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The Space Shuttle: process automation at its best

I am delighted to report that the ST-114 shuttle mission launched successfully about an hour ago, and so far, every parameter is nominal. Apparently, the sensor glitch that delayed the launch two weeks ago did not recur. Godspeed. Walt...

How to get into the magazine 101

Sometimes it seems to us that getting publicity is very simple. Yet there are dozens of small to medium-sized instrumentation companies that don't appear to know how. Just for the heck of it, here's Publicity 101, as taught by Jerry Moon of Emerson Process Management.

A neat new thing from Banner...

You can get real jaded in this job about new product releases. Once in a while, though, something really catches my eye. Last week, I got a release from Banner Engineering about, of all the prosaic things, an indicator light.

Lessons learned at high speed...

It has been clear for some time that the faster a company can respond to change, the better the company will be able to compete and the more profitable the company will be. But it isn't just speed.

It isn't how fast you go, it is whether you get there or not...

Today I learned some things. I learned that Citect and Schneider have a closer partnership than I thought, and that they have now completed a serious step forward in creating a complete working environment for PLC-based SCADA and plant control systems. This is the wave of the future, because integrators...

Time out for another brag: Putman Custom Publishing Wins Awards Too!

Renee Robbins, Executive Editor of A-B Journal, reported that the custom publishing group of Putman Media (the people who bring you A-B Journal) won some awards this year too. "As a custom magazine," she noted, "we're not in the same awards rotation as the B2B magazines, but I'm pleased to...

A SCADA state of mind...

I'm in Dallas today getting ready for a press event tomorrow at the Texas Motor Speedway. Citect, Schneider, and Graybar are holding a joint press event to show how Graybar can easily do your SCADA project, because Citect and Schneider have worked together to produce a unified product architecture from...

BCIT Controller Testing...so far

From Eric Byres at BCIT: "so far we have tested five controllers for three companies and have another three in the hopper for the fall. The tests uncovered: 9 critical vulnerabilities; 42 warning notices; 7 informational notices.

More reflections on Pinto's Point

One of the most unsatisfactory outcomes of the preoccupation of the automation vendors with low volume, high profit products is the need to control the product specifications. The most glaring example of this is the incredible (insert choice military aphorism for mess) we call the Fieldbus Standard.

Is there an Automation Mindset?

Last week, Jim Pinto's column, "Pinto's Point," made some very good points. I think Jim may well be right about some of this. Pinto said that automation companies were locked into a "mindset" of being "stable, slow-growth, and low-profit." He notes that it is very difficult to get automation companies,...