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Mixing control system components from different manufacturers often took more integration time than practical. Efforts from Open Process Automation Forum are leading to interoperability among controls manufacturers.
Honeywell's Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) is designed to provide process automation features and functionality to end users across the industrial sector.
By leveraging smart instrumentation and coordinating calibration and verification, plant personnel can automate maintenance tasks and increase productivity.
Process manufacturing industries is undergoing a transformation as a wave of cognitive computing applications and infrastructure, collectively known as Industry 5.0, is changing how goods are produced.
Owners must be strategic and intentional with material purchases and investments and what goes into a packaging process is no different.
University of Colorado mechanical engineering students have developed a device that improves the inspection process of silicon wafers.
Leveraging location-based process automation technology for autonomous operations can help manufacturers in many ways.
UniversalAutomation.Org (UAO), an independent association managing a reference implementation of an industrial automation shared source IEC 61499 standard runtime, welcomes oil and gas giant ExxonMobil as a member.
Stanford University researchers have developed a method to help accelerate the adoption of wastewater technology that mitigates pollution, recovers valuable resources and creates potable water.
Articles about Engineers' Choice winners, process monitoring, digital transformation, cybersecurity advice and industrial PCs were Control Engineering’s five most-viewed articles from February 21-27, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A passive solar evaporation system developed by MIT researchers could be used to clean wastewater, provide potable water or sterilize medical tools in off-grid areas.
MIT researchers have developed a process that enables control over liquid-solid interfaces even with the most unlikely pairs of materials.
Advanced temperature measurement technology for cleaner, safer and more profitable downstream operations depends on reliable thermocouple technology
Inframark, LLC has acquired MR Systems, Inc., which specializes in providing automation, process controls, instrumentation, and SCADA systems for the municipal water and wastewater market.
ASRock Industrial is working with the Coalition for Open Process Automation (COPA) formed by CPLANE.ai and Collaborative Systems Integration (CSI) on the development of the first open-industrial control systems based upon the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS).
Endress+Hauser brings instrumentation, services and solutions closer to users in the process industries.
Flash Joule heating by Rice lab recovers precious metals from electronic waste in seconds, which could reduce hazardous waste and processing time. See video.
Sinusoidal pump provides pulsation-free product flow with no need for ancillary dampeners for pharmaceutical manufacturing applications.
Converters featuring conformal coating for protection in harsh environments.
Balancing additive and subtractive manufacturing might be the key to new efficiencies
The Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) developed by Purdue University engineers, arrived at the International Space Station and will soon advance the science of heat transfer in microgravity.
Here’s how advanced analytics software finds the root cause of, and the solution for, operational delays in batch processes.
The many uses of the digital twins in process automation
Using HART protocol is more effective when connected instruments provide status information back to the control system, providing reliability about the process variable, instrument reliability and troubleshoot. Learn nine HART statuses. See HART status diagram.
Digitally transforming operations in the control room can provide new methods for solving problems and improving optimization with increased automation. A refinery projected almost $200,000 in energy savings for five heat-exchangers in 90 days.
Beckhoff Automation opened a Process Industry Technical Center in Houston with a focus on process manufacturing
The next process manufacturing facility project can be made easier with precise planning, scheduling and coordination.
Articles about the Career and Salary Survey, mature engineering information management, entry management portals, process control system connectivity and digitalization benefits were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 31 to June 6, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Emerson is integrating the MTP process automation standard into its control systems to help increase speed-to-market and reduce project and operations costs.
Gas turbine manufacturers have developed larger and more efficient units, which need to be supported by advanced feed water pumps (FWP) to ensure long-term reliability as well as cost-effectiveness.
To help those with legacy distributed control systems (DCS) that need upgrades, Control Engineering offered a March 24 webcast for professional development hour (PDH) credit, “Effective process control system migration.” Additional answers from the speakers follow, along with a link to webcast, archived for one year.
Rice University-led study evaluates methods to find signs of COVID-19 virus in municipal wastewater plants and have found a viable and consistent method for detection.
Process automation can be used to reduce dairy process inefficiencies, while boosting profits.
Systems featuring a 'membrane-aerated biofilm reactor' can also remove more nitrogen from treatment plant discharges have been developed by University of Michigan researchers.
Control engineers can future-proof their process control systems (PCSs) with Lean project management principles, which gives companies the flexibility needed to meet ever faster changing customer demands.
Use easy-to-use electric actuators: Digital I/O ensures pneumatics-like control, while IO-Link adds a third, mid-point position for new capabilities.
Smart and proactive digital solutions can help support ongoing operations even through disruptive global events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital twins can help model-based technologies provide a basis for continuous process optimization and efficient plant operation.
Food processing operations need to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and can achieve this by improving collaboration and enforcing consistency.
Large-scale automation systems have been at the heart of production line control, but an alternative modular automation approach is emerging.
Every industrial process delivers benefits for people around the world and nearly all of them involve a pumping operation at some point and keeping these essential assets operational is an important task.
To get top ROI for digitalizing your asset maintenance, consider a modernized version of the automation pyramid using ISA-95 Enterprise-Control System Integration.
Advances in process instrumentation extend beyond sensor accuracy. Computing, algorithms and networking capabilities add functionality.
In advanced process control (APC), closed-loop multivariable control brings the inherent benefits of greater timeliness and consistency, fewer alarms and constraint violations and more effective process optimization. Multivariable control is core to most process operations. See “What is ‘real-time’ optimization?”
Industrial customers require insights into the behavior of their assets to proactively plan maintenance across their production facilities.
Applying vibration and temperature sensors with wireless transmitters, paired to local or cloud diagnostics, can help keep pumps running safely and reliably.
Mass production of 2D materials like graphene and molybdenum disulfide helps map crystal shapes and is urgently required by materials scientists.
Arla Foods achieved energy transparency during cottage cheese production at a factory in Sweden. A flow sensor monitors temperature and flow rate.
Food and beverage manufacturers can use predictive analytics to reduce product waste and downtime.
Rice University researchers have found that a shield of graphene helps particles destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria and free-floating antibiotic resistance genes and other potential superbugs in wastewater treatment plants.
Choosing an industrial valve for process applications depends on a variety of parameters: Use these five tips to help with process valve selection.
Process safety: Keeping process control and safety systems separate is crucial, but knowing what to separate and integrate and why is critical. Learn about safety instrumented function (SIF) and layers of protection analysis (LOPA).
Articles about remote management, virtual process hazard analysis meetings, new controller options, manufacturing after the COVID-19 pandemic, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from May 4 to May 10, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Although current circumstances prevent face-to-face meetings such as those for process hazard analysis (PHA), they can be accomplished online
Many wastewater treatment facilities (WWTF) are either planning or are currently implementing biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes, which requires plant operations staff to balance carbon and nutrient needs. Four examples are highlighted.
Advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) projects could offer major breakthroughs in medicine, but the path to getting there is uncharted and extremely difficult. Tips for making the journey are highlighted.
Inside Machines: More answers regarding servo system tuning follow the March 11 webcast on the same topic.
Advanced process control: An improved understanding of the role of multivariable control in industrial process operations will lead to more cost-effective solutions and engage a wider circle of people in the process automation enterprise.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $3 million for high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation projects to improve manufacturing processes.
Articles about the Engineers' Choice winners, process valve choices, cotton gin improvements, robots and drones in process facilities, and the top 2019 university articles were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from February 17-23. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Reducing operating expenses for food and beverage manufacturing applications does not mean compromising product quality and human safety.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in January 2020 included stories about the System Integrator Giants, Engineers' Choice finalists, robots in agriculture, subscription software, and advanced process control answers. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A subscription delivery model can hasten adoption automation software required to progress in the journey toward digital transformation.
The process control system can provide a reliable basis for effective and efficient collaboration for engineering projects.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in November 2019 included stories about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system migration, information and the cloud, profit-driven operations, the future of industrial automation, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Pluggable disconnect terminals for process engineering control systems. HART can help control processes in 3 ways.
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, control system technologies, control system migration, industrial automation, and information and the cloud were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 18-24. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Whether you’re doing a brand refresh, looking to reach new consumers or want to expand your product offerings, adding aseptic processing for your food and beverage manufacturing can be a boon for your operations.
Maximizing process plant profits requires close integration across all levels of an organization.
Control Station’s PlantESP is a leading control loop performance monitoring (CLPM) solution.
Inside Process: Aging process control systems (PCSs) create nine major problems. There are three good reasons to migrate distributed control systems before obsolescence.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in September 2019 included stories about control system design shift, process control education, model-following control, the evolution of modern manufacturing, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Updates to safety standards call for capable instrumentation to address safety and accuracy concerns.
Articles about control system design, HMI and SCADA web browsers, SCCR safety, water/wastewater applications, and process control and instrumentation productivity were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 23-29. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about process control and instrumentation productivity, control system technology, Leaders Under 40 winners, modern manufacturing, and electronic motion control developments were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 16-22. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Leonard (Len) W. Moore, P.E., founder and owner of Moore Industries-International Inc., an industrial and automation control company, passed at the age of 85.
Project execution using a process control system highly integrated virtual environment melds software and networking to uncouple control applications from physical equipment, and controllers from physical I/O. This reduces capital cost by shifting from customization to standardization and eliminating some non-value-added work.
Process control productivity requires education for optimal technology specification, integration and use. Industrial suppliers are among those doing the educating.
Fluke Corp. has acquired PRÜFTECHNIK, a German-based company focused on condition monitoring and non-destructive testing.
The Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) named Brian Larry as chairman of the board for the 2019-2020 administrative year.
Nuclear power facilities are equipped with large diesel generators that supply emergency power for important safety circuits in the event of a situation where a power outage requires critical pumps to operate and safety shutdown the reactor.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in June 2019 included stories about the Career and Salary Survey, alarm management and process safety, choosing the right HMI, retrofitting Industrie 4.0, DCS migration, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Field pump performance testing provides the expert with developed head, capacity and efficiency data under normal (or abnormal) operating conditions.
Honeywell unveiled Experion PKS Highly Integrated Virtual Environment (HIVE), which is designed to help engineers maintain industrial control systems (ICSs) for chemical, processing, and oil and gas applications and simplify the overall process.
Endress+Hauser reported strong growth in 2018 and positive projected growth for 2019 thanks to process automation sector sales in the U.S.
In-person training for process instrumentation and control (PIC) provides valuable training on-site for engineers, but online education can save time and money for everyone involved while giving engineers a base of knowledge they can build from.
The Aeroflow high performance control integrates aerodynamic and hydrodynamic flow design, smart valve technology, and a modular design.
Process manufacturers face many challenges when choosing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software due to many challenges with codes and standards and constant maintenance.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2019 included stories about rate-predictive control, Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, object-oriented programming, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Part 2: Model-less multivariable control (XMC) is designed to solve multivariable control challenges without using detailed models or embedded optimizers.
Articles about rate-predictive control, the Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, temperature sensor calibration, and connecting quality and process data were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Companies that choose to incorporate drug products into a manufacturing facility need to consider many steps to make the process a smooth one.
Articles about feedforward control, rate-predictive control, IIoT and machine control, Big Data analysis, and the top stories of March 2019 were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 1-7. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Feedforward controls applied to a process, with limited, measurable disturbances, can keep the process variable close to the setpoint.
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots to reduce manufacturing costs for real-time process monitoring to help ensure quality control.
Advanced control: A new non-PID control algorithm, rate-predictive control (RPC), is adaptive to changes in process gain, which is helpful given the industry’s difficult history of loop tuning, auto-tuning, and model maintenance. RPC also can serve as a model-less feedback multivariable control algorithm.
Technology update: Digitalization was are among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.
Process automation systems need lower lifecycle costs, easier integration with third-party components, better scaling, intrinsic security, flatter architecture, and interoperability. Multiple, broad-based efforts are underway to create cooperative, rather than conflicting, standards.
The research and development tax credit can help control systems and process engineers offset the mounting costs from product and service enhancements.
FieldComm Group's process automation device information model specification (PA-DIM) has been endorsed by the OPC Foundation, and Profibus & Profinet International (PI).
Articles about process closure benefits, the System Integration Giants, the future of IIoT software, MQTT's role as an IoT message transport, and primary and secondary flow measurement were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 28 to February 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.
International: A new solutions center in China and digital capabilities of process instrumentation enable process industries to lower costs and increase efficiencies with digitalization, virtual reality, augmented reality, and advanced flow sensing capabilities.
Selecting a process control system (PCS) involves experienced personnel and understanding critical elements for operations.
Three systems are primarily used in continuous oral solid dose manufacturing and each one has their benefits and drawbacks depending on the company and the product they make.
A process closure is easily misunderstood, but it can provide a process manufacturer many potential benefits such as increased profits and safer workers.
Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2018 included stories about the 2019 System Integrator Giants, Engineers' Choice Finalists, SIY winners, temperature measurement for process applications, leveraging process simulation, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, leveraging process simulation, implementing a linear motion application, getting stronger process readings, and AR and VR were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 3-9, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Singapore— Previously staged separately, three Asian technology exhibitions will run concurrently here on June 5-8, 2001. ICAM Asia 2001, International Trade Fair for Industrial Control, Automation, and Measurement, and IA 2001, 7th International Industrial Automation Exhibition, will be staged together for the first time.
Data obtained from process analyzers need to be trusted and verified to help the user make an informed decision. Considerations include communications reliability, analyzer status, and logic platform.
Process automation projects are complex and can go through many challenges before completion. Remaining open, honest, and demanding high expectations from everyone can help ensure the project will be successful.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a flow-based high-throughput screening technology designed to identify optimum conditions for performing high-pressure/high-temperature catalytic chemical reactions.
eKanban focuses manufacturers on reducing inventory, lowering cycle times, and helps best practice operations reduce scrap as part of continuous improvement efforts.
Process automation organizations often can’t take advantage of advances in digital technology due to the lack of interoperability between operations technology (OT) systems, but open standards can be a way forward.
Emerson announced it has agreed on terms to acquire Aventics for €527 million in a bid to expand their reach in pneumatics technologies for process and industrial applications.
Large pumps, such as those operated in the oil and gas, power generation and water industries perform a crucial role and represent a significant investment by the owner. When it comes to maintenance it is possible to have the best of both worlds when choosing between an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and an independent service provider (ISP).
Innovation helps distinguish between a leader and follower and can take companies and users into directions they never anticipated, according to Kenny Warren of ExxonMobil during his keynote speech at the ARC Industry Forum.
Articles about control and instrumentation tips, hot Control Engineering topics, modular control system design, four VFD trends, and selecting the correct factory automation controller were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from January 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.
A good request for proposal (RFP/RFQ) project should use qualified results, have a defined scope, an architecture overview, and a strong consideration for risk.
Upgrading control systems is costly and expensive and should only be done when necessary. Signs such as increased energy savings, current renovations, and the system reaching the end of its life are clear signs a chance is needed.
In the course of setting ERP selection criteria, keep in mind the differences between verification and software validation.
Market update: Honeywell expands process automation and instrumentation products and channels to continue to augment growth in the next three years, according to Control Engineering China.
Process manufacturers face problems keeping up with strict regulations in labeling, traceablility, recipe management, and the manufacturing process.
Batch and process manufacturing have specific needs for software and production and enterprise resource planning (ERP) modules can help ensure that production is efficient and profitable.
LumaSense's MCL640 thermal imaging camera is designed for industrial process control and monitoring applications and can be ordered with a number of environmental enclosures enabling accurate and safe operation in the harshest environments.
Batch implementation projects are much more likely to be successful when a thorough front end engineering design (FEED) is performed and if several questions are addressed during the implementation process.
Most proportional-integral-derivative (PID) applications use digital controllers, though some still use analog. Digital control can offer additional process control system efficiencies.
There are many level measuring techniques, however they need to be the right fit for the application. See the three key constraints to measuring solids in tanks and vessels.
Integrator Update: A fully automated integrated control and information system helped Whitmore Manufacturing, an industrial lubricant manufacturer, increase production capacity 28% with a 9-hour decrease in cycle time, adding 150 batches per year while increasing quality for one product line. System integrator Innovative Control Inc. helped with batch software, temperature control, motor control for mixers, flow control, a historian and enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) software.
Professional engineering licensure for control system designers, engineers, and integrators is always a topic that can bring forth heated arguments both for and against licensure. The purpose of this article is to put forth the facts and let the readers determine if professional engineer (PE) designed control systems are a requirement for their systems and facilities.
Take advantage of your system integrator’s time and expertise by allowing them to execute acceptance testing methods, freeing up plant personnel.
Should an application use a manufacturing execution system or will batch software suffice? A small set of decision points can determine the most commonly used models for selection or integration of ISA 88 batch execution systems and ISA 95 manufacturing operations management (MOM) systems. Ask these questions to decide. The ISA 95 Technical Report TR95.02 – Integrating ISA 88 and ISA 95 workflows can help.
A definite set of programming and HMI standards can alleviate the burden of navigating your controls process from start to finish.
System simulators allow developers to test most of a new control system, but not the entire system. See 6 tips for the factory acceptance test (FAT) phase of your project.
As the digital age continues to grow, the automation industry keeps up with upgrading or replacing control systems. When migrating, try the simple paper-and-pencil method to help identify programming issues.
As engineers, we are very detail oriented and should always make quality part of our process—it should never be an afterthought.
Is your automation problem really a power quality problem in disguise?
State-based control may increase your workload at first, but the benefits start to kick in and earn their worth quickly.
Without a clear scope and a clear target to shoot for, time and money are likely to get used up on the wrong tasks.
Enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) has its own benefits, but it’s most useful when used with the enterprise batch records, providing personnel with to access the data they need.
Prior to the development and acceptance of ISA-88 batch standards, legacy-batching system required the entire recipe, or procedure, to be hard coded directly into the controller. Today those end-users are faced with the inevitable task of migrating the inflexible legacy platforms to a modern control system.
Consider investing the time to write a scope that includes control strategy improvement and open the door to taking advantage of the functionality provided by a new control system.
In addition to tracking a finished product from the receiving dock to the shipping dock, enterprise batch records can also connect upstream to suppliers and downstream to customers, taking traceability to the next level.
Here are a few basic guidelines to help ensure your next MES project is successful.
Every person working on a project should be able to answer these five questions: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?
Direct connection of the calibrator, temperature block, and device management platform simplifies the process and records results automatically. Video: Beamex’s Ned Espy demonstrates the process.
Rebooted program reaches out to a broader audience. Video: Maverick Technologies’ Paul Galeski explains his strategy for drawing higher attendance.
While some of these elements may seem relatively minor, dealing with them early in the planning process keeps them from becoming major problems.
In the final installment, consider how customer complaints can inform your decisions about what you include in your record keeping.
In the second of three parts, we consider how you can add a new level of thoroughness to your product records.
If you liked moving to electronic batch records from keeping them all on paper, here’s the next step where everything that happens is kept in the data. First of three parts.
Precision Digital's ProVu PD6262 and PD6363 Dual-Input Flow Rate/Totalizers are designed to perform independent programming of inputs, including separate selection of input type and scaling.
Omega's Dpi-AL temperature/process meter series is designed to provide flexibility in process measurement and alarm applications and can be used in several industries including food, chemical, and manufacturing.
From 2011 to 2017, Asia-Pacific is also forecast to be the fastest-expanding region for flowmeter sales with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%. See chart.
