Process Manufacturing
Shown are outdoor tanks and piping for Angel's Envy Distillery, Louisville, Ky. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering
Process Manufacturing April 15, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 8-14

Articles about evaluating a system integrator, the Engineers' Choice Awards, IIoT and machine control, questions to ask an SI, and rate-predictive control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Risk can increase where machines and workers co-exist, and facility managers need to be aware of these risks and think about safeguards to protect employees. Courtesy: Rite-Hite
Process Manufacturing April 11, 2019

Think safety when adding automated processes

Machine safety: Physical barriers are often the best choice after a risk assessment is performed in places where machines and workers co-exist.

By John Ritter
Data Acquisition
Courtesy: CFE Media
Data Acquisition April 13, 2019

Three data types companies need to prioritize

Not all data is equal and some require greater attention and priority than others. Industrial companies managing networks need to focus on information-based, mission critical and real-time data.

By Jonathan Simpson
Simulators, Optimizers
MathWorks Matlab/Simulink environments enable the design and simulation of new applications, such as this hexapod, as well as advanced algorithms that can be used in the machine controller to control the physical hexapod. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation
Simulators, Optimizers April 8, 2019

Machine design concepts improve automation and controls simulation

Virtual design tools and automation software intersect to save time and costs in machine commissioning so engineers can spot potential flaws before implementation.

By Daymon Thompson
Diagnostics, Asset Management
A novel technique developed by MIT researchers compresses “objects” in memory for the first time, freeing up more memory used by computers, allowing them to run faster and perform more tasks simultaneously. Courtesy: Christine Daniloff, MIT
Diagnostics, Asset Management April 17, 2019

Data-compression technique developed for faster computer programs

A technique developed by MIT researchers frees up more memory used by computers and mobile devices, allowing them to run faster and perform more tasks simultaneously.

By Rob Matheson
Process Safety
IO-Link provides connectivity at the device and sensor level and allows even the smallest field devices and smart sensors to communicate their diagnostic data for analysis to understand functional and system status. Courtesy: Emerson Automation Solutions
Process Safety April 2, 2019

IIoT-ready technologies improve machine controls

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies have the potential to improve user benefits through diagnostics, prognostics and predictive maintenance.

By Steven Fales
Sensors, Actuators
Figure 3: Running forward. Running forward down a straightaway is easy. With a view of the track ahead, the runner can compensate almost instantaneously to any slow drift to the left or right, even when sprinting at top speed. In much the same way, a feedforward controller applied to a process with limited, measurable disturbances can keep the process variable close to the setpoint easily enough. Running forward around a curve is not all that much more difficult. The runner can visually measure any impending disturbances (curves), anticipate the effect on future trajectory, and make course corrections as needed rather than afterwards. Advance knowledge allows a front-facing runner to round a curve much faster and with much less error than a rear-facing runner can. Advance knowledge allows a feedforward controller to be more aggressive and more accurate. If the controller can correctly predict how a disturbance is going to affect the process variable and how to compensate for it, the controller can afford to apply more assertive control efforts. Doing so can reduce the effects of an impending disturbance just as a runner can stay right in the center of the lane when anticipating upcoming curves. Courtesy: Control Engineering
Sensors, Actuators April 1, 2019

Understanding feedforward control

Feedforward controls applied to a process, with limited, measurable disturbances, can keep the process variable close to the setpoint.

By Control Engineering