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An Engineering Mecca

Clyde River valley (Scottland) is the birthplace of much of what we think of as the Industrial Revolution. It’s a dream spot for the engineer with even a small bent for history.

Mr. Dickens and the Engineering Community

Engineers talk about how engineering can change the world. And they're right, of course. It can and does. One organization that takes that fact very seriously is called Engineers Without Borders

Merry Christmas to the hacker community from LonWorks

According to Wikipedia, as of 2010 more than 90 million devices were installed with LonWorks technology. Manufacturers in a variety of industries have adopted the platform as the basis for their product and service offerings. As of December 23, 2013, the LonWorks Network Communication and Interface Guide is available on...

Nonlinearities Recommendations Tips

We conclude our review of nonlinearities with an overview of applications and a detailed list of simple solutions to minimize the adverse effects of this everyday problem in nearly all control loops. It is impressive how setting lambda equal to 3x the largest deadtime value helps to solve most nonlinearity problems. Lambda...

"Alarming Deja Vu"

Editor in Chief Paul Studebaker is amazed at how much the process automation landscape has changed. Yet something that has not changed much is alarm management. He wants to hear about alarm management in your plant.

Amphion Conference – what the IT community still does not understand about ICS cyber security

I attended the Amphion Conference December 12th in San Francisco. The Amphion Conference is focused on end-point devices, particularly mobile devices. Even though there were numerous sessions on the Internet of Things, there was very little attendance from the ICS community.

ENISA Report on SCADA patch management - what is missing

ENISA- the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security – issued a report on patching SCADA systems: “Window of exposure … a real problem for SCADA systems? Recommendations for Europe on SCADA patching” dated December 2013.

Effect of Nonlinearities Perspective Tips

Here we use the broader definition of linearity to mean constant dynamics. A linear control loop has a constant total loop dead time, constant primary and secondary time constants, and a constant open loop gain. This perspective reviews the sources of dynamics and causes of nonlinearity.

Plant Speedup Stability Tips

The speedup of a plant’s response can cause loops to go from a smooth to an oscillatory response. In actual plants, the faster rate of change of a process variable important for product quality such a temperature or composition occurs for various changes in operating conditions.

IEEE Computer article – “Does Security Trump Reliability”

The October 2013 issue of IEEE Computer magazine has an article titles “Does security trump reliability?” The question of security vs reliability/safety is a critical one for industrial control systems (ICSs). For ICSs, security and reliability are NOT equals - reliability and safety MUST win or the system doesn’t work and...