New S88-based process control system from ECS Solutions simplifies and speeds up device configuration when creating or updating batch manufacturing campaigns using Rockwell controllers.
Using the ISA-18.2 standard can help process engineers understand, simplify, and implement a sustainable alarm management program.
Think Again: 7 tips can improve how engineers market products, services, companies, and themselves. Link to Control Engineering videos with more advice.
Automation equipment from multiple suppliers may not always play well together. When interconnecting devices, a little planning ahead can help ensure success.
If you can explain the application or workings of a process field instrument, write down your thoughts and enter it in our bragging rights instrumentation tutorial competition.
Emerging technologies, including safety, visualization, mobile computing, and alarm management, among others, were covered at the Yokogawa 2012 European User Conference, where the company showcased its R&D efforts, according to Suzanne Gill, Control Engineering Europe.
Challenges facing the process engineering sector and technologies can help, explained Dr. David Brown, chief executive of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) at the 2012 Yokogawa User Conference. The European Commission expects advanced engineering to help, via the Horizon 2020 Initiative.
Everyone starts out green, but getting a handle on a few important resources will move you to the experienced side much faster.
Emerson Process Management launches free online thermowell design calculator that incorporates the new ASME PTC 19.3 standard.
802.11 abgn Fast Industrial Hotspot from ProSoft Technology supports fast roaming between access points.
Located in an environmentally sensitive area, Box Canyon Dam has to deliver power while remaining invisible to the surrounding community. This means trying to control output around changes in water flow.
AutomationDirect’s ProSense line now includes temperature transmitters in programmable and non-programmable models.
Using a best-in-class flowmeter selection methodology can help users avoid surprises and reduce lifecycle costs by identifying the optimal flowmeter for virtually any flow application.
This Q&A discussion can help you understand how and why it works.
PLC built into 12.1 in. HMI from Unitronics can support 24 loops and 1,000 I/O points.
Smart pressure transmitter adds new graphic display capabilities aimed at improved operational efficiency
Honeywell’s new SmartLine pressure transmitters add new features designed to lower lifecycle costs and simplify communication.
Product Exclusive: Festo’s compact mechatronic controller CECC is the first mini controller with IO-Link master and CoDeSys V3 programming software, the company said. It reduces installation time, simplifies programming, and enables fast and cost-effective control of sensors and actuators.
Software - HMI software: APL is the standard library for Simatic PCS 7 V8.0 offering new and improved functionalities and visually-attractive GUIs for a higher level of operator experience. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice finalist.
Software - Applications: Process Historian is a database software that allows you to get access to real-time and archived data in order to optimize your processes and operating equipment. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Automation Integrator Guide: Drive programming applications vary in difficulty, and some projects require custom software. Should one use the drive’s internal programming blocks or write one’s own blocks in the PLC to control the machine? Guidance follows.
Automation Projects Team Lead, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering - B.S. Chemical Engineering, Auburn University
Pumped-hydro storage and compressed air energy storage (CAES) systems are traditional large-scale energy-storage methods, as noted in the main article, “Integrated Energy-Storage Systems” (CE Nov. 2012). Storage plants built around these technologies did not originally have renewable energy in mind but served regional power needs. Renewable energy integration will likely be a part of these plants in the future.
AIS rugged computers and displays with MIL-STD-810 environment and MIL-STD-461 EMI compliance for industrial use.
Sometimes there are objectives for a project that are hidden below the surface. Can you satisfy those?
A few simple steps can prevent countless expensive headaches.
Lessons learned about design teams by those that have to make the design happen. Pass those lessons on.
Danfoss VLT variable frequency drives helped Gunn’s Hill Cheese be more productive and energy efficient.
Case Study: Gunn’s Hill Cheese uses 15 variable frequency drives (VFDs) to improve consistency and quality. In one application, the installation of a variable speed system resulted in a 50% reduction in horsepower compared to a traditional fixed speed system.
Omega introduces its OS-VIR50 with laser aiming guide.
Think of an engineering degree as a license to learn rather than an end in itself.
A view from the trenches considering one of the sources of distillation column instability that is often overlooked.
As capabilities of different platforms overlap in more areas, selection options grow but become more complicated.
Think about the people that will have to work on your project someday down the road. You can make their job easier, and one of those people may be you.
Product Exclusive: Eaton XC controllers with Controller Development Software (CoDeSys) advance lean automation with powerful, modular systems for open, scalable, and high-performance control.
As fuel prices rise and emissions regulations become tougher, companies must adopt new methods to remain profitable and sometimes just to survive.
How to establish an effective quality system: Statistical process control (SPC) can help.
Leaving project specifications blank or TBA is a recipe for project trouble.
Avoid trips and maximize steam output by reviewing your control equipment, strategy, and tuning.
Controlling the temperature of a deep fat fryer and maintaining that control is essential to productivity and that practice can be applied elsewhere, as well.
Lessons learned cooking french fries can teach much about process control strategy.
The concepts of discrete and process manufacturing can overlap in interesting ways.
Aeromat, a Guangzhou-based industrial automation systems integrator, has been accepted in implementing FactoryTalk applications from Rockwell Automation.
Adding wireless capability extends the value of a legacy technology.
The future-ready ST100 Series Thermal Mass Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) has received FM and FMc approval, assuring FCI’s customers that it conforms to the highest national and international safety standards.
The TX-M12 series by Omega is designed for a broad range of applications including process control and monitoring equipment and is house in a rugged stainless steel enclosure with watertight connections.
Emerson Process adds “tweeting” function to flagship DeltaV so it can reach out to operators. The system will establish friends, compose messages, and interact independently. Exclusive video: Jim Cahill explains new concept, operation.
Pipe-extended configuration from BlueLevel Technologies allows for a wide range of insertion lengths.
Compact E725 from RDP Electrosense can be used in stand-alone or panel-mounted mode.
United Electric Controls introduces compact sensor family equipped with HART 7.
New zenon 7 family from Copa-Data provides “ergonomic” workflows from sensor to ERP.
FS10A from FCI is optimized for continuous flow verification in process analyzer sampling systems.
The latest edition of 'Science and Engineering Indicators' from the National Science Board contains interesting information about our industries.
How model-based predictive control can optimize the overall steam cycle and burner management.
Opto 22 adds new 1,000 ohm RTD temperature sensing I/O module for its SNAP PAC family.
Work has been underway since last fall. Is there any progress yet?
Fluke introduces the 700G Series for high accuracy in harsh environments.
Temperature device validation diagnostic provides insight into process and measurement abnormalities
Emerson adds a new measurement analysis capability on Rosemount 848T temperature transmitters.
The Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) 1U Short KTQM67 is a rackmount server for demanding application areas like industrial automation and process control.
Company signs technology agreement with Invensys for multi-year partnership on simulation and optimization.
Soapbox: Don’t settle for faults inherent in PLCs and PCs. Take the best of each for a more effective hybrid system for process control, according to a software and hardware provider to the process industries.
Oxygen in beer reduces shelf life and can affect flavor. Advanced optical measurement and sensor diagnostic technologies minimizes oxygen, simply and dependably.
The front-end loading (FEL) process applied to automation projects ensures that the human, financial, and physical tools are in place to get the job done right the first time.
Even in a tough market, smart companies that leverage efficiencies can stay in business and even thrive.
Integration of multiple process control systems enhances track-and-trace capabilities for an Interstates Control System client.
Motion control: Exlar ATEX-rated high-temperature hazardous location EXP-24 Positioner can be used to control most three-phase linear and rotary actuators. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
Software – Diagnostics: PlantPAx ModelBuilder from Rockwell Automation is a data modeling and analysis tool that predicts real-time process and product conditions critical to peak performance. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Fuzzy logic for most of us: It’s not as fuzzy as you might think and has been working quietly behind the scenes for years. Fuzzy logic is a rule-based system that can rely on the practical experience of an operator, particularly useful to capture experienced operator knowledge. Here’s what you need to know.
New Ethernet measurement instruments from Data Translation use galvanic isolation to preserve signal integrity.
ProComSol upgrades DevCom2000 software so it can trend any parameter from a field device transmitter.
Project to install Ovation human machine interface (HMI) technology at Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant part of $3.8 billion program to protect Boston Harbor from pollution.
More powerful SimSci-Esscor ROMeo optimization software from Invensys adds OPC-UA connectivity
Honeywell launches Experion Batch Manager R410 with improved controller capabilities, reduced latency, and reduced execution times.
Director - Product Development, Control Station Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Concentration: Process Control
Process End-User Marketing Manager, Rockwell Automation Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Manager with PlantPAx Process Automation System, Rockwell Automation Inc. – BS Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Associate Process Instrumentation + Controls Engineer, Burns + McDonnell – BS Chemical Engineering, University of Kansas
InduSoft Service Pack 1 for its Web Studio v7.0 is designed to improve machine and process performance.
Are you using all the possible resources you can when solving engineering problems? Don’t forget blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube.
Cognex ISE 4.5, an inspection tool, is designed to have multiple functions, such as being able to read barcodes and provide inspections simultaneously.
Polystar selected the SIMATIC PCS 7 process control system and SINAMICS to automate its Dalton, Ga., plant.
The Saudi Automation Technology Expo, Jan. 15-18, 2012, will focus on factory and home automation as well as BMS and SCADA applications.
Wonderware QI Analyst software 8.0 with SP2: Invensys Operations Management has enhanced its QI Analyst SPC software. The IOM product is designed to predict quality problems before they occur and gives manufacturers the ability to monitor process variation.
Banner Engineering's Surecross MultiHop radios are designed for remote applications and can connect to control systems to communicate with input/output devices.
For point-to-point and bus-based configurations, new low-power solenoid valves offer economies for PLCs, DCSs, and other control devices and use of easier, less expensive, smaller gage wiring. They are the same price as the previous low-power generation. More savings accrue due to smaller footprints, easier reconfiguration, and greater reliability.
U.K.-based instrumentation and controls company expands its process measurement and control instrumentation offering.
Process control terms vary according to engineering discipline and industry. A common vocabulary and better understanding of process control fundamentals make teams and communications more efficient and effective.
LumaSense Technologies's pyrometer is designed to provide greater accuracy in metal, glass, silicon and cement manufacturing
Yokogawa releases new Centum VP 5, aims at improving the use of plant information and reducing lifecycle costs with simplified engineering.
Companies hurry to meet year-end deadline, get immediate ROI by immediately deducting the cost, rather than lifetime depreciation.
HPS Selected to enhance safety, reliability and efficiency of expanded LNG terminals for LNG importer
What is your instrumentation telling you? Can the information help you learn about the product?
Control and stabilization of a multiple boiler plant can be improved by using an advanced process control (APC) approach.
Equipois and Endress+Hauser both open new facilities to serve domestic and export markets.
Omega introduces thermocouple probes with mounting threads and M12 connectors.
Emerson introduces Micro Motion solution with high measurement accuracy and traceability with third-party certification.
AutomationDirect expands its offering of ProSense pressure and RTD temperature probe lines.
Honeywell Users Group Americas is June 12-16, 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona.
High-performance Daniel flowmeters from Emerson Process Management integrate diagnostics with high-accuracy measurements.
V-Cone flowmeter from McCrometer provides precision monitoring in enhanced oil recovery injection applications.
DPG409 series from Omega offers high legibility and corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing.
A series of discussions follow seeking input on possible language in ISA88 Part 5 draft standard, Figures 1-6 follow. Please provide comments at the bottom of this posting to ensure the standard is understandable, appropriate, and useful across industries and areas of control, machine control, batch control, and continuous control, as well as flexible and scalable, across hybrid applications.
ABB digital positioner stabilizes flow, helps gas separation plant increase argon production by 10%.
E+H Levelflex FMP55 level transmitter uses both capacitance and guided wave radar technologies to measure the level and interface between two liquids.
Charles A. Desoer's cutting-edge research influenced generations of engineers and provided substantial progress in circuits and systems analysis and design. IEEE honored Dr. Desoer with the 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award.
First Michael Babb editorial in Control Engineering, originally published in the November 1987 issue, talked about automation's contribution to efficiency manufacturing. Babb passed away April 6, 2011.
Chester J. Mroz is named president and CEO, will oversee all business operations, drawing on his career in industrial automation.
LumaSense Technologies adds new multi-purpose pyrometers to IMPAC Line that offer EMI immunity and high-speed response times.
Indian electric utility deploys Rockwell Automation to integrate islands of automation.
Omega Engineering CS series of process control modules delivers PID loop control of any process without using a PLC. Modules allow control of temperature, flow, and pressure. Single- and dual-loop temperature modules provide ramp-and-soak controls.
New facility in Guangdong, China, will produce 700,000 tpy, driven by Honeywell integrated control system.
Georgia Tech Research Institute pairs an imaging system with advanced controls in the production of sandwich buns, instantaneous changes during the process can help ensure maximum efficiency, output.
ExxonMobil installs Invensys InFusion system at its Beaumont, TX, lubes plant to unify existing systems and improve operations.
CaO-stabilized zirconia tube from Morgan Technical Ceramics can operate in furnace environments up to 2,000 °C, outlasting alumina alternatives.
Cox device uses low-friction ball bearings to perform in water, hydrocarbon, and cryogenic fluid applications.
Particulate CEM from FilterSense monitors effectiveness of baghouses, ESPs, and other dust collection systems.
Two new biomass boiler plants in Finland and Estonia will provide steam and electric power from wood processing waste.
Ringhals Unit 3 implements a new control system during 30-day shutdown, back on line for winter demand.
Handheld device from Honeywell allows operators to manage HART devices made by any manufacturer.
Device works with conductive level sensors to control tank level, filling, and emptying functions.
The acquisition of PowerLab Control Technologies is expected to expand Han-Tek’s solutions portfolio with process controls and SCADA capabilities.
Kontron’s fanless thin panel PC, the Micro Client IIA, ranges in size from 7 to 17 inches.
Rosemount 2130 switch certified for SIL 2 applications, even with low-density products.
K-Tek's guided wave radar level transmitters are certified for IEC 61508 SIL2 and SIL 3 applications.
Balston Cabinet Dryers avoid moisture damage in control equipment and marshalling cabinets, even in wash down areas.
Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Shaun Klann ...
Process control systems: Rockwell Automation Logix Batch and Sequence Manager. The Logix Batch and Sequence Manager enables design engineers to configure sequences directly in the controller through a standard user interface. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
Process Control - analysis, optimization, tuning: ControlSoft Inc., Intune Valve Diagnostics. Intune Valve Diagnostics is a non-invasive software that qualitatively detects and quantifies the size of stiction in control valves in both online and offline diagnostic modes. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Data Translation uses proprietary ISO-channel technology to protect signals from noise and ground loops.
LFFS sensor from Baumer detects liquids and dry media, offers multiple output options.
Spirax Sarco adds larger sizes with additional actuator selection choices.
As technology evolves, users are now moving beyond mainstream monitoring applications to wireless measurements for control in harsh and remote environments.
Dear Control Engineering: I was reading the article on differential pressure sensors, and I was wondering if I could use that density calculating feature to determine the interface point between oil and water in the same tank? Let’s think about how that feature works and see how to solve your problem. As the article pointed out, if you have two taps on the side of a tank some known distance apart, you can calculate the density of the contents, regardless of the depth, as long as both taps are submerged. This works because density is mass per unit of volume and the pressure device is giving you, for all practical purposes, the weight of the volume of liquid between the two taps.
Control strategy optimized for linear temperature movement and stable hold points.
Platform complies with ISA18.2 and provides support for a company-wide alarm database.
AC powered sensor family uses transit time technology for a variety of fluids.
Dear Control Engineering: I was looking at the discussion about bit rate, but can you go into more depth on how frequency works in this context? If bit rate is the vertical or y-axis on our graph, frequency is the horizontal or x-axis. Bit rate says how many divisions you have on y, and frequency says how often you make a mark. Here’s an analogy.
Device detects liquids and dry substances with short response time.
Enclosure allows use of hockey-puck style instruments in hazardous locations.
Function block-based platform can provide closed-loop control of multiple zones.
Cooling neck extensions protect electronic components from hot process fluids.
Crown Valley Brewery designs its process control strategy and system along with its new brewhouse. Working hand-in-hand with the process equipment OEM, the end user gets just what it wanted.
Fertilizer producer improves process in key areas through advanced process control, and integrates more operator knowledge into control strategy.
Thermal mass device from Innovative Sensor Technology reads very low velocities.
Water Specialties flowmeter from McCrometer aims at wells and booster stations.
ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute delivers package to verify wireless device interoperability and stack conformance.
Honeywell has completed its acquisition of Matrikon, the Edmonton, Canada-based manufacturing technology company. Most of Matrikon’s capabilities will be placed under HPS’s (Honeywell Process Solutions) Advanced Solutions area, but the Matrikon OPC business will continue to operate as a stand-alone unit serving its traditional industries and retaining its name. The final acquisition price announced was US$139 million. Matrikon specializes in technology to manage production, optimize operations, and monitor assets at industrial plants, including oil and gas, refining, energy, power, and mining operations.
Handling sheet metal parts for this punching and forming operation was causing an unacceptable number of worker injuries until CNC Solutions automated the process with robotics and reduced number of times employees handled sharp-edged parts.
Cal Sensors announces the launch of PIREPlus, a high-output, high-pulse rate emitter that can be pulsed as a source of blackbody radiation for near-to-far infrared applications at 180Hz with 50% modulation depth. With a pulsing speed 18 times faster than alternative technologies, the PIREPlus maximizes signal to noise performance, expanding the measurement dynamic range and resolution.
Industrial IT Extended PAT, the latest generation of ABB's Process Analytical Technology solutions, provides simplified engineering and streamlined integration with enterprise systems.
Emerson Process Management says its Fisher Control-Disk Valve is a high-performance butterfly valve offering twice the standard control range.
Report says Emerson is considering possible sale of two motor businesses.
Exida, a global supplier of functional safety, security, and alarm management services and certifications, has begun offering an integrated testing package, which the company says evaluates the most important attributes of an automation product—functional safety, functional security, and availability.
ABB's ACS850 drive with embedded safe-torque-off SIL3 functionality provides machine builders and system integrators with a high-performance motor-control platform in a compact package.
ISA88 Batch Control Part 1 revisions are out for vote, and the three-year revision effort may be finalized by early 2010. ISA88.01 Batch Control Part 1: Models and Terminology was originally passed in 1995.
Sensor helps prevent corrosion in flue-gas handling systems for coal- and oil-fired boiler applications by monitoring the dewpoint for sulfuric acid condensation.
George Buckbee, P.E., is vice president of marketing and product development for ExperTune and he is writing a three-part series on process control improvements for Control Engineering. Following is an excerpt of the first installment of that article; the full version can be found online at www.controleng.
In the first of a three-part essay, George Buckbee, P.E., vice president of marketing and product development for ExperTune, considers a number of very practical ways you can optimize your plant control systems and improve profitability.
Newly formed organization carries on task of collecting information on cyber security breach incidents.
The newly formed, non-profit Security Incidents Organization announced it will provide public access to The Repository of Industrial Security Incidents (RISI).
After six months on the job, Honeywell Process Solutions’ president looks at the process automation landscape.
