This Week

CG1408 Robot

In a Crisis, Are Machines Better than Humans?

Machines Don’t Panic, and They Always Do What They’re Told, but They Can’t React to Situations for Which They Have not Been Programmed. Which Do You Want to Depend on When your Life Depends on It?

CG1408 CybSec

2014 October ICS Cyber Security Conference

The 14th ICS Cyber Security Conference Will Have Five Major Themes: Actual ICS Cyber Incidents; ICS Cybersecurity Standards; ICS Cybersecurity Solutions; ICS Cybersecurity Demonstrations; and ICS Policy Issues

CG1408 Tips

Batch Optimization Perspective Tips

The Highest Value Added Products Use Batch Operations. Batches Can Take Days to Complete and Be Worth Millions of Dollars. In Many Cases Bad Batches Cannot Be Fixed Downstream. There Are Many Techniques for Making Batches More Repeatable and Faster by Better Monitoring and Control.

CG 1408 ControlReport

Companies Design New Devices That Make a Difference

Creativity and Risk Matter Most and How Much Genuine Usefulness Investors, Supporters Actually Achieve


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Unlocking the Secrets of Uranium Dioxide’s Thermal Conductivity

Los Alamos National Laboratory is helping the DOE develop advanced predictive computer models of nuclear reactor performance. 

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Batch Optimization Perspective Tips

The highest value added products use batch operations. Batches can take days to complete and be worth millions of dollars. In many cases bad batches cannot be fixed downstream. Bad batches must be avoided. There are many techniques for making batches more repeatable and faster by better monitoring and control. Essential are an appreciation of automation and an understanding of the non-self-regulation inherent in a batch process and the implications in terms of control strategy and controller tuning.

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NERC CIPS and Keeping Lights On – are they the same?

August 19th, I spent a day with the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Version 5 Drafting team working on one of the NERC CIP Standards. The focus was on boundary protection, not on the actual control system devices and serial communications which were explicitly excluded. What do they think the hackers will do or do they even care?

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Where Does Innovation Come From?

It has been a busy summer.  For the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of pretending to be a venture capitalist. Earlier this year I joined a local organization called the IT Entrepreneurs Network (ITEN) as a mentor.  This is a local organization that exists to help startups in the local area move from the concept stage to securing funding for their business.   I am in St. Louis, not silicon valley of the MIT corridor or the Pacific Northwest, and access to resources such as venture capitalists, advisors, and programming skills is not as easy as it is in those locations, hence the need for a networking forum for would-be innovators.  One of the mentor roles is serving on a panel of mock angel investors.  We meet with and critique the pitches from startups as they present their business plans to us as though we were potential investors.  This has given me some new insight into the innovative process.

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International Standards – IEC, ISO and ITU

All of us are conscious that international standards play an important role in the design and implementation of automation and control systems as these are the areas in which we are most closely aligned. However in addition to automation standards the IEC and ISO also develop a wide range of documents across the full spectrum of engineering and in many cases it is useful to know what they are. Fortunately, both organizations publish regular newsletters to share new developments, trends and successes.

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Standardization Reigns in Automation Safety
Our First 25 Years Have Seen Arcane Systems Evolve into a Highly Standardized and Tightly Regulated Discipline

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Measurement, Control Specialists Might Neglect End Users
Our Customer Focus is not Just the Investor Who’s Financing a Project or the Project Manager Beating the Drum to Meet Cost and Schedule

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Effectively Harnessing Emissions Compliance Data
Build Stakeholder Confidence Through the Creation of Timely, Accurate, Retrievable and Consistent Emissions Information

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Free Your Mind with OPC HDA ... and the Rest Will Follow
How Do I Access the Data Files/Tables on Your HDA Historian?

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Process Control Innovations: What Future Process Plants Can Be Like
The Long Greenfield: North West Redwater Partnership Is Building One of Very Few New Refineries in North America, and Its Using the Latest Process Control Innovations to Do It. Here's What Future Process Plants Can Be

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Distilled Analysis of Interaction
Getting the Most Out of Your PID

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What Is the Proper Role of Automation?
Automated System Can Lead to More and More Complexity and Confusion. Until the Instruments, Automation and Controls get Extremely Reliable, We'll Still Need to Keep Humans in the Loop

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Practical Steps for Your Big Data Journey
Focus First on the Data and Assets that Are Most Important to Your Operations

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Predicting Equipment Failures in the Process Plant
Now You Have Option of Using Your Existing Process Historian as the Front End for a Vibration Monitoring System

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Top 50 Automation Suppliers: Changing Latitudes, Changing Attitudes
Major Acquisitions and a Real Shift in Focus for the Automation Industry Going Forward

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How Vulnerable Is Your Safety?
Is Anyone Doing Anything to Protect Your Cybersecurity? You Betcha! The First Line of Defense Better Be You

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