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System Integration September 26, 2022

Automation mergers, acquisitions, capital markets analysis: September 2022

The Bundy Group reported 11 automation transactions in the month of September. Analysis on the acquisitions and reports are highlighted below.

By Clint Bundy
System Integration August 26, 2022

Automation mergers, acquisitions, capital markets analysis: August 2022

The Bundy Group reported nine automation transactions in the month of August. Analysis on the acquisitions and reports are highlighted below.

By Clint Bundy
System Integration August 20, 2022

Three ways to shut down loads with thermal switches

Thermal switches can help mitigate damage in electronic products and keep a situation from getting worse. Three approaches to controlling heat buildup with thermal switches are highlighted.

By Randall Scasny
System Integration August 15, 2022

How to create best practices for effective automation applications

System integrators who apply automation and controls know what to consider prior to implementation. Get advice below, from the webcast, archived for a year after Aug. 16, and from related articles.

By Chris Clayton and Kevin Tom
System Integration August 15, 2022

Benefits of modular enclosures in manufacturing applications

Modular enclosures can help manufacturers maximize the space they have and give them added flexibility in many different applications.

By Troy Miesse
System Integration August 10, 2022

Semiconductor material that performs better than silicon

Researchers have found a material that can perform much better than silicon in cubic boron arsenide, but finding practical and economic ways to make it remains a challenge.

By David L. Chandler
System Integration August 6, 2022

Tool advances gallium-oxide semiconductor research

Cornell researchers have added a tool to their suite of laboratory equipment to help in the study of gallium oxide, which could be used as a major component for semiconductors in the future.

By Syl Kacapyr
System Integration August 3, 2022

Respond to growing OT vulnerabilities with endpoint systems management

A recent cybersecurity advisory alert details the Top 15 Common OT Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) routinely exploited by malicious cyber actors in 2021, as well as other CVEs frequently exploited.

By John Livingston
System Integration August 3, 2022

Silk developed as alternative to some microplastics

Researchers have developed a system based on silk that could provide an inexpensive and easily manufactured substitute, which could improve quality for manufactured goods and processes.

By David L. Chandler
System Integration August 3, 2022

Case study: Redesign the process, then the control system

Pharmaceutical control system integration: Fixing a blind spot in the process design helped user requirements for a heat exchanger control system. A control system may not be able to fix a faulty process.

By Kevin Tom
System Integration July 28, 2022

Automation mergers, acquisitions, capital markets analysis: July 2022

The Bundy Group reported 15 automation transactions in the month of July. Analysis on the acquisitions and reports are highlighted below.

By Clint Bundy
System Integration July 27, 2022

Superconducting graphene structures discovered

MIT physicists have established twisted graphene as a new “family” of robust superconductors stacked at precise angles.

By Jennifer Chu
System Integration July 25, 2022

Automation mergers, acquisitions, capital markets analysis: Q4 2021

The second half of 2021 had many mergers and acquisition and capital raise activity in the automation sector. Nineteen automation transactions were made in the fourth quarter of 2021 and are highlighted.

By Clint Bundy
System Integration July 23, 2022

Solving the puzzle of 2D materials disorder

An interdisciplinary team developed a new method to characterize disorder in 2D materials that could possibly replace silicon in transistors and sensors.

By Brian Sandalow
System Integration June 17, 2022

Case study: How to design controls for resiliency

Upgrades to a cogeneration plant include resiliency for three critical systems, according to the system integrator involved.

By Grant Kircher and Matthew Rawson
System Integration June 7, 2022

Accurate measurements by calibrating for efficiency

Accurate measurements and consistency in production that means users will want to regularly calibrate sensors and ensure they work properly.

By Justin Palensky
System Integration May 20, 2022

Groups receive funding to produce heterogeneous integration roadmap

SEMI and UCLA have received a grant to produce a roadmap for advancing integration and packaging technologies in the United States.

By SEMI
System Integration May 15, 2022

Automating manual processes

Streamlining the most basic of operations on the factory floor is often overlooked, but it can have very positive impacts for operations and the workforce.

By Randy Otto
System Integration April 22, 2022

Construction on automation and robotics facility completed

JMP Solutions has completed construction on its new automation & robotics facility in Northwest Arkansas.

By JMP Solutions
System Integration April 4, 2022

Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 28 to April 3, 2022

Articles about electron correlations in graphene, Engineers' Choice winners, information control, edge technologies and advanced process controls were Control Engineering’s five most-viewed articles from March 28 to April 3, 2022. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration January 28, 2022

Benefits of agile documentation for projects

Agile software development brings an opportunity to create, leverage and improve documentation in ways that bring new value to projects and stakeholders.

By Jeff Panning, PMP, ACP
System Integration January 14, 2022

Ten considerations for developing an optimal palletizing solution

Automating palletizing and depalletizing is far from one-size-fits-all. Consider these tips for developing an optimal solution.

By Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT)
System Integration January 5, 2022

Control Engineering hot topics, December 2021

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in December 2021 included stories on the System Integrator of the Year winners, manufacturing and 5G, vibration analysis, sustainable automation development and more. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 26, 2021

How SIs can help manufacturers beat inflation in 2022

System integrators lead the charge to productivity and return on investment in the future.

By Michael McEnery
System Integration December 18, 2021

How to securely implement digital transformation for manufacturing processes

Security is a journey; this is especially true when dealing with manufacturing and operational technology (OT) systems.

By Jack Smith
System Integration December 13, 2021

Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 6-12, 2021

Articles about the SI Giants, System Integrators of the Year, sustainability, APC limits and targets and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 6-12, 2021. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 8, 2021

2022 System Integrator of the Year winners

Integrator companies Revere Control Systems, Hargrove Controls + Automation and Huffman Engineering are recognized for their outstanding achievements.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 8, 2021

Revere Control Systems is System Integrator of the Year, 2022

Revere Control Systems is the 2022 System Integrator of the Year for the Large System Integrator Category. Bob Adams, president and founder of Revere Control Systems, discussed his company’s approach in an interview with CFE Media.

By CFE Media
System Integration September 21, 2021

Five OT vision planning steps

The operational technology (OT) world is moving fast and manufacturers and system integrators need to keep up. A vision plan can help provide guidance for the future.

By Matt Ruth
System Integration September 21, 2021

How to find the ROI in smart manufacturing

Smart manufacturing can offer manufacturers a great return on investment (ROI), but that can only happen if they focus on the business benefits.

By John Clemons
System Integration August 8, 2021

The role of the system integrator in the digital transformation

Manufacturing automation is embracing digital transformation and the system integration plays a key role in facilitating it and integrating information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT).

By Jack Smith
System Integration July 8, 2021

Advice: Exploring best practices for industrial wireless

Reasons for updating and expanding industrial wireless use are increasing. Understand how use cases can inform a corporate industrial wireless strategy.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration May 21, 2021

Turning “magic” material into versatile electronic devices

Work on three graphene-based devices may yield new insights into superconductivity and usher in a new generation of quantum electronic devices.

By Elizabeth A. Thomson
System Integration April 20, 2021

System integration award winners announced

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) named winners for leadership, integrator member, partner member and more in their 2021 ceremony.

By Control System Integrators Association (CSIA)
System Integration February 18, 2021

The value in turnkey manufacturing

While more expensive initially, turnkey manufacturing offers more long-term advantages over using independent contractors. System integrators can help.

By Tom Catlin
System Integration February 6, 2021

Modernize legacy distributed control systems for a competitive edge

Expiration dates on legacy distributed control systems (DCSs) lead to component failure, high replacement costs and downtime. New process control system infrastructure brings open communications, easier integration, faster responses, analytics, advanced controls, virtualization and simulation for next-generation engineers.

By Travis Giebler and Hayden Serio
System Integration January 20, 2021

Grant awarded to investigate acoustic graphene properties

Penn State researchers received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to further explore the characteristics of an acoustic technology inspired by nanoscale electronics, which could improve electric conductivity.

By Gabrielle Stewart
System Integration December 16, 2020

Integrators improve service value by moving providing an XaaS model

Integrators improve their value to manufacturers by adapting to a delivery system inspired by a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which takes on many forms

By Stephen J. Malyszko
System Integration December 14, 2020

Top 5 Control Engineering Articles Dec. 7-14, 2020

Articles about the 20201 System Integrator of the Year award winners, robotic offline programming in a COVID-19 world, cybersecurity and the rise of IT-enabled OT systems, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Dec. 7-14 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Keagan Gay
System Integration December 13, 2020

Advice for a manufacturing pandemic response plan

Now that we are several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be a good time to codify some of what has been learned into a new pandemic response plan

By David N. Erby
System Integration December 10, 2020

Tea time at AriZona Beverage Co.

System integrator, Vertech, provided automation for AriZona Beverage Co.’s new greenfield facility

By Paul Warning
System Integration December 9, 2020

Pandemic transforms the system integration industry

We are determined to use forethought, creativity and resilience to help the association and its members meet this challenge and not only survive the transition but thrive

By Jose M. Rivera
System Integration December 9, 2020

Applied Control Engineering Inc., is System Integrator of the Year, 2021

Applied Control Engineering Inc., is the 2021 System Integrator of the Year for the Mid-Sized System Integrator Category. Ian Burns, PE, president of ACE, discussed how the company is finding new ways to work with companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 9, 2020

The JDI Group Inc., is System Integrator of the Year, 2021

The JDI Group Inc., is the 2021 System Integrator of the Year for the Small System Integrator Category. Mike King, principal and director of operations at The JDI Group Inc. spoke with CFE Media about its success and managing projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By CFE Media
System Integration August 8, 2020

How to build a system integration business case for automation, controls

When starting any system integration project, consider four fundamental components to business case development: business needs, situational analysis, recommendation and evaluation to create due diligence for project management.

By Ryan Courtney
System Integration July 5, 2020

Five tips for effectively drawing electrical schematics

Industrial automation schematics drawings communicate design intent from the engineer to the assembler, troubleshooter and maintainer. See five tips on making electrical schematic drawings better.

By Jon Breen
System Integration July 4, 2020

System integration project management, trust, pitfalls

Project management for system integration projects may need to overcome frustration, anxiety and resentment to build trust. Project documentation, project communications, and project planning help with system integration project management.

