August 2005 Issue
Get your mind right about technology
The new technology and techniques inherent in the use of todays fieldbus systems, servers, smart valves and embedded controllers, is affecting our careers, our plants, and our jobs.
In the future: More, better, cheaper sensors
According to Editor in Chief Walt Boyes, instrumentation companies are going to have to re-think their design criteria if they are going to make the lights out plant of the future practical.
Seven commandments for successful integration
Other Voices contributor Scott Little provides a clear example on the importance of good communication and why a concisely written description of operation is a good idea.
Energy alternatives Hydrogen
Around the Loop columnist Terry McMahon asserts that recent industry attempts at producing hydrogen for transportation fuel from natural gas is a huge thermodynamic blunder.
Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner rustle up answers to why an electrode changed when it was inserted, then provide a bit of humor with a Top Ten list of reasons not to retire.
How to survive the oncoming train of technology
Be warned: the light at the end of the tunnel is a train! Control engineers are being dragged back into the world of manufacturing with new technologies that will affect both how and where they work.
User interfaces should empower operators
Although predicting time to fail might head off a catastrophe, proper alarm management and human factors engineering are key factors in minimizing process upsets.
Failing safely with shutdown systems
This month's edition of Ask The Experts focuses on a reader's need for clarification of international standards for the design of a gas and fire shutdown system for offshore oil and gas platforms.
Use RFID to improve your automation systems
Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert, PE, addresses RFID technology and explains how RFID systems are being lnked to process automation systems to deliver process improvements.
ANSI/ISA standard affects existing SISs
CONTROL contributor Angela Summers addresses ANSI/ISA 84.00.01-2004 and concludes it is identical to IEC 61511 with one exception: a U.S. grandfather clause for existing safety instrumented systems.
Non-contact level gauges rated
Published reference accuracy specifications for non-contact level gauges often do not represent the performance statements the supplier intended, because what vendors say isnt always what they mean.
Lessons learned from HMI upgrades
This article on HMI upgrades for control systems includes suggestions on project approaches, managing data sources and managing the data funnel. Also included: a ten-step process for you to manage reality
Process I/O: Great gadgets galore
Senior Tech Editor Rich Merritt takes a look at recent developments in I/O, wiring and terminals and concludes that it looks like we might be emerging from the new product doldrums.
System security: Protect your intellectual assets
Manufacturing automation system security is more than using anti-virus software. It's an essential business strategy to protect your intellectual property and your competitive advantage.
Keep your wireless business secure
Wireless technologies create security vulnerabilities that can threaten your manufacturing network, but a simple plan can protect the enterprise. Find out why security continues to be a top priority in the process industries.
Compare current and historian data
A new software module has been developed that compares and analyzes current event and alarm data against process historian data.
It's the Resolution, Stupid! Part 2
Resolution Is More Important Than Most People Think. Read On to Find Out Why.