, suggests Eaton Corp . OEMs and others need to discover mistakes to ensure safety and prevent Underwriters Laboratories (UL) re-inspection, which could cost several thousand dollars. Eaton's electrical business has taken special steps and made a significant investment to help customers achieve full compliance with what it calls the "largest database of tested product combinations," offering over 5,000 combinations. Eaton is also taking steps to educate customers and original equipment manufacturers on the standard via an online tutorial, access to online Knowledge Centers, and custom training at customer facilities. Click here for more on Eaton's UL508A Webinar Also read, from Control Engineering , " 1st online software calculates UL508A short-circuit current rating " Click here to register and view a Control Engineering , Schneider Electric, and UL webcast, "Understanding the Impact of UL 508A." For a Plant Engineering and Cooper Bussman webcast on UL508A, click here . — Edited by Mark T.
Thanks, readers, for helping to save Hubble, a giant sensor in space
NASA announced Oct. 31 that it would send a Space Shuttle mission to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope; Control Engineering readers helped encourage that decision. The April 2004 North American Control Engineering print edition encouraged subscribers and online readers to e-mail NASA, the administration, and elected officials in Washington, asking them to save Hubble. The Control Engineering commentary (“Think Again: Measure and Improve”) said, in part: “One of the largest and most-distant sensors, the Hubble Space Telescope, will need another tune-up and orbital boost within a few years, or it will incinerate in the atmosphere.
Top 10 Tips for Operator Interface Design
Organic electronics expected for RFID tags
Recent developments in organic electronic materials and processing are creating new opportunities for manufacturing lower cost electronic circuits and devices, changing the way in which radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are manufactured, priced, and applied, according to recent analysis from Venture Development Corp. With additional development, VDC says, design and manufacturing process improvements this technology could become viable for the production of high-volume, low-cost RFID transponders. “Though still inferior to silicon-based technologies, these new materials and products have the potential to significantly influence the electronic circuit and display technology industries. Seeing that integrated circuits (ICs) represent approximately 30-50% of a typical passive RFID transponder, these new developments could reduce tag prices to below $0.05– finally achieving expected pricing levels and providing a unique identification (UID) code for item-level applications,” VDC says. Louis Bianchin, senior RFID analyst at VDC says, 'Organic, polymer-based, or chip-less RFID tags could bring tag prices down below five cents, at which point the potential of item-level RFID tagging should be realized.
Technology update: UV polymer optical bonding process enhances LCDs
A new UV polymer optical bonding process from CI Lumen is said to enhance visual properties of flat panel LCDs. A new UV polymer optical bonding process that improves contrast, enables brighter graphics, and boosts ruggedness of LCDs has been developed by CI Lumen . The patent-pending method permanently affixes performance-enhancing substrates to panels, including acrylic or glass, up to 46 in.
Case Study: La Pastora Sugar Mill by Opto 22
Integrator IAC Implements Opto 22-based Automation System at Venezuelan SugarMill—Facility Realizes Big Cost Savings via Water Recirculation and Power Generation
Fast, low-power SBC
Eurocom 400 CPU from American Eltec features the new dual-core Intel Xeon processor LV 2.0 GH with dual CPU capabilities in combination with the COM Express platform, the PICMG-defined form factor for computers-on-modules that replaces the ETX standard.
Control Engineering Online Update for September 15, 2006
LVT CMOS process module
Advanced low-threshold (LVT) CMOS process module based on 0.35 ìm analog CMOS (C35) technology extends austriamicrosystems’ foundry technology portfolio.
On-chip debug support for processors
Support for Freescale Semiconductor Inc.’s ColdFire family of 32-bit microprocessors is now available from Macraigor Systems LLC through its OCDemon family of products.
Measure Up with Machine Vision
Vision systems help manufacturers improve quality and productivity by automating many part gauging and inspection tasks quickly, accurately, and with a high degree of repeatability. By generating valuable inspection data at each step of a manufacturing process vision systems also can help control engineers augment process diagnostics.
Users benefit with vendors’ technology road shows
Taking a program to the customer is way to reach contacts who don't have time for traditional tradeshows. ABB, Invensys, and Wago have all launched programs to deliver technology presentations to the customer, offering demonstrations to new audiences. ABB and Wago have put their display on wheels, driving directly to the customers.
Interaction map finds root causes
PlantTriage Performance Supervision software from ExperTune now includes a color-coded map to identify important process interactions.
Pepperl+Fuchs acquires intrinsic safety instrumentation business
Twinsburg, OH— Pepperl+Fuchs extends its reach into the intrinsic safety market with its acquisition of the Intrinsic Safety Instrumentation business (ISB) from Cooper Crouse-Hinds , a division of Cooper Industries. ISB is located in Buehl, Germany. Purchase price was not disclosed. “With this acquisition, Pepperl+Fuchs has further underlined its ambition to maintain and extend its leading position in the international market of fieldbus connectivity and intrinsic safety protection technology for process automation industries, said Jim Bolin, P+F corporate operations officer.
Feedback loops control discrete, continuous processes
Arguably, the most basic tool of the control engineering profession is the feedback loop, shown below. It consists of five fundamental elements: This measure-decide-actuate sequence repeats as often as necessary until the desired process condition is achieved. For a continuous process, a feedback loop attempts to maintain a process variable (or manipulated variable) at a desired value known as ...
PICMG1.0 SBC supports ISA DMA mode
City of Industry, CA·Axiomtek launched a high-performance single board computer (SBC), the SBC81200, that supports LGA775-pin Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Celeron D processors up to 3.8 GHz, with a 533/800 MHz front side bus (FSB), and Intel 865G + ICH5 chipset.
Bakers association likes laser marking for bread bags
DataLase announced that the American Bakers Association (ABA) conducted four successful field trials of the DataLase Packmark laser marking technology for the marking of variable information on polyethylene bread bags. In four field trials at bakeries, time, date, and expiration codes were laser marked on a blank white panel on the top and end of the bags.
Partial-stroke valve testing system integrates software platform
A system for partial-stroke valve testing has been integrated with an automation software platform that can more readily incorporate related information. As part of an ongoing technology partnership, ABB Inc. and Metso Automation Inc. announced that Metso's Neles ValvGuard product has been "Industrial IT Enabled."
Agreement with technology innovator moves GE Energy into nuclear sector
Wilmington, NC — GE Energy expands into the nuclear sector signing an exclusive agreement with Silex Systems Ltd. , an Australia-based technology innovator, to license Silex’ technology and develop its uranium manufacturing process in the United States. The transaction is subject to governmental approvals and regulatory controls on the design, construction, and operation of the process. The agreement provides for a phased approach to technology development and potential construction of a test loop, pilot plant, and full-scale, commercial enrichment facility.
UL expands technical services in Southeast Asia
Singapore and Northbrook, IL—Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is expanding operations in Singapore to meet growing technical and customer services needs in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region.
Safety instrumented systems used at Petrobras’ refineries
Petróleo Brasileiro SA ( Petrobras ) has selected Invensys Process Systems’ Triconex TMR (triple modular redundant) technology for safety instrumented systems applications at the Duque de Caxias refinery in Rio de Janeiro state (Reduc) and the Paulinia refinery in Sao Paulo state (Replan) in Brazil. The refineries, which are among the largest in the Petrobras system, will each employ multiple Tricon safety systems in their cracking units. The emergency shutdown systems are being installed as part of a refinery modernization program. The new systems are replacing existing relay panels, and were selected to simplify maintenance, and to provide increased asset availability, safety and efficiency. Invensys Process Systems Brazil will also provide services, including configuration, testing, commissioning, start-up and training.
Process Automation Systems (June 2006)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.
Partnership brings together analyzers, modeling software for NIR applications
Thermo Electron Corp. and Camo Software are partnering to integrate modeling software with NIR (near-infrared) analyzers. The analytical instrumentation company and modeling software firm have agreed to promote compatibility between Thermo's Result software and Camo's The Unscrambler software.
Condition monitoring platform
System 1 condition monitoring, optimization, and diagnostics platform v. 6.0 delivers more than 50 enhancements, including a new commercial structure reflecting user requests for easier purchase, install, maintenance, and use.
$30 million contract for control valves for Qatari LNG plant
Digital control vales are involved in an estimated $30 million order for Emerson Process Management control valves to be installed at a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil for the Qatargas II LNG Plant expansion at the Ras Laffan Industrial Complex in Qatar. Expansion will add onto the existing Qatargas site. Train No. 4 is scheduled to begin delivery of 7.8-million metric tons annually in late 2007, and train No.
RFMD expands wafer fabrication 40%
Greensboro, NC — RFMD a provider of proprietary, radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, announced an $80-million wafer fabrication facility (Fab) expansion. Expansion of the Greensboro campus, is expected to increase RFMD’s wafer-manufacturing capacity by approximately 40% from current levels—utilizing GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT process technologies. The expansion is also expected to reduce the company’s cost per wafer and provide available capacity to increase internal production of GaAs pHEMT—a critical enabling technology in the company’s transmit modules. Growing demand for GaAs technology is being fueled by multiple factors, including market share gains and robust demand for mobile devices.
Thickness gauge uses advanced DSP
MBT thickness gauges from Agr International Inc. use advance digital signal processing and the “Hall effect” to provide high-accuracy thickness measurement. MBT 7200 and 7400 thickness gauges from Agr International Inc .
Ready for real-time wireless control?
A large percentage of those using wireless technology in industrial applications are applying it to control functions, or both control and monitoring, according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC). Further analysis indicated that control applications are largely in setup/maintenance; and reliability concerns are inhibiting adoption for operational real-time u...
APC-compliance for emissions trading
European Union's (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), launched in 2003, reflects member governments' belief that technology, not politics, will overcome climate change. At Pavilion Technologies Inc.'s recent environmental seminar in Aberdeen discussions included manufacturers' opportunity to participate in market-based trading programs that reward companies actively s...
JV to undertake India’s biggest biofuels project
A joint-venture (JV) project funded by BP, in conjunction with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)—in Andhra Pradesh State—is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of producing biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas, a non-edible oil bearing crop. The project will cultivate Jatropha in some 8,000 hectares of land currently designated as wasteland, and install a...
Enea relocates North American headquarters
Enea, a global leader in advanced device software, announced the relocation of its North American headquarters from Phoenix, AZ, to Silicon Valley. The new San Jose, CA, office will provide marketing, sales, technical support, and professional services to numerous nearby customers and partners, says the company.
Industry's globalization is an undeniable fact of 21st century business. Following this trend over several years, Control Engineering has extended its brand abroad to follow these developing global trends and to help the world's engineers better understand their roles in the ever-changing manufacturing industries.
