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April 2022 orders of manufacturing technology totaled $513.4 million, the second month in a row surpassing half a billion dollars.
With the use of advanced data analytics a reality, manufacturers are paying close attention to their data collection and storage capabilities.
Success stories show how advanced analytics software is used to create insights and improve process efficiency. See three use case examples.
A SEMI technology community announces an increased revenue of 14.4% to $3.4 billion in Q4 2021 in the electronic system design industry.
Strong consumer demand drove continued investments in manufacturing technology in all stages of the supply chain, leading to more than $400 million in manufacturing orders.
Increase reliability by planning and integrating analytics using Big Data that’s already being collected during maintenance operations. See five steps to implementing data analytics in maintenance operations.
Creating a strong metrics framework for a security awareness program can help companies identify what matters and how to protect themselves.
Alarm servers deliver real-time alarm management throughout a system, allowing a company to organize alarms in an intuitive asset structure for easy navigation and roll-up, according to a company with a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award product.
Advanced analytics applications are a key component as power generation, transmission, and distribution companies advance on their digital transformation journeys.
Articles about advanced analytics allowing engineers and data scientists to work together, and accelerating digital twin technology adoption were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 20-26, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Companies are turning to their information technology (IT) departments to leverage and gain insights on the large amounts of data being generated.
Empowering engineers to interact directly with data, often using algorithms developed by data scientists, accelerates time to insight.
New research has revealed that the manufacturing industry is dangerously underestimating the role that technology will play in building a sustainable operation that can thrive in the face of future pandemics, the climate crisis and economic and political instability.
Increasing adoption of analytics bridges the gap between process experts and data scientists, encouraging manufacturing collaboration
Off-the-shelf IIoT solutions use intelligent routers and associated cloud services
Original air date
September 17, 2021
Industrial organizations benefit from predictive analytics; engineers can use this advice to select the best predictive analytics solution for their operations.
Mike Malone, principal process engineer at Toray Plastics America, answered additional webcast questions about data engineering and machine learning as they relate to analytics.
Industrial manufacturers are using edge controllers and industrial PCs (IPCs) to implement practical analytics initiatives from the edge up, instead of from the enterprise down.
The importance of real-time IT/OT data access when it comes to improving efficiency and productivity.
Industry 4.0 requires an appropriate use of data structures, people skills and analytic tools.
Subject matter experts best positioned to judiciously transform process data for analysis
The most-viewed articles from university sources included stories on drag-and-drop analytics, robotic actuators, nanocrystals, and prolonging power plant life with AI. Links to each article below.
Vocabulary and concepts for the age of analytics
Automation future: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 are widely known concepts, have not been widely adopted. On the way, physical device data connectivity can increase information flow to add efficiency, eliminate errors and increase uptime
Advanced analytics use machine learning to simplify user experience, generate process data insights.
See five paybacks of simulation. Use IEC 61131-3 programming languages and modern programming tools to easily integrate simulation to development workflow.
Plants and equipment are assembled from objects, so controls architecture should be too. New tools help industrial programmers deliver the productivity of object-oriented programming (OOP) without the complexity.
Upstream oil & gas operations improved using data analytics.
Oil & gas revenue increases lead 4% sector growth according to a report from IHS Markit.
New orders climb and business expands even as tariffs, worker issues remain.
Substantial computing power in modern industrial PCs and cloud bandwidth considerations make the case to analyze machine performance directly on controllers, before the cloud.
It’s critical to have the proper framework and cybersecurity measures in place to help prevent cyber attacks for cloud-based deployments of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
A facilities management (FM) company that provides quality service in an efficient and timely manner will be able to separate themselves from other companies trying to offer the same services.
SEW-Eurodrive gives food processors an alternative to single worm gears.
Chargers integrate GE's smart meters with Juice Technology's Plug Smart engine for recharging efficiency during low-demand, lower cost time periods.
Triad floating solar concentrator photovoltaic system ensures proper orientation of the photovoltaic cells to the sun's rays.
Frost & Sullivan research reports that new technical advances and rising energy prices are driving new research into energy scavenging solutions.
Requirements focused on the electric power, petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and chemical manufacturing are being recommended to ensure funding is available to address potential environmental issues.
Automation provider Intelligrated claims its linear synchronous motor technology uses about 75% less energy than linear induction motor technology. Table compares results. See photo.
BinLink allows remote wireless inventory management using enabled measurement devices.
Think you have an alarm problem? Look at this cartoon.
The University of Tulsa will receive $750,000 from the federal government to expand and improve its research program that takes algae and refines it into gasoline. The funding comes from an appropriation in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act recently approved by the U.
Time, frequency and modal domains offer complementary views, insight
Software highlighted in Manufacturing Business Technology magazine and online can give manufacturers the ability to ensure products meet quality standards before leaving the plant.
Emerson Network Power's Liebert, Edco and PowerSure brands of surge protection devices have been tested and certified to comply with the new Underwriters Laboratory (UL) safety standards without requiring product modifications.
Epicor today announced that Ocean Yacht Systems has signed a contract to implement Epicor 9.
Lansa Data Sync Direct integrated with Oracle Product Information Management, provides manufacturers with robust, scalable product information management with certified GDSN synchronization.
IFS North America is releasing the results of a study that shows that manufacturers want to see more integration between social networking tools and their enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems - and more social network-like, enterprise 2.0 functionality.
NEMA's Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions rallied in November, climbing 2.1 points to 54, the fourth month of growth. See more economic information from the White House, MAPI, and links to prior reports from Control Engineering.
New Lattice Technology converter allows customers to seamlessly create (eXtensible Virtual world description Language) XVL Data for faster, more accurate digital manufacturing applications, company says.
North American automotive aftermarket supplier, Fenco, uses global transportation software as a service Solution from Transplace, a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.
ESI used a service from Fujitsu to streamline its opportunity-to-order process with the goal of reducing on-hand inventory. The software and services combination, introduced last year, helped ESI gain insight into existing processes and inefficiencies.
Four models of Omega's Universal Circular Chart Superecorder record temperature, humidity, more.
New technologies are typically launched with a demonstration project that puts the equipment to work in a real-life plant environment. In what may be one of the fastest deployment projects, the ISA100.11a Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI) has completed an installation of a fully operational wireless instrumentation network following the new standard at the Arkema organic peroxide plant in Cro...
“Business today is all about managing complexity. Supply chain excellence is not an option.” That statement from Tom Miller, VP of bottling investments, The Coca-Cola Company, sums up why executives with 33 companies that potentially compete for the same customers convene on a regular basis to share tips for improving supply chain performance.
Flambeau River Biofuels selects Honeywell as MAC for its new "green Diesel" production facility, co-located with an existing paper mill. Plant will make blending fuel from wood and forest waste.
Digital controllers can be created from an analog (or continuous) model. This is especially useful when a processor is used to control an analog system or to implement a filter. Peter Way, the author of a new whitepaper tried several approaches and two were selected for excellent results: Tustin's Method and Hold Equivalence. In the paper, these are evaluated to show how they compare with an analog system.
Hamilton Caster uses PARTsolutions' technology, embedding 3D CAD designs into an online parts catalog, expanding a 3-year partnership, according to PARTsolutions.
A survey of medical device industry professionals reveals insufficient systems for complying with industry mandates and maintaining supplier quality. Nearly 60 percent of respondents reported that they had not begun preparing for the electronic medical device reporting mandate (eMDR), which requires automated submission of post-market adverse events.
Lack of a clear step-by-step procedure for supply chain management is hampering its goal of providing seamless integration across the business network. Demand management is most important.
CDC Software, a supplier of enterprise software applications including enterprise resource planning, announces Ross Mobile v1.0.
Abnormal Situation Management Consortium releases publication based on 15 years of research that showcases best practices for alarm management as developed by process manufacturers.
Proficy Batch 5.5 from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms enables reduced production costs, increased efficiency and just-in-time production within the ISA-88 framework.
Fisher/Unitech has launched its second installment of No Engineer Left Behind, a virtual job fair for engineers. Fisher/Unitech, a software reseller with 10 Midwest U.S. locations, collaborated with 6Connex to make over 800 jobs available leveraging the 6Connex Virtual Experience Platform. The virtual job fair can be accessed at http://funtech.
Plex Online's Supplier Quality Management makes manufacturers supply chains more efficient through continuous improvement, part of integrated ERP system delivered as a software as a service (SaaS), company says.
JDA Software launches new managed services for transportation and logistics management at the 2009 CSCMP Annual Conference, touts measurable results in 8-12 weeks.
New Krohne Optiwave 6300C designed for reading uneven surface of bulk storage containers.
The potential ramifications of errors in a company's forecast are clear: A company may face declining customer satisfaction, loss of revenue, and, sometimes as a consequence, additional cost stemming from carrying increased inventory used as safety stock. The resulting pressure to improve forecasting accuracy is perhaps most keenly felt by companies in the often volatile consumer products market...
The turbulent economic winds of the past two years forced many companies to tighten their belts and look for lower-cost labor and materials. That often meant going offshore or near shore. Gone are the days when only large, multi-billion dollar companies were globally distributed. Mid-size companies are adopting that model as well, with the average number of operating locations growing by 39 per...
CD contains clip-art files of standard P&ID symbols usable with CAD programs that match standards for uniform diagram use.
Recent ERP-related announcements may indicate renewed interest in mergers and acquisitions within the manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) space. IFS acquired MultiPlus Solutions while Infor and Golden Gate Capital bought SoftBrands.
Sophisticated IQMS RackTruck forklift inventory management system increases productivity 20 percent at plastic core and insert-molded packaging manufacturer Double H Plastics.
Compare your test challenges with Martin Rowe, Test & Measurement World senior technical editor, and The Crazy Kings, at the 2009 IEEE EMC Symposium, where they were singing ''The Measurement Blues.''
Users like the flexibilty that comes with open-source ERP, but some think vendors should offer more education on the differences between open-source software and traditional applications.
Among Aberdeen information offered on Amazon Kindle will be Top 2009 Organizational Goals, Challenges & Strategies in Aberdeen's 2009 State of the Market Report.
A letter to President Obama signed by 10 senators stresses the need for any clean energy legislation to ensure the strength and viability of domestic manufacturing.
Integrity software platform assists with documentation creation, configuration changes, and troubleshooting.
Tests using a combination of diesel and gasoline fuels to power internal combustion engines achieve extremely high thermal efficiency, 20% greater fuel efficiency, and could significantly reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil.
Since deploying a workforce management solution, Briggs & Stratton has been able to reduce its workforce by 20 percent while also increasing throughput.
The Continual Build and Test technique (CBT) of software development ensures that acceptance tests are successful by helping to identify which functions are truly necessary for release.
Petrotech Inc. low-cost upgrade path for existing users of Allen-Bradley PLC-5 controllers from Rockwell Automation.
Strategic sourcing is a critical start to a supplier relationship, but it is not sufficient. So why is it that we hear so little about supplier relationship management (SRM)?
Distributor pays more than $500,000 to settle complaint that it violated requirement to immediately report such defects.
Aimed at distributors and developed with Infosys Technologies, Oracle Price Protection is a new application that automates the price protection transactional processes and streamlines overall pricing, promotions and product discount management.
1,400,000 total discharge and recharge cycles have been recorded by Vycon energy storage flywheel systems, which replace traditional lead-acid backup batteries used with uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs). Vycon shipped its 100th flywheel energy storage system in April. www.vyconenergy.com 615 genes in the human brain were mapped as of mid-June 2009, part of the Allen Institute for Brain Sci...
RoHS, WEEE, REACH, and EuP explained in white papers offered by Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
Eliminating the seemingly inevitable adjustments that operators make to packaging machines is one of the biggest benefits packaging machinery automation provides says Schneider Electric/Elau Packaging Solutions.
It seems that every generation needs to relearn the lessons of previous generations. This is equally true in manufacturing, where older engineers are retiring and must pass on knowledge to younger engineers. Unfortunately for manufacturing software, there are actually few lessons that can be passed on.
Green Energy Technologies LLC launched its WindCube, a 60 kW rooftop wind turbine designed for on-site power generation by commercial and industrial power users in urban and suburban locations. The turbine, which captures and amplifies the wind, fills a previously unmet need for wind turbines that can be placed into service in a very small footprint and take advantage of the nation’s net ...
After success in the IT services arena, India is making inroads into the manufacturing sector, with companies such as Bharat Forge, Bajaj, and Larsen & Toubro offering to design and build products on behalf of large global enterprises.
Nearly dry MQL machining cuts major costs related to unneeded coolant tanks and high-pressure supply systems, while also reducing operating costs and improving plant air quality.
Labor optimization software meets scheduling needs of production environments.
Those practicing control engineering among their job responsibilities have an inherent advantage over others in the workplace, since the profession, by definition, requires continuous improvement. This means that reinventing yourself to be even more relevant within your organization — as so many businesses require today — may be easier because of what you already know and do daily. Link to related resources.
Video game aficionados have become a powerful force in the computer industry, with chipmakers constantly striving to create products with the power to make the scenarios simulated in these games ever more realistic. Manufacturers have reaped side benefits from this, as faster, more powerful processors accommodate programs that allow for simulating stress tests on product designs or even seeing ...
New product combines a full range of B2B integration solutions on a single platform.
The recession has left industrial manufacturing companies among the hardest hit. As business from current customers slows down, these manufacturers are turning to unconventional methods that make them easier to be found by prospective clients.
In May 2009, ifm efector will launch a new 3D image sensor that the company calls a breakthrough in 3D technology. Industrial, automotive applications will be first.
Parallax, a Rocklin, Calif.-based designer and manufacturer of microcontrollers, sensors, and robotic components, reports a $350,000 reduction of inventory and the elimination of out-of-stock conditions after deploying an ERP system from SYSPRO.
All U.S., Canadian engineers are eligible for skills upgrade training, certification testing. Regional No Engineer Left Behind program extends training.
In providing the PLM Design-to-Release Process Integration Pack, Oracle is acknowledging that many users of the Oracle Agile PLM suite use SAP for ERP.
As retailers cut inventories in the face of softening demand, manufacturers are grappling with strategic questions like where to source goods from, and how to rationalize their supplier bases to remain healthy during the downturn and be well-positioned for the next recovery cycle.
New central control system from Telvent is extensible; increases monitoring ability, security
Click to send: SOA platform partnership simplifies service-, message-, and file-oriented interactions
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) specialist Software AG says a new OEM partnership with Proginet will extend Software AG’s SOA-enabled webMethods ActiveTransfer solution.
MapleSoft offers software that helps users export MapleSim models into The MathWorks' Simulink simulation tool.
Connectivity options: New portal slashes EDI/B2B onboarding costs; simplifies trading partner enablement
Industry estimates indicate that manual trading partner enablement by a hub company’s IT staff takes 10 to 15 days and costs around $15,000 to $20,000 per partner. Seeburger says its new RollOut Portal simplifies the process and reduces the cost via self-service onboarding and certification.
Krohne Introduces Optiwave 6300 C FMCW level-measuring device optimized for solids.
Ensuring that equipment operates at peak performance is strategic to almost any business, which means maintenance is strategic to the business as well. Outsourcing will raise plant uptime and reduce your stress. Service providers can set up the processes quickly using the knowledge base of your own organization.
By now most everyone knows a brand-new swing set . What’s lesser known is the "’green-friendly” set was developed by Rainbow Play Systems , a Dassault Systemes SolidWorks and Alignex solutions user. Dubbed Malia & Sasha's Castle, the set is great for both active and passive play, with a "penthouse" with a double bubble, overhead monkey bars, shimmy bars, four standard swings, a race car tire swing, rock wall, step chain ladder, slide, binoculars, periscopes and chalkboard. The design of the set was reversed from the standard design model so that the "double bubble" faces the Oval Office, where President Obama can keep an eye on his daughters at play. The design for the "Rainbow Castle"-branded system was accomplished using SolidWorks 3D Mechanical Design (CAD) software. SolidWorks is said to have given the designers the flexibility to develop multiple configurations of parts and subsystems that makes customizing the final design layout a simple process. "SolidWorks helps us provide the customer with the exact play system they are looking for," says Jon Mattson, product design manager for Rainbow Play Systems. The 100-percent North American cedar and redwood structure was an important selling point given President Obama’s drive to promote green energy. Rainbow Play Systems markets these materials as an "environmentally responsible choice." Original Rainbow Play Systems contain only "certified" lumber from third-party inspected mills that comply with all local, state, and federal harvesting regulations.
InBatch 9.0 offers flexibility within ISA S88, says Wonderware.
Manufacturers rarely have trouble finding supply chain planning and scheduling applications—many are embedded in ERP suites. What's trickier is finding a supply chain package that meets all of a manufacturer's specific planning and scheduling needs. Preactor International, a U.K.-based planning and scheduling software vendor, says its ability to fill gaps that ERP-based solutions miss is ...
The primary business drivers impacting ERP strategies have been—and probably always will be—growth, customer service, and cost reduction. In the past, growth and customer service jockeyed for position at the top of the list, with the need to reduce costs playing an important role, but taking a back seat to a more outward-facing, revenue-driven focus.
Skillfully social: Companies embrace wikis, blogs, collaboration tools found on the lofty Web 2.0 landscape
In January, PTC, a supplier of product life-cycle management (PLM) software, released Windchill ProductPoint, describing it as a social product development tool. While Windchill ProductPoint brings more collaboration to the product development process, the social product development descriptor refers to the collaborative functionality the software offers, such as blogs, wikis, instant messaging...
Autodesk describes the latest release of its lineup of 2D and 3D design software as a complete solution for creating digital prototypes, adding that it will improve collaboration among all the groups within an enterprise that play a part in bringing products to market.
Cadre Technologies says it is making managing warehouse operations even more cost-effective by offering new labor management capabilities, training, and consulting. Via partnership with Tom Zosel Associates ( TZA ), Cadre is integrating TZA's ProTrack labor management software with Cadre's Cadence warehouse management system."Labor management has become a base requirement for running a cost-effective distribution operation because labor costs account for 50 percent to 65 percent of a company's total distribution spending," says Paul Schweet, VP, TZA. "In fact, we've found that when warehouses aren't using labor management software, costs are typically 25 percent to 40 percent higher."TZA ProTrack accurately calculates work duration, tracks associate time against standards, and provides proactive management tools.
Emission spectrometers perform 500,000+ tests annually of drinking water, treated wastewater, says Thermo Fisher Scientific. Link to related reading.
Zurich offers products designed to meet the unique insurance needs of carbon capture and sequestration projects.
The slow economy and rapid growth in technical areas means companies will have to invest capital at a time when it’s in short supply. That’s where managed services can be viewed as an attractive alternative. But some companies are still skeptical of the perceived risks and costs associated with a managed services provider. A new total cost of ownership (TCO) model offered by B2B e-commerce provider GXS helps companies answer the question: In-house, or outsourced?
Manufacturers rarely have trouble finding supply chain planning and scheduling applications. Most companies have them embedded in their ERP suites. What's tricky is finding a supply chain package that meets all of a manufacturer’s specific planning and scheduling needs. Preactor International, a U.K.-based planning and scheduling software vendor, says its ability to fill gaps that ERP-based solutions miss is helping its global expansion plans—even in a generally slow market.
Engineering document management and workflow solutions can eliminate many of the breakdowns that lead to additional costs and put engineering enterprises at risk. That’s why First Trace has launched an online Engineering Survival Center to assist engineering enterprises through these difficult economic times.
Software development often proves far more expensive than expected. Evidence indicates that the earlier a defect is discovered in development, the less impact it has on both the timescales and cost. Bugs discovered late in the development cycle send costs soaring and risk the integrity and safety of a system, especially if the software has been deployed.
The apparel industry, perhaps more than any other, feels the need for speed when it comes to getting new products to market. “Speed is a core competency in the fashion business,” says Fernando Gonzalez, CIO of Byer California, a San Francisco-based manufacturer of clothing that appeals primarily to teenage girls.
Lawson Software has two new analytics applications that the vendor says can be deployed in a matter of days to help companies improve decision-making and find cost savings.
For the manufacturing industry, being green doesn’t have to involve tired stereotypes. What you may not know is that if you’re currently using any sort of digital manufacturing solutions, you’re already being green.
Designer and builder of linear-motor-based transport systems, MagneMotion moved to its new corporate headquarters in Devens, MA, doubling available space for motion control efforts. A large facility will test large linear synchronous motor (LSM) and Maglev transport systems.
The challenges facing companies today in a plummeting economy are obvious: rising costs, pressure to deploy environmentally sound practices, and shifting consumer demand. So what are best-in-class companies doing to combat the issues while keeping a tight budget in mind?
SigmaQuest Inc. has released SigmaQuest Process Flow Visualization (PFV) software. The software is said to allow users to track all phases of product development graphical views of data.
Downturn, slowdown, meltdown: Call it what you will, but the current economic crisis is placing almost unprecedented pressure on companies to cut costs. One key area in which resources are becoming stretched is IT—the consequences of which might only become apparent when disaster strikes.
There has been grim news on the manufacturing front: Total orders in September declined 2.5% after a 4.3% drop in August, with non-durables falling 5.5% (the biggest drop in two years); and though factory inventories decreased 0.7% (the biggest decline in five years), the drop in demand caused the inventory-to-sales ratio to rise to 1.
As a world-reknowned electronics manufacturing service provider, Flextronics is known for devising and executing programs that meet all of its customers' precise needs. That's why this services provider relies on an easily adaptable ERP system: the Baan suite, now owned and supported by Infor.
