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System Integrators

System Integrators March 1, 1998

Hannover Fair ’98 Goes More Global Than Ever

Start the second 50 years! Hannover Industrial Fair begins its second half-century after a long, successful run that began under quite humble circumstances. This "world's largest industrial trade fair" arose from the post-World War II ravages of Germany.As Hannover Fair faces its second half century, more changes are certain due to economic and technology trends.

By Frank J. Bartos, CONTROL ENGINEERING
System Integrators March 1, 1998

Hollow-Shaft Stepper

Dover, N.H.— Eastern Air Devices new hollow-shaft stepping motor is designed to provide flexible packaging solutions for tight system integration. Available up to 5/8 in. OD, the hollow shaft allows access through the motor's central axis, which greatly increases packaging options for unique applications.

By Staff
System Integrators March 1, 1998

Simplify Industrial Automation

Austin, Tex. —BridgeView 2.0 is the latest version of a SCADA software package that combines popular software technologies and the G language of LabView, together with an event-driven data engine. The package is said to give engineers and systems integrators the power to develop automation solutions quickly and easily.

By Staff
System Integrators February 1, 1998

Year 2000: No Surprises

Software in your enterprise will start to reach into year 2000 and beyond well before the first day of business in the new millennium—Monday, Jan. 3. People at all levels in your operation are probably already assessing, converting, and testing. Ideally, by the time 2000 rolls around, there won't be any unpleasant surprises, especially on the plant floor.

By Staff
System Integrators February 1, 1998

Hardware’s Alive and Kicking

I just finished reading your article about the life of hardware in our industry in the November 1997 issue of Control Engineering ["Hardware is Dead; Long Live Hardware" on p. 55]. I found it to be a very accurate outlook on an area that is often underestimated in importance. After all, what good are PCs, PLCs, and DCSs if the data they receive are not accurate? If the hardware fails, t...

By James Dawson
System Integrators February 1, 1998

Year 2000: Where Do You Stand?

Year 2000 bug (aka Y2K or millennium bug) is touted as modern automation's biggest glitch. Financial impact is being bantered well into the high billions of dollars—all because two little numbers should have been four.In the late 60s and early 70s, computer systems were new and very costly.

By Eugene C. Jacobsen, TAVA Technologies
System Integrators January 31, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Executive Summary

Authors : C. Michael Taylor director, GM Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering Controls Council Thomas J. Yager controls manager, manufacturing engineering – engines Raymond P.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
System Integrators January 30, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Definition of OMAC Concept in GMPTG

Definition of OMAC Terms Illustration of the OMAC Concept Various Levels of Openness Other Factors Definition of OMAC Terms Definitions of key terms associated with the open, modular control systems described in the OMAC White paper are restated in the following table: Terms Definitions open allowing the integration of off-the-shelf hardware and software components into a ‘de facto’ standard environment modular permitting ‘plug and play’ of components scaleable enabling easy and efficient reconfiguration to meet specific application needs economical achieving low life cycle cost maintainable supporting robust plant floor operation (maximum uptime), expeditious repair (minimal downtime), and easy maintenance These definitions also accurately reflect the OMAC concept at GMPTG. Two important elements in the definition of ‘open’ are (1) the requirement of a ‘de facto’ standard environment, and (2) the availability of commercial control hardware and software components. GMPTG is not going to wait for an international standard for an open architecture control to be defined before it will start implementing OMAC systems.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
System Integrators January 29, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Why Are OMAC Systems Needed in GM Powertrain?

GM Powertrain Organization GMPTG Math-Based Manufacturing Strategy GMPTG OMAC Implementation Strategies Why Are OMAC Systems Needed in GM Powertrain? GMPTG has always been known as a leader in advancing control technologies, notably for its involvement in the development of PLC’s. GMPTG is once again leading the implementation of OMAC-based systems in its manufacturing facilities because it recognizes the need to have a new generation of manufacturing systems that are agile in order to produce products matching the demands of the fast changing market place. The OMAC effort has gained a great deal of recognition and momentum since the publishing of the OMAC White paper in August, 1994.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.
System Integrators January 24, 1998

Open, Modular Architecture Controls at GM Powertrain — Non-Technical Issues

Reliability of PC Hardware Integration of open control systems Liability of open control systems Support of open control system implementations Relationship between user and vendor Progression toward OMAC systems Globalization of the OMAC concept The OMAC concept has been presented to many control vendors, equipment builders, and end users, and the OMAC direction is being embraced by many companies. However, during the interactions with many companies about OMAC, many non-technical issues were raised concerning the feasibility of large-scale implementation of OMAC-based systems on the factory floor. Many similar concerns were voiced repeatedly, and perspectives from GM Powertrain are presented in this section to address these issues. Reliability of PC Hardware The GM Powertrain Windsor and Romulus plants have installed and are in the process of installing more than 500 PC based controllers.

By C. Michael Taylor, et al.