By Joe Martin
System Integration May 5, 2020

Breathable electronics could lead to functional long-term wearable technology

North Carolina State University engineering researchers have created ultrathin, stretchable electronic material that is gas permeable and is designed specifically for use in biomedical or long-term wearable technologies. See video.

By Matt Shipman
System Integration May 3, 2020

10 ways manufacturers can add COVID-19 support preparedness

Ask these 10 questions to improve support preparedness for manufacturers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Matt Ruth
System Integration April 5, 2020

Premier System Integrators purchases FeedForward, Inc.

Premier System Integrators has acquired FeedForward, Inc. and will be combining their efforts in multiple projects throughout the United States.

By EOSYS
System Integration April 3, 2020

Digital transformation: time for industry to kick into high gear

Digital transformation is about transforming and changing the business for the future and creating new and better ways of doing business.

By John Clemons
System Integration March 30, 2020

Edge computing offers 4-step pathway to digital transformation

Special Report: Living on the edge: Putting computing power close to the process reduces control system latency, creates a distributed architecture, and can integrate machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for faster, more flexible optimization and expand and improve use of cloud services. See four steps toward edge computing.

By Dr. Keshab Panda
System Integration March 9, 2020

Standards capture stranded data, help with device design, data integration

Standards update: Integrated systems and standards help support advanced information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) collaboration and optimization in three key ways. Also see four advantages of future process automation facilities.

By Ted Masters
System Integration March 6, 2020

Breadboards integrated onto physical products

MIT researchers have invented a way to integrate “breadboards” — flat platforms used for electronics prototyping to quickly test circuit functions and user interactions with products such as smart devices and flexible electronics.

By Rob Matheson
System Integration February 18, 2020

Laser-induced graphene for flexible electronics

Scientists are using a very small visible beam to burn the foamy form of carbon into microscopic patterns, which could lead to wider commercial production of flexible electronics and sensors.

By Mike Williams
System Integration February 14, 2020

Building the perfect user interface

Automation design: Understand the user to create a useful, effective user interface.

By Petteri Hämäläinen
System Integration February 12, 2020

Five automation design tips for the future

Automation design and system integration: When designing automation for the future, consider open source, capital costs, evolution, multi-vendor capability and cybersecurity.

By Josh Eastburn
System Integration December 18, 2019

System integration in the digital age: Why you need it and how to get the best

System integration has been going on for decades, and it is likely to continue; companies and integrators need to adapt as end users turn to their internal engineering departments.

By Jose M. Rivera and Lisa Richter
System Integration December 17, 2019

System integrators claim their role in the digital transformation

System integrators are taking on digital transformation as it becomes more realistic and attainable.

By Jose M. Rivera
System Integration December 16, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 9-15

Articles about the System Integrator Giants, SIY winners, collaborative robot use cases, digital twins, and industrial virtualization were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 9-15. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 12, 2019

Certified for success: Building a better system integration business

Jose Rivera, CEO of CSIA, interviewed Dave Patterson, CEO of Grantek, a certified SI member of CSIA, about the company's challenges and successes as an integrator and how they've become a better business.

By Jose M. Rivera
System Integration December 11, 2019

Matrix Technologies, Maumee, Ohio, is System Integrator of the Year, 2020

Matrix Technologies is the 2020 System Integrator of the Year for the Large System Integrator Category. Dave Blaida, president and CEO of Matrix Technologies Inc., discussed his company’s approach in an interview with CFE Media. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 11, 2019

Malisko Engineering Inc., St. Louis, is System Integrator of the Year, 2020

Malisko Engineering is the 2020 System Integrator of the Year for the Mid-Sized System Integrator Category. Executives from the company share some of the company's success stories and advice. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 11, 2019

AutomationNTH, Lavergne, Tenn., is System Integrator of the Year, 2020

AutomationNTH is the 2020 System Integrator of the Year for the Small System Integrator Category. Jeff Buck, vice president of engineering at Automationnth, shares some of the company's success stories and advice. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 11, 2019

2020 System Integrator of the Year award winners announced

Integrator companies Matrix Technologies, Malisko Engineering, and AutomationNTH are recognized for their outstanding achievements. See video of a roundtable discussion with the winners.

By CFE Media
System Integration November 4, 2019

Five control panel building tips

Software, data management, and decreased wiring are among control panel design benefits, when digitalization is integrated in design.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration November 4, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 28 to November 3

Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, system integration advice, the Goldilocks Zone in automation, energy management and manufacturing, and PLC tag and address naming conventions were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 28 to November 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration August 27, 2019

Researchers use polymer to strengthen graphene oxide sheets

Northwestern Engineering professors have developed a way to toughen up graphene oxide by layering it with polyvinyl alcohol, which can reduce failures due to cracks and piercings. This research could help with next-generation sensors and wearable electronics.

By Emily Ayshford
System Integration July 15, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles July 8-14

Articles about selecting an enclosure, using context with the IIoT, cybersecurity best practices, digitalization advantages, and connecting a PLC were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from July 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration July 9, 2019

Tips for computer integration on the manufacturing floor

Installing computer systems can be an arduous process for new and existing manufacturing plants; basic best practices for enclosures can help companies avoid costly pitfalls and long-term challenges. See five tips for using computers on the plant floor.

By Daniel Waldron
System Integration June 9, 2019

Control system integration projects: Petrochemical

See five lessons learned for a boiler control system upgrades, based on a system integrator’s experiences in the petrochemical industry.

By Edward Watkins
System Integration April 15, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles April 8-14

Articles about evaluating a system integrator, the Engineers' Choice Awards, IIoT and machine control, questions to ask an SI, and rate-predictive control were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 8-14. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration March 18, 2019

Top 5 Control Engineering articles March 11-17

Articles about the R&D tax credit, easy automation, IIoT software in manufacturing, IEEE 1584-2018, and the Engineers' Choice Awards were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from March 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration February 7, 2019

Does your control system have style?

Defining system language, look as important as operating parameters.

By Jason Tippett
System Integration February 6, 2019

Reduce risk of non-payment from new automation customers

Legalities: A letter of credit can help guarantee payment or performance by a customer or integrator that has not yet established a credit history with the other party to the arrangement—especially if offices of the two parties are far apart.

By Brian Clifford
System Integration January 4, 2019

System integration in the automotive industries

Automotive industries are addressing competitive challenges with automation-related upgrades. A review of some technologies being integrated and why follow.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration January 3, 2019

Negotiate better payment terms for automation, integration contracts

Legalities: Payment cycle provisions are common in automation and integration contracts. Four strategies can help your company’s cash flow.

By Brian Clifford
System Integration December 19, 2018

Marshal your virtual resources

In a tight job market, finding outside partners is a global process

By Heath Stephens, PE
System Integration December 19, 2018

A method to avoid the madness: Automation experts add productivity

A sound process and a main automation contractor can relieve stress for an integrator. Reduce risk and maximize plant productivity of large system integration projects in three ways.

By Amanda Geldhof
System Integration December 17, 2018

Clean water more than a pipe dream

California SI project delivers an efficient control system to provide clean and safe water for its customers.

By Annette Burak
System Integration December 17, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 10-16

Articles about the 2019 System Integrator Giants, the System Integrator winners, AR and VR, and bringing IIoT to process plants were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 10-16, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 15, 2018

CSIA Best Practices provide business value

Best practices for integrators can create a great deal of improvement for a company's business performance and their clients' satisfaction.

By Jeff Miller, PMP
System Integration December 14, 2018

It’s busy today, but don’t lose sight of tomorrow

While the economy for system integrators is good, the future remains unclear as companies struggle to hire and retain young talent.

By Jose M. Rivera
System Integration December 12, 2018

Yogurt plant improves active culture, technology

System integrator helps Chobani streamline operations to provide more flexibility and efficiency.

By Jim Meyers
System Integration December 11, 2018

Raise a glass to integration!

Colorado State University's CSU) on-campus brewery is an automation leader with its Fermentation Science and Technology (FST) program.

By Dan Malyszko
System Integration December 11, 2018

Whisky distilling by design to enhance control system integration

Modern control system preserves The Macallan’s singular tradition.

By MacAllan Distillery
System Integration December 10, 2018

System Integrator of the Year award winners announced

Integrator companies E-Technologies Group, Polytron, and Northwind Technical Services are recognized for their outstanding achievements. See video of a roundtable discussion with the winners.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 10, 2018

E-Technologies Group, West Chester, Ohio, is System Integrator of the Year, 2019

E-Technologies Group is the 2019 System Integrator of the Year for the Large System Integrator Category. Co-founders Steve Veldhuis and Doug Fagaly shares some of the company's success stories and advice. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 10, 2018

Polytron Inc., Duluth, Ga., is System Integrator of the Year, 2019

Polytron Inc. is the 2019 System Integrator of the Year for the Mid-Sized System Integrator Category. CEO Ron Rich shares some of the company's success stories and advice. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 10, 2018

NorthWind Technical Services, Sabetha, Kansas, is System Integrator of the Year, 2019

NorthWind Technical Services is the 2019 System Integrator of the Year for the Large System Integrator Category. President Mike Bosworth shares some of the company's success stories and advice. See video.

By CFE Media
System Integration December 10, 2018

The SI as your partner

Developing a long-term relationship delivers better solutions across multiple projects. Six critical criteria are highlighted.

By Michael Prosser
System Integration November 5, 2018

How does the ‘Industrial Exemption’ impact automation businesses?

Legalities: For many automation companies, complying with the requirements for the professional licensing of engineers is not required for work in a factory thanks to the “industrial exemption.” State engineering licensing laws vary by state and can change; it is important to evaluate compliance annually.

By Julie Weller, Faegre Baker Daniels
System Integration October 15, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles October 8-14

Articles about Engineers' Choice finalists, insulated switchgear, digital design advantages, multi-touch HMI hardware, and matrix drives were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from October 8-14, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration October 14, 2018

Interfacing with databases key to machine HMI upgrade

A company with test machines built in the 1990s needed an upgrade its structured query language (SQL) program to allow them to better operate their machines for better accuracy and operation.

By Paul Carter, Cross Co.
System Integration October 6, 2018

Benefits of using master services agreements for engineering projects

Legalities: Including several small system integration projects or control system deliverables under MSAs can help the system integrator and clients.