Safety: Feedback on decreasing cost; NMW safeguarding session
Machine safeguarding and safety continue to be of major interest. “Control Integration for Machine Safeguarding” is among safety sessions to be held at National Manufacturing Week. In separate but related news, a Control Engineering reader offers perspective below on how safety standards can decrease costs.
Demand growing for rugged keyboards, keypads
Natick, MA —North American market for rugged keyboards and keypads should reach $206 million by 2008, according to a recent Venture Development Corp. Trends shaping the growth patterns for rugged keyboards and keypads include discarding the “wait-and-see” attitude caused by political uncertainty that many OEMs in the industrial controls and process automation markets once held. Many manufacturers are now investing a lot of resources in new projects, which will drive strong demand for these items through 2008, says the VDC study.
Joint venture to undertake India’s biggest biofuels project
New Delhi, India —A project funded by BP, in conjunction with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) —in Andhra Pradesh State—is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of producing biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas, a non-edible oil bearing crop. The project will cultivate Jatropha in some 8,000 hectares of land currently designated as wasteland, and to install all the equipment necessary—seed crushing, oil extraction and processing—to produce 9 million liters of biodiesel annually. A full environmental and social impact assessment of the entire supply chain and life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions will be completed as part of the project. “In some parts of the world there is only limited availability of land to produce food crops and therefore no surplus which can be used for energy crops. Because Jatropha is drought resistant and can grow on marginal land, it offers the possibility of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable contribution to energy security challenges in India,” explains Phil New, senior vice president of BP’s fuels management group. TERI will be responsible for the day-to-day management and execution of the project, including the establishment and implementation of contracts with local farmers or agricultural cooperatives.
‘First’ EDA products aid multi-voltage IC/SoC designs
ArchPro Design Automation’s MVRC tool analyzes all design states to enable multi-voltage equivalence checking. Said to be an industry first, MVRC can prove that RTL and Netlist are equivalent—via third-party equivalence checkers. Chip power management methods can contain bugs that often come to light after silicon is produced.
Enhanced flowsheet design
PRO/II version 7.1 is a steady-state flowsheeting and optimization simulation tool intended for oil, gas, and hydrocarbon processing industries.
New tool-calling interface via PLCs
Discrete industries will get a tool-calling network interface for PLCs. Process industry requirements for unified operating tools have existed for many years. Namur , the German user association of chemical and pharmaceutical industries, has set forth these requirements in NE 105.
Hydraulic Institute publishes landmark viscosity correction standard
Parsippany, NJ —The Hydraulic Institute (HI) has published its new “American National Standard for Effects of Liquid Viscosity on Rotodynamic (centrifugal and vertical) Pump Performance (ANSI/HI 9.6.7).” Replacing HI’s over-40-year-old viscosity-correction nomographs, the standard is designed to predict the performance change of rotodynamic pumps operated on viscous liquids exhibiting Newtonian behavior relative to their performance on water, which is the basis for most published curves. “By eliminating the need for interpolating graphic solutions, this standard has major technical significance and practical application,” explained Gregg Romanyshyn, technical director for HI. “This landmark will provide valuable guidance to pump manufacturers, users, and others who have an interest in the performance of rotodynamic pumps.” HI members—comprising an array of prominent industry experts—developed the new standard collaborating with representatives from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland. A variety of conventionally designed rotodynamic pumps are covered, such as open- or closed-impellers and single- or double-suction pumps. Additionally, included are information on methodology, definitions of symbols and terms, flowcharts which outline the procedure, theoretical explanations behind the methodology, and a method for estimating net positive-suction head required (NPSHR). Designated by HI product code A131, it is available in hard copy or secure-PDF format from HI for $195.00.
Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation (January 24, 2006)
January 24, 2006 Project Status Summary: 1. Control software development code complete 100%2. HMI software code complete 100%3.
Fulfill new, food-processing recordkeeping requirements
Wonderware's compliance solution package helps food companies meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reporting and record-keeping mandates. FDA regulations require U.S. food processing, transportation, and distribution companies, and international organizations that import or export food or other biological products to the U.
Explosion-proof, battery-powered transmission
Adalet Wireless' explosion-proof, battery-powered, wireless transmission system is designed for measuring and transmitting temperature and pressure signals from a Division 1 area (Groups B, C, D). A version is also available for non-explosion-proof applications where rugged, waterproof protection is required.
Measurement science conference to focus on metrology, calibration
Challenges in metrology and calibration will be the focus of the upcoming Measurement Science Conference. More than a dozen technical sessions are planned, covering the current state of metrology, standards and practices, corporate process changes and the impact on the lab, and how managers can meet upcoming challenges. The 36thAnnual Conference is scheduled for the Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, CA, Feb.
EU overreaching with Reach approval
Arlington, VA—The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is dismayed by the European Union (EU) Parliament vote to approve the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (Reach) proposal. Although the Parliament addressed some of the grave, global concerns with the European Commission’s proposal, the revised Reach scheme would not provide the health and environmental benefits envisioned by consumers in Europe and around the world. ACC welcomed Parliament’s amendments that would make the registration process more streamlined and workable. However, ACC is confounded over Parliament’s rejection of a risk-based, scientific approach to safe chemicals management.
New chip could cut Web server use by half
Santa Clara, CA —A new server chip claimed to deliver high-performance and energy efficiency has been announced by Sun Microsystems . UltraSPARC T1 (formerly Niagara) will debut in a new line of Sun Fire servers before the end of 2005. Described by Sun as “a breakthrough chip” and “the world’s first Eco-responsible processor,” the company reports that research (published in Discover magazine in August) shows the chip’s performance could halve the number of Web servers in the world, slashing power requirements and having the same effect in reducing carbon dioxide emissions as planting a million acres of trees. The processor uses patented CoolThreads chip multi-threading technology that leverages the threaded nature of the Solaris 10 operating system.
New CompactPCI single-board computer from GE Fanuc
CPCI-7055 single-board computer from GE Fanuc Embedded Systems combines a powerful IBM processor with a powerful system controller. GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Inc. (part of GE Fanuc Automation) recently announced availability of CPCI-7055 PowerPC-based CompactPCI single-board computer (SBC). CPCI-7055 uses IBM 750GX PowerPC microprocessor, offering processing speeds of 800 MHz or 1.0 GHz.
Field device tool group formalizes organization, gains support
Chicago, IL — FDT (field device tool) group continues to make strides and gain support, structuring the loose-knit collection of automation companies and end-users into a formal organization and holding its first general assembly. FDT is an open technology for engineering, management, and life-cycle support for installed assets. The group discussed its actions and activities at ISA Expo 2005 in Chicago in October. The former FDT Joint Interest Group has coalesced into the FDT Group AISBL.
One-piece instrumentation ball-valves
Swagelok’s 40G-series, one-piece instrumentation ball-valves are aimed at environmental and heated-process applications. Swagelok ’s 40G-series, one-piece instrumentation ball-valves are aimed at environmental applications (where outdoor ambient temperatures fluctuate) and at heated-process applications (with elevated process-fluid temperatures). The valves are rated to 3,000 psig (206 bar) and temperatures from -65 to 300 °F (-53 to 148 °C). Construction includes: a single-piece modified-PTFE, patent-pending, encapsulated packing design; and live-loaded packing system, reducing packing adjustments and improving thermal-cycle performance.
Approach for measuring economic benefit of process analytical technologies (PAT)
On November 9, Dr. Peter G. Martin, authority on real-time performance manage-ment, will present a seminar aimed at applying process analytical technologies (PAT) more strategically in the pharmaceutical sector.
ISA moves to electronic certification testing
Three ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) certification exams will be offered electronically and will be available at test sites globally in 2006. The tests are Certified Automation Professional (CAP), Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST), and Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM).
By the Numbers – 2005-11-01
3 weeks was how long it took an educated hacker from Idaho National Labs to take control of automation, reaching through the Internet, enterprise network, control network, and related software and hardware. See "Think Again" in this issue for details. Idaho National Labs www.inl.gov 8.4% is the compounded annual growth rate worldwide for machine safeguarding hardware and services over the next ...
ISA announces electronic certification testing
Research Triangle Park, NC —Three ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) certification exams will be offered electronically and will be available at test sites globally in 2006. The tests are Certified Automation Professional (CAP), Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST), and Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM). ISA will use Thompson Prometric global network of testing centers, hundreds of which are located around the world. Candidates must still meet the eligibility requirements, complete the application, and take the exam in a proctored environment in a testing center. Electronic testing will use a secure delivery network.
ISA Expo ’05: OPC seeks continued input on UA spec
OPC is expected to discuss its Unified Architecture (UA) specification, it’s benefits, and results of a Web-based survey at ISA Expo ’05 in Chicago. Survey results are said to cover end-user input about the features, functions, and improvements end-users would like the vendors to provide in the interest of secure, reliable interoperability. Under development by OPC members since 2003, the first release of the multi-part UA specification is nearing completion. Previously stated goals for UA aim to make enterprise information integration a reality, without custom code, while incorporating Web service and migrating away from DCOM (but allow use until DCOM-based servers until they’re retired or upgraded.) Portions pf UA became available for review this month.
Sensor resists oxidants, organic solvents
Rosemount Analytical Model 398 TUpH pH/ORP sensor from Emerson Process Management is intended for harsh applications. Rosemount Analytical Model 398 TUpH pH/ORP sensor from Emerson Process Management is intended for harsh applications, such as pulp and paper, chemical, and plastics manufacturing. Featuring chemical resistance and mechanical durability, the unit is designed to protect the reference element from contamination by ions, such as sulfides, cyanide, mercury, and ammonia, which would cause the pH signal to drift during measurement.Device reportedly uses technology that ensures long life in processes that typically coat, foul, and poison most other electrodes.
‘First’ Ph.D.s in microsystems engineering
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which launched its doctoral studies in microsystems engineering in December 2002, has granted the first-ever Ph.D. degrees in that field anywhere to two candidates in May 2005, according to a recent RIT publication. This "first" distinction goes to graduate students—Anand Gopalan and Mark Steinke—from RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Gopalan's research with built-in, self-test circuits and methods for high-speed communication devices has created new ways for efficient and cost-effective testing of RF circuitry.
Combined control and safety debate
Discussion about the acceptability of combining safety and process control functions in a common system has heated up recently. Much of the public debate, however, isn't fueled by end-users, but by suppliers of traditional, multi-modular redundant systems who have a vested interest in their technologies.
Intrinsically safe vibration transmitters
Line of 4-20 mA vibration transmitters with intrinsic safety certifications for monitoring critical machines complies with ATEX and CSA North American standards and is used to monitor critical rotating machinery in refineries, grain processing facilities, or mines where hazardous gases or dust may be present.