Today’s wireless instrumentation technologies provide new ways to apply temperature measurement sensors. Prior limitations and complexities of point-to-point, mechanically interconnected instrumentation systems no longer apply, according to Omega Engineering. With wireless connections, control can be centralized or decentralized and data can be collected and analyzed in real time or later...
Process Advantage program promises to release your plant’s hidden potential.
ISA88 is undergoing Part 1 revision, and there's major discussion underway about batch- and recipe-related philosophies. The Control Engineering blog called, Standard profits: Make2Pack and ISA88, will dive into some finer points of batch control and recipes, challenging industry leaders to explain why they think the way they do.
Many new attendees converge on Honeywell user conference in spite of wide travel restrictions, finding advice on wireless instrumentation and process optimization advice. See six major areas of process control change by 2020.
Waste Management joins with Inentec to develop and deploy plasma gasification facilities. Refuse is superheated to as high as 20,000 °F, rearranging the molecular structure, making ultra-clean, synthesis gas (syngas) from carbon-based materials. Link to process video.
Instrumentation engineers, engineering companies, and anyone else who develops pipe & instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) have a new resource: ISA 5 P&ID Clip Symbols Version 2.0 CD.
Fluke 772 and 773 Milliamp Clamp Meters: Two new milliamp (mA) clamp meters help technicians test critical automation and control circuits without breaking the circuit or interrupting operations. Photos show how you can test, but not break, the loop or stop the system.
The last of a three-part examination by George Buckbee of ways control engineers can become more effective.
RedTail Solutions offers three new modules for its managed EDI service for Microsoft Dynamics GP . According to RedTail CEO Bob Gleason, “Our managed EDI service is the right answer for Microsoft Dynamics GP users who want an integrated EDI solution with low cost of ownership.”New capabilities include the following:Support for conducting EDI with suppliers: Automatic generation of an outbound EDI purchase order (850) transaction from the POP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP enables purchase orders entered into Microsoft Dynamics GP to be translated via RedTail into the outbound 850 transaction and transmitted to EDI enabled suppliers. Invoices (810) received from suppliers can be reconciled against EDI purchase orders.Enhanced ASN generation: Users will now be able to generate outbound advanced ship notice (856) transactions based on completed shipment or open order information from the SOP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP.Support fro remote warehouse management systems and third-party logistics providers: Users will be able to automatically generate an outbound warehouse shipping order (940) transaction from the SOP module in Microsoft Dynamics GP, enhancing process control and accuracy.
Simca Batch On-line provides multivariate process monitoring.
West Control Solutions introduces the ProVU process controller with wide feature set. The controller offers the option of integrated data logging, a large LCD screen with simple text messages, and set up wizard with customizable menu options. Together, these can help to reduce setup and operating costs. A plain text feature can reduce the potential for confusion.
As U.S. students math scores are increasing, more than 85% of youth ages 8-17 say they aren’t interested in engineering as a future career and their parents aren’t encouraging it either. In the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS) report released last month, fourth grade students in the U.
Formation of Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) replaces Process Control System Forum (PCSF). Cyber security blog explains related topics; post a question or comment.
Integrated system provides SIL 3 protection while optimizing process efficiency.
Wireless devices are perceived as the next big technological wave in factory automation. However, the current adoption trends are moderate at best, despite requirements for real time data, mobile workforce, remote access and flexibility in operation. This is mainly because wireless devices are not found to be robust enough by end users, according to Khadambari Shanbagaraman, a research analyst ...
Over the past few years, bioethanol refineries sprang up all over the place, and companies that build process control systems jumped into the fray as the next big thing. This should be no surprise, as there aren’t many new chemical plants or oil refineries being built in North America these days.
The OPC Training Institute says a new online resource center focuses on standards-based OPC technology used in process control and manufacturing automation. The center caters to automation personnel, integrators, process control engineers, IT architects, and others involved in industrial data connectivity.
The National Engineers Week Foundation and its coalition strive to be the global leader in cultivating and celebrating the engineering profession. The cornerstone program is Engineers Week. Programs reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent.
With ISO/IEC recognition, the way is paved for other standards bodies to expand LonWorks networking technology for energy management systems. It provides additional assurance that LonWorks meets the highest level of technical certification.
Emerson is among companies receiving an Achilles Certification. Achilles Satellite Security Assurance Platform to enhance internal robustness testing best practices for the Ovation control system.
OPC UA (Unified Architecture) represents the OPC Foundation’s most recent set of specifications for Process Control and Automation system interconnectivity. This paper explains OPC UA from the perspective of the organization that will benefit from the connectivity, in other words: the End User. The first form of OPC relied on DCOM for its data transportation, which was very powerful and versatile, but posed a problem for those who did not understand how to configure DCOM.
Products introduced and available for purchase in North America, January-November 2008, are eligible. Link to nomination form.
In the movie, several severe infrastructure security breaches are accomplished before any one involved becomes aware of them. This lack of security monitoring is not so far-fetched, and provides lessons for control engineers.
Microprecision Electronics has announced the MP300 switch series with an attached floater actuator for cost-effective liquid detection in industrial refrigeration and other process control applications. By adding a floating polypropylene ball mounted on a stainless-steel level actuator to a switch from the l V3-size MP300 switch series, Micro-precision designed a solution to determine when a sp...
Automation Alliance Group (AAG) adds the Omnicon business unit based in South America, serving oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and mining projects in South America, North America, Europe and Asia with manufacturing execution systems (MES) and motion expertise.
Control Engineering hosts a video repository on its site for educational and tutorial videos created by Control Engineering and industrial technology providers. Recently posted videos at CEtv include: To view these and other videos, go to www.controleng.com, click on the “video” tab, then click “view all videos,” and select the videos you would like to see.
Kuwait project taps automation supplier as system integrator.
A new series of high-accuracy miniature benchtop controllers is said to have the only LED display that can be programmed to change color between red, green and amber at any set point or alarm point.
Fieldserver Technologies’ SlotServer ControlLogix Communications Interface brings together building automation/fire alarm control systems and process control systems. In many industrial facilities it is necessary to interface between building controls and process plant controls. According to the company process control devices such as PLCs and PACs are being used for control in industrial...
In November 2006, Control Engineering’s Peter Welander first talked to Tom Williams from Honeywell Specialty Materials in Geismar, LA, about a major, long-term upgrade of the company’s fluorine products plant as it continues to produce hydrofluoric acid, polymers and refrigerants. Welander and Bob Vavra, editorial director of Plant Engineering (a Control Engineering sister publicat...
SolaHD has extended its line of SDN-P single-phase 24 V dc DIN-rail power supplies by adding three new models in 12 V dc and 48 V dc output voltages. SDN-P DIN rail power supplies provide sag immunity, transient suppression, and noise tolerance. Housed in a durable, compact casing, the power supplies are designed to provide a reliable dc power source for industrial process controls, machine too...
Honeywell has announced Uniformance Process Studio, a desktop software package that allows plant engineers to analyze process performance. A user-friendly interface includes workflow management applications that help engineers build trend graphs and graphics with minimal training or manual configuration.
With rising prices of forest resources, producers have found ways to use lower cost raw materials while producing final products with higher levels of consistency and workability that professional builders want to keep projects profitable. One problem is that engineered wood products frequently use resins and adhesives that outgas potentially harmful solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Instrumentation can make all the difference for a controllable, stable running process.
New release adds functionality to an established platform.
The 2008 Siemens Automation Summit in Chicago on July 23-25 is expected to offer 2.5 days of education, networking, training, expert sessions, and best practice exchanges exploring current industry-specific challenges, strategies, and solutions.
A new 24-in. industrial grade, panel mount LCD touchscreen monitor is all-steel enclosed to withstand demanding effects of harsh environments. The high-precision widescreen display can....
Can't get that loop to behave? Maybe this guide will help solve your problem.
Originator of many founding concepts in modern quality management passed away recently: Share your quality story.
OPC Foundation opens its first Independent Certification Test Lab to boost plug and play.
If you’ve recently visited controleng.com —Control Engineering magazine’s online home — you’ve undoubtedly noticed substantial changes. In early February, we redesigned the site to make it more usable, more concise and easier to find the information you want and need. In addition to a more intuitive look and feel, key features include: Check it out and let us know ...
After successful deployments in several Asian plants—as well as a new product introduction facility in Farmington Hills, Mich.— auto infotainment system maker Harman/Becker reports it chose the right manufacturing execution system. But Harman/Becker didn't just stumble into the right solution. It referred to Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) reports for an independent assessment of which system best met its needs.
Many automation end users face the critical task of selecting a digital communications technology for their process control system. This choice can hinge on a number of cost and performance considerations, so it's important to understand the differences between the leading solutions before making a major investment.
Dataforth Corp. provides information on signal-conditioning filter fundamentals.
Glovia Services Inc. has added an inventory management module to its on-demand enterprise software suite. The new solution—GSInnovate Inventory Edition—integrates seamlessly and complements current ERP and manufacturing systems and applications, according to Jim Errington, director of sales support for Glovia Services.
Ticket into engineering My ticket into the engineering profession was my dad. He would help me with middle school math and science homework, but would use about 10 pages of clipboard paper, ultimately taking everything back to first principles. On occasion, I was allowed to borrow his Texas Instruments 8-digit LED calculator to check my work.
Back in the days of mechanical, analog pressure gages, most designs were variations on one basic approach. However with the shift to electronic sensors, a whole new group of measuring technologies emerged. Should you pay attention to the sensor design? Is that instrument magnetic? Capacitive? Stressing a strain gage or crushing a crystal? How much do you need to be concerned? For most garden-va...
Providers of real-time process control / supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technologies expect to improve the security of technology offerings, providing users with more integrated cyber-security solutions, using a partnership program launched by Industrial Defender Inc. The move should help with regulatory compliance in utilities and other industries, the company suggests.
Honeywell Wintriss has introduced a job-scheduling module to provide enhanced capabilities for its Line Efficiency Tracking Software (LETS) production-reporting system.
The DL8000 is a new microprocessor-based batch delivery controller from Emerson Process Management.
Charlottesville, VA – GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has released Proficy Batch Execution – Version 5.1. The release focuses on ease of use, performance, and system integration to improve customer productivity and reduce operational costs, the company said. The version of the Batch Execution software product introduces features to simplify and improve the design, maintenance, and operation of batch processes.
GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies has released the OptiSonde humidity indicator, transmitter, and datalogger, reportedly the first chilled mirror hygrometer that offers precision and repeatability found in laboratory standards. It may be used to calibrate and verify a variety of humidity sensors and instruments, and to document environmental conditions of process and storage areas.
Hoffer recently introduced a series of insertion style turbine meters for liquids that can be installed in small metal, composite, or plastic piping. It is suitable for 2-, 3-, and 4-in. line sizes and is interchangeable among the sizes. The Saddle Turbine Series provides an economical insertion style meter for smaller pipe diameters and addresses applications in the HVAC market, physical indus...
Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, NY, in partnership with Festo Corp. unveiled a new Advanced Mechatronics Training Center. The center incorporates advanced, high-tech manufacturing and process control equipment providing world-class training capabilities.
K-Tek has launched the SureShot 140XP Explosion-Proof, Smart Laser Level Transmitter, a device designed for precise level, distance, and position measurement of dry bulk solids, opaque liquids and slurries in challenging environments. High performance optics include a measurement laser and an aiming laser to assist with alignment.
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge—a Munich-based vehicle manufacturer that sold 80,000 commercial vehicles and 7,300 buses in 2006—places a premium on a high level of server availability. After successfully using high-availability software and service solutions from Marathon Technologies for a few years, leadership at MAN's commercial vehicles unit decided to do more.
Rockwell Automation is enhancing its appeal in process verticals such as pharmaceuticals via a steady stream of acquisitions. Historically strong in discrete and hybrid sectors, Rockwell also owes part of its process-industry momentum to software activities, including plugging new applications into a service-oriented architecture developed by the Rockwell Software unit.
Milwaukee, WI— Further expanding process industries capabilities, Rockwell Automation Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to buy Pavilion Technologies Inc., a privately held company that Rockwell calls “a recognized leader in advanced process control, production optimization and environmental compliance solutions for process and hybrid industries.” Terms of the transaction, announced Oct. 25, were not disclosed.
Horsham, PA—The MiniConsole, a low-height console system from Strongarm, has a one-size-fits-anywhere design where process visibility is needed.
Siemens Energy & Automation says the latest version of its SIMATIC PCS 7 system makes it possible for almost any plant worker to install and manage advanced process control networks.
Parker Fluid Control’s integrated coil for its Series 204 and 304 solenoid valves features a rotating conduit hub for easy installation. Both types offer a complete line of high-temperature watertight coil designs to meet demanding environmental conditions. The valve lines also include interchangeable ac and dc coils and a tab coil for flexibility in production.
During a test demo before the upcoming Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge on Nov. 3, the autonomous racecar Lone Wolf was recently made available for ride-alongs to industrial representatives, local media, and engineering students from the University of Minnesota. The event was hosted by Comtrol, a manufacturer of data communications products used to connect and c...
This white paper explores fuzzy logic and how it helps engineers solve nonlinear control problems commonly found in process applications. Fuzzy logic, which mathematically emulates human reasoning, provides an intuitive way to design function blocks for intelligent control systems, advanced fault detection and other complex applications. Control systems deploying fuzzy logic can improve the management of uncertain variables, such as temperature fluctuations.
Mansfield, MA—Industrial Defender Inc. (previously known as Verano, Inc.) won recognition from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its Industrial Defender risk mitigation technology suite on July 17, 2007 (U.S. Patent No. 7,246,156)
Minneapolis, MN-- During a test demo before the upcoming Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge on November 3, the autonomous racecar Lone Wolf was recently made available for ride-alongs to industrial representatives, local media, and engineering students from the University of Minnesota.
A Control Engineering technology Webcast provides guidance for how and when regulations influence manufacturing processes. Successfully producing sellable products on a global market can be achieved by producing them according to the rules of good manufacturing practice (GMP). Industries such as water and wastewater (Bioterrorism Act), and food and beverage (U.
We learn from the accumulated wisdom of others and by doing, we combine acquired knowledge with our own experiences. Frankly, I’d rather learn from others to avoid as many of my own mistakes as possible, thanks (recording and studying history helps civilizations progress in a similar fashion). Development and the use of standards blend accumulated automation, controls, instrumentation and...
East Kansas Agri-Energy, LLC, in Garnett, Kansas, is not a company that takes things slowly. When a direction is plotted, it moves ahead with a goal clearly in mind. The company began as an energetic association of farmers and businesspeople interested in adding value to their crop production by converting corn into energy.
ISA will hold a course entitled “Tuning of advanced controllers” Aug. 6, focusing on practical, useful ways to tune feedforward controllers in the processing industries without requiring advanced mathematics.
A Control Engineering Webcast on good manufacturing practices (GMP) features industry experts and an interactive Q&A session, live on Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 11 a.m. EDT, and will be posted for a time thereafter.
Charlottesville, VA—GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Industrial, has entered into an agreement with ControlSoft of Cleveland, OH, to provide ControlSoft’s InTune loop optimization software as an option to the upcoming release of GE Fanuc’s new Proficy Process Systems solution for process control.
Process engineers rely heavily on analytical instrumentation to ensure product quality. Properly designed analytical systems help prevent contaminated fluids and gases from being delivered to consumers or from reaching the next stage of production, yielding significant savings in reduced product loss and system maintenance.
Ametek Land developed the Fixed Thermal Imaging (FTi) system for the continuous thermal mapping of processing operations and plant surveillance. The system offers plant operators a complete thermal view of a process with a display that responds immediately to changes that then can be used to trigger alarms, automatically control a process, or provide critical quality control information by capt...
Rosemont, IL —Smaller and more accurate absolute angle sensor available from GMW is among recent highlights from the Sensors Expo 2007, June 11-13 at the Stephens Convention Center. Also held that week was the Robot & Vision Show , June 12-14. The new sensor is said to be particularly suitable for portable or wireless applications because of low current draw in sleep mode. GMW displays at the show also included magnetic sensors for magnetic field measurement, electric current measurement, linear position sensing, and angle and rotation sensing.
Process optimization: Parsec and Vidac team to reach pharmaceutical, chemical, and beverage industries
Parsec Automation Corp., a leading provider of real-time performance management and enterprise manufacturing intelligence software announced Vidac Solutions has joined its partner program as a certified implementation partner (CIP).
Verano has renamed itself as Industrial Defender, concurrent with the launch of a new integrated cyber security solution called Cyber Risk Protection Lifecycle. The solution offers a three-component “Defense in Depth” approach to securing real-time process control/SCADA environments. To assess risk, Industrial Defender offers comprehensive cyber security consulting services, coupled...
Like a giant department store of innovation, Hannover Fair 2007 displayed aisle after aisle of automation products and technological advances. When this “world meeting place for industry and business” closed on April 20, it had hosted 230,000 visitors and given vendors of all sizes and nationalities a place to show off what they’ve been working on all year.
The standards effort aiming to unify and streamline connections from continuous process control and batch control into discrete packaging re-energized recently. Progress on Make2Pack and ISA’s S88.05 included increased attention to its packaging roots with help from OMAC PackML members, better explanation of the effort, clarification in terms, and resumption of monthly in-person meetings.
When the only constraint standing between you and increased profits is plant capacity, it's time to look for ways to make all your production assets work harder. Sometimes taking on that challenge begins with a critical look at your plant control systems. Glanbia, which means “clean food” in Gaelic, is an international dairy, consumer foods, and nutritional products company.
Model LPB (Loop Powered Bargraph) from Otek Corp. comes in four grades: industrial, to specific Mil-specs, nuclear (10 CFR 50B), and intrinsically safe. Tucson, AZ —Model LPB (Loop Powered Bargraph) from Otek Corp .
Quanta 3D FEG is FEI Co.’s latest addition to its Quanta family. High-resolution, low vacuum SEM/FIB (scanning electron microscope/focused ion beam) was created for 3D material characterization, failure analysis, and process control.
Condensate drain valve assemblies from Asco Valve are designed for use in compressed air systems where moisture drainage is critical.
FAS (forward-acting scored) bursting disk from Oseco is the largest the company offers at 24 in.
Emerson 's new DeltaV 9.3 release offers its InSight integrated control performance software as part of the version upgrade. This new integrated application reportedly enables users to optimize loop tuning across an entire control system. InSight has retained all the capabilities of its predecessors, DeltaV Tune and Inspect, however its functionality now includes more advanced diagnostics and adaptive tuning capabilities supported by embedded learning algorithms. Emerson says InSight can automatically learn users' processes with embedded learning algorithms running at the controller level, and then develop process models based on day-to-day operations. These models then allow users to identify operational benchmarks, diagnose problems, and calculate optimum loop tuning across the entire control system.
ControlSoft Inc. Intune Version 5, a non-intrusive plant management and process control predictive maintenance tool, combines process control monitoring with diagnostic, tuning, and reporting features to help companies achieve continuous improvement goals. Intune’s real-time moving window analysis and condition-based assessment allow for accurate, and meaningful performance indices—...
Don't wait for a natural disaster to upgrade your plant. Better to upgrade your plant before it becomes an unnatural disaster. Hurricanes close plants, displace people, and inflict human suffering. So do manufacturing inefficiencies. Hurricanes kill people, communities, and history. Plant closings kill communities, dreams, and the future by decreasing investments, income, standard of living, a...