By Brian Clifford, Faegre Baker Daniels
System Integration September 30, 2018

Control Engineering hot topics, September 2018

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in September 2018 included stories about autotuning control, cybersecurity strategies, ladder logic, network security, and designing a wireless IIoT gateway. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra, CFE Media
System Integration September 21, 2018

Machine vision challenges for system integrators

Vision system integrators are looking to stay a step ahead of emerging technologies such as deep learning and other smart technologies.

By Winn Hardin, AIA
System Integration September 17, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles September 10-16

Articles about cybersecurity, networking security, industrial wireless networks, IoT and automation, and autotuning were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from September 10-16, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration September 13, 2018

Three ways to make digital transformation sustainable

The Internet of Things (IoT) makes digital transformation challenging, but companies that are transparent about their actions and focus on company wins from a policy and culture standpoint will be able to weather any potential hardships.

By Nicole Dyess, Motors@Work
System Integration September 9, 2018

Five ways to avoid engineering litigation

Legalities: Remember, it could be worse: To avoid engineering-related litigation, consider these five alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

By Brian Clifford, Faegre Baker Daniels
System Integration September 4, 2018

Control Engineering hot topics, August 2018

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in August 2018 included stories about IIoT equipment integration, autotuning control, choosing an industrial automation controller, and motion controllers. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration August 2, 2018

Control Engineering hot topics, July 2018

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in July 2018 included stories about ladder logic, sensor selection, safety instrumented systems, and smarter energy monitoring. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration July 25, 2018

Hot topics for Control Engineering, July 2017 through June 2018

Hot topics in Control Engineering, from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, include PID, Salary and Career Survey findings, System Integrator Giants, and technology trends, among other topics.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration July 10, 2018

Comparing conventional and sustainable safety instrumented systems

A sustainable safety instrumented system (SIS) is more open than a conventional SIS and are more accessible to process plant personnel while providing opportunities for continuous feedback and improvement.

By Hidehito Shiratsu, Yokogawa Electric Corp.
System Integration July 8, 2018

Insurance for integration projects

Insurance can make many of a system integrator’s problems someone else’s problems. Insurance obligations are part of most system integration project contracts. Engineering projects often need multiple types of insurance to have appropriate coverage.

By Brian Clifford, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
System Integration July 4, 2018

Five reasons to use modular design enclosures

Modular design enclosures provide more flexibility and a reduced footprint for users versus unibody enclosures, and their design and construction provide additional advantages for users.

By Troy Miesse, Steve Sullivan, Rittal North America
System Integration July 2, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles Jun. 25 to Jul. 1

Articles about IIoT effectiveness on the plant floor, mobile HMI criteria, process controls, HMI best practices, and robotic automation trends were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from June 25 to July 1, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration June 11, 2018

Untangling indemnification clauses

What does it mean to indemnify an automation project customer or control system integrator?

By Mark Voigtmann and Brian Clifford, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
System Integration May 17, 2018

System integrators honored at annual event

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Executive Conference honored several integrators and companies while also expanding the group's best practices for the integrator industry.

By Control System Integrators Association (CSIA)
System Integration May 1, 2018

Control Engineering hot topics, April 2018

Control Engineering's most clicked articles in April 2018 included stories about DCS implementation, IIoT's capabilities, ladder logic, cybersecurity advice, and AI's impact on robotics. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration April 23, 2018

Ten best practices for system integration companies and projects

Project management, system development lifecycle, services, as well as information systems and cybersecurity are among 10 best practices for system integration in a new guide for system integrators and those doing control system integration projects.

By Control System Integrators Association (CSIA)
System Integration April 17, 2018

Six factors for choosing a control system integrator for a mobile machine system

Companies looking to choose a control system integrator for a mobile machine system should be able to work with hydraulics and electrical controls and have good working relationships across the board.

By Wade Wessler and Chris Vrettacos, Cross Company
System Integration April 16, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles Apr. 9-15

Articles about IIoT integration, IIoT's capabilities, DCS implementation, and embedded systems were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from April 9-15, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration February 28, 2018

Smart manufacturing benefits for system integrators

Transitioning from technology integration to value integration gives system integrators a chance to demonstrate smart manufacturing’s benefits for manufacturing enterprises.

By John Boville and Stephen March, Schneider Electric
System Integration February 26, 2018

Top 5 Control Engineering articles Feb. 19-25

Articles about industrial controllers, electric motor innovations, using a DCS for optimized operations, the Engineers' Choice winners, and standards and error avoidance were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Feb. 19-25, 2018. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 18, 2017

Top 5 Control Engineering articles December 11-17: 2018 System Integrators of the Year, Engineers’ Choice finalists, Burrow Global, more

Articles about the 2018 System Integrators of the Year, the Engineers' Choice finalists, and profiles on Burrow Global, ECN Automation, and Automation Plus were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from December 11-17. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration December 13, 2017

Special Report: Overcoming Harvey

Hurricane Harvey knocked down Houston, but the system integration community helped the city get back on its feet.

By Mark House, Wood.
System Integration December 4, 2017

Top 5 Control Engineering articles November 27 to December 3: Engineers’ Choice finalists, SCADA and solar energy, 2018 technology trends, more

Articles about the Engineers' Choice finalists, SCADA and solar energy, 2018 technology trends, PID controllers, and process valve safety were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from November 27 to December 3. Miss something? You can catch up here.

By Chris Vavra
System Integration November 11, 2017

Industrial internet group announces digital solar plant testbed

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced the Digital Solar Plant testbed, which is being led by IIC members LTI, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company, and GE Digital.

By Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)
System Integration October 9, 2017

How to perform a radome transmissivity test

Transmissivity tests are essential to ensure that repairs to a radome are performed effectively.

By James Duvall
System Integration September 29, 2017

Integrated LED lighting helps grow vertical farming

Companies are looking at making vertical farming more viable by using LED lighting along with automation technology and smart lighting to create flexibility.

By Control Engineering UK
System Integration September 6, 2017

Four steps to secure an automation system from potential threats

Companies looking to secure their automation system need to define their architecture and assets, assess the site, implementing a security plan, and consistently review their assets for potential threats.

By Robbie Peoples, Cross Company
System Integration August 31, 2017

Commissioning and testing for process control projects

The head of a commissioning project serves as a gatekeeper for process control projects and is responsible for being thorough during the testing process as well as ensuring that everyone is involved.

By Randy Goff, Cross Company
System Integration August 2, 2017

Minimize maintenance to maximize machine vision system success

Behind every well-maintained machine vision system is a well-trained staff responsible for its operation and upkeep.

By Winn Hardin, AIA
System Integration July 12, 2017

High-temperature silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) thyristors

Littelfuse introduces its first SCR Thyristor capable of handling 600V 40Arms and 150°C junction temperature.

System Integration July 10, 2017

Ethernet switch series with redundant power supply inputs

Wieland Electric Inc.'s UMS 5-W, UMS 8, LMS 16-W wienet series of Ethernet switches have redundant power supply inputs and a wide temperature operating range.

By Wieland Electric
System Integration July 5, 2017

Half brick 150 Watt DC-DC converters

XP Power's QSB150 series of 150 Watt half brick DC-DC converters include 8:1 input range.

By XP Power
System Integration July 2, 2017

Light curtain system for flexibility and industrial safety

Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley GuardShield 450L safety light curtain system uses a transceiver design designed to enhance safety and improving productivity.

By Rockwell Automation
System Integration June 21, 2017

Maximizing a control system’s lifestyle

Virtualization is a great way to maximize the life of overall system.

By David Ward
System Integration June 20, 2017

Real-world HMI design considerations for improved safety

Real-world scenarios need to be taken into account when designing HMI. There should be no unnecessary functions that can potentially cause safety issues like they did for an airliner at Nashville International Airport in 2015.

By Bruce Billedeaux, Maverick Technologies
System Integration June 14, 2017

Eight things to avoid in control system automation projects

Identifying missteps such as not building a cross-functional team and not defining responsibilities early in a project can help ensure that a control system automation project is successful.

By Robbie Peoples, Cross Company
System Integration June 14, 2017

Power supply series with industrial, medical safety approvals

XP Power's UCP225 series of 225W ac/dc power supplies feature industrial and medical safety and comes in seven single output voltage for a variety of applications.

By XP Power
System Integration May 25, 2017

Electrical converters for through-hole mount applications

XP Power's JWE06 and JWE08 dc-dc converters in a compact DIP-16 package are designed for applications such as automation and process control.

By XP Power
System Integration May 23, 2017

Polycarbonate enclosure series

AutomationDirect's Integra polycarbonate enclosure premium series of screw-cover wall mount enclosures are engineered for durability and impact resistance, UV stability, chemical resistance, and have a wide operating temperature range from -40 to 265°F.

By AutomationDirect
System Integration May 13, 2017

Designing for construction safety best practices

Designing for construction safety (DFCS), also known as prevention through design (PtD), is a concept that encourages design engineers to consider the safety of construction and maintenance workers during the design phase of a project.

By Joe Amara
System Integration May 6, 2017

Your most valuable asset: Managing your system integration business as an investment

There are many factors to consider to manage a business now, and for the future to maximize value.

By Catherine J. Durham
System Integration May 4, 2017

Power quality and motor analyzer

The Fluke 438-II Power Quality and Motor Analyzer is designed to analyze three-phase power quality measurements and can calculate motor output torque, speed, horsepower, and efficiency.

By Fluke Corp.
System Integration May 1, 2017

Ceramic chip resistors with metal foil

TT Electronics' MFC series of metal foil chip resistors are designed for power supplies, dc/dc convertors, small motor drives, actuator drives and lighting drives.

By TT Electronics
System Integration April 28, 2017

Six questions to ask when choosing an open- or closed-loop hydraulic system

Choosing an open-loop or closed-loop hydraulic system is not easy and taking the time to look at the big picture design intentions and understand the system will save the user many potential headaches.

By David Saunders, Cross Company
System Integration April 27, 2017

Seven benefits of modular project design

Modular project design provides engineers many potential benefits such as saving time and money and also making customization much easier.

By Ryan Nabozniak, Aucotec
System Integration April 2, 2017

Power monitoring input module for single-phase applications

Spectrum Controls’ 1756-RMS-SC ControlLogix Power Monitoring input module is intended for any single-phase application requiring precise power monitoring. It also calculates power factor using real, reactive, and apparent power measurements by sampling voltage and current.