Apatar , a provider of open-source tools for data integration, now offers GoldMine to Salesforce History Migration, a solution that migrates client activity history between GoldMine and Salesforce CRM. The pre-built solution allows Apatar users to integrate email, calendar events, invitations, and other history activities from the MS SQL instances of GoldMine to Salesforce CRM—linking each to the right contact.Apatar users also save time and avoid loss of data by setting the solution to preserve correct links between activities and the users to which they are assigned. Implementing this solution reportedly lowers development and maintenance workload up to a factor of five compared to manual programming.According to Standish Group , 30 percent of data migration projects fail, while a Bloor Research study found 84 percent of data migrations fail to meet expectations.
RedTail Solutions, a provider of on-demand managed services software for EDI and global data synchronization, now supports the Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite, including Sage Accpac ERP 5.5 integrated with SageCRM.
Brand-owner advice: Keynotes at Kinaxis conference advocate aligning demand-SCM with business strategies
The need for integrating demand and supply management is overwhelmingly supported by results of a survey completed by Kinaxis user conference attendees, as is incorporating collaborative insight and human judgment into supply chain processes. Industry leaders offered up case examples of processes in action.
Arc flash punctures a cryogenic tank, damages steering and focusing magnets, and contaminates beamline. Could this fall CERN accident have been prevented? See details, photo.
Today we hear of one economic sector after another seeking help in turning around their declining businesses. From airlines and breweries to retailers and online search companies, everyone is taking steps to make the personnel and equipment cuts, process upgrades, financial changes, and other moves needed to get back on a solid business footing.
Open secrets: Globalization requires manufacturers to allow controlled access to intellectual property
It can be argued that a manufacturer's intellectual property (IP) is its greatest asset. It is, after all, the foundation for innovative products and processes. But as manufacturers develop global partner networks to speed innovation, enhance supply chain efficiency, and increase return on R&D investment, protecting IP becomes a significant concern.
“Pillar to Post” blogger and Control Engineering process industries editor Peter Welander has been following Baxi Innotech, a small R&D company in Germany that is developing a home-scale fuel cell appliance said to provide both heat and electricity for an average-sized home. The self-contained unit, which is slightly smaller than an average refrigerator, uses natural gas as fue...
Faster computers and modeling/simulation software have revolutionized the design process for control system engineers. By using model based development (MBD) methods and crafting a virtual simulation prototype before committing to metal, plastic, or silicon., innovative engineers are exploring more design options, more successfully predicting performance, and optimizing systems more quickly tha...
A world-class provider of design engineering and manufacturing services for electronic products, BreconRidge collaborates using voice, video, and data applications with the world's leading communications, industrial, medical, and aerospace & defense OEMs. BreconRidge operates daily within a volatile environment, addressing a broad range of customers—each with its own unique requiremen...
“Besides the potential positive impact on sales and profit, companies that focus on improving their service and parts operations stand to gain from reduced cost and improved customer loyalty,” explains Jeff Glueck, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP.
The Impact family of high-speed intelligent cameras from PPT Vision has been improved with new software. Impact Software Suite version 8.0 adds support for the latest T3X Series hardware, and features such as drag-and-drop tools and controls, snap-to-grid alignment on the control panel canvas, and easy data linking between vision tools and controls.
There's still much to discuss on the topic of using wireless effectively in process plants.
Small companies routinely rely on key people who are well versed in a number of functional areas. That's why they need all the help they can get from systems that let them quickly shift from one function to another. For Campbell Wrapper, the solution was Visibility ERP, a system with the familiarity of a Microsoft environment and the flexibility to carry the business well into the future.
Cheaper space and labour overseas mean goods and services can be supplied from abroad at a fraction of the price that could be achieved in the U.K. The financial benefits to be gained by tapping into low-cost production centres offshore indicate that global sourcing and manufacturing are becoming competitive necessities. Business software specialist Syscom offers a primer on identifying and managing the trade-offs.
More kinds of products today are based on mechatronics—i.e., designs that blend mechanical, electronics, and embedded software components. But putting mechatronics systems into product designs isn’t done without overcoming some large barriers. By necessity, companies are implementing product life-cycle management (PLM) solutions to overcome the challenges.
Manufacturers ought to monitor five key indicators to enhance their companies’ growth strategies, says industry expert, Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). He cautions that it is also important to look at wage-driven inflation, the most dangerous type of inflation, and the hardest to deal with.
In May 2007, Wagon Automotive discovered a serious compliance problem. An audit showed that the New Hudson, Mich.-based supplier of structural components to Ford Motor Company wasn't meeting one of the 35 “critical” requirements of the Materials Management Operations Guidelines and Logistics Evaluation standard that Ford insists its suppliers meet.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) says it now has a way of steering companies onto the right path when it comes to updating legacy systems. If the methodology works as promised, it could spur a cycle of supercharging aging applications that still perform critical business functions at less-than-optimum speeds. HP's recent survey of European business executives found 94 percent of respondents want a strategy...
The manufacturing process generates plenty of paper—especially the engineering change order (ECO), which must be tracked and archived throughout product development and manufacturing cycles. Copying and distributing these documents quickly becomes inconvenient and costly. That's where multifunction printer (MFP) document imaging software from eCopy can help.
Adexa ’s Safe Harbor Program gives i2 Technologies supply chain planning customers a one-to-one exchange of Adexa’s next-generation supply chain planning applications that are equivalent to previously owned i2 products, at no cost. The initiative provides a committed solution road map to reduce uncertainties and disruptions related to the acquisition of i2 and its future technology direction."These are uncertain times for i2 and we understand that its customer base may be concerned,” says Cyrus Hadavi, President and CEO, Adexa. “Companies need a clear direction, updated capabilities, and unquestionable commitment to their respective industries.
When people think of negotiating, they usually think in terms of “winning” or “losing.” Andrew M. Apfelberg, a corporate attorney with Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff, specializing in mergers and acquisitions; and Senior Business Consultant Mark Jaffe say negotiating is much more than just clever gamesmanship. Rather, it is a process that can literally make or break one’s business relationships.Apfelberg and Jaffe have designed a process they say will build rapport between the two parties in negotiation.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms calls the latest release of its iFIX SCADA system “a next-generation visualization, control, and real-time information management solution” that gives users a more flexible and reliable tool for analyzing the performance of production processes across the enterprise.
A series of two podcasts, hosted by Control Engineering’s Renee Robbins and Peter Welander, features interviews with Matt Luallen of the SANS Institute and Sph3r3. Part 1 explores the evolving concepts of cybersecurity in industrial contexts. Part 2 focuses on issues related to electric utility and other SCADA systems.
Last year, one objective of the human resources (HR) department at Waterloo, Wis.-based Trek Bicycle Corp. was to run a leaner department by doing away with the manual aspects of moving employee information between the payroll system and benefits providers, such as insurance companies. In summer 2007, the bike maker installed a benefits automation system from bswift that allows employees to upd...
Siemens AG is asserting claims for damages against former members of the former Corporate Executive Committee of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, it said in a July 29 announcement.
RabbitCore development, embedded Wi-Fi seminar has a special price discount below.
Steve Smith, a principal consultant with telecommunications provider BT Global Services North America, demonstrated his version of a "virtual collaboration room" at the World Trade Group's recent European PLM Summit in Toulouse, France.
Joerns Healthcare, a manufacturer of medical beds, furnishings, repositioning equipment, and wound management products, had these specific business objectives:• Increase its strong position in the industry and maintain a reliable supply chain;• Keep strict inventory controls;• Manage regulation; and• Enhance the overall customer experience.Joerns selected enterprise systems supplier SAP and management consultancy and integration partner Answerthink to reach the objectives.“We are a midsize company with the global aspirations of a true industry leader,” says Partha Biswas, VP and CIO, Joerns Healthcare. “Complexity of business processes and stiff competition describe our business landscape. Solutions from SAP not only meet virtually all of our functionality requirements, but they also position us well to meet our current and future challenges in a cost-effective manner.”After a comprehensive ERP software evaluation process, Answerthink was contracted to lead and manage the effort based on a track record of successful implementations for midmarket customers.
Traditional flow measurement technique survives, often updated with current technology.
ABB Ltd. announced today it appointed Joseph M. Hogan as chief executive officer of the ABB Group. Hogan starts on Sept. 1.
Configuring a CANopen network may be easier with latest CANopen ConfigurationStudio 1.6 from Ixxat Automation. See photo.
The manufacturing sector is struggling with a slowdown in global spending as well as rocketing fuel and food prices, yet offshore outsourcing is alleviating some of the industry's woes. Hardeep Garewal, president of strategic accounts at U.K.-based outsourcing company ITC Infotech , believes outsourcing's biggest growth is yet to come because of the decrease in global spending. "Offshore outsourcing was once seen as a way to simply manage projects; now it's becoming the norm and not the exception to reduce costs and boost the bottom line. And even though many companies are experiencing hard times, we are predicting growth in the next 18 months," says Garewal. This defiant trend is largely due to many western manufacturers facing pressure from stakeholders to offshore their business to cut costs and remain profitable. Yet many services that aren't being outsourced to India are still occurring internationally, and business process outsourcing in this sector is latent—particularly in product development work. The change in how manufacturers are doing business in Europe is having a profound effect on outsourcing, however ITC Infotech is still investing and growing in key sectors despite current market conditions. According to a report from New York-based Kalorama Information , outsourcing in fact may be the ailing pharmaceuticals industry's $5-billion remedy to the costly drug discovery process. The pharmaceutical industry has a long history of outsourcing non-core functions, as well as a number of core functions, such as clinical trial management and manufacturing, for the past two decades. Enhancing the productivity of the drug discovery process, while also reducing costs, is imperative if the pharma industry is to resolve the dilemma of rising R&D expenses and slowing pipelines.
In June, I touched on the issue of China’s ascendancy into the global economy and how, though it is both a credible partner and competitor, it remains a long way from being America’s equal economically. But China is not the only country growing in economic stature and performing much of the manufacturing formerly performed in the U.
The Advanced Modular Calibration System from GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies is a hand-held test and calibration system that combines an advanced, multi-function calibrator with world class pressure measurement and generation capability, the company says. Its modular concept allows its discrete components to be used as stand-alone instruments, allowing flexibility in cost of ownership ...
Elan Software Systems , a manufacturing execution system (MES) vendor with a customer portfolio including Baxter, Takeda, sanofi aventis, Rochas, and Yves Rocher, has released XFP 5.0, the latest version of its flagship MES platform dedicated to FDA-regulated industries.The new version offers more than 100 feature enhancements, an interactive interface, and a path toward service-oriented architecture (SOA).Aligned with Web 2.0 concepts, Elan Software used Rich Faces and Ajax technologies to build a new XFP V5.0 Web interface, the key objective being to provide users with increased ease, responsiveness, and interactivity when using the MES solution. The Web interface is so far solely dedicated to the administration of the MES platform. Users can perform functions such as organizing information display, hiding information, and customizing the design through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), with no programming being required.The XFP-MES platform is said to enable production visibility and control throughout the enterprise by optimizing the production cycle, spanning raw material delivery to end product shipment in compliance with 21CFR part 11 and ISA 88/95.
DEK Printing Machines (DEK) is expanding its deployment of the PTC Product Development System (PDS) to include Windchill for content and process management. With existing use of PTC Pro/ENGINEER parametric CAD/CAM/CAE software for product design, Windchill will enhance internal project collaboration within six global sites, and external project collaboration with DEK suppliers and partners.DEK makes specialist electronics imaging systems used by major electronics manufacturers and subcontractors for surface mount silicon chip technology and PCB assemblies in cell phones, robots, missiles, toys, and medical equipment. The company has plants in the U.K.
If you asked Benjamin Mahan about the value of CAD software, he might respond with a line from a credit card commercial: Priceless.Mahan, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserves, used the Pro/ENGINEER CAD package from PTC to design a special shield that is protecting the faces—and in some cases literally saving the lives—of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.The design for the Predator FAST (Facial Armor System Technology) shield also earned Mahan recognition as the runner-up in the first annual PTC Redefining Innovation design contest, which seeks to identify instances of excellence among PTC Pro/ENGINEER users.ave any facial protection.
Thomas Edison’s thought patterns can help us be more like the guy who has 1,093 U.S. patents, says co-author of the book, “Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor.” Edison facts, stories, photos, and advice to improve U.S. competitiveness include....
Company becomes add-in provider and introduces BenchX IDE based on Eclipse.
PAS releases Operator Alert, a Web or Microsoft Windows interface for creating and editing alerts for process operations.
ISA will hold its third annual YAPfest Oct. 14, 2008, in conjunction with ISA Expo at the Reliant Center, Houston, TX. In separate business, ISA announced a regular schedule for ISA100 Factory Automation Study Group.
Adobe Systems on Monday introduced a significant upgrade to its Acrobat software program for creating and sharing documents. The company also introduced Acrobat.com, a set of online services that can be used to create documents and establish communities for collaborating around them.
Having pushed its Taiwanese trading company partner for a site visit to the Chinese manufacturer of its product, says Jim Ridgwick, Shanghai-based manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP's global supply chain practice, “Our client suspected its hosts were hiding the exact location of the manufacturer by taking numerous back roads and potholed dirt tracks—roads that could never handle a...
Hewlett-Packard says it now has a way of letting companies see the right path to take when it comes to updating legacy systems. If the methodology works as promised, it could spur a cycle of companies supercharging aging applications that still perform critical business functions—albeit at albeit at less-than-optimum speeds.
Sophisticated manufacturing increases availability of complex designs.
On the point of going live with a pre-configured food-industry variant of Lawson Software’s M3 enterprise suite, Irwin’s Bakery—Northern Ireland's largest independent baker—finds itself in the comfortable position of having highly specific expectations about the impact of its new software suite.
Embedded computers are fueling advances in these useful devices.
In an exclusive interview with Control Engineering, Tom Varney, vice president of communications for Siemens Energy & Automation, tells why Siemens created exiderdome, what value the exhibit holds for engineering visitors, and why the company views the U.S. as its most important market.
The ARIS Solution for Process-Driven SAP Management supports companies throughout the entire SAP life cycle—from strategy and requirements analysis through blueprinting, configuration, testing, training, and rollout.
NetSuite, a vendor of on-demand business software suites for small and midsize enterprises (SME), reports a partnership with British Telecommunications plc (BT) on the heels of the introduction of its new on-demand solution, called NetSuite OneWorld.
Mike Brooks is staff technologist with Chevron, a job that requires him to investigate new technologies and recommend whether the world's second-largest oil company should adopt them in its refineries. He recently shared his thoughts on next-generation production management systems with MBT Executive Editor Sidney Hill, Jr.
More than anything else, the 1,575 responses to the 2008 Control Engineering Salary Survey illustrate a manufacturing industry that remains in the process of a decades-long transition to a more widely dispersed global model. From anger toward corporate management and its decisions to increased satisfaction with their careers and roles as engineers, survey respondents’ divergent opinions o...
If the tendency for most manufacturers is to settle on a single enterprise suite standard for a wide range of functions, the warehouse remains a resolute exception. “We looked at warehouse management systems [WMS] from the major enterprise vendors,” says Chris Moore, Uponor VP of information technology, “and decided that our needs were too rich.
Nuclear fusion could be just around the corner. Just ask the folks running the ITER project, a joint international research and development effort. With construction on a demonstration fusion power plant set to start this year in Cadarache, France, and reactor assembly projected for 2012, ITER plans to demonstrate that nuclear fusion, the energy source that lights the sun and the stars, can b...
With operations around the globe and more than 70,000 customers in 130 countries, data quality ended up being the hot button in Nalco Company's migration to a single global instance of SAP. “Data governance is a critical issue for the company. Quality data is a key asset,” says Charlon Franklin, senior data steward analyst for the Naperville, Ill.
Digital Manufacturing is a key point of integration between product life-cycle management (PLM) software and factory automation equipment such as PLCs and transfer lines, and many of the long-term benefits from PLM are simply not achievable without incorporating a comprehensive Digital Manufacturing strategy.
Move over sporting events, engineering skills received a high profile as 23 teams competed in the college division of NASA's 15th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.
When your equipment is very hard to get at, the right instrumentation makes a big difference.
In Control Engineering’s global focus on manufacturing supplement (March 2008, www.controleng.com/global), Control Engineering Europe editor Michael Babb described how the European Union is focusing on lowering carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable resources. Here he describes three efficient, sustainable energy-producing projects.
In January, Siemens AG focused its systems-integrator resources by rolling five operating units into its new Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS) division. The largest unit thus affected was Siemens Business Services group—one of the world's largest SAP integrators. The move puts deep systems and industry domain expertise in a one-stop shop aimed at global customers.
SolidWorks Corporation, the Concord, MA-based company specializing in 3D computer aided design (CAD) solutions, recently announced the winners of its second annual Student Design Contest. The winning entries were judged in parallel with the SolidWorks World 2008 Design Contest and, according to company sources, “the winning student designs nearly matched the quality of professional engine...
Although 2007 was the year that RFID market prognosticators sobered from the deluge of hype about imminent explosive growth—especially for open-loop supply chain applications—the year was far from a bust. Natick, Mass.-based market-research firm Venture Development pegs the total volume of RFID tags sold during 2007 at 1.
Autodesk, with annual revenues that will soon top $2 billion, is the largest computer-aided design (CAD) vendor in the world. The company believes some day manufacturers will create “virtual” product worlds with the same visualization technologies used by Sony Pictures Imageworks to generate special effects seen in big-budget movies like the Spiderman trilogy and Beowulf.
The following is based on a true story. A manufacturer of specialized metal parts—let's call the company “Customer”—not long ago realized it needed an enterprise resources planning (ERP) system. For years, it had instead used custom programs written in FoxPro by one of its executives.
For manufacturers, collaboration across geographies with service providers, contractors, partners, and suppliers is integral to their global operations. Yet there is a shift that must occur from collaboration to collaborative innovation. There are emerging technologies to enable this new form of co-creation that can keep manufacturers globally competitive.
Here's help for mechatronics design and development, which could lead to huge savings.
Multiple personalities can be a good thing—at least when it comes to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance strategy. That’s the conclusion offered by analysts at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, who argue that the best solutions for managing an SOA are offered by vendors that realize that people with a variety of roles—or personas—must be part of the SOA governance process.
Manufacturers across a range of industries would be hard pressed to design products without simulation tools such as structural analysis, multi-body simulation, and computational fluid dynamics. Yet despite their importance, manufacturers typically do a poor job of managing analysis results and related work processes.
Kontron’s flat panel division expands its aFLAT series with the CRTtoLCD-8 flat panel controller, providing a wide range power supply (12-24 V) to support industrial applications. The controller is an interface, converter, and scaler board between graphic sources and flat panels, and it is mechanically compatible with other members of the CRTtoLCD family.
MeshNetics has introduced its amplified ZigBee/802.15.4 2.4GHz RF module, which the company says occupies less than a square inch of space and combines seemingly incompatible qualities of high range and low power. Range tests resulted in a best-in-class outdoor line-of-sight range of four kilometers (2.
A new agreement between APICS The Association for Operations Management and the American Society of Transportation & Logistics (AST&L) grants Certified Supply Chain Professionals (CSCP) and professionals or fellows who are Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM/CFPIM) waivers for two of the six modules needed to obtain AST&L's Certification in Transportation and Logi...
Japanese research satellite to use magnetic read only memory (MRAM) to hunt sprites in the upper-atmosphere.
The manner in which companies are using business intelligence (BI) technology does not exactly match the picture painted by vendors and other industry experts. That’s the conclusion from a survey of more than 1,900 BI users and consultants conducted by the Business Application Research Center, a software industry analyst firm based in Germany.
Sony’s Professional Services Division greatly reduced the time it takes to produce custom-made outside broadcast vehicles by automating its design process using the Pro/ENGINEER 3D CAD software suite from PTC.
Environmentalists have long advocated bicycle commuting as a way of reducing the harmful emissions from automobiles. But the winners of an innovative product design contest have developed a prototype for bicycle that also combats water pollution.
JDA Software Group, Inc. says an alliance with a supplier of trade management applications has produced a solution that will help companies get the most out of their globalization strategies.
Microsoft Corp. plans to announce another deal with a major automaker to use its Microsoft Auto operating system by the end of the year. The global software giant already has two deals worldwide, including one to power Ford's popular Sync wireless hands-free communication and entertainment system.
Hailo, a manufacturer of laundry systems, ladders/steps, and sanitation supplies for industrial and residential use, expects to improve its sourcing processes through use of a supplier relationship management (SRM) solution from Infor.
Connecting the “shop floor to the top floor” has been a goal for manufacturers since Ethernet technologies first made their way onto the plant floor, and solutions aimed at improving information exchange between business and plant level systems were prominent at ARC Forum.
It’s clear that Google is at least a bit worried about what might happen if Microsoft absorbs Yahoo!. Why else would Google executives be blogging about the “troubling questions” the bid raises?
A treasure trove of CAD documents is more readily available to the world with Autodesk's December announcement that design files in its Design Web Format (DWF) can now be searched, indexed, and retrieved via Google and Microsoft Live Search. Any DWF file—whether a 3D model, drawing, map, or something other—exposed to the Web can be quickly searched and retrieved.
Advanced computing: Optical packet switch from Endicott Interconnect Technologies delivers 2.5 terabits/sec
Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc. (EI), a New York-based supplier of electronic interconnect solutions and electro/mechanical equipment, revealed that it has fabricated a controller board which functions as the intelligence of the world's most powerful and advanced optical packet switch. The controller board is for a 64×64 port, high-performance optical switch designed by IBM Zurich ...
The selection of an ERP system has traditionally been viewed as a five- to eight-year decision. But the reality is few are replaced within that time frame unless the choice of systems was limited by budget or foresight, resulting in limited functionality. The average age of ERP implementations in companies under $50 million is just short of eight years.
Oracle has integrated its Transportation Management solution with its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne software suite. Oracle officials say this linkage will allow customers to minimize costs and gain control of transportation and logistics operations while eliminating inefficient and redundant processes.
