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System Integrators

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.
System Integrators January 1, 1998

Selecting the Right Industrial Network

The vast number of available networks makes it a daunting task to pick one (or several) to best meet the needs of a particular application. This has probably hindered the use of networks in controls applications. The intent here is to discuss the process of picking a network best suited to an application, and not to compare the specific capability of different networks.

By Gary C. Peterson, Alvey Systems Inc.
System Integrators January 1, 1998

SCADA Systems ‘Dampen’ Infrastructure Problems

The southern tip of California's Marin county is separated from the city of San Francisco by the most famous mile-long strip of steel and concrete in the world. Yet, within a 10-minute walk of the Golden Gate's Marin terminus begins a county-wide network of California Wildlife Service signs warning against mountain lion attacks.

By Jon Mandell and Bob Cook, Marin Muncipal Water District; Brenda Riconscente, Cal Tech Controls; Read Hayward, DST Controls
System Integrators January 1, 1998

Connect to the Benefits of Digital Industrial Networks

More users, system integrators, and manufacturers of control hardware and software are realizing the benefits of digital networks at the sensor, device, and fieldbus levels.In this kickoff of the "Year of the Network" series, Control Engineering asked leaders associated with 12 major industrial networks to reveal growth projections, ideal applications, views on standards, and future out...

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering
System Integrators April 1, 1997

Matching servo amplifiers to brushless DC motors

A servo system consists of a number of elements (see diagram). One aspect of the system integration process involves matching the servo amplifier to the brushless dc motor. This may seem as simple as selecting the amplifier and motor from the same manufacturer.

By Terry Auchstetter
System Integrators January 1, 1970

Interkama 2001 integrates process automation, software

Düsseldorf, Germany— Interkama 2001, the International Trade Fair for Solutions for Automation in Production and Business Processes, will integrate software, communications, and information technology with its traditional process automation focus here on Sept. 24-28, according to show organizer Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.

By Frank J. Bartos, executive editor,