Williamsburg, VA —Customers gave instrumentation suppliers and manufacturers a good report card, says the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) , although there’s room to improve services, according to the 2007 MCAA “Customer Satisfaction Survey.” Among survey respondents, 69.4% found MCAA instrumentation companies to be very good or excellent in customer service, 68% very good or excellent in technical support, 54% for availability of spare parts, 51% for customer training, and 50% for repairs. Respondents also rated 66% of instrumentation companies in the survey as very good or excellent for company reputations. More than 95% would be somewhat or very likely to recommend them and somewhat or very likely to purchase from them again in the future. Just 58% found instrumentation companies’ marketing materials and Websites to be very good or excellent, MCAA noted. More MCAA Customer Satisfaction Survey results , details, and methods are available from MCAA, a U.S.
CS200 process imaging system for kiln shell temperature monitoring from Raytek is said to be a comprehensive temperature measurement system for monitoring, control, and analysis of rotating kilns primarily used in cement and lime production.
Stationary gas analyzer from Witt with a zirconia measuring cell is said to offer a shorter reaction time than models with chemical sensors.
ASI offers new pushbuttons, selector switches, key-locks, joysticks, mushroom-head switches for E-stops, and complete operator control stations. Carlisle, PA —Indicating, stopping, and starting automation and process controls may be a little easier with a new line of industrial switches and pilot devices from Automation Systems Interconnect Inc. (ASI) .
Called the first of its kind, a new ethanol plant has been co-located and fully integrated with a coal-fired power plant to use waste heat for ethanol production. Headwaters Inc. and Great River Energy (GRE) began operation of the new Blue Flint Ethanol Plant in late February, launching a process that will convert 18 million bushels of corn into 50 million gallons of ethanol annually.
In a move that should benefit both companies, Honeywell has agreed to buy PAS’ Advanced Control & Optimization (APC&O) business. The transaction includes the linear and non-linear controls and optimization technologies and related customer contracts and personnel. Divestiture of these assets, says PAS, will streamline its portfolio and accelerate the development of its alarm manag...
Worcester CPT characterized seat control valve from Flowserve Corp. is said to provide reliable operation and precise valve positioning under critical throttling conditions.
SVI II ESD valve positioner from Masoneilan-Dresser, introduced last week in Control Engineering magazine, is SIL3-compliant and said to be a one wire solution for emergency isolation valves. Oak Brook, IL and Avon, MA —SVI II ESD from Masoneilan-Dresser , an extension of the company's SVI II AP valve positioner, marks the company's entrance into the safety system arena. SIL3-compliant device is designed in accordance with IEC61508 and is suitable for use in safety instrumented functions.
CQ28 programmable capacitive sensor from SICK features a thin, sleek design with a flat housing that offers numerous mounting options and room for two LEDs.
LFRA texture analyzer from Brookfield Engineering offers a precise method for grading quality in food texture applications.
Stand-alone 2-in. graphic display module from Ametek Dixson is said to provide the advantages of a graphic display in a rugged, versatile gauge that can be used alone or with existing instrumentation. Three new display products offer a variety of advanced features to meet such applications as rugged environments, visibility in bright sunlight, and touchscreen options.
Recently, I moderated a Webcast sponsored by Honeywell Process Solutions on model predictive control (MPC). The interaction that makes those Webcasts the most interesting to me is the question-and-answer session after the scripted part. Believe it or not, most of those questions are real (at least they are on the Webcasts I've done) once you get past the one or two we plant to get the pump primed. There were two areas of particular interest where we received multiple questions on the same topics: MPC is great for an oil refinery, but is it suitable and cost-effective for a smaller plant? And, I'd like to consider MPC, but will I have to replace all my instrumentation? The first question opened some interesting discussion.
S-Pro-S and Prolp disks from Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co. Inc. are intended for pharmaceutical processes that require precise rupture protection.
Wireless weight measurement kit from Loadstar Sensors Inc. helps designers and end-users build accurate and reliable weight measurement systems.
George Blickley, an active participant in the world of process control, instrumentation, and automation for more than 50 years, died Dec. 16, 2006, at age 82. His career as a writer and editor for Control Engineering spanned 20 years, covering process control and other topics vital to readers. A news story announcing his arrival at Control Engineering in 1984 said, Blickley “brings with ...
Dear Mr. Masi: Greetings! As usual, informative and concise answer to the Jan. 9, “Question of the Week.” [What is the difference between an instrumentation amplifier and an op-amp?] You may wish to note a slight variation on emphasis, as follows: Thanks, Alon Harpaz, Electrical Engineer, Danaher Motion, Dover Instrument, Westboro, MA 01581-0200
4BKR media-separated solenoid valve from Spartan Scientific controls the flow of ultra pure or corrosive media to prevent premature failure on wetted type solenoid valves.
Visual KPI for 2007 from Transpara Corp. is a composite key performance indicator (KPI) engine that works with the 2007 Microsoft office system, including Excel Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007.
The standard mounting connection uses a AST (American Sensor Technologies, Inc.) has introduced its model AST 4800, a new line of miniature pressure transducers for a wide variety of applications in crowded areas. The stainless steel housing is less than 2 in. long by 0.7 in.
Two large instrumentation and technology companies started the new year announcing acquisitions of smaller specialist suppliers: Emerson has acquired Damcos Holding A/S, makers of valve control and tank management equipment for offshore and marine applications. PerkinElmer has acquired a line of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) products from UK-based Triton Technology Ltd. Emerson Process Management will take Damcos as one of its brands, expanding its capabilities for offshore and maritime markets. "We are excited about the addition of Damcos' marine tank management products and systems expertise," said John Berra, division president. "This key acquisition further extends our leadership in process control products and services into the marine and shipbuilding industry." Damcos has production facilities in Naestved; Ry, Denmark; Busan, South Korea; and Shanghai, China.
The transmitter features a 4 line, 20 character, onboard LCD and full keypad for programming and display changes. Measuring flow of a dirty gas stream can be problematic since debris left on the sensor invariably interferes with accurate measurements. If the sensor has to be dismounted for cleaning, maintenance costs pile up or the unit may not receive needed attention.
All programming functions can be performed from the unit's top. The recessed 'enter' key prevents changing settings unintentionally. Turck has introduced a new line of programmable RTDs (resistance temperature detectors) that reportedly feature high precision measurements, fast response time, and easy programming steps. The TS400 and TS500 product lines are platinum RTDs using Pt-100 technology, which the company chose for its reputed precision, repeatability, and fast response.
Daniel Senior Model 2000 orifice fitting from Emerson Process Management is intended to improve safety, maintenance, and up-time (compared to the original device) while meeting applicable API 14.3, AGA 3, and ISO 5167 specifications.
Line of modular, high-density signal conditioners from Automation Systems Interconnect Inc. (ASI) includes analog converters and isolators, RTD and thermocouple converters, analog-to-frequency signal converters, and threshold modules.
Sven: So, say Ole, do you build a house from the ground up, or start with the roof and work down? Ole: Why, you start at the ground and work up, of course! Sven: Dang! Now I have to tear it down and start over. This old joke illustrates the situation facing companies that are early adopters of today's wireless process instrumentation and other accessories. Most are starting at the ground and creating point-to-point solutions or small mesh networks to test and validate technology for themselves. Most instrumentation providers are encouraging this activity to make users more comfortable as they consider adopting wireless in more applications. Emerson Process Management offers starter kits with enough instrumentation devices and supporting equipment to set up and prove a small battery-powered mesh network.
Visual KPI for 2007 from Transpara Corp. is a composite key performance indicator (KPI) engine that works with the 2007 Microsoft office system, including Excel Services and Office SharePoint Server 2007. Software delivers on-demand, business-critical data about process control, manufacturing, and utility operations to any PDA, phone, or desktop.
Alarms combines the capabilities of a fire alarm control panel and digital alarm communicator/transmitter into one circuit board.
Rosemount 3051S Series instrumentation from Emerson Process Management now incorporates ASP Diagnostics Suite to provide early warning of abnormal process or equipment conditions. Chanhassen, MN —Advanced diagnostics are now available on Emerson Process Management's Rosemount 3051S Series instrumentation. ASP Diagnostics Suite, embedded in the pressure transmitter, provides tools for troubleshooting, detecting, and preventing abnormal situations.
Digital MI series infrared temperature sensor from Raytek is said to offer increased optical resolution to optimize performance in demanding process control environments and allow direct replace replacement of contact probes.
Model 5100-NCM analyzer from Ametek Process Instruments is a tunable diode laser system that directly measures water vapor concentration in natural gas.
Washington, DC —Policy proposals intended to spur investments in innovation, research, and the education of a highly skilled U.S. workforce are the latest offerings from the Brookings Institution 's Hamilton Project initiative. The papers, which could benefit future process control and machine control, were presented as part of a forum called "Promoting opportunity and growth through science, technology, and innovation," held here last week at the Paul H.
D-Epic control transmitter from Westlock Controls is a 4-20 mA, HART-enabled non-contact device that reportedly eliminates position blind spots during the stroke of a valve by supplying continuous feedback of rotary or linear valve position.
Clip-on temperature sensor assemblies from Spectrum Sensors and Controls feature accuracy of St. Marys, PA —Clip-on temperature sensor assemblies from Spectrum Sensors and controls are said to provide a low-cost option for applications where ease of installation and excellent thermal tracking are important. Sensor assembly is tied to the pipe thermally with a specially designed copper clip to ensure good thermal contact with the copper tube.
Black-and-white double on/off switch, the latest addition to EAO Switch Corp.’s Series 44 range of industrial controls, features a large, illuminated central lens to indicate equipment status.
Series VFD direct-operated poppet valve from SMC Corp. of America is designed for use in zero pressure accumulation conveyor systems.
Batch execution software is helping Ciba Specialty Chemicals plant in Scotland operate its pigment manufacturing process with more consistency and flexibility. Echternach, Luxembourg —A pigment processor in Scotland found the recipe for consistency by applying batch execution software to its operation. The installation, called one of the largest batch execution sites in Europe, is said to be more flexible than the legacy system it replaced, able to provide important batch records and reports, and offering capabilities for future development. Ciba Specialty Chemicals installed GE Fanuc 's Proficy Plant Application batch execution software, running on a Proficy HMI/SCADA-iFix platform, on two pigment manufacturing processes at its Paisley, Scotland, plant.
Pivotrol PTF4 high-capacity pressure powered condensate pump from Spirax Sarco Inc. can pump up to 40,000 lb/hr in rapid-cycling process environments and under elevated pressure and temperature conditions.
Oseco employees received training in the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques off site at Tulsa Training Center and preliminary instruction on site at the facility Broken Arrow, OK —Applying Japanese management philosophy Southwest style is helping to streamline operations at an Oklahoma safety equipment company. Oseco (Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co. Inc.) has been incorporating lean manufacturing into its daily operations.
Ultrasonic transducers are used for a variety of instrumentation and control applications, most commonly for flow measurement, non-destructive inspection of materials, and level measurement. In general, an ultrasonic transducer is any device capable of converting electric pulses into mechanical energy, producing sound at frequencies above hearing capability.
ControlSoft 's new Intune version 5 software is billed as a non-intrusive plant management, process control, and predictive maintenance tool combined with diagnostic and tuning features. Intune v5 claims their performance improvement suite provides five key services: Increase productivity; Reduce energy consumption; Improve product consistency with less waste; Increase plant engineering and maintenance productivity; and Support continuous improvement. These capabilities are available through a variety of process analysis, reporting, and problem correction tools, according to ControlSoft. Managers can benchmark loop and plant performance while discovering gaps between current and potential performance levels. Poorly operating loops can be tuned, increasing efficiency and maintenance effectiveness. — Daily News Desk, Peter Welander ,process industries editor , Control Engineering.
The first vehicles line up at the starting gate for the beginning of a previous DARPA Challenge. Arlington, VA —Open enrollment has increased the field for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge to 89 teams. The 'Track B' list drew 78 additions to the robotic vehicle race, which will be held Nov.
Type 900X current-to-pressure and voltage-to-pressure transducer from ControlAir Inc. now comes with zero-based units ranging from 0-7.5 psi to 0-60 psi outputs.
Model 5100 Series pressure transducer from Sensor System Solutions Inc. targets oil burner, oil tank level indicator, process control system, natural gas production, and gas compressor markets, among others.
In an effort to gain a stronger presence in U.S., HIMA has opened a new office in Houston, TX, to support a marketing push into the energy and petroleum industries. Based in Germany with offices and agents worldwide, HIMA designs and builds safety system technology for process industries. The company expresses pride in its track record of building safety technology for process industries, in addition to more conventional factory automation systems. Since 1966, HIMA has more than 18,000 installations worldwide, which, the company says, is more than all other safety system companies combined. “Automation processes in the energy and petrochemical industries are generally highly complex and have many potential hazards.
GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp. now includes a low hydrogen interference carbon monoxide sensor option. Pittsburgh, PA — GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp.
Controller performance is demonstrated and compared in this trend chart. Although reactors are major operating units in many chemical plants, keeping close control of temperatures in exothermic reactors is still a common problem. Many plants use poorly performing PID loops or do it manually and simply deal with resulting problems.
Built largely on land reclaimed from the sea, Netherlands has always had a close relationship with water. It has been an innovator in land reclamation, water management, and drinking-water purification. As one of the country’s leading drinking-water companies, PWN has played a role in a number of these innovations, currently delivering water to more than 1.
The Russian Federation has granted GOST-R and certification and RTN approval to FCI flowmeters and flow switches. San Marcos, CA— The Russian Federation has granted Fluid Components International (FCI) approval to export its flowmeters and switches into its country. FCI received certification from the Federation for its MT Series, GF Series, and ST98 Series mass flowmeters.
PC-DMIS NC module, the latest extension of the metrology software, runs onboard inspection tasks on various brands of machine tools without needed to transfer a part to a separate inspection station. Chicago, IL and North Kingstown, RI— New NC module from Wilcox Associates Inc ., a Hexagon Metrology company, is said to expand the capabilities of the traditional machine tool inspection probe, allowing for true onboard inspection with machine tools without the need to transfer a part to a separate inspection station. Demonstrated last week at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, the product is the latest brand extension of PC-DMIS 4.1. The capabilities are applicable to situations when parts are too large or immobile to be conveniently moved to an offline station.
C2500 Series of ruggedized, 400 W, 3 U high, VME/Eurorack compatible dc/dc and ac/dc converters from Schaefer Inc. use industrial grade components, making them suitable for such applications as process control systems and power stations, mobile controls and communications equipment, and telecommunication systems.
With RFID technology being rediscovered and increasinglydeployed over the past several years, it is important to rememberthat the use of RFID should not be limited merely to assetidentification and tracking-type applications. Though this may infact be a most effective use for the technology currently, thepotential exists for the use of RFID in process control, discretemanufacturing, utility operations and many other industrialsettings. Nevertheless, like any other technology, RFID cannot exist
Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA) reports that 2005 “was a good year for everyone,” after collecting information on the operating performance of its 36 member companies—North American manufacturers and distributors of instrumentation, systems and software used in industrial process control and factory automation.
AOC, a global supplier of resins, gel coats, colorants and additives for composites and cast polymers, needed to use data more effectively to free up personnel; ensure consistency in production planning, scheduling, inventory management; and improve overall business performance. Already known for producing resins of exacting consistency with their proprietary manufacturing program, AOC sought t...
Instrumentation suppliers’ revenues and operating incomes increased at a record pace in 2005, although total R&D expenses declined in 2005 and over the last five years, according to a report released by the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA). In a presentation to the MCAA membership, Edward J. Curry, partner for consultants Curry & Hurd, revealed that public companies in their industry saw 2005 revenue increase 11.7% over 2004 and operating income increase 20.3% over the same time period.
The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Energy will offer free classes during Part II of the SCADA Security Summit for control system engineers and IT professionals who need or want a deeper understanding of security in control systems. The courses, both introductory and intermediate, will be held Sept.
Heat Spy DHS215XEL line of compact, handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers from Wahl Instruments is reported to be easy-to-use, cost-effective, and accurate.
Vaisala Spectracap The Vaisala Spectracap Since the sensor can be flange-mounted directly to a duct or process vessel, the OMT355 is able to provide real-time measurement data without sampling or sample switching delays. The probe has low sensitivity to gas flow or pressure variations, and can operate within a temperature range from -20 to 80 °C. Accessories are available for applications with elevated temperatures, high pressures, and excessive solids content in the gas stream.
The OPC Foundation and four of its member companies officially announced the new Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) for data and information sharing between the plant floor and the enterprise at the ARC Advisory Group's annual forum in Boston in June. OPC-UA unifies all existing OPC specifications and leverages service-oriented architecture (SOA) based Web services technology as the communication me...
Pepperl+Fuchs’ UOS-100 ultrasonic positioning system—including ultrasonic emitters, receivers, and control interface—is said to enhance error proofing in demanding industrial assembly operations. Twinsburg, OH — Pepperl+Fuchs ’ UOS-100 ultrasonic positioning system, consisting of ultrasonic emitters, receivers, and a control interface, is designed to enhance error proofing in demanding industrial assembly applications. It is especially suited for applications requiring assembly process assurance such as automotive assembly where screws need to be processed in a particular order, and also for the allocation of objects in assembly line production and other quality assurance systems. Ultrasonic positioning is said to eliminate the tool motion restriction of footprinting, achieving higher productivity without the loss of process control and precisely determining the position of a tool or object in three-dimensional space without complex mechanical systems, such as articulating arms. Complete system performs propagation time measurement and output of the calculated x, y, and z coordinates of the object to be positioned.
Free form sensor systems from Sensor Products LLC, part of the Tactilus line of dynamic electronic pressure mapping systems, include up to 16 sensing points in a variety of sizes and shapes. Free form sensor systems expand Sensor Products’ Tactilus line of dynamic electronic pressure mapping systems. The systems consist of up to 16 sensing points that can detect pressures up to 60 psi (4.21 kg/sq cm), simple electronics, and a USB interface.
B-Series bronze control valve is designed for use with steam, water, gases, and other liquids for services at a maximum temperature of 204 „aC (400 „aF) and a maximum pressure of 27 barg (400 psig).
ZMD31015 signal conditioner IC with on-chip diagnostics from can be used with nearly all piezo-resistive bridge sensors.
Type 567/568 butterfly valves from GF Piping are intended for corrosive applications and come in sizes from 2 to 8 in. with a variety of modular components. Type 567/568 butterfly valve from GF Piping is designed for corrosive applications.
GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp. with a hydrogen cyanide (HCN) sensor option is light weight, features a large LCD, and comes standard with STEL and TWA readings. Pittsburgh, PA — GasBadge Pro single gas monitor from Industrial Scientific Corp.
MicroPower Direct offers the RL9827Sx series switching power supply to provide 150 W of output power in a compact, high power density U-channel package. Features include power factor correction; auto-selectable ac inputs; overvoltage, load, and temperature protection; and safety approvals. Applications include medium-power in process control, telecommunications, industrial automation, power distribution, and other systems. MicroPower Direct’s RL9827Sx series switching power supplies are said to have compact construction, high output power density, safety approvals, high efficiency operation, and low cost.