Aravo Solutions, a provider of on-demand Supplier Information Management (SIM) software, is allowing up to five five users within a buyer company to test its product with up to 2,000 suppliers for a period of 90 days.
Batavia, IL — After initial reports of slashes in the FY08 federal budget, which eliminates $90 million in funding for High Energy Physics (HEP), Fermilab officials are working out the details of what that means, including 125 fewer high technology U.S. jobs and broken international promises.
Norwood, MA – Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) completed the sale of its CPU voltage regulation and PC thermal monitoring business to ON Semiconductor Corp. The transaction was previously announced in November 2007.
CIMdata, Inc. has released its 2008 PLM Vendor Forum schedule and program of international one-day events.
Information is the important element of manufacturing IT, and one skill that every well-rounded control engineer should have is knowledge of the mathematics of information— specifically, the mathematics of relational databases. Most control engineers will eventually have to build or specify a database to hold instrument data, analysis data, or production reporting data.
Much of the supply chain software market had its start in detailed finite scheduling. So why is it that many companies aren't using supply chain software for detailed production scheduling? Sometimes it just boils down to specific industry needs: Some industries are so predictable they can hardly justify it, while others have such unique needs that they could not find a solution—until rec...
Say there's a software application that models some common business process or function. Over time, the solution's footprint traipses around like a veritable Pac-Man, swallowing up neighboring functional areas at a fearsome pace as vendors add features they believe will lead to greater using-management mindshare.
Once predominately focused on engineering design, product life-cycle management (PLM) today encompasses a broadening range of activities—from early-stage product strategy to design, manufacturing engineering, and field service. One aspect of this evolution is tight integration with factory automation equipment, which creates a more seamless flow of information between virtual product and...
Norwood, MA — Analog Devices, Inc. expanded its direct digital synthesis technology into battery-powered industrial, communications and defense electronics applications with the AD9913, a low-power, low-cost direct digital synthesizer (DDS) integrated circuit (IC) specifically designed for wireless, handheld equipment. It is said to be the first DDS to use only 50 mW of power at a 250 MHz clock rate. It’s under $5 each in volume, company says.
Santa Clara, CA – Animatics has acquired UK-based Harmonic Linear Drive LTD. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Harmonic Linear Drive, or HLD, is a traditional linear belt actuator that circulates the belt in an unusual way. The technique yields substantial gear reduction inherently, without a gearhead.
Global manufacturers are looking to improve production agility, enhance reporting capabilities, and reduce overall costs from their operations through increased manufacturing execution systems (MES) spend.
Lawson Software says two candy manufacturers are among the companies that have realized a fast return-on-investment by adopting the year-old QuickStep versions of the Lawson ERP system. Lawson introduced its first QuickStep offering in November 2006. The company now has five such solutions catering to food & beverage producers, apparel manufacturers, distribution companies, hospitals, and asset-reliant companies.
Control Engineering ABB Quiz Promotion Drawing Rules and RegulationsNO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN How to Enter: You will automatically be entered in the contest when you register for the ABB quiz at: /EnergyIQQuiz by March 30, 2008. No purchase is necessary to enter or win, and purchase will not affect your odds of winning. Limit one (1) entry per person.
Bart Cousin, business intelligence solutions executive at British American Tobacco Belgium, has overseen implementation of an enterprise data management solution from Kalido that essentially yielded a futureproof, flexible data warehouse that accommodates numerous systems data feeds to generate consolidated post-merger reports. Kalido is ensuring compatibility during an ongoing SAP convergence program.
Operational excellence, continuous improvement: Manufacturing is thriving, Aberdeen conference speakers say
Boston, MA – The keynote address at Aberdeen’s first annual Manufacturing in the 21st Century Executive Summit served as a stronger wake-up call for attendees than the free coffee. During this session, best-selling author Michael Treacy highlighted the dramatic evolution of workplaces during the past several decades and asked, “does manufacturing even matter anymore?”
Few new process projects in China are modest in scope. In what will be its first greenfield oil and gas exploration project, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) will be overseeing exploitation of the newly discovered Puguang natural gas field in Sichuan Province, and turning it into a major supplier of energy for the country. This is believed to be China’s largest domestic gas field, and as the project moves into full swing, Sinopec will be implementing Honeywell Process Solution’s Experion Process Knowledge System. The Puguang gas field was only discovered in 2005, but has already been identified as China’s largest with estimates of 356 billion cubic meters of gas reserves.
By pre-configuring approximately 70 percent to 90 percent of the key business processes required by specific industries, Lawson QuickStep enterprise software packages help customers reduce the time, cost, and risks typically associated with normal enterprise systems implementations.
Richard Gray, IT manager for Kingspan Environmental, a division of Irish building products manufacturer Kingspan, says new Wide Area File Services allow users to work on files held centrally on servers at the data centre, neatly removing the need to email them and add to network congestion.
Washington, DC – Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will require far-reaching efforts in all sectors of the economy; significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time, says the McKinsey & Company report "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost." It's important for the profession of control engineering because smarter engineering can help create savings, and instrumentation helps measure progress.
Retailers looking to stock Berner Foods' line of meats and cheeses often ask Berner to demonstrate how nimbly it could respond to a food recall. When bidding for business, the Roscoe, Ill.-based manufacturer must show potential supermarket and big-box retail customers that it can trace the ingredients in each of its products to the supplier level within two hours.
Ever notice some computer slowness after you've downloaded music or photos? The same thing can happen with a manufacturer's ERP system. While the overloaded PC may take minutes to load a photo, the manufacturer's problem is more significant. Important systems can slow down at exactly the wrong time, says Brian Babineau, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a Milford, Mass.
Originally conceived as a means of efficiently passing data between the manufacturing execution system (MES) layer and an ERP transaction backbone, an innovative software platform from SAP partner Acsis has evolved into a fully functional, serialized track-and-trace solution. “Consumer goods and defense manufacturers have no choice but to comply with traceability mandates from retailers a...
Standard Automation & Control, LP, a member of the MTL Instruments Group, has officially changed its name to Wonderware West. The organization has represented Wonderware for nearly 16 years and has enjoyed a significant amount of success during that time, having been awarded the Wonderware Distributor of the Year award in 2001, 2003, 2006, and 2007.
The “IP” in IP surveillance is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol, which is the most common protocol used for communication over computer networks and the Internet. An IP surveillance application creates digitized video streams that are transmitted through a wired or wireless IP network to enable monitoring and video recording from as far away as the network reaches. In addition, IP surveillance systems can be integrated with other types of systems, such as access control systems.
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Rosslyn, VA, Wuxi, China, and Atlanta, GA —National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Primary Industrial Controls Index, which registered a 0.6% gain between the second and third quarters of 2007, rose more than 12% over last year. In other growth, General Electric and the Industrial Institute of Engineers announced recent expansions.
The value-added fantasy: A strict focus on eliminating waste is not the best way to improve performance
The value-added fantasy is the perception that eliminating nonvalue-added activities will enable the most profitable performance for a supply chain. The reality is if companies truly want consistent performance improvement, they should focus on a practical, scientific approach for quantifying and controlling the elements of cycle times that drive performance.
A key aspect of Open Text enterprise content management (ECM) solutions is integration with desktop clients, including the SAP GUI, SAP NetWeaver Portal, and Microsoft Office.
Researchers from academia, national laboratories, and manufacturing companies interested in commercialization of nanotechnology and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are invited to participate in Nanotechnology and MEMS/Micromachines: A Global Perspective on the Technnology, Applications and Commercialization, an all-day session that is part of Sensors Expo 2008.
Kontron has reported that a number of companies have come together to create COM Express Base Board Design Guide, a joint effort to ensure optimal interchangeability of COM Express based Computer-On-Modules. PICMG COM Express Subcommittee members are working on the publication, scheduled at Embedded World 2008 in Nuremberg, Germany, Feb. 26-28, 2008.
PAS has announced the release of PlantState Suite version 6.0, which the company claims is the world’s leading solution for critical condition management in the process manufacturing industries. The new release continues integration of alarm and control performance management with new features and enhancements, and reportedly is the only commercially available product that meets the recommendations outlined in ISA’s text, “Alarm Management: Seven Effective Methods for Optimum Performance.” Eddie Habibi, CEO of PAS and co-author of the ISA text says, “The latest version of PlantState Suite offers customers a complete and step-wise approach to meeting ever more stringent industry standards for alarm management—from simple benchmarking on any system to comprehensive real-time, state-based alarm management solutions that retain design philosophies and prevent the degradation of implemented systems.” With version 6.0, PAS promises that operators have a complete and seamless view of alarm shelving, alarm audit and enforcement, alarm viewer, and state-based alarm management tools, directly on the control system for integration with established workflow processes, significantly enhancing productivity and plant reliability. PlantState Suite, provides the full range of critical condition management functions, including alarm analysis, documentation and rationalization, real-time alarm management, performance metrics management, control loop performance assessment and scheduled reporting. —Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com Control Engineering Weekly News (Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free.).
Kinaxis RapidResponse will integrate with John Deere’s SAP ERP environment, facilitating immediate impact analysis of shifting demand.
Polysius Corp. keeps cement and minerals manufacturers in business with its specialty equipment parts for the large-scale factory environment. This subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp manufactures core proprietary elements and custom machinery. With just 150 employees in its Atlanta office, Polysius competes through sheer brainpower and efficiency.
At the pet products division of San Francisco, Calif.-based Del Monte Foods, software to automate the formula change process has boosted productivity, enhanced time-to-market, and reduced time taken to make product formulation changes by 33 percent. “It's allowed us to move away from a labor–intensive process with significant duplication of work, to a streamlined formula management...
Across enterprise and information technology (IT) processes, you may find that while people are working within the same structure, they are speaking different languages. One of the best ways to eliminate communication barriers is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a framework of best-practice approaches intended to facilitate delivery of high-quality IT services.
From the scores of small and midsize business (SMB) market-related announcements issued recently, you'd think this market just appeared. On the contrary, my experience in helping manufacturers with IT strategy and ERP selections indicates the SMB ERP market has been alive and well for some time. Only now it is changing—or should I say getting smarter—and vendors should expect toughe...
The market for automation technology, and specifically for assembly and handling systems, has been experiencing sustained growth for a number of years, far surpassing worldwide economic growth. That was one of the comments of Dr. Eberhard Veit, a member of the Festo board of directors, speaking at a press conference held during the Motek trade show in Stuttgart, Germany.
In 2006, U.S. shipments of packaging machinery (excluding parts and service) climbed 6 percent to an estimated $6.110 billion, extending the industry’s string of consecutive annual increases to five years, according to Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI, www.pmmi.org). Nearly all of the growth materialized in the domestic market, which, at an estimated value of $5.
The abuse of brand names in online sales of pharmaceuticals is nothing short of shocking, says Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer for brand-protection specialist MarkMonitor. MarkMonitor's online solutions automate workflow and assist companies in creating, monitoring, and protecting their brands wherever they may appear on the Internet.
How do IT leaders really know if enterprise software is being used effectively? Some experts think rather than tapping into traditional systems management solutions, the answer lies in a relatively new class of software. “Systems management tools ensure that systems and the network infrastructure are up and running, but what they are missing are measurements of the end user's actual exper...
High-tech manufacturers routinely expose sensitive company information to potential pirates by collaborating with trading partners over nonsecure communication channels. Even worse, the vast majority of the industry’s managers realize the risks they are taking in this regard yet they do little to avoid them.
With 19.5 percent of companies reporting little to no integration of supply planning systems, and 10.8 percent of companies confirming their transportation and distribution functions are separate, the need for a playbook to strategically align logistics and transportation is of high importance.
Though their numbers have dwindled in recent years, best-of-breed supply chain management software vendors can still thrive by offering solutions that manufacturers can apply to specific business problems. A recent list of customers signed by Preactor International, a specialist in production planning and scheduling applications, underscores this trend.
Enterprise software vendor IFS released a new version of its IFS Applications suite that the company claims offers greater support for global business models.
Business intelligence software supplier Cognos—suddenly a subject of takeover rumors—reported double-digit increases in revenue, profits, and earnings per share for its most recent fiscal quarter.
TiPS and UReason have announced a partnership to align their respective alarm management and operator advisory technologies.
With the goal of making PLM (product life cycle management) technology more accessible to smaller businesses within the supply chain, Dassault Systemes has introduced Delmia PLM Express.gn and virtual commissioning is a large part, and often of keen interest to manufacturing engineers. Successful users of PLM today are primarily large automotive and aerospace companies, such as long-time Dassault customers General Motors and Boeing. They invested early in such software to reduce the lead times and costs associated with new product introductions.
Several new reports from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) examine industry market growth in bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and other areas.
A partnership of two former competitors brings together the respective strengths of both companies in business analytics and enterprise data warehousing.
On a flight from Chicago to Boston, the plane flew over Lake Erie, near the north shore. Passengers on the left side could clearly see tall, white wind turbines standing in farmer’s fields, turning lazily. These machines were generating electricity for local consumers without burning fossil fuels or creating greenhouse gasses.
S2 Technologies’ Stride 2.1 Embedded Software Verification Platform is a scalable platform that enables the development of software for wireless digital handsets supporting both standard cellular telephones and push-to-talk two-way radio service. Stride provides reusable, automated testing to support process optimizations and best practices and to emphasize early and continual automated s...
In the front and back offices of manufacturing companies, it's hard to imagine life without desktop productivity tools. Word processing programs, spreadsheets, and email are used by 95 percent of those dubbed “information workers.” The majority of these tools are delivered to the desktop by Microsoft.
The dream job: everyone is looking for it, precious few are blessed to have it and, as far as I’m concerned, I just landed it. The October issue marks my first month on the job as editorial director for Control Engineering. Growing up in Lawrence, MA, a city where old textile mills dominate the landscape and line the shores of the Merrimack River, manufacturing has always been a source of...
Oracle says it wants to make buying software easier for small to midsize businesses (SMB), and its sales & marketing programs are part of a larger effort for the enterprise vendor to play catch-up with players like Microsoft that currently dominate SMB sales. One such effort is a new “one-click ordering” program that offers an alternative to Oracle's paper-based sales contracts.
The days when only the largest manufacturers could afford supercomputers based on proprietary hardware are giving way to an era of lower-cost high performance computing (HPC) clusters built on x86 processors. Suffice to say, it isn't quite as simple as buying standard hardware and plugging it in. With clusters, a linked group of computers share processing horsepower.
Enterprise vendor IFS says its approach to increasing the productivity of its system’s users is unique, and builds on the popularity of “search” as the means to obtaining needed information.
Real-world RFID experience counts more than knowledge certification, according to the RFID Workforce Report 2007, based on a survey by the industry association RFID Tribe.
Houston, TX —In addition to six educational tracks offered, ISA 2007 keynote speakers include National Instruments' Dr. James Truchard and NASA's manager for constellation project modeling, simulation and data architecture. The exhibit floor includes pavilions focused on bus stations, environmental issues, industrial communications, a sensors fair and software solutions.
Ronen Moyel took his initial design—in the form of 2D sketches—to an engineering services house known as Designcraft, which sped the product through the prototype stage using 3D capabilities in the Pro/ENGINEER software package from PTC.
New LPM series from OTEK offers a wide range of features for local display, and can operate with a variety of signal types. The five-character, OTEK says the LPM comes with many other features such as: any V/mADC input, loop powered, or 5-48 Vdc or 90-265 Vac power, 0.01% accuracy and linearity, zero and span adjustments for engineering units, captive screw terminal connector for high vibration, 100% metal enclosure with NEMA 4X, and EMI/RFI gaskets.nit can also be used as a serial input remote display. —Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com , Control Engineering Weekly News.
At its annual user conference, Infor CEO Jim Schaper said the new Infor Open SOA framework will allow customers to continue using their existing applications as long as they see fit.
Robert McNeel & Associates, a provider of stylized surfacing software, is partnering with SpaceClaim, which offers CAD-neutral modification solutions for the extended product development team.
SignalDemand reports successful deployment of its PriceConsistency and PriceOptimization 2.0 for food processors at Ventura Foods, and a contract with Hormel.
Management Dynamics says its enhanced Restricted Party Screening (RPS) On Demand solution, a cost-effective tool for automating the trade-party screening process, delivers expanded restricted party list coverage and additional integration options for establishing a greater level of compliance checks for companies to demonstrate "reasonable care."
Invensys demonstrated version 2.2 of InFusion Condition Manager at its Avantis User Group Academy conference.
DMI becomes part of Emerson Process Management, adding software and expertise on electronic management of workflow.
High levels of customer satisfaction ultimately lead to new opportunities for revenue recapture, as well as opportunities for revenue creation by increasing current customer "wallet-share" through up-selling and customer referrals. As a result, Service and IT professionals agree that post-sales service improvement initiatives are a high priority.
Strategic sourcing, procurement drive PLM functionality; Dassault partnership pushes out digital product data
The product life-cycle management (PLM) market is growing rapidly as manufacturers look to improve their product-oriented processes. New functionality, market consolidation, and a huge opportunity for vendors are considered elements of what makes the PLM industry such an entrancing market.
Five minutes to four seconds: Blue Coat Appliances slashes Excel file transfers for Terakata Manufacturing
Tohaku-gun, Japan-based Terakata Manufacturing is using Blue Coat Proxy SG appliances to accelerate the delivery of critical data files across its wide area network, running between its headquarters and manufacturing plants.
When it comes to complying with government regulations, pharmaceutical manufacturers have special needs. Shipping temperature-sensitive items, referred to as “cold-chain” management, is a prime example. Canada, Ireland, China, and Singapore all have their own guidelines for this process, which has the entire pharmaceuticals supply chain working to create safe and cost-effective ship...
The Sterling Commerce Customer Connection 2007 event was dedicated—at least unofficially—to the proposition that “you can't plan your way out of complexity.” This change in supply chain emphasis from planning to execution is an industry-wide phenomenon and not particular to Sterling, an AT&T company, which released its Sterling Commerce Sales and Fulfillment Suite at...
Dr. James Truchard, president and CEO of National Instruments and Engineering Hall of Fame award winner, will give a keynote Rimbach Lecture on Oct. 3 at the ISA Expo 2007 in Houston, TX. The lecture, entitled “Repairing the educational system to meet industry’s innovation demands,” focuses on realigning the engineering education system to meet the speeding innovation caused b...
Anyone who fancies themselves a journalist relishes the thought of being first to uncover some major news, or spot a trend before it becomes a mass movement. That's why I smiled when I saw an Aberdeen Group report documenting the value of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure. The report, released in July, is based on an 18-month analysis of 400 companies using some form of an SOA.
Invensys MES receives SAP endorsement; collaborative effort accelerates adaptive manufacturing strategies
Its previous NetWeaver/xApps certification and a recent business-solution endorsement build upon Invensys-Wonderware's partnership with SAP, with the goal of enabling mutual customers to align business objectives with their manufacturing operations.
Network security specialist Enterasys leans out quoting process with BigMachines, Salesforce.com, SAP integration
Enterasys, a leader in network security hardware, software, and services, has selected the BigMachines CPP (Configure, Price, Propose) solution to help manage information across multiple global sales channels. Specifically, Enterasys will use BigMachines integrated with Salesforce.com and SAP to help their sales teams and channel partners generate quotes, manage product configurations, and enter orders.
Kongsberg Automotive, which uses the SAP PLM suite to manage its product data, is looking forward to enhancements that will improve its ability to collaborate with supply chain partners.
Midmarket ERP vendor Agresso secured a deal with Vector Aerospace, a $300M provider of airplane and helicopter repair and maintenance services. The deal is notable because Agresso won it in head-to-head competition with SAP and Microsoft.
GE Fanuc Automation, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, is teaming up with Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, to integrate production management and ERP systems.
In many process plant applications, there are very compelling reasons to detect and measure the presence of various gasses in the atmosphere or process gas stream. An obvious example would be escaping methane that could cause a fire or explosion, or accumulations of carbon monoxide that could asphyxiate an employee. One type of instrumentation for this purpose is a point infrared gas detector.
Turbine flowmeter designs retain their popularity due to their straightforward design and reliability. They can be improved in some cases with the addition of electronic counter technology to replace mechanical indicators and totalizers. The new digital FlowCom from McCrometer combines turbine simplicity with electronic signal processing for its Water Specialties propeller meter for a wide range of applications. Designed to replace electro-mechanical counters, the FlowCom Model FC101 features a two-line display designed for easy reading.
Omron’s B5V-1422 disk jog switch provides users with a single user interface. Five tactile selector switches, including a center push button and four peripheral push points, combine with the rotational jog feature. Users easily can navigate through lists, handheld instrumentation device options, or game functions.
xCoupler data exchange modules for Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PACs (programmable automation controllers) now support database Views, reducing configuration time between the business system and the PAC by approximately 50%, reports xCoupler vendor Online Development Inc.
Combining the flexibility of OPC-UA standards with enterprise connectivity, and security management, could soon be possible with deviceWISE 2.0 from ILS Technology LLC.
When Milwaukee-based badge and label manufacturer Brady Corp. decided to build an online store, it hit a problem: Using Excel spreadsheets to manage the information for tens of thousands of products was error-prone and inefficient. In particular, there was no way to make “global” data changes, which forced staff to manually update the same details on a given product in multiple loca...
To hear Peter Martin say it, most process-industry production plants are rife with conflict: between the engineering and information technology functions and between maintenance and operations as well. While turf battles are as old as work itself, these tensions are exacerbated, says Martin, by emerging globalization and corporate governance trends that have placed new demands on manufacturing ...
New players in SAP's Enterprise Services Community include tried-and-true vendors of supply chain execution (SCE) and reverse logistics solutions; as well as providers of network services that automate supply chain communications. Members of the community are committed to a common business language that enables software applications and infrastructure products running on disparate systems to co...
