Top 5 Control Engineering stories, Feb. 2-9, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are Control Engineering's five most clicked articles from last week, Feb. 2-9, 2014, including articles about PLCs and PACs; variable frequency drive selection; machine design; thermal PID loops, and PCs vs. PLCs.

02/10/2014


1. PLC vs. PAC 

These technologies continue to evolve, making differences harder to distinguish. Here are some thoughts on what does what, and how to choose between a PLC and a PAC for your next application.

2. How to select a VFD 

These guidelines dispel the confusion about matching variable frequency drives (VFD) and motors to fans and pumps that are typically encountered in commercial building applications. While the motivation to increase energy efficiency could be financial (reduced energy costs) or ethical (reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with power production), it is taken for granted that VFDs are an easy way to improve energy efficiency in a motor application. And with these noble intentions in mind, the engineer will specify a VFD for his client. Oftentimes, that isn't the end of the story for the engineer.

3. Do not guess and check your machine design 

Controls engineers are often brought in for the first time during the final steps of machine building to help tune everything. To achieve the desired performance, the machine must be designed so that mechanical resonances do not exist, or exist far above the desired control bandwidth. Earlier collaboration is better.

4. Tuning thermal PID loops 

When dealing with critical temperature applications, PID controllers are a common regulatory approach, but tuning these often requires a different strategy than other types of loops. Auto-tuning features can help if you understand them.

5. Inside Machines: PC versus PLC: Comparing control options 

To choose between a PLC or PC, analyze and compare characteristics that could differentiate the two technologies, such as operation, robustness, serviceability, hardware integration, security, safety, programming, and cost. Graphics illustrate some key considerations.

The list was developed using CFE Media's web analytics for stories viewed on www.controleng.com Feb. 2-9, 2014.

- Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz, associate content managers, CFE Media, jdmaahs@cfemedia.com and jschultz@cfemedia.com



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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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ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
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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.
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.
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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.
August 2018
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July 2018
Ladder logic best practices and object-oriented programming, safety instrumented systems, enclosure design issues and challenges, process control advice
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This article collection contains several articles on how today's technologies heap benefits onto an edge-computing architecture such as faster computing, better networking, more memory, smarter analytics, cloud-based intelligence, and lower costs.
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Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
PLCs
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. Featured articles in this digital report compare PLCs and programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial PCs, and robotic controllers.
SIDB

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

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SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, progressive cavity pumps
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ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
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.
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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