This Week

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How to Run Your Process Control Applications Far Out in the Field

Establishing Process Automation Projects in Developing Economies and Other Remote Locations Requires Better Preparation, Stronger Supply Chains, More Accessible Expertise, Simpler Controls and Added Training. Here's How Veteran Players Make It Happen

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Top 10 Chemically Engineered Inventions

The 10 inventions considered to have made the biggest impact on society were:

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Expanding Your Process Automation Plant Requires Bigger Data Too

Foremost Farms Doubles Production and Adds Data Acquisition and Historian Functions to Its SCADA/HMI System to Find Exceptions and Improve Operations

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What Are the Benefits of Advanced Process Control?

How Good Is Good? McMillan and Weiner Talk with Lewis Gordon about APC benefit techniques such as Model Predictive Control

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April's Out of Control Cartoon Caption Contest

Gather your wits and submit a caption in the comments section for April's Out of Control Cartoon contest. The winning caption will be featured on ControlGlobal.com as well as in future edition of the Control Global Update enewsletter. You also get the pure joy of knowing that you are funnier than everyone else who entered. And in the end, isn't that what is really important?

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Phoenix Contact Goes off the Grid

To celebrate Earth Day, Phoenix Contact (www.phoenixcontact.com) will unveil its new combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) system, and its president, Jack Nehlig, will ceremonially disconnect from the electric grid. The CCHP system is a natural gas, fixed microturbine system that will generate enough electricity to power the company’s Americas headquarters about 65% of the time. It will also heat and cool the facility independent of external sources.

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Advanced Regulatory Control Recommendations Tips

The power of the PID largely remains underutilized. Most of the options and parameters other than scale ranges and tuning settings remain at their defaults. Here we look how to tap into the incredible capability of the PID to minimize batch cycle time and startup time and to maximize production capacity, flexibility, and efficiency while reducing disruption to utility, raw material, and reagent systems. Also detailed is a simple method to compensate for dead time and to eliminate limit cycles.

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A wake-up call to ignoring cyber threats – PG&E indicted on criminal charges

April 1st, a federal grand jury indicted PG&E on 12 counts of knowingly and willfully violating the federal Pipeline Safety Act leading to the San Bruno pipeline rupture. As San Bruno was a control system cyber incident, the cyber security implications include the following. It doesn’t need to be a malicious cyber incident to cause significant damage and now even to be a potential criminal event. A cyber threat to the utilities can have a direct impact on their customers’ facilities and their customers’ physical safety. Just like the Target hack, PG&E and others may be judged on what they SHOULD HAVE known.

 

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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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IEC Safety Standards (IEC 61508) Help

Functional Safety standards continue to generate significant interest and in many cases questions in the automation industry. The Functional Safety standards are more commonly known as IEC 61508, IEC 61511, and ISA-84. The IEC has a web site to support questions on these documents.

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Intelligent Instrumentation: Smart Devices Fail to Fulfill Destiny
For 25 Years, Intelligent Instrumentation's Major Problem Has Been Being Heard

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Modular Procedural Automation Improves Operations
Using a Standard Automation Methodology Also Prevents Incidents by Allowing Operators to Share Best Practices

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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 Automation In Third World Countries Is Not as Underdeveloped as We Like to Think
It Would Be Best to Discard Many Old Assumptions -- or at Least Take Them With a Big Grain of Salt -- and Go Check Out the World as It Really Is

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What Are the Benefits of Advanced Process Control?
How Good Is Good? McMillan and Weiner Talk with Lewis Gordon about APC benefit techniques such as Model Predictive Control

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Can Ziegler-Nichols Equations Be Used to Tune Non-Interactive Controllers?
Our Experts Chime In and Talk about How Tuning Has Changed Since We Entered the Digital Age

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Sonatrach Manages Risk with Lifecycle Services
Algerian Energy Company Adapts to the New, While Preserving Past Investments

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Calibration Can Be Condition-Based
Calibrating Industrial Devices Only as Needed Is the Better Method, and That Requires Automating the Calibration Process

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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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