Application Development Modules for ControlLogix (MVI56-ADM for serial and MVI56-ADMNET for Ethernet) let users develop and deploy “C” applications for the Allen-Bradley processor.
Over-the-side immersion heaters are designed for heating clear, opaque, or hard-to-heat liquids (from water to raw crude) in containers such as tanks and drums.
ZMD AG introduced the ZMD31015 signal conditioner integrated circuit with on-chip diagnostics at Sensors Expo 2006 held earlier this month in the Chicago area. ZMD31015 signal conditioner IC with on-chip diagnostics from ZMD AG can be used with nearly all piezo-resistive bridge sensors. CMOS semiconductor device is the newest member of ZMD’s family of resistive bridge (RBic-Lite) signal conditioner integrated circuits.
Resonator line of vibrating liquid level switches is intended for chemical and petrochemical applications, including high-viscosity environments to 20,000 cP.
PR-23-M real-time process refractometer from K-Patents measures the concentrations of process liquids in semiconductor fabrication plants. Instrument features inert non-metallic materials on all wetted parts for compatibility with ultra-pure chemicals; it is said to deliver continuous and accurate measurement.
Using machines and components in marine or underwater applications requires exceptionally high resistance to corrosive elements, a recent undersea oil pipeline system installation illustrates.
Tecnomatix FactoryLink Traceability module tracks and traces key production events on serialized products and provides full bi-directional genealogy and analysis functions. Intended for automated environments, the product can be added easily to existing FactoryLink applications or used to build a new class of applications.
Enhanced line of pressure regulating valves includes an improved molded design for Model Type V185 and Model Type V186. In addition, Model Type V182 features a new valve body and internal design that incorporates a new piston/o-ring design said to significantly improve flow characteristics. Valves are offered in three design styles for pressure reducing, retaining, or relief.
A trip off-site or out of town on business can be a rare treat, an enjoyable adventure, or a grind that takes you away from your real work. Yes, for those who do it occasionally, it's a nice chance to learn something new. But I suspect we all know someone who travels almost weekly. Day trips on a commuter plane to another plant (with hours in rental cars and airports) can leave many people long...
Stainless steel version of the BradConnectivity Ultra-Lock Connection System is designed to meet the sanitary requirements of the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. Threadless connection system quickly and securely connects sensors and control devices used in plant-floor automation systems, such as conveyors and robotic bottling and processing lines.
PC-based displays with touchscreens and keyboards, operator panels with simple text displays, and thin clients for remote visualization over Ethernet are among clean and hygienic visualization offerings for the bottling, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Universal and scalable product line includes features such as uniform IP65 protection, mounting on a swing arm system or directly on a mach...
SVI II AP (advanced performance) digital valve-positioner is the latest in a series of enhancements to the SVI II positioner family.
San Francisco, CA —A new industry-focused collaboration effort by software vendor SAP AG is designed to bring together customers, partners, and other software and hardware suppliers to meet chemical industry business requirements. The “industry value network” or IVN is intended to help solve customers’ most pressing business challenges. SAP recently also launched an IVN for the banking sector. Members of the IVN for chemicals reportedly will join forces “to deliver solutions and integration scenarios that address key industry-wide pain points such as price and margin management, predictive process control and optimization, and environmental compliance.
C3700 Series of 1250 W, 6U high, VME/Eurorack/wallmount compatible dc/dc and ac/dc converters is available in 9 standard dc input voltage ranges from 10-800 V dc and ac input voltage ranges of 185-264 and 93-138/185-264 (switchable) V ac.
Foxboro, MA — SANS (Systems Administration, Audit, Network, Security) Institute presented its 2006 process control security leadership award to Invensys Process Systems . The award, given at the organization’s recent Security Summit, recognizes organizations that make a difference in cybersecurity for critical enterprise infrastructures. The citation honored Invensys for demonstrating that vendors can take much of the pain, cost, and uncertainty out of securing process and SCADA systems. It identified certain Invensys practices, including pre-testing of operating system updates and software security patches, and enhancements, such as providing anti-virus measures within its core distributed control system product to make security better, easier, and less expensive for asset owners. Said Ernest Rakaczky, program director of process control network security at Invensys Process Systems, “We, as vendors, are controlling major plants.
Tokyo, Japan — Omron Corp. has announced the appointment of Roberto Maietti as president and CEO of Omron Europe B.V. Reporting to Fumio Tateisi, Japan-based president of Omron’s Industrial Automation Business, Maietti also will be president of the Omron Management Center Europe.
Noteworthy events and resources in the process control area this month include record attendance at the recent Interphex2006 exhibition, announcement of keynotes for the upcoming Process Control Systems Forum (PCSF), and the availability of process application audio CDs from Emerson Process Management. More details and links to additional information follow.
Yokogawa dedicated its 100,000 sq ft sales and service complex in Sugar Land, TX, on March 8. Top management and other officials participating in a "spiritually refreshing" sake ceremony, offering blessings, happiness, and good business to assembled employees, customers, partners, other guests, and their families.
SVI II AP (advanced performance) digital valve-positioner is the latest in a series of enhancements to the SVI II positioner family. New device retains the philosophies and physics of the existing SVI II positioner, but adds modular construction and marine-grade components to increase ruggedness and durability for use in harsh environments.
There is an ongoing debate in chemical engineering departments on what should be taught in an undergraduate process control course. How can we better prepare students for what they will see in industry upon graduation? Topics covered in a typical 15-week university control course include dynamic behavior, with one week on Laplace transforms and analytical solutions to differential equations, ph...
Logan, UT—IRU-5110 Series self-contained ultrasonic sensors from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, are compact (113.1 x 76.2 mm; 4.45 in. x 3 in.) and easy to mount. They work on solids or liquids and provide a sensing range from 76 to 2,000 mm (3 to 79 in.).
Yokogawa dedicated its 100,000-sq-ft sales and service complex in Sugar Land, TX, on March 8, with top management and other officials participating in a "spiritually refreshing" sake ceremony, offering blessings, happiness, and good business to assembled employees, customers, partners, other guests, and their families.
PicoScope 2105 from Saelig Co. Inc. is a USB pen scope that incorporates the features of many high-performance bench-top oscilloscopes into a small, lightweight, ergonomic probe that fits in the hand.
Cheminert Model M6 and M50 liquid handling pumps are designed for precision handling of liquids and gases.
Lantronix Inc. unveiled its next generation solution—XPress DR+ industrial-device server—to simplify and reduce the cost of connecting equipment to the network.
Foxboro, MA —A mesh network-based automation system from Invensys Foxboro will become part of a major fertilizer project in Oman, thanks to joint efforts by Invensys Asia Pacific and Invensys Middle East. The project, promoted by the Suhail Bahwan Group, is currently under construction at Sohar, a $638 million (U.S.) fertilizer project of Sohar International Urea & Chemical Industries SAOC (SIUCI). The effort includes a 2,000 metric tons per day (mtpd) ammonia plant, 3,500-mtpd urea synthesis and granulation plant, and related utilities and offsite facilities. Being built under an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contract by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, it is reportedly one of the world’s largest private sector greenfield fertilizer projects. Terms of the contract call for a Foxboro I/A Series Version 8 process control system that uses advanced commercial communication technologies in robust industrial configurations.
Xpress DR+ industrial device server from Lantronix Inc. cascades multiple devices from one network connection and connects enterprise systems to non-networked factory floor devices. Irvine, CA —Xpress DR+ industrial device server from Lantronix Inc.
It seems like all I read about is the threat of globalization. People and companies are worried about losing jobs and opportunities. China and India are the bad guys and we the victims. Wrong! Global competition is not a bad thing; it is competition. It is a game we can win and must win if this nation is going to keep its edge.
Rosemount Analytical introduced its new toroidal conductivity sensor for CIP (clean-in-place) liquid analysis in the pharmaceutical industry at Interphex2006 in New York last week. New York, NY; Irvine, CA —New Rosemount Analytical toroidal conductivity sensor for CIP (clean-in-place) liquid analysis in the pharmaceutical industry debuted last week at Interphex2006 . Demonstrations of the device were held at the Emerson life science solutions exhibit at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, Mar.
Optiflux 6000 electromagnetic flow sensor for hygienic applications from Krohne is one of nine in a family featuring application, accuracy, and instrument diagnostics. It will be featured at Interphex 2006 in New York next week. New York, NY —Krohne’s Optiflux 6000 electromagnetic flow sensor for hygienic applications in the pharmaceutical industry recently received 3A sanitary rating 28-03.
Double-float master pump switch is a mechanically activated, wide-angle device that provides automatic control of 120- or 240-V pumps up to 13 FLA, 78 LRA in non-potable and sewage applications.
Dimension-P Raman system for quality and process control provides functionalities for real-time analysis and monitoring. Compliant with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 for audit, security, and validation requirements, the device features trigger-activated probes for easy sample testing. Probes with working distances up to 20 mm are designed for use with liquids, powders, and solids, or through 10-15-mm quar...
UC Series vacuum conveyors feature unibody construction for tool-free dismantling and easy cleaning. Hygienic products are suitable for pharmaceutical processing applications. Constructed of stainless steel AISI 316L and powered by pneumatically air-driven vacuum pumps, the Series transports such pharmaceutical ingredients as sugar, dextrose, magnesium oxide, and starch quietly and safely.
Data Dolphin 320 data monitor from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, monitors and records in temperatures from–40 to more than 60 °C. Logan, UT —Data Dolphin 320 data monitor from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group , offers NEMA 6P/IP68 protection for laboratory-grade accuracy in the field. Device provides data monitoring and recording in temperatures from–40 to more than 60 °C in a variety of industries from oil and gas to food processing.
Micro Motion Model 3711 gas flow computer from Emerson Process Management applies Coriolis mass flow accuracy to fiscal gas measurement. (Fiscal measurements are those accurate and precise enough for custody transfer applications). Austin, TX —Micro Motion Model 3711 gas flow computer from Emerson Process Management is said to use and benefit from the accuracy of Coriolis direct flow measurement.
VP60 proportional valve can now handle input pressure of 230 psi, allowing increased flow rates from 125 to 175 cfm.
Accuracy and reliability are most important when selecting process level measurement sensors and inventory tank gauging systems, a recent market study shows. The research by Venture Development Corp . (VDC) asked end users, OEMs, and systems integrators what most influenced their choices for products and vendors in these areas. Among those buying process level measurement sensors, 70% cited accuracy and 60% reliability as being most critical.
Fujitsu Components America Inc . is now shipping lead-free, RoHS-compliant, equivalent products on its touch panel orders for out-of-stock standard products. The change affects all products in Fujitsu’s 4- and 7-wire resistive touch panel line. The new devices are drop-in replacements for the company’s existing touch panel products.
Although many sensors can measure temperature, the three most common are resistance temperature detectors (RTD), thermocouples, and thermistors. The thermocouple (TC) is the most common of those, and is made up of two dissimilar metals joined together at one end and open at the other (output end), producing a voltage for a given temperature.
Woven Fiber Optic panel with a single LED light source is said to offer manufacturers of digital pressure test gauges a practical, low-cost, easy-to-customize way to back light LCDs.
Cleverscope CS328 USB-connected, all-in-one PC-based, mixed signal oscilloscope from Saelig Corp. Inc. features two, 10-bit, self-calibrating A/D channels for sampling at 100 Megasamples/second simultaneously.
James W. Bagley, chairman of Lam Research Corp. recently addressed the U.S.’ diminishing capability to maintain competitive manufacturing leadership and parity.
Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has introduced a semiconductor manufacturing process combining high-voltage silicon (up to 30-V supply) with submicron CMOS and complementary bipolar technologies. Called industrial CMOS (or iCMOS), the process targets converters, amplifiers, switches, and other devices working in high-voltage factory automation and process control.
Ford Motor Co. has signed an agreement to use ActivPlant Performance Management System (APMS) software across its North American Powertrain plants. The deployment of Activplant's software at Ford is expected to result in improved throughput and efficiency, and more effective scheduling and optimization.
PCC Cruise Control integrated control option is designed to fine-tune vacuum pump performance, lowering energy consumption. It is intended for automated handling of porous materials in a variety of manufacturing applications. Device automatically maintains a pre-set vacuum level to ensure consistent vacuum level and secure grip at the suction point.
Scanning thermometer has 12 channels capable of storing and recalling up to 4,680 sets of date and time stamped readings.
Series-40 butterfly valves from Bray Controls have blow-out-proof stems. Houston, TX —Blow-out-proof stem is now incorporated into Bray Controls ’ high-performance, Series-40 butterfly valves. New stem will become standard on all Series 40 valves, the company reports; Series 40 complies with the latest edition of API 609 code for high-performance butterfly valves. Design is said to offer rugged reliability and easy field maintenance.
Intercim has released Velocity 4.2 process execution software, which is said to provide expanded execution capabilities for aerospace and defense component fabrication, sub- and final assembly, for avionics and mission-critical compliance control customers. Velocity 4.2 is Intercim’s Web-based, commercial off the shelf system that provides the traditional benefits of MES—cost savings, cycle-time reductions and greater operational efficiencies—as well as extended technology to simplify communications and boost confidence in data accuracy. Customers scheduled to implement the new release include Bell Helicopter and other major aerospace manufacturers. Built with enhanced precedence control, Velocity 4.2 software is said to enable customers to configure‘can’t-fail’ processes, which, in turn, ensures process control and data accuracy. “The customer’s ability to configure process-specific rules will simply not allow inaccuracies,” said Paul Meyer, vice president business development. “That enables true, seamless end-to-end product life cycle management.” In addition to quality and emergent process components, the newest version of Velocity includes interconnectivity to leading PLM systems, including 2-D and 3-D model and planning support systems. —David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering email@example.com.
AFA Controls LLC's MEM valve uses electrostatic force to direct inert gas flows. It offers clean service by eliminating solenoids, spools, springs, and dynamic internal seals. Electronically controlled, MEM devices provide fast, consistent pneumatic response-time.
The pivotal point of the third quarter 2005 was the damage wrought by Gulf Coast hurricanes—Katrina, Rita, and Wilma—and the resilience of domestic consumer and manufacturing economies to absorb these shocks and keep moving forward. At last count, damages are forecast to exceed $150 billion, and between insurance recoveries and the federal government's initial pledge of $62 billion,...
Cleveland, Ohio —ControlSoft Inc. announced its Winter PID Loop Tuning and Ad-vanced Process Control Strategies training classes. PID Loop Tuning classes run a full day with engineers and technicians learning to set up, maintain, and tune a PI or PID controller using software-based process simulation. Classes will be held in: Baton Rouge, LA, Dec.
D/G/MO3 Kel-Cell Series of industrial pumps from Wanner Engineering use diaphragm position control (DPC) technology to control the position of the diaphragm under adverse inlet conditions to achieve a high degree of diaphragm rupture protection. Minneapolis, MN —D/G/MO3 Kel-Cell Series of industrial pumps from Wanner Engineering now feature patented diaphragm position control (DPC) technology. The technology lets pumps control the position of the diaphragm under a variety of adverse inlet conditions to provide a high degree of diaphragm rupture protection.DPC technology reportedly eliminates the possibility of an incidental diaphragm failure caused by adverse system conditions that often result in excessive vacuum conditions on a pump inlet.
DasyLab Version-9.0, Microsoft Windows-based, graphical data-acquisition software features an updated user interface, improved on-line help, an interactive tutorial, and more than 150 examples to help engineers accelerate set-up and development of data acquisition, process monitoring, data logging and display, process control, data analysis, and reporting applications.
Flowmeters for liquefied (LNG) and conventional natural-gas service include Bundle Waveguide Technology (BWT) system with DigitalFlow DF868 flowmeter for measuring cryogenic LNG flows and Sentinel natural gas ultrasonic flowmeter for fiscal custody-transfer measurement.
Pavilion Technologies , a provider of advanced process- control and environmental- compliance solutions, has been awarded a Phase II grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Technology Transfer program. The fourth consecutive DOE award to Pavilion, this grant funds Pavilion's continuing work with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) to develop advanced methods in process control of complex systems such as a high-energy electron accelerator in a physics research laboratory and a polymer reactor in a manufacturing plant.
Cincinnati, OH—The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) has awarded the Computing Practice Award to Dr. Mike Morshedi, inventor and co-inventor of several multivariable predictive control technologies in widespread use today. The award recognizes his ongoing contributions to advance real-time process control and optimization. Dr.
Enhancements to Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Analytical Model-700 process-gas chromatograph include a micro-flame ionization detector and a flame photometric detector module. Solon, OH —A micro-flame ionization detector (micro-FID) is among the enhancements added to Rosemount Analytical Model-700, process-gas chromatograph to expand its application capabilities. Rugged, field-mountable instrument from Emerson Process Management also now features a detector pre-amplifier/electrometer, micro-packed methanator, heated liquid sample injection valve, heated sample transfer tubing, and a flame photometric detector (FPD) module.Micro-FID with its detector pre-amplifier/electrometer board permits measurement of trace hydrocarbons in a variety of samples at parts-per-billion concentrations.
Limitorque Actuation Systems’ MT-Series of ductile-iron bevel-gear operators are said to provide reliable performance in power-industry valve applications.
Open process simulation software may be more likely after a related standard effort gained support. Honeywell joined membership of the CAPE-OPEN Laboratories Network (COL). COL is a neutral, industry and academic association promoting open interface standards in process simulation software. CAPE-OPEN compliant interface is an industry standard for software developers.
An add-on controller is helping machine tool users reduce scrap after a tool change. Typically, when tools need changing, there’s some time and materials waste while recalibration occurs, according to Phil Lockhart, technical director of Leeco Inc. (doing business as www.thegagestore.com ).
StealthVU SV-1700-HB LCD monitor from Stealth Computer Corp. operates in extreme, ambient light conditions. LCDs and monitors are in the HMI spotlight this month with the introduction of three new products.
“There’s no key on the keyboard you can push to get to be a leader in process control and instrumentation,” said Scott Pendegrass, control systems engineer, Lyondell Chemical Co . Leadership was the theme of the 2005 Emerson Global Users Exchange group meeting in Orlando, FL. Pendegrass, chairman of the meeting’s board of directors, offered leadership tips for attendees. Know: Equipment, tools, and processes.
Cardmaster 3 enclosure family is intended for instrumentation packaging, including measurement, monitoring, and process control equipment.
Unocal’s Monopod platform in Cook Inlet, AK. (Photo courtesy of cookinletoilandgas.org) At Unocal’s Monopod offshore-platform in Alaska, Flowserve’s StarPac control valve delivered stability, remote control and monitoring, plus increased oil production. The valve reportedly dramatically improved oil-well performance and production in this non-traditional application with an "upset" well. “This well was not behaving correctly,” says Unocal production engineer Justus Hinks.
In cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ISPE has released a definition paper on restricted access barrier systems (RABS). The paper provides a definition of RABS for the Agency and the pharmaceutical industry.
Filomena Wardzel, automation solutions manager, Siemens Energy & Automation, is the latest addition to the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) board of directors. Atlanta, GA —Filomena Wardzel, automation solutions manager, Siemens Energy & Automation , has been named to the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) board of directors. Wardzel’s appointment continues Siemens presence on the PTO board, filling the slot previously occupied by Tom Kopanski, vice president of Siemens Automation and Motion Div.
