Sensors, Actuators
Courtesy: CFE Media
Sensors, Actuators May 3, 2019

Online education benefits for process instrumentation, control

In-person training for process instrumentation and control (PIC) provides valuable training on-site for engineers, but online education can save time and money for everyone involved while giving engineers a base of knowledge they can build from.

By Nabil (Bill) Battikha, P.E.
Figure: Rate-predictive control (RPC) uses a pre-set move rate, and tapers the move based on the PV’s predicted (apparent or already manifest) value. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has hundreds of patents for process control; as of this writing, RPC is the only one with the claim of being inherently adaptive. Courtesy: APC Performance LLC
Sensors, Actuators May 1, 2019

Control Engineering hot topics, April 2019

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2019 included stories about rate-predictive control, Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, object-oriented programming, and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
Flexible multi-conductor sensor/actuator cable is available from AutomationDirect in 24 AWG and 22 AWG with 3, 4 or 5 unshielded conductors, and in customer specified one-foot increment lengths. Courtesy: AutomationDirect
Sensors, Actuators April 29, 2019

Multi-conductor sensor/actuator cable

Flexible multi-conductor sensor/actuator cable is available from AutomationDirect in 24 AWG and 22 AWG with 3, 4 or 5 unshielded conductors, and in customer specified one-foot increment lengths.

By AutomationDirect
Microflex's Pixel Signs PB series process bar displays, which make it easy to monitor virtually any process data and features an electronic bar display that uses multicolor LEDs to visualize almost any process data value. Courtesy: Microflex, LLC
Sensors, Actuators April 28, 2019

Process bar display series

Microflex's Pixel Signs PB series process bar displays, which make it easy to monitor virtually any process data and features an electronic bar display that uses multicolor LEDs to visualize almost any process data value.

By Microflex, LLC
Figure 9: Second order control loop Bode analysis can help if the first order gain was insufficient. Courtesy: ControlSphere LLC
Sensors, Actuators April 22, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 15-21

Articles about rate-predictive control, the Engineers' Choice Awards, feedforward control, temperature sensor calibration, and connecting quality and process data were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 15-21. Miss something? You can catch up here.

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

Understanding feedforward control

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

By Control Engineering
A view aboard the Coast Guard cutter Spencer, where the MIT-developed system spotted problems that could have led to an electrical fire. Courtesy: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sensors, Actuators March 26, 2019

Energy monitor can find electrical failures before they happen

MIT researchers have developed a sensor that can monitor wiring in a building or ship, and signal when repairs are needed.

By David L. Chandler
Courtesy: AutomationDirect
Sensors, Actuators March 6, 2019

Differential pressure gauges

AutomationDirect's ProSense DGA differential pressure gauges are used to measure and display difference in air pressure between two reference points in inches of water.

By AutomationDirect
SAL 18 Series RF Admittance Point Level Switch from Aplus Finetek Sensor Inc. is said to be an advanced radio-frequency (RF) level switch to fit many varied applications detecting presence/absence of liquids, solids and slurry materials, including asphalt mix, bitumin, dry powders, granular materials etc. for high- and low-level material detection. Automatic build-up immunity is provided to ignore build-up of material along the probe to the tank/bin wall. Courtesy: Aplus Finetek Sensor Inc. and CFE Technology’s New Products for Engineers database.
Sensors, Actuators March 1, 2019

The art and science of solids level measurement

Experience is required to properly design and apply solids handling systems. Accurately measuring the quantity of solids in a tank or silo is crucial to product management, custody control, and transfer.

By Daniel E. Capano
Figure 1: A DP flow meter built around a multivariable transmitter can measure a range of variables in addition to the primary flow measurement. Courtesy: Emerson Automation Solutions
Sensors, Actuators February 27, 2019

Extend edge data gathering with multivariable instruments

Measure multiple variables to deliver data-rich IIoT applications.

By Connor Oberle