By Spectrum Controls
System Integration April 1, 2017

Limit switches for rugged industrial environments

AutomationDirect's F25 Series NEMA limit switches consist of three modular, interchangeable, plug-in components: operating head, switch body, and wiring receptacle.

By AutomationDirect
System Integration March 23, 2017

Electrical code revisions for product condition made

Revisions made to the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code, 2017 Edition, recommended by the Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League (PEARL), are intended to underscore the safety and reliability of reconditioned electrical equipment.

By Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League (PEARL)
System Integration March 11, 2017

Power modules with dc input

TDK Corporation has added 300W models to the TDK-Lambda PH-A280 series of dc-dc power modules with high voltage dc input and are suitable for liquid, air-cooled, or conduction-cooled systems.

By TDK Corporation
System Integration March 4, 2017

Diode arrays for protecting electronic equipment

Littelfuse's TVS Diode Arrays are designed to protect each input/output (I/O) pin of electronic equipment subject to destructive electrostatic discharges (ESD) or electrical fast transients (EFT).

By Littelfuse
System Integration February 3, 2017

Understanding how the financial performance of a business impacts its value

Part 7 of this 9-part series examines how to analyze a business’s financial performance and understand how it can impact its value.

By Catherine J. Durham
System Integration January 20, 2017

Take a different perspective with unexpected downtime

If the goal is to better understand the impact that unexpected downtime (UDT) has on a company's productivity, quality, and bottom line, then companies should focus more on the cause of UDT rather than the symptoms.

By Brendan Quigley, Cross Company
System Integration January 2, 2017

Four aspects of good control panel design

Good control panel design should feature strong layout and component placement, labeling, panel sizing and component spacing, and wireway design.

By Mike Smith, Cross Company
System Integration December 15, 2016

2016 System Integrator Giants

The System Integrator Giants program (SI Giants) lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in the CFE Media Global System Integrator Database, ranked solely on total system integration revenue.

By Bob Vavra
System Integration November 5, 2016

Apps for Engineers: Mobile apps for maintenance applications

Maintenance-related mobile applications have potential to help engineers do their jobs better. CFE Media's Apps for Engineers is an interactive directory of engineering-related applications for Apple iOS and Android operating systems from various companies. Apps are organized by category, company, and type. These are listed in the app as of November 2016.

By CFE Media
System Integration August 12, 2016

Project management tips for system integration

Seven tips: Practical advice about project management can help with a control system integration project. Project management for system integration differs from project management in other areas.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration June 15, 2016

2016 System Integration Study: Five findings on integrating systems

Respondents to the Control Engineering 2016 System Integration Study identified five high-level findings regarding the impact of integrating systems today.

By Amanda Pelliccione
System Integration December 21, 2015

2015 System Integrator Giants

The System Integrator Giants program (SI Giants) lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in the CFE Media Global System Integrator Database, ranked solely on total system integration revenue.

By Bob Vavra
System Integration October 13, 2015

Digitally programmable time delay relay with display

Product Exclusive: The newly introduced EZTimer by EZAutomation can replace knobs, pots, and hundreds of different time delay relays. The digital programmable multi-function timer has precision time settings of 1% resolution, 1% absolute accuracy, and 0.1% repeat accuracy.

By EZAutomation
System Integration April 16, 2015

Electronic circuit breakers protect 24 V dc circuits in industrial control panels

Technology Update: For industrial control panels, electronic breakers offer advantages compared to mechanical breakers. Standard fuses or breakers have some issues that occur when a fault or short comes up within one of the spread circuits fed by the same power supply. This file was updated on April 15 with reader feedback answer and photo.

By Christoph Wesner, Dipl.-Ing. (FH)
System Integration April 10, 2015

Profit vs. environment: What’s the impact of the new Chinese environmental protection law?

Environmental Protection Law of China has been officially implemented on Jan. 1. It might have a negative impact on the old manufacturing and process control sectors and open new doors for green engineering investments in existing plants and in automation, controls, instrumentation, and technology retrofits, according to Control Engineering China. It is projected that the investment in China’s atmosphere, water, and soil protection will be close to $1 trillion.

By Aileen Jin, Control Engineering China
System Integration March 16, 2015

Electronic circuit breakers in economy or basic versions

Block electronic circuit breakers, available in economy and basic, offer advantages over mechanical breakers. High inrush currents can be handled without problems. Electronic measurement of each channel’s current allows designers to reduce the installed power of the power supply used.

By Christoph Wesner, Dipl.-Ing. (FH)
System Integration May 20, 2014

Reducing harmonics with IEEE 519 practices, procedures

Technology Update: Industrial facilities should include a system evaluation, including a harmonic distortion analysis, while planning facility construction or expansion. Vendors of nonlinear loads, such as variable frequency drives, can provide services and recommend equipment that will reduce harmonics to comply with IEEE 519.

By Nikunj Shah
System Integration January 28, 2014

Engineering customer service: 3 ways tech companies can improve the customer experience

While most of us know great customer service when we experience it, learning how to improve it can be less obvious, especially for those involved in engineering and technology. A customer service consultant and former Disney employee provided advice in the opening session of the annual business conference for A3, RIA, AIA, and MCMA organizations.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration August 20, 2013

State of industrial fuel cell technology, present and future

Industrial fuel cell use is viable for industrial electricity and steam production, nearly eliminating nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Growth potential is larger than expected, according to a Control Engineering interview. Variable frequency drives are helping improve energy efficiency of fuel cell plants.

By Sidney Hill
System Integration June 18, 2013

Flying by the seat of your pants?

If you want to fly without using appropriate instrumentation, I’ll walk, thank you. The same goes for your process.

By Bruce Brandt, PE
System Integration June 8, 2013

Mechatronic designs blend power, electronics, mechanical systems

Pre-integration: Mechatronics pre-integrates power, electronic, and mechanical systems, using hardware, software, and networks to simplify design, lower costs, and speed time to market.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration May 13, 2013

PID math demystified, part 2

You’ve see the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 2: Adding integral and derivative to the mix.

By Scott Hayes
System Integration May 6, 2013

PID math demystified, part 1

You’ve seen the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 1: The basic concepts and proportional control.

By Scott Hayes
System Integration May 6, 2013

PCs for marine environments

Marine PCs by American Industrial Systems are designed to comply with marine equipment standards and are specifically designed for the U.S. Marines, Navy, and the Department of Defense (DoD).

System Integration April 29, 2013

5 things you can do long distance: Manage your control system remotely

Did you know that an off-site provider can perform many of the activities required to keep your control systems healthy?

By Jason Montroy
System Integration April 15, 2013

More efficient pumps use VFDs, consolidate logic

Application: Existing drives were not accurate enough to provide desired results and were not offered with conduit fittings. The solution provided was cost effective and more energy efficient than prior drives used and eliminated the PLC and control panel for logic.

By Robert Fenton
System Integration April 15, 2013

Technologies inside: Higher pump efficiency, consolidated logic

Eaton M-Max VFD provided QuantumFlo with a cost-effective, more energy-efficient solution than prior drives used. The more accurate Eaton M-Max drive with IP21 conduit kit allowed QuantumFlo to meet energy and functionality needs, while eliminating the PLC and control panel for logic.

By Robert Fenton
System Integration April 1, 2013

Fire fighting 101: The basics of service calls

Whether you’re going out in the field to visit one of your company’s customers, or dealing with your own people in your own plant, the same level of forethought and preparation should apply. You want a satisfied customer.

By William Zupon
System Integration March 18, 2013

The pace of technological innovation, or, where’s my flying car?

Each new technology is supposed to give us better lives. Why do industrial users adopt them so slowly?

By Bruce Brandt, PE
System Integration March 4, 2013

Using SPC in the real world

Continuing the discussion, if you are thinking about trying statistical process control, here are some ways to tell if you’re ready.

By John Clemons
System Integration February 12, 2013

What does statistical process control really do?

Some sophisticated math can help you make your manufacturing more consistent and identify production problems sooner.

By John Clemons
System Integration February 7, 2013

Motor Summit 2012: More focus on motor-driven system efficiency

Presentations at this energy-efficiency conference went well beyond mere electric motors to the larger topic of “motor-driven systems.” Pumps, fans, drives, and other associated equipment have a dramatic effect on overall system efficiency and are drawing increased attention of stakeholders.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
System Integration January 29, 2013

Making power more efficiently

Improving control of feedwater heaters improves heat transfer and reduces operating cost.

By Bruce Brandt, PE
System Integration January 18, 2013

Servodrive control: AC servo technologies, techniques can improve manufacturing productivity, energy efficiency

Smaller, more compact energy-efficient servos have faster response time speeds, higher accuracy and dynamic intelligence, along with advanced capabilities. Four enabling technologies are at work.

By Sunny Ainapure
System Integration January 15, 2013

Initial settings for PID controllers

Time to start the process? Here are some beginning PID values learned in the trenches that should get you off and running.

By Jim Ford, PE, PhD
System Integration December 18, 2012

Energy management for variable frequency drives

The P-Series of variable frequency drives by Cerus now have an energy management bypass (EMB) option to keep HVAC systems running without interruption and has integrated ANSI grade power and BACnet communications.

System Integration October 30, 2012

Inside machines: Motion control moves bacon faster

Case study: When a PLC cannot move bacon quickly enough, consider a dedicated motion controller.

By Brad Smith
System Integration October 30, 2012

Technology inside: Bacon slicer motion control

The Delta motion controller is programmed to do closed-loop position control using encoder feedback from the servo drive that moves the bacon slab into the cutting blade. The RMC sends a +/- 10 V analog output to the servo drive that moves the bacon slab.

By Brad Smith
System Integration September 11, 2012

Power plant control systems in a smelter complex

Isolating a large power generating system when it’s driving a variable load creates some special control challenges.

By Mike Robb
System Integration September 10, 2012

Soft starters enable advanced protection, monitoring

Product Exclusive: Eaton S811+/S801+ Soft Starters enable advanced protection and monitoring, helping industrial customers and original equipment manufacturers improve system reliability and maximize system performance with expanded motor control solutions.