Environmental monitoring is a key function that will add value to businesses seeking operational excellence and allow them to demonstrate due diligence to environmental agencies. In many cases, environmental monitoring is carried out by dedicated instrumentation and recording systems, but some businesses may be surprised to find that the addition of a few more data points to an existing process...
Level-measuring industries worldwide are expected to grow over the next several years, but not at a uniform rate around the globe, a recent study shows. The most significant increases are forecast for Middle East and Africa. According to the latest survey data from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) on global process measurement and inventory tank gauging (ITG) markets, the process level measuring device market totaled approximately $1.3 billion in 2004 and is expected to increase at a 4.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to more than $1.6 billion in 2009.
Positive displacement pumps are especially designed to handle adhesives.
Two 480-W DIN rail-mount power supplies come with a choice of single- or three-phase inputs.
Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., and ILS Technology are working on an integration strategy to enable secure remote equipment data acquisition and analysis by semiconductor equipment suppliers. The integration strategy combines Wonderware's ArchestrA application platform and ILS Technology's secure remote monitoring applications including eCentre, ServiceNet, and Flexible Security Wrapper. The proposed secure remote access solution would enable service engineers at tool suppliers to remotely and securely access tools in any fab worldwide for diagnostic and repair analysis. The combination of secure remote access with Interface C and high-speed tool data acquisition via Interface A allows a toolmaker to diagnose tool performance trends and obtain statistics using detailed historical data stored in the real-time database of the ArchestrA application platform. Specialized equipment engineering systems or advanced process control applications may store the results of tool data analysis in this database for later access by tool service engineers.
Applying fuzzy logic to control the reactor using only the three existing process measurements—output flow, composition, and temperature—imposes a severe performance limit on the system. Without a mathematical derivative capability in the rule syntax the system can react to the current values of the measurements, but not to how fast they are changing.
Viscosity management is a missing capability of many process control systems because of the absence of reliable digital instrumentation that can be incorporated into the process stream. Acoustic wave viscometers can fill this need for OEMs and process manufacturers as they can detect changes in the process stream to provide real-time quality control, eliminating need for decisions based on inte...
Loop-Pro product suite version 4.1 includes enhanced process control monitoring, analysis, and reporting capabilities intended to help customers eliminate costs from production defects and process shutdown by providing early identification of negative process trends.
The ANSI/ISA-95.00.03-2005 Enterprise-Control System Integration, Part 3 portion of the ISA-95 standard defines activity models of manufacturing operations management that enable an enterprise system to control system integration.
Two recently introduced flowmeters from McCrometer and Fluid Components International, intended for a variety of process applications in the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals industries, are said to provide precision flow measurement and need almost no maintenance.
Downers Grove, IL—Magnetrol International has launched its new TD1/TD2 thermal dispersion switch for air, gas, liquid, and slurry level and flow control.
The plant control system would seem to be one of the best-protected computer networks from those who might seek to do harm. It is typically so removed from the Internet that hackers and viruses should have a difficult time finding the control system. And that's just fine with most control engineers, who know that any connectivity to the Internet increases the potential for mischief.
cPCI power supplies, the latest addition to the CompactPCI line, are fully compliant to the PICMG 2.11 power interface specification and fitted as standard with a Positronic 47-pin connector.
NVM Series manual needle flow control valve features a needle plug with PTFE diaphragm seal that allows for easy and precise linear flow control.
Ball valves from Inserta and a pressure-reducing valve from TLV are among process-related flow control products announced recently.
Dedham, MA—The worldwide market for process infrared systems (PIRS) is expected to grow at a 4.1% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years from $255.7 million in 2004 to more than $313.3 million in 2009, according to a ARC Advisory Group's new study, “Worldwide Process Infrared Systems Outlook.”
9060E Micro-processor and zirconium oxygen probe, developed in conjunction with Teledyne Analytical Instruments, gives boiler operators a continuous view of actual, real-time, combustion efficiency measurements.
D35 Metering Series industrial pumps provide steady, pulse-free metering of ultra pure fluids, corrosives, and slurries in flows to up to 2,220 gph (8,400 lph) and pressure up to 1,200 psi (83 bar). Positive-displacement-type pumps incorporate five Hydra-Cells into a pentaplex design and feature tapered roller bearings and a seal-less design.
Type 388 metallic butterfly valve comes in two styles: cast-iron wafer and ductile-iron lug. Both configurations can withstand rugged industrial use. Typical applications include water and wastewater for pressure or vacuum service. Valve incorporates features that offer easy maintenance, high performance, and safety.
Fujitsu Components America Inc. announced it will begin converting its touch panel products to RoHS lead-free compliant status to meet customer environmental needs.
News of note from the process control industry this month includes word from ISA about the extension of SP-88 principles to non-batch applications, and two upcoming events: the Sensors Expo next week in Chicago, and Invensys Process Systems’ customer conference slated for Houston this fall.
Parker Instrumentation’s new 25 mm bore, one-piece double-block-and-bleed manifold is intended for a wide range of process control, measurement, and sampling applications.
Processors and the federal agencies involved in supplying food to the public work hard to protect our food supply from pathogens, contaminants, and outright mischief. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have adopted and enacted a technique for ensuring food safety that, interestingly enough, was first developed by the National Aeronautics and S...
Helsinki, Finland—Metso Paper will rebuild the PM 3 fine paper machine at UPM-owned Nordland Papier, located in Niedersachsen, Germany. The approximately 60-million-euro rebuild project will be completed during autumn 2006.
UniSim simulation solution is a family of software and engineering services designed to improve performance throughout the life cycle of a processing plant.
Baghouse automation systems include diagnostics, emission monitoring, and process optimization to provide complete information and control of the process.
Pavilion Technologies, a provider of advanced process control and environmental compliance solutions has announced that the Elsta power plant in Hoek, Terneuzen, The Netherlands, has deployed Pavilion’s Envisage software on three gas turbines and associated steam boilers.
Siemens Power Generation will install new instrumentation and controls and protection equipment in three units at an Irish power station.
Officials from the U.S. FDA publicly asked technology experts in other industries to find performance-enhancing technologies that could help pharmaceutical manufacturers cut costs, improve product quality or speed to market, during the November 2004 annual meeting of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers.
According to the U.S. FDA, process validation is defined as: Establishing by objective evidence that a process consistently produces a result or product meeting its predetermined specifications. In thermal sterilization processes, "time at temperature" is critical to achieve required product sterility.
Enhancements to several modules of RSBizWare batch processing software are intended to help manufacturers with regulatory requirements. Version 7.0 is said to improve security, audit capabilities, and productivity with the ability to build signature templates, addition of command verification policies, and expanded functionality for process parameter limits.
Wallingford, CT—CiDRA Corp. recently agreed with Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) Group to build a commercial partnership for industrial process monitoring and control.
Integrator Automated Interface Solutions Builds and DeploysOpto 22-Wonderware Solution to Replace Installed Systemfor Process Control and Data Acquisition
Inserta ICS slip-in check valves can be inserted in manifolds, subplates, flanges, or integrated valve systems. Compact design is said to eliminate external leak points associated with line-mounted check valves. Devices control flow in or out depending on how they are inserted into the machined cavity.
Foxboro, MA—Invensys Process Systems reports that Virginia Burnell has been appointed president of the company's North America operations.
DIN-rail-mount power supply module can connect two power supplies in 1+1 redundancy.
ENGlobal Corp. reports that a subsidiary has acquired some contract rights and equipment from Oklahoma-based Instrument Services Company LLC (ISC). ISC specializes in providing technical support to oil and gas, power generation, and other processing environments.
Adalet Wireless has launched a battery-powered, wireless transmission system for measuring temperature and pressure.
Schneider Electric has announced it will work with IBM to deliver integrated advanced process control (iAPC) solutions to the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
The new year brings a variety of resources for learning more about process-related topics and the process industries.
GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. reports that its Proficy real-time information portal, version 2.1, is a new version of its plant-wide analysis, visualization, and reporting software, which allows users to gain business insight from their plant data in real time. Proficy 2.1 reportedly supports better, faster decision-making with a common client that scans applicable data sources.
ProcessACT advanced process control software from Matrikon helps users design, develop, simulate, and implement process control applications. The software's data acquisition, analysis, and modeling tools handle even complex control problems, while rapid prototyping capability and analysis tools test alternate scenarios to find the best strategy.
Micro Single Analyzer Module (SAM) on-line process gas chromatograph from Siemens Applied Automation, a business of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., features miniature size; valveless live injection with software-adjustable injection volume; maintenance-free column switching; and electronic pressure control; as well as accurate measurements performed by multiple parallel micro-detectors.
DIN-rail-mount power supply module can connect two power supplies in 1+1 redundancy. DLP-PU series is applicable to process control and critical monitoring equipment where downtime would cause extensive and costly manufacturing delay. Module accepts up to two 20-Amp inputs rated between 21 V and 28 V, and contains o-ring diodes to isolate the effects of a faulty power supply on the system bus.
Invensys Triconex uses the abstract interpretation method in its Trident TMR controller system, which provides continuous control for safety-critical units in refineries, petrochemical and chemical plants, and in other industrial processes. The firm says abstract interpretation has saved $1 million and up to a year in verifying fault-tolerant controller software used in process manufacturing ap...
Chelmsford, MA—Brooks Software and AssurX Inc. have formed a joint development agreement to create an integrated manufacturing execution and quality management solution for discrete manufacturers.
Throughout the year, Control Engineering and Control Engineering Online have provided an abundance of information on instrumentation and process control topics of interest to automation and controls engineers. As we come to the end of 2004, here is a reprise of some articles you may have missed.
FS-B3510 FieldServer interoperability solution is directed at system integrators in building automation and process control industries.
Assessing all I've seen and heard over the past year leads me to one conclusion—2004 is the year we've all been waiting for, economically, since the manufacturing industry began to decline in 2001. Looking at the numbers broadly, U.S. manufacturers' after-tax profits reached $82.4 billion in second-quarter 2004 (the most recent quarter for which data is available)—a level higher tha...
This page offers a look back on a variety of interesting items from Control Engineering's past issues, highlighting content from 50, 25, and 10 years ago. August 1955 Transistors vs. tubes debate Highlight of the recent Electronics Components Conference was a spirited after-dinner debate on whether or not "Transistors will soon replace most tubes.
Space 4.1 upgraded statistical process control (SPC) application, built on the manufacturer’s Sense Decide Respond real-time enterprise architecture, helps implement corporate SPC standards and ensure response to process changes.
Wickliffe, OH—To focus on innovations in automation and partnerships with area universities for improving industrial production and cutting energy consumption, ABB Inc. is formally opening its new Corporate Research Center (CRC) in early November at its industrial computer control system facility near Cleveland.
True Liquid Flow and Entrained Gas Monitoring System installs non-intrusively on existing process lines.
Sunlight-readable displays are designed for places in which the LCD must be viewed outdoors or under high ambient light conditions.
Orlando, FL—To provide weighing precision in the milligram range for harsh environments, Mettler Toledo is introducing its Modulo WMH weighing platform and WM weighing modules at the Allen-Bradley Automation Fair 2004, Oct. 27-28, at the Orange County Convention Center.
Three new services from Invensys Process Systems are designed to help customers maximize performance of their installed distributed control systems and other automation assets.
Among noteworthy HMI-related products debuting this month are touchscreens from Touch International that use infrared technology, a stainless-steel bezel panel PC with detachable LCD monitor and modular computer from Arista Corp., and an industrial computer integrated with an LCD touchscreen monitor from Eurotherm.
Houston, TX—Parker Hannifin Corp.’s instrumentation products division and Honeywell reported at ISA Expo 2004 that they’re teaming up to deliver solutions for process sampling, sensing, and analysis.
IM1013 rugged industrial mouse is suitable for a range of uses, including machine control, process control, and factory floors. Device detects a finger optically for quick and accurate posi-tioning of the cursor.
Rack-mount, flat-panel LCD has a large viewable area (19 in.) suitable for industrial automation, process control, aerospace, diagnostic, and defense monitoring applications.
Honeywell and Emerson Process Management have each won multi-million dollar contracts for modernization and automation projects.
Eurotherm has introduced a process control system specifically designed for the freeze drying process using its T800 Visual Supervisor.
>ATS Automation Tools Systems Inc. announced recently it has received a $15.5-million order to design and build fully-integrated, automated manufacturing lines for a major supplier of flat-panel display materials.
We Energies, a midwestern energy utility that serves over one million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and 990,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin, is using Lighthammer’s Operational Excellence platform to provide real-time information and visualization from its operational systems to its power plant employees.
Wonderware Strategic Integration Group (WSIG), a business unit of Invensys Systems Inc., now offers a set of applications combining Wonderware technology built on the ArchestrA software architecture and Microsoft Windows Server System products to assist with tracking and tracing operations for pharmaceutical and other government-regulated industries.
IM1013 rugged industrial mouse from Electronic Keyboards Inc. (EKI) is suitable for a wide range of uses, including machine control, process control, and factory floors.
Chicago, IL—GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. introduced its Proficy real-time information portal, Version 2.1, on the first day of IMTS 2004, Sept. 8-15, at McCormick Place.
Symmetricom reports that Emerson Process Management has formally approved Symmetricom's NTS-200 network time server for use in Emerson's DeltaV digital automation system.
Roseland, NJ—Curtiss-Wright Corp. recently agreed to acquire Synergy Microsystems Inc. for $49 million in cash.
"Innovation—the element of success for our industry" will be the focus of the keynote address at the upcoming Measurement, Control and Automation Association (MCAA) Industry Breakfast.
Walla Walla, WA; Fremont, CA—Key Technology Inc. reports that it and Peco Controls Corp. have formed a new company, InspX, to develop, manufacture, and sell x-ray inspection systems.
Enhancements to Synergy 2000 Data Link program brings formatted text data from high-speed data acquisition and automation control equipment into a real-time statistical process control environment.
The PID controller design process, once a considered a complex task, can be implemented simply and directly from a PID block diagram to a working circuit with an FPAA (field programmable analog array) device and software tools—using the device itself to model physical processes. The silicon of the FPAA device is easily programmed with the use of CAD software tools and CAMs (configurable a...
Parker Hannifin Corp. reports that it has acquired the assets of Mead Fluid Dynamics Ltd., the European subsidiary of Chicago-based Mead Fluid Dynamics Inc., for an undisclosed sum. Located in the U.K., Mead Fluid Dynamics Ltd. has annual revenues of approximately $3 million. It designs and assembles pneumatic components and control systems for the transportation and proces...
No one can deny that the world is getting ever smaller. In business, communication technology substitutes for travel whenever possible, reducing apparent distances to almost zero. E-mail, teleconferencing, and the Internet can instantly bring team members from around the world into the same "room" for planning and other "face-to-face" discussions at minimal cost.
AstroDAQ Xe PC-based data acquisition system offers fast throughput.
IT Works software tool set from System Management Technologies Inc. provides Honeywell customers with remote access to TPS node construction, eliminating the need for technical resources at the site and decreasing construction time.
Miami, FL—Frost & Sullivan recently announced the 36 winners of its 2004 Excellence in Industrial Technology Awards for solutions ranging from industrial process control and automation to inspection technologies.
Scientists break one Angstrom image resolution barrier; open door to nanoscale process control, diagnostics
Scientists at the FEI Co. nanotechnology center in Hillsboro, OR, have broken the one Angstrom image resolution barrier with a 200 kV transmission electron microscope.
An assortment of new process-control-related products was introduced to the market this month. They include butterfly valves, seal-less diaphragm metering pumps, and a powder-liquid mixer for continuous processing.
Signal conditioning modules, SCMs, used for measuring process control variables such as temperature, pressure, strain, position, speed, level, etc., are always subject to externally induced noise signals.
As the demand for recycled lubrication product grows,competition increases,challenging re-refiners such as Ingenieria Ambiental to produce higher volumes at lower costs without sacrificing quality.
3U Compact PCI single board computer is suited for industrial automation, process control, and embedded/OEM applications. Single slot CA3 device offers sophisticated computing capabilities in a small space. It features an Intel Celeron processor in an air-cooled 3U form factor and includes two RS-232 serial ports, two USB ports, one parallel port, and front-panel PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports.
Foxboro, MA—Foxboro Automation Systems, a unit of Invensys, reports that it has further enhanced the human machine interface (HMI) capabilities of its I/A Series automation system with new flat-screen liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor options.
Translating industrial processes into simple, understandable terms is the function of a new book from ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society).
Los Angeles, CA; Lincoln, NE—Teledyne Technologies Inc. reports that it’s purchasing Isco Inc. for approximately $96 million, and plans to merge it with a wholly-owned subsidiary. Isco manufactures water quality monitoring instruments.
Flat-panel display kiosk monitors have wide viewing angles, high contrast, and durability for use in space-constrained applications and harsh industrial environments, such as process control, automation, HMI and clean rooms.
“Control system power and grounding is possibly the single most important element to ensure a control system doesn’t experience unidentified ‘gremlins’ throughout its life,” says Dave Harrold, Control Engineering’s consulting editor.
Over the past two decades, significant socio-economic changes have occurred to impact how the life-science industry discovers, develops, and delivers new products. Most significant among these changes are: For the by life-sciences industry the direct consequences of these include skyrocketing R&D costs, especially in the discovery and development of more complex molecules and subsequently m...
San Jose, CA—Thermo Electron Corp. recently introduced several new laboratory technologies to further automate laboratories, resulting in higher throughput, efficiency and accuracy.
Garden Grove, CA—DPAC Technologies has released AirborneDirect Ethernet, which is the third product in its Airborne 802.11b wireless line.
New products introduced into the HMI marketplace this month include flat-panel display monitors, an operator station enhancement, rear-mount touch monitor, and virtual keyboard device.
eM-Insight data source-neutral tolerance management and statistical process control (SPC) product lets a company share and distribute parts inspection data throughout the organization.
ProcessACT advanced process control software solution is intended for the design, development, simulation, and implementation of process control applications. Data acquisition, analysis, and modeling tools handle even complex control problems; rapid prototyping capability and analysis tools let the user test alternate scenarios to choose the best strategy.
Exaquantum/Batch plant information management system (PIMS) software is designed specifically for the batch production industry. OPC-based application brings the advantages of open standards and productivity improvement tools to batch process control.
ProcessDoctor v4.0 plant monitoring application targets poorly performing process control assets so that maintenance can be applied where it will generate the greatest return to the business. System connects to any commercial plant control system or data historian and provides complete monitoring and diagnostic information on the health of all plant control assets including valves, regulatory c...
By the time you read this, I’ll have begun my retirement. Yeah, I know, many of you are saying, "Oh, he’s much too young to retire." Thanks, you’re very kind.
If you’re doing an OPC implementation, especially if it's your first, you will soon learn two very important things:1) OPC client and server tags must be a perfect match, including the full path, or things don’t work; and 2) DCOM (distributed component object model) can be fickle.
Following a major kiln-area upgrade, management at Capitol Aggregates' San Antonio, Texas, cement production plant discovered kiln throughput now exceeded downstream processing capacity. Capitol Aggregates' choices for eliminating the bottleneck were to spend more money to upgrade or replace major pieces of processing equipment, or invest in technology that offered improved operational efficien...
Houston, TX—Microsoft Corp. and Invensys plc unveiled an alliance Oct. 21 at ISA Expo 2003 that combines Invensys’ strengths in process and manufacturing and its expertise in key industries with Microsoft’s platform, technology and enterprise products.