Custom valves pave way for nuclear waste cleanup
A set of custom valve and valve automation products from Flowserve is playing a significant role in a major nuclear waste cleanup effort. The devices are being used for the control, isolation, and treatment of radioactive waste slurries at the Hanford Waste Treatment Project (WTP) in Washington State. The site has one the of the largest concentrations of radioactive waste in the world, the result of 45 years of plutonium production for nuclear weapons from the Manhattan project through the Cold War. Some 53 million gal.
M2M: We do that
Buzzwords can bring blessings and cause grief, depending how they're handled. Many engineers I know are careful to define buzzwords as they're first used in any context, which seems like a positive approach. Key is to ensure people know what you're talking about without assuming the word includes more or less than what's intended.
Pack Expo providing intelligent, Web-based data mining for visitors
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) reports that it's partnering with technology software developer BDMetrics to streamline the upcoming Pack Expo tradeshow experience with a personalized, Web-based tool available for each visitor. The "My Pack Expo" software tool intelligently mines through the event's database of people, products, and conference sessio...
Bring a tax credit to the table
As an engineer, you're always on the lookout for ways to reduce costs associated with your company's products and processes. But what if you could help deliver a significant tax credit that might positively impact your company's bottom line as much as a new source of revenue, just for doing what you already do? Virtually any manufacturer has the potential to qualify for federal research and dev...
Project: Biopharmaceutical filtration automation, August 30, 2005
August 30, 2005 No HMI hardware has arrived this week either, so development of the user interface must remain on hold. However, work continues on equipment module design in parallel with equipment module development. We expect to complete the first pass design on all equipment modules by next week. The design will then be given to the customer for review.
IC processes signals for multiple sensors
Sensor Platforms Inc. offers SSP1492 Sensor Signal Processor Integrated Circuit, said to be a low-cost, low-power, flexible sensor signal drive, acquisition, and processing platform that en-ables easy development, cost-effective manufacturing, and improved time-to-market of sensor applications. It uses proprietary technologies that enable direct and simultaneous interfacing to a broad selection of sensor-element types.
RFID vendors dive into patent pool
A group of 20 RFID vendors has announced the formation of a 'patent pool' consortium intended to simplify and streamline users' access to RFID intellectual property. The announcement made a splash with analysts. 'RFID is about integrated solutions,' said Erik Michielsen, ABI Research's director of RFID and ubiquitous technologies, in a statement. 'It's not about standalone companies taking ownership of the whole marketplace.
Industrial process modeling software
Process Modeler is a software tool for creating predictive models of product properties, production, and process events.
Square LEDs provide high-brightness color
OVF Series high-current Super-Flex LEDs come in white, blue, green, amber, red/orange, and red in 7.6 mm2 four-pin through-hole packages with water clear lenses that provide viewing angles from 40 to 120 deg.
GE introduces loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter
Billerica, MA—GE Industrial, Sensing has launched its UTX878 loop-powered, clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter.
Eaton purchasing Hayward’s industrial filtration business
Cleveland, OH—Eaton Corp. reports that it’s agreed to buy Hayward Industries Inc.’s industrial filtration business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in 2005’s third quarter.
Honeywell allies with OLI for simulation enhancements
Honeywell has announced an alliance agreement with OLI Systems Inc. to enhance Honeywell's UniSim Design simulation solution for the process industries.
PackExpo providing intelligent, Web-based data mining for visitors
Las Vegas, NV—The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) reports that it’s partnering with technology software developer BDMetrics to streamline the upcoming Pack Expo tradeshow experience with a personalized, Web-based tool available for each visitor.
Honeywell Users Group showcases products and strategy
More than 800 users from 28 countries attended Honeywell Process Solutions' 30th annual users group conference on June 12-16, representing a 30% increase in attendance over 2004. The meeting is organized and planned by the Honeywell Users Group. Kicking off the conference, Jack Bolick, president, Honeywell Process Solutions, reported that the company's orders were up 16% in 20...
Flowmeters Product Research for June 2005
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding flowmeters. Specific areas under evaluation included: • In-Plant vs. OEM Requirements • Applications • Flowmeter Types • Communication Protocols • Purchases in the Past and Next 12 months • Supplier Selection Criteria • Magazines Received
Flir launches infrared camera to detect volatile organic compounds
Portland, OR—To help improve safety at petrochemical refining, transportation, and storage facilities, Flir Systems Inc. has introduced its new GasFindIR infrared (IR) camera, which reportedly can detect volatile organic compound (VOC) gas emissions.
Asyst, Facts partner on automation software conformance testing
Asyst Technologies Inc. and Facts Inc. have agreed to jointly ensure that users requiring objective conformance assessments will be able to access Asyst's software products and implementations and stringent automation guidelines established by International Sematech.
Arbitrator orders Magnetek to pay $23 million in patent dispute
Magnetek Inc. reports that an arbitrator has decided it must pay $23.4 million in damages to Ole Nilssen as a result of their long-running patent dispute and former litigation. As disclosed in the firm's SEC filings during the past seven years, Nilssen filed a lawsuit in April 1998 alleging infringement of patents pertaining to certain types of electronic ballasts previ...
MTL acquires operator display manufacturer
MTL Instruments Group has acquired the GeCma group of companies. Kerpen, Germany-based GeCma manufactures operator display units for use in hazardous industrial areas.
Global Display Solutions, schools, partner to foster electronics careers
A partnership between Global Display Solutions (GDS) and several Italian and Romanian schools is helping exchange ideas and provide students with information about careers in electronics.
Multi-component gas analyzers help FAA monitor jet fuel
A multi-component gas analyzer from Rosemount Analytical is helping the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) find safer jet fuel solutions.
Interphex 2005: Invensys exhibits PAT solution for online moisture measurement, control
New York, NY—Invensys Validation Technologies, a unit of Invensys Process Systems, demonstrated a new process analytical technology (PAT) solution for online moisture measurement and control at Interphex 2005 last week at the Jacob K. Javits Center.
New technology monitors, ensures accuracy of adhesive mixing
A new technology developed by Real Time Ware Inc. is designed to monitor the mixing of adhesives, powders, paints, cement, asphalt, rubber, and any two or more components.
Sulfur analyzers suited for lab, at-line, on-line applications
A range of Total Sulfur analyzers from Thermo Electron Corp. addresses laboratory, at-line, and on-line applications in the refinery, hydrocarbon, and petrochemical sections.
U.S. government buys Agilent instruments, services
TestMart, a marketplace operator and service provider for the test and measurement industry, will provide the U.S. government and federal contractor marketplace with a range of Agilent Technologies instruments and associated services, according to a recent agreement.
Digi buys FS Forth-Systeme, Sistemas Embebidos for $4.4 million
To help create what it reports is the broadest range of ARM-based, embedded networking solutions, Digi International has purchased FS Forth-Systeme GmbH and Sistemas Embebidos S.A.
Intermec rejects claims in Symbol’s patent infringement litigation
Intermec Technologies Corp. reports that Symbol Technologies recently filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that Intermec infringed Symbol's wireless communication patents. Intermec says it believes there is no basis for this lawsuit. Symbol reports that its lawsuit, filed in the U.
Intrinsically safe accelerometers
Two accelerometer series, 786 and 787, are now available with intrinsic safety certification.
ESC 2005: WinSystems’ PC/104-Plus module hooks to Gigabit Ethernet
At Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005), WinSystems' exhibited its new PC/104-Plus Module that connects to Gigabit Ethernet networks.
Invensys flow measurement technology earns two new patents
Invensys has received two additional patents for the core technology of its Foxboro CFT50 digital Coriolis mass flowmeter.
ESC 2005: GE Fanuc’s Processor PCI Mezzanine Card
GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Inc. will show its new Processor PCI Mezzanine Card (PrPMC) that integrates an IBM PowerPC 440GX processor with up to 512 MB dual-data rate SDRAM, 8 MB on-board flash memory, and a 133 MHz PCI-X bus interface—at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005).
Exclusive: Delta Systems combining real-time automation, motion control
Rogers, AR—Delta Systems Inc. reports that its subsidiary, Delta Controls, Inc., is introducing an upgraded software solution, SoftFlow 4.0, for enterprise-connected, real-time industrial control.
Electrical safety, test equipment, 100 best products
Recent items of interest from other Reed Business Information publications, such as Plant Engineering, Design News, and EDN, include a Webcast on electrical safety, tips for getting more mileage out of test equipment, and the best electronics products of 2004.&/& body>
Watson-Marlow Bredel to showcase pumps at upcoming PittCon show
Pumps that can be placed anywhere on an instrument are being targeted for display by Watson-Marlow Bredel at the upcoming PittCon show and conference.
Compliance package helps food companies meet tracing, tracking regulations
>Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., is introducing a compliance solution package to help food companies meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration reporting and record-keeping mandates.
Sealless gear pumps reduce downtime
Mag Drive 855 Series internal gear pumps offer a sealless design to eliminate seal leakage. Pump's driver turns an outer magnet, whose force passes through a stationary o-ring-sealed canister to turn an inner magnet, which drives the pump shaft without the need for seals. Features include adjustable end clearance to maximize efficiency and ANSI- or DIN-flanged ports for sealing reliability.
Mogas wins contract to supply valves for refinery upgrade
Mogas Industries, severe-service, metal seated ball valve provider, has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to supply high- and low-pressure ball valves to Fortum’s Porvoo (Finland) refinery upgrade project.
Honeywell subsidiary acquires rest of Tata Honeywell joint venture
Pune, India—Honeywell International Inc. reports that its subsidiary, Honeywell Asia Pacific Inc., has acquired Tata Group’s 40.62% stake in their former joint venture, Tata Honeywell Ltd.
Get immediate, inline benefits
Walk the floor, look at visual gauges, make checks on a clipboard, take a sample, analyze it, and calculate results. Forty-five minutes later [or even longer] when lab results are ready, there's either a whole lot of out-of-specification scrap, or the process may have done six other things since then.
Software for process optimization
aspenONE software solution is said to help process manufacturers improve operational performance. Set of six DVDs is tailored for six process industry markets: oil & gas, petroleum, chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods. Modules address key business processes in engineering and innovation, plant operations, and supply-chain management.
Rockwell works with Intel on industrial processor technology
Milwaukee, WI—To help users to maximize competitive advantage using plant-floor information, Rockwell Automation reports that it’s working with Intel Corp. to expand use of Intel’s network processor technology in industrial automation applications.
New technology addresses control valve stem seal maintenance, regulatory issues
Packing serves as the primary valve stem sealing system in today’s control valves. This seal typically incorporates a mixture of packing rings that are compressed against the valve stem to eliminate or reduce process fluid leaks.