System Integration August 30, 2012

NEMA standard helps with motor, generator selection

Motor and generator performance, safety, testing, construction, and manufacturing of ac motors, dc motors, and generators are covered in ANSI/NEMA MG 1-2011.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration August 21, 2012

Industrial Ethernet Best Practices: About the Matrix Technologies presenter

Les Haman, department manager, Matrix Technologies Inc., provides information for the Control Engineering webcast, Industrial Ethernet Best Practices.

By Les Haman
System Integration August 21, 2012

Industrial Ethernet Best Practices: About the TriCore presenter

Mike Robbins, Network Engineering Manager, TriCore Inc., provides information for the Control Engineering webcast, Industrial Ethernet Best Practices.

By Control Engineering
System Integration June 20, 2012

Flowmeter trends, applications

Control Engineering International: Control Engineering China (CEC) polled its online visitors about flowmeter trends, application, and use; 82% of respondents’ companies are buying flowmeters this year; better stability was the primary consideration. Next most important factors were...

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration June 19, 2012

Adding a drive to meet energy regulation

Part of a European motor efficiency standard allows use of a variable speed drive to meet energy-saving requirements.

By Frank J. Bartos, PE
System Integration June 5, 2012

Fine-tuning your alarm management system

Sometimes the biggest obstacles to effective alarm management are cultural, not technical.

By Bruce Brandt
System Integration June 4, 2012

Improve project success, choose the right system integrator

The proper selection of a system integrator can make the difference between a failed project and a successful one. It can also make a difference in the level of success.

By Philip R Frechette
System Integration June 4, 2012

Eaton Corp. to acquire Cooper Industries for $11.8 billion

Complementary products and markets in power management are expected to create opportunities for growth in the global electrical industry, Eaton said.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration April 30, 2012

Expecting the unexpected: The risks that didn’t make the project plan

Keeping your ears open to the small things can make all the difference.

By Brad Ems
System Integration April 19, 2012

Fieldbus seminars for 2012 announced

Fieldbus Foundation offers three locations and dates in North America: Calgary, Houston, and Philadelphia.

System Integration January 17, 2012

Flowmeter industry merger

Badger Meter to acquire Racine Federated for $57 million, continuing its run of purchases.

System Integration December 15, 2011

What are your manufacturing IT project principles?

Engineering and IT Insight: Do many projects seem to repeat basic arguments on project direction and options? Does the team often rehash issues? If so, then perhaps you need to specify project principles; 10 tips, and alternatives, follow.

By Dennis Brandl
System Integration November 23, 2011

Embedded controllers expand with development kit, plug-in card

RIO Module Development Kit and RIO Mezzanine Card from National Instruments are designed to expand custom I/O options for users.

System Integration November 18, 2011

EC: Ethernet 2.0 Programmable Fieldbus Controller with SD

Machine and embedded control – PLCs: Wago's 750-880 Ethernet 2.0 Programmable Fieldbus Controller enhances control with high-speed processing, Ethernet flexibility, and expandable memory via SD port (up to 8GB of additional memory with SD card). This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.

System Integration September 25, 2011

All-in-one touchcomputers for medical-friendly solutions

TE Connectivity's ELO TouchSystems 19 and 22CM touchcomputers are designed for expanded interactivity in medical applications

System Integration August 25, 2011

Reduce Energy Consumption: Cement Production

How conducting manufacturing energy assessment can help identify a wide range of changes to help reduce consumption. Metering, power quality, load shedding, motor management, power factor, and energy optimization all can help cement operations and other plants, as well.

By Patrick Murray
System Integration August 1, 2011

System design and programming software helps integrate hardware: 25th anniversary

National Instruments LabVIEW 2011 delivers new levels of productivity, hardware integration, new engineering-specific software libraries, and ability to interact with nearly any hardware device or target. The graphical programming and design software helps engineers integrate individual system components into one, reconfigurable platform so they can do their jobs faster, better and at a lower cost. It's introduced and discussed at NIWeek in Austin, TX.

System Integration May 23, 2011

5 ways automation can streamline assembly operations

Bosch Rexroth offers 5 key ways to incorporate lean manufacturing principles into assembly operations – even for automated processes. Here's advice on how automation can help implement lean concepts.

By SOURCE: Bosch Rexroth
System Integration April 1, 2011

Wika starts Six Sigma and Green Belt workforce training

After 10 years as a LeanSigma manufacturing company, Wika Instrument Corporation (Wika) is introducing Six Sigma and Green Belt training to its workforce.

System Integration February 18, 2011

Legalities: 8 ugly contract clauses

Legal risks for automation industry companies: Add these ugly 8 contract clauses to the dirty dozen to get 20 very serious legal risks.

By Mark Voigtmann, Baker & Daniels LLP
System Integration September 21, 2010

Start a lean manufacturing initiative by focusing on safety

Lean manufacturing can begin by focusing safety, according to Robert Hafey, president, RBH Consulting LLC. Hafey, speaking at IMTS - The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2010 conference, talked about “Transforming Your Safety Culture with Lean Management” and shared examples on integrating lean with safety.

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
System Integration July 31, 2010

Moxa NPort IA-5000A advanced device server

Newest industrial line of device server from Moxa provides an unprecedented set of features designed with the customer in mind. This was the Product Exclusive in the June/July 2010 Control Engineering edition.

System Integration April 2, 2010

Designing PID responses

There are many ways of setting PID strategy to make a controller respond the way you want it to. It all depends on what you think should happen.

By Peter Welander
System Integration March 1, 2010

Improving HMI Functions at Pilot Plant

Pfizer migrates to an updated HMI platform to overcome obsolescence issues and 'future-proof' operations. Innovative software licensing helps.

By Roberto Zerbi, Invensys Operations Management
System Integration December 2, 2009

ASQ Salary Survey: Average quality job salary increased 3% in 2009

American Society for Quality annual salary survey shows that even in a tough economy, quality professionals with certifications and experience show salary increases.

System Integration November 18, 2009

10th annual lean and Six Sigma conference to deliver largest program schedule yet

Six Sigma Master Blackbelt and motivational speaker Rob Bryant keynotes ASQ's lean manufacturing conference in March 2010. Topic areas include responding to a global economy, defect reduction, social responsibility, more.

By Renee Robbins
System Integration November 1, 2009

It’s only cost reduction, and other Lean myths

With the U.S. economy showing only glimmers of positive movement, now could be exactly the right time to make the Lean manufacturing changes your company needs. But first you have to understand what Lean is and isn’t. That is a key message from Steve Cook, a former Dell Computer supply chain executive and newly appointed chief operating officer of MFG.

By Renee Robbins, Senior Editor
System Integration October 27, 2009

Apriso: Enterprise approach to quality management cuts manufacturers’ cost of quality

With Apriso, manufacturers can embed the execution of quality processes across manufacturing operations for an easier, more cost-effective, closed-loop, enterprise approach to quality management.

System Integration June 11, 2009

Apriso and Accenture collaborate on software to support lean manufacturing

The FlexNet Lean Material Flow solution fills some of the gaps that ERP applications don't cover when it comes to managing lean manufacturing environment, according to a joint Apriso-Accenture press release.

By Sidney Hill
System Integration March 18, 2009

Enterprise connection: Deloitte and Axeda offer unified approach to shoring up asset intelligence

A new partnership will deliver a command center to manage physical assets across the extended enterprise—where invested capital is highly concentrated—in a self-sensing, self-controlling, and self-optimizing way.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration March 1, 2009

Manufacturing intelligence delivers new analyses

Business intelligence (BI) is the term given to the set of tools and processes used to make business decisions based on facts—instead of on guesses, intuition, and often irrelevant experience. Few companies can afford to guess any more, so decisions based on sound data and provable relationships are critical for business survival.

By Dennis Brandl
System Integration February 1, 2009

The intersection of lean and green

Once considered to be of interest only to “tree huggers,” sustainable or green business practices are more widely embraced now by companies. But it’s not sheer concern for the environment that’s driving these initiatives. Instead, companies are discovering that business practices that preserve the planet’s future can pay substantial financial dividends today.

By Hope Neal, contributing editor
System Integration November 17, 2008

Innovative manufacturing companies have a profit advantage over low-price firms

Innovation may cost more but it pays off in the long run. Profitability gaps between companies competing on the basis of innovative products or processes and those firms competing with a low-price advantage more than doubled over the past three years, says The 2008 Georgia Manufacturing Survey.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration November 11, 2008

Chocolate Potpourri leverages SYSPRO Power Tailoring, Lean, Web technologies

SYSPRO is helping Chocolate Potpourri , a Chicago area maker of truffles, toffee, and other specialty chocolates, achieve Lean manufacturing controls through the vendor’s PragmaVision solutions approach—designed for small and midmarket manufacturers.SYSPRO’s approach to adopting new technology—such as Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) platforms—reflects the desires of its buyers driven by business needs and not by the latest headlines. SYSPRO calls its buyer landscape “PragmaVision,” consisting of pragmatic, visionary ERP executives who can enact processes for smart yet aggressive market growth.“Our company is what SYSPRO calls a‘PragmaVist,’ ” says Chocolate Potpourri President Richard Gordon. “We stand by a set of pragmatic standards, yet have visionary growth goals.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration November 1, 2008

Automotive supplier finds system to support Lean internal processes, customer requirements

London, Ohio-based Nissen Chemitec America, a plastic injection molder serving automakers like Honda and Toyota, thought it was making the sensible choice in adopting an ERP system touted as tailor-made for auto industry suppliers. But while the system facilitated compliance with customer requirements, it hindered Nissen's lean manufacturing efforts “We wanted an ERP package that unders...

By Staff
System Integration October 28, 2008

Production strategies: Batch scheduling in a lean manufacturing world

The concept of creating batches in the manufacturing process is prevalent in many industries. In fact, economies of scale demand it. But there's good news and bad news for companies using batching. That's why it pays to know more about the systems specifically designed to address the needs of companies that must make to order while continuing to run batches. 

By Mike Liddell, Suncoast Technology Partners
System Integration October 6, 2008

Strategic advice: MESA International conference generates guidelines for process innovation

As with this year’s political campaigns, the 2008 MESA International conference—held Sept. 21-23 in Orlando—focused on change. 

By David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering
System Integration October 1, 2008

Old adages made new: Supplier performance management is job one in creating a lean supply chain

LSI Corp., a provider of silicon, systems, and software technologies used by other companies to power storage and networking solutions, has no factories of its own. Instead it chooses to run its supply chain as a virtual company. That kind of operation obviously places a premium on supplier performance.