Raleigh, N.C.—To help improve 300-mm wafer process quality, Brooks Automation Inc. and Schneider Electric (Palatine, IL) announced Oct. 15 an alliance to deliver new advanced process control (APC) solutions for wafer fabrication. Brooks supplies automation solutions to the semiconductor industry.
Vista, CA—Palomar Technologies announced Oct. 14 that Bookham Technology has purchased Palomar's Laser Diode Assembly (LDA) Cell to complement automated equipment that Bookham uses for precision volume manufacturing and new product development at its facility in Paignton, South Devon, U.K.
Andover, MA—MKS Instruments Inc. recently expanded its vacuum gauging portfolio by ac-quiring privately held Wenzel Instruments (Hallebaek, Denmark) and its micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.
OEMs and plant managers require information displays for applications of all types. That application could be a system for controlling semiconductor fabrication machinery, a monitoring and control system for a nuclear power plant, a patient monitor in a hospital, a human-machine interface in a process control application, or an information transfer system for aircraft carriers. Choosing the right display solution is a complex task.
MV156-AFC gas flow computer module for Rockwell Automation’s ControlLogix platform allows integrated process control and flow computer capabilities in a single-slot, in-rack solution.
John Robertson, president and founder of RoviSys Co. recently won the 2003 Charlie Bergman Memorial Award presented Sept. 8 by the Control and Information System Integrators Association (CSIA). The award is given annually to the CSIA member judged to be the most committed to sharing knowledge, being a market leader, and promoting control system integration.
Emerson Process Management was recently selected by Alcan to help improve processing operations at its Alumina and Specialty Chemicals facility at the Jonquiere Complex (Quebec, Canada). The plant produces specialty hydrates, which have to be manufactured with stringent quality requirements in a process with challenging dynamic process control applications.
Unless you’re new to the controls world, you recognize the name Greg Shinskey as being a widely respected authority on process control.
Here are the answers to the questions asked in the August 21, 2003 Process Control Monthly newsletter.
Tyco Electronics will market a Padless Touch Sensor (PTS) under a recent worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Pressenk Instruments, Inc.
For the past few months now I've been using my column to discuss the use of real-time information for improved processes, better decision-making, and increased company value. I've also made clear the paramount importance of control engineers to the real time initiative. Now that I've laid this groundwork, I plan to examine the role control engineers play in advancing the competitive value of th...
How can automation squeeze costs from manufacturing? Three end-users offered some practical advice based on their experiences at Omron Electronics' "Technology Connection 2003: A Symposium for Editors" on June 26. The meeting also included introduction of a number of new products and input from Omron speakers.
Morris Township, N.J.—Honeywell International reported that its profits decreased 33.9% on earnings of $319 million during the second quarter of 2003 (2Q03) due to decreased revenues in its aerospace and specialty materials divisions and increased expenses for development, administration and pensions.
Natick, MA—Sixty-three percent of inventory tank gauging (ITG) system purchasers use them for commodities they buy or sell, and 40% of these users report their suppliers use the Internet or telemetry to track and manage inventories, according to a new market study released July 14 by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).
Schaumburg, IL—How can automation squeeze costs from manufacturing? Three end-users and an automation manufacturer offered some practical advice at Omron Electronics ' 'Omron Technology Connection 2003: A Symposium for Editors' on June 26.
Leesburg, VA; London, U.K.—Invensys plc's Eurotherm unit announced May 27 that it has supplied an innovative blood monitoring system to U.K.-based West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust to help ensure the integrity of the facilities' blood supplies.
Chelmsford, MA; Richmond, CA—Brooks Automation Inc. and privately held Berkeley Process Control Inc. announced May 15 that they've terminated their Sept. 18, 2002, agreement that Brooks would acquire Berkeley.
Seagate Technology LLC (Scotts Valley, CA) delivers a wide range of products, including storage area network solutions, server appliances and disk drives for enterprise applications, personal computers, and consumer electronics. Because of this variety, Seagate is always searching for new ways to improve its operations.
Deadtime is the interval between the application of a control effort and its first discernible effect on the process variable. Deadtime is most common in processes that involve a transport delay between the actuators and the sensors, such as water flowing through a bathroom's plumbing from the hot water valve to the showerhead.
Generating information for improving business practices has become part of today's valve and actuator technology, says J. Patrick Leask, Dresser Masoneilan's valve products director. This means relating information about assets, especially flow-control devices, as part of today's process control system.
Helsinki, Finland—Shell Petrochemicals Co. Ltd. recently awarded Metso Automation a $10-million purchase order to supply approximately 3,500 rotary control valves with Metso FOUNDATION fieldbus digital positioners for its CSPC Nanhai Petrochemical Complex (Guangdong Province, China).
Honeywell Industry Solutions announced Jan. 3 that it is implementing orders for more than $2 million worth of process control systems, instruments, and engineering services for automation projects at multiple SC Termoelectrica SA power plants in Romania. Gheorghe Tucu, Honeywell's sales and country manager, adds that, "This modernization allows Termoelectrica to implement a...
The 520 digital weight indicator is designed for use in process control, batching, checkweighing, and custom applications.
Milwaukee, WI—Rockwell Automation Inc. filed a lawsuit on Dec. 10 in the U.S. Circuit Court that charges Schneider Automation (North Andover, MA), Solaia Technology LLC and the law firm of Niro, Scavone, Haller and Niro Ltd. (both of Chicago, IL) with conspiring to "shake down" Rockwell's users and customers with "baseless patent infringement lawsuits."
Ashland, OR#&151;AzeoTech released Dec. 3 its DAQFactory X, an ActiveX control form of its DAQFactory data acquisition, process control, visualization and data analysis package.
Northwest Analytical, Inc. has introduced NWA SPCx, a software product that is said to make it easy to embed ActiveX-based real time statistical process control (SPC) into Wonderware InTouch applications.
Sola/Hevi-Duty, a member of the Open DeviceNet Venders Association (ODVA), recently introduced three 24Vdc power supplies designed specifically to meet ODVA requirements for thick or thin cable DeviceNet applications in process control, industrial control or building automation.
Implementation and support of a control system often may require solving a variety of mathematical functions. These functions can range from simple arithmetic and unit-conversion problems to more complex ones, such as determining the best-fit equation for a set of data. Typical use of these math functions includes incorporation of results in a program; duplication of the method with a program (...
Pittsburgh, PA - Emerson Process Management announced on September 30 that its Power & Water Solutions division, formerly Westinghouse Process Control, has entered into a contract with the District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority (DCWASA) to modernize process control systems throughout the facility's water and wastewater infrastructure.
Skokie, IL —Sola/Hevi-Duty has introduced three 24-V dc power supplies designed specifically to meet Open DeviceNet Vendors Association requirements for thick or thin cable DeviceNet applications in process control, industrial control, and building automation. All three power supplies feature industrial-grade design, including indefinite short-circuit, overvoltage, and over-temperature p...
Phoenix, AZ—Honeywell's Automation & Control Solutions Services and Plant Automation Services recently announced a new release of DOC3000 software solution for database management and documentation of Honeywell's TPS and TDC 3000 process control systems. DOC3000 version 3.4 focuses on improved documentation for serially connected devices supporting Honeywell's Communications Link Mo...
Portland, OR— Northwest Analytical Inc. has introduced NWA SPCx, a software product said to make it easy to embed ActiveX-based, real-time statistical process control (SPC) into Wonderware InTouch applications. According to NWA's vp of development, Louis Halvorsen, "Wonderware users have been asking for a product that offers greater SPC capability along with simpler configuration and mai...
Pittsburgh, PA— Emerson Process Management announced Aug. 28 that its Westinghouse Process Control division has been renamed Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions . Originally part of Westinghouse Electric, the company was known as Westinghouse Process Control from the 1960s through the 1990s. Westinghouse Process Control became part of Emer-son Process Management in 1997.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Stealth Computer Corporation announced it has received a registration certificate as an International Standards Organization, (ISO) ISO9001:2000 company.
North Hollywoood, Ca. - Moog Inc., Industial Controls Div., and Whittaker Controls Inc. jointly announced on May 13, 2002 that they have entered into a teaming agreement in order to maximize their penetration into the industrial gas turbine market.
Phoenix, Ariz. - Honeywell Industry Solutions announced April 8 that ExxonMobil Chemical has selected it to provide process control systems for a multi-year migration program at multiple facilities in North America and Europe.
Chicago, Ill. - John Trostheim, president of the Automation Technology Products Division, ABB Inc. (Wickliffe, O.), talked to Control Engineering March 17, discussing ways the company has changed to better meet customer needs.
Brea, Calif. - Simulation Sciences (SimSci), a division Invensys plc (London, U.K.), released Mar. 12 its new Automated Rigorous Performance Monitoring (ARPM) software, an online plant performance monitoring solution for refining, chemical and gas processing industries.
TopHit H CPS 401 non-glass pH electrodes recently introduced to the U.S. market are suitable for obtaining pH measurements in applications where glass breakage cannot be tolerated such as in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and home care products industries.
Foxboro, Mass. - Foxboro, a unit of Invensys Process Systems, recently introduced its new Aim*OPC server software that expands the existing interoperability of its I/A Series control system.
Houston, Tex.-Plant Automation Services Inc. (PAS) announced Nov. 26 its acquisition of TuneWizard, a control valve and loop performance assessment and optimization software product, from ControlServe Ltd. (Cambridge, Ontario, Canda).
Richmond, Calif. - Berkeley Process Control, Inc. (Berkeley) announced November 5 that its third U.S. patent for Autocalibration technology has issued.
North Billerica, Mass. - Flir Systems Inc. introduced ThermaCAM Researcher 2001, a new version of its real-time thermal analysis software which digitally stores, retrieves, and analyzes live infrared images directly from ThermaCAM SC Series IR cameras.
The best time to determine control valve performance is on-line. Here are some simple techniques to determine control valve performance during normal operation.
Houston, Tex.-Stratus Technologies Inc. (Maynard, Mass.) announced at ISA 2001 that its new ftServer 3200 reduces costs and increases performance for fault-tolerant computing.
Martinsburg, Pa.— Canary Labs recently released new versions of Tend Link and Trend Historian software with OPC-Historical Data Access compatibility—an OLE for Process Control standard interface allowing historical data access among compliant applications from different suppliers. Trend Link is a client-side, ActiveX control that can be embedded into many HMI packages, Visual Basic...
Foxborough, Mass. -Intellution recently announced the availability of iBatch 4.5 and iWorkInstruction 1.0 - two new tools designed to help FDA-regulated businesses achieve 21 CFR Part 11 (electronic signatures) compliance. Significant among the enhancements included in iBatch 4.5 is the addition of an OPC (OLE for process control) Soft Phase server designed to implement batch functions, such as prompts and reminders for manual processing steps and assay calculations.
North Andover, Mass. —The Onestep Generator translates project functional specifications into a process control system design, making it easier, faster, and less expensive to design and specify automation systems for complex process manufacturing applications. Onestep Generator automatically creates validation protocol document content and provides version control and change tracking fea...
Foxborough, Mass.— Intellution recently announced the availability of iBatch 4.5 and iWorkInstruction 1.0—two new tools designed to help FDA-regulated businesses achieve 21 CFR Part 11 (electronic signatures) compliance. Significant among the enhancements included in iBatch 4.5 is the addition of an OPC (OLE for process control) Soft Phase server designed to implement batch functio...
North Andover, Mass. -The Onestep Generator translates project functional specifications into a process control system design, making it easier, faster, and less expensive to design and specify automation systems for complex process manufacturing applications. The Onestep Generator automatically creates validation protocol document content and provides version control and change tracking features, which aid compliance with 21CFR11 regulations.
Philadelphia, Pa. -OPC consists of a standard set of interfaces, properties, and methods for use in process control and manufacturing automation to enable communication among control devices, regardless of the controlling software. OPC is based on Microsoft's OLE (now ActiveX), Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) technologies.
Hubertus, Wis. -ExperTune Process Control Optimization Software includes a complete set of tools for optimizing any industrial PID loop. Optimization steps include: variability and statistical analysis, valve health, control-loop linearization, universal pH linearizer, optimal PV filter, optimal PID tuning, simulation, and process modeling, feedforward, cascade, and multivariable optimization.
The names Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, O.) and Tara Materials Lawrenceville, Ga.) were misspelled in the "Simple, appropriate network allows two-week oven installation" sidebar authored by Pepperl+Fuch that accompanied "Simplify Your Network with Better Tools, Common Sense," CE, Jan.'01, p. 66. The phrase "of EFI and RFI. Control engineers faced with alter-" was inadvertently omitted between the end of p.
National Manufacturing Week is once again upon us, and once again, a wealth of information about the show can be found at the National Manufacturing Week web site, www.manufacturingweek.com. This year, greater emphasis will be placed on e-manufacturing, with an entire conference track devoted to it, plus other conference sessions and special events.
Robert L. Yeager was appointed Jan. 15 as president of Intellution, Inc. He will report directly to Steve Rubin, Intellution's ceo.With more than two decades of process control and software development experience, Mr. Yeager comes to Intellution from Westinghouse Process Control.
Software Toolbox (Charlotte, N.C.) recently announced a partnership allowing it to license software technology for linking Visual Basic to OPC servers from Siemens Energy&Automation (Alpharetta, Ga.). In other news, Afcon Control and Automation Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.) and Software Toolbox announced Jan.
Tucson, Ariz.— ADS1252 delta-sigma analog-to-digital converter features 24-bit resolution and 40 kHz in a small SO-8 package for industrial process control and test and measurement applications. An analog-to-digital converter links analog and digital domains by converting a "real world" signal into digital data.
Think & Do (Ann Arbor, Mich.) announced Oct. 22 the recent passing of Diana Ipsen, one of the company's founders and spiritual leaders, following a battle with cancer. "Diana will be greatly missed at Think & Do.
Belding, Mich. -Stahlin's colorguard line provides instock, standard colors in red, yellow and white. The color enclosures are ideal for intensive process control environments including water treatment, chemical processing, pulp & paper, refining, plating, mining, food processing, marine and agricultural applications.
Peabody, Mass. -The BM 702 radar level gauge is a 2-wire device that can be integrated into intelligent process control systems. The frequency-modulated, continuous-wave device is said to be the first 2-wire device of its kind.
Cincinnati, O. —Version 3 of Synergy 2000 Statistical Process Control Software web-enabled process reporting via web browsers or e-mail by transmitting reports and spreadsheets in HTML. It runs on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, and Windows 2000. A free demo can be downloaded at www.zontec-spc.com Zontec Circle 427
Pittsburgh, Pa.— Westinghouse Process Control Inc. has released its SmartProcess Optimization Software for the power generation industry. A hybrid combination of linear models, neural networks, and fuzzy logic, SmartProcess offers a suite of software modules capable of working with any distributed control system.
Rockwell Automation announced Aug. 7 that it has signed an agreement with HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG (Brühl by Mannheim, Germany), a European leader in safety-related automation systems. The two companies will partner in the development and production of customized safety-specific controllers and software.
When it comes time to define the requirements for a control system, control engineers often find many options available to assist with this function. This is in part the result of the varied types of documentation needed for different phases of the design and implementation process, as well as the range of automation applications.
Intellution and SAP AG announced June 20 that they'll co-develop and market an OLE for Process Control (OPC) interface that enables the sharing of plant-floor data within SAP's mySAP.com. The SAP OPC Data Access (SAP ODA) connector will be able to pass data between mySAP.
Alpharetta, Ga. -Siemens Energy and Automation Industrial Software Business Unit's version 5.2 of its Simatic ProTool configuration and visualization software offers a common platform to configure simple text, high-end graphical operator panels, and standard PCs. It operates with Microsoft Windows 95/98, NT, and CE, and supports Version 2.0 of the OPC (OLE for Process Control) data access specification, as a client and server.
Frequently a void exists between enterprise scheduling systems and the control and automation systems on the plant floor. Filling that void allows timely sharing of order status information with customers and vendors. In batch processes, filling the void is referred to as "campaign management."Fisher-Rosemount Systems' (Austin, Tex.
Annual report snapshots and broader stock indexes both show ongoing gains by most control and automation companies, despite specific organizational changes and overall market fluctuations.Several annual reports showed sales for 1999 generally exceeded sales for 1998. The overall increase was a healthy 8%, though not as robust as 1998, which posted a 20% increase over the previous year.
Hubertus,Wis.— A free CD from ExperTune teaches how to diagnose and fix problems on badly performing loops. Roughly 75% of process control loops cause more variability running in automatic mode than in manual. A third of them oscillate because of nonlinearities: hysteresis, stiction, deadband, or nonlinear process gain.
Belding, Mich.— ControlTower is a large-size NEMA enclosure line intended for intensive process control environments, including water treatment, chemical processing, pulp and paper manufacturing, refining, plating, and mining. The fiberglass enclosures are durable, corrosion and chemical resistant, and can be modified through drilling, punching, or cutting.
A vital part of any control system is the field instrumentation that connects the system to the process. It is the input from temperature, pressure, flow and other transmitters that provides control algorithms with the necessary process information. Unfortunately, these important devices often do not receive optimal attention needed for a successful installation.
Temperature is among the most—if not the most—measured of physical variables. However, defining temperature is not so easy. Humans primarily experience temperature as a feeling or sensation of hotness or coldness.The temperature that we experience is an objective quality we feel as hot or cold.
In developing a control system, there are many functions that need to be considered for inclusion. The most important in almost all applications is the nature of the graphical interface, that is, how the operator will interface with the process/operation over which the control system is functioning.
Most companies have terabytes of computer data archived in a variety of databases scattered throughout the enterprise. Hidden among all that data, like three ounces of diamonds in a hundred tons of coal, are answers to questions like: "What caused the workflow bottleneck on line A?" or "Why are sales down?" Finding these answers can be more valuable, and far easier, than mining coal to fi...
SPS/IPC/Drives continues to build on its tradition of a strong conference alongside the exhibition. The conference program ranges from technical papers, forums, and discussions to poster sessions, which are given almost exclusively in German. In 1999, a total of 98 lectures and 20 tutorials were presented.
To expand its process automation and North American presence, Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., a subsidiary of Siemens AG (Munich, Germany), agreed Jan. 17 to acquire Moore Process Automation Solutions for $170 million.The two companies agreed that, by Jan.
Joseph Faber Keithley, founder of Keithley Instruments Inc. (Solon, O.), died Oct. 1 at the age of 84 of complications caused by pneumonia following a prolonged illness.
Columbus, O. -Subminiature Model S pressure sensor features 0.250-in. diameter flush diaphragm.
This is the second of a two-part article on control valves. Part one appeared in the September 1999issue of Control Engineering.There is a saying, "When momma ain't happy, nobody's happy." A parallel could be said about control valves, "When control valves aren't working, the whole loop's not working.
I ncreasing interest in intellectual property (IP) core and SOC (system on chip) technologies promise to radically change how industrial computer boards-such as VME, CompactPCI, and others-are designed, says John Rynearson, technical director, VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA, Scottsdale, Ariz.). Among areas of influence will be development of distributed intelligence modules. 'SOC technology will allow for the distribution of complex processing algorithms into silicon along with other vital system parts. This will allow the system designer the choice between putting 'programs' into software or burning them into hardware. 'As a result, the system designer will face the challenge of figuring out how to partition the system to best meet application requirements and cost constraints.