GE Fanuc’s Proficy HMI/SCADA – iFIX provides comprehensive monitoring, control and data management for companies globally. In September, the company will release the latest version of the software: iFIX 4.5, which addresses a wide range of needs from advanced reliability to improved ease of use, with a lower total cost of ownership.
When Philips Lighting Electronics North America decided it needed an enterprise software suite to run its business, it also made another big decision: It would deploy IT systems management software to ensure the ERP suite was nearly always up and running. Today the Rosemont, Ill.-based manufacturer of the Advance brand of lighting controls counts on systems management software from Hewlett-Pac...
While manufacturing execution systems (MES) now comprise a $1-billion market, the solutions don't always fit today's requirements, says Simon Jacobson, an analyst with Boston-based AMR Research. At least not yet. “The market is growing, but no one has emerged as a leader,” Jacobson says.
Wireless links have a number of advantages for data communication within machine-control systems, and between these systems and larger facility- and enterprise-level networks. While numerous proprietary wireless standards are available, macroeconomic factors will drive control engineers to gravitate toward implementations based on consumer electronics standards; such as IEEE 802.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) signed a definitive agreement to purchase Opsware, a data center automation software company, enhancing HP's portfolio of business technology optimization (BTO) software.
Right Hemisphere has created a solution for technical publication specialists, HMI developers, advertising agencies, and others who work with 3D visualizations of complex engineering designs to create training materials and
SVP Manufacturing manages inventory and forecasts using Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, and is able to focus on its customers and deliver products faster than ever before.
The inherent and growing risk involved in running complex global supply chains is sparking interest in technology that analyzes current performance and allows developing strategies for improved performance. SAS, a leading supplier of business intelligence (BI) and performance-management solutions, is capitalizing on this trend.
Based on my experience in dealing with various Asia Pacific accounts for the past 15 years, I am often referred to by customers as “Mr. No” or sometimes even “the director of customer dissatisfaction.” How does one achieve such stature, and more importantly, why would anyone want that title? Let me assure you, I am a very nice guy to work with.
Product life-cycle management (PLM) software vendors took some major steps this year in fulfilling a long-stated promise: enabling manufacturers to freely share product data throughout the extended supply chain. This heightened level of data sharing is being made possible—in large part—by mergers, acquisitions, and alliances between traditional PLM vendors and suppliers of enterpris...
The OMAC leadership team is developing the framework for the first OMAC technical symposium, to be held Nov. 28-29, 2007. The annual symposium will center on integration between the process and discrete industries, using standards like those for CAM and NC control, inspection, CAD definition, data packaging, process planning, and automotive manufacturing.
Epicor is on a hot streak, reporting its first $100M quarter upon closing 2006, and another in first-quarter 2007—historically a lackluster period for software sales. It also made Fortune magazine's 100 fastest-growing list, while George Klaus was named “CEO of the Year” by the Southern California Technology Council.
Engineers need to use imagination In life, we, the human race, tend toward stagnation, content in not rocking the boat to see the angle of list before the boat takes on water. Only a curious child does that, we say. Well, maybe we need to experience that childish urge to do something that challenges our imagination.
For the past 20 years, ILOG optimization engines have powered supply chain planning and scheduling applications sold by other vendors. A number of large manufacturing companies also use ILOG technology to build custom supply chain solutions. As it enters its third decade, ILOG has no plans to abandon that history, but will branch out in ways that should raise its profile even among casual users...
SAP has shown steady growth in revenue, earnings, and margins in recent years, and at 24 percent has the largest share in the core enterprise applications space by far of any IT vendor. Yet with the recent abrupt resignation of wunderkind Shai Agassi, and a subsequent front-page article in The Wall Street Journal exposing fissures between Waldorf, Germany-based corporate headquarters and devel...
The sense of having been an “IBM shop” or an “HP shop” 10 or 15 years ago is vastly different from what that means today. It used to mean a manufacturing enterprise ran its business system on a mainframe or midrange computer from one of those vendors. With the enterprise software industry still in its infancy 15 years ago, computer platforms like IBM's AS/400 or Hewlett...
Technology and innovation are important, but finding the right strategy to turn that technology and innovation into products that the market wants is even more important.
The wall between design and sourcing just got less formidable thanks to a partnership between Autodesk and GlobalSpec that will permit extended design team members—including purchasing agents—to launch component part searches from Autodesk Design Review, a tool within the Autodesk Inventor 3D design application.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) promises so much: easier access to new applications, greater alignment of IT with business objectives, cost savings. But these benefits will be short-term, at best, unless a certain level of discipline is applied to both the development and maintenance of an SOA. Consider one of the most widely touted benefits of SOA: the ability to reuse services for multipl...
ZwCAD 2007, the latest signature 2D/3D package from ZwCAD 2007, provides new functionality, easy to use enhancements, and DWG compatibility, says the company.
Sometimes an old technology can receive an update that leap-frogs it over more modern techniques. Such is the case with magnetostrictive level sensors. While the idea of using a moving float seems old fashioned, the level of precision this technology offers and its versatility make it a compelling approach for continuous level monitoring in the right applications.
Dassault Systemes (DS) and Rand North America have announced that Ford Motor Co . has deployed throughout its global operations the Q-Checker product data quality management tool for Catia. Q-checker was developed by Transcat PLM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dassault Systemes.
Cimplicity 7.0 is the latest release from GE Fanuc in its Proficy family of supervisory and monitoring control software.
Stainless steel cable tray from Hoffman is made of Type 304 stainless steel for corrosion resistance.
There is a huge technology divide in society, but it is not where you might think it is. This divide does not separate those who have computers and those who don’t. It’s instant messaging. Whether the medium is MSN or texting on your cell phone, it’s clear that there are those who “get” instant messaging, and then there’s the rest of us.
Software development kit (SDK) for Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 from TeleSoft International lets chip makers, pocket PC, and phone manufacturers add standards-based VoIP to wireless devices and mobile and wired phones.
Developers can build company-specific user interfaces from existing SAP transactions with a click-drag-and-drop editor—and without ABAP or Java coding. IT managers can now quickly create customized user interfaces from existing SAP transactions, and expose those applications through Web browsers on any computer. The functionality, which enhances mainstream SAP graphical user interface (GUI) technology with Web 2.0 portal technology, is available from the GuiXT Fuzion product from Synactive Software Components . 'In line with SAP's NetWeaver Web strategy, we made the power of customized SAP applications available on any desktop in the enterprise, and on any computer within the supply chain or distribution channel,' explained Synactive CEO Thomas Ewe.
Inconsistencies had to stop. Not to mention the need to replace three failed $600 sensors per batch and adding anywhere from 20 to 40 trips to the lab with samples. Gilead Sciences Inc., is an international biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics to fill areas of unmet medical need.
Findings show that best-in-class companies are, on average, 88% more likely to estimate ROI (return on investment) before initiating projects and 130% more likely to measure ROI after project completion. As a result, these best performing companies produce, on average, 93% more improvement across a variety of metrics, according to a recent benchmark study from Aberdeen. Report author Cindy Jutras says investment in ERP (enterprise resource planning systems) and the broader category of EMA (enterprise management application suites), provide many opportunities for ROI calculation in estimating returns and calculating them at the end of the project. However, less than 25% of participants in the study consistently estimate ROI prior to action, and 20% or less measure the actual costs and gains to calculate ROI after implementation.
The ability to integrate and exchange data independent of data exchange formats is a trend that promises to make day-to-day design activities easier. ARC 's recent conference in Orlando, which highlighted the development of systems for a 'flat world,' included a lot of talk on the topic, and a display area showing products that deliver that integration today. For electrical engineers in the controls design field, Eplan Electric P8 from Eplan Software & Services demonstrated a significant new version of a product that has been delivering 'flat world' benefits for 22 years. Control Engineering talked to Eplan Technical Manager Sean Mulherrin about P8's 'powerful platform concept,' which allows Eplan to act as the engineering center for interdisciplinary collaboration. Not just a new version of the company's successful Eplan 5 and Eplan 21 packages, Eplan Electric P8 is 'a truly new dimension in electrical design automation,' said Mulherrin.
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Manufacturers needing a strategy for expanding production or distribution into Europe who might have looked in France, Germany, or Italy are finding success in Warsaw, Prague, or Trnava. Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and other central and eastern European countries are the new markets of Europe, and they are also becoming the countries of choice for opening new manufacturing facilities or o...
Overmolded (OM), ISO/IEC 15693-compliant transponder family of rugged RFID tags from Texas Instruments is designed to withstand extreme environments where temperature, high pressure, and harsh chemicals may inhibit line-of-sight automatic identification technologies. The 13.56 MHz OM tags are suited for a variety of applications.
Wi-Fi meshing, which allows wireless access nodes to achieve a longer range by using each other as repeaters, is becoming increasingly common in several markets, says In-Stat. More than 50,000 Wi-Fi mesh AP (access point) unit shipments are expected in 2006, with almost 100,000 unit shipments expected in 2010.
Seoul, Korea —RFID technology is helping an automotive manufacturer manage parts more efficiently through all its supply chain management (SCM) processes. Hyundai/Kia Motors Group , a South Korean vehicle manufacturer, is working with Glovis , an affiliate company in charge of parts SCM, to tag and handle parts boxes from more than 200 suppliers. Using RFID technology and EPC (electronic product code) middleware, Glovis will track corrugated cardboard boxes of automotive parts through delivery to the distribution center, repacking, leaving the distribution center, delivery to the overseas distribution center, and final delivery to Hyundai/Kia Motors’ overseas factories. In the first phase of the project, UPM Raflatac UHF RFID tags will be applied to approximately 130,000 parts boxes and packaging cases from five suppliers for export to Hyundai/Kia Motors’ facilities in Alabama.
Washington, DC —Based on the belief that a strong nation needs secure energy resources, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) unveiled a plan to build a strategy designed to diversify the United States' energy mix and lay a foundation for meeting its future energy needs. At a news conference last week, NAM president John Engler outlined a comprehensive, forward-looking program for creating an affordable, secure, and reliable energy supply. Automation, instrumentation, and controls are involved in measuring energy demand and conserving its use, and in energy production. "Our economy and way of life are dependent on reliable and affordable energy," said Engler.
New devices could quickly sense chemical concentration, and switch chemicals by switching out a chip, suggest Duke University researchers Eric Toone, Rob Clark, and Piotr Marszalek (left to right). Durham, NC —A new molecular "fishing" technique developed by researchers at Duke University and Duke's Pratt School of Engineering lays the groundwork for future advances in handheld chemical sensing devices, using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Hand-held devices used for medical testing or environmental and food-safety monitoring could quickly and precisely measure concentrations of virtually any chemical substance, including blood proteins, toxic pollutants and dangerous biological agents, in a test solution, according to the researchers. The researchers describe the chemical methodology that would enable such devices in this week's online early edition of the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," according to a statement from Duke University.
Matrikon Inc . and Umetrics Inc. recently announced a partner agreement to provide a combination of software packages for the seamless installation of process analytical technology (PAT) for the pharmaceutical market.
Design and motion analysis software was a new tool for founder and principal engineer Jim Richards, but it helped his company, James Engineering , create a patent-winning design for a high-performance race kart chassis. Richards said the software helped him anticipate structural problems and mechanical collisions in kart designs before the company committed to building expensive prototypes. "The field is 30 years old and our competitors have a lot of accrued knowledge. [The software] gave us the ability to step up and leap over their practical experience by modeling many different kinds of chassis to see how they would perform under varying conditions," said Richards, who calls his company a late entry into the kart design game. James Engineering, based in Broomfield, CO, is a design and manufacturing facility with 22 years experience developing deburring machines for aerospace and automotive production.
Hoffman Estates, IL— Bosch Rexroth Corp. ’s Berend Bracht, former CEO of Bosch Rexroth China and former head of the company’s U.S. industrial hydraulics operation took over as president and chief executive officer on Jan.
Happy New Year to everyone. The biggest obstacle to moving this project forward is getting the City comfortable that our selected open project architecture will integrate well with what is being planned for the overall $600M 15-year sewer improvement program. That program is not fully defined, however, with the initial study and consultant recommendations expected in March.The city basically has 3 alternatives to choose from: re-bidding the Phase II contract, incorporating the Phase II work into another contract, or scrapping the project and starting over. Re-bidding the Phase II contract would ensure a delay of the project of another 6-9 months. It would also increase costs significantly since contractor prices are way up from the original pre-hurricane Katrina prices of the last bid. Of course, scrapping the project isn't very palatable as it would further extend the project completion and return no value for the hundreds of thousands already spent. Delays cost money: oversight of the re-bidding process, modification of specifications, material and labor rate increases, new studies, more drawings.
Those using automation to transfer data need to embrace OPC Unified Architecture (UA) to increase security and data integration, suggests Dave Emerson, principal systems architect, U.S. Development Center, Yokogawa Corp. of America. OPC Foundation tools, though sometimes frustrating, have done industrial automation a world of good, acting as a universal translator, utility, and data pipe to sen...
Rosslyn, VA —Environmentally sound manufacturing immediately was named among top priorities for the new chairman of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), S&C Electric president and CEO, John Estey. Environmental issues, along with workforce education and U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, have been among important topics at S&C, a Chicago-based manufacturer of electric power control, switch protection, and related control components.
Key outcomes of a successful automation project include improved productivity, reduced operating costs and creation of innovative products. Three companies collaborated to achieve those results: Combining microelectronics and microbiology—which Cepheid calls microDiagnostics—the company is working to develop proprietary products aimed at complete, cost-effective automation of compl...
F209L wireless LAN module for 3U Compact PCI systems from MEN Micro Inc. is intended for harsh environmental conditions.
December 4, 2006 This week has been another slow one on the project. The engineering staff continues to perform periodic graphic improvements and improvements in trending. Alarm notification is still an issue at this time with the hardware not functioning properly and our engineering staff resorting to calling for backup from the engineering manager.
Because of the clarity of the ZigBee standard, the organizational strength of the ZigBee Alliance, and the involvement of several of the world's largest semiconductor companies, ZigBee will emerge as the dominant wireless mesh networking technology, according to recent research and analysis by In-Stat, a unit of Reed Business Information, which also owns Control Engineering.
November 20, 2006 This week our engineering staff continued working on the resolution of issues concerning our internal graphics review. Due to an unrelated incident at one of the upgraded stations, we are in the process of checking the city's laptop computer, which is used to download to the RTUs for proper operation. All of us at QDS also want to wish our readers a Happy Thanksgiving!.
We are still awaiting the city's requirements for reporting and alarm notification from the prime consultant. We have converted the 13 booster stations; submitted more screens for review including reporting, help, and screens for the next group of stations to be converted; are working on alarm notification functionality; and monitoring and working to perfect the stations already converted. Until decisions are made by the city as to exactly how they want to proceed, this project will remain inactive.
Wireless sensors and instrumentation are great for remote locations where cabling is not practical, but if there's no wire, how do you get power to the device? Batteries are an obvious choice, but they go flat eventually. Microgenerators offer a means to harvest wasted energy—even vibrations from equipment—to power small devices. Perpetuum has launched its new generation of microgenerators that convert vibrations into useful energy. The PMG17 microgenerator reportedly offers key advantages over the earlier PMG7, including operation at lower vibration levels and across a wider range of frequencies.
The engineering staff worked on the issues noticed during our internal graphics review. A few minor issues needed to be corrected. While working on the corrections, an addressing issue concerning 4 output points per station was discovered.
Pack Expo International, held last week at Chicago's McCormick Place, was expected to draw 50,000, including visitors from more than 75 countries. (Photo by Mark Hoske) Chicago, IL —Advice on how to succeed (apply market knowledge to your products before your customers know about the trends), greater flexibility, speed to market, and training effectiveness were among concerns raised on the opening day of Pack Expo International. The 50th anniversary show, produced and sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), was held here Oct.
PulSar analog-to-digital converter (ADC) from Analog Devices Inc. is designed to lower power consumption and increase portability of medial and industrial monitors and improve performance and throughput of automated test equipment and data acquisition systems.
Wireless SmartPack Starter Kit unveiled by Emerson Process Management at its Global Users Exchange in October is a configurable suite of wireless technologies and services intended to give users a risk-free way to experience wireless technologies in their own facilities.
Because of the clarity of the ZigBee standard, the organizational strength of the ZigBee Alliance, and the involvement of several of the world's largest semiconductor companies, ZigBee will emerge as the dominant wireless mesh networking technology, according to recent research and analysis by In-Stat , a unit of Reed Business Information. Wireless mesh networks are a mosaic of proprietary and non-proprietary implementations, In-Stat says. The IEEE 802.15.4 Working Group was designed to create unified standards for short-range, self-configuring mesh networks. ZigBee is a networking layer that is built on top of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard.
Building a coal-fired power plant in Wisconsin isn’t easy given the state’s tough environmental regulations. Visions of smokestacks and acid rain are incompatible with its draw as an outdoor playground of woods, lakes, fishing, and hunting, so it’s no surprise that Wisconsin has historically been a net importer of electric power.
October 23, 2006 This week our engineering staff re-installed the hardware required for the alarm notification software. There is a driver issue, however, that we are working with tech support to resolve. At our last meeting with the City, the subject of how to handle the stalled Phase II contract was discussed. City maintenance personnel pointed out that the Phase II plans did not accurately reflect current wiring at the stations.
CP69xx "Economy" control panels from Beckhoff Automation feature a new design that lets panels be installed distances of up to 50 m economically. CP69xx "Economy" control panels from Beckhoff Automation feature a DVI/USB extension said to allow devices to be installed at a distance of up to 50 m as standard. Maximum distance for conventional DVI/USB connections is 5 m.
MediaWall 2500 from RGB Spectrum is among new products on display in the ISA Expo2006 exhibit hall. Multi-screen array forms a virtual screen in which nearly any display of windows is possible. Houston, TX and Alameda, CA —RGB Spectrum's recently expanded MediaWall line of multi-screen video/data wall controllers will be among the products highlighted at the ISA 2006 Expo.
Gaining access to the remote server location proved easier than expected. First, my name was placed on a list by a responsible person with QDS. Then, I had to go to the site and fill out some paperwork.
Logger software from Witt documents measurement results from the company’s gas analysis devices.
A new range of touch drivers for Linux and Mac OS X systems is now available from Elo TouchSystems , a div. of Tyco Electronics Corp. The offerings complement the company’s line for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and legacy operating systems, including DOS and OS/2. Driver comes with serial or USB touch interface (where supported) for a complete range of OS.
Curtis Manning, ceramics engineer in the rapid prototyping laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, holds a plastic 5-in. model of a J2-X engine built by one of the machines in the lab. The engine will be used in Ares I and V vehicles, which will eventually carry astronauts to the moon and Mars.
Chicago, IL— BattleBots robot combat, a futuristic technology center, and a presentation intended to help 'jump start your brain to be more competitive globally' are among the attractions of IMTS 2006 , set to get underway next week at Chicago's McCormick Place. The 26th edition of the International Manufacturing Technology Show, among the world's largest industrial trade shows, is expected to include more than 1,200 exhibitors and welcome some 85,000 visitors from at least 80 countries. An educational conference developed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) accompanies the show, which runs Sept. 6-13.
Peter Welander has been named Control Engineering's process industries editor. This new classification is designed to increase the publication's already strong coverage of this key automation industry segment. Welander comes to this position from an extensive career in marketing and engineering of technical products in a wide variety of industries.
Micro-machine tools that are either under development or are fairly new to the marketplace are quite pricey, often costing as much as $1 million or more. I find it interesting that so-called "micro" machines have "mega" price tags. These machines have resolutions of a few nanometers, and are capable of producing high accuracy components and optical quality surfaces.
Golden, CO— Promising new energy technologies, particularly solar, hydrogen, and building-related, are getting a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the opening of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ’s (NREL) new Science and Technology Facility (STF) here. DOE Secretary Samuel W.
NASA -based gas analyzer technology is helping oil producers such as El Paso Natural Gas Co. (EPNG) track pipeline moisture and avoid expensive shut-ins. Natural gas at the wellhead often contains contaminants, including water, that must be removed and the gas cleaned to pipeline quality before it can be delivered safely to high-pressure long-distance pipelines. Various processes are used to remove the water vapor.
Human machine interfaces (HMIs) have been in place for more than 20 years, but some basic rules have not changed. If you want a responsive system, you have to install specialty software on the operator stations, qualify the software, and validate and maintain the installations. HMI applications that require specialty software installed on the operation station are called "thick client" applica...
2 main plastic categories are thermosets (the polymer sets irreversibly when heated) and thermoplastics (can be heated, melted, and reshaped countless times), as explained at Fantastic Plastics Works, a companion site to The Society of Plastics Industry's Epcot showcase at Walt Disney World, Florida.
MSP43FG461x Series of microcontrollers is the first to incorporate MSP430x architecture with an extended 1 MB memory model, allowing access to 16 times more memory than the 64 KB available today.
R. Douglas McPheters, President of HoloTouch, Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued US Patent 7,054,045 to HoloTouch, Inc. HoloTouch technology is already the subject of U.S. Patent 6,377,238, UK Patent No. 2292711 and Canadian Patent 2,160,245, with additional patent applications pending in the European Union and other major industrialized countries.
Kubotek USA , makers of geometry-based design and engineering software, announced a new set of shape design tools for its KeyCreator product. The KeyCreator product family combines multidimensional design and drafting, numerical control (NC) programming and the company’s unique geometry-based foundation with direct feature editing and deformation techniques. It integrates 2D drafting, 3D wireframe, surfacing, solids and NC into one environment. The new tools, bundled into the latest release of KeyCreator, include the following: Curve Deform tool allows dynamic modification of any wireframe curve.
1200 Series momentary pushbutton switches are designed to handle high-resistive loads and feature butt-action contacts with double break.