Honeywell launches Business Flex software for process industries
Phoenix, AZ—To increases the operational flexibility, improve production, and cuts costs, Honeywell has introduced it Business Flex Release 140 software for the process industries.
eBay launches industrial automation category
San Jose, CA—eBay, the Web site known worldwide as the place to buy and sell everything, has launched an Industrial Automation and Control category within the eBay site that can be directly accessed at www.ebay.com/mro.
Solutions shine at Embedded Systems Conference 2004
Numerous innovations highlighted Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004 on Sept. 13-16. Some of the most significant included:
SBC suited for harsh conditions
F9 Pentium-based single board computer (SBC) is suitable for harsh industrial conditions. One-slot 32-bit CompactPCI system controller is based on the Pentium M (LV) with frequencies up to 1.8 GHz or Celeron M (ULV) processors with clock speeds up to 600 MHz. Device is equipped with a specially designed heat sink that eliminates the need for fans in many embedded applications.
Protecting your PC resource
The personal computer (PC) has been a boon to the control of industrial systems. The PC provides many advantages over the traditional PLC, like the ability to do complex calculations, connect to the outside world, offer feature-rich operator interfaces, and collect and analyze real-time data. Through the use of PLC emulation software, PCs can even do things that have been traditionally the work...
Node transforms workstations
Integrated operator node (I.O.N.) transforms TDC Universal Stations into operator consoles with Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) functionality.
Woodhead’s machine wiring is NFPA compliant
Northbrook, IL—Woodhead Industries Inc. reports that it’s Brad Power flexible wiring systems comply with new National Electrical Code (NEC) standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Liquid food processing
PEF (pulsed electric field) based pasteurization system handles up to 200 l/hr of liquid foods and provides pilot plant functionality for R&D and low-volume production applications. System features a PowerMod solid-state pulse modulator to generate uniform bi-polar electrical pulses at ±60 kV/cm field strength with 25 kW average power.
Ten new models of pressure-reducing regulators provide accurate, consistent delivery pressures to processes and equipment, reducing the likelihood of process variability and protecting sensitive equipment, according to the manufacturer. Available in a variety of piston-type and diaphragm-type designs, all models feature a captured inlet gauze-type filter and fine pitch stem threads.
Emerson to automate $2.6-billion oil sands project in Canada
Austin, TX—Emerson Process Management reports that it recently won a $27-million contract to serve as general automation contractor for a $2.6-billion oil sands extraction project in Canada.
Coriolis flowmeter verification
Emerson Process Management's Micro-Motion division recently introduced a patented "in-service" Coriolis flowmeter verification procedure that uses density measurement to confirm that the flowmeter's flow-tube structure remains unchanged. The in-service procedure ensures that the meter's mass-flow calibration factor remains valid and minimizes needless recalibration.
Logix 3200IQ and 500SI Series of high-performance digital positioners offers quick setup and calibration of either diaphragm or piston-operated valves without the need for additional handheld devices, software, or configuration/calibration tools. Devices are used in oil and gas production, and refining, chemical processing, pulp and paper production, and other industries that use control valves.
Regulations, Quality Boost Batch Software
The old family recipe: Sometimes it is carefully copied onto an index card and stashed away in a wooden box; sometimes it is scribbled in the margins of an old cookbook; and sometimes it is just part of someone's culinary experience committed to memory. Special recipes are part of family pride—history, lovingly preserved and passed on.
ARM acquiring Axys
Cambridge, UK—To expand its RealView design tools portfolio with ESL expertise, ARM Holdings plc recently bought Axys Design Automation Inc.
Process points: Monoflange assemblies, butterfly valves, controllers
New process-control-related products entering the marketplace this month include a series of monoflange assemblies from Swagelok Co., a corrosion-resistant butterfly valve from Nil-Cor CompositeValves, and controllers with remote setpoint capability from Danaher Industrial Controls.
Updated guide to safety-critical system standards available
An updated guide to designing and assessing safety-critical systems to international standards is now available.
Emerson’s SIS promotes safer process plants
Emerson Process Management's new smart safety instrumented system (SIS) extends PlantWeb digital plant architecture to allow customers to implement safer process plants. It employs digital intelligence and diagnostics from sensor to logic solver to final control. Automated safety-loop testing and a variety of other features increase system availability while reducing life-cycle...
SBC meets FBCB2 requirements
VCP P3A COTS single-board computer (SBC) meets FBCB2 Common Card program’s hardware and software requirements.
RFID: software, readers, migration
Radio frequency identification (RFID) readers collect information from tags, and connecting software helps process information for use.
Advancements propel touchscreens to HMI forefront
Recent advances in touchscreen technologies have done much to make touchscreens the method of choice for HMI system interaction. Once questionable in terms of durability, reliability, and ease of use, these devices have improved in performance, often replacing keyboard and mouse. Progress has been made on many fronts, from refinements in long-standing, widely used resistive types to totally new...
Temperature scale redux
Numerous scales and units have been devised for measuring temperature—the most commonly sensed and monitored physical parameter—but only two major units now find everyday usage. Two 18th century European scientists are credited for today's degrees Fahrenheit (°F) and degrees Celsius (°C) scales, of which the latter is virtually universally used except in the U.
Oxygen transmitter manages emissions, aids control strategy
Shell Canada's Burnt Timber gas plant in Canada's Alberta foothills uses plant tail gas incinerators to oxidize sulfur compounds—including hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbonyl sulphide (COS) and carbon disulphide (CS2)—that cannot be released directly into the atmosphere. These incinerators oxidize all sulfur species to sulfur dioxide (SO2) prior to release in the flue gas.
Test, measurement products from GE Infrastructure Sensing focus on advanced technology, ease of use
A variety of sensing and measurement products from recently formed GE Infrastructure Sensing are making their way into marketplace.
Metso to supply valves, analyzers for Brazilian pulp mill project
Helsinki, Finland—Metso Automation will supply valves and online analyzers for the Veracel Celulose S.A. pulp mill project in Brazil. Total value of the delivery will exceed 6 million euros.
Pulsation dampeners remove shock
Sentry pulsation dampeners remove virtually all pumping-system shock to enhance performance and reliability of fluid flow in process applications.
OMAC Packaging Workgroup, World Batch Forum forming joint group
Chicago, IL—World Batch Forum (WBF) recently held a meeting with the Open Modular Architecture (OMAC) Users Group’s Packaging Workgroup (OPW) to form a joint working group to identify common goals and how they might work together.
AGA, API report advances use of Coriolis flowmeters
Micro Motion Coriolis meters have been identified by the American Gas Association and American Petroleum Institute as a "recognized technology" to measure natural gas flow.
Augmentix introduces servers for applied computing
Houston, TX—Augmentix Corp. recently introduced a new line of mission-critical servers for applied computing applications that it says offer up to twice the performance of competing systems for as little as half the price.
Real-time extension platform
CeWin 3.1 real-time (RT) extension platform is progressive software that allows Microsoft Windows CE .Net and Windows XP Embedded to reside concurrently on a single CPU.
Valveless metering pump
GLV Series valveless metering pump eliminates gas locking during sodium hypochlorite injections. It is designed specifically for 12-15% sodium hypochlorite or other chemicals with severe off-gassing problems. Pump capacity ranges from 0.002 to 5.7 gph; discharge pressure is rated to up to 150 psi. Capacity is adjusted by changing the stroking speed manually or by an external 4-20 mA signal.
Control system development
ISaGRAF version 4.20 includes significant enhancements in many areas, including logic password protection, a new events viewer, step-by-step debugging, and flexible licensing options.
Present, future displays; business opportunities focus of conference
How technologies and human needs influence computer display designs are among topics to be addressed at SID 2004, a major international display show and conference taking place in Seattle this spring.
In, out and about HMI: GUIs, monitors among new offerings
New HMI products this month include high-resolution GUI modules, a graphical operator interface for weighing systems, and a 15-in. LCD monitor.
InTrack TM 7.11 by Wonderware Invensys
Resource Tracing Software
‘electronicaUSA with ESC’: Kuka shows real-time extension for Windows XP
San Francisco, CA—Kuka Controls GmbH is exhibiting the latest version of its CeWin real-time extension platform at “electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2004,” Mar. 29-April 1, at the Moscone Convention Center.
Shipments of DSP boards with FPGAs projected to increase
Natick, MA—Shipments of merchant digital signal processing (DSP) boards are expected to increase at a 1.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2003 to 2008, according to a new study, 'Digital Signal Processing (DSP): Global Market Demand Analysis,' by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
EMI-hardened torque transmitter
MCRT 39000X Series 2-wire, 4-20 mA torque transmitters are robust, non-contact devices that measure torque, speed and power of rotating machines.
Food safety rules fuel Europe’s processing equipment market
San Antonio, TX—Despite its relative maturity, players in Europe’s 13.14-billion-euro industrial food processing equipment market are confident of slow, steady revenue growth, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan.
NAM urges advocating for U.S. manufacturing
Washington. D.C.—The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has set up an area of its Website to make it easier to learn about issues and participate more actively in the political process.
Emerson extends PlantWeb for smart safety management
Emerson Process Management reports that its new PlantWeb Smart SIS safety management architecture extends the innovations of its proven digital process automation architecture to enable safer process plants and facilities.
NMW 2004: Lapp USA launches lead-free initiative
Chicago, IL—Lapp USA reported at National Manufacturing Week 2004 that it has started manufacturing its cables with lead-free components.
Capital expenditures dominate oil, gas industry spending
Plant-level expenditures in the oil & gas industry are expected to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate exceeding 2%, according to a recent study. The research by the ARC Advisory Group shows that the worldwide market totaled more than $196 billion in 2003 and should reach nearly $218 billion by the end of 2008.
Research identifies three-level measurement markets
A study of inventory tank gauging system and process level measurement device markets in the U.S. has identified three major classes of vendors. The types of competitors are: those offering a narrow range of technologies; those offering a broad range of technologies; those for which only portions of their products are used in inventory tank gauging/process level measurement.
Equipment analysis software
Enhanced version of AMS Suite: Machinery Health Manager provides comprehensive health analysis of mechanical equipment. Software uses technologies including online and portable vibration, oil analysis, and infrared thermography to support maintenance decisions. Version 4.81 (previously known as RBMware) is fully integrated with Emerson's new AMS Suite: Asset Portal.
Quick assembly, easier reconfiguration
Swagelok reports that its Modular Platform Components (MPC), together with new configuration software, make it easy to develop and assemble complete process analyzer and sample-handling systems using an ANSI/ISA 76.00.02-compliant miniature modular design. MPC's interface controls the dimensions and location of the sealing surfaces to allow change of just one element of the system without modi...