Marlboro, Mass.— WebOPC has been released as a general purpose OPC (OLE for Process Control) client for any OPC server. According to its developer, combining the convenience of a Web browser with OPC standards for manufacturing data access, WebOPC decouples the human-machine interface from the source of manufacturing data.
Since the beginning of time, humans have used the most fundamental of all analyzers—their nose—to sniff the quality of air, food, or drink. Over the ages, great advances have refined the methods by which we analyze a given substance or product to determine its composition. Today, users have a wide variety of choices to analyze gases, liquids, and solids.
Boulder, Colo.— The Vacuum Products Group of MKS Instruments has released its new HPS PDR9000—a vacuum gauge controller that will provide power and readout for convection and cold cathode transducers. Its compact size, portability, and ease of installation allows it analyze problems, such as pressure discrepancies.
John M. Berra was named Aug. 12 as Emerson Electric Co.'s senior vp responsible for its process control business. Including its Fisher-Rosemount companies, Emerson's process control business is its largest and one of its fastest growing units. Mr. Berra, 52, became Fisher-Rosemount's president in 1997.
Spring House, Pa.— Multivariable and predictive control, modeling and simulation, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) comprise the first of a suite of advanced control and operations management products and services designed and tested to integrate with APACS+ process automation system. Compliance with OPC (OLE for process control) simplifies integration with applications such SAP's ...
Gaining approval for control and automation projects and seeing them succeed requires tight integration with business goals and diligent resolution of specific problems.Fundamental motivators driving manufacturers to invest in control and automation systems include a desire to reduce costs and improve:Although few would argue with the logic of these common-sense motivators, they're rarely...
Students and faculty at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) are letting web users peer into the world of process control systems and dynamics at the Resource Center for Engineering Laboratories on the web at http://chem.engr.utc.edu/.This unique site is a server that allows users to run control experiments remotely over the Internet.
Austin, Tex .-Connection of OPC (OLE for process control) servers is as simple as point, click, drag, and drop using Fisher-Rosemount's OPC Mirror. Once configured, OPC Mirror provides synchronous or asynchronous, bi-directional data flow of over 2,000 values per second between up to five OPC servers that have implemented the Data Access/Data Object interface described in OPC 1.
Honeywell's (Phoenix, Ariz.) Hi-Spec Solutions has taken web-based business a step beyond e-commerce into the realm of e-service. By simply pointing a browser to www.hispec.com, control engineers can instantly access a variety of tools and services designed to optimize plant performance. "The web allows us to effectively lower delivery costs while improving customer response time and incr...
Moore Process Automation Solutions announced June 18 that it has added Advanced Control and Operations Management (ACOM) programming to its APACS+ process automation system to help cultivate portfolios of bundled products and services for improved process optimization. This is expected to satisfy specialized process control needs by allowing applications to be adde...
Earth City, Mo.—Hilco's real-time Production Management (rtPM 4.0) software is a Manufacturing Execution Systems application for batch and repetitive processes. Key modules included in rtPM 4.0 are enterprise scalable recipes, order tracking, schedule execution, nonconformance tracking, corrective action management, and device tag manager.
Facing an estimated four day shutdown to install a new process control system, operators, technicians, and engineers from National Lime & Stone Co. (Carey, O.) worked with engineers from A. E. Ehrke & Company (Cleveland, O.) to avoid shutting down lime kiln production.Kilns at the Carey mill operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to annually process 20 million tons of limestone...
More than 70 leaders representing producer companies met here May 17-19 for the Measurement, Control, and Automation Association's (MCAA) annual meeting. Seminar topics included 21st century leadership challenges, industry commoditization, accountability, nurture marketing, and creative marketing communications.
Until now, developing accurate, complete, consistent, and generic process control functional specifications relied on spreadsheets, word processors, and copies of previous specifications…with mixed results.SPEC-Soft's (Tel-Aviv, Israel) Process Functional Specification (PFS) software uses an object-oriented database to capture, analyze, and document process control requirements in a...
Why aren't there more women in engineering? It might seem amazing now, but before Congress passed Title IX in 1972 requiring equal educational opportunities for men and women, many female high school students were not allowed to take auto mechanics, drafting, mechanical design, and other classes.
Houston, Tex.—Symon Communications, Inc. has announced the release of OPIE (Symon's OPC Client). It is an OPC (OLE for process control) 2.0 client that communicates with OPC servers to generate and send messages to Symon Communications' Symon2000 messaging system. OPC consists of a standard of interfaces, properties and methods for use within process control and automated manufacturing ap...
Norwood, Mass.— Intellution released version 7.0 of its Fix automation software, which now features OPC server capability, SQL server support, and support for the latest versions of Microsoft's Windows 98 and NT operating systems. OPC server capability is a new feature, which gives the customer full advantage of Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) for Process Control (OPC).
Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Statistical Quality Control (SQC) methodology is one of the most important analytical developments available to manufacturing in this century. SPC has come to be known as an on-line tool providing close-up views of what's happening to a process at the moment. SQC provides off-line tools to support analysis and decision making to help determine if a process is stable and predictable from shift to shift, day in and day out, and from supplier to supplier. —SPC provides on-line tools that permit a close-up view of what's currently happening to a process. —SQC provides off-line tools to support analysis and decision making about process stability over time. When SPC and SQC tools work together, users see the current and long-term picture about processing performance. Before SPC, products were inspected after they were completed and defective products were discarded or reworked. The idea behind continuous improvement is to focus on designing, building, and controlling a process that makes the product correctly the first time (See CE , Jan.
Batch processing worldwide is growing 5-6% annually compared to 3-4% for other process control segments, reported Asish Ghosh, ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, Mass.), during his keynote speech at the World Batch Forum (WBF), April 11-14.More than 200 WBF members from around the world gathered to share experiences and best practices in batch processing techniques.
Cost containment by clients, plant automation to improve accuracy, and demand for pharmaceuticals by aging baby boomers are some primary factors driving projected single-digit increases in U.S. process level measurement (PLM) and inventory tank gauging (ITG) markets through 2002, according to a recent market study.
"Any information from anywhere to anywhere at anytime" was Siemens' theme at its March 8-9 press forum here. Product and application demonstrations showed successful implementation of integrating automation and information technology (IT). Siemens' automation direction consists of four trends: developing a standard interface across product lines; integrating com...
Statistica software from StatSoft Inc. was recently chosen by BASF Corp. as a standard statistical analysis software package.Beginning this year, BASF's research and development community will use Statistica in experiment design, statistical process control, and various data analyses.
The web address for Intelligent Instrumentation (Tucson, Ariz.) was listed incorrectly in "Ethernet Edges toward Process Control" in Control Engineering, December 1998, p. 72. Intelligent Instrumentation's web site is located at www.instrument.com.
This is the second of a two part series. Part one appeared in the January issue and addressed designing processes to achieve Six Sigma capability.A well-designed, well-executed system keeps a process under control at an existing performance level. Control charts of the process can identify, and even predict, when the process is becoming unstable.
Mansfield, Mass. —FactorySoft has released its OLE for Process Control (OPC) Development Toolkit for the new OPC 2.0 Data Access Specification. Toolkit enables users to build OPC client and server interfaces into their products. The new toolkit adds information on using OPC in Microsoft Windows CE.
Denver, Colo.— Signature Control Systems Inc. (SCS), has released version 3.0 of its SmartCure software. SmartCure is used with the company's real-time, adaptive Intelligent Process Control systems. These systems optimize the manufacturing cycle times of engineered thermos, thermoplastic and elastomeric materials.
Despite recent regional economic downturns, about 100 exhibitors from 15 nations and 2,282 visitors from 28 countries gathered Sept. 17-19, 1998, for ICAM Asia '98—the international trade fair for industrial control, automation, and measurement. Featuring process control and automation, it also concentrated on bus technologies.
Anoka, Minn.— Hoffman has introduced a new line of junction boxes for housing vulnerable terminal wiring or sensitive instrumentation. EMC boxes provide EMI/RFI shielding preventing interference from penetrating the enclosure and corrupting process control signals or disrupting instrumentation, and microprocessors.
Is bigger really better? Industrial controls suppliers seem to think so, as they continue a decade-long binge of merger mania.Billion-dollar fish are swallowed by multibillion-dollar fish, with conglomerates moving further up the food chain. The most recent acquisitions include ABB's approved $2.
Houston, Tex.— SST has developed OPC (Active X for Process Control) servers for Microsoft Windows CE and Windows NT operating systems. SST's implementation of OPC is an in-process OPC server maximizing data throughput. As an in-process server, it is also portable to Windows CE and NT. The OPC servers are provided with SST's interface cards for ControlNet, DeviceNet, Profibus, and Data Hi...
E xperimental Designs are used to identify or screen important factors affecting a process, and to develop empirical models of those processes. Design of Experiment (DoE) techniques enable teams to learn about process behavior by running a series of experiments, where a maximum amount of information will be learned, in a minimum number of runs. Tradeoffs as to amount of information gained for number of runs, are known before running the experiments. For example, a designed experiment has three factors; each set at two levels - typically the maximum and minimum settings for each of the factors.
Acquiring companies that produce and market industrial controls appears to be good business. Because the big-fish-eat-the-little-fish scenario seems to be more prevalent in this market, it can be hard to find independent, traditional controls companies. Corporate image prevails most of the time, and acquired company names are absorbed into larger firms, relegating reputations and products...
The OLE for Process Control (OPC) movement is picking up speed as new members join and others create increasingly varied specification-compliant solutions. Many were showcased at ISA Expo/98.
Cleveland, O.— IOtech's ScanServer 32-bit server software application enables the company's measurement-and-control instruments—ChartScan/1400, TempScan/1100, and MultiScan/1200—to be used in SCADA and HMI applications. With ScanServer, IOtech's instruments deliver high-channel capacity, expandability, speed, accuracy, and low cost per channel to factory and process control m...
Melville, N.Y.— JFS Series single-output power supplies range from 500 to 2,000 W. Designed to power such applications as process control, machining, and burn-in/testing, the JFS Series has 24 and 48 V nominal outputs, is DIN rail and wall mountable, and comes with a five-year warranty. Other features include sharing, remote on-off, ac fail, and dc good signaling.
Dynapro and Intrinsic Software are working together to incorporate DeviceCOM, Intrinsyc's enabling technology, within its system architecture. DeviceCOM provides a standard framework to simplifies data communication between machine-level and supervisory-level human-machine interfaces (HMIs).
No matter how sophisticated, a process control system will at some point require operator intervention to function properly. Start-up and shut-down operations in particular tend to involve manual procedures that the control system can not handle alone.Unfortunately, I find the very operations that require operator intervention the most are also the most infrequent.
Model-based controllers have been used for applications as diverse as steering supertankers through narrow channels and maintaining comfort levels in commercial office space. It should come as no surprise, to find a model-based controller in the Molson Breweries of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Newnan, Ga. —Centums' family of small and medium scale production control systems has been expanded to include the CS 3000. Earlier CS system features such as system scaling, redundancy, and virtual field control station testing are inherited by the CS 3000. New features include: use of Microsoft Windows NT-based PCs for operation, monitoring, and configuration; concurrent engineering su...
To enhance its position in the PC-based control market and strengthen its North American presence, PC Soft International recently acquired FactorySoft Inc. (Mansfield, Mass.). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. A pioneer in the OLE for Proces Control (OPC) movement (over 100 companies use its OPC software development toolkits), FactorySoft also produces soft...
AspenTech has reinforced its commitment to the Canadian process market by acquiring Toronto-based Treiber Controls. Treiber Controls supplies advanced process control and real-time optimization technologies and services, which complement Aspen's Smart Manufacturing software.
Radio frequency (RF) admittance-based level sensing has been one of the best technologies for indicating and controlling interface applications. The very nature of most interface applications (conductive vs. nonconductive liquids) plays to the technological strengths of RF admittance technology.
Engineers at Fine Organics here say they're pleased with the recent installation of an automated control system that "puts batch processing back in the hands of process technologists." Using Direktor batch management system from Moore Process Automation Solutions (formerly Moore Products), Fine Organics engineers can separate recipe functions from the underlying p...
Emissions trading—the ability for firms to buy, sell and trade emissions allowances—has encouraged many organizations to re-think using their continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) simply for regulatory compliance. Innovative facilities are finding ways to use information traditionally obtained for regulatory compliance to modify and improve process performance and lowe...
Some polymer producers used to dream of real-time viscosity measuring. Up-to-the-second data could save hours wasted on off-line testing, eliminate guesswork, and prevent missed endpoints.One U.S. company (see users below) polymerizes polyamide grades in 500- to 1,000-lb batches with 12- to 24-hour cycle times depending on grade.
To make OLE for Process Control (OPC) easier to implement, VMIC Microsystem International Corp. recently introduced "Instant OPC." The new product fast tracks OPC client implementations by providing easy-to-use functions that simplify the OPC interface, according to VMIC.
Controlling a few processes can improve performance and revenue, but controlling an entire enterprise can maximize total profits. That's the logic behind Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions' recent launch of its expanded Business Optimization application software suite.To leapfrog traditional, model-based process control, Hi-Spec widened the usual optimization boundaries to...
ABB agreed June 17 to acquire Alfa Laval Automation from Alfa Laval of Sweden. With annual revenues of about $150 million, Alfa Laval Automation is one of Europe's five largest process control system and automation equipment suppliers. The Sweden-based unit employs 1,200 people in 14 countries.
Beaverton, Ore.— The TX-DMM family of single control knob, handheld true RMS digital multimeters features a large display and Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT compatibility. It features all-digital architecture and also simultaneous reading of ac and dc measurements using dual numeric displays, allowing the user to make both measurements without changing functions on the meter.
Hugo Vandamme, president and ceo of BARCO N.V., recently announced his company's acquisition of Karlsruhe-based Dr. Seufert GmbH, a specialist in visual subsystems for process control rooms. "With this acquisition, BARCO extends its sales and distribution network with sales to system builders, increases its market share in Germany, acquires a number of new applicati...
Minneapolis, Minn.— DRS is a digital range sensor capable of analyzing variations in input and making the adjustments required to obtain accurate data, even from reflective, translucent, or multicolored surfaces. The device is controlled either by a Microsoft Windows-based PC equipped with a plug-in ISA card, or a CyberOptics sensor controller.
The third-generation of CyberOptics Corp.'s intelligent noncontact laser triangulation sensors, DRS digital range sensors, were launched March 11 and exhibited for the first time at NMW in Chicago.With simple point resolutions ranging from 0.125 to 4.0 microns, and accuracy to 1 micron, DRS provides precise and repeatable measurement data for process control, pr...
Goshen, Ind.— WebSPC lets manufacturers share statistical process control (SPC) data with colleagues at other plants, corporate headquarters, or even customers across the Internet. Web SPC overcomes the challenges of disparate platforms, WAN limitations, and security. SPC charts and reports are saved in HTML format so that they can be viewed using a web browser.
Durham, N.C.— Short Run Library enables users to construct presentation quality short-run statistical process control charts for variables and attributes within Microsoft Excel. Variable charts for averages and ranges (including 3-D averages and ranges), averages and sigmas, and individual measurements and moving ranges are available, as are attribute charts for defectives, proportional ...
Wonderware Corp. and Siebe plc (Windsor, Berkshire, U.K.) announced an agreement Feb. 24 in which Siebe will acquire Wonderware for $24 per share, or about $375 million. The offer has already been unanimously approved by Wonderware's board of directors. Siebe plc is expected to initiate a cash tender offer soon and complete the sale in April 1998.
The future of automation will be on the World Wide Web, according to most speakers at Automation Technologies Forum '98 sponsored by Automation Research Corp. (Dedham, Mass.). The conference on Feb. 9-10 brought together manufacturers, integrators, and automation users to discuss future trends.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands— The 710 Series offers five low-cost, handheld, single-function calibrators: the 712/RTD, 713/30G and 713/100G pressure, the 714/thermocouple, and the 715 Volt/mA calibrators. Each is a complete, cost-effective solution for calibrating a specific type of process control instrumentation.
Customers of Honeywell Inc.'s North American Globe Control Valve business (Montgomeryville, Pa.) can expect a smooth flowing transition as that business changes hands from Honeywell to General Signal Corp., both companies say.The DeZurik unit, based here, welcomes the December 1997 acquisition.
Despite an early-90s slowdown in capital equipment spending, sales are increasing in the surface mount technology (SMT) market, and this growth trend is expected to continue, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.The report projects that revenues in the world SMT manufacturing equipment market will grow from almost $3.
In the dead of winter, Canada's lumber industry comes to an icy halt. With downtime pending, the Canadian Pulp Paper Association held its PaperWeek International conference here during the last week of January. Despite ice storms, the 1998 event drew more than 15,000 pulp and paper industry attendees from 40 countries.
San Marcos, Calif.— FR78 Basic low flow switch/monitor is said to be ideal for applications such as chemical injection/additive flow monitoring, seal gas detection, monitoring purge air flow, sample flow and gas chromatography, or any gas flow verification. Its low flow measurement capabilities support a wide range of complex process control requirements.
Superstition is not part of USDATA Corp.'s redefined direction under Robert A. Merry, new president and ceo since August 1997. Now, concentrating on enterprise control system (ECS) software, the 24-year-old company's headquarters occupy the 13th-floor of a modern steel-glass high rise.
Moraga, Calif.— Single Tag Interface for TA Engineering Co.'s AIMAX for Windows human-machine interface (HMI) software is based on OLE and OPC standards and integrates AIMAX and VMIC's (Huntsville, Ala.) IOWorks PC-based control software. Once an application is developed by using IOWorks, AIMAX imports the tag database from IOWorks.
Anaheim, Calif.— GraphWorx32 is a 32-bit virtual ActiveX container product for Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT. GraphWorx32 is a fully compliant OPC (OLE for process control) Client application that takes advantage of Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications (version 5.0) scripting language.
Like early rail passengers switching trains whenever track widths changed, travelers among computers on the factory floor and the executive office can get bogged down by young technologies. Many developers boast of seamless links and easy enterprise integration, but snags and delays persist.One solution that promises fewer speed bumps is a new open, Java-based control system from Sun Micr...
Recent major moves in the control and automation fields include the following:Germany-based Mannesmann Demag AG appointed Colin Pearson, managing director of Delaval Stork (Henglo, the Netherlands) division, as president and ceo of Demag Delaval Turbomachinery Corp. (Trenton, N.J.). Delaval Stork and Demag Delaval Turbomachinery are both divisions in Mannesmann Demag's engineering group.
Foxborough, Mass.— GraphWorX32 is an virtual ActiveX container for HMI/SCADA applications. The scalable software is a fully compliant OLE for Process Control (OPC) application and is a new development using Microsoft technology. GraphWorX32 uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 5.0 scripting language to create reports, recipes, and perform calculations based upon event-driven requests.
It's that time of year again—time to make New Year's resolutions. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Go to the health club. Pay off your holiday credit card bills. Spend more time with your kids.To your list of resolutions, Control Engineering has three more to suggest. First, Get connected. In 1998, we'll see more applications become network-aware than ever before.
Conveying understandable process information to an operator requires more than dazzling HMI graphics in real time.