Expansions and contractions in the process automation industry
Microsoft teams with OPC Foundation to support IIoT; Emerson updates SCADA system, RTUs.
Microsoft Corp. is working with the OPC Foundation to enable almost any IIoT scenario using interoperability between the millions of OPC UA-compliant applications and equipment. Microsoft will enable IIoT users to connect manufacturing equipment and software with extended support of OPC UA's open-source software stack. Microsoft’s extended support for OPC UA spans its IoT offerings from local connectivity with Windows devices to cloud connectivity via Microsoft Azure. Integration with Azure IoT allows customers to easily send OPC UA data to the Azure cloud, as well as command and control OPC UA devices remotely from the Azure cloud.
Pepperl+Fuchs broke ground June 2 on its new U.S. distribution and engineering center in Katy, Texas, near…
Product Roundup: More capable software improving calibration tools
Resource Guide: Best summer reading, videos in process automation
ISA, Beamex to host calibration workshop
We need a standard for stating measurement accuracy
Electrical capacitance tomography keeps eye on scale
ECT gives real-time images of pipe interiors to monitor and manage process scaling.
While routine build-up and clogging in process applications is annoying, process scaling is more persistent, causes unplanned downtime and increases costs in many industries. It's typically composed of calcium carbonate, wax, grease or similar…
Piercing thick flow problems
Ask The Experts: How to protect a venturi flowmeter?
Capacity control of reciprocating compressors
Liquid radar level moves up to 80 GHz
Narrower beams, smaller antennae and higher sensitivity handle compact, cluttered or non-conductive applications.
Noncontact radar level technology is widely used, offering accuracy to 2 mm, range approaching 200 meters, and tolerance of extreme pressures and temperatures with high stability, no moving parts and little maintenance. Steady improvements in signal processing that allow it to accommodate a broad range of vessels and process materials, along with reduced power consumption (including two-wire versions that operate on 4-20 mA) and lower costs have made it the first choice of many instrument specifiers for liquid level.
But conventional noncontact radar is restricted to 26 GHz, which leads to compromises in antenna size and beam angle that limit its ability to accommodate foam, buildup and spurious reflections from mounting fittings, tank…
VEGA Americas, Temco explore latest in radar instrumentation
Radar level adds abilities
State of Technology Report: Level Instrumentation
Flow control leveraging better technologies, lower costs
Our panel of experts explore best practices for dealing with buildup on chemical seals of a differential pressure flowmeter.
Q: We have a venturi flowmeter with 3-in. flanged pressure taps and flanged chemical seals with capillary tubes in a 44-in. vertical pipe (Figure 1). The fluid is hydrocarbon (polymeric) gas. The problem is that the chemical seal diaphragms often…
How to troubleshoot and calibrate 4-20 mA
Taming temperature and pressure
Béla Lipták on safety: Oil and Gas
Best practices for troubleshooting analog circuits to the PLC.
A Control Design reader writes: We have several temperature, pressure and flow sensors on a new medical-device cleaning skid that we are developing. These instruments are connected to a PLC as 4-20 mA inputs, and there is also a 4-20 mA output used to control a pump motor speed. A recent failure of a flow sensor brought the process skid instrumentation to my company's quality manager's attention. He asked how we know that the temperatures, pressure and flow are accurate, and how do we know that we are cleaning properly.
I've been tasked to write a procedure for troubleshooting, calibrating and testing the 4-20 mA instruments on the skid. I can probably stumble through this, but what are some best practices for troubleshooting the analog…
Maintaining energy efficient enclosure climate control
Thin-film RTDs offer fast response, streamline calibration
Meggitt offers HART-enabled vibration sensors
Meggitt's PCH420V vibration sensor has a programmable transmitter that allows vibration data to be accessed by HART enabled process controllers.
Meggitt's PCH420V is the first HART®-enabled piezo-electric vibration sensor enabling continuous online monitoring of balance-of-plant assets with a digital connection to PLC or DCS systems for local analysis of multiple vibration bands. They are capable of installation in multi-drop configurations and reduce wiring requirements. HART functionality enables the user to specify vibration frequency bands, detector types and full-scale measurement ranges—effectively enabling field-configuration for specific monitoring requirements.