June 13, 2006 The engineering staff is working this week on OPC server redundancy issues and enabling SCADA write control now that security access levels have been established. Later this week we will again meet with the prime consultant and city maintenance personnel to conduct a second review and iron out issues related to configuration of alarms and reports. Alarm notification within the existing SCADA system is presently configured such that critical station alarms are sent via text messaging to a shared cell phone. Operators can remotely acknowledge alarms.
Dataradio is forming a new user group to focus on operation and maintenance of private wireless networks for mobile data users. First meeting will be held during the Dataradio Mobile User Conference in Atlanta, GA, at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel, July 18-20, 2006. "Our users overwhelmingly said they would like to see a user group of this scope,” explains Robert Rouleau, Dataradio founder. Input will help improve product and service quality.
Bologna, Italy—Datalogic Jet Version 5 from Datalogic is designed for mobile data capture operations. Enhanced version is suited for a variety of applications, including field force automation, warehousing, and the management of data in many areas of a company.
June 6, 2006 As the new project engineer on this job I have spent the last couple of weeks getting up to speed on the scope of the job and all of it's requirements. At the same time I have been familiarizing myself with the software and hardware for the project. There are some items which need to be completed before we move on to the next phase. The past week has seen much progress toward the item on the first graphics review punch list.
May 31, 2006 Last week the Engineer called a meeting to discuss our price escalation request. While this topic was the main subject of discussion, City maintenance personnel were on hand and numerous other matters were discussed. There appeared to be general consensus that our price adjustment requests were reasonable and justified.
Most American engineers are north of their 40s, and the U.S. is largely failing to replace these boomers as they retire. For better or worse, other parts of the world are picking up the slack: for example, more than 600,000 engineers graduated last year from Chinese higher education institutions vs. 70,000 in the U.
Supply chain execution (SCE) software vendors say they have a quick way to get warehouses operating at peak efficiencies, but industry experts warn that this approach is not necessarily easy, which is making companies reluctant to sign on. The answer, according to the software vendors, is to implement a labor management system (LMS), which typically comes with an embedded set of bes...
Define production records in detail with the latest in a series of batch control standards from ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society. ISA-88.00.04-2006, Batch Control Part 4: Batch Production Records, establishes a reference model for developing applications for the storage and/or exchange of batch production records.
A news article in our February issue (CE, Feb. 2006, News, "90% of the world's engineers Asian residents by 2010?") generated this comment from a U.S. chemical engineer: "I recently read an article in another magazine about how engineers have created approximately 50% of the new jobs created in this country, but only 5% of the country's workers are engineers.
Make2Pack is handing off its work to the ISA-88 (S88) committee, creating the new Part 5 portion of the standard with consistent models for manufacturing and packaging software. Potential savings are 50% or more in design, construction, and start-up costs, say those involved. Standards efforts pay off, with potential to revolutionize all of automation, adds David A.
Ishida Europe will use SolidWorks 3-D CAD software to streamline design time for machinery used to automatically weigh and pack all kinds of food, from cereal to seafood. The U.K.-based company plans to reduce custom machine configuration time 80% using SolidWorks' automated design and advanced sheet metal capabilities.
Concord, Mass. — SolidWorks announced that Assystem U.K. is using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to develop airplane engine test rigs.
Mechanicsburg, PA—InduMedical from InduKey North America claims to be the first anti-microbial industrial keyboard for use in hygiene-sensitive environments in medical, pharmaceutical, and food processing applications.
April 5, 2006 Some progress--April 10th has been set for a graphics review meeting. This is to confirm acceptance of the SCADA screens and layout for the first booster station, which is required before we proceed with cutover of the remaining 12 stations. The Phase II contract has some issues that were pointed out earlier by the end user. Essentially, a number of items they say they originally asked for in the design didn't make it into the Phase II contract bid documents.
CAN in Automation (CiA) has released the CANopen multi-level networking specification (CiA 400) and the CANopen application profile for road construction machine-sensor systems (CiA 415)—documentation is available for CiA-members. CiA-400 specification supports the design of CANopen-based systems that use multi-level networks. It’s possible to describe systems up to 127 CANopen networks, with each network comprising up to 127 CANopen devices.
DirectSoft5 PLC programming software for the DirectLogic line of PLCs is 32-bit Microsoft Windows certified and contains a number of new features to make ladder-logic programming faster and easier. These include IBoxes, modularized instructions that perform simple to complex ladder logic. IBox reduces multiple lines of code to a programming block with fill-in-the-blank parameters.
GE Fanuc Automation and Symbion Systems announced an exclusive global agreement to deliver comprehensive process analytical technology (PAT) solutions worldwide. PAT is a system for designing, analyzing and controlling manufacturing through timely measurements of critical quality and performance attributes of raw and in-process materials. The goal of PAT is to ensure final product quality.
New input device for mobile PC applications from Ikey Industrial Peripherals incorporates 2.4 GHz WirelessUSB technology for a 30-ft signal range. Austin, TX —DW-860 wireless industrial keyboard from Ikey Industrial Peripherals incorporates 2.4 GHz WirelessUSB technology, allowing for up to 30-ft signal range. Input device for mobile PC applications operates using radio frequency signals so that it is not susceptible to the line-of-sight issues associated with infrared keyboards.
SolidWorks Corp . has released the 64-bit versions of SolidWorks CAD and Cosmos design analysis software. SolidWorks 2006 x64 Edition and Cosmos 2006 x64 Edition, leverage the performance and scalability of Microsoft Windows XP-Professional x64 Edition operating system, giving customers 8 terabytes of memory.
Rosslyn, VA — National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has formed a Nanotechnology Advisory Council to provide guidance to the electrical manufacturing community about this new, rapidly emerging field. The council will include nanotechnology experts from academia and government. Members will be announced in the coming weeks. Panel of experts is intended to be a resource for manufacturers interested in the research and public policy implications of nanotechnology development as they seek to apply the technology to their products.
In-Stat . Production will vary widely by industry segment for several years, however, the high-tech market research firm says. For example, RFID has been used in automotive keys since 1991, with 150 million units now in use.
Verano Inc. (www.verano.com), a provider of security and SCADA systems for mission-critical industries, has acquired PlantData Technologies, a SCADA security, IT services, and industrial automation firm headquartered in Houston, TX. PlantData Technologies will operate as an independent subsidiary of Verano.
Environmental sensing technology is helping preserve an icon of American pop culture. Marilyn Monroe’s famous white “subway” dress grew from a role in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” to become the focus of countless photos and other memorabilia. Now stored in a vault in the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Motion Picture Museum in California, the dress, valued at $2.2 million, is being preserved from shifts in climate, humidity in particular, by a sophisticated system of high-tech devices. “Excessive humidity can be a severe enemy to antique textiles,” explains Todd Fisher, museum CEO and son of actress Debbie Reynolds. “While our museum environment is extremely stable, the mentality is that we don’t want to take any chances and find out one day that mold has been growing on the dress.
Ames, IA —Lead has long been recognized as a highly toxic material that can cause brain damage. Its use in paint was banned in 1978 and it was later removed from gasoline to further protect human health. But a burgeoning source—electronic waste—poses a substantial new environmental threat as lead and other chemicals leach from computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices being buried in landfills.
Las Vegas, NV —Many offer gobbledygook on how to be more creative, say two who spend some time themselves offering advice on creative design. Richard Seymour and Dick Powell, cofounders of Seymourpowell , a 20-year-old London-based product design consultancy, and co-stars of a television show on product design, recently discussed ways to improve the design process. Some people are more creative than others, they say, but there are various tools can help people cultivate creativity inherent in everyone. To improve design processes, Seymour and Powell suggest that that you: Creativity should be fueled by a rich passion for design and innovation.
Model CVCSO-914-1000 1GHz voltage-controlled SAW (surface acoustic wave) oscillator (VCSO) uses FR5 PCB and SAW crystal technology to provide a low-noise, low-jitter product with true sine wave output. Features include 135 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 kHz offset. It comes in a 9 x 14 mm SMT package, uses a +5 V supply, operates from -20 to 70 °C, and has no subharmonics.
Santa Clara, CA — IEEE Task Group “N” has voted to confirm the proposal for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, according to a Business Wire report. The specification developed by the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC) and submitted by the Joint Proposal team, which also contributed to it, becomes the first official draft of the 802.11n standard. The proposed Wi-Fi standard is intended to enable high-performance, next-generation wireless local area networking (WLAN) products. The draft supports speeds of up to 600 Mbps, a significant increase over today’s Wi-Fi networks.
January 24, 2006 One week left to the public access period. We will assume no news is good news and that no one has had any serious problems in accessing the SCADA site. We worked with the city's IT department last week to open the necessary ports for the engineers and maintenance staff to be able to access the SCADA site from their Web browser.
iCAP 6000 Series of ICP emission spectrometers from Thermo Electron Corp. feature compact size and high-efficiency optical design. Cambridge, UK —iCAP 6000 Series of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectrometers from Thermo Electron Corp .
Autodesk announced two major implementations of its software: rk International Corp.’s Refrigeration Systems Division of North America has deployed Autodesk Inventor together with Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Productstream and AutoCAD Electrical. ULVAC plans a full-scale rollout of company-wide 3D design work beginning in March 2006. ULVAC had been conducting its design work using 2D CAD software, but the company was interested in an organization-wide migration to 3D CAD to reduce the element of human error in design drafting. AIP integrates of current 2D drawings into a 3D design environment. ULVAC decision to implement AIP company-wide, means thatnot only will AIP be used in its design departments, but also in departments such as sales engineering. York, a supplier of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, will implement Autodesk applications to create, manage, and share complex industrial refrigeration equipment designs faster and more efficiently, streamlining the design to manufacture process through the integration and use of both 2D and 3D design applications. —David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providing secure controls and monitoring for U.S. water supplies and meeting federal Homeland Security and EPA directives are among the goals for Longwatch, a recently formed company, and its major product. Longwatch Surveillance System, with Video Control Center (VCC) software application, includes an alarm history display and an integrated industry standard database to maintain all alarms and...
Foxboro, MA —Invensys has received a patent (#6,950,760 B2) for digital technology optimizing startup and operations of the Foxboro CFT50, digital Coriolis mass-flowmeter. It applies to techniques for selecting optimal mode of operation for accurate measurement during changing flow conditions. The newly patented process keeps the Coriolis meter running stably in single- or two-phase flow conditions through precise digital analysis of measurements at both startup and transitions between operational modes. During startup, for example, the operational mode could include a random sequence of flow sensing.
December 13, 2005 With the holidays approaching, the heat and zeal to get work done faster has increased. We are finalizing multiple projects , and a major breakthrough last week is helping keep our spirits high for the holiday season --we successfully established Modbus communications with the existing RTU. Our engineers , with the help of the RTU manufacturer's tech support, got the communications up and running on the proposed Airlink Raven CDMA modem. We are planning to install the first RTU in the next two weeks.
GE Fanuc Automation Inc.'s Proficy Batch Version 5.0 (PBV) software is reported to deliver complete data collection, robust batch management, clear process visualization, and powerful supervisory control capabilities. It also intends to improve batch manufacturers' ability to meet regulatory demands. PBV's new batch-direct functionality provides a more intuitive interface between the batch execution system and the phase/equipment logic located in controllers. Users can now: compare cycle times, parameters, variables, and other relevant data in context; report and summarize batch data in support of improvement initiatives; produce trend-related parameters across batches; and understand and control process variation. For a more complete view of plant operations, the system combines batch operations with quality, production tracking, and other core manufacturing functions. For more information visit: gefanuc.com —Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering, email@example.com.
Control Engineering has a long history of researching the industrial automation market. What began years ago with our monthly Product Focus feature (now known as Product Research to underscore the articles' research component) has blossomed into regular surveys of our readers on nearly every topic relevant to the industries we cover.
Washington, D.C. —As the driving force behind October’s 0.9% increase in overall industrial production, “manufacturing production rose 1.4% and, excluding high-tech, finally pushed past its pre-recession, April 2000 peak for the first time,” said David Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. “That was the biggest monthly jump for manufacturing production in six years,” continued Huether. “But the bad news is that the jump resulted largely from temporary factors and marks the slowest manufacturing recovery in the past 30 years.
MPC5554 32-bit embedded controller, based on PowerPC architecture, extends Freescale Semiconductor's MPC5500 family to the industrial market. MPC5554 offers system performance up to five times higher than its MPC500 predecessors, meeting increasing demands of automotive and industrial designs. It includes 2 MB of embedded flash memory, enhanced timer systems, and a peripheral set tailored for a...
At least once, and usually several times in every IT or integration project, someone asks the question: "Who's the data owner?" This question reflects older system architectures which considered owning the data as a measure of system importance. In old architectures, systems controlled data and shared it reluctantly, if at all, with other systems.
Västerås, Sweden — Tarkett AB , Ronneby has specified ABB ’s System 800x Extended Automation to replace the 10-yr-old automation system on its mixing line for raw materials and ingredients for flooring products. The company produces 17 million sq m of plastic carpets a year for annual sales of some $1.6 million. Delivery includes advanced batch management functions and integration of the new system with Tarkett’s ERP system and existing weighing and dosing systems for the mixing line. ABB will train the operators and commission the system, which is scheduled to start up in January 2006. The system is designed to ensure high repeatability in the production process.
November 16, 2005 The existing RTU manufacturer shipped the completed Modbus firmware revisions, clearing the way for us to get a sample pump station completely up and running on the new SCADA system in the next few weeks. Because the firmware was a week late, it did not arrive prior to our project engineer leaving on a scheduled 2-week vacation, which means that other jobs take priority now. Meanwhile, the city of Baton Rouge purchasing department has suggested a "streamlined" approach for the re-request for proposals of Phase I, however purchasing still has not provided any dates to the primary consultant as to when this process can begin and be completed by, thereby hampering our project scheduling. With the holiday season approaching, we are lowering our expectations for a speedy completion date. Getting things restarted in the second quarter 2006 is looking more likely each week.
With LED indicators for power, programming, and detection functions aid in setup and troubleshooting, EMX UVX-300G sensor has an IP67-rated housing. EMX Industries Inc. , a manufacturer of sensors for industrial automation, says it's UVX-300G, UV (ultraviolet light) luminescence sensor improves control of glue and adhesive dispensing, using patented technology to provide long-range sensing/detection said to be 'more reliable than vision systems that typically cost 10 times more.' As feedback to a control system, the sensor can precisely measure the amount of applied glue, or it can be used to check for gaps in glue dispensing, excess glue on joints, and clogged nozzles.
Third-quarter numbers from NEMA indicate a 'period of increasingly robust growth for an industry that was hit hard by the protracted weakness in U.S. manufacturing activity,' according to Brian Lego, NEMA's director, economic analysis. Sales of industrial control products and systems, as measured in NEMA's Primary Industrial Controls Index, increased 3% during third-quarter 2005.
San Rafael, CA — Autodesk Inc . has joined Rockwell Automation's Encompass Partner program , enabling Rockwell brands, including Allen-Bradley (A-B), to use Autodesk Electrical, an industry-specific application for electrical-controls design work. Autodesk delivers technology that allows users to interact with 2-D and 3-D design information in the same environment. AutoCAD Electrical provides a path for designers who use AutoCAD to design control systems or generate critical reports, such as a bill of materials, by hand.
Kubotek , supplier of KeyCreator (formerly CadKey) design and manufacturing software, has joined the SolidWorks Solution Partner program. The partnership supports Kubotek's focus on providing solutions that ease CAD interoperability, allowing designers and engineers to share product data and models. "The reuse of data and model components from existing CAD files is a widely accepted practice, but our recent interoperability survey showed that only 6% of engineers receive files in their preferred format," said Bill DeAngelis, Americas sales manager, Kubotek USA. According to Kubotek, KeyCreator's geometric architecture is optimized to work with various CAD models, integrating them into a single CAD environment. It reads files from other CAD tools available on the market and provides the geometric editing capabilities designers need to repair and modify those models for use in a SolidWorks design environment. Like many manufacturers, Anderson Power Products of Sterling, MA, a designer and manufacturer of high power interconnects and accessories, is a multi-CAD environment.
Nanosaws, nanobelts, and nanowires (top to bottom) were grown by Georgia Tech researchers from cadmium selenide using the vapor-liquid-solid technique. Atlanta, GA —Two recent nanomanufacturing studies laying the foundation for large-scale, controlled synthesis of nanostructures could play an important role in future sensors, displays, and nanoelectronic devices. Nanotechnology researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology say they have taken an important step toward high-volume production of new nanometer-scale structures with the first systematic study of growth conditions that affect production of one-dimensional nanostructures from the optoelectronic material cadmium selenide (CdSe). Using results from more than 150 experiments in which temperature and pressure conditions were systematically varied, the researchers created a “road map” to guide future nanomanufacturing using a vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) technique.
NESA , a leading Danish electricity company, will deploy the first ZigBee-enabled system for automated meter reading (AMR) in Europe, heralding a new method for automated communications updates to utilities others. The arrangement uses Freescale Semiconductor’s ZigBee-compliant platform and a system design by alliance partner Develco. AMR provides utilities the ability to wirelessly monitor electricity usage. Additionally, consumers will have the capability to monitor and control home appliances and receive home intruder alerts remotely through the short messaging system (SMS). "Freescale's market knowledge along with the expertise of their partner Develco, who charged the implementation of ZigBee technology in the system, gave us the confidence in selecting their platform as our foundation," said Willy Bergstrom, NESA’s project manager.
The Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) infrastructure equipment market has begun to accelerate, reports In-Stat. From 2004-2009, the market for access points is expected to zoom from $33.5 million to $974.3 million, the high-tech, market-research firm says. WMNs were developed as a quick way to set-up wireless networks during military operations.
GEME-4000 and GEME-5000, PC-based controller-general embedded-machine engines (GEME) offer multiple CPU choices and USB 2.0 connectors, LVDS support for display, and DDR RAM in addition to standard GEME features. GEME-4000 comes with an Intel ultra-low-voltage Celeron M600 MHz processor. GEME-5000 uses an Intel low-voltage Pentium M processor up to 1.
Horiba Instruments Inc. ’s MU-1000N spectrometer has a NeSSI ISA/ANSI SP76.00.02-compliant modular sample conditioning system. (MU-1000N is a UV/VIS/SWNIR diode array spectrometer that measures a wide variety of components such as SO2, CL2, NH3, H2S, N2O, and mercaptans, in a gas or liquid stream.) Sampling system components for stream selection, pressure, and flow indication are mounted on a common “pegboard” with substrate fittings developed for complex flow control applications. Having flow paths on one plane reduces “footprint” size as much as 75%, when compared to conventional tubing fittings and components, Horiba says.
Norwalk, CT —Hewlett Packard’s Gilles Bouchard is slated to head the line-up of keynote speakers at National Manufacturing Week 2006. Bouchard, HP’s executive vice president of global operations, will discuss “Managing multiple routes-to-market in the global marketplace.” NMW 2006 is gearing up to attract manufacturing leaders from around the world to its annual spring show and conference. Featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors and a comprehensive technical conference, NMW will be held March 20-23, 2006 in suburban Chicago’s Rosemont, IL. The NMW conference will be geared to small- and mid-sized manufacturers.
Scottsdale, Ariz., October 3– The Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) infrastructure equipment market has begun to accelerate, reports In-Stat. From 2004-2009, the market for access points is expected to zoom from $33.5 million to $974.3 million, the high-tech, market-research firm says. WMNs were developed as a quick way to set-upwireless networks during military operations.
Researchers in industry, government, and academia offer the year’s best in technology, as the editors of R&D Magazine announce the winners of the 43rd Annual R&D 100 Awards. This year’s winners join the ranks of more than 6,000 (including joint developers) past winning organizations—all can be found in a searchable archive at www.rdmag.com/rd100ach . Selection of the 2005 R&D 100 winners lasts nearly a year and involves a panel of nearly 50 independent technical experts who lend their expertise in evaluating details of the product entries, compared to other existing products and technologies. Winners will be recognized at a black tie awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of Chicago’s Navy Pier on Oct.
Las Vegas —Nutec Systems, Inc., Booth No. C-3007, unveiled the new Pharmacarton Coding system that offers in-line, high-resolution digital printing of lot, expiration and bar codes for pharmaceutical and medical cartons. This new design overcomes the problem of printing high-density bar codes and 2D codes in-line by totally controlling the carton during the print and vision process.
September 27, 2005 The microfiltration (MF) system PLC control code– IO, control modules, interlocks, and equipment modules – is “code complete.” If you’re not familiar with this term, it is because we at Cascade Controls have developed our own terminology to describe different levels of completion. Too often when someone says they are "done," there is still more work to do. To avoid this type of communication error, we developed and defined our own terms for qualifying degrees of done-ness.
September 19, 2005 This week our work revolves around the plant's operational philosophy and operator access to modules from the HMI. Should an operator be allowed to run an equipment module from the HMI? If the equipment module is in auto mode, can an operator change operational parameters? Should modules be locked into auto mode by recipes or should operators be allowed to put modules in manual mode while a recipe is operating? If an operator changes an equipment module to manual mode, should the recipe automatically transition to a hold state? These operational questions arise with every project and get different answers from nearly every customer. In fact, we even get different answers for one customer at different facilities.
Mathcad 13, newest version of Mathsoft Engineering & Education’s calculation management software, captures and reuses knowledge locked in engineering calculations.
RotaryPoint rotary paddle bin level indicator from ASI Instruments is designed for measuring levels of dry bulk solids in hoppers, silos, bins, and tanks. RotaryPoint rotary paddle bin level indicator from ASI Instruments is a small footprint device that features a heavy-duty motor gearing said to provide up to twice the life expectancy of other paddle indicators. Designed for measuring the level of dry bulk solids in hoppers, silos, bins, and tanks, the system handles materials with densities of 10 lb/cu ft or more, including grains, plastic pellets, and high-density aggregates, such as limestone and rocks. Unit has a twist-on cover for quick access to wiring, and it can be mounted on the top of bins, or on the side to indicate high, intermediate, or low levels.
