User Groups Useful Way Beyond Scheduled Events

Jan. 9, 2013
Here At Control We Report Live While The Conferences Happen, but You can Find Information about the Event and Beyond Even After the Conferences Are Long Gone
About the Author
Jim Montague is the Executive Editor at Control, Control Design and Industrial Networking magazines. Jim has spent the last 13 years as an editor and brings a wealth of automation and controls knowledge to the position. For the past eight years, Jim worked at Reed Business Information as News Editor for Control Engineering magazine. Jim has a BA in English from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and lives in Skokie, Illinois.

Check Out Montague's Google+ profile.

The user group events we cover most often are ABB Power & Automation World, Honeywell Users Group, Emerson Global Exchange, Rockwell Automation Fair, Invensys OpsManage and the Yokogawa Users Group. Because they only last a few days, it can seem like once they're over, then all their content vanishes. However, unlike the case with other live performances, many of the most useful conference presentations, news coverage, product solutions and other materials live on at and have taken on a year-round life of their own. Personally, I enjoy that these dispatches are available long-term because I can still gain helpful lessons from ones I was interested in but had no time to attend.   

For instance, ABB's meeting this past April included "How to Build a Better Operator," which featured Dave Strobhar from Beville Engineering, who reported on the Center for Operator Performance's research and findings that: 1) the accepted alarm-per-minute average in many process control applications isn't as magic a number as some might believe; 2) providing procedures that span several units improves performance over per-unit procedures; and 3) that operator error rates do not rise linearly over time as one might believe, but instead double on the ninth day of work after eight days of consistent performance.

Similarly, Emerson Exchange 2011 was graced by "Firestone Predicts Future of Energy Savings" and production superintendent Nikky Brown, who showed how the company's Orange, Texas, facility used DeltaV Predict's model-predictive control to reduce its energy consumption and shrink its carbon footprint. We also helped Emerson put together an interactive PDF of all the events at the 2011 exchange.


Designing with Thermocouples: Get the Most from Your Measurements
This paper discusses technical issues that engineers need to consider when applying thermocouples.

Industrial PCs: Addressing the Top Five Challenges on the Factory Floor
This paper offers some criteria to consider when selecting industrial PCs and associated components.

Analysis of 3S CoDeSys Vulnerabilities for Industrial Control Systems
This whitepaper explains what the 3S CoDeSys vulnerabilities are and what an attacker can do with them.

On the Web

Likewise, Joe Pittman, safety instrumented systems (SIS) team leader at Chevron Energy and Technology Co., reported in "Chevron's Journey to Automated Partial Stroke Testing" (PST) how it migrated from manual PST to using a HART-capable 4-20mA digital valve controller connected to the safety system logic solver.

These are just a few of the great stories you can read on the web pages for the various user groups via the "events" tab at

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.