Federal-Mogul, Siemens VDO developing glow plug with combustion sensor
Southfield, MI—Two automotive suppliers, Federal-Mogul and Siemens VDO, are jointly developing a Piezo-based combustion sensor that is integrated into the glow plug in diesel engine applications.
Equipment health analysis software
Enhanced version of AMS Suite: Machinery Health Manager provides comprehensive health analysis of mechanical equipment. Software uses technologies including online and portable vibration, oil analysis, and infrared thermography to support maintenance decisions.
Series 7000 line of metering pumps now includes mechanical actuated diaphragm types able to handle viscosities in excess of 5,000 cps.
Automation Fair 2003: HMI devices deliver data to optimize production
Products designed to bring more and better information to both the plant floor operator and boardroom executive were among those in the spotlight at Automation Fair 2003. Now in its 12th year, the annual Rockwell Automation-sponsored gathering featured exhibitors, hands-on labs and technical sessions on a variety of automation topics, all held in collaboration with the company’s partner network.
Payne using MOST’s control system to automate gas plant
MTL Open System Technologies (MOST) and Barry D. Payne & Associates Inc. (BDP) announced Oct. 31 that they've won a contract to automate and control the cryogenic gas process at Western Gas Resources' Benedum gas plant near Midland, TX.
EBC-C3 highly-integrated, full-featured single-board computer offers a wide operational temperature range from -40 to 85 °C. EBX-sized unit runs Microsoft Windows CE.Net and XP embedded, Linux, and other x86-compatible operating systems, such as VxWorks and QNX. Board is based on the 733 MHz VIA fanless Eden ESP7000 processor.
ISA Expo 2003: Cidra exhibits Sonartrac flow monitoring system
Houston, TX—Developed using sonar array technology, Cidra’s Sonartrac flow monitoring system provides a non-intrusive means of accurately and repeatedly measuring single and multi-phased medias including pulp slurry, sewage, and those with entrained air
Fall seems to providing fertile ground for new partnerships and products designed to address the needs of the control and automation markets. Here’s a sampling of just a few.
Emerson Process management users dance in Nashville
Nashville, TN—For the first time ever, users from all of Emerson Process Management’s divisions met under one roof at the “Emerson Global Users Exchange Conference,” Sept. 29-Oct. 3, at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
310SV and 320 controllers provide configurable control solutions for steam turbine applications. The 310SV provides automatic startup sequencing, speed control, and process control for a single-valve steam turbine driving a mechanical load. Windows-based software interface lets users configure the controller from a PC, trend and record I/O values and states, and view alarm and trip history.
Process automation market to surpass $58 billion in 2007
Despite poor growth recently, the worldwide process automation market is projected to grow at a 4.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years and exceed $58 billion in 2007, according to a new study, "Total Automation Business for the Process Industries Worldwide Outlook," released by ARC Advisory Group.
Product Focus: Single-board computers
Control Engineering’s September 2003 Product Focus article surveys the magazine’s subscribers for their views and preferences on single-board computers (SBCs).
Connecting process analyzers to flare stacks
Online process analyzers are often critical to plant performance, however obtaining accurate, repeatable analyzer results requires very stable inlet and outlet flow and pressure control.
FTC challenges AspenTech’s acquisition of Hyprotech
Cambridge, MA—Aspen Technology Inc. reported Aug. 7 that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint challenging its May 2002 acquisition of Hyprotech Ltd.
Opto 22 debuts new ioControl, ioManager, ioDisplay, OptoOPCServer
Temecula, CA—Opto 22 introduced Aug. 4 its ioControl 5.0, the latest version of its control programming software, and ioManager 5.0, which is software for configuring and managing Ethernet-based I/O products.
Choose the right programming language
Which language should you choose for use with your programmable controller? Among the five languages defined in IEC 61131-3, generally ladder diagrams or ladder logic is most widely applied in North America. Other languages have practical applications and should not be overlooked. Choice depends on programmer's skill, the programming task, the level and structure of the problem and control syst...
Control Engineering Instrumentation eNewsletter for June 2003
Subscribe to National Instruments Newsletters Packed full of product information, industry news, and customer application successes, NI gives you valuable technical information for creating your measurement and automation solution based on industry-standard technology. For your FREE Instrumentation Newsletter, NI News, or eSupport News subscription, click here : National Instruments Tel: (800) 452-6914 (U.S. and Canada)Fax: (512) 683-9300Email: email@example.com Risks of low-technology visualization How well do we understand wireless field instrumentation? Small video borescope inspects sensors and valves Wood-handle screwdriver replacement Do you know the answers? Risks of low technology visualization At one time or another, we've all used the simplest, lowest tech means of seeing into a process - sight glasses. But did you know that just three separate failures of sight glasses, two in chemical processing and one in a pharmaceutical plant, resulted in the deaths of 28 people, more than $67 million in damages, and $1.5 million in lost business? I came across an eye-opening article titled 'Process Observations Sight Glasses No Longer Need to be the Weakest Link' on the L.J.
U.S. pressure switch market withstands competition, slow growth
Natick, MA—Despite growing competition from pressure transducers and transmitters, pressure switches will continue to be used in many applications, according to a recent study, 'The U.S. Market for Pressure Switches,' by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
Interphex 2003: Invensys forms Production Solutions unit
New York, NY—To help provide operational compliance and control solutions for the process and regulated industries, Invensys plc (London, U.K.) announced March 31 that it has formed a new Production Solutions business unit during the International Pharmaceutical Industry Congress (Interphex 2003).
New release of ProduceIT
Wickliffe, OH —The latest release of ProduceIT Batch provides tighter procedural control for the production management component of IndustrialIT automation systems. Advantages of tighter procedures include improved consistency of manufactured products. The software permits configuring, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling multi-product/path processes to support real-time decision supp...
Wind River launches Platform for Industrial Automation
Alameda, CA—To reduce development costs and speed up time-to-market for industrial automation devices, Wind River Systems Inc. unveiled March 31 its Platform for Industrial Automation (Platform IA)
AspenTech enhances Hysys solution for oil & gas and refining markets
Cambridge, MA - Aspen Technology recently announced a new release of its Hysys steady-state and dynamic simulation software.
Invensys Foxboro honors employees for awards, changing approach
Foxboro, MA—Invensys Foxboro recently honored its employees with a luncheon for 500 thanking them for innovative thinking required to capture four awards in just a few months.
GSE undertakes multiple simulator, upgrade projects
Columbia, MD—GSE Systems Inc. announced Jan. 6 that it recently secured several simulator and simulator upgrade projects in the U.S. and Ukraine.
Visual monitoring via the Internet
Eagan, MN —ScadaCam System is an industrial camera and data system intended to monitor plant and remote site operations. ScadaCam collects images, event information, and other data and makes them available to the plant security staff through any secure Web browser. The system uses a custom-built camera to deliver real-time snapshots and video of any location.
IT contactors, starters have 24 V dc control
New electromechanical contactors and starters from Eaton Corp.'s Cutler-Hammer business unit (C-H, Milwaukee, WI) are using 24 V dc for control power as part of C-H's evolving Intelligent Technologies (IT.) program to develop efficient, cost-effective power control products. IT. Electromechanical (EM) line consists of microprocessor-based contactors and motor starters, both reversing and non-re...
Pumps measure, control pH, ORP
Stamford, CT— PHP-700 series pumps combine PHP-600 series dosing pumps with controllers, simplifying installation and wiring, and reducing compatibility problems. These pumps measure and control pH or ORP; features include proportional dosing and alarm and recorder signals. Housing is fiber-reinforced polypropylene and rated IP65.
Ericsson, National Semiconductor agree on Bluetooth license
Stockholm, Sweden—Ericsson Technology Licensing announced Dec. 3 that it has signed a licensing agreement to provide its latest Bluetooth radio core, K-D1, to National Semiconductor, an analog company focused on the market for wireless handsets.
Seeing is Believing!
No special effects here-operator interface terminals (OITs) provide the necessary look into the process. Seeing process variables juxtaposed with the spot in the process where they are occurring makes keeping track of the operation more hands-on and less hands-off. This OIT Product Focus article FEATURES AN EXCLUSIVE EXPANDED ONLINE PRODUCT SECTION.
Norgren-Herion Brochure #NA-266
Norgren-Herion Brochure #NA-266 highlights the company's new Model 33D Solid-State Pressure switches for pneumatic, hydraulic and process-control applications. Switches are available with single, dual and optional analog outputs for pressure ranges from vacuum to 9100 psi. Brochure provides detailed technical specifications, part number selection, and a feature overview.
M-Systems, ARM agree to technology collaboration
Cambridge, U.K.; Kfar Saba, Israel—ARM, a provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions, and M-Systems, a leader in flash-based data storage products, announced Nov. 20 that they've signed a technology collaboration agreement to optimize M-Systems' SuperMAP cryptographic coprocessors for use with ARM's SecurCore family of cores.
Zendex replaces ZF Micro processors in PC/104 products
Dublin, CA - Zendex Corp. introduces ZXE-ST586/104P Single Board Computer (SBC) in PC/104 and PC/104+ formats. It includes on-board memory and is capable of ''booting-from-the-box'' without the need for additional hardware or software.
Worldwide Market for Process Automation Systems (PASs)
The pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries will continue to be the highest growth sectors for the worldwide process automation systems (PASs) market during 2001-06, according to ''PAS Worldwide Outlook, Market Analysis & Forecast Through 2006'' by ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, MA).
IMTS 2002: Positive notes despite attendance drop
Chicago, IL The 75th anniversary edition of the biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) maintained its prior level of about 1,300 exhibitors in 1.3 million ft2 of space during its eight day run, Sept. 4-11, at McCormick Place, despite a close to 26% decline in attendance from two years ago.
Valves Earn the Title of Process ‘Workhorses’
Tour any process plant and one of the first stops is the control room. The implied message, ''This is where the work takes place.'' But if you really want to see where the work takes place, chances are you will need to visit the plant's basement, climb over pipes, and peek behind vessels because that's where the workhorses of the process industry are located. EXPANDED VERSION ON-LINE
Trikon orders Cimetrix connectivity software
Salt Lake City, UT - Cimetrix Inc. announced September 4 that Trikon Technologies selected its CIM300 and CIMConnect for use in its 300 mm plasma etching, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and physical vapor deposition (PVD) process tools.
Anadigm ships dynamically reconfigurable, field-programmable analog array
Campbell, CA— Anadigm began shipping its new AN220E04 on Aug. 30. The firm reports that AN220E04 is the first field-programmable analog array (FPAA) that can be dynamically reconfigured to allow real-time control, updating and manipulation of analog functions by microprocessors in electronic systems.
