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GroupIPC, an association of 40 Industry Pack (IP) and PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) makers, distributors, and end-users seeking to increase awareness of mezzanine modules, is holding a joint pavilion and tutorials from Feb. 18-20 at Embedded Systems '98 in Sindelfingen, Germany.
Staff
February 1, 1998
With increases in most major market and industry groups, U.S. industrial production grew 0.5% in December, according to the Federal Reserve Board's recent "Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization" report. However, the report added that the overall gain was held back by a 2.
Staff
February 1, 1998
Software in your enterprise will start to reach into year 2000 and beyond well before the first day of business in the new millennium—Monday, Jan. 3. People at all levels in your operation are probably already assessing, converting, and testing. Ideally, by the time 2000 rolls around, there won't be any unpleasant surprises, especially on the plant floor.
Staff
February 1, 1998
You're relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon, a favorite beverage in one hand, the remote control in the other. Suddenly, your pager goes off. You think to yourself, "Oh no, not another weekend afternoon spent chasing an emergency at the plant."You log into your home computer to read your e-mail.
Jane S. Gerold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
February 1, 1998
Year 2000 bug (aka Y2K or millennium bug) is touted as modern automation's biggest glitch. Financial impact is being bantered well into the high billions of dollars—all because two little numbers should have been four.In the late 60s and early 70s, computer systems were new and very costly.
Eugene C. Jacobsen, TAVA Technologies
February 1, 1998
Web processing encompasses a myriad of products and materials that are manufactured in flat sheets or rolls. Web process industries produce many products including textiles, paper, and plastic film. They can also perform any number of secondary operations on these base materials. Countertops, flooring, sandpaper, and food packaging materials such as potato chip bags, candy bar wrappers, a...
Brian Baldwin, Steve Harr, Rob Lowery, and Tod Madderra, ABB Industrial Systems
February 1, 1998
What functionality/features are today's programmable logic controller (PLC) users seeking? How are they applying PLCs? Is any other technology, such as personal computers, taking away market share from PLCs? Control Engineering wanted to know, so we asked a random sampling of 1,500 readers to participate in a survey about today's PLC.
Staff
February 1, 1998
U.S. business confidence in January 1998 was the highest since spring 1997, suggesting that manufacturers don't expect Asian financial problems to seriously impact the U.S. economy or their own business prospects this year. The Cahners Business Confidence Index for January 1998 showed strongest optimism among businesses with headquarters in the West and Northeast.
Staff
February 1, 1998
Authors : C. Michael Taylor director, GM Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering Controls Council Thomas J. Yager controls manager, manufacturing engineering - engines Raymond P.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 31, 1998
Definition of OMAC Terms Illustration of the OMAC Concept Various Levels of Openness Other Factors Definition of OMAC Terms Definitions of key terms associated with the open, modular control systems described in the OMAC White paper are restated in the following table: Terms Definitions open allowing the integration of off-the-shelf hardware and software components into a 'de facto' standard environment modular permitting 'plug and play' of components scaleable enabling easy and efficient reconfiguration to meet specific application needs economical achieving low life cycle cost maintainable supporting robust plant floor operation (maximum uptime), expeditious repair (minimal downtime), and easy maintenance These definitions also accurately reflect the OMAC concept at GMPTG. Two important elements in the definition of 'open' are (1) the requirement of a 'de facto' standard environment, and (2) the availability of commercial control hardware and software components. GMPTG is not going to wait for an international standard for an open architecture control to be defined before it will start implementing OMAC systems.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 30, 1998
GM Powertrain Organization GMPTG Math-Based Manufacturing Strategy GMPTG OMAC Implementation Strategies Why Are OMAC Systems Needed in GM Powertrain? GMPTG has always been known as a leader in advancing control technologies, notably for its involvement in the development of PLC's. GMPTG is once again leading the implementation of OMAC-based systems in its manufacturing facilities because it recognizes the need to have a new generation of manufacturing systems that are agile in order to produce products matching the demands of the fast changing market place. The OMAC effort has gained a great deal of recognition and momentum since the publishing of the OMAC White paper in August, 1994.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 29, 1998
Spectrum of Control Applications at GMPTG Current Implementation of PC-Based Control Systems In order to execute the control strategies, GMPTG started to implement PC-based control systems on its factory floor. It needs to be clarified that a PC-based control system is only the first step toward the realization of the OMAC concept. The initial implementation of PC-based control systems enables an 'open' hardware platform to be used on the factory floor, even though there are still proprietary elements in the software environment.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 28, 1998
Validation Process he current implementation of PC-based control systems is strictly in discrete logic control applications. The OMAC concept certainly is not limited to discrete control systems only. GMPTG is taking steps to migrate the OMAC direction into CNC and robotics control systems. Table 2 gives an overview of the control migration plan for GMPTG by application types.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 27, 1998