PCH420 sensors are powered by the network for continuous coverage, unlike wireless solutions only offering snapshots of asset performance and employing batteries that require frequent replacement. Utilizing PCH…
Designing and testing networking devices for harsh environments
2016 Readers' Choice Awards
Meggitt provides HART-enabled piezo-electric vibration sensors
Resource Guide: Weighing systems tip usefulness scale
Control's Monthly Resource Guide brings you the latest online resources on a variety of process control topics.
This four-section webpage by Omega Engineering covers "Weighing Applications," "Weighing System Design," "Installation and Calibration" and "Specialized Installations." The whole group is located at…
Quickly Test Load Cell Systems
The Care and Feeding of your Weigh Cells
Industrial Safety Disasters: Not Again-Again and Again
10 analyzer resource guides you need to know about
Here are 10 online resources to help you understand analyzers, their limitations and advances.
PROCESS ANALYZERS 101
This 45-minute video, "Continuous Gas Analyzers," was presented at the Siemens Industry 2013 event. The presentation covers analyzers, sample systems, sample points, defining requirements and budgets, and understanding overall…
Statistical process control: How to quantify product quality
How to simplify analyzer installation
Data analysis is only as beneficial as the process and equipment it improves
Prepare to rationalize and operate on alarms from the Internet of Things
Actionable information is essential for the effectiveness of the 'loop,' as it is for closed-loop control and open-loop alarms.
When I sat down in my office this morning, I was greeted by the operations manager, who pointed out an entry from last night’s operations log: “Did you see? The boiler steam vent is in manual because the pressure reading whacked out and made the…
Operational performance criteria and the future of multivariable control
Fine points of compressor surge control
DCS market to decline and recover: ARC Advisory Group
Latest research study projects slowing decreases and gradual gains for distributed controls.
After experiencing its worst year in 2015 since the great recession in 2008, the market for distributed control systems (DCS) is expected to drop again for 2016 before slowly bouncing back in the following years, according to a new study by ARC…
Making the case for hardware standardization
Not your fathers’ DCS migration
ControlEdge PLC eases integration with DCS and IIoT
A forced march from Dow Chemical’s MODV DCS to Experion PKS
Turck turns I/O devices into field logic controllers
Schneider Electric clicks at Connect 2016
Emerging trends in PLCs, PCs and PACs
Redundant PACs bolster PlantStruxure PES
Inductive Automation’s Ignition Community Conference 2016 innovates in all directions
Hundreds of system integrators, partners and other fans showed up to exchange experiences, success stories and advice.
User-driven solutions just kept rolling in at Inductive Automation’s Ignition Community Conference 2016 on Sept. 19-21 in Folsom, Calif. As usual, several hundred of the SCADA software firm’s many system integrators, partners and other fans showed up to exchange experiences, success stories and advice, and quiz Inductive’s experts on best practices and the new and upcoming capabilities of their Ignition SCADA software.
“We need accuracy, especially in times of drought, so we’ve been converting 55 nodes to Ignition,” says Charles Cowan, head of technical services at Yuma County Water Users’ Association. “It’s saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars by showing uncompleted tasks, and letting us know about others that…
ICC 2016: Users run with SCADA capabilities
Commercial off-the-shelf technology to the rescue, again
Self-service analytics for non-data-scientists
Expanding advanced process control to secondary units
Advanced control on fuel and steam can control emissions while saving millions.
It’s no secret that advanced process control (APC) has played a major role in the process industries for many decades. However, while many organizations focus only on major process units, there’s often an untapped opportunity to do more, and…
Boilers as fast as fast can be
Continuous improvement of continuous processes
Model-less multivariable control in practice
Our readers tell us who they think delivers the best technology in our industry
There's knowledge in our readers. That's why every year we ask our loyal audience to help us determine which automation service providers offer the best products and brands they can rely on to get the best combination of performance, ease of use,…
Working with IoT is not as easy as it sounds
Avoiding the Internet of spam still requires human intelligence
Online resources: PLCs and industrial computers
Software development: Every company's next core competence
Innovations abound in CONNECT Expo Hall
Schneider Electric and its partners show how coordinating process control technologies can optimize users' applications and ensure their success.
Like a really great gift basket with seemingly endless treats, the Expo Hall at this week’s Schneider Electric CONNECT 2016 user group conference reveals one terrific surprise after another.