MontaVista Software Unveils Embedded Linux Kit
Sunnyvale, Calif. - MontaVista Software announced August 20 availability of a Preview Kit for MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 2.1. Designed for developers of embedded applications, the free kit demonstrates several key packages and technologies included in MontaVista Linux Professional Edition.
Feed verification sensor
The Posiflow feed verification sensor is designed to detect the flow of liquid output by a pump, which veri-fies the metering pump is moving liquid and has not lost prime.
Elbow process conditioners
San Marcos, CA— Vorel 90°-elbow flow conditioner isolatesflow disturbances, reduces swirl, and develops a highly symmetrical, repeatable flow profile with minimal pressure loss at the inlet to process equipment. According to its developer, today's compact plant designs, pumps, and valves are required to operate with inadequate length of straight pipe runs upstream of process equipme...
Fisher Fieldvue valve controller receives TÜV certification
Emerson Process Management announced June 5th that its Fisher Fieldvue DVC6000 Series Digital Valve Controller has received certification from TÜV Rheinland (Cologne, Germany), an internationally-recognized inspection authority.
Vane operated flow switch
The C-WD15-SO vane-operated flow switch is designed to provide protection against flow variation or stoppage in fluid or gas pipelines.
Lenze AG working on `Drive-based’ automation
Hamelin, Germany - Modern engineering for the development of modular automation solutions is playing an increasingly important role in systems and mechanical engineering. "Its purpose is to reduce the overall costs of a machine," says Thorsten Sienk of Lenze AG . To this end, engineers at Lenze are working on a tool to implement "drive-based automation," which is a method centred on the functional division of systems into partial processes. Integrated software tools work with libraries of basic machine modules which can be adapted for specific solutions by setting parameters and archiving them in a database. This makes it possible to realise considerable savings by re-using existing application knowledge and grouping together various production steps to form an entire process. "Applying the principles of modularisation and decentralisation consistently leads to reducing costs," says Mr.
How to Get the Most from a Database
Databases help record, analyze, and relay plant-floor information, often behind the scenes. Data arrive from manufacturing, controls, instrumentation, automation software, human-machine interface software, execution systems, and even clipboard-wielding personnel, who may still manually collect and enter information.
Control Engineering’s E-News for Process Instrumentation – February 2002
In this issue: 'Smart' sensors pack a punch Keep those instruments in tip-top condition! Industrial sensor market, stunned by 9-11, should rebound quickly Is there a Coriolis flowmeter in your future? Help with flowmeter selection Specialty instrument department Archive 'Smart' sensors pack a punch Chicago - Dr. James Truchard, president, ceo, and co-founder of National Instruments ( https://www.ni.com ) will be the keynote speaker at National Manufacturing Week, which includes the Industrial Automation Show. Dr.
Pilz introduces a micro SafetyPLC
Hannover, Germany; Hannover Fair - Borrowing from the microPLC concept from PLC manufacturers safety relay manufacturer Pilz introduced a safety controller called PNOZmulti that handles from 4 to 14 safety functions, including emergency stop, safety gates, light barriers, and two hand control.
New IT contactors and starters offer all 24 V dc control
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.
PlantWeb adds predictive maintenance alerts
Emerson Process's PlantWeb Alerts, in combination with Emerson's digital intelligent field devices and systems, automatically performs predictive diagnostics, prioritizes maintenance alerts, assembles diagnostic result information, and includes repair recommendations all in an effort to improve process availability, reduce process variability, and help avoid unscheduled process shutdowns.
Civil War submarine is iron; not wood
Glad to hear that Emerson is working on the H.L. Hunley. However, I believe that the submarine is iron, not wood, as stated in the article ["Rosemount Analytical continues to assist preservation of Civil War sub," Best Practices, News, CE, Jan.'02, p. 19]. Also, the most important element of the Hunley's history is that it was the first submarine that succeeded in sinking an enemy craft i...
Pumps eliminate fugitive emissions
American Lewa offers a full line of high pressure, zero-leakage process pumps that have no dynamic seals or bearings in contact with the process fluid, provide double containment, high reliability, and meet API 675 standards.
Solid-state simplifies multiple pressure point measuring, control
Measurement and control of multiple pressure points is a common application. Typically, four pressure points require as many as 12 different pieces of hardware. This same goal can be accomplished with one solid-state pressure switch, which can save both time and money. A duplex pump control system, for example, requires control logic based on four pressure settings with low- and high-pre...
Chromalox’s heater controller provides small footprint
Pittsburgh, Pa. - Chromalox reports its recently introduced MaxPac compact silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) power controllers have a footprint approximately 30% smaller than competing systems.
Rosemount Analytical continues to assist preservation of Civil War sub
North Irvine, Calif.—In 1864, the H.L. Hunley, a Civil War submarine and the first ship capable of maneuvering completely underwater, sank off the coast of South Carolina while returning from its first mission. Now, after over 135 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, one of the most sought-after artifacts in the history of naval warfare has been raised and is being restored.
Impulsesoft releases WinCE Bluetooth solution
San Francisco, Calif. - Impulsesoft Pvt. Ltd. (Bangalore, India) released its WinCE Bluetooth protocol stack solution.
Brooks pending merger with PRI subject to request for additional information
Chelmsford & Billerica, Mass. - Brooks Automation and PRI Automation jointly announced December 14, 2001 that they have received a request for additional information (commonly known as a "second request") pertaining to the pending acquisition of PRI by Brooks.
Wonderware offers simplified Chinese version
Irvine, Calif. - Wonderware Corp., a unit of the Invensys Software Systems division of British-based Invensys plc, December 10 introduced InTouch 7.11 Simplified Chinese version of its FactorySuite human-machine interface (HMI) software.
Measure moisture in oil
Woburn, Mass.— The HMP228 continuously measures moisture in oil using the its-developer's Humicap sensor. The microprocessor-based transmitter measures temperature and the full measurement range of water activity. It detects the saturation point regardless of oil type, age, or additives.
FastObjects’ embedded database used by manufacturer
San Mateo, Calif. - FastObjects by Poet, the object database solution for embedded applications, announced that FastObjects t7 has been chosen as the embedded data management component for Hyperion, International Truck and Engine Corporation's sales order processing application.
Why Not Wireless?
Several forms of wireless communication, data acquisition, monitoring, networking and control are making inroads into control and automation. Wireless, like most new technologies, is fueled by the only force stronger than corporate inertia—the constant search for cost savings, efficiency, and competitive advantage.
Right tool for the right job
I heard an end-user say, "These tools are killing us." Not too long ago, having the wrong tool meant barking your knuckles and muttering under your breath, or wasting time trying to troubleshoot with a multimeter when a more sophisticated diagnostic tool was needed to recreate a long-lost design diagram.
Vision-guided robots inspect air conditioners at GM
Braintech Inc. recently received an order from ABB Flexible Automation of Canada to supply a vision-guided robotic (VGR) inspection system for air conditioners in a General Motors' truck plant (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada). Braintech's vision technologies allow industrial robots to "see and react" to changing conditions in factory environments.
Orifice plates: Out of sight not out of mind
Because orifice plates are so unassuming in appearance, and because they are out of sight, their impact on flow accuracy is often ignored or even worse, not understood. The fact is orifice plates are precision industrial grade devices. Seldom does one encounter the words "precision" and "industrial grade" used to describe the same device, but in the case of orifice plates that's exactly what ...
The changing environment of discrete sensors
We've all experienced some sort of change within our lives that render us to question, why weren't things that way in the first place. Change, inevitably, is a part of life that helps you realize growth has occurred, for nothing is static. That idea rings true for various characteristics of discrete sensors.
Advance-warning system reduces machine failure
Lisle, Ill. -Patented SmartSignal ECM technology improves analysis of existing sensor data, which provides a quantum leap in early detection of abnormal machine behavior. Advanced data interpretation detects faults before failure or damage.
Wonderware announces restructuring, 150 layoffs
Wonderware Corp. launched Jan. 16 a restructuring program designed to streamline its organization and improve its ability to deliver software functionality, web-enabled plant information, and product ordering and configuration.The company will also reduce its worldwide employment by about 20% by the end of January 2001.
Moisture sensor interface for web/bulk processes
Greensboro, N.C. -The Type 1035 moisture-to-computer interface is intended for web and bulk materials in process. Moisture measurement is often done by an electrically insulated roller, plate, or insertion probe that is applied to the material after it leaves the hot air or cylinder-type dryers.
Fisher-Rosemount extends DeltaV into bioprocess system
Fisher-Rosemount Systems' DeltaV automation system was selected Nov. 9 by New Brunswick Scientific's (Edison, N.J.) BioProcess Systems Group to automate a custom designed bioprocess system for a California-based biotechnology firm. The system consists of two 500-liter fermentation units, each with a 300-liter feed vessel.
Package aids calibration management
Maintenance of a control system after commissioning requires routine scheduled calibration of component parts including sensors, transmitters, and gauges. Scheduled calibration is a major quality assurance requirement for facilities operating under ISO9000 or QS9000 guidelines and a regulatory mandate for pharmaceutical processes governed by the U.
First half of 2000 shines for control users, suppliers
The first half of 2000 turned out to be rosy for the controls industry due to increasing sales and profits earned by users and suppliers of control products, especially when performance is compared with industry as a whole. These results were tallied in Business Week magazine's Scoreboard, which compared performances of more than 900 companies during the first halves of 2000 and 1999.
Software helps processor developers
Phoenix, Ariz.—SCORE, (Safety Critical, Object-oriented, Real-time Embedded) integrated development environment (IDE), addresses the growing need to combine reusable software components, written in different languages, targeting different processors and developed on different development platforms.
Intrinsically safe flow/level switch
San Marcos, Calif.— NuTec Switch Series is said to be the first thermal level switch design with a low-power 4-20 mA loop power option that meets intrinsic safety requirements. NuTec flow switches are also available in advanced nonintrusive thermal flow sensor configurations with a 10 Ra surface finish suitable for use in high purity and sanitary media.
ExperTune optimizes loop performance
Hubertus, Wis. -Loops tuned for setpoint changes often perform poorly during process disturbances and loops tuned for process disturbances are likely too agressive during a setpoint change. ExperTune's new software optimizes loop performance for both scenarios by combining a setpoint filter with optimal steady state tuning ensuring the loop reacts equally well to plant startups, product switchovers, and steady state operations.
Package builds web pages for process monitoring
Part of defining a complete control system includes identifying how different users must interact with it. Interaction types to be considered range from data only to full graphical interface and from monitor only to full supervisory control. Other facets in this decision process are the type of system used and the method of providing information to that platform.