GMPTG OMAC Pilot Projects GMPTG OMAC Development Strategies Many vendors in the controls community are developing products that satisfy some aspects of the OMAC requirements. GMPTG is not, and does not intend to be, in the control product development business. However, GMPTG is an end user of OMAC products and is interested in ensuring such OMAC products are available not only commercially but also expeditiously.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 26, 1998
Operating Systems Hardware Platform Motion Control Open Device Level Networks User Interface Control Software Manufacturing Information System (MIS) Level Networks Application Programming Interfaces (API) It should be clear to the controls community that GMPTG is not trying to dictate the development of OMAC by specifying technical details for every aspect of OMAC. GMPTG is not going to lead the development of any new technology but will ride the technology wave! However, GMPTG engineers are not oblivious to the technical issues associated with OMAC systems. In this section, several OMAC technical areas will be examined.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 25, 1998
Development Implementation A great deal of momentum has been generated toward the implementation of OMAC-based control systems. GMPTG is actively assisting the development of OMAC technologies and aggressively working with the suppliers to commercialize OMAC products. This document outlines the development and implementation strategies, and they are summarized here: Development adopt available standards and interface specifications; participate and/or follow existing development activities; leverage government funding and coordinate government projects to accelerate the development of OMAC; utilize government's influence to define strawman common API; invite third party vendors to finalize and support the common API specifications; interact with international open architecture development activities to advance OMAC technologies; Implementation expose OMAC direction to control system suppliers; integrate and validate commercial open controller products; resolve machine tool specific OMAC issues; cooperate with machine tool OEMs to implement OMACs; expose 'open' technologies to plant personnel; develop partners to support plant implementations. It should be clear that GMPTG is not taking a wait-and-see attitude in implementing OMAC technologies and is introducing OMAC systems in manufacturing operations with well defined approaches to minimize the risk. Active participation in efforts to accelerate the development of OMAC technologies is important and GMPTG is also defining the strategies to utilize diverse control products effectively.
C. Michael Taylor, et al.
January 23, 1998
Osicom Technologies Inc. unveiled its new Net+Arm product line here on Jan. 5. The company says Net+Arm is the industry's first complete network connectivity system located entirely on silicon, and that it will help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) slash time-to-market and unit costs of connecting products to Ethernet systems and the Internet.
Staff
January 1, 1998
The vast number of available networks makes it a daunting task to pick one (or several) to best meet the needs of a particular application. This has probably hindered the use of networks in controls applications. The intent here is to discuss the process of picking a network best suited to an application, and not to compare the specific capability of different networks.
Gary C. Peterson, Alvey Systems Inc.
January 1, 1998
Chaos theory is now being studied aggressively. Simple practical control of the double pendulum is extremely promising for many control applications.
Paul S. Linsay, Lipton/Linsay Associates
January 1, 1998
Many professions involve some certification procedure whereby practitioners can demonstrate competency. For lawyers, it's the bar exam. For accountants, it's the CPA. For engineers, it's the P.E.—the Professional Engineer's license.A P.E. license entitles practitioners to advertise themselves as "engineers" and offer engineering services to the public.
Vance J. VanDoren, P.E.
January 1, 1998
One of the advantages that programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have traditionally offered for the purposes of real-time control has been deterministic operations. That is, they have the ability to apply their control efforts at precisely timed intervals. This feature allows a PLC to work with sampled data, knowing that each sample represents a uniform period of process activity.
Vance J. VanDoren, Ph.D., P.E.
January 1, 1998
Hauppauge, N.Y.—Escap P850 high accuracy microstepper incorporates the company's patented disc magnet design, providing repeatable resolution for 100,000 steps per rev with inertial loads. Absolute accuracy is within 3 arc-minutes of true position. Holding torque is 100 oz in with 4.6 A and a 100 W rating.
Staff
January 1, 1998
Traditionally, process variables are considered to be units of flow, level, pressure, or temperature, and the media measured include gases, liquids, slurries, powders, and solids (see table).Transmitters are devices that accept the output of sensors and transducers designed to detect process variables and produce an output which directly or proportionally alters as process variables change.
Staff
January 1, 1998
PID loops control a majority of the automated processes in industrial facilities. The proportional-integral-derivative (PID) algorithm is both simple and reliable, and has been applied to hundreds of thousands of control loops over the last 50 years.However, not all industrial processes can be controlled with PID loops.
Vance J. VanDoren, Control Engineering
January 1, 1998
Brown Deer, Wis.—Wago Corp. has released the Series 735 front entry PCB terminal blocks with push-wire connections. These pushbutton terminal blocks claim to be a cost effective solution for two-wire in-line printed circuit board connections. Pin spacings for this series include 0.15 in. (orange) and 5 mm (gray).
Staff
January 1, 1998