By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor
System Integration September 12, 2008

Material flow: WhereNet takes lean initiative to a new level for international car maker

WhereNet reports a leading international car manufacturer is using version 2.0 of its Material Flow: Replenishment, a real-time manufacturing execution solution that streamlines the entire replenishment process across the enterprise, and integrates with ERP systems. The results:"After realizing more than 12-percent efficiency gains from using Material Flow Replenishment solution in one part of our factory, we expanded use of the solution so that we now manage 750 parts across a span of more than 1.5 million square feet," says Nathan Pearson, project manager for Material Flow for a leading international automaker in Indiana. "With access to real-time data and analytics-rich reports, we have everything at our fingertips to make intelligent decisions and change business processes on the fly.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration August 19, 2008

EDI-ready ERP: Automotive supplier finds enterprise system to support internal processes, customer requirements

When Nissen Chemitec America, a plastic injection molder serving leading automakers, found its ERP system was hindering its Lean manufacturing efforts, the company launched a new system search. It settled on the EnterpriseIQ package from IQMS. “We are now managing a leaner supply chain,” says Mike Hopkins, production material control and MIS manager at Nissen Chemitec America.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration July 8, 2008

Demand-driven: IQMS forms automation group to advance Lean manufacturing

IQMS recently launched an Automation Group to expand the interface capabilities of its EnterpriseIQ ERP system with manufacturing equipment on the shop floor. The goal is to work with existing IQMS customers to create greater efficiency and automation between shop-floor hardware and ERP software, resulting in leaner manufacturing operations. “As the economy continues to require higher levels of efficiency from every manufacturing sector, the link between the shop floor and the enterprise software is crucial. Many ERP solutions, however, ignore existing shop-floor capabilities,” says Randy Flamm, president and founder of IQMS. “IQMS led the innovation between ERP software and shop-floor equipment with solutions like our wireless Real-Time Machine Monitoring, which automatically delivers critical production data to the ERP system," Flamm continues.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration July 2, 2008

Lock it down: “Connected workers” means sensitive information is traveling everywhere

So much information is going to PDAs, cell phones, wirelessly connected remote PCs, thumb drives, and dozens more devices—how can the person signing the Sarbanes-Oxley report be certain they know what is out there and where it is? Or where it's going?When it comes to customer data, patient records, and personal data, security specialist InDorse Technologies offers this advice: Find out where it is, lock it down, and track where it goes."Many document security solutions are only partially effective because they rely on getting workers to understand the technical nuances and security processes. InDorse has more intuitively adapted to this reality than many competitive plays," says Scott Crawford of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), which analyzes the IT management market.While not every piece of information in an organization's IT system would be considered "sensitive" or mission-critical, "There are classes of work product that would be categorized as "not for everyone," says Jeff Hutchings of Contour Data Solutions Group , a leading system integrator. "Volumes of regulatory rules have been published from the medical community to define and defend certain kinds of information from being publicly consumed [e.g., HIPAA, JAHCO, ACCA].

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration June 13, 2008

High-mix solution: Invistics teams with Camelot for lean planning and scheduling

Invistics , a provider of lean planning and scheduling software, reports a partnership with management consultancy Camelot IDPro that will yield demand-driven manufacturing solutions for nontraditional Lean environments.While performance improvements have been successful in repetitive, high-volume production environments such as automotive, other industries faced with high variability and high product mix such as those found in pharmaceutical, chemicals, and consumer goods haven't been successful in applying the same techniques. More companies are turning to lean manufacturing techniques, Six Sigma initiatives, and traditional software solutions such as ERP and advanced planning & scheduling (APS) to reduce operational costs, optimize productivity, and streamline throughput.While ERP solutions comprise an effective enterprise backbone for processing transactions and meeting basic reporting requirements, they lack essential components to fully support lean techniques in high-mix manufacturing environments. The Invistics MachSix software solution reportedly extends ERP, APS, and manufacturing execution systems by leveraging systems data into actionable information for today's demand-driven manufacturers."Companies have wasted millions on lean consulting and technology vendors that have little or no expertise in adopting lean and flow principles to these more complex manufacturing environments," says Jim Lochry, a senior VP with Invistics.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration June 11, 2008

Process change: Infor and Synergy Resources visualize lean ERP deployment for Graphicast

A lean scheduling solution deployment has expanded production capacity and enabled business growth for a N.H.-based molding casting specialist.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration June 1, 2008

BPM for dummies: New book demystifies business process management

Business process management (BPM) is a popular topic at manufacturing and supply chain conferences. But it appears that industry executives still have more questions than answers when it comes to understanding BPM. That particular fact inspired an addition to the widely known “for Dummies” book series.

By Sidney Hill Jr., executive editor
System Integration May 28, 2008

Operations approach: Manufacturing-centric WMS fosters agility; drives Lean initiatives

Leveraging a wealth of manufacturing operations knowledge, Apriso's new warehouse management system (WMS) offers an innovative approach to supply chain execution from a manufacturer’s perspective.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration May 20, 2008

Lean replenishment: Wireless asset tracking system eliminates parts shortages

GETRAG FORD Transmissions, a German company that deliver more than one million transmissions annually to major automotive manufacturers around the world, says its lean-oriented parts replenishment process is more efficient following deployment of a wireless asset tracking system. 

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration April 15, 2008

BPM for dummies: Book demystifies business process management

Business process management (BPM) is a popular topic at manufacturing and supply chain conferences. But it appears that industry executives still have more questions than answers when it comes to understanding BPM. And that particular fact inspired an addition to the now-famous “for dummies” book series.

By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor
System Integration April 9, 2008

Closing the loop: Global services partnership supports packaging manufacturing operations

AICOMP is teaming up with Apriso and the SAP Industry Value Network (IVN) to deliver innovative solutions for packaging manufacturers. A recent deployment successfully integrates Apriso’s operations execution solution with SAP ERP at multiple locations for one of the largest paper and packaging companies in the world.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration March 25, 2008

Competitiveness: Manufacturers look at what’s hot, now, green

Manufacturers seek to remain ahead of the curve. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has announced an initiative called Innovations That Could Change The Way You Manufacture, covering emerging technologies that have a positive impact on manufacturing and related innovation.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 1, 2008

Fly high on a thread

Only several of more than 2,600 F-35 Lightning II aircraft that Lockheed Martin eventually will build have rolled off the end of its assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, but Charles T. “Tom” Burbage already sees signs that the production strategy for this plane—also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)—is working.

By Roberto Michel, senior contributing editor
System Integration March 1, 2008

‘Low-tech’ IT solution for paperwork

Finding vital business information can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. Office personnel, vendors, and customers can generate volumes of paper. Yet, the volume of office information can pale in comparison to the paper records generated by many manufacturing companies. Some companies estimate that knowledge workers (just about anyone using a computer on a regular basis) spend up to 20% ...

By Dennis Brandl
System Integration March 1, 2008

Simulation, better forecasting, and advanced planning smooth lean transition to the supply chain

At Nissan's Sunderland, U.K. manufacturing plant, demand for the new “crossover” Qashqai sport utility vehicle has exceeded all sales expectations. Already running 24/7, the plant just recently created almost 800 new jobs. To squeeze every scrap of manufacturing capacity out of the plant, simulation tools from Lanner Group have been at the forefront of the battle to eliminate waste ...

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor
System Integration February 7, 2008

Versatile RFID: Real-time locating system powers multiple applications, delivers fast ROI

Expanded use of active RFID, real-time locating system (RTLS) technology has helped the luxury automaker Land Rover automate processing of more than 150,000 new vehicles annually.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration February 1, 2008

Avoid this $2.5 million error

Now that we're into the new year, it is perhaps a good time to pause and reflect about one of the worst legal meltdowns affecting a control system that made it through the courts in 2007—a dozen-year affair that came to a grinding halt (in all ways that you can imagine that phrase) this past year before the Mississippi Supreme Court.

By Mark Voigtmann
System Integration January 4, 2008

Lean beacon: German industrial giant pioneers Toyota-style initiative; SAP integration to follow

Dr. Marcus Schnell, head of production systems for industrial vehicle maker MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, says the company sought group-wide lean adoption through careful study of lean systems in operation at plants at Steyr, Munich, and Salzgitter. The ultimate task—under way now—is to synthesize a standard production system that's viewed as superior to any one system presently in place.

By Malcolm Wheatley, senior contributing editor, Nürnberg, Germany
System Integration January 3, 2008

Legalities: Integrator uses wrong measurement, a $2.5 million error

Indianapolis, IN – As we move into a new year, it is perhaps a good time to pause and reflect about one of the worst legal meltdowns affecting a control system that made it through the courts in 2007—a dozen-year affair that came to a grinding halt (in all ways that you can imagine that phrase) this past year before the Mississippi Supreme Court. It was a perfect storm of things going wrong for a control system integrator, and it could happen to anyone.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 13, 2007

Study: IT / controls engineering convergence shows progress

Manufacturing companies are making progress with a convergence of their information technology (IT) and controls engineering organizations, and the ones well along the path are realizing major benefits.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 13, 2007

A family affair: SYSPRO unveils another “pragmatic” inventory optimization solution

Midmarket ERP software supplier SYSPRO is continuing its campaign to offer what it terms “pragmatic” solutions with the release of a new inventory optimization module. The company says the newly unveiled Families and Groupings module is the second in a series of three solutions that will be known as the SYSPRO Inventory Optimization Suite.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
System Integration December 1, 2007

Schneider Electric opens new Automation and Control Innovation Center

“Customer-focused” has become something of a catchphrase in automation and control circles these days. Such buzzwords are easy to include in a corporate brochure, but a more telling barometer of a company’s dedication to the customer is through the actions of the organization. During a special two-day media event held in late October, Schneider Electric unveiled the Automation...

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 1, 2007

Standardization for Multi-Site Implementations: Best Practices for Multi-Site Rollouts

The individual plant-system project approach of the 1990s has morphed to embrace multi-site global rollout programs. “The sheer size of global system deployments make them risky — unless you manage them properly with technology that can support them,” says Mike Grasley, director of consulting for Aseco Integrated Systems of Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 1, 2007

Parsec Automation urges tangible financial spin on OEE

Operational equipment effectiveness (OEE) looks at three factors: asset availability, performance or rate, and quality. Getting plant managers, Six Sigma gurus, and other process excellence experts excited about OEE metrics is one thing, but senior executives are an entirely different proposition. Unless, of course, OEE is given a financial spin.