Low flow Coriolis-based controller
Hatfield, Pa.— Brooks Instrumentation has introduced Quantim, a device intended for low flow (less than 1,000 gal/hr) applications. The device uses the Coriolis principle. According to its developer, it's the first time this technology has been introduced to the low-flow market. Quantim is said to offer several advantages over traditional inferred mass technologies, including better prec...
Differential Flowmeters: Simple Can Be Better
In 1502, Leonardo da Vinci noted, "A river in each part of its length in an equal time gives passage to an equal quantity of water, whatever the width, the depth, the slope, the roughness, the tortuosity." This simple observation provided the basis for simple flow measurement—the principle of continuity.
Product & Literature Showcase – 2000-08-01
Side-mounted valve positioner Cincinnati, O. -Model 2-IQ is a side- mounted valve positioner intended for use with ball valves for process control. The device can change the valve's action at the touch of a button, perform split ranging without changing parts, characterize the flow pattern through the positioner, and make deadband adjustments.
Augment process simulation interoperability
Barcelona, Spain -Hysis.Cape-Open-kit v1.0 combines the AEA Technology-Hyprotech process simulator Hysis and Hyp/Cap-Open-kit v1.0. Cape-Open is a cooperative projects sponsored by the European Union to define software interfaces that allow plug-and-play simulation components within various process simulators on the market. The software plugs into existing Hysis software and encapsulates legacy code.
Documenting pressure calibrator
New Fairfield, Conn.— DPI 615 is a battery powered, microprocessor-based fully documenting digital pressure calibrator. The device provides upload and download of calibration procedures and calibration results. Other features include error calculation of stored data and an "on display" graph of results.
Pump selection software simplifies ordering
Minnetonka, Minn.— Free Tonkaflo PumpTools pump selection software reduces the time to select multi-stage centrifugal pumps, reverse osmosis systems, and components. The user enters desired flow rate and boost, and pump curves show which Tonkaflo pumps meet requirements. www.osmonics.com Osmonics Circle 426
One motion chipset does work of two
Lexington, Mass.— Navigator MC2800 Series motion processors control both brushed and brushless servo motors in one chipset. Supported are sinusoidal commutation of 2- or 3-phase brushless motors as well as positioning and velocity control of brushed servo motors. The 2- or 4-axis processor allows selection of each axis as brushed or brushless.
Weathering winds of change means learning to work in the rain
In 1901, J. P. Morgan created U.S. Steel by buying Carnegie Steel, sparking a merger mania that has continued ever since. Over the past 50 years, there have been hundreds of thousands of mergers, acquisitions, downsizings, bankruptcies, and company failures, so it's easy to see why employees become stressed during periods of change.
Integrating business technologies
According to Bill Reedy, vp of business integration at IBM Software (Somers, N.Y.), the world is in the midst of a "digital revolution" that is of the same magnitude and significance as the Industrial Revolution. E-commerce, he says, is a manifestation, and the Internet is a communication device.
CD-ROM highlights sulfur recovery technology
Newark, Del.- A new CD-ROM offers a complete seminar on sulfur recovery and process analyzer technology. The PC-compatible compact disk serves as a complete tutorial of the Claus sulfur recovery process. It provides over four hours of in-depth technical discussion on the intricacies of the Claus method, enhanced Claus processes, and applications.
State College, Pa.— Calibration Manager LE is a calibration management software product that is intended for use by QA/QC and R&D labs, small manufacturers, and other operations in need of managing ISO 9000, FDA, and QS 9000 equipment calibration. The software maintains the full cycle of calibration management.
Low cost purge systems
Chagrin Falls, O.—The Mini-Z-Purge for Class I & II, Division 2 and Mini-Y-Purge for Division I explosive atmospheres are available in either backplate or panel-mount configurations. These purge systems are said to be smaller, lighter, and easier to install than conventional systems. The "L"-shaped backplate system merely requires four fixing holes and a small cutout to mount the purg...
Digital pressure gauge
Rochester, N.Y.— CheckMate 600 is said to be the first digital gauge to incorporate a switch test circuit, and the only small handheld device with this built-in switch tester. The gauge can test dry-contact (nonpowered) pressure switched for trip points on both rising and falling pressures. Its microprocessor looks for a change of state in continuity, so both normally open and normally c...
Weathering winds of change means
I n 1901, J. P. Morgan created U.S.
Safety calculation software
Amsterdam, The Netherlands -Honeywell Safety Management Systems (HSMS) has released SafeCalc, a new software tool that was specially developed to perform reliability calculations for safety functions in accordance with IEC 61508. New safety standards, such as IEC 61508 and ANSI/ISA S84.01, demand that safety functions realize a certain risk reduction, which is expressed as a Safety Integrity Level (SIL). If a safety integrity level for a specific safety function is defined, it is important to validate whether the proposed or implemented safety measure is sufficient to comply with the defined level. The new SafeCalc tool helps users carry out a quantitative analysis of the reliability (safety integrity) of the designed safety-instrumented functions.
Integrator Partnerships Offer Pros and Cons
Anyone who has ever taken a car, a PC, or a sewing machine in for repairs knows that some service options are better than others. When replacement parts or product-specific expertise are required, the best choice is often the original vendor or one of the vendor's "authorized" service centers. These are typically independent service contractors who have been trained, supplied, and endorse...
Salad Days for Kraft
Kraft Foods produces salad dressings at three plants in Garland, Tex., Allentown, Pa., and Champaign, Ill. The company wanted to maximize ingredient usage in its pourable dressings, maintain and/or improve product quality where necessary, and find a standard control solution that could be applied at its three plants.
Sequencia, Mettler Toledo partner on batch automation weighing solution; resellers named in Europe
Sequencia Corp. and Mettler Toledo Inc. (Columbus, O.) have formed a marketing alliance to create the first integrated batch automation weighing solution, using ActiveX controls. The firms will integrate Sequencia's batch automation and enterprise integration software with Mettler Toledo's weighing and measuring system for the process industries.
AC Induction Motor Designs, Types
W orldwide popularity of ac induction motors in numerous applications has led to some standardized motor designs. Concentration on a finite number of motor types also brings design and manufacturing efficiencies, while helping to achieve attractive pricing. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, (NEMA, Washington, D.C.) has developed specifications for so-called NEMA design A, B, C, and D motor types. These designs are based on standardizing certain motor characteristics such as starting current, slip, and specified torque points (see below).
Selecting pressure transducers
P ressure transducers are found in numerous OEM applications including appliances, on- and off-road vehicles, medical equipment, industrial machinery and military/aerospace applications. They are also used widely in process control. Introduction of the microprocessor has spurred both functionality and expansion in the use of pressure transducers over the past 15 years.
Y2K help on the web
The last quarter of 1999 is officially underway and most U.S. Y2K efforts are completed or nearly completed. Don't relax just yet, though. Representatives for the National Association of Manufacturers (Rosslyn, Va.) estimate that 0.5-1% of Y2K error points will go unfound in the U.S. While this may seem like a small number, there's no way of knowing if these errors will appear in a chip ...
Module minimizes safety instrumented system efforts
Spring House, Pa.— The Critical Analog Module (CAM) reduces efforts in implementing safety instrumented systems by integrating conventional 4-20 mA transmitters, and a variety of fire and gas detector sensors without writing any application or communication software. Using the NAMUR NE-43 standard, the CAM includes 32 software-configurable channels to monitor inputs from transmitters and...
Steeplechase releases VLC 4.2
To help users update manufacturing operation control system logic while it's executing, Steeplechase Software Inc. recently released its Visual Logic Controller (VLC) 4.2 software with flowchart programming. This update capability, On-Line Programming (OLP), allows changes to be tested to determine validity.
Run-mode debugging software
Dallas, Tex.—OSE Systems and Green Hills Software have collaborated to develop a run-mode debugging software that enables developers to debug multiple blocks of processes or load modules simultaneously. The software also supports testing multiple nodes in distributed systems over a single target connection.
ON Semiconductor starts up
Barely three months after it was bought for $1.6 billion by the Texas Pacific Group, Motorola's former Semiconductor Components Group (SCG) has been renamed and relaunched as ON Semiconductor. The acquisition was initiated in May 1999 and completed in August. Motorola also owns 10% of the new firm's stock.
Process Controller Tuning Guidelines aid users
You can tune a process controller, but you can't tuna fish. To efficiently manage their controllers, however, many users need some assistance.To help calculate tuning parameters, Control Engineering senior editor Dave Harrold recently compiled "Process Controller Tuning Guidelines" to serve as an introduction or refresher for users.
Ziatech launching CompactPCI Linux development platform
Ziatech Corp. stated July 21 it will unveil a Linux-based CompactPCI development system at LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, Aug. 19-21, in San Jose, Calif. The development platform will include an 8U-high, 19-in. rack-mounted system using an Intel Pentium II processor, a core set of development peripherals, power supply and system cooling, and Hard Hat Linux o...
Manage your procedures
Phoenix, Ariz.— Sequencia's Procedure Manager is said to provide advantages of process automation for process manufacturers who have manual or only partially automated processes within their facilities without requiring equipment or process upgrades. This software solution brings the advantages of batch automation including recipe management, batch tracking, and operator logging by combi...
European pavilion to highlight second Sensors Expo in 1999
The Great State of Ohio may seem a lot closer to Europe this fall thanks to a new European Pavilion at this year's second Sensors Expo, Sept. 14-16. The 1,000-ft² pavilion will feature numerous leading European equipment and systems manufacturers. (For more sensors coverage, see this issue's Product Focus section.
SCADA package provides range of capability
When examining requirements for personal computer-based supervisory systems, users should consider several levels of functionality. These include a graphical operator interface, trending capability (real time and historical), report generation capability, the dynamic links to other software packages through Dynamic Data Exchange, data archival capability, statistical analysis, and the ex...
Protect process instruments to ensure performance
Too frequently, instrumentation protection is not considered until the snow is flying and then a problem is discovered. The summer months are the best time to examine instrumentation winterization problems and take measures to ensure the instrumentation performs accurately and repeatedly when the mercury falls.
Software for online predictors of process variables
Houston, Tex.—PrimusTech has announced the release of Soft ANN-alyzer v. 2.0. The company states that it is the first software product specifically designed to deliver intelligent inferred properties for online applications in the process industries. With this product, the engineer can quickly and easily develop reliable models from plant historical data or test data for online use.
Air driven vacuum pumps
Rockland, Mass.—PIAB Vacuum Products announces an improved series of pneumatically driven vacuum pumps; the Low Pressure M Series have been designed to handle low or fluctuating compressed air pressures. These vacuum pumps, at an inlet pressure of only 49 psi, provide up to 27 in of Hg vacuum. Each Low Pressure M pump has very broad application capabilities that allow the user to choose a...
