Social experiment update

Last February I announced in this column the launch of Control Engineering’s first social media foray—the “Automation & Control” group on Facebook (http://budurl.com/2nfe). As we began this experiment, there were already several other such automation-related groups on Facebook hosting anywhere from several dozen to a few hundred members.

07/01/2009


Last February I announced in this column the launch of Control Engineering ’s first social media foray—the “Automation & Control” group on Facebook ( budurl.com/2nfe ). As we began this experiment, there were already several other such automation-related groups on Facebook hosting anywhere from several dozen to a few hundred members. At the time I thought that if we could reach 500 members, that would be an excellent result. We passed that benchmark in less than month. Membership in the group had surpassed 2,100 by June 1 (less than six months since the launch).

The big questions we had when launching this venture was: How many engineers are out there on Facebook, and how much time are they spending there? The answers have been quite clear. Not only are there a lot of engineers using social media, they’re out there looking for answers. Here’s a sampling of some of the questions posted recently on the group site—from the more common to the more specific:

  • Can I use an incremental encoder direct connect to relay as a sensor? If so, how should I connect it?

  • When it comes to electromagnetic interference, which is best, Profibus or 4-20mA?

  • I’m looking for a cement flow meter. I need it to measure cement powder flow across a 16-in diameter steel pipe.

  • I need to find a machine/system that counts sausage chubs, possibly holding them until a predetermined amount have gathered, then dumped into a box. I have seen systems that do this with cartons, but does anyone know of a system that can do what I need with scattered chubs?

There are literally dozens and dozens of user posts and replies on the site. So if you haven’t joined yet, I encourage you to do so. There’s a vast engineering community out there that could be even better with your presence.

The success of this whole social media venture has also led us to also launch a Twitter feed on sustainable engineering ( twitter.com/djgreenfield ) and a companion site to the Facebook group on LinkedIn ( budurl.com/8w6g ). The LinkedIn group site—“Automation & Control Engineering”—also features a direct news feed from www.controleng.com , so you can keep up to date with industry news while also dialing into the engineering community at large. More social media news is coming soon to coincide with an update of the www.controleng.com Website.

Now that these ventures are up and running, I am interested to hear your comments and suggestions on how we can make them better and more useful for you. My email address is below.

david.greenfield@reedbusiness.com

Twitter

 

ONLINE extra

At www.twitter.com/ControlEngTips , Get a Control Engineering tip of the day via Twitter on controls, automation, instrumentation, sensors, networks, system integration, and related trends and technologies found at www.controleng.com. Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief, assembles the tips.

See a streamlined view of the Control Engineering site for handheld computers at mobile.controleng.com .





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)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
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.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
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.

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

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
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.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
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.

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

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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)!
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
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.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Maximize ROI with integrated control system approach; Microcontrollers vs. PLCs; Power quality; Accelerate and rewire IIoT; Traits for excellent engineers
HMI effectiveness; Distributed I/O; Engineers' Choice Award finalists; System Integrator advice; Inside Machines
Women in engineering; Engineering Leaders Under 40; PID benefits and drawbacks; Ladder logic; Cloud computing
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. As we know, PLCs aren’t the only option for making decisions in a control loop, but they are likely why you’re here.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
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.

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

Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me