Vent Master from Parker Instrumentation provides a turnkey solution for process analyzer sample disposal that eliminates the need to vent to atmosphere. Vent Master process analyzer venting system from Parker Instrumentation provides a turnkey solution for venting samples from process analyzers into a plant’s flare disposal or return system. Product creates a constant pressure environment in the vent header to keep chemical and petrochemical process analyzers operating at maximum accuracy.
September 13, 2005 Business is starting to settle back down after hurricane Katrina. The planned meeting with the primary engineering firm and the City of Baton Rouge maintenance personnel has been delayed until next week due to vacation schedules at the city. Between now and then, we're looking at retaining 13 of the existing RTUs, requiring firmware upgrades to support the Modbus protocol. RTU capabilities with the new firmware were confirmed with the manufacturer last week.
London, U.K. — Scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research in London report a recent study shows no link between the use of cell phones and cancer. The investigation into the relationship between mobile phone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma, a nervous system tumor that occurs close to where mobile phones are held to the head, suggests no substantial risk in the first 10 years after starting mobile phone use.
With the devastation left behind in Hurricane Katrina’s wake, work on the SCADA project at the Baton Rouge wastewater facility has obviously come to a halt. Blogger Stan Prutz says the UPS systems, however, have proven their worth. Meanwhile, John Sever, one of the bloggers on the biopharmaceutical filtration automation project, explains how work is progressing with equipment module design and development. Wastewater SCADA project: Stan Prutz wrote to us on Monday, Aug.
Immersible data logger from Saelig Co. Inc. can log ambient temperature every 1 sec to every 2 hr. Immersible data logger from Saelig Co.
Immersible data logger can collect up to 8,000 sample readings for liquids or packages in transit or process measurements. Ki-8818 standalone device can be programmed to log ambient temperature from every 1 sec to every 2 hr, placed in a package or vessel, retrieved, placed on a serial interface, and data uploaded and displayed on a PC.
Though both projects are in somewhat of a holding pattern relative to initial expectations, work continues. At the wastewater facility SCADA project, end-to-end testing of the trial system is now complete, but no word has been received regarding the notice to proceed with Phase II. Meanwhile, on the biopharmaceutical filtration automation project, while the HMI hardware has still not arrived, the integrators are designing and developing automatic sequences for the equipment modules. Wastewater SCADA Project: End-to-end testing of trial system by QDS Systems is now complete.
AS1120 RoHS-compliant LCD driver is a new offering from austriamicrosystems intended for industrial and automation markets.
General media outlets have been buzzing with news that manufacturing is back as a major economic driver in the U.S. Recent reports on this "trend" could be found in the Wall Street Journal citing U.S. Census Bureau data about increases in domestic manufacturing capacity, backed by numbers from the Institute of Supply Management stating that June marked the 25th straight month of expansion in th...
Wireless mesh networking is expected to make inroads into industrial monitoring and control applications, but not only because of the ZigBee standard, according to a new study, "North American Market for RF/Microwave Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Discrete and Process Manufacturing," by Venture Development Corp.
KM26 magnetic bargraph from K-Tek is a rugged, liquid level indicator designed for corrosive, flammable, and toxic environments.
The Foxboro I/A Series Alarm Manager and the newly developed and highly versatile I/A Series System Message Manager working in combination to meet all of your plant’s process alarm requirements whether you are a small manufacturing operation with only 40 alarms or a nuclear power plant with a demanding 40,000 alarms.
July 13, 2005 Last week we received signed contracts for Phases III and IV. This week we received a notice to proceed from the city of Baton Rouge, which establishes the project start date as July 11th, 2005. The notice stipulates we are allowed 270 days to complete Phase III software and integration and 150 days to complete the Phase IV communication system.
Microwave Data Systems (MDS) recently reported that its parent company, Moseley Associates Inc., plans to purchase Proxim Corp.
Boston, MA—Global manufacturing execution system (MES) market revenue reached an estimated $1.06 billion in 2004, which represented a 50% increase since 2001, according to a new report by AMR Research.
Atomic Absorption (AA) spectrometers from ThermoElectron Corp. are designed to detect and analyze hazardous elements.
The four principal tools for noise and vibration control (damping, isolation, absorption, and barrier materials) are the focus of a white paper from E-A-R Specialty Composites.
Smart-Trak Series C100M digital mass flow controller (MFC) for larger gas flows from Sierra Instruments Inc. is said to offer end-users and OEMs flexibility, an easy-to-use interface, rugged stainless-steel construction, and digital performance at flow rates up to 200 slpm (standard liters per minute).
Chicago, IL—To give OEMs a choice between radio frequency and mesh networking protocol with one development effort, Sensicast Systems is exhibiting its Modular Interchangeable Networking Device (MIND) platform this week at Sensors Expo 2005, June 6-9, at McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center.
TF-100 Series vibrating level switch provides a reliable, no calibration solution to point level measurement of clean liquids and is available with relay, current, or PNP outputs. Compact 316L stainless steel sensor comes in both standard and sanitary versions. Typical applications include high- and low-level indication, overfill prevention, and pump "run dry" protection.
Measurement system using wireless gas sensor technology from MSR Electronic is reducing electrical installation costs in parking facilities as much 80%, and could readily be applied in manufacturing production lines and/or connected warehouses and loading docks.
Two new hydraulic valves for the off-highway equipment industry are intended to give design engineers added options for configuring control schemes for their machines.
Robosuit all-enveloping suit coated with DuPont Dow Hypalon chlorosulfonated polyethelene protects vital parts, reduces maintenance, and increases automation uptime. Developed by Charles Tur, founder of Roboworld, the product is intended to cover robots in a heavy gauge material suit to protect them without restricting movement.
Come May 5, 2005, a new official land-speed record may be in the books for electric cars.
Model 1621 value kit combines high-accuracy digital thermal hygrometer with LogWare III environmental monitoring software to provide real-time data viewing and recording.
Beijer Electronics takes steps to position itself as a global supplier of human-machine interface (HMI) products with its recent acquisition of Hitech Electronics, a Taiwanese corporation.
Houston-based Grant Prideco, a drill pipe manufacturer and provider of drill stem technology, has begun using RuleStream Corp.’s rules-driven product management software to improve its order-fulfillment process and reduce design and engineering time.
EFAB Access promotes quick, easy, affordable design and test of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), microdevices, and microscopic mechanical parts.
Mathsoft and SolidWorks Corp. have formed an alliance to integrate their software, which will enable more complex engineering calculations, driving 3-D design and technology integration. This is expected to streamline users' engineering efforts, shorten product development cycles, and reduce risk of errors.
Incuity software is a real-time enterprise decision support system from DataWorks designed for businesses that rely on automated production equipment. It integrates with existing control systems, data historians, business systems, and databases—from the same or different vendors—to allow visualization of production and business data.
A collection of indicators used to judge the health of the automation and control marketplace provided a decidedly warm glow this winter. Consider capital spending activity—the most important driver for overall automation and control investment. With equipment investment up 15% in 4Q and 14% for all of 2004, the U.
For centuries, engineers have created many of the innovations that we enjoy today. In the not-so-distant past, these engineers were regarded as heroes. To this day, we recognize Thomas Edison as a great inventor, the Wright brothers as the fathers of early aviation, and Henry Ford as an automobile pioneer.
Lohr a.M., Würzburg, Germany—Recent business successes with prospects for more of the same, plus multiple technologies united under one uniform control system and deep application know-how within Bosch Rexroth’s five divisions were emphasized at the company’s “1st Global Technology Summit” held here in late-January 2005.
QuickField 5.2 finite-element analysis (FEA) software features new analysis options and reduces effort required for initial training from minimal to almost none.
DVF-320 depth velocity flow transmitter from Scientific Technologies Inc., Automation Products Group, uses a 4-20 mA signal to provide long-term monitoring and transmission of flow rate.
Bird Electronic Corp. has added a next-generation EX Series of Site Analyzer antenna and cabling diagnostic tools to its family of electronic testing technology.
Schneeberger Inc. has announced a new line of specialized linear motion components: guideways for special machines, modified standard guideways from single pieces to series volumes, replacement guideways for obsolete machines, and custom products.
PAT Initiative Expected to Invigorate Pharmaceutical Industry with Improved Quality, Better Efficiency and Improved Profits.
The implementation of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) is bringing real-life benefits and improvements to many pharmaceutical processes. This white paper takes a detailed look at the business drivers of PAT – regulatory and financial – and highlights the fundamental steps to successful implementation. The benefits are lower production cycle times, improved manufacturing efficiency, reduced rejects and increased production uptime.
FactoryLink 7.5 software solution for industrial HMI and SCADA systems offers new functionality and enhancements so users can more quickly build and deploy applications and react to operations. Features include out-of-box reporting, automatic e-mailing of alarms and events, one-click client for rapid deployment of nodes on a LAN or VPN, and rapid set-up of redundant applications.
G2 real-time reasoning engine platform, version 8.0, from Gensym sets a new technology benchmark for real-time automation of critical operations, according to the developer. Next-generation product features new capabilities for reasoning, integration, embeddability, user interfaces, and productivity.
Model 3712KPM flat-panel industrial computer from Xycom Automation Inc., a Pro-face America Company, provides cutout compatibility with devices in service during the past 20 years. A high-performance, all-in-one device, 3712KPM is compatible with panel cutouts used by other Xycom units, and also matches those from other vendors, including Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley and Schneider Electr...
Vijeo Look v2.5 software is intended as an easy-to-use solution for a stand-alone HMI system.
EMF-03 integrated smart magnetic sensor uses no magnetic concentrators so the measurement has no hysteresis.
Mathematically speaking, the order of a continuous process equals the number of differentiation operators required to construct its governing equation. In layman's terms, that describes how dramatically the process variable can change when a control effort is applied to the process. Higher order processes demonstrate more complicated behavior and are commensurately harder to control.
Siemens Energy & Automation and Goss International recently celebrated the installation of the 500,000th Masterdrives ac motion control and vector control drive that Siemens has distributed worldwide. Goss designs and manufactures web offset printing press and postpress systems, and has been a Siemens global partner and Masterdrives user since the drives were introduced ...
Moorpark, CA—Smtek International Inc. reports that it has agreed to be acquired by CTS Corp. The acquisition is subject to approval by Smtek's shareholders, and is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2005.
Endress+Hauser has opened a new production facility for flowmeters near Shanghai, China.
One problem with writing about network and computer security is the speed at which the threat changes. In the few weeks that separate my writing of this article and its appearance in print, there will probably be another large cyber attack and multiple stories about how companies are not doing enough to ensure computer security.
Price pressures and intense competition characterize the North American linear motors market, according to a recent analysis by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
The world manufacturing execution systems (MES) software markets accrued revenues worth $1.2 billion in 2003 and are poised to expand to $2.51 billion by 2010, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan.
Dedham, MA—China’s control valve market is expected to grow at an almost 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years from $212 million in 2003 to more than $350 million in 2008 according to a new study, “Control Valve Outlook for China,” by ARC Advisory Group.
Chicago, IL—The next runaway opportunity for business advantage will be data interpretation, and much of that intelligence will connect with an organization’s primary assets, including those on the plant-floor, according to presenters at SmartSignal Corp.’s first Predictive Monitoring Summit on Sept. 20-21.
Chicago, IL—Surfware Inc. is exhibiting its patented Step Reduction Milling (SRM) technology for automating the rough machining process at IMTS 2004, Sept. 8-15, at McCormick Place.
Here’s a recently published book that should add to the reference tools of embedded control professionals.
PMD-1208FS personal measurement device (PMD) is USB based and supported by Microsoft Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP operating systems.
Several seminar series are being offered on aspects of complying with EU [European Union] Reduction of Hazardous Materials (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives, while several companies are offering products said to conform to the regulations.
Norcross, GA—To provide mission-critical performance and reliability for a variety of applications, Cirronet Inc. recently began shipping developers' kits for its low-cost WIT2450 2.4GHz OEM module.
Editor's note: Taken from The Truth About the Drug Companies by Maria Angell, The New York Review, July 15, 2004
One of the hottest high-tech words today is nanotechnology. It is so popular that many companies are adding the prefix nano to their names. The real questions are: "Do we really know what nano is all about?" and "What are its implications in the controls area?" First of all, let's size things up. A nanometer is a thousandth of a micrometer (µm).
Piranha2 Slimline camera is the slimmest in the Piranha line to date.
CADsymbols.com offers more than 30 million 2D/3D standard drawings and models for all CAD and documentation systems.
Phoenix, AZ—To help improve safety and reliability of nine crude oil and finished-product pipelines in Italy, Honeywell recently completed a $5-million automation project for Societa per Azioni Raffineria Padana Olii Minerali (SARPOM).
Despite slight projected revenue gains through 2010, variable speed drive (VSD) manufacturers in North America still face a shrinking client base because the OEMs they serve are shifting production to newly industrialized countries, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan.
Beaverton, OR—Tektronix Inc. has introduced a modular sampling oscilloscope, TDS8200, as well as its 82A04 phase reference module, to enable design engineers to characterize and validate product performance.
Highlights Sponsored by Fluid Components International Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies employs non-contact laser scanning and inspection software to complement coordinate measurement machine final inspection of milled, stretch-formed, and sheet metal parts. Free, 1 hour gas flowmeter accuracy seminar. Local venues. Expert presenters bring to light primary ways to improve flow measurements.
A new study of the nation’s top-performing factories has found that those using manufacturing execution systems (MES) have a considerable performance advantage over those that don’t use MES, including a 400% improvement in profitability over a three-year period.
ML3 Series of through-beam sub-miniature photoelectric sensors provides response times faster than 1 ms with ultra-miniature housings of only 22 x 8 x 11 mm, making them suitable for space-restricted applications. Models offer sensing ranges of up to 1.5 m. Horizontal and vertical housings allow the lens to be placed on either the end or the side of the housing.
Iconics, a provider of Web-enabled, OPC-based HMI/SCADA and manufacturing intelligence visualization software has entered a technology partnership with Saflink for support of Saflink's Biometric Identity Assurance Management software within Iconics’ Genesis32 automation suite.
A counter-timer-totalizer-event datalogger is a low-cost recording device that can sense a pulse input or contact closure from another source and convert inputs into engineering units. Other recently introduced control components include an analog input module and a foot switch for safety and automation.
It's past time for manufacturing to become the squeaky wheel and get more grease. Be an advocate for manufacturing and encourage discussion of pro-manufacturing policies among coworkers, family, and other friends. Why? Because elapsed time between heated water-cooler discussions and getting U.S. politicians' attention is about a nanosecond, according to Patrick J.
Many control engineers are looking at ominous signs and trying to make sense of them. Low factory orders, dismal plant utilization, and a mass rush to offshore outsourcing seem to be spelling the end. Control engineering implies control systems, production, and manufacturing. As the U.S. seems to be ceding its manufacturing base, what can we do? A lot, as it turns out.
Minneapolis, MN—Manufacturers united to provide a stronger voice; started a manufacturing skills certification program; and politicians argued about how to better serve U.S. manufacturing interests at the one-day “Manufacturing Tomorrow” conference here on April 5.
Tempe, AZ—Many supply chain executives report that U.S. economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in March 2004 for the 10th consecutive month, while overall economy grew for the 29th consecutive month, according to the latest “Manufacturing ISM Report on Business” from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
Arizona Public Service’s Four Corners Plant Increases Power Generation Efficiency by Wonderware Invensys
Four Corners, NM — Arizona Public Service (APS), a division of Pinnacle West, is a major electricity supplier in Arizona and bordering states. APS runs a coal-fired power plant in New Mexico called Four Corners, located where the states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah all meet at one geographical point.
Series 8000 modular workstation systems are ergonomically designed and flexible enough to accommodate changing needs. Each workstation can be configured in a variety of heights and lengths and comes in five standard widths and three heights up to 84 in.
RPS-409A Series ultrasonic sensors cover ranges from 4 in. to 18 ft, depending on the model. Units need no setup adjustments or calibration and have a linear output of volts per inch. They are encased in PVC and rated up to IP68 or NEMA-6P. Series is designed to take advantage of today's PLC and computer analog cards.
The Collaborative Production Management for Process Manufacturing (CPM-P) market will approach $2 billion by 2008, a recent ARC Advisory Group study shows.
More than 20,000 representatives from industry, academia, and government worldwide gathered in Chicago last week to participate in PittCon 2004.
Hume Integration Software has released its Datahub Solutions Development Kit (SDK), which allows integration of cells and processes into a distributed, peer-to-peer network.
NASA has chosen to use Lattice3D and accompanying XVL-based applications for its Digital Shuttle Project.
It’s the middle of the night. You’re riding on a train only a few miles from home. Settling deep into your seat, you start to fall asleep. A noise snaps you awake. Is that what you think it is? Loud screeching fills the train car and it begins to shake violently. Suddenly, the train tumbles off the tracks… Accidents do happen and trains derail due to weather or human error.
All right, of course it's not as simple as "Automate or export jobs." Perhaps the headline should read: "Get more aggressive about smart application of automation or update your résumé, because your North American facility is unlikely to remain competitive, long-term"—but that was too long, of course.
PowerEngine7 single-board computer comes in two rugged versions: air-cooled (RA) and conduction-cooled (RC). Both combine high performance with low power dissipation, making them well suited for data processing applications in harsh-environment industries, aerospace and military. These SBCs feature single or dual PowerPC-750FX processors operating at 700 MHz, providing more than 1,600 Dhrystone 2.
Chicago, IL—The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released Feb. 23 a new economic forecast projecting a strong recovery for U.S. manufacturers in 2004.
Highlights Control Engineering's new Website TVA opts for vibrating element method over thermal conductivity for hydrogen gas purity measurement at its Kingston fossil plant. Go to www.controleng.com today and see the new, easier to use and navigate Website. Features include more daily and weekly articles, enhanced industry channels, and engineering tutorials. Visit today! TVA switches hydrogen purity measurement instrumentation By Jim Scott It is an important event when power plant engineers and managers select new instrumentation for hydrogen gas purity measurement for a facility's generators, especially considering that the generators are a critical system from both a safety and economic point of view. The TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) Kingston fossil plant decided to make such a change and upgrade the facility's hydrogen gas purity measurement less than a year ago.
Algor V14.1 FEA (finite element analysis) software features new visualization and presentation options, improved contact for Mechanical Event Simulation, meshing enhancements and other changes.
Providing high sampling rates (up to 50 MS/s) "on two simultaneous channels with a fully programmable front-end and trigger circuitry" is how AlazarTech—a manufacturer of PC-based instruments—describes its recently launched 8-bit ATS850 PCI-based waveform digitizer.
Control Engineering, with the global resources of Reed Elsevier, continues to work with leading sources in manufacturing, controls, automation, and instrumentation to provide you with more in 2004 of what you need to make your life more productive and advance your career. Here's some of the fun of "more in '04" related to our new electronic publishing initiatives.
Autodesk's AutoCAD has incorporated and augmented VIA Development's Wiring Diagram (WD) to create its new AutoCAD Electrical 2004 software, which Autodesk says is the "first fully integrated solution for designers of electrical control systems." The software's controls design package is fully integrated with AutoCAD to maintain full native DWG format compatibility.
For the second straight year, National Instruments (NI) was named as ''one of the 10 best companies to work for in Hungary,'' by Figyelö (''Observer'' in English), the country’s economic publication affiliated with Business Week.
Within the control loop-sense, decide, actuate-sensing always gets top billing. Recently discussed sensing technologies include infrared-absorption-based sensor for CH4, H20, CO, HCN, and CO2; handheld electrochemical sensor; advanced thermal mass gas flow control; temperature, strain, tilt, vibration, corrosion, humidity sensors; and a single-chip pressure sensor.
Dedham, MA—The supply chain planning and collaboration (SCP&C) market is expected to grow at a 2.8% cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) from more than $1.9 billion in 2003 to just under $2.2 billion by the end of 2008, according to a new market study by ARC Advisory Group.
Milwaukee, WI—Rockwell Automation exhibited two information delivery solutions at Automation Fair 2003, FactoryTalk and ViewAnyWare, which allow users to view and act on real-time data.
MESA International plans to reinvigorate its education, outreach, and event programs to help manufacturers share best practices and expand their understanding of the impact information technology is playing in modern manufacturing. The efforts reflect the growing volume of joint IT and controls engineering activities evident on the plant floor today.
Palo Alto, CA—Defying the adverse impacts of slowing economies, the European market for wireless technologies in industrial applications, valued at approximately $117 million in 2002, is expected to quadruple its revenues between 2003 and 2006, according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan.
Series 7050 digital pressure indicators are designed to measure pressure to the highest performance levels available in a digital format. Three models meet a variety of performance and pressure range applications and budgets. All have long-term stability of 0.0075% of reading per year. Each features RS-232 and IEEE-488 interfaces and comes with a NIST-traceable calibration certificate.
The "first of its kind" iKey SlimKey industrial keyboard in an ABS polycarbonate case measures 0.8 in. (20 mm) in height and integrates a three-button HulaPoint pointing device, eliminating the need for an external mouse. It has 102-keys, including 12 function keys, a Microsoft Windows key, and standard number pad.
Harrisburg, PA—The new PSI-Data RS232, DIN-rail mount fax-modem from Phoenix Contact provides worldwide access via the public telephone network to machines and remote installations.
Discoverant GlobalVantage now offers Aegis data integration platform, Discoverant Nexus, independently from its analytical and statistical software modules.
Good software makes hardware disappear, contends National Instruments' (NI) CEO and co-founder Dr. James Truchard, in his recent NI Week 2003 keynote presentation. Truchard explains that instrumentation is increasingly used via software, and that a good software experience makes connected hardware transparent.