ABB sells subsidiary to Siemens AG
ABB agreed May 18 to sell Elsag Bailey's gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer business to Siemens AG for an undisclosed sum. The division, part of Elsag Bailey's Applied Automation Inc., employs about 320 people and generated revenues of $50 million in 1998.
Trapped key interlock systems help eliminate human error
Frequently, human error is listed as the contributing factor in safety and environmental incidents. Training and procedures can improve the situation, but the best way to eliminate risk is to make it impossible for people to perform actions that lead to dangerous situations. One way to eliminate human error is to use trapped key interlock systems.
Neural network optimizes processes
Cambridge, Mass.— NeurOn-Line Studio (NOL Studio) guides users step-by-step through data preprocessing, model configuration, training, validation, and deployment for process analysis, modeling, and optimization. Users can analyze data sets with over 100,000 records and 100 variables. Applications include inferential measurements of product quality, model-based control, and process fault ...
Pressure/vacuum deadweight tester
New Fairfield, Conn.— T3500 series is a primary pressure standard capable of both pressure and vacuum calibrations in one unit. Testers are NIST traceable and provided in ranges from 5 to 400 in H2 through 3-500 psi for pressure and 1-30 in Hg for vacuum. Standard accuracy is 0.015% of reading with 0.
Manufacturing Marketplace revamp saves time, money
Cahners Business Information introduced the next generation of its Manufacturing Marketplace web site on March 15. Located at www.manufacturing.net, Manufacturing Marketplace combines data from 23 industry-leading Cahners publications, five vertical communities of interest, customized news feeds, an exclusive stock index, original analysis, and comprehensive sourcing...
High performance mini SBC
Baden-Dattwil, Switzerland— VCM332SD is an add-on single-board computer to the MPL's existing product line and is said to be compatible with MPL products. The small board has a Motorola MC68332 processor and operates up to 25 MHz. It also features on-board 1 Mbyte SRAM and programmable 1 Mbyte Flash ROM.
Digital phosphor oscilloscope combines analog, digital strengths
Most engineers use digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs) for simultaneous, multi-channel operation, measurement automation, and waveform storage. Many also keep their old analog real-time (ART) oscilloscopes for intensity-graded displays, varying brightness, and fast waveform capture rates that can indicate frequency of different signal sections.
Techmation deadband reset scheduling algorithm
N ot intended to replace good valve selection and maintenance procedures, the Techmation Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) deadband reset scheduling algorithm provides a good compromise between the competing requirements of steady-state stability and speed of response. Deadband Reset Scheduling (DRS) is the name given to a modified PID control algorithm developed by Techmation. It has been successfully implemented on thousands of control loops on a wide variety of digital control systems, according to Techmation.
LN1000 annunciator for hazardous areas
Manassas, Va.— Exloc's LN1000 annunciator monitors and displays alarm signals in a Div. 1 hazardous location. Its low-power requirement makes it suitable for intrinsic safety and a single standard IS interface is all that is needed to energize up to 32 alarm channels. The LN1000 annunciator displays visual alarm status through a combination of LCDs and LEDs, including "first-up" informa...
ABB’s acquisition of Elsag Bailey approved
ABB announced Dec. 16 it has received approval from the European Commission (EC) to complete its purchase of Elsag Bailey Process Automation N.V. The company also reported discussions are continuing with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and that it expects a final ruling on the proposed acquisition in mid-January 1999.
Windows CE bows in at ISA Expo/98
No doubt recognizing Windows CE's integration abilities and real-time application potential, numerous exhibitors showed products using Microsoft 's (Redmond, Wa.) platform at ISA Expo/98. Intellution (Norwood, Mass.) unveiled Fix Dynamics for Windows CE, a visualization component and control solution based on Microsoft Windows CE with a seamless one-step database configuration. Based on Paradym-31 for Microsoft Windows NT, FIX Dynamics for Windows CE is a control and visualization package featuring the small footprint possible with the embedded operating system. The goal of the control component is a scalable product capable of running under Windows NT, NT with real-time extensions, or Windows CE running on either Intel, Hitachi, or Mips chips.
Level indicators wave the red flag
Rendering is a process that takes what normally would be animal waste and transforms it into usable product. The cycle begins by heating the animal product in a tank using steam from a boiler. Once the heat is used, the steam it's taken from is collected again and condensed in a separate tank where it starts the process over again .
ABB buying Elsag Bailey
To expand into new markets and strengthen key technologies, ABB announced Oct. 14 plans to acquire Netherlands-based Elsag Bailey Process Automation N.V. In agreements signed with Elsag Bailey and its owner Finmeccanica SpA, ABB will offer about $2.1 billion for all of Elsag Bailey's outstanding common shares and trust originated preferred securities (TOPrS), i...
Testing facilities available
Lambda Electronics Inc. recently made its three-meter anechoic test chamber, test equipment, and technicians available to consult, test, and certify that electronic equipment meets required safety and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) compliance standards. Lambda states its 50 years of experience in manufacturing and testing power supplies with investments in tes...
Elsag Bailey Process Automation seeks buyer
The supervisory board of Elsag Bailey Process Automation N.V. (EBPA) began seeking offers June 4 to purchase the whole company. The process automation firm has annual revenues of about $1.5 billion, and employs 11,000 people in 30 countries.The board's action followed a May 28 privatization move by Elsag Bailey's controlling shareholders—Finmeccani...
Siemens— A Work in Process
Sometimes, even when you're number one, you have to try harder. Here's the challenge. You're the world's largest supplier of industrial and building automation systems. Where do you go and how do you grow from here?Edward Krubasik, executive vice president of Siemens AG's industrial segment, faces this challenge daily.
Transmitter takes on hazardous duty
Stratford, Conn.— Ashcroft hazardous-duty process transmitters meet various standards for intrinsic safety. Sensors and signal conditioning circuits are interchangeable, making the transmitter upgradable and repairable by the user, which allows changeover on site. It offers 0.25% accuracy, male and female process connections, and a 4-20 mA output.
Hard real-time control on PCs
Hard real-time efforts appeared in many forms at NMW. [See also CE, April 1998, "PC-based Control Goes Real Time," p. 54.]Radisys' (Hillsboro, Ore.) exhibited its INtime real-time solution. Alex Doumani, general manager for embedded software, says semiconductor equipment, robotics, and other factory automation manufacturers are among INtime's users.
Multivariable pressure transmitter
Sharon, Mass.— The IPX Series smart multivariable transmitter is designed for pressure measurement of high temperature processes in applications requiring both high accuracy and temperature stability. Both process pressure and temperature outputs are available through this HART-compatible device.
Operator workstation adds enhancements
Billerica, Mass.— ProPanel from Azonix is now available in a 14 in. flat-panel screen option. With this display, a "hi-bright" is available for sunlight viewing. A self-adjusting option modifies screen brightness in relation to ambient light conditions. ProPanels are available with Intel Pentium processors with speeds up to 166 MHz and main memory up to 128 MB.
Family of advanced control, optimization solutions
Phoenix, Ariz.— Users can select and combine applications from the Profit Suite to achieve various levels of process optimization. Profit Suite applications include multivariable control algorithms, multiunit steady-state, and dynamic optimization, and first-principles modeling of nonlinear processes.
Probe Kit, Testing Software Aid EMI Testing
Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, Calif..— Two recent innovations from the Golden State may help users in the electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing and compliance fields.First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently picked EMI probes from Credence Technologies Inc. for use by its field inspectors to ensure compliance with FCC radio frequency (RF) emission regulations.
Intelligent Pressure Scanners Enhance Chillers
To help build more efficient centrifugal compressors for its chillers, McQuay International recently researched the thermodynamic state of HFC-134a refrigerant throughout the compression process at its plant in Staunton, Va. The company discovered that conventional equipment was expensive and difficult to use, but eventually found and incorporated System 9000 in...
Pacific Scientific Shareholders to Vote on Danaher Offer
Newport Beach, Calif.— Pacific Scientific Co.'s shareholders will vote March 27 on the proposed $460 million acquisition of the company by a wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corp. (Washington, D.C.). Shareholders on record as of Feb. 25 will be able to vote at the special meeting, which was called by Pacific Scientific's board of directors on Feb.
Instant Fulfillment Promises Fast Access to Product Information
Want information on products advertised in Control Engineering but don't have the time for mail-in reader service? The answer is Instant Fulfillment.In addition to the current process of mailing in a reader service card and waiting for more information through the mail, readers can also access more information "instantly" on the web.
El Cajon, Calif. —Mazatrol Off-Line Editor is engineered to allow users the option of writing or editing Mazatrol programs without tying up Mazak machines. This Windows-based application makes it possible to write, copy, and paste; insert a line; or change processes within Mazatrol programs while allowing the Mazak machines to operate without costly interruptions.
New Sensor Has PreciseColor Discrimination
Engineers have long sought a sensor that can identify the subtlest color differences at the speeds and repeatability required by production lines. Well, their search may be over thanks to Omron Electronics Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.). The company recently released its new E3MC RGB (red/green/blue) color sensor, which Omron says features a unique threshold sensitivity adjustment that allows pr...
Nematron Signs OEM Agreement with Schneider Automation
Nematron Corp. announced Jan. 27 that it signed a multimillion dollar contract to supply a series of its Pentium- and Pentium II-based open architecture industrial control computers (ICCs) to Schneider Automation (North Andover, Mass.) under a private label OEM agreement.
Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — GMPTG PC-Based Control System Implementations
Spectrum of Control Applications at GMPTG Current Implementation of PC-Based Control Systems In order to execute the control strategies, GMPTG started to implement PC-based control systems on its factory floor. It needs to be clarified that a PC-based control system is only the first step toward the realization of the OMAC concept. The initial implementation of PC-based control systems enables an 'open' hardware platform to be used on the factory floor, even though there are still proprietary elements in the software environment.
Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Migration Plan
Validation Process he current implementation of PC-based control systems is strictly in discrete logic control applications. The OMAC concept certainly is not limited to discrete control systems only. GMPTG is taking steps to migrate the OMAC direction into CNC and robotics control systems. Table 2 gives an overview of the control migration plan for GMPTG by application types.
Selecting the Right Industrial Network
The vast number of available networks makes it a daunting task to pick one (or several) to best meet the needs of a particular application. This has probably hindered the use of networks in controls applications. The intent here is to discuss the process of picking a network best suited to an application, and not to compare the specific capability of different networks.
WorldFIP Network Helps Citroën Build Automobile Doors
BUS OF THE MONTH: WorldFIP