Sensors, Actuators
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
Control Engineering 2019 Engineers' Choice Awards
Sensors, Actuators February 22, 2019

Help for automation design, selection, implementation

Automation product design, system integration, and application advice follows from some of the 2019 Engineers’ Choice winners.

By Mark T. Hoske
Endress+Hauser’s iTherm TrustSens Hygienic RTD Sensor won a 2019 Engineers’ Choice Award in the Process control - Process sensors category. The self-calibration or self-verification capability of TrustSens provides continuous health monitoring of the RTD. Minimum temperature threshold necessary to initiate TrustSens’ self-calibration feature is 118°C. Courtesy: Endress+Hauser
Sensors, Actuators February 15, 2019

Temperature sensor calibration

Sensor failure risks are significantly reduced if the temperature sensor can be calibrated in situ.

By Keith Riley
Courtesy: CFE Media
Sensors, Actuators February 9, 2019

Choosing between electronic or manual control for hydrostatic pumps

More hydrostatic pumps are being fitted with electronic controls. While this does provide higher upfront costs in the short term, the long-term benefits are greater.

By Zek Grantham
Figure 1: Cyber threats are proliferating due to increased information technology/operations technology (IT/OT) integration, along with the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and open process automation (OPA) initiatives. Courtesy: Yokogawa Electric Corp.
Sensors, Actuators February 8, 2019

Proactive management of plant cybersecurity

A combination of information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) cybersecurity expertise is required to manage the influx of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and increased IT/OT integration.

By Camilo Gomez