By Staff
System Integration November 1, 2007

Right angle RJ45 connector

Turck announced that it has released the first-ever fully overmolded right angle RJ45 connector cordset for connections in tight spaces and Ethernet panel builders. It compliments the company’s Ethernet cabinet adapter. The connector is overmolded with tough polyurethane. It comes with internal or external tabs.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration November 1, 2007

How to get the most value from e-procurement tools

Electronic procurement—virtually unknown just eight years ago—is standard technology in nearly all companies today. E-procurement solutions initially served procurement department functions exclusively, but today its scope in some cases has expanded to that of enterprisewide systems. One result is the opportunity for procurement, operations, manufacturing, and logistics to work clos...

By Bill Atkinson, contributing editor (w.atkinson@mchsi.com)
System Integration October 1, 2007

Automatic parking systems ease use for customers, owners

Automated parking structures are popping up all over. Three are currently operating in the U.S.—in Washington, DC, New York City, and Hoboken, NJ—but there are many more in Europe and Asia. The user experience is cool, the concept is environmentally friendly, and the technology is state-of-the-art.

By Eyal Saban, Unitronics
System Integration September 19, 2007

Lean on IT: Applying lean manufacturing principles across the IT organization

When applying Lean to IT, four specific measures will determine success or failure: cycle time, inventory, value-added content, and throughput.

By MBT Staff
System Integration September 1, 2007

Can the “L” in PLM stand for lean?

Some manufacturers are finding that product life-cycle management (PLM) software can serve as platform for applying lean principles to the product development process. Jim Brown, VP of product innovation and engineering research at Boston-based Aberdeen Group, describes the application of lean principles to product development as “a leading-edge approach,” but one that is growing ...

By William Atkinson, contributing editor(wjaa@midamer.net)
System Integration August 20, 2007

Solid reasons remain for manufacturing in Latin America, despite new Asian competitors

Mixed economic signals in multiple countries make Latin America a region that manufacturers may find tempting to invest in, but it's also one in which investments have to be watched closely.Source: United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean

By Cole Ollinger, Contributing Editor
System Integration August 1, 2007

Smooth pizza picking with a robot

While an expert pizzaiolo might prepare a pizza in a few minutes, an industrial pizza machine must turn out hundreds of pizzas in the same time frame. No one would claim that frozen pizza tastes quite the same as that prepared fresh in a brick oven, but frozen pizza can bring a lot of satisfaction to those who want the taste of Italy and don’t have an authentic pizzeria nearby.

By Staff
System Integration July 25, 2007

Video products leader Sony links RFID and security video to cut shipment losses

Sony Europeis implementing an integrated RFID/video system to gain greater visibility and accountability of shipments of high-cost consumer electronics out of its major European distribution warehouse in The Netherlands.

By Staff
System Integration May 25, 2007

Autodesk Announces One Millionth 3D User

With the purchase of almost a dozen seats of Inventor software by recreational vehicle builder Gulf Stream Coach, Autodesk passed the one million mark for users of its 3D model-based design solutions.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration April 1, 2007

Defining the right performance targets is a matter of industry and scale

Correcting operational problems is one thing, but having better advance warning of impending problems is equally important—if not more so. Hence the interest in key performance indicators (KPI) and the obvious question: Which measurements tell me what I really need to know? KPIs are quantifiable measurements that reflect the critical success factors of an organization.

By David Caruso, Caruso and Assoc.
System Integration March 5, 2007

New high-tech repair center to open in Czech Republic

Solectron Corp ., a global provider of electronics manufacturing and aftermarket services based in Milpitas, CA, announced plans to open a new high-tech repair center in spring 2007 in Plzen, in the Czech Republic. “We ran an in-depth study concerning the options of expanding our business. As part of that study, we evaluated several Central European countries.… We selected the Czech Republic for its long-term affordability, a solid infrastructure, its rich talent base and good access to our customers throughout Europe,” says Craig London, executive vice president for Solectron Global Services. According to Jana Pexova, chief of the regional CzechInvest Agency office in Plzen, the center will employ “many highly-skilled personnel.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration November 1, 2006

GE, SAP agreement to improve enterprise integration

End-users and original equipment manufacturers could have an easier time moving information between the plant floor and the enterprise after a GE Fanuc Automation sales and marketing agreement with SAP America announced Oct. 18. The move allows the companies to jointly market GE Fanuc Production Management solutions and SAP Production Execution services.

By Staff
System Integration October 12, 2006

Lean manufacturing: Siemens, Factory Logic team up for electronics assembly

In a move to bring lean manufacturing techniques into surface-mount technology production facilities worldwide, the Automation and Drives Group of Siemens AG has signed an OEM agreement whereby Siemens will integrate the Factory Logic Lean Operations Suite into its Siplace manufacturing optimization solutions for the global electronic assembly market. Factory Logic software supports demand-driven production scheduling and pull-based supply synchronization using proven lean methods originally pioneered in the Toyota Production System. Siplace is the Siemens product family name for integrated hardware, software, and services to support the surface-mount technology (SMT) production facility. As part of Siplace offerings, Factory Logic will enable electronics manufacturers to perform advanced production leveling and Kanban/supermarket management functions in conjunction with Siplace SMT machines and other Siemens components.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration October 1, 2006

Blog: SCADA integrators respond to changes

The best-laid plans…. The old adage takes on new meaning for the engineering staff of the wastewater pump station SCADA system project as unexpected challenges-including illness, personnel changes, and procedural hurdles-are affecting progress. Learn how staff is responding to these and other wrinkles with a visit to the Control Engineering Weblog, where system integrator bloggers give we...

By Staff
System Integration July 14, 2006

Control Engineering Online Update for July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006 Highlights Sponsored by Control Engineering Cepheid Inc. developed a significantly faster thermocycles test used to detect the presence of specific DNA in a test sample. While the test procedure was markedly faster than competitive tests, Cepheid's manufacturing process for the test was not speedy.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration May 11, 2006

Cargill pursues global real-time performance management

"If the Western world is to compete in manufacturing, we will have to become more sophisticated," says Ron Christenson, corporate vice president and chief technology officer, Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 28, 2006

NMW 2006: Greatest competitive threat is right here, study indicates

Rosemont, IL; Pittsburgh, PA — Manufacturing’s greatest competitive threat is right here in North America, a recent survey by Chromalox Inc . found. It reported that more than 60% of those responding felt that North American companies constitute their greatest competitive threat and they expected the situation to remain that way for the next 2 yr.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 9, 2006

Wildcard IAN Homepage Blog

System Integrator Blogs Follow the new developments each week as system integrator bloggers update their progress on active automation and control system implementation projects. Featured blogs include a wastewater treatment facility SCADA implementation and a biopharmaceutical filtration automation project. Click here to read more.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 1, 2006

How to improve product design

Everyone wants to boost innovation and creativity when designing products or processes. Yes, some people are naturally more creative than others, thus the truckload of self-help, "get in touch with your inner imagination" books on the market. Is it possible for engineers to increase creativity? Absolutely.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
System Integration January 1, 2006

Software anchors Siemens’ internal and external projects

Siemens recently made separate announcements regarding its use of applications to streamline internal processes and a partnership that led to the development of software for regulatory compliance. The announcements were: The Intergraph agreement includes services and the SmartPlant software portfolio of Intergraph Process, Power & Marine.

By Staff
System Integration December 8, 2005

Software anchors Siemens’ internal and external projects

Siemens recently made separate announcements regarding its use of applications to streamline internal processes and a partnership that led to the development of software for regulatory compliance. The announcements were: • Siemens AG’s Power Generation group signed a five-year, multimillion-dollar Global Alliance Agreement with Intergraph Corp. to standardize worldwide on Intergraph’s SmartPlant Enterprise suite of software and engineering integration technology. • Working with system integrator EnteGreat, Siemens has developed a software tool targeted at aiding compliance with FDA Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. The Intergraph agreement includes services and the SmartPlant software portfolio of Intergraph Process, Power & Marine.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 1, 2005

2-D data matrix code used as RFID alternative in flower production

Flower producer Florensis plans to implement ImageID's Visidot 2-D barcode reader to track millions of its European facilities' “plug module” returnable plastic-trays. Florensis and system integrator CaptureTech expect to complete installation by yearend 2005. Florensis will use the Visidot multiple-asset Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) product to provide the trays' real-time status as they are transported through facilities and shipped to customers. It expects the Visidot implementation to “dramatically increase transportation efficiencies and improve accuracy of shipments.” CaptureTech, a system integrator for technologies including data capture and track and trace, suggested that Florensis test RFID and the Visidot product, which reads hundreds of 2-D data matrix codes at once.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration November 1, 2005

RFID speeds VW Touran assembly

An automated radio frequency identification (RFID)-based control system has enabled Auto 5000 GmbH, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, to achieve significant throughput timesavings and reductions of defect rates for the "threaded assemblies" process step during body assembly of the VW Touran (similar to the Touareg).

By Staff
System Integration September 6, 2005

Software partnerships add components, flexibility to several applications

San Rafael, CA; Fort Collins, CO — Partnerships between several major software vendors are extending and expanding application of best-in-class services and best practices to more users. Collaborative players include Autodesk and Parker Hannifin, and CoCreate Software and Virtual Services. Autodesk Inc. and Parker Hannifin Corp.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration August 15, 2005

Buying Smart Guide

This Control Engineering Buying Smart Guide redesigns our annual print "Control & Automation Buyer's Guide" to better address how engineers and manufacturing managers are specifying and buying products today. Brief, to-the-point articles in this guide offer highlights that every buyer should keep in mind when purchasing, including: most important features; main differentiators among princip...

