Loop Control

Reader feedback: February 2019

Readers respond to Paul Studebaker's January column, as well as Joe Weiss' Unfettered blog and this year's Top 50 Automation Companies report.

I enjoyed your January column. Yes, all this rhetoric about electric vehicles is getting a bit complicated and specious, with kilowatthours per 100 miles, equivalent gasoline, CO2 emissions per mile, etc. Yes, electric cars have zero emissions in operation—sorta. Nobody says much about where the electricity comes from. Whether it be fossil, natural gas, nuclear, etc., there is an environmental cost in terms of air pollution and global warming. I had my students take the general efficiency of internal combustion engines (gas and diesel), gas turbines, all types of fuel at steam generator plants, etc., to determine the ultimate overall efficiency for
operation of an electric-powered vehicle. Some interesting numbers. No doubt the future is a bunch of electric vehicles, especially for the "last mile" and other applications, but to write off fossil fuels is a bit much. Keep Béla Lipták involved, his monthly columns are great.

Kirk Rosenhan
rosen@ae.msstate.edu

Regarding Joe Weiss’ “Unfettered” blog post, every cyber assessment report of reputable operations technology security has addressed the sensor issues for many years. There are multiple issues and some compensating controls. Sensor integrity is of key importance, and we are fully aware of this. But let us not create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by mixing up cybersecurity issues with not-security-related accidents such as LionAir, Turkish Airlines flight 1951, or even Bhopal (which was caused by much more than a single sensor failure). The issues are clear, we should focus on solutions.

Sinclair Koelemij
sinclair.koelemij@gmail.com

We just had a quick look at the current Top 50 list and were very surprised to not see Lenze included. Is it possible that our numbers we sent out too early and maybe got lost in the time before publication? If it was a timing problem, what would be the best time for our numbers to be sent, so we don't miss this opportunity in the next publication?

Matthew Varney
Manager, Manufacturing Operations EL
Lenze Americas
matthew.varney@lenze.com

Matthew, as you imagine, we mistakenly overlooked the revenue report from Lenze. For the 2017 calendar year reported in October, 2018, Lenze's North America revenue of $84.9 million would have  placed the company at 47th; its global revenue of $739.5 million would put it 37th. We have communicated with our contacts at ARC Advisory Group who verify and compile our Top 50. They vetted these figures and will strive to consider Lenze in the future. We regret the error.

Paul Studebaker, editor in chief