How would you like to do your next project at one-sixth the price and in half the time, with a mandate to offer scores of capabilities never before available, and have one shot to get it right? Did I mention that most people on the planet would be watching? If you're used to similar demands, you might think that such a project "isn't rocket science.
Quick Vision CNC vision measuring systems are up to 3x times faster than previous models, for non-contact measurement of IC chips, IC packages, hybrid chassis, lead frames and precision-machined, molded, and similar parts. Features include software with wider range in accuracy levels, optical/oblique illumination, programmable ring lights, refined GUI, extended 3-D data processing, support of t...
The worldwide market for plant-related products and external services in the process industries is projected to grow from $553 billion in 2000 to $631 billion in 2005 and $786 billion by 2010, according to a new study, "Process Plant Markets 2010," by Intechno Consulting. This translates to an average annual growth rate of 2.
Organizers of two of Europe's largest industrial trade shows, Hannover Fair and Interkama, report that they're merging the two events into one. Deutsche Messe AG (DEMAG) and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH will fold Interkama into Hannover Fair, and "will jointly stage Interkama within the compass of Hannover Messe 2004" on April 19-24, 2004.
Automation Studio 4.0 circuit design, simulation, and project documentation software package plays a key role in design and training in various fields, including hydraulics and mobile hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical controls, PLCs, and automation control applications.
Indicators show we're going to miss a double dip downturn, so now may be the time for heavy investment in many industries. Manufacturers of instrumentation and controls and the industries they serve generally are doing better financially. Making appropriate financial/capital investment decisions in advance of business cycles can save companies from ruin and maximize b...
Lake Buena Vista, FL—Indicators show we're going to miss a double dip downturn, so now may be the time for heavy investment in many industries, according to data from instrumentation and controls manufacturers presented May 13 here during the Measurement, Control & Automation Association's (MCAA, Williamsburg, VA) 2003 Executive Forum.
Plainville, CT—To expand its presence in the $60-billion and growing global sensors and instrumentation market, GE Industrial Systems announced May 14 that it has purchased SI Pressure Instruments (Birmingham, U.K.; Paso Robles, CA), which was previously a unit of Hill & Smith Holding PLC.
Schaumburg, IL—Motorola Inc. and Automation Solutions Inc. (ASI, Houston, TX) agreed May 5 to integrate their technologies to provide utility companies with more cost-effective communications solutions for equipment monitoring and data collection.
SmartSignal's equipment monitoring and predictive capabilities are extending beyond airline and large utility turbines to locomotives and pipeline meters, a company representative told Control Engineering recently. The technology, advanced Equipment Condition Monitoring (eCM), is covered by 34 patents, and analyzes sensor input over time for deviations that anticipate equipm...
A recent addition to the Modbus Organization Inc. (MOI) board of directors indicates closer ties between MOI and the Chinese Standards Organization. The new director on MOI's board is Feng Xiaosheng, chairman of the China Technical Committee of Industrial Measurement and Control.
ABB’s InformIT Information Manager solution is designed to collect, store, and retrieve historical and real-time process data from control and related systems and turn the data into information important for improving key performance indicators.
Lisle, IL—SmartSignal's equipment monitoring and predictive capabilities are extending beyond airline and large utility turbines to locomotives and pipeline meters, a company representative told Control Engineering recently.
Hopkinton, MA — Modbus Organization Inc. (MOI) announced March 3, 2003, an addition to its Board of Directors that bears on closer links between MOI and the Chinese Standards Organization.
Trevose, PA —Swing Prism Adjustable Borescope features a rotating lens that provides a 50-deg field of view and two types scanning: 120-deg included arc and 360-deg orbital. Users adjust the prism on the scope's front with a special control handle to obtain right angle, forward oblique, or retrospective viewing angles for inspecting pipelines, tubing, pumps, aircraft engines, combustion ...
Frost & Sullivan says wireless technologies will help increase market for electronic meters and counters. The global growth forecast for electronic meters and counters is driven in part by growth of wireless technologies, according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, "Test & Measurement Press Release—World Electronics Meters & Counters Markets."
Photoelectric sensors exist in three varieties—transmitted beam (also known as through beam), retro-reflective, and diffuse (proximity mode). Diffuse mode photoelectric sensors, unlike transmitted beam and retro-reflective sensors that operate based on the blockage of their light beam, rely on sensing light reflected off a target object.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada—TCEnet Inc. announced Jan. 10 that its Simulutions division was awarded a $600,000 contract to help Foxboro SCADA (Rome, Italy) supply supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and pipeline application software to monitor LPG transport at Gas Authority of India Ltd.'s (GAIL) 580-kilometer Vizag-to-Secunderabad pipeline network.
Unlike so many recently shrinking tradeshows, SPS/IPC/Drives 2002, Nov. 26-28, showed gains in virtually every statistic over last year's event, which is also known as the Electric Automation—Systems and Components Exhibition & Conference. The show's results were even more remarkable given Germany's far-from-glowing economic climate.
When the National Football League's newest team, the Houston Texans, kicked off at Reliant Park last fall, they began playing in the world's first retractable-roof NFL stadium. The fully automated, 2-million-pound retractable roof, which was designed, manufactured and installed by Minneapolis-based integrator Uni-Systems, features an automation system from GE Fanuc Automat...
Fremont, CA—Versant Corp. announced Nov. 20 that it has acquired Mokume Software for more than 2.4 million shares of Versant's common stock, which represents approximately 19.6% of Versant's outstanding common shares.
E3.cable marks the introduction of E3.series, a suite of Microsoft Windows-based products that are said to encompass all aspects of electrical and electronic design.
Eden Prairie, MN - Automationtechies.com announced on Nov. 1 that it has partnered with Top Echelon Contracting Inc. (Canton, OH) to provide contract recruiting and placement services.
Richardson, TX -USDATA Corp . announced on October 29, 2002 that its board of directors has accepted the resignation of Robert (Bob) Merry, president and ceo. Mr. Merry has also re-signed from the board of directors. The resignations are effective immediately.
Cambridge, MA—Draper Laboratory announced Oct. 10 that productivity for crew and ground controllers will improve when its Timeliner automation software is used for the first time on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is the world's largest marketer, producer, and distributor of products of The Coca-Cola Company. For high volume products, such as Coca-Cola Classic 12 pack, orders are often found in 'stock' quantities. In other words: a full pallet of a single stock keeping unit (ie. 96 cases).
Do you sometimes get a feeling that you're looking at your process but cannot really see what's going on? Internet technologies have enabled software tools that allow greater insight into how the process, manufacturing line, or batch interacts with other areas of enterprise; how it aligns with business goals; and how it fits, at any moment with other elements in the interconnected supply chain.
Boston, MA— Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (HBM, Darmstadt, Germany; Marlborough, MA) launched its new OEM Custom-Designed Sensors service on Sept. 24 at Sensors Expo Fall 2002 . HBM supplies test and measurement technology, data acquisition systems and software. HBM reports that its sensor service provides a highly qualified team that works with OEMs to adapt different sensing technologies to their needs.
Sydney, Australia - Citect announced the launch of CitectSCADA Facilities, a flexible, open, control and monitoring solution for facilities management companies and the commercial building sector. According to the company the product can be used to connect and monitor diverse systems including HVAC, lighting, security, and fire in virtually any size building or commercial complex.
Chicago, IL— Indications appear positive that the 75th anniversary edition of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is off to a good start into the second day of its eight-day run here at McCormick Place. (The show has been held 23 times previously in various forms and locales since 1927.) At the end of day two, 73,585 people had registered for the show-a number that includes more than 67,000 pre-registrants and another 6,235 who registered on-site during Sept. 4 and 5. This year's show is on course to handle 1,300 exhibitors from the U.S.
Foxboro, MA— To reduce defects in plastics, paper, metals, glass and none-woven material production and enhance productivity in continuous web and sheet manufacturing, Invensys Manufacturing Solutions , a unit of Invensys plc, released Aug. 26 its Invensys Inspection Accel-erator application. Invensys reports its new solution is a real-time, in-process, plant-floor inspection system designed to accelerate material processing and lower cost-to-manufacture. It offers easy configuration for rapid deployment and interoperability with other Invensys solutions, such as Wonderware's applications for manufacturing execution software (MES) and statistical quality control. Invensys Inspection Accelerator's inspection techniques enable comprehensive defect detection, yielding reductions in downstream operation disruptions.
With its unified interface, MSC.visualNastran 4D (vN4D) from MSC.Software (Santa Ana, CA www.mscsoftware.com), allows an engineer to complete the analysis of a system of parts/assemblies involved in multibody motion and interaction, to check its structural integrity with finite element analysis (FEA) methods, and to control it with industry standard Matlab/Simulink software from The MathWorks (Natick, MA www.mathworks.com).
Mequon, WI - Motion Book 4.0, a new browser-based CD, simplifies motion system selection for occasional users yet provides for in-depth analysis required by motion design experts. The free software helps eliminate rigorous, manual calculations when specifying motion systems, according to the developer, Rockwell Automation.
Akron, O. - Accelent Systems Inc. announced July 30 that it will fully support the latest update to the Microsoft Windows CE .Net operating system, version 4.1 (formerly code-named ''Jameson'').
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada— To advance the adoption of standards for embedded software development, QNX Software Systems recently announced that it is contributing source code from selected C/C++ tools in its QNX Momentics development suite to Eclipse.org . This QNX technology will be used to enhance the C/C++ Development Tools (CDT) Project for the Eclipse platform, and will help build an extensible, industry-standard framework for integrating tools from a variety of C/C++ tools vendors. This action demonstrates QNX's commitment to the Eclipse.org consortium and to the formation of a standard platform for C/C++ software development. 'The Eclipse Tools Project team working to create C and C++ tools will benefit from the leadership, expertise and unique perspective that QNX brings to the table,' says Skip McGaughey, chairperson of the Eclipse Board of Stewards.
Chelmsford, Mass.— Brooks-PRI Automation Inc. announced July 8 it has acquired Hermos Informatik GmbH (Mistelgau, Germany) from its former parent, Hermos Group, for $41 million, including $37 million stock shares and $4 million in cash. "The acquisition of Hermos Informatik enables Brooks-PRI to directly offer RF identification systems for tracking material in a semiconductor fab," says Robert Therrien, Brooks-PRI's president and ceo. "Virtually all new 300-mm semiconductor fabs are transitioning to RF technology from the infrared ID systems used in 200-mm fabs.
Control Engineering editors welcomed readers June 10 to their newly redesigned and relaunched Control Engineering Online website at www.controleng.com. More readers like you have been appreciating what we're providing, even before these enhancements. Control Engineering Online averaged more than 93,000 unique visits per month during January-April 2002, up more than 80% over the 51,000-per...
VIA Development has released revision 16 of its VIA Wiring Diagram electrical design and drafting software application designed to work as an add-on to AutoDesk's AutoCAD.
Oak Brook, Ill. - Dick Morley, an internationally known technology-based visionary, raconteur, and ceo of R. Morley & Co., presented the opening session of day two of the Measurement, Control & Automation Association 2002 Executive Forum.
Milwaukee, Wis. and Pleidelsheim, Germany - Rockwell Automation and Power Automation, a provider of soft CNCs, announced May 8 that Rockwell Automation Global Manufacturing Solutions will resell the Power Automation PA 8000 soft computerized numerical control (CNC) for machine tool and powertrain applications.
Düsseldorf, Germany - With somewhat under two years to go until the opening of the 16th Interkama, the organizing Committee has been formed for this premiere international automation and process industries trade fair.
Everett, Wa.— The Fluke 61, which has a suggested list price of $109, is a handheld infrared thermometer designed for electrical, process, and plant maintenance professionals. The device features a laser beam for easy aiming and is said to be ideal for measuring rotating, electrically live, dangerously hot, or hard-to-reach objects.
Another Hannover Industrial Fair opened here on April 15, 2002, amid a much-awaited, but not yet convincing, economic turnaround in Germany, Europe, and the U.S. Actually, this "world's largest industrial fair" was officially opened the previous evening by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder during ceremonies and presentations about Germany's industrial health and ...
Keeping track of level in a bin or silo full of solid materials has never been an easy task. The nature of the materials to be sensed conspires to subvert operation of the instrumentation used. Additionally, the medium itself often behaves in a manner that makes obtaining an accurate measurement close to impossible.
Tulsa, Okla. - To give users more real-time data and related savings, eLynx Technologies LLC unveiled April 2 its DataDOC, a web-based field automation tool for the oil and gas industries. DataDOC provides instant information about oil and gas well production, including flow rates, temperatures, pressures and tank levels.
Of the 312 manufacturers answering the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM, Washington, D.C.) latest annual survey, 91.7% expect U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 0 to 2.5% during 2002. Released on March 18 at NMW 2002, the survey's data showed that 29.5% expect U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 0 to 1% in 2002; 39.
Foxboro, Mass.— AIMstar Inform is the latest addition to AIM AT information management platform. AIMstar Inform enhancements include flexible data views that allow users to set filters, sorting schemes, and scan rates to produce very specific information; selection of the most appropriate information presentation style and format; and flexible output targets for data viewing by cli...
Chicago, Ill. - In the "Global Manufacturing 100" the top performing companies are Dell Computer Corp. (U.S.-based, computer hardware), Oracle Corp. (U.S.-based, computer software), Nokia Oyj (Finland-based, telecommunications equipment), Anglo American Platinum (South Africa-based, precious metal mining), and Coca-Cola Co. (U.S.-based, beverages/non-alcoholic), according to Deloitte Research (New York, N.Y. www.dc.com) and Holt Value Associates (now CSFB Holt, Chicago, Ill.).
Chicago, Ill. - The OPC Foundation announced at National Manufacturing Week the release of OPC XML specification based on XML and Microsoft .Net technologies. The specification can be downloaded from the OPC Foundation Web site at http://www.opcfoundation.org in April.
Hannover, Germany - "The world's largest industrial fair" is the tag often associated with this annual technology extravaganza. The title well conveys Hannover Fair's large physical size, but possibly not its full international scope.
View automation, controls, and instrumentation as assets; get the most from your supplier; measure the right things; move info where it's needed; ensure new investments work with the installed base—these are today's "mom and apple pie" for us.Leaders from many leading automation companies told how they partner with end-users and integrators to attack today's automation and business ...
When Tyco Corp's Kunkle Valves business unit became the company's e-commerce guinea pig, the development team wasn't looking for a quick fix. "We have just about one of every kind of enterprise resources planning system throughout the company," says Doug Snyder, director of e-commerce technologies.
Error proofing creates significant benefits for both automated and manual assembly procedures, including increased quality and productivity. With new sensor technologies, assemblies can be validated and error-proofed automatically in-process rather than post-process. High-precision photoelectric sensors, dimensional gauging sensors, light screens, and camera-based technologies, as well as...
BioComp Systems recently released Process Intellect version 2.0, a process intelligence system that provides on-line analytic desktop tools to access, clean, and filter manufacturing data, build forward-looking predictive models, and develop sophisticated optimization schemes to enhance product performance and avoid process faults.
New York, N.Y. - Linux World Conference and Expo, January 29, 2002 - eclipse.org made a fully functional C and C++ Integrated Development Environment available for evaluation with the eclipse platform on Linux workstations.
Campbell, Calif. and Charlotte, N.C. - Camstar introduced on January 15 a new analytical service program that enables global manufacturers to isolate manufacturing inefficiencies and suggests strategic solutions to alleviate problem areas.
Shanghai, China - Miconex, International Fair for Measurement, Instrumentation, and Automation, drew 389 exhibitors from 14 countries and 45,000 visitors during its October 23-26, 2001 run.
Salt Lake City, Utah - Verticore Technologies Inc. announced December 17, 2001 that it has signed an agreement with Shell Oil Co. to acquire the Shell Manufacturing Management System (MMS) software.
Westborough, Mass. - Control.com recently released PuffinSCADA, a new open source SCADA software for Linux operating systems. Developed, reviewed, and tested by open source users, PuffinSCADA includes a software toolkit consisting of a C-based library of alarm processing, message logs, and data historian modules.
The meltdown that has hobbled the overall U.S. economy finally hit the controls industry in 2001's third quarter. This industry had held its own earlier this year, when many other industries were foundering. However, the CE index suffered a 25% decline from the second to the third quarter, and it even performed a little worse than the Dow Jones and S&P 500, which both suffered approxi...
Sunnyvale, Calif.-Real-Time Innovations (RTI) has announced availability of an open, publish-subscribe protocol.
Düsseldorf, Germany-Visitors and exhibitors will have to wait more than three months longer to participate in the next Interkama, the International Trade Fair for Solutions for Automation in Production and Business Processes.
Amstelveen, Netherlands; Campbell, Calif. - CMG, a management and technology consulting provider, and Camstar, a provider of manufacturing execution solutions, announced Nov. 19 that they've formed a partnership to deliver integrated collaborative manufacturing execution systems (MESs).
Newnan, Ga. - Yokogawa recently introduced digitalYewFlo as the latest advance in the YewFlo family of vortex flowmeters. Using Digital Signal Processing technology, digitalYewFlo provides improved sensor performance, minimizes the influences of installation vibration, and conducts on-line diagnostics.
Fremont, Calif. - Arista Corporation, a supplier of customized industrial personal computers and telephony systems for the OEM market, announces the Power Racer 700 Series of CT servers.
Control system electronic components have temperature limits that must not be exceeded if proper system operation is to be maintained. Ensuring proper operation of electronic components requires that the temperature inside their enclosures be controlled within operational temperature limits of these devices.
The Motion Control Systems business of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. has introduced a specialized control software package for blow molding machinery to reduce machine setup time and waste.
Users, previously apprehensive about applying an artificial neural network (ANN), will likely find Emerson Process Management's (Austin, Tex.) soon-to-be-released DeltaV controller-resident neural network tools make developing and deploying ANN solutions easier. Neural network basics Artificial neural networks use dynamic inputs and mathematical models to predict outcomes but implementation ha...
Minneapolis, Minn.— Model S667 Thermal Tab RTD temperature sensor comes in a rugged flat package that easily mounts to any surface. It is sealed against moisture for use in wet environments or water immersion. Response time is less than 2 sec. The device is rated to 311 °F (155 °C) and has a silicone rubber insulated body and 26 AWG lead wires for ease of installation.
Dedham, Mass.— The worldwide market for computer numerical control (CNC) hardware, unbundled software and services will grow at a CAGR of 6.7% from more than $3.7 billion in 2000 to $5.1 billion by 2005, according to ARC Advisory Group. The organization released its updated study, "CNC Worldwide Outlook," on Apr.
A walk across any manufacturing shop floor or around any process plant will reveal hundreds or even thousands of feet of metallic and plastic tubing transporting gases and liquids to and from sample stations, valve actuators, pump seals, and hundreds of seemingly ho-hum installations. But when any of that tubing starts leaking suddenly the tubing and its associated connectors attract attentio...
Phoenix, Ariz.—Honeywell POMS recently introduced its MES Express weigh-dispenser software designed specifically to provide pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturers a "ready-to-use" solution that eliminates manual weighing and dispensing of materials. Because MES Express has been designed as a stand-alone solution with a direct interface featuring scales and bar-coded labels, dep...
Huntsville, Ala. --When used with Elumen's (Cary, N.C.) VisionStation, Intergraph's SmartPlant Review 4.2.1 displays 3D models with a full color, 180-degree field of vision for virtual dynamic walkthroughs and design reviews. SmartPlant designs, viewed using VisionStation, help users navigate, review, and manipulate engineering design, construction, retrofit, and maintenance displays as large as 300 MB using a joystick, mouse, or keyboard.
Alpharetta, Ga. -New to North America, Simoreg 6RA70 DC Master-a 5th generation dc drive-joins Siemens' MasterDrives family. It has modular design and same microprocessor (MPU) board and firmware for the drive's entire output range, and five operating voltages (400-830 V ac).
Ann Arbor, Mich. -Think & Do Studio automation software combines control and information technology with Microsoft Visio 2000, and includes enterprise connectivity and productivity analysis capabilities. Think & Do Studio accelerates automation implementation and provides scalability across Microsoft Windows 2000, NTE, and CE.
Many firms are trying to evaluate and maximize the positive impact of intangible assets—beyond image and branding—which were often ignored in the past. How? By increasing training, naturally, and including newer concepts, such as web-based learning and realignment of employees' learning, performance, and passions with their organization's redefined core purposes.
Year-end stock indexes for 2000 tell quite a story—a good one for the controls industry. The overall indexes peaked, or were near their peak, at the beginning of the year, and then generally fell through 3Q00—except for the Control Engineering (CE) Index, which reached a new pinnacle at the end of 2000.
Mesa, Ariz .—Magnamouse replaces bulky, complex, and more costly switches used in computer cursor controls, automotive mirror and seat operations, or other devices requiring multidirectional switches. Magnamouse works via a disk-shaped actuator held by magnetic attraction. It is actuated by pushing the rim or a manufacturer-specified custom key cap, which then closes a contact.
Indicating its expansion from a regional to an international event, SPS/IPC/Drives 2000 scheduled more space bookings by March 2000 than for all of last year's show. Many longstanding exhibitors have reserved added space. They're among 120 electric automation technology companies participating in the Nov.
With all the mergers, acquisitions, consolidations and affiliations that occurred in the past decade, it's hard to determine the leaders in any particular industrial segment. Almost all of the largest industrial controls manufacturers have been gobbled up by companies with larger interests. The best that can be done is to identify companies with either a significant part of their volume i...
Columbus, O. -ABB Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Execution Systems group has sublicensed Actuate Corp.'s 'e.Reporting Suite 4' to enhance ABB's MES software for papermakers. In Microsoft Windows NT, reports are accessed and easily customized, with scalable, dynamic reporting, with search and drill-down abilities. ABB.