The Expo Hall is organized by industries, functional…
Resource Guide: Drives and motors turn up value
Product RoundUp: Motors and drives refuse to stand still
Why not more sophisticated capabilities for motors and drives
Resource Guide: valves, actuators and positioners
Control's monthly guide brings you invaluable industry information to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments.
THE CLASSIC VALVE BOOK
The fourth edition of the 295-page classic text, "Control Valve Handbook," by Fisher Controls International and Emerson Process Management reports this classic text has been a primary reference since its first printing in1965.
Ask The Experts: Control valve for cavitating acids?
Ask The Experts: Maximum rangeability of linear valves
Correcting butterfly valve operation
Reader feedback: How large does an actuator have to be to handle actual process conditions?
New Valve Actuators Address Both Ends of Torque Spectrum
All About Actuators, Positioners
Drive turns pump into smart, connected asset
Process optimization, energy management and asset management benefit from services-based Altivar Process drive.
The new Altivar Process variable speed drive from Schneider Electric offers a platform of standard, engineered and special features to meet the needs of industrial and municipal process applications where high functionality of features is…
Motors and drives: Driving forces
The future of internet access to field devices
Special Report: Trends in HMI/SCADA
What does good control room design look like?
Simply virtualized HMI solution
Training simulators smooth operations
The dynamic world of alarms
Alarm awareness, management on the upswing: ARC survey
Alarm management is more than just rationalization
Design alarms and HMI for smooth operations
How Smart Can You Get? The Newest in Data Recorders
Data Acquisition Must-Haves
The Latest Data Acquisition Tools
Data Acquisition and Logging Gets on Track
Analytics opens new possibilities
Cloud-based data analytics offer new possibilities for collaboration.
When people talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and the cloud, many imagine the kinds of applications inspired by consumer markets, where complex mashups allow, for example, grocery stores to know that green jelly beans sell best next…
Mine the gold in Big Data
How IIoT can aid assets for CapEx and OpEx savings
SCADA systems harbor untapped data
Where wireless meets intrinsic safety
How to deal with the constraints of putting access points in hazardous areas.
In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be necessary to worry about explosive atmospheres. Unfortunately, plant environments are far from ideal, with most process plants being about 80% Class I, Div. 2 (Zone 2) and another 10% Class I Div. 1 (Zone 1), so…
Pepperl+Fuchs breaks ground on $25M U.S. distribution center
Resources Guide: make sure intrinsic safety doesn't blow it
Process safety would be better if it had strong regulations as German beers do
Innovations to allow the use of existing 4-20 mA or fieldbus infrastructure for high-speed Ethernet in hazardous areas are being prototyped and demonstrated.
Remember the world-wide-wait? You may recall a time “before Google,” when a frequency-shift-keying (FSK) device called a “modem” connected to a broader network, be it CompuServe or AOL. Modems let users employ their twisted-pair phone lines…
FieldComm Group and friends speed Field Device Integration adoption
Don’t be afraid to explore new process control and automation technologies
OPC UA on the rise from Unified Architecture to Universal Application
Let’s use smarter things to make plants run safer and better
Apps make automation processes, equipment run better and more reliably
How to manage the Ethernet spectrum
Exploring the future of wireless adoption in process control
Eagle Mine takes wireless underground
Because a typical industrial network combines all three physical layers -- fiber, copper and wireless -- the differences between each type of network needs to be managed from the design stage.
It seems every controls-related publication contains at least one article on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). However almost all are vaporware or exist in PowerPoint only, with few implementations that couldn’t have been done with…
Triconex forges process safety’s future
There are advantages to one unified protocol for Ethernet
Ethernet changes process automation plant floors
2016 State of Technology Report: The rise of configurable I/O
Download the latest I/O system coverage from the annals of Control.
The latest critical trends in I/O systems take advantage of the versatility and communications capabilities of intelligent, configurable I/O. Being able to install universal I/O based on approximate point count, then configure or reconfigure it…
Exploring the tools, skills needed to navigate the Industrial Internet of Things
Redundancy, versatility added to Universal I/O
App Platform aims to ‘drive the 33s’
Be just 33 seconds more productive each hour, and the savings mount quickly.
Rockwell Automation previewed its new, forward-looking App Platform for mobility at this week’s TechED conference in Orlando. While focused first on redefining smartphone use on the plant floor – with the aim of making individual workers more…
Opto 22 adds mobility to operator interfaces with groov Action Plan
Mobile trends in industrial automation
Smart Industry conference promises real-life approach to IIoT
2016 State of Technology Report: The latest trends in power systems
Control’s latest State of Technology report delves into the many aspects of power systems of interest in process plants.