By Staff
System Integration June 2, 2005

How to get lean, do Six Sigma

There are concrete ways to achieve breakthrough solutions and sustain a cutting edge in quality leadership, says Joe De Feo, president, Juran Institute.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration June 1, 2005

Competitive quotables

Automation correctly applied brings greater efficiency. How to increase competitiveness seems of keen interest wherever I go. Related quotes often are interesting, insightful, and even entertaining. Here are a few gathered recently. 'Compete on knowledge... "We compete on knowledge. Proprietary matters.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-chief
System Integration April 27, 2005

Interphex 2005: Emerson introduces OpX Advantage for life sciences

New York, NY—Emerson Process Management introduced its new Operational Excellence (OpX) Advantage program in a press conference at Interphex 2005, April 26-28, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 9, 2005

NMW 2005: U.S. Commerce Dept. seeks partnership, input from manufacturers

Chicago, IL—Visitors, exhibitors, and other manufacturing professionals at National Manufacturing Week 2005, March 7-10 at McCormick Place, listened to and asked questions of three experts during the show's second-day keynote/town hall meeting, 'The State of U.S. Manufacturing.'

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration February 8, 2005

Siemens sells electronics manufacturing operations to Epic Technologies

Atlanta, GA; Rochester Hills, MI—To reportedly pave the way toward lean manufacturing and turnkey electronic manufacturing services, Siemens Energy & Automation (E&A) Inc. reports that its has sold its electronic manufacturing center (EMC) business in Johnson City, TN, and South Lebanon, OH, to Epic Technologies LLC.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration January 1, 2005

Molex hires new auditor; switches CEOs

Molex Inc. reports that its board of directors' audit committee has hired Ernst & Young LLP to serve as Molex's independent auditor. Molex's board also has appointed Frederick Krehbiel, present board co-chairman and former CEO, to temporarily serve as the firm's new CEO following the Dec.

By Staff
System Integration November 1, 2004

HART foundation launches associate membership program

The HART Communication Foundation (HCF) recently started a new, extended membership program for users of Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART) communication technology. The organization's HART User Associate Membership Program provides support services and benefits for users of HART-enabled instrumentation products, including vendor-neutral technical support resources an...

By Staff
System Integration October 1, 2004

Use it or lose it

Use advanced technology to make manufacturing processes more efficient, or lose the standard of living that a technology-infused society offers. I believe you understand that—that's why you're reading Control Engineering—to reduce cost of manufacturing; develop low-cost, robust solutions that can be quickly implemented; and get faster results at the company cash register.

By Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief
System Integration September 9, 2004

Lean manufacturing/Six Sigma software

Mast Lean-Sigma is a modeling/analysis tool that assists with the planning and implementation of Lean-Sigma manufacturing operations.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration September 2, 2004

RFID helps with tires, food and drug, automotive applications

RFID can be used effectively for tires, food and drug applications, and by suppliers to the automotive industry, according to an analyst, end-user, system integrator, and an RFID vendor, at the 2004 Omron Technology Connection Editor's Day.&/& body>

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration August 12, 2004

Visiprise releases upgrade to flagship product

Visiprise Inc.—a provider of manufacturing execution systems for the electronics, aerospace and defense, automotive, and medical device industries—has released Visiprise Manufacturing 3.2, which features engineering change management and enhanced labor tracking.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration July 15, 2004

Venezuelan brewery contributes interface to World Batch Forum

In a move said to accelerate users’ ability to improve business through plant-wide integration, a Venezuelan brewery has given its XSLT-based interface linking plant-floor production systems and its SAP R/3 business system to the World Batch Forum (WBF), which will make the code freely available at its Website.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration July 1, 2004

GE Fanuc launches intelligent production software, services

GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. has introduced its new Proficy Intelligent Production Solutions software, designed to enable real-time enterprises. The company says Proficy provides a full range of integrated, easy-to-use software applications and services, and is available now.

By Staff
System Integration May 5, 2004

Statistics support manufacturing; bills could help

Minneapolis, MN—Statistical support was offered for better manufacturing representation, support, and lobbying, locally, at the state level, federally and internationally, at the “Manufacturing Tomorrow” conference here April 5.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration April 8, 2004

Whirlpool employs operation efficiencies insight

Lighthammer, supplier of the Operational Excellence platform for manufacturing, and an SAP xApps Partner, announced that the Whirlpool appliance company has selected its Manufacturing Performance Improvement (MPI) composite application to deliver real-time insight into operating efficiencies through the SAP NetWeaver '04 open integration and application platform.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration October 1, 2003

Mitsubishi, Toshiba integrating industrial electric, automation divisions

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Toshiba Corp. recently unveiled their new joint venture company, which will integrate their businesses in industrial electric and automation systems for manufacturing plants. The 2,200-employee company, tentatively named Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp.

By Staff
System Integration May 13, 2003

MCAA 2003: Opportunities, faster gains, M&A vs. sales, listening

Lake Buena Vista, FL—Opening day at the Measurement, Control & Automation Association (MCAA, Williamsburg, VA) 2003 Executive Forum here included a variety of useful messages.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration December 27, 2002

About the Automation Integrator Guide

Directories: Print & Online 2003 Automation Integrator Guide The industry's most complete and comprehensive system integrator reference guide. Searchable by company, industry or location and five other criteria. The Automation Integrator Guide is published in mid-December, and searched daily online at www.controleng.com/integrators . AUTOMATION INTEGRATOR GUIDE AD RATES MORE ADVERTISER EXTRAS Control Engineering Buyer's Guide/Integrator Guide www.controleng.com CE Europe Editorial Calendar Print Ad Rates & Specs Online Ad Rates & Specs CE Editorial Staff CE Sales Staff CE Europe Staff.

By Staff
System Integration August 1, 2002

Pass along advice

Our jobs are to make your many jobs easier. In a July 3 Control Engineering Online daily news item an end-user, system integrator, original equipment manufacturer, and automation manufacturer explain survival tactics in tough global markets. They seek to streamline and simplify automation platforms and controls, and they recognize that plant processes need to improve, along with the technolog...

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration March 25, 2002

More from NMW 2002: GE Fanuc offers Six Sigma expertise in new Global Solutions Division

Chicago, Ill. - GE Fanuc (Charlottesville, Va.) is offering its Six Sigma expertise through a new Global Solutions Business, which assesses, designs, implements, and monitors e-manufacturing systems that align factory floor operations with critical business needs, according to the announcement here on March 19, at National Manufacturing Week, which includes the Industrial Automation Show (March 18-21).

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration March 20, 2002

NMW 2002: NAM survey says manufacturers expect 0-2.5% GDP growth this year

Chicago, Ill. - Of the 312 manufacturers answering the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM, Washington, D.C.) latest annual survey, 91.7% expect U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 0 to 2.5% during 2002.

By Control Engineering Staff
System Integration October 1, 2001

$375 pressure transmitters from Invensys

Foxborough, Mass— To help meet a worldwide market estimated to need 3 million pressure transmitters in the next four years, Invensys recently introduced its first branded products for direct sale via www.InvensysDirect.com. Invensys-branded pressure transmitters are a new design offered as 4-20 mA analog w/wo HART protocol and available in a variety of ranges for differential, absolute, ...

By Staff
System Integration October 1, 2001

3M using Six Sigma, e-Productivity in cohesive strategy

3M is looking at the Six Sigma process and "e-Productivity" along with other current business initiatives-such as supply-chain management, lean manufacturing, acquisitions, and customer satisfaction-with a desire to pull them together into a cohesive strategy.

By Dave Harrold, senior editor
System Integration February 6, 2001

Schneider Electric’s Automation business merges Steeplechase with Think & Do, strengthens presence in PC-based control

Schneider Electric

By Gary A. Mintchell, Senior editor
System Integration May 1, 2000

Cutler-Hammer, Wesco, Conair integrate supply chain

The Conair Group Inc., Cutler-Hammer, a business unit of Eaton Corp., and Wesco International Inc. agreed April 3 to create an integrated supply chain to reduce Conair's electrical equipment costs. Under the three-year agreement, Cutler-Hammer and Wesco will supply electrical products and services needed to support Conair's plastics processing auxiliary equipment b...

By Staff
System Integration December 15, 1999

Filling the Gap

To keep up with production demands, project managers at John Deere Davenport Works (Davenport, Ia.) were seeking new methods to shorten production time while improving product quality. Deere's Davenport plant manufactures construction equipment in a five-step process beginning with cutting steel, then robotically welding, machining, painting, and assembling it.

By Staff
System Integration August 1, 1999

Listen to the music

The cacophony of implementation can obscure the original control and automation score. People may realize they've reached that point soon after the newest band member gathers enough gumption to ask, "Why are we doing it this way?" Now that change is the only constant, everyone knows better than to respond with the classic refrain: "That's the way we've always done it.

By Mark T. Hoske
System Integration July 1, 1999

AlliedSignal buying Honeywell for $14 billion

Morristown, N.J., and Minneapolis, Minn.- AlliedSignal Inc. agreed June 7 to purchase Honeywell Inc. in a stock merger valued at approximately $14 billion. The deal, already unanimously approved by both companies' boards, is expected to create a $25-billion company with $45 billion in market capitalization.

By Staff
System Integration March 1, 1999

Examples of Common Nonrandom Patterns Occurring in Shewhart-type Charts

E valuating chart patterns is part of Six Sigma training. The following are some common nonrandom patterns that may occur on Shewhart-type control charts. These nonrandom patterns may be used as a basis for control chart interpretation and/or establishing test runs to determine out-of-control conditions. Source: Control Engineering with data from Motorola Mixture patterns: This pattern is indicated when the plotted points tend to fall near the control limits, with relatively few points near the center line. A mixture pattern is caused by two or more overlapping distruibutions generating the process output.

By Dave Harrold, CONTROL ENGINEERING
System Integration January 1, 1999

Pagers Built to Order

T o reduce cycle times and improve quality, Motorola Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.) decided to change its pager manufacturing process to meet customer request for specialized pagers, that could be produced efficiently and cost effectively. Using design for Six Sigma (6s) techniques, Motorola was able to meet external and internal customer requirements. Motorola's Fusion factory can process different pagers with different circuit boards on the same production line.

By Motorola, Inc., www.mot.com
System Integration May 1, 1998

Structured programming for Quantum PLCs

As a system integrator I suppose I should love relay ladder logic. It lets me write long strings of code with no apparent structure which only I can maintain and extend. There is no greater sense of job security than knowing that clients must call me back in any time something goes wrong with the code.

By Jay R. Jeffreys, P.E.