Malvern, Pa.— Building on its ability to connect to a wide range of plant floor data sources and data types, Illuminator and the new Illuminator Anywhere extract, aggregate, and transform data into personalized usable information viewable on any wired or wireless web browser-capable device. Using Illuminator's XML interface, the same information becomes available to ERP and Supply Chain ...
Quality gurus have all emphasized the importance of creating the right environment for success. Dr. W. Edward Deming's book Out of the Crisis is especially enlightening. His theory of management addresses the need to establish constancy of purpose to improve products and service with a plan to be competitive, create growth, and provide jobs.
Employees' ability to use technology wisely appears to increase their earnings potential. The recent more than doubling of the U.S. productivity rate, enabled in part by use of technology, may allow sustained U.S. growth greater than previously thought possible, even with very low unemployment.
In developing or assessing the performance of control systems there are instances where complex mathematical operations must be performed. In many cases, these operations include calculus and Laplace or Fourier transforms not routinely used by many control engineers. In these cases, users must dust off old textbooks and review how to perform these operations and then execute what can be l...
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is derived from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). SGML was created as an international standard (ISO 8879) in 1986 and provides a standard format for embedding descriptive markup into documents. Descriptive markup refers to pieces of code (often called "tags") that define the presentation of a document.
USDATA Corp. began shipping the second edition (SE) of its Xfactory version 1.4 manufacturing execution system (MES) software on June 6. Xfactory 1.4 uses Microsoft Windows 2000 functions and simplifies implementation and communication among varied systems.USDATA states a benefit of using Microsoft standards is the openness it provides for integration of disparate...
Siemens is responding to the need to integrate software and add functionality between plant-floor solutions and enterprise resource planning systems. A framework will likely be released in the first half of 2001, but the first modular manufacturing execution system (MES) software that will fit into the framework will be launched later this year.
A recent study of 80 pipeline operations worldwide found that more than 90% of respondents use supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for data acquisition, volume balance, leak detection, and valve operations. Nearly one third get some related software from third parties.
Fond Du Lac, Wis. -Giddings & Lewis Controls Measurement and Sensing has released PiCPro for Windows version 11.0. In addition to being the 10th release with upward compatibility, the software integrates logic and motion control programming within the IEC 61131-3 standard.
Fond Du Lac, Wis.— Giddings & Lewis Controls Measurement and Sensing has released PiCPro for Windows version 11.0. In addition to being the 10th release with upward compatibility, the software integrates logic and motion control programming within the IEC 61131-3 standard. New features include an integrated project manager, online development of user help messages, programming over I...
Only in its second year as the annual central theme at Hannover Fair, the Factory Automation sector attracted half the fair's visitors. Moreover, Factory Automation is assuming a strategic role for integrating software and IT solutions with traditional engineering and automation technologies.
Stories are often the best way to learn, especially when the topic is as complex as incomplete combustion.
Worcester, Mass. -The Vantage Enclosure Quick Delivery Program guarantees multi-vender compatible enclosures, custom configured to order, assembled, and delivered within five working days in the continental U.S. Enclosures are said to feature all-welded steel frames, adjustable rack-mount rails, lockable doors, and fixed or rollout shelves.
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc.'s Industrial Software Business Unit is offering Intuitive Technology's (Marlboro, Mass.) WebOPC as an optional OPC client with Siemens' software-based control system products. WebOPC for Siemens Industrial Software provides an interface for users to access real-time data from a plant database using a standard Internet browser.
Phoenix, Ariz.- gRecipe software, available in Spring 2000, is designed to ensure global product consistency and enable product change collaboration within and between organizations in the process industry. Using a process industry CAD drawing, management of product manufacturing is put into a general recipe-an electronic representation of a product-for easy exchange. This allows the process industry to specify manufacturing requirements without defining the equipment, as well as define where a product is manufactured.
Grand Island, N.Y. — Model VTI temperature transmitter is an in-line remote seal capable of nonintrusive RTD temperature measurement in pipes. The device can take measurements without flow interference and is CIP and SIP compatible. The transmitter's stainless-steel liner separates the process media from the sensing element, providing a flush surface.
To enhance large manufacturers' performance and agility, USDATA Corp. announced Jan. 6 that it began shipping the latest version of its Xfactory manufacturing execution system (MES) in December 1999. Xfactory 1.4 gives manufacturers the ability to track and improve production processes "on the fly.
Meeting business objectives requires manufacturing managers to identify key process performance indicators, institute online measurements of those indicators, and present the results to the right people, while the product is being produced.For two decades, industrial manufacturing has looked longingly to computer-based control and automation systems as a solution to manufacturing problems.
What are the odds your safety system will work when needed?
State College, Pa. -Blue Mountain Quality Resources Inc.has launched a new calibration web site at www.eCalibration.com . The site features product news, a product and service directory, a career center, daily calibration tips, and upcoming industry events, all related to calibration. According to Jim Erickson, president of Blue Mountain, the company saw a need for an online calibration resource and designed eCalibration.com to meet that need.
Olflex-FD 855 P continuous flex cable from Olflex Wire & Cable (Fairfield, N.J.) helped ring in 2000 and the new millennium as part of a newly redesigned New Year's Eve ball that lit up Times Square.Olflex's cable delivered power to 696 lamps illuminating the ball and helped control movement of 92 rotating, pyramid-shaped mirrors that reflected the light.
Columbia, Md.— With release 7.0, BatchCAD modeling environment combining thermodynamics, reaction engineering, advanced numerical methods, and proprietary kinetic regression algorighms now runs on Microsoft Windows NT. BatchCAD also becomes an essential component of Virtual Plant. The simulation software is used for design and analysis of pharmaceutical and fine and specialty chemical pr...
Consistency in evaluating and quantifying risk begins with documented definitions.
Chicago, Ill. —Programmable digital transmitterScalaire, from MCC, handles pressure, temperature, current, voltage, and level data. The DIN-rail mount unit accepts common signals including T/C, RTD, potentiometer, voltage, and current. The standard version comes with 0-20 or 4-20 mA analog output and two-wire Modbus RS-485 digital link.
Solartron has launched a family of explosion-proof, digital insertion density transmitters They offer a range of density-derived values such as 7 API, % solids, and 7 Brix. Computed values are transmitted via a 4-20 mA output for controlling valves, mixers or blenders, while Modbus communications enable connection to SCADA and distributed control systems. The 7828 family includes versions suitable for corrosive or hygiene critical applications.
Austin, Tex.— Lookout 4.0 HMI/SCADA software is now available with advanced networking technology for connectivity and communications on the plant floor. In addition to its multiserver, multiclient networking, Lookout 4.0 has added a new pricing structure so customers can connect more clients at a lower price; integrated, interactive web support; OPC server and client capabilities; and s...
National Instruments' Lookout automation software was recently added to Zetron Inc.'s (Redmond, Wa.) wireless supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. Zetron is selling Lookout with its UltraC wireless SCADA and telemetry system, which is used to monitor and control oil and gas operations, water and wastewater plants, farms, and other geographically wi...
When implementing a control project, the control engineer may specify components packaged in an enclosure or subcontract the assembly of specified components into a panel unit. However, there are situations in most projects, particularly smaller ones, where project personnel must design, specify, and build the required enclosure.
Torrance, Calif.- The iChip S7600A TCP/IP Protocol Stack is an Internet-ready integrated circuit (IC). Developed in conjunction with iReady Corp. (Santa Ana, Calif.), this chip allows Web browsing, e-mail, and networking to be added to consumer or commercial devices. iCHip permits users to connect to the Internet, or any network that uses the TCP/IP protocol, using their PDAs, organizers, cell...
Besides the traditional technological contributions from Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim, an added flavor of South America was in the air at Hannover Industrial Fair '99. Much of this was due to the presence of the fair's partner country, Chile, and its 1,700-m2 pavilion housing 85 small and large companies.
As the 21st century approaches, more services make their way onto the Internet. So much is available now through the Internet that the chief executive of IBM, Lou Gerstner, recently made a bold prediction that the PC as we know it, will soon be obsolete and everything that was once done on individual computers will be done over networks and "non-PC Internet devices," such as digital telev...
Hermes, Greek god of commerce and stylized symbol of the Hannover Industrial Fair, must have been smiling as the last fair before 2000 came to a successful conclusion. The 1999 event drew 7,510 exhibitors and about 300,000 visitors during its April 19-24 run, says organizer Deutsche Messe AG.
Software vendors serving automation and control through enterprise resource planning (ERP) emphasized information integration as the next big area for productivity gains, at IMS Expo 1999, April 26-29, organized by ISA (Research Triangle Park, N.C.). ABB, having reorganized related-company brands under ABB Automation, will continue product line support despite eliminat...
ORSI America—a provider of real-time manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise production systems (EPS)—changed its name April 1 to Cube Technology. The renaming parallels the launch of new ORSI Group companies in Brazil and South Africa. In other news, Cube and Speed Automation announced March 31 a technology and sales agreement that will provi...
Truly new technologies are rare. So innovation usually means adapting familiar methods and equipment to improve quality and cut costs.Thermoelectric cooling, for example, has long used dissimilar semiconductor materials and dc current to create temperature differentials without compressors, fluorocarbons, and piping.
Watertown, Mass.— Ionics recently launched the HydroSense on-line oil-in-water monitors for reliable, maintenance-free operation. HydroSense uses fluorescence technology to detect and monitor ppm levels of aromatic carbons. It comes with installed software which provides a digital display of ppm levels of hydrocarbons in water, with variable output and display ranges for different applic...
Nagano, Japan— 16 channels can be recorded continuously for 70 days on the Model 8845 Memory HiCorder. DAT (digital audio tape) recording media provides the long recording times. A 9.4-in. TFT color LCD displays up to 16 data channels simultaneously. Recorded waveforms can be displayed and scrolled.
To strengthen its expert systems offerings in the cement, mining, and material industries, ABB's Building Material and Mineral Industries (BMI) division agreed Dec. 4, 1998, to buy the technology assets of Comdale Technologies Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Comdale became available for purchase on Nov.
With demand for Coca-Cola running at 40 million hectolitres/year in Germany, precise filling to preset volumes is critical. Consequently, Coca-Cola recently selected Krohne's new Autoflux IFS 5000 electromagnetic flowmeter to provide measurement accuracy of at least 0.
Fremont, Calif.— A proprietary, high-strength, finned aluminum extrusion frames the Shark-View series of flat-panel displays and computer systems. The finned aluminum not only gives physical support, but also increases surface area for improved system cooling. The display is mounted using Dolch designed constant pressure IsoKlips.
Pittsburgh, Pa.— PEP Modular Computers, Inc. has introduced a new, configurable 19-in. chassis assembly supporting multifunction spacing backplanes and pluggable power supplies. The CP-ASM6 chassis assembly comes equipped with a 6U Compact PCI backplane and power supply. New configuration features include two pluggable M-style power supplies—either a 3U 100 W or 6U 270 W unit—...
Where will you be December 31, 1999? Unless you already have reservations, you won't be staying at Walt Disney World or jetting around the world on the Concord. Those parties are sold out. Maybe you'll be lighting bonfires in Iceland, or ringing bells in England; partying in Rio de Janeiro, or at a beach bash in Sri Lanka; watching the world's "first light" on the slopes of Mount Hakepa i...
Kansas City, Mo. —Arcom Control Systems has launched a PC/ISAbus serial communications controller for PC system builders with serial comms intensive applications. It is CE Mark compliant. The PC-COM4 is an eight-bit ISA bus communications controller module with four 16C550 compatible UART channels allowing standard PC COM1-4 configurability.
Retrofitting a control system is tricky. Doing it and maintaining a 10-fold quality lead might seem impossible, but that's what engineers at Kemlite Co. (Joliet, Ill.) recently accomplished on one of three fiberglass-reinforced plastic (frp) panel lines.Kemlite's panels are used in truck linings and roofing, RV exteriors, and as wall and surface paneling in cleanliness-demanding environme...
USDATA Corp. recently began shipping Xfactory, its object modeling manufacturing execution system (MES). "Xfactory has raised the visibility of the production process throughout our value chain, and reduced cost of ownership because our internal domain experts are easily able to incorporate their knowledge into Xfactory's intuitive production modeling environment...
An incorrect report on FactoryLink ECS 6.5 from USDATA (Richardson, Tex.) in Control Engineering , Sept. 1998, Product Focus, p.197, actually described the firm's Xfactory product, which is built on Microsoft Windows DNA and object technology. FactoryLink 6.5 is an OPC server able to collect and distribute data throughout a multi-vendor manufacturing environment, which makes it more than an HMI with database connectivity and interface to MES and ERP products. Control Engineering 's batch control survey, Nov.
Comparing the first half of 1998 with the first half last year revealed some surprises for the controls industry.The all-industry composite for the 900 companies in Business Week magazine's recent Scoreboard showed an acceptable increase of 7% in sales along with a 10% increase in profits between the first six months of 1998 and 1997.
'I hate my job," she complained. "They don't respect me. They don't appreciate me. I don't know how much longer I can take it.""I've got more bad news for you," warned Zig Ziglar, author, motivational speaker, and success guru. "It's going to get worse—you're going to be fired, unless you learn to change your attitude.
A new manufacturing model says present control, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions are inadequate.The model (diagram) identifies "glaring holes in ERP, MES, Product Data Management (PDM), and controls solutions, and reflects new requirements necessary to fit into the supply chain," according to AMR Research.
Just like the goose and gander, what's good for liquid is good for gas. Long used to accurately measure liquid flow, Coriolis meters now bring similar benefits to gas applications. As a result, Coriolis gas measurement is growing four to five times as fast as liquid applications, according to Fisher-Rosemount's Micro Motion Inc.
Huntsville, Ala.— United Controls Corp. has released ScadaVision version 4.0, an enhanced multimedia upgrade to its SCADA solution designed for utilities, refineries, and process plants. The upgrade provides enhanced multimedia capabilities for improving the look and feel and overall intuitive characteristics of SCADA displays.
Perhaps foreshadowing more recent market declines and overall volatility, growth in new orders for the aggregated "Measuring and Controlling Instruments" (SIC 382) industry group—so strong during 1997—completely dissipating during 1998's first half, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.
Members of the machine tool industry celebrated 50 years of numerical control on Sept. 10 by honoring the man credited with conceiving the idea. As part of the recent IMTS Show, Sept. 9-16 in Chicago, John T. Parsons was honored for his pivotal contribution to the industry at a VIP event hosted by Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.
ObjectAutomation Inc. (OA) joined with Moore Industries (Sepulveda, Calif.) on Sept. 15 to bring object-based automation solutions to manufacturing via hardware/software integration and OA's Object-Based Control solution. It also teamed with Think & Do Software Inc.
Training has always been considered an important factor in staying competitive in a global economy. Employees need to remain current with latest methods and technology.Most would agree training is important, but there is obvious cost in developing or purchasing training. Companies also lose productive employee time while sit through training; not to mention travel costs if training isn't ...
A handful of communications skills, consistently applied, can make a world of difference in improving day-to-day interactions with coworkers.The skills include clarifying and confirming, giving balanced feedback, effectively opening and closing discussions, exploring ideas, managing differences, and crediting others' work.
Radio-based devices such as walkie-talkies and pagers have been used in our plants for many years but in recent years there has been an increased number of radio frequency sources both inside and outside our facilities. This combined with the greater clock speed of our microprocessor-based systems and increased use of digital communication systems complicates the electromagnetic environment in our facilities. Our instrumentation systems must be able to function in the presence of high-frequency interference which is commonly referred to as radio frequency interference (RFI). It is also sometimes referred to as electromagnetic interference (EMI), though this is somewhat of a misnomer as EMI covers a wider range of frequencies. RFI can be defined as objectionable high-frequency electromagnetic radiation where the source is further away than the radiation's wavelength (l) divided by 2p, i.e.
USDATA Corp. recently integrated its FactoryLink Enterprise Control System (ECS) with the PC-based Visual Logic Controller (VLC) from Steeplechase Software Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Open integration between the two products will allow customers who use VLC's hard, real-time control capabilities and FactoryLink ECS to reduce manufacturing costs and improve cycle times.
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada--Rail commuters to downtown Vancouver now have a much better chance of getting to work or making connections on time thanks to a new cellular positioning system coordinating their trains. The public commuter rail service, West Coast Express (WCE) Ltd., runs five westbound trains in the morning and five evening returns between Mission, B.
San Marcos, Calif.— FlexMASSter ST95B-EN flowmeter comes preconfigured from Fluid Components Intl and is ready to measure a dozen of the most frequently encountered environmental gas concentrations. These concentrations are stored in the instrument package: 9 elections for biogas and one each for air, oxygen, and ozone.
Engineers know how to solve other people's challenges, but planning their own careers often falls through the cracks. Engineers need to make a career mission statement, consider career paths and goals, then create an action plan. Doing so ensures progress toward goals, a better life balance, and less stress, according to career consultant—and engineer—John A.
Transneft, a joint stock Russian oil transport company, recently won the 1998 Windows World Open Award, from Microsoft (Redmond, Wa.), in the Energy/Utilities category. The firm successfully completed one of the world's largest PC-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and dispatch systems using Iconics' Genesis 32 Enterprise Edition software.
Radio-based devices such as walkie-talkies and pagers have been used in our plants for many years but in recent years there has been an increased number of radio frequency sources both inside and outside our facilities. This combined with the greater clock speed of our microprocessor-based systems and increased use of digital communication systems complicates the electromagnetic environment in our facilities. Our instrumentation systems must be able to function in the presence of high-frequency interference which is commonly referred to as radio frequency interference (RFI).
Phoenix, Ariz.— Release 3.1 of OpenBatch provides automated recipe building, improved user views which provide easier and faster recipe sorting, longer unit and alias names, and flexible data grouping and organizing for easier reporting. Release 3.1 provides the OpenBatch ActiveX controls library and PC-based phase controls to form an integrated desktop allowing OpenBatch and its OEM ver...
Most readers know Control Engineering's name because it identifies a source of information they can use to improve the productivity of their control and automation applications and make prudent business decisions. Likewise, the strength and commitment of the names of our parent company, Cahners Business Information, determines the resources Control Engineering can use to serve our readers.
Dillsburg, Pa. —Intended for large size control room displays, DLV1280 projector uses Reflective Digital Light Valve technology to give 1,280 x 1,024 pixel resolution with three times the brightness of a CRT projector. DLV1280 solves the problem of "pixilation" (a black border around each pixel) and light losses.
Ann Arbor, Mich. —Visual Logic Controller (VLC) Version 3.5 includes a new method for incorporating diagnostics into control programs. The new version also incorporates Execution Tails, Remote Programming and monitoring, and an InstaWatch Window. The VLC Diagnostic Wizard is similar to familiar Microsoft Windows wizards, using a simple "fill in the blank" menu.
U.S. companies should celebrate the nation's last five years of economic growth, but they're going to need a lot more skilled workers to keep the party going, according to Thomas Malott, president and ceo, Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. (Alpharetta, Ga.).Mr. Malott says nine of 10 U.S. manufacturers surveyed recently lack qualified high-skill workers, and the U.
Several software packages help end-users design and tune their control loops for "optimal" performance. Some tuning tools work better than others, but it's not always easy to tell the difference because it's not always clear whether one design works any better than another. Controller A with one set of tuning parameters may eliminate errors faster than controller B with a different set of...
Dayton, 0.— ROTSY (Robot Off-Line Systems of Yaskawa) programming software is said to make robotic application development simple and reduces its associated costs by implementing robot simulation on a PC. ROTSY users can model a proposed robot cell and perform test cycles before the system is built.
Feel like there is not enough of you to go around? Maybe it's because there aren't enough engineers to do all the work.The U.S. Department of Commerce has released a study by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) showing a shortage of 70,000 computer scientists and systems analysts per year.
What isn't an MES? A recent manufacturing execution system (MES) model (one of eight) encompasses eleven broad functions, some not typically applied to MES software.There's something within the models to help everyone understand MES. Proponents suggest using a suitable model, selecting some MES software, and start realizing the benefits—an average 45% reduction in manufacturing cycl...
With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of declines in U.S. manufacturing are greatly exaggerated.A recent study, The Facts About Modern Manufacturing, describes manufacturing's pivotal role in the U.S. economy and combats popular misconceptions. Compiled by the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM, Washington, D.
C ontrol valves are devices with movable, variable, and controlled internal elements for modulating fluid flow in a conduit. The valve restricts flow in response to the command signal from a process measurement control system. Basically, a control valve consists of a pressure containment enclosure body and various internal elements--fixed and movable--commonly called the valve trim. While there are uncommon exceptions, control valves are designed to function in either a push-pull or linear sliding-stem manner, or in a rotary-stem manner.
Motion control systems are generally designed to move a load along a specified path as fast as possible without damaging the load or the mechanism driving it. Heavy loads are particularly difficult to control since inertia tends to force the load off course during high acceleration maneuvers. Worse still, the stress of resisting the load's inertia can destroy not only the drive mechanism, but the load itself. Rotating machinery, linear conveyors, and multiaxis robotic arms all share these problems, but a more familiar example of heavy-load motion control is the passenger elevator.
Austin, Tex.—To streamline its global supply chain, Fisher-Rosemount Systems announced Feb. 9 that it has agreed with ACT Manufacturing, Inc. (Hudson, Mass.), a global electronics manufacturing services provider, to establish a global "straight-through" manufacturing process for components used in its automation system solutions, from circuit board manufacturing through final assembly.
Cambridge, Mass.— Aspen Technology Inc. announced Feb. 14 an agreement to provide supply-chain planning and scheduling software to Sinopec, China's largest petroleum and petrochemical company. Sinopec will implement AspenTech's solutions to optimize crude oil selection and production scheduling among its network of 25 refineries.