Making the right automation changes

Choosing to upgrade—or not to upgrade—can be the proverbial double-edged sword whether it be network-migration best practices or HMI advances.

12/01/2015


As with most migration decisions, those that involve keeping legacy versus upgrading to modernized plant-floor networks can be among the most daunting. Choosing to upgrade—or not to upgrade—can be the proverbial double-edged sword. As the author of this issue's cover story puts it, "The benefits of upgrading can be significant. So can the challenges."

However, the author offers reassurance that others have successfully upgraded their industrial networks. He also provides network-migration best practices, which include planning, documentation, cabling, switches, and security. The author writes: "A solid network migration plan is the foundation for a successful outcome. It begins with a good understanding of where you are and where you want to be."

This issue's other story tracks human-machine interface (HMI) advances and trends. After providing a brief timeline of the technology, the author explains the features available in today's HMIs. Viewing HMI screens remotely on mobile devices is catching on as a time-saving resource for collecting information, determining machine status, and keeping an eye on production. The author also explains that the ability to display media in popular formats on the HMI during runtime is a becoming a must-have capability. "PDF, Xcel, Word, and video format viewers allow HMI programs to display information that can train an operator, help an operator run the machine, or solve a machine issue." The author also speculates about where HMIs are headed. "Possibly, at some point, a model could evolve where tools and features are selected for an application, and end users are charged only for what they use." 

This article appears in the Applied Automation supplement for Control Engineering and Plant Engineering

- See other articles from the supplement below.



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The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
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The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
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Cybersecurity best practices, artificial intelligence, robotic additive manufacturing, embedded systems, IIoT integration, energy efficiency
March 2018
Digitalization integration, process sensors, edge computing, fog computing, condition monitoring, and motors
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DCS visibility, alarm management, motors and drives, robotic machining, Engineers' Choice winners
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ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
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Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
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This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
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This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
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This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers. Vote now (if qualified)!
System Integrator Giants
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
How to Maximize Factory Automation Efficiency with Low Cost Machine Vision
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Wireless Reliability in Harsh Environments
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
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This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
April 2018
Cybersecurity best practices, artificial intelligence, robotic additive manufacturing, embedded systems, IIoT integration, energy efficiency
March 2018
Digitalization integration, process sensors, edge computing, fog computing, condition monitoring, and motors
February 2018
DCS visibility, alarm management, motors and drives, robotic machining, Engineers' Choice winners
HMIs
Automation and controls continue to help HMI hardware and software advance. As computing capabilities progress, hardware has become more rugged with less maintenance required, with wider environmental capabilities, and integrated input/output (I/O) connections.
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Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Machine Vision
This article collection contains several articles on how advancements in vision system designs, computing power, algorithms, optics, and communications are making machine vision more cost effective than ever before.
SIDB

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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