From sourcing and ensuring uninterrupted flows of clean electricity to monitoring, regulating and metering generation and consumption throughout a facility, process automation professionals who want a smooth-running, efficient and reliable facility are well advised to seek and control power.
This anthology of recent articles delves into the many aspects of power systems of interest in process plants. Remote and wireless systems are speeding development and standardization of energy harvesting and improved battery systems.
Line-powered supplies that used to only transform electricity and maybe offer surge protection are now monitoring and measuring current and voltage profiles, implementing alerts and alarms, and sending data up to…
Back to school time: All you need to know about power supply
Process and power/electrical controls merging into unified systems
Why can't your power source for wireless communication be as simple as a D-cell battery?
Advantages and disadvantages of using ac line reactors and dc link reactors
Major flare gas recovery project delivered on time, on budget
Qatargas tells how using main instrument and control contractor across multiple systems avoided problems, saved time and reduced costs.
With shrinking budgets and higher expectations to do more with less, large capital projects are more at risk than ever of failing to deliver on time and on budget. As projects become larger and more complicated, relying on a project management team…
ExxonMobil’s patented progress toward integrating control systems, IT
FLEX investments take aim at engineering costs
Remote sensing enables big harvest
System integrator Lakeland Companies expands sensing and networking—and support organizations—for grain monitoring, seed treating and other services.
You must see what you're doing to do a good job. For automobile drivers, this means good eyeglasses and clear windshields. For process applications, it means thoroughly deployed and maintained sensors, comprehensive and reliable networking, and…
Big data analytics helping to improve asset performance management
Plantman Go: The future of asset lifecycle modeling
ISA, CSIA to offer online project management course
A technological approach to a classic sauce
Employing FactoryTalk Batch software, the century-old Ragu sauce gets a boost from modern technology
Steve Christian remembers the days—not too long ago—when production schedules were printed on sheets of paper and distributed to operators at his plant, who would manually twist valve handles to send the Ragu sauce tomato slurry from one kettle…
Batch control blasts off
Virtualization key enabler of Kao modernization
Chemical plants streamline distributed controls
How FactoryTalk software provided the vision Scotts Company needed to grow
‘Deepwater Horizon’ film likely sacrifices real safety discussion for Hollywood tropes
‘I doubt the movie will examine anything similar to Béla Lipták’s technical analysis or remedies,’ says Jim Montague.
You may already know the Deepwater Horizon movie is opening on Sept. 30. By the time you read this, you may have seen it. I hope it does the tragedy and victims some justice, but I’m doubtful. At first, I was pleased to see a reminder and…
How history, principles and standards led to the safety PLC
The ins and outs of safety instrumented systems—part 2
The ins and outs of safety instrumented systems—part 1
Uncertain times require sound decision-making
Musings on cybercrime, Hurricane Matthew and the 2016 election
When, at the age of 16, Frank Abagnale was put before a judge and asked to choose which of his divorcing parents he would live with, he bolted from the courtroom, ran away from home, and began the youth of white-collar crime later fictionalized in the book and film, “Catch Me If You Can.”
To get enough money to survive on the streets of New York, he modified his driver’s license to appear 10 years older; passed himself off as a doctor, lawyer and airline plot; and eventually forged checks totaling $2.5 million before he was arrested and served jail time in France, Switzerland and the U.S.
Abagnale told his true story at the Yokogawa Users Group Conference, held at the Renaissance hotel in Orlando as Hurricane Matthew crawled slowly…
Cybercrime from the inside out
Drones open new cyber-physical attack vector
Microsoft Windows patch management driving inefficiency, lost production
Genpak plant roof collapses as staff evacuate building
How to secure your industrial networks
Physical safety, cybersecurity can't be separated
Airport Kabuki and Functional Security
Resource Guide: Enclosures, panels and boxes
Purge, pressurization guide
The 18-page introduction and technical review that leads off “Bebco EPS purge/pressurization systems engineers guide” thoroughly covers considerations involved in explosion-proof enclosures, intrinsic safety (IS),…
How systematic enclosure design optimizes field instrumentation performance
Panel modification centers opening
Pentair